Dark skin is one of the most precious gifts a woman could possess. Rich and active melanin keeps skin healthy, protected, and youthful. Dark skin “is less susceptible to sun-induced damage” which is the leading cause of premature aging. Darker skin is also thicker and thus keeps its elasticity better than any other group. This also results in a more youthful appearance. Despite all the magical things dark skin grants the bearer, I know I’m not the only one who has seen dark-skinned black women who neglect the gift that is their skin. The reasons vary and a lot of it has to do with a lack of information and a lack of positive dark skin promotion. Black is resistant to cracking, but that doesn’t make it invincible.
Taking pride in your appearance encourages a healthier lifestyle. Also, it’s no secret that our society is fundamentally shallow. By taking care of your appearance you open up opportunities both professionally and romantically. There are many different angles from which you can tackle your appearance and I think clear and healthy skin is one of the best assets a woman could sport. There are lots of blogs that tell you about this unpronounceable cream and that expensive moisturizer, but there is a secret to getting the results you want at a fraction of the price and without crazy side effects. My skin changed drastically after I started doing these few things and it may change your skin too.
Clearer Skin Starts Within.
This section will be a bit redundant. You’ve heard it before and I can’t stress it enough. Whenever talking about skin care a section must always be dedicated to what you consume. The health of your gut is one of the greatest predicters of the state of your skin. Clearer skin starts within, so you need to up your water intake (at minimum 8-10 cups of water a day/ 4-5 water bottles) and eat plenty of green and leafy vegetables (with every meal is ideal).
The greatest thing you can do for your skin, in fact, your body is to cut back on sugar. If you eat sugar everyday cut it back to only the weekend. If you eat treats and sodas and breads every weekend cut it back to one day out of the week then once every other week. The less sugar in your life the better for you overall health. Once you’ve tackled this step you might find that you have tiny pimples here and there on your skin or discoloration due to hyper pigmentation and scars. There’s a fix for all of that and it’s super easy. You might even have it in your fridge right now.
The One Ingredient That Puts Korean Skin Care Products To Shame
After incorporating a healthier lifestyle, I noticed that my skin still wasn’t at that 100% mark. I wanted to look like I was wearing makeup even when I wasn’t. There was still darkness under my eyes and I had acne scars all over. Exfoliating wasn’t doing enough, and Korean skin care had way too many steps.
Doing this one single thing took my skin from nice to perfect. Baking soda masks have absolutely perfected my skin. My acne scars are absolutely gone, I no longer have those tiny pimples all over my face, my under eyes aren’t so dark and minor smile and forehead lines have left my face. I live and die by baking soda masks. My skin has never been so perfectly even.
How I Did It
First, I have to make some disclaimers. I never do Baking soda masks in the summer because exposure to harsh sunlight after doing the mask can cause skin irritation, or worse, even more discoloration. Baking soda is corrosive but ti's no worse for your skin than those other strong cleansers at your local drug store. I have worn the mask consecutively, but no longer than a week. After that it’s only every other day or every other week once I get the results I want. You don’t have to and shouldn’t mix anything like lemon juice or other acidic substances with the baking soda. It works just fine on its own. If you do make the mask in the summer, try to avoid direct sunlight on the area of your body that you’ve applied the mask.
In order to make the mask you only need a dish with some baking soda in it and just a little bit of water. Pour just enough water, but slowly because the solution quickly becomes watery and you don’t want it to be too watery. The solution should feel and look like wet sand. You don’t want it to be dry and stiff but more on the solid side than liquid. Once you’ve reached a proper consistency place it to the side and wash your face. After you’ve washed your face, apply the mask to the entirety of your face (or where ever you choose that isn’t in your eyes or near intimate and sensitive places) and let it sit until it dries completely.
Once the mask has dried, gently rinse it off with lukewarm water. It helps to keep a rag that is lukewarm near by because wiping your face with a towel helps to take off the impurities that have been exposed. After that I like to apply a toner and then moisturize my skin with a thick lotion. Doing baking soda masks has been a game changer in the appearance of my skin. Make up never looked better on me and I no longer feel a tinge of disappointment when I take it off. Every fall and winter I whip out this secret concoction and my skin looks flawless. It’s worked on my armpits, and legs too.
Other Obligatory Skin Care Must Haves
In addition to doing baking soda masks you should also be wearing sunscreen all year long. Sunscreen acts just like melanin by protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. East Asian have a youth game that rivals our own because they cake on the sunscreen. You should too. Imagine if our protection had protection? We’d be immortal! Or at least look it.
Baking soda has been a game changer to my skin and it might be the one thing missing from your skin care regime.
Black women have beautiful skin and the darker the better in many ways. We truly are magical beings with gravity defying hair and age defying skin. But if there’s anything I learned from watching shows about magical girls it’s that every magical girl has her sidekick. Make healthier skin yours.
Lilith is a blogger with an emphasis in writing and reflecting upon social agendas that effect black women. When not at her computer writing she is more than likely still at her computer, programming. On the rare occasion that Lilith isn't at her laptop you can attempt to find her exploring the Chicago food scene or attending workshops in creative writing.