African Beauty: Skincare Secrets (English Version)
Written by: Chibueze Eke, Nigeria
It is no secret that women from Africa have beautiful skin. Flawless, youthful looking skin. While we in America are obsessed with looking young and often turn to chemical peels, botox, and every anti-aging supplement available, African women often opt for more natural remedies to make their skin look fabulous. The proof is in the pudding if you look at the faces of legendary supermodel, Iman (Somalia) who just turned sixty, CNN anchor Isah Sesay (Sierra Leone) and Top Model Agbani Darego from Nigeria. There are a lot of factors which make African women age less faster and more gracefully. One of these factors is their use of natural cosmetic ingredients for their skin.
• Natural ingredients: Natural ingredients are roots, herbs, flowers and essential oils used to take care of the skin. In Nigeria, women use mainly all natural ingredients to take care of their skin. The one that has stood out over the years with the Igbos of Nigeria is the Palm Kernel oil. This is derived from the Palm tree, but it is not the same as the Palm oil. It is extracted by breaking open the seed kernel from the Palm fruit. Even without any additives, it makes the skin very radiant, smooth and supple. I have also seen my sisters use honey, lemon juice, tomatoes, aloe vera, and mashed ripe paw-paw for an all natural skin treatment. Goat milk is also used for skin exfoliation.
|Author’s beautiful sister|
• Diet: It has been proven that fresh fruits and vegetables are very good for skin care and maintenance. Because the average African woman cannot afford processed fruits and vegetables, their diet consists of mainly fresh fruits and vegetables in comparison to the diet of the Western World which is based more on processed foods.
|Author’s beautiful Sister|
• Special treatments: It is a common phrase these days that “black don’t crack”. Although this is not entirely true, it has been proven that those with darker colored skin wrinkle at a slower rate when exposed to sunlight and the aging process. The melanin in the black skin type is packed together very tightly, and this scatters much more light, giving more protection from the suns UV rays. African women, however, have to moisturize regularly due to the nature of their skin. The African skin can become ‘grayish’ white when dry, so regular moisturizing often makes their skin super soft and glow.