20 Nov

One Thing You Need to Change About Your Skin Care in Fall/Winter

skin care

Are you caring for your skin in autumn the same way you cared for it in summer?

If you answered yes, you may be making a big mistake.

As you age, your skin’s needs change (loss of elasticity, increased dryness etc) but also, as the seasons change your skin’s needs change. In autumn, the temperatures are rapidly beginning to cool in most of the country. With cooler temps, come the risk of dryer skin.

While cleansing your skin is something you need to do forever and always, how you moisturize your skin needs to change as well. Think about how much more you need to impart and seal in moisture. Just as you should be applying heavier moisturizers to your hair in the cooler months, the same goes for your skin.

Your lotions should be replaced with heavier creams or butters (preferably butters). They are much more rich in nutrients to feed and protect your delicate skin. Butters like shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter are rich in Vitamin A and help to really lock in moisture into your skin while simultaneously improving its elasticity.

So, if you are still using lotions on your skin in autumn right into winter, consider putting them away until the warmer weather returns. Start luxuriating. Protect your skin from the rapidly declining temperatures starting now. Don’t wait until it’s freezing out. Get your delicate skin used to thicker creams and butters. My choice of butter is mango butter.

What’s yours?

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06 Nov

Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne System – Yay or Nay?

mary kay clear proof system review

I’ve been test driving Mary Kay’s Clear Proof Acne system for a little over two weeks now. Before I share my review of the product line, a few deets:

My Skin

For the past 5-6 years I’ve been dealing with cystic acne. These little hard pimples tend to pop up out of nowhere along my jawline. They have been known to stick around for weeks, even months. They are small so not that visible but they can definitely be felt. I was prescribed a gel by my dermatologist to treat it. Other than the cystic acne, I get an occassional outbreak before or during my menstrual cycle. It’s usually a pimple or two around my mouth or on my cheek (If you look hard enough you can see the blemished area in the photo above!).

The Products

The Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne System consists of:

•Clear Proof® Clarifying Cleansing Gel,** 4.5 oz.
•Clear Proof® Blemish Control Toner,** 5 fl. oz.
•Clear Proof® Acne Treatment Gel,** 1 oz.
•Clear Proof® Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin, 3 fl. oz.

Retail Price is: $45 (pretty affordable. I received the set complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. You can check out other reviews on social media by simply following the hashtag #ClearProof)

Active Ingredients: (2 key ingredients popular in most acne products): Salicylic acid to unclog pores and promote easy removal of dead skin cells. Benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria and help dissolve the buildup of dead skin cells.

My Review

Now, onto my actual opinion on the products…

Overall, I give this line 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Why? Two reasons:

  • While the products were very effective at drying out and clearing up a couple of pimples that popped up prior to my last menstrual cycle (and I do mean FAST..as in two days fast), the products weren’t as effective on my cystic acne. The prescription gel that my doctor provided has proven to be the most effective at clearing up this type of acne to date.
  • Mary Kay isn’t very transparent with the ingredients in the Clear Proof system. Notice I shared the “active” ingredients? Well, what about the inactive ingredients? These are just as important to me. It’s the inactive ingredients that I tend to look for because these are the parabens and other synthetic things that are hidding in products that I try to stay away from. How can I avoid these if I don’t even know if they are there?? Maybe that’s the plan. I don’t know but I checked the packaging of each product as well as Mary Kay’s website. No full ingredient list. Besides, why should I, no we have to search for them?

So, while Mary Kay’s Clear Proof Acne System is really effective at treating “basic” acne clearing up the occasional outbreak, it doesn’t handle my cystic acne problem. That, coupled with the “secret” ingredient list, I’d more than likely not purchase this system.

If synthetic ingredients aren’t that big a deal to you and you don’t have cystic acne, I’d say go for it. You may find it to be very effective for sporadic outbreaks. The system is also supposed to clear up old blemishes. I can’t speak to that as of yet. I don’t think I’ve been using the products long enough to determine.

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09 Oct

Skin Problems, Causes and Medical vs. Holistic Treatments

skin problems and holistic treatments

Skin problems in women of color is not a new phenomena. Our skin is more prone to problems (ex: acne, hyper-pigmentation) due to the amount of pigment contained within.

Of course, skin problems are increasing as a result of environmental-pollution, eating habits and other factors that seem to be prevalent in this “modern day” society we live in. There are various types of skin problems that trouble humanity from simple skin problems to skin cancer.

Some skin problems are more common in different racial groups, and even different age groups. Middle age, fair skin women are more prone to conditions such as Rosacea.

African Americans are more susceptible to serious cases of Eczema. That doesn’t mean that if you don’t fall within a specific ethnic group, you won’t or have never experienced the condition.

A Cause for Every Symptom

There can be many causes behind the various skin problems. There are also very specific symptoms associated with each type of skin problem. A dermatologist is the best one to identify and diagnose skin problems. He or she won’t look at a case of eczema or psoriasis and confuse it with a case of acne. The different types of skin problems (and there are many) are associated with specific symptoms. Once your particular skin problem has been diagnosed, there are various courses of treatment available.

In returning to my earlier comment about our “modern day” society, the flip side to it is that the medical community has made huge advances in science and treatments for various medical conditions, including skin problems.

Depending on the type of skin problem you have and its severity, you have access to cures and very successful treatments.

Holistic and Alternative Options

I prefer a holistic approach over heavily laced chemical medications. There are times however when natural cures are not the best option. For example, if you have a bacterial infection, modern medicine might be your best option.

For Eczema, natural holistic treatments are a great alternative. For mild cases of acne, natural skin care products are a viable alternative. It’s really a personal choice how you want to treat certain conditions. Medical doctors will almost always guide you towards modern medicine. (ex: using topical corticosteroids to treat Eczema).

The problem with most medication is there is usually some form of negative side effect. Natural cures don’t have the side effects that most pharmaceutical and over the counter drugs have, so they are worth trying first when the condition isn’t very serious.

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