Welcome back! If you’ve been reading along, I’ve split my morning “Get Ready With Me at the Gym” routine into three acts. Act I was about my shower routine post-workout, so keep on reading for Act II!
When I come out of the shower, I need to feel clean, as though I’ve scrubbed every inch of sweat, dirt, and city life out of my existence. Once that task has been accomplished, I can saunter over to my locker in nothing but my favorite blue bath towels from college (don’t judge me, my mom is the queen of Macy’s bargains) and begin my skincare routine. Here goes nothing:
For me, a good toner is essential. As Jodie Patterson once said “Toners are for some people, toners are ‘maybe you use them, maybe you don’t.’ For me, toners are a game changer.” My skin does not feel like my skin unless I’ve used a toner. I’ve tried many, and my favorite is L’Occitane’s Essential Water from their Immortelle line. The stars of this product are the legendary Immortelle flower, a flower rich in Vitamin C that does not wilt even after it’s been picked, and the old astringent favorite, witch hazel. I discovered it through my mom, the OG beauty lover (and the person who introduced me to beauty), since she is a L’Occitane devotee. Suffice to say, I love it, and it does what I need it to do, which is provide my skin with its snapbackittude.
After I’ve used my wake-me-up toner comes my treatment. In the mornings, I always, always, ALWAYS use a Vitamin C serum of some sort, since it does two key things: it helps to treat any dark marks that I have, and it helps to protect my skin underneath my sunscreen and extend the life of my sunscreen. Right now, the one in my bag and on my bathroom sink is L’Occitane’s Essential Brightening Essence. This serum treatment is part of the Brightening division of the Immortelle collection, and I can honestly say that I’ve seen a difference since I’ve started using it. My skin looks a great deal smoother and more even-toned, and I have a sort of glow which I LOVE. Note: L’Occitane has decided to retire this product, which is why I’m on the hunt for a new one. Editor’s note-This product has since been discontinued. DRAT.
Here’s the thing with me, after using a fancy toner and serum, I don’t want to use a fancy moisturizer. Give me something simple that makes me look as though I’ve been running through the green hills like Maria von Trapp, and I’ll be fine. The moisturizer that I’ve repeatedly bought over the past three months is Ole Henriksen’s Nurture Me Creme, a rich cushioning cream whose star ingredients are sunflower seed and evening primrose oils, two oils that are known for their protective and lubricating properties. With this cream, I can feel my skin being hydrated as I massage it in. Note-we Americans need to know that massaging moisturizer into our skin is an art, not slapping a bronco at a rodeo. We need to moisturize gently in a UPWARDS direction. This helps to prevent gravity from pulling our skin down to the ground years later. Plus, it feels even better after a gym workout, especially after you’ve been grunting to high heaven because your backside is burning but you still need the squat. The backside will be fabulous. The tension that you’ll hold in your facial muscles long after that grunt won’t.
Photo credit-Ole Henriksen
Now, this step is newer in my routine. I’ll admit that I’m pretty late to the eye cream routine, even though I probably needed it about 13 years ago when I was pulling all-nighters in high school. And honestly, even recently, I was sort of iffy about the whole idea. I mean, I used the cream every morning, but I never saw any difference. Then I stopped using it, and I went from looking as though I’d injected my undereye area with too much water. Needless to say, I quickly ran to Sephora to replace my Ole Henriksen’s Ultimate Lift Eye Cream. Since I’ve started using it again, I can honestly tell you that my undereye area looks more as though it simply blends into my face. My lines aren’t as visible, and I look less haggard, which is always a blessing for a 27-year-old who is still trying to figure out the sleep thing. WIN!
Photo Credit-Fitness Magazine
Anyone who knows me will readily tell you that I preach the gospel of sunscreen to anyone who will listen. Many Black women will espouse the idea of “Good Black Don’t Crack,” but having experienced sun damage due to overexposure to the sun due to growing up in the Caribbean as a child, I consider it my duty to say “Sunscreen matters.” Especially since I have to see the effects of it every single day in the form of a face that is significantly darker than my body. I tend to prefer Korean sunscreens since they offer both UVA and UVB protection, and my favorite du jour is Nature Republic’s SPF 50+ PA+++ Waterproof Sunblock. This. Is. The. Best. Sunscreen. Ever. When you first rub it in, it is a bit white on the skin. After five minutes, it’s gone. It dries matte, and as a person who believes that your sunscreen is what dictates the lasting power of your makeup, this is one of the best that you can buy. It’s inexpensive, and it lasts forever.
So that is my morning routine. I’d love to hear about how you care for your skin. What are some tips that you’d like to share?
Stay tuned for ACT III-Makeup
FTC Disclaimer-The products mentioned were bought with my own duckets. I’m not paid to say a darn thing.