Healthy Diet for Healthy Skin : Skin Care Tips for Black/African Women





Many city ( urban ) women have being conditioned by marketers to believe that what they rub on their skin is more effective than what they put on their plates. As a result, many African/black women think buying all the “beauty” products that they see in advertisement would help them get smooth and healthy skin. For example, older city women in Africa encourage  young ladies that are suffering with acne and skin disease to use skin bleaching cream. The understanding is that, bleaching creams such as tura, top gel, G&G, fair&white, etc fade dark spots and discoloration instantly, that is true.

However, the long term side effects of bleaching creams include sensitive skin (you get bruises easily), skin cancer ( because the dark pigmentation/melanin that protects you from sun is removed hence living you vulnerable ) nasty body odor, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, mercury poison damaging your liver and kidney ( pictures below ).

Jeremy Durkin




Screen shot 2013-12-21 at 10.57.51 AM

This is not to suggest that I don’t do daily facial routine. But my focus is mostly on what I eat, because our skin reflects the health of our organs.My tips are simply encouraging you/us to eat foods that are nutritious for a wholistic health of both our internal and external organs.


  1. Before every meal, drink a large cup of hot  water ( as you would tea ). This helps you with digestion and  it would prevent you from over eating.
  2. Avoid anything white, e.g rice, eggs, sugar,etc. Food companies especially in the “developed” world would bleach food items for cosmetics purposes, in the process they  remove nutrients. Dark foods are better for you.
  3. Eat lots of raw vegetables and fruits. This is the best way for you to get        nutrition, vitamins C, D etc. One of the many benefits of growing up in the village is that, I have the advantage of knowing food items that can be eaten raw.For example,a. Sweet Potatoes ( Americans call it Yams)


b. Cassava ( Yuca)

Digging cassava in Bawagraki, my village in Middle-Belt, Nigeria

Digging cassava in Bawagraki, my village in Middle-Belt, Nigeria

If you are anti raw food, you can juice your fruits and vegetables. For those that have frequent electricity, you can blend your vegetables ( spinach, parsley, ginger,moringa leaves, etc) and add honey  to make it tasty. If your community lacks electricity you can sun dry your vegetables, then pound it into powder ( this is common sense for most villagers like myself ). When you are ready to have a drink, simply add it in room temperature water mixed with honey or just drink it plain.

Here is an example, I/we just made this. We juice twice a day with different fruits and vegetables. Ingredient ( all natural and organic ): ground cinnamon, mango, almond nuts, berry, carrots, celery, ginger and honey.

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz, Yotti:Chamba village woman from Middle Belt, Nigeria© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz, Yotti:Chamba village woman from Middle Belt, Nigeria (2)

4. Roast or bake instead of fry
.  For example, instead of frying your  “irish potatoes” bake it, if you do not have a stove and electricity, simply roast them over an open fire.

5. Cook your meals with little to no oil, but if you must, stick to olive oil and for those in Africa, coconut or peanut butter  ( groundnut) oils are easy to find and are fantastic. below is an example, I cooked this last night and did not use oil. Ingredient: organic chicken ( I hardly eat meat but when I cook it this is how I hook it up ), onion, spinach, pepper, garlic, salt and brown rice ( boiled).

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz Yotti:Chamba Village woman of Middle-Belt, Nigeria (3)

6. If you are not active, excise regularly.

7. Drink a lot of water, if you do not like to drink plain water, you can always add drops of tamarind or lemon. 

8. Avoid “fast foods” burger, fries,etc. But if you are an addict, once a month fast food is okay. I know that many young people in Africa, especially in Nigeria consider eating at “Mr Biggies” a “civilized lifestyle” because that is what they see on western tv, I get the mentality,  but if you want to live long and have a healthy skin you must avoid fast food. Most of the food they sell are processed and genetically modified.


9. Say no to sugar and sweets.

If you have sugar rush, make sweets on your own with ingredients that are less harmful to your body. For example, I make banana bread a few times a year.
Ingredients all natural and organic:  wheat flour, brown sugar, butter, olive oil, vanilla extract, almond nuts, vegetarian brown eggs, gluten free baking powder, and of course ripened bananas.

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz Yotti:Chamba Village woman of Middle-Belt, Nigeria (4)

© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabazz Yotti:Chamba Village woman of Middle-Belt, Nigeria (4)banana bread


10. Do not drink soft drinks ( soda, pop,etc)

they are empty calories, would make you break out and destroy your teeth.


11. Do not cook with maggi, it is poison.I know that many Africans use this condiment, claiming it is indigenous to Africa, but it is actually not. And most importantly, it has ingredients that are harmful to your/our health for example, disodium guanylate.


Maggi is Poison


Additional Information

Acne Treatment

  • Wash your face with black soap ( or face wash of your choice ), pat your face dry with towel, using cotton balls or your fingers tips rub tea tree oil all over your face. Repeat this at least twice a day,
  • Drink  lots of room temperature water as always,

When you are on your period/cycle and you have breakouts. Drink hot water ( as you would tea ) with lots of lemon   See “Taking Care of Your Vagina is Important to Your Overall Health: Suggestions for Sisters.”© Yoknyam Dabale-Shabaz, Yotti:Bali village woman, Shea Butter Moisturizing Your Skin

Raw  organic shea butter ( they are mostly made in Africa, Ghana is one place that has a large production ) it prevents “ashy” dryness of the skin, burns, helps and maintain your silky beautiful black skin. This is the only thing I use, I have a smooth, even dark skin, from head to toes because I do not use hash chemicals in pursuit of healthy skin. If you do not like the natural smell of shea butter, you can mix it with scents of your choice.  For example, the picture above shows my final product. I mixed shea butter from Ghana and coconut oil from Middle-belt, Nigeria .

19 thoughts on “Healthy Diet for Healthy Skin : Skin Care Tips for Black/African Women

  1. Greetings my Sister Your blog is by far one of the best that I have signed up for this year. Great content and pacing – you don’t bombard your followers, but rather send out qualitative material as and when there is something to say. I wish you all the best with your endeavours. Best Wishes Nadia

    The Black British Filmmaker’s Guide to Success: Finance, Market and Distribute Your Film

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    Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2013 23:20:04 +0000 To:

    • Awwww sister Nadia, njinka ( thank you) for your words of empowerment. I am happy to read that you understand my approach to blogging, it is always uplifting, when my readers “get it.” I hope this article offers or reenforces some of your healthy habits.

      I checked out your website, I am really proud of your contribution to the world of film making, keep it up:)

      bless up,

  2. Habari(hallo) sister Yoknyam hope you are well. Just signed up to the blog. Really appreciate the information you provide. It is much needed. As an african woman myself you make me proud and are an inspriration. May you continue doing what your doing 🙂
    I had a question i also check your Google + but i cant seem to find you anymore. Did you perhaps unsubscribe? Really liked the posts you had.

    Anyways wishing you all the best sister. Be blessed.

    best wishes wamboi

    • Hello fam,

      just seeing your message. At one point I left Google + but I resubscribed, sharing plenty of articles there. If you google my name Yoknyam Dabale, you would fine me.

      Thank you much for always encouraging me, I am full of energy and good thoughts.

      love and respect!!

  3. Habari(hallo) sister Yoknyam hope you are well. Just signed up to the blog. Really appreciate the information you provide. It is much needed. As an african woman myself you make me proud and are an inspriration. May you continue doing what your doing 🙂
    I had a question i also check your Google + but i cant seem to find you anymore. Did you perhaps unsubscribe? Really liked the posts you had.

    Anyways wishing you all the best sister. Be blessed.

    best wishes wamboi

    • Habari sister Wamboi,

      Welcome and asante sana for the words of encouragement and the prayers for longevity. I wish you thesame dada, we are in this together 🙂

      To answer your question, yes, I unsubscribed.I just wanted to focus on my bigger projects off line and this site. That way I am not all over the place.

      may you have a wonderful holiday season esp Kwanzaa and a great year ahead.

      with love,


  4. Hello Sister, I stumbled upon your blog while trying to figure out why some black women bleached their skin. I must say, I love your blog and ind it very inspirational . I appreciate all the information you put out there to help us Africans in the diaspora deal with this cruel and insensitive world.
    I have a question concerning this post. I had acne in the past and it left me with a lot of dark marks, now my nose and body are significantly lighter than my face. What can I do to get my even out my skin tone? The skin on my face is very coarse . Thank you

    • Yem yo (greetings) sister Marie,

      asante sana ( thank you) for the shout out! I am humbled and energized.

      About your situation, I would encourage you to eat healthy as suggested on the article above and of course drink a lot of water daily. On the outside, when you wash your face in the morning, instead of using face oil or whatever product you use, rub tea tree oil with cotton ball and you can repeat the process at night. It would take a long time for your face to clear up but it is possible.

      Your other option could be, over the counter acne gel, for example “clear and clean advantage spot treatment gel”

      Be patient and you WILL see results.

      bless up family,


  5. Greetings sister , I always keep coming back to this article so much it has inspired me.
    Again , I have a couple questions , I know I know but it’s because I look up to you and I think you’re a beautiful and true African woman. What do you moisturize your face with and do you have tips for us African women with excess testosterone ( excess body hair and such) that get us to have acne and bad facial skin. Is there any herbs or plants you would recommend? I went the dermatologist road and had to stop all those medicine after realizing how much poison I was putting into my body. Thanks sister.
    Ps: I would appreciate if you could also write a topic on religion, ancestral spirituality and such. I am tired of learning about western religions and not my own. Thanks

      • Hello fam,

        a better sub that I can think of is dark soy sauce, use it sparingly just as you would maggi. If you live in the motherland (Africa) there are indigenous condiments much healthier, however, some have strong aroma for non-africans and it could leave lasting odor if you live in an apartment. We use that particular condiment in open air kitchen.

    • Hi sis. regarding facial hair, some folks get surgery, I know someone that had it done and she look “okay.” However I didn’t ask whether she had to take drugs to keep the hair from growing and I have not investigated better solution. When I visit my elders in the village, would ask. I am sorry to hear about this issue you are facing. Not fun but please do not stress too much about it. Focus on other qualities that you have until we find solution.

      I am going to write about African religions, will keep you posted.

      love and respect in 2016 fam!

      And thank you for the encouragement!

  6. I see your “shea” and coconut oil is yellow, though both shea and coconut oil are white, so I have a question. You said this shea butter is from Ghana, and there is a seller on Ebay selling yellow shea butter but it smells like chocolate, indicating it has cocobutter in it (which smells like delicious chocolate). Just wondering where you got your shea, and if it does smell like chocolate a bit. And if you can share where you got it, I’d sure appreciate it. BTW, I am white and have been using shea butter on my skin and hair a long time. It’s better than anything – leave skin baby soft. BTW coconut oil is also antibacterial so it kills odors and is great to take internally for the same reason, kills intestinal parasites too. Good as deoderent, and in all nooks and cranies also, for same reason. 😉 Hope t hear back. Thanks and aloha!

    • Hey cuz,

      Shea butter comes in two shades: yellow and white. Depending on who you ask, they are pretty much the same BUT I prefer yellow just because that is what I have been using for years. I only buy unrefined shea butter, it smells nutty. I do the mixing with organic coconut oil (white). And you are right coconut oil has a lot of benefits, I don’t use much oil in my cooking but when I do I use spoonful. i.e frying eggs.

      As it relates to where I get mine, usually from Ghana. And when I am out I go to African American beauty supply stores they sell it at affordable price.. eBay, amazon not bad either and must buy unrefined and “African Shea Butter” label.


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