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Lessons Learned: On Brown Skincare, Beauty + Life

By Tyler Guitroz

Skincare is an important step in my day—albeit, a step that involves a few, erm, steps. I’ve done a lot of research, endured a lot of trial and error, and made a lot of mistakes. But now, I am happy to say I’ve finally set upon a nice, simple routine to get my day started. Allow me to walk you through it, in the form of my internal monologue.

Hello beautiful, with the gorgeous brown skin. Time to wake up. Time to reflect. Time to get ready to face the world, brilliantly and with care.

Cleanse 
You’ve chosen a cleanser free of harsh chemicals and irritants such as not to degrade the integrity of the moisture barrier, whilst keeping your skin clean. What a wise and wonderful creature you are! ]This is the first layer of protection. You only have one skin. And while regeneration is an important component of growing, there are enough forces superimposed upon you trying to set you back; to stunt your growth; to soil your beauty. Not your cleanser, and definitely not the world. 

Exfoliate 
You see that texture you have? Those layers of old, damaged skin. Skin damaged by the elements of living. Living in an abrasive, aggressive, and generally unforgiving place we call life. We can free you of them! Grab that exfoliator. You know! The one that removes all of that congestion on the surface and under. The one that frees you of confines of old, outdated, dead… skin. Yes, that one. Just remember: Don’t over do it. Those problems can be exacerbated by too much force. Learn how much works and how much doesn’t. Maybe even get a little creative. You’ll be free and smooth in no time. 

Moisturize 
Now, this is a time to really care for yourself. You’ve chosen the best moisturizer for your skin, and now the time has come to enjoy it. There are so many ways to work all of that love and goodness into your gorgeous skin. The best approach is the approach that makes you feel cared for. This is the layer that keeps all the good stuff in, and all of the stuff bad out. 

Sunscreen 
For sunscreen, keep it simple, and know these few facts: You have sensitive skin, which favors physical blockers; You do NOT do well with fragrance; and you have skin, which means I should be wearing sunscreen so long as you are in contact with the sun. Had you listened to the opinions of others you may have decided to just buy the most expensive sunscreen, because “expensive is supposed to mean better”. You may have chosen a sunscreen that breaks your skin out into a rash because you weren’t aware of the natural boundary imposed upon you and your skin. You may have not worn sunscreen at all because you were told “black people don’t need sunscreen.” Wrong! What you really heard was that some are more deserving of protection from the forces at bay than others. What you know is that that insinuation is certainly not the case. SPF every damn day, please and thank you.

Makeup 
While this is an entirely different discussion, you’ve set the foundation for a very very successful application, love. Let us not forget to remember that just because your shade is not represented, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. 

Before you leave, just remember: Your skin—like life is not just *skin-deep*—despite popular opinion. While that sounds a bit counterintuitive, it is worth noting that there are direct forces acting upon you and skin, which will influence how you see yourself. Do not be influenced by the dirt and the grime. You can get rid of it. Do not be hindered by the surface obstructions. Under those layers lie a glow only you can illuminate. And lastly, protect yourself from the inside-out. You are important. You do matter. You are worthy. The end.