African American skin care secrets are now revealed. How is healthy, clear skin achieved? Natural products, particularly some derived from Africa are one way to achieve beautiful skin. Some of the products and secrets have made it over to the United States from Africa and other continents. Some of the secrets have been passed down through the generations from people who were born in the United States.
Shea Butter, One of the African American Skin Care Secrets
Shea butter, one of the African American skin care secrets, is derived from the Shea nut, found in West Africa. The butter from this nut is usually a bright yellow or creamy color if it is unrefined or raw. The color varies depending on where it was harvested and how. Some people believe that the unrefined or unprocessed version of the nut is best because it contains most of healing properties associated with Shea butter.
Why Use Shea Butter?
- Shea butter moisturizes the skin without leaving a greasy feeling
- Shea butter could help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- Shea butter has been used to reduce the appearance of skin discolorations and even the skin tone
- Shea butter can help reduce acne and minor irritations, when used with natural cleansers
Raw Shea butter is usually not readily available in beauty supply stores, drug stores, or places where cosmetics are sold. Look for raw Shea butter online or in stores where African products are imported and sold. Refined or processed Shea butter is available in health food stores/holistic grocery stores, some drugstores, and even in some discount stores. It could be found where cocoa butter is shelved. Shea butter hardens in cooler temperatures and melts when it is body temperature. It should be stored in a cool, dry place in airtight containers.
Cocoa butter is also used to moisturize the skin. It is also used in the African American community to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and other skin discolorations. During the winter months, cocoa butter's moisturizing properties are especially beneficial. The butter keeps the skin soft and smooth, and eliminates the appearance of dry, ashy skin.
African Black Soap
African black soap, imported from Africa, is created using palm ash. This soap may be a bit strong for sensitive skin types, but it is used to reduce or eliminate scaly skin. It is also said to reduce or eliminate psoriasis. Using black soap, a moisturizer, and eating a clean diet can help reduce or eliminate mild acne. Black soap is sold online, in some natural health stores, and in stores with products imported from Africa. There are some manufacturers that have created a product that is black in color, but it is not the true black soap. Traditional black soap is not smooth and shiny in appearance, rather it is rough and has a dark brown color.
Some African Americans use witch hazel as an astringent and a toner. It can remove traces of dirt and make-up on the skin as well as help to reduce the appearance of pores.
The Petroleum Jelly Debate
In the 1970s and '80s, some African American mothers used petroleum jelly as a moisturizer, particularly during bitter cold weather. Model and talk show host Tyra Banks revealed that she moisturizes with petroleum jelly. Some people still use petroleum jelly during the winter months to moisturize dry feet.
However, petroleum jelly may block pores, causing breakouts. It can be used for a lip balm or to soften the skin of the feet with no ill effects. Apply petroleum jelly on the feet and cover them with socks for a foot masque that makes them soft and beautiful.
A Final Word
The best secret to having clear, even skin is probably not a secret at all. Any of the secret remedies will work best when a person eats a healthy diet, flushes out the system with clean water, and reduces stress. The above secrets are not as effective when people do not take care of themselves internally.