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Beauty Tip of the Day!
Secret weapons against winter skin woes…
Take proper care of your skin when the weather gets colder to keep it healthy and supple, and to prevent premature aging.
Check out these fantastic products!
This natural blend maximizes cell renewal by gently removing the dead outer layer of skin allowing regenerated cells to rise to the surface.
This incredible buttery formula can be used anywhere from lips to heels. Leaves skin silky smooth; no oily greasiness.
Intensely hydrates and cares for the skin. Ultra-moisturizing, pure Lanolin and anti-blemish, wild-crafted Pansy Extract nourishes and soothes dry and damaged skin.
It’s a creamy cleanser that’s ideal for skin that needs nourishing care and a boost from the antioxidant power of our vibrant orange sea buckthorn berries.
Dry, toughened skin gets hydrated and refined day or night with this light, powerful cream.
Turmeric contains very powerful antioxidant phytonutrients curcuminoids. There are three main curcuminoids that have anti-hepatotoxic properties. This causes endogenius antioxidants and kidney liver content to increase required to remove the harmful free radicals that cause damage to hair, skin, and nails. Not to mention other vital organs in our bodies. Turmeric is also used for anti inflammatory purposes and also used to treat lung problems.
From October until the end of March, the angle of the sun is such that, in much of North America, no vitamin D is available from that source. What that means is most of us are deficient in vitamin D this time of year. While you can get the vitamin from fish oil and a few fortified foods, it’s difficult to take in adequate amounts of vitamin D by eating alone. It is recommended to take vitamin D3 the same form of the vitamin that humans make from exposure to the sun.
DIY: Lip Balm
You will need:
- chapstick or lipstick
- a ladle
- a stove
- take your spoon and scoop out a chunk of vaseline and put it on your ladle
- take your chapstick or lipstick and break it off and also put it on your ladle [this will give you the pigment and/or taste (if your chapstick is tasty) so the more you add the more pigment you get]
- turn on your stove and hover the ladle over the fire and stir it wit the back of your spoon while it melts
- once its completely melted and has no chunks and the color is evenly distributed, pour the melty waxy stuff into your container, i used an altoids box lol
- put it in your fridge for about an hour
- moisturize yo’ chappy lips.
How to Properly Moisturize Natural Hair
Directly from my FAVORITE natural hair blog!
“how do i properly moisturize (very coarse) natural hair? here’s a hint, h2o alone won’t cut it
lots of us have been there. i can speak for myself and say that i’ve climbed the dryness mountain and came back down with a few scars, BUT, i made it down and now i know how to take it on.
if i can be honest, one of the main reasons when i first went natural that almost had me relapse back to the lye was dry hair. boy oh boy. dry hair will make a sane woman a nut case! and especially a type 4.
who wants to have dry, matted up, little balls on the end of your hair, hair? i know i didn’t and don’t want it now.
round these parts, i like to give it to you straight, with no chaser. though i’m no expert, so please use your own common sense when heading my advice, i’ve experienced almost everything one can experience as a hair horror story so i know a little something, something.
how many of you have been there? just lost when it comes to how to moisturize your natural hair? it’s a doozey, i won’t lie, but once you conquer it, it makes being natural a whole different ball game. you go from being on the defense to now running offense.
if properly moisturizing your natural hair is alluding you, it does not have to. and yes, it does NOT matter how dry or coarse your hair may be. so, first let’s go over how to moisturize your natural hair.
the first thing to do is to forget about everything you have in your bathroom right now that claims to moisturize your hair. just put it out of your mind for a second and marinate with me as i take it back to basics.
remember how we learned in school when we were little kids how we really only needed two things to live? and remember how we learned that without those two things we’d die? and remember that those two things were food and wine? i’m sorry, i meant water. food and water. not food and lambrusco! my bad.
well, it’s still the same. without food and water, we are nothing and without water, our hair is nothing as well. nothing as in dry, brittle – snap.crackle.pop.bald.
so there is the key – water. water is what moisturizes hair and does it well. just like it moisturizes the inside of your body, it does the same thing for that dead protein growing out of your scalp. without water, out bodies become dehydrated, and without water, so does our hair.
why does water moisturize hair? water and water-based moisturizers penetrate the hair shaft, going deep into the hair cuticle – connecting to other water molecules. with that connecting comes a sort of hair strand “expansion.” this “expansion” helps to keep the hair plump and supple.
think of dry skin. when it’s in need of water it’s dry, flaky; ashy, anyone? but when it’s introduced to water it’s soft and plump; and when you seal in that water with your body lotion, your skin stays moisturized and you keep that soft skin feeling all day.
the same goes for water and your hair. after washing your hair or wetting it really well, it’s been loaded with moisture. yummi h2o. but if you do nothing to seal in that moisture, what happens is that all of the moisturizing water goes “poof!”. and with that poof comes matted roots, kinks, hard to comb hair and hair that “eats”- as we say – anything (all the bad stuff that you think is moisturizing your hair) you put on it. without water, your curl or kinky starts to curl or kink back down on itself – drawing up from the dryness.
let’s go again back to the basics. remember 5th grade science when we learned about condensation and evaporation?
i’m pretty sure you can now see where i’m going with this. the evaporation is a loss. the water has now gone back into the environment, and thus, your hair that was once well moisturized has gone back to being dry.
to counter this, the first step in moisturizing is to be diligent after you have just washed or wet your hair. while your hair is in it’s supreme moisturized state, you should SEAL in that moisture with a naturally occurring oil such as olive or coconut oil. these oils help by creating a barrier at the cuticle and preventing the water from evaporating off of your strands at an accelerated rate. keep in mind that these are not the only oils you can use, but some of the best ones that have not only been proven as great “sealing” oils or “sealants”, but also oils that have the ability to penetrate the cuticle shafts as well and can also moisturize hair. not all oils have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft – one example of this is grapeseed oil.
after wetting your hair – AND before adding any other styling products – the key is to seal in your moisture.
keep in mind that for some, sealing with oil may not be enough, and this is okay. many naturals, especially those with the coarsest strands find that while their hair is still wet (no need for soaking, towel-dried is fine), they need to add a water-based or creamy (not sticky) leave-in conditioner, and then seal with and oil for their hair to remain properly moisturized after it dries. and this is the case for me as well. if i don’t use a leave-in conditioner, my hair won’t be snap.crackle.pop dry, but it won’t be optimally moisturized as it would be when i use a leave-in and then follow up with my olive oil to seal my hair. so what leave-ins do i like? i’ll get to that shortly.
how will you know to use a leave-in after washing and before sealing? when you use just water and then seal with oil, ask yourself, “does my hair still feel soft and moisturized after it is fully dry?” the answer to this question will tell you if what you are doing is working for your hair. it may take a couple of rounds of washing to do a comparison, but you’ll soon figure it out. another way to test is to just wash you hair and apply a leave-in to only ONE SIDE of your head and not the other. apply your sealing oil to both sides and then style as usual. by the end of the day, you may notice a difference. no difference probably means you can opt to no do a leave-in, but if the side without the leave in is dry and the other isn’t, then you know that you have to add a leave-in to your hair before sealing.
so lets’ get started with a simple hair moisturizing routine.
if you wash your hair with shampoo, i’d really encourage you to start CO-WASHING for every other wash. this is simply washing your hair with conditioner. cowashing is effective because most conditioners do not contain harsh sulfates (sulfates cause shampoo to bubble up and strip off dirt and oils) which are often too dry and stripping for natural hair. co-washing is just as effective as washing with shampoo at getting your hair and scalp clean.
you can opt for a cheap moisturizing conditioner such as suave naturals, aussi moist, garnier fructis moisture works, or herbal essence hello hydration. i’ve used all of these (and still do) with success.
other mid ranged conditioners you can try are:
- aubrey organics honey suckle rose (O/N/G*) !!! buy here / or here
- aubrey organics white camillia (O/G*) !!! buy here
- giovanni smooth as silk (O/N/G/G*) !!! buy here / or here
- deva care one condition (S) buy here
- nature’s gate moisturizing conditioner buy here / or here
these are just a few of the conditioners from the 2010 naturals coveted list. to learn more and understand the key, see the rest of the list here which has tons of additional products to help you get started on your moisture journey.
if you look at some of the best leave-in moisturizers that have naturals raving right now, you’ll find that the first ingredient listed on the back of the package will be water. it really is the supreme moisturizer.
after co-washing, add a good leave-in if you find that you need one – though i’ve found thatmost type 4s WILL need a good leave-in.
roux fermodyl 07 extra strength leave-in, pantene pro-V light spray conditioner, phyto phytomist instant hydrating conditioner, or the classic infusium 23 moisturologie; though sallys has a generic version that works just as well.
other excellent water based leave ins are:
blended beauty kick for curls aloe juice spritz
oyin greg juice or juices and berries
*note: i cannot just co-wash and add a water-based leave in. i MUST also follow up with a creamy product to help seal, you may find that this is the case with your hair as well.
care free curl gold (my staple), aubrey organics white camilia conditioner (yes it is a conditioner but also works well as a creamy leave-in as it has the ability to “melt” into the hair), giovanni direct leave-in, karens body beautiful hair milk, kinky curly knot today (love this!), alba botanica leave-in (also doubles as a moisturizing hair lotion), taaliah waajid mist bodifier (don’t let the “mist” throw you off, it’s a thick, creamy, leave-in, spray) and nature’s gate aloe vera conditioner.
once you have co-washed and added in your leave-in or leave-inS, you should now top that all off with a little oil if need be. keep in mind that grease does not moisturize and most oils do not as well, but they do SEAL in water. also note that some leave-ins do not work well with oils, so you may have to pay around with your combos; though most are light enough to not turn in the little “cheese curdle” balls from putting oil on top of your leave-in.
coconut or olive work excellent. some naturals don’t really care for coconut oil. i like it, but olive oil works much better on my hair, though i do suggest you try both to see which you like best. some naturals only use coconut oil when it’s mixed with something else, or like mixing olive and coconut oil together. you can play around to see what works best for your hair. just be sure to spread it through your hair well. because oils are not grease, the soak into your hair well and won’t leave it greasy feeling (if you don’t use too much).
that’s it! you’ll probably find that less product is more as you start to get your hair in an optimally moisturized state. because we are so used to plastering our hair and scalps with grease and thick, heavy products, it may seem like you need “more stuff.” but less is more. you’ve already got what you need the most – the water – everything else is icing on the cake. you should proceed to style your hair as usual. wash and go, etc. i normally don’t wear wash and gos because they cause too many knots and tangles – no matter how well i’ve detangled my hair, so i normally wash my hair at night — following this routine, twist it up for bed, take it down in the am, fluff and go.
if i need a little more moisture in the morning, i add some carefree curl gold to my strands and during the week, i can add oils and spritz my hair with water and seal again as needed.
as a basic “how do i moisturize my hair” starting block, this should help to get you to where you need to be. don’t worry, after doing this for a while, it will all start to come together and you will know what products do what for your hair when it comes to moisturizing. but always remember that WATER is key.
just stick with it. after a couple of weeks of being diligent with your hair moisture routine, you can’t help but see a difference.
lastly, i just want to add that if you are using the same products you used when you were relaxed or products targeted towards relaxed heads, 9 times out of 10 you are going to be disappointed. additionally, if you keep insisting on using products that you are not seeing results from, then, yes, you hair will CONTINUE TO BE DRY. you have to remember, most products on the market are no bueno when it comes to natural hair.
in the natural hair world, it’s not always about trends, but because our hair is so different and unique, it only makes sense to take head when other naturals with similar textures are talking about a product that they had success using.
put down the pink lotion and step away from the blue magic grease. try some newer, simpler ways of moisturizing your hair, and you will see results.
much success to you with your moisture regimen and if you need more help, just email me. i don’t bite!
if you are looking for more product recommendations, be sure to check out the 2010 naturals coveted list! a list of all the tried and true hair products that naturals can’t get enough of.”
How to prevent alligator skin in the winter time
Most of us get some form of alligator skin during the winter months. Cracked cuticles, scaly skin, itchy abdomen or back, peeling face. Here are a few basic things you can do to prevent or alleviate winter-time alligator skin.
1) Use a synthetic-fragrance free bodywash or soap. The same applies for lotions. The synthetic ingredients in the fragrance can irritate skin that has already flared up from the elements. General rule: read your labels! You should be able to recognize and pronounce the ingredients that are on your labels!
2) Look for moisturizers and lotions with healing ingredients such as chamomile, shea butter and hemp seed oil.
3) Take a lukewarm, quick shower. Showers that are too hot tend to strip away the oils that are essential to keeping skin moisturized.
4) Apply moisturizers immediately after stepping out of the shower to lock in moisture. If you have oily skin, reach for a lotion, which are generally lighter in consistency and won’t clog pores. If you have really dry skin, be sure to grab a thick, moisturizing cream and apply generously and religiously!
5) Wear natural, non-irritating fibers such as organic cotton.
6) Eat foods rich in Omega-3s as these help fortify the skin’s ability to create a moisture barrier.
Don’t be fooled by synthetic or toxic ingredients found in skincare products that parade as being good for your skin. These include (but are not limited to):
- Ceramides. These are often found in synthetic form that may mimic the natural substances in the outermost layer of skin that help keep moisture in.
- Dimethicone. A form of silicone wax that may cause irritation to eyes or skin when it comes in contact.
- Hyaluronic acid. This is tricky one. Touted as the Fountain of Youth, hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the body and is not toxic in that form. It acts to moisturize skin, reduce wrinkles and lubricate joints. Over time, its production decreases and affects skin and joints. From what I can find, most hyaluronic acid found in skincare products is either synthetically produced using bacteria or from poultry. Given what we know about the dirty poultry industry these days - best to stay away from it.
- Lanolin, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly. These ingredients are known as emollients that smooth and lubricate your skin by trapping and sealing water in the outer layer of your skin (provided you apply right after a shower/bath). Don’t be fooled - lanolin is derived from sheep. Often, insecticides and pesticides are used to kill parasites in the sheep. Mineral oil and petroleum jelly are simply petro chemical ingredients. Why would you want to put gasoline all over your skin and allow it to be absorbed into your bloodstream?
I’ll end with my usual mantra: READ YOUR LABELS!!!
Cheap, Easy, and Effective Skin Care Tips!
Here are some super easy tips and tricks to get a clear, flawless complexion!
1. Drink tons of water!
Water is the key to life as we know it, so in order to maintain good health, remember to drink water all day long. Caffeine is dehydrating, so drinks like coffee, tea, and cola can be detrimental to your skin’s moisture levels. Even if you have oily skin and dryness is not a problem, your skin will only produce more oil at the signs of dryness, and can even cause acne and wrinkles!
2. Wash your face- without tap water!
We all know that you need to wash your face at least twice a day. However, many people use the water right out of your sink. This water is very harsh on your skin! The minerals and metal traces can really damage the top levels of your skin. My tip is to have a bottle of purified water on the sink, and use it to moisten a washcloth to wash your face. It sounds odd, but it can really help clear up both dryness and oiliness!
3. Watch your soy levels.
Soy is in lots of foods these days- in a concentrated form in tofu, to lecithin in processed foods. In small amounts, it contains just enough estrogen to boost the good oils in your skin to give your face a beautiful, dewy glow. However, in excess, estrogen-rich foods, like soy, can cause intense breakouts and oiliness. This isn’t to say that you need to cut out soy entirely! I eat tofu once or twice a week in reasonable portions, and haven’t seen a breakout in months :)
4. STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE! and always wash your hands!
Our hands always have tons of dirt, bacteria, and oils on them. Whenever we touch our face, all of these impurities transfer directly into our pores. So remember to keep your hands away from your face! But in order to lessen the damage, keep washing your hands with a moisturizing soap multiple times a day. I always make a point to wash my hands before I wash my face, too. Since it’s hard to control hormone-related breakouts, we might as well d our best to prevent dirt-related ones!
5. Exercise a little!
Not only is it good for your health and physique, but working up a little sweat can be great for your skin! Sweating opens your pores and releases lots of toxins. Be careful to not wipe your face with anything dirty or potentially bacteria-hoarding though, as this would just be counter-productive.
So run a couple miles, keep hydrated, lay off the tofu, and wash your hands and face, and watch your complexion improve! Thanks for reading:)
Get To Know My Beauty Ritual.
It can be hard to pull off perfect skin, but with the right tools, a little bit of know-how, and determination, you CAN get that perfect, flawless skin you’ve been aching for. So here are 4 simple steps to getting the perfect skin!
- CLEANSING - Put a small amount of facial wash on your hands, about the size of a nickel. Rub some on your wet hands. Use a product that is gentle enough for your skin. Something too strong will just dry the skin out and stimulate the oil glands to produce more oil. You are trying to remove oil and retain moisture at the same time. You could consider choosing a water-based product if you have really oily skin or a oil-based product if you have dry skin.
I’m using Pond’s Pure White Deep Cleansing Facial Foam. Ü
- REVITALIZE - You need to revitalize the skin with a facial mask. For those with oily skin, clay-based masks are the best. Hydrating masks and gel masks should be used by those with dry and/or sensitive skin. If you have combination skin, apply a mud mask only on the T-zone.
Personally, I use iWhite Whitening Pack. It removes deep-seated dirt, dead skin cells and other skin impurities.
1. Wash your face
2. Spread iWhite Whitening Pack ALL OVER YOUR FACE. Avoid the eye area.
3. Peel off the dried pack on your face after 30 minutes. But take note, It hurts when you peel it off. :)
SEE IT FOR YOURSELF. I’m doing this 3-4 times a week. Ü
- STEAM - Steam your face for five to ten minutes as part of your weekly cleansing routine. Let the boiling water cool for a few minutes. When it’s cool enough that the steam doesn’t burn you, place a towel over your head and the pot and expose your face to the steam.
I do this after Facial Mask. Very relaxing. It also minimizes your pores. Ü
- Finally, MOISTURIZE - Moisturizing your skin is one of the most important skin rituals you can do, especially during the day. Even oily skin needs some sort of moisturizing, but just make sure you choose a moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic and formulate not to block pores. During the day, wear a moisturizer that contains an SPF so you can protect your skin against the sun’s harmful rays.
I’m using Pond’s White Beauty Pinkish-White Glow Lightening cream (no SPF). Use AM and PM after cleansing your face. Ü
ENJOY! HOPE YOU’LL LOVE IT! ♥
Grapeseed Oil. Who Woulda Thought....
Here’s a quick rundown on the benefits of using Grapeseed Oil on your hair:
- It moisturizes the hair and scalp
- Keeps hair from drying out and becoming brittle
- Reduces breakage
- Very light, so it won’t weight your hair down
- Helps to relieve dandruff
- Acts as a heat protectant, can protect your hair from 425 to 465 degrees
- Quickly absorbed into the hair
- Strengthens hair
- Can be used as a deep treatment (hot oil treatment)
Grapeseed Oil can be found in health food stores and some grocery stores.
How to Moisturize Natural Hair
Moisturizing and sealing
Sealing locks in the moisture and keeps the shine. This is done with oil most of the time. You seal after you moisturize your hair.
The goal is to keep hair moisturized as much as possible between washes. This is based on evaporation rates of moisture or moisture loss on the hair. Every product we put on our heads, for sealing allows for some type of evaporation of moisture on and sometimes in our hair strands. Pure alcohol, which I don’t recommend putting in our hair, evaporates the fastest, for example. Shea butter on the other hand is more like a barrier.
1) What I suggest is that you start with clean, conditioned wet or damp hair. First you use a water based product moisturizer or leave-in. If you don’t add anything else, this will most likely dry and take the moisture out of the strand by the end of the day.
2) The next step is to then seal in that water based moisture, from the washing and from the leave-in, on and in the hair strand. An oil based product or pure oil will do. Olive, coconut, avocado, jojoba, and/or castor oil will do. You can mix them if you like. Some use an oil/aloe vera gel mix. It really is a personal preference. Do what your hair will respond to best. Experiment.
3) The last and third step is to use an emulsified product to lock in the water. Remember, the water is sealed over by the oil. An emulsified base is simply a product that has ingredients of oil and water that have been combined by adding some kind of binder (or-holder- together ingredient) to make something more creamy or solid. Some butters like shea are already solid. But creamy leave-ins and pomades are a form of emulsified products. Some people don’t have to do this step. Some people do water based product with oil, some doe water based with shea butter or pomade/creamy product and some do all 3.
- Don’t use “grease” in your hair. Most Black hair needs extra moisture, but stay away from products with petroleum. Petroleum makes hair stiff, dry and greasy. Instead of grease, try natural oils (like coconut, jojoba, olive, or castor) or natural shampoos and conditioners which are a great for your hair because they don’t have all those sulfates, silicones, sodium’s, and preservatives in them. They also give your hair a nice shine to it.
- Water based moisturizers are best for all hair types, although leave-in conditioners can double as moisturizer for the hair. Avoid moisturizers with petrolatum and mineral oil unless you wash/condition regularly.
- Moisturize your hair everyday. Black hair is dry because of the natural tight curl pattern. It is difficult for the oils from the scalp to make it down the hair shaft. Seal the hair ends with natural oils (olive, coconut, avocado, castor, sweet almond).
- Gels and spritz are after moisturizing and sealing. The order is water based moisturizers, oil/oil based, emulsifier/shea then your gels and spritz. Avoid alcohol-based products when buying gel and spritz.
- Use conditioners and moisturizers that are silicone free or have water-soluble silicones.
- Use a silk/satin headscarf to sleep at night. Wash your hair, moisturize and seal, put your hair in big twists or braids, put oil at then ends and wrap it up with a silky/satin head wrap. See how it turns out in the morning.
- Remember to eat right and drink lots of water. Moisturize from the inside out.