Skin ain't easy, sis. Let me tell you. My skin journey has been one that I can truly say changed my life. I learned incredible, new things and the value that there is in investing in your skin.

GIF: Birchbox

Let me give you some back story:

In August of 2017, I moved to the DMV area because of a job opportunity and to start a new journey for myself — spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially. I was ready for a new change. With all of this new excitement, I didn’t think of the consequences a big move was going to have on me. Moving to a new state meant that I had to look for housing, find a roommate, move into that new space, furnish my home and start a new career. After three months into my move, my best friend got engaged. Needless to say, I was in a high-stress space because of all of the change and adjustment that was happening in my own life. To help my best friend plan for her wedding, I had to travel back and forth to my hometown of Atlanta roughly 5 times in that year, which was a whole lot for me. Then, I turned 25 (“we wasn't supposed to make it past 25” remember?), and I got invited to interview with my dream company — another intense and nerve-wracking experience that included a 4-month process of 2 interviews. I got hired, and during the first month of working at my new job, my best friend got married.Safe to say, I didn’t get much breathing room that year.

Now you’re probably wondering, what the heck does all of this have to do with skin? It has everything to do with it.

In the first 2 months of living in the DMV, my skin started changing. I normally only broke out when my cycle was about to begin, and seldom, right after it ends. Being a hot mess that I somewhat frequently am, I would constantly touch my breakouts — which sometimes would become blemishes, but it was nothing that was ever concerning. So, you can only imagine how shocked I was when I began to see that I was breaking out in different places on my face. 

It started on my cheeks where I would get little bumps that you could only see if you’re very close to my face. I was uneasy, but it nothing alarming. Then, I started breaking out on my jawline where one pimple turned into three in the same area. Let’s not forget that I was still breaking out in the common places I would right before my cycle. Six months later, my jawline was still breaking out and experiencing a cluster of up to 4-5 dark spots. I felt like I looked so ugly, my blemishes were noticeable, and my self-confidence was slowly plummeting. At that time, I didn’t have good health insurance and wasn’t really aware of what exactly a dermatologist could do for me. So, I suffered through it. My skin was failing. 

I would vigorously research and try to find products that could save me from this. Shopping at places like Kiehls or Sephora, I’d buy expensive products and continue to try relentlessly, praying that a product would be my saving grace. 

I was very self-conscious about my skin. I wouldn’t go anywhere without concealer. I mean anywhere. My boyfriend would always push me to go see a doctor, but I think I could afford it and I was so scared the doctor would tell me I’m stuck this way or prescribe me something that my face wouldn’t react well to. Finally, I signed up for a health benefits package with my job. Feeling blessed to get the opportunity to acquire such fantastic insurance, I picked my fabulous doctor who practices in Silver Spring, MD. When she saw me, she laughed because she could tell how nervous I was. On a scale of 1 to 5, she told me my skin a 1 — I was like, “excuse me? Just 1?” 

According to my doctor, my skin was nowhere near bad, and the dark spots on my lower jawline were not scars, but just irritated blemishes. Can you imagine my relief? I almost wanted to cry. All of this time, money, effort, anxiety and tears spent on what I perceived to be horrifying and permanent scarring, only to find out it was normal irritation.

In November of 2018, I started my skin treatment with my doctor and she has truly transformed my skin. She’s taught me how to properly, keyword properly, care for my skin. The simplest regime can go a long way. 

My doctor prescribed La Roche-Posay daily cleanser, SPF moisturizer and toner. I was introduced to this brand from a fromHelen blog post called, In My Skins. I use these exact products and they have been so healing to my skin. These three products, plus the products I was prescribed through my dermatologist, have been life-changing!

Photo: fromHelen, In My Skins

So, it’s been 4 months now and I’m beginning to fall back in love with my skin. I’m so thankful. To achieve the full scope of progress, my treatment is supposed to last for 6 months — but even in these 4 months, I’ve seen more than enough to know that it is so important to invest in your skin. 

tracee ellis ross black girl magic GIF by Republic Records

GIF: Giphy

At the age of 25, I’m glad I learned what it means to be intentional with my skin. The earlier you take charge, the better. My skin is far from perfect, but it’s so refreshed. It’s vibrant and feels new. Though my skin is still healing and I still have blemishes that are slowing fading on my jawline, I love who I am and what my story has become. I knew that sharing this was important. I know someone else is battling with what I battled. And I know someone can win just like I did. Skin ain’t so bad after all.

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