Wolf + Moroko, Africa’s Savvy Beauty Resource, is Getting a Makeover!

The African Beauty Everyone Loves A Great Makeover!

Hi guys! You may have noticed that I haven’t been publishing posts as regularly as before. Don’t worry, my beauty closet hasn’t overtaken the house, making it impossible to reach the laptop. Now, it might seem that way sometime soon because I will be scarce from the blog until 21st November. Don’t fret, it’s because…I’m in the process of relaunching the website!

I can’t wait for you to see this labor of love which will be unveiled in November – giving the savvy African beauty enthusiast a wonderful digital, social, and video experience.

What to Expect

The new site will truly be Africa’s ultimate beauty resource. The minute you click that button, you’ll notice a name change, a complete visual redesign and a content makeover! You will love the high-resolution, beautiful photography and design.

You will indulge in beauty news from around the continent; watch fun creative videos, mull over provocative, in-depth stories; and be inspired by features on interesting women; the best product reviews and recommendations in the industry; guest written pieces, access to the most respected experts; and so much more.

I will also be partnering with some major beauty brands to regularly offer freebies to you, so  sign up to the newsletter to stay in the know!

I  Would Love to Hear Your Thoughts

I’m pouring my heart into this project and can’t wait to hear your thoughts on what you would want from the new site! Holla by email, Tweet or comment below with suggestions or any ideas you may have!

If you want to ask me any beauty related questions, don’t hesitate to make contact, let’s stay connected.

P.S.

My African sisters, don’t worry, you won’t have to save for data, despite how  our African telcos are set up, the site will be as data friendly as possible,  hehe!

Image from It’s Pink Pot

Interesting Reads for the Savvy African Beauty

Savvy African Beauty Reads

Goodbye July! You treated us well(ish). Here are the interesting reads I came across during the month. Click the text to enjoy!

  1. You know how much I’m against microbeads, so I was very happy to learn that L’Oreal is ahead of its forecast to phase out microbeads, especially since the company has such a large presence in Africa80% reformulation has been completed and 100% of L’Oreal’s rinse off products will be reformulated by the end of 2016.
  2. While we are still speaking about microbeads, Greenpeace, the international environmental organisation, found some companies taking their time when it comes to phasing out microbeads.
  3. Refinery 29 posted a slideshow of the best beauty brands for darker skin tones that had me 50 shades of excited.
  4. I came across two interesting analyses on the impact #Brexit would have on the cosmetics industry. One by Realize Beauty and another by Allure.
  5. As you now, I take sunscreen application seriously, so I was all over this article, titled What is the best way to use stick or balm sunscreen? by Cosmetic Chemist Stephen Alain Ko.
  6. If you are planning to create a beauty line, WWD has some great information for you. It turns out, beauty packages have an average of five seconds to make the sale. Now, I don’t feel bad about judging so many products by their covers.
  7. What’s in a (beauty) name guys? Turns out, a lot. The article on Racked shows us what’s what.
  8. I love, love, love Francois Nars! Love him and the wonderful products he has created! So this interview by W Magazine was one of my favorite things to read this month.
  9. Three words guys – Hi.Tech.Beauty (wait is hi tech one word or two? Oh well…). Reading this on Australian Financial Review magazine got me so excited about the potential of the African beauty tech market! I know that whatever is found in the Western or Eastern market can be customized for the African market.

What interesting articles did you come across this month? Tweet me, @WolfandMoroko,  or let us know in the comments!

Image by It’s Pink Pot

Ladies and Gentlemen, These Aluminium Free Deodorants Are Available in Kampala

Aluminium Free Deodorants to Keep You Smelling Fresh

Some people choose to avoid aluminum-containing antiperspirants because of a (thankfullydisproven theory that they cause cancer. Aluminum is rumored to be linked to breast cancer and other diseases; however, the US National Cancer Institute says this research is inconclusive.

Some people like my friend D, just can’t use deodorant or antiperspirant, breaking out in cysts if they do, so resort to natural alternatives like white vinegar.

I completely understand this – everybody has different body chemistry, and what works marvelously for one might be horrific to another.Thankfully, our Kampala stores stock a variety of deodorants and antiperspirants – including those which are aluminium free!

Ladies and gents, if you can’t fathom going the DIY route with deodorant but want to change up your deo wardrobe for one reason or another, click through to see which aluminium free deodorants you could try!

Aluminium Free Deodorants for the Ladies

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Forever Living Aloe Ever-Shield

Aluminium Free Deodorants for the Men

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What are your thoughts on aluminium in deodorants? Have you ever tried a natural alternative to deodorant like white vinegar? What were the results? Tweet or let me know in the comments!

Note

There’s a difference between deodorant and anti perspirant. According to the Beauty Brains “Deodorants just stop odor by covering up with fragrance and by killing odor-producing bacteria. Anti Perspirant Deodorants prevent you from sweating – or at least reduce the amount of sweat, and less sweat = less odor because the actual stink is caused by bacteria munching on fatty acids that are contained in your sweat.” Source

Disclaimer

All images belong to the individual brands, I do not own anything.

Cover Image by It’s Pink Pot

The US$1 Treatment I Use to Deal with Period Acne

Thank you to one of my coolest peoples, Hanniel, for requesting this post!

thesavvyafricanbeauty benzoyl peroxide Dealing with Period Acne

There’s a lot to be grateful for as a woman – red lipstick, high heels and that gorgeous glow when you’re ovulating. We have the hormone estrogen to thank for that. When you’re ovulating, estrogen is at its highest level, making you the most fertile and giving you great looking skin. Your pores are smaller, the skin looks hydrated, aaand feels plump thanks to an increase in collagen production.

After ovulation, when your menstrual period starts, it can quickly go downhill from there. The closer it gets to your period, the worse your skin starts to look. The explanation I got from my dermatologist is that when you don’t get pregnant, your body prepares for ovulation again, and estrogen levels decrease and hormones called androgens (like testosterone) cause your skin to produce excess oil.

We all know what excess oil means in skin care…you become more likely to get acne. How many of us with an otherwise clear skin have had a mountain appear on the face  at that time of the month? I just want to fight the air when that happens – which is why I make sure to have a spot treatment close at hand. My treatment of choice is benzoyl peroxide.

thesavvyafricanbeauty benzoyl peroxide for period acne

5% Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide (or BP) is one of the most effective acne medications. According to the Paula’s Choice Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary:

The amount of research demonstrating the effectiveness of benzoyl peroxide is exhaustive and conclusive. Among benzoyl peroxide’s attributes is its ability to penetrate into the hair follicle to reach the bacteria that cause the problem, and then kill them—with a low risk of irritation. It also doesn’t pose the problem of bacterial resistance that some prescription topical antibacterials (antibiotics) do. 

Research has also shown that benzoyl peroxide is more effective than some other prescription treatments for acne, such as oral antibiotics and topical antibiotics. 

Benzoyl peroxide solutions range in strength from 2.5% to 10%. It is best to start with lower concentrations because a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide product is much less irritating than a 5% or 10% concentration, and it can be just as effective.” Source

I prefer to use benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment, since it does such a thorough job that when applied on non inflammed/ non irritated skin it really dries it out. I purchase the benzoyl peroxide above from any of the C & A Pharmacy stores in Kampala at UGX 4,000.

What are your favorite spot treatments for that time of the month? Let me know in the comments!

References Cited from the Paula’s Choice Definition: (Follow Link to Source)

  1. Bowe W, Shalita A. Effective Over-the-Counter Acne Treatments. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2008;27(3):170-176.
  2. Sagransky M, Yentzer B, Feldman S. Benzoyl peroxide: a review of its current use in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009;10(15):2555-62.
  3. Simonart T. Newer approaches to the treatment of acne vulgaris. Am J Clin Dermatol.. 2012;13(6):357-64.
  4. Bowe W. Antibiotic Resistance and Acne: Where We Stand and What the Future Holds.. J Drugs Dermatol.. 2014;13(6):S66-S70.

10 Makeup Vanity Design Ideas to Inspire a Space Makeover

Makeup Vanity Ideas

One of my favorite things in the world is the home design app – Houzz. I’ve spent many a lazy afternoon getting inspired by it.

I recently moved house and decided it would be a great time to change my makeup vanity area – especially since the space dedicated to it would be quite compact. (I refuse to keep my skincare in a place as humid as a bathroom. As far as I’m concerned, only cleansers should dwell in bathrooms.)This demanded scouring Houzz for the most stylish and serene vanities I could find for some inspiration.

My design demands are quite few – a contemporary style with lots of natural light and splashes of color. The furniture used has to be as simple as possible for the sake of the local carpenter and any attempts at DIY. That’s it!

Scroll through for the ten compact yet contemporary makeup vanities that will have you excited to start your day!

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What are some of your favorite tips and tricks when redesigning a space in your home? Let me know in the comments!

All images from Houzz

Cover Image from It’s Pink Pot

Guess What Savvy African Beauties? If You’re in the US, Differin is now O-T-C!

Differin Is Now OTC!

First things first, I would like to apologize for being MIA. It’s just been one of those months, ya know? The moving house, amazing job opportunities, 1am nights…4am mornings kinda month. It’s been tough but great and the blog suffered the effects, sorry guys.

Next order of business.

Last week on Friday, according to this article on Cosmetics Design, the US regulatory body, the FDA, approved the retinoid differin aka Adapalene (in my side of the world) as an Over The Counter acne treatment.

Good going guys, savvy African beauties in the US can now use the retinoid to smooth skin, unclog pores, lighten age spots and improve skin texture without a prescription.

According to the Beauty Brains, “Retinoids fade dark spots by reducing the contact time with pigment creating cells; reduces fine lines/wrinkles by stimulating synthesis of collagen and glycosaminoglycan. May also inhibit enzymes that breakdown collagen. Smooths skin by modulating genes involved in epidermal cell turn over.” Source

If you are in Kampala and your dermatologist has suggested trying out Differin/Adapalene, you can find it at C&A pharmacy stores from UGX30,000-40,000.

More on the retinoid Differin/Adapalene here. 

Image from It’s Pink Pot

Best Cold Weather Tip Ever: Add These #ProudlyAfrican Oils to Your Moisturizer

This post was originally written for Futurederm.

5 African Plant Oils to Add to Your Cold Weather Skin Care

Ladies and gents,it’s getting colder and colder out in these streets. Okwe lolo! If you’re not careful, dry skin will quickly get flaky and patchy.

Since dry skin is low in water, you need water to add moisture to it and an oil on top to keep the moisture in.That’s why, of recent, if you have (very) dry skin, mixing a lotion and a few drops of oil works so well. That is the best cold weather beauty tip I’ve ever been told (Thanks Mum!). The water in the lotion hydrates the skin and the extra oil locks it in.

Check out these great #ProudlyAfrican plant oils that will make a wonderful addition to your cold weather body care!

Argan Oil

Native to the North African nation of Morocco, argan oil is extracted from the nuts of the Argan tree. In its purest form, argan oil has a light nutty smell and is golden in color which I like to think is one of the reasons it’s called ‘the gold of Morocco.’

Since pure argan oil is time consuming and very expensive to produce, many sellers mix it with other oil (like olive oil) which is such a shame since pure argan oil has wonderful skincare benefits. Argan oil has three times the amount of the powerful Vitamin E than is found in olive oil.

In order to make sure you are purchasing pure argan oil, the ingredients on the label should say only, Argan oil or Argania Spinosa Kernel oil. Some companies may also include the minerals and vitamins found in the oil.

Try it in…

Radha Argan Oil

Pura D’Or Moroccan Argan Oil

Majestic Pure Argan Oil

Baobab Oil

Mabuyu, the snack of gods, Kenyans, Tanzanians… naaahmean?Dotted across the African Savannah, in 32 countries, the native baobab tree stands strong and proud. The prehistoric tree is known as the ‘Tree of Life’, absorbing water during the rainy season and storing it in its trunk. This enables it to survive years of drought and live up to 1500 years.

At around 200 years, the baobab tree produces a nutrient-dense fruit. Baobab oil is extracted from the seeds of this fruit in all its deep golden colored, earthy scented glory.

Baobab oil is rich in antioxidants, notably Vitamin C and beauty companies like Aduna have recognized the health and beauty benefits of baobab.

Try it in…

O’Bao Kenya Organic Baobab Oil

Mountain Rose Herbs Baobab Oil

Organic Baobab Oil by Renewalize

Wild Living Baobab Massage Oil

Coconut Oil

The African coastline is teeming with coconut trees. It therefore comes as no surprise that every part of the tree is used in one way or another.

The leaves can be used as ‘makuti’ a raw material to make roofs, fences, mats and baskets. The fruit contains coconut water, a refreshing and nutritious drink to quench your thirst under the hot, unforgiving sun. The flesh of the coconut fruit can make any meal a delicacy. The oil from the coconut can also be used in cooking.

Coconut oil has the right combination of molecular size and shape and the right chemical structure to penetrate the skin and work from within. The high percentage of saturated oils in it also makes it widely used in skincare.

Growing up at the coast of Mombasa in Kenya, I learned the moisturizing benefits of pure coconut oil early in life. I continue to have it as a staple in my skincare and hair care; what a wonderful way to deal with my dry, eczema prone skin!

The Good Hair Collective Coconut Oil

Wild Living Coconut Oil

Keyara Organics Coconut Oil

Marula Oil

Marula oil is extracted from the nuts of the Marula tree which is found in the Southern and Central African miombo woodlands.

The fruits of the tree are a source of joy for humans and elephants alike. Marula oil is used for cosmetics purposes and cooking.

Elephants are large consumers of the marula fruit and the manufacturers of Amarula, a cream liqueur from South Africa who use the marula fruit as one of it ingredients, support elephant conservation efforts, through the Amarula Elephant Research Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.

Try it in…

Nyla Naturals Marula Oil 

Mbiri Naturals 

Keyara Organics Marula Oil

Shea Butter

Some may say shea butter is the most famous of African oils. It is extracted from the seeds of the wild African Shea trees –Vitellaria paradoxa or Butyrospermum parkii, found throughout the West and East African savannah. The ivory colored butter is an excellent moisturizer and has been used for centuries to protect African skin from the heat of the sun, strong winds and the dust of the hills.

Try it in…

Kahangi Estate Shea Butter

Oamobu Naturals Shea Butter

Guru Nanak Shea Butter

Livara Shea Butter

Keyara Organics Shea Butter

The Moisture Well Shea Butter 

Aren’t we Africans blessed with excellent skin care?! What are some of your favorite African oils to add to your body care wardrobe? Let me know in the comments!

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