It might sound trite, but the more you give af about the condition of your skin, the more it’ll take care of you. By carving out a proper regimen, your skin excels in doing its primary job — protecting you from the environment. It’s no accident that dudes like Pharrell and Frank Ocean preach heavily on having proper face cleansing routines. (Look at Skateboard P and tell us he ain’t 46 years old going on 30.)
With that in mind, we’re going to look at 6 everyday steps you can implement to immediately start getting that melanin right.
1. Wash Ya Face (Obviously)
This is where it all starts. You’ll need to wash your face regularly to help cleanse away dirt and pore-blocking debris. A good Face Wash also preps it for some other skin care products you might want to use, making this step doubly important.
For black skin, in particular, you’ll likely want to opt for a gentle face wash that is filled with natural ingredients and vitamins in order to avoid skin irritation and to unclog pores. With the skin clean and neutralized, you’re ready for the next step…
2. Get Familiar with Toners
Toners have been surging in popularity lately and for d*mn good reason. They are, in fact, a type of exfoliation, but instead of working on a mechanical-level (i.e. with microbeads that scrub your face), they work on a chemical-level to gently remove dead skin cells by dissolving and liquifying. This bodes especially well for those with sensitive skin as harsh face scrubs can cause micro-tears leading to irritation.
The thing about toners and exfoliators is that you don’t need to do it every day – 2 or 3 times a week is the sweet spot for most. This has the dual effect of giving a healthier glow to your skin, while simultaneously making it easier for other skin treatments/products to work their magic after the fact. It doesn’t matter if you prefer mechanical or acid exfoliants, you’ll still be benefiting your skin with this step, so don’t half-step. (Pro-tip: Rinse with cold water to close out those pores.)
3. Moisturize Moisturize Moisturize
Dry skin is pretty much the easiest way to have itchy, less-than-fresh looking skin. When your skin is constantly dry, you’re more likely to have clogged pores, you’ll and your skin isn’t as capable of protecting itself from the causes of premature aging. You’re opening yourself up to cellular damage, in addition to depriving your skin of nutrients, and the remedy—naturally—is to moisturize regularly.
Your moisturizer of choice shouldn’t be a heavy one, especially if you’re prone to oily skin, but adding something in the way of moisturization will go a long way in protecting your face.
4. Watch the Labels
It’s possible that ingredients in popular skin care products out there can lead to an adverse reaction for your skin. It’s always good to know what’s contained in any skin product you’re interested in purchasing before you get it so you know what you’re getting into. The trial-and-error approach is generally how people go about dealing with new products, but the more you can stay educated on what ingredients to avoid and which to properly pursue, the better decisions you’ll ultimately make.
5. Learn to Handle Stress
It seems slightly unrelated, but stress (when it spirals out of control) can cause your skin to react in negative ways — breakouts, rashes, etc. There are plenty of ways to control stress, either through avoidance or by channeling it into a source of motivation, but if you allow it to overtake you, stress will wreak havoc on your skin.
6. Embrace the Drip: Drink Plenty of Water
Healthy skin is more than what you put on your body; it’s also influenced by what you put in your body. Treating yourself to ample amounts of water throughout the day will help you go beyond quenching your thirst by helping to hydrate your skin and keeping skin looking younger and healthier. What’s more, water aids in the production of some of your body’s natural oils, meaning those periodic sips of water are helping your skin in more ways than one. Cheers to that.