For years, I shied away from the advice of estheticians and social media skincare gurus about the seemingly mythical “seven step skincare routine” that all of them seem to tout. I had my reservations and my reasons. For starters, I was lazy and overall pretty content with my lackadaisical routine that consisted of Clean & Clear Morningburst face wash (don’t start, I already know) and whatever unscented lotion was available. Also, good quality skincare is freakin’ expensive and I’m a college student on a budget! Moreover, despite some occasional eczema flare ups and period induced acne, my skin didn’t give me much problems. I never felt particularly compelled to elevate my skincare routine to its highest potential. That is until recently, when seemingly in an act of divine fate and timing my university gave me my refund for the semester during the notorious sales brought forth by Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now was my chance, and I had no choice but to take it. I felt like I owed it to myself to at least give a more advanced regimen chance. After doing some quick research about products that I felt could best benefit my skin, I did some splurging. Needless to say, I am thoroughly reformed and a product advocate for an advanced multi-step skincare routine. While my skin was fine before, slowly integrating these products into my skin care routine has given me results I didn’t even know were possible. So without further ado, here are the products that changed my skin and my perspective!
Step One (Cleanser): Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleanser Foaming Facial Wash $36
I was immediately drawn to this product because of its great reviews and Kiehl’s reputation for amazing skin products, and it did not disappoint! The cleanser is deeply penetrating and cleansing while being gentle enough for sensitive skin. My skin always feels refreshed after using it and it smells amazing.
Step Two (Toner): Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol Free Toner $22
Every good routine needs a good toner. Toner serves as a second step in cleansing your face, it helps remove all of the extra dirt your cleaner might’ve missed. I love this one because it’s free of harsh chemicals like alcohol and has a super cool and refreshing effect.
Step Three (Serum): HyperSkin’s Hyper Even Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum $36
As a black woman who’s struggled with hyperpigmentation for years, I just thought it was unavoidable and part of the game. However, this product has shifted my entire perspective and given me hope! After just a few weeks of use, my skin was noticeably brighter, and areas of my face that had been discolored for years, miraculously began to fade. This is undoubtedly the holy grail of my skincare routine. Bonus points, the company is owned by a black woman, so you get a product that’s specifically catered to Black skin and the chance to support a black-owned business. Just make sure you liberally apply sunscreen after using this product if you plan on being in direct sunlight as the AHA found in it can potentially burn your skin.
Step Four (Moisturizer): Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream $18
As someone who has suffered from severe eczema for years, this product has been an absolute god-send. This is the only product that has been able to effectively control my eczema no matter the season, cold or hot! It’s super moisturizing and creamy, yet still feels lightweight and isn’t too heavy. Plus it’s made with colloidal oatmeal and smells so yummy!
Step Five (Eye Cream)
I personally don’t use eye cream, not because I don’t see the benefit but rather because I haven’t quite found one that I like yet. However whenever I feel like my under eyes need some help making homemade cucumber eye patches always does the trick. They are super quick, easy, and inexpensive to make and tutorials are abound on YouTube. Plus, they’re super effective in reducing dark circles, soothing puffiness, and eliminating dryness and redness.
Step Six (Facial Oil)
This is yet another step I leave out of my skincare routine. I’ve tried to use oils before in the past, but I’ve found on top of all my other products they just make me break out. This might not be true for you however, and I’d recommend you’d try out Bio-Oil. It’s non comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores and many say it has helped them reduce the appearance of scars, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles.
Step Seven (Sunscreen): Black Girl Sunscreen $16
Last but definitely not least is sunscreen! If you add nothing else to your skincare routine, at least add sunscreen, your melanin alone is not enough to protect you from the damaging rays from the sun. Out of all the sunscreens I ever tried, this is my absolute favorite. It’s specifically formulated with darker complexions in mind, meaning no more pale casts from traditional sunscreen. Furthermore, it’s super long lasting and contains avocado and jojoba allowing it to double as a moisturizer.
Restructuring your skincare routine can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to do everything all at once, you can take your time experimenting with different products until you find the right ones that fit for you, and slowly incorporate them into your regimen. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa, everyone’s skin is different. But at least give it a shot, your skin will thank you for it, I promise.