This is a little different from my regular blog posts. For the first time, I’m featuring a guest on my blog!
In this post, I have interviewed Daniella, a skincare enthusiast like me and she’ll be sharing with us a bit about herself and her skincare journey. I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest time and I’m glad it’s finally happening.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Olu-Festus Daniella. I am 22 year old, 4th year medical student at the University of Lagos. On the side, I do a bit of design and I plan to start content creation soon. I also would like to take travelling as a hobby because I like seeing new places and meeting/talking to new people.
What would you say was your first exposure to skincare? Did anyone teach you how to take care of your skin?
Growing up, I had no formal teaching on skincare. I started having acne relatively early when I was about 13 years old in SS1 (Grade 10). At that time, I didn’t really focus on the acne because I wasn’t really bothered about it and I felt like it would go eventually.
It was after secondary school it began to give me concern and so I decided to start paying attention to my face and body. Like I said, there was really no one to teach me about skincare because I’m the first child and as the first child you have to learn all of these things by yourself. But my first exposure to skincare was me doing research on things I could use for acne.
I started by trying all those popular over-the-counter ointments/creams like Sivoderm, Nixoderm and Funbact A but they didn’t do much for me. I later decided to step up my skincare game a bit and so I started using Avila Naturals based on online reviews I saw — people said it cleared their acne super fast. But it also didn’t work for me.
Eventually, I got into university and I had this senior, (Oge) in my department who had a skincare retail business (her brand was called 24 essentials at that time) and I decided to try her stuff out. I saved some money and bought my first set of proper skincare products from her. I got the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin, The Ordinary Peeling Solution, Simple Light Hydrating Moisturizer and Biore Sunscreen.
She also told me what to do so I’ll say even though Oge wasn’t the first person to tell me about skincare, she was the one who exposed me to PROPER skincare. This happened around August/September 2020.
What inspired you to start skincare the right way?
Nothing was working and I was tired of not getting results. I needed something that was going to actually work so I decided to try something different. Back then, I didn’t even know it was the right way. However, I kept doing my research and growing. I eventually learnt that it was the right way to do skincare and even when I wasn’t seeing results immediately, I was hopeful because I knew I was doing the right thing and it was definitely going to work out. And honestly that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever taken.
So far how has the journey been? Has it been easy?
I love skincare so much right now. This year, it’ll be three years since I started proper skincare. I am always happy to talk about skincare, happy to see the improvements, happy to see and try new products the right way. It hasn’t been easy because obviously it’s not cheap especially for someone who is still struggling in school. Also, my parents don’t give me the money to buy skincare. Then don’t even believe in all of that. They feel my acne is caused by puberty and that it’ll all disappear eventually. So yeah, it hasn’t been easy.
Have you seen any serious results and how long did it take?
I can’t measure how long it took to see results but there has definitely been improvements.
I have an acne-prone/oily skin but with skincare, I have been able to keep my oily skin in check. However, but my acne is still a work in progress. I am not rushing anything and I am not all about having a glass skin. I am more interested in having a healthy skin and I can say my boldly that my skin is very healthy. Before, when people see me and compliment my skin, I used to be very confused like ‘aren’t you seeing the acne??’ but it turns out that while I see the acne on my face, people see the healthiness of my skin… they see beyond my acne.
I really want the acne to disappear totally eventually because it comes with after effects like hyperpigmentation from scarring, large pores and uneven texture which I have to deal. But yeah, I’ve seen serious results and I’ll keep being a skincare girlie ; )
What’s your favourite skincare step?
My favourite skincare step is cleansing. What made me really love cleansing is a particular Vitamin C cleanser I used from the brand Soap & Glory. This was part of what prompted me to go into double cleansing. I’ve tried it with micellar water, I’ve delved into cleansing oils, and right now I use a cleansing balm. I love how cleansing takes out all the impurities and leaves my face looking fresh and clean.
What product would you say changed your skincare game?
I believe every skincare product works hand in hand and I haven’t taken time to analyse each product one by one. But I’ll say retinoids and azelaic acid have done a lot for my skin and that’s why I still use these products till now. I only switch brands to see which one works better for me. Right now I want to try the Paula’s choice AHA BHA exfoliant. Everyone keeps saying it changed their skincare game.
Since you started what’s something you’ve learnt that has stood out for you in your journey? Any tips for beginners?
This is especially for people who are having doubts about starting skincare. You should actually just try it. You might have so many excuses like ‘I won’t have time’ ‘there’s too many steps’ etc but you should actually just try. I also want you to know that taking skincare seriously and doing it the right way will never put you at a disadvantage. You can always start small like I did and then grow from there or even just stick to the basic routine.
Also, do a lot of research. I’m at a point in my life where you can’t just bring any product for me to use without me knowing what that product is about. This is why I want to start skinfluencing. People always ask me for advice when it comes to skincare products and always learn from me. Now I want to start skinfluencing as a job because I actually enjoy it. You guys should look out for me; I promise to bring fun and engaging content : )
What word of advice do you have for people out there who have been dealing with acne?
First I need you to know that you are beautiful. Your acne does not define you. Secondly, try to see a professional. I haven’t seen one but I’m going to do that very soon and do any necessary procedures.
Also know that you may not see results immediately but with time you’ll see that skincare definitely makes a difference.