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In Sight: The Road to More Effective Ethnic Skin Care
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries
Posted: February 1, 2007, from the February 2007 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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Better designed skin care formulas is one way Obukowho feels that skin care formulators can better serve ethnic consumers.
“Improving formulas so they do not conflict with the [environmental] conditions of the individual is a way to make ethnic skin care more effective,” said Obukowho. He went on further to say that a formulator cannot design a base for a product that conflicts with the active within that product. For example, a formula that promotes a hydrophobic ingredient on the skin, should stay away from surfactants so that the emulsion promotes the release of the hydrophobic material.
“Some of the formulas out there are based on simple formulation and the wrong ingredient selection,” he said. Overall knowledge of ingredients for ethnic skin, for Obukowho, is important. In terms of moisturization, Obukowho believes that petrolatum can be very effective in skin care formulations. He also finds benefit in lanolin, natural butters such as shea, and cocoa and peanut oils.
Because of increased levels of melanin in skin, even pigmentation is often a goal of black skin care. Obukowho has seen a growth in the popularity of skin lighteners.
“Understanding the effectiveness of dramatic reduction of skin damage is being realized in the black community,” said Obukowho. Those with black skin often use skin lighteners to reduce pigment in areas that may be hyperpigmented as a result of acne or scarring.