My Teen Skincare Life: Keysha Davis

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Keysha Davis is the editor of Black Hair Magazine and runs a blog called The Cocoa Diaries, she shared her skincare journey with us. I first got introduced to the power of skincare rituals like most little girls while watching my mama get ready for a night out. I can recall circa 1985 watching her intently as she sat in front of her French boudoir style dressing table, meticulously applying a scented face cream to every inch of her face and neck. Her potions of choice would change as the years clocked by. The first one that springs to mind is the sweet, heavenly scent of Oil of Ulay (now of course called Olay) which at the time, in the beauty pecking order seemed like the Alpha Female of the cosmetics world: assured, sophisticated and worldly.

Next, came a brief flirtation with Ponds Night Cream, before Mum got introduced to Avon Rich Moisture Cream and that became her beauty fail-safe for years. I still remember the distinct heavily perfumed scent to this day. Of course, my Mum’s glamourous face creams were off limits to me – my brother and I had to use good old-fashioned Afro-Caribbean staples like Astral Cream or Nivea. Even as a child I wasn’t convinced that these products were the best for me, so I would often sneak into mum’s room to slather on her precious Avon cream whenever I was afforded the chance.

In my early-to-mid teens, like most young girls, I began to develop mild acne and became obsessed with skincare. This also coincided with when I became a serious glossy magazine addict and the lure of advertising took an instant stranglehold of my impressionable self. I dreamt of purchasing products with exotic sounding names like Aveda, Clinique and Lancome, which would no doubt cure my skin ailments and leave me with a flawless complexion like the women in the glossies. But despite having a Saturday job and an allowance, unfortunately my budget wouldn’t stretch to afford such luxuries so I had to create a purse friendly skincare regime which consisted of Clearasil Astringent (to keep my spots at bay), and an orange scented toner and moisturiser by The Body Shop.

Surprisingly, it worked for a while, and it finally seemed like my skin was beginning to return to its pre-teen glory – result! But then one day my regime just turned against me. After applying my astringent one morning, a few hours later my skin immediately tightened (which I later came to learn was always a tell-tale sign that I was about to react to a product) and my face looked rough in appearance like a reptile. I was mortified. This would regularly occur throughout my teen years right into adulthood: I’d discover a product, try it out, react. Even when I earned enough money to be able to purchase the Aveda's and Lancome's of the world, the same chain of events would occur. It was incredibly frustrating

So with the search back on to find the perfect skincare stash, I promptly made the decision to go back to basics by using soap as a facial wash. I used Clearasil soap for years and it definitely kept my face clean, but left it feeling super dry so I had to really up the ante on moisturising. I knew I needed more from my products, then unexpectedly a couple of years ago I was introduced to Bobbi Brown’s skincare range and I haven’t looked back. I currently use Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil, which is a mild and gentle facial cleanser which contains jasmine flower extract, kukui nut oil and olive oil, and leaves my skin feeling amazingly smooth. Next, I tone with Hydrating Face Tonic before moisturising with Hydrating Face Cream which manages to attain that perfect balance of providing adequate moisturisation without leaving the skin feeling too greasy. The range is a bit on the pricey side but I really do believe my skin is the best its looked in years.

I feel like we’ve come a long way, my skin and I. After a long and arduous journey through trials, errors and bad product reactions – I can rest assured that we’re now at a place of contentment.

You can follow Keysha on Twitter.