An in depth Look at what ACNE Really is and How to Get Rid of it!

Hi Glow babes, 
So... I have a friend who is a dermatologist in London, and on  some weekends, we talk for hours on the phone about Skin care, life plans, and more skin care. It is very nice to have a friend who is as passionate as I am for glowing skin and understands my junkiness. The difference between us is she is a professional at this, while I'm a blogger and a tester.. haha. But all the same I learn so much from her and our conversations are always insightful. 
She recently wrote an article for a popular lifestyle blog and I couldn't wait to share it with my readers. She really goes in and explains the real cause of acne and the different treatments that can be used to treat it and prevent it. I like her righting because she explains it in a way that everyone can understand it. 
Please enjoy the read and feel free to comment and ask any questions. 
*** In these days of makeup artists and beat faces, it is very important to take care of our skin underneath all that makeup, so that we don’t become so dependent on it, deceiving guys in the process *wink*
But on the real though, acne can be a very serious and psychologically life threatening condition. Although I had written this article a while back, I was prompted to quickly dig through my files and publish it after reading the harrowing experience of a BN user with acne a couple days back.
Acne remains one of the most common skin condition affecting darker skin types, owing to our larger skin pores and our ability to produce excess oils or sebum from such pores.
Understanding what causes acne on a micro level is essential to choosing the right treatment products given the thousands of options that are available and make all kinds of claims.
Furthermore, might I add that it is VERY important to treat acne early in order to prevent complications such as acne scars and darkening of former acne spots, otherwise called Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), both of which can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
So let’s jump right into it.
What REALLY is acne?
SO a dear friAcne is a problem of the pores on our skin. Inside each pore is a hair follicle, which has a ‘sebaceous’ or oil gland attached to it. On the faces of most females, these hair follicles are empty, hence why our faces aren’t covered in hair.
In a normal pore, the sebaceous gland produces oil which travels up the hair follicle to lubricate the hair shaft (if present) and is extruded through the opening of the follicle onto the outer skin, giving the face a healthy glow.
In acne however, things go a bit beserk.
  1. First of all, the skin cells within the upper part of the hair follicle multiply excessively, causing the opening of the hair follicle to become narrowed. The medical term for this unit is called an ‘open comedone’
  2. Secondly, the sebaceous gland secretes excessive amounts of oil, which causes those skin cells (at the top of the follicle) to become more sticky, blocking the opening even further, creating a ‘closed comedone’.
  3. This creates a nice, warm slimy environment, which attracts bacteria, which come in their numbers to reside there. As they are invading a space they should not normally be in, the body’s ‘immune system’ or police is alerted and goes in to fight the bacteria, causing a lot of chaos as you can imagine. The resulting lesion you see on the face will therefore range from a papule to a pustule to a nodule or cyst, depending on the extent of the severity of the chaos or ‘inflammation’
From this understanding of what goes on in acne, it is important to use treatments that target the specific part of the cycle, depending on severity.
Classification and Treatment of Acne
Mild acne
  • Whiteheads/Blackheads: The blockage of the pores from these dead skin cells and excessive oils forms what is called a whitehead or closed comedone. Before the pores close up, the dead skin cells are exposed to the air which causes ‘oxidisation’, giving it a black colour, hence why it is called a blackhead or open comedone.
  • Treatment: This best treatment for this stage of acne is Retinoid creams. Retinoids reduce the multiplication and stickiness of the dead skin cells and help to push out all the junk from the follicle. By doing this, they prevent the formation of new comedones. Some retinoids such as Adapalene and Tretinoin have been shown to be helpful in treating both active acne and dark spots or PIH that develops following the acute inflammation.
If this does not help, preparations containing Salicylic or Azaleic acid may be used instead. They work in a similar fashion by reducing the multiplication of the dead skin cells, and may also assist the body’s immune response. Azelaic acid in particular has been shown to improve both acne spots and dark spots/PIH in darker skin tones.
Moderate acne
  • Papules and Pustules: When the bacteria start to multiply inside the blocked pores, a painful dark pimple or papule may result. Sometimes, this may extrude yellow gooey material at which stage it is called a ‘pustule’.
  • Treatment: For this type of acne, in addition to the treatment for mild acne, a drug that can kill the bacteria is used. This may come in the form of a facewash, cream, or tablets depending on severity.
Facewashes containing Benzoyl Peroxide (BPO) and the Tetracycline group of antibiotics are such examples and are sometimes combined into one product e.g Clindamycin/BPO gel.
However, in terms of getting rid of the dark spots, a regimen consisting of clindamycin/BPO topical gel in combination with 0.04% tretinoin gel has proven to be effective.
Severe acne
  • Nodular or Acne Conglobata: Forget the fancy name but this is the severest form of acne marked by fairly large painful bumps. The main problem with this type of acne is that it can leave the dreaded acne scars, which are extremely difficult to get rid of.
  • Treatment: A special drug called Isotretinoin is helpful in treating this form of acne and has been described as a ‘wonderdrug’ of sorts as it targets all 4 stages of the acne cycle, preventing scarring if started at the right time. However, being such a potent drug, it MUST be prescribed by a licenced dermatologist as it has several side effects and has been linked to depression and suicide.
Other acne treatments:
  • Hydroquinone – in as much as I hate to talk about bleaching agents and do not endorse them, it is often used in the treatment of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or dark spots left by acne lesions. Treating the affected spots ONLY is helpful if only a small area is affected. However, it MUST be used under the supervision of a licenced dermatologist, as side effects such as skin cancer, skin infections and permanent darkening of affected areas can occur.
  • In patients with moderate to severe acne that tend to occur around periods, the oral contraceptive pill or a drug called Spironolactone can also be used.
  • Several other cosmetic procedures, such as chemical peels, lasers and light therapy are available which are beyond the scope of this article.
Lastly, it is essential to wear sunscreen yes SUNSCREEN, despite our skin tone. Not only does it help to prevent aging and ‘skin cancer’ (which Bob Marley died of), but it also prevents further darkening of the acne spots.
  1. Yin NC, McMichael AJ. Acne in patients with skin of color: practical management. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2014;15(1):7-16.
  2. Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Callen JP, Cerroni L, Heymann WR, Hruza GJ, Mancini AJ, Patterson JW, et al., editors. China: Elsevier; 2012. 1186 p.***
About the Writer: Lola Jay
Medical doctor-writer-traveller-blogger with an MSc in Clinical Dermatology, passionate about natural hair, skincare, and knowledge dissemination. 


Preventing Breakouts under all that Halloween Make Up

Is it just me, but every year, I think of what I want to dress as and can't make up my mind until the day of.  Then the day of, I'm looking through my clothes to see what I can put together to be a costume and end up just painting my face as a cat or something easy. ( so

I actually love halloween, love the costumes, love seeing how creative people are, but what freaks me  out is the amount of cheap make up we use, from fake blood kits to zombie/ghost face painting, the effect it has on our skin and having to care for our skin afterward. 
Well thank God I'm a skincare blogger because I have taking it as my job to find the safest and easiest  tips to prevent your skin from reacting or breaking out to halloween makeup. 

- Make sure you apply halloween make up on a clean, dry and moisturized face. 
Even if it clogs your pores, at least your pores are clean which would prevent it from growing acne-causing bacteria. 

- Make sure you use make up remover and cotton pads available to wipe it all off. 
As always, I always use Huggies first to wipe as much as I can off before washing my face. If you used cream based make up. The easiest way to remove it is by rubbing Albolene on your face and wiping it off with face wipes.

- You have to double cleanse.
Make sure to use a foaming cleanser first or Black soap and then a face polish or sth with exfoliating beads. 

- If you can, do a deep cleanse.
For best results (if you aren't tired from all the drinking) go ahead and do a deep cleanse to your face. Thats the best way to avoid any pimples, breakouts or irritations. 

Halloween is fun and dressing up is even more exciting. Lets just remember to play safe, and remove all halloween make before bed. 

What are you dressing up as this halloween? 

Let me know in the comment box below. 

See you in the next post. Till then Stay Blessed

Peace, love & GLOW! 



Top 3 body oils that will transform your skin! + a BONUS DIY

Hi Beautiful,

It's really getting cold in New Jersey and my skin dreads the winter. Two years ago was my first time in a longtime (over 4 years) living in a winter city and my skin struggled with the weather change. No matter what lotion I used, i noticed my skin would crack, I would look ashy and dry after standing outside for just a few minutes.

Last year, I realized that the skins ability to retain moisture became compromised during winter and a rich moisturizer wasn't helping with the dryness. I finally found the perfect way to keep your skin well hydrated all winter long.

For those who don't know, Body oils are smooth, thick and highly concentrated liquids that enhance the appearance and quality of skin. They are non-greasy, lightweight and incredibly hydrating.What oils do is it helps to seal in moisture and humectants while improving cell cohesion which limits transepidermal water loss.

Not all body oils are the same. I usually look for natural, organic with a scent that I like. I also look for one with ingredients I can benefit from, like jojoba, vitamin E to help with skin hydration and elasticity.

When applying, you have to do it right after you jump out of the shower and towel dry. While your skin in slightly damp, it allows the oils to penetrate deep and quickly.

Below are my 3 top body oils that will transform your skin this winter;

Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Camellia Flower Oil, Capric Triglyceride, Jasmine Sambac Oil, Bergamot Essential Oil, Vitamin E Oil.

- Jasmine Sambac Oil: Provides an all-natural, intoxicating floral scent.
- Camellia Flower Oil: Increases skin’s suppleness and elasticity with a lightweight and ultra-hydrating texture.
- Grapeseed Oil: Smooths and hydrates; rich in beta carotene to nourish the skin from within.

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Macademia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Parfum* (Fragrance), Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Benzoate, Eugenol, Citral, Isoeugenol, Farnesol, Benzyl Cinnamate, Limonene, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Lipid, Oryzanol, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Safflower Glyceride/ Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Tocopherol. 
*100% Natural fragrance.

- Ceramides from Carthame Oil, Phospholipids from Soybean, Essential Fatty Acids from Sabuckthorn Berry Oil, and Argan Oil: - - Help to restore softness, elasticity, and comfort.
- Tocotrienols from Cranberry Seed Oil: Protect the skin against oxidative damage and premature aging.

Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Isoamyl Cocoate*, Coco-Caprylate*, Fragrance, Ethylhexyl Palmitate*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Seed Oil*, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil*, Tocopherol*, Palmitoyl Grape Seed Extract*, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract*, Citric Acid*, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol. 2008/107/084. *Plant origin.
-Grape Oil: Rejuvenates and nourishes.
-Extra Virgin Argan Oil: Restores hydrolipidic film.
-Sesame Oil: Softens and moisturizes.


If you are interested in a DIY A great mix would be; 
- Jojoba Oil
- Vitamin E
- Coconut oil 
- Sweet Almond Oil 
- Essential oil of your choice

Make sure its all unrefined and organic. This has been my go to DIY body butter and it always makes my skin, look and feel flawless. It really helps with stretch marks and evens my skin tone.The oils have healing, anti-aging properties, and are high in antioxidants. It not only feeds your skin the right oils it needs but it also protects our skin against UV rays. 

(if you want the instructions on how to make the perfect body oil ... let me know in the comment box) 

So there are my favorite body oils in the winter! 
Whats you favorite body oil? Would love to know. Please Share.

Till the next blog.

Peace, love & GLOW! 



In-Flight Skincare Routine- Long Flight Edition

Hi Beautifuls,

I had to go away to South Africa for a good friend of mines wedding. The flight took me 17 hours in total. It was 15 hours to Johannesburg and 2 hours to Cape Town. I had such a blast even though I was there for JUST 3 days. I know it's insane, I clearly wasn't thinking straight when I booked my ticket. but its all good, I made sure I had the best time while celebrated one of my favorite girls' wedding.
Congrats Afolabz! 

34 hours in the air, both ways, in such a short period can be very dehydrating to my skin. Usually I have my in-flight skincare routine for a short duration flight, but this time I had to go a little bit harder and really focus on keeping my face hydrated the whole time.  I pretty much got my beauty essentials ready before the flight and used them during both flights, to go and to come back. The results were awesome, so I'm excited to share my Long Flight Edition of my In-flight Skincare Routine!

As always, I travel with no make up on, just a clean, deep cleansed, moisturized face. Half way into the flight, right after I wake up, I basically do a mini in-flight facial. (Make sure its all travel/sample size so you can take them on the plane.) Here is what I use: 

~ Face ~

- Cleanser - Soy Face cleanser from Fresh
You all know how much I swear by cleansing. You need to remove all dirt, bacteria, or oil that can be on your face, so the treatment can work effectively.

- Mask - Charcoal Pore Minimizing Hydrogel Mask by Boscia
This allows your pores to be closed tight so dirt and oil wouldn't get trapped inside to form acne causing bacteria.

- Serum - Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum by First Aid Beauty 
I really like how this serum feels on my skin. It revives it and makes it look healthier.

- Moisturizer - Ultra repair moisturizing cream 
On the plane I like to focus on hydration. This Moisturizer helps with locking in moisture in the skin allowing the skin to stay hydrated for a longer period. 

- Sunscreen - Sublime defense by Algenist
Sunscreen is always a must. Because I was so high up, and I had a window seat, there was definitely contact with the sun, so I had to have it protected at all times. 

~ Hands &  Feet ~

- Moisturizer - Aquaphor Healing Ointment 
This is the best moisturizer for hands and feet in the air. It moisturized the skin, healing it from cracks and dryness. I rub it on my hands every few hours and on my feet  before wearing the socks provided but the airline. My feet came out soft and well hydrated by the time I landed.

~ Lips ~

- Lip Moisturizer - Blistex Daily Lip Conditioner
If you go on a long flight without a lip conditioner, girllll your lips get so cracked and  chapped and that is not sexy at all. Through out the flight, once my lips start to feel dry, I reapply the lip conditioner, so my lips are hydrated and soft through out the flight. 

And that is all folks! When I got to my destination, my skin was glowing, I had no pimples and I was able to have healthy looking skin for the wedding, which you can see from the pictures... I was GLOWING!! 
I am all about the glow! So, I always try to do things to make my skin reach its maximum glow! Like I always say, Glowing Skin brings Confidence! So lets keep working on getting the perfect glow. 

Thanks for reading this and hope to see you on the next post. Don't forget to download my Free ebook on how to clear your skin and get flawless, glowing skin in a 30 day challenge. 

See you in the next post.
 (Missing Cape Town Already!)