Due to my dermatitis I can’t do rigorous treatments such as laser treatment or dermabrasion for my hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, which are stubborn on darker skin tones. And also sucks because I have no patience for waiting months doing a skin care regime to see results. But alas I have no choice. It can be a balancing act knowing when to put on what lotion and potion. The wrong timing can cause irritation and I have to start all over again. Thank goodness for makeup, although it can make matters worse. Sometimes I have to be brave and face the world bare faced, trying to ignore the double takes and pain. But how come I’m only just learning that dark skin needs sunscreen in my adulthood?! Specialist dermatologists correct me if I’m wrong but apparently we have more collagen that’s more likely to cause lichenified skin and less ceramides means less hydrated skin. I couldn’t figure out the evolutionary reason behind this, surely descendants of desert people’s skin would want to store water like other mammals. My diasporic self dwells in a cold, dry and windy environment within a hard water area so the lotion expense is high. The dermatology field has only just started to pay attention to our existence it seems. When I went to a dermatologist a few years back she couldn’t understand why I was so multi-tonal. It used to really distress me but now I try to accept it as a kind of kintsugi. I thank it for doing it’s best to heal so I’m protected from the elements and want to show it the respect I’ve always wanted for myself.
Maybe I should see my skin care regime as another character building exercise that propels me through my daily routine. I feel as guilty as forgetting to water a plant when I do a shortcut version of it (I’ve banned myself from keeping plants for a while, too many green friends have died). If we lived in a world where we had loose beauty preferences rather than rigid standards maybe it wouldn’t be a problem. I dont mind being darker and would never bleach my sensitive skin just because society prefers lighter, I just want the evidence of what I’ve done to myself to fade away I suppose, especially if it means healthier skin. And I’ve never seen a person with some kind of disfigurement and thought they should do something about it. We come in a myriad of variety, us humans, and our appearances can come as a beautiful testament to our resilience.