Hi Lovelies! Have you ever found yourself combing through the skincare aisle of your local CVS or Walgreens store, unsure of where to start? Maybe you’ve even bought a couple of things only to find your skin breaking out or getting even dryer from these over the counter products.
This post will cover the most common ingredients to avoid when looking for gentle and effective cleansers, moisturizers, and toners that are perfect for humid, sticky, summertime.
From there we will also look at light-wearing summer foundations/BB creams with SPF that are gentle on the skin.
Extra Dry/ Dry Combination Skin
I have some of the most sensitive and dry skin around – I know there must be others out there like me, there must be!
In fact I’m sensitive to the most common ingredients used to alleviate dry skin. These products might not break you out with acne or hives like they have to me, but if you’ve tried a cream or face mask only to discover redness, irritation or dry patches, you might be having a reaction to key ingredients like:
- Glycerin (A suspect any time a bottle is labeled “Super Hydrating” or “Extreme Moisture”
- Aloe Vera
- Mineral Oil
- Nutty additives (Almond oil, macadamia oil, sunflower seed oil, etc.)
- Wheat Germ (Gluten)
- Acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide / salicylic acid
- Chemical filter sunscreens with active ingredients like: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.
There are products on the market that don’t have any of the ingredients listed above, but you’ll have to read every package to confirm. (Sephora clerks only know so much…)
So now that we know what to avoid, what the heck will work on our skin?
The Avene brand is a good place to start. Based is France with a focus on pure spring water as the active ingredient in most of its products. Avene has helped me restore my skin from months of mistakes in the sun and other allergic reactions.
Dove, Sensitive Skin Bar
Avene, Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Make-up Remover
Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm is a satisfying way to rinse makeup off without drying out my skin.
*Remember to gently pat your skin dry with a clean cloth, and don’t use steaming hot water that expands pores.*
Spring water misting throughout the day helps keep skin hydrated and refreshes your makeup. Of course any brand of spring water works, I often carry bottled spring water in a little mist bottle.
Clinique’s most gentle toners (1) and (2) are great for T-zone areas in the height of a sweaty, humid summer. Used twice a day with a cotton pad, it will expoliate those shiny areas without drying out the skin.
Clinque 3 Step Toners
Avene, Cleanance MAT. Mattifying Toner (Will bring down shine if you plan to apply make up after moisturizing.)
*Dry skin responds better to liquid based exfoliating blends rather than using face scrubs or brushes that irritate the skin and expand dry patches.*
Moisturizing and SPF Sun Protection
Black girls listen up, protecting your skin from the sun daily can reduce uneven discoloration and dark patches. Learn why mineral filter sunscreens are more gentle.
It’s true, most sunscreens leave a white chalky cast of product on darker skin (caused by its SPF active ingredient, Titanium Dioxide). One way around that is by combining your sunscreen with a smooth moisturizer like Clinique’s Moisture Surge Gel.
Clinique, Dramatically Different™ Hydrating Jelly
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin, Oil-Free Moisturizer
Light, open moisture for the body: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Vaseline Intensive Care Body Lotion, Avocado, Jojoba Oil
BB Creams and Foundations w/ SPF
Summer is dewy makeup season, no point in caking on a bunch of product that will melt off on the subway.
Our fav BB creams this season not only match our caramel complexion, but also feature the safest mineral based sunscreen ingredients. (Seriously if you find yourself breaking out after 1 day in the sun, you’re using the wrong kind of sunscreen.)
Start with a Primer in the T-Zone to help secure the B.B. cream throughout a long day. We use a Cover FX one since majority of our cosmetics come from that brand.
bareMinerals COMPLEXION RESCUE™ Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 30
Clinique, Super City Block™ BB Liquid Compac SPF 50: Goes to the office with me for after 5pm touch ups as I skip further downtown for evening events in Manhattan.
*Everyone wants you to apply these with your hands but brushes or beauty sponges provide better control.
*Costs: Don’t buy a big bottle of anything before getting a smaller trail version first. You don’t want a $35 bottle of toner sitting around you can’t use.
Bonus Tip: Need a beat face for a special event? You can add a deep translucent setting powder to this routine and a setting spray (or spring water) to secure the look on those hot summer nights.