Monday, 9 June 2014
For 6 Years, I Was in So Much Pain – Female Rapper, Eva Alordiah
For 6 long years, Nigerian rapper, model and writer, Eva Alordiah endured days and nights of severe trauma and this had nothing to do with her music, her writing or her ability strike a perfect pose before the camera. Rather, her pain dealt her a very critical blow on a part of her body that would be instantly visible to anyone meeting her in person for the first time and this was her face.
At that point in her life, Eva’s face was a far cry from pretty. It was what a cruel writer might call ‘a plantation of disaster’ as Eva had enough pimples and acne on her face to sell and pay her way through the university except for the trouble of finding anyone to buy them at any price whatsoever.
It was not a joke and the implication of having a face filled with acne was devastating – her confidence, self esteem, mental equilibrium and social life suffered far beyond young Eva could comprehend.
To make matters worse, a solution to her problem proved elusive and despite her persistent search for a way out, her face became a destination of medicinal experiments. For 6 years, she battled the acne without a solution good enough to put a lasting smile on her face.
In a very detailed piece, the rapper recently shared details of the experience and how she eventually achieved the face that has today, not only become associated with her brand of music but also reference point of facial beauty and care.
She began with some of the compliments she now receives and what these remind her of.
“Isn't it sweet that after so many months, that'd would be 6 years of battling severe Acne, I am suddenly getting great compliments on my skin? Who would have thought! Now I get the “Oh, you are so fine...” "Chai, God took his time to make you sha...” “You are the girl I have been searching for...” - Na so. Thank you gbogboyin (which means ‘all of you’ when translated into English...!”
She thereafter, reached out to men and women all over the world who might be battling a similar or more severe situation like she endured years ago.
“It would be really a waste of an experience for me to have gone through battling acne and bad skin; finally getting through it and not be able to share it with you - Whoever you are, dealing with your acne issues, one new product off the shelf at a time, I just want you to know that I have been there... Look at me now! I may be clueless as to how severe your acne is or isn't, but as you can see from my progress photos, I battled with really severe acne.
“Goodness me, I literally could not step out of my house! I was home bound for weeks on end, forming “I'm an introvert, I don't go out much,” when deep down inside, I was in so much pain and stress, which obviously helped a few more zits pop out of every free corner of my face. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get it off my face. Sorry for the not-so-clear ‘before photos.’ We didn’t have money to buy iPhone that year. [Giggles]”
Eva then delved into some of the solutions she experimented with. “Bottle after bottle of toners and astringents, pills, dark bitter concoctions, soaps, creams of varying names and packet design, not to mention an ailing bank account that was deteriorating rapidly from my weekly experimental expenditures on the next big thing promising to clear my face. I bought every soap, every cream, every toner, the big brands, the small brands, the DIY Home made recipes, Chemical peels, the 'bury your head in a bowl of hot water, wrap a towel around your head and cook your face' therapy, 'first urine of the day as a toner' therapy, facials and facials and even more facials, all to no avail. It even seemed at some point that my face would get better and then all of a sudden get even worse again.”
One of the things that really hurt her was that a lot of people suggested different methods to clear the acne but not a single one worked for her.
“Plus it almost seems like every one you know suddenly becomes a skincare specialist when you have acne. You get the:
‘Ha, oma se ooooh! Who do you this kain strong thiign na?’
‘Why don't you try this and that product?’
‘You should drink your urine. It would cleanse the toxins from your system’
‘Use the first instance of your next period as a toner - it has nutrients that will clear it.”
I kid you not. I got all of these and more. If you haven't gotten these kinds of attention before, then e be like say your face never jam better pimples. And in all this time of worrying about myself and locking myself indoors, what did I do about my Acne? That question should be more like "What didn't I do?”
If you have seen Eva lately, then you should join her teeming fans who adore her; not only for her artistic gifts but for her pretty face and the make-over artiste shares how she received her miracle.
“Ok, now let’s get real. The bigger question now would probably be ‘How did I do it? How did I get my skin so clear of acne?’ Truth is, you might even be asking these questions now, without asking how long it took. That's what happens with acne, or any skin issue for that matter. We want it off in a flash. Unfortunately, the bad news is, it is not going to just get up and leave your face like a visitor who came for lunch. As a matter of fact, the more you worry about it, and disturb your face on and on about it, the more it lingers. So the first tip I am going to give you:
1. Worry Less
As much as you are going to care for your skin with hopes of getting better, you also need not worry about it so much. I didn't notice any huge improvement on my face until i began to let it be.
2. Ditch the Astringents and Alcohol. Use an organic toner
This worked for me amazingly. As soon as I stopped the constant swirling of an alcohol infused cotton ball around my acne eroded skin, I noticed a dramatic improvement with my skin. I haven't bought or used acne clearing astringents in the past 3 years and I am the happier for it. Pure rose water should do you just fine.
What I use: A mix of Vitamin C serum in my Rose water. Vitamin C serum helps renew dead surface cells and fades dark spots left by Acne.
Our skin has the unique ability to renew itself over time, replacing dead skin cells of the surface/epidermis. This is totally dependent on the activity of the epidermal stem cells. And you have the power to increase the efficiency of this process or cause a major decline, depending on what you apply topically and what you feed your body, which brings me to food!
3. Change your diet or improve it.
Instead of investing your hard earned money on drugs and skin care products over and over, how about adding fruits and vegetables to your diet? The good news is that the foods that happen to be good for your skin are also good for your overall health. What I noticed was a huge change in the feel of my skin one particular week when I decided to increase my intake of oranges and citrus fruits. My skin felt smoother and seemed to glow, which was weird for me as I always had to wear foundation to get that before.
Vitamin E is also very vital for the overall health of your skin and since the human body cannot produce Vitamin E naturally it should essentially be consumed from external sources.
What you need: A diet rich in Antioxidants, this means More Vitamins, A, C and E and Omega -3: oranges, grapefruit, papayas, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, strawberries, kiwis, red and green peppers, tomatoes, vegetables, broccoli, mangoes, oranges, Brussels sprouts, Nuts, fish oil.
Water should become your best friend if it isn't already - 8 glasses of water a day. I beg you to try this strictly for 1 week and see what difference you experience on your skin. It would help to flush toxins out and even do your kidneys and liver a favour. And when those babies are working smoothly, guess what happens on the surface? Your skin would literally smile! That's when you notice a glow that you didn't think was there before.
What I do: 1 glass + 2 limes or 1 lemon first thing in the morning and last thing before I go to bed. In between 6 other glasses of water.
5. Enough with the Scrubbing!
Scrub your face morning, scrub again at night, wake up tomorrow and do it all over again like you’re jobless. Seriously, Stop! You are doing more harm than good by scrubbing and scrubbing ever so often. Your face needs time to heal. It needs time to renew itself. The more you scrub the more your pores stay open, increasing your risk of sunburns and more zits developing into spots held tightly together creating little communities and townships on your skin. I recommend a light touch exfoliation once a week and see how you can improve from there to twice a week.
What I do: I use honey + sugar or sheabutter + sugar for exfoliating my skin
You should always cleanse or wash your facial skin with a soft touch. All that ‘gra-gra’ washing doesn't necessarily mean you are going to rinse off and have the acne falling to the floor. You are doing more harm than good to your skin.
What I use: The good old African black soap never seems to tire me. Whether you get your soap from Lagos or Ghana, if it is traditionally made, it becomes my best friend. I do a mix of Black soap, Honey and Lemon till it becomes a sort of washing liquid. No water. Your honey and Lemons would be just enough to liquefy
Acne makes your skin even more susceptible to sun burns, which it why it seems the spots get darker and darker no matter how hard you try. You should be wearing sun screen on a daily basis to prevent more damage. Choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 and higher.
8. Less Makeup
This is a no brainer really. You want to minimize your use of makeup as much as you can till your skin is in a better condition. Make-up clogs your pores and makes it even difficult for your skin to breathe, let alone smile. Plus we both know you would need a hell lot of product to cover those zits up. So please bear for a while, do without it when you can. Your skin smiling days are only weeks ahead - Trust me. And if you do wear makeup, ensure to take it all off before going to bed.
9. It gets better with time
This is so true. Well, depending on how early you stop worrying so much about your skin. I used to have 4 big zits appear on my forehead and chin as soon as the monthly came knocking. In fact, I stopped checking my calendar and started telling it was time just by the acne popping out. Now, I don't even get them anymore. Not one pimple! My Mom says my body grew out of it, and my hormones balanced out with age and I would like to believe that.
However, depending on genetics and other hormonal factors this would likely vary from person to person.
As queer as this sounds, it is probably the best tip I would be giving you. Just believing that your skin would clear up in no time is enough to calm your nerves. Have the good vibes flowing. Have your heart pumping nicely and reducing stress, and in all, reflecting improvement on the surface. So be calm, sincerely believe that your skin is going to get better and begin to imagine all the beautiful pictures you'd soon be showing off of your acne-less skin.
There you have it guys! I do hope this has helped you in some way. My skin isn't perfect yet, a couple of fading spots here and there but I can sha waka without Makeup now and not worry about people looking at me in a funny way.
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By: SAMOD BIOBAKU