Skin Care Routines Q&A: Ashlyn Delaney, Instagram Influencer

Story by Ella Weidner 

Photo courtesy of Dial Delaney

Ashlyn Delaney has been the Public Relations Director at RAW Magazine, a high fashion and lifestyle magazine on Central Michigan University’s campus, for three and a half years. Delaney is also the media coordinator for the Organization of Black Unity, a fashion show that highlights diversity and focuses on bringing culture to fashion shows that isn’t seen every day. Delaney started her skin care and beauty highlights on Instagram to inform people to love themselves naturally. Currently, Delaney is expecting to graduate with a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree with a concentration in integrated public relations and a minor in visual merchandising in May.

How has your life experience molded the way you take care of your skin today?

It all started from my bubba. My father instilled skin care to me. He has always told me since I was a little girl, ‘Ashlyn you have such sensitive skin, when you grow up there will be hormonal changes, and that will be the one thing that people notice about you when they see you, your pretty face.’ The first thing that people notice about you is your skin, that’s just the way it is. I think my dad instilled in me that skin care is important because when you “look pretty” as a woman, you will feel pretty. Whenever I feel beautiful on the outside, it radiates me on the inside.

How long have you been educating yourself on skin care?

 Since I was around 15, I have been looking everything up myself. I remember when the first Whole Foods in Detroit opened. That was when I knew it was going to be the time of my life. I used to go to Whole Foods and stay in there for an hour and a half just looking at the back of bottles and educating myself. Anytime I would pick things up, I would look on the back of the bottle and type in the ingredients on Google just to see if it matched with my skin type, if it didn’t, and what does it do. You can’t understand half of the words on there, and it’s like what am I putting on my face, I don’t understand. This is how I developed the skin care routine I have today. I have the same exact skin care routine today from when I went to Whole Foods when I was 15. I have not changed a product.

What motivates you to promote healthy skin care?

 People can have a connection with me, in a sense. I barely even have like 2,000 followers, but those are my friends. So even if I don’t talk to my friends every day, that is how they can reach me is through social media. People ask me a lot about my skin care, so why not share it with them on a platform. I just want people to feel beautiful. As a society, we always compare each other. But you got to rock with what you have. I just think that people need to project, and radiate confidence and I think that really starts with your skin.

What is your skin care routine?

 Everything natural. I am a natural freak. Whenever I go to Whole Foods, if it has long words, I am not putting that on my face. Why would I want something on my face that came from a lab? Unless you have cystic acne that you need antibiotics for. There is a difference between cystic acne and acne prone. Everybody’s skin, even if it’s the clearest of clear, is acne prone. The littlest thing can mess it all up. So, sticking to the basics of natural 100% skin care, helps. A lot of the time, when you get prescribed these medications, your skin gets addicted to them. I would recommend not trying Proactive, or the three step care system products. Once you stop, you’ll wake up with pimples the next day. That’s just how it is. Our skin is not used to chemicals. I have a three-step routine. First, I use the Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Cleansing Foam. This is the most amazing skin cleanser I have used in my life. It is so natural, non-expensive, and smells amazing. The great thing about this is roses calm the skin and help reduce redness. I have spent money on expensive products and I have noticed that the best bet is keeping it natural, which isn’t expensive. After my cleanser, I apply Thayer’s Witch-hazel Rose toner with a cotton pad. Then, I use NOW 100% sweet almond oil for my moisturizer. If you have dry skin, get a warm rag and lay it on your face for 10 seconds to let it seep into your skin. The last thing I use, once a month, is the AZTEC Secret Indian Healing Face Mask that you can get for $7.99 at Target. I take a scoop and do equal parts face mask and equal parts water.

How should you layer your skincare products?

The order should be cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturize. I believe putting too many products on your face is actually bad. You need to let you skin breathe, and not everything is meant to be used together.

Which areas of the body should you pay more attention to?

 I say everywhere. Every individual is different, but people need to understand where their acne is placed and how their lifestyle affects it. People who have acne around their mouth are probably eating greasy foods. Know your acne and pay attention to cause and effect. Your chest and back are really important areas too. I feel like those are places you can get acne, so you should treat them just like you do your face. I do the same skin care routine on my face, neck, chest and back.

What products do you recommend CMU students have in their skin care routine?

 Every product I mentioned, students can get from Target or Walmart. I love Dr. Bronner’s. It is an all-natural castile soap. You can use it to wash your face, hair, skin, or even do your laundry with it. Make sure you dilute it, because it is super potent. When I first went to the dermatologist and had hormonal acne, I was using Cerave as a moisturizer. If you want to start from the basics, you need to not do anything scented. Look for natural oils, toners, and moisturizers.

How should you lookout for toxic ingredients in skincare?

 If you can’t understand them, look it up. And if you still can’t understand it, don’t put it on your face. Honestly, just do your research. Some people can use benzyl peroxide, while others can’t. Finding what works for you is key. It’s all about trial and error.

Should you be using moisturizer with sunscreen in it? Does it matter?

 One-hundred percent yes. I do recommend wearing sunscreen, skin cancer is no joke.

How often should you exfoliate?

 Once a week. The thing about exfoliating is that it is taking a small layer off your skin, making it brand new. It exposes your skin. That’s why you don’t want to do it as often because it is exposing your skin. You just want to make sure you get the dead skin off and have glowing and healthy skin. I recommend ACURE brightening facial scrub that you can get from Target.

Do you need different products/routines for morning and evening?

No. Your skin is going to do the same thing it does in the morning, that it will do at night. Like I said in the beginning, to have a whole bunch of products on your skin at one time is not healthy. That’s why when I use my Andalou Rose Cleanser, I use my rose toner so that it works well together on my skin. For me, my skin is dry in the winter time, so when I wash my face in the morning, I usually just rinse my face off with warm water, and then do my routine at night before bed. It depends on the seasons. In the summer, I wash my face twice a day, no question.

Does diet really affect acne? If so, what budget friendly grocery tips do you have for fellow CMU students?

Heck yes. What you put inside, is what is going to project on the outside. Everything projects in your skin. Water is so important. If someone is super dehydrated, what is the first thing you look at? You look at their face, you look at their under eyes and their lips will turn purple. Your skin projects how healthy you are in a sense. You should try to keep sugar and dairy to a minimum. When it comes to diet, I think the basics are important, just hydrate and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Lower your sugar intake and increase your vegetable and water intake. The good thing is this is budget friendly. Just don’t get into organic products, that’s when it starts to get expensive.

Can your skin get too acclimated to certain products, making them less effective?

No. Personally, from my experiences it does the opposite. I don’t think products can stop working, I think products can only prevent, not cure. Products are there to help, not to get rid of and stop. There is no way to prevent acne, your skin has its own cycle.

What is the best age to start using anti-aging products?

 Honestly, about the age we are now. Under eye baggage is definitely hereditary. If you do start to use under eye cream, you can just start doing it now, why not? It isn’t going to hurt anything if you start now. I think it will prepare your skin and prep it. Look at us, we already have under eye baggage right now, we are stressed out. Do what makes you happy.

What’s the best way to treat dark spots?

 I say sweet almond oil because its brightening. Turmeric, the spice, is another great product to treat dark spots. Turmeric, some honey and a little water mixed together helps get rid of dark spots. I used to have dark under arms and elbows, but then I started using Dr. Bronner’s, Turmeric and honey which are all great for brightening.

How do you recommend lightening acne scars?

It’s all just scars at the end of the day. Your skin is feigning for moisture, and it’s all just dead. I would recommend using the products I mentioned above that help brighten the skin.

How can you get rid of dry and oily skin?

 Oily skin is so hard. Honestly, you can’t. You can always control your oils by moisturizing with a small amount of product. If you have oily skin, wash your face twice a day so you have a clean canvas to prevent build up and dirt. Making sure your face is always clean is key here.

What are the best vitamins for glowing skin?

 Women daily vitamins are really good, but vitamin E oil as well. The ones I know do well are vitamin E tablets and vitamin D. It will make your skin look more vibrant and alive.

How long does it take for skin care routines to work?

 Give it a week. I don’t understand the term ‘your skin will get worse before it gets better’. That is not a thing. That is your skin telling you to stop using those products if it is getting worse. Your skin isn’t telling you ‘oh, maybe later’, it doesn’t make sense. The only reason that would make sense is if you are using Accutane. During that process, your skin is purging and getting rid of the toxins.

What advice can you offer CMU students relating to skin care?

 Everybody is different, just because it works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you and that’s okay. If you’re really getting into skin care, you just have to take the time. Make sure you get a regiment that works for you and stop comparing it to other people.