If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would be rubbing snail goo on my face, I’d have laughed you out of the room. ‘Snails are for eating hot and peppered,’ I might have said. But alas, here we are. I found this product late last year when I was looking to kick my skincare routine up a notch. You see, I have oily combination skin which is prone to congestion and I had reached a bit if an impasse where my skin seemed to be getting oilier but also felt taut and dry. I discovered that my skin was in fact dehydrated, and this is something that we oily girls often neglect to notice. My oily skin was just thirsty.

 

photo source: iherb.com

 

Okay but what is this stuff exactly? It is an Essence.

Essences are basically water based, light gel textured products that are packed with active ingredients to hydrate skin on a deeper cellular level than a moisturiser can. They are very popular in Korean Beauty skincare regimens which are very trendy right now.

I use this AM and PM immediately after my toning step and right before moisturiser or serum.

 

 

If I can attribute the overall improvement in my skin’s health to any one product, I daresay it might be this. Used consistently, I have seen that my skin stays plump and hydrated for longer, which means it produces less oil to compensate and for me that’s a win. No more break outs or dry patches. It has calmed the temper tantrum my skin was throwing right down. I noticed that this has also greatly helped heal my pigmentation and scars. It feels a little tacky at first, but sinks in quickly and because it is odourless, it doesn’t feel as gross as it sounds. Once it is absorbed, I slather on my moisturiser and then my spf, and then my make up. Because it has helped to tame my oiliness, I find my make up is also staying put for longer – another win!

Apart from the snail slime itself, which makes up an impressive 96% of this product, there are some other foodie ingredients that contribute to its efficacy. Panthenol aka Vitamin B5 is famous for binding moisture. Arginine, a protein, encourages skin cell renewal which has an anti-ageing effect; and Allantoin, a compound which comes from garlic skin and/or comfrey, is responsible for soothing inflammation.

Repurchase? Definitely. I love the fact that it it not just a gimmick – it actually works!


Ingredients: Snail Secretion Filtrate, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Arginine, Allantoin, Ethyl Hexanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol

Product Claims: Formulated with 96% Snail Secretion Filtrate (Mucin), this essence protects the skin from moisture loss while keeping the skin texture smooth and healthy. This essence is created from nutritious, low-stimulation filtered snail mucin in order to keep your skin moisturized all day while bringing back your skin’s vitality. The filtered snail mucin replenishes and revitalizes nutrients with looking healthy skin. It’s suitable for all skin types. For best results, use together with Advanced Snail 92 All-In-One Cream.

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Minjiba is a creative African food blogger, TV cook and content creator based in Lagos and her cooking show ‘Minjiba Entertains’ airs weekly on The Africa Channel in the US & the Caribbean. In addition to developing exciting recipes from local ingredients, she is a sworn skincare addict and loves to explore products that use active food ingredients.

You can find her:

Instagram: @minjibacookey

Twitter: @minjibacookey

Website: www.minjibacookey.com

How often have you heard someone say “my hair doesn’t grow”?? How often have you said it yourself?? The thing is, if your hair isn’t getting longer, it’s not because your hair isn’t growing – it’s because you’re not retaining length. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule – if you have a medical condition or you’re under severe emotional distress, it can definitely have effects on your hair growth and you should consider seeing a doctor in that scenario. Length retention is the KEY. Think about it, if your hair is breaking at the same rate that it’s growing, your hair won’t get any longer. It is ESSENTIAL to take great care of your hair so you don’t lose all that precious length and you can reach your hair length goals if you have them! Maintenance is the main way to keep all that length. You can take all the hair growth vitamins in the world but, if you’re not physically taking care of your hair, it’s pointless! So here are some tips to get that hair long and healthy:

 

1. Deep Conditioning

When someone tells me their hair isn’t getting longer, the first question I ask is “Do you deep condition?” More often than not, the answer is no! Deep conditioning is SO important, especially for length retention. We all know that moisture is a necessity for our hair but deep conditioning is what will take that moisture to the next level. If done correctly, it actually allows the moisture to properly penetrate the strands. It’s unlikely you will retain much length without deep conditioning. BONUS: try steaming your hair or using a hooded dryer or heat cap while deep conditioning! It really gives the deep conditioner an additional boost and helps the conditioner penetrate deeper into the strands.

 

2. Pay Extra Attention To The Ends of Your Hair

I know a lot of us grew up with our scalps being oiled or greased but a lot of us have focused on the scalp and neglected our ends! Think about it, the ends of your hair are the oldest parts of your hair so, to stop the ends breaking off and hindering your length goals, you need to show them some extra love. This means using more product on your ends, sealing your ends diligently with an oil or butter and being extra careful when handling the ends of your hair. Don’t neglect your scalp – but be sure to give your ends the care they need.

 

3. Protein-Moisture Balance

This is something that can be a little tricky but it’s so important! Your hair is made of keratin (a type of protein). Sometimes, with detangling, styling, relaxing, washing, that protein gets depleted and it needs to be replaced! But with everything in life, balance is key. Protein brings the strength but you need moisture to balance it out. Too much protein and your hair can snap and break off. Too much moisture and your hair becomes weak and limp. If your hair begins to snap and break randomly, be sure to increase the moisturising deep conditioners. If your hair feels limp and mushy, you need a protein treatment. A good place to start is to do a protein treatment every 5-6 weeks and then use a moisturising deep conditioner every week. These things involve some trial and error so you’ll need to do a little experimenting to figure out what your hair needs!

 

4. Protective Styling

Protective styling is a winner when it comes to retaining length! A protective style is one where your ends are tucked away safely instead of being exposed. It is essentially you leaving your hair alone to grow and flourish in a healthy, protected state. So this can include braids, twists, wigs, weaves, buns etc. Here is the important bit: you have to make sure that protective style doesn’t turn destructive. So you NEED to keep your hair moisturised and you must make sure not to keep the style in for too long. Braids are not an excuse to ignore your hair for 6 weeks – nah sis! You have to keep it clean and moisturised. A mixture of water, some leave in conditioner and a few drops of your favourite oil in a spray bottle will do the trick.

 

5. Go Heat-Free (Significantly Reduce Heat Use)

This is probably the hardest thing to change or give up for a lot of people but heat is just NOT good for your hair. It can make your hair dry, weak and brittle. And heat damage is REAL and PERMANENT. If you get heat damage, you have to cut it off – that certainly won’t help your length goals. Try to avoid heat as much as possible. It may take a little longer to get your hair done but at least your hair will be healthier, longer and thicker! And if you must use heat, be sure to use a good heat protectant! My personal fave is the Tresemme Thermal Creations Protective Spray Heat Tamer.


 

Remember, your hair is growing, you just need to make sure it stays on your head! Do you guys have any other length retention tips?? Share below!

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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:

You may have heard the quote “getting older is out of your hands but looking older is not”. I am a firm believer that as long as you are alive, you can’t anti-age! Ageing is a natural process. However, do not despair, you can control it to an extent and it is best to start early as damage already done may be irreversible. It is easy to fall for the marketing hype of anti-ageing creams with buzzwords like “magic”, “miracle”, “overnight” and expect a cream to do all the work. The harsh truth is creams can only do so much, it is a combination of lifestyle choices, the right products and treatments that really work. We know not everyone can afford botox, fillers or most treatments that turn back the clock (besides your hands and knees will give you away if your diet and lifestyle choices are not so great) so here are 5 tips that can help you “not look your age”:

 

1. Diet and Lifestyle

photo source: socialbox.co.com

Yes…you read that right. Do not let the “black don’t crack” deceive you. Black WILL crack if you slack. Smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, processed food and sugar will age you faster than you can control. Eat a diet rich in vegetables and healthy fat, eat fruits, drink lots of water, exercise and take your supplements regularly. No point spending so much money and time on skincare if all the above are not under control.

 

2. Wear Sunscreen Daily

I can’t emphasize this enough. Sun damage will age you. – wrinkles, hyperpigmentation are some of the effects of sun exposure. While the sun is beneficial in terms of Vitamin D, excessive sun exposure is bad for your skin. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours.

 

3. Exfoliate

I personally prefer chemical exfoliation but you can also use a physical one. Ensure it’s not a scrub with large and harsh granules as this may do more harm than good. Exfoliation helps get rid of dead skin, revealing smooth and soft skin and prepares your skin for skincare products. For chemical exfoliation, look for products with glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid and it may be in toner or serum form or both. Aim for at least three times a week.

 

4. Add a Retinol Serum or Cream to your routine

Start early and slowly. If you are 25 and above, I would highly suggest adding retinol to your nighttime skincare routine. I started super early and although I didn’t know what I was doing then, it has paid off eventually. Retinols help to resurface your skin, reduce the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. My favourite retinol brands are Skinceuticals, Jordan Samuel, Indeed Labs and Paula’s Choice.

 

5. Be Consistent with your skincare routine

Don’t wear make up to bed, see a dermatologist/aesthetician if you need to and don’t use skin bleaching products. If you are still struggling on how to build a skincare routine for yourself. Checkout my two previous posts: 7 Things to know before you build a routine & How to build a skincare routine


This is by no means an exhaustive list. What anti-ageing tips do you swear by? Let me know in the comment section

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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: instagram @naijahaircangrow

Growing healthy hair is what most of us dream of and it is a possibility for almost everyone (unless you’ve got a medical condition), but before this can be achieved you need to understand your hair. Hair texture, scalp condition, porosity, these are all factors that you discover, along your healthy hair journey, to be crucial at determining the health of your hair. In this post I will be shedding some light on hair porosity, and how an understanding of this will greatly improve your journey to healthy hair.

What is Hair Porosity?

Hair Porosity refers to the ability of your hair to absorb and retain moisture, and with our texture of hair moisture addition & retention is CRUCIAL. Knowing and understanding the porosity of your hair is the key to determining and streamlining a daily hair regimen that’s actually effective. The easiest and most common method to determine your porosity is ‘The Cup Test”.

photo source: naturamagazine.com

 

Place a few strands of hair in a glass of water, you can just use some of your shed hair that’s trapped in your comb. If they float, you may consider it ‘low’ or not absorbent; stays in the middle, it is considered ‘normal,’ hair sinks to the bottom, you have ‘high’ porosity hair. So now that you know the porosity of your hair you are better informed to start introducing methods that better allow your products and hair treatments have an effect on the health and growth of your hair.

 

Low Porosity

This when your hair is unable to absorb or retain moisture this is because the cuticles are close together or closed on the hair shaft, blocking any moisture or liquid to be absorbed. Cream or liquid products just lay on the hair having little or no effect. Think of low porosity as a closed door where nothing can get in.

Hair thrives on moisture and with low porosity hair the trick is to get it into those closed hair cuticles. There are a few things you can start incorporating into your regimen:

  • Heat: Opens the cuticles layers and allows for better water absorption. After washing your hair apply your deep conditioner. Place a plastic cap over your hair and steam under a hooded dryer, steamer, or thermal cap for 20-30 minutes.
  • At the styling stage of your regimen, use the LCO (liquid/leave-in, cream, oil) method not the LOC (liquid/leave-in, oil, cream) method, as Oil is a sealant and should be used on low porosity hair as the last step. It is advisable to use lighter oils which works best for this hair type. Examples of Oils to use are as follows; Argan Oil, Grape seed Oil, Baobab Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Hemp Seed Oil and Apricot Oil.
  • Use water-based products for your conditioners, leave-ins, styling aids (such as hair milks).
  • Avoid heavy butters, these can produce product build up.

 

High Porosity

This hair-type is usually very porous, it absorbs and loses moisture quickly. People with high porosity hair tend to complain a lot about dryness at the end of the day no matter how moist it was in the morning. This is because the cuticles of the hair shaft are open, so everything applied to the hair can’t stay in. High porosity hair can be likened to an open door; so the major concern is keeping the moisture in. There are several ways this can be achieved:

  • Layering: This simply means layering products in order to lock in the moisture, this can be achieved with the L.O.C method, you can start out with a leave-in, follow with an oil, then with a cream and/or a butter or pomade.
  • Sealant: As the name indicates, sealants trap moisture into your hair. For those with thick hair, common sealants used for high porosity include heavy oils such as olive oil and castor oil. You can also use butters or pomades infused with oil. Fine/thin hair may be weighed down by the use of heavy oils or butters. You may need to use a lighter oil or cream to seal such as grape seed oil.
  • Protein Treatments: Will help build up the strength of your hair thus protecting against further damage. Do protein treatments as often as you think your hair needs.

Normal Porosity

This is the ideal hair condition, it absorbs and retains moisture, doesn’t dry out throughout the day. Your focus is finding and using products that work best for your hair.

 

photo source: essence.com

There are no definitive best care practices that apply to your hair type, but you must ensure to continually monitor your hair to evaluate its needs.

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Iweriaha is an Entrepreneur and Beauty Enthusiast. She owns Beauty Gallery a beauty retail store with a goal to be the one stop for all beauty needs; Hair Extensions & Products, Skincare and Makeup.

You can find her:

Instagram @beautygalleryng

Twitter: @beautygalleryng

Website: www.beautygalleryng.com