** Updated March 24, 2019
As this is still my most popular blog post ever! Thank you to everyone who reads this post. I wanted to share an update about my skin. As I mentioned in July 2017, I underwent laser hair removal to get rid of the hairs on my face. This was a 13 month process. It was well worth the $300 I paid. While the hair is not completely gone, the treatments significantly thinned or stopped the hair growth in some areas. The thicker areas completely stopped growing and have not grown back since. However, there are some thinner hairs that do grow. All in all, I highly recommend laser hair removal for those considering it.
We can’t control our features, but we do have some control over the health and condition of our skin. Healthy skin begins with a balanced diet, plenty of water, and an effective skin care regime. But what happens when mother nature throws a couple of genetic wrenches at you? You know like dark spots due to hyperpigmentation? This skin condition is common with African Americans such as myself. And what about ingrown hairs? I mean women aren’t supposed to have hairs on their faces besides maybe their side burns and eyebrows! WRONG! I’m going to fess up to a few stray strands in less than appealing places, but I won’t let them detract from my beauty! No way! There are ways for us (and it’s more women than you think) women and men with skin challenges to deal and OVERCOME! So if you suffer from dark marks associated with acne, ingrown hairs (folliculitis), freckles, etc, read on for ways to cope.
DARK SPOTS BEGONE!
I’d first like to preface this with a statement that I am not a doctor, esthetician, or a dermatologist. Just a simple Texas girl who likes to do tons of research on how to cure simple ailments through natural and safe topical methods. Of course I’d recommend speaking with a dermatologist for serious skin issues.
Okay, confessions time! I suffer from an often overlooked condition called Folliculitis. This is when hair follicles get infected and cause small inflamed pimples. I’ve gotten a few on my face before, as I have a few stray hairs and my sideburns can sometimes cause these little pimples to form. It’s embarrassing!
First off, if you suffer from stray hairs in the form of a mustache, thick side burns or anywhere else on your face that you’d rather not have hair, my #1 suggestion would be to DO NOT PLUCK THEM! That is unless you do not have issues with Hyperpigmentation. This condition is most common in individuals with a darker complexion, but can result in pink scarring in fair skin individuals as well. When you pluck your hairs, it can cause damage at the root of the follicle, which then can lead to skin discoloration. Trust me, that’s how I got a few of my own scars.
If you must remove the hair yourself, I’d suggest using a depilatory cream such as Nair, or investing $10 in a facial hair trimmer. It’s small like a laser pointer and trims eyebrows, sideburns, or whatever facial hair needs trimming, and most important of all, it won’t damage your skin.
And don’t be embarrassed by your less than ladylike problem. God makes no mistakes and even celebrities suffer from these issues…
Not to put anyone on Blast or anything, but it’s a little nice to know that even the most beautiful women in Hollywood suffer from un-Hollywood like problems.
Products That Brighten Skin
There are several products that I’ve used and have seen positive results from. But before trying to lighten dark spots, commit to preventing them in the first place. That means either getting laser hair removal to permanently remove the hairs, or choosing a non-damaging method to remove hairs, i.e. depilatory creams, shaving.
1. The Power Peel by Ole Henrickson – This product is a favorite because it’s all-natural and I love that it’s divided into three steps. It can be a bit intense, so if you have sensitive skin, this may not be the product for you.
2. Alpha Beta Peel by Dr. Dennis Gross – This has been a favorite for many years. When I use this product, I try to stay consistent and use it twice per week. I’ve seen my best result this way. If you absolutely love it, you can buy the bigger kit with 30 applications. It’s a better investment if you plan on using this product for the long haul.
3. Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector – When this product first came on the market, I knew I had to try it. I saw minimal results, and its kind of pricey so it isn’t my first choice.
4. Jan Marini Skin Care System – This system definitely worked as far as fading my dark spots. It is very pricey though. I recommend using this system after you have done laser hair removal. That way you’ll make purchasing the kit worth it. Trust me, the results are worth it.
SOME OTHER SKIN SAVIORS:
Derma E makes incredible single use facial masks. I am particularly fond of their Firming Magnetic Clay Mask. It leaves my skin feeling so smooth. The mask does burn a little bit, but the results are well worth it. If you have sensitive skin, I highly recommend doing a spot test before applying to your entire face. I also really like Osea Malibu skin care products.
I finally decided to take the plunge and invest in laser hair removal. After years of dealing with ingrown hairs and dark spots as a result, I figured it was best to kill the source of the problem. If you are African American and are afraid of the negative side effects of laser treatments, I recommend you research med spas that use a ND YAG laser. This laser is safe for African Americans. I have not had any adverse effects, my treatments last 5 minutes or less, and my skin looks better than ever. I started noticing slower and thinner hair growth after the first treatment.