Health & Well-Being
All things wellness affecting BIPOC womxn.
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." - Audre Lorde
Okay guys! Back with a somewhat "different" post today, as we talk about spots. Dark spots, to be exact. I'm talking about those pesky little suckers that, if you have any shade of color in your skin other than white, may appear after too much sun exposure and/or inflammation (ie. acne). I don't know about you, but I've been cussing at my dark spots for years...since middle school, actually. As if acne wasn't problem enough, the dark spots on my face were unlike anything I'd ever experienced. In fact, I never experienced. Because up until puberty, my baby and childhood skin was shining, shining, shining, shining, yeahhhh *Alexa, play DJ Khaled*. But, like all good things, it came to an end. And it was devastating. By the time I got to high school, I tried just about everything on the store shelf and even products prescribed by a Dermatologist. Nothing worked, and as the time went by and my spots got worse...I began wearing make-up every single day until college, embarrassed and ashamed. Finally, after all these years, my spots have cleared drastically and I'm here to share my secret..my holy grail...my perfect go-to's...my routine...to keep my skin clear AND glowing (and even make-up free). I'm talking about the products in my skin capsule and the order of my routine. What's in yours? Wanna see what's in mine? Go ahead...keep reading. But, just know, this is not a prescription for you to try the same thing and it works. Just as all our glorious qualities and beauty, each of our skin is unique. I'd even go to say...finding what works for your skin is much like dating-trial and error. Please consult a medical professional or skin consultant for all serious skincare needs.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
It's annoying, that's what it is. Apart from that, hyperpigmentation is a skin condition where patches of skin become darker than the normal surrounding skin—i.e., “dark spots.” According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people who have medium to dark colored skin get these dark spots because something triggers the skin to make extra melanin (the pigment that gives our skin its beautiful black color). Many everyday things can trigger extra melanin in people of color, such as: acne, wounds, medications, skin products, and even hormonal changes. While it is advised to use extra caution when testing/using different products for hyperpigmentation, there are some key ingredients to look before you make that next purchase.
1. Hydroquinone: This is deemed the most effective medical-grade skin lightening agent and is the only FDA-approved product for fading dark spots on the market. In concentrations of up to 2%, hydroquinone is said to be safe for all skin types. Higher levels may still be effective but do pose a greater risk of adverse effects in dark skin.
3. Glycolic Acid
4. Salicylic Acid: helps to increase the effects of dark spot fighting compounds while also helping prevent future breakouts
5. Vitamin C (HOLY GRAIL FOR ME!): helps lighten hyperpigmentation by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase, combating free radical damage and boosting collagen production
6. Vitamin E (ANOTHER GOOD OPTION!): prevents free radical skin damage and protects the natural skin barrier
Now, let's get into it. Now that you know what you should be looking for, what products should you ACTUALLY get? No one likes buying products just for them NOT to work and resulting in you wasting money. No worries. I got your back, and I got you covered...with my Hyperpigmentation Skincare Capsule and Skincare Routine.
What's in my Capsule?
1. Michael Todd Beauty Soniclear Face Brush
2. Shea Moisture African Black Soap
3. Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub (Exfoliation is SUPER SUPER important for hyperpigmented skin!)
4. Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon
5. Bomb'd Aesthetics Natural Glow Serum Daily Moisturizer
6. Turmeric Complexion Mask
7. Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Hand + Body Lotion
8. Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum
9. 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil
10. Thayers Facial Toner, Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera, Rose Petal
11. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 100+
12. QUEEN HELENE Masque Mint Julep
What's my Skincare Routine?
Step 1: Wash face with Michael Todd Brush (#1) and Black Soap (#2) for 1-2 minutes, using circular motions around the face, and careful not to get soap in eyes (BECAUSE BOY IF YOU DO......YOU'LL WISH YOU DIDN'T!)
Step 2: Rinse brush head completely. Aim to change your brush head every three months (I suck at this, so I'm telling you...know better than me AND do better than me). NEVER share your face brush (because.....ewwwww).
Step 3: Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Use your discretion regarding how often you decide to do this to your beautiful face. Many websites and people would encourage 1-2 times a week. I'd agree with this when I'm using the Neogen Lemon Pads (#4)...because they are $27 (and ain't nobody got time to be paying this much to re-up every month). BUT, now that I'm using the Cetaphil Daily Scrub (#3), I exfoliate everyday and my skin? LOVES IT.
Step 4: Place one drop of glow serum (#5) on my forehead, cheeks, and chin.
Step 5: Time to moisturize with Queen Helene (#7).
Step 6: Sunscreen (#11). Warning/tip: This sunscreen does tend to leave a white/grey look if you use too much of dark skin. Be mindful a little goes a long way.
SN: Moisturizer is "supposed" to come before sunscreen....BUT because I am lazy...I mix mine :)
Repeat Steps 1 and 2
Step 3: Toning with Witch Hazel (#10)
Step 4: Apply Hyper Skin Brightening Serum (#8)
Step 5: Apply Tea Tree Oil (#9) to any existing pimples. Warning: This stuff is strong y'all. Once again...a little goes a long way. If you use this on pimples at night, I promise you it's gone in the morning.
Step 6: Time to moisturize with Queen Helene (#7) again!
Use a face mask (#6 or #12) 1-2 times a week.
Runner-Ups for my Capsule
So, as much as I love the above products and swear by them...they are not the ONLY products I've tried and would recommend. Check out these "runner-ups" for good results, too! :)
1. Cleanser: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser | Makeup Remover and Daily Face Wash for Oily Skin
2. Mask: Studio35 Detoxifying Black Charcoal Mask
3. Cleanser: Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser
4. Exfoliator: Neogen Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser
5. Serum: Neogen Real Ferment Micro Serum
6. Toner: Son & Park Beauty Water
7. Face Brush: Clarisonic Face Brushes (Clarisonic is shutting down as of 9/30/20. You can get your brush 50% BEFORE then.