How art thou? So we aren't going to go into all that rigmarole about my inconsistent posting today, no need. As I've said many times I will only post when I have something meaningful to say and I do now so, Happy New Year and welcome back.
For me skincare has always been a secondary benefit of using botanicals, personally my primary need has traditionally been for their physical, emotional, mental and physiological benefits but somehow, some-way skincare has become one of the main reasons people contact us and it is mostly due to some form of damage which has become problematic and embarrassing. Sadly, 90% of these issues are due to the deliberate, misinformed or inadvertent use of chemical based products aimed at lightening the skin.
Case in point, I recently met a lady (socially, not a customer) who's skin has lost almost all its elasticity, she even had a generous amount of something I like to call "Hello Mummy, Hello Daddy" (which in the normal world are patches of dark purple/red/brown, damaged, skin on the sides of the face by the eye and cheekbone a common side effect of skin lightening products) which is one of the most visible indicators of damage alongside some other signs of premature aging. Without being told, I could see all the obvious prominent markers of prolonged use of these lightening creams, It was apparent she had stopped using them but the damage was done and even if she were to immediately initiate an intense rejuvenating, regenerating, repairing regimen, there is an unfortunate possibility that the damage could be permanent. To cut a long story short she was a 35 year old woman with the skin of a 60 year old! But like I said, it was a social event, non work related, the first and probably last time I'd ever see her, I was off the clock, she didn't ask for my opinion, nor did I offer it and since it really was none of my business, we both sipped our wine had a great chat and went about our respective lives, but it bothered me, in fact it still does.
I know the prospect of that kind of damage sounds horrific, right? In my head I'm imagining someone clutching their pearls and gasping at the thought of that happening to them, but its possible, it can happen to anyone, all it takes is making some really bad decisions. The reason for this need for light skin eludes me.....it really does, yes we all know its nothing new, women all over Africa and Asia have been bleaching their skin for decades and in spite of all the information on how detrimental it is, even in the face of scientific research based evidence on the effects of all the harmful chemicals concocted into them, its still a multi billion dollar business, people will still use them, no one can change that, it just is what it is. On a personal note, I don't get it especially now in 2019 with all the aforementioned information available, in the face of the rising sense of pride in our blackness taking over worldwide, with all the hashtags e.g. #melaninpoppin#melaninonfleek#melaninqueen etc everywhere. Particularly when there are so many healthier, non- toxic, more natural options available, knowing the negative impact they have on our health.....quite simply, at this point it just makes no sense...AT ALL!!
Other than health and wellness which are at the core of why Mo's was started, the skin issues people normally contact us with are usually related to auto immune or inflammatory or other such health related problems e.g. Eczema, Psoriasis, Dermatitis, Scleroderma, Pilaris keratosis, Rosacea etc. things that affect their lives through no fault of their own, just the hand nature or genetics has dealt to them, and thankfully we've had great success in those areas. However, repairing damaged skin is rapidly rising as a major issue people contact us for and the common thread in all their complaints is they tried to "tone/glow up/lighten/whatever" at first their skin was amazing but after some time...it wasn't!
Don't misunderstand me or think I'm judging anyone, I'm most definitely not! We all make choices which seem great at the time but turn out disastrous, its all part of the life experience. I've had my own "skin toning" mishaps some of their effects I am still dealing with over a decade later, yes over 10 years later. External observers claim not to see these things but I know how amazing my skin was before I decided to mess with it, so apart from the inevitable changes related to age which are out of my control I'm still actively to this day working on repairing my self inflicted damage while battling with any overt signs of aging as much as possible, which I know is inevitable but this chick ain't going down without a fight...no way!
How did I come to the decision to "tone" my skin you'd like to know? You know me na, I will tell you, I've told you deeper, more serious issues I've dealt with, so what's a little of my foray into bleaching between friends...lol.
I think everyone has those friends who bleach (at least I do, quite a few at that), some lie about it even though its blatantly obvious, some claim to be just toning and some are unrepentant, unapologetic and will punch you in the face should you attempt to dissuade them from it. Some of my closest friend are in the 2nd and 3rd categories, we are comfortable and accepting of our opposite ends of the skin color manipulation divide and it doesn't bother us. I laugh at their hello mummy, hello daddy patches, black knuckles, visible green veins etc. they tell me to sharrap, mind my own business, call me an idiot, laugh at my nappy hair and blackness, and proceed to inform me how with just a little color adjustment in their eyes I would look better, you know just general foolishness among people who have been friends for decades.
Most of my beef with chemical skin lightening developed over time, resulting from a lot of my own bad experiences with it, but that was back when I was younger and more susceptible to peer pressure even when in all honesty I was old enough to know better, I fell for it. I should have learned way earlier because whenever I'd tried it had usually ended up in tears but the last episode was a doozy.
You see, I was jeje in my house minding my own business, when a friend come over and started going in on my "blackness" once again, she made so much fun of me I easily became a willing receptacle of her dumb advice, which was to buy a popular lotion and mix it with one serum, a combination which according to her in her infinite bleaching wisdom would make my blackness just "chocolatey and glowing" (her exact words).
So with this sage advice I had just received from a "guru", It was off to the races for me, in fact I did not even wait at all, even though it was around 6 pm, off I rushed to Tejuosho Market (that's how hard my maga/mumu button was pressed) to buy these "life changing" items. After using the mixture for a few weeks, my friend was right and my skin was amazing, OMG I had finally found the right thing for my skin, no one could touch my glow. When it finished, I bought another one and then another one and so on until around a year later I bought what I didn't know at the time would be my second to last bottle, mixed it and used it as usual before going to bed, you know nothing new just the regular routine.
The next morning when I got up, I went about my usual morning routine of faffing around until I had to get up and get ready for the day. I'm not really into staring into mirrors so unless absolutely necessary I can't be bothered with them. My younger brother needed something and came into my bedroom, looked at me, I saw his eyes grow wide and could see the rubbish fellow holding back a laugh but it didn't occur to me that whatever was so humorous had anything to do with me so I couldn't give a toss what was so funny, until he asked me what was going on with my face, I was not in the mood so I just ignored him but he insisted I look in the mirror. Irritated at being disturbed before coffee, in a huff I went to check ready to give him hell if this was some sort of prank so early in the morning and almost collapsed at what I saw. The face in the mirror (It couldn't possibly be me) had developed army camouflage like patches of very light skin as in Caucasian/Albino-like light all over my T-Zone, I was like a human Panda bear! The rest of my face was normal but my forehead, areas around my nose mouth and chin were far from it. I called this same friend who suggested I'd probably bought the fake one and to go back there since I knew the store owner well. I got up and immediately headed there with a scarf over my face like a Ninja assassin where I was told it wasn't fake, or their fault but my skin causing the problem so to use Penicillin which I did........norrin, I was still a panda!
Since I was in a losing battle with common sense I went back to this my National Adviser friend again and foolishly listened when she told me to buy from another store and not add the serum this time. However, after a week of using the new one I woke up one morning and my entire face was a bright Fanta like orange..it was crazy, I was devastated and couldn't leave my house for weeks!
I'll tell you some more next post, don't worry it will be on time I've already written some of it but I keep adding information so this may become a 2-3 part series....we'll see.
Until then I need a nap so we'll pick up where we are leaving off next time.
We only have one body, when we treat it well it returns the favor.