Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
Spring is here! That means summer will follow; and in the sultry heat we will inevitably wind up baring some skin, for better or for worse. For many Ethnic Beauties, this prospect is exciting. For others of us with black, cream, brown, olive, yellow, and sepia-toned skin, going bare isn't something that we would shout about. Well let us change that. We can begin by gently exfoliating our winter neglected body parts. Since our bodies naturally shed skin every day, this won't be a huge process. In the shower, or the tub, use an exfoliator, a body scrub, or a sugar or salt rub expressly designed for this purpose. Be gentle too because we don't want damage. We just want to gingerly work from the shoulders down, in a circular motion to slough off and rinse away dead skin cells. Twice or thrice weekly should reveal glowing new skin!
Then moisturizing will be a must. In the warmer months we can stow away our cold weather body butters and opt for lighter, fast absorbing skin treats. We can even choose lotions or gels with feather light summer scents. Apply before the skin is fully dry, in order to seal in moisture. Or if we have blemishes or dark spots/marks on our elbows, knees, ankles, heels, and the undersides of our booties, apply a fade cream or a skin tone lotion like those offered by Ambi, or Topiclear. Containing hydroquinone, these should begin showing results in a couple of weeks if applied daily.
Now is the time to also do something about unwanted body hair. Some ethnic beauties will prefer to shave, while others will buff. I know lovelies who have had hair laser-removed and are quite pleased with the results. Whatever you choose, do be careful. If you're using a razor, let it be sharp, and do not skip the shaving lotion. Its purpose is to hydrate and deter cuts and unsightly painful nicks. If you desire to wax or thread, go to a reputable salon; and speak up. If something is uncomfortable, firmly but tactfully say so. Hair removal should not be a hair-raising experience.
Hands and feet also need pampering. A self administered manicure or pedicure can be as appealing as those acquired at a salon. Great pedicures are also offered at beauty schools, for less cost than elsewhere. Then to remain sandal ready, use a pumice stone on the soles of the feet a few times a week. And since warm weather footwear can dry our tootsies, why not slather them with moisturizer one evening? Then don a pair of cotton socks. Afterward, the softness may surprise you.
Sunscreen is a must! I know, for those of you who read me often, you knew it was coming. I will forever say that we can never do too much to protect our beautiful ethnic skin. Sure we may not burn as quickly as someone fairer, but our skin yet needs an SPF (a sun protection factor) of 15 or more. Our hands and arms especially need it while driving. Other body parts need it when we're walking or playing in the sun. For the face, choose sunblock according to skin type. Non-comedogenic, a formula that will not block pores, works well for oily or acne prone skin. Choose a moisturizing formula for dry or aging skin. And to remain protected, reapply after prolonged periods of time.
Then my favorite, tints and bronzers! Sure, I'm a sista, and sure, you too are an ethnic beauty. Yes our skin already has color, but why not enhance it, because who doesn't love a healthy glow? But shhh...this will be our little secret. I love the Sheer Finish Bronzing Powers from Iman Cosmetics. They actually make the skin look sun kissed. Offered are shades (that remain true) for any woman with skin of color. Or try bronzing powder from Nars, one called Laguna has a lovely golden shimmer. And let's not forget our eyes. E'lon Couture Cosmetics offers Spring Blooms, lushly pigmented shadows in shades for all my global girls. Remember, ladies, this year when we inevitably bare our beautiful cream, olive, yellow, black, brown and sepia skin, we should feel comfortable! Yes, because we will have done all that was necessary to invite an inevitable stare, or two.