Skincare. It's the hot button topic in the beauty world and everywhere you look, there's a new product to fill our carts with both online and in store.
As brands increase their awareness surrounding "inclusion," it's important to note that many Black women deal with skin issues that individuals of other ethnic groups don't experience. So how exactly do we know what products to put our dollars towards and which ones to leave on the shelf? When all else fails, there's nothing wrong with asking for some expert help, so we called in a doctor, literally.
Dr. Tiffany Clay is a board-certified dermatologist based in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia. After struggling with skin issues ranging from pubescent acne to eczema in her early 20's, Dr. Clay now finds herself assisting others with their skin issues through general dermatology and cosmetic procedures. She also uses her platform to increase awareness surrounding skincare education. She stresses that like most health concerns, "Things don't have to be terrible for you to go to the dermatologist."
These days, it may seem as if just about everyone with clear skin and a decent social media following can be a skincare guru, but nothing beats the real, board-certified deal! Today, the doctor is in to answer all of your most-asked skincare concerns:
What is the best way for people with oily skin to manage their skin type?
COSRXAHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner, $17
Oily skin actually makes you look more youthful when you get older, so embrace that oily skin! They say that the oilier your skin is, the more plump your skin will become [as you age], which reduces wrinkle production. If you're more on the oily side, use products that are more clarifying and will keep you at a good pH balance.
Sometimes the thought is that if the skin is oilier, you want to dry it out, but your skin is going to realize that and produce more oil for you. Try not to go overboard with products that are going to make your skin feel squeaky clean; I recommend using a cleanser or toner that has a BHA and AHA, which will unclog the pores and remove the excess oil left on the skin.
Is there truly a way to minimize large pores?
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum, $90
Pores are a function of the structure for the rest of the skin, so you need healthy, plump skin to hold your pores together so they're not "looser," which makes them appears wider. As we age, the pores lose their structure by not being held up by the rest of the skin and that happens from day to day sun damage, not wearing sunscreen, and losing our collagen, which is one of the components that keeps our skin nice and tight.
When that happens, all of this breaks down our collagen then we realize our pores are wide. Also, make sure your pores are decongested from oil and dirt. You can do this by getting facials, extractions, or at home by using those acids like Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and Hyaluronic Acid (HA), which are going to get those different components out of the pore. Then, you want to do something that's going to start to build up the skin structure again and tighten it. For this, there are Retinoids, which are Vitamin A derived creams and gels that you typically apply at night that helps you build new collagen in your skin.
What would you say is the best remedy for dark marks, acne scar, and hyperpigmentation?
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30, $18.99
Number one is always use sunscreen. As women of color, we aren't accustomed to wearing sunscreen and think we don't need sunscreen because we have melanin to protect our skin. But when we sit in the car and walk around outside, just those short few minutes that we're exposed to ultraviolet light can actually make our dark marks darker or make them not resolve as quickly as they could. You can't fade something if you're allowing it continuously get darker. So again, sunscreen! It's definitely a hard habit to get into but it's worth it. Also, don't pick your pimple. The short-term relief of it could resolute in the long-term effect of a dark spot.
There's this fad where people are using Apple Cider Vinegar, lemon juice, and toothpaste [on their face]. We don't think about it but a lot of these products are acidic and I haven't seen the cases where it works; I've only seen the cases where people come in with chemical burns on their dark spot or pimple and now we have even more hyperpigmentation to remove from the results of damaged skin. Lastly, if it's something that you're struggling with alone, just see a doctor because we could make it more manageable and clear it up faster than if you did it alone.
What sunscreen would you recommend for WOC?
EltaMD UV ClearBroad-Spectrum SPF 46
You always want to have a sunscreen that's an SPF 30 or higher. One of my favorite oil-free sunscreens is by EltaMD called UV Clear Broad-Spectrum. It's actually made for people with acne and hyperpigmentation. Another good one is CeraVe Ultra-Light Face Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30, which is really thin and light. For someone who needed something a little richer, Revision Multi-Protection Broad-Spectrum, and [it's] on the higher-end with built in anti-aging antioxidants.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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Aley Arion is a writer and digital storyteller from the South, currently living in sunny Los Angeles. Her site, yagirlaley.com, serves as a digital diary to document personal essays, cultural commentary, and her insights into the Black Millennial experience. Follow her at @yagirlaley on all platforms!
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Gemini Woman And Leo Man Love Compatibility
The love compatibility between a Gemini woman and a Leo man is like fireworks going off. You are either in complete awe of the magic that is standing in front of you or asking yourself what all the commotion is. A Gemini and Leo relationship is the couple that stands out in a room, and they are a social bunch. They love to do things together to experience life to the fullest, and they are often grabbing the attention of others.
This is the type of couple to make new friends wherever they go and truly enjoy being in each other’s company. Life will never be dull in this relationship, and if they can get over ego clashes and the need to control, there will be more things keeping this relationship together rather than apart.
What attracts a Gemini woman and a Leo man to each other?
The Gemini woman is attracted to the Leo man's confident demeanor, and Leo is attracted to Gemini's charm. These two are the social butterflies in any setting, so they are often in the same places for a meeting to occur. They have a lot of similarities and interests, a similar sense of humor, and joy for life. The Gemini woman loves to be intrigued and will have no problem getting to know the Leo man. Leo loves to be noticed and well-received and will feel a sense of endearment when it comes to Gemini's keen eye and curiosity toward them.
The Leo man can grab the attention of just about anyone, but can anyone grab the attention of the Leo man? The Gemini woman can. The Gemini woman is not just stunning, but she is also a little unusual, with a high intellect and enough layers to make a Leo man want to know more. Some may warn Leo about the Gemini woman and how he is about to be on a big adventure by diving into this relationship, but Leo doesn't care and has never feared anything, anyway.
What is the relationship like between a Gemini woman and a Leo man?
This is a relationship that can make it long-term if they are both willing to commit and put the work in. Gemini and Leo have instant chemistry, flirtatious energy, and there is a natural spark here. They are the type to not shy away from PDA and are not afraid to express how they are feeling about the relationship. They are open, outgoing, and will love to have fun together and experience life together.
However, both of these signs are high-energy, and at times, energies can clash. Gemini is often in their mind, and Leo is often in their heart (or their pride). Leo will want a type of devotion that Gemini may not be willing to give. It’s hard to grab the attention of the Gemini woman for long because they are always finding new interests and putting their attention elsewhere. After a while, this can feel like the absolute worse for the Leo man, who needs to feel their light is received and appreciated. If Leo is willing to communicate how they are feeling and not expect Gemini to be a mind-reader, and if Gemini is willing to commit to the relationship, this can be a beautiful partnership.
What is the sex like between a Gemini woman and a Leo man?
The sexual chemistry between a Gemini woman and a Leo man is off the charts. These two are adventurous when it comes to this area of life, and they often incline toward doing the deed in more unusual or unique places other than the bed as well. They encourage spontaneity and adventure in each other and have a lot of fun in this relationship. This is not the type of couple to judge each other romantically, and there are no rules or restrictions in the bedroom for them. They both deeply desire passion and excitement and go about their life looking to feel something. Together, they create a safe atmosphere to be vulnerable, to be fun, and most importantly, to be free.
What makes a relationship between a Gemini woman and a Leo man work?
What makes a relationship work between a Gemini woman and a Leo man is their love for life. They both tend to have a more optimistic view of the world and coming together, they can share that vision and enjoy a fun life together. This isn't the type of couple to get bored with each other easily. They also value their independence enough to where they have the necessary breathing room they both need in a relationship to be happy.
Gemini is on a constant quest for inspiration, and Leo inspires Gemini. Personality-wise, this is a great fit in Astrology. Some zodiac signs coming together can bring out the worst in each other, but when it comes to Gemini and Leo, they tend to bring out the more exciting and happy sides of each other. Leo's loyalty makes Gemini feel safe enough to be herself, whereas some of her other partners may have made her feel like she was too weird or quirky for them. Gemini's sense of adventure and curiosity for the world keeps Leo's heart beating, and this is the type of passion Leo looks for in all their relationships.
What may cause a Gemini woman and a Leo man to break up?
Challenges may arise in this relationship when it comes to ego clashes, commitment, and respect. The Leo man needs his ego fed more than the Gemini woman feels comfortable giving, and the Leo man will often crave more devotion in the relationship. The Gemini woman may start to feel controlled by Leo's bold and dominant energy and like they are going against some of their personal values and interests, which is an absolute deal-breaker for Gemini. The Gemini woman doesn't have a problem committing, but she will not be forced into it. This is the type of couple to rebel against each other if things go south, and they can create more separation than connection if it goes too far.
The Leo man will have to let Gemini be herself while trusting that she will respect the relationship while doing so. Gemini is a mutable sign that will often want to switch things up and doesn't mind change. Leo, being a fixed sign, doesn't do as well when it comes to change, and his stubbornness may get in the way of growth in the relationship. The Gemini woman may shake things up in the relationship just for the fun of it, and the Leo man will find this energy distasteful after a while. This won't be a traditional relationship with traditional gender roles, and they must be willing to learn and grow with each other rather than challenge each other's need to make things work here.
All in all, this is the type of relationship that others look at in public and wish they had something like it. There is something exciting about this connection, and the fun they have together is contagious- you can literally see the spark between these two. Being that both of these signs have a child-like demeanor, this relationship heals their inner child and awakens a part of them they’ve felt like they had to hide in previous relationships.
Geminis, in general, are not always the easiest partner to have or to get to settle down, but if anyone is going to be able to do that, it’s going to be a Leo. If they meet at the right time in their lives and have mutual respect for each other and the relationship, this has all of the potential to work out for both of them.
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