Brand Review: Zaron Cosmetics

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I feel like I’ve done Zaron cosmetics a lot of disservice. I had used their Oil Control Mineral Loose powder sometime in the past and it was ok, but of course I keep going back to my HG powder (BlackOpal loose powder in Neutral Light). Their lipstick pen in Muse (nude) is also a favorite of mine and yet I hadn’t posted a review. (I’m sorry Zaron).

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Zaron is a Nigerian owned brand and one for the brands I identified as I try to #buyNaijatogrowtheNaira. Sometime in March, I walked into their Ikoyi store and bought their Face Primer, Healthy Glow Liquid Foundation, Loose Powder, Maxi-blend Compact Powder and ofcourse the lipstick pen (there was the buy one get one free promo at the time of purchase). I have had a few repeat purchases, loved most of the products I have tried, particularly that the products are non-comedogenic and acnegenic. So, here’s my honest review of their products:

  1. Healthy Glow Liquid Foundation

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I’m currently on my second tube of foundation- the matte variant; and I’ve got to say I’m loving it! It has SP4 30, its medium to full coverage, very buildable, it does do a passably good job of staying matte (although not transfer resistant) and its VERY PIGMENTED! I feel like that’s its greatest quality. All in all, I will give it a 4/5. My only grouse is that it doesn’t stay matte all day, but then- which product stays matte all day in our weather?

  1. Oil Control Mineral Loose Powder

Zaron Loose powderThis is a good setting powder, it also has SPF, is medium coverage, very very pigmented. Everytime I applied the powder over the foundation, I felt my face was SO bright! I tried using a shade darker and still same difference. I just gave up and went back to my fave powder. I tried blending shades, still couldn’t get my perfect shade. Otherwise; good powder. This gets a 3/5 from me though. Maybe cause its mineral powder and I so badly wanted to switch to mineral powder and not being able to find my shade was a disappointment.

  1. Face Primer

FACE-PRIMER-2-300x300This was the product I didn’t really like. My regular primer combines both the priming effect and mattifying effect, this primer did not. Matter of fact, I didn’t see much of a difference between when I wore foundation and powder alone and when I wore the primer. I’m going to pass on rating this product.

 

  1. Lip Stick Pen

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A bit of a background to my love for lipstick pens: I haven’t had much luck with lipsticks- I like a matte finish, but all the mattes I have tried are always too dry; never blending, be it a tube lipstick or a liquid to matte lipstick; just hasn’t worked for me. However, lipstick pen do work for me. Not just Zaron’s, most lipstick pens do work for me.

I tried Zaron’s lipstick pen and I love it. My only grouse is that it doesn’t last. But it takes a lot for lipcolour to last on my lips, I’m forever pursing my lips or biting it. So, this also gets a 4/5 from me.

  1. Maxi-blend Compact Powder

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This purchase wasn’t for me but for my mom. She loved it and I loved it on her. Its medium coverage, not streaky or magnify fine lines, long wear and passably matte. I will give it a 4/5 as well.

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So, while I’m on my Zaron love, the product I would love to try is: Zaron Perfect Finish Spray. This is what Zaron says about it: Instant moisturizing and relaxing mist that freshens and treats the skin with its ultra-fine micro droplets. It’s light comfortable and sets all types of makeup. Prolonging wear even under extreme conditions. I have never used a finishing spray, would probably get one with my next purchase. If you have used this product, please let me know how it panned out for you, or if there’s a better finishing spray out there, please share in the comments section. And of course, you need to tell us what Zaron products you have used and your opinion.

XOXO

Chinma

PS: This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are mine. You can shop Zaron products here or at any of their nationwide stores. 

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Product Review: Hegai & Esther Photo Perfect Pressed Powder

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Hello everyone and welcome to #BeautyFridays. On the first series this year, I’m going to review Hegai & Esther Photo Perfect Pressed Powder.

H&E pressed powder

You all know I’m a loose powder girl, but this pressed powder like Mac studio fix, I love. Hegai & Esther is a Nigerian brand I stumbled upon sometime late 2016 and fell in love with. Throughout 2017, I used their foundation and reviewed it here

Towards the end of 2017, I decided to take a break from my fave Black Opal Deluxe finishing powder which I mentioned here as one of my fave products of 2016. Matter of fact, that was a mistake, it’s my favorite powder of all times. Though I’m loving the H&E Pressed powder right now.

So, back to how I got to try the powder; I bought the H&E Shine off loose Powder in fade 1 which is actually their lightest shade. The reason for this is my perfect shade of their foundation is somewhere between Mango and Biscuit, and I typically have to blend both shades as one is too dark and the other pasty. On the day I bought the loose powder, I thought: rather than buy 2 foundations and 1 powder, why don’t I get the powder in a lighter shade and foundation in Mango (which is typically for me), cost saving right? Error: it cam out a burnt orange. To compound it the first day I tried it I wore orange. This is a picture of me after I had tried blending with my fave powder.

H&E Loose powder- fade 1

Orange much?

And its not the dress, because I did wear the dress another day and didn’t look orange!

Anyways, I sent the H&E team a complaint mail and they responded. That’s one thing I love about the H&E team; they are very responsive. I was informed it was possibly a case of mismatched undertones and that they would love to swap the product with the new Photo Perfect pressed powder and I could come tot heir office in December to swap.

December was busy for me, and I finally made it down to their office in January (by this time I had won some additional products in an Instagram competition! lol!

See my gift haul below:

H&E Gift Items

Shineoff Loose powder in Deep (I guess this is for contouring), eyebrow stencils, Eyeliner, Bare Neutrals Eye colour, etc. Thank you to H&E!

And here’s the replacement powder:

H&E HC 24

Hegai & Esther Photo Perfect Loose Powder in HC24

For this powder, it was love at first use. It applies like a dream and gives a natural finish, which I love (I’m in my minimalist phase).

 

Product packaging

It came neatly packaged, like all pressed powders. It didn’t have that protective film for the mirror, but it was nicely set with the mirror very clean. This is good.

Application

The product applied beautifully, setting my foundation nicely. It says on the pack that it can be worn with or without foundation (for a light coverage). What I love though is that it can be used for touch ups without a cakey or ashy look.

Price

The website says it retails for N3,500, which puts it in the affordable range.

H&E pressed powder

For now, I’m loving the powder. It’s not matte in the long run, but the color does stay true.

Will I buy again: definitely yes. You can shop H&E products here.

PS: This is not a sponsored post, the brand is just one that has impressed me with their quality, responsiveness and continuous improvement.

Have you used any H&E products, did you like it, please let me know in the comments section.

xoxo chinma

12 Beauty Resolutions You Should Keep This Year

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Hey everyone! Welcome to 2017, again. How have you been?

For our first Beauty Friday post of the year, I’m going to share 12 beauty resolutions I stumbled on and I think we all should keep this year (I know I should keep them, it’s just hard sometimes!).

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In no particular order, they are:

  1. Never, ever go to bed with makeup on. No matter how exhausted you are or how late it is: Take. It. Off. Removing your makeup can make the difference between beautiful, glowing skin and a complexion that looks dull and has clogged pores, plus, while you’re sleeping, makeup can get pushed deeper into your pores, leading to acne.
    Another factor you might not take into account: Some dead skin cells are meant to shed every day, but having makeup on 24/7 can cause them to stick to the skin’s surface. This can also lead to breakouts and exacerbate fine lines.
  2. Use a ton of TLC to remove your eye makeup. “The skin around your eyes is the thinnest, most delicate skin on your face. So if you tug too roughly when removing your eye makeup, your skin can stretch out over time and fine lines can become more noticeable. Instead, use light, downward motions to wipe away your shadow, liner, and mascara, and opt for a non-greasy eye makeup removing formula that won’t irritate skin and contains ingredients known to soothe skin such as vitamins B5 and E.
  3. Drink plenty of water morning to night. And not just when you’re hitting the gym or you’re super thirsty (if you get to that point, you’re most likely already dehydrated). Hydration — inside and out — is key to keeping your skin radiant. Wondering how much to drink? Eight 8-ounce glasses is still the recommended daily minimum, so drink up for gorgeous, fully hydrated, flake-free skin.woman-drinking-water.jpg
  4. Use a face cream and sunscreen combo every day. Even the five minutes you spend in the sun running into the mall or work each day add up. People often only think to use sunscreen when they’re out for an extended period of time, but even incidental exposure every day over a few years causes brown spots and fine lines to show up earlier. So, 365 days a year, regardless of the season, use a face cream with SPF 15 or higher, then apply your makeup. She suggests adding dots on your forehead, cheeks, chin, down the front of your neck (and both ears if your hair is up) to ensure that all exposed skin is properly protected.
  5. Always sleep on a clean pillowcase. “Your skin can pick up dirt and bacteria, traces of makeup, dead skin cells, saliva, and hair product residue from a pillowcase that hasn’t been washed,” explains Dr. Karen. So flip your pillow over once a week and wash it every two to avoid a buildup of these pore-clogging substances.
  6. Don’t pick at your skin. Leave that pimple/blackhead/bump alone. As tempting as it can be, unless you’ve got a clear whitehead (that you can use two tissues to gently press out), it’s more likely that you’ll either drive bacteria farther into skin, make it more inflamed, or add more dirt and bacteria to the area from your fingers and nails. If you have a blemish that is red and raised, hold an ice cube on it for 20-second intervals for a few minutes to bring down the inflammation, and then apply a dot of a salicylic acid spot treatment and cover with concealer on top.acne-tips-Chinma-Ekes-blog.jpg
  7. Work regular workouts into your routine. Aerobics, yoga or spin class can have a positive effect on your skin as well as your mood and body, because a workout increases circulation, creating that great glow once it’s done. Another plus: Working up a sweat can help lower the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked not only to skin aging but breakouts and clogged pores.
  8. Don’t binge on junk food. We aren’t talking about enjoying the occasional DC and bag of chips. If most of your calories are coming from the snack machine, your skin is going to pay the price. More studies are pointing toward carbs as the bad guys for skin. Sugar, white bread, pasta, cake, and candy may speed up glycation in skin. (Glycation is when sugar molecules latch onto cells, including those in skin, and cause them to become malformed and accelerate the breakdown of collagen.) What you see in the mirror: loss of radiance, more noticeable lines, and skin that doesn’t look as supple. Overdoing it with carbs and dairy has been linked to acne as well. Instead, eat a well balanced diet full of non-processed, nutritionally dense foods (think green veggies, fresh fruit, yogurt, lean protein, plus nuts and seeds) to make sure you skin stays breakout-free, supple, and on point.
  9. Gently exfoliate. Depending on your skin type, use a chemical peel like a glycolic acid or AHA, soft scrub, or try derma-planing (when you glide a special razor over skin in downward strokes) to remove dead skin for a glowy, glass-like finish. Exfoliating one or two days a week is enough.dv088017-630x300.jpg
  10. Clean your phone daily. And don’t press it directly against your skin when talking either. Your phone is a breeding ground for germs.
  11. Apply a face mask weekly. If your skin is on the drier side, opt for a moisturizing mask that contains glycerin or hyaluronic acid. If you’re more oil-prone, then alternate between an exfoliating mask and a clay-based treatment. For those with combination skin, try multi-masking and apply what you need, where you need it (such as detoxing clay on your nose and chin, and a hydrating mask on your forehead and cheeks).
  12. And at the end of the day, get ample sleep. Put your devices to bed (preferably in another room) an hour before you tuck in (I should try this). The goal is to try to unplug, shut down any connection, and just allow yourself to sleep and fully, fully rest. Ideally, get eight hours of sleep uninterrupted, you want to enter the deep sleep that allows your mind, body, and skin to repair.

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to share your beauty resolutions with us as well as share this article.

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Article credit: Cosmopolitan magazine, image credit Google.com

My Fave Beauty Products of 2016

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Hello dearies, happy holidays!

As the year ends today, I would like to wrap up the beauty posts with a catalog of my favorite beauty products. some of them I have reviewed on this bog already, others, I haven’t.

We’ll begin from the basics; my favorite face wash, which has so replaced Neutrogena Acne wash in my beauty routine is: RnR Luxury Liquid black soap. Read it’s full review here.

liquid black soap

And my favorite toner, which I should do a full review for is Jules Therapy Witch hazel toner. witch-hazel-5915724

This product is purely amazing. I will be sure to do a full review on it in the near future.

My go-to body oil is Vanity Oils Skin Toning Therapy; I love this oil. Read it’s full review here

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You all know the primer that’s the love of my life; Mary Kay Foundation Primer.

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This primer goes with any and I mean any foundation I pair it with, it sets a perfect base. It contains spf 15 which is an added advantage for me.

For foundations, I experimented this year; stepped away from Mary Kay Timewise Matte foundation and discovered some surprisingly good foundations.

First was Black opal True Color Liquid Foundation, which I reviewed here and Hegai and Esther Duo Cover Photo Perfect Foundation; my newest love! I will do a full review of it soon, till then take my word for it and try out this foundation. dsc_8406-600x600

And yes, its a Nigerian product, so #buynaijatogrowthenaira.

To crown it all; the queen of all my beauty products, the one I’ve been with for years is Black Opal Deluxe Finishing powder in Neutral Light.

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This powder is what I will call a workaholic powder, it’s been with me through many foundations and it’s always held its own.

So, share with us, what are your fave beauty products and what products did you discover in 2016 or would love to try in 2017?

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Product Review: Black Opal True Color Liquid Foundation

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Hello Lovelies, it’s been a minute hasn’t it? I’ve missed you all. Hope you’ve been good?

Today on #beautyfriday I’m going to be reviewing Black Opal True Color Pore Perfecting Liquid Foundation.

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I got this foundation as part of my beauty haul from Kuddy Cosmetics at the just concluded 2016 Lagos Trade fair. I had seen so many positive reviews about this product I decided to give it a trial.

I paired it with my trusted Mary Kay foundation primer and finished off my beloved with Black Opal deluxe finishing powder in Neutral light (6).

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My thought around the foundation was? A bottle? How will I get every drop of my foundation out in this hard times? Lol! I gave in sha, the sales rep advised I get the foundation in Nutmeg (that was my thought as well). I applied with my foundation brush blending in as advised on the bottle. The product glided on smoothly and only needed extra coverage on areas darkened by acne scars.

This is what it looked like:found-alone

My first thought was….. reddish? But I said to myself not to despair yet. I finished off with my deluxe finishing powder in neutral light and then I looked like myself again! Lol! I love this powder and someday will dedicate an entire post to it.

I finished off my makeup as usual and was off for the day.

finshed-makeup

I really put my makeup to test that day. The day was sunny; I had a seminar to be at and Lagos Island market runs interspersed with other errands and I only dabbed once. This is what my face looked like at the end of the day.

close-of-the-day

My verdict: I liked it, it held up really well, felt weightless and transfer resistant. I will purchase again.

My rating: 3.7. I can still see the reddish tint.

So, there it is dearies; have you tried the Black Opal Liquid foundation, what was your experience with it?

 

XOXO

Chinma Eke

 

Happy New Month, Welcome to July

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july, chinma eke's blog

It’s the second half of the year! Welcome to July.

Hope you had a good first part of the year, if you did not; don’t despair. ‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day’. (2 Peter 3:8)

The above verse say it all; God is not bound by human calendar and times, He always comes true in His time.

I wish everyone a beautiful month of July, I hope you have the best of days.

 

XOXO

Chinma Eke

Product Review: RnR Luxury Liquid Black Soap

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Hello all,

It’s been awhile, how have you all been?

I’ve missed you all too, I hope you missed me?

So, I have decided to start a new segment called the beauty review where I will review beauty products I’ve used and share my thoughts.

As a beauty addict and merchant, I have used some truly wonderful products and some not so good ones, and one of the problems I have always encountered is finding credible (not-sponsored) reviews online, or any reviews at all especially about Nigerian products.

So, I have decided to incorporate it into my blog and share my experiences on my fave products, especially Nigerian made products. I mean, we need to #buyNaijatogrowtheNaira

So, Here we go; the first product to be reviewed is R&R Luxury’s Liquid Black Soap of their Shea Luxury range

liquid black soap

Product Pricing

This product is nicely priced at N1,000 for a 250ml bottle (good).

I stumbled on this liquid black soap after seeing it reviewed on a post on Bellanaija, I searched the web for it, got on to R&R Luxury’s website, ordered and it was delivered to me the next day (nice!) I didn’t like the fact that I had to pay N1000 for delivery from Lekki Phase 1 to Ikoyi, but I couldn’t go pick up, so I paid.

black soap and bag

Product Packaging

It arrived in a paper bag, with a clear film sealing in the product. I don’t think this packaging will travel well with an out of town delivery, but I had no issues, no spills; so I’m fine with it. But, like I said; I hope R&R luxury has a better plan for out of town deliveries.

Ingredients:

R&R boasts their skincare products contain all natural products with 100% pure unrefined shea butter as it’s main ingredient. Others are; coconut oil, cocoa pod and cocoa butter. And they say it’s perfect for the whole family.

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Usage

So, I got home that day and excitedly used the soap that night. I followed my normal wash routine; wipe of makeup with baby wipes; wet my face with water, squeeze some soap on my hands and lather my face.

It lathered very well, smells like black soap (I don’t mind), didn’t irritate (I have sensitive skin and products can irritate in a second).

The attendant I spoke with on the phone in the course of placing my order had advised me not to let the product sit on my face for too long, i.e: not use it as a mask; but altogether I think it was on my face for about 30 seconds or more (the time it took me to use the washcloth on my face). I used it with the regular baby face towel and it cleaned really nice.

But then, I discovered another problem; I’m used to my face wash bottle having a pump, this didn’t and I found the lifting and the dropping of the bottle cumbersome. So, I searched for an old bottle of  face wash which had a pump head and transferred. R&R Luxury might want to invest in a pump head bottle for ease of application.

black soap pump bottle

So, I’ve used it for over two weeks and I think I can safely say it’s a good product. I’ve had no irritations, not even product adjustment. I transited from my old facewash to this seamlessly.

It can be used on the face and body, it’s non-drying, not excellent, but a good product.

Will I buy again; Yes, and I recommend it too.

There’s a link to R&R luxury online shop below, please follow the link to shop and enjoy.

Till another product review; have a blessed week.

PS; This is not a sponsored review, and I will be back to update if I have any issues.

R&R Luxury: Shop R&R Luxury

 

XOXO

Chinma Eke

Happy New Month, Welcome to April!

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It’s April and we are officially into the 2nd quarter of 2016. How are you all doing, I hope the year has been good for you despite the challenges facing the country?
How are we doing with our to-do list? I hope we’re successfully ticking off certain things in the list? God will give us all the grace to achieve our desires; amen.
As the new month begins; I wish us all the best; springs in desert, help from the most unexpected sources, needs met, joy in our heart, loved ones all around and enough to eat and to give out. How bless us all, and….

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Skincare, Getting Rid of Dark Marks

Hyper pigmentation is something that has plagued me as far back as I can remember. Dark spots (or hyper pigmentation) occurs when there is an over-secretion of melanin (the pigment responsible for skin colour). This can be caused by various reasons, including hormone imbalance, acne scarring, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, stress and pregnancy. It’s best to check with your GP to find out what the cause is for you but when they do occur you’ll be glad to know there are a few ways to get rid of pesky dark marks.

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1 Hydrate

Dark patches and discolouration is often evident in dry skin and dryness is worsened by extreme weather, both hot and cold. Drinking plenty of water will help keep the skin hydrated but try to moisturise daily too. It’s best to use gentle, unfragranced creams suitable for sensitive skin to prevent causing any irritation. When washing, avoid scalding hot showers as this can dry out the skin and swap out any harsh soaps or shower gels for more moisturising formulas with natural oils like jojoba and sweet almond.

2 Exfoliate

A buildup of dead skin cells can lead to clogged pores and uneven skintone. Counter this by gently exfoliating as often as you find necessary. Exfoliation also encourages the formation of new healthy skin, making your skin appear brighter and fresher. You can use a scrub (like this one), body brush or exfoliating gloves to slough away any excess skin.

3 Natural masks By raiding your kitchen cupboards you may find a natural solution for dark marks. Lemons, potatoes, milk or tumeric can be mixed and match together into a face mask to help even out the skin. It’s best to do these treatments at night, particularly as they tend to have a subtle bleaching effect which might make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Apply for at least 10-15 minutes to give the mask time to work and moisturise afterwards to keep the skin hydrated. Natural masks are not an instant fix so repeated applications will be needed depending on the severity of your dark marks.

4 Ditch shaving

Using a razor regularly irritates the skin and the resulting short, sharp hairs from shaving can grow back into the skin causing bumps and discolouration. You can either lessen how often you shave to prevent problems or switch to using hair removal creams or wax to get rid of any pesky hairs. The latter methods pull hair out from the root and generally don’t have to be done as often as shaving, preventing dark marks from occurring.

5 Sunscreen

It’s not just fair skin that needs an SPF. By applying a liberal amount of sun protection every day (yes even in Winter) your face and body is shielded from the sun rays, preventing sun damage. Several makeup and skincare brands now include products with small amounts of SPF to make protecting your skin easier. If you want maximum protection it’s best to apply sun protection separately underneath your foundation. Look for products which claim to protect against both UVA and UVB damage.

6 Professional Treatments

If you find your dark marks particularly embarrassing a professional treatment on the recommendation of your doctor or dermatologist might be your best solution. Popular treatments which help lessen the appearance of dark marks are laser treatments, microdermabrasion and chemical peels. These treatments are more invasive than using natural products, so the effects can be more dramatic and seen much more rapidly.

How do you get rid of dark marks / hyper pigmentation?

#beautyfriday, chinma eke's blog

Top Ten Tips For Healthy Skin Of Colour

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What’s best for your skin is an individual thing based on genetics, skin type, special skin issues, age and other factors. But these 10 tips for women of color are musts for healthy skin.

1. Use products for your skin type. It’s important to use products that are formulated for your skin type. A cleanser for oily skin will be too drying for someone who has dry skin. Some products that work on normal skin might irritate delicate, sensitive skin.

Using the wrong product can do anything from making the skin look too oily or causing breakouts, to emphasizing fine lines and wrinkles or making makeup application look uneven.

2. Avoid harsh ingredients. Certain ingredients in products like salicylic acid and even some alpha hydroxy acids (fruit acids) can be too harsh for certain skin.

Chemicals like synthetic fragrances can cause allergic reactions in the skin of some women and alcohol-based products are very drying to others.

Observe which product ingredients cause skin reactions and check the ingredient label for patterns and possible culprits. So if you know you are allergic or easily irritated by certain ingredients, check the list before using a product.

3. Do patch tests. If you are using at-home kits like microdermabrasion kits, hair removal systems, facial peels and other products that are clinical strength or potentially harmful, always do a patch test on a small inconspicuous area like the inside of the elbow to make sure you are not allergic to the ingredients or that your skin is not too sensitive and can be irritated or damaged by the product.

4. Cleanse the face daily. It’s especially important to cleanse the face at night to get rid of dirt and debris and of course makeup. Avoid abrasive cleansers. Opt for a sensitive formula, especially if you have dry or easily irritated skin.

5. Exfoliate. When dead skin cells accumulate on the skin’s surface, what you’ll end up with is dull-looking skin or skin that is unable to adequately absorb nutrients and nourishing ingredients from skin care products.

Remember to regularly exfoliate the face, using gentle exfoliants, avoiding almond or coarse salts, which can actually tear the skin. Don’t use a body scrub on your face. And speaking of the body, be sure to exfoliate the body with scrubs or by dry brushing to avoid dry or ashy skin.

6. Keep Skin Hydrated. Always moisture, even if you have oily skin. Use a moisturizer that is formulated for your skin care needs and for the season (i.e., a lighter moisturizer in the summer, a creamy moisturizer during the winter.)

7. Use sunscreen. The sun can contribute to premature skin aging. While melanin provides protection to darker skin, you can still get skin cancer and often it’s at an advanced stage. Use sunscreen year round.

8. Be mindful of medications. Certain medications contribute to skin problems and others can cause sensitivity to the sun. Be sure to apply sunscreen or avoid the sun when using these drugs. Drugs that cause sun sensitivity are birth control pills, antibiotics, acne medications and some hyperpigmentation treatments.

9. Be careful with professional treatments. Cosmetic surgery and other professional treatments (laser treatments, microdermabrasion, etc) might cause skin discolorations and other problems in skin of color. Make sure that you see a professional that is experienced in treating dark skin.

10. Help your skin take care of itself. Lead a healthy lifestyle, with a nutritious diet, exercise and plenty of rest to help your body and skin continue to rejuvenate itself.

 

#beautyfriday, chinma eke's blog