My First Love(s) in Skincare

They say you never forget your first. And I skincerely haven't.

I have dealt with lots of stuff in my skincare journey - acne, eczema, dryness, puffy eyes, keloids, stretchmarks, cellulite...

Which means I’ve also dealt with a lot of skincare. Some were absolute trash. But I have never forgotten the first products that actually healed my skin.

Some Korean toner

I was 15 years old when my sister bought me a herbal toner to help with acne. If you're familiar with Kampala, she got it at this Asian beauty store behind Pioneer Mall.

The store still exists but the product isn't stocked anymore. Pity.

That stuff stank but 3-ish weeks into using it and I couldn't believe my face could be that smooth!

Turns out, I was using hanbang. Hanbang is traditional Korean herbal medicine that has its roots in traditional Chinese herbal medicine.

I only realized it was hanbang years later when reading through Cat’s blog Snow White and the Asian Pear.

I guess that’s why to this day, I have no issue with slathering my skin in Asian products like snail mucin. First product I ever used worked like a miracle.

Gosh I wish I could find that toner again.

Clarins Skincare

That loving sister of mine also travelled overseas and brought me the Clarins Hydra Quench (now Hydra Essential) cream, Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed and samples of the Clarins Vital Light Illuminating range.

The Hydra Quench cream kept my skin hydrated in the cold Nairobi weather.

The Gentle Foaming Cleanser properly cleanser without stripping my skin.

The Vital Light range got rid of every bit of dark spots, uneven tone and I literally glowed. Sadly, I wasn't aware how important SPF was at the time and those issues came right back when I finished the products.

Anyway, since then, I love using Clarins skincare. I usually have a Clarins product or 2 in my Glow Closet.

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Cleansing Lotion

The very first chemical exfoliant toner I used. This stuff got rid of all of the excess oil and blackheads!

If I ever run out of the COSRX BHA, then this and the Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner are what I can find locally (both Kenya and Uganda) as substitutes.

Still don't know why they call it a cleansing lotion though.

Fulom Skincare

This range no longer exists but the gentle face and body cleanser and lotions were the best things to have ever happened to my dry and eczema prone skin.

I had never come across skincare that I could easily use on both face and body. This was it!

Asian Beauty (AB) Sunscreen

Before reading Fiddy’s blog, I had surrendered to using chalky, greasy sunscreen. Then I learned that I could find sunscreen that works on dark skin.

A whole new world opened up. A world of sunscreens that don't leave me ashy or greasy.

Hello Shiseido Senka sunscreen! Hello Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel!

The only non AB facial sunscreen I've really loved in the past few years is Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield. La Roche Posay Anthelios was great too but Murad just did not come to play!

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream

I love regular petroleum jelly on my lips, but I hate it all over my face. I have no issues with slathering this balm all over my face.

It makes dry skin softer and smoother, just like petroleum jelly - but with less ikkyness. It’s perfect for healing overexfoliated skin.

Through the years, I've come across amazing stuff, like Cerave Foaming cleanser, Kudu Squalane and La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume. But this list contains 6 products that I'll be forever grateful for. They changed my skincare life!

What are your skincare first loves? Tweet and tell me!

Skin Care RoutineClare Oparo