At the tender age of 29, I discovered the world of skincare after complaining to a coworker of excessively oily skin. Her list of suggested products? A cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer in that exact order. It was that simple. Easy enough, I began using her recommendations and my life was completely changed forever. Now that I'm 31 and diving deeper into my love of beauty, I've begun to question the simplicity of my everyday regimen wondering if there's more to maintaining beautiful, healthy, and youthful-looking skin.
We all know Black doesn't crack but when reading up on beauty trends, many online experts suggest that every woman over 30 needs specific products to fight against fine lines and wrinkles. To maintain perfectly smooth glowing skin after a certain age, if it's not eye cream, then it's a specific product or procedure that could cost more than what I'm willing to pay for anti-aging effects. I decided to get the real tea on skincare needs for Black women over 30.
I spoke with beauty expert Eden Gilliam, an esthetician with 11 years of experience in the beauty industry and founder of EVE MILAN, a Black woman-owned skincare company based in New York City.
Courtesy of Eve Milan
"I like to stay away from adding a bunch of extra products into a person's skincare routine that they're not going to commit to. Too many steps ultimately lead to becoming so frustrated that you're not going to do much of anything." Eden states. "For example, the area around your eyes is more delicate of course, it's the thinnest skin you have so it may need more attention as you age. However, if you have a nice hydrating serum like hyaluronic acid that's already in your daily routine, then you can definitely get away with using that on your under-eye skin. For people that like to keep it natural, using shea butter also keeps that area hydrated."
Her point? "Keep your routine simple."
After working hands-on with clients, Eden identified common skincare struggles which led her to create a line of products designed to restore confidence and a healthy glow no matter one's age. She explains, "There isn't anything that a three-step system can't solve." With age comes responsibility and a quick morning and nighttime routine are extremely effective when balancing healthy skin and busy life. "It should only take 10 minutes of your time, knowing exactly what you're doing and feeling confident in your routine."
"When it comes to the products we offer, like our best-selling 'Simplicity Set,' it's a hydrating cleanser, gentle exfoliant in the form of pads and a serum."
Courtesy of Eve Milan
Every routine starts off with a cleanser. Eden suggests tackling your skincare basics with a nourishing cleanser that balances oil production while delivering a deep clean.
Courtesy of Eve Milan
Recently introduced to the process of exfoliation, when speaking with Eden I learned how instrumental this process is for aging skin. "Exfoliating as you get older is going to be the foundation of any skincare routine. You have to exfoliate. As we age, our skin turnover rate starts to slow down and it's not renewing itself as fast as it used to. That's how you get clogged pores, fine lines, and wrinkles, even dry skin. When exfoliating, that allows the remaining products you apply to be more effective."
When asked what's the difference between an exfoliant and a toner, Eden explains, "A toner completes the cleaning process which is why it's used after a cleanser but exfoliants dissolve the glue that holds your skin cells intact. You want these skin cells to regenerate like they used to."
"A chemical exfoliant, which I believe every Black woman should be using, not a scrub (physical exfoliant), penetrates into the skin and keeps working throughout the day. It also increases your skin turnover and helps with appearing how it was in your teens and 20s."
Another tip when using the enzyme exfoliating pads, you can use [them] on your face, neck, chest, anywhere on your body, even your bikini area when suffering from ingrown hairs. Take care of all areas and achieve a head-to-toe glow by getting the most out of your products. Don't neglect the rest of your body by focusing solely on your face while other areas suffer from dry, cracked skin.
Courtesy of Eve Milan
To complete the 3-step system, Eve Milan's Reset Serum is the perfect universal hydrating formula created for skin types. Doubling as a moisturizer, this is the final step to securing fresh and rejuvenated skin. Eden shares, "If you are going to invest money in anything skincare-wise, you'll want a serum." For a hydrating, vitamin-rich product, the Reset Serum soaks into the skin with healing ingredients like Gotu kola, niacinamide, and ceramides which provide you with anti-aging benefits. Whether oily or dry skin, this hydrating serum is for everyone.
"Asking whether a hydrating serum is for dry skin only is like asking if a person needs water. Your skin needs water, not oil. One of the main things that African-American women deal with is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which is brown spots resulting in the lack of hydration. No matter your skin type, you need products that add water to the skin and keep it in there."
Aside from the 3-step process, Eden also shares the importance of good health and probiotics when it comes to healthy skin. She adds, "One thing I tell my clients, we need to take vitamins. Skincare is what you are eating and the vitamins you are taking. Ask yourself what you are eating and drinking. Like caffeine, is it helping you or causing more problems?"
Without the use of harsh chemicals, Eve Milan's mission is to get customers to feel comfortable in their own skin. All the products are made free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, artificial color, and fragrance to limit your exposure to toxins.
To get your beauty fix and to stay up to date with the latest trends, check out the xoNecole Beauty section here.
Featured image by Getty Images
- Alicia Keys Nighttime Skincare Routine - xoNecole: Women's ... ›
- Kela Walker On Her Skincare Routine - xoNecole: Women's Interest ... ›
- This Is Why Your Skincare Routine Isn't Working - xoNecole ... ›
- Upgrade Your Skincare Routine With Niacinamide - xoNecole ... ›
- Nine Regular Beauty Maintenance Routines You Need In Your Rotation - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Here's the Best Way to Wash Your Body - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
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.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Giphy