Article written and published by Pro Collective.
Sustainability, diversity, and inclusivity are at the top of every business’ agenda, which is particularly evident and pertinent in the beauty industry. Today, brands with foundation 40+ shades are increasingly the norm and advertising has made huge strides in representation. However, there are still deep challenges when it comes to professional treatments – an area, once addressed, that will lead to greater opportunities for everyone in the industry.
An analysis by McKinsey found that Black people’s experience within the beauty industry is markedly more frustrating than that of other people and filled with multiple friction points that non-Black consumers are less likely to face.
Business owners, ask yourselves this: How much knowledge do your staff have when it comes to treating melanin-rich skin tones?
It’s understandable why Black consumers feel less confident about their options when it comes to treatments. Traditionally, there has been less awareness of treating melanin-rich skin tones – but that’s starting to change.
At the forefront of positive change in this field is professional-grade skincare brand, Dermalogica. Aiming to strengthen industry knowledge and bridge the gap in professional education, Dermalogica have developed a course for skin therapists and future industry professionals to strengthen their foundational knowledge of understanding and treating melanin-rich skin. This education resource is free and available now.
When it comes to training, textbooks primarily feature lighter skin tones on models and in medical illustrations, and classes often omit how skin conditions present in darker skin tone variations. This causes a learning gap that can lead to inequalities in care, from the initial client consultation through to skin analysis and treatment.
“Melanin-rich skin tones, specifically those categorised as Fitzpatrick levels IV-VI, have been under-represented in the professional skincare industry’s training curricula. New Zealand is a place of great diversity, and this new online course provides fundamental knowledge for the skincare service professional when addressing diverse skintones. This knowledge will assist therapists in their work with Māori, Pacific, Indian and African clients,” says Caroline Parker, head of education at Dermalogica New Zealand.
The free course is comprised of three self-led modules. Module one focuses on cultural intelligence (CQ) to strengthen communication and improve the client experience. The second module delves into the science of melanin and melanin-rich skin structure, exploring how it affects skin conditions including ageing, hyperpigmentation, breakouts, and sensitivity. Students will learn how to unlock effective skin treatments for these skin conditions and types of ingredients to use and avoid when treating melanin-rich skin. The third module addresses advanced skin services, focusing on chemical peels, microneedling, nanoinfusion, dermaplaning, and LED. The curriculum details precautions and contraindications that may be present with melanin-rich skin, guiding the professional on how to perform each of these services successfully.
“Dermalogica was born from the idea that industry education could and should do more to set skin therapists up for success. As the leaders in skin treatment education, we’re driven by our purpose to elevate the industry through advanced education and skill development, and that includes ensuring that every skin professional is confident treating every skin tone,” adds Parker.
“Understanding the complexities of melanin-rich skin is both a science and an art,” explains course consultant and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Alexis Stephens. “This is a much-needed course and a massive step in the right direction in bridging the gap in skin inclusivity.”
The course is open to the professional skincare industry, and currently offered in seven languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, French, and Mandarin. A certificate of completion is available post the course to print out or share digitally.