I recently read a meme that expresses my sentiments about menstrual cycles perfectly—"Periods are ridiculous. I shouldn't be punished for not being pregnant." The bloating. Ugh. The abdominal discomfort. Double ugh. The breast tenderness, irritability and trying to find the best way not to leak during the heavy days. Yuck.
Girl, and please don't get me started on one thing that frustrates me to no end—period pimples. Is it just me or does it seem like whether it's one or three zits, they always pop up in the most inconvenient-yet-obvious areas possible? Plus, 8.5 times out of 10, they leave a mark behind? (I'm getting pissed just thinking about it!)
Why is it that whether we're 20 or 40, it seems like there's no way to avoid the totally obnoxious period pimple? The medical reason is that right before (and during) our menstrual cycles, the testosterone in our body becomes higher than our estrogen levels. When this happens, more sebum (oil) is produced, which oftentimes leads to clogged up pores and ultimately breakouts.
The bad news is there isn't much you can do to prevent this from happening. The good news is, there are steps you can take in order to make coping with this totally sucky part of your cycle a lot easier to bear.
7 Natural Remedies To Treat Hormonal Acne
1.Eat Foods That’ll Balance Out Your HormonesGiphy
First things first. Since we already know that our hormones are all over the place in the days leading up to our period, it's a good idea to eat foods that will help to balance our testosterone and estrogen levels out.
Some of those include clean proteins like quinoa and wild caught fish; healthy fats like avocados and raw butter; foods loaded with antioxidants like leafy greens and berries and healing spices including cinnamon, garlic, ginger, cumin and turmeric (although it's best to consume turmeric in moderation because it can also increase blood flow during your cycle).
2.Drink More Water. Drink Less Alcohol.
Something that tends to happen when we're PMS'ing is we get dehydrated. When that happens, one of the outcomes is more toxins running through our system. The more toxins, the more likely we are to experience breakouts. That's why it's a really good idea to up your water intake the week before and the week of your period. Something that's even better is to make some of your own infused water. It tastes great and can give you some additional nutrients too (there are some delicious recipes here).
On the flip side, something you should drink less of (even if your body seems to crave it more) is any form of alcohol. For one thing, it's a diuretic (it makes you excrete water faster). Also, there are several studies pointing to the fact that consuming alcohol is a surefire way to put your hormones on a roller coaster ride. And, as we've already discussed, imbalanced hormones are the main cause of period pimples.
3.Do a Parsley Spot Treatment
Beyond it being a garnish for our food, a lot of us don't give parsley much thought. It's too bad too because it's a food that's a pretty powerful antioxidant. Parsley contains vitamins A, B, C, and K. It also contains the flavonoid apigenin that helps to reduce our cancer risk, along with the volatile oil eugenol that reduces body inflammation. Plus, parsley strengthens our immune system and protects our blood vessels.
Since parsley is so good at reducing inflammation, it makes sense that it would be a great treatment for breakouts. All you need to do is combine 4-5 branches of parsley with 5-7 drops of fresh lemon juice, a half-teaspoon of olive oil, half-teaspoon of raw honey and 2-3 slices of cucumber. Take a spoon and mush everything together until it turns into a paste. Then, on your freshly washed face, dab a cotton ball into the solution and apply it directly onto your pimples. Let it sit for 15 minutes and rinse with cool water. It will dry out your breakouts without drying out the rest of your skin in the process.
4.Apply a Charcoal MaskSkincare Brighten Up GIF by Vasanti CosmeticsGiphy
Activated charcoal is one of the best ways to rid your body of toxins and chemicals. It's so powerful that it's oftentimes prescribed for food poisoning and even drug overdoses. Whether you're looking to get rid of gas, a hangover or to heal your kidneys and liver, you can't go wrong with this product (just make sure that the packaging confirms that it's made from coconut shells or woods made from ultra-fine grains; otherwise, you might not get all of charcoal's benefits).
Because activated charcoal detoxifies so well, it's one more all-natural way to get rid of your period pimples. It opens up your pores, pulls out all of the "gunk" and helps to heal your skin so that your blemishes won't be quite as noticeable. Also, it does all of this without drying your skin out too. If you'd like a step-by-step recipe on how to make your own charcoal mask, this YouTube video will walk you through the process.
5.Try a Tea Bag to Reduce Inflammation
Whether you're trying to bring a period pimple to a head or you messed with it before it was ready (meaning, before it had a head) and now it's bigger and more inflamed than ever, something that can help to reduce a pimple's redness and size while speeding up its healing process is to place a warm herbal tea bag over it.
The heat from the bag will open up your pores. The herbs contain tannins that help to treat and heal the zit (black tea bags are best, tannin-wise). I like the tea bag approach because I've noticed that it helps to decrease my chances of having a long-term acne scar once the pimple has gone down and that's always a win.
6.Use Potato Juice, Honey and/or Carrot Seed Oil for Scarsrosh hashana satisfying GIFGiphy
The only thing worse than a zit is the mark that it leaves behind. Before applying foundation to your acne scars, first put on a little potato juice, honey and/or carrot seed oil. Potato juice contains vitamins B6 and C, potassium and niacin—all of which boosts your immune system and reduce skin inflammation; it also contains properties that can help to lighten acne marks over time. Honey contains powerful antioxidants that will heal damaged scar tissue. Plus, while your skin is in its healing stages, when you apply honey to it, it produces a hydrogen peroxide effect that aids in removing germs too (just make sure the honey is organic). And carrot seed oil? It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties in it; ones that are so powerful that it's great at healing old scars.
As far as honey and carrot seed go, all you need to do is dab a little of them (whether separately or together) on your finger and apply them to your skin before turning in at night; then rinse in the morning. If you want to learn how to make potato juice to apply to your acne scars as well, click here.
7.Take a Nap
Really…what doesn't a nap cure? When you rest, it gives your body time to rejuvenate, your skin included. Something else that sleep does is give your body the opportunity to get a dose of serotonin, which balances out your hormone levels. The more balanced they are, the healthier your skin will be.
So, try and get no less than 6-8 hours of zzz's every night. If there is a day or two that you miss, treat yourself by taking a 15-30 minute nap during the daytime hours too. Your entire body—including your period pimples and scars—will be eternally grateful.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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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