Lifestyle / Fashion And Beauty

Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
3 Nov 2021
2:23 pm

OPINION: The world of skincare needs to ditch the term ‘problem skin’

Kaunda Selisho

As the world evolves and changes its thinking, concepts such as 'problem skin' and 'imperfections' shouldn't have a place in skincare lexicon.

Young woman doing a skincare routine. Picture: iStock

I first wore foundation at the age of 17 for my matric dance. Up until that point, I had never thought of myself as the type of girl who would use makeup despite what many referred to as my “problem skin”.

You see, I had dark marks on my cheeks Remnants from the occasional pimple that I was harangued into not popping or picking at despite intense temptation to do so.

To most people, this was a problem and it was such a serious problem that complete strangers often felt the need to chase me down in public and give me unsolicited skincare advice in an effort to get me to work towards clearing my skin of imperfections. 

References to my problem skin happened so often that I later developed a complex about it in my teens. Even then, however, I never thought of makeup as a solution. At least not until my matric dance when I finally got to see what my face would look like without the dark marks that seemed to bother complete strangers so much.

And so began my decade-long obsession with my clear skin in a bottle – foundation.  

mac makeup season autumn
MAC senior artist for Africa, Marco Louis, says that wearing a mask does not have to conceal your beauty. Picture: Supplied

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It wasn’t up until the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown that I found some respite and began an entirely new relationship with my skin.

Without the need to go to the office every day, I no longer needed to regularly put foundation on my face. Additionally, having to wear a mask in public meant that no one would see my problem skin so I could go out barefaced and live my best life without worrying about my hyperactive pigmentation bothering someone else. 

By the time the world somewhat “reopened” as we could now go out and return to work, I had gotten so used to being barefaced that I no longer had the energy to care what people thought about what my skin looked like. 

Thankfully, no one has said anything about my skin thus far which has got me thinking about how we need to retire the phrase “problem skin” as well as the use of the word “imperfection” in reference to skin that does what skin is meant to do. 

Why should it be a problem that skin looks lived in? People aren’t meant to look like porcelain dolls, avoiding any and all aspects of life for fear of blemishing perfection.

My melanin’s response to inflammation is not a problem. It’s simply natural.

And should I ever want to look inhumanly perfect, there are an infinite amount of cosmetic products available to make that happen thanks to the billion-dollar industrial beauty complex.

Featured Image
Stylish good-looking man applying makeup. Picture: iStock