As we get ready to reveal HOLA! USA’s Best in Beauty Awards 2018, it is important for us to first debunk any myths that we as Latina women have about our skin and overall care. Whether these thoughts have been passed down for generations from our abuela’s abuela or they are new developments discussed among friends, Dr. Bertha Baum will refute and clarify the top concerns the Colombia-raised dermatologist comes across daily at her practice in Florida.
Myth 1: The darker the skin, the less sunscreen needed
“It is true that Latin skin is more resistant to the sun since it has more pigment/melanin (and that tends to present less premature aging), but the skin also looks affected by the sun and that accumulates long-term sun damage.
Myth 2: Latinx do not get skin cancer
“Skin cancer in Hispanics is common due to the fact that many people consider that they are immune to it. Acral lesions (on the palms and soles) are more common in Hispanics. People don’t look at those locations as much. That’s why we have created campaigns to teach nail and hair salons that if they see any lesion, they inform the customer and seek a board certified dermatologist. In general, more awareness is being created so that Hispanics are aware that they are not immune to skin cancer, and they need to use protection. When they decide to go to the dermatologist, they tend to have a more advanced cancer because they waited too long.”
Latinas are very into anti-aging products
Myth 3: Fairer complexions wrinkle faster than darker tones
“It depends on many factors, but it is true that the paler the complexion, the more it absorbs the sun and the more degeneration it has. Genetics does play a very important role in this type of generalization.”
Myth 4: All products are fine to use on Latinx skin
“I notice that many Latina women have problems with benzoyl peroxide, so I try to recommend other ingredients when they need products for acne. I also do more peels for skin blemishes.”
Myth 5: Darker skin can’t get laser hair removal
“Laser hair removal is very common. There are many companies that have created safe laser hair removal technology for darker skin tones. Those white spots can happen when visiting spas and locations that don’t have someone well-trained doing the procedures. In general, they are very safe and effective for Latina skin when used at the right settings and with a board certified doctor in charge. They also love radiofrequency and all the machines that produce collagen in the skin.”