We all want it. Beauty makes us feel good, youthful, and like we did something right. To what standard, well, that’s on you. But I know mine, and mine is to look the way I was intended while not revealing my hands of time at a first glance. As long as I look years younger, then I’m good. That means, I’ll take my beautiful, puffy hair that waves up at the touch of water, or the frizziness that comes along when I get bedhead or have too much contact with humidity. I’m good, I’m good. Love the skin your in! However, that skin needs upkeep and it must be consistent and as early as possible.
Sigh. The best thing you can give your skin aside from water and sleep is sunscreen. I don’t wanna hear about how black people don’t crack and how all the melanin la la la la la. That’s like saying someone with high metabolism doesn’t need to watch what they eat. Everything comes back to bite us if we abuse our genes. Wearing no sunscreen day in and out can in fact, increase your chances of skin cancer or skin discoloration. I’ve seen it many times in people who are Black, Latino, and Asian. Blacks are known to tell each other, “Nuh-uh, we don’t crack. White people get skin cancer.” Yes, a lot of black people age rather nicely, but we are not immune to cracking or skin cancer. The things we tell each other in the black community . . .
Just to let you know a little bit about my skin. I don't have any topical skin issues, and my skin is dry in the fall and winter but only if I don't use any moisturizer, and that ain't happening. It only gets somewhat oily in the summer, on my forehead, upon waking up. That's only if my moisturizer is too thick, but still, this is likely to happen in the summer regardless. Sometimes I get pimples, here and there, and as a 37-year-old woman, I noticed that in 2017, I tend to get a pimple or two before that time of the month starts. I've tried using a piece of raw potato and squeezing the juice from it on the pimple before it comes to a head, or basically, as soon as I see that part of my skin trying to get a stiffy. No! No horny skin allowed! One time it worked, I mean, like day one of the suspicious pimple and after applying the raw potato piece for like ten minutes. Okay, maybe eight. Ain't nobody got time to keep a hand stabbed against their forehead. Again, it worked. But, when the pimple has already come to a head, it can be a little resistant to the potato. Booooo!
And also, what concerns me is the fact that a lot of my relatives on my mom's side of the family tree tend to have raccoon eyes. Ugh. Dark eyelids or dark rings around the eyes, or the butterfly dark patch. My mom didn't wear sunscreen, and now she's paying the price. Does she look like a raccoon? No. But she doesn't have the even skin tone that she should have or used to have. Fixing this problem involved an expensive trip to a black-owned skin treatment center called Cultura in DC. It was expensive. While the owner was knowledgable as he explained why black people's skin requires more effort to reverse dark scars and hyperpigmentation, he also stated the fact that most skin care lines aren't even geared to fix our skin. Shocker! No, not really. The bad news was that my mom would have to come back for more treatments and buy the products from the center to keep the treatment effective. The esthetician used a laser beam for the darkness, and she looked better instantly, but it was a short-term solution, because she only went back once for the rest of the treatments. After a while, you begin to think that there's a cheaper solution. So, she invested in product after product. Murad, worked a little bit for her, but after a while, she felt like it wasn't effective enough. But the brightening serum is magical for pimples!
Bottom line, you can see why I started to panic. I didn't want this problem. I mean, people tell my 67-year-old mom how beautiful she is and how young she looks, but that struggle is real. Bad enough, when I was in high school, one kid turned around in math class, pointed to the sides of his eyes and asked, "What's that on your face?" Embarrassing. Somebody noticed the slight darkness that had seemed to just move in on my face overnight. Maybe I snarled at him, I don't remember, but I'll never forget that day. Luckily, it went away fairly quickly with no real effort on my end, and I never saw it again, not even in college. Or, did I just stop looking? Nah, I don't think so. I think it disappeared. But in my late twenties or early thirties, definitely mid's, yeah, I noticed how beauty can take a wrong turn for our carelessness in our youth. I examined pictures in my twenties and how jealous I became of myself. I just didn't have to fight this hard! Selfie? No problem! Just say "cheese" and on cue, I smiled and with little concern, I knew that picture would turn out flawless. Tell me today to say "cheese," and now I behave like my mom and aunts. I cringe and run to the closest mirror to make sure I'm picture-ready. When you're younger, you just don't think the worries of the older women in your family become your own. I mean, I have good days and bad days. If my hair is frizzy or uncombed, that's automatically a bad picture. But I can fix that. What I cannot deal with, is skin discoloration, and boy did I have it bad in the summer of 2014. I used skin brightener that made the skin around my nose and under my eyes, too bright, and the darkness on the sides of my eyes returned, and so did something new--darkness around my mouth. Errrrrr! I had to be patient and wait for my skin to even out. That meant, no more brightening serum on the whole skin, and being diligent with sunscreen. So, I applied my bare minerals, which is the best foundation ever, to hide the skin issues. I can sleep in that makeup and still not breakout. However, I only use foundation on occasions.
Okay, back in 2007, I used to use the product that is everyone's favorite--okay, to those who have heard of it--the Indian Healing Clay. Once I ran out of it, I failed to buy some more. Don't know why. Got it again now, and this stuff is something we should not live without. There's a few things to keep in your kitchen: lemon, garlic, turmeric and ummm, turmeric. It smells good when cooking and tastes like heaven. We'll get to this gift from God tomorrow. Anyway, recently, I noticed that the darkness around my eyes were too noticeable for my liking. And I wanna say that with diligence, you can fade this issue in a week and a half. I don't play when it comes to even skin tone and no pimples.
I love water, but even water doesn't fight this skin-tone battle. What did I do? I rubbed raw potato and lemon in the area for a few days, then dropped the potato from the routine. Remember, ever other day I apply my Indian Clay mask. I also have a spray toner, or two, one with rose petal and the other rose water. I apply that after washing before moisturizing. I also apply lemon on the dark spots and rub it in without washing it off. I did that for about a week straight. And then I did the amazing--brace yourself--turmeric, honey, and lemon mask! Wow, if you thought Donald Trump was orange! Let me tell you, I had to rinse that turmeric off several times, and even applied wet cotton balls full of water and some of my toner, over and over and over until the orange was gone. Would I do it again? Absolutely. I left it on for ten minutes, maybe fifteen, but I wondered if I would be able to step out into public the next day. Yes! In fact, I could that same night. But only do this if you have mad patience and time to wipe your skin countless times. You will be orange!!!
Last but not least, I consume raw garlic every other night. One clove with a glass of water. No, you won't have garlic breath if you just swallow the cut bits like a pill. Garlic is good for skin blemishes and so is turmeric. Oh, and please remember that sunscreen needs to be worn all year around. The sun reflects off snow, it also shines through our windows (and if you're at home but in the direct path of the rays on the other side of the window, yes, you'll need it), and doesn't die because the seasons change. Sunscreen will really help you look good in your thirties and beyond. So if you're in your twenties and reading this, take heed and also apply it on your children. Everyone should want to look young as long as possible, even if they're okay with aging.
Here is my clay mask after applying it today.
Left it on for about ten, fifteen minutes and sat to watch Deal or No Deal. Man, she had 8 one million dollar cases to open!!!
No makeup on my face and all washed off. What do you think? #nofilter I'll try to find a before pic and post it later!