TONING VS BLEACHING, What’s the difference?

Hair and Beauty in Nigeria


I don’t know where the word “toning” comes from, but I can imagine that it means to “EVEN one’s skinTONE” as we have come to define it in our African beauty lexicon.

Now with that explained, what is the difference between “toning” one’s complexion and “bleaching” it? I was inspired to write this article after reading the bleaching article on BellaNaija and reading the comments.

In Layman’s term, “Toning” ideally means using products to “even” one’s complexion, while bleaching means to “change” one’s natural birth color.

As black woman, Hyperpigmentation (and often times Hypopigmenation) is one of our BIGGEST skincare problems. Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin caused by increased melanin, this can be caused by excessive exposure to sunlight, misuse of products or genetic disorders. This is often described as patches of darker skin scattered all over the face, chest or body.

Even skintone

So where…

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We have all heard the mantra of Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise repeated so many times as the secret to beautiful, ageless skin and though we might be getting a little tired of it, here is why we should never skip any of these three skincare steps.

Cleansing rids the skin of dirt and debris that may have accumulated on the skin over the course of the day.

Toning is an advanced method of cleansing which removes extra traces of dirt and left over make up that wasn’t removed with the cleanser and also helps in tightening up facial pores.

Moisturizing is a great way to balancing moisture lost by carrying out the two steps above.

Here is a Youtube Video of the beautiful Nigerian make up artist, beauty therapist and owner of the SACRED BEAUTY website, Lola Maja-Okojevoh discussing her cleansing routine to clear, youthful skin.

Quick Tips From Video:

1. Do not sleep with make up.
2. Embrace the two-step cleansing routine. Use a facial wipe before washing with cleanser.
3. Do not skip the Toner.
4. Warm up exfoliating product with palms before applying on face for deeper penetration.


1. Johnson’s Baby Wipes (Extra Sensitive).
2. Angel Minaro Rooibos and White Tea Cleanser.
3. Foreo Luna (Mini) Deep Silicone Cleanser.

1. Angel Minaro Honeysuckle and Rooibos Facial Toner.

1. Angel Minaro Acai and Goji Berry Antioxidant Face Creme.
2. Angel Minaro Acai and Honey Microdermabrasion Creme.


When it comes to beauty sleep, I think we generally fall into two categories; those who have managed 8 hours of sleep a night and those who haven’t. For the ones who haven’t, they consequently have to do a darn good job faking it.

So, why does this happen? Simply put, sleep is an essential component to an effective skin care regimen, a time when our skin heals and repairs itself. Therefore, if you’re not getting enough sleep, your skin may start to suffer.

If you need help utilizing the small number of hours you do get or you want to ensure you are stretching your 8 hours as far as they can go, you need the right tools. There are specific night time products that can work in harmony with your skin’s renewal process. More than not, these products will be heavier and thicker consistencies. For this reason, washing your face in the morning is equally as important as washing it at night – you need to remove these heavy products or your skin may become congested.


1. Begin With The Base
First, I always recommend using a serum. Facial serums are used to address specific problems such as wrinkles, aging and brightness. Apply a few drops to clean skin and using your hands press the serum into your skin.

2. Add The Primer
Especially in the colder months, you want to follow step one with a layer of oil for added hydration. Plus, you will wake up with beautiful and plump skin.

3. Don’t Forget To Moisturize!
Lastly, simply apply a moisturizer. My advice is to opt for a comforting and hydrating formula. I like to see it as a blanket; keeping in the goodness of the serum and oil.

4. Last But Not Least – Give Your Eyes Some Love
Don’t forget an eye cream! Try to use a powerful wrinkle reducing formula. Make sure you always use a very tiny amount; overloading the skin around your eyes with too much of a heavy product can cause puffiness and sometimes breakouts.


For extra credit…
On days when you have little to no time or just want to fall into bed, try an overnight facial. Now this doesn’t mean you have to lie still with your face up to ensure you don’t cover your pillow in product. You can use facial creams that are highly concentrated and you use like a serum or moisturiser for a powerful whack of goodness.

What would your face say about your current night time routine?

Article Credit: Carly for HSN.COM

Editor’s Note:
It’s difficult to maintain a great nighttime routine especially on busy days and many women fall guilty to not taking off all traces if make up before bed, which can be detrimental to skin health in the long run.

Ensure to wash face with a foaming cleanser recommended for your skin type before incorporating the steps below. Make up remover wipes are never an option to washing.

Moisturizing is also a step that should never be missed and eye cream is a must when you are over 30.

Quick Tip
Store eye cream and face moisturizer in the fridge for increased effect against redness and puffiness.

To view more night and day time beauty products you’ll absolutely love, please visit the HSN product page HERE



Ever woken up one morning only to be greeted with the dreaded break out? Here is our list of its 9 most common causes.

1. New facial product: switching to a new facial cleanser, exfoliator or moisturizer may just be the cause of your break outs. Sometimes, it takes a while for the skin to adjust said one of our experts.

2. Cell phones: research has shown the surface of dirty cell phones are believed to harbor more bacteria than toilet seats. Naturally, these surfaces come in contact with our faces on a daily basis, hence, the transfer of bacteria. Ensure that the surface of your cell phone is wiped constantly using an anti-bacteria wipe or tissue to reduce the occurrence of break outs.

3. Uncleaned Makeup brushes: uncleaned makeup brushes are also a major culprit in causing break-outs. Ensure to clean brushes monthly using a mild shampoo to prevent break outs.

4. PMS-ing: at ‘that’ time of the month, quite a number of women experience the appearance of break ours and acne on skin. Not to worry, this usually clears up after a few days.

5. Unhealthy diet: an unhealthy diet not only wrecks havoc to your skin and causes break-outs but is also bad for overall well-being. To prevent this, eat lots of fruits and vegetables as well as protein.

6. Water: it’s important to stay hydrated to maintain clear skin. Lack of adequate hydration leads to dull skin and break-outs.

7. Pillowcase: hair and facial oils seep into the fabric of our pillowcases when we sleep. Ensure you wash your pillowcase at least once a week to prevent breakouts.

8. Medication: the side effects of some medications are breakouts. Please see a doctor if the side effect becomes unmanageable.

9. Over cleansing or Not cleansing well enough: both over and under cleansing your skin will lead to break-outs. Make sure to use cleansers specially formulated for skin to prevent this.

Need to speak with skincare expert within Nigeria? Send us an email at or fill the comment section below.


article-2376762-0AD668E9000005DC-783_634x371   Did you know you could be the envy of many in the beauty department overnight in 6 easy steps? Here’s our list:


1. Cleanse: this step is absolutely important when it comes to your night-time beauty routine as it helps rid the skin of dirt and grime that may have accumulated throughout the day. There is no short-cut when it comes to this step as many people believe that facial cleansing wipes are great alternatives to actually washing your face. False! Make sure you cleanse your face with water and a specialized cleanser tailored to your skin type and reap the benefits of clear skin.

2. Brush and Whiten Teeth: this vital step is often skipped by many beauty addicts. A great smile is a sign of beauty and youth. Keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape by brushing teeth before going to bed and investing in an Over-The-Counter teeth whitener. Works wonders on your overall beauty.

3. Moisturise with natural products: lock in necessary moisture and hydrate skin with a great natural moisturizer. Unlike many popular beliefs, skin doesn’t breathe so skipping this step is an absolute no-no. Over 30? Invest in specialized product that target problem areas such as eye-creams or organic night lotions to slow down the ageing process. Your future skin will thank you

4. Change Your Eating Habits:  it’s difficult to break certain eating habits and mid-night snacking is one of them. For optimal digestive performance, eat nothing less than 3 hours before bed. Remember! A healthy digestive system= better overall health and gorgeousness.

5. Drink water: water is a natural detoxifier. Cleanse your system by drinking a glass of water just before bed. Also keep a bottle of water close to your bedside at night should you get thirsty during sleep.

6. Daily vitamins: Eating  large quantities of certain foods can greatly improve skin, hair and nails appearance. Some of these foods include Tomatoes, Peppers, Carrots, Avocados, Nuts, Oily Fish, Oats, Cucumbers, Beans etc rich in antioxidants slow down the ageing process. Vitamins supplements can be taken daily to further improve your appearance. Some of these vitamins include B complex, omega 3’s and 6’s, bee pollen, folic acid etc.


Have any more tips you’ll love to share? Please leave a comment below.





stretch marks

Stretch marks as many of us know are unsightly marks found on the buttocks, breasts, upper arms, back,thighs, abdomen and stomach caused by the tearing of the dermis due to skin stretching and expansion.

These marks are usually caused by hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy, or rapid weight changes such as body building or weight-loss.

The best way to get rid of stretch marks is to prevent them from appearing through regular moisturizing of the surface with an oil based emollient, however, this is not the case of many as stretch marks are mainly noticed after they appear and we are left with the only option of minimizing their appearance.

Thankfully, the visibility of stretch marks can be minimized, and so here are our top 5 stretch marks minimizing and prevention products.


1. Coconut Oil: There are countless skin benefits of using coconut oil and minimizing the appearance of stretch marks is one of such benefits. This versatile oil is one of the few oils that have natural moisturizing properties that penetrate deep without sitting on the surface. Related Article: The Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

Quick Tip:

1. Apply coconut oil to damp skin after stepping out of the shower for better absorption.

2. Always remember to buy Virgin or Extra Virgin Coconut oil (which are the purest forms of Coconut oil) from a trusted supplier. Related Link:  Purchase Coconut Oil in Nigeria

if natures oil2nd

2. Nature’s Own Oil: This advanced skin repair serum is relatively new to the scene and is already creating a buzz when it comes to stretch marks minimization and prevention.This product not only helps with stretch marks, but also yields good results for uneven skin tone, ageing skin and burns.

Nature’s Own Oil is specially formulated to soothe and rejuvenate the skin, producing a silky soft and glowing effect. The light, non-greasy formulation is easily absorbed and the hypoallergenic formulation makes it suitable for all skin types.

This product manufactured in Canada is highly recommended for those who aren’t concerned about the presence of mineral oil  and propylene glycol in its formulation. Purchase Nature’s Own Oil


3. Shea Butter: Another natural product that helps in minimizing scarring. This product is usually extracted from the African Shea tree and used for producing many body lotions in the cosmetic industry due to its high moisturizing properties.

Shea Butter comes solid in form but usually melts when in contact with the skin. This odorless product can also be sometimes used as an alternative to Cocoa Butter.

bio oil

4. Bio Oil: This is a specially formulated product made with Calendula, Chamomile, Lavender and Rosemary Oils that a number of people swear by.

Research carried out by the Bio-Oil Company in 2010 showed an improvement in stretch marks visibility in 38 female subjects between the ages of 18-65 in less than 2 weeks.

cocoa butter

5. Cocoa Butter: This natural product is a pale-yellow product derived from the Cocoa Bean that contains high level of antioxidants and a fairly stable quality that enables it keep for years.

There are a number of cocoa butter believers but a clinical research study showed the effects of cocoa butter on stretch marks in pregnant women yielded no different from the results of a placebo.

Cocoa butter should also be used in moderation as it has shown visible darkening effects on active users.



Ideal Ways To Get Fairer Skin Faster

Health Care Interventions

Everyone wishes a flawless and delightful skin, a skin with no marks and it has a subtle fair tone. Women having a fair complexion are often considered too beautiful they neglect caring for their skin. There are many ways of taking care of your skin using the stuff in your home such as fruits, vegetables and much more, which can work wonders over time.

Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries are loaded with vitamin C, which is required for healthy skin. Consuming berries can make your skin look younger and protect from inflammation.


Tomatoes are the most useful source of anti-aging antioxidants lycopene. Eating any tomato based foods for example sauce or tomato juice might help improve the skin’s complexion.


Almonds help retain water within your body as dehydrated skin appears rough and wrinkly. Eating almonds soaked overnight or consuming almonds because they are is…

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