I have to admit, I am currently obsessed with skincare, not makeup, although I love the makeup too, but actual acne clearing, hyperpigmentation lightening, anti aging, I-don’t-have-to-wear-makeup-if -I-don’t-want-to-skincare.
I actually look forward to taking off my makeup, in fact, I have become a little OCD about it these days. It is my ritual, my me time and I have made it a priority.
There are two reasons I am obsessed with skincare, the first, I have had bouts with acne twice in my life, and now the remnants of that acne to contend with, which prompted me to be very diligent about keeping my skin as pimple free as possible.
And the second thing, the erroneous belief that “black don’t crack.” In case you haven’t noticed I’m African American, just in case you didn’t see it in my pics. I have grown up my whole life with the belief that because of melanin, my skin is impervious to aging and the ravishes of the sun. This is wrong! Very wrong!
First of all, skin is skin. Skin, no matter what the color is subject to damage. I am brown and on an overcast day during the hotter months, if I stay outside too long, I will burn.
Black may not crack easily, but eventually it will if we don’t start taking care. Especially with the phenomenon known as climate change, we will find that we will begin to age prematurely. In fact there are a whole lot of us who already are doing just that.
Black may not wrinkle, but it retains water, is prone to excessive pigmentation, and it can look rough. We can keep thinking that all we need is a little basic face wash and some Vaseline (yes, I had someone actually tell me that), but many of us look tired and because we often go makeup free, our faces look severe and mature. Not old, but mature. I’ll explain the difference in another post.
We have come to believe that acne free, wrinkle free skin looks youthful. But you can have smooth, wrinkle-free skin that is also puffy, discolored around the eyes or jawline, and that may have a harsh texture up close.
Skin is delicate, no matter your color. And just because some skin doesn’t age as fast as other types, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t age at all.
*Okay Rant Over*
My point, no matter who you are, take good care of your skin and it will take care of you in return.
So how do we boost our skincare routine and start the journey to the best skin ever?
At the very least, we should all have a basic gentle cleanser, a balancing toner, a good moisturizer and sunscreen. And, maybe adding an eye cream if you have hit the age of, say…30? In general, if you have pretty stable, clear, problem free magic Unicorn skin (yes I’m hating), you could probably go the rest of your life without doing much else, especially if you spend most of your time indoors, and mostly makeup free.
But for those of us who have mature skin, stubborn skin issues, or are interested in preventing future skin problems, we need to step it up.
Here are five tips that we can start adding to our routines to help us have our best skin well into our 60s 70s and even 90s.
This is just a quick list. I will go in depth with each tip in future posts.
1. Have you tried double cleansing?
If you have skin issues and you wear makeup, the single biggest culprit, is not the makeup itself, but the fact that you may not be removing all of the makeup properly. Or, your skin issues could be directly related to the methods you’re using to clean your face. You may be being too harsh. If you are scrubbing your skin with a washcloth, wiping too much, or using really harsh cleansers and scrubs, STOP!!! You are cleaning your face, not a toilet bowl.
Starting your cleansing routine with an oil based cleanser to break up the makeup and then following with a gentle, preferably non-soap based, non-foaming, non-scrubby cleanser is one of the best ways, hands down, to ensure that your face is clean and completely makeup free without being stripped or dried out. This will also stop your oily skin from over producing oils.
2. Moisturize, moisturize, and then moisturize again.
Many of us believe that because we are oily, we should skip moisturizer. This is actually a big mistake. Not only should we be using moisturizers, but we could also benefit from oils and moisturizing night treatments, as well. Often times our faces are over producing oils because we are doing everything in our power to strip it all away. Stepping up the moisture really does give us that plump, glowy skin that we alll covet.
3. Step up the treatments.
Two treatments that I swear by are Retin-A and Pure ascorbic acid (vitamin c). I will not go too much in depth about the Retin-A. It is essentially Vitamin A and it works wonders for helping to produce clear, wrinkle and acne free skin. It is a very potent treatment and requires a bit of research before using and a prescription from a doctor. But if it is something that you can tolerate, and you decide to add it to your regimen, chances are, it will do wonders for your skin.
In addition, a good vitamin c product is your complexion keeper. My skin loves vitamin c and I love how my skin looks when I use it.
It brightens and although it can be irritating to some, if you can tolerate it, it can actually be very healing. Vitamin C does not require a prescription, but if you choose to use it, keep in mind that it can be very unstable and you should be using a product that is as fresh as possible. I promise to dedicate separate posts to these products and other treatments in the future.
4. Derma What?
Although the treatments are very potent, they can take a while to produce the desired effects. Dermarolling or microneedling is one of those skincare techniques that, if done right, really pushes the regimen into high gear and helps to make all the other aspects of your skincare regimen work faster and better. Of course, this one isn’t for everybody. After all, you are rolling tiny needles all over your face (the things we do for beauty). If you choose to give it a try, I suggest you do your research, and become very informed. I have had great results with mine, but there was a learning curve. If used properly though, it can help break up the pigmentation and help clear up acne pretty fast. This, in conjunction with vitamin c serum and diligent moisture practices is a winning combination.
5. What does your dairy intake look like? How about that soy?
If you are suffering from the hormonal acne that occurs around the jawline or neck area, you may want to add a little soy into your diet. If you tend to breakout with cystic acne, especially around the nose and upper lip area, you may be consuming too much dairy. I love cheese and ice cream, not together, of course. BUT, if I have had too much, the evidence will appear literally within hours. There will be a huge cystic pimple on my lip just screaming, “HEY CHICK! GIVE THE DAIRY A REST, WILL YA?”
Often we breakout from eating or drinking too much dairy because there may be added hormones in those foods. I have find that I don’t have to give up all dairy products, but I do have a threshold. I have also found that I don’t tend to breakout when I eat grass fed or farm raised dairy. I also don’t have flare ups when I eat Ben and Jerry’s. And believe me, I eat a lot of Ben and Jerry’s. 🙂
So these are just a few ways that I have stepped up my skincare regimen and I think some or all of these may work for you as well.
Check back soon, for more in depth posts on each of these techniques.
Until next time,
Happy moisturizing and double cleansing,