vHappy New Year! I hope it isn’t too late to say that now it’s mid-January. I promise I’ll spend a bit more time on my blog and talking to you all about what’s happening with Vitiliglow™ but the start of the year has been very busy finalising the last two shades – Light and Ebony – more on that soon!
This blog is a guest post from my son Nike, who also has Vitiligo. The British Skin Foundation state that one in five people with vitiligo know of someone in their family with the condition, but the exact type of inheritance isn’t clear. As it’s not life threatening, vitiligo isn’t the worst thing to pass on to your child, but as Nike’s mum I’m obviously very upset that he also has the same condition that has affected me and my confidence so much. Luckily, Nike has dealt with it really well and I’m really proud of him for sharing his story with you all.
My vitiligo started just over a year ago when I found my first patch. As I’m now in my early 20’s, I hadn’t thought I’d inherit the skin condition from my mum. The first patches appeared on my hands and arms and mum and I are surprised at how quickly the patches are spreading – they’re now on my neck, face and my legs.
I guess because I’m mixed race and my skin is fairly dark, it’s a lot more noticeable on me than it is on my mum who’s got white skin. Mum’s had the condition for most of her adult life and it’s affected her confidence a lot. I'm determined to make sure that having vitiligo doesn’t affect my confidence and stop me from doing anything.
Until fairly recently, my patches didn’t bother me too much. But as they’re more noticeable and appear in more places now, I felt the time was right to have a go at using Vitiliglow™. Luckily, the dark shade is a really good match to the patches on my hands and arms. I went to see mum and we played around with the dark shade and tried different ways to apply it. The best way to cover all the small patches on my hands was to apply it in thin layers over my entire hand. Once it is dry, it doesn’t really feel like 'make-up' – to the extent that I forgot I had it on when I went out that evening.
It was trickier to apply it to my face and neck because the dark shade is a bit too dark for me. Like lots of people, my skin is darker on certain parts of my body so I had to play around with the shades to make sure it looked natural and realistic. We mixed a bit of the tan and dark together and managed to get a good shade to suit my skin. Mum showed me that it was better to apply it to the whole of my neck area, but on my face it looked better to put a small amount around my nose and the corner of my mouth. We just dabbed a bit of Vitiliglow™ on with my fingers to get the most natural look. It’s definitely worth trying different techniques until you find the one that works best for you.
I’m not sure I’ll feel the need to cover up every day, but it’s nice to know that if I do get more patches, I’ve got the option to cover them up if I want to. Vitiligo can really affect people’s confidence and it’s a shame that people feel that way. It’s important to talk about how you feel and I’m really lucky to have mum to talk about it as she’s got loads more experience of the condition than me. I’m really proud of what she’s achieved with Vitiliglow™ as it’s important that people have the option to cover their patches if they want to.
I hope that sharing my story will help other young men who might feel funny about using something that might be thought of as “make-up” but hopefully it might make other people feel better about their patches and using a product if they want to. I’m not going to let vitiligo affect me personally or stop me doing the things I like doing. It’s a part of me and I’ve learned to be comfortable with it.
Mum has been a great support to me as my vitiligo has developed
The white patches on my left hand and using the dark shade Vitiliglow™ on my right hand
The patches on my neck
Vitiliglow™ tan shade has blended in really well with my skin tone so you can't see the patches on my neck now
Since I launched Vitiliglow™ in 2014, I’ve been very lucky to receive some amazing support from not only my lovely customers, but from a number of people in the public eye. I won the Sun on Sunday Fabulous Magazine ‘Michelle Mone Mentors’ competition in 2014 and appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2015. Throughout all that time, I’ve had the support of the lovely Dean Edwards, who's been the resident chef on ITV’s Lorraine show in the mornings since 2010.
You may not know that Dean’s had Vitiligo for a number of years, most noticeably on his hands. Dean’s job involves creating wonderful dishes, where his hands are filmed at very close proximity and then appear - in high definition – in homes up and down the country. During filming, Dean uses Vitiliglow™ to cover his patches. It was only very recently, after more patches started to appear on his face, that Dean chose not to cover up all the time, which led to an outpouring of comments (not all positive) about his ‘fake tan fail.’
Dean revealed to Lorraine Kelly that he had Vitiligo and that he’d covered his patches for years, who admitted she had no idea that Dean had Vitiligo. You can read more about the story here.
Firstly, I’m delighted that Dean has opened up about his Vitiligo and raised awareness of the condition. Dean has written a very heartfelt blog post about not only the condition and how it has affected him, but also about how important it is to be aware of how you speak to people on social media. Secondly, I’m so pleased that Dean has used Vitiliglow™ so successfully for years that Lorraine Kelly (and the nation) had no idea that he had Vitiligo!
I’ve talked about this in my blog before, but I only ever want people to use Vitiliglow™ to help them improve their confidence if having patchy skin gets them down. I’m so pleased that Dean is using Vitiliglow™ when he needs to and has felt confident enough in himself to show his patches off to his fans and the nation. I’ve been so grateful for Dean’s support so far and pleased that he’s flying the flag for Vitiligo and bringing awareness and compassion to people’s attention. Check out Dean's blog www.deanedwards.co.uk and his social media @deanedwardschef
Founder of Vitiliglow™
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that TV Chef Dean Edwards has tagged Vitiliglow ™into a great video clip called "Things not to say to someone with Vitiligo." I've had Vitiligo for 20 years now, so I've heard them all - my favourites being "is it contagious" and "does it come off in the shower."
The aim of this clip is to be lighthearted, but it does show the impact Vitiligo can have on people and how tiring it can be to explain why you look a little different all the time.
Take a look and let me know what you think - comment below if you've been asked something that they've not included in this video!
Founder of Vitiliglow™