Get gorgeous skin…easy.

By: Amanda Anderson

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but no one can deny how captivating gorgeous skin is. As consumers, we spend hundreds of dollars a year in products promising to improve our skin problems, and tweek our diets of foods that may be causing acne outbreaks. Beautiful skin is wanted by everyone, yet most of us fail to do the simple things that can make a big difference in our skin. Here are a few simple methods to get the kind of skin you’ve been dreaming about without breaking the bank.

1. Stop sleeping with a face full of makeup.

Sure, you had an amazing weekend, and you may have even partied harder than you needed to, which resulted in you walking into your house a couple hours before sunrise. But that doesn’t excuse you from making one of the biggest mistakes in good skincare.

Makeup may look great and enhance our God given features, but it’s hazardous to the pores. If you are sleeping with makeup on, you are clogging those wonderful pores of yours. And when you clog pores, you encourage outbreaks. In fact, besides an unhealthy diet, sleeping with makeup is one of the leading causes in bad skin, and not so sexy acne problems. Be sure to not only wash your face before bed, but also make sure you use a great makeup remover before you wash off the makeup.

I suggest: Neutrogena Oil Free Makeup Remover

Natural alternative: If you aren’t big on chemicals, I suggest using olive oil or Vaseline. Simply dab a few cotton balls in olive oil or Vaseline, and wipe over the eye area, and any areas covered with makeup. A damp and warm washcloth should be used to remove the excess olive oil or Vaseline.

2. Exfoliate your skin regularly.

Now black women are known to naturally have oily skin. And those with oily skin should make skin exfoliation a weekly routine.

When you exfoliate your skin, you are removing dead skin cells, and in turn, improving the look of your skin. Those who exfoliate weekly should notice that their skin looks brighter and healthier, but it is important not to go overboard in exfoliating. By doing this process more than twice a week, you will begin to kill the necessary skin cells that protect your from skin transgressions.

It’s always best to exfoliate your skin after washing your face. Clean skin is better for exfoliation.

Once a week is enough, and you should make sure you use a great moisturizer immediately after exfoliation to prevent the drying of skin.

I suggest: Oil Free Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser

Natural alternative: You can exfoliate the skin by using baking soda and water. Simply take some baking soda and combine it with a little water. When you mix the two, you should create a thick paste. Rub the paste on the areas you wish to exfoliate, but be sure to avoid the eyes. Rinse with warm water.

3. Use great masks to improve your skin.

Masks are essential to gorgeous skin. The reason why masks work wonders for your skin is because they remove dirt, dead skin cells, grime, and other pore cloggers that could create some major skin problems. There are many mask types available, but I personally prefer clay or mint masks, as they have worked better for me, and left my skin glowing.

I suggest using a great mask at least once a month, with twice being enough for women of color. Daily use will surely be overkill, and severely dry out your skin.

I suggest: Queen Helene’s Mint Juliep Mask

Natural Alternative: Blend some oatmeal and water, and apply the mixture to your face. Leave the ingredients on your face until dry, and then rinse with warm water.

4. Use a great moisturizer daily.

It is imperative that you keep your skin moisturized. A good moisturizer will leave your skin smooth and soft. While it will take a series of product testing, it is worth the time to find a moisturizer that works well for your skin type. Some people can do well with a dab of lotion, while others will need a stronger product. It really all comes down to skin type.

I suggest: Olay Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 15

Natural alternative: For dry skin, I recommend olive oil. For normal skin, avocado or jojoba oil.

5. Watch what you eat.

Your diet will determine the type of skin you have in most cases. All of us aren’t able to eat whatever we want without paying the consequences with our skin, so we have to be mindful of what foods we include in our diets. As a rule of thumb, lower the intake of the following foods to see an improvement in your skin:

Fried foods
Chocolate
Sodas and other caffeinated beverages
Starchy foods high on carbs such as french fries, potatoes, rice, and sweets
Dairy products
Alcohol
Fats

Although these foods have a reputation for causing acne, some people can eat these foods without suffering at the hands of a nasty outbreak. While it all comes down to skin type, if you are prone to bad acne, be sure to pay close attention to your diet, and make the necessary changes.

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