Skincare has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. Thankfully, I did not have to explore it so early, so I did not do all the crazy things— like put pee on your face to reduce acne. Or use pure lemon directly on spots to fade them. Those are just extreme.
I did not need to do all that because I basically had fresh baby smooth skin up until a few years ago when I clocked 23. I was literally called babyface.
And then I started breaking out. I missed the adolescent acne train but it was like I was getting on board te adult acne one. So I turned to all the trends of that time that still continue till today. I had no filter. I tried whatever new method and DIY trick without knowing the most important information: like skin type, skin texture, hypoallergenic ingredients and even what my own body liked or needed. I’ve grown so much since then and so has my regimen. I now pay attention to what my skin is saying to me. And I pay attention to what I eat and do with my body. And how it all affects my skin. That’s a topic for another day.
But for simplicity sake, here are 5 things I no longer use on my skin.
Remember when it was the rave? People described this as liquid gold. Brands labelled their products with this ingredient and sales boomed. I was a part of the bandwagon. I raved about this on my blog. In all fairness, I used it more for my then newly growing natural hair than directly on my skin. I only used it to take out my makeup. It melted it down so easily. I have since learnt that coconut oil is a heavy oil for my skin. It clogs my pores and although it may cause my skin to look soft for a few days, I end up with breakouts as a result of the closed pores. Also, it is 90% fat and so terrible as an overnight treatment. It is too alkaline for your skin and has been shown to be 100-1000 times more alkaline than our skin ph of 5.
Coconut oil can be used for other health and body purposes. But try to take it out of your facial skin care routine.
Makeup or baby wipes
I went through tons and tons of makeup wipes. I used them to take off my face and eye makeup. And also to remove coconut oil from my face after melting it down. To be fair, I didn’t know any other options. It was the norm. I realized soon that many wipes were scented and would irritate my skin. I also found out that my under eyes are very sensitive and the wipes would literally tug at my skin and leave fine lines. No matter how gentle I tried to be. My alternative for wipes now is Micellar water and cotton pads. This melts down all my makeup with a couple of swipes. Micellar water isn’t really cheap. The generic brand costs 6000 for a 400ml bottle. But it has proven to be better for me over the long run. And healthier for my skin.
This was the first thing I ever purchased as pertaining to real skincare. I was so excited to buy this one from a popular brand. Unlike other items on this list, it did not even take me long to figure out that my skin absolutely hates scrubs and physical exfoliant. I used only a couple times and my skin would be red and inflamed after each use. No matter the brand. Scrubs, in general, contain large molecules that are meant to physically exfoliate your skin. But they can be very abrasive.
I thank the skin care gods for blessing us with chemical exfoliants that you can just put on your skin like a serum and rinse off.
Remember, whether you are using a physical or chemical exfoliant, you shouldn’t use it more than 1-2 times per week. You don’t need it everyday. Your skin is not back of pot, biko.
Peel off masks
Let us not lie to ourselves. Peel off masks were so satisfying. Spreading them on your skin, allowing them dry down to a crack and then peeling them off was the closest thing to therapy some of us have done. It felt great. People went as far as making their own DIY peel-off masks with children’s glue. Ew! I didn’t do that. But that was when I realized it was a problem. The popular Korean black masks that claimed to literally rip out your blackheads were booming in sales. Thank God I never tried those. Lol. People lost their eyebrows! Haha.
Peel off masks tug at your skin so hard. And they leave your pores wide open. So even if they are taking off the white and black heads, they are leaving the pores open to other harmful things that could get into your skin. Not pretty.
I still have black heads till this day. But I prefer to gradually use my salicylic wash to break them down. No matter how long that is going to take.
As an alternative, please use sheet masks and serums to break down sebum. Always remember to close your pores with cool water.
Sheabutter and Vaseline
This is pretty self-explanatory. Similar to coconut oil, shea butter melts down to an oil. And my mom has made me use this thing for almost everything. From my hair to fading keloids. I don’t know how effective it is for all of that. But for my skin, it is a very heavy oil that causes my to have almost immediate breakouts. Vaseline is the bane of every Nigerian child’s existence. And my mom would make sure we have enough of it on our bodies. It was our favorite moisturizer. But just like I stay off grease for my hair these days, I have long since taken it out of my skin care regimen as well.
I hope to share with you 5 things I now most definitely use on my skin in another post. Till then, love your skin and care for it. It’s the one you’ll wish you have 10 years from now.