Written by: Chisom Okoye
The other day I went to the nearest drug store to deal with my latest panic attack – my sunscreen had finished!
For some reason I thought it a wise idea not to carry more than one bottle of sunscreen in my suitcase when I packed for my big move to the United States because PEOPLE had advised it would be thrown out by customs. Everyone around me advised that I would find the same product, if not better, in the US and that it wasn’t a big deal. I believed them.
Then I found myself in the overwhelming sunscreen section weeks later, staring at rows of products (most of them in intimidatingly bright yellow containers promising the ultimate protection).
Spoilt for choice, I narrowed down my choices by picking the products that stressed their suitability for sensitive skin not only because I have sensitive skin but because I’m very sensitive about my skin. I also chose to focus on the products that promised the highest amount of SPF, for no particular reason other than seeking the ultimate protection. The game changer for me was focusing on brands that were known to produce the best products for skin generally – I needed that security, to know I wasn’t putting my skin’s health at risk!
After purchasing the one I thought had ticked all my boxes, I found myself staring at my reflection in the mirror the next day, utterly horrified. I had never more disappointed with a product before! There I was, with the worst white cast I had ever seen (a greyish/white layer of cream all over my face). I thought it would break down and blend into my skin within minutes. For two hours I just sat there, almost looking like a clown. I just needed lipstick to complete the look! Never mind that it was supposedly the ‘best’ sunscreen product in the market, all I knew was that it would never see the light of day on my face let alone protect me from the sun!
I learned a very important lesson that day: when buying products to build the perfect skin regimen, the ultimate question shouldn’t be whether a skincare brand is good or not so that you can trust all the products of the one you decide is good. The question should be whether individual products are good or not!
There is a good skincare channel on YouTube (Doctorly) that I recommend that you watch. It explains that the reason for this is because there will be brands that excel in one area and completely miss the mark in others, in other words they have more good products than others and that then makes them more trustworthy, but it still shouldn’t be the determining factor when you’re assessing which products should work for your skin. The key is assessing each product individually and then making your judgment on whether it is perfect for you and meets your personal skin needs. It all boils down to preference. It is also important to note that brands are also adaptable because they take notes about what people are saying about their products so never be afraid to try new things to see what works for you!
I eventually resorted to looking for a different sunscreen from the brand I chose and selected a brand I hardly knew. It was unfamiliar but works wonders for my skin… so do not be afraid to experiment and stop playing it safe when it comes to skincare by hiding behind “Good” brands which may be popular and not necessarily “good” for everyone!
The link to the video I got this advice from is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekdDFYFKRCs