OK so, every season, without fail, our skin needs a little tweaking when it comes to our skincare routine. And now that things are finally at the point where we wake up and there is frost on our car windows and we need to put an extra blanket on our bed at night, I thought I would share a list of 10 things that your skin is really needing you to take note of right now, so that it remains looking fresh, soft and beautiful all fall and winter long.
All of these tips are affordable. All of them are easy to implement. And all of these are proven to be highly effective as well. So, definitely make sure to treat your skin to them, OK? Cool (no pun intended).
With inclement winter weather comes cold temps, brisk winds, and all kinds of other stuff that can take your skin all the way through there. Something that can help to protect it is beeswax (a kind of wax that is literally created by honeybees). That's because it contains properties that can help to provide a protective layer on your skin. Plus, it acts as a humectant which means that beeswax is capable of pulling moisture out of the air so that your skin doesn't become too dry. This is especially good to know if you're someone who struggles with chapped lips during this time of the year or you have a skin condition like psoriasis. If you want to learn how to make your own face cream out of beeswax, go here. For a lip balm recipe, go here.
Until I went to college, when it came to my education, I was around white folks most of the time. And chile, if there's one thing that they literally lived to do, it was going snow skiing in their swimsuits. It might sound crazy but whenever they came to school that following Monday, they always had a really deep tan.
My biggest takeaway from that was UV rays don't stop doing their thing just because there may be a drop in temperature. This is why it's important to still wear sunscreen; especially if you know that you're going to be outdoors for more than 30 minutes or so. In fact, whether you realize it or not, the sun reflecting on the snow can actually intensify the rays. So, if you don't have a fresh bottle or tube of sunscreen in your house, now is a good of a time as any to get yourself one (check out "Here Are 10 Black Girl-Friendly Sunscreens That Will Keep You Glowing This Spring").
3. Rosemary Oil
Two of the best things that have ever happened to my skin are sulfur soap (it's a really great skin exfoliant and a way to even out your skin tone) and rosemary oil. As far as beauty goes, rosemary oil is really good for your hair because it can stimulate growth, kill fungi and bacteria that may irritate your scalp, and help to prevent hair loss. Skin-wise, it's bomb because it helps to increase blood circulation, reduce stress, hydrate your skin, balance out how much sebum your skin produces and, because of the antibacterial properties that it contains, rosemary oil can also help to fight and even prevent breakouts from occurring. Plus, it gives your skin a natural radiant glow. I'm telling you, if you're looking for an oil that will help to keep your skin looking and feeling super smooth, rosemary oil never disappoints.
4. DIY Hyaluronic Acid Serum
A couple of years ago, when I wrote the article "All-Natural Ways To Keep Your Skin Super Soft This Fall & Winter" for the platform, something that I mentioned was the importance of making your own hyaluronic acid serum. Today, I'm circling back to that because it can't be stressed enough, just how much this kind of acid can help to boost collagen production (which can help to keep your skin looking fresh and youthful) and how essential putting some type of serum on your skin is too. As far as serums go, because they are lighter than standard moisturizers, they aren't as likely to clog up your pores. Plus, they tend to be filled with concentrated ingredients that are able to penetrate your skin a lot faster. So, if you're looking for a way to reduce dullness and discoloration, especially as your face and neck are concerned, serums are awesome — whether you go the DIY route (there's a recipe for it here) or choose to pick one up from a drugstore or cosmetics counter.
5. A Jojoba and Grapeseed Oil Blend
If you're someone who wants to "spoil" your skin by either pouring some oil into your bathwater or putting some on before heading to bed, you really can't go wrong with a jojoba and grapeseed oil combo. Jojoba oil is good for your skin because it contains antibacterial properties, antioxidants and it's hypoallergenic; plus, it's the kind of oil that controls sebum production, promotes collagen synthesis, and deeply nourishes dry skin. Grapeseed oil pampers your skin because it's packed with linoleic acid and vitamin E that will deeply condition your skin and protect it from environmental damage. Also, grapeseed oil helps to fight acne, reduce inflammation and minimize fine lines and wrinkles too. So, I'm sure you can see why/how blending these two together creates an unstoppable beauty blend.
6. Cream-Based Cleansers and Cosmetics
If there's one word that you need to hold near and dear to your heart as far as skincare goes right through here, it's "cream." Creams are a thicker version of cleansers and cosmetics which can be a good thing when it comes to caring for your skin when it's colder outside. A cream-based cleanser will help to hydrate your skin. A cream-based moisturizer at night time can help to replace the moisture that your skin may have lost throughout the day. And, as far as make-up goes, a cream-based concealer or foundation (for example) can help to keep your skin looking dewy (which is always attractive) instead of dull and dry.
7. Herbal Tea Rinse
I grew up with a mother who drank quite a bit of herbal tea, so it's always something that's been a part of my health routine on some level (check out "10 'Uncommon' Teas You Should Add To Your Stash (& Why)" and "8 Teas That Are Really Good For Your Vaginal Health"). As far as your skin goes, treating it to an herbal tea rinse once a week can be great because a lot of herbs contain nutrients, amino acids, and catechins that are beneficial when it comes to slowing down the aging process. If you're new to the whole herbal tea rinse thing, some teas to start out with include white tea (it helps to rejuvenate your skin); spearmint tea (it's great at combating hormonal acne); chamomile tea (it protects skin from sun damage); rooibos (it helps to fight off free radicals) and dandelion (it's a top-tier detoxifier).
Just put a couple of tea bags into a pot of water, let the bags steep for an hour, cool, and then apply to your skin as you would a toner. You should notice results within a couple of weeks.
8. Satin Liners
Wool is a popular fabric around this time of year. It's also one that can totally dry your skin out. So, whether it's in your mittens, a sweater, or vintage wool pants, make sure there is a satin lining inside of them. That way, your skin will not dry out or become irritated. Also, make sure to thoroughly moisturize your skin before putting any wool on. Shea butter is a good move because it's rich in nutrients, contains anti-inflammatory properties and it's literally able to boost your skin's moisture levels.
9. Shorter Showers
If nothing brings you more joy than putting on some slow jams and standing in a hot shower until at least half of an album plays out, believe you me, I totally get it. Still, if you want your skin to remain soft and smooth, that is not the route for you. The reality is that hot water zaps moisture. That's why it's best to spend no more than 10 minutes in the shower and, when you do, that the temp is lukewarm at best (sorry). Also, make sure that you "seal your skin" once you get out. Basically, that consists of putting some type of carrier oil (like jojoba, sweet almond, avocado, coconut, black seed, argan, or rosehip), so that it can "lock in" the water, so that your skin remains hydrated longer.
10. A Lower Thermostat
Something else that I grew up being used to is a house that was on the cooler side, even during the fall and winter seasons. While sometimes it irked me to constantly need socks and a blanket, I get that 1) lower temperatures help to keep energy bills from getting totally out of control and 2) cold is what helps to keep germs from multiplying and getting totally out of hand. Know what else? When you keep the rooms of your house somewhere between 65-72 degrees, that keeps the dry heat from your HVAC from drying out your skin and lips; especially if you turn on a humidifier at night. All good reasons to make sure that your thermostat gets nowhere close to 80. Make sure that you do. Your skin is literally begging you to.
Featured image by Getty Images
- These Foods Will Give Your Skin & Hair The Moisture They Crave ›
- 10 Hot Drinks To Keep You Warm This Fall & Winter ›
- 7 Herbs To Get You Through The Winter Season ›
- 7 Things You Didn't Know Were Keeping Your Lips Dry - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
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.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy