Ashley Nicole Black is used to doing interviews that focus on HBO's hilarious A Black Lady Sketch Show, which she writes for and stars in (season two is airing now), or her stint as a former writer and senior correspondent for Full Frontal With Samantha Bee. Her beauty and skin-care routine? Not so much, which truthfully is a damn shame.
When the Emmy winner calls me from her home in Los Angeles, she is clearly prepared and ready to talk shop. “I sat at my vanity during this conversation, so I had everything right in front of me,” she says. “I'm very bougie, and I have to sit down to do my skin-care routine. Plus, it's very relaxing. My dog knows when I'm going to sit there for a while, so she comes over and sniffs all the products and we have a nice little routine.”
That routine took some refining along the way. Black says she's someone who will try anything based on what anyone with authority—be it a dermatologist, makeup artist, or skin-care professional—tells her. “I've ended up with a huge collection of skin-care products, and I only use about 10%,” she says. “But I’ll always try [something], and I’ll be buying it on my phone while someone is telling me about it.”
While it no doubt makes for a pretty display, Black says she's finally learned that she doesn't need to put every product on her skin every day. “Someone said to me, ‘Do what your skin needs that day,’ which seems so obvious, but it took someone telling me for me to actually do it,” she says. “So now I look and see what's going on and then tailor it to what my skin needs.”
Currently that means keeping her acne under control, including the dark spots that seem to set up shop once a breakout clears. She's a big advocate for seeing a dermatologist instead of self-diagnosing, which is all too common in today's social media culture. “I'm so happy to tell people this, because when I went to a dermatologist and she assessed me, it turns out I was on the wrong birth control pill,” she shares. “She helped get me on the right birth control for my skin, which is typically very oily.”
Using what's good for your skin instead of what's popular or most expensive is another lesson Black learned along the way. “I’ve bought $100 products where in the end I’m like, I might as well have just rubbed water on my face. Some work better, some don’t. You just have to find what works for you.”
Speaking of, we had Black do just that, from revealing her go-to undereye cream to the lip balm she keeps everywhere. Read on for Glamour's latest edition of Drop the Routine.
I’ve been using two from Prana SpaCeuticals—their cleansing oil and a foaming face wash. I was never into cleansing oils because I have very oily skin, but the trick is to find the right oil that works for your skin, and this cleansing oil is really great. And then I use the foaming wash to make sure I get all the oil off.
$33.00, Prana SpaCeuticals
$51.00, Prana SpaCeuticals
I really love Beauty Water by Sun & Park. I can honestly say I don’t know what it is doing, but my face feels like a baby’s after I put it on there. [Laughs.] It’s worth it.
I’ve been using COSRX's BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, which is to help control oil, while adding moisture. It’s really great to help avoid blackheads and whiteheads, or to eliminate those.
I use the Éminence Organic Skincare Stone Crop Hydrating Gel, and when I need a bit more moisture, I use the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel.
My Eye Cream
Most eye creams irritate the skin under my eyes, but a makeup artist suggested Embryolisse, which is a lotion for people with really sensitive skin, so I put their Lait-Créme Concentré under my eyes. It's the only thing that really works.
My Face Masks
When I need to exfoliate my skin, I use Peach & Lily's Super Reboot Resurfacing Mask. And then when I need to calm my skin, Mar Cösmetics Hydrating Acne Clay Mask is really great. I try to use them once a week.
$15.00, Mar Cosmetics
My Retinol Prescription
I use prescription Retin-A. People don’t talk about what they use enough. They just say moisturizer, but I’m like, “You’re putting some prescription-strength stuff on your face!” [Laughs.]
My Face Mists
I use Eminence Organic Stone Crop Hydrating Mist. I don’t usually wear makeup if I’m not on camera, so I just mist throughout the day. It provides a great pick-me-up. We would mist all day in the writers room on Bless This Mess. I also use the little Evian bottle.
I really like the Glossier Invisible Shield Sunscreen because it doesn’t get white, especially with darker skin. This one doesn’t have that white cast to it.
My Lip Balm
I love Glossier’s universal skin salve. I have one at my desk, in the car—literally everywhere you can reach out your hand, there’s a lip balm. It lasts pretty nicely, and it’s very rich without being greasy.
My At-Home Facial
Usually I do a more intense facial on Sunday, and switch off between Good Genes by Sunday Riley or Peach & Lily Glass Skin, and they’re both great. I went on a real Peach & Lily kick during the pandemic and I think I have one of everything. [Laughs.]
It’s Honey Baby Naturals Face & Body Butter. I would not put it on my face because it’s very thick, but it is the best for an all-day lotion. And you never need to reapply it.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram @jessicaradloff14.
Originally Appeared on Glamour