Alicia Keys, the talented songstress who has won 15 Grammy awards, made headlines for ditching makeup on the red carpet and in photoshoots in 2016.
That may say more about how the media treats flaws and beauty than it says about Alicia Keys herself, but nevertheless, it was refreshing at the time to see someone say no to the Hollywood expectations of beauty.
Alicia was praised for her defence of going makeup-free as a form of empowerment, as well as her glowing and youthful skin. Of course, we want this to be the norm.
What’s her secret? Boundless confidence, clearly. But in late 2019, Alicia dropped her skincare routine in a Youtube video on her own channel.
Step 1 of Alicia Keys’ routine is cleansing and you may be as upset as me to hear that she removes her makeup with face wipes.
This goes against everything I say when it comes to using wipes: that they don’t promote skin health, exacerbate breakouts and encourage dehydration on the skin’s surface, which appears as dullness and flaking.
On the plus side, Alicia follows her precleanse step (if you can bring yourself to call it that) with the Osmosis Deep Clean Detox Cleanser (€42.00, 200ml, osmosisskincare.eu).
She says herself that she either uses super powerful, medical grade skincare or very simple natural skincare with no in between and that theOsmosis cleanser is part of the former. I’ve worked with Osmosis as a brand before and I will note that the cleanser is actually quite gentle and essential oil based — not what I always consider to be super powerful skincare but the brand has much to offer.
She also uses a tea tree based toner which is not something I’d tend to recommend. Tea tree oil is astringent and will slick oil temporarily but again, can dehydrate the skin.
Very oily skin types usually won’t be as affected by this as other skin types but in my opinion, Alicia isn’t very oily, perhaps just a bit oil-prone. She admits to getting the odd breakout and uses Advanced Skincare Advanced Anti-Blemish Lotion with Sulfur ($29, available in the US).
Sulphur is quite well known as a spot fighter, and is naturally antimicrobial, works to dry out excess oil and speeds up skin cell turnover. Sulphur is not in my top 5 go-to spot fighting ingredients, but it is a fantastic option for those who have spots but have skin that’s too sensitive to use salicylic acid.
It’s the core ingredient of the beloved Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (€22.00, Urban Outfitters), if it’s something you want to give a go, but niacinamide is another powerful spot-relieving ingredient that actually does not dry out your skin!
Keys finishes her routine with a rosebud lip balm and a moisturiser from Epicuren. It looks like the moisturiser in the video is their X-Treme Cream Propolis Sunscreen SPF 45 ($43.00, available in the US). Propolis is antibacterial, antifungal and healing… But I’d advise against using SPF products at night!
It’s better to use something that assists your skin in its reparative processes, like a typical serum, night cream, overnight masque or moisturiser that includes key skin vitamins like A and C plus antioxidants.
My general verdict is that Alicia Keys’ routine is pretty decent. I still feel that it’s missing some key ingredients for long-term skin health, and it also tips us off that some of her skin’s general gorgeousness is more down to genetics.
Swap out the wipes, add an antioxidant serum and take out the SPF and it’s a very good, hard-working routine.
The Nerdie pick
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo(+) (€17.99, pharmacies nationwide) La Roche-Posay is a godsend for those suffering with their skin on a budget and Effaclar Duo(+) contains a combo of niacinamide, salicylic acid, lipo hydroxy acid and zinc PCA to unclog pores, hydrate and control sebum in one fell swoop.
It’s the opposite of your overly drying spot treatment and yet is still effective without irritating sensitive skin either.
Niacinamide is believed to be effective at promoting the skin’s protective barrier, evening out skin tone and providing antioxidant protection too so we should be kneeling at its altar! This product is particularly ideal for teens.