Despite the old adage that “black don’t crack”, black does still age and a high performing skincare regain is important to maintaining the acid mantle of your skin, regardless of your skin color.
Late last year, I attended a skincare 101 class, hosted by The Soap Bar and taught by Elevate Esthetics owner, Sara Rieman. While I was already privy to a lot of the higher points–physical vs chemical exfoliants, the skin mantle, the importance of moisturizing–I still walked away realizing there were a few key things that were missing in my skincare routine.
Back when I was an earlier 20 something, I was able to get away with just washing my face, occasionally exfoliating, applying my prescribed acne medication and a little bit of moisturizer. Then, sometime in the last year, I noticed that my skin wasn’t getting enough moisture, to the point that I was able to literally pull pieces of skin off my face. Gross, I know, but this discovery combined with what I learned in the Skincare 101 class, made me wonder if I was missing a toner and oil-based cleanser.
With the addition of a new cleanser, toner, and a few product switches, I believe I have created the perfect, mostly local skincare regimen.
- Cleanse x1 (Unfussed oil cleanser)
- Acne medication
- Toner (Liquid BHA)
- Apply water-based serum (Hyaluronic acid serum)
- Moisturize (Daily Greens)
- Cleanse x2 (Korres foaming cleanser first and then the Unfussed oil cleanser next)
- Acne medication
- Apply eye cream (Apricot Mango eye cream)
- Apply oil-based serum (Seaberry face oil)
- Moisturize (Honey Drop)
Now let’s get into the products, what they’re good for, and when I use them.
The Local Stuff
This is one of the newer additions to my skincare routine and I’m loving this cleanser. If you don’t have an oil cleanser in your skincare routine, you should. They’re awesome. Oil cleansers are great for all skin types because there is no anther, so you don’t have to worry about a harsh soap damaging your acid mantle (your acid mantle has an approximate 4.5 to 5.5 pH, so you should only be using a facial cleanser with a 7 pH or below). oils also attract oils so this is good for those who are a bit more on the oily side. Pumpkin seed oil is also great for reducing inflammation and jojoba oil offers a wealth of skin benefits, which you can read more about here . Basically, this cleanser is the best thing since sliced bread.
Hyaluronic acid is perfect for skin that needs a good punch of moisture. Your body makes hyaluronic acid and keeps your skin youthful, supple and dewy. Of course, with all things as we age, our body chemistry changes and we may not produce as much hyaluronic acid as before and we get wrinkles. This moisture-loving acid actually attracts water from your skin and the environment to deliver water to the skin’s surface and can hold up to 1000x it’s weight in water. Because hyaluronic acid will pull moisture from where ever it can get it, it’s best to apply this serum to damp skin to avoid the acid pulling moisture from the deeper layers of your skin.
I recently added this eye cream after getting a sample and noticing how plump and well-slept my eyes looked. In fact, mango butter is very hydrating and plumping and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This is the first “creamy” moisturizer I have used in a long time and one of the reasons why I use it is because it’s fast-absorbing and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. The last thing someone with oily skin needs is a greasy feeling on an already oily face. Daily Greens is packed with lots of goodness: jojoba oil, argan oil, mango butter, blue/green algae…I could go on, but I think you get the point, You can even use this moisturizer at night to repair skin damage as you sleep.
I’ve mentioned this toner on my Instagram before, but I’m going to sing its praises one more time. BHA is a chemical exfoliant that works from the top down and deeply penetrates the skin to help fight whiteheads and blackheads. It’s also ideal for those with oily and acne-prone skin since BHAs love oil.
The Non-local Stuff
This Greek yogurt cleanser is gentle. so gentle I can use it to take off my make-up, however like all cleansers that can go on your eye, make sure not to get it in your eye. I’ve been using Korres for about a year now, and while it’s not exactly local, it’s one of my favorite cleansers I’ve used to date. It gets my skin really clean without that tightness you get when you know your cleanser has sucked the moisture right out of your face.
I’ve used a lot of serum-like moisturizers in my life, but since noticing the change in my skin, I found those moisturizers were not delivering enough moisture to my skin. That is until I started using Farmacy’s Honey Drop moisturizer. It contains honey, a triple hyaluronic acid complex, and cupuaçu butter beads. I used to apply this moisturizer in the morning, but thought it might be a bit much combined with the hyaluronic acid serum. I decided to shift this to my night time routine since it’s a light finish to all the heavier products, I apply to my face at night. Not to mention that the cupuaçu butter beads absorb quickly into the skin and are perfect for night time moisture.
I remember when Fresh first released this face oil on the market. It was when every skincare company was coming out with a facial oil. I used the Seaberry oil for a while and then stopped because summer had rolled around and my face was getting too oily. I have since pulled this back out when I noticed how incredibly dry my skin was getting, especially during the winter. Sea buckthorn oil provides a wealth of skincare benefits and is one of the few plants that provide all four fatty omega acids.
Okay, so my skincare line up isn’t exactly completely local. And that’s not for a lack of trying, but sometimes the skin wants what the skin wants. And once summer rolls around, I’m likely to make a few changes to my skincare line up. For starters, I will likely switch back to the Sencha green tea serum by Wildcraft that I mentioned a few months back. In addition, I am eager to try out the foaming facial cleanser by Skin. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and I can’t wait to get my skincare-obsessed mitts on a bottle. If you’re looking to learn more about your acid mantle and how to take care of it, here is a wonderful article from the New York Times. It’s very thorough; I got a lot out of it and I hope you do too!