It was in Uganda that I learned (the hard way) that shaving my legs after lathering up with a bar of dove soap just wasn’t going to cut it. I had heat rash. And, after shaving? I had what felt like a third degree sunburn in long, red lines on my legs. Not only did I need some seriously soothing lotion, I needed to find some new soap.
Just a few weeks later, my face started breaking out, and I found that, coupled with humidity, my usual face lotion wasn’t working the same way it used to. After that, I found that I just couldn’t handle generic bug repellent night after night.
And, so, it was Africa – with her bucket showers, sporadic electricity and afternoon storms, that taught me that I needed to begin the hunt for products that weren’t harmful for my skin. And, that meant beginning the hunt for something natural, with ingredients sure to help my body.
When I returned, I started searching – and I found that a natural conditioner worked much better on my legs than a generic soap. After that, I learned that Neem was an essential ingredient to face lotion that worked well for my skin.
As I searched, I also learned that I could do things like promote equality for women and alleviate poverty through my facial skin care. I learned that I could support disadvantaged growers through my body lotion. I learned my lip balm could not only keep my lips from killing me in the East African sunshine this mzungu (white) isn’t quite used to, it could help me support female small business owners.
As I’ve continued to travel, I’ve begun to see that there is a wide range of natural products available, and that not all natural and organic lines are created equal. And, my goal for the products I use has expanded. I’ve become committed to using products that won’t harm the environment, especially while I’m in places where there isn’t running water, and whatever I use is going directly back into the soil. I’ve also become committed to using products that support worthy causes – whether that be a small business owner, or an initiative for underprivileged women overseas. Lastly, I’m committed to using products that will help my body adjust as I put it through extreme circumstances.
I’m continued my hunt for excellent products, and, this time, I’m looking for brands I’ve never heard before. I’ll be on the ground in East Africa for eight weeks, beginning February 15th. And, I’ll be taking products with me to sample as a woman dealing with harsh elements on the go. I’ll be writing reviews on what I use, and posting them here. If you have a product to recommend, a sample to send me or a company you think I should check out – I would love to take your product and review it in our natural beauty section.
You can email me for more information about where to send sample products and recommendations.
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