Presented by ULTA Beauty
When I turned 30, the panic of aging made me obsessed with skincare. I tried every potion, lotion, oil, serum, cleanser and mask out there. I’m not sure what I was looking for, to be honest, because after all that I realized that despite the passage of three decades, my skin was actually in pretty darn good shape. I attribute this mostly to the age-old refrain, “Brown don’t frown,” but I’ll also take some credit because I’ve stayed up on all the latest trends in skin care through the years and have really found some incredible products for women of color that are worth every penny.
Plus I found a fantastic Latina facialist here in Los Angeles named Anna Logan who has given me invaluable advice that I can now pass on to you, dear reader. Some basic pointers I’ve learned over the years include:
- Pay Attention to Ingredients: Your skin is the largest organ of your body and it absorbs whatever you feed it. Make sure to feed it natural and highly nutritious ingredients when possible. This means staying away from harsh chemicals for the most part and trying to find products with high-potency and organic ingredients.
- Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate! There are lots of different ways to get the gunk out of your pores, from physical scrubs to enzyme peels. Use these in combination to get the most out of your skincare routine. My facialist told me to start with a light enzyme or glycolic acid treatment for a few minutes before exfoliating with a scrub to get the most effective cleansing.
- Always apply serums before final moisturizer: Serums are pricey for a reason. They are super concentrated and the best ones have very high-quality ingredients. You want to apply them right after you wash and dry your face but before you moisturize so that your skin can soak in all that goodness. Lock in the serum with your moisturizer.
- Moisturize Properly: There’s a spectrum to moisture, from oils (the most moisturizing) to creams, to lotions, and lastly, gels. Moisturize according to your skin type and you’ll see a remarkable difference.
- Personalize your skin care routine: Not all the skincare “rules” work for everyone. For example, I don’t (and shouldn’t) wash my face twice a day. I wash it at night and in the morning I just rinse and spray my face with rosewater or a gentle toner before applying my serums/moisturizer and makeup for the day. If I washed my face twice a day, it would be super dry and tight.
Once you have figured out what works for your routine, the next step is finding products for that beautiful skin you’re in. There are so many ways to access the natural, radiant glow we’re all after ladies! Here are a few of my favorite cleansers, toners, lotions, and potions:
Kiehl’s Calendula Toner
Calendula is an ingredient I always keep an eye out for. It’s super soothing and calming for all skin types and using it in a toner is a genius move. $35, Ulta.com
SheaMoisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask
This is the go-to mask for many women of color I know. The clay digs deep to draw out impurities and your skin is left squeaky clean without feeling super dry thanks to the raw shea butter. $16, Ulta.com
Nyakio Maracuja & Yangu Soothing Facial Oil
Nyakio might be my favorite new brand. It’s all organic, owned by a WOC, and they always use top-notch ingredients. This lovely skin oil has been my go-to for the last few months and helped me get through a very stressful holiday season. $42, Ulta.com
Boscia A Clean Slate Double Cleansing Duo
Single washing is so last year, you need a good double wash to melt off a day’s worth of makeup. This two-for-one has got you covered. $48, Ulta.comNuFace Facial Toning Device
Looking to turn back or beat the hands of time? This microcurrent device helps to keep your skin toned and contoured, without any scary visits to a surgeon. $199, Ulta.com
Julep So Awake Depuffing Gel Eye Cream
Tumeric is another all-star ingredient I’m obsessed with. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it’s featured prominently in this eye cream which makes perfect sense. $38, Ulta.com
Origins Ginzing Scrub Cleanser
For those of you who love a good morning scrub, this cleanser has a delicious and uplifting citrus scent that is a perfect pick me up. The gentle exfoliation doesn’t hurt either. $20, Ulta.com
Andalou Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween, they also provide a gentle yet effective enzyme exfoliation that helps prep pores for deeper cleaning while dissolving dirt and oil. $15, Ulta.com
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
This is what I use to wake up my skin in the morning without having to do a thorough cleansing. I avoid stripping my natural oils, while also refreshing and soothing my skin. LOVE! $7, Ulta.com
Kakadu C High Potency Evening Oil
If even skin tone is what you’re after, look no further than this oil brimming with Vitamin C. Meant to be applied at night so it can work it’s magic while you’re resting, this is a tried & true fave. $74, Ulta.com
Tula Hydrating Day & Night Cream
Hydrating enough to be a night cream, but light enough to glide on under your makeup, this moisturizer from Tula has the good-for-your-skin probiotics the brand is known for plus enough moisture to quench dry skin. $52, Ulta.com