When you look at yourself in the mirror and the how hard did aging hit you challenge hits you in real life…
When I was a junior in college, I read an article in Glamour Magazine that said women should start an anti aging skincare routine at the age of 23. I remember laughing when I read that and thinking, “Silly women, 23 is far too young to be thinking about aging skin”. Fast forward past the sunny summer days sans sunscreen, the years that I refused to consistently use moisturizer, and all the times I didn't wash the makeup off my face before going to sleep, and you have me, standing in front of the mirror, wondering why the hell I didn’t start at 23.
I’m not going to lie, skincare has always been an intimidating subject for me: What do I use? What’s my skin type? Will this work for black women (yes, that’s a real concern)? If you’re anything like me you thought that having GREAT skin was only for the rich or genetically privileged and avoided it altogether. But, as
I approach thirty I realize that I want my face to last just a little bit longer and I’ve really committed to taking care of my skin. Here’s what I’m doing (not that you asked):
Eating Like a Grown Up
My diet used to be so trash. Sugar? Yes, please. Dairy? Put that on everything. Is it fried? Why’d you even ask? While this may have worked out okay for me when I was 18, it’s not cutting it now. This almost thirty skin needs water and nutrients. Did I say water? Yeah, sis needs lots of it. When I’m being diligent I get about a gallon a day by drinking and I make sure to eat foods with water in them as well such cucumbers.
Slathering on the Sunscreen
The year is 2007. The place is Newark, DE. And on the Christina River, you might see a women’s rowing team cruising along in the middle of drills. In the coxswain seat? Me. Totally in the moment. Totally not wearing sunscreen. Now imagine that same girl in direct sunlight that’s also being reflected off the water, not wearing sunscreen the six days a week that she’s on the water. I was definitely one of those black people that didn't think I needed protection from UV rays and sis KEPT a tan. While I don’t necessarily see signs of that stupidity yet, I definitely know that it was dumb. Now? Sunscreen is on everyday. No exceptions.
Getting the BLT
We’re not talking about the sandwich here. The BLT refers to ingredients that brighten skin tone, lighten scarring and dark marks, and tighten and firm the skin. This has been a lifesaver when looking at ingredients in skincare products. My favorites are hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, and retinol. After using products with these ingredients for only a couple of days, I noticed smoother and brighter skin. I try to use serums during my morning and night time routine that incorporate these ingredients. The June Jacobs Advanced Cell Repair Serum has hyaluronic acid which keeps my skin moisturized and smooth.
Wash That Makeup Off!
I already told y’all that I used to sleep in my makeup. A whole mess. Now? I don’t even wear makeup everyday and when I do, I wash it off as soon as I get home. This prevents breakouts and added bonus: my pillow cases are much cleaner.
Stop the DIY
I’m guilty: I used to put everything in my cupboard on my face. I’m talking lemons, turmeric, bananas, oats, honey. Basically anything you would put in a smoothie, I’ve put on my face. Again, a whole mess. All of those ingredients are great for the inside of the body but not so fabulous to use topically. Many food ingredients are too harsh for the skin and can cause dryness, irritation, and even allergic reactions. No bueno. Now, I look for derivatives of those ingredients that my skin can soak up without breaking out into hives.
My Weekly Routine
Every Morning: wash with a cleansing face wash, tone, hyaluronic acid, cell repair serum, moisturizer with sunscreen
Every Evening: wash with a moisturizing face wash, tone, hyaluronic acid, retinol cream, eye cream, moisturizer, gel sleep mask
Once a week: moisturizing face mask
As Needed: detoxifying face mask, eye mask, or sheet mask
This routine keeps my skin glowing, moisturized, and healthy.
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