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Black Women’s Guide to Beautiful Skin

Briana McCarthy | 1/9/2014, 4:16 p.m.
Mocha, caramel, almond—black women’s skin comes in many decadent shades. All of which call for proper skin care and pampering. ...

Mocha, caramel, almond—black women’s skin comes in many decadent shades. All of which call for proper sn care and pampering. While it has been said that black doesn’t crack, having a great skin care routine is a must if we want to ensure that our skin withstands the test of time. Today, I’ll share everything black women need to know to achieve and maintain beautiful skin.

A good skin care regimen should have six basic components: cleansing, toning, nourishing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and protecting. Each component lays the foundation for the next and work together to provide everything your skin needs to thrive.

Cleanse.

Beautiful skin begins with proper cleansing. Makeup, dirt, and pollution can clog our pores and cause our skin to age and become dull. Properly cleansing the skin rids it of debris and impurities.

When cleansing your skin, it is necessary to use a product that works best with your skin type. For normal to oily skin, I recommend Cetaphil’s Daily facial cleanser and for the ladies with dry skin Cerave Hydrating Skin Cleanser works wonders.

You can work in the cleanser of your choice with your fingers or you can use a brush like the Clarasonic Mia or Olay Pro-X Facial Brush to give your skin a deep cleansing. Lastly, always cleanse your skin in the morning and before bed. Never, ever go to bed with makeup no matter how tired you are. Every night you sleep in your makeup ages your face 15 days.

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Nourishing your skin with masque is a must.

Tone.

After your face has been properly cleansed, it’s time to move on to the toner. There is a ton of confusion surrounding what toners are, and what they are used for. Simply put, toners are used to restore your skin to the proper pH balance after it has been cleansed. The best pH for the skin 5.5. Apply the toner of your choice to your face with a cotton ball and allow to fully dry before moving to the next step.

Nourish.

Nourishing your skin is an absolutely must. A great masque will help you do just that. Not only does it help to remove dirt and impurities trapped in your pores, but it also provides vitamins and nutrients that help your skin look its absolute best.

A masque should be used 1-2 per week and should be applied after your cleanser and followed by a toner.

Exfoliate.

Exfoliation is an important part of any skin care regimen. Did you know that our bodies shed up to 50,000 skin cells per minute? Yes! You read that right— 50,000 per minute! And sometimes those dead cells need a little help sloughing off. Exfoliation not only helps to remove those dead cells, but is also great for getting rid hyperpigmentation and evening your complexion. Experts suggest exfoliating your skin 1-2 per week using a product that will remove cells gently.

Contrary to popular belief, exfoliation should proceed cleansing and toning. This way, all of the dead cells are removed and your skin is ready to be cleansed and pampered without any restrictions.

Moisturize.

Moisturizing your skin is one of the most important components in your skin care regimen. When choosing a moisturizer, pick one that is oil-free and non-comedogenic (this means that it will not clog your pores). A great moisturizer should have vitamin A as well as Vitamin B5. These vitamins increase the firmness of your skin and also work to keep its moisture levels up. Skin should be moisturized two times per day—upon waking up and just before bed.

Protect.

One of the biggest enemies to beautiful skin is damage that is caused by UVA and UVB rays from the sun. No matter what the season, we must protect our skin by wearing sunscreen daily. You can choose to wear a moisturizer with SPF 15 in it, but that’s not enough. Opt for a SPF that is between 30 and 50 and has broad-spectrum sun protection to ensure that your skin is properly protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

These six components combined form a great skin care routine that will keep your skin looking amazing for many years to come.