“Do you love yourself?” I am sure to be met with a range of responses. For those that answer “yes” to the question, they almost certainly will agree that they love their imperfections, be it problematic skin or not. I see nothing wrong with that. I’m all about embracing your flaws. If I ask those same people if they would be willing to spend a lot on skincare depending on their budgets, I would be met with a general resounding NO. Why is it that you can love yourself and skin with its problems, but not to the extent that you want to improve it?
What is Self-Love?
I still don’t fully grasp the concept of self-love, so I decided to get the generic definition of the word from the internet. Google defines it as “regard for one's own well-being and happiness.” That’s self-explanatory so if you want a deeper meaning, read books or search the internet.
How does Loving Myself Relate to Loving My Skin?
- Spend as Much as You Want Within Your Budget
Why are many people quick to judge others for their life choices? People who spend a lot of money on skincare and makeup are disparaged as vain or insecure. For some of them, that might be the case. But for many others, it’s simply a case of self-love.
- Have a Good Skin Care Routine
Many people are now more health conscious and understand that exercise and nutrition keep the body in the optimum state. Yes, we’ve all heard what you eat on the inside reflects on the outside and all that. That is important, and so is a good skincare routine.
No one likes having chapped lips; they’re painful and frankly unattractive. Having a good skincare routine promotes healthy skin which gives you an added boost of confidence. Most of us have had days we didn’t want to step out of the house because we felt our skin didn’t look good enough. While good skin is not guaranteed to fix your love-life or an awkward social situation, it can certainly make you less self-conscious and more confident in most social situations.
- Don’t Forget Sunscreen!
One common misconception black people have is that our already pigmented skin does not need sunscreen. Newsflash; THE SUN DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE. Although it is true that the heavy concentration of melanin in our skin gives us some protection, the changing environment has affected the efficiency of our natural sun block. If we truly love ourselves, we would take care of our skin not only by moisturising but also by protecting it from harmful UV rays. According to the Mayo Clinic, although people with dark skin may not get sunburn easily, we are “still at risk of skin damage from excessive sun exposure”. Sunscreen or sun blocking lotions/sprays intercept harmful UV rays before they get to the surface of the skin.
Steps to Apply Sunscreen
- Sunscreen should ALWAYS be the LAST step in your skin care routine (moisturising sunscreens don’t need to be applied to anything else unless you have dry skin).
- Apply at least 30 minutes before stepping out into the sun.
- Be generous with the application. Gently rub all over the body and don’t skip the lips.
- Always reapply 1-2 hours after being in the sun.
- Don’t skip cloudy and/or rainy days; 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays will still hit you skin despite its ‘absence’.
Everyone, it’s 2017 and we’re all about self-improvement and positivity. Do not let other people dictate how you take care of yourself. Skincare is an essential to your overall health and well-being. Take good care of your skin. Spend as much as you want on skin care if you can afford it. Please, I’m not asking you to be frivolous. Take care of your skin. If you have acne get something to treat it (and stop telling people to just drink water and wash their faces!). You are not vain, nor are you insecure. You simply love yourself and want to improve your skin to its prime state as much as you would do to your soul.
Helpful Links on Sun Protection and Dark Skin