Sexy Summer Skin:<br />
Tips From a Skin Care Queen

Dr. Downie says that people of color must stop skipping the sunscreen.

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middle of the day—instead of sunblock.

For those of us who get greasy during the day, try Clean & Clear’s Oil Absorbing Sheets. No need to go out and purchase the super expensive brands. And as always, be sure to reapply sunblock afterwards.

At night it’s best to wash with an exfoliating cleanser, like Vivete’s cleanser with microbeads. Dr. Downie recommends leaving it on while you brush your teeth so it penetrates in a little further into the skin—unless it burns. And NO buff or loofa pads on the face. “I don’t believe in them…they both track bacteria…Wash clothes are fine, bare hands are fine, circular motions if you’re using bare hands is good...but…no loofa,” she said.

Some people prefer to wear creams and repair gels at night. SkinMedia Essential Serum has a powerful antioxidant formula. You can also try Tazorac, Retin-A or Differin.

And be careful with putting salicylic acid right on top of pimples. Dr. Downie says this can leave dark spots. Her top three picks for acne treatments are Aczone, Fainacea gel and Veltin, which are great for adult acne and also help treat razor bumps in male patients.

Facial asks are good to use 2-3 times a week. A lot of people also like to use Bobbi Brown’s Kaolin Creamy Face Wash as a mask. Dr. Downie highly recommends MD Forte’s Hydra Masque. It can also be used on your chest or back if you have body acne.

And if you’re having trouble removing your mascara without pulling your eyelashes out, try Neutrogena’s Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover.

The Botox Bandwagon

Botox has been on the market for years but for some time, a stigma has existed in the African-American community that black women don’t need beauty-enhancing procedures. Although black patients are still cosmetic surgery’s smallest population according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more women of color are warming up to the idea of procedures like Botox.

“Botox is like breathing: you just do it,” says Dr. Downie. “Clearly the underlying message is if you can afford it…if you’re not paying your rent you should not be doing Botox.”

In such image-driven society it’s easy to see why even black women, albeit slowly but surely, are jumping on the Botox train. “The bottom line is some people never stop caring about the way they look and there’s nothing really wrong with that. Some people are living very full lives. It does make you look considerably younger than your age matched peers that don’t do Botox.” Dr. Downie admits that Botox is even part of her beauty-enhancing regimen, which also includes exercising 7 days a week and eating healthy foods. In fact she’s been using it on herself and her patients for years and has seen no short or long term health risks associated with it. Dr. Downie says the Botox procedure should be done every 3-4 months.