I’ve always had problematic skin. When I was younger, I experienced patches of eczema on parts of my body. By the time I was a teenager, I no longer had any symptoms of eczema. Instead, I developed acne on my chest, back, and upper arms.

At the beginning of summer 2016, my neck began to itch and burn ferociously. It was irritated and I could not keep from scratching. My eczema was back after over 10 years. A few days of continuous itching and scratching left my skin irritated, dry and peeling. I had no idea what to do, so I went to see a dermatologist. I was prescribed ointments that did the job perfectly. My skin was no longer itchy and flaky.

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I used these products until I woke up one morning and my pillowcase was bleached. According to Google, this specific product had the ability to bleach fabric, and so patients were warned to to be cautious about the clothing they wore. I was so disturbed. If the chemicals in this product could bleach my sheets, then what were they doing to my skin?

This is the exact moment that I decided to start using natural products on my skin. I had been using Vaseline my whole life, and didn’t know the slightest thing about making my own moisturizer. After a lot of research, I found out which oils and butters were good for me, and could also keep my acne and eczema controlled. It’s been a year now, and though I still experiment with ingredients here and there, I’m fairly confident about the products that I use. My kitchen has become a very important place for my skincare. It is here that I melt down my products and stir them into a mixture that consists of shea butter, argan oil, coconut oil, rosemary essential oil and tea tree essential oil. This mixture, paired with black soap and aloe vera gel for my face, leaves my skin looking healthy and nourished.

Creative Direction: Ubuntu Talks
Photography: Kirubel Mehari
Videography: Jackie Batsinduka