By Hadassah Agbaps - June 19, 2014

Hi people, what's been on?
I'd like to share my unconventional skincare routine that has helped clear my skin to the point where my foundation sits forgotten and lonely!

My skin is really sensitive, oily and acne prone. I've shared how my acne on my face and upper back was so bad that back in school, someone (in fact a terrible artist) drew a stick figure with dots on the round face and some of my mates could identify it as me. It was that bad.
From an early age, about 7 years my skincare products were different from the general products my siblings used. I joined my mum in using her expensive skincare products, serums, moisturisers, name it!

I got tired of hearing people say 'Wash your face more often, eat less oily food, use this product and that product' when I really preferred them to just ignore it. Like seriously, didn't they think I noticed? Didn't they think I wasn't trying to get rid of it?
My dad, a doctor was all 'Just leave it to run its course' when I suggested it was time I took some antibiotics...I had read that tetracycline was effective in getting rid of acne causing bacteria. He never really liked us taking drugs for what he felt were not life threatening ailments. Well, I never really liked taking drugs anyway so I didn't pursue it.

So I switched my research to finding out what exactly caused acne, why some products I used aggravated it and why others seemed to calm it down. I have used almost all the OTC anti acne products. In fact, this was how my product junkism began.
Some seemed to clear my face for like two weeks before the usually painless black/white heads I had became painful cysts. My face was constantly red. My wallet was red.

However, long story short, I finally realised that the more aggressive I was with treating the acne, the worse my skin got. I learnt to go gentle.
I started going more natural with my skin care. Here is the skin care regimen that helped me calm down my skin. If you have a similar problem, it may not hurt to try it out especially after you've gotten professional help, followed it religiously and still it persists.

I first began to stop using bar soaps to cleanse my skin especially those types that leave some sort of film on the skin. I noticed that not only do they clog my pores, they also left me with painful spots if anyone used the soap after me. So if you share soap even with family please stop.
 Right now I've decided to be more natural with my skincare so I use African Black soap which I don't share with any borry!

I started soaking my sponges and face towels in hot water before I used them. E.v.e.r.y.d.a.y. These are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and the moist environment of the bathroom is their holiday resort.

Sponges and towels are abrasive and if you are an aggressive scrubber, you make tiny scratches in your skin that provide a new home for bacteria. It's very tempting with acne prone skin to scrub scrub scrub but I decided to wean myself from that and scrub gently every second day...sometimes every third day. I've noticed a decrease in breakouts with this method. So I use a soft towel for the days I don't scrub and a hand loofah (that type that looks like gloves) for the scrubbing days. For my face, I exfoilate with a homemade scrub (1/2 teaspoon salt, I teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon olive oil). Once a week I exfoilate with ground rosemary leaves.

I recently learnt about pH balancing the skin and how our skin thrives better with slightly acidic products (pH 5.0-pH 5.5) from Paige of and since I incorporated it in my regimen, my skin has fared better. So I followed her advice and began to use Apple Cider Vinegar ( I part ACV in 2 parts water) to tone my skin after showering. It has been really helpful and I noticed the dark patches I had on my forehead and cheeks have faded.
She also suggested a soap free method of cleansing the skin called the Oil Cleansing Method but due to my fear of anything overly oily, I decided to pass. However, I've gone totally soap free!

I now use a combination of Reetha powder, Shikakai powder and Amla Powder to wash my face and my skin has never felt cleaner and clearer. No more redness, no more flakiness, no more hyperpigmentation. I've been using it consistently morning and evening for the past two months and people have been asking me if I used a lightening cream. I say no I don't (can't stomach all the chemicals) and I get this disbelieving look. So I figured it's that good.
I thought it was all in my head. I notice I don't even need a foundation or anything...just Pond's Pink powder (it's so smooth), eyeshadow and lippy and I'm good to go.

I do know the powders are used as an all natural effective shampoo by Indians but I always wondered what it would be like to use it as a facewash. After googling it and coming up blank, I decided to try out an experiment because I wondered why it couldn't be used as a facewash. Tradition ( that's how it's been done for ages and no one knows why) perhaps???

Two months and my skin feels happy, so why shouldn't I share???


Here's what you need.
- A clean bottle (for the mix)
- 1 cup of reetha powder
- 1/2 cup of shikakai powder
- 1/2 cup of amla powder

Mix all the powders together and store in the bottle. #shikena.

To use, take a teaspoon of product, mix with a little water to form a paste, apply to face and scrub gently for a bit. Leave on for 5 mins then rinse off.
It's your all natural face wash so use it morning and evening.

It can sting if it gets into your eyes so please shut them well o!

I've also been using this to wash my hair. It cleans really well, makes my hair feel great and untangled but like henna or hibiscus rinse, the mess it produces (nothing white or limits its use to once a month.

However, I love it so much as a face wash. Very easy to use and my skin feels really great afterwards. I'm glad I tried this experiment!

So now I wash with ARS, tone with ACV but how about my moisturiser?

Grapeseed oil!
An oil for an oil phobic naturalista.....oh well.....never say never.....
I've been doing some research on oils for the skin because I'm getting really serious about going all natural with my skincare and since the ARS worked, why not?
I'm riding on a natural high with my haircare with the castor oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil being so wonderful why ever not???

Of all the oils available for skincare, I really liked the profile of grapeseed oil. It's light, very absorbent (so no mmanu slick), is anti inflammatory and a mild sold.
I purchased it, used it a bit (2 drops) at night and mixed it with my FOTE Aloe Vera gel for the day.
This oil does absorb really well. I couldn't really say about its anti inflammatory properties until a zit (the type that comes due to hormones...girls) decided to rear its ugly head. It was quite painful and I could feel it breathing or was it throbbing?
I applied the grapeseed oil directly on it kamikazee style and seriously, it stopped breathing. Then by the next day it died.
So I ran over here to share the good news!

 I'm still working on more experiments and may or may not share ( a woman should have secrets na)!

Hope this helps someone!

Till I spill again,
Live Beautifully, Naturally.

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  1. Wish I had come up with a natural remedy like this...great work. I struggled with acne for 10 years. Tried roaccutane for 6 months and my skin is CLEAR. No side effects, thank goodness

    1. Acne can really be a beast. I'm glad it cleared up! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Are you still using this now and does it still produce the same great results as you shared here?

    1. Yes I still do and still loving it. If I do breakout it's just a lone spot which goes away without leaving much scarring and the redness (probably due to irritation) I usually experience has gone...

  3. please where can i get these herbs, reetha, amla and shikakai?


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