3 beauty secrets I learned in Senegal

1. Olive oil

I know it sounds crazy, but olive oil has helped my T-zone oily skin tremendously. I read about it maybe a year or so ago and thought, “Why not?” So I bought a liter of the cheapest I could find and used a few drops on my face each night after washing off my make-up. Within just a couple days, my skin was clearer and the oily/dry parts less so.

In dry season, I use a couple drops in the morning as well, rubbing it in my hands first and then onto my face. Works as a great body moisturizer too.

2. Henna

Henna on hands and feet will be another post, but for now… henna for hair! I use it to add some auburn to my dark brown natural color. The first few days are pretty bright, but it calms down in about three days and I love the long-lasting color.

LeCrecia did a great post on the how-tos of henna hair color here in Senegal, if you’re interested in giving it a whirl.

I mix my henna powder with apple cider vinegar (CityDia) which leaves your hair so soft and shiny. Every time I do, I think, “Why don’t I do this more often?”

3. Baking soda

I recently ran out of apricot face scrub. (Ahem, ‘ran out’ may mean a certain toddler squeezed a bunch into his bath water.) I was trying to find a substitute and tried the oatmeal scrubs I found online. Two thumbs down. Maybe it was just me – or my oatmeal – but it was just gross mush on my face.

So I decided to try baking soda. The kind in the little box from the buutik is really coarse, so I used some from Casino that’s finer, like Arm & Hammer in the US. Wash my face, leave it wet, sprinkle some baking soda into my hands and scrub gently, then rinse.

The results were even better than my apricot scrub! Cross that off my list of things to buy in America…

What about you? Any beauty secrets to share? Let us know!

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3 thoughts on “3 beauty secrets I learned in Senegal

  1. We have plenty of EVOO and baking soda here for you to use. Wonder what it is about the baking soda. My sister-in-law told me yesterday that organic coconut oil (in shortening-like form/consistancy) is good for consuming and as a moisturizer, for face and body. We looked at it in Costco, but it was around $17 for a tub (think Crisco tub size) of it. Not sure if it would make us smell like coconut, and didn’t know what it would taste like.

  2. Wish I had bought some henna before leaving Senegal. Hair dye is expensive and I would prefer to use something less “chemical”. Maybe a friend would bring some home and mail it to me… JENN????

  3. I love baking soda as a face scrub!
    My sister uses equal parts apple cider vinegar and water as a shampoo once a week and says its the best ever. I’m a huge fan of aquaphor or vaseline…I use it for everything from lip balm to lotion (at night) when my hands or feet get super dry.

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