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.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images