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