WHAT I PUT ON MY FACE
All skin is good skin, which is why good skincare is more of a journey than a destination. We all love a one-off tip—but, at Byrdie, we’re more interested in how our skin evolves over time. The product we've used for a decade, the ingredient cocktail that made us glow, the step we never skip, and all the advice in between. This is the stuff that makes a real difference. With What I Put on My Face, we’re bringing you the rituals, recommendations, and failed experiments (we’ve all had them) straight from celebrities, founders, and influencers who’ve gone through it themselves.
When Leomie Anderson walks down the runway, you immediately notice the power in her strut and her blindingly radiant skin. While Anderson has become known for her glowy complexion, the British-Jamaican model didn't always feel seen by the skincare industry due to the minuscule offering of skincare products for darker skin tones.
As her notoriety has grown over the past decade, Anderson has used her far-reaching platform to advocate for increased diversity in fashion and beauty. That's what led her to sign on as an ambassador for skincare brand Ustawi earlier this year. Founded by model and former Miss Congo Natacha Paugam, Ustawi develops products for melanin-rich skin using ancestral African ingredients. "It's important to support other Black women in business, especially when they're as dedicated as Natacha Paugam is to Ustawi," Anderson says. "I love that she is bringing her [skincare] recipes and secrets from Africa to a mass market."
Ahead, Anderson dishes on her skincare journey, the game-changing skincare advice she received from beauty entrepreneur Patrick Starrr, and the product that works wonders for hyperpigmentation.
About Her Skin
During my teenage years, I thought that my skin was good. Once I began traveling more for work as I got older, I came across more complications, and that's when I realized that I had to take my routine more seriously. I couldn't just use one cream anymore. I realized some ingredients could help maintain my skin, keep it healthy, and prevent harm from hyperpigmentation, which often affects melanin-rich skin. That's one of the reasons why I love Ustawi's products because they focus on keeping the skin healthy and target my main concern of hyperpigmentation.
The Moment Skincare *Clicked* For Her
I was always interested in skincare, but I didn't understand it at the time. I didn't even know about products catered specifically to darker skin tones because there really weren't any. I feel like brands recently started to pay attention to the Black consumer and Black skin. Knowing there were more products out there for my skin tone did make me feel more interested in skincare.
Before, it felt like Black people were an afterthought in beauty. That was just something that I've become used to throughout my career. But once I started seeing more products catered to Black skin and watching YouTubers like Jackie Aina talk about skincare, I realized I should start paying a bit more attention to skincare.
How Her Morning And Evening Routines Vary
During the day, I love to use an SPF. I also love using the Ustawi Vitamin C Anti-Oxidant Serum ($45) because it makes my skin glowy and hydrated. I'll also use the Myrtle Leaf Micellar Water Gel ($25) in the mornings because it's very calming for the skin. I also love the Green Tea Matte Finish Moisturizer ($35). I like to use that as a primer for my makeup. I prefer to look a little bit more matte, so I love that I can use these products, and it benefits me whether I have makeup on or not. They also have a Niacinamide Dark Spot Corrector ($55). I put it on areas where I have scarring or hyperpigmentation.
In the evening, I focus on cleansing my skin. So, I'll use the cleanser. One of the key products I've been using during the day and evening is the Bamboo Water Protective Mist ($40). I use it during the day and in the evening. London is very polluted, and I find that if I go out to Central London or somewhere, my skin is a bit more clogged than usual. The mist helps prevent those pollutants from penetrating the skin, which is great.
The Best Skincare Tip She's Ever Got
Do not use hyaluronic acid every day. I was using it every day and wondering why I was breaking out on my forehead. Patrick Starr told me using it too much can make your skin produce too much oil. I was clogging my pores by using it. That was the best advice because I had those spots on my forehead for months and didn't know what was causing it. I stopped using every other product except for hyaluronic acid because I was certain it couldn't be the cause since everyone says you need it. As soon as I stopped using it and got a facial to cleanse my skin, the spots disappeared.
The One Product That Changed Everything
I would have to say the Vitamin C Anti-Oxidant Serum. It is one of my favorite products. It's so hydrating and agrees with my skin.
Her Skincare Pet Peeve
I hate seeing people shave their faces. Like, you got this cheap tool from the hair shop, and now you're using it on your face. Those blades are so jagged and will do some kind of damage to your skin. If you're going to shave your face, at least buy a professional dermatologist tool.
The Product She Uses The Most
I love the Barbara Sturm SPF Drops ($145)—that's been my go-to SPF for years. I also use the Soap and Glory Vitamin C Facial Wash ($11).
Her Newest Skincare Obsession
I love Tatcha's The Deep Cleanse ($38). Patrick Starr told me about that one too. It helps unclog my forehead, and it's gentle for everyday use.