Tips from an experienced skincare guru

They say Black don’t crack, but part of that youthful look is the ability to get and maintain clear and healthy skin. Unfortunately, the “magical” products that help reach those skin goals differ for everyone, but there are some universal steps that can help you get on the right path to perfecting your routine and obtaining the glow you desire.

Nzinga Lawrence is a licensed esthetician based in Brooklyn, New York. She struggled with acne since the start of her teengage years and often relied on prescribed birth control pills to relieve her of her skin concerns. She ended her consistent routine after two years in an attempt to find some other remedies for her cystic acne, but when her effort was unsuccessful, she decided to return to pill for another year before seeking help from her dermatologist who prescribed Accutane. The strong medication — which typically isn’t suggested by most doctors — helped to clear her skin in four months. “Accutane was the best thing that ever happened to me,” she said. But, that was before she discovered there were safer alternatives to healthy skincare.

With her knowledge from esthetician school , Lawrence launched her esthetics business in May 2020 titled Zing’s Beauty Bar — the name of her former weekly Snapchat beauty segment. Now, she’s using her platform not only to increase awareness surrounding skincare education, but also to provide services that will help people feel confident and beautiful.

We spoke to Lawrence in commemoration of National Healthy Skin Month and she provided a few skincare tips for the winter.

Her goal: “I want my current/future clients  to feel confident in their skin. I want them to love their skin. I want them to know that healthy, HYDRATED skin is the goal. Once we work to accomplish this, everything else will fall into place. I need them to understand that the most beautiful thing about the skin is that it has the ability to heal itself.”

Check out Lawrence’s tips below.

Winter Skincare Do’s

  • Apply sunscreen everyday! It doesn’t matter if you’re leaving your house or staying inside, sunscreen is a must. Those UV rays are able to penetrate through glass, reflect off of surfaces, and will cause early aging and burning. If you suffer from hyperpigmentation, sunscreen is the first step in clearing it up.
  • Incorporate tons of hydration. Layer up! The winter air is dry and harsh and shows no mercy against your skin. To prevent your skin from suffering you want to incorporate products with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sodium PCA, etc.
  • Use a humidifier. When we use a humidifier in our spaces, we are able to keep the air moist. This brings moisture to our skin which will reduce the likelihood of our skin becoming dry and dull. This is also a great help if we are incorporating humectants into our routine.
  • Incorporate an oil, balm, cream or any gentle cleanser into your routine. While some of us may be oily and want to rid the skin of the excess oil and get a deep clean, gel and foam cleansers will further dry out the skin along with the winter air. You can incorporate this gentle cleanser into your morning routine or as part of your double cleansing at night.
  • Add an occlusive moisturizer at night! Now that you are incorporating all of this moisture into your skin you want to seal that in. Occlusive agents also reduce transepidermal water loss within the skin by forming a barrier that will repel water and keep it locked in the skin. Some good choices for occlusives are: Vaseline, Aquaphor, CeraVe Healing Ointment, etc.

Winter Skincare Don’ts

  • Avoid products with alcohol in it. Many of us like alcohols because we know it will do the job in drying out that annoying pimple. But, along with getting rid of that pimple, it will further dry out your skin. That, combined with the harsh winter weather, is just trouble waiting to happen.
  • Avoid hot water on your face and body. This is hard because it’s cold outside and you want to be warm. But that heat is just drying you skin out, which means you’ll need to do twice as much work to repair your skin’s barrier and get it hydrated again.
  • Don’t try multiple products at once. This is just a great rule in general and not necessarily specific to the season. If you’re testing out a multitude of products at once, and your skin reacts you won’t be able to pin point which product is causing the reaction. So it’s best to test a new product every two to four weeks, which gives you ample time to determine if it fits for you.
  • Don’t over exfoliate. Exfoliation speeds up the cell turnover rate which is great because it gives new skin. However, exfoliating more than twice a week can strip the skin of its natural oils causing more breakouts, hypersensitivity, inflammation, irritation, and more.
  • Avoid being inconsistent with your skin care routine. This includes getting your monthly facials. Maintenance is key and your skin will always be it’s healthiest when you are giving it the top tier treatment it deserves. If you are ever inconsistent this will not happen.

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