How To Have Beautiful Skin And A Fat Wallet!

When I was in my teens and early twenties, I honestly treated my skin like shit. I would use whatever bar/liquid soap that was available at the sink. I got away with this too. I had a decent complexion and didn’t really have any skin problems. 

Things have changed since I’ve gotten older. I’m not even sure what my skin type is anymore, it was more so oily when I was a teen. Now, it’s SUPER sensitive. It’s probably close to being combination type. Dry in the forehead and cheek area, oily on the nose and the skin. 

My skin is so delicate now, I can’t use typical drug store products anymore. They either leave my skin parched or with painful, itchy rashes. The ingredients are usually way too intense.

I needed a face wash and a moisturizer, like all women do. I wear makeup. My face gets gross and greasy like everyone else’s. So I’d like to have the ability to wash my face without my skin being so dry, it hurts to make facial expressions.  Or Having a face so full of hives, I’d look like “The Thing”. 

I started looking into natural products, figuring I’d have better luck. Finally, after trying all sorts of shit, I found a regimen that worked for me: African black soap from the Shea Moisture line and good, old, cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil. I don’t favor any particular brand. 

Now, to be clear, Shea Moisture does NOT produce the purest form of African black soap. African black soap has been around for a very long time. It originated in the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and has been used for generations.

However, today I’ll be discussing the one from the Shea Moisture line, because this is the one I have experience with. I do plan on purchasing a raw bar of black soap soon and look forward to writing about it as well. 

This stuff has become a holy grail/staple item in my house. It’s great for all skin types. It cleans EVERYTHING off! Even that raccoon’s eye you got last night while getting shit faced.

It moisturizes and soothes irritated skin, while absorbing excess oil. It heals acne, troubled skin, eczema, psoriasis and so much more. You are left with clean and soft skin. It can even be used as a shampoo! I use it, and so does my husband. He loves it and his skin is oily/acne prone. I use it on my son, he loves bubble bath multiple times a day and this soap doesn’t dry out his skin. 

Although it’s not the rawest form of black soap, it’s still more natural than commercial products and is very kind to the skin. The ingredients are much more mild and natural than I’ve ever seen or purchased at a drug store. I know almost exactly what every word on the label means AND I can pronounce them! 

List of ingredients: African Black Soap Base, African Shea Butter (Certified Organic Ingredient), Oats, Aloe, Plantain Extract, Vitamin E, Essential Oil Blend, Vegetable Glycerin, Palm Ash, Rosemary Extract, Ion Oxides.

Another pro? At 8 ounces, this bar is huge AND retails at a little under 5 bucks in drugstores. I rest my case. 

Now, do I REALLY need to get into coconut oil? It’s been around for THOUSANDS of years, used by people from in the Pacific Rim and Asian countries. It’s also very much on trend for quite some time.

I’d used coconut oil on my hair and skin and loved it, but never considered it for my face. With an open mind, I tried it and surprisingly, there is nothing on the market that’s left my face as soft. It quickly absorbs into the skin, no silicone or or sticky residue. I don’t think I’ll ever use another facial moisturizer again. 

Here’s a look some of the benefits:

Its a natural antibacterial, so it may help with acne. It’s got anti-oxidants that protect against the free radicals that wreak havoc on skin and cause wrinkles. With vitamins E, A and essential proteins, coconut oil moisturizes and encourages the production of collagen, which keeps the skin firm. The medium chain triglycerides (MCT) and lauric acid in coconut help to fix damaged skin and shield against harmful UV rays.

Cost effective: Absolutely. You can get a 14 ounce jar of coconut oil for 7 bucks at Walmart. Meanwhile, there are moisturizer on the marker over double the price producing 1 to 2 ounces of product. Again, just like black soap; so many uses and lasts forever in my home. 
How do I use them?

The black soap is used like any other bar of soap. Run it under water and lather up. 

As for the coconut oil, I take a smear of it, spreading it on the palms of my hands and patting it on the areas of my face that need it the most. A little goes a long way. 

On occasion, I will mix it with an essential oil. Just a drop or two. If I find my skin is in anyway irritated, I’ll add a bit of tea tree oil in the mix. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial, so it’s great for acne, rashes, and oily skin. If I wanted something more relaxing, lavender oil is calming. Something to wake me up, orange oil can be pretty invigorating.
So, if you’ve been having some recent skin trouble, are looking for a mor natural skin care route, AND are cheap like me and don’t want to spend 85 dollars in Sephora (trying to stay budget friendly here), try this combo! You may love it just as much as I do. 

WARNING: To those with severe, acne prone skin; there have been complaints that some have developed cystic acne from the usage of coconut oil. Like everything else, anything has the potential to cause a reaction in our body. What may work for one person, may not work for the other. If you feel that the potential benefits are worth the risk, then by all means go for it. 

Learn From My Pain: How I Fixed My Hair Fiasco

So, I fucked up my hair about two weeks ago. I went for “unicorn hair” and decided I wanted a dusty lavender/silver shade. I already had platinum colored hair. I’d only needed to use a semi permanent dye, along with some conditioner. A new look without the hassle, damage or commitment. I was stoked. 

I ended up with periwinkle hair. Yup. I wish I had taken pictures. I looked like something out of a fucking Sesame Street episode. 

I’m a former hairdresser, so I know how to properly mix color and all that jazz. I was working with a color line I wasn’t too familiar with, as well as a shade I wasn’t familiar with either. I didn’t know the exact undertones in the color, and they obviously were more blue based than anything else. 

So, I go on YouTube to try and find some sort of DIY way to fade my hair color. You know, learn from their fuckups? Like the way you’ll learn from mine. Do I know techniques from my experience as a hairdresser? Absolutely. However, as someone who has very dark hair, I would prefer something more gentle. My hair is already very processed. I also didn’t want to be seen in the streets looking like Sully from Monsters Inc., so I was REALLY looking for a video with items I already had at home. 

I didn’t have vitamin c tablets, baking soda, and all those other remedy items people usually have. However, I came across a video that left me in awe. 

The lemon juice and conditioner technique!Apparently, the citric acids in lemons eat up the color in your hair. I knew this worked for highlights on natural blondes, I had no idea it removed color too! I had lemons, I had conditioner! I was ready. 3 parts lemon juice, one part conditioner. Leave it on as long as you need. Surprisingly enough, this actually worked! 

Now, this did sting. It might’ve been from the vigorous scrubbing I gave my scalp. It was little raw from the dishwashing liquid (Desperate times, I told you I looked like something from Sesame Street). After doing this three times, I got it from periwinkle (gag) shade to a light silver/gray. Not what I wanted, but I can live with it. 

Also, I saturated my hair in coconut oil before I did this as well. The molecules in coconut oil are so small, they can actually penetrate the hair and heal it from the inside out. I find that when I coat my hair in the oil before coloring, it protects my hair and cuts a lot of the damage out. I try applying it hours in advance, allowing the oil to soak in. Because I knew that the little concoction I made had the potential to dry my hair out, I did this before applying the mixture and it minimized a lot of the dryness. 

So, to all you adventurous people with “unicorn hair”, looking to change it up, try this. It worked amazingly well, and my hair is still intact. I have a bit of dryness, but that’s to be expected and are considered lucky if your hair is as as bleached as mine. I’m pretty sure this only works on semi permanent color, but it doesn’t hurt to try it if you’ve colored your hair with something permanent either. Hair will surprise you, clearly.