In my previous Ask Afrobella about oily skin, a lot of you had really great feedback, advice, and comments. Quite a few of you mentioned that — contrary to the typically discussed issues of black skin care — you actually don’t have oily skin, and therefore, the way I’d explained the oft-repeated “black don’t crack” adage might not apply to your skin type, in terms of having an eternally shiny face. So allow me to explain further, and make some product suggestions for bellas who’ve got parched skin. No cracking allowed around here!
Like I mentioned, I have combination skin — an incredibly oily t-zone (seriously, even my eyelids get shiny at the end of the day), with dry, acne-prone cheeks and chin. My oily extremes get really oily, and my dry extremes can be incredibly parched. I’ve been getting super arid, peeling spots on my chin, and for some reason the backs of my ears get dry and flaky. I can’t stand it. So recently, I’ve been wanting to experiment with alternative face washing methods, and after a bella in the shiny skin comment thread (thanks Brownshugaz!) suggested the oil cleansing method, I was ready to take a leap of faith.
From the fascinating website: “Do not be afraid of applying oil to your face. Oil, alone, will not bring you blemishes. Pimples, cysts, zits, blackheads, whiteheads…these are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the buildup of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it. It is not a malicious force to be reckoned with; it is there for the benefit of your skin, allowing your largest organ to function properly. It is naturally occurring. Not only does your natural oil help lubricate, it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your skin so that it may function properly. Properly functioning skin is beautiful, clear, and glowing. Learning to work with your skin, not against it, will save you tremendously.”
Well doesn’t that sound convincing! The site recommends Castor oil or EVOO, but says sunflower seed oil is the best for facial massage. The site also recommends creating your own cleansing oil by blending Castor and sunflower seed oil. But my first attempt at oil cleansing was fancy. I went for the Shu Uemura cleansing oil. This is luxurious, heady stuff. As it should be, at $32 for the small bottle!
The whole method feels like luxury, actually — before going to bed, I put a small amount of oil in my hands, warm it by rubbing my palms together, then massage it into my face. This is gentle enough to use around my eyes to remove makeup, and I adore the smell. Like perfume and wealth. After rubbing the oil on my face — kind of like a nurturing facial massage — I rinse it off with lukewarm water. When I’m done, my skin feels soft as butta. Even the morning after, your face still is touchable and smooth and fresh. Loving the Shu Uemura oil, and the oil cleansing method in general! Bellas on a budget, this method isn’t out of your reach — Castor oil and EVOO are easily accessible, and just a drop of your favorite essential oil scent will be all you need for fragrance’s sake. Be careful around your eyes, is my only caveat there.
For bellas who feel sketchy about using kitchen pantry products as cleansers, allow me to introduce you to a new line of products that I think is perfect for bellas with dry skin — the Australian-based product line called Become. If you’ve got concerns about aging or dry skin, they might be what you’re looking for.
Become is all about gentle, effective anti-aging through hydration. Their Creamy Cleanser is exactly what it sounds like — a wonderfully moisturizing cleanser that slicks on like lotion and leaves your face soft and fresh. The Face Smoothing Gel stands among the gentlest exfoliators I’ve ever tried. Teeny beads in a golden liquid polish your face without scratching your skin. My absolute favorite product in the line is the Hydration Serum. Yes, like Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark, I prefer a serum to a cream. Become’s serum is $59, so consider yourself warned… but this stuff is the bomb. My skin drank it up like it needed it. It’s a really light, super refreshing and hydrating elixir that kept my skin radiant and dewy. I just ran out and my face feels thirsty without it!
This is best used under a cream, and for day my current fave is Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15, although I do switch to Ambi Even and Clear moisturizer with SPF 30 although damn, those Drugstore.com reviews are harsh! And there is truth in them as well — it isn’t for sensitive skin, and is kind of strong for use close to your eyes. So I’d say be careful with it, but I’ve had good results with a little dab of Ambi Even & Clear moisturizer (please note, it isn’t the ye olde Ambi skin lightener, this is a moisturizer that claims to even your skin tone while protecting you from sun damage).
My favorite night time moisturizer of the moment has gotta be Kiehl’s Brightening Botanical Moisture Fluid. This is the kind of moisturizer where you notice a difference immediately, in the BEST possible way. Loving it!
I have lots, lots more to write about Kiehl’s in the future — check out my new amiga Erin’s take on our official beauty blogger trip to the flagship store. It was beyond magnificent, and I’ll tell you my two cents when I have time. And my homegirl Lianne the Makeup Girl highly recommends the Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer. Lianne has practically flawless skin, so this just gives her the amount of coverage she needs. If you’ve got sprinkles of hyperpigmentation like I do, you may need a bit more coverage.
Hope that helps for the bellas with dry skin out there — and a final word of advice, adopted from Mr. Sean “Puffy” Combs — moisturize your situation and preserve your sexy now! If you’re in your teens or twenties, this is the perfect time to really make moisturizer a part of your skin care routine. Take care of your neck, too — your skin will thank you as you grow older.
What’s your favorite dry skin remedy, bellas?