Friday, 14 March 2014

BLACK SOAP vs BLACK SOAP

For the most of 2012, I used the Ghanaian black soap to wash my face. It really helped me clear up most of the acne I have struggled with since my teenage years. Sometime late 2012, I decided to experiment with different things and try different brands of African black soap. (The first and last time before 2012 I used black soap was when I was 7 years old and had chicken pox. It helped with the healing process.)

My usual black soap of choice is Akoma Black Soap (Bars) with 50% Organic Shea Butter (picture below)



INGREDIENTS:
*cocos nucifera(Coconut Oil), **butyrospermum parkii (Raw Shea butter), Cocoa Pods, Aqua (Water)

*Certfied organic ingredients
**Contains Certified fairtrade 50% raw shea butter

ORIGIN: Akoma Cooperative in Ghana

SHELF LIFE: 2 years

I used this soap for about 6.5 months in 2012 and it was amazing for my face. It cleared most of my acne. It can be a bit drying which is not abnormal for black soap but I get to use jojoba oil on my face after cleansing. It removes makeup, oil and dirt so well from just one wash and a little goes a very long way. It cleared a lot of my skin bumps & spots. The packaging too is so sexy-pretty.  

So on one faithful day after indulging in my normal Youtube search for what is hot in the natural hair and skin care community, I stumbled upon a "by popular vote" African black soap that many natural babes in the UK were using. I got curious and ordered like 1 kg of it. It was Sheabutter Cottage Authentic African Black Soap (picture below). 


INGREDIENTS:
cocoa ash (doh), unrefined palm kernel, water, unrefined sheabutter

All certified organic 
Vegan friendly
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Ghana

This black soap is trusted, organic, made in Ghana, fair-trade and all those things that make you feel good about the products you use. It looked richer and a bit darker than my staple Akoma black soap.  It also removed my makeup, oil and dirt so well from just one wash. It was packaged very simple and you can tell that the company is environmentally conscious. 

THE BUT OF THIS SOAP: It was super drying, like so drying that my jojoba oil and a regular facial moisturizer wasn't cutting it out for my face again. It really stripped my skin of everything. Because of the dryness I was experiencing, I started breaking out so much. So I had to stop using it. I think it is too rich and loaded for my skin.

I thought it was because I moved back to Nigeria from the UK, so I tried it again about four different times last year (January, March, June and November) and it yield the same result. SO I totally gave up on black soap generally and just assumed that the Nigerian weather doesn't agree with Black soap on my skin.

However, after finding nothing that felt right for my face (with an exception to St. Ives. Green Tea Scrub), I decided to bring out my Akoma Black soap again. I compared the two soaps ingredient list and I found out that there was a slight difference. One used Coconut oil and the other used unrefined Palm kernel. 

I used Akoma all through December (after about a year off it) and it was just as wonderful as always. Cleared up my face in a week. This made me realize that there are differences in organic black soaps and you must find which one works for you. I will refrain from palm kernel in any black soap brand I will use in the future. But on that thought, it might not have been the palm kernel, it might been the percentage mix of the ingredients.

The Sheabutter Cottage brand is stronger than the Akoma brand, So my sensitive skin didn't like it.

On the brighter side, I am just glad that not all my two years supply of black soap (a year of Akoma and another year of Sheabutter Cottage) is not going to waste. I will use the Sheabutter Cottage brand to wash my hair every now and then. All things work together for good.

PLEASE NOTE: I have tried other products from Sheabutter Cottage (like their Jojoba oil, coconut oil, lavender essential oil, rosemary essential oil and Rhassoul clay (love love this clay)) and they were all wonderful and of great quality.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Food Vices 1: Noodles

As much as I try to be an advocate of healthier living, I sometimes stray and find myself lusting after junks like chocolate, warm white bread, sugar coated doughnuts, mountain of party jollof rice and noodles.

In the quest to minimize my consumption of these vices, I incorporate nourishing and super-foods with my vices.

NOODLES
I can not eat any other brand of noodles but the popular Nigerian household brand: INDOMIE (if it is not Indomie, e no go fit be the same thing as Indomie).



When eating this I try to spice it with

- Boiled Egg / Grilled Fish

And the following vegetables

- Bell Peppers (red and green)
- Chilli Pepper
- Onions
- Chopped Cabbage (picture not below)
- Tomatoes (very fresh and still hard)



I add these ingredients when the noodles are almost cooked (like 30 sec or so to well-done). This is to ensure that I don't get rid of the goodness in the vegetables. I use just one Indomie noodles with the following ingredients above added and end up with a satisfied stomach.


WALLAH!!!

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