Ijeoma Kola in purple silk robe sitting on bed with skincare products on tray

My 5-Step Morning Skincare Routine

In line with my word of the year, one of the things I’m really trying to commit to in 2021 is being intentional with my time. Part of this includes having a clear morning routine to start my days off right. Skincare has always been so important to me, as I’ve struggled with acne and hyper pigmentation. And while I’ve certainly come a long way with the state of my skin, maintaining a regular skincare routine has been the key to keeping my skin on point. I’m sharing my five-step morning skincare routine, highlighting the ingredients I use to keep my skin glowing!

1 – Kick off with a Cleanse

The first step of my morning skincare routine is cleansing my skin while in the shower. I like to alternate between cleansers that contain moisturizing and clarifying ingredients — just like I try to alternate moisturizing and clarifying shampoos depending on how my hair is feeling. If I wake up feeling oily or know I’m going to wear heavy makeup during the day, I make sure to use a cleanser with salicylic acid, like Bolden’s Clarifying Cleanser. When I need more hydration, I pick up Burt’s Bees Truly Glowing Gel Cleanser which has hyaluronic acid. For something in the middle, I like La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Gel Facial Wash for Oily Skin.

2 – A Touch of Toner

Once I’m out of the shower, I lightly dry my face with a face towel or organic cotton face wipes and apply a toner. I don’t use alcohol-based toners, and the point isn’t to dry out my skin. The toners I use serve a dual purpose: they tighten and minimize the appearance of my pores and prep my skin for the powerhouse ingredients to come by slightly dampening it (which improves product absorption!). Some of my favorite toners include Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, and BeautyCounter Counter Control Instant Matte Toner.

3 – Soak Up the Serum

I then go on to apply a serum to tackle my specific skincare needs. Most of the time I pick up a serum that contains niacinamide, alpha arbutin, kojic acid, vitamin C, or a mix of them all, as those are gentle yet effective ingredients that tackle hyperpigmentation. My go to is Peter Thomas Roth PRO Strength Niacinamide Discoloration Treatment since it has 3 out of those 4 ingredients, but if I want to focus on a single ingredient product I’ll use Hyper Clear Skin Vitamin C Serum or Emmaus Beauty Alpha Arbutin Brightening Serum. But addressing dark marks is useless if you keep getting acne, so if I feel a pimple coming on I instead use a benzoyl peroxide serum during this step — Kate Somerville Anti Bac Lotion. If you’re still struggling with active hormonal acne, here are the products that cleared it up for me.

4 – Massage in a Moisturizer

Rubbing on a silky smooth moisturizer to lock everything in is one of my favorite parts of my skincare routine. Although my go-to sunscreen (getting to that next) doubles as a moisturizer, I’ve noticed that being inside all day long has started to dry out my skin. So lately I’ve been using Burt’s Bees Truly Glowing Gel Cream as my daytime moisturizer. It’s light and airy, leaving my skin feeling hydrated without the weight of a cream moisturizer. If I’m really trying to glow, I’ll add on a few drops of the Burt’s Bees Truly Glowing Glow Booster for even more radiance. The dry oil doesn’t leave me looking or feeling greasy, and that’s because it’s designed to bring out your natural moisture and glow from within.

5- Seal it all in with Sunscreen

I’ll admit, I used to be one of those people who didn’t think that Black people needed sunscreen, but ever since I added sunscreen to my skincare routine, it’s been SO much easier to prevent and fade dark spots! So now I’m a huge preacher of BLACK. PEOPLE. NEED. SUNSCREEN. TOO! Whether indoors or outdoors, sunshine or overcast, sunscreen is an absolute must. I will be honest with you and say that I sometimes skip sunscreen on super gloomy days when I’ll be indoors, but on those days I keep the curtains in the office closed so no tiny bit of light peeks through, but that’s just because I was running low on my favorite sunscreen — Bolden Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30. If you’re not about the full 5 step skincare life, you can cleanse your skin, tone or spray a mist, and then finish with this product. It combines a serum (it has vitamin c!), moisturizer, and SPF all in one and is hands down one of my favorite skincare products ever!

There you have it! That’s my updated skincare routine with all the products that keep my skin feeling fresh and looking flawless.

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  1. Loved this!, especially when you talked about sunscreen I’ve been looking to try sunscreen as well!