Between me and my two sisters we’ve tried it all and done it all. Although we don’t yet know it all, we’ve been through enough hair, skin care and beauty trial and error to last a lifetime. Yanisha is riding high at 17, Shana is nearing another decade and I’m finally starting to embrace my 30s. Below is a round-up of our age-appropriate hair, skin and beauty tips for your teens, 20s and 30s. We highlight what you should be doing to keep your complexion clear while preventing premature ageing, and what you should stop or start doing to look flawless and fabulous at every age.
IN YOUR TEENS
Hair Tip: Try to avoid using hot blow dryers, curling irons and flat irons. They damage your hair. Also – for a more budget-friendly alternative to dry shampoos – use baby powder in your hair to help with oiliness.
Skin Tip: If you have oily skin, use a cleanser with an acne-fighting ingredient like salicylic acid, which can help control oil production. After washing your face use a good quality moisturizer to keep your skin soft and supple. Never rub your face as this will aggravate it. Instead, pat dry. Also, it’s never too early to start wearing sunscreen. Whenever you go out in direct sun light for extended periods, apply sunscreen. The rays are not good for your skin and contribute in creating wrinkles.
Beauty Tip: If you have acne, do not attempt to cover it with foundation. Instead try using a concealer and then apply a powder or tinted moisturizer. Also – if you opt to fill in your brows – always use an eyebrow pencil lighter than your hair as this will help you look natural and not too made-up.
IN YOUR 20s
Hair Tip: Get your hair trimmed every alternate month and limit the use of heat on the hair. Long layers are good for any hair type. It makes curly hair appear manageable, thin hair appear thicker and wavy hair just right. Your twenties are also a great time to try something completely drastic with your hair. Cutting your hair into a sleek bob is a great way to show your maturity especially if you’re finishing up your school years and entering the work force full time.
Skin Tip: Get a good basic moisturizer with ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Apply it to your face when your skin is still slightly damp. Start wearing an eye cream with SPF every single day. The skin around your eyes is so thin, even a few minutes of sun exposure here and there can add up to wrinkles over time. The single best thing you can do for your skin is to wear SPF 30 or higher every day.
Beauty Tip: Keep your beauty routine simple. Even up your skin tone with a tinted moisturizer and then apply pink blush to the apples of your cheeks. Avoid heavily lining your eyes as this just makes you look old. Make your eyes prominent with gold eye shadow and a couple of coats of black mascara. Apply light pink or nude lip gloss to your lips.
IN YOUR 30s
Hair Tip: Nourish and moisturize when it comes to hair in your 30s. Get regular hair treatments to help restore, hydrate and give shine. If you’ve started to spot greys (like me) don’t panic! But don’t do drugstore box colour either. Consult a professional colourist or hairstylist and consider using a colour rinse (or semi-permanent colour) instead of a hair dye. A rinse is less permanent but it’s also less damaging to the hair – especially for black women. My stylist uses a #1 jet black rinse to colour my hair about every 3 or 4 shampoos.
Skin Tip: Exfoliate at night. Overnight skin is in renewal mode and removing dead skin prior to bedtime enhances the skin’s function. Exfoliate gently, just to remove dead skin. Protect your skin during the day by combining an antioxidant serum or vitamin C serum with sunscreen. Be sure to apply the sunscreen first. Wear a sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection every single day of the year, including raining days and on overcast winter days. UVA rays are “slow agers” which remain constant throughout the year.
Beauty Tip: You’ve now earned the right to wear red lipstick to the office, out to lunch with girlfriends, or just to the grocery store. LOL! But leave the rest of the face neutral — mascara and a little bronzer on the cheekbones is enough when doing a daytime red lip.
Imags via Like, Wutever and Yanisha Campbell