Meditations in the Mundane II

Cleansing can leave you feeling a bit well cleansed – stripped. If you’ve got dry skin like me, moisturiser is a must. I’ve looked on with a cocktail of annoyance, arrogance and amusement as the beauty industry has ‘discovered’, like how Columbus discovered Trinidad, cocoa butter, shea butter and argan oil.

I’ve been using organic, pure cocoa butter since my teens thanks to relatives in ‘de country’. I was introduced to shea over 20 years ago by my mother-in-law. I mix it with oil (the latest discovery) to make it spreadable at room temperature. Previously, I used baby oil before I knew that mineral oil just sits on the skin. Now, I simply mix a bit of 100% organic, extra virgin olive oil (which you can pick up from the grocery) with some 100% pure organic shea butter, supplied by aforementioned mother-in-law or other Ghana connected person. I know my sisters-in-law do a concoction including, at least, the oils of castor, almond and coconut. But steady supply of these can be a challenge in the wilderness.

Every so often, I, like any lady, can get drawn in by shiny bottles and wild claims. But I am getting more armoured against that sort of thing.

Similarly, my soul can feel dry if I don’t constantly mositurise it. One of my favourite descriptions of Spirit is the ‘balm of Gilead’.

Some days a few minutes of meditation and a blast of Mandisa and I’m good to go. Other times, I seek out a Bible verse or four and marinade in it for up to an hour. Then for the really tricky challenges, there’s nothing quite like a novena, 9 hours or 9 days of praying for a specific breakthrough.

Like my skin, I’ve realized I have to moisturize my soul every day and some days, more than once.


Should you moisturize your body and soul more often?

Meditations in the Mundane

In one, of my many parallel lives, I am a Magazine Beauty Editor. My inspiration is Mikki Taylor, Essence’s beauty editor during its heyday.

I spent many an hour of my youth, poring over pictures and my friend R trying to recreate them on my face.

Yet, before and after makeup there is the cleansing routine. I have to hold my hand up and say I have never been able to stick to any such routine consistently. I admire people who have perfected this and can do it even at 3 am in the morning, after a few too many caiparinhas and a dodgy bagel or kebab.

I use babywipes, if they can clean babys**t, then what’s some mascara? This is followed by soap and a flannel (washrag) – a clean one every day. Flannels are a great way to indulge your indecision on what colour towels to get. Though my preference is a pure olive oil bar that I used to get in health food shops in the UK, I’ve settled on Dove because it’s readily available and it’s gentle.

When I do wear a bit more makeup and can be bothered to remove it, my go to products are Bobbi Brown’s Soothing Cleansing Oil, Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion and Take the Day Off (lids, lashes and lips).

Yet cleansing, like beauty, is more than skin deep. While doing my routine, I focus on shedding my mind of the concerns of the day or chanting a litany of thanksgiving.

What’s your cleansing routine?

This is for A…

Today, I am going to take a moment to

feel the sun on my face.

savour my cup of coffee.

kiss my husband.

hug my sons.

connect with  friends and family.

enjoy my job.

be grateful for my health.


Today I am going to make a donation to a Cancer Charity. Why don’t you?