Acne information center


Darker Skin Types

What You Need to Know

People of Middle Eastern, Hispanic, Asian, and African descent have skin that can differ in significant ways from the skin of those with a primarily European background. Regardless of your ethnicity, it is important to keep these differences in mind when selecting your own acne treatments and products.

People of color, including multiracial individuals, are prone to stubborn hyperpigmentation (dark or red marks) that lingers long after an acne breakout has come and gone. Because these dark marks are frustratingly long-lasting, it’s important to get acne under control right away—but since products that are too strong can create spots and patches, too, it’s advisable to find a professional esthetician who can strike the right balance to get you clear. Corrective chemical peels for acne scars can also help lighten these dark spots more quickly.

Popping pimples is not recommended for anyone, but can be especially damaging to people with dark skin tones, medium skin tones, or Asian heritage. These populations are prone to hyperpigmentation, and popping pimples can leave dark marks that will take months, if not years, to fade.

Hyperpigmentation isn’t the only concern that people of color must consider when choosing an acne treatment. People of African and Asian descent are prone to aggressive or hyperactive healing, which can lead to keloids, or raised scarring. This tendency is also what keeps some people of color wrinkle-free well into middle age. Eczema is also more common among people of African and Asian ethnic origin, according to population-based studies conducted in the United States and United Kingdom. Since some acne treatments can worsen eczema, it is important to keep these differences in mind.


Acne treatment should be guided by a professional esthetician who understands the character of different types of ethnic skin. With your esthetician, you can develop a customized skin care regimen that will address your acne, get rid of dark spots and acne scars, and address the rest of your skin care needs.

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