I'm a Burn Victim, and This Is How I Care for My Sensitive Skin

Shalom Blac
·4-min read

Instagram, @shalomblac

Cleanse, moisturize, sleep, repeat—or not. From the 18-product maximalists to the one-and-done movers and shakers, everybody’s skincare routine differs. In A.M. to P.M., we explore the morning and evening routines of people with different skincare concerns, from targeting acne to embracing vegan beauty.

Age: 25

Skin type: Combination

Skin concerns: Scars and dark spots

When I was nine years old, I was in a fire that led to head-to-toe scars. At the time, my mom would wash my face with soap—I’m not sure which one—and slather it in Vaseline to hydrate my skin and avoid ash. Now, 16 years later, my skincare routine is just as minimal and simple as it was before. Most people know me from my viral YouTube video that showcases how I use makeup to help minimize the scars I received from that burn accident, and now I’m sharing how I take care of my skin.

I have combination skin, meaning that it’s both dry and oily at the same time. However, because of my burns, my skin is also sensitive, so I have to stay away from skincare ingredients that can dry out my skin, like alcohol and other drying agents. The theme of my routine is hydration, so before I apply any products, I drink water. Hey, plump and juicy skin doesn’t just come from outside!

A.M.

The number one thing that helps any morning routine is to get a good night’s sleep—a simple good night’s rest can do wonders for your skin and health. I try to get eight hours of sleep; when that doesn’t happen, I do notice how dry and flaky my skin looks versus how radiant it looks when I do get sleep. After that, I normally start with a good cleanse—I love natural African black soap to cleanse my body. It helps to fade out razor bump scars on my body and head. You can find black soap at most international stores, but I only use the one imported from Nigeria by family members since I know it’ll be authentic and pure.

I always moisturize my skin before applying makeup. Some people feel that because they get oily they need to use super mattifying makeup and not moisturize, but matte makeup can actually cause your skin to get oilier since your skin compensates for the lack of moisturizer by producing more sebum. I use a lot of mattifying makeup, so moisturizing is key, at least for me. I'm currently using the Clinique ID Hydrating Jelly with the uneven skin tone cartridge inside. (Its impressive customizable system won a 2020 HelloGiggles Beauty Crush Award.)

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When I come out of the shower I like to use the Illuminate Me by Vaseline Whipped Body Butter, which gives my skin a nice glow, and I love that I can feel the moisture penetrating into my skin. I do this first and then apply the brand’s Body Oil. I like that I can see the shimmer and that it doesn’t stain my clothes, since some shimmery oils I’ve tried tend to do that.

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P.M.

After I snatch my wig, the first thing I do is use wipes to clean off the heavy makeup. Then, I cleanse my face with the Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Oil Cleanser to ensure that my face is clear of any makeup residue. I like to go over my face with this cleanser and work it into my skin for about a minute. It’s super gentle and absorbs well into my skin, so it helps me maintain the moisture on the parts of my face that get dry without overwhelming the parts that are oily. I use the combination of makeup wipes and cleansing oil since they break down the makeup quickly, making it much easier to wash off. I don’t like makeup residue to linger in my white shower.

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After that, I use the Fresh Deep Hydration Facial Toner and close out with my Clinique moisturizer. The toner helps to minimize the appearance of pores and soften the skin, while the moisturizer hydrates my skin and evens out dark spots thanks to the brightening Japanese Angelica root in its formula.

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To finish off, I like to wind down with a hot cup of tea and relax for the evening. I started doing this a few years ago, and it's really helped me ease into my evening routine. The world of social media can be a stressful place since people are constantly being judged, so it’s always good to take a little quiet time with myself to find peace.