Everyone has good skin days (I hope) and everyone has bad skin days (except Beyonce, but you knew that already). I think the key to great skin is knowing what to do to pull your skin back from the edge when it’s acting up. Like, tried, tested, and true steps to restore normalcy. There’s nothing worse than trying different things and not knowing what will work and when it will while your skin gets progressively worse. That said, please visit a dermatologist if your skin condition is not improving after you’ve tried what you believe to be helpful.

I have combination/ oily/ sensitive skin and I have experienced it all – white heads, black heads, irritated skin – everything.

But over the years, in the course of building my regimen and trying several products and methods, I think I’ve found a few ways and products to get to a point where I can say I am happy with my skin. And when a flare up does occur, I know what to do or what can help. Great skin can be the default, not the exception!


La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser

photo source: lookfantastic.com

This is sensitive skin gold! It’s a cleanser but I use this as a cleanser, as a mask, and as a treatment. Whenever my skin feels irritated, the first thing I do is pare down my regimen to the basics. About three products make it and this is top of the list.

This calms any itchiness or redness and restores calmness to my skin so I can focus on other treatments. La Roche Posay describes this as for ‘all types of intolerant skin’ and it couldn’t be more accurate. It also has a lot of slip so I’ll occasionally use this when I want to give myself a face massage – rub it on, massage, and then wipe off with a warm flannel.


Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser

photo source: ebay.com

This is one of my favourite moisturisers especially when my skin just wants to breathe. It contains no artificial fragrance, is really light, and dispenses just the right amount of moisture. It’s tempting to stop all things skin care when your skin is acting up because you don’t know what the culprit might be. This gives all the moisture with none of the aggravation.


Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil

The second I feel a spot forming, I use this oil. It drastically reduces the size of whatever was brewing and calms my skin. You know how you apply some acne treatments and they seal whatever was forming below your skin, and then you’re stuck with a big bump that refuses to come to a head and some dry skin on top? Not this treatment. In addition to helping with spots, it’s also good for my pores and the overall appearance of my skin. I can’t remember where I read it but someone once said they were going back to the pro brands. Sometimes, there’s a reason why they’ve lasted this long and still have a huge following. Clarins is a great example of a great pro brand. This oil is perfect for oily/ combination skin which is more break out prone. If I look back and try to pinpoint where exactly my skin changed for the better, I think it might be when I incorporated this oil into my routine. It’s not an oily oil so it’s just perfect for my skin type. I once tried Sunday Riley’s Flora (back when it was called Isis) and as much as I loved it, I had to admit it was too rich for my oily skin. The Lotus oil is quite a light and absorbent oil. Forever repurchasing!



Whatever you eat or drink reflects on your face, period. Good skin starts with a healthy gut. Incorporating more vegetables, eating fresh, drinking more water, drinking less alcohol, avoiding sugar and processed food, and taking my vitamin supplements and probiotics regularly have all contributed to a positive improvement in my skin health. The key is to make it a lifestyle not a one-off thing.

Simi is a company secretary and full time lover of food/sporadic blogger @inmylagoskitchen forever trialing skincare in search of the (nonexistent) 'ONE'.


As a skincare retailer, I must admit I was worried about what would happen to my skin when I became pregnant, as I had heard from friends that the hormones can wreak havoc with your skin. My skin is my business, hence my concern. I want to share my experience, the products I used and the results I achieved in the hope of helping other mamas-to-be out there.

First Trimester

The first trimester is fraught with extreme fatigue, odd emotions and general discomfort. I feel this in itself is a recipe for dull looking skin. Needless to say my skin was not its usual glowy self during this period. I attribute it to the general ‘bleh’ feeling I had. I was using the following products:

Cleansers – Radiant Glow Facial Wash, The Skin Apothecary Liquid Black Soap, Indeed Labs Powder Exfoliator

Toner – DIY Apple Cider Vinegar and water mix

Treatment – Indeed Labs Pepta Bright (mixed with my moisturiser daytime), YouSkin Brightening Vitamin C Serum (night time)

Moisturiser – Radha Beauty Rosehip Oil

Protection – Obagi Medical Matte Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF50


Second Trimester

Well these 3 months were just amazing for my skin and my overall well-being. My glow truly came through 🙂 Nothing really changed in my skincare routine except that I ran out of the sunscreen I had gotten from Dr Uju (of Bel Fiore Medical) and began using The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence. The only other change was adding Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. Before anyone attacks me, I did my research and during pregnancy you can use salicylic acid as long as it doesn’t exceed 2%. I think I added this product at the beginning of my second trimester to see if I could restore my glow after the depressive first trimester. And boy oh boy did it work. It’s the kind of product that 40 minutes after application you start feeling yourself. I used it every other day. The only downside for me (as I hadn’t used salicylic acid in years) was the peeling. Certain parts of my face peeled, so I substituted my moisturiser for Shea butter and finished off with sunscreen during the day.

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant available from Gebeesq . Full Review: Here


Third Trimester

As I entered my final trimester I reduced the BHA exfoliant to twice a week and went back to using rosehip oil as a moisturiser. A few things quickly changed. I heard Psalmuel of The Aesthetic Clinic speak at our store launch demo and he said although 2% BHA can be used during pregnancy, it’s better to avoid acids altogether just to be on the safe side. Sigh. So I decided to stop using my beloved Paula’s Choice Liquid Exfoliant. Secondly I left Nigeria for the UK, where we have been experiencing extreme heat waves. Within a few days of arriving in the U.K., my skin began playing games with me. I started experiencing irritation and sensitivity around my nose as well as dry patches around my mouth, chin and neck. I was confused! So I removed anything that could be considered harsh from my routine. I was only using the Radiant Glow Facial Wash, I stopped the Apple Cider Vinegar and water toner and started using Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (sensitive skin). I also went back to shea butter as a moisturiser. Still no change. So I figured my skin needed hydration. I used the Garnier Moisture Bomb Pomegranate Hydrating Face Sheet Mask. It felt nice the first night but my dry patches were still there. Then the lovely @ellecadne (instagram) suggested I try Garnier Moisture Bomb Hydrating Night Cream. Let’s just say it’s now a holy grail product for me. In a week or 2 my dry patches disappeared and I have no more irritation. My current routine is as follows:

Cleansers – Radiant Glow Facial Wash, some nights (infrequently) Radiant Glow Exfoliating Bar

Toner – Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (sensitive skin)

Treatment – YouSkin Brightening Vitamin C Serum (maybe 2 times a week), Garnier Moisture Bomb Pomegranate Hydrating Face Sheet Mask once every fortnight (ideally should be weekly)

Moisturiser – Radha Beauty Rosehip Oil mixed with Indeed Labs Pepta Bright (daytime), Garnier Moisture Bomb Hydrating Night Cream Moisturiser (night time)

Protection – The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence


And there you have it. My rollercoaster of a pregnancy skincare journey. Right now I am glowing and loving it. Hopefully things stay this way. I’ll be sure to share my post pregnancy skincare experience and routine. Please feel free to contact me to discuss/share your pregnancy skincare experiences. Let’s help each other 🙂

Fikayo da-Silva, is the Founder and CEO of boutique beauty retailer SK Beauty. SK Beauty is beauty retailer that stocks a collection of carefully curated products from around the world, providing effective and innovative beauty solutions for the Nigerian consumer.

You can find her:

Instagram @MySKBeauty

Email: fikayo@simplykayo.com


I discovered my love for coloring back when I was in university. I was young, so was a lot more adventurous when it came to my hair color. I was in the beauty store every other week trying to get the perfect bleach and hair dye, all this came with a lot of trial and error, but I finally figured it out. Not calling myself an expert, as is with everything the learning never truly ends, but I do have some knowledge, and I want to help guide your colouring decisions and give you a better understanding of how it all works. Hope you enjoy!



With hair colouring, one thing that needs to be understood is the Hair Level Numbering System. The best way to get your desired color and shade is by following this numbering system, however it tallies only with virgin hair (hair that has never been bleached before).


Hair Level Numbering System


Hair level is the degree of the lightness or darkness, it ranges from level 1 to level 10. With the development of hi-lift colors, levels 11 and 12 have been now also been introduced. In our part of the world, we naturally have hair levels 1 or 2. So in order to achieve those light/bright hues like: grey, light blue, pastel pink & purple, otherwise known as ‘fashion colours’, the hair level will need to start at level 8 or 9. Whereas, colors like red, wine & burgundy are achieved with a hair level 6 or 7.

So basically, in order to achieve certain desired vibrant hues, the hair needs to be bleached to a suitable level on the numbering system. Now, you CAN NOT go from level 1 to level 9 by bleaching the hair once. Typically, bleaching, with the right bleaching powder and developer, will take you up 4 to 5 shades. So if you were to bleach a level 1 the first time you should get a level 5/6.



When bleaching hair, the chemicals strip the hair of its melanin and leaves underlying pigments also known as undertones. These underlying pigments are usually red, orange, gold and yellow.




This is where hair tone comes to into play. Hair tone is the degree of warmth or coolness of the hair. Cool tones can be achieved with lighter colors i.e. hair level 7 to 10, while hair level 2 to 5 can produce warm tones. The undertones have to be neutralized to get the perfect shade and this works with the help of the color wheel.



The easiest way to understand this is to look at the wheel on the left and notice that opposite colours neutralize each other. Look then at the table chart on the right…. see what I mean?


Ok, so that’s enough information for today, these are some of the basic things you need to know before deciding to change your hair color. In the next post, I’ll share about bleaching powders, developers and how to bleach your hair.

Note: The outcome of your color will be influenced by other factors too, always best to seek help from professionals and if you need a one-on-one guide on how to change your hair color, I will offer my knowledge for free! Just hit me up on Instagram.

Ajoke runs a hotel in the day, and a hair colorist at night. When she’s not doing either, she's Netflixing all her favourite TV shows.

You can find her:

Instagram: @shadesofbella_ / @adejoke_

There are quite a number of reasons people break out and one of them is STRESS! When your skin is stressed, it releases certain kinds of hormones (particularly CORTISOL) which affect your body and skin. In fact, Cortisol is called the ‘PRIMARY STRESS HORMONE’ because of the way it really affects your body. Cortisol increases your skin’s dryness and causes an increase in the amount of sebum your sebaceous glands produce as your skin is now over-compensating for the decrease in your skin’s hydration. Dehydrated skin when acne prone and even otherwise will typically break out so… acne and inflammation! The spike in your cortisol levels is mostly an internal thing however, there are still things you’ll do on the outside that will make a difference too.


1. Keep your skin hydrated

Top up on your hydration levels as much as your can with humectant rich (hyaluronic acid, honey extracts, aloe vera) products. Dehydrated skin is potentially more acne prone than well-hydrated skin.

2. Get rest / get more sleep

Length and quality of sleep influence your cortisol levels. Sleep derivation, Insomnia e.tc. increase cortisol level. With the amount of stress and traffic in Lagos again… I don’t even know if we can ever have enough sleep when we work 8 – 5s. Just try and get as much sleep as you can. I remember breaking out a lot when I was working my last 8 – 5 and it wasn’t funny.

3. Use soothing essential oils ( lavender, chamomile)

Not only do they have the ability to treat acne, they can also induce you to relax and sleep better.

4. Exercise

Moderate exercising reduces the level of cortisol your body produces. Moreover, exercising regularly keeps you refreshed and energized.

5. Maintain a regular skincare routine

Cleanse, mask, exfoliate, tone, moisturize, protect! So that even when your skin produces more cortisol and in turn more sebum, your skincare routine will be there to really inhibit the actions of P-acne on sebum. Exfoliating regularly also helps you decongest your skin of dead skin cells that could clog pores and cause acne.

6. Engage in stress-relieving activities

It could be reading a book, ? biking, ?‍♀️ nature walks, typically anything that will really help you relax more.


Ifeoluwa is a skincare blogger with growing interests in esthetics skincare & product photography. She shares most of her knowledge on caring for acne-prone skin on www.sheisnaturallybronze.com and retails Korean Beauty products at:  Your Skin's Love

You can find her:

Instagram @sheisnaturallybronze

Facebook: sheisnaturallybronze

Pinterest: sheisnaturallybronze  

Skin congestion can be very annoying. I know the struggle because my pores get filled and very fast for that matter. If I’m not regularly clearing them, I know before long, my skin will feel rough and begin to look bumpy. In case you are wondering, congested skin aka clogged pores aka closed comedones are not like pimples. They are those tiny little bumps you feel under the skin, usually in clusters and usually not very visible. Clearing them is really easy especially if you know what to do and you have the right products. Here are some ways you can constantly keep your pores unclogged.


1. Use skin clarifying products.

Products with clarifying botanical extracts like willow back, papaya, pineapple, pumpkin, apple, kiwi and tomatoes can really help to detoxify and clarify the skin. Commonly known as fruit enzymes, they are very popular in Asia and you’d find them in many Korean skincare products. Witch Hazel, an astringent also has powerful decongesting properties and more so excellent for fighting acne.


2. Exfoliate!


While AHAs like Glycolic Acid and Mandelic Acid help to get rid of dead skin cells by exfoliating the surface of the skin, BHAs really go deep into the pores to remove oil, impurities and dead skin cells that could eventually clog your pores and cause breakouts. Salicylic acid is a widely-known, effective BHA. Betaine Salicylate, also very similar to Salicylic acid, at certain percentages works as an effective skin-decongesting ingredient.


3. Avoid Silicone / Pore-filling ingredients

In as much as silicone products (and its other cousins) help smoothen skin and gives you that airbrushed, flawless finish, it can be one of the reasons why oily/ acne prone skin is clogged. Dimethicone, a silicone based polymer, commonly added to primers, foundations and lotions trap moisture (which isn’t a bad thing) but also trap bacteria, facial oils, sebum and other impurities that would most likely cause acne. Apart from that, I personally find that products with silicone really just sit in my pores and make my skin look unnecessarily bumpy.


4. Try clay, mud or charcoal masks


What these three skincare ingredients have in common is their ability to draw impurities out of your pores to the surface of the skin so that you’d be able to rinse them off easily. Clay, mud and charcoal are especially good for people who also suffer from large pores and oily skin.


5. Go for facial extractions

They involve the manual extraction of gunk from your pores by a licensed skincare professional. This procedure is really to jump start the process of getting your pores unclogged. However, you’d still need day-to-day preventive treatments so after extractions make sure to still incorporate products that will help you unclog your pores.


Ifeoluwa is a skincare blogger with growing interests in esthetics skincare & product photography. She shares most of her knowledge on caring for acne-prone skin on www.sheisnaturallybronze.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @sheisnaturallybronze

Facebook: sheisnaturallybronze

Pinterest: sheisnaturallybronze


Have you ever wondered why washing your face with a bar of soap is not a good idea or do you have overly sensitive, inflamed or flaky skin? Or, why after using some products your skin goes absolutely crazy. It’s all about your Acid Mantle, never heard of this right? Neither had I until I went down the skincare rabbit hole and discovered just how important understanding the acid mantle is to maintaining healthy, clear skin. In this post I will talk about pH Balance, the Acid Mantle & how it protects your skin, why certain products work and then I will also recommend the best products to restore your skin’s acid balance.

This post might have you feeling like you’re back in your Biology class, but honestly this might be just what you need to better understand your skincare routine and what sort of products to use.



What is pH?

PH is a method of measuring the acidity or alkalinity of any substance and ranges from 0 the highest level of acidity to 14 the highest level of alkalinity and 7 which is neutral. Different body parts have different PH levels from 0-14 and maintaining this is crucial to health. Most substances fall on one side of the spectrum but water, however, is the only neutral substance with a PH of 7.



What is the Acid Mantle?


The Acid Mantle is a thin protective slightly acidic water-lipid (oil) film found on the surface of the skin that acts as a barrier between you and the outside elements. It also protects the skin from acne-causing bacteria and maintains its moisture balance. When your acid mantle is fully functional and intact your skin will look and feel great. The acid mantle is made up of dead skin cells, oils (sebum) and other skin secretions which, when mixed with sweat, forms the Acid Mantle. All of this helps keep your skin at an optimal, slightly acidic PH of between 4.5- 6.2 which is a protective barrier and serves as the body’s defence.

The acid mantle protects skin from environmental assaults by:

  • Secreting enzymes that down excess sebum in the skin keeping the oil in balance
  • Boost the immune system to produce antigens, occluding your skin to retard bacterial growth.
  • Keep your skin soft and supple, preventing cracks and abrasions




The acid mantle, unfortunately, can be disturbed by environmental factors, alkaline soaps/cleansers as well overly enthusiastic exfoliation and cleaning can raise the skin PH to above 6 breaking down the skin’s natural defences. Maintaining the pH of skin is crucial for its health, a pH of 7 is neutral and anything above creates an alkaline environment which is bad for skin. Healthy skin should be below a pH of 7 and a pH of 5.5 is optimum.

This is why you don’t want the squeaky clean feeling after you wash your face because it indicates you have stripped off your acid mantle. Good face cleansers are specially formulated to maintain your skins acid mantle, this is also why Acid Cider Vinegar (ACV) is recommended as a good face cleanser /toner for the skin (note that it is extremely acidic and should always be diluted). Once the acid mantle is disturbed, your skin’s natural defence system is down, which means it will be vulnerable to bacteria, allergens and foreign elements which thrive under alkaline conditions. Chronic disruption of your acid mantle affects the skin barrier function which can lead to dry skin, inflammation, dermatitis and atopic skin diseases. If bacteria, find a passageway through your skin they are able to bloodstream they create inflammation, allergies and breakouts.



How To Repair A Damaged Acid Mantle



The skin is able to restore its pH naturally within about 30 minutes, the damage to the acid mantle, on the other hand, can take much longer to repair depending on the severity of the disruption. First of all stop with all the activity which may have caused the disruption in the first place

  • Stop all exfoliating until your skin feels like it is back to normal, continued exfoliation will only continue to traumatise the skin.
  • Stop over washing or cleansing your face
  • Stop using hot water when washing or rinsing your face
  • Stop all exfoliation especially physical exfoliation which can be more traumatic

To repair your skin start by using products which are more acidic in all parts of your skincare regime

  • Try the oil cleansing method which is less stripping to skin
  • Use cleansers with an acidic pH to avoid more trauma to the acid mantle.
  • Use ingredients like copper peptide and rose water help restore the skin’s PH and help prepare them for the humectants
  • Add humectants moisture-attracting ingredients to your skincare regimen which include lactic and hyaluronic acid
  • Use face oils especially plant-based facial oils which are rich in ceramides & linoleic acids such as baobab, rosehip seed oil, evening primrose oil and Shea butter that protect skin from moisture loss


Product Recommendation’s to maintain your acid mantle


Cosrx -Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser

Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash for Sensitive Skin

Jordan Samuel after Show Treatment Cleanser (Plie)


The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1

Niod Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1

Heritage Store Rosewater Spray

Stephanie Nicolas organic Moroccan rose water


The ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

The ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA

Face Oils

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil

Stratia Liquid Gold


SK Beauty
Hilary Says
Your Skin's Love
Cho & Zen Beauty
Allure Beauty Store
Serenite Beauty
Youtopia Beauty
Chizo is a skincare and makeup enthusiast who likes to travel and explore new places. When not working, she is browsing skin care and beauty sites looking to try new products or binge-watching series online.

You can find her:

Instagram @Chiripse 

photo source: blackhairinformation.com

Trimming. The dreaded word that strikes fear in the hearts of women all over the world. And hey, I get it! We’ve all had that scissor happy hairdresser who cuts off 5 inches when you say you only want 1 inch off. I know what it’s like when you’ve been taking SUCH good care of your hair and the thought of trimming and seeing your precious hair on the salon floor gives you anxiety. I get it!



photo source: Instagram (natureslocks)

Here’s the honest truth: trimming your hair is essential for having healthy hair – remember, health is more important than length. I’ll say it again: HEALTH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LENGTH. The ends are the oldest parts of your hair – they have been through the most wear and tear and require the most care. Even if you’re super careful, your ends will sustain damage a lot quicker than the rest of your hair. This can be in the form or split ends, single strand knots and breakage. The issue with not trimming is that these split ends will begin to creep up your strands and the damage will become a lot more extensive to the point that you will have to cut off double the amount or all your hair will be damaged. People often complain their hair isn’t growing but the real question is are you retaining length? If you’re not trimming your hair, your ends will eventually start breaking and that breakage may take off healthy strands as well as the unhealthy ones. Taking excellent care of your hair doesn’t mean you don’t need a trim – trimming is part of taking excellent care of your hair!




So how often do you need to trim then?? Honestly, this is a personal decision. I know that when my hair was relaxed, my personal rule of thumb was about every 8-10 weeks. But now that I take much better care of my hair (no heat, weekly deep conditioning, regular moisture schedule), I trim a lot less. I actually trim every 3-4 months. This is why I say it’s personal! If you use a lot of heat or relax your hair, you may need to trim more often! You need to pay attention to your hair and do what works for you.


Just be sure to look out for the tell-tale signs that signal when a trim is due:

  • A lot of breakage
  • Split ends
  • A lot of single strand knots
  • Difficulty detangling your hair
  • Overly dry and brittle ends
  • Highly tangled ends
  • Droopy and lifeless hair

So don’t be afraid to trim! Find a hair stylist you trust and schedule those regular trims for healthy hair!!

Tara is a hair and skincare blogger living and working in Lagos. She works a 9-5 job whilst building the business she is passionate about, Nature's Locks (a hair and skincare line of products and tools), which started out as a blog, natureslocks.to. You can find her: