How to Create a Basic Skin Care Routine

Beauties and Beaus, 

I always receive compliments on how great my skin looks. EVERYONE seems to want to know what do I do to get/keep clear skin. It can be flattering to a degree, but I honestly work hard and overtime to make sure my skin is in great condition. Just like everyone else, I have bad days and my skin looks horrible.  I frequently wear makeup, so I have to make sure I'm really sticking to my skin care routine to make sure my skin stays the way I like it. Growing up, like everyone else, puberty made my skin look awful! I have experienced bad breakouts and to combat this, I had to create a skin care routine that I have stuck to for years. The only thing that has changed over the years is the products. Before I proceed, here is my disclaimer: I am a licensed cosmetologist, not a dermatologist. I can't give you sound advice concerning acne and/or what products you should use to help clear your acne. If you believe you have acne and it's a serious case, please consult your dermatologist. 

A good skin care routine will consist of the following: CTM (Cleanse, Tone, and Moisturize). Simple and straight forward. EVERYONE, including the guys, should clean, tone, and moisturize their skin twice daily (Morning and Night). Skipping the twice a day will only create skin problems, not prevent them. I can not stress this enough. Most people wake up, splash water onto their face and they are out the door. This is not a great routine, water is great, but it's not enough. Let me break this down... 

Cleansing your face with a cleanser (soap, gel, or cream) will help to keep your skin clear from dirt, oil build up, and bacteria (all three are the primary cause for acne issues). Cleansing your skin regularly (2x per day) will help to get your skin on track and keep you from having problems in the future. In order for your toner, moisturizer and your extras (eye cream, exfoliant, facial mask) to work properly, you have to cleanse your skin. Avoid Bar Soaps such as bath soaps to cleanse your face. They can be over drying. 

Toning your skin will help to smooth it, calm it down after the cleansing process, replenish the surface of the skin, hydrate the skin, and remove any leftover makeup or dirt. Some toners even help to prevent breakouts or clear them up. You don't want to leave this out of your skin care routine.

Moisturizing your skin is necessary to help add moisture to your skin, prevent wrinkles, and protect it from sun damage. All skin types need moisturizer. Don't skip your moisturizer! 

How to determine which products to use

Before you purchase your products, you must first know your skin type. Many of the products your find in the store will be formulated to fit these five skin types. 

  • Normal: This skin type is neither oil or dry
  • Dry: This skin type may experience tightness, flaky areas, and/or dry patches
  • Oily: This skin type tends to be shiny, more prone to skin breakouts, and large pores
  • Combination (Normal/Oily) (Dry/Oily): This skin type will be oily in their 'T-Zone' (forehead, nose, and chin) area.
  • Sensitive: This skin type tends to react negatively to certain cosmetics and may become irritated by climate changes.

After you have determined what your skin type is, you can start purchasing products. You should know what your concerns are and what your desire to correct before choosing/trying a product to determine if you like it. For example I desire to prevent breakouts, I have combination skin, when I decide to try a new skin care product, I look for products formulated to prevent breakouts for combination skin. Finding the right product is simply trial and error. I have tried my share of skin care products and my favorite at this moment is the Aveeno skin care line. My focus is improving dark spots and evening out my skin tone. Aveeno focuses on doing this using soy. I use this product line daily and when I remove my makeup I use Neutrogena skin care products because they focus on deep cleaning my pores. If you've watched any of my tutorials, you will understand why I'm focusing on deep cleaning my pores at the end of the day. 

Products you need for a Basic Skin Care Routine

1. Cleanser

2. Toner/Astringent

3. Moisturizer (Day/Night)

Tools Needed for a Basic Skin Care Routine

1. Cotton Balls/Pads

2. Facial Cloth/Facial Buffs

Exfoliating and Facial Masks are two other important steps to incorporate into your skincare routine. Both can help to improve your skin further and keep it looking healthy and glowing. I will discuss both of these in later posts.

Keep in mind your diet (food intake) and water (8 glasses +) can determine the outcome of your skin. What you put into your body will reflect on the outside. I drink lots of water daily and I make sure to avoid sugary drinks/juice as much as possible. I prefer green tea (enriched with antioxidants) over other drinks. 

PS. As a woman of color, I swear by the Ambi Skin Care Product line. Especially the Complexion bar, Cocoa Butter bar, and Fade Cream. I will use these when I feel necessary. Throughout high school, these products were my favorites.