Girl Talk: Beauty Secrets from Africa (Part 3)

What up, What up, What Up!!! To my beautiful Nubian Sistas’….

…and also to all the ladies stopping by my “Cyber Spot”, you’re all welcome and appreciated here.

I’m here with Part 3  of African Beauty Secrets, and once again, it took me a year to crank it out since my well received Beauty Secrets from Africa (Part 2)….

…my excuse this time?

Been off into my music, and in general slowing down a bit with the blogging, since I got so much stuff out here now.

But, you know whenever I do posts like this, you know immo “Bring the Black”, unabashed, unashamed, unapologetic, and “in yo’ face”, yawl know how I sling it.

Yawl know immo “represent” for my sisters out here in the Blogging for Health World
(since so few others are 🙁 )……

Stating again, why Black Women should buy African Grooming Products…

African Americans suffer from ailments like Diabetes, Breast and Prostate Cancer, etc, because we are not properly feeding the dominant melanin molecule in Black People with traditional African nutrients designed for melianted skin.

….so much of our food, medicine, skin and hair care products (which are absorbed by the skin like food) are designed for Caucasian bio-chemistries. But, awareness is the beginning of change.

Let’s get to work……

Kigelia africana

Kigelia africana is a fruit bearing tree widespread across Africa in wet savannah areas.

The Tonga women of the Zambezi valley in Southern Africa apply cosmetic preparations of kigelia to their faces to ensure a blemish-free complexion.

Several papers support the use of kigelia extract for treating skin cancer while the extract has found a market in Europe and the Far East as the active ingredient in skin tightening and breast firming formulations.

Several scientific studies in recent years suggest that kigelia may indeed have remarkable healing and conditioning effects on the skin.

[below] Kiegelia is starting to “pop up” in the USA market. Kigelia Face Cleanser is Planet Botanicals #1 selling item. Made with organic Kigelia Fruit, coconut, avocado and rosehip oils, it gently cleanses your face and leaves it feeling soft and hydrate and will not not strip your skin of its natural oils. It is also available on amazon [though often out of stock]

Macadamia Nut Oil

Some refer to macadamia as the “queen of the nuts“ due to its many health and beauty benefits.

The biggest export country at this time is Kenya in East Africa (though the macadamia trees originally come from Australia.)

[photo source, with 10 benefits of Macadamia Oil for the skin]

Macadamia Nut Oil helps with soothing the skin…

…..and promotes anti-aging effects.

Other than jojoba (which is actually considered a waxy ester as opposed to an oil) it’s the closest match to the naturally occurring sebum of the skin.

Macadamia Nut Oil, better than Coconut Oil?

Though many, myself included, tout Coconut Oil as second to none for cosmetic use, some say Macadamia Nut Oil is actually superior, due to macadamia being supposedly less apt to clog pores. 

Plenty of Macadamia Nut Oil on Amazon

[below] Macadamia Natural Oil Company has and entire line of Macadamia products on Amazon.

Cistus Essential Oil

Cistus (Labdanum) has a long history of medicinal and beauty ritual use. Also known as Rockrose, it is a resinous and extremely fragrant bush that grows wild throughout the Mediterranean region, including much of North Africa.

Cistus was noted in historic writings to be abundant in North African Moorish lands, and  popular in ancient Egypt.

Due to Cistus’ skin softening and anti-aging chemical properties….

Cistus has a variety of modern day beauty uses, such as, adding a few drops in your face cream,  use in 1% dilution with body or massage oils lotion, as part of a DIY face mist, and in combination with other essential oils such as chamomile and rosehip oil, for beautiful skin.

You can get Cistus Essential Oil on Amazon (sometimes labeled as Labdanum  Essential Oil) .

Prickly Pear

Though all true cactus is native to the Americas, Prickly Pear (Opuntia) was transported and transplanted from the Americas all over the world in the post-Columbus era…

… and Prickly Pear has found a home in several African locales, from Morocco in the north, to South Africa in the south.

One Botanist call Prickly Pear a “Miracle Plant” because ….

“It can grow anywhere. It doesn’t need irrigation because it’s made out of water. It makes use of marginal land”.

It needs no fertilizers or pesticides and very little water. Most importantly, it’s fruit can be eaten, and Prickly Pair also has many cosmetic benefits. 

Prickly Pear Skin Benefits

Prickly Pear is rich in the “youthful skin” nutrient Tocopherol (vitamin E), as well as vitamin K, which is known for its ability to brighten skin and reduce the appearance of under eye circles, hyperpigmentation and dark spots.

High levels of amino acids make prickly pear seed oil an ideal product for stimulating the production of collagen, promoting cell turnover, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Prickly Pear is also renowned for…..

……. hydrating and nourishing the skin and tightening pores — all without leaving a greasy or oily residue.

Prickly pear seed oil is non-comedogenic, so you can safely use it every night— ideally after cleansing and exfoliating your skin — without fear of clogging pores [source of above statments].

[below] In the video below, she discusses a formula made of Orange Blossom and Prickly Pear Oil

Prickly Pear seems underrated to me….

…even with the abundance of Prickly Pear Oil available on Amazon and with VERY high marks from many women for addressing skin issues such as wrinkles, dark spots, acne, and so forth.

It seems somewhat underrated of a beauty secret, based on how many women seem to have raved about it, and swore by it, when I did my Prickly Pear web research for this post….

If you’re not the type to do DIY and make your own formulas…

… I’d recommend any of the several great Prickly Pear formulas from Kenza International Beauty, a New York based company bringing some great holistic products to the American public.

I first mentioned Kenza in my “Beauty Secrets from Africa (Part 1)” article.
[also click photo below to see the entire Kenza International Beauty Prickly Pear line]

The Waist-Length Hair of the African Basara Women, using the Chebe Method

The Basara Arab women of the African country of Chad in North-Central Africa have what they call the Chebe method that allows their hair to grow all the way to their hips in many and most cases.

The Chebe process in a nutshell, is a method of coating the hair so that, by using the beauty technique from childhood, the hair basically never breaks.

[below, photo source] An African Basara Tribe woman from Chad in North-Central Africa with Hip-length hair from the traditional Chebe method.

The Basara women have passed the method from generation to generation….

….. and as such, they’ve perfected the exact regiment that pretty much eliminates breakage.  One key factor is a blend of locally harvested ingredients that, combined with the application method, keep their hair extremely hydrated and moist. 

In essence, they apply a liquid (water), powders ground from grains, and an oil/hair butter The traditional Chebe formula is here.

[below] the video on the Cheba method is slightly “long winded”, at least to me, but I think the best video I found out there on the details on understanding the traditional Chebe hair grooming method, if you’re trying to “crack” the mystery of this hair growing African Beauty Secret.

[below, photo source] Not sure is her hair is the the result of the Chebe method, but her photo kept coming up in my Chebe Google Image searches. Chebe or not, I’m a sucker for a great, beautiful, female photo, I’m posting it because it seems to represent to me what the Chebe method would look like on a modern Black woman if she somehow figured out how to perfect the modern American version of traditional Chebe hair growth secrets….

Is the Chebe method practical for Black American women?

Maybe, maybe not, because I think, but not sure, with the traditional ritual, you can’t wash your hair for a while, and some of the traditional ingredients (like beef fat) are not really practical. (I also get the impression the smell ain’t so great 🙁 ….).

I did find Chebe powder on Amazon, but who knows if it is the real deal, and even if real, if woman can learn how to use it. But, as in the next video, there are Black Americans starting to experiment with “Chebe Inspired” methods for hair growth.

 Chebe formulas are “popping up” in America and elsewhere in the African Diaspora…

…be they variations of the original formula or authentic, it may not matter, because in the end, it’s all about cracking the African secrets of how to treat/coat Nubian hair so it doesn’t break, by any available ingredients in one’s locale, it’s not so much trying to use all the exact traditional ingredients.

Here is a link to a substitute Chebe formula, and I’m sure there are others lurking in American ethnic stores, as the woman in the video steps trough using Chebe products available in the USA.

Opopanax Oil (a.k.a., “Sweet Myrrh” Oil)

……sometimes spelled “Opoponax”is a natural gum or resin extracted from a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora.

It’s native to parts of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea and eastern Ethiopia. It seems most of the Opopanax Oil hitting the USA comes from Ethiopia.

The wild-harvested Opopanax from Ethiopia….

… a brilliant oil that sellers claim you will come to cherish for it’s rich and earthy perfume.  Opopanax lacks the bitterness of traditional myrrh. 

In the same vein, these essential oils have an affinity for bringing health and beauty to your skin.

Sweet myrrh can properly be said to belong to the family of “sacred scents”.

Opoponax may be blended with coconut oil and massaged into skin. Could theoretically be used as part of a face mist or a few drops in combination with any beautifying skin application to give your beauty ritual an intoxicatingly beautiful scent.

You’ll find Opopanax Oil on Amazon, though it sometimes is label “Sweet Myrrh Oil”. You can also purchase here (and this link gives additional information on Opopanax Essential Oil).

Leleshwa Camphor Oil

Leleshwa, also known as African Wild Sage or the Camphor Bush, is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa, with much of the Leleshwa Camphor Oil hitting the USA market coming from Kenya.

Leleshwa has a particular affinity for the skin, nails and hair. As a purifying tonic, it can help to build  smooth, clear and beautiful skin. Camphor Oil has a strong reputation for removing pimples.

Because Leleshwa is such a potent oil…..

…. Leleshwa should be mixed with carrier oils such  as Jojoba Carrier Oil and others carrier oils available on Amazon), it’s not advised to apply directly to skin by itself. You may add it to your normal body oil or lotion to promote clear skin and nails, or to your shampoo to refresh and purify your scalp and hair roots.

Think also of adding Leleshwa to teenage skin-care routines to help clear away and skin imperfections, especially pimples (or, for anyone with pimples at any age).

You might catch Lewshwa on Amazon when in stock, at Leleshwa on Amazon Link #1  or  Leleshwa Oil on Amazon link #2 otherwise, purchase Leleshwa this link.

Palmarosa Essential Oil

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) is a grass in the lemongrass family, cultivated for it’s aromatic oil. Ethiopia in East Africa supplies much of the Palmarosa Essential Oil popping up in the USA market.

Palmarosa essential oil has a fresh, floral aroma that’s very similar to that of a rose, and this essential oil is all about helping with fresh, youthful skin.

Palmarosa’s anti-aging qualities

Using palmarosa essential oil as part of your skin care regimen may help reduce signs of aging because it helps to regenerate and moisturize dry, rough skin, it is also said to help eliminate acne.

It also balances the oil production in the skin, so it’s perfect for anyone that has both dry and oily skin.

Palmarosa shines supporting skin health

…blend a drop into your facial serum or cream, or with a biocompatible facial oil such as jojoba or avocado to hydrate dry skin and to minimize age lines. Palmarosa works wonders on the delicate facial skin, as well as a great additive to your whole body moisturizer.

A good formula to fight dry skin for all skin types is: 8 drops palmarosa essential oil, 4 drops carrot seed essential oil, 4 drops roman chamomile essential oil and 1 drop angelica essential oil in 15 mL of avocado oil.

As a general final note……

For a list of Black Owned, Non-Toxic, Skin and Hair Care beauty brands, jump over to this list

…if we don’t support each other, who will ?????

One final note from me……

“Black women [and black people], let’s stop letting society define for us what is Black Beauty. Be it, in social media, or in the privacy of our minds, let’s start defining Black Beauty for ourselves, AS WE SEE OURSELVES. I love you all, my Nubian sisters”.
   -Doug Wallace (me)

~stay healthy~

you might also like…….

Girl Talk: Beauty Secrets
…..from Africa (Part 1)

Girl Talk: Beauty Secrets
…..from Africa (Part 2)

Study shows Toxic and Hazardous
Body Care and Hair Care products are marketed
to Black Women more that other women

Girl Talk: Beauty Secrets
…..from the Far East

Girl Talk: Ayurvedic Skin Care
(Beauty is not Skin Deep, it goes much deeper)

Go to all my articles in:
“Girl Talk”Copyright Disclaimer: Right to use photos claimed under: Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

3 Responses


just a quick note,
Is it possible to get your products to Ali express and try to upset it from there. It wont cost a thing but to organize for better shipping
Rates and it will reach a broader audience and it will be good for the people of color.



Mr. Wallace, this information is priceless. Please don’t ever abandon this website 🙁 I love it so much! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this information sir!


Hi Kari,

Thanks so much for such a warm comment. I’m not for profit, and these comments are my only payment, and I confess I get an ego boost and its a bit of a thrill when someone writes in expressing appreciating what I do.

Although, this is a multi-cultural site in some ways, but I wanted to have a place Black people could go for health and wellness info, as well as a few “cyber diversions”, such as the cool cribs, my somewhat outdated music {chuckle}, great food, and of course, the infamous “hot bodies”, but the hot babes are part of who I am as well. Just want people to have an entertaining internet browse, and maybe get some valuable health info as well.

I actually thought about abandoning the site earlier this year because the “powers that be” are censoring sites like mine, they cut my readership down 80%, and the site was broken, I was having technical trouble with it, wasn’t sure if it was getting sabotaged, but I stuck with it because I think there is good information on the site worth keeping even though I’m not putting a heck of a lot of new info out there, only maybe an article every 2-3 months when inspired.

Was thinking in the gym yesterday about maybe a “Beauty Secrets from Africa (Part 4)”. I got plenty of cool pictures but running out of African Beauty secrets LOL!!!!

Anyhoo thanks for the comment, I’m glad you are getting something from the site. Comments like this remind me why I started blogging for health in the first place, and that should never shut the site down.

Doug Wallace at GAIA Health Blog

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