The Skin Post

AKA: How to Clear Up and Care For Your Brown Skin

Hey guys!

If you follow me on IG (@naturallytiss, enter at your own risk) you’ll know that I post a lot of selfies. I mean… a lot of selfies. And recently, I’ve had a few questions, most of which seem to be about my skin.My skin is pretty great at the minute. It’s not perfect, but I’m beyond happy with it. In my teens, I suffered from acne for about five years. It was painful and left me with hyper-pigmentation marks that took literal years to fade–but fade they have, and after devising my perfect regimen in the last year or so, I am now finally happy with my problem skin.

I’m about to hit you with a before and after, but my ‘before’ photos are kind of lacklustre because I only took photos of myself when my skin was at its absolute best… So this is all I’ve really got, but here we go: then and now

These days I no longer breakout, though I do get the odd spot; my hyper pigmentation scars are gone, too. I have a pretty big one on my cheek from a hair straightener burn (yes, I am that clumsy) but I’m kind of zen with that because I don’t think it’s going anywhere. My skin is generally healthy: glowing, with small pores and only a few of the blackheads that people with my oily skin type often suffer from. In this post I’m going to detail my skin regime, which will include:

– How I cleared up my skin

– How I prevent breakouts

– How I deal with hyperpigmentation

Clearing Up My Skin

In my house, when our bodies are playing up, we go to the doctor. It took me a fair few years to work up the courage to go about my spots–but it turned out that GPs can sort that kind of thing out! Who knew?! Ah, Great Britain.

My doctor, after listening to my complaints and looking at my pretty messed-up skin, gave me an antibiotic called Oxytetracycline and a cream called Duac. Now obviously, especially for those outside the UK, going to the doctor might not be an option. But if you can, here’s what it did for me.

Firstly, the medication was a lifesaver. Previously, no matter how careful I was with my skincare and diet, I would get cystic spots that left terrible hyper pigmentation and took months to settle down. After a month of taking Oxytetracycline, those spots were history. I took the tablets faithfully for six months; took a three month break, and then started another six month course. I would 100% recommend them, if a medical professional thinks they’re right for you.

The cream, however… not so much.

It did fade my scars. It also faded my… everything. After using it for three months, my face was practically white! It was not a good look. My friends started calling me Snow. Those were dark–or rather, light–days, haha! Thankfully, when I realised and stopped using the cream, my colour slowly came back. But there are a few photos of me floating around on Facebook looking like I’ve been in a fight with a bag of flour. If you have any significant amount of melanin–avoid Duac! I do know a white girl who uses it, and her face is still the colour it’s supposed to be so… white-skinned folks, you probably don’t have to worry. If any other brown-skinned folks have had a more positive experience with the cream, let me know! Maybe it was just me.

Medication isn’t all it took to clear up my skin, though. I also figured out that I

have a tea tree allergy–after years of desperately using tea tree products.
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The accursed plant in question, which as it turns out is hidden in 99.99% of skin care ranges. Fun!
Tea tree is generally good for problem skin, so it’s in a lot of skincare products. Depending on the quality of that product, tea tree will either be in the first five ingredients, or later on down the list. This determines how much tea tree the product contains, and is part of the reason it too me so long to realise I had an allergy. I’d buy one face wash cheaply, use it with no problems (because it contained only a slight amount of tea tree), and then splash out on a higher-quality one (which contained a lot) and suddenly suffer a serious breakout.
My real problem was switching products too frequently. I recommend that in developing a skin care regime, you test out products for a few weeks and keep a close eye on how your skin responds. That way, if you are sensitive to something, you’ll find out much quicker than me!

I also realised that my hair was causing some of my skin problems. I’ve written an entire post about that issue, which you can find here.

So, all of the above is how I eventually managed to clear up my skin. Next is…

How I Prevent Breakouts and Deal with Hyper Pigmentation

These days, while my skin is clear, I’m very careful about making sure it stays that way. I have a regimen–a set of rules and routines for my skincare that I know works for me, and I stick to it religiously. I mean, I really do. Midnight plane to Paris, you say? Sorry mate, I didn’t pack my moisturiser. A race of bloodthirsty aliens have discovered planet Earth and we have to stop them before they harvest our brains and feast on our innards? Sweetie, be reasonable. I don’t even have my makeup wipes with me.

My regimen involves a fair few products but, since it’s me, they’re mostly cheap as chips. I have an oily T-zone but my skin is sensitive, and it can also suffer from dryness and eczema. Variety is the spice of life, eh?

I use three different cleansers, all from Superdrug’s Deep Action range: the Exfoliating Daily Wash, the 2-in-1 Detoxifying Cream Wash and Mask, and the Blackhead Clearing Daily Scrub. I use the exfoliating wash five days a week, twice a day. You’re not supposed to exfoliate that often, but it works for me with this product because it’s… well, it’s not that exfoliate-y.  The other two days of the week, I use the Blackhead Clearing Scrub, which is VERY exfoliate-y, morning and night–following it up at night with the Detoxifying Cream Wash, left on for two minutes as a face mask.

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I go heavy on the exfoliation for two reasons: firstly because it prevents blackheads, and secondly because exfoliation is key in fading dark blemishes and hyper pigmentation. I use the face mask to pamper and soothe my skin, and maintain its softness.

After washing my face, I follow up with three creams. The first is key to my regimen as it has been a MIRACLE WORKER when it comes to fading hyper pigmentation. After a spot, I’m often left with a dark mark that can take around a year to fade. With this, however, I’ve been able to fade old marks and get rid of new ones much more quickly.

The product is called Meladerm and can be found at civantskincare.com–and no, they didn’t pay me for this! It’s expensive, but it lasts months and it really works. It has drastically reduced the time it takes for my blemishes to fade, and if applied to a spot it often prevents any mark or scarring even occurring in the first place. If I could only recommend one single thing to you guys, it would be this. Especially because, unlike other creams I’ve used, it doesn’t lighten my skin!
Following the product’s instructions, I wait around ten minutes after applying it to continue with my regimen. After the Meladerm comes my moisturiser, a cheap £1 tube formulated for oily, break-out prone skin by T-Zone. It contains tea tree, but as it’s cheap there’s not nearly enough to affect my skin. What it does do is keep my face moisturised without making it overly-oily or causing spots.
On top of it, I use SPF 30 sun protection, also £1. Sun damage affects everyone, my friends; even those of us with darker skin. I don’t care how melanin-blessed you are–you need sun cream! Sun protection makes your chances of wrinkling even lower and reduces blemishes and dark spots. It’s just a good habit to get into.
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After applying all three of my creams, I apply makeup if I’m wearing it that day. If I do decide to, then later that night I’ll wipe it off with a makeup wipe before cleansing.

Finally, the last part of my regimen is pretty simple, and isn’t only good for the skin: water. I drink at least three litres of water a day, which does wonders for skin, hair, and general health. It has also improved my diet, because I realised how many of my junk food cravings seem to be associated with dehydration. I have a litre water bottle that I sip throughout the day; each time I refill it I write a little mark on my wrist.

Soooo… that’s it! That’s the story behind my skin! I know how upsetting bad skin can be, so I really, really hope this helps. Let me know how you get on! And here’s one last pic of me and my skin lovin’ life:

*'Feelin Myself' plays softly in the background*
*’Feelin Myself’ plays softly in the background*

 

 

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6 thoughts on “The Skin Post

  1. great post!! been suffering from the exact same stuff as you for the longesttt time! although, I have found duac the literal only thing that keeps my skin under control, and I’m a dark skin sista so pretty shocked to hear about what it did for you!! I also have a terrible reaction to tea tree thank heavens someone else does too ahah will definitely look into meladerm and oxytetracycline! love your results your skin looks amazinng xx

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  2. I love this, I’m currently suffering from hyper-pigmentation, I have dark patches on my cheek and I’ve already booked an appoint with the dermatologist. Reading this and seeing how beautiful your skin is has definitely encouraged me, I’ve seen meladerm floating about but I was unsure as to whether it was worth the money due to mixed reviews and the price !!! But I’ll definitely give it a go now. Your stunning !

    Liked by 1 person

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