I don't know about you, but one of my goals is to get my skincare game all the way together. I'm trying to be out here with clear skin and looking fully moisturized, okurrr! So, I've been doing some research and African black soap may be the one thing that is missing from my routine.
Clearly I've been living under a rock because black soap has been the GOAT of the skincare game for a long time. It's known to heal breakouts, purify the skin, fade dark spots, and so much more. When it comes to finding the right soap, it can be tricky. Depending on your skin type, you need to be mindful of how frequently you're using it to clean your face. For those who suffer from dry skin, it can be a bit too harsh to use on a daily basis—at first. So, ease yourself into it and figure out whether this is something to add daily or weekly into your routine. I can't lie, I'm a newbie when it comes to black soap; but if we have the gems, you know we're going to share them with you.
With that being said, here are some African black soaps you may want to add to your skincare routine:
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Image via Shea Moisture
For the results and definitely the price, SheaMoisture's African black soap is well worth a try. In addition to the black soap, it's also formulated with organic shea butter, oats, and aloe to cleanse, moisturize, and comfort irritated skin, while also making it easy to squeeze into your routine. The soap bar is only $3.99 and may be best for those who have extremely sensitive skin and want to save some coins.
Image via Purity Cosmetics
The Purity Cosmetics is a local black owned skin and hair retailer that offers two types of black soap — the original black soap bar and the flavored black soap. Both soaps are made with coconut pod powder, plantain peel powder, organic shea butter, palm kernel oil and coconut oil to help tone the skin and improve its texture. The flavored options range from lemongrass, peppermint, eucalyptus, and much more. Btw, both are only $3.99, tell me that's not a steal!
Image via Tropical Natural
Tropical Naturals Dudu-Osun Black Soap is an OG when it comes to black soap. We know at least one person in the family who has tried this. The soap is great for all skin types and is handmade from pure natural ingredients and herbs from the tropical rainforest. It's made with pure honey shea butter, palm kernel oil, cocoa pod ash, aloe vera, and more. You can find this at most major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and more.
Image by TGIN
TGIN's African Black Soap is a new one but definitely worth a try. TGIN is popular for their haircare products, but may be making a mark with skincare too. Their black soap is made with activated charcoal and shea butter that will detoxify and rejuvenate your skin. The natural cleansing bar draws out dirt and impurities trapped deep inside of the pores that cause bumps, breakouts and all of that unwanted acne. The bar only retails for $4.99.
Image via Wonderfully Natural
This is the most expensive on the list and sells for $14.99, but Wonderfully Natural Organic African Black Soap is another OG in the black soap game. It's made with shea butter and other natural moisturizing ingredients that heal and repair damaged sensitive skin, lock in moisture, and protect skin cells. It also fights acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rashes.
Bonus: Black Soaps At Your Local African Shops
If you live near a shop that sells African goods, do yourself a favor: Go in and get some black soap. There's nothing like going straight to the source. Most times the mom and pop shops have the goods imported from Africa or soaps handmade with natural ingredients. It may cost more, but it's definitely worth the investment. So if you're someone who tends to value natural ingredients and handmade soaps, definitely hit up the mom and pop shops.
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Featured Image via Shutterstock
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- African Black Soap| Shea Moisture vs. Dudu-Osun - YouTube ›
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- The BEST African Black Soap | TheMindCatcher - YouTube ›
- 5 Best African Black Soaps (2020 Reviews) - Mom Loves Best ›
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- African Black Soap | Bulk 1lb Raw Organic Soap for ... - Amazon.com ›
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The first big leap was moving to a new city and getting settled into my new home. The next big leap? Was finding community and belonging. Moving to a new city excited me! I looked forward to having my own apartment, decorating it, and exploring what the city had to offer. I also found excitement in the thought of meeting new people and expanding my connections. When it actually came down to it, I felt nervous. I heard that making new friends as an adult can be hard because we all have different responsibilities and schedules that may not align. I knew in order for me to really feel at home in my new city, I had to create community.
Having a community of people who I can share memories with, lean on in times of need, and inspire each other is something I always valued. I took a moment to truly center in on what I desired from the new friends I would make. Then I realized it all would have to start with me. I had to be centered and confident in who I was to attract who I desired to be aligned with. As someone who moved to a new city and established quality friendships, I gathered these six tips that helped me feel grounded and create community in hopes that it will help you, too.
6 tips to start building community and making new friends in a new city:
Sean Anthony Eddy/ Getty Images
Be true to yourself
Do you know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in three words, what words would you use? In order to develop deep friendships, you must be a friend to yourself first. Know what refuels you and what zaps your energy. Self-study your habits and why you do the things you do. All this will be important to keep in mind when looking to create bonds with others. Every day there’s all kinds of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, or what you should wear. At the end of the day, the only opinion about yourself that truly matters is your own. Spend some alone time with yourself indoors or out at an event you like to truly discover who you are in this season of your life.
Pray about it
Before you step out into the world and cross paths with all kinds of people, it’s important to pray about building your community. God outlines what true friendship looks like in numerous Bible verses such as "Iron sharpens iron." - Proverbs 27:17 and “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you desire friendships that last, pray about what you seek in friendship. I remember praying for mentally stable, happy, and whole women who moved through life with abundance mindsets. Take a moment to journal about the community you want to build and then pray on it.
Go to fun events to meet people who share your interests
Most metropolitan cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Atlanta are known to have strong young professional communities and events where you can connect with others. I highly encourage you to attend events in or near your community to see what the city is like and meet people. It’s likely that the people at the event have the same interests as you, which is a great way to start a conversation. You can start by searching for events on Eventbrite or following Instagram pages that highlight events happening in your city.
Carlos Barquero/ Getty Images
Accept that you won’t be compatible with everyone you meet
While living in your new city, it’s likely you’ll meet a variety of people. Please know that everyone you meet will not bud into lasting friendships, and that’s okay! You are uniquely created and not made for everyone. Then you’ll meet people who are good for only surface-level connections, and then you’ll have your girls who you can get deep with. I think sometimes people can look down on surface-level friendships, but not everyone needs to fully know you. That’s a privilege to have and to accept within yourself. Continue to check in with yourself and be real about who you crave to spend more time with and who is nice to see for a monthly or quarterly catch-up.
Join Facebook groups & GroupMe chats
If you haven’t used Facebook in a couple of years, it’s time to dust your profile off. Facebook Groups is a great place to join online communities for people who just moved to a new city like you. Typically, you have to agree to the group’s guidelines, and then you can join. For example, you can search for groups in the Facebook app by using keywords like women, Black girl, or [the name of your city] foodies. With the GroupMe app, you’ll have to be invited to join an already existing group. While you’re out and about networking, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re in any online groups/communities they recommend you join too.
Be friendly to folks in your neighborhood
When I first moved to my new apartment, I spent the first week walking around the complex and working in the community spaces to get a better feel of it. I was able to meet people in my neighborhood, enjoy small talk, and learn more about what the community has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone and work in your apartment’s community space or a local coffee shop to connect with others.
Overall, you may feel alone in your new city, but I guarantee you’re not. There are other people experiencing living in a new city too, and all you need to do is find each other. I hope these tips help ease the nervous feelings you have about building a new community and inspire you to make a new friend today!
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