Right, I did mention I wanted to steer away from too much “look at my new toothpaste you guys!” and other sorts of trivial crap. While I doubt anyone could benefit for me blabbering about skincare, then I still think the whole issue about the look of your skin needs to be discussed.
First off, let me just say that I cannot speak as someone who knows tons about skin and skincare. I am also not fucking qualified to talk about skin colour and care since I have the feeling that we already have too much whitewashing when it comes to skincare and make-up in particular. Fuck that narrow-minded capitalist shit.
I am just about the whitest white lad you will ever meet and your eyes will burn if you spot me in sunlight. I actually look a bit like Peppa the Pig, same undertone #sis. Therefore, you won’t be getting any advice. Ask someone smart.
I will tell you, however, that I have been struggling with the look of my skin. Hell broke loose during my teenage years, where I felt judged for my acne and, most of all, was just deeply insecure about it. It was awful. Heaven knows it has gotten way, way better now. As long as I just eat a reasonably healthy diet then I usually look presentable. But the scars remain. The red, flushed areas remain. And how do you go from there?
I have been in both trenches of Skin Warfare. I have gone through a shitload of different products that promised miracles, I have also been completely laissez-faire and convinced that the less effort I do, the more ‘calm’ my skin will be – and I should not attach so much self confidence to the look of my skin, although that is easier said than done. We are obsessed with the look of our skin, and honestly, rightfully so. It is the first thing we present to the world and there is a lot of stigma surrounded by acne. A person with ‘bad’ skin must be eating unhealthy, not exercise enough, unhygienic, etc. It attracts unwanted attention. Do we need to change this weird ass stigma as a society? Absolutely. People pour thousands down the drain for the next miracle product in the hope that it will make their face look better, and I think that social media with all the photoshopping and airbrushing have only heightened the bar for ‘acceptable’ skin.
I have been in both trenches of Skin Warfare.
So there was obviously some thinking to do here. I don’t have the time, energy or money to go extreme with my skincare. I don’t go crazy if I spot a zit and I don’t want to obsess over it. But I also want my skin to have a healthier look and I want to make sure that I do my best to treat it nicely.
Sure, I could start to dig down and scold myself for even caring that I wanted my skin to look nice. How am I supposed to rebel against a capitalist, greedy marketing big guy if I am still faithfully applying moisturiser and hyaluronic acid every night? Why am I being so shallow that I care about some uneven, scarred spot on my cheek? I don’t think that is the way to go. I think it is perfectly fine to allow yourself to strive for the best version of you, maybe just with a slight hint of realism so we don’t race straight down the Old Town Crazy Bitch Road. I want to do my best – but I also need to realise that I won’t ever in this lifetime be able to compare my skin to a picture on Instagram.
There is a balance to be considered. We should not judge people based on how #nofilter their skin looks today, we should not place value on some big tissue cage that holds all our bones and muscles in places (you’re welcome for this imagery). But it doesn’t start by judging people for buying skincare products and doing their very best in this area, or even asking them to stop ‘obsessing’. It starts by getting companies and influencers to stop setting the bar so high that I can’t even fucking see it from my window on third floor.