“Wash Your Face!” (How I Found My Unique Skincare Routine)

 In Beauty Journeys

My journey to my skincare routine began when I was young. I’m sitting Indian-style outside the bathroom watching my Mom put on her makeup. She is so beautiful. She always wore blue eyeliner. Not the tacky blue girls wear to an outdoor EDM concert. It was a navy blue which made her chestnut eyes pop the right amount. Her foundation, always purchased at Macy’s, would glide on effortlessly. The signature red lip to showcase her pearly white teeth.

I couldn’t wait to wear makeup. I wanted to look beautiful like her, my teachers, and Janet Jackson!

But I also desperately wanted to hide my scars.

Black scars had developed around my face. It looked like I had grown a goatee. It was embarrassing and the focus of numerous bullies. I also had acne scars (that would heal black) on my cheeks, forehead, and jaw line.

The only advice anyone gave me to get rid of it was “wash your face.” 

And I did! Daily, nightly, with a face mask every week. That was my first, less effective skincare routine. So I found myself entering my first year of college with a face that looked like a pickle.

I was getting frustrated because I didn’t want to have to cake on foundation everyday; it was making my skin worse. So I did what any teenager does when they want clear skin fast. I purchased Proactiv.

I can hear you rolling your eyes. Proactiv is a scam right? I’m not gonna tell you yes, but I’m not gonna tell you no. This is not an ad for Proactiv. This is the point in the hero movie where we discover the heroes’ purpose. The “Uncle Ben” in this article is this: everyone’s skin is unique. What Angela Bassett uses on her skin just may not work for you. Unique skin needs a unique skincare routine. 

Proactiv worked for me because it showed me the importance of a set routine. It’s like going to the gym everyday to get that perfect beach body. But at the same time, just having a skincare routine isn’t enough. Guess what I had to do? I had to wash my face consistently BUT with the right products. It took a lot of trial and error but I’ve finally found what works for me and that, combined with consistency, healed my skin. Here is what I’ve learned:

My Unique Skincare Routine

Dry skin needs added moisture. Personally, I have oily skin (which means I’m gonna age damn well!). Oily skin produces its own oils so you may find that your skin gets “greasy” easily and you’re overly shiny (I got that natural highlight!).

I start off with an oil-free cleanser. It’s usually a clear liquid that will wipe away the germs and bacteria from the day. I use a daily exfoliant to scrub the dead skin cells from my face.

I follow that with patting my face dry. Don’t smear it around. I cannot overemphasize this enough.

Follow that with a serum. What is a serum? It’s a product that helps protect your skin against signs of aging and damage and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. So it’s just that extra boost to deliver those vitamins to your skin. Think of this as the fruit in your diet.

Then I moisturize. Why do I need to moisturize if I already have oily skin? It’s just an added benefit to improve skin’s hydration. It also controls the oils in your skin so you don’t get that “greasy” feel. If you don’t moisturize, you’re basically asking for more breakouts. You need a non-comedogenic or oil-free moisturizer to guarantee you look flawless. 

That’s a lot right?! It seems like a long an overly tedious process but it’s benefitting your skin! Your makeup will go on a lot more smoother and you’ll use fewer products if you just “wash your face”. Finding the right skincare routine is trial and error.

Some basic rules for establishing a skincare routine

  • How long should you use a product before actually seeing results? Two to three weeks.
  • If you start developing a rash, stop using it immediately.
  • Purchase makeup that will give you that added benefit and nutrients. The first ingredient should always be water!
  • Slow down eating oily foods (why do college functions always have pizza?)
  • Invest in makeup wipes and use them daily. Even if you didn’t wear makeup that day, it will help control the oils in your skin.
  • Use sunscreen – even if you’re a person of color, you still need it!
  • Drink water! The sugars in soda and alcohol causes damage to the skin just like smoking. I know! I love vodka just like the next person. But you don’t need a sex on the beach. Just ask for vodka water.

The majority of my acne scars have gone away and I feel confident enough to walk out the house without any makeup. This skincare routine will ensure you have a smooth, clean palette to ensure a fierce makeup canvas. 

Love this post? Love makeup with POC in mind? Learn more about Shade Collective!


Ashley Collins is a Florida State University graduate who received her Bachelor’s in Theatre. Since graduation she’s worked towards growing as an artist in order to be versatile in all forms of the arts. She’s done several films with AntBear Productions, participated in the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival’s monologue competition, trained under Carla Johnson with Cheer Girl Entertainment, and in addition to being a staff member with Show on the Road, she worked as a Talent Instructor at 4D Studios. When she’s not slaying the stage, she is a Bartender (she prefers the term mixologist) and is working on getting her Sommelier certification. She also has a blog of her own called “The Breakup Diaries” where she is documenting her growth towards self love.

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