We’ve all heard “take care of your body” and automatically default to diet and exercise. We hear “self-care” and think wine night.
But how often do we think about the skin? We take huge measures to make sure our hearts and livers are okay, but how often do we think about our body’s largest organ?
Our skin endures so much on a day to day basis, and we have the proof: dark marks, stretch marks, dryness, dullness…you name it. And while we try to take care of our skin as best we can, it can be difficult.
With so many skincare products out there, it can be hard to determine the best way to feed your skin. So let’s break it down.
All too often, we see our efforts utilized to their less-than-fullest potential. We try so hard to keep ourselves moisturized, spending crazy money on lotions that promise skin hydration yet have us ashy again in an hour (It’s the worst!). Some of these same products have labels claiming to be made with natural ingredients, but reading the label proves to be a difficult task. Think about it like this: do you really want to “moisturize” your skin with products made with a bunch of words you can’t pronounce? I thought not.
Here’s the tea: most products are not made for black skin. What’s more is the fact that the best nutrients for the skin are — more often than not — natural ingredients. So what exactly should you DO to take care of your skin? Glad you asked.
Easy and inexpensive additions to your skincare routine:
- Water. It sounds cliché, but it’s the solution to 87 of your 99 problems. Water helps the skin by flushing toxins. This helps to even your skin tone, reduce acne and even increase elasticity.
- Moisturize quickly after your shower/bath. It sounds quirky, but the truth is the moment you step out of your shower, your skin starts to lose its moisture. Some dermatologists recommend you moisturize within the first five minutes of your shower. And moisturize your full body, not just the parts you think are going to show your ashiness.
- If you don’t already, start using sunscreen. I know…we’ve all heard people of color can’t get skin cancer because of our melanin. But that is not entirely true. While our melanated crew is less likely to develop skin cancer from sun exposure, it’s also more difficult to notice and diagnose if the condition does develop. That said, you should incorporate a broad spectrum protection — protection against both UVA and UVB rays — into your skincare routine, particularly one with at least 30 SPF.
- Go for natural-based products to moisturize when you can. Think along the lines of shea butter, mango butter, and cocoa butter. Here’s why: these natural ingredients have been used for centuries to hydrate the skin and for their many healing benefits. Shea butter, for example, is rich in Vitamins A, E and F. It helps to fade dark marks and also calms irritated skin. Mango butter contains the same vitamins and also protects from UV rays (let’s use this WITH a sunscreen, not instead). Cocoa butter is best known for its effectiveness in alleviating dark marks and smoothing stretch marks.
Shameless plug: a GREAT skin moisturizer is a body butter blend made by Best Kept Secret Skincare. Based in organic shea, mango and cocoa butters, it locks in moisture and provides nutrients and smoothness at the same time. It can be ordered in two sizes, 8 oz and 3.5 oz, and comes in different scents too. For more details, visit www.bksskin.com.
All in all, BLACK skin care can be tricky. But the bright side is there are a number of ways to tackle it. Finding a system and routine that works — while it can be a trial and error — is a rewarding experience that is super reflective of the self-love involved in keeping your skin healthy and radiant.
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Ayanna Antoine is the Founder and CEO of Best Kept Secret Skincare, LLC. By day she works as a Human Resources Professional but outside of work hours, she continues to grow the business whose mission is to leverage natural ingredients in providing an affordable avenue for combatting skin issues and maintaining long-lasting moisture. Best Kept Secret (BKS) was born from a recognized need and its alignment with an internal desire. Growing up in a Haitian household, Ayanna was raised with the ideals that self-love extends to the way one cares for their own body. Her pride in maintaining radiant skin grew to a desire to extend the same excitement to individuals, especially black people, who may not always see the beauty of their skin. It’s the “Best Kept Secret” because it’s hidden in plain sight. Using the gifts that that nature has given for centuries, BKS is excited to provide an experience of radiance, moisture and affordability to empower self-care.