Beautifully Bare: How Alicia Keys Gets Her Flawless Makeup-Free Skin

Since Alicia Keys publicly ditched makeup at the VMAs, much has been said about the singer’s complexion. Proudly wearing a bare face, the singer’s radiant skin is truly every girl’s dream. While we secretly wish we had the confidence to wear our faces like hers, there’s one thing to note – that glowing skin doesn't come easy. It can be hard to wrap one's head around the fact that Alicia Keys once dealt with persistent acne. The singer admits it took a skilled dermatologist and clean eating to get her where she is today. Too often, we forget that celebrities are just like us normal folks - and acne is well, an equal opportunity. 

If achieving clear, glowing, incredible skin (free of acne and blemishes) were as easy as slathering on a single cream, we’d be the first in line to scoop it up. But great complexions aren't made by magic potions. They’re achieved by eating right, taking care of your body (the skin is your largest organ, after all), and  using the right products. So can a few easy tweaks really deliver fewer breakouts and a killer glow? The simple answer is yes. With a change to your daily routine and the help of complexion-transforming products and treatments, there are proven ways to get your best skin ever.

#Step 1:Banish Blemishes
For starters, we have to get to the root of the problem. We’re pretty sure that everyone is aware of how non-discriminatory acne can be, whether it chooses to populate your skin in spades or visit once every moon cycle. Blemish-prone, acneic skin is particularly delicate - which is why it's ironic that the majority of products aimed at temperamental skins are packed with harsh, aggressive exfoliants and a cocktail of chemicals which can do more damage than good. 

Back away from the benzoyl peroxide (aka your trusty Oxy10). It's essentially bleach - and although it can help clear up excessively oily, teenage skins, most of the time it just perpetuates the blemish cycle - eliminating oil and compromising skin's lipid barrier, which makes your oil-secreting glands work overtime to re-establish harmony. Your skin becomes parched, red and sensitised - and worst of all, the spots stay put!

For comedones, consider Sloane Inc. Skin Rescue (USD $70), a potent formulation which contains Azelaic acid, a well-recognised skin lightening agent in addition to Benzoic acid. This overnight blemish attacker with oil-absorbing, anti-inflammatory and pigment-preventing properties assumes multiple roles; fighting acne, lightening marks and reducing skin redness such as that associated with rosacea all in one go! We like how this formula doesn’t dry out our skin.

For more severe cases, continuing with the good skincare habits and basic clog-clobbering products is insufficient to keep the pimple storm away and pores pristine. Hormonal changes (think: with your monthly menstrual cycle, emotional or physical stresses, medical conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, as well as major physiological upheavals like puberty and pregnancy) tend to stimulate your sebaceous glands into overdrive and trigger a breakout. A lot of us experience some flare-ups hormonally, generally right before our periods. Instead of popping up in the oily T-zone area as it did in high school, adult hormonal acne rears its ugly head predominantly on the lower face, around the chin and jawline. 

The gospel of retinol has been preached ad nauseam by every skin expert with a pulse. With its dark-spot-destroying, wrinkle-eradicating, pimple-vanishing powers, it's the gold standard of a gorgeous complexion. Try the award-winning Sloane Inc Age Defy (USD $169) to banish adult acne forever. Sloane Inc Age Defy contains retinoic acid (the holy grail of vitamin A) in a lightweight, skin-loving formula to aid healing of pigmented scars, even out dulling discoloration from previous sun follies, bust pimples and clogs, and activate cellular renewal and collagen replenishment for an ageless, clear luminosity.

Pair this with The Sloane Clinic’s Purifying Program to stamp out acne for good. The Smoothbeam laser nixes shine and uproots zits at the source by targeting the hyperactive sebaceous glands. At the same time, the far-reaching laser energy can help tone pores and boost skin healing as the first step to improve acne scars.

Cut out Dairy: Also, be mindful of your diet. Numerous studies have indicated that dairy consumption increases acne. The hormones in milk often cause inflammation of the skin, as well as premature aging. Alicia Keys reportedly cut out dairy for 6 months to get the radiant skin that she has today. A good substitute for cow’s milk (if you really need to drink some) would be plant based milk such as almond milk or soy milk.

#Step 2: Removing Tell-Tale Acne Scars & Pigmentation
As pretty much anyone who has ever had a breakout knows, pimples are fleeting — but an acne scar, much like a diamond, lasts forever. In this instance, when we say “scar,” we’re talking about those red or brown marks that linger on your face well after that zit has been beaten into submission. Also called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, these spots aren’t permanent like actual scars, but they can hang out on the skin for weeks or even months post-breakout. And they can be frustratingly resistant to most dark-mark faders and redness reducers. Best of all, they aren’t selective about whom they attack — all skin tones, from the palest of the pale to the darkest of the dark, can be affected.

Since post-acne scars may be still sensitive and raw, consider Sloane Inc’s White Plasma (USD $78), a gentle yet powerful dual-action serum that works to correct dark spots and uniform your complexion for immaculate clarity. What we love about the White Plasma is that it treats sensitive, post-laser or acne-prone skin with tender loving care while dealing dullness and discoloration with a potent punch. This removes my dark spots in a flash. A tyrosinase inhibitor actually neutralizes dark spots without the irritation from harsh traditional fading creams, and prevents their reappearance by calming melanin-cell activating inflammation and bolstering skin against new environmental damage. Pure, pure genius.

To turbocharge your spot removing efforts, we'd like to share a little skincare secret with you. Skincare boosters are professional-strength concentrates packed with vitamins and nutritive to address specific skin concerns with dramatic results. All you need to do is add a tiny scoop into your favourite skincare product to instantly reap the benefits of the freshly activated booster concentrate at its peak potency. Sloane Inc Dermaboost Pure Vitamin C (USD $49) targets spots and uneven discolouration, cancels out yellow tones due to photo-ageing, and retexturizes skin by supporting natural collagen regeneration. We usually add this to a water based serum like White Plasma to reap the full benefits as we wok towards a luminous complexion.

Combine a spot-removing specialist with your pigment-regulating products to wipe away blemishes with ultimate efficacy. For deep stubborn splotches, we recommend The Sloane Clinic’s Divine Whitening Program which employs a Pigment Laser to bring about deep dermal renewal that improves resistant spots, along with collagen rejuvenation for the radiant clarity and supple smoothness that every girl dreams of.

Step 3: Correcting Skin Tone & Texture
This is why Alicia Keys said that it took her forever to get flawless skin. Correction of any unwanted spots and overall skin texture requires time and patience, but with the right products and treatments - you can reach your ideal #skingoals in a jiffy. When you’re trying to correct your skin tone, look out for a product that contains either vitamin A, fruit acids (AHAs), azelaic acid or niacinamide. These help to fade those post-inflammatory stains while offering acne control and pore refinement, as well as provide anti-aging benefits on the long term.

We like Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment (USD $158) which is formulated with high potency, purified grade lactic acid that immediately exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells, revealing smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin. This treatment is also enhanced with licorice for instant radiance. 

For regular maintenance, we recommend you get smooth with regular Deep Deep Clean facials monthly which purifies bumpy clogs, keeps breakouts at bay and coaxes open pores into absolute obedience. Certain in-office treatments can also. accelerate and improve the erasing process. Rejuvenate, refine and even out your skin tone with The Sloane Clinic's Sparkling Skin Program. It delivers deep dermal benefits which include instant stimulation of skin’s production of new collagen, improvement in skin texture and elasticity as well as the correction of imperfections and fine lines.

Step 4: Get Ready to Glow

Exfoliation is key to a glowing complexion. Build up of dead skin is a major factor which causes your skin. We like Origin's Ginzing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser (USD $19). This two-in-one scrubby cleanser is fortified with radiance-boosting panax ginseng and caffeine while jojoba and carnauba wax gently exfoliate to help unclog pores. Skin looks smoother and brighter, and feels perfectly refreshed and squeaky clean.

Skin treatments are an awesome way to give your skin that extra push towards perfection. Keep your complexion sparkling clear with The Sloane Clinic's Vitamin Therapy treatment. This perennial favorite harnesses a potent array of skin-boosting vitamins to leave your skin instantly tightened, toned, and spectacularly soft. Pair this with the skin whitening, complexion illuminating Plasma C which harnesses ultrasound to deeply infuse vitamin C and white plasma to lighten uneven skin tone and impart an enviable glow. For a preview of this skin treat, watch the video above!

Now for all you busy bees out there who do not have time for a professional treatment. Don't fret, there’s probably no quicker way to set your skin right than slapping on a ‘mask’-ed hero. A facial sheet mask is an efficient, fuss-free way to deliver a potent dose of active ingredients to your skin. The Sloane Inc. Glow Therapy Mask (USD $18) is overflowing with antioxidant goodness from concentrated Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid to saturate your skin’s natural emollient system, leaving you with luxuriously luminous, plumped up skin in 20 minutes or less. Use this before your moisturizer for instant radiance.

Pssstttt, we also found out that Alicia Keys gets her au natural skin looking tip-top thanks to MV Organic Skincare - the organic all-natural range beloved by celebrities and mere mortals alike. After taking off your facial mask, we recommend MV' Organic Skincare's Oxygen Moisturizer (£58.00) to resuscitate lacklustre skin with this cocktail of energising oil, antioxidants and oxygenating actives. It’s the perfect, all-in-one day cream to moisturise and ward against environmental stresses – boosting skin’s vitality to leave you looking luminous. 

Finally, slap on an illuminating primer after your moisturizer. Guerlain's L'Or Make-up Base (USD $74) is truly worth its weight in gold. The 24K Gold Primer combines pure 24 Karat Gold with the power of antioxidants to enhance skin’s radiance, luminosity and elasticity. And now, you're truly ready to shine.


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.