I’ve struggled with body image and a healthy self-esteem throughout my early teens. Most of this was linked to my skin. Here’s the deal, I had blemish-free and silky soft skin until around 15/16.
Everything just worsened as my hormones ran amok. Of course, when your skin acts up you feel even worse about yourself. I thought perhaps it would get better as I got older but even in university I had pretty bad acne and no real access to resources. We could barely afford a doctor’s appointment, let alone a dermatologist. Everyone in my family struggles with terrible skin and horrible eyesight. Not blessed, at all.
I also wasn’t around people who knew about skincare in a way that I could emulate – so where was I going to learn? As a result, I became more stringent about my body and what I put into it, even though I could never enjoy what I without comparing it to others. Not great.
Up until last October I was struggling with my skin, I kept breaking out despite being on meds and trying a bunch of other stuff. I went for a facial for the first time ever and the therapist was so helpful. She gave me a bunch of samples from a really expensive skincare range and told me how to improve my skin over the next while. She basically shifted the way I thought about my skin. Beyond that, I had never really chatted about my troubles regarding skincare. And even after this life changing facial, I felt utterly repulsive walking around the V&A Waterfront without make-up. I never went anywhere without a full face because who wanted to see my blotchy, patchy skin?
So, I took her advice to heart and got super excited when I started seeing results. It’s taken a full year to repair the damage done by an unhealthy diet, high stress levels and poor skincare.
MY TIPS ON SKINCARE
- Definitely find out your skin-type first. I’m actually oily-combo and was using oil-free products instead of just replenishing the moisture I needed in the first place.
- Cleanse twice a day. Double cleanse if you’re wearing hella make-up. Buy a cream/oil cleanser that will emulsify and take off all the gunk in a harmless way.
- I exfoliate twice to thrice a week (according to my skin-type). It really helped my cell turnover and my scarring definitely faded.
- I also do a face mask at least twice a week. I alternate between a clay mask from Skin Creamery and a cheaper one from Dischem every week.
- Moisturize! I have a night cream and a day cream. I also use SPF every day because I am prone to blotchy pigmentation (lovely, isn’t it?)
- Drink more water if you’re prone to drinking a lot of coffee or tea. It does help to some extent but like only 2% of the water you consume actually goes to your skin.
I wish I knew all of this a long time ago, but also know that your skin issues may require professional help. There’s nothing quite like not wanting to look at a mirror because you’re afraid to see your reflection. These days I don’t really wear make-up and even though my skin is nowhere near perfect – I now feel utterly unbothered about who sees me. That’s what makes this all worth it.