I was only 9, when I first heard about what beautiful skin looks like. Our young teacher was comparing her skin to ours. “When you’re this young,” she said, “your skin is fine, even toned, smooth. But grown people like me have all kinds of skin issues.”
I was happy to learn that my skin was beautiful. Then, I hit puberty that came with pimples, acne scars and oiliness that worsened and worsened every year. I began an on and off relationship with skin products and dermatologists. I even tried Accutane which worked great but not permanently. I spent 17 years hating and battling my skin all year long. Makeup didn’t seem to help. It only made matters worse. And then I had my very first winter in 2015, in Boston.
While Boston was buried under a record amount of snow, my skin was getting a record amount of beauty. My acne, pores and oiliness disappeared. My skin was smooth, even, radiant. I delighted in applying powder to my now gorgeous face. I took several selfies that I never deleted. But winter doesn’t last forever.
The weather warmed up again and my face started to revert. I was back to dealing with my problematic skin. Even my powder no longer worked so I went back to wearing no makeup. This pattern repeated itself for the following years. Gorgeous skin in winter. Problematic skin in spring/summer.
While I’m glad that I no longer have to deal with problematic skin all year long, I also want to delight in my skin during the summer time. So as the first part of my delight project, I am tackling the only thing that keeps me from delighting in my own skin: my summer skin woes.
I spent the past couple of days getting advice and spending money solely on skin products to address the following summer skin woes:
Heat bumps: I think this is the very first thing that I notice as the weather warms up: countless skin bumps. They don’t look like acne. They appear in places that I don’t usually get acne, like my forehead. They don’t produce any pustules. I concluded that they must be heat bumps. I researched the matter and found out that there is such a condition called miliaria (a fancy name for heat rash). It seems like I aggravated the situation by increasing my exercise in the hot weather outside and staying in my hot studio apartment. The solution is to buy an AC, limit physical activity in hot environment, wear breathable clothing and stay hydrated.
Humonguous pores: My bestie told me to buy POREfessional by Benefit. It’s supposed to instantly fill up pores for a smoother makeup application. I applied it to attend a birthday party last weekend. But I need a more permanent solution. So yesterday, I bought the L’Oreal Red Algae Pure-Clay Mask to exfoliate and refine pores. I will use it for a week and see if it works for me.
Excess oil production: For this one I bought a plethora of products. Not sure which one will work but my plan is as follows: the week after using the L’Oreal pore mask, I’ll try their Eucalyptus mask to purify and mattify. The other products that I bought are Cetaphil’s oil control foam wash as well as the moisturizer.
Increased Acne: I still have my prescription Ziana which works really great and really fast on huge pimples. But I needed something to pervent pimples so I bought Neutrogena’s Rapid clear 10% benzoyl peroxide spot gel. I applied it to my entire face last night and woke up with a swollen, tight and burning face. I guess they really mean spot treatment with this one. Luckily, a kind Clinique employee gave me a sample of their low benzoyl peroxide Acne Clearing treatment. I’m gonna try that one on my entire face tonight and see how my face responds to it.
Uneven skin tone: Someone at Ulta told me that my skin was uneven because of sun damage. Being dark skinned I never thought that this would happen to me. I blamed skin products and acne for my uneven skin tone. I specifically bought the Cetaphil oil control moisturizer because it doubles as a sunscreen. I also have Neutrogena’s rapid tone repair moisturizer for night time.
Makeup: I had Clinique’s Stay Brandy sheer pressed powder but it just doesn’t seem to work anymore. I now have the Stay Sienna one. To be honest, I’m very scared of applying it before completing the spore refining trial. They also gave me a sample of their deep shade CC cream. I’ll be trying that tomorrow since it will be cooler with less humidity.
My face has been a source of constant frustration for the past 20 years or so. Taking care of my skin has always felt unappealing because to me it was already a lost battle. But now I want to delight in all that come my way, even in the challenges. I want to feel happy when applying cream after cream instead of feeling cursed. I wish I could just apply water to my face and go about my day. I tried that and unfortunately, it only works during winter time. I’ll try these tactics and products for the next 8 weeks and I hope to dear God that they will work.