A comprehensive guide to injectables for people of color
Once seen as cosmetic procedures designed for Caucasians due to their earlier onset of aging, injectables like Botox, Juvéderm, and Xeomin are becoming increasingly more popular among people of color because they help keep wrinkles and crow's feet at bay, as well as restore lost volume.
Those with lighter skin tend to age visibly faster than those with darker complexions because of increased susceptibility to the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. People with darker complexions tend to have more melanin in their skin, which naturally protects against UV damage that contributes to premature aging. These differences in patterns of aging influence the way in which injectables are used.
So, what should people with darker complexions know before getting injectables?
They can restore volume
As those with darker skin tones age, they develop fewer fine lines and wrinkles compared to Caucasians but are more likely to experience volume loss. Among people of color, the most commonly treated areas include the forehead, the space between the eyebrows, crow's feet, and under the eyes.
That's where injectables, like Juvéderm, come into play. A hyaluronic acid-based filler, Juvéderm is used to increase volume in the face temporarily. If you aren't familiar with hyaluronic acid, it's a substance derived from sugar that's naturally found in the body — and it holds up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. Because of this unique property, Juvéderm can plump up the lips, cheeks, jawline, and chin with results that can last for years.
Neuromodulator injectables, like Botox and Xeomin, work to reduce signs of aging by relaxing the muscles in the face. These injectables attach to your nerve endings, blocking the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for triggering your facial muscles’ contractions. Used for both prevention or correction, Botox and Xeomin smooth away the skin with results that last for months.
Finding an experienced professional is important
The goal with injectables is to produce subtle changes that leave you looking refreshed and relaxed. That's why it's essential for any woman — regardless of skin tone — to choose an experienced and skilled medical professional. How do you do that exactly? Do your homework and shop around. Schedule consultations with potential candidates, and request to see before-and-after pictures of former or current patients. Also, ask questions about their training and experience. Once you've found a promising medical professional, be sure to discuss your desires and expectations before returning for the actual procedure.
Do women of color need to approach injectables differently?
Those with darker skin tones, aka more melanin-rich skin, do need to be more mindful about how injectables are administered because they are more prone to hyperpigmentation. The way medical professionals inject fillers, like Juvéderm, into the skin influences the level of risk involved. Hyperpigmentation is a result of bruising. While everyone, regardless of skin tone, is prone to that, it's more challenging to reverse in darker complexions.
Bottom line: Be as informed as possible
When it comes to getting injectables with a darker complexion, choose a medical provider that understands your distinct needs and provides a customized approach for each patient. Also, be aware of potential risks like hyperpigmentation. Ultimately, you want to look like a subtly-enhanced version of yourself instead of looking over-corrected.
- "8 Things You Should Know Before Getting Injectables," Glamour, September 3, 2019.
- "What Women of Color Need to Know About Getting Injectables," Elle, March 1, 2019.