I hope you are all enjoying your weekend. I decided to do a post on my skincare routine because to be honest, there is no beauty without good skin. All those layers of slap look so much better when the skin underneath is clear and fresh.
My skincare routine is not much different from most women’s, I just thought to share my specifics (morning and night) with my dear readers. This post is quite long, (forgive me), so I hope you are in a comfortable position :-).
For the record, I have Normal-Combination skin, so this might only be suitable for ladies with my skin type, however I use some products that work for all skin types. It’s in five stages: Cleansing-Toning-Treatment-Moisturizing- Protection
Cleansing is the process of ridding your pores of any impurities/dirt/oils that clog them. This is the most important part of my beauty regimen because dirt is the foundation of most skin problems. When your pores are clogged, this results in the development of pimples/acne. There are many other factors that contribute to acne like genes and diet but this I would say is the most common. To be honest, there isn’t really anything you can do to keep pimples completely at bay, but you can seriously control them.
AM: In the morning, when taking a shower I use my Clean and Clear 3-in-1 Foaming Acne Wash. I like this wash because it is gentle and it targets my problem areas, keeping them free from the bacteria that cause pimples. Skincare guru, Dan Kern recommends this wash as one of the best of many drugstore cleansers that are out there because it is gentle and effective. If you use soap as a cleanser, I advice that you stop, because soap contains harsh ingredients that strip the face of essential oils and leave you looking flaky. You can buy this face wash at your local drugstore. If you are in Nigeria, you can check Health Plus/Med Plus.
Every other day, I switch to my Neutrogena Visibly Clear Gentle Exfoliating Wash. I use this when I feel like my skin requires some gentle scrubbing that Clean and Clear doesn't provide. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. They do not call this product “visibly clear” for nothing, it really does clear up my skin. You can buy this wash online HERE or from Health/Med Plus, Casabella or Shoprite. It retails for about 1900 naira.
Once every two weeks, I use my St Ives Warming Scrub. I believe that a fortnight is enough time for your skin to recover between deep scrubs as the beads in this product are a bit bigger. I reach for it when I feel like my skin needs a lit more exfoliation than what the Neutrogena gives me. This scrub is like going to a spa for a facial. When you massage it into your face, it warms up and gives your skin a deep clean. I think of it as deep conditioner for my face. It also helps to get rid of any old flaky skin, revealing new, soft skin underneath. I absolutely love how my face feels when I use this product. It is also very pocket friendly, you can buy it HERE or in your Health/Med Plus for between 900-1000 naira.
PM: At night, I hardly ever wash my face, except I have worn a ton of makeup. I usually use my Boots Botanics Skin Brightening cleanser with a cotton pad, to wipe off any makeup/dirt. I must say that this cleanser really does the job, and wipes my face clean. I especially like it because it is made up from plant extracts, so there are no harsh chemicals in it. It is made up of all the good, natural stuff and you know you can never go wrong with natural. It is also suitable for all skin types. I have not found this product in Nigeria yet, although to be honest I have not looked, but here is an alternative that looks like it will be just as good. The Body Shop do nice skincare stuff as well.
Sometimes, when I am too tired, e,g I have just gotten home from clubbing, all I do is clean off my makeup with my Olay Essentials Wet Cleansing Wipes. This does a decent job of cleansing the skin, but only when I am too tired. Please never sleep with your makeup on, I term it facial suicide, don’t do it. These wipes retail for about 2000naira in Health/Med Plus or you can buy a similar kind HERE.
The next very important step in my regimen is toning. When you wash/wipe your face with a cleanser, you tend to stretch your skin a little bit with the rubbing action. You also open up your pores when you get rid of the dirt. Using a toner helps to not only rid your skin of any left over makeup/cleanser, but also tightens your pores back to their original size. Think of this as your skin working out. It prevents sagging by keeping your skin taut and rejuvenated. Another thing that toners help to do is restore your skin to its natural PH level, after you have cleansed. So you see how utterly important and unmissable this step is. I use my Boots Botanics Skin Brightening toner, in the morning and at night after I cleanse my face. The best toners are the ones made from natural products like my Boots one. You can buy a similar toner by the Body Shop here or just look out for any toners with natural extracts at your local drugstore.
Depending on the nature of my skin at that particular time, I may skip this step. Right now my skin is being troublesome and I had to see my dermatologist. He prescribed two face creams for me which I use day and night.
AM: In the morning, I use Babe Depigmentation Emulsion with 20spf to treat my skin. I have some dark spots from old acne and this claims to visibly reduce pigmentary spots and even out skin tone. I have only started using this product so I can’t yet give my opinion on it. However, if you’ve got a bit of hyper pigmentation, you can look into asking your dermatologist about it.
PM: I use Duac Gel at night. This is a water-based gel that has benzoyl peroxide as one of its main ingredients. Benzoyl Peroxide is like the batman of acne world, lol. It works effectively to kill bacteria which cause acne. I will however advise that you see a dermatologist before using this product to be sure it is suited to your skin. Another really good treatment product that contains benzoyl peroxide in the right proportion is Neutrogena On-the-spot Acne treatment which you can buy here for 1350 naira.
Sometimes, I use Grease Lightening which is a product from Lush. It is a tea tree spot treatment with witch hazel and aloe vera. I apply it on the rare occasion when I get a really big and painful pimple and it helps to soothe and calm it. Unfortunately LUSH products are only available in the UK.
This is another crucial step in my routine. Think of moisturizer as food for your skin. You won’t ever go a day without eating, right?( well I won't, lol). So don’t go a day without moisturizing your skin. I know some people with oily skin are hesitant to moisturize but find an oil free moisturizer that works for you and make it your holy grail.
AM: I use the Olay Complete Care Daily UV Cream with SPF15. I love this moisturiser so much, I can not even express it. It’s a light, easily-absorbed moisturiser that keeps my skin feeling hydrated the whole day. Seriously my skin drinks this stuff up. Another reason why this moisturizer is awesome is because it contains SPF15 which helps to protect the skin from UVA/UVB rays which are the primary cause of premature aging of the skin. The brilliant thing is that it is suitable for all skin types, I love it! I have seen it at Health Plus sold for about 3500 naira, so you should check them out.
PM: At night, I use my Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturizer. This is the ultimate bedtime companion for me. It doesn't contain any of the harsh stuff but simple, loving ingredients like vitamins and Glycerin which leave my skin feeling supple all night. It’s also very nice and light in hot climates such as ours. I found that HealthPlus sells it for 1750naira so you can look in there.
So after going through all these steps to take care of your skin, you are going to need some form of protection/shield from the angry rays of the sun. This is where sunscreen comes into play. Think of sunscreen as Captain Planet, the defender/protector of your skin(the universe). I have heard people say “Black people don’t need sunscreen, we have melanin”. That is the wrongest ideology ever. If you do not have sunscreen, drop your phone/iPad/laptop right now and run to your local drugstore. Now! Lol, ok finish this article :-).
Sunscreen not only protects the products you have used on your skin, but protects your skin from the damaging effects of direct exposure to the sun. This prevents premature skin ageing, rashes, burns and allergies that come from exposure to the sun. I do not go a day without using sunscreen, you shouldn’t. Even if your moisturizer contains SPF, It is not nearly enough protection for your precious skin. I use the Boots Soltan SPF 50 in my morning routine. I don’t think you can get it in Nigeria but I have definitely seen different brands of sunscreen on the shelves of Health/Med Plus. The higher the Sun Protecting Factor (SPF) the better it is for you. Look for one that is also moisturizing as sunscreen tends to leave a whitish film on the face.
There you have my 5-step skincare routine for both day and night. I am in no way suggesting that my skin is perfect but it has come a long way since I started following this regimen. You do not have to use the products I suggested even if you have my skin type, but you can use them as a guide to finding products that suit your skin type :-).
I really hope you have enjoyed reading this post and have learnt something despite its length. Please leave any questions, suggestions or comments in the comment box and I will be sure to reply you.
Peace and Love,
P.S I tried to order something off Konga.com but they were out of stock, so I can not say anything about their services. I have just identified that they stock some products I use, hence the links I have put up in this post if you choose to try them out.