It's January and we've been here before. You know how it is—the entire month is all about starting anew and figuring out what the trends for the new year are. Well, when it comes to our skin, I happened upon a few that I actually like a lot because they can easily be added to any woman's skincare regimen.
Are you ready to tweak a few things so that your skin can be healthy and glowing in 2021? If so, here are seven skincare trends to keep in mind.
1. "Mask Pampering"
You probably looked at this first one and thought, "What the heck is 'mask pampering'?" Oh, but if you sit on it for just a sec, I bet you can figure it out. While there now is a vaccine available, I think it's interesting that a lot of people believe that 1) a vaccine is a cure for COVID-19 and 2) that a lot of medical professionals (including Dr. Fauci) don't think that wearing a mask should be mandated for quite some time (layers, right?) when that couldn't be further from the truth. A vaccine may potentially make you less susceptible to the virus; however, precautions still must be taken. For the time being, this includes wearing a mask.
When it comes to your skincare routine, while on one hand, this means that you can probably keep the foundation that you typically wear in your bathroom drawer for even longer, constantly keeping a piece of cloth around your face can still make you prone to breakouts, if you're not careful.
The way to decrease the chances of this happening is to wash your reusable mask(s), no less than every other day (the CDC offers tips on how to do that here). Another tip is to be sensitive to keeping the pH balance of your skin in check; that will help to reduce pimples too. You can do this by avoiding bar soap (its pH is usually somewhere around 12) and looking for a cleanser that is somewhere between 4-6. One that fits these criteria is COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. Also, it's important to wash your face (and body) in water that isn't too hot because, as good as hot water feels, that also can throw your pH levels off).
Make sure that you keep your face (and neck) thoroughly moisturized throughout the day too. One way to do that is to make your own face mist; one that you can carry around in your car or purse, any time you feel like your skin needs a little extra hydration.
2. Scalp Detoxification
It's always important to remember that your scalp is also a part of your skin. In fact, failing to pamper your scalp plays a direct role in how much your hair does—or doesn't—flourish. That said, if you tend to wear a lot of product, only wash your hair 1-2 times a month (which isn't a bad thing; shampooing more than that can actually strip your hair of its natural oils and ultimately lead to breakage), notice thinning or hair loss in some areas, your scalp is itchy or irritated, or even that you're getting more headaches than usual (which could be the result of bacterial growth), it's time to do some scalp purification. Luckily, this was covered on our platform last year. You can get tips on how to do it by checking out "Treat Your Scalp To A Little Bit Of Detoxing This Weekend".
3. Hand Care
It's kind of crazy that, with as much as we use our hands, we typically don't give them as much TLC as we should. And while I know a lot of us think that Black don't crack (it actually can if you don't take good care of your skin), two parts of your body that can actually cause you to look older faster are your neck and your hands. As far as your hands go, this is why it's imperative that you exfoliate your hands (they've got dead skin cells on them too; a homemade brown sugar scrub will do); that you also moisturize them during the day and night (I personally apply shea butter to mine); that you apply sunscreen (during the summer months); that you wear plastic gloves when you're washing dishes, and that you wear leather gloves during the winter season in order to protect them from bitter cold and harsh winds.
4. Proactive Anti-Inflammation Methods
To be honest, probably one of the greatest causes of skin drama is skin inflammation. What are some signs that your skin is experiencing this? It itches a lot. It's got a scaly texture to it. It's cracking in some areas. If you notice pimples or even blisters. It's red and/or warm in any particular spot. As far as what causes our skin to become inflamed, it's actually a variety of things. Our immune system could be compromised. We could be experiencing an allergic reaction to something. It could be due to a bacterial or fungal infection. Only a medical professional can confirm what could be going on.
Depending on how severe the issue may be, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication or topical cream. However, if you want to be proactive about avoiding skin inflammation in the first place, taking colloidal oatmeal baths (it has anti-inflammatory properties and can really help to soothe your skin), managing your stress levels, and consuming anti-inflammatory foods can be really helpful. Ones that top the list are broccoli, avocados, mushrooms, grapes, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate, and tomatoes.
5. Probiotics and Prebiotics Skincare
If one of your goals for 2021 is that your skin is as blemish-free as possible, something that you should consider adding to your skincare routine are probiotics (which are good bacteria) and prebiotics (which help to keep the "good germs" that are on your skin alive and well).
You can do this by taking a probiotic and/or prebiotic supplement (you can check out a list of some of the best ones here and here). Something else that is helpful is to add more probiotic- and prebiotic-rich foods to your diet. Probiotic ones include yogurt, kefir, pickles, kombucha, as well as mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Some prebiotic ones would be garlic, bananas, onions, asparagus, oats, apples, and cocoa. As far as probiotic body washes go, Allure actually published a list of some. If you're curious, you can check it out here.
6. Digestible Collagen Supplements
Collagen is basically a protein that your body needs in order for it to get the support that it needs and for it to remain youthful-looking for years to come. Being intentional about getting more collagen into your system, can help to relieve joint pain, prevent bone loss, help your hair to grow stronger and longer, boost your muscle mass and yes—give you gorgeous skin by providing it with more elasticity and hydration. One way to get more collagen into your body is by eating foods that contain a good amount of it. Some of those are citrus fruits, berries, egg whites, chicken, veggies that are red or yellow in color, leafy greens, and cashews. However, a popular skin trend for 2021 is taking a collagen supplement. If this is the route you'd like to take, the website 10 Supplements has a list of 50 for you to choose from (check them all out here).
7. The Glow-Up
It's kind of a trip that this last one is actually a trend because, c'mon—who doesn't want glowing skin? Still, the point in 2021 is to be super intentional about making that happen by drinking more water, exfoliating, and eating foods that are rich in antioxidants (like citrus fruit, berries, kale, whole grains, fish, and beta-carotene-rich veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots, and cantaloupe), doing what you can to reduce body breakouts and, adding a little bronzer to really set your skin off. As far as bronzer goes, there are lots of 'em that you can pick up at your favorite department store or cosmetic counter. Or, if you want to make your own, it's not as hard as you think. For tips on how to do that so that you can be as radiant as ever in this new year, click here. For tips on how to properly apply highlighter to your face, click here. Glow all the way up, sis. It's literally your time to do it!
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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. ;)
How We Met is a series where xoNecole talks love and relationships with real-life couples. We learn how they met, how like turned into love, and how they make their love work.
I’m willing to bet that this is not the first time you’ve seen this couple. Dalen Spratt is a television producer, owner of a tailored men's suit line, and creator of Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests, which is currently streaming on Destination America. Stacey Spratt is also a serial entrepreneur, focusing mostly on events and the nonprofit world, and she is the owner of two award-winning craft beer bars called Harlem Hops. But their accolades are not what united them.
The couple met years ago at their alma mater, Clark Atlanta University, when they were still working to create the life they have now, and if you had told them then that they’d eventually tie the knot, the pair probably would’ve laughed in your face.
Today, they’re new parents, flourishing in their careers, and each others’ “teammates.” When desiring love, Dalen recommends not looking to other couples for advice. And Stacey advises staying true to what you want. “Don’t put age or limitations on love and children. If God could do it for me, why can’t he do it for you?”
Here's How We Met.
How did you meet?
Dalen: We met in 2005 when she was advising the Greek sororities and fraternities in college. She was old as hell in college, and I was a young buck (laughs). Everybody had a crush on her, but I didn’t think much of it. Then, in 2007, we were in the same grad school class, but she still wasn’t trying to see me then either. I had to catch her five years ago; I was very patient.
Stacey: Yeah, everybody in our grad school class called him Young, Fresh to Death because he was always dressed in B-school (what CAU affectionately refers to as business major classes), and we’d just wear sweatpants (laughs).
So, I know Dalen was always attracted to you. But what about you? Did your attraction to him develop over time?
Stacey: So 2006-2008 – all the years went by. I don’t think we were really thinking about each other at all back then. Years later, I had an event in Dallas, and I booked him to be a speaker. Then, a few years ago, Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: "If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you." But I still thought he was too young at the time, and he started pulling receipts. Taraji P. Henson was dating someone young at the time, Gabrielle Union–
Dalen: First of all, I didn’t do that. You did that.
Stacey: Okay, I did. I thought he was a cutie pie, but that age thing was on my mind!
"Dalen posted a photo of him on Instagram, and I slid in his DMs. I remembered him being so young and handsome, and I’m like, I should hook him up with my younger cousin. His response was: 'If you’re not hooking me up with you, no thank you.'"
Talk to me about the first date. How did he change your mind?
Stacey: Our first date was at Tin Lizzy's in Atlanta. During that time, he was living in Dallas, so it was long-distance. But he came into town, and we just had a good time. We talked a lot, which we still do. It wasn’t anything fantastic.
Dalen: Don’t downplay our first date.
Then, walk me through your courtship. How did you get to the next level? What was that conversation like?
Stacey: I think he knew at age 43 or 44 I wasn’t playing around. But also, I think it just naturally progressed.
Dalen: Yeah, it just happened naturally. And I’m going to be honest, I don’t think initially either one of us thought it would be as serious as it was. She thought I was too young and I wasn’t ready for marriage, kids, and all that. I think we both thought we were just hanging out. But after spending so much time together, a lot of stuff started happening. Like, she had to have surgery early on. It wasn’t just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That’s why we still don’t have an anniversary date because we never really asked.
"It wasn't just time together; it was intimate time. Next thing we know, we just never left each other. That's why we still don't have an anniversary date because we never really asked."
What made you want to commit to each other?
Dalen: The moment I knew Stacey was for me was from a phone call. I don’t really like talking on the phone, and I can be really blunt sometimes. But we were talking, and I said, ‘I don’t really feel like talking anymore.’ And she was just like, okay, and hung up. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and she understood that. It sounds bad, but that’s how I knew she just got me. I felt like she could get my random awkward moments, and she does to this day.
Stacey: For me, I liked him as a person. Even when times get rough and tough, I could still like him as a human. He is my best friend. We have time. We laugh until we cry, and it’s just always like that. Even when we get pissed at each other, something happens, and we fix it. Also, how he treats his mother. That’s a momma’s boy, but I’m a daddy’s girl – so I get it. I know how I want to be treated, and I see how he is with her and that’s beautiful.
What are some important lessons you’ve learned about yourself through loving your partner in this relationship?
Dalen: I grew up an only child and she grew up with siblings. So, when you have someone who is used to doing things by themselves, there is definitely a learning curve when you get into a serious relationship. It’s funny now, but it was definitely a process.
Stacey: I agree – definitely the only child thing. There’s times I look at him like, did you ever live with anyone else? That comes from being momma's baby, too. I have to say, my “mother-in-love” spoiled him. But also with Axel (their daughter), that brings another level of patience.
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images
What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome together?
Dalen: We’ve gone through a lot within the years we’ve been together. We suffered two miscarriages – I’d say that’s the biggest.
Stacey: Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me. I was wondering if I can’t carry [a child] what that looks like for us. We had very real conversations pretty early in our relationship.
"Having those miscarriages and trying to understand what’s next and what our options are was a lot. I had two myomectomies (fibroid surgeries), and he supported me through that time. Also, still, it was on my mind that he’s eight years younger than me."
What do you fight the most about?
Dalen: Nagging. Stacey nags; she’s a complainer. She’s that momma that will look in a room and just hunt for something to complain about. Like, I’m worried for Axel when she's in high school.
Stacey: It’s because I like things to be in place. He leaves stuff all over the place. I can tell where he’s been in the house because something is left around. So he says I’m nagging – but it’s like, just get your stuff.
What are your love languages?
Dalen: Stacey is gifts all day.
Dalen: We’ve talked about this. xoNecole is about to cause problems in our home (laughs).
Stacey: Obviously I love you. *thinks again* It’s words of affirmation.
Dalen: That’s it.
What’s your favorite thing about each other?
Dalen: I’ve always respected her business-mindedness. That may sound superficial, but it’s not because I’ve never been with someone who thinks like me. It’s one of my most treasured things about her. I remember one day, I was just running through ideas with her, and each time Stacey had a suggestion on how I could make it better. It’s just very comforting. She takes whatever I’m doing and elevates it – including me.
Stacey: I love Dalen’s hustle and creativity. He’s been on multiple shows, and he continues to create, produce, and reinvent himself and the product he’s putting out. I love that we can create together and bounce things off each other. Even though we may be in different arenas, there’s nothing he can’t offer me great advice about. I love that drive.
Finally, how did you know it was love?
Dalen: Well – she said it – first. (laughs)
Stacey: And he looked at me and smiled! He didn’t say it back. We were on a trip, out of the country.
Dalen: We were arguing when she said it, and she just threw it out.
Stacey: But we continue to do that. We’ve spent holidays and everything outside of the country.
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Porsha Williams And Simon Guobadia’s Marriage Has Ended: Here’s A Look Into Their Relationship Timeline
Porsha Williams and Simon Guobadia have called it quits.
After a 15-month-long marriage commenced with two elaborate wedding ceremonies, PEOPLEexclusively reports that the former Real Housewives of Atlanta star has filed for divorce from the Nigerian businessman on Thursday.
With online rumors around Guobadia's citizenship status coinciding with the announcement of their separation, a source informed PEOPLE that the divorce is "unrelated to recent allegations involving Simon's past" and is an “ongoing matter.”
In November 2022, the ex-lovebirds tied the knot in Atlanta during a show-stopping, 350-guest Nigerian traditional native law, with a traditional American wedding to follow.
Ahead of their wedding, Williams told PEOPLEexclusively, “I am ridiculously excited. I am just so ready. I'm not even nervous. I know I'm marrying the love of my life, and it's going to solidify our relationship and our family bond. I'm calm and excited."
Although their relationship has come to a sudden conclusion, their whirlwind romance was one to watch; or in this case, look back on. Here’s a breakdown of the moments that made Williams and Guobadia’s relationship one to remember.
2020 - Porsha and Simon's First Encounter
Porsha Williams and Simon Guobadia first crossed paths in 2020 on the set of Season 13 of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Guobadia was then married to friend of the show, Falynn Pina.
May 2021 - Their Surprise Engagement
In May 2021, Porsha Williams surprised fans by announcing her engagement to Simon Guobadia shortly after he reportedly declared his divorce from Falynn Pina. Williams shared on Instagram that their relationship started a month earlier, and Guobadia had initiated divorce proceedings in January 2021, which had been resolved.
Williams took to Instagram to dispel rumors around the overlap in Guobadia’s prior relationship.
“Our relationship began a month ago—yes we are crazy in love,” she wrote in the caption. “I know it’s fast but we are living life each day to its fullest. I choose happiness every morning and every night. Tuning out all negative energy and only focused on positive wishes.”
November 2021 - Porsha Clears Up Rumors Around Their Relationship Timeline
On an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen looked to “nail down some dates” in connection to alleged overlaps with Porsha, Simon, and his ex-wife. She shared that she reached out to Guobadia to express her sympathy for his divorce, having experienced the weight of divorce herself.
“I actually told him, ‘I’m sorry for your divorce,’ and all of that because I know what that feels like,” Williams shared. “I know what it feels like to go through betrayal and hurt.”
She continued, "A little birdie had told me that [Falynn] was pregnant, so I knew what he was about to go through." Porsha noted that his ex-wife’s pregnancy announcement prompted her to offer support to Simon, which opened a door for their connection to deepen and eventually fall in love.
November 2022 - Williams and Guobadia Tie the Knot
The couple spared no expense for their not one, but two wedding ceremonies. On Nov. 26 and Nov. 27, the two celebrated their love in front of 350 wedding guests at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The first ceremony celebrated Guobadia's Edo culture, while the following day featured a star-studded American wedding. Williams told PEOPLE that the double-wedding was a "true fashion extravaganza," as a nod to her numerous outfit changes.
November 2023 - A Diamond-Studded Declaration
To celebrate their one-year anniversary, the couple exchanged extravagant dazzling diamond rings — a stunning emerald cut for her and a stylish band for him.
February 2024 - The Two File for Divorce
Williams filed for divorce from Guobadia on Thursday, Feb. 22 2024, after nearly a half of marriage. While the cause of their divorce is still unknown, sources close to Williams confirmed that the divorce is an “ongoing matter.”
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