Skin care glow up and how to get here.

HI babe. Can we pretend like I have totally been blogging on the regular like I wanted to? Yes okay.

So we’re going to talk about what happens long term when you start caring for your skin.

Today it is 2/20/2021 I am a bit less than a month from turning 44 and my skin is the best it has ever been in my life.

I dug around in my various archives and this is a photo from 2008. No make up, at that time I was just kind of dabbling in skin care. I didn’t understand my skin and still belived the hype that I had to mattify my skin at all times. I didn’t use moisturizer, SPF, no actives. I used harsh acne cleansers, toners that were basically straight up colored alcohol. I was not doing myself any favors. I also had done my first dry roller set because I was also starting to learn to care for my hair.

[image description: photo of the author. A Black femme with a shiny face, with evidence of hyperpigmentation, texture and scarring]

Now that photo was a good skin day. My skin to that point was so oily most of the time, sometimes folks would ask if I was sweating. I’d gone to a dermatologist who said, WOW after I did a blot test. Nothing good was happening. So what was wrong?

My skin was dehydrated, malnourished, clogged pores, I had a lot of problems with whiteheads, closed comedones, small pustules, on my chin and neck I got a lot of those big under skin types of pimples and also a lot of problems with being able to remove my facial hair without scarring. I also if you can see on my cheeks on either side of the shiny bits, scarring from burning my face with Proactiv.

Below, find me today. No filters. No make up. Natural light on this day 2/20/2021.

[image description: the author a Black femme wearing a hooded sweater and looking at the camera.]

NOW what a difference so many years make. What I really wanted to show you was the before version where you could see the scar I had on my forehead but when it was the worst I never took bareface photos. If you look at my forehead, there are a few dark marks. The highest one was the worst scar I had on my body. Years ago I had a very bad bout of dermatitis that left a large purple black scar on my forehead that also had texture to it. Also, around 2018 I think I had a rash on my left cheek and for months had a big round black spot. If you know me and never saw it, I was up until recently a dedicated full coverage person.

Now, what are my skin issues? I am still prone to closed comedones, I break out during my period but overall my skin is soft and healthy. How tho?

Around 2016 I started hearing about the mythic 10 Step Korean skin care. I did a bunch of research and really enjoyed that. That was the start of how I changed how I view skincare, what I believe about skin care and ultimately helped me change how I felt about my results. Look at my face, I never thought my skin would ever be glowy, my cheeks are velvety. My hyperpigmentation is so light now. Even if you look at my chin, I used to get very very dark marks there from hair removal and ingrowns. No more.

Here’s what my routine looks like yes the * links are affiliates don’t hate the player hate the capitalism:

AM

PM

I do sheet masks fairly often mainly because I love them. Now this routine is all about hydrating and chemical exfoliation. When I stopped focusing on aggressively treating my skin problems and instead turned to deeper hydration, consistent hydration and SPF my whole face changed.

What led me here was a few years ago I gave up on my skin. I was so dead set on perfection as in Instafilter level, I got upset and gave up. Then I remembered, skin isn’t plastic. My body and yours are ever changing things. Skin is an organ and it goes through stuff. So instead I decided I’d pare down my routine and change my focus.

These days my skin is only as shiny as photo#1 at night when I’ve glazed myself like a donut. I feel really great.

Now before I go, how about a few tips for folks.

All you really need to start is some tips. Skin typing is unhelpful. Regardless of how oily your skin is or shiny, moisturize. So here is where you can start. Cleanser, not foaming or bar soap. You do not need your face to feel squeaky clean after cleansing. Clean does not equal stripped. If your face feels tight, or stingy ditch it.

Second thing, you should oil cleanse. Oil cleansing changed my face, improved my texture and is something I stan for even if you don’t wear make up. You can get a great basic one from like the Simple brand for low cost. Use this at night before you use your other cleanser.

Moisturizer. If your skin tends towards dehydration, make sure you moisturize. If it is in the PM and it feels lowkey greasy, awesome that is what you want.

Oils. Find one you like to seal in the nighttime goodness.

Use sunscreen. HI HELLO. This is a hill I will die on. It is more important if you’re treating yourself for scarring, melasma, hyperpigmentation, if you use chemical exfoliation, if you pick, remove hair etc etc exposure will make your problems worse. Use whatever you like but use it.

And you need patience. Don’t buy ALL new stuff to use at once unless you are using nothing. Even then, take care to add one thing at a time. Also patch test. You will save yourself so much money if you patch test for 3 days in a spot, I use a spot by my ear because if my skin is going to get irritated, that is where it starts. Listen to your skin. Most things should not burn or turn your face super red, itch. You might get new pimples but if you aren’t having irritation stick with it for a while.

If you are serious about results, use a product consistently for at least 60-90 days. If a product is claiming long term results quickly, don’t buy it.

A few other tips. For most folks a lot of drugstore stuff will be fine. For me, I use some slightly higher end stuff because my skin is very very sensitive to a lot of common but not harmful ingredients. Second thing, don’t believe or follow celebrity skin shit. What they never mention are things like access to expensive treatments, estheticians, mad cash, etc. Yeah X celeb might LOVE THIS DRUG STORE PRODUCT but, they also probably get intensive treatments regularly. Matter of fact, this is a favorite tumblr of mine. Celebs without so much photoshop and close up. Behold. They have shitty skin too.

And that babes is how I am running into middle age.

OKAY I believe I have returned and there will be some new goodies so come back and thanks for reading.

Love,

Auntie Shannon

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