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QUESTION: Hey Tara,

I am 35. I have extremely oily, sensitive and acne-prone skin. I've been battling acne (face, neck and back) ever since teenage. Thankfully, the acne is now under control, albeit I occasionally brake out.

It gets VERY HOT/HUMID where I'm from. I used to think that since I have oily skin, I don't need to mositurize; however, after reading the logic behind why a moisturizer should be used, I have recently started using a very lightweight, oil-free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic moisturizer.

We are getting in to summer now.
What in your opinion makes for the best soap, for the summer and for the winter?
Should I be using different soaps for the summer, winter and monsoon?

For my type skin, is it okay to use soaps that have menthol, triclosan/triclocarban or tea tree oil?

What are your thoughts on soaps such as Dettol (with triclocarban), Liril 2000 (this has got tea tree oil), Cinthol (with menthol) and Savlon?

Thanks.
P.S. Any other skin tips would be appreciated.

ANSWER: Hello Matthew. Glad you contacted me. It's great that your acne is under control (for the most part :-) First, let me start with the Triclosan (synthetic acne medication). I'm not a fan of it, as it has been known to cause irritation to the skin as well as menthol (naturally derived). I believe menthol has it's place, but just not on the face. It works well to clear nasal passages and chest congestion. Applied to the face, I believe menthol can cause irritation to the skin and eye area. That's my take on it. You can also "Google it" or "Bing it" by simply typing a search term like, "Triclosan skin side effects", "Menthol skin side effects". or anything like that to see what I mean.

Now Matthew, when it comes to soap, there are a host of problems with it. Tea Tree oil however, offers a treasure trove of healing for the skin. This is THE ONLY ONE of several essential oils I personally use to control my acne breakouts (I am clear because of following the advice in my eBook since Sept 2013, but like you, I get that occasional buster of a blemich popping up :-) Keep in mind, Matthew, most products on the market that contain TTO, usually only contain 1-5% or less. In most cases, acne skin care products on the market that contain it, should at least have a 10-15% concentration to be effective.

A tip: You can always buy your favorite liquid cleanser and add about 5-10 drops of TTO to a dollop of the cleanser in your hand and cleanse with that. Voila! You've quickly and easily made your own custom TTO cleanser, where YOU have control over how much TTO you wash your face with. No matter what though, I recommend you stay away from bar soaps, as these are, in my opinion, not a good option for any face! :-)

As for facial cleansers for different seasons, I recommend that you use the cleanser that works for you year round. Less is more when it comes to good skin care. If you get a cleanser that works for you and it is non-comedogenic, oil-free, etc, etc, it will continue to work for you all year round. Stay with what works. Personally, I don't use any soap, facial cleansers, or facial masks to care for my skin...I use a microfiber cloth with warm water as my cleanser. I go in circular motions to clean all over my face. I follow that with my 2-in-1 Skin lightener (my product) and finally, Tea Tree oil for any pimple that may show its ugly head :-)

In a nutshell, a soft, clean, inexpensive and effective Microfiber cloth is what I would go for because of it's simplicity, ease of use, won't change your skin's pH level(which helps promote healthy skin), it's multifunctional, dries way more quickly than cotton washcloths (which keeps bacteria from growing on the cloth) and is extremely economical (a split-fiber microfiber face cloth will last 3-4 months before you have to replace it and they cost from $3.00 - $10.00 each!), is good for acne, rosacea, eczema, oily skin and dry skin.

This is one thing that has contributed to getting me clear and many other people as well. You can find a cloth like this on Amazon.com. Once there, type in "microfiber face cloth" and please be sure to read reviews if available. You can also get the TTO from there (that's where I bought mine). Hope this helps and God bless.

Tara

Check out this article to see what I say about acne skin care products and how soap is bad for our faces:
http://www.naturallynubian.com/acne-skin-care-products.html

My FREE eBook about the main culprit causing our acne, oily skin, etc. and what we can do about it - a $9.95 VALUE - NO STRINGS ATTACHED. Following this advice helped clear me up. Plus, there's a bonus section called "Harmful Ingredients to Avoid" you may want to check out:
http://www.weebly.com/uploads/2/1/3/8/21384896/achieving_flawless_skin_of_colorp





---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for getting back with me, Tara.

My skin seems to react pretty well to a bar soap (this bar soap is specifically for acne-prone skin). By react well, I mean that it doesn't cause any irritation/itchiness; however, my skin tends to remain "reddish" in the cheeks area.
I have now started using a moisturizer post cleansing.

The bar soap that I'm asking you about (menthol, triclosan/triclocarban, tea tree oil) is exclusively for the body; not for the face.

What bar soap do YOU recommend, for MY skin type?

Thanks.
P.S. Do you recommend exfoliation?

Answer
Hi Matthew. It's a great help to restore your skin's pH level by using a pH balanced moisturizer. Although I'm not a fan of bar soaps (anymore), since you seem to want to use one, I would recommend African Black Soap which is great for the body, as the skin of the body is quite different than the skin of the face (but still needs to be treated with care). African Black soap has and still is used by people of different skin colors, races and age groups.

It is, in my opinion, one of the purest, most effective, handcrafted natural soaps you can use (for the body, but many use on face as well and like it). I've used it years ago and it IS effective for many (was too strong for my skin). This particular soap has been known to help with all sorts of skin problems such as acne, oily skin, eczema, hyperpigmentation, etc.

But again, the pH level of skin is in question here, as I've explained in my last answer to you. Your skin's pH level is extremely important for healthy, clear, blemish-free skin, and soap does not allow for a healthy pH (presence of Hydrogen). I highly recommend using the search engine to read up on why skin pH level is so important.

Matthew, you say your skin reacts well to soap, without redness or irritation, which is good. However, please be aware that it is possible that while the soap may not be causing break outs (yet), your skin may be experiencing irritation even if your skin is not in pain or discomfort. All irritation is not painful. Irritation can cause redness. You may want to consider if the ingredients contained in the soap itself is causing the redness.

Below, I've provided a direct link to where you can get a very good, high quality, inexpensive natural African Black Soap which is hand made in Ghana, Africa. This is the very same soap I've used on my skin in the past, but is extremely popular among many and has worked to clear many customer's skin. Amazon has a seller or three who import this soap and sell it there for pretty good prices. I recommend you read some of the testimonials (this soap rocks a 4.3 out of 5 stars). Hope this helps, Matthew. If you decide on this, please let me know how it works for you after at least one month of use. God bless and keep you.

Tara
http://www.naturallynubian.com/flawless-skin-of-color.html

DuDu Osun African Black Soap:
http://www.amazon.com/Dudu-Osun-African-Black-Soap-100%25/dp/B0023A7JF4/ref=sr_1

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Tara Logan-Hearn

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I will, according to my knowledge and experience, answer questions that involve providing information, tips, and advice in an effort to help one improve the following common ethnic and black skin care concerns:

Although make-up is not my specialty, I'm happy to help with advice on caring for the skin while wearing makeup. I affirm that I can not answer questions to which attention by a doctor is necessary.

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I've written for Bella Online, Beauty and Sugar, Self Growth and Oily Skin Blog. I've written the e-book entitled, "Achieving Flawless Skin of Color - 2 Easy Steps to Clear, Even-toned Skin From the Inside Out", which is now published.

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