Something that I like about when a new show premieres is all of the press that happens leading up to it. Take VH1's Girls Cruise (starring Lil' Kim, Chilli, Mýa, Vena E., B. Simone, Tiffany Panhilason and Char Defrancesco) that airs tonight at 8 p.m. (EST), for example. It's been about eight years since Chilli's reality series What Chilli Wants aired (on the same network) and, I don't recall ever seeing Mýa on a reality show before. So yeah, it's been a pleasant surprise to see them making their media rounds.
Over the weekend, something that I caught was a VH1 promo that featured Chilli and Mýa. At first glance, I thought to myself, "For Chilli to be 48 and Mya to be turning 40 this fall, they are killin' the game." They really are too. Both of them appear to have flawless skin, healthy hair and really good muscle tone. I was so impressed that I went back to the first TLC single ("Ain't Too Proud to Beg") when Chilli was around 21 and Mýa's first song ("It's All About Me" feat. Sisqo) when she was somewhere between 17-18 annnnd, I kid you not, neither of them look too much different than they did—wow!—over 20 years ago!
When anyone has the ability to barely age, of course, I want to know their beauty secrets. How cool is it that Chilli and Mýa took out some time to share what theirs are. Get this—virtually all of them are natural, affordable and, clearly, extremely effective.
"Some good genes and taking care of your body, your temple, that is the key right there because I have seen many Black, that cracked," Chilli mentions towards the end of the interview. "I'm not lyin'; it's the truth. So, I understand that saying but…"
Mýa agrees for the most part but adds, "I would definitely say that with darker skin, you can withstand the sun a lot longer and so…you are known for aging less and slower. But, Chilli's right. If you don't take care of yourself, or you're smokin' and drinkin' and abusin' your body, not hydrating or you know, drinkin' a lot of chemicals or eating a lot of chemicals, it's gonna show up on the outside, so take care of you..." Indeed.
That's the overall consensus from the ladies, but out of the little-over-four-minutes segment, here are some of their specific beauty takeaways that I think you might dig.
Chilli’s Beauty Secrets
"Listen, don't believe that saying when they say, 'Black don't crack.' It does crack. You have to take care of your skin…I'm a product junkie. I think that's very wise, because again, you don't know what's gonna work with your skin. Everybody's skin is a little different." Two things that Chilli are huge fans of are eye patches and drinking lots of water. Chilli also says, "And as much as I love the sun, it's really not a good idea to hang out too much in the sun."
Something else that Chilli does is use avocado on her hair. According to her, it's a really good hair mask. "Right when it turns brown and I'm like, 'I don't wanna eat it no more', you shouldn't throw it away…that's a waste. And honestly, water, water, water. If you stay super-hydrated, your skin…that pH balance is everything. It makes a huge difference in the body because…you want your body to be less acidic and more alkaline."
Mýa’s Beauty Secrets
"I am really into natural remedies to maintain the glow," shares Mýa. "I started with cucumbers on my eyes…I'm vegan, and so I believe, like, what you put in your body definitely affects your skin." Mya also notes that she doesn't drink alcohol but will make an exception for red wine due to the antioxidants that are in it.
Something else Mýa does is make her own peels out of fruits and vegetables. She also uses coconut oil as her make-up remover. "For masks, tightening, like I just use pure avocado and even mango," says Mýa. "It gives you a nice tightening and moisture." When Chilli asks if she makes a puree out of the food, Mýa shakes her head from side to side and says, "Nope. Straight from the peel. I take the avocado out of its little dish, mix it up and that's it. Even mango peels, I use the inside of the mango peel, where the mango residue is left over and it tightens your face." Mýa is also a fan of using shea butter as a sunblock and skin moisturizer.
As I was listening to these two beautiful women break their beauty regimens down, I didn't take lightly what they shouted out. If cucumbers and mangos have them lookin' like that, I wanted to make sure that I—and you—knew more about what we could get out of them. Here's what I discovered.
If you're feeling drained, irritable or constipated, it just might be that you are dehydrated. If so, you're not alone either because, while our bodies consist of over 60 percent water, a whopping 75 percent of us are not only dehydrated, we are chronically dehydrated.
Something that both Chilli and Mýa sang the praises of was drinking plenty of water. It removes toxins, boosts energy levels, increases mental productivity, keeps joints feeling good and is even known to treat and prevent headaches and migraines.
And just what kind of water should you drink to get the most benefits? Reverse osmosis water literally uses reverse osmosis to remove most contaminants from the water. Word on the street is it's so pure that you can try and freeze it and it won't. Distilled water is a blander form, taste-wise, of reverse osmosis. Something to keep in mind with these is if you're not feeling well or you're fasting, they can be good options. But as far as drinking them every day, purified water doesn't only lack contaminants but minerals too; so, they might not need to be your daily go-to option.
Also, remember how Chilli said that it's important that your body is more alkaline than acidic? A type of water that will help to keep your pH levels in check is alkaline water. Because it has a higher pH balance than tap water, some believe that it is able to neutralize the acid in your system. Then there is spring water. Although it is marketed as being "natural", that's very similar to how "organic" is oftentimes misused for marketing purposes. Meaning, if you do decide to go with spring, do some research on the company that sells it before shelling out your cash. Also, read articles like "The Truth About Tap". Sometimes, you're better off just putting a filter on your faucet than buying or drinking bottled water (did you read about how arsenic is in some brands?!).
Oh, and if you're like me and you're not the biggest water fan or, worse, you tend to drink more soda than water (something that Chilli and Mýa say is an absolute no-no), perk the water up by making some infused water or drinking some sparkling or mineral water with a dash of juice in it. Not too much juice though, because they have recently linked consuming too much of that to cancer. SMDH.
Something else that both Chilli and Mýa are fans of is the fruit avocado. As far as your insides go, avocados are loaded with Vitamin K and also have a good amount of vitamins B5, B6 and C, folate and potassium (more than a banana, in fact). Something else that's awesome about avocados is they don't have any cholesterol or sodium in them, and they are low in saturated fat. Some other benefits include the fact that they are able to keep your heart healthy, the fiber in them can keep you regular, plus they are able to lower your cholesterol and help your body to better absorb nutrients from plant-based foods.
One of the reasons why avocados are so good for your hair and skin is because they've also got plenty of antioxidants in them. If you want to try them as a DIY hair mask, simply mix one ripe avocado with two tablespoons of grapeseed oil, two tablespoons of raw honey and five drops of lavender essential. Mix everything together until the texture is smooth and creamy. Then apply the mixture to your freshly-washed damp hair. Let it sit (with a plastic bag on your head) for 30 minutes and rinse with warm, then cool water (to seal your hair's cuticles). Your tresses should feel really soft right after.
A food that is made up of more than 90 percent water is the cucumber. So yeah, if you're dehydrated, snacking on one of these (with a little bit of vinegar or sea salt) can get you some of the fluid that your body needs. Cucumbers also have a ton of Vitamin K in them, as well as Vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, manganese, potassium and even two grams of protein. Since cucumbers have so much water in them, they are a low-calorie food; this means they are great if you want to snack on something while you're trying to shed a few pounds. Cucumbers can also help to reduce blood sugar levels, detoxify your system and soothe muscle and joint pain.
Why do so many people put them on their eyes? Thank the combo of the Vitamin C and silica that's in cucumbers. Vitamin C helps to reduce inflammation. Silica is a mineral that heals the skin; it also makes hair and nails strong and shiny too.
If you want your skin to look dewy and youthful, try making some of your own cucumber mist. It's pretty easy to do, but probably easier to understand if you watched it being made. You can check out a video here.
It looks like you're reading this just in time because, although you might see mangos in your produce department year-round, they are actually at their peak from February until right around now (mid-July). Aside from how absolutely delicious mangos taste, they also contain a high amount of Vitamin C and copper (something you need more of if you're experiencing any premature greying). Mangos also have vitamins A, B5 and B6, E and K, along with potassium, manganese, magnesium, folate, niacin and fiber in them. All of these nutrients work together to boost your immunity, strengthen your eyes, increase your digestive health and lower your cancer risk.
The antioxidants in mangos will help to produce more collagen in your system so that you can have healthy hair and glowing skin. Take advantage of the properties in this particular fruit by combining four tablespoons of mango pulp with one teaspoon of raw honey and two teaspoons of sweet almond oil. Mix everything well and put it all on your clean face and neck for 15 minutes. Then rinse with cool water. If you do this once a week, you might be able to give Mýa a run for her money!
Something that used to be an annual ritual for me was getting a big container of shea butter at the local African Street Festival. Now I buy mine on Etsy and, all these years later, if there's one thing that I think every Black woman should have in her possession, it's this. Shea butter is considered to be a "skin superfood" and rightfully so because it contains vitamins A, E and F, and oleic, linoleic, and stearic acids. Together, these properties deeply moisturize your skin; reduce any skin inflammation; minimize breakouts; soften the appearance of acne scars; protect the skin from UV rays (just like Mýa said); reduce the appearance of stretch marks; increase skin elasticity and make your lips extremely kissable. Just make sure to look for some raw and unrefined Grade A shea butter. Trust me, not all shea butters are one in the same.
If you want to make some of your own sparkling shea butter lip balm, this video will walk you through how to do it.
As you can see, Chilli and Mýa said more than a mouthful when they broke down some of their beauty secrets to us. So, next time you're at the grocery store, pick some of these items up. When it comes to looking radiant and beautiful, these foods (and the shea butter) definitely have your back. Chilli and Mýa have the looks to prove it.
Watch the clip in full here.
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Feature image from Vh1