Review - African Black Soap (ABS)

Prior to this soap i used La Roche-Posay Effaclar cleansing gel for my face. I was very happy with it and even repurchased it. But then i took a look at the ingredients and saw that one of them was Sodium Laureth Sulphate. And eventhough this isn't as harsh as it's brothers it's still not good for your skin. Why?

Number one reason is that it's a harsh detergent that will eventually strip all the oil of your face, which causes your skin to produce more oil. My experience with harsh cleansers is that they take away the 'normal' acne and overtime give you cystic acne instead.

The second reason is that it's an emulsifier and those things can irritate your skin, especially senstive and acneprone skin. Guess what, my skin has both those characteristics ha!

So i Googled for SLS-free facial cleansers and came across ABS. What really thrilled me was that it helped not only acne but all types of skinrashes and could be used on all skintypes. So it cleansed thourougly without being harsh, just what i was looking for.

You can easily find ABS online, just make sure it's fair trade and has a light or midbrown colour. If it's black it contains dyes which means it isn't the real thing.

Also, don't buy it if it's hard, it should feel kneadable. The real ABS is round or weirdly shaped, not square like normal western soaps.



The ingredients are usually virgin palm kernel oil, unrefined shea butter and potash produced from the ashes of plantain leaves or tree bark. However, the list can be slightly different since every village/region has it's own recipe.

How to use it

Take a small piece of the soap (size of a pea is enough for the face). Add a little bit of water and lather it up between your hands. Massage it over your face.

My tips

It lathers best if your face is also slightly wet. And if you have acne or oily skin you should massage it in for at least 2 minutes.

My experience on it

Some people report that the first times they use this soap it sting a bit. However, i never experienced this. I can also use it twice a day without my skin becoming too dry, whereas others use it no more than once a day or their skin will get flakey/dry.

I actually think i need an additional cleanser ha!

I don't recommend this for people with dry to very dry skin though, because if you rinse the soap off your skin will feel squeaky clean.

To some this might sound as if it stripped the oils of my face but actually it balanced my skin's oil production instead of increasing it (as you would expect with such a soap)

Also, after i rinse my skin has never felt tight in the 3 months i used it.

And i can honestly say that when it comes to acne on it's own it works just as good as a commercial anti-acnecleanser + antibiotics.

Pros

- Cleared my acne without having to take antibiotics
- Is free of dyes, fragrance, alcohol, preservatives, all that nasty stuff
- Balances oil production of the skin
- Can be used on face, body and hair
- Doesn't aggravate redness
- Face didn't feel tight afterwards
- If you buy it fairtade you support the local economy
- Skin didn't get flakes (it does with other acnecleansers)

- It's cheap

Cons

- You will probably have to order it online (check the african shops in your neighbourhood, they might sell it)
- The look of it might turn off some people (some people say it looks like poop, don't worry the smell is normal ^^)
- It might be inconvienient to store/use because you can't keep in the bathroom and have to lather it between your hands before use.
- May be too stripping for very dry skins


Overall if you have normal to oily, combination or acneprone skin i suggest you check this out. Especially if your are acneprone AND sensitive.

Tell me something...



Why on earth do people never take the time



to watch the sunset?

Eating great, losing weight - Getting started

The first post of my eating great, losing weight series! I chose this title instead of "Weightloss" because the main issue will be eating healthier than i do now,not losing weight. This is because in an attempt to lose weight people often just eat less, instead of eating healthier. As a result they will be skinnier but there bodies won't look toned.

That is NOT what i want. So, last night i weighed myself and the scale said 68 kg (150 pounds). And eventhough there is some pre-period weight gain involved, i was still shocked. I realised if i continued this way i would hit 70 kg within less than a year. So i said to myself, it's time to do something about it.



And this is how i'll do it

1. I will follow this, for the rest of my life. This won't be a diet but a change of eating habits.
2. Workout at least three times a week, preferably every day.
3. Drink enough water
4. Have at least one cup of green tea every day (helps breakdown of fatcells)
5. Eat vegetables at least 2 times a day.
6. Eat fish at least three times a week.
7. No more cookies, french fries, soda, ice cream, etc. This won't be so hard...


but i WILL miss these

8. Chocolate is allowed once a month (can be too harsh on myself right ^^)
9. I will no longer skip breakfast.
10. In the morning, i will drink a glass of water mixed juice of half a lemon (to cleanse the liver and get rid of toxins)

That's all i can think of for now...more rules will probably follow later.

What i want to achieve:

- Lose my little belly
- Have more energy
- Get betterlooking skin (more radiant, less acne)
- Get shinier and stronger hair and nails.

I hope it will work *crosses fingers*

Note: It might be usefull to know that my height is 1m68cm or 5'6", BMI is 24.

Blog giveaways round-up

If you're into blog giveaways, Paul & Joe, Hello Kitty or gorgeous jewelry i suggest you check these out, some of them are so generous!

A hello kitty box (Just like the one I have to store Q-Tips!)
Paul & Joe light cleansing milk sample
Paul & Joe Facecolor powder CS N in 058
Pucca notebook
Bread family 5 piece bandage
Paul & Joe Deep cleansing milk sample packet
RMK mascara in EX-02 (Purple)
Paul & Joe Moisture Lotion N sample packet
Majolica Majorca eyeshadow quad in SV887
Manjunkun & Friends mirror (Like mines!)
Korres wild rose 24 hour moisturiser SPF 6
Korres evening primrose eye cream SPF 6
Hello Kitty floss picks
-P&J Whitening Serum
-Majolook eyeshadow palette (sorrie, don't know the name of the color)
-5 Dermal sheet masks
-1 Innisfree apple yogurt pack
-1 Eki's flower clip
-some samples
yep, the P&J serum is FULLSIZE! I told you they were generous ^^


1st price: Bohemian love bracelet
2nd price: Royal Love necklace
check it out, it's so pretty!

Keeping skin free of acne: tip #1

In my battle against acne i have tried a lot of stuff to prevent blemishes from forming. In these series i will explain what i've tried and if it helped clearing my skin.

The first tip is

Change your pillowcases every single day

This might sound crazy to some (and other might think DUH when they read this ^^) but if you think about it it's actually totally logical.

Let's say for instance you change the pillowcase every week. Every night your pillowcase absorbs the sweat and sebum off your face and the natural oils of your hair. So the thirth, fourth, fifth and every night that follows you are resting your freshly washed and clean face on a dirty cloth.
And we're not even talking about those occasional lazy nights were you don't wash the makeup off.

So if you want to keep your face free of acne, change your pillowcase every night! Otherwise you shouldn't even bother washing your face

Note: if you want to be economical, you can flip the pillowcase over so that you only have to wash it every other day.

Fight post-acne spots, whiteheads and blackheads

First post of my 1098 786th attempt to build up a blog, we'll see how it works out this time (^ ^)

So, what have i been up to these last days?
Mainly chilling (summer vacation) and searching Google and blogs for a way to deal with my chronically problematic skin.

Two days ago i found this blogpost on how to prevent breakouts, get smoother and more glowy skin and face post-acne scars by using baking soda, ACV, eggwhites and lemon juice.

I've had acne for the past 6 years and though i've used lots of different products, nothing got rid of it completely.
About two months ago i stopped taking the antibiotics because it seemed they didn't prevent breakouts anymore and gave my skin a rough texture.
At the same time i started using African Black Soap as a facewash two times a day and unrefined shea butter as a moisturizer.
This helped reduce my acne a lot, and without the use harmfull chemicals.

By harmfull chemicals i mean medication and skincare products that have millions of ingredients in them that aren't usefull for your skin.
I avoid these because i've noticed that my skin prefers DIY stuff and products with a very few and as natural as possible ingredients (for instance a honey mask)

So this is my regimen (not 100% the same as original)
Mornings:
-Cleanse with ABS
-Dilute BS in water to form paste and gently massage face with it. Let sit for couple of minutes. Rinse well.
-Take some ACV and diluted it in witch hazel (about 10% ACV). Use cotton pad to apply on face.
-Moisturize with shea butter

Night:
-Cleanse with ABS
-Apply eggwhite&lemon juice mask. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
-Rinse
-Tone with witch hazel (no ACV this time!)
-Moisturize with shea butter

I have been doing this now for about two days and obviously my post-acne spots haven't lightened yet but my whiteheads and blackheads are starting to diminish and my skin is getting more glowy :P

Will keep using this!

For the original post, more details on the regimen and other peoples experiences with this click here