Skin Care is My Self-Care: How a Beauty Blogger Manages Eczema
An Influencerâ€™s Insecurities About Eczema Become Her Strength
But Sellersâ€™s interest in skin care stems from another reason, too: As a teenager, she was diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, or eczema, which would flare up in the creases of her arms and legs with scaly, itchy patches of skin. After her diagnosis, she learned the hard way that she couldnâ€™t apply just anything to her skin.
â€œWhen I was a teenager, I loved Bath & Body Works,â€ she says, recalling the time when she purchased a scented body gel and lotion from the store. â€œI mean, who doesnâ€™t? They smell amazing.â€
As soon as she used these products, though, she immediately noticed they had irritated her skin. The following day, she developed a flare that was â€œthe worst experienceâ€ of her life. The pain was so bad, she says, that she scratched her skin until it bled.
â€œI learned that fragrance is something that I cannot use,â€ she says.
A Skin-Care Routine for Both Eczema and Anti-Aging
Over the years, Sellers has learned which products can help her skin stay hydrated â€” something that is important for people with eczema, since their skin doesnâ€™t retain enough moisture â€” and which can trigger a flare. Sheâ€™s even found that certain products marketed for people who have eczema can cause more harm than good.
â€œSome of the topical creams that help soothe irritation â€¦ [can] actually cause dryness later on,â€ she says. â€œI really like to find products that not only help prevent the irritation, but that you can also use consistently so you donâ€™t have as many eczema flare-ups.â€
Managing eczema, sheâ€™s found, is more than keeping your skin blemish free â€” or covering up the patches of inflammation with makeup. In fact, Sellers has learned that itâ€™s not always worth it to hide her eczema under layers of concealer, partly because makeup can contain irritating ingredients that trigger itchiness later on.
For Sellers, the itch of eczema is one of the hardest symptoms to deal with. â€œI can feel like I have creepy crawlers on my body,â€ she says. â€œItâ€™s come to the point, especially in New York City, where I thought I mightâ€™ve had bedbugs.â€
Plus, to Sellers, beauty goes beyond foundation and bronzer. â€œIâ€™m someone who doesnâ€™t really like to wear makeup,â€ she says. â€œI like to really go out natural.â€
On her blog, Sellers focuses primarily on skin care, including which products can keep your skin looking and feeling healthy. She credits her skin-care routine with keeping her complexion looking the same today as it did a decade ago.
When it comes to anti-aging products, Sellers is a fan of retinols, but she canâ€™t use just any type. â€œI prefer retinols in an oil form, because itâ€™s a lower concentration,â€ she says. â€œItâ€™s easier for my skin to handle.â€ She also knows to avoid using multiple anti-aging ingredients at once and always hydrate her skin.
Today, Sellers follows a pared-down version of a customizable regimen known as the 10-step Korean skin-care routine. â€œI personally donâ€™t feel like I need 10 steps,â€ she says.
Dana's Evening Routine
In the morning, Sellers uses a gentle cleanser on her skin, followed by a vitamin C serum. She keeps her skin hydrated by applying hyaluronic acid and moisturizer and protects it from the sun with sunscreen. In the evening, she often double-cleanses, first with an oil cleanser and then with a nondrying cleanser. Then she layers on hydrating products, such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, moisturizer, and sometimes face oil.
Itâ€™s a routine that is as soothing as it is revitalizing, and that, says Sellers, is the point. She no longer uses products to hide her eczema if theyâ€™re going to trigger more irritation or skin issues in the future. When someone asks her about an inflamed patch of skin, she simply tells them that she has eczema, and itâ€™s just something she has to deal with.
â€œWhen I was younger â€¦ I was more concerned about what my skin looked like and how it was going to be perceived by my friends,â€ she says. â€œNow, itâ€™s about just making sure I feel good.â€
Blogging About Beauty With Eczema
For Sellers, skin care is a form of self-care. â€œItâ€™s a way for me to calm down and rejuvenate myself,â€ she says. This type of thinking â€” along with the urging of her family and friends, who noticed that Sellers â€œcould not stop talkingâ€ about beauty products â€” was the main reason Sellers started her blog, Beauty in Color.
Writing about beauty and skin-care products is something sheâ€™s passionate about and would have loved to read when she was younger. â€œWhen I was in high school, most of the blogs and content creation were focused more on makeup than skin care,â€ she says.
Sellers also wanted to talk about skin care and eczema from her perspective as a Black woman.
â€œBeauty is colorful,â€ she says. â€œI think itâ€™s nice to hear information from someone who you can relate to ... to see a Black woman who has eczema and deals with skin care and beauty.â€
On her blog, Sellers also shares how she prevents breakouts and eczema flares, which she learned through trial and error with her own skin, along with lots of research. â€œThereâ€™s so much information and misinformation out there,â€ she says. â€œItâ€™s really nice to be able to help people who have issues and donâ€™t really know how to manage it.â€
â€œItâ€™s really about some of the little tweaks that you can make in your lifestyle to manage eczema,â€ she says.
All images provided by Dana Sellers