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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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
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Reginae Carter Opens Up About Dating And Why She Puts Herself First
Actress, reality star and entrepreneur Reginae Carter has demonstrated that she isn't afraid to speak her mind on a wide range of subjects, including dating and relationships.
In the past, the reason why Carter, the daughter of Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter and Toya Johnson-Rushing, has been vocal stems from her numerous high-profile unions—the 24-year-old previously dated rapper YFN Lucci on and off from 2018 to 2021. In recent years, Carter has been romantically linked to YouTuber Armon Warren.
To date, the current status of her relationship with Warren is unclear because Carter has since removed what appears to be all the posts, including the singer, on social media. Despite that, Carter was open to discussing dating and the topic of placeholding when she recently sat down with Revolt's Black Girls Stuff hosts.
According to Goalcast, a placeholder occurs when an individual non-exclusively dates someone for an extended period as they "wait for the one." In the May interview, Carter shared her insights on celebrity relationships and why she refuses to settle.
Reginae On Relationships
During the conversation, Carter shared that many people view placeholding as a way that benefits one person.
The Boxed In star claimed that despite the difference of opinion, she considers it beneficial for both parties in terms of celebrity dating because the couple could be placed holding each other for a come-up.
"Some people are looking at placeholding as if like you know you're benefiting off of them or they benefit off of you. Like, say, many celebrity relationships, I feel like they placehold each other to get up or get on top or clout chase," she said.
However, Carter added how "industry relationships" could be detrimental to the person being used as a placeholder. Carter revealed that the individual being used may feel like their time was wasted.
"It's a lot of industry relationships where they go to the 'it' girls when it's probably like a girl they've been messing with for a long time," she stated. "That girl may feel like, 'Damn, I was placeholding, just for you to go get a more lit b--h.'"
Reginae On Being A Placeholder And Not Settling In Relationships
As the discussion transitioned to if she ever had someone in a placeholder position, Carter said that because she is "a fairy tale lover," the only people she has been romantically linked to are those she considered special.
"I don't think I placehold. I'm like a fairy tale lover, and I just love. So I feel if you ever came close to even getting a place to hold, I guess, you are really something," she explained.
When the topic of men having placeholders out of fear of being alone came up, the Terror Lake Drive star expressed that although she doesn't believe that all "men cheat," she shared that some have placeholders for specific things like sex and companionship because women allow it.
"My opinion is, I feel like not every man cheat. But I feel like every man got a little placeholder that they can call up, and they holding some place," she said. "They might be holding the ‘Oh, I just sleep with you place.' Or they might be holding the wife one, because we allow that. We allow men to do that."
Carter wrapped up the interview by saying that she refuses to be in that predicament because of the amount of love she has for herself, and if it ever happened to her, she would leave.
"If somebody makes us mad or we find out, like 'no baby, you gone, bye.' I know me. I'm not about to keep letting you come... It's too much. I don't play about me.
“So it's like, I know you sleeping around, I'm not about to let you sleep in this bed," she stated.
Reginae Carter on Relationships, Placeholders, and Growth | Black Girl Stuff
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