Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim....

The Mujahada in Prada

Saturday, March 6, 2010

~Weaving Peace One Basket At A Time~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Afternoon My Stylish Sisters!

As I'm sure all of you amazing Muslimahs know, fashion entails much more than wearing the latest styles and following the recent trends.  In order to be a true fashionista Muslimah we must always hold compassion,  awareness and empathy in our hearts, for our brothers and sisters throughout the world.  We must, of course, look out for our fellow Muslims first and foremost, but I strongly feel that it is also our responsibility to support the health and well-being of our brothers and sisters in humanity as well, whether Muslim or not.

It is rare that we see a large corporation within the fashion industry get involved in humanitarian efforts, but alhamdulillah this is becoming more and more commonplace.  There are a few smaller brand names that make concentrated efforts to donate a portion of their profits to different charities here and there, but I think one of the greatest examples of fashion and compassion working hand in hand, is Macy's Baskets from Rwanda.

To give history of the violence and upheaval that Rwanda has experienced in the past 20 years would require much more room than my modest blog allows, but I will give a brief summary for those sisters who may not be so familiar with the situation there.  Insh'Allah any sisters who are better educated than I am with this, please feel free to correct me or add any pertinant information in the comments.

Rwanda is largely occupied by two different (yet very similar) tribes called the Tutsis and the Hutus.  According to, in 1957 the Hutus issued a manifesto calling for formation of a Hutu government in an attempt to give them more power due to their majority numbers, and shortly thereafter force the Tutsi King Kigeri V along with tens of thousands of Tutsis into exile.  In 1961 Rwanda was declared a republic, and was subsequently ruled by a Hutu president.  In 1963 Tutsi rebels killed around 20,000 Hutus in an uprising based out of Burundi, and ten years later the Hutu president was ousted and replaced by Juvenal Habyarimana who was elected president five years later.  From 1978 there is sporatic civil unrest, until in 1993 a power sharing agreement is signed with the Tutsis in Tanzania, claiming (fruitlessly) to end this fighting; UN mission sent to monitor the peace agreement.

In 1994 the Rwandan and Burundian presidents were shot down while their plane was flying over Kigali, and the Hutu militia and elements of the Rwandan military began the systematic slaughter of the Tutsis.  Within 100 days roughly 800,000 Tutsis, and their Hutu sympathizers were massacred.  This continued on, with very little to no intervention by any outside forces, despite the fact that Belgian, French, and American forces were stationed there with vague intentions of keeping peace.  The situation became so distorted that refugee camps in Zaire designed to protect the Tutsis were actually placed in Hutu control, and in 1995 extremist Hutu militias and Zairean government forces attacked local Zairean Banyamulenge Tutsis; Zaire attempted to force refugees back into Rwanda.

Much of this mob mentality was initiated and encouraged by local Rwandan media outlets, who referred to the Tutsis as "Cockroaches" and actually praised those Hutus who were participating in these brutalities.
In 2001, after President Paul Kagame was elected as Rwanda's new president, the new government undertook the overwhelming task of attempting to bring these mass murderers to justice.  Due to overwhelming prison populations, and the inability to try all of the thousands of suspects who participated in these massacres, roughly 60,000 prisoners were released between 2001 and 2007, including the former president after a formal Presidential Pardon was issued.

Today, these Hutus and Tutsis live side by side, sometimes with killers living right next door to family members of people they slaughtered.  According to such is the case of Iphigenia Mukantabana who is friends with the wife of, and lives right next door to, the man who murdered her husband and five of her children in 1994.  She says, "In my heart, the dead are dead, and they cannot come back again.  So I have to get on with the others and forget what has happened."

One way she has worked through the horror and grief of that day over 15 years ago is by weaving baskets with the Rwandan Path To Peace Project in cooperation with Macys Department Store.  This project was started by Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), and businesswoman Willa Shalit (learn more here).  Rwandan women wove these gorgeous baskets for a full year before introducing the modest line of beautiful and intricately woven baskets in 2005 on  Now there are over 40 different styles of these amazing baskets in all shapes and sizes available on the Macys website and at their flagship Herald Square location.  You can read more about the amazing women who have made this project possible here, and learn about the impact these jobs have had n these women, and their children who were devastated by the massacres in Rwanda by going here

From a fashion standpoint, one look at these baskets and you will see the time, effort, and skill that is required to complete even one small basket.  The colors are vibrant, the patterns all varied and ornate.  Add a beautiful touch of culture and flash of color to any room in your house, and every time you look at that basket you can feel the connection that you have with a woman not so different than yourself, who is working hard to overcome the dark ghosts of a past that has been quickly forgotten by much of the world.

Here are a few of my absolute favorites:


Some of the baskets can be quite pricey, but when you consider that you are helping a woman to earn an income, to take pride in her skills, and to have hope in her future it is well worth it.  Insh'Allah there will soon be a similar effort to help our sisters in Gaza who are living through the oppression and violence there, as well as our sisters in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and throughout the world.  It only takes one very strong, and very persistant voice to stand up and do something to make the world take notice.  Now that Macys has chosen to take a stand and do something beneficial for humankind, insh'Allah other leaders within the fashion industry will do the same. 

Because truly, there is nothing more fashionable than helping our sisters in humanity.

Ma'Salaama and Happy Basket Shopping!

Fashionably Yours,
The (Peace Loving) Mujahada in Prada

Friday, March 5, 2010

~No Bones About It~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Evening My Amazing Muslimahs!
 (thought I'd change that up a bit-what do ya think?)

First of all Jummah Mubarak! Insh'Allah you all had a wonderful week, full of love, laughter, and all the happiness your hearts could contain.  May Allah swt bless you with what is best for you and your families and keep you safe and healthy.  Ameen....

Well, we are still in the middle of our travels across country.  Having taken a little detour to visit some family members in the SouthWest, we are taking our time and enjoying ourselves along the way.  The southwestern states have a beauty that is so totally unique from the rest of the United States, with their turquoise colored rocks contrasting with bright pink sunsets.  There is a sense of solitude here that one very rarely feels on the West and East Coasts.  The desert is a beautiful, but also foreboding place that can be spectacular, and a little scary all at the same time.  I am planning to insh'Allah do a post about our trip and all of the beautiful inspirations from nature and the people of the southwest and Mexico as soon as I reach my destination insh'Allah.  It is something I would like to plan, and share some pictures of our adventures, so insh'Allah it will be worth the wait.

Tonight, though I wanted to share with you some tips that I received in an email about something that is a very sensitive, and important topic for us sisters.  It is something that people don't discuss much when discussing women's health, but is very important to our well-being as we mature.  This subject is Osteoporosis.  (I can hear the yawns eminating through my computer screen LOL)

Please don't stop reading now: Osteoporosis is a devastating disease that causes bones to become fragile and eventually fracture, especially in the hips, spine, and wrists.  These fractures are most serious in the hip and spine areas because they can cause debilitating conditions that make the victim unable to walk, and create horrible pain and deformity.  According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, women are FOUR TIMES more likely to develop Osteoporosis so it is absolutely vital that we take every measure possible to prevent this from happening to us and to our sisters.

So...What Can We Do?

Well, one of the easiest things we can do to avoid getting Osteoporosis is something we've been talking about a lot lately, and that is to simply eat a healthier, more balanced diet.  Preventing Osteoporosis, and treating it includes eating diets that are, "...very much the same and largely involve calcium and vitamin D, and getting a lot of fruit and veggies in the diet as well,” says Felicia Cosman, MD, clinical director for the National Osteoporosis Foundation.  If you are experiencing age-related bone loss, then simply eating a bone-healthy diet alone may not help to rebuild your bones, but if you are diagnosed when you are young (or simply want to take precautions to avoid a diagnosis) then changing your diet can be very effective.

A bone-healthy diet does not just include Calcium but also requires a healthy intake of Vitamin D.  For those sisters who are not the biggest fan of drinking milk (I must admit I am one of them) never fear: there are many other foods you can eat in order to reach your recommended daily dose of 1,000 mg of Calcium.  These foods include:
Ricotta Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Canned Sardines
Dark, Leafy Green Vegetables
Various Foods and Juices that are Calcium Fortified

Also for those cheese-loving sisters (I am one of these as well) you can add a serving of cheese to just about any meal or side dish to increase your calcium intake.  Add a slice of melted cheese on top of a side of cauliflower or broccoli, or have a cup of yogurt with your breakfast to instantly boost your daily calcium dose.

In order to get your recommended daily serving of Vitamin D (400-800 IU) you can eat:
Egg Yolks

Although any of these foods can be a great source of Vitamin D, the best way to get your Vitamin D fix is 15 minutes of direct sunlight without sunscreen.  As long as you keep your exposure to 15-20 minutes, you'll be okay not wearing sunscreen, and will also boost your Vitamin D levels.

There are a few other suggestions to help prevent the development of Osteoporosis.  Most of these are simply common-sense measures to ensure a healthy lifestyle, like we've discussed before.  They include:

Eat Fresh Produce:
Maintaining healthy bones requires eating a varied diet of your essential vitamins and minerals.  This is easy to accomplish by simply eating a rainbow of different colored fruits and veggies.  By making a range of fruits and veggies a regular staple of your diet your body will also be able to retain more calcium, which (as we discussed before) is a vital part of a bone-healthy diet.

Don't Drink Alcohol:
As Muslimahs we have a huge advantage in this department.  Alhamdulillah as Muslims, Allah swt has already instructed us not to consume alcohol, but just in case any of us needed another reason (and we DON'T), or in case anyone reading this blog is not Muslim (and mash'Allah I'm happy you're joining us!) then this is it.  Alcohol can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb calcium, so it's best to keep your consumption to a minimum.  (or better yet: don't drink at all)

Limit Your Caffeine Intake:
Now, this opinion varies between sources.  According to it is best for us to limit caffeinated beverages as they "have a negative impact on bone health", but when I researched this further (because let's face it: Diet Coke is my best friend) according to The Beverage Institue For Health and Wellness the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements has stated that "the effect of dietary phosphorous on calcium is minimal" and that "some researchers speculate that the detrimental effects of consuming foods high in phosphate such as carbonated soft drinks is due to the replacement of milk with soda rather than the phosphate level itself."  So, for the time being Diet Coke will continue being my best friend, but if any sisters find any additional information regarding this: please share with the rest of us insh'Allah.

Please Pass The Salt:
And keep passing it right on by.  According to it has been proven that eating too much salt can literally leach the calcium from otherwise healthy bones.  Try to change your favorite snack foods to lower sodium options, and don't add any salt to your meals.  It may take some getting used to at first, but eventually you will realize that often times when you skip the salt you can taste the actual food much better.  Most foods are available in low sodium options, and by taking this precaution you will be looking out for your bone's health in the long run.

So there you have it.  By making a few simple changes to your diet you can easily help to maintain your bones' strength.  Because let's face it.  Without our bones we are little more than a quivering pile of Jell-O, and I have NEVER seen a pile of Jell-O look good in a pair of Manolos...I don't care what flavor it is.

For some great bone-healthy recipes you can go here: Recipes For Healthy Bones

Ma'Salaama and Happy Snacking!

Fashionably Yours,
The (Cheese-Loving, Diet Coke-Drinking, Healthy Bone-Having) Mujahada in Prada

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

~Traveling In Style~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Evening My Stylish Sisters!

Insh'Allah you amazing Muslimahs have all been healthy and in high imaan.  I hope you haven't missed me toooo much during my brief hiatus; I missed you ladies terribly, but I was honestly quite overwhelmed with getting myself ready for the Big Move.  Alhamdulillah our bags are packed, we have donated lots of nice things that I felt someone else would have better use for, and my beautiful daughter is sound asleep before our long flight tomorrow.

I thought this would be the perfect time to insh'Allah share with my sisters some pointers I have picked up throughout my many years (and many miles) of traveling.  I am no expert, but I have racked up those frequent flyer miles, learned a lot through trial and error, and have a good system pretty much down pat.  Insh'Allah you can take some tips and use them next time you travel to help to alleviate some of the stress that inevitably comes with traveling.

Jet-Setting Tip #1: Preparation Is Key
Now, it doesn't matter if you are planning a quick weekend rendezvous, or a three week vacation in the tropics, there is absolutely NO reason whatsoever that you should wait until the night before to start packing.  No matter how well you plan ahead, there will always be "last minute" things that pop up, the trick is to make sure those last minute items are the ONLY things you have to worry about the day before you leave.  So my suggestion (and please hold your laughter until I'm finished) is to write a list of every single thing you need to take with you.  Yes this may seem tedious, or a little unnecessary at first but I have found that if I carefully write down every item I will need on a trip, I very rarely forget anything.  Jot down a list (complete with check boxes) about a week before your scheduled departure.  I guarantee every day you will realize something that should be added, or something that can be omitted.  By doing this you will not carry un-needed items with you, nor will you get to your destination only to realize you have all brown, tan, and beige outfits and have only brought black shoes. (oh the humiliation!)  Another fabulous thing about listing your clothing beforehand is that you will have time to visualize the outfits you are planning to take.  This will enable you to mix and match, accessorize, and plan your outfits according to the activities you will be participating in.  Remember a true fashionista always dresses accordingly!

Jet-Setting Tip #2: Love Your Luggage
Does a surgeon hate her scalpal? No.  Does a teacher hate her students? Let's hope not.  Does a policewoman hate her uniform? Okay, bad example.  But you get my point.  To be good at anything you must, Must, MUST like the tools of your trade.  Believe me, I know luggage is not cheap.  Especially any half-way durable suitcases that don't look like they were made from left-over 1970's polyester.  BUT it is possible to find some that are cute, and reasonable.  Often times Ross has incredible deals on luggage, that are brand name, and quite fashionable.  I would highly advise that you look for three various sized, coordinating bags that have pull up handles, and 360 degree wheels.  This may seem like an unnecessary extravagance, but believe me- there is nothing unnecessary about good wheels and a handle when traveling.  Another thing you should look for in a bag is its weight.  Under NO circumstances should you buy a bag that weighs over 10-12 pounds empty (i don't care HOW cute it is).  Any lighter than 10 pounds, and you run the risk of having a bag with NO frame, so your items will not be protected.  Here is a nice set of bags, in a very classy and neutral color scheme that are light weight, and a great price for a three piece set: Luggage Pros.  There is no excuse to be halfway to your destination, cursing yourself because you despise the luggage you are forced to drag along.  If you travel often, then put aside a savings fund and do some research online to find yourself a quality, decent looking set of bags.  Believe me, you will be grateful you did.

Jet-Setting Tip #3: It's All About the Weight
Don't get self-conscious ladies.  I'm talking about your bags, not you.  With prices going up almost daily for checked baggage, you have to get the most out of each bag you are carrying.  In order to make sure you don't go even one ounce over that 50 pound mark (75 pounds on international flights) it is always a good idea to either buy small bottles of your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, or to buy a cosmetics case that includes plastic bottles you can fill yourself.  There is no reason to lug along your 72 ounce bottle of shampoo when you'll only be gone a week, and you will more than make up the cost of buying an extra bottle, because you will be able to pack other things you actually need without having to pay an overage charge.  If you are going away for over a month I highly suggest you plan on just buying the shampoo and conditioner you will need at your destination instead of bringing it from home.   Also, if you are only planning on carrying one bag onto the plane, why not also carry on a small satchel that contains only your shoes?  Shoes, after all, are usually the heaviest thing in your suitcase, so by carrying them on you are freeing up more room in your checked luggage for that extra jacket, or fancy abaya in case you decide to go out for a formal dinner. 

Jet-Setting Tip #4: Your Carry-On is Your Carry-All
I simply cannot tell you how many horror stories I have been told by friends who have traveled on their honeymoon, on a family vacation, or even on an overseas expedition who have had their luggage lost and had to spend the first three days of their trip in their hotel room because they had nothing to wear.  Consider your "carry on" to be another suitcase, and try to pack at least one pair of undies, socks, a brush, your toothbrush, deodorant and any other feminine essentials you may need.  That way if you do have your luggage misplaced by the airlines, at the very least your undies will be clean, even if you are wearing the same abaya for a couple of days in a row.  Also, don't be embarrassed to pack lots of things to keep you busy during the flight.  Sometimes I look at these people who fly with one copy of Vogue and I think to myself  "how many times can you read that in one 8 hour time period?"  It is especially vital to bring along a lot of goodies when traveling with kids.  Personally I have a HUGE hobo bag that serves as a diaper bag, filled with crackers, cookies, breakfast bars, a Doodle Pad, small stuffed animals, a coloring book and crayons, and a zip lock bag full to the brim of toys from Kinder Eggs.  Although it can get a bit burdensome to carry, when my daughter is the ONLY child on the plane who is quiet during the flight, and I actually have other moms commend me on her behavior I thank Allah swt that I had the sense to lug on this monstrosity.  (And believe me, your fellow passengers will be thankful too)

Jet-Setting Tip #5: A Healthy Routine Never Takes A Vacation
Okay, so you are going somewhere to relax.  To take long baths, and sleep in.  To order room service and forget what day of the week it is.  Or maybe you are on your way to a busy conference, a family gathering, or a weekend away with some of your closest sisters.  Whatever the case may be, just because YOU are on vacation does not mean those pesky pimples, or icky viruses are.  You should pack a small cosmetics bag for your carry on that includes some very good facial moisturizer, hand and body lotion, and makeup removing wipes and gently cleanse and hydrate your skin every 2-3 hours.  Depending on how long your flight is, you should try to get up and walk (even if it's just to the lav) at least once every hour to keep the circulation going in your legs and stave off spider veins.  It's also a good idea to take along with you some sanitizing wipes.  Although you may catch strange looks from your neighbors, they can be very useful in fending off any sickness that may be hanging around from the previous passenger.  Quickly wipe down the armrests, the head rest, and the tray table in front of you to kill any lingering germs.  You can also take Airborne to try to prevent catching a cold while flying, and always keep the fan above you OFF.  It may take some getting used to, but having that air circulating into your face can quickly cause you to catch an icky illness that may be floating around.

Jet-Setting Tip #6: Be Comfortable and Chic
Let the record show that this is the absolute ONLY time I will condone wearing a leisure suit outside of your home.  I am all for looking fabulous while traveling, but even I will not sacrifice my comfort during a six hour flight just so I can be the best dressed person on board.  I have learned it is very easy to be comfortable and fashionable while flying, as long as you pick a simple, basic outfit and accessorize it accordingly.  I would highly recommend always wearing shoes you can slip on and off while flying, especially because you will have to take them off to go through security.  If your toes are not in their best form, then wear a pair of light-weight socks or stockings underneath your shoes so you aren't mortified when walking barefoot through the security line.  I am a big fan of abayas when flying, although (as sad as it is) I have learned I don't get the best service from airline personnel, nor the friendliest reaction from my fellow passengers.  I prefer trousers to a skirt because I tend to get chilled on the airplane, but I always wear plenty of layers that I can peel off in case I happen to get hot while in the air.  I like to wear a scarf that I don't need an underscarf with because it is usually more comfortable, and easier to adjust if I need to in the middle of the flight, and I try to use as few pins as possible, because they do sometimes set of the TSA security wands.  (which can be both annoying, and embarrassing)

The bottom line is: Enjoy Yourself!  Just take the time to plan ahead, and take a few precautions to make sure you can relax and enjoy yourself once you arrive at your destination.  Remember getting there is half the fun!

Before I go, I would just like to remind myself, and all of you, of the most important thing to remember when we travel, and that is to make lots of du'a insh'Allah.  Here is one du'a to make when traveling, although there are a few that are appropriate:
للهم احفظني واحفظ ما معي وبلغني وبلغ ما معي ببلاغك الحسن ، بالله أستفتح وبالله أستنجح وبمحمد ( صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ) أتوجه ، اللهم سهل لي كل حزونة وذلل لي كل صعوبة وأعطني من الخير كله أكثر مما أرجو ، واصرف عني من الشر أكثر مما أحذر في عافية يا أرحم الراحمين
“O Allah! Protect me and protect what is with me (my possessions), and deliver me (to my destination and delivery what is with me the best of your delivery.  By Allah I commence (my journey) and by Allah I seek to accomplish (the purpose of my journey) and by Muhammad (s.a.w.) I have set out (towards my destination). ‘O’ Allah make me overcome all (my grief); and make easy for me all difficulties; and give me more of goodness than I hope for; and keep away all evil of which I am apprehensive for my health.”  “O the most Merciful”. 

Here is a nice website mash'Allah with advice for the Muslim traveler: Travel Tips For Muslims

Ma'Salaama and Happy Traveling!

Fashionably Yours,
The (Trend-Setting, Jet-Setting) Mujahada in Prada

~Thank You!~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good (Night/Morning?) My Stylish Sisters,

I want to apologize for not having the time to post these past couple of days.  I am in the middle of packing up almost every worldly possession of my daughter's and mine, so we can relocate across country insh'Allah

Before I go any further I want to say thank you to all of my amazing sisters in Islam who have made my blog the #5 ranked blog on!!!  Mash'Allah it is thanks to my fabulous followers that I am on there!  Alhamdulillah I have been able to discuss issues you are interested in, and insh'Allah I can continue in the future.

These past couple of days I have wanted to post something, but I didn't feel it's fair for me to post something that is rushed, or (worse yet) booooring.  So, I am working on something I would like to share with you ladies and insh'Allah I will have it up later today (tomorrow).

For those of you who voted in the last poll I would like to say thank you for taking the time to do that.  I am definitely going to have a few posts coming up insh'Allah of hijab tutorials, some more fashion and beauty/health articles, and also will be doing some posts reviewing products and/or websites of some different hijab/muslimah wear websites.

I truly appreciate your feedback, no matter if it is positive or negative.  My goal is to insh'Allah have a blog where we can all feel comfortable expressing our opinions, our thoughts, our feelings, and just having nice chats about fashion, health, beauty, and muslimah issues.  That being said, please feel free to leave comments after this post about anything you would like me to talk about, any issues you feel are important for us to discuss, or any new websites you would like to share with the other sisters.  I want this to be a safe place for us to come and laugh and maybe even insh'Allah learn something new; the ladies' sitting room where we can all whip off our hijabs, kick up our feet and sip a cup of tea while discussing anything that is on our minds.

So, insh'Allah I will catch up with you amazing muslimahs later, I am now off to catch some zzzzzz's before another long day of packing tomorrow.

Ma'Salaama and Sweet Dreams!

Fashionably Yours,
The (soon to be back on the West Coast!) Mujahada in Prada

Sunday, February 28, 2010

~Getting Down and Dirty About Zits~

aSalaam uAlaikum and Good Morning My Stylish Sisters!

Insh'Allah you have all had a wonderful weekend so far, gotten some relaxation in, and caught up on that much-needed "Me" time.

I am still on the road, so forgive me if this post (like the last one) is short and sweet, but I do think that it's a beneficial, if sensitive, topic to talk about.

I don't know about you sisters, but despite the fact that I am WELL beyond my teenage years, I still get *gasp* pimples! I know- it's horrible.  It's embarrassing, annoying, and honestly can be really frustrating at times to figure out what I should, and shouldn't do to get that excellent epidermis we talked about before. 

So, I thought it might be helpful insh'Allah to dispel a few myths that surround that annoying acne, those unpleasant pimples, those beastly blackheads.

Myth #1: Dirt Causes Acne
Although I strongly encourage good personal hygeine, the fact is dirt does not actually cause acne.  Acne is caused by many factors including hormones (especially in women), overuse of cosmetics, and excessive secretion of the skin's natural oils.  We've chatted before about the importance of not overwashing your face, and if you don't want to take my word for it (I won't be offended) then take it from an actual doctor.  "Some patients believe this (that dirt causes acne) and end up washing their face numerous times a day, sometimes scrubbing vigorously and using harsh astringents," says Dr. Claire A. Pipkin, a dermatologist and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine.  She continues by saying, "Ultimately, this can lead to irritated, traumatized skin that looks worse after treatment."  The best thing to do is to wash your face only twice a day with a mild face wash, and do not rub your skin.  Make sure one of those two times is in the evening or before bed, to remove any makeup or sweat that you may have accumulated throughout the day.

Myth #2: Squeezing Your Pimples Helps Clear Out Your Pores
Okay, not only is this not true, it's gross and can be really dangerous in the long run. "Some patients will squeeze pimples in an attempt to try to open up a clogged pore," says Pipkin. "However, this usually leads to further inflammation, which makes the acne look worse and last longer."  I know it can be tempting to just get that nasty little zit over and done with, but it can cause irritation, swelling, and really bad scarring.  So, hands off! Leave those pimples right where they are, no matter how "ripe" they may be.  Instead of squeezing, try treating the pimple with acne treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.  Both of these can be found in over the counter acne treatments, at really reasonable prices.  In fact, I found an amazing website that provides instructions to a quick and easy regimen to help adults like us get rid of this adolescent annoyance.  Adult Acne Regimen

Myth #3: (My Favorite) Chocolate, Cheeseburgers, and Fries Cause Zits
Um, YAY! It has actually been proven that although it may cause breakouts if you get grease from your junk food on your face, eating these delicious treats don't actually cause acne. (and I, personally, am not one who enjoys smearing my cheeseburger all over my face)  "Many people with acne have oily skin, so for a time people thought that greasy foods should also be avoided," says Pipkin. However, a number of studies have shown that downing foods like French fries, cheeseburgers, and chocolate doesn’t have any impact at all on your skin's health.  Now, I'm not recommending going and pigging out on a daily basis thinking it will have no impact on your skin, because after all good skin health is a part of your overall body's health.  So, don't make it a habit to overindulge, but when you are having those cravings from time to time (and let's face it-we all have those cravings!) then treat yourself.  For some people, though, milk can be a culprit of your facial furnuncles.  So, try to avoid milk as much as possible for a little while, and see if that has an effect on your face, if it does then try to limit your milk intake, or switch to soy or rice milk.

Myth #4: Acne Will Go Away On Its Own As You Get Older
Okay, if that were true I wouldn't be writing this right now, I'd be writing about something much more fun and shoes!  But, unfortunately acne does not just simply disappear, and for a lot of people it doesn't even go away as we get older.  (so unfair, isn't it? breakouts AND wrinkles...ugh)  In fact recent studies show that 50% of adult women are plagued with these bothersome blemishes at some point in their adult life. (Source)  Dermatologists are now seeing more adult acne patients than ever before.  Maybe this is because of increased toxins in our environment, or unhealthy eating habits, but personally I think more adults are just deciding they are not going to put up with this embarrassing condition.  The effects of acne are serious and can cause self image problems, as well as anxiety.  Don't get me wrong, looks are not everything.  Especially as Muslimahs we know it is what is inside your heart, and the strength of your imaan that is much more important than a pretty face.  But if there is something you can do to get rid of these irritating inflammations, why not do it?

Myth #5: Fake Tans Clear Up Your Skin
Not true at all.  Not only do tanning beds not help remedy your acne, they can cause all kinds of other skin problems.  "The World Health Organization has found tanning beds to be a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. There is absolutely no reason that anyone should ever use a tanning bed for acne or any other purpose," stresses Pipkin.  If you absolutely feel it is necessary to be a little bronze, then wear sunscreen and limit your exposure to tanning beds, or real sunlight as much as possible. 

"So, what do I do now?" You ask.  (didn't you ask that?)

Well this is what you do.  As we talked about before in the Rinse, Rinse, Rinse posting you should do all you can to ensure you are maintaining a good overall body health.  Your skin is another organ of your body, and needs to be treated the same way you treat your heart or your muscles.  This means, eat well, exercise often, and try a regimen like this one to help maintain your beautiful skin:

1. Use a gentle face wash in order to remove surface oils to allow the benzoyl peroxide to permeate your skin.  By rinsing 50 times like I recommended you are ensuring that you have completely rinsed all of that cleanser off, to prevent any excessive drying that may be caused by left-over soap.

2.  Apply plenty of benzoyl peroxide.  As discusses, you should use only a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide cream because it is just as effective as higher percentages, but will cause less drying.  Apply a good amount of benzoyl peroxide; the more you apply, the more will be absorbed into your skin.

3.  Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.  I know you ladies have heard me harp about this before, but it is sooo important to hydrate your skin, especially after using the benzoyl peroxide.  Not only will moisturizer keep your skin healthy and able to heal itself, applying moisturizer consistenly will help to stave off those much dreaded wrinkles.

So, insh'Allah by following a few simple guidelines we can help to maintain our youthful appearance, minus the teenage breakouts.  I know it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing to discuss, but if any of you lovely ladies have any other tips to add, insh'Allah let the rest of us know so we can all help to eliminate these enemies of the epidermis.

Ma'Salaama and Happy Cleansing!

Fashionably Yours,
The (soon to be pimple free) Mujahada in Prada

P.S. I must give credit where credit is due.  All information was obtained from,, and my own experiences.