THE ACNE ATTACK

Acne TriangleAlthough pimples or ACNE are a symbol of youthfulness, it’s something we could do well without. They are triggered by changing hormones and improper skin care resulting in plugged pores. Once the pores are plugged, bacteria begins to flourish and inflamation occurs due to the dead skin, bacterial waste and gunk.

Emotional stress tends to modify hormonal levels, triggering the production of a sticky substance (sebum) which, clogs the pores. Unfortunately, try telling a hormone raging teenager to stay calm. But, it is a good approach to acne control. Recent findings have affirmed that a diet high in refined sugar increase a person’s chance of developing acne.

Treating acne is a slow-ish process. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to see results. So, no immediate results. Benzol Peroxide is a common treatment. It doesn’t usually have serious side effects. Some people may develop a reaction against it. So, start off using it sparingly at first. Better safe than sorry. Both oral and topical antibiotics work. Topical antibiotics have fewer side effects but oral ones work better usually. Your doctor will decide the best form of treatment. There is a third treatment which uses vitamin A derivatives. These carry significant health risks if used improperly and will not discuss here. Only qualified dermatologists and specialists would prescribe these in special circumstances

So, the main thing here is to keep the skin clean. An effective deep cleansing soap and a good quality gentle scrub that does not contain harsh chemicals will help. The less “bad stuff” you put on your skin, the better.

So, our project began. shea has lots of soap which are gentle and safe to use, but we needed a special soap. There are plenty of soap out there that claim to do magic. But, the elusive special soap eluded us. Then, by chance, our shea butter supplier mentioned Black Soap used in Ghana. Black Soap? They told us that Black Soap was especially good for oily scalps and skin. AHAH! So I asked her to send some black soap to us. When shea received it... it WAS NOT BLACK! It looked like fruit cake? It was not black like the other stuff we had seen on the market. Many a time, the "black soap" in the market was just soap that had a black dye.

So, what so special about this fruit cake soap? Firstly, it's made by hand over a coal fire, in a village. So, super traditional. Secondly, it was made with simple, true to nature ingredients like shea butter and cocoa butter. What blew us away was that the soap was saponified using the ashes of cocoa pod shells and plantain skins. So, no Lye. This was really pure soap. and traditional. with no "modern" ingredients. You may find pieces of ash in your soap. So, you know this is the real thing.

I tried it. Oh WOW! Absolutely brilliant on my super oily skin. I now only use this for my face and scalp. My two teenage daughters also use this for their face and i must say, their acne is well under control. Only an occasional "popper" once in a while.

Now, we understood that the dirt in the air definitely causes a problem, and the air in Singapore is oily due to all the petrochemical industries surrounding us. Just check out the blades on your fats, the dust is not "dusty", it's oily. We also needed a gentle scrub to clean the face. Now, my teen daughter became a source of help. Her Turkish friend living in the UK uses an American face scrub (talk of an international mix) that she said was the “best in the world”. She had a massive problem with acne and this scrub did not have a negative effect. So, good teen daughter sends her some black soap and, to make a short story longer, my daughters friend saw some positive results after a few weeks of use. She in turn sent a really nice scrub to daughter. I must say, it was good. Very very good. So, this happy story ends with shea being able to offer this combo to those suffering with acne. We liked the scrub so much that we also decided to bring in their argan face wash. You can read about it in the website under the ARGAN menu.

So, it short (sort of…) The soap should be able to remove all the built-up gunk to help unclog pores without damaging the skin. The scrub should not be sugar/salt/oil based as these have sharp edges that might scratch your already sensitive skin, causing more inflammation, causing more problems.

Remember that all particulate matter, such as foundation and powder add to the problem as these fine particles mix with the thick sticky sebum to block pores. Pregnant women, ladies during their periods and teens all have wild hormonal fluctuations. Skip the make up. It aggravates the problem. Just keep your skin clean, eat healthy and lay off the sugary stuff (by the way, laying off sugary stuff is important for everyone, our biggest problem nowadays is sugar, not oil, but that’s another story) and keep calm.

Be nice. Share this info with your family and friends who need acne help. It won't cost you a thing but you will definitely make someones life better.

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LINK TO – SHEA KNOWLEDGE BASE

LINK TO - TRADTIONAL BLACK SOAP

LINK TO - ARGAN SCRUB