Four years ago I met Toccara (via internet) in a natural hair Facebook group I created. Even though the affinity group was centered around hair, I had been mesmerized by her skin since day one. Her complexion is clear and her tone with smooth, which is impressive for a professional athlete who sweats on and off the court. If she can maintain clear skin but I can’t prevent breakouts and barely get my daily 11,000 steps in, I need to know what Toccara is doing so I can get my life together.
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Toccara Renee Ross, I’m swiftly approaching my wonderful 30s and I am beyond excited to relish in all that my 30s have to offer. I’m a new resident to Los Angeles, but I am currently living in Switzerland, competing in my eighth professional basketball season. I am a pro-ambassador for non-profit Athlete Ally, an organization that provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming, and tools and resources to foster inclusive sports communities. I am passionate about educating athletic communities on visibility and inclusion. I am an advocate for love in all capacities and I am extremely committed to social change and intersecting all aspects of human rights, including those rights of the LGBT athlete.
How has your skin changed over the years?
I’ve been pretty blessed to have fairly good skin, in terms of acne and such. I rarely break out and when I do it’s normally because of a change in my eating habits. Since I am in my late 20s, I pay more attention to my skin, as it becomes more sensitive, blemishes are taking longer to fade, and the effects of my diet. To be honest I’m not sure what my actual skin type is, it changes depending on what country I’m in and the weather. For the longest time I thought I had oily skin but there are days when it’s super dry. Come through combination skin! In the last year I have incorporated a toner in my routine and the mornings of oily skin have long gone! I’ve been meat free for five years and counting and I contribute my fairly good skin to my fitness routine and healthy habits.
What do you love about your skin & what are your concerns?
I love that my skin retains moisture and I rarely experience dryness unless I am in colder climates. I have several blackheads and would love to find a natural way to control this.
Walk us through your daily and nightly regimens with your favorite products.
My current routine is an all natural system. I’ve learned my skin thrives off minimal products. I am currently using the S.W. Basics system:
- S.W. Basics Cleanser (only rosewater, vegetable glycerin, and tea tree oil)
- S.W. Basics Toner (only apply cider vinegar, witch hazel, water, clary sage, and sandalwood)
- DIY moisturizer: jojoba oil & argan oil
While I love these products, they are very pricey. I am also starting to mix my own blends of the same products. This was a great way to take a step back and give my skin a break. I also have incorporated St. Ives’ Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrubs in my Wednesday and weekend ritual.
Are there tips you can share that have changed your skin care practices?
Less is more. Stripping down my routine and starting over allowed my system to reset. I have tried my best not to use any chemicals on my face and skin. I have seen a huge difference. Also, your eating habits are heavily correlated to you how your body and skin reacts. I suggest incorporating more water, dark leafy greens, and less sugar into your diet and watch your skin glow!
How do you avoid a skin crisis?
If I have a skin crisis, it’s because of 1 of 4 things: stress, poor eating habits, PMS, or lack of sleep. 3 of those you have control over. As 30 approaches I have been very intentional in regards to keeping my stress levels down, mindfully eating, and getting at least eight hours of sleep a night!
Who is your melancrush?
How do you shop for skin care products and where?
I usually shop for vegan and organic skin care; this was not always the case. Some may think this is expensive but there are some great small businesses and brands that cater to natural skin care. I follow some amazing holistic brands on IG and always snag great tips!
What would you like to see in the beauty aisle?
Affordable holistic and natural brands for skin care and makeup with a black or brown face promoting them.
Who do you attribute your beauty to?
I was raised by five of the most amazing women on earth. It was through these women that I saw divinity in five different shades; from my aunt’s skin — who like mine could light up a room upon entrance — my cousin’s deep chocolate beautiful skin, to my sisters with supple, caramel complexion. I knew what beauty was at a very young age because I saw it on a daily basis. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I could articulate that beauty and attribute it to my own. As I approach 30, I am so affirmed in my beauty because of those five amazing women.
What would you like to see on Melanglow?
I am excited for Melanglow to showcase amazing examples of women of color who honor their mind, body, and spirit with experiences that cultivate self-love & self-care.