What’s the secret to an Instagram-worthy summer glow? A healthy skin care routine and a nourishing diet! Need to freshen up your regimen? This summer is the perfect time to start a new skin care routine…but don’t forget to keep it up throughout the year!
Consume Lots of Vitamin C
The benefits of Vitamin C aren’t limited to boosting your immune system and giving you extra energy to face the day—it can also prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation! According to medical aesthetician Rachel Roff, “topic vitamin C/ascorbic acid regulates your melanin, meaning that if you get sun exposure or an injury to your skin, it is less likely to overproduce melanin as a response.”
While moisturizing should be a part of everyone’s skin care routine, it’s especially important for black skin, which can be prone to dryness. Not all moisturizers are created equal as some contain irritating ingredients like vitamin A and alphahydroxy. So what kind of moisturizer should you be looking for? A moisturizer that contains glycerin, urea, hyaluronic acid or dimethicone. Or if you prefer moisturizers with au naturale ingredients, use shea butter or coconut oil.
Eat Less High Glycemic Foods
Not only will eating high glycemic foods prevent you from achieving the perfect summer body, it may also be causing break-outs and stopping your skin from being great. According to Dr. Gohara, “diets high in glycemic index (breads, pastas, sweets, etc.) increase cortisol levels in the blood. In turn, this creates an environmental whereby the skin is more likely to be inflamed.” Now this doesn’t mean you need to throw out your box of Twinkies permanently just to get an Instagram-worthy summer glow! Just make sure you’re getting a healthy balance of vegetables, fruits, grains and meats.
Take Lukewarm Showers
Nothing feels better than a hot shower after a long day. Unfortunately, extra hot showers or baths can stress out your skin, damage your skin cells and tissues and cause broken capillaries, which then leads to breakouts and infections. Hot showers can also cause acne to spread and dry out your skin. Instead, opt for a lukewarm water temperature and try to spend only 10-15 minutes in the shower. Also, make sure you’re using a gentle body wash and stay away from harsh soaps that strip the skin of natural oil.
Use Castor Oil
Jamaican black castor oil is a must-have for any naturalista. But did you know it’s good for your skin too? According to Lois Hines, cofounder and CEO of Tropic Isle Living, castor oil can be used to help heal sunburns more quickly. Anyone with natural hair has probably experienced, or at least heard of, the benefits associated with Jamaican black castor oil.
Black may not crack, but you can still get skin cancer. Many black women believe that they don’t need to wear sunscreen on a daily basis, but unfortunately, dark skin doesn’t make you invincible, nor does it make you immune to the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays. It’s true that skin cancer occurs less in darker skinned people than in lighter skin types. However, when skin cancer occurs in black people, the prognosis is often much worse because it tends to be diagnosed at a later stage.
Michelle Henry, a dermatologist from New York, recommends “that black women of all shades use a moisturizer with SPF 30 on a daily basis—not just when planning to be in the sun,” she states. “One of my favorites is the CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30. It blends in seamlessly with even the deepest skin tones and doesn’t leave behind a chalky film. You’ll be left with a moisturized, glowing, and well-protected complexion.” Remember, ignorance is not bliss.
"Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law."