As promised, here’s the second set of my must-have skincare products. If you missed the first post, please click here to catch-cup.

For a product to be in my ‘Hall of Fame’, it means it exceeded my expectations and I will gladly repurchase it over and over. Choosing a favourite product can be difficult for me because there are so many I’ve tried that performed really well.

 

1. Klairs Supple Preparation Toner

Hydration is one of the best ways to get glowing skin….ask the Koreans! This toner is slightly thicker than your usual rosewater but deeply hydrates. Perfect for the Korean 7 skin method.

WHERE TO BUY


 

2. Garnier Oil Infused Micellar Cleansing Water

photo source: amazon.com

We all know how amazing this micellar water is but take it up a notch and try the oil infused ones. It takes off even your waterproof mascara and matte lipsticks. Oily skintypes …fear not. It will not break you out!

WHERE TO BUY


 

3. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

photo source: takaski.com

I was surprised how quickly this made it to my hall of fame! I tried a sample I got at a beauty event and it was love at first use. Emulsifies really well and takes everything off. While I prefer cleansing balms, this cleansing oil really blew me away.


 

4. Heimish All Clean Cleansing Balm

photo source: agashii.com

Previously nothing could topple Clinique Take The Day Off as my Holy Grail…then I tried Heimish. The slip is just right, price is right and best of all, it rinses clean so you don’t necessarily need a flannel.

WHERE TO BUY


 

5. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye

 

I am one of those who always forgets to wear eye cream and I just take my serums around my eyes but if there is one serum that delivered, it’s this one. Even my mum loves it

WHERE TO BUY


 

6. Skinceuticals 0.5% Pure Retinol

photo source: makeupalley.com

A game changer! My forehead was unbelievably smooth as well as the rest of my face. The 0.3% is more readily available as I don’t see the 0.5% anymore.


Have you tried any of these products? Did you feel the same way about them.

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Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on www.thatgeminigirl.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03

Email: olabisi@thatgeminigirl.com 

photo source: byrdie.com

I am a skincare retailer here in Nigeria and I get so many enquiries, from (mainly) ladies, asking which of our products will brighten them up. Or which products will lighten their skin. After fielding these questions for so long, I can conclude that most people use the terms Brightening, Lightening and Whitening interchangeably. So I would like to shed some light on how these 3 terms, as it relates to skincare, are VERY different. I feel the need to do this, so that you all can be a lot more enlightened about skincare products, and specifically what ingredients to look out for in order to achieve your desired results. I’m moreso particular about Brightening & Lightening, Whitening I’ll share my thoughts on at the end of this post. So be sure to read till the end.

Brightening

photo source: beautybykelsey.com

This is fairly straightforward. Your skin is looking a little dull and tired but can be easily rejuvenated. Exfoliation is probably the simplest approach. Your options are physical exfoliants or chemical exfoliants. Many skincare professionals recommend chemical exfoliants, as harshly administered micro beads can irritate and aggravate the skin more than help it. Vitamin C is also another great ingredient to add to your regimen for brightening up dull looking skin and achieving a glow.

 

Lightening


You want to enhance your complexion by working on discolouration, dark spots, acne scars or sun damage. Your goal is evening out your skin tone, restoring what you once had and that ever-popular glow. You just want to make the best of your skin. For someone like you, products containing arbutin, kojic acid, bearberry extract, licorice extract, and azelaic acid should help. If prescribed and used under the careful instruction of a professional, hydroquinone can be amazing.

 

Whitening

Now, this terminology is used in parts of Asia where whiter skin is considered more beautiful. A lot of brands aimed at ethnic skin have also adopted it. I’ve noticed that some lightening products are labelled ‘whitening’. This group of people want to go beyond brightening and lightening and wish for a more dramatic effect; which is to be a few shades lighter. They may or may not have discolouration issues. They may have been lighter in their youth and want to recreate that. Or perhaps they just admire a fairer complexion and want it for themselves. This is what I would call ‘bleaching’.

 

 

My take on it? Make your skin the best it can possibly be! It’s as simple as that. Learn about your skin, do your research, deal with any skin issues, see a dermatologist and/or aesthetician if you must, and make sure your skin is in its best state everyday. The goal should be to glow, whether you’re brown, fair or a melanin goddess. This article turned into a bit of a soap box mounting, mini rant but if it can make just one person feel a little more comfortable in their own skin, then I achieved my objective.


Do you want to glow? Are you looking for tips and/or products to brighten or lighten your complexion? Do you share my views or completely disagree? Talk to me via email fikayo@simplykayo.com

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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

When you embark on a healthy hair journey, one of the first things you discover is that ‘Wash Day’ is an event! A proper wash-day routine will set your hair up for success there after and it does not have to be complicated at all.

I like to break it down into 4 main phases: PREP, TREAT, CLEANSE AND CONDITION.

1 . Prep

 

 

This step consists of gently removing knots and tangles from your hair and oiling the scalp.

 

 

2. Treat

Shea Moisture JBCO Strengthen Grow Restore Conditioner – N7,200                                        Crème of Nature Strengthening Deep Treatment – N3,600                                                             Cantu Grow Strong Treatment – N2.840

 

 

Either use a moisture based treatment or a protein based treatment to strengthen the hair from within. Simply apply the treatment to dry hair so its absorbed better, focusing on the midshaft to the ends of the hair, cover with a shower cap and steam for 30mins or allow your body heat to warm up the scalp for about an hr.

 

 

3. Cleanse

Kinky Curly Moisturizing Shampoo Sulfate Free – N4,680                                                             Crème of Nature Sulfate-Free Shampoo – N4,190

Cleanse the scalp with a mild sulfate free shampoo

 

4. Condition

Condition the hair after cleansing, preferably with a leave in conditioner, comb through, moisturize and seal.

Easy to follow right? Be consistent with this routine and your hair is bound to be healthy and lush.


The Jumia anniversary sale is still live, you can check out even more Beauty Deals here.

It all ends tomorrow, July 26th, so hurry and grab these deals fast!

Start shopping here: https://bit.ly/2Lexy9S

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Dabs is a Certified Trichologist, Christian Mum & Content creator. She has been a Hair Blogger since 2011 and blogs over at: NaijaHairCanGrow.com

You can find her:

Instagram @naijahaircangrow

Email: savvychichbh@yahoo.com

So at this point, solely based on my previous articles on this platform, I don’t need to tell you I am a skincare junkie. I try so many products and lucky for me, I don’t react to them. For a product to be in my ‘Hall of Fame’, it means it exceeded my expectations and I will gladly repurchase it over and over. Choosing a favourite product can be difficult for me because there are so many I’ve tried that performed really well. Here are my hall of fame/holy grail/must-have products and why I love them. This doesn’t mean I don’t like other products but these were just excellent! There are 12 products in total, will share 6 in this post and the rest next week.

1. IS Clinical Cleansing Complex

photo source: skinstore.com

A gel cleanser, formulated with willow bark and sugar cane extracts deeply purifies your skin to reveal a glowing complexion. I always leave it on while I brush my teeth and take a shower to use as a mask then wash off (I do this with all my cleansers). If you have acne or you experience frequent breakouts then try this. I was one of those who disliked this cleanser initially but it grew on me.

WHERE TO BUY


 

 

2. Krave Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser

 

photo source: cravebeauty.com

Cleansers are my favourite category of skincare and it was really tough picking just the two listed (trust me I have about 10 cleansers I LOVE). This cleanser was released this year and as the name implies, it is formulated with matcha, oatmeal and other amazing skibcare ingredients that clean your skin without stripping it.

WHERE TO BUY


 

 

3. Biologique Recherche P50 1970 Original

photo source: shoprescuespa.com

If you follow me on Instagram then you already know how much I love this toner. This is the one product I will probably use as long as it is being produced. It is a powerhouse of AHAs, BHAs and PHAs no wonder it has a cult following. There are 7 variants but I believe the original formula is by far the most effective. Know the one required for your skintype, but I must warn you, it is strong and it stinks. Comes in a travel size so you can try before taking the plunge

WHERE TO BUY


 

 

4. Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Facial Serum

photo source: jordansamuelskin.com

Probably the best hydrating serum I have ever used. Chock full of cucmber, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and fruit extracts. It leaves your skin supple and hydrated

WHERE TO BUY


 

 

5. CosRX Oil Free Ultra Moisturising Lotion

This has everything I want in a moisturiser; hydrating, light, affordable, and amazing under make up.

WHERE TO BUY


6. Eucerin Oil Control Sun Gel Crème

A chemical sunscreen that I call “a godsend for oily and acne prone skin”. No white cast, perfect for reapplication


 

Have you tried any of these products? Did you feel the same way about them.

Remember to check back next week to see what other products made it to my ‘Hall of Fame’.

Follow:

Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on www.thatgeminigirl.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03

Email: olabisi@thatgeminigirl.com 

In continuation from part 1 , we are going to delve a little deeper into how exactly these common skin whitening chemicals work. If you missed Part 1, please catch-up here.

Skin whiteners cause significant health risks when used over long periods of time. In Nigeria where skin bleaching products are largely unregulated over-the-counter creams, created with home remedies or a mixture of multiple creams tend to be the norm. This results in scarring and burns due to use of these substandard products which contain hazardous chemicals in harmful quantities. Let’s take a closer look at these chemicals shall we:

Mercury

This is a toxic chemical, easily absorbed into the body but not easily removed because it is a heavy metal. Short-term side effects of mercury in lightening products include rashes and skin discolouration. Long-term exposure has serious health consequences which include kidney, brain and reproductive system damage. All of which may lead to renal failure, depression, problems conceiving and may also interfere with the brain development of an unborn child and young children if used when pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is used in film processing, rubber manufacturing and used in some hair dyes. Currently, skin-lightening products with 2 % hydroquinone are sold over-the-counter while products with 4 % hydroquinone can be obtained by a doctor’s prescription but should not be used long term. Common side effects include dermatitis (skin irritation), rashes, excessive redness and dryness of the skin. When used for extended periods hydroquinone can induce a condition known as “ochronosis” where the skin has blue-black darkening in certain areas. Hydroquinone may also increase the risk of complications of thyroid, liver disease and adrenal dysfunction. It is also considered to be cytotoxic (toxic to cells), mutagenic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing).Like other lightning products, it makes skin more susceptible to the sun’s UV rays and in Nigeria may lead to serious sunburn and increased risk of skin cancer. Source: allicanbe

Hydrocortisone

 

Many skin lightening creams contain steroids, with doses up to 1,000 times higher than in creams used to treat skin conditions. Medical use of steroids is done under strict supervision and the usage minimised to less than 4 weeks due to avoid side effects. However, it is one of the commonest methods of skin bleaching in Nigeria as individual’s use this steroid creams for their skin lightening side effect. Long-term use of steroids leads to thinning of the skin, acne, red permanent stretch marks and increased hair growth. Even worse the steroids act like cortisol a stress hormone which in excess leads to Cushing’s syndrome characterised by a swollen face and abdomen, weight gain, thin skin that bruises easily, stretch marks, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression. It can also lead to a lack of production of cortisol production since it is provided by the bleaching cream. So stopping use abruptly can lead to illness since the body has ‘’shut off’’ production of the stress hormones. Steroids also slow the process of cell regeneration thus the skin’s natural regenerative process slows down causing the epidermis (outer skin layer) to thin out making it more susceptible to ageing. Thinning skin is more susceptible to physical damage from normal activity, increased susceptibility to sun damage and other problems of pigmentation.

Glutathione

This is seen as the modern alternative to bleaching creams but it is not without its challenges especially when taken intravenously or orally. There is increased risk sun sensitivity and skin cancer because melanin serves as a protection against the UV radiation as well as unwanted side effects on the nervous system. The long-term effects of Glutathione have not been studied as it is only recently become a popular method of skin lightening and may cause significant problems down the road.

 

Natural Alternatives

Skin lightening agents Although most chemical-based skin lighteners cause serious health concerns, there are some natural lightening ingredients which suppress melanin production but are non-toxic with less, not zero, side effects. Some of these ingredients include arbutin, emblica, liquorice, mulberry extract, kojic acid or Vitamin C.


Although the pursuit of fair skin beauty as a beauty standard continues to plague many cultures, we need to understand the dangers to our health ruined by the pursuit of light skin and end the stigmatisation of dark skin.

Follow:
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: pinterest.com

So here’s an interesting question: How long should your weaves/hair extensions last? A month, 5 months? A year, 5years? Honestly your weaves could last forever, it all comes down to HOW you maintain them. How have you been treating your weaves? What are your go-to weave treatment essentials? Let’s be honest, weaves/wigs are a bit of an investment so the only logical thing to do is treat them as such.

 

In caring for our weaves, we should always look to assess the state of it at given periods of time to enable us stay on top of its condition (i.e. is it frizzy, dry, brittle, limp, dull, oily, damaged?…list is endless. Here are some tips on what you can do to build a ‘weave maintenance culture’ for your beloved tresses and keep them in good condition for as long as you care for it:

 

Silk Works Wonders

Be it a silk scarf, silk bonnet, or silk pillowcase, the objective is to keep our weave from being sapped of moisture (which happens with cotton due to friction). Silk fabrics won’t dry the hair out, keeping it in tip-top shape while you’re catching your zzzs and ready to be let loose when you get up.

Some Oils are good!

Natural oils like coconut oil gives nourishment to our strands and works best on weaves that are prone to frizzing. For fine/straight weaves, it’s best to concentrate its application to the ends of the hair to tame fly-aways/split-ends/sun-damaged tips etc. However, nothing beats deep treatment using such oils to treat extensions from the inside out.

 

Protect while you sleep

Most of us find it easy styling our weaves using bendy rollers, especially when we go off to bed. It’d be good to secure it with a silk scarf/bonnet to keep your style and tresses on point (and away from friction).

 

Towel-dry Gently

When running DIY conditioning on your weave, never wrap a towel around the hair strands too tight; doing so stretches the hair and causes damage to the cuticle.

 

Sun Protection

Yup, constant sun exposure isn’t good for your extensions either. UV rays can be damaging to our strands causing colour treatments to fade, as well as dryness and brittleness which takes away from the joy of rocking gorgeous, healthy hair. Using products containing antioxidant/sunscreen ingredients, as well as regular deep-conditioning treatments also does wonders to lock in much needed moisture to hair strands.

 

Hope these tips were helpful and if you just haven’t got the time to maintain your extensions yourself our Treatment Centre is open specifically to offer bespoke treatment services for weaves/wigs, only using effective premium treatment products, coupled with our unique application process that will leave your extensions refreshed and revitalised, ready for its next use.

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Weave Clinic has been set up to provide services for optimum health & maintenance of weaves, wigs & hair extensions.

You can find us:

Instagram @weaveclinic

Telephone: 08090088991

Email: weaveclinic@gmail.com 

photo source: @iamtberry (Instagram)

Skin-lightening or bleaching is an epidemic in many countries worldwide, and Africa in particular. Nigeria currently has the dubious honour of being the skin bleaching capital of the world, with an estimated 77% of Nigerian women using skin-lightening products. Skin bleaching is not new and cuts across ethnic lines and Queen Elizabeth the first of England famously used lead as a skin whitener. Skin bleaching, however, became popular among African women in the late 1950s probably as a consequence of colonisation.

 

 

The skin lightening industry is a lucrative business and is set to be worth $10bn globally and is expected to grow to $23 billion by 2020. In Nigeria, the cost of skin lightening varies significantly from few hundred Naira for a cream or soap to thousands of Naira for a professional treatment. Unfortunately, with increasing westernization, the popularity of skin lightening products has skyrocketed. This popularity spawned the release of products like ‘’Whitenicious’’ launched by Cameroonian-Nigerian pop star Dencia. Although it was promoted a treatment of hyperpigmentation, sales were driven by images of Dencia, dark-skinned before and significantly lighter afterwards.

 

 

 

photo source: modern southern

We all know that fair skin is considered the beauty standard and this is deeply ingrained in many cultures where darker skin is associated with dirt or poverty. The preference for light skin is expressed subtly or blatantly and is played out in pop culture with the villain having dark skin or features and the protagonist the opposite as seen in the video clip.

 

 

photo source: pinterest.com

This preference for light skin comes with tremendous health consequences since most skin lighteners contain products which are dangerous to health. More worryingly is that women actively seek out products that contain harmful ingredients, because they are perceived as more effective.

How skin lighteners Work

Melanin is a pigment produced by melanocytes in the skin that gives skin its colour and provides protection against the harmful effects of UV rays. Skin whitening creams slow the production of melanin in the skin’s outer layer by reducing the action of the enzyme, tyrosinase, which controls melanin production in the skin.

 

The Dangers of seeking Lighter Skin

Skin lighteners cause significant health risks when used over long periods of time. In Nigeria where skin bleaching products are largely unregulated over-the-counter creams, created with home remedies or a mixture of multiple creams tend to be the norm. This results in scarring and burns due to use of these substandard products which contain hazardous chemicals in harmful quantities and the main offender’s ingredients responsible are:

  • Mercury
  • Hydroquinone
  • Corticosteroids
  • Gluthathione

Health complications

Some of the consequences of skin bleaching are associated with the toxic compounds mentioned above which may cause cancers well as severe skin conditions. These side effects may be internal or external; internally side effects include kidney and liver failure or cancer while external side effects include eczema, severe acne, pigmentation problems and host of other skin infections. Bleaching also affects the skins ability to regenerate which means injuries may not heal as quickly or not at all after prolonged use.

 

Although the pursuit of fair skin as a beauty standard continues to plague many cultures, we need to understand the dangers to our health, ruined by the pursuit of light skin and end the stigmatisation of dark skin.


In part 2 of this series I will go in-depth, explaining the extremely harmful side-effects of skin lightening, particularly honing in on the 4 ingredients I listed above. I will also share a few natural alternatives that suppress melanin production but are non-toxic with less, not zero, side effects

Be sure to check back soon!

Follow:
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