Exactly 2months ago, I wrote about my resolution to revamp my skin + hair with the use of recommended products. I’m going to pen down the little progress and setbacks I’ve had to deal with thus far.
The products I got: St Ives Apricot Scrub, Clean and Clear advantage Acne control moisturizer, Neutrogena deep clean invigorating daily wash, Josie Maran’s Argan Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar. I will talk about each one in the sequence I used them.
For a cleanser, I looked out for an oil-free product since these are the products appropriate for oily skin (it goes without saying, oily skin – oil free). Preferably, it should come as a foaming cleanser or gel, and the one I was able to find was Neutrogena deep clean invigorating daily wash which apparently was an erroneous buy because it barely has any effect on my face. To be fair, it had me feeling fresh after I washed the product off my face after application, but then again, what “wash” on the face wouldn’t? Nevertheless it leaves a cooling sensation afterwards which isn’t so bad. You’d feel like the last droplets of water on the skin were slowly evaporating in a whoosh and that feels kind of tingly.
The exfoliator I opted for was the St Ives Apricot Scrub and thus far, non regreto. The beads in this product make the scrubbing activity feel effective. I go out of my way to scrub aggressively but it doesn’t do much as it’s just surprisingly soft and gentle, not harsh at all. Once done, your face would never feel same literally. I use this product only at nights, every 3days. It leaves my face feeling really matte in a slightly dry way that’s not tight, and that’s ok for me. So I savor the moment for about 5mins before I proceed with the toner, because in this oily world of mine that is my face, this is far the only time of the day I can manage to have a dry face. I really do suspect it’s this product responsible for minimizing my breakouts though. Only problem I have is that I can’t seem to find the Best Before date on the packaging and I’ve searched everywhere on it.
After cleansing (/exfoliating) (and shower), I’d tone with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) after DIY dilution (50% water + 50% ACV). Whoever said ACV as toner works effectively said the truth. What they wouldn’t say is that it oozes a really offensive odour, like rotten oranges and it took a long time getting used to as I apply this product at mornings and nights before moisturizing. So if you can get past the provocative scent, you’ll manage with this product just fine. At first, I’d apply this on a cotton pad, stroke across my face and then wash it away with water. Now I think about it, it’s like painting your toe nails and then wearing a stocking immediately or using a polish remover. It works better if the product sits on your face for a little bit even if you decide to wash it out later. However, it’s advised that those with sensitive skin wash off after application at mornings since it tends to react against the sun when exposed to it. Did I mention it stings and faintly evokes some kind of fume that causes the eyes to water, so it’s better to hasten application to the face so one doesn’t wonder the logic behind profusely tearing up while creaming up. Also, I noticed that my black spots are fading a bit, and my face is having a more even tone, but it’s not so easy to see that yet.
The penultimate product in the regime is Maran’s Argan Oil Light which is turning out to be my best buy decision. It’s supposed to be a nighttime moisturizer but to be very honest, I don’t think it’s the moisturizing effect I’m falling in love with. I use this product after the toner, when I’m ready for bed. In the morning when I wake and my palms brush my face, I let them stay there because my face is usually…soft. The skin I mean. Is this the purpose of the product? Apparently it should reduce skin inflammations, which I think is working, if you see “facial toughness” as an inflammation. This oil comes in a teennie tiny mosquito sized applicator bottle, the serum kind (only 15ml. Compare: A glass of water – 8oz- is about 240ml) and it’s quite on the expensive side. I got this for N5,000 on Jumia (with deep thoughts).
Clean and Clear advantage Acne control moisturizer is a ridiculously hydrating body cream and it’s super soft on the skin. If you did not know much about skin pores and all, and you applied this product, you would get a practical example of how the skin can breathe. I’ve used this product for almost 2years only because it’s a Johnson & Johnson’s product and my mum is a fan. So I was surprised when it came highly recommended even. It also comes in small packaging (120ml). I don’t use any product after this, but I’m on the lookout for a spot cream or a serum.
These past 2months I’ve had challenges with keeping up with this routine. I had to travel for 3days early September so I skipped on some of the products. I didn’t want to put up with being seen as a skin obsessed person you get. When I resumed the regime, my skin started to break out a little (like rashes) and I started getting comments on how “rough” my face was starting to appear. This was a month after commencing this beauty cycle, a month after I was feeling good with the products. I was distressed so I inquired from Asakemi and she suggested I rotate between new products to give my skin the illusion of having adopted new ingredients. So with how poorly my cleanser acts, ofcourse I agree with that but I haven’t gotten any so far.
Averagely I can say my face hasn’t so much improved, but it is looking more relaxed and a lot less dull. I don’t even use makeup to work anymore. I just fill out my eyebrows, dab on a colored lipstick and bye bye away. As an extra I’ve managed to take an average of 1.2litres (a little over 5glasses) of water every day as against the required 1.9litres (8glasses). So my less dull face appearance might be a result of this who knows.
The products I got: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Hair Masque, ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream, Creme of Nature Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner with Argan Oil
I’ve used Shea Moisture African Black Soap Hair Masque once every 2weeks since I got it, and I’ve not missed a pace. From most of the reviews, this is being used as a deep conditioning treatment so surely, I employed it for that too. Immediately after shampoo, I’d apply it to various parted portions of my hair gently, I’ll massage it, I’ll pat it, I’ll run my fingers over the massaged and patted hair, then I’ll move over to another generous section of my hair and do same. I wear a shower nylon cap over it and let the product maximally penetrate into the hair shafts for about 30mins. It’s usually always 30mins. I think my hair dryer is broken since it blows out room temperature air so applying moderate heat instruction was just lost on me, I had to stick with body heat to do the trick. When ready I rinse off with warm water, oil and cream the hair. I’ve DCed about 3times now and same thing has happened in all occasions. While my hair and scalp feels squeaky clean and conditioned afterwards, my hair is left really dry, stiff and brittle. It strips moisture off my hair and it refuses to make the strand soft. Not like I’m expecting a quick fix to hair shedding/breakage, but I should assume it wouldf gradually minimize it, which I don’t see that working.
I alternate the ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor product on the weeks I don’t use the hair masque. I follow the same process as the hair masque, only I let this sit for a couple of minutes before I rinse it, not 30mins, way less, say 5-10mins. The first time I used this, I DCed after because one reviewer said to “Slap the treatment on, sit under dryer for 20 min. Rinse, DC and detangle. Viola”. She talked further about some other things that convinced me she knew beige color from brown, so I trusted her voice of reasoning. However, No No No. DCing after the aphogee treatment makes it seem like, pardon this illustration, parboiling same rice twice but at different intervals. In my head it felt like my hair had been washed to hair oblivion because it resulted to thin and slippery strands. However, I found that whether I DC after or not, my hair still has same result which is awful since this treatment ought to act as a conditioner by leaving my hair soft and firm.
Not only is Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream product widely recommended, it’s one of the most popularly purchased product. So it’s quite tough for me to say that it doesn’t function all that for my hair. For the two months, almost every day I’ve applied generous quantities to my palms and gently work across my hair after having applied coconut oil. Little enough to deter so much product buildup by the end of the week. And sincerely, when combing, I don’t see much effect to be honest. I’m yet to get that product that leaves the hair as soft as Dark and Lovely leave-in conditioner does.
Creme of Nature Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner with Argan Oil comes in a bottle that has a tiny nozzle where the liquid sprays from. It’s supposed to be a leave in conditioner, but all it works for me is as a hair spray as it has such lovely fragrance, a scent similar to strawberries (or not). Since it doesn’t particularly soften my hair which I suppose should be the main characteristic of a leave-in, unless I’m missing something, I just let it be best at what it seems useful for, hair perfume.
Averagely, if I have to measure the progress I’ve been able to achieve with my hair in this period, I’d say visible results have simply been because of avoiding oversight on my part, hence the particular care I’ve given to it lately that I haven’t really done in the past.