Beauty shouldn’t break your bank – Lydia Forson

“The goal of my blog is to, first, have fun myself and then to encourage other people to have fun, while taking care of themselves. Explore various beauty products, play around with them, read on the benefits that they can offer, start a club or sorts with your friends. And for those, who would say that I’m pushing the agenda of living an expensive lifestyle, let me say this; beauty shouldn’t break your bank.”

Award-winning Actress, Lydia Forson has been acting on screen for nearly ten (10)years, dating back to cameo roles in Hotel St.James, Different Shades of Blue, a stint in a reality show (The Next Movie Star) , extending to her highly popular role as Dea Thompson in Shirley Frimpong-Manso’s Scorned. But Lydia is also known for her strong and controversial opinions and, recently, I have come to love Lydia for a third reason; her blogging website, , which explores the Ghanaian lifestyle landscape, from a very interesting perspective.

This is the particular quote from that got me excited:

“I’ve heard of the Bentonite Clay mask for a while now, but for years I thought it was one of those hard to get products.

Who knew that bentonite clay is our very own ayilo or shile as some would call it here in Ghana?

Once I found out I’ve been hooked and it’s become a ritual for me and my skin feels amazing.”

As a natural hair girl, a feminist and an advocate of natural beauty products and as a black woman who struggles with acne and hyper-pigmentation issues on a daily basis, I had been doing some research on the benefits of Bentonite Clay, which led me to an article on Lydia’s website and got me to call her up.

I asked her what she thought about Ghanaian women and our apparent obsession with beauty and expensive beauty products and this is what she had to say.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m as obsessed with beautiful skin, as I am obsessed with living a healthy lifestyle. I believe that true beauty is about feeling better about yourself, so that you can live a fuller life, so that you can live longer and the people around you can enjoy your presence and your society can benefit from all of the wonderful things that you, as an individual, has to offer.  That’s the most important thing for me. Yes, there are several products for skin conditions such as acne, and so on and sometimes you might be required to see a dermatologist and to buy expensive products. But for many Ghanaian women, they spend so much money on beauty products, because it’s a luxury that they can afford. And because other women see these trends, they assume that taking care of yourself and investing in beauty products is expensive.”


Lydia Forson, during and after a Bentonite Clay (Ayilo/Shile) mask treatment

The stunning Lydia Forson also believes that Ghanaian women must take charge of their beauty and health needs and do the required research, in order to find out the truth about the products that they use, or that they have heard about. She also says that because women in Ghana don’t ask the right questions and because we accept anything that is foreign over our own, they often spend a lot of money on expensive beauty products, which are right here in Ghana. She cites the example of our local ayilo or shile, which is the same as the expensive Bentinite Clay that people are importing to Ghana.

She adds that the more privileged women of Ghana, although they can spend their money on what they want, have a responsibility to less-privileged women, letting them know that they can take good care of their beauty and health needs, without spending huge amounts of money that thy don’t have.

“Personally, I don’t like to spend tons of money, when there are far more affordable options. There are a lot of inexpensive natural beauty products and they are right here in Ghana! And these products are good for our skin, our hearts, for weight loss, for healthy hair and for our general health. But because we don’t ask questions and we don’t do research, someone will package “ayilo” also known as “shile” that is on our streets and send it to Ghana, under the name Bentonite Clay and we’ll buy it for the equivalent of GHc150. We’ll accept anything foreign over our own. It’s a choice, of course, but if those of us who are more privileged in society don’t tell other women that beauty shouldn’t break your bank and show them alternatives to expensive products, then most Ghanaian women will not be willing to take good care of themselves and cannot, ultimately, enjoy the healthy lifestyles that they’re entitled to.”

So I tried Bentonite Clay on my face, too; and I like what I see… Please ignore the dark circles, my face is tired. 

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Apiorkor Seyiram Ashong, after a Bentonite Clay (Ayilo/Shile) mask treatment

So, do you agree with Lydia Forson, when she says that “Beauty shouldn’t break your bank”? I know that I do.

By: Apiorkor Seyiram Ashong/