Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Skin: Its a love/hate relationship

Why do people call me black? It is soooo annoying!! Why not Cappuccino, Caramel, Toffee, Moocha. If you must color code my skin at least be creative about it msheeww!

I used to be so self conscious about my complexion that I avoided carrying fair kids. Well, I've had bad experiences which have got me self conscious. E.g. I visited a friend, and while trying to take her baby into my arms, the 4 month old milk-colored girl had a look at my face and screamed blue murder. Note, she had been carried and cooed to by two other milk-colored ladies before me and had been all gurgly and smiley! I had to hand her over to her equally fair mom. *hiss* Already racist at 4mths?

In a world where more and more people are dissatisfied with their skin color[take a long look at the milk face vs Coffee legs around ya], where Western cosmetic companies are raking in millions selling their idea of beauty to African women, I have stuck determinedly to my God-given black skin. Not that I have not been tempted to change nature and alas given in once in a while[previous post an example]. Another time was in the University, can’t remember the poison I used then, but my face went 2 shades lighter and 'polka dotty' cause my acne spots which my God-given concealer had kept invincible were now revealed. My doctor Sis saw me then and gave me a short lecture on the dangers of damaging my skin, ‘you only have one skin”.
That phrase stuck thankfully and I became quite adept at reading labels on cosmetics.

But sometimes I still eyes at the tubes and creams promising me fairness in 21 days. Why you wonder???
Black skin aint easy!
  • 1.      Black skin needs a lotta work to look great. Too much moisturiser and you look look oily, too little and you have dry white patches..
  • 2.      Black skin requires a good layer of make-up before you look 'made-up', conversely you can end up looking like a paint palette.
  • 3.      With black skin, you can't afford to look get tired, cos tired black skin looks ashen[I think that word was invented specifically for  black skin]
  • 4.       Shopping for clothes can be torture. We need bright colors. But there's also the struggle to maintain a balanced tone. Too bright and black skin produces a startling contrast, too dark and it sucks out all color from the skin.
  • 5.       Little black dresses are not the best for black gals. Sigh! this gal loves her LBDs. And they are bad for me on 2 counts[Skin color and slim body type; think US size 0].
  • 6.       Black skinned girls need to work harder to be noticed; be more vivacious, smile more, especially if you are in a dark place so people don’t think you are shadow.
  • 7.       Black skin means that you look scary (a.k.a masquerade) when you use color 33, 30, 29 hair extensions. Note #4
  • 8.       Black skin is immune to toning creams!! You know those creams that a fair person uses and within 2 weeks looks glowingly bright not necessarily Fair and White. Alas my skin is unchanged. I have been using same for 6 months now. I only continued cause it really cleanses and I love the smell. Sigh

Disclaimer: Black skin here refers to Alex Wek’s types pls. Not Halle Berry, not Beyonce, not Oprah and not Bianca Ojukwu types Thank you.
Skin Care Tips
In my cosmetic trials over the years, I have come to know/learn some facts like Hydroquinone should be used with caution if at all, I know betametasol and clobetasol containing tubes [betnovate, hydrogel, which are ubiquitous in our cosmetic shops] should NEVER be used unless you have a prescription from the doctor or you have dermatological problems like psoriasis
I know shea butter based, olive oil??, cocoa butter based lotions/creams make for shiny black skin though they are too heavy for use on face[and that’s if your skin likes them. Mine breaks out].
I know drinking plenty water is good for your system and skin. Hydrate! Hydrate!
I know Moisturizers with spf 15 and above are good for black skin too. Yes we can tan too (all that melanoma) in case you didn’t know. Thankfully we are not as prone to skin cancer  like fair skin types.
I know black is beautiful and that we’ve got only one top skin layer so please treat it nice.

Do tell.....what's your secret for great skin? Or maybe advice me. My skin is hyper-allergic, a combination of all skin types[oily, normal, dry] and breaks out like ABC in a bad month! Yeah, that bad :-(


  1. My secret to maintaining an even skin tone? I stay out of the damn sun. Truuuuuuust me. Sun plus dark skin equal disaster.

  2. I try to LL. But It doesnt work for me :-(

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