Ten Commandments of Skincare
To officially begin this beautiful journey with you all, I’d like to introduce to you the sacred commandments of skincare (enter sensei mode). I call them the ultimate TCS, also known as the Ten Commandments of Skincare. I know, I know it all sounds a bit much, but these are things we must never take for granted. To effectively tackle the perils of skin malfunctions, have these commandments as your firm foundation. Yes, it is that deep, my dear. I know you’re all eager to know what the Black Girl Ten Commandments of Skincare is (my apologies if you’re male, please ignore my gender specifics then), well I’m also keen to share them with you. So, without further diddle-daddling, let’s goo….
The Black Girl must Love her Skin
There’s a reason I put this first, love is a lot of things, a lot of beautiful things at that. When we apply the mindset of love to skincare, we can’t ever go wrong. When you love someone/something, you become protective of them. You find ways to help them improve and grow or just pamper them. Now apply this to your relationship with your skin (no I’m not crazy).
“Love is patient and kind” – 1 Corinthians 13:4
“Be patient. Your skin took a while to deteriorate. Give it some time to reflect a calmer inner state” ―
Protect it, don’t just apply the first product you see cause Aunty Sibi said it works in 7 market days. Do your research, consult a dermatologist.
Pamper your skin, give it all the nourishing it deserves. Don’t handle it with frustration or desperation, just love. Nothing but love.
Stop! The Black Girl Must Never Pick thy Skin!!
You don’t have to explain yourself, darling I know the feeling. That big ripe pimple just sitting there, looking back at you in the mirror! You try to take a picture and the darn intruder is right there, mocking you! And you think, what if I just end its reign? A tiny jab with my nail and the annoying thing is gone! Then you finally do it, you get the satisfied smirk as you dab your face with a wipe (I hope).
Now let’s talk of what happens the next few days, weeks, months, or if it gets that bad, years! You’re stuck with a cursed black spot, now your problem is not a tiny pimple that would have vanished with little to no trace in a week or two but a stubborn dark spot that’ll take ages of commitment and treatment to get rid of. Now it’s the dark spot that’s mocking you in the mirror and your pictures, the dark spot you can’t get rid of with a pop.
It doesn’t have to be pinching or picking your face, even unnecessary rubbing and constant touching can do no good as well. Your hands carry a lot of germs, you use those hands to touch several surfaces thus accumulating germs. So, unless you want to wash your face or moisturize, keep those hands away.
The Black Girl must never pick thy skin!!
The Black Girl must always cleanse thy skin
I can’t emphasize this enough, one of the biggest causes of skin malfunction is oil and dirt build-up. See your pores as a temple, tiny individual babies you need to keep clean. When you treat them right, they will honor you greatly. In the morning, when you wake up, cleanse! Right before you go to bed, cleanse! After a rigorous workout, cleanse! When you get home from the salon with your killer braids, cleanse! After a long day at the office/school, cleanse!
Find a nice gentle facewash and cleanse your skin twice daily, especially if you’ve had a busy day out. There are different types of cleansers with different methods as well. If you have makeup on, ensure you double-cleanse. Or use a good alcohol-free cleansing toner after a face wash. I emphasized the alcohol-free bit because as most of us know, despite the cleaning properties of alcohol, most kinds dry up our skin. This is a big no. Although we want to prevent oil build-up and keep our skin clean, we cannot afford to dry up our natural God-given oils. This leads to excess oil production and you’re back to square one.
Ladies, remember, The Black Girl must always cleanse thy skin!
The Black Girl Must Never Sleep With thy Make-up On!!
You heard me right! I know everyone has been louding this since God knows when but I must say it again for those at the back. The Black Girl must never sleep with thy makeup on!! I know you paid a good sum for that perfect Owambe makeup, I know it looks so good you don’t want to take it off (I mean who knows when next I’d be this glammed up), I know it’s been a stressful day at the office and the last thing on your mind right now is washing your face; I know you might have gotten home drunk and passed out on the couch. I know all this, but you know what else I know, sis? I know I don’t care. THE BLACK GIRL MUST NEVER SLEEP WITH THY MAKEUP ON!
Just imagine all that foundation, concealer, eyeliner mixed up with sweat and the day’s dirt, just sitting there, having a jolly good time on your gorgeous face. Contaminating your precious pores, remember your pores are tiny temples you must keep tidy.
Use that last energy in you to wash your face. And I’m not talking about a few swipes with your make up wipes, no, I mean actually wash and cleanse your face (double cleanse even). Wipes are next to useless for proper cleansing. I can’t tell you how many times in the past, I’ve wiped down my face with some good ole aloe wipes and then I go wash up in the sink and my water is still brown as ever. So, please ditch the wipes and opt for a good wash instead. Trust me when I say all that rubbing on your skin does no good in the long run.
The Black Girl must Always Hydrate and Moisturize!!
Moisturize those arms, moisturize those beautiful legs, moisturize those thighs, your face, everywhere! Just keep it hydrated and moisturized! Like I emphasized formerly on cleansing, I must not fail to also emphasize this bit; Moisturize and Hydrate!
I stated in commandment no.2 the drying effects of alcohol, well truth is, you don’t need alcohol to help you leave your skin dry and patchy. You can do an excellent job by forgetting to moisturize your skin after a shower or in the harmattan season. You soon become easy prey to flakey skin or as my dad likes to call it “crocodile skin”.
Many people neglect the importance of keeping their skin moisturized and hydrated, focusing on exfoliating and actives. The truth is for your skin to fully benefit from all that, you need to keep it healthy. And what better way to do so than hydrate. Make hyaluronic acid, glycerin, snail mucin, aloe vera, ceramides, etc your best friends and watch your skin flourish.
Sometimes, take a break from actives and make hydration your goal, thank me later.
The Black Girl Shall Never Forget thy Sunscreen and Sun Protection.
Sunscreen. My lovely neglected sunscreen (sighs), I have no idea why this isn’t the first commandment. Sunscreen is a crucial skincare product that is greatly overlooked in this part of the world. You hear people say “I don already black finish, who sunscreen epp” or “Abeg! I be oyinbo? Why I go dey rub sunscreen” or my favorite “Black don’t crack”.
Irrespective of your complexion or the fact you’re African, the importance of sunscreen can never be overemphasized. Constant exposure to UV rays from the sun, which we have in excess in this part of the world, can lead to a range of skin complications. Including, sunburn, hyperpigmentation/discoloration (tricky to get rid of), visible signs of aging, and very rarely skin cancer. That being said, do you still want to skip sunscreen?
On to the matter of ‘sun protection, this should be a win-win situation honestly. You get to wear your large framed stylish sunglasses, fancy sun hats, carry pretty sun umbrellas, ironic statement face caps but at the same time protect your precious skin from the harsh rays of the sun. So, queens (or kings), rock those accessories proudly and for your skin, the bigger and darker the better!
Again! THE BLACK GIRL SHALL NEVER FORGET THY SUNSCREEN AND SUN PROTECTION.
The Black Girl Must Exfoliate Twice a Week
Exfoliating! My favorite pastime! I love the feeling I get after applying a good AHA serum. This is something I don’t get to do every day, daily exfoliation can mess with the skin barrier, unless it’s of low concentration or very mild, it is not advised. More often than we’d like our skin tends to experience a buildup of dead layers, lose its glow, become dull and greasy, let’s just say it has its ‘grumpy old lady moments’.
This is where the work of a good exfoliator comes in, it’s that mini spa day she’s been craving. You know those intensive cleaning you do on Saturday mornings, that’s kind of what it’s like when exfoliating. You get to use ingredients that help speed up the cell turnover process of our skin. She can handle it well on her own, but exfoliating gives her a little boost.
Remember to pair exfoliation with proper hydration and moisturizing, as most of these active a lot without the proper balance. Learn more about exfoliating here.
The Black Girl must drink thy water and eat thy fruits
As a big Dani Leigh fan, I cannot pass up the opportunity to quote her lyrics, especially when she’s spitting holy facts. The Black Girl must drink thy water and eat thy fruits!! The saying ‘you are what you eat’ has never been more accurate right alongside my personal favorite ‘Drink water and mind your business. Your body and skin neeeeeedsss you to load in on the vitamins, minerals, healthy fibers! And what better to place to find these than in your fruit and vegetables. A healthy balanced diet reflects a great deal on your skin. In the same sense, excess consumption of food like dairy and fatty nuts can lead to breakouts for certain people. I’ll be busting the myths and facts on this particular area in posts to come. You could also take supplements, no one goes wrong with supplements.
Water, I don’t believe I have to remind us how important water is to our system. A natural detox drink. I’m not going to mislead you and tell you ‘water is the way to clear skin’ but water is very good for your body. And if your body is happy, it reflects a good degree on your skin.
Down that bottle of water! Right now even, yes go drink water and eat that salad. The Black Girl thy water and eat thy fruits.
The Black Girl must never bleach
First, I know everyone has a choice and freedom to do whatever they please but let me just say this, your black is beautiful. Whatever ever the shade, be it caramel or ebony, your black is stunning and I don’t see why you’d want to have it any other way. Your colour holds heritage and power, you shouldn’t trade it for any form of “beauty standards”, those things change like the weather and you mustn’t get lost in the tide. Not to mention the nasty skin discolorations that come with it.
Now, what exactly do I mean by ‘bleaching’? There’s a difference between brightening, evening out and bleaching.
Brightening from the name is simply removing the dullness from your skin, just like I mentioned earlier. Giving your skin a ‘glow’, it has nothing to do with pigmentation.
Evening out, has more to do with dark spots. Maybe from sunburns, scars, or melasma. It’s the process of getting those areas back its original skin tone. Which most times involves lightening those spots/patches.
Bleaching on the other hand is changing your skin tone. Bleaching is synonymous with whitening, moving from a dark caramel to an almost ivory tone. It comes with a lot of side effects, and for people that love our skin, we do not want that. Dive deeper into bleaching here.
Like I said before, we have our rights as humans, but your black is beautiful.
The Black Girl Must Swear to Consistency
The Last and most important commandment! The Black Girl must swear to consistency. Every other commandment I’ve listed previously is as good as nothing without consistency. Moisturizing once a month does nothing for you in the long run, only removing your makeup before bed once in a while is as pointless as wearing sunscreen before bed. Consistency is the key. Stick to a routine! You have a product you know will help you, be consistent, or else you won’t see any result.
THE BLACK GIRL MUST SWEAR TO CONSISTENCY. Make a promise to yourself to be consistent in all your skincare endeavors right now!
There you have it guys, the ultimate BGTCS, follow these commandments with strict adherence to commandments no.1 & 10, and watch your skin honour you. Things might not always go smoothly, we all have bad days/weeks, there’s the hormones factor, and the gene factor but do not fail to persevere and you’ll have it as close to perfect as it gets.