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Love Your Skin with Dr. Ebele: 12 Things You Should Do if You Want Great Skin

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Hello everyone, it’s been a while and I hope you all have been putting your best faces forward with good skin care practices.
Let’s restart our sessions by reminding ourselves habits you should consider in order to maintain good skin.

Drink Water
I cannot over emphasize this, without the habit of water drinking, your skin will not look good – even if you are blessed with perfect genes. You need to drink at least 3 litres of water daily, preferably at room temperature. It is not always easy to do, but start slowly and build up as you go.

Water is essential in flushing out the toxins and free radicals that can accumulate and contaminate our internal milieu; and as you know the skin mirrors exactly what is going on inside your body.

Take Off Your Make Up Before Bed Time
I know we are all living very hectic lives and sometimes one can be so tired in the evening that you drop off without cleansing your face. Please don’t make this a habit.
Sleep time is very important in skin rejuvenation; a lot of repair and rebuilding goes on while we are asleep. Having a layer of makeup on your face will make it even harder for essential repairs to be done.
Also, your face needs a chance to breathe, with open pores that are not clogged up by makeup; most importantly, without the dust and debris of daily living which is quite significant in our industrialised cities.

Use Facial Products Only on Your Face
Many of my clients confess to this habit of using body products on their faces. Please rest assured that there is a reason that the specialists formulated products specifically for the face. The rest of your body does not need the specialized care your face needs, especially around the tender eye area. We hardly get wrinkles or black heads on our bodies, do we?

Your face needs special care. More often than not, the products we use on our bodies are too harsh for the face.
Rule of thumb is, if the product stings your eyes if you open them while washing your face, then it is too harsh.
The kind of products you should use on your face should be gentle enough for you to be able to open your eyes. Most people use the same product all over, out of convenience; remember, a little effort goes a long way in the long run. So use specialised facial products on your face.

Stop/Reduce Smoking
Anyone with this habit needs to stop or at the very least cut down. Smoking, in addition to all the other harmful stuff it does to our bodies, also damages your skin. It can reduce oxygen supply to the skin, and the free radicals produced makes the skin dull and tired looking.

Also, the very act of puckering up the lips gives premature lines and creases around the lip area, not to talk of the dark stains some people develop on their lips. Long story short…stop smoking!

Don’t Be a Product Junkie
Some people find it really difficult to commit to a skin care regimen with a specific product. You try one thing today, next day you are jumping to something else. The day after, someone tells you about some product they discovered and you’re off again to try yet another product. Using different brands of products on your skin in a short space of time can give rise to what we call a ‘product rash’ which is simply a mild irritation on the skin that presents as redness, itching or small papular lesions.
It is usually resolved when the product hopping ceases. It is very important to note that any good product must be used for a minimum of 12 weeks to see the beneficial results. You MUST commit to any product range of your choice for some time before you decide whether it works for you or not. Obviously, you discontinue use immediately and see your dermatologist if you have a serious reaction. Otherwise, give the product some time; good natural ingredients take time to work their magic.

Change Your Bed Linen Regularly
You should change your beddings, most especially your pillowcase, every week.

Sleeping on a soiled pillow case can only cause problems for your skin. You should also change your towel frequently. Note also, that it is not ideal to use the same towel on your face as the rest of your body, that’s why face towels were invented… 😉 You can inadvertently transfer bacteria from other parts of your body to your face where it can contribute to break outs.

Stop Popping Those Zits
Acne/pimple eruptions should be left alone to run its course and heal. Pressing these lesions causes the inflammation to be more pronounced which can then lead to scarring. Black/white heads are removed by squeezing, but do not do it yourself. Go for a facial where it is done hygienically and professionally.
This is particularly important especially around the danger area of the face (beneath the nose and around the upper lip) because there is a direct communication here with a sinus in your brain and a pressed pimple in this area can quickly become life threatening in some cases.
Generally, it is good to make the habit of keeping your hands off your face.

Sleep Well, Eat Right
A bad night immediately shows the next day, with dark rings under your eyes and general look of tiredness. If this lack of sleep becomes a habit imagine how your skin will look.
6 to 8 hours of sleep, daily, is the ideal for an adult.
Your diet is just as important; you are what you eat. Even if you have good genes and your diet is packed full of processed chemical foods, sugar, alcohol and hydrogenated fats etc. it will definitely show on your skin. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables gives rise to radiant healthy skin.

Vitamin C is particularly important for rejuvenation and youth as it is essential in the production of collagen which keeps ours skin supple and youthful.

Exercise Regularly
Exercise gets the blood running all over your system very well. The increased blood flow to the skin of your face will nourish it, remove toxins and trapped dirt and make it glow. This is the same principle behind steaming. Heat causes the blood vessels on your face to dilate thus increasing blood flow to the face. Regular exercise and regular steam session will brighten your face, remove blemishes and make you look younger.

Minimise Exposure to Harsh Sunlight
The sun is the single most important factor in ageing and skin damage. The sun causes excessive production of damaging free radicals that attack and breakdown our skin cells.
People of colour have the protection of melanin, but it does not eliminate the damaging effects of sun rays. Using a daily protective moisturizer with SPF of at least 30, is a must. When under direct sunlight, especially in our tropical climate, SPF creams are not enough. Protective clothing, sunglasses, umbrellas, hats should also be employed.
Please note that even the sunlight coming from the window of your room or car is enough to cause damage. Most of the damage of sun exposure occurs in youth, but the effects won’t show up till much later. It’ never too early to start using sunscreen.

Exfoliate Effectively
For people of colour, exfoliation is the single most important skin care routine. Most other resources will tell you to exfoliate once or twice a week, but this applies to Caucasian skin that is significantly thinner than coloured skin. The right exfoliator should be used daily.
There are many daily exfoliators available in the market today. Regular exfoliation for the thicker skin of coloured people promotes cell turnover, smoothes and refines facial surfaces, fades blemishes and discoloration, brightens and illuminates the skin.

As a person of colour, if you have not learned to exfoliate daily, your skin has not reached its full potential.

Stop Stressing
Stress shows up on your skin just as quickly as lack of sleep, except that you can add pimples and breakouts to the equation.
Again, we all know that life can be hectic, but if you let it get to you, your body and your skin will suffer.

Take things easy. Take out time for relaxation and rejuvenation. Learn to delegate, where possible. Become more organised to enhance efficiency. Set reasonable tasks and always be sure to put in your best effort. Let everything else go; you cannot add anything to your life by worrying and stressing about it.

It is not easy to do, but if you make a point of practising it after a while it becomes part of you. Try to think positively at all times. Always count your blessings and focus on the good things in your life. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Remember the person without stress is the one who is 6 feet under. A truly joyful, happy person ages very slowly. Happiness is a state of mind and has nothing to do with our surroundings. Truly happy people release huge amounts of endorphins that in turn positively impacts on the appearance of their skin.

Your best face is a happy face. Till next time, keep putting your best faces forward!

Dr Ebele Ugochukwu obtained her medical degree from the University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. She later obtained a diploma in practical dermatology from University of Cardiff Wales. She is the MD of Sleek Studio Ltd, a company that specializes in the sales and marketing of Sleek Makeup from the UK and the company owned skin care line. She has experimented extensively with different skin care formulations and brands. Her qualifications and years of experience has led to her interest and devotion to cosmetic dermatology. Dissemination of Healthy skin care practises is the goal of Dr Ebele and she intends to achieve this by providing training, workshops and seminars to educate the Nigerian public.

32 Comments

  1. Nike

    April 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Great article. Thank you

  2. Suga

    April 26, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Please, people what is best to use to exfoliate for maximum effects based on your personal experience? Also is the product friendly on the face as well ?. I know that Google can also help but I would prefer a personal experience…. Thank you very much people for your cooperation in anticipation! ??

    • Abk

      April 26, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      I usually exfoliate with brown sugar/granulated sugar, organic honey, lime/lemon juice and tea tree Oil.
      If I’m using lemon (big one), I use half of the juice and the Zest, if I’m using lime, I use one and the Zest. With 1 tablespoon of organic honey, 2 tablespoons of sugar or brown sugar and about 10-12 drops of tea tree oil, I use it on my face and body. I typically leave it for at least 30 minutes before I rinse it off with water first and then shower with good quality black soap. Very effective. I do it once a month, twice in a month if I’m not too occupied. Realistically, it’s mostly once a month. I also drink lots of water now which I didn’t do before. Not only does it help my skin, it’s a good for constipation and flushes all the toxins; drinking water.

    • Chibaby

      April 26, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Honey and Brown Sugar, is a great exfoliant. Makes my skin feel like butter afterwards. And its cheap as hell.

    • Dotun

      April 27, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      I use Daizaura Mineral Face Scrub to exfoliate daily and it has worked wonders for my skin. I was also adviced by their beauty consultant to use it daily so I know Dr Ebele is right when she says exfoliate daily with the right kind of scrub. Prior to using this product , I used lemon and sugar scrub and it was good but you should certainly check out the Daizaura Face scrub. I was found them on @goodskinguru page on instagram

  3. Enn

    April 26, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I noticed that each time i exfoliate(Eden), I get break outs that looks like rashes. I even tried St. Ives it was the same reaction.. Can anyone recommend an affordable brand?

    • Anon

      April 26, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      I have the same issue with St. Ives. it makes my face red and it burns.

      A very affordable brand – Clean and Clear exfoliating daily wash.

    • Didi

      April 27, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Oriflame Milk & Honey body scrub

  4. Sisi

    April 26, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Chemical exfoliant but gentle formulation – pixi glow with 5% glycolic acid. I find checmial exfoliation more gentle but with better results than a facial scrub or electronic face brush – literally over night glow and smoother texture. You can get online or try youtopiabeauty on instagram.

  5. Chee

    April 26, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Pls where can I get your products in PH, I’ve been trying to use the brightening range

  6. Honestina

    April 26, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    The best product I’ve ever used on my face is from REPÊCHAGE specifically The hydra medic( Beta Hydroxy Serum).
    I recommend it for anyone with problem skin…….if you can afford. Their products worked magic on me but unfortunately, I can’t afford them now so back to cocoa butter

  7. Lady S

    April 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I’ve missed your articles ma’am! Very informative.

  8. Anne

    April 26, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    Nice and informing. Welldone doctor. May God help us so all these things will become easy to practice in Jesus name. Person we no get money, person in an abusive relationship, mother of a newborn, mother of one or two special needs, etc may not get the best from all these so thanks for mentioning the fact that we need to remain happy and positive. Some people can’t even sleep at night. Someone I know said all the nice products did absolutely nothing to her face after she lost her husband and car got stolen.

  9. June

    April 26, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I am so guilty of number 3!!! Well, that is till I tried this new BODY scrub on my face????!!! My face was literally burning after! A small still voice said to me – “there is a reason it’s called “body scrub” receive sense”?. Any recommendations on face scrubs? I have sensitive skin.

  10. NaijaLikita

    April 26, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    One of the best scrubs I have ever tried that worked wonders was in my kitchen! I mixed cinnamon powder with honey. You can Google the advantages of cinnamon and honey together. But this mixture was great for me.

  11. Rainbow

    April 26, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Nice article. Thank you. Though I stick to a particular product(s) but after a while, it/they stop working on me. I’ll like to try the cinnamon and honey mentioned above. Hopeful it will work on my sensitive skin.

    • Shandi

      April 26, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      You can also try lime juice, the back of it (grated), honey, drops of tea trea and sugar. Really good.

    • Anon

      April 26, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Do not use lime or lemon on sensitive skin.

  12. Mz smiles

    April 26, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Hey guys. You may want to try a diy scrub with sugar (preferably brown) and coconut/olive oil.Thank me later hehe ?? . exfoliates and relaxes at the same time and can be used on face and body.I think you should rub midly on the face if you have sensitive skin.You can find out more on goggle about this awesome scrub.

  13. jinkelele

    April 26, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Homemade facial scrubs
    Mix oats and honey. A spoonful of each is fine. Let it dry then wash off. I usually wait 30mins
    Mix brown sugar and honey. Same process.
    Just gently rub over your face.

    Some ppl add a DROP of lemon to these mixes. That’s optional.

    I find that its easier to.remember water in take if I do one glass first thing in the morning two glasses during each meal and one before I sleep. That way u get 8glasses minimum in.

  14. Genevieve

    April 26, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    @sugar, @enn, you can try Neutrogena facial scrub. It’s very affordable. Or ORIGINS MODERN FRICTION, it’s about $40. If you live abroad, you can try out their sample. I’ve been using both products for 9 years now and it has done wonders for my skin.

  15. Suga

    April 26, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you very much @Naijalikita. I would try cinnamon and honey this time.

  16. Cassini

    April 26, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Noooooooooo, please test this out on a patch of skin before applying to your face. There’s a small percentage of people who will react terribly to cinnamon. like burning skin type of reaction.

    Abeg, check on your neck or inner hand or wherever first. Please

  17. Okorie sandra

    April 27, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Pls Doc I hv an oily face and it disturbs my face even with make-up

  18. Ifeyinwa Atuanya

    April 27, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Ebele, “nwanne” Ifeyinwa Iyizoba

  19. Facial Cream

    April 27, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Hmmm so I’m guilty of using my body cream on my face. Can anyone recommend a good facial cream please?

  20. Suga

    April 27, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Thank you very much @ cassini I would tread with caution. Thank you very much too Genevive, I trust Neutrogena because I use its sunscreen and it’s been working very well for years. But when I calculated 40 dollars to Nija naira… Nobody go even advise me to go for very affordable natural products. I can’t even shout my sister, it is well!

  21. Genevieve

    April 27, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    @suga, it’s the ORIGINS MODERN FRICTION THAT IS $40. Not Neutrogena.

  22. Ebele

    April 28, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Wow People!! this is the most comments I have seen since I started contributing in Bella Naija.
    Thanks for all your interesting comments and recommendations.
    Most natural products can give you good results, the key is consistency. but like someone mentioned, be careful about allergies; always do a spot test on an inconspicuous area of your skin.
    There are many good skin care products out there but naturally I think my range S.STUDO is particularly good; the needs of colored skin was foremost when formulating my products. I can confidently say that our scrub is one of the best in terms of a daily exfoliation you can find in the market today!
    so for those of you looking for scrubs, daily sun protection, facial creams, cleansers we have them all…go to http://www.sstudiocosmetics.com
    best of all, these extremely luxurious products are absolutely affordable. very recession friendly, our scrub costs only 3,000naira which is about $8 only, as @suga would say, I cant even shout my people!!

  23. Chee

    April 28, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Website is still under construction? @dr ebele, pls reply

  24. Diuto

    April 29, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Nice article. My only grouse is why the use of the term coloured people? What happened to dark skinned.

    No one is truly black just light brown and dark brown or even nude. No one’s white as paper or snow.

  25. Dr Ebele Ugochukwu

    May 2, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    @Chee, the website is up and running. @Diuto, There are some terms colloquially used to refer to people of African descent no matter the color of your skin be it fair, light, medium or dark. these terms include;’ people of color’, Ethnic skin, colored skin e.t.c
    @Okorie Sandra, apologies for omitting you in my last response, you can email me [email protected] or call 08033014091 to make an appointment for a consult. thank you.

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