As you may or may not already know (you probably do), April is Earth Month, which means it’s prime time to educate yourself about all things good and green. Switching to natural beauty products, particularly skincare (I’m not about to part with my heavy-duty, chemical-laden concealer), can be crazy beneficial to all skin types — sulfates in facial cleansers are drying, irritating, and can potentially cause cancer. Cool! Unfortunately, products with better ingredients often translate to more expensive products, and there are so many on the market now that it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. These 5 natural, sulfate-free facial cleansers, which range from $11 to $46, are all tested and true, and there’s bound to be one that suits your skin type and routine… Keep reading »
Fresh off a week of the Internet wondering whether singer Indie.Arie lightened her skin on the artwork for her new single, there’s a new Black woman looking awfully light-skinned. “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn posed in flagrante on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly and if you aren’t distracted by Goldwyn’s chest hair peeking out from underneath his shirt, you’ll notice Washington’s looking a lot lighter-skinned than her usual gorgeous chocolate brown skin. The reason, I suppose, is probably the same reason as it was for Indie.Arie: the set lighting and camera flashes wash her out. Given all the attention paid to magazine covers by an art department staff (and trust us, there is a ton of attention paid — covers are what move magazines), we know the choice to leave it that way is deliberate. I think Kerry Washington looks gorgeous no matter what. But I also think women of color are beautiful no matter the darkness or lightness of their skin. I wish our culture, including our pop culture, didn’t privilege the light-skinned and lighten darker women. [Entertainment Weekly]
Of all the beauty products in the world, powder probably gets the worst rap. Just the name conjures images of chalky, pasty texture and little puffs and getting it all over your clothing… but it doesn’t have to be that way! Not anymore, at least — I can’t vouch for my grandmother’s generation, but the newest incarnations of powder are silky and sheer and, used as a base or patted over finished makeup, give a refined, soft-focus finish that blurs imperfections and pulls your whole look together. These 5 powders (3 loose, and 2 game-changing holy-grail pressed versions) are guaranteed to change your mind, once and for all, so put down the puff, pick up a fluffy powder brush, and get started (yeah, it’s that easy)… Keep reading »
Chapped lips, peeling forehead, brittle hands, and ashy legs. Did I mention split ends? We’ve all been there before and now we’re back. As I dried off after my shower last night, I mulled over another failed attempt at maintaining that silky smooth summer skin I so desire to achieve year round. There I stood, with a handful of dispensed lotion blobbed onto my elbows and knees; and moist skin to no avail. I decided it was time to actively participate in the betterment of my skin.
So here are the steps I took in producing skin that puts those photo-shopped St. Ives girls to shame. Head to toe. Read more…
If you’ve never used an oil on your face, you’re missing out. Really. It sounds terrifying, especially for the oily-skinned, but newsflash: oily-skinned people benefit the most from the use of oil-based moisturizers and cleansers. I am telling you this based on personal experience. Every time I go to my dermatologist, a very intelligent, clinical fellow in his sixties (he’s pretty handsome, too, whatever), he tells me to use oil-free products… but I’ve never had less acne or other concerns than when I use oil exclusively on my face. (And trust me, I’ve used the dermatologist-recommended Cetaphil and CeraVe moisturizer to horrific results.) But it’s not just me; it’s sort of like a relatively new development in beauty and skincare, and it is awesome. There’s no way to describe the transformative powers of oil for moisturizing, repairing, cleansing, and purifying until you actually use them. So do it! Just don’t tell Dr. Luck. Here are a few of my favorites…
In June, I went to the doctor with what appeared to be a spider bite on my back. The bite had gotten seriously infected and was oozing pus. In October, I went to the doctor because I had an infected cold sore. My lip swelled up, and my face puffed out. And in January, I went to the doctor because of an infected ingrown hair. The infected part had swelled up and was throbbing painfully. My temperature was elevated and I was prescribed another round of antibiotics and warm compresses on the spot.
So that’s three major infections, and three rounds of antibiotics. Three different major skin problems — with their attendant pain and embarrassment — in three months. And it’s all my fault. I can’t stop picking at my skin.
Keep reading »