By Michelby Whitehead  

If there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet, then finding a skincare regimen will take some customization as well. You can have flawless skin like Beyonce, but you can’t necessarily follow the same routine she implements to keep her pores poppin’!  

The secret to beautiful skin is having the right cleanser, toner, moisturizer and sun protectant for you.  This starts with knowing the skin you’re in!  

Every skincare routine should consist of these essential steps:  

1. Cleanse   

First thing’s first: Start with a fresh face by finding the right type of cleanser for your skin. Is it dry? oily? maybe a combination of tight cheeks and an oily T-zone? Perhaps it’s acne-prone or burns easily. Whatever the case, a great face starts with knowing what works in your favor.  

If your face is usually dry, you’ll need something creamier and more moisturizing. Noxzema or Dove soap are great choices for cleansing normal to dry skin.  

If you tend to be naturally oily without moisturizer, an oil-free cleanser is best for you. Oily skin that’s acne-prone calls for a face wash that has a small amount of benzoyl peroxide to prevent pores from clogging with acne-causing bacteria.  

Some ladies have what I like to call equal opportunity epidermis, or combination skin. Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash contains broadleaf kelp to blot shine, mint to clear dirt and sebum, and wheat protein for dry, patchy pockets of skin. Phisoderm is another good option.  

2. Tone 

Toner ensures that skin is balanced and is most helpful for women who are acne-prone and oily, but that doesn’t mean other skin types can’t use it. There are many benefits of using toner, such as shrinking large pores, getting rid of excess makeup, and even releasing excess hairs!   

No matter your reason for using it, make sure you pick one that is alcohol-free to avoid sucking out the good oil that your skin organically produces.  

3. Moisturize 

Choosing the right moisturizer is just as important as choosing the right products to wash your face. Moisturizers include lotions, gels, oils, ointments and creams.

If you have oily skin, you definitely want to opt for something light and oil-free. Use your intuition like you would on a blind date; if the moisturizer seems too slimy or dry, let that thang go, girl!   

Trial and error will be worth the investment when you find a product that keeps your skin supple and radiant. Lubricants can also help with specific skin conditions such as dark spots (hyperpigmentation), wrinkles and acne.  

4. Protect

Contrary to popular belief, women of color do need to protect their melanin-rich skin from the sun’s rays. Overexposure to sunlight can cause damage such as hyperpigmentation, deep lines, or scaly patches known actinic keratoses. But fear not! Your moisturizer and makeup (foundation) can double as a skin protectant with an SPF of 15 or higher. 

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