Why I Didn’t Take Skincare Seriously Until My Late Twenties

Shutterstock / Jacob Lund.

“Wow, your skin looks so good.” This is the compliment that I often receive from family and friends who haven’t seen me in a long time. As a Black, gay man who takes great care of himself, I make sure to pamper myself before leaving the house.

Taking care of my skin is a top priority for me– this includes applying SPF daily to prevent hyperpigmentation. But I have a secret: I was never taught how to properly take care of my skin. I didn’t know much about a skincare routine, including cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and protecting your skin. 

Recently, I went to an event where I caught up with a colleague, another Black man, who works in media. Before we talked about what products we can’t live without, we discussed how there were no resources available to teach us how to properly wash our skin growing up. 

We were both surprised to learn that there are different components to skincare. For instance, I used to think that just using a cleanser and moisturizer was enough for my skin. It’s not just about the washing technique, but also about which moisturizer, serum, eye cream, beard oil, and lip balm to use in our routines.

After our conversation, I started thinking about why I wasn’t invested in skincare growing up. That’s because the mainstream media has marginalized Black beauty. There was a lack of resources for Black men like me to learn about skincare. There was rarely any representation and we were often ignored in the beauty space. 

Many of us visit barbershops to get a fresh haircut, a clean shave, or to style our beard. However, the importance of taking care of our skin is also something that should be taught. Sometimes, we may experience razor bumps, and our barbers recommend a bump cream to help get rid of them. But, when it comes to choosing the right skincare products for our face, we have to do some research and test them out to figure which works best for our skin.

Whenever I went shopping for skincare products for my breakout-prone skin as a teenager, I tried to find products that catered to Black people, but they were locked up and stored in the back of the store. I felt like I was completely ignored and misunderstood in the beauty space. 

The big reason why I didn’t take skincare seriously is because I never saw men Black men taking care, or investing in skincare. There are many areas of hygiene, but the topic of skincare and masculinity is often stigmatized. As a stereotype, Black men are expected to provide for their families, love sports, and be handy in any way they can. Beauty and skincare are considered feminine whenever men think of them. Men often neglect skincare for this reason, as well as the perception that beauty isn’t something they need to worry about. Black men need to realize that they do not need to follow society’s definition of masculinity, they can create their own terms. 

When I was back at home in Maryland due to the pandemic, I was watching a segment of FOX Soul and Dorion Renaud, Founder of Buttah Skin, appeared as a guest in one episode to talk about his skincare line. He pointed out that he saw his father as a primary example of self-care and masculinity “going hand in hand” and it’s not emasculating to take care of your skin. Then, I saw Sean Garrette breaking down the norms around Black men in the skincare space on TikTok. After hearing many Black, male founders building products catered to men, sharing many tips and suggestions on skincare, haircare, beard care, and more, I decided to take the leap of investing in high quality products. 

I was embedded in taking care of myself, including my face. I would go on TikTok and see what products content creators use for their skin. I followed their footsteps as I corrected my skin issues– as I struggled with ingrown hairs, razor bumps, large pores, hyperpigmentation, and oil increase. They were like my older brothers, or sisters, leading me on a new path of self-care. 

Now? Having the opportunity to test out many beauty products and receive facials twice a month helps me maintain my skin. But I have to remember that not every skincare product is made for me. And that’s okay. As long as I’m still learning and growing as a man, and taking care of myself– that’s what’s important. 

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general
Shopping cart