It is no doubt that skincare has taken an extremely popular hold in the beauty world in the last couple of years. Most women I encounter these days are always on a skincare tip. You know, the things that break the ice for an initial conversation. “You have such lovely skin, what products do you use?”, “What is your skincare routine like?”, “How do I get my face and body to glow like yours? Any skincare hacks you can share?”
As an avid internet user and self-confessed
skincare product junkie, my rising interest in skincare has quickly gained momentum
and caught on to the skincare wave. I mean, who wouldn’t want glowing,
glass-like skin? Skin that is devoid of texture, pimples (or worse, acne),
large pores and other skin nightmares. I’m pretty sure we all want that
goodness for ourselves. After all, your skin is the largest organ on your body,
and the most exposed part that also holds the body together, so inevitably, a
lot goes on with it.
There are several factors that affect the appearance of your skin: genetics, hormones, diet, and general exposure to the environment. So naturally, the skin is bound to react to such internal and external factors. Over the years, I have come to garner quite a bit of information regarding skincare, which I will share in the form of 7 skincare hacks to help you get the skin you want this year.
- Learn your skin type
One of the simplest and best ways to start your skin care routine is to figure out your skin type, and then target your skincare concerns from there, and buying the products that you think will work for the skin. There are various digital skin type tests that can easily be googled on the internet for budget-friendly consumers, while others can visit estheticians to get skin tests done. Your skin can be dehydrated, acne-prone, oily, normal/combination etc.
- Moisturize your skin (face and body) while still damp.
Applying oils and creams to your damp skin immediately after cleansing the face or after a shower will increase the levels of moisture absorption from the skin, and helps the skin stay moisturized for longer. For example, applying this Cinnabar Geranium lotion right after the shower will help keep the body moisturized for longer.
- Leave scrubs for the rest of the body, avoid the face.
The skincare world is going crazy about exfoliation. There are two ways to exfoliate the skin: physically and chemically. For the longest time, most people were only aware of skin scrubs for the face and body, which are physical scrubs i.e. products that contain micro granules that will physically scrub the skin and essentially take off the dead skin. Well, as far as skincare is concerned, scrubs should ONLY be used below the neckline, as they can cause microtears on the face and leave unwanted blemishes.
- Implement the 60-second rule when cleansing the face
To make the most of your facial cleanser, make sure to lather and massage the face and neck in circular motions for at least 60 seconds to work the product into your skin and for it to do its work. Most people only cleanse their faces for 15-20 seconds, so the product does not get ample time to work.
- DO NOT use coconut oil/shea butter on the face.
In the natural skincare world, coconut oil and shea butter have been hailed as the holy grail of all-natural skincare products. The world has sung its praises on these two products as being all natural and good for the skin. While yes, they are good for the skin (such as coconut oil having anti-microbial and anti-bacterial benefits), they are not good for the skin on your face because they tend to clog up the pores which causes the skin to suffocate and eventually break out.
Instead, use coconut oil on your body to achieve shine and prevent thigh chaffing for those with thick thighs.
- Avoid African black soap on the face.
African black soap is another all-natural product that had the internet raving about it, however, it is advisable to avoid, avoid, avoid. African black soap is highly alkaline so it disrupts your skin’s pH. Your skin is supposed to be acidic, so it can therefore damage your skin’s protective barrier, leaving you with dry, tight skin. Your skin could react to this by overproducing oil thereby causing breakouts. It is suggested to use a more hydrating cleanser like this gentle skin cleanser from Cetaphil, available on MYDAWA.
- ALWAYS wear sunscreen, every single day as the last skin care product (before primer for makeup)
Regardless of the amount of melanin in your skin, it cannot be stressed enough that sunscreen is essential for the facial skin. Your face is the most exposed part of the body- and exposed to UVA/UVB rays that could damage the skin in the long run. Sunscreen should be a permanent skincare fixture, even in the most basic of routines. Sunscreen is almost readily available everywhere, however for people of colour, it is imperative that we go the extra mile to search for sunscreens that do not leave a white/grey cast on the face, such as this one from Derma, also available on the MYDAWA website or app for only KES 1,100. This is a tried and tested review. It does not leave a white cast on the face and is also quite hydrating.
Always remember, the higher the SPF (Sun Protective Factor), the longer you can stay out with your skin exposed. Therefore the higher the SPF, the better. The use of lip balms with SPF is also highly recommended. After all, your lips are also exposed to the rays of the sun.
- Layer your products
The best thing about our skin is the ability to absorb product, so don’t be afraid to layer on products during your skincare routine, whether day or night. The skincare rule of thumb is to cleanse, tone and moisturize, layering product in that order- especially for serums, oils and moisturizers are completely okay, so long as the ingredients do not react with each other. It is important to patch test and carry out further research to find out how to best layer your products for the most effective results.
This guest post was written by Anita Mogere, a fashion, beauty, skincare, lifestyle blogger from Nairobi. you can check out more of her content on her YouTube Channel and on her Instagram page @FromCurvesWithlove. She also has a lot more skin care tips on her blog here.