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How Urban Skin Rx is Helping Close the Skincare Gap


African American woman of deep complexion, smiling happily and looking over her shoulder

In the Glam Gap clip below, African American professionals from media to dermatology explore how dermatologists and skincare pros often overlook the need for specialized African American skincare. Fortunately, as awareness of the gap in skincare products that serve a diverse range of skin tones spreads, companies like Urban Skin Rx (celebrated in the video) step into the limelight.

Check out this episode of BET’s digital original, The Glam Gap or read on to learn more.

Part of the reason why African Americans, in particular, weren’t finding products that were created specifically catered to their unique skincare needs [was] because we were being overlooked. I don’t think that you know, many brands considered what the opportunity was among African American consumers and I think the thinking was more so, you know, ‘They can use what everyone else uses...” Mia Scott, VP of Communications, Nielsen

But the truth is, those brands were wrong. Darker skin tones need more. As shown in the video, only 3% of dermatologists in the United States are African American. Additionally, a U.S. survey reported 47% of dermatologists felt that their training in medical school or residency hadn’t prepared them to treat African American skin. With so few skincare professionals having experience with or knowledge of how to treat African American skin, there’s no surprise that the gap in skincare conversations and available skincare products has grown.

As the emphasis on enhancing the appearance of one’s skin has increased and the explosion of the beauty industry, the thirst for products created with melanin-rich skin in mind has become a necessity.

African American women and men face a unique set of skin challenges that require special attention and specialized products. The most common of which are:

  • Melasma
  • Vitiligo
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Folliculitis & pseudo-folliculitis barbae (razor bumps)
  • Acne keloidalis nuchae
  • Keloids
  • Psoriasis

And while we’ve at least come into this knowledge, the skincare industry has yet to produce a wide variety of products or services designed to treat the above or to accommodate other needs of those with darker skin.

Rachel Roff, however, founder and CEO of Urban Skin Solutions Medspa and Weight Loss Center and Urban Skin Rx has dedicated her career to closing the gap in both products and services for melanin-rich skin.

After entering the medical spa industry in 2004 as a laser technician, she quickly realized a lack of education and solutions geared toward the treatment of common conditions faced by people with diverse skin tones. From this knowledge, she grew her passion for finding effective treatments and formulating specific products for those with darker skin. The Urban Skin Rx Clear Skin Cleansing Bar, featured in the video, is just one example of the products you’ll find when you’re browsing the product line!

The landscape of skin types and tones is steadily growing. The dermatology and skincare industry needs to follow in the footsteps of companies like Urban Skin Rx and Urban Skin Solutions Medspa and Weight Loss Center who strive to create products and provide solutions that will support the needs of everyone represented in that ever-changing landscape.


You may also be interested in: Allure Magazine Crowns Urban Skin Rx Best of Beauty

You may also be interested in: Claire Sulmers Talks USRx