Asian Skin Overview

Pacific Islander Skincare La Jolla

“Asian skin” is not just one type, though this is essentially true of any race or ethnicity. Japanese skin is different from Chinese skin is different from Filipina/Filipino skin is different from Indian skin. Beauty standards also differ from region to region but everywhere a premium is put on your having smooth, flawless skin.

There are differences between skin types go more than just skin deep.

  • Act Your Age, Don’t Look It – Because Asian types of skin have higher collagen levels and a thicker dermal layer (the layer between the skin surface and the subcutaneous layer deep below), wrinkles don’t develop as readily as they do in Caucasian skin.
  • Layer on Those Creams and Lotions – Asians usually has a more compact top layer (epidermis), so skincare products aren’t absorbed as well as they are with Caucasian skin.
  • Sun Exposed – Asian skin types usually tan more than burn, but sun exposure can hasten or exacerbate the development of freckles, sunspots, and other pigment-related conditions.
  • Skin Trauma – People with Asian skin can trigger their own hyperpigmentation due to skin trauma, even from things as seemingly insignificant as scratches or small insect bites.

All types of skin are gorgeous in their own way, so take care of yours, regardless of hue, and consult with a San Diego dermatologist often.

What to Expect

Dermatologic conditions usually come about due to your skin’s pigment composition and climate adaptability. Accordingly, Asian skin tends to be oilier than other skin types and is susceptible to hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.

Pigment Changes

Typically, Asian skin is more hydrated than other skin types. As you age, you should expect higher incidences of hyperpigmentation, freckles, and inconsistent skin tone rather than wrinkles as signs of aging. Post-inflammatory pigmentation (PIH) and melasma are common skin disorders among darker-skinned Asians, such as those from nations in South or Southeast Asia.

Melasma is a problematic condition characterized by tan or brown patches on your skin, primarily on your face. It is common in pregnant woman, but also in various South Asian countries with sunny climates.

If you bruise, scratch, or otherwise injure your skin, or if you have skin inflammation, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) often ensues. Simply put, dark spots or patches can develop anywhere on your body.

Furthermore, another common condition is hypopigmentation, which causes loss of color in your skin on various parts of your body. A well-known form of hypopigmentation is vitiligo, an embarrassing, debilitating condition that makes you self-conscious when in public.


Asians naturally produce a lot of oil, making you susceptible to acne outbreaks. Often, your acne outbreaks develop into keloids, which can cause permanent scarring if not treated quickly and correctly. Serious acne outbreaks can also lead to PIH.

Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego offers a variety of acne treatments for Asian skin, including prescription medications and laser or light therapy. Your treatment will be based on your overall health, the severity of your acne, and other factors that your Oceanside doctor can determine.

Skin Cancer

Don’t let your darker Asian skin lull you into a false sense of security about skin cancer.  While it’s true, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that Caucasians have higher rates of skin cancer, skin cancer rates are rising amongst people with Asian skin. It’s believed that a major cause for this is the preference of the younger generation in America for tanning their skin, something older generations of people of Asian descent never did.

Take every precaution to limit your exposure to the sun so you can reduce your risk of skin cancer. When you do go out into the sun, cover up with protective clothes and large hats and apply SPF 30 (minimum) broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Read more about skin cancer at


Before and After Botox Treatment
Laser Treatment for Hyperpigmentation
1 Week After Acne Treatment
After 2 Sessions of Infini RF Acne Scar Treatment
Botox injections to remove glabellar lines by Dr. Boen


Treating Acne Scars with Clear + Brilliant Laser (1:38)

Other Options

San Diego Cosmetic Laser Dermatology Products

In addition to our cosmetic and medical treatments appropriate for Asian skin, our experts at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego can help create a skincare regimen using medical grade skin care products, such as SkinMedica, that are perfect for your skin type and designed to maintain the health of your skin.

Contact our skin care office today to learn more about treatments for ethnic skin!


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For more information about the monthly specials offered at Cosmetic Laser Dermatology in San Diego, visit our Promotions page.

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The information available on this website is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and/or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions.

*Free consultations are available with Drs. Butterwick, Groff, Wu, Boen, and Leysin Fletcher, PA-C. General Dermatology consultations are subject to a fee.