Saturday, December 29

Let’s Talk Skin



If you thought this post was gonna teach you on how to get whiter, i am sorry. wrong post. So sorry. Honestly there’s no healthy or safe way to get “whiter”  I am no doctor, but from what i learnt in the sciences during my undergrad. Hydroquinone is not generally safe. and the “effective” levels are quite carcinogen-ous. And by getting lighter, i mean “bleaching your skin”. if you just wanna lose your tan.. have patience and slap on sunscreen religiously, use some skin vitamins that fight oxidation (tanning), your skin would eventually regenerate.
So i do apologize. i have no tips on bleaching cause i wouldn’t even dare try it.
However, i am gonna talk about the questions i have been having since i “drastically” lost my tan over the years. It wasn’t drastic…these people just never saw me everyday. Let us start with a baby picture. (above) This is my skin tone as a child. that’s my brother beside me. I am currently darker than this btw. I don’t know why these people are tripping. and I made this post because I’ve gotten so many questions since last year December (and i am sooo much darker now lol…got me a nice summer tan!! <33ed it too!). I think I’m gonna constantly have this conversation about my skin-tone for the rest of my life (especially because some people can be ignorant). SO I shall refer them to this post.
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Here’s me on my sixth birthday, best birthday ever!! The funny thing is the question comes from black people because a lot of us don’t understand that our skin is no different from other races. I’m pretty sure if I did anything crazy my mother would have noticed by now...smh. I live with my parents, they know what i looked like when i was a baby, they know i tan easily especially when i went to a boarding school for 3 years in the hot summer sun, of course I would get super dark. Common sense.
But guess what? I can’t keep the tan I had from when I was twelve! nobody can!!
Can you spot me? this was the year before i entered boarding school.
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Constant exposure under the sun would cause your skin to create melanin, however if the exposure stops, the excessive production of melanin stops. Melanin is the pigment in your skin that makes you darker.
This is me shortly after we moved to the US. look at that brown tan! oh yes i was in high-school. and by the way, my parents never let me wear ANY top that showed my chest or skirt above the bottom of my knee cap or any top with sleeves less than what i am currently seen in this picture. SO my skin under there wasn’t as tanned.
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Just like reptiles, and a few other animals, our skin actually sheds off, and regenerates of course not as fast as a reptile or snake. Scar healing and fading is through regeneration, but our skin does it super slow. If you wear sunscreen and use skin vitamins, as your skin is regenerating it would do so faster, and be protected so the sun-rays hitting it wont make u produce more melanin hence making your skin regenerate to the “genetic code ” of your melanin production.  Using “regenerating/enzymatic/anti-aging” products would speed up the process and make your skin heal faster. It is NOT going to turn you “white”.
This process is commonly seen when people “lose” their tan during winter.
This is me, in 2008 i had entered college and started taking care of my skin because i became….”girly”  this was May, summer had just begun i was about to be 18. notice how i lost the Tan from the years before over winter?
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During winter even though there is sun, you’re less exposed to it, more likely to stay inside, and wear clothing that covers your skin, so you would generally lose your tan. Sunscreen wouldn’t make u lighter, it would just protect your skin from getting darker or the crazy dangers of UV rays. The lightest I’d ever be would be the color i was born with. my genetic code.
During summer, if you’re the kind that loves the heat, and spends your summer days outside, u gain your tan back!
This is another picture from the same year. this is a good picture for you to see what i meant about my clothing in high school…can you see the difference between my chest and face? yeah. although i was losing the so called tan…there was still a big difference with what had be exposed to the sun.
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Then when i entered college, i started this thing in which, when i wore makeup it always looked SO MUCH darker than my neck. like a crazy tan line.
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I used to think my roommates were crazy when they told me at different times that my makeup was too dark. it was like i was colorblind or something. I thought one of them was just tripping because she doesn't like makeup, and that the other was tripping cause she wasn’t black. Until i looked at this picture below one day.
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See how my face is darker than the rest of my arms and chest. (this is actually the first time i wore a tank top out) ad because there are candle lights and my face is above it, it should be “illuminated” normally but it isn’t.
Below is a picture of me at my graduation from college. my makeup had faded, this is my skin. look at my neck. It took me a while to notice what was going on actually. I noticed my roommate always said my face was darker (both with and without). She shared a room and bath with me, so she’s seen me naked. She had a point but i just thought she was being hateful and ignored her.
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Until i took this picture (below)…in 2011. January 2011.  Look at all that hyper-pigmentation/and photosensitivity. After this day was when i started looking into sunscreen because my face hurt as well (it looks like it did too lol). look at my neck. still as yellow as ever.
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Yes that’s what i do now. I wear sunscreen year round. it reduces the painful burning from the stupid Texas sun, it also protects my skin from cancer,  and blocks the rays as my skin regenerates. I also hate heat so i am inside, in the AC all day. everyday. I’m not kidding. i don’t like hot weather. I never did. even as a child, in Nigeria i love harmattan and rainy season. I love the cold! I also stopped wearing foundations that are darker than my skin and switched to mixing bb-creams with my foundations for extra protection.
Now people are thinking I bleached my skin smh. Because i started to lose the tan on my face, and  my skin got better!
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This is me on my 21st birthday July 2011. notice a good difference in my face. i only applied sunscreen on my face. around this time i also discovered about SASA after visiting china and switched to using facial masks every night! I used brightening/regenerating masks with Vitamin C, vitamin E,  papaya extracts and enzyme masks (i always check the ingredients before buying some of those “brightening” products from SASA) cause i honestly don’t want to bleach my skin. What regenerating masks and skin products do is they speed up your skin’s cell recovery, that’s all.
Cell recovery, a normal thing that happens to your skin.
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This is me last year winter when i got “drastically light”. It was winter.
Winter.
Also my face? it’s makeup. man. Hard Candy did me wrong.
So wrong.
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This is me, earlier this year. January/February or so. notice how my face is still darker than the rest of y body? I’m not wearing makeup. Below is me this summer. look at that tan!! yessss. And yes my face is still darker than the rest of my body!! i was wearing makeup though. tinted moisturizer to be exact. in deep. DEEP. I was yet to discover bb creams!
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This is me now. i am still with my summer tan and my face is even with my neck. finally. but i have acne scars (sunscreen cant help with those lol) and some crazy panda eyes.
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TLDR:
Why i wouldn’t dare bleach my skin with hydroquinone. I would not go near hydroquinone (skin bleach) that stuff is dangerous!! Heck no! Plus the US banned the commercialization of above 4% of it which IS the effective dose!! Wikipedia would tell ya. Just google it.
I got a confirmation on the sunscreen tip from my brother’s Dermatologist this year. And guess what? she put him on sunscreen to correct his hyper-pigmentation! and he is at least 6 shades darker than I AM (the picture of me as a bridesmaid, that’s my brother)
Why am i typing this post? It’s been over a year since i wanted to write this post because people keep making comments, and it’s hard to explain without giving a lecture, and i hate repeating myself. so this post shall be forwarded to anybody that asks how i got lighter…or accuses me of bleaching my skin or some crazy suggestion like that.
I don’t wanna be darker or lighter than what God made me. i just want my skin-tone to be even and my face to match my neck with or without makeup. its kinda sucky walking around looking like a two colored clown. Hyper-pigmentation and photo-sensitivity is no joke. I LIKE MY SKIN COLOR. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Honestly, i don’t think there’s an excuse for this ignorance. there may have been before now; but it is 2012 and we use Google so often, I'm sure we can use it…just Google “can black people lose their tan”
And if you don’t find anything. I’ll tell you now…yes. Black people can also get skin cancer. of course, the more melanin you have, the less likely but its STILL probable regardless of your color. The only reason the stats are not the same as people of other colors is because blacks don’t actively sunbathe.
If you’re still confused. check the links to a blogpost i made a while ago about sunscreens and protection right after i took Environmental health. It even has slides from my lecture. 
It’s been real. I am off to take something to calm down my nerves.
Maybe Coffee.
Ore :)



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