Updated: Oct 25, 2021
Have you ever experienced skin issues?
Feel like you always have experienced skin issues?
Experiencing skin issues right now?
You are definitely not alone, trust me.
Ever since I can remember I have had issues with my skin, mainly since late middle school.
I have tried countless products, dermatologists, and medicine. I have read countless blogs, books, and took advice from people with similar skin as me.
It wasn’t until about one year ago that my skin started to show up for me. Yes at the classy age of twenty nine my skin has been the clearest and calmest that it has ever been.
It’s not completely clear (yet) but I wanted to share some tips, advice, and products that have really showed up for my skin.
I know a lot of people suffer with skin issues and I am all about being a resource on a health and wellness journey inside and out.
First things first, let me describe my skin to you.
My dermatologist defines my skin as hormonal acne plus hyper pigmentation.
Hyper pigmentation is when a dark spot appears in place of a pimple that has disappeared. Folks with darker skin tones are more at risk of developing scars from hyper pigmentation. Hormonal acne is tied to fluctuations in your hormones. It's typically associated with hormone fluctuations during puberty, but can affect adults at any age, especially women.
As a woman of color I have experienced both and still continue to. Even though I am approaching thirty, I still have hormonal acne. Even though I am almost thirty, I still deal with hyper pigmentation.
On the surface my skin is best described as oily and dry.
My T zone tends to be on the oily side, while my cheeks are a mix and my chin is on the dry side. Getting to a certain age doesn’t mean your skin will magically glow up, it's a lot of trial and error. You would think I was fifteen years old the way my skin would break out, I thought my skin would never calm down. It felt like it had a mind of its own no matter what I tried.
With the combination of the tips below, avoiding touching my face, and patience my skin has come such a long way below and on the surface. Anyone dealing with skin issues let this blog be a reminder that you are not alone. You are still beautiful on the outside and inside.
Below are a few tips, products, and recommendations that have helped my skin tremendously.
1. Drink plenty of water.
You’ve probably heard this a million times but it's true, water is a true cleanser inside and out! I noticed a huge change in my skin once I started to drink more water. Guess what? You can have fun with your water intake! Purchase fun and motivating water bottles, make infused waters, start a hydration challenge with your friends. It takes time to see your skin glow up, why not make the journey fun so you are not overwhelmed.
2. Sweat! Sweat! Sweat!
I can’t stress enough how vital it is to sweat. Sounds funky but it’s one of the best things you can do for your skin. When you sweat you are helping to detoxify your body of waste, alcohol, and other toxins.
Sweating also helps to increase circulation of our organs, muscles, and tissues. It also aids our pores in opening up to create a protective barrier, helping to reduce bacteria on the skin. Sweating is great for people with acne! I really encourage you to embrace sweating for the greater good of your skin. If you are someone who strongly dislikes sweating think about the benefits it provides for your skin and body overall.
You will get a great sweat session with our fitness programs, sign up here.
3. Get a dermatologist
Remember skin care is a lot of trial and error so it's important to educate yourself about your skin type.
I highly suggest getting a dermatologist and building the relationship, being honest about your skin 110%. Similar to a primary care physician (PCP) dermatologists are the doctors of skin; providing knowledge, education, and resources. Be sure to read up on research about your skin type.
4. Clean your pillows, phone, head scarfs etc.
How much do you lay on your pillows? Pretty often right? How often is your phone on your face? Pretty often right? What about touching your face in between texting, emailing, etc?
Be sure to regularly wipe your phone, wash your pillowcases, headbands, glasses etc.
5. Use cold water and ice on your face every day and night
Cold water and ice has truly been vital in healing my skin. Full disclosure, I thought this was a myth. So many people would tell me to end my skin routine with cold water or an ice cube and I didn’t believe them. Meanwhile their skin was glowing up!
Never think you know it all guys, myself included. Not only does cold water feel amazing on your face, it helps your skin to heal; aids with puffiness, acne, increases your skin's glow, and even reduces oiliness.
Use cold water or rub/ice cubes over your entire face, you won’t regret it!
6. Create a skin care routine.
Small routines create habits that eventually turn into lifestyle routines and skin care is no different. Similar to hair care, exercising, working, and etc.; routines create discipline and results. Creating a routine and making it non negotiable is a great self care practice.
7. Use cleansing wipes after exercising.
Whether you are at a studio, local gym, outside, or at home this is vital. Sweating is great however you don’t want to keep your pores open for too long. Be sure to help calm your face down and close those pores by using cleaning wipes after a slay. Personally, I use charcoal based cleansing wipes.
8. Steam your face on the regular.
I started steaming my face in 2020 and it has been part of my routine since.
I am a DIY woman since my skin is sensitive, so I steam right at home once a week and I love how my face reacts to it! Not only does steaming feel amazing it helps your skin to; open the pores, loosen buildup for a deep cleanse, softens blackheads, promotes circulation by dilating blood vessels.
I could go on and on about how much I love steaming! If you’ve been thinking about steaming I encourage you to try it!
9. Use a toner
Using a toner is essential to your skin glow. Finding the right toner for your skin type can take some time but once you find the right one you are all set!
Using a toner helps to; close your pores, restore the skin's pH balance, layer of protection, and refresh skin.
Below are a list of the products products I currently use along with details of my daily skin care routine:
Cerave am lotion
Cerave pm lotion
Clean & Clear acne control cleanser
Dr. Bronner tea tree soap
T.N. Dickinson's witch hazel
Exfoliating facial sponge
Place clean and clear control cleanser on sponge, set for 60 secs
Wash off cleanser
Close pores with cold water and rub an ice cube over face
Witch hazel toner
Dr bronner's soap set for 60 secs
Wash off soap
Close pores with cold water and rub ice cube over face
Witch hazel toner
Tretinoin cream (dermatologist prescribed)
Cerave pm lotion
Be patient and remember that your face is only one part that makes you beautiful. While working on these improvements remind yourself of all the things you love about you, including your flawed skin. Take into consideration what you are eating, drinking, stress, even genetic makeup. A skin routine will definitely help but remember your skin is a reflection of what is occurring beneath the surface.
Lastly, a great way to track your progress is to take photos (with no filter) every 30 days just for you. This is great for seeing the glow up overtime!
Below are a few photos of my journey!
Written by Shawnte' Knox
Soul Health Chronicles LLC is a health and fitness business that develops fitness programs, events, personal training, coaching and more. Learn how to become part of SHC at www.soulhealthchronicles.com