My Super Simple SkinCare Routine

So, before I get into my routine and the products I use, let me just give you a little back-ground story on my skin and how it has been lately…

In May of this year I stopped taking birth control simply because I had been on it for a few years and wanted to give my body a break. I figured there would be changes, like changes in my mood, but what I did not expect was a whole lot of acne. When I tell y’all I was HURT!!! My forehead broke out badly! I was getting pimples on places like my cheeks, chin, and nose! I probably sound hella dramatic cause it’s just acne right, but at the time it was a huge deal. I felt extremely unattractive and annoyed about it for weeks. Prior to stopping the birth-control I got like one pimple on my forehead every so often but that was it.

I read online that it was very normal to experience acne after quitting birth control because your hormones are adjusting. More specifically as your hormones adjust, oil production can increase.  After reading that information, I felt a lot better and I came to the realization that I just needed to be patient with my body. Also, having acne is not the end of the freaking world.

Now we get to the point of the post… my skin care routine!

As my skin was changing I thought it would be helpul to change some of the products I had been using. Some of these products are old, but some are newer as I’ve been using them for a little over a month now. I’m very happy to say that my skin is getting back to being clear and my confidence is on 10.

Step 1: Cleanser

My cleanser was the first product that I looked to change. I was previously using Cetaphil but now I use Acure-Seriously Soothing Cleansing Cream and Neutrogena- Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser. I love the cleansing cream because it leaves my face feeling both clean and hydrated. I do not use the exfoliating cleanser everyday although the directions state you can. It’s more like every other day in order to remove dead skin cells. While I’m cleansing I like to use the Beyond Belief- Deep Cleansing Silicone brush.

Step 2: Toner

I’ve been using Heritage Store- Rosewater Facial Toner for about 6 months now and will continue to do so because I am completley obsessed. I’m 99% sure that this product is the reason my skin tone is even. It’s also very hydrating.

Step 3: Eyecream

I’ve tried so many different eye creams over the past year, but about 3 months ago I found the  Belif-Moisturizing Eye Bomb and love it. I can’t stand dry under eyes, and this product is very hydrating.

Step 4: Moisturizer

I was previously using an Aveeno moisturizer, but noticed it was way too heavy for my skin now that it was producing more oil. I wanted something light, so I got the Cerave- Ultra Light Moisturizing Lotion. I love that such a light-weight product can be so moisturizing. It’s also non-comedogenic which means it doesn’t clog your pores.

I also want to mention the Ancient Healing Clay-Deep Facial Cleanser although this is something I use only once a week. When I do use it, I use it after cleansing. This product is great for pulling out any dirt and oil that is deep in your pores.

Additional skin-care tips…

Stay hydrated. Take your vitamins. Use sunscreen (yes, even us melanin infused folks need to use sunscreen).

I Still Remember the Days Where I Prayed for the Things I Have Now

The other day my friend sent me a tik tok. There are different variations of it out there, but most importantly it’s a voiceover of Nene Leakes (if you don’t know who that is, it’s ok lol). The context is that Nene visits someone’s home and is disgusted by what she sees.

 Nene goes on to say “They had a white refrigerator. I was like ughhhh ooooo, not a white refrigerator. Girl please put your shoes on, let’s go find you a home”. Now, I find Nene to be hilarious so of course I laughed, but I also had a moment where I thought to myself… damn, I used to have a white refrigerator.

It was actually only in February of this year that I moved into a renovated unit in my apartment complex that came with wood floors, granite countertops, and yes…. A STAINLESS STEEL REFRIGERATOR. I distinctly remember living in my old apartment and just waiting for the day I could move into something like what I have now. 

I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now

I began to reflect on where I am now in life versus where I was 1-3 years ago. I remembered first moving to the DFW and not being able to find a job for about 3 months. I remembered being so frustrated that I had a bachelor’s degree but apparently still wasn’t qualified enough. I remembered working at different jobs for $10, $13, $15 an hour. I remembered working for no pay at all (unpaid internships should be illegal). I remembered long days of working then heading to class at 7:00 PM. I remembered being worried about rent. I remembered getting a credit card just to pay for necessities. I remembered using that credit card for things I didn’t really need. I remembered looking at people on Youtube and Instagram who went on trips and had gorgeous apartments then thinking “Why can’t that be me?” or “When will my time come?”. 

I’m not trying to say that I struggled oh so hard nor am I trying to say that my life is perfect now. I am saying that I feel blessed that the things I mentioned above are no longer my reality. Those things mentioned above are important aspects of my journey in life that have played a part in making me into the woman I am today.

I don’t know where you are in life right now, but if you are wishing and praying to be some place different, I want to tell you that it’s coming. Keep working, keep striving, keep praying. When you do get to that place you wish to be, don’t forget where you once were. Use the past chapters of life as motivation and reminders. Keep working, keep striving, keep praying.

Chapter 25: The Glow-Up

Chapter 25: The Glow-Up

On March 30th, this picture was taken of me. When my boyfriend handed me the phone so that I could look at it my first words were “Wow, I’m beautiful”, and then I immediately started tearing up.  Of course he didn’t understand so I explained that I hadn’t felt beautiful in awhile. Seeing this picture was like having a major epiphany about myself. My epiphany didn’t stop there though.. in this picture I saw so much more. I saw the woman that I had always known myself to be deep inside. I saw a woman that was confident in who she is and what she has to offer the world. 

Confidence is an attribute that I’ve always strongly admired in other people. I’ve always admired it because for some reason It has not always come naturally to me. I distinctly remember in Jr. high and high-school hating myself and how I looked. From the shape of my nose to my frizzy curls to my teeth…I was deeply unsatisfied. In college I distinctly remember not having confidence in my ability to lead or speak up. Throughout my college years I slowly began to develop confidence, but I still wasn’t quite where I wanted to be. Post-graduation, I had gained some weight, struggled in a couple different areas of my life, and slipped back into that Jr. high/high-school mindset. 

So what recently brought me to my great epiphany? I think a major part of it is doing what I’m passionate about… 

Throughout my MSW program, I’ve had the opportunity to work with women in recovery from substance abuse, as well as with children with different mental health diagnoses. I currently work with adults dealing with various mental health diagnoses in a psychiatric unit. Never in a million years did I think I would have the confidence to get up in front of such vulnerable populations and not only educate them but HELP them. I seriously get up in front of people older than me and offer guidance. I can’t explain the feeling I get when a patient or client tells me “You’re going to do great things” or “That was such a great group” or “This really helped me”. Through pursing my passion, I’ve been able to see who I am and what I’m capable of. I’m a bad-ass. 

On my birthday one of my sorority sisters said “You got you a voice!” and that is the truth. I’m no longer afraid to lead or speak-up. Realizing that I’m beautiful in my looks is one thing, but slowly becoming the woman that I’ve always dreamed of being is another. What’s crazy is, I’m only going to get better…

2019, I’m Ready For You

2019, I’m Ready For You

2018 wasn’t my finest year, and for the past few months I had been constantly thinking to myself “God, I can’t wait for this year to be over”. My year consisted of struggling financially, working at a job that I hated, and having a hard time mentally and emotionally. I was so ready to put this bad year behind me, and never look back.

A few days ago, while drinking my morning coffee, I started wondering if trying to forget everything that happened this year was helpful or even sensible. I also questioned what would make 2019 such a better year than 2018. I realized that instead of trying to erase 2018 from my memory, I could take some time to really reflect on what happened. Instead of just waiting around for the new year, I could be actively planning for an amazing 2019. 

I reflected on my trials and tribulations and in doing so, I couldn’t help but to feel grateful and determined. I felt grateful because not only did I make it through some hard times, but I learned some very valuable lessons along the way. I felt determined because I realized that I am in control of my life and I can manifest the things that I desire. I thought long and hard about things that I wanted and why. I went on to write down my goals for 2019, and made plans for how I would achieve them. 

After much self-reflection, and goal setting I decided that there were a few more things to do in order to get ready for the new year…

Deep clean

Deep cleaning my apartment always makes me feel like my life is together. In fact, when my place is messy, that can be a sign that I’m not in a good place mentally or emotionally. I put on some loud music and thoroughly cleaned each room of my apartment. 

Declutter

I felt that by decluttering I was making room for happiness, peace, freedom, and creativity in my life. Basically I got rid of anything that was useless and unnecessary. I went through my filing boxes, drawers, closets, cabinets, fridge, computer files, and emails. 

Burn some sage

Sage is known for purifying and creating a positive environment. Seeing as though it was my first time, I had to watch some youtube videos but it’s pretty simple to do. I lit one end on fire, blew it out, and then walked around my entire apartment.

I’ve never felt so excited and ready for the new year. 

2018, thank-you for all your lessons and opportunities for growth. 2019, I’m coming for everything that’s mine.