Quest for beauty: How the skin and hair care product worked

Quest for beauty: How the skin and hair care product worked

Exactly 2months ago, I wrote about my resolution to revamp my skin + hair with the use of the recommended product(s) for each case. I’m going to pen down the little progress and setbacks I’ve had to deal with thus far.

Related: Quest for beauty: When you treat yourself to good skincare


The products I got: St Ives Apricot Scrub, Clean and Clear advantage Acne control moisturizer, Neutrogena deep clean invigorating daily wash, Josie Maran’s Argan Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar. I will talk about each one in the sequence I used them.

Quest for beauty: 2months later Review

Product 1 – Cleanser

For a cleanser, I looked out for an oil-free product since that’s the product appropriate for oily skin (it goes without saying, oily skin – oil free).

Preferably, it should come as a foaming cleanser or gel, and the one I was able to find was Neutrogena deep clean invigorating daily wash which apparently was an erroneous buy because it barely has any effect on my face.


To be fair, it had me feeling fresh after I washed the product off my face after application, but then again, what “wash” on the face wouldn’t? Nevertheless it leaves a cooling sensation afterwards which isn’t so bad.

You’d feel like the last droplets of water on the skin were slowly evaporating in a whoosh and that feels kind of tingly.

Product 2 – Exfoliator

The exfoliator I opted for was the St Ives Apricot Scrub and thus far, non regreto. The beads in this product make the scrubbing activity feel effective. I go out of my way to scrub aggressively but it doesn’t do much as it’s just surprisingly soft and gentle, not harsh at all.

Source: Prelo

Once done, your face would never feel same literally. I use this product only at nights, every 3days. It leaves my face feeling really matte in a slightly dry way that’s not tight, and that’s ok for me.

So I savor the moment for about 5mins before I proceed with the toner, because in this oily world of mine that is my face, this is far the only time of the day I can manage to have a dry face.

I really do suspect it’s this product responsible for minimizing my breakouts though. Only problem I have is that I can’t seem to find the Best Before date on the packaging and I’ve searched everywhere on it.

Product 3 – Toner

After cleansing (/exfoliating) (and shower), I’d tone with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) after DIY dilution (50% water + 50% ACV). Whoever said ACV as toner works effectively said the truth.


What they wouldn’t say is that it oozes a really offensive odour, like rotten oranges and it took a long time getting used to as I apply this product at mornings and nights before moisturizing.

So if you can get past the provocative scent, you’ll manage with this product just fine. At first, I’d apply this on a cotton pad, stroke across my face and then wash it away with water.

Now I think about it, it’s like painting your toe nails and then wearing a stocking immediately or using a polish remover. It works better if the product sits on your face for a little bit even if you decide to wash it out later.

However, it’s advised that those with sensitive skin wash off after application at mornings since it tends to react against the sun when exposed to it.

Did I mention it stings and faintly evokes some kind of fume that causes the eyes to water, so it’s better to hasten application to the face so one doesn’t wonder the logic behind profusely tearing up while creaming up.

Also, I noticed that my black spots are fading a bit, and my face is having a more even tone, but it’s not so easy to see that yet.

Product 4a/b – Moisturizer/Oil

The penultimate product in the regime is Maran’s Argan Oil Light which is turning out to be my best buy decision. It’s supposed to be a nighttime moisturizer but to be very honest, I don’t think it’s the moisturizing effect I’m falling in love with.

Source: Pixabay

I use this product after the toner, when I’m ready for bed. In the morning when I wake and my palms brush my face, I let them stay there because my face is usually…soft. The skin I mean. Is this the purpose of the product?

Apparently it should reduce skin inflammations, which I think is working, if you see “facial toughness” as an inflammation. This oil comes in a teennie tiny mosquito sized applicator bottle, the serum kind (only 15ml. Compare: A glass of water – 8oz- is about 240ml) and it’s quite on the expensive side.

Source: sincerelymissashley

I got this for N5,000 on Jumia (with deep thoughts).

Clean and Clear advantage Acne control moisturizer is a ridiculously hydrating body cream and it’s super soft on the skin. If you did not know much about skin pores and all, and you applied this product, you would get a practical example of how the skin can breathe.

Source: Google

I’ve used this product for almost 2years only because it’s a Johnson & Johnson’s product and my mum is a fan. So I was surprised when it came highly recommended even. It also comes in small packaging (120ml).

I don’t use any product after this, but I’m on the lookout for a spot cream or a serum.


These past 2months I’ve had challenges with keeping up with this routine. I had to travel for 3days early September so I skipped on some of the products. I didn’t want to put up with being seen as a skin obsessed person.

When I resumed the regime, my skin started to break out a little (like rashes) and I started getting comments on how “rough” my face was starting to appear. This was a month after commencing this beauty cycle, a month after I was feeling good with the products.

I was distressed so I inquired from Asakemi in this post and she suggested I rotate between new products to give my skin the illusion of having adopted new ingredients. So with how poorly my cleanser acts, of-course I agree with that but I haven’t gotten any so far.

Averagely I can say my face hasn’t so much improved, but it is looking more relaxed and a lot less dull. I don’t even use makeup to work anymore. I just fill out my eyebrows, dab on a colored lipstick and bye bye away.

As an extra I’ve managed to take an average of 1.2litres (a little over 5glasses) of water every day as against the required 1.9litres (8glasses). So my less dull face appearance might be a result of this who knows.


The products I got: Shea Moisture African Black Soap Hair Masque, ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream, Creme of Nature Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner with Argan Oil

Quest for beauty: 2months later Review

Product 1a – Deep Conditioner (Protein Treatment)

I’ve used Shea Moisture African Black Soap Dandruff Control Hair Masque once every 2weeks since I got it, and I’ve not missed a pace. From most of the reviews, this is being used as a deep conditioning treatment so surely, I employed it for that too.


Immediately after shampoo, I’d apply it to various parted portions of my hair gently, I’ll massage it, I’ll pat it, I’ll run my fingers over the massaged and patted hair, then I’ll move over to another generous section of my hair and do same.

I wear a shower nylon cap over it and let the product maximally penetrate into the hair shafts for about 30mins. It’s usually always 30mins.

Read: How do you wash your hair?

I think my hair dryer is broken since it blows out room temperature air so applying moderate heat instruction was just lost on me. I had to stick with body heat to do the trick. When ready I rinse off with warm water, oil and cream the hair.

I have DCed about 3times now and same thing has happened in all occasions. While my hair and scalp feels squeaky clean and conditioned afterwards, my hair is left really dry, stiff and brittle. It strips moisture off my hair and it refuses to make the strand soft.

Source: lspencerivera

Not like I’m expecting a quick fix to hair shedding/breakage, but I should assume it would gradually minimize it, which I don’t see that working.

Product 1b – Deep Conditioner (Hair Treatment)

I alternate the ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor product on the weeks I don’t use the hair masque. I follow the same process as the hair masque, only I let this sit for a couple of minutes before I rinse it, not 30mins, way less, say 5-10mins.

Source: thekinkandi

The first time I used this, I deep-conditioned after because one reviewer said to “Slap the treatment on, sit under dryer for 20 min. Rinse, deep-condition and detangle. Viola”. She talked further about some other things that convinced me she knew beige color from brown, so I trusted her voice of reasoning.

However, No! Deep-conditioning after the aphogee treatment makes it seem like, pardon this illustration, parboiling same rice twice but at different intervals. In my head it felt like my hair had been washed to hair oblivion because it resulted to thin and slippery strands.

However, I found that whether I deep-condition after or not, my hair still has same result which is awful since this treatment ought to act as a conditioner by leaving my hair soft and firm.

Product 2 – Conditioning Cream

Not only is Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream product widely recommended, it’s one of the most popularly purchased product. So it’s quite tough for me to say that it doesn’t function all that for my hair.


For the two months, almost every day I’ve applied generous quantities to my palms and gently work across my hair after having applied coconut oil. Little enough to deter so much product buildup by the end of the week.

Sincerely, when combing, I don’t see much effect to be honest. I’m yet to get that product that leaves the hair as soft as Dark and Lovely leave-in conditioner does.

Related: Having trouble combing your hair?

Product 3 – Leave-in Conditioner

Creme of Nature Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner with Argan Oil comes in a bottle that has a tiny nozzle where the liquid sprays from. It’s supposed to be a leave in conditioner, but all it works for me is as a hair spray as it has such lovely fragrance, a scent similar to strawberries (or not).


Since it doesn’t particularly soften my hair which I suppose should be the main characteristic of a leave-in, unless I’m missing something, I just let it be best at what it seems useful for, hair perfume.

Averagely, if I have to measure the progress I’ve been able to achieve with my hair in this period, I’d say visible results have simply been because of avoiding oversight on my part, hence the particular care I’ve given to it lately that I haven’t really done in the past.

Quest for beauty: 2months later Review
white flakes all over hair are from cantu cream. Just applied it at the time of picture

Is your regimen doing better?


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  1. ACV is worth it! Started using it some months back. Prior to that, I had acne, a lot of them. I’m a living testimony, my sister. I intend to do a blog post on the wonders of it.

    1. To think I stumbled on the product on YouTube by accident. And with the dilution, the Bragg 16oz is very likely to last for a while

      1. I stumbled on it on YouTube too. Yeah, a long while. The smell is a challenge tho, but anything for an acne free face.

  2. Your hair has really improved! I use creme of nature shampoo and conditioner, I use Dudu osun often times tho(the broke days).

    1. I still use Dudu pain for shampoo but in a molten form. I blend it with a couple of oils and a lot of water so it doesn’t just feel so empty. It’s been good so far

  3. I have the same issue with the Cantu Moisturizer and it’s because of my hair’s porosity. I realized that Cantu products don’t work well for people with low porosity natural hair and so it sits in the hair and forms flakes as it can’t penetrate the hair shaft. You can try out other products like Profectiv Daily Leave in Strengthener..really good for low porosity hair. You can check out my blog for how i use the product to moisturize my hair

  4. I started using ACV as a toner, as well. I really think it has helped control the amount of pimples I get. I’m still searching for a good cleanser on my budget.

    I’m not sure if the DC treatments you mentioned have a lot of protein in them, but might that have been an issue? I’ve heard protein overload can cause dryness and make the hair brittle.

    But your hair looks great in recent pics. I think you’re doing well with being consistent with your hair care and really paying attention to how it responds.

    1. Maybe you’re right. I should check the effectiveness of those products properly, protein overload or not. So I’ll see how I can create a balance with other products.

      The hair looks better right? Yea. but it’s upsetting that it’s the wrong focus (in a way) that’s leading to their flourishing.

  5. This was incredibly detailed! I enjoyed reading! ACV is definitely a staple and you’ll definitely see results in no time especially with oil control! Nothing else controls my oil as best as ACV does. Your edges look sooo good!
    If you could get your hands on Avalon Organics Brilliant Radiance enzyme scrub. I find it more effective and definitely better ingredients than St Ives. (I was a huge fan of saint Ives until I paid attention to their ingredients). I wish you the best on your skin journey! It’s tough. My skin is going through some things now too so we’re in this together 🙂

    1. Yes to together!🥂
      Something can be better than this St I’ve that I’m loving? Brilliant.
      I really like that the ACV can work for different functions and still be effective respectively. And it’s amazing how reviews are not subjective. If I can find it I’ll try out the Avalon scrub, since I’m all for turning “good” into “better”.

      These edges have to be good o. After dedicating so much time for its TLC. We must get there!!

      1. 😂😂😂 yes! Let me start paying attention to mine. Crochet braiding has committed some atrocities for me

  6. I always love reading about people’s skin and hair care regimen. I should check out ACV for my face.
    I always seem to be on a never ending quest to redeem my skin. Hyperpigmentation and acne are the vicious twins I have to battle. A Japanese store opened in Ikeja City Mall recently and I was tempted to go overboard with skin care products because I have watched a lot of YouTube videos raving about Asian skincare. I had to control myself because I had not budgeted for it but I will definitely be paying the store another visit next month.

    1. Yes. Asians! They seem to always have something new for spots or red marks, this or that. I love their insights and hunger. And it’s all these YouTube videos that got me fixated on my skin, almost to superficial lengths. But my concern is the healthy kind. We definitely must fix this skin! With control like you said though.

      I can window shop through their store. Haven’t seen a bulk load of Asian drugs at a time. I’m curious

  7. I came back to add that if you are still dealing with dull skin, you might need to invest in some good quality products that will gently but effectively exfoliate your dead skin cells and give your skin some Moisture. if you’re not allergic, you can include honey in your skincare regimen, hyaluronic acid serum is amazing too for helping your skin retain moisture. Or you could look into some moisture and hydration based masks and routinely incorporate them into your routine. Masks and serums have been game changers for me and I strongly think they’re worth every investment. If you need suggestions on which to start out with, let me know! 🙂

  8. I think I’ll try ACV next. But let me tell you, I have a problem skin that’s always needy in my opinion. One mistake, baam! Break out…another mistake, its discoloration. So, I just stopped using most products and sticked to drinking lots of water, moisturizing and eating well. Girl, the struggle is real! I use Neutrogena for my breakouts, but I think I’ll get the ACV now

    1. ACV doesn’t help quickly with the breakouts though but it’s quite effective. So I’d rather use it than experiment with other products. Ive zeroed my mind away from consciously drinking lots of water. That discomfort isn’t for me I realized

      1. Yea, conscious drinking of water can be discomforting sometimes, but I do enjoy water. And I loveee the term ‘effective’ lol

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