Since middle school, I’ve had bad acne, like that Crunch bar type of acne. I have always wanted to get rid of it but couldn’t figure out what it was. I went from Neutrogena to Oxy Cleansing Pads to Clean & Clear but nothing seemed to work. Majority of my acne came from puberty, a wild menstrual cycle, and genetics on my dad’s side. Aside from acne, I also have dealt with dark marks (from popping pimples, a very very very bad choice), hyperpigmentation (basically an uneven skin tone), and blackheads (especially on my nose). I also have oily skin, especially in my T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and pretty large pores. However, when the weather gets cold, my skins starts to dry up, mainly on my cheeks and around my nose. I’ve always used oily skin products that work really well but also needed to use great moisturizers to balance it out so my skin doesn’t get too dry. I desperately wanted clear skin and couldn’t find the right way to achieve it until now. (Prepare for the embarrassing photos.)
As I went into my junior year of high school I decided to start using more natural products like black soap, shea butter, and natural oils for my skin and that’s what really did it for me. I started off using Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap and using this shea butter as a moisturizer. These two products really helped clear up my acne and get my dark marks to start fading. Here is an article about the benefits of using shea butter for your skin. Around this time I also began taking birth control pills, drinking more water, and really paying attention to the foods I was consuming, including cutting soda out of my diet. I had to train myself to stop touching my face with dirty hands. Also, when I was younger I didn’t wear makeup except for eyeliner, mascara, and maybe some lipstick. I really started wearing makeup around the end of my senior year and was really careful about the products I was putting on my face and how long I kept it on for. By the end of 2015, my skin had improved so much and looked way better than it did at the start of high school.
When I first got to college it was really hard to refrain from the cafe’s super unhealthy foods and the restaurants around campus. At home I was used to having all of my food groups every night for dinner and even during Sunday dinner at my great-grandmother’s house, most of the options were a lot healthier than what’s offered in the cafe. I didn’t realize how much of what I ate was really affecting my skin until then. Now that it’s second semester I’m really paying more attention to what I eat. For example, I’ve started eating less meat (shoutout to my pescatarian roommate lol), more vegetables and more fruit than I ate first semester. I’ve also began drinking even more water and using more products. For those of us using makeup, remember to regularly clean your brushes and beauty blenders! The products I currently use are:
- Dudu Osun’s Pure African Black Soap (at the recommendation of my friend, Wayne)
- For exfoliating and travel, I use Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Problem Skin Facial Wash & Scrub
- I still use the same shea butter as my nightly moisturizer since it makes me look super shiny
- I also use Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask when my skin is super dried up, especially after scrubbing off makeup.
- For my daytime moisturizer I use e.l.f.’s Daily Hydration Moisturizer
- Over winter break, I experimented using sweet almond oil on my face and I loved it. I wasn’t too oily and it also gave me a little glow lol
I’m very thankful that my skin has gotten a lot better and I hope that it continues to improve. Although it may not be visible, I still have small blemishes on my forehead that I can’t wait to get rid of. I also am still working on my hyper-pigmentation, it really has its good days and its bad. However, my blackheads have recently disappeared and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m really looking forward to learning more about my skin and how to make it better.
I hope that these tips and products help you achieve the skin of your dreams but please remember that everyone’s skin is different and no one product can work for literally everybody. Remember to explore which products work best for you and if you still can’t seem to figure it out, try visiting a dermatologist! Comment any advice and your favorite products below to help out others!
Bonus Tip: Wipe your phone screen after each phone call, the oil and makeup buildup can cause acne. Click here to find out could be causing your acne!
Read more from Deni on her blog: Written by Deni.
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