As a black woman of a certain age (read more about that here), who is also in the online beauty industry, taking care of my skin beneath my makeup is of vital importance. What my IG photos do not show is that I spend 90% of my life barefaced. No lashes, No gloss, no foundation. Just me in the skin in which I was born.
That being said, I have always struggled with bouts of acne, hormonal acne, in fact. Earlier this year I was forced to resort back to using prescription strength retin-a, and a topical anti-bacterial medication to bring my skin back from the brink of destruction. It was bad, y’all. BAD.
What’s interesting to note, however, is that after 4 months of being on retin-a, I didn’t see the improvement I expected. In the past, within 3-4 weeks of using Retin-A, I would experience some drying of the skin and a vast decrease in the number of breakouts. Not this time. I even went back to my dermatologist 3 additional times to determine why my skin wasn’t responding to it. We never found a solution, so I decided to start making some serious changes in my skincare routine to see if I could bring about the change I wanted to see.
And I’m happy to report, after 4 months of major changes, my skin is happily on the mend, and I look forward to seeing my progress continue.
Check out my progress HERE:
I will warn you, however, that my skincare routine, which includes several Korean Beauty products, is not for the faint of heart. There are quite a few steps, but it’s been worth it. You don’t have to use everything I use, of course, but I do think you should consider incorporating at least 4 of these products into your routine.
Oh, and be sure to increase your water intake and eliminate soda. Doing those two things have also helped my skin to improve.
Without further ado, here are 13 Skincare Products Every Black Girl Should Use To Achieve Blemish-Free + Glowing Skin
1. Oil Cleansers
They are gentle and help to cleanse your skin without stripping your skin of natural oils. As a woman with naturally oily skin, I was going overtime to dry my skin which only creates more oil. Begin your routine with an oil cleanser, and then follow with a foaming cleanser. Some of my favorite oil cleansers include:
SUNDAY RILEYC.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil $38 Buy HERE
Dermalogica PreCleanse $30 buy HERE
Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil with Coconut & Argan Cleanser $13 Buy HERE
2. Foaming Cleansers
They eliminate impurities, clear pores, and remove makeup and excess oil, all while maintaining your natural moisture balance. They are also easy to rinse off without leaving any residue. Some of my favorites include:
Skinfix Foaming Clay Cleanser 3.4 oz. $14.99 Buy HERE.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Face Wash Cleanser, $14.99. Buy HERE
3. Micellar Water
Micellar water has gotten pretty popular in recent years, and I am definitely on the bandwagon, especially as someone who wears makeup. If you don’t wear makeup, feel free to leave this out of your routine. According to Shannon Rodeberg:
“Micellar Water contains oil molecules in soft water that are called micelles. These micelles attract oil, dirt, grime, etc. So basically they draw out these items that can cause “impurities” without drying out the skin like a lot of toners can. After the micelles attract the dirt, oil, etc. they dissolve them and leave clean, refreshed skin behind.”
My favorite Miccellar Waters are:
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water. $11 Buy HERE
Simple Micellar Cleansing Water. 2-pack for $14 Buy HERE
In addition to removing makeup and debris, Toners help to put back what cleansers can remove. They also contain nutrients and antioxidants, and help to balance the skin. You will have to find a toner that works best for your skin-type. But here are a few I keep in rotation:
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner 5-$18. Buy HERE
PCA SKIN Nutrient Toner $33. Buy HERE
5. Bio-Peel Gauze Pads $17 Buy HERE
These works to slough off dead skin, while imparting luminosity and glow to your skin. They also work to even-out skin tone. I use these 2-3 xs a week.
6. Vitamin C Serum
If you are on a mission to improve the texture and appearance of your skin, you cannot, I repeat, you cannot NOT use a Vitamin C serum. The right vitamin C serum can make all the difference. I use Vitamin C serums daily, and the one by Soko Glam is high on my list of favs. It’s also only $27, which, in the land of effective skincare is a steal. If you suffer from dark spots/hyperpigmentation, you need to use a vitamin C serum, period.
This antioxidant formulation delivers stable and highly effective pure vitamin C and pure vitamin E to protect skin from damage, strengthen and smooth the skin, and fight the visible signs of aging. Buy HERE
7. Hyaluronic Acid
It’s an anti-aging, skin-resurfacing, super drug. It helps to keep your skin plump and moisturized, too. Don’t want your black to crack? Use this before your moisturizer Every.Single.Day.
My fav is kinda pricey, so definitely research to find one that is more affordable if necessary:
PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum, Buy HERE.8. Facial Oils
Facial Oils help to target specific skincare concerns, wether it be fighting aging, combatting acne, or increasing hydration. Find an oil that combats your skincare needs. For acne prone skin, I swear by this one:
Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil, $42 Buy HERE.
9. Skin Exfoliators/Facial Polish
I exfoliate twice a week, and find exfoliating to be instrumental in keeping my skin clear and blemish free. Now, I will say, that exfoliators come in many forms. I avoid most facial brushes. They harbor bacteria, and can be too rough on the skin. The exception to this rule is the Foreo Silicone Brush. It’s charged via-USB, it’s made out of silcone so it’s easy to clean. and doesn’t trap dirt and debris, and it’s super gentle on the face.
In addition to a facial brush, I stan for face polishers. They contain teeny tiny exfoliators and antioxidants to reveal, younger, fresher, and more vibrant skin. You can’t go wrong with either of these two:
Pixi Peel & Polish $24, buy HERE
10. Wash-off Face Masks
Face masks come in so many forms, but as an acne-prone, oily girl, I live for clay and/or active charcoal masks. They offer deep cleaning properties to help clear out your pores. Look for masks that speak to your skincare concerns,
These are my fav:
11. Overnight Face Masks
Overnight face masks work to hydrate, firm, and brighten your skin while you sleep.
These two are my fav:
MY SKIN MENTOR DR. G Brightening Peeling Cream, $30, Buy HERE.
This doesn’t actually peel your skin, so don’t worry. It does, however, work overnight to:
treat clogged pores, remove excess sebum and dead skin cells, and brighten dark spots in one go
Moisturize. Every day. twice a day. Just do it, and thank me later. Here is my current fav for my acne-prone oily skin:
Tea Tree Face Cream Thursday Plantation 2.29 oz Cream13. Buy HERE
As much as we love our Vitamin D, the sun’s rays contain harmful free radicals that can and will cause premature aging and darken those dark spots we work so hard to eradicate! Always always always, use a sunscreen as the final step in your daytime skincare. As women of color, it’s sometimes hard to find a sunscreen that won’t leave an ashy residue. Click HERE to see some of my favs. But wait, Bolden, a black-owned skin care line recently came out with a sunscreen just for us. I haven’t tried it yet, but you can!
I also like this one:
Paula’s Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50, $17. Buy HERE
That’s all, folks! I know this is a long list, but trust me, the work I’ve put into my skincare has paid off. As you can see from the video above, my skin has made tons and tons of improvement since earlier this year. I can’t wait to update you on my progress into 2018.
What are your tried and true skincare, favs? Sound off below!
Well Hello! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a lipstick-loving, high heel junkie, mom, and wife. When I’m not here bringing you the latest in beauty, fashion, hot topics, and bits and pieces of my life with my family, you can find me over on youtube swatching lipsticks and sharing my latest natural hairstyles. Make sure you also follow me on Instagram and Snapchat under my brand name Lisa A La Mode. I’m a real person. I promise.