• e.l.f. cosmetics

    RXY Beauty Series: How it Feels to Care For Melanin

    We’ve touched on caring for black hair, slaying faces and today it’s all about skincare. Caring for melanin requires lots and lots of patience. We’re more likely to deal with issues like hyper-pigmentation from acne and other skin conditions. Sometimes the pigmentation comes from plain old melanin, which can make it a pain-in-the butt to treat. We talked to a few ladies about their skin types and the ways in which they keep their skin glowing, asking the following:

    1. What type of skin do you have (i.e. oily, combo, dry)?
    2. Wax, shave, nair or sugaring? Why do you stick to that hair removal method?
    3. Top 3 skincare products?
    4. Do you battle with dark spots? What do you use to combat them?


    Alana is a “artrepreneur”. She does it all from dance, modeling to spoken word. She also dabbles in beauty, which means she knows a thing or two about caring for melanin. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter!

    1. I have “normal” skin that could get pretty dry around my nose and in between my eyebrows especially. Other than those two areas my face retains moisture very easily. 
    2. When it comes to my facial hair I refrain from removal. I have a love-hate relationship with all of my facial hair (eyebrow, eyelash, peach fuzzed lip, cheek hair, etc.) but I try to embrace it regardless because it makes me…me. My facial hair is individualistic and I love it. If I must remove my facial hair for any other reason whether for work or the like, I’d choose to shave. Make-up is my best friend when I want snatched eyebrows though!
    3. I am an avid vegan, or all natural, brand supporter and user so my top three products, as of right now, are Julep’s Bare Face Cleansing Oil, ArtNaturals’ Rose Water Toner, and Anu’s Coconut Shea Butter. All vegan or natural and perfect for my skin! The Bare Face Cleansing Oil is a great hybrid of a soap and oil and I use it to remove my make-up. The toner is light weight and includes witch hazel. I use it about twice a day to prevent dark spots and to attack acne in it’s early stages. I use the shea butter basically for everything else! It’s a long lasting moisturizer and a little goes a long way.
    4. Yes I do, not all the time, but definitely after a bad break out (usually during my menstrual cycle). Whenever I do I try to refrain from wearing make-up so much because it prolongs the time to get rid of them. Of course I use my favorite products to keep those areas clean and apply toner and/or witch hazel periodically or nightly.


    A content creator that specializes in strategic brand storytelling, Amber is the founder of a digital magazine called The Core. Be sure to add her on the socials! @ajscribes

    1. My skin type really depends on the time of the year. During the spring and summer months, I am more prone to oily skin. During the winter my skin tends to get dry in certain areas.
    2. I have been waxing. I stick to waxing because it’s what I have always known. Growing up I had a unibrow and lots of hair on my face. My mom would take a razor and shape my eyebrows. By the time I was in my early twenties my brows were super thin. It took me years to get that natural thickness back. So, I stick with waxing.
    3. Easy. Shea Moistures Matcha Green Tea & Probiotics Toner. Glossier’s Mega Greens Galaxy Pack facial mask and Alba Botanica’s dual textured exfoliating towelettes.
    4. Unfortunately, I have battled with dark spots all my life. Years ago I would try anything to get rid of my dark spots. Now that I am more cautious about the products that I use I try not to overindulge or experiment with anything new because I realized that worsens the problem. One product that has worked for me and I recommend to almost everyone who asks is Clarant B3 Dark Spot Correcting Cream by Ponds. It’s a gem!


    Briana is a model and actress, so naturally skincare is big for her. Follow her journey @briiblazin!

    Photo: Melissa Hamburg (@melissahamburgphotography)

    1. I have combo skin, however usually my skin doesn’t start to show oiliness until the end of the day if I’m out all day long.
    2. I wax facial areas and shave everywhere else. I like waxing because it lasts much longer, however, I prefer shaving the rest of my body because it’s more convenient. I don’t have the patience to wax my entire body.
    3. CeraVe moisturizing cream. Nip & Fab Glycolic Cleansing Pads. Acne.org’s Facial Cleanser (great for sensitive skin)
    4. I don’t anymore, but I used to deal with dark marks from acne scars. I used the lowest dosage of Retin-a/Retinol cream almost every day for a year and all my scarring is gone. It dries your skin, which you exfoliate off and it creates brand new skin underneath. I was definitely much paler than normal that year lol, but it was definitely worth it.


    Morgan is the founder of JOYday Movement, a publication that focuses on mental health awareness. If you’re trying to find your joy, make sure you follow them on Instagram. Be sure to keep up with Morgan too!

    Photo: @tatyannachamere

    1. I actually have oily skin for the most part, however, I have definitely gotten it under control.
    2. I shave but want to get into sugaring in the near future. I heard it’s the best so I must try it soon.
      • BASE BUTTER Radiate Face Jelly because it is the truth. It got my skin all the way together and I am grateful for that. The ingredients have truly helped my skin in the fall/winter months. My skin can get dry but this has helped me have well-balanced skin. 
      • ACURE Brilliantly Brightening Face Scrub because it makes my pores sing. I got this for the first time in a Whole Foods natural skin products pouch and I have been obsessed with it ever since.
      • evanhealy Rose Cleansing Milk made me kiss rose water goodbye and step my cookies up. I apply this after I use the ACURE and it literally conditions my skin. Between these three products I have been able to get my skin all the way together.
    3. I used to battle with hyper-pigmentation in high school and some of college. It was hard for me to see my beauty when I was struggling with dark spots because the boys at school would call me “polka dot”. Ever since I was able to achieve clear skin I make my skin care routine a priority.


    Meet #techbae! She’s changing the face of tech via Google and diligently working to keep her own face as flawless as possible. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter!

    1. I would say I have combo skin. I have a pretty oily t-zone and cheeks but my forehead and chin can get pretty dry.
    2. I pretty much stick to waxing (hard wax) and Nairing. Most of it is me being frugal and waxing tends to be cheaper. Hard wax is also a great medium between sugaring and regular waxing because the wax binds to the hair with no paper strip needed. I also feel as if my mustache grows back pretty frequently (even though people claim they “cant see it”) so being able to Nair at home has been extremely helpful there.
    3. I’m a product junkie so I definitely have more than three. If I HAD to pick three I would pick the following:
      • Onexon – prescribed by my dermatologist. Antibacterial gel for acne prevention (I use this daily with my morning face wash routine)
      • Tretinoin – retinoid. Helps with wrinkles, dark spots, overall cell turnover which keeps your skin looking supple and young (I use this daily with my nighttime face wash routine).
      • Keihl’s Ultra Facial Cream – perfect moisturizer for everyday and every season!
    4. Sadly, I do. I think the first step is figuring out why you are getting them. For me, it was from acne I got from bad eating habits or stress. So I met with my dermatologist to figure out what would be my best method to get rid of them (over time of course; and steady wins the race and prevents your skin from getting worse). I got micro-needling done about a year ago (three sessions) and I recommend if you are okay with waiting for results (it took about a month or so for my skin to visibly look and feel better). I have also created a morning and evening face wash routine that includes witch hazel, onexon (in the morning), tretinoin (in the evening), and SUNSCREEN. Twice a week I exfoliate with Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque and every other day I do a fresh aloe mask. In addition to all of that, I try to drink one gallon of water a day. That’s everything I’m currently doing but, this year I moved to NYC and had to get a new dermatologist (who is amazing!). She wants to try one of her chemical peels so I’m excited to see what that will do for my skin in the future.

    Next week? Nailssssss 

    Get Your Skincare On!

    Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
    Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
    evanhealy Rose Cleansing Milk
    evanhealy Rose Cleansing Milk
    Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub
    Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub
    Base Butter Radiate Face Jelly
    Base Butter Radiate Face Jelly
    Acne.org Cleanser
    Acne.org Cleanser
    Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme
    Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme
    Cerave Moisturizing Cream
    Cerave Moisturizing Cream
    Alba Botanica Good & Clean Dual Textured Exfoliating Towelettes
    Alba Botanica Good & Clean Dual Textured Exfoliating Towelettes
    Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Face Mask
    Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Face Mask
    SheaMoisture Matcha Green Tea And Probiotics Soothing Toner
    SheaMoisture Matcha Green Tea And Probiotics Soothing Toner
    ANU’s Coconut Shea Butter
    ANU’s Coconut Shea Butter
    ArtNaturals Rosewater Witch Hazel Toner
    ArtNaturals Rosewater Witch Hazel Toner
    Julep Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil
    Julep Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil

    Jakira Shaw

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    ASOS.com USA