My Teen Skincare Life by Leillah Sekalala


Leillah Sekalala is the founder of NoScrunchie which is a website that allows you to source a salon in any area that caters for Afro hair. She took time out to share her skincare journey with us. I first came across skincare in high school in Uganda. My mum never wore makeup so there was very little influence from home. My idea of skincare was applying baby powder to my face during the day to avoid skin looking shiny in the heat. I washed my face with plain water every evening. I did not apply any moisturiser at this point in my life.

My Mum and my aunties were my influences when it came to skincare. My mum did the baby powder routine, still does. (she has amazing skin) so she was a great influence on the less is more. One of my aunts was an expert at eye makeup and I have tried unsuccessfully to copy this for years. My friends and I were as clueless as each other. I remember this one time, my friend and I spent our pocket money on ‘sophisticated’ make up. We bought Ponds Cold Cream and a green eye liner. We got back to boarding school with our ‘spoils’ and discovered that none of them were what we thought. We didn’t know that the Cold Cream was a night time thing and hadn’t realised that mascara came in more than one colour. So disappointing. We didn’t get many magazines in Uganda that had black people in them. We got HELLO and VOGUE. Not much inspiration in there.

The first skincare brand I started using was Johnson’s baby powder but I stopped using it when I left the tropics. My skin is definitely less oily in the UK than it was in Uganda and South Africa. Everything changed when I got pregnant. My skin got dry so I started sampling different things. Then it got oily and I sampled a lot. I never paused to give any product time to work. I wanted immediate results which never came and that left me with some scarring.

So post pregnancy, I actually had to learn more about skin care. I now religiously moisturise either with Aveeno positively luminous or Agese Oils Face Glow. I use the Aveeno if I am going to apply makeup and the face glow if I am going makeup free. I use Sleek Pressed Powder and lipstick from Island Beauty. I stay away from the big expensive brands as I can’t find them in my local Superdrug. I use Island Beauty lipstick because they have an amazing range of lip colours at £2 each. So I have about six of them. I wash my face with Neutrogena Grapefruit Wash in the evenings and with plain water in the mornings.

What I have learnt from my teen skincare years is that less is more. Undeniably.

You can follow Leillah on Twitter.