How Does Ethnicity affect Skin?

Did you know, ethnicity and genetic makeup can influence much more than your looks? There are subtle differences in Asian and Caucasian skin that could impact certain skin conditions. In this blog, we explore how ethnicity can affect the skin.

So, how does ethnicity affect the skin?

First, it’s important to understand that environment and climate play a pivotal role in overall skin health. Due to heritage and a natural adaptation to warmer climates, men and women of Asian descent may be more likely to develop certain skin conditions. 

Oily skin

Those of Asian descent typically originate from warmer climates. Unfortunately, this means they may be more prone to oily skin. Now, in some cases oily skin is seen as a blessing as it tends to retain youth, however, it can also contribute to acne breakouts. 

Acne breakouts are caused by oil, known as sebum, and bacteria that become trapped in the pores. For some, acne can present as a couple of localised spots in specific areas, but for others, it may be more severe with spots that cover the surface of the face. 

In Asian skin, acne outbreaks may appear in the form of keloids, hardened bumps, or reddening of the skin. Unfortunately, left untreated this type of acne can result in scarring. 

If you are concerned about acne or scarring, there are plenty of treatment options available to help. To find out more about our acne treatments, click here.


Ageing is natural, but Asian skin types tend to show signs of age at a slower pace than Caucasian skin. Why? Well, the reason lies within the dermis. In Asian skin, the dermis is typically a little thicker, meaning it may produce more collagen and elastin. 

Collagen and elastin are vital building blocks in skin health and help your skin to retain moisture, volume, and radiance. Naturally, the production of these proteins slows with age, which can manifest as fine lines and wrinkles, and a loss of volume and definition. 

That is why, no matter your ethnicity it is important to take care of your skin. The most important step in your skincare routine is a broad-spectrum SPF. This will help to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can cause significant damage to the skin, leading to the development of skin conditions including hyperpigmentation, acne, and even melasma.  


Those with darker skin tones naturally produce more melanin than Caucasian skin. Melanin is a protein responsible for colour pigment in the eyes, skin, and hair. The more melanin you have, the darker your features tend to be. 

Now, melanin production in the skin could make you more prone to hyperpigmentation, freckles, melasma, and sunspots. In addition, if you suffer from acne breakouts, you may find that some spots leave behind dark patches. 

When selecting skin care for hyperpigmentation, we recommend that you use Vitamin C products to help support your skin tone. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant, and it also helps repair sun damage, target scarring, and encourage cell turnover. 

There are also specific hyperpigmentation treatments available to help combat hyperpigmentation, including LED devices, and specific facials like chemical peels. 

Sensitivity and scarring

As we mentioned earlier, those with darker skin tones may be more prone to scarring. Besides melanin production, this could also be attributed to a thinner stratum corneum, which is the outermost layer of the epidermis. 

Now, a thinner stratum corneum may also make the skin more prone to sensitivity. If you struggle with sensitive skin, be mindful of the ingredients you use on your skin and avoid any harsh chemicals that could aggravate it and cause dermatitis.  

If you need any help with your skin or struggling with a specific concern, contact our team at Dr. Jinah Yoo Dermatology to see how we can help.