The pandemic has been rough, the civil unrest has been traumatic, and juggling my responsibilities as a wife, mother, working professional, and an active member of my community has been the absolute most. Like many of you, I am trying to keep it all together while making sure that self-care doesn’t completely fall off of my list of things to do. Making the time and channeling the patience to successfully nail down an effective and sustainable skincare routine has been a sanctuary in the midst of the chaos, thanks to a few amazing Black-owned skincare brands and a will to come out of quarantine serving face. Here’s the routine that I’ve been following that has transformed my skin.
In the morning:
Understanding your skin type before selecting a daily cleanser is mission critical. (Take a quick skin survey if you're not sure!) Shea Moisture’s Daily Hydration Foaming Facial Wash works well for my normal-to-oily skin type. Trust me, I’ve tried everything in the face wash aisle, and there’s only a handful that consistently get the job done, but this Daily Hydration Foaming Facial Wash smells amaze and leaves my face looking bright and feeling squeaky clean. An additional win here is that you can easily find this cleanser at your local Target or Walmart, and it’s budget friendly. Pro-Tip: You should wash your face for no less than 60 seconds. My cheat code is singing the theme song to "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," which is both a fun and effective self timer.
Once my face is clean, I apply TAYLOR + tess The Quickie Facial Toning Spray, which is all the things: plant based, toxin-free, and made with broad-spectrum CBD. Four to five sprays on my face gives my skin a boost of hydration and preps it to receive the remainder of my skincare routine. As an added bonus, I can use this travel-friendly toner throughout the day to give my skin a renewed dewy look in seconds.
During the day, Barrier Defense: Skin Healing Cream by C. Maree Esthetics ensures that my face maintains the perfect balance of moisture for an extended period of time. I’ve tried several moisturizers, and what I like about this product in particular is that it offers significant calming benefits that protect my skin while giving my skin much needed equilibrium. It’s light and perfect for daily use, and just a dime-sized amount is more than enough for full coverage.
The last (and maybe most important) step is to apply sunscreen. As a wonderfully melanated woman, I typically am very aware of how much sun I’m getting and do my best to protect my skin from extended direct sunlight, however, there’s just no way to avoid it. And who wants to anyway? Having a go-to sunscreen like Black Girl Sunscreen has been a lifesaver in protecting the long-term health of my skin. I apply a small amount to my face and neck as a final step before putting on my make-up or going to win the day with a bare face. Either way, since this sunscreen dries clear, you’re already winning.
Melting away my make-up was never a part of my skincare routine, until I finally figured out that washing my face alone just was not enough. That being said, my nighttime skincare routine starts with Sun Kiss Organics Rose Oil Cleansing Balm. This gem of a product works wonders in removing impurities like dirt, make-up, and build-up from my skin’s surface and ensures that my pores are free and clear from the threat of break-outs. A little bit goes a long way here also, so I’m happy to say that there’s a ton of bang for the buck in this travel-friendly jar. I typically leave this on for 5-10 minutes before washing my face.
Fortunately, Shea Moisture’s Daily Hydration Foaming Facial Wash works well for day or night, so I use it for both! The main variable here is that I’m using it after using an oil-based make-up remover, which definitely makes a significant difference as it opens up my pores and allows for a deeper clean at night.
Another one from Sunkiss Organics, Carrot Seed Serum, rounds out my nightly routine and has truly been a game-changer for the skin I’m in. Since I started using this serum, I immediately noticed a difference in the overall evenness of my skin tone, the lightening of dark spots from previous acne, and just a general glow. I use 4-5 drops of the serum and rub it together in the palm of my hands then spread evenly on my face. Much to my delight, this particular serum doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily at all. More like, I just got Beyonce level treatment from my personal esthetician. A girl can wish right?
The key to a successful skincare routine is simple: Find products that work for you, stay consistent, and love the skin you’re in, no matter what. The products I’ve mentioned are a great place to start, but don’t be afraid to try and explore until you find the perfect mix of products for you. It will be time and energy well-spent.