I’m in my mid-forties and skin care has never been more important.
My personal take on skin care…I refuse to believe there is a magic pull, potion, powder or cream that can stop, reverse or change the aging process. I only say this because there are so many celebrities and individuals (with blessed incomes) who have the means to purchase just about anything – yet not one celebrity or person of means has been able to evade aging as these products are advertised. Although research and development has drastically improved over the years and products are better than ever, statistics can be skewed to support just about any point of view.
Sometimes we are in awe of the aging process of these folks and don’t take into account botox, laser resurfacing and other clinical procedures. No shade to those individuals who choose to get a little clinical help😉. This article is discussing skin care in a more natural route.
Skin care is a large part of external self-care. Some of the desired results can be achieved with basic products at half the cost, half the ingredients, and a fraction of the irritation of the skin. Keeping in mind that ALL skin care must be accompanied by a great diet, rest and proper supplementation (vitamins/collagen/minerals) and of course water.
It all begins with clean and moisturized skin. When we think of “beauty” the first thought is usually makeup and its application, but in reality, it all starts with a great basic skin care routine. Skin should be cleaned morning and night.
1. Cleanser – (See cleansers below. Use a gentle cleanser.)
2. Moisturizer and Sunscreen (Sunscreen is a must for all ages, skin types, and skin tones regardless of race). You can also use a moisturizing sunscreen. Don’t forget the rays are still out even on a cloudy day so it’s super important to wear at all times during the day. 😉 See moisturizers and sunscreen list below.
3. Eye Cream – Best eye cream of all time is Kiehls Avocado Eye Cream, however a fantastic dupe I found at Target is CereVe Eye Repair.
Believe it or not I used to believe that sunscreen was not needed because my skin is dark. I thought I had natural and guaranteed protection from the sun due to my melanin. Although, I had read many articles to the contrary, I would always counter by asking, “So why do women with darker skin in the continents of Africa and South America not have to worry about the increased risk of skin cancer?” After all, when you think about it we all share the same sun. Could it be related to our diets? I also would ask the question about why my grandmother and her ancestors didn’t have these worries.
This is what I’ve learned…
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, black people who live in the United States make up only 1-2% of cases of skin cancer. Hispanics in the United States make up 4-5% and Asians make up 2-4%. It may appear that our risk is low, but the sun has other damaging effects. The Skin Cancer Foundation also states that sun damage is cumulative, and an estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun. That was it and I was convinced. Sunscreen anyone?
You can find excellent sunscreen that meets all your needs that also fits in just about all budgets). The only problem I’ve had with sunscreen is the whitish cast left on my brown face. Luckily there are so many to choose from. Four sunscreens I’ve tried that leave a minimal cast or no cast, with or without makeup is Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46, Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30 Unscented (Target) , Olay Sun Facial Sunscreen SPF 35 (Target), and Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 (Sephora) All of these sunscreens work wonderfully, and I use each them interchangeably. There is however a brand-new sunscreen on the market that I just started using last week and it is quickly becoming a favorite -Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30. It had been out of stock at Target and I had been waiting for it to become available as it has wonderful reviews and claims. Let me tell you it was well worth the wait. Just as it states, it applies like a lotion and dries completely clear. I mean absolutely no cast. It works well with my makeup primer and powder as well. Another win-win.😎🧴 Don’t forget that it needs to be worn rain or shine everyday!
Morning skincare routines can stop here if you choose. However, from here I usually move on to primer, eyebrow pencil, eye primer and color, mascara, foundation and setting spray. POOF! I’m done…it’s magic.
The nighttime routine is just as important as the morning routine and deserves an equal amount of attention.
Two step cleansing
Oil cleanse (1st step) – to remove makeup, eyeliner etc. Super important especially if you wear sunscreen and long wear, waterproof or heavy makeup.
Cleanser (2nd step) – I use a gel-based cleanser on most days.
Products I highly recommend (1st Step):
Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, DHC Deep Cleansing Oil or my favorite grapeseed/olive oil mix (works GREAT for a fraction of the price).
Products I highly recommend (2nd Step):
Lancome Pur Control, Vanicream Cleanser, Skinceuticals Purifying Cleanser with Glycolic Acid, and one of all-time favorites- all-natural authentic black soap.
Exfoliation – chemical (dissolves the dead skin cells) or physical (rubs off the dead skin cells with a washcloth or clarisonic).
Treatment masks – to draw out impurities, deliver hydration, or calm inflamed skin.
Products I highly recommend:
Axtec Secret Indian Clay
Origins – Out of Trouble 10 min mask
Products I highly recommend:
Lancer The Method: Polish
Homemade Olive Oil/Avocado Oil and sugar face scrub
Fragrance free Moisturizers-
Vanicream Moisturizer CereVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion Vichy Aqualia Thermal (Has fragrance but works really well!)
Treatments– Retinoids/Sheet Masks
Occasionally, I double mask – which is nothing more than masking your face in zones according to the need. For example, a moisturizing mask for my forehead and cheeks, an oil absorbing mask for my jawline, nose and chin. Sheet masks can help with exfoliation, give a dose of moisture or help relieve irritation or inflammation.
Simple Skincare Dewy Glow Sheet Mask Neutrogena Hydrogel Mask
Retin-A (Prescription) Retinoids – Neutrogena rapid wrinkle repair
Healthy dermatologist tip: I was experiencing irritation and flaking on my skin when I started to use Retin-A. She recommended I use my moisturizer first and let it completely dry before using my Retin-A to keep my skin from flaking.
Morning or evening it is imperative to include your neck and chest in your routine.
We can’t prevent aging, but we can age as gracefully as our genes, environment, and lifestyles, and efforts allow. No matter your age, the body is always healing and replenishing itself. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t been diligent with your skin care- simply start today.
All recommended products were bought with my own money and I am not getting paid for my recommendations.
Until next time…be unapologetically you.