Sean Cunningham for Backstage Beauty
This spectrum spans skin tones from light beige to olive or deep tan. More likely than not, you're in this category if you're of East Asian, Latin, Mediterranean, or Middle Eastern descent.
Having more melanin-rich skin gives you some natural UV protection not enough that you can ditch the SPF, but premature aging shouldn't be a huge concern. Also, your skin tends to be relatively thick, which often means fewer lines and wrinkles. But because it can also contain more oil glands, your skin may have enlarged pores and be prone to breakouts.
A salicylic-acid wash can help keep both oil and breakouts at bay. We like Benefit Wooosh!, $18. Also unlike powder, which can sit in and exaggerate pores blotting papers are a great temporary fix. Try Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets, $5. Another trick: Use a mattifyer under your sunscreen and makeup. One cult favorite: Peter Thomas Roth Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel, $35.
Skin with a decent amount of melanin is predisposed to produce even more melanin at the slightest provocation. Derms report that hyperpigmentation, such as marks that outlive whatever caused them in the first place (like a bug bite or scratch) and melasma (masklike facial blotchiness), are the biggest concerns. Hydroquinone-spiked fading creams reduce the production of new melanin and help to whisk away existing spots. Try DDF Fade Gel 4, $42. Newer fading formulas use botanicals purported to help disperse existing pigment clusters into less noticeable particles.
Because thick skin tends to have high concentrations of hair follicles, you may also have to wrestle with extra facial and body hair. Consider adding a hair-inhibiting lotion, such as Aveeno Positively Smooth Facial Moisturizer, $14, to your routine. Also, be aware that hyperpigmentation can be triggered by waxing burns, so if you let it rip at home, don't overheat the wax. If you go to a pro waxer, be up-front about your skin's sensitivity. For facial hair, try threading, a safe, time-tested alternative technique that tugs on skin less than waxing or tweezing.