Tina Turner, Cicely Tyson, Pattie LaBelle, Angela Basset— the list goes on. Black women have a tendency to age gracefully (thanks, melanin!) Although that popular saying suggests “Black don’t crack,” you can never show your skin too much love. So, here are 29 habits to pick up now so that you too can look forever young!
Chances are your grandma used her fingers when applying makeup, but I totally understand if you’re more of a BeautyBlender or brush kind of a girl. Avoid breakouts and soiling your makeup by washing your brushes on a weekly basis.
Trust us, after a long day at work, we know that something as simple as washing your face can feel like a huge chore. But unlike making your bed everyday, leaving makeup on overnight has consequences. Blemishes, enlarged pores and irritation are a just a few things that sleeping in your war paint can do to your skin. So while you may still wake up looking pretty fabulous, you’d be adding years to your skin in the long run. Hello, wrinkles!
It’s pretty simple: drinking water leads to better skin. Breakup with cocktails, juice concentrate and energy drinks and trade them in for water instead. Challenge yourself to drink 8-10 glasses daily and watch your skin improve.
Your hands come in contact with tons of bacteria on a daily basis. Keep the germs away from your face by developing a “hands off” policy. If you must touch it, make sure your hands are clean.
If you are what you eat, then you may want to lay off the greasy foods for a while. This month, focus on upping your intake of leafy greens and bright vegetables. Think bell peppers, beets, red cabbage and tomatoes (which is aruguably a fruit). Maintaining a healthy diet will always reflect through your skin. You should also consider ditching refined sugar for a while—or all together— and adding foods with good fat like avocado. Your skin will thank you.
If it touches your face, wash it and start fresh. We’re talking about your facial brushes, sponges, makeup brushes and towels.
Your skin renews itself every 28 days. To keep it glowing while you’re in transition, use an at-home peel to boost your collagen and your glow. We love this Kat Burki dual Acid Peel. It’s gentle enough to sensitive skin, but still gives you the gorgeous glow you’re looking for.
$125, available at nordstrom.com
It’s no secret that your cellphone is crawling with germs. I mean, you do carry it everywhere—bathroom, cafeteria…need we say more? Make a habit of wiping your screen off with a little alcohol on a nightly basis to prevent germ transfer to your face.
All of the products in the world won’t get rid of those bags under your eyes if you don’t get any sleep. Try to set a goal to be in bed—laptop off and cellphone down by 10:30 every night.
Consider this SlipSilk pillowcase an extension of your skincare. Not only will you sleep better, but you won’t wake up with bed head and the fibers won’t soak up all of the skincare you applied the night before. Translation: you’ll wake up with better hair and better skin! Win-win!
$79, available at nordstrom.com
Take a hiatus from your facial brush and head over to your kitchen instead. Take half of a fresh lemon and dip the raw side in sugar. Apply the sugary side to your face and rub in a circular motion to brighten and tighten your skin.
Turns out, the beta-carotene in carrots becomes retinol when it comes in contact with skin. So, the next time you’re home on a rainy Saturday, try this DIY egg white mask:
1 Egg white
1 tsp. Grated carrots
1 tsp. Aloe Vera
Whip the mixture until frothy and apply to your skin. Leave on for 30 minutes and rinse with warm water. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.
Your morning coffee habit is actually pretty dehydrating. Trade in your coffee beans for tea leaves instead. The added perk? If you have a cup of tea at night, you can use the tea bags as an at-home spa treatment for your eyes. Soak and sip your way to less-puffy, less tired-looking eyes!
Honey can be used for a lot more than just sweetening your green tea. If you suffer from acne, try treating your blemishes with raw honey. For the best result, apply Manuka Honey to your blemishes using a cotton ball. We like Manuka Doctor Apiwellness 10+ Bioactive Manuka Honey.
$23.91, available at iherb.com
The air in your room is usually pretty dry in the winter months. To combat the dry air and up the moisture in your skin, consider investing in a humidifier; you’ll breathe better and wake up looking better. We love this option from Brookstone because it doubles as decor.
$108.99, available at brookstone.com
We all love a good glass of bubbly, but did you know that you could also use it as a toner? Mix half a cup of champagne with half a cup of water and apply to skin with a cotton ball. It’s gentle on skin and has great benefits like antioxidants, vitamin E (healing) and vitamin C (brightening).
Contrary to popular belief, cream isn’t just for dry skin—it’s for all skin types. And it shouldn’t be an afterthought in your skincare regimen. The trick is finding a moisturizer that suits your skin type, that’s gentle enough to avoid irritation, but strong enough to get the job done. Bareminerals has a new collection of skin care that caters to all skin types. We love this Butter Drench Restorative Rich Cream because it’s perfect for combating dry skin, especially during the winter months.
$38, available at sephora.com
If makeup is part of your daily routine, consider going makeup-free one or two days a week. It’ll give your skin a chance to breathe and you can focus all of your attention on skincare. So snap a few #bareface selfies and rack up the likes!
I know, cleansing your face can be a pain sometimes, but those wipes the you reach for nightly shouldn’t replace soap and water. If you’re really just too exhausted to go through your full routine, you can always dip a cotton ball in coconut oil to get your makeup off the natural way.
Repeat after me, “Yogurt is your friend.” That extends beyond your daily breakfast parfait; it also includes your skincare. We’ve said it before, the food you eat is directly related to the appearance of your skin. Yogurt and probiotics are great for restoring balance to your digestive tract and thus aiding in easing inflammation, acne, redness and dry skin. To wet your feet in probiotics as they relate to skin care, try this mask to rejuvenate your skin.
1 Tsp. yogurt
1 Tsp. honey
1 Tsp. Oats
Apply a generous amount to your skin, leave it on for ten minutes and rinse with warm water. Finish it off, by splashing your face with cold water to close your pores.
Another innovation out of Korea, a facial essence that’s equal parts toner and moisturizer. If you’re thinking that your skincare routine just got simpler, you’re right!
SK-II Facial Treatment Essence $99, avaiable at sephora.com
The secret to flawless skin may actually be on the spice rack in your kitchen right now! In India, turmeric has been used for cooking and as a cosmetic because of it’s anti-aging and acne treating benefits. Mix turmeric and water into a paste and apply to blemish for a natural drying solution.
DJ and beauty maven Hannah Bronfman lives by the mantra “mind right, body tight.” Not only does going to the gym provide mental clarity and an awesome body to show off once the summer rolls around, exercise also increases oxygen flow throughout the body and helps reduce inflamed skin. Mind Right. Body Right. Skin Right.
The next time you’re craving a snack, instead or reaching for those peanut butter cookies, try grabbing a handful of nuts instead. Almonds, pecans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are rich in fatty acids and vitamins that help promote blood flow, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and breakouts.
Celebrate the end of every week with a facemask to rejuvenate tired skin.
Let me let you in on a secret: stress can lead to wrinkles and pre-mature signs of aging. So, all of the skincare in the world can’t help you if you don’t find some time to relax and “woo-sah” every once in a while.
Newsflash: SPF isn’t just for beach days in the summer, you should be wearing an SPF everyday. According to a recent study, 63% of African-Americans have never worn SPF, but we are still susceptible to melanoma (skin cancer). So the fact that we aren’t protecting ourselves is a serious issue. We generally stray for chalky formulas that are heavy and leave our skin looking ashy. This Advanced Suncare Clear Cool Lotion SPF 30 by L’Oreal Paris blends seamlessly and gives you the protection that you need to stay melanoma-free.
$7.97 available at walmart.com
Fun fact: your skin is body’s largest organ— it’s a living thing. Abrasive formulas aren’t the only things that can damage your skin; harsh towels and brushes can too. Show your skin some love and trade out rough washcloths for softer fibers like terry cloth and ditch wiping your face with your body towel all together.