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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23 Sep

How to Choose Good Hair and Skin Moisturizers

Isn’t it frustrating to purchase what you think is a good effective moisturizer for your skin or hair to later discover that they are crap?

 

moisturizers for hair and bodyMany so called moisturizer creams and lotions available on the market will actually dry out your skin and hair. If you are anything like I was, you wonder why. After all, the skin and hair moisturizer packages say that they are moisturizers. So, then why is it that after applying these so called moisturizers, you find that your hair and/or your skin is dried out very quickly? Or even more disappointing, you discover that after applying the moisturizer, you don’t see or feel a difference at all. You’re left with the same dry hair or the same dry skin.

I’ve discovered that just because a product label says the word “moisturizer” on it does not mean it is a good effective moisturizer or really a moisturizer at all! You have to investigate further before you buy any product that you are seeking to moisturize your skin or hair with, for any real length of time. This is where the ingredient label tells it all.

Effective Moisturizer Requirements

For a moisturizer to be effective, it MUST contain water (or a wetting agent such as aloe vera juice) as the FIRST ingredient. If the first ingredient is anything else (ie. an oil) you may as well put it back on the shelf. It will not do the job no matter what the product manufacturer says.

I am an African American with dry skin and dry hair tendencies and have found that water in my moisturizers is not optional. It is required. This holds true for skin moisturizers and hair moisturizers. The first ingredient must be water/aloe vera juice. Why

It’s simple. These ingredients hydrate. Just like your internal organs require water to be hydrated, so do your skin and hair. However, water alone does not make a moisturizer effective. Right next to and after water on the ingredient list should be an oil. Pure Olive oil, Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Aloe and Shea butter are all great oils to formulate your skin and hair moisturizer.

Ineffective Ingredients

In contrast to water and an oil being the first two ingredient on the list for an effective moisturizer, there are three ingredients that may very well make your moisturizers ineffective. These would be:

Petroleum and Mineral Oil – These are lubricants that sit right on the surface of the skin or hair and do not penetrate either of these surfaces which is required for true moisturizing to take place.

Isopropyl/Benzyl Alcohol – Alcohol in general is very drying. Remember, before there were acne creams, people used to use alcohol to dry out their pimples? Enough said.

Of course there are certain chemical ingredients that you should also avoid because they are no good for you, but for the sake of this article, which is to point out the ingredients that make a skin and hair moisturizer effective, I won’t get into those.

Three Moisturizer Ingredients with Big Benefits

Once you’ve found a moisturizer with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient and none of the above bad ingredients, there are other ingredients that prove beneficial for the hair and skin. These would be Vitamin E, Keratin and CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10 – generally found in skin care products) are antioxidants and help revive dull, damaged hair and/or skin. Keratin helps to stimulate the growth of cells to produce additional collagen which is required for smooth, supple skin.

So, the next time you go shopping for a moisturizer (which may be when you are done reading this article), make sure that the ingredient label (cream, lotion or spray) reads with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient, no petroleum, no mineral oil and no alcohols. This is essential for good, effective moisturizers. Your hair & skin will notice and feel the difference.

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31 Jul

10 Commandments for Dewy Summer Skin

Top ten “commandments” for moist, refreshing looking skin this summer. dewy-skin

Dewy Skin Commandments

In no particular order…

  1. Keep your skin clean
  2. Always follower your cleanser with a toner (Toners remove dirt that’s been left behind)
  3. Keep your skin moisturized
  4. Always remove your makeup at the end of each day
  5. Mist and refresh mid-day! (This tightens pores and increases circulation. Rose water is great for this)
  6. Avoid using sunscreens that leave a white residue or caky appearance (but DO wear sunscreen!)
  7. Exfoliate 1-2 times a week
  8. Make cardio a part of your life….3-5x a week is optimal (This increases your circulation and helps detox your pores)
  9. Steam your face 1-2x per week (This will open your pores and help release toxins)
  10. Complete your makeup application with a finishing spray specifically for Dewy skin! (Try this one from NYX Cosmetics – Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray Dewey)

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