Beauty, Hair Care, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Hair In Progress-Spotlight on Curls

In 2020 the pandemic put trips to the hair salon for regular trims, hair coloring services, a wash, and set, or a blowout on pause. We were forced to pivot and turn our bathrooms and makeup tables into an in-home salon on the fly.  While most of us are knowledgeable when it comes to our own hair, many of us still found ourselves going through a process of trial and error when it came to finding the right products for our hair type. Moreover, age can play a factor. Many women who are north of forty and fifty plus are dealing with changes in their skin and hair as a result of hormonal fluctuations, perimenopause, and menopause.

As a black woman who is north of fifty, I found this to be especially challenging after I stopped relaxing my hair. My decision to go natural was the result of getting older and from having an autoimmune disease (MS) for twenty-plus years.  However, my relationship with Ms. Clairol was safe. I made the transition with the guidance of a skilled hair professional who took care of my hair every two weeks. I received a combination of services including deep conditioning treatments, hair coloring, and styling.

When the pandemic forced salons to close, I had to figure it out. At first, I was able to wash and blow my hair out at home. I worried about the use of heat weakening my hair. So, I decided to embrace the curls I’d been avoiding for most of my life. It didn’t take long to discover that finding the right products for my curls was going to be a challenge. Nevertheless, it was a challenge I was willing to accept.

From time to time I will post my experiences with different products. I will review the products, provide price ranges, product effectiveness, and more all in an effort to give you as much information as possible.

 

Rating Scale

Poor *

Fair **

Good ***

Excellent ****

My first review is Mark Anthony True Professional Hydrating Curl Cream. 

The pitch: Extra Frizz Control! This Sulfate-Free Curl Cream is a hydrating blend of Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, and Biotin that help de-frizz and add moisture to your dry brittle curls. It provides extra curl styling control with humidity resistance. Curls are now shinier, more defined, and tangle-free. Lightweight enough to use daily after shower. Color safe.

Usage: Apply to wet or damp hair. For my purposes, I applied after I washed and conditioned my hair. I section my hair in two. Then I use about a half-dollar size amount of cream in my palm and work it through from the roots to ends with my fingers. I try to follow my curl pattern and repeat on the other side. I let my hair dry naturally, but you can use a diffuser to blow it dry as well.

Results: I’ve found that my curls have great hold while still feeling soft. I’ve found that some products with coconut oil and shea butter can make your hair smell like a tropical fruit salad, which if you live in a warmer climate, or it’s spring or summer, can be tricky once you go outside. Bees don’t know the difference. Marc Anthony’s hydrating cream smells nice and it’s not overwhelming.

Cost: The cream ranges in price from 8.99-9.99 (depends on where you purchase it)

Available at: Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart, and Rite Aid. Check online to see which stores in your area have it in stock

Overall Rating ****

Price Rating ****

Beauty, Beauty, Hair Care

How’s Your Hair Doing? Pandemic Hair and Beyond

For men and women alike, the pandemic brought our regular barbershop and salon appointments to a halt. For the majority of 2020, we had to figure out how to handle caring for our tresses at home, which was cool if you were a barber or hair care professional. However, for the rest of us, it was a lot of trial and error. With a whole lot of errors seen online with posts of self-cutting hair attempts gone very wrong. At least it happened across the board for everyone. Even celebrities were committing hair infractions left and right too.

However, according to L’Officiel How Hair Care Became The New Skin Care (01.13.2021 by Hannah Amini). Skincare and other wellness routines have become a source of therapy and experimentation.

When the access to hairstylists was limited, many took and are taking otherwise daunting treatment regimes into their own hands.  With many people purchasing the products and equipment needed to maintain their hair. Everything from rinses to permanent and semi-permanent hair color, hair treatments, and more are taking place at home.

There is more interest in maintaining healthy hair through natural products they purchase or raid their pantry for, such as mayonaisse or avocado to make deep conditioning hair masks for healthy and shiny hair. There’s been a boon of tips to be found on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, with some influencers gaining followers and sponsors who pay them to try their products. Moreover, there is a wave of hair-based entrepreneurs with  homemade products for every hair type from natural to color-treated, with every type in between, available for consumers to purchase.

For women who had chemical processes like relaxers, perms, Brazilian keratin treatments, and Japanese straightening. Then there was the matter of hair weaves, extensions and heat treatments too.

According to Go natural, try a new style or panic? How black women in the coronavirus era deal with their hair (Los Angeles Times, Arit John April 11,2020)  Many black women found themselves trying to figure out what to do with their hair during the pandemic. Salons, beauty supply stores and stylists that cater to black women adapted by revamping their digital presence with instructional videos and the sale of products online. Felicia Leatherwood, a celebrity hairstylist who has worked with Issa Rae of “Insecure” and director Ava DuVernay, said some black women are experienced “anxiety on top of anxiety” during the pandemic.

“They have anxiety about what’s happening, and then they have anxiety about discovering their hair and working with it and realizing that they actually have not liked their hair, never really liked their texture,” said Ms. Leatherwood.

As a black woman who decided to go natural several years back, I can attest to the nervousness I felt when the pandemic shut everything down. However, I grew up with a mother that loved hair and had no problem trying out products and keeping a supply of haircare at home. I went through trial and error to find out what worked best for me after having my hair relaxed for the majority of my life. I never had an issue with my hair’s texture, but when I was growing up, there wasn’t any product for my curly hair. Nowadays, it’s an embarrassment of riches.

Now, 18 months later as some states have allowed salons to re-open, and with many of them still following Covid protocols, we can safely go back to our hair salons and barbers. Nevertheless, it’s important to maintain your hair in between appointments and not let the lessons learned during lockdown go to waste.

 

Here are some tips for all hair types. Shampoo 101: Choosing the Right Shampoo for Your Hair Type (byrdie.com

Experts for the article

MEET THE EXPERT

  • Sharleen St. Surin-Lord is a board-certified dermatologist based in Maryland.
  • Shab Reslan is a trichologist and hair health advisor at HairClub. Trichology is
    the branch of medical and cosmetic study and practice concerned with the hair and scalp.

A good at-home haircare system should include

  • Shampoo based on your scalp.
  • Oily Scalp- If you have very oily hair, avoid hydrating shampoos that will weigh your hair down. You need something to help clarify your hair and to build volume.
  • Dry Scalp- Avoid shampoos with sulfates that dry hair out. Look for shampoos that promote moisture, hydration, smoothing, or curls.

For Hair Care based on hair types

  • Fine Hair: Look for volumizing shampoos that can boost your strands without weighing hair down.
  • Thick Hair: Hydrating or moisturizing shampoos are great for adding moisture, shine, and smoothness to thick hair that lacks moisture.
  • Straight Hair: Smoothing or straight hair shampoos are typically rich in extra moisturizers and smoothing agents that help seal the cuticle and provide a great start for straight and smooth styles.
  • Wavy Hair: Balancing shampoos are typically a nice middle-of-the-road option. They’re not too moisturizing but won’t dry your hair out.
  • Curly Hair: Look for very moisturizing shampoos that contain ingredients that reduce frizz without weighing down the curls.
  • Damaged/Colored/Brittle Hair: Strengthening or fortifying shampoos are good for damaged, over-processed, highlighted, weakened, or brittle hair, as they usually contain extra protein to improve hair’s condition.

Shop Around for the right haircare.

There are a lot of products on the market, look to the internet to research and get  reviews from other people. Whether you’re back at your salon or not, it’s good to ask your stylist for tips and recommendations. a good stylist wants to help you feel and look your best. When you take care of your hair too, it makes them look good as well.

Look to beauty influencers online to see what products they are touting. Naturally, keep your perspective. Many are paid to hawk the products, but if they are using them with good results, delve into a little. Many new companies offer samples to get you started. This way you don’t waste money investing in something that may not work and just wind up taking up space in your bathroom.

Finally, make sure you keep it fun too. Haircare is serious health business, but it’s all about your crowning glory. Find what makes you feel like your most authentic and beautiful self.

 

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For more information check out the following sites for a more in-depth look at haircare.

 

https://www.byrdie.com/shampoo-101-choosing-the-right-shampoo-3517815

https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2020-04-11/coronavirus-black-hair-care-natural-braiding

https://www.lofficielusa.com/beauty/at-home-hair-care-covid-trend

Beauty, Skin Care

Body Skin Care – Buttah by Dorion Renaud

Skin is the largest of our organs. However, unlike the other major organs, it’s exposed to both internal and external elements.  At its most basic, skin covers the entire body. It serves as a protective shield against heat, light, injury, and infection. The skin also: Regulates body temperature, and is comprised of three layers:

Skin Basics

  1. Epidermis: The epidermis is the thin outer layer.
  2. Dermis: The dermis is the middle layer.
  3. Subcutaneous fat layer: The  deepest layer of skin. It consists of a network of collagen and fat cells. 

All ethnicities have the same skin, and every single person has melanin. According to information available from Avail Dermatology, there are two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The former is what makes skin darker, while the latter does the opposite by creating red or pink shades. The more eumelanin a person has, the darker their skin is. The more pheomelanin they have, the lighter they are.

Skin issues

Acne, eczema, scarring, and sun damage can cause hyperpigmentation and result in dark spots. Women over forty and fifty-plus may see dark patches on spots appear as a result of melasma, which may occur with hormonal changes, particularly during perimenopause and menopause. This type of hyperpigmentation is something found in all women but can be pronounced in black and brown women.

There are many products available to help fade these blotchy patches. Most contain hydroquinone, or retinoids like Tretinoin and are available in higher percentages when prescribed by a doctor.  These creams work but can take up to six months in order to see any improvement. To that end, we decided to look into different skincare lines that all claim to help achieve an even skin tone.

Product Line Review- Buttah by Dorion Renaud

My sister told me about this skincare line after its founder, Dorian Renaud appeared on HSN. A model, actor, recording artist, and CEO of Buttah Skin, Dorion Renaud isn’t new to being in the spotlight. He’s been featured in Vogue and graced the catwalk and the television screen as a host for NBC’s EXTRA, E’s Keeping up with the Kardashians, and starred on the Bounce sitcom, “In the Cut”.

Buttah is the result of his personal search to find products to work for his skin. When he found the right combination of ingredients, Buttah was born. Dorion created a product that works on the wondrous spectrum of complexions found in Black, Latino, and brown people.  The goal of these products is to target everyday issues such as dryness, discoloration, oiliness, and blemishes.

The products come in two categories; Buttah Skin and Buttah Body. The goal of both is to improve the appearance of skin brightness and skin tone evenness in melanin-rich skin.

 My sister and brother-in-law were the first to order and I followed suit. Here’s a little bit about the products we used.

 

Buttah Body and Skin

To be sure the products are workable for you, Buttah offers a customizable sample kit of three products for $15.00. You have your choice of three moisturizers CocoShea Revitalizing Cream, Facial Shea butter, oil-free gel cream

The CocoShea Revitalizing Cream is a blend of African rich-butters, Hyaluronic Acid (for moisture), and Vitamin E.

Verdict: The cream was light and despite containing shea butter, wasn’t greasy and proved to be non-comedogenic (didn’t clog pores) my sister saw an improvement in her skin tone in a little over three weeks.

The Oil-Free Hyaluronic Gel Cream moisturizer with grapeseed extract.

The verdict: The lightness of the cream belies its level of hydration. My skin absorbed the moisture and remained perfectly hydrated. I began to see an evening of my tone within about two weeks. I committed to buying the full-size version pretty quickly.  

The third option for the sample kit is the facial shea butter. My brother-in-law thinks it’s great for conditioning skin after shaving and it helps even skin tone without clogging pores.

The Buttah body line is comprised of luxurious body washes, soaps, creams, and body butter. They are all terrific and leave your body smooth and feeling nourished.

Overall, we found Buttah products to be priced right and a good investment to make in terms of the mind, body, and soul connection. When your skin both looks and feels good, it adds to your confidence. Feeling good about yourself comes from the inside. However, products that help better the health and look of your skin, helps to strengthen our body-image armor as we become more ageless.  

Buttah products are organic, cruelty-free, FDA-registered, and clinically validated.

For more information about Buttah visit https://www.buttahskin.com/

Check them out on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

https://www.instagram.com/buttahskin/

https://www.facebook.com/buttahskin/

Follow Buttah on Twitter

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Skin Care

Good skincare through the ages

Aging in today’s society no longer has the same dark stigma it once had. Breakthroughs in medicine and advancements made in technology have paved the way for us to live longer, healthier lives while looking amazing. The first tenant of maintaining a youthful look is good skincare.

There’s an endless sea of skin care products marketed to women. You can’t turn on the television, or go online and not find ads for must-have facial and body skincare products.  However, it’s important to do our research so that we can make sense of the claims and determine which products will work for us individually.

In the Health Coach section of Real Simple, This Is What Skin Concerns Look Like at Every Age (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and Beyond) by Kristin Korpuz relays some of the things we can expect. To help us understand, she has experts, Dr. Doris Day, Dr. Jeanine Downie, Dr. Sabrina Fabi, Dr. Ava Shamban, and Dr. Ruth Tedaldi, dermatologists and hosts of THE GIST, a YouTube channel about the beauty industry.

Skincare in your forties

We really begin to see a change in our skin beginning in our forties. There is a loss of firmness and skin may appear to lose volume and firmness. Wrinkles can become more pronounced and we’ve got to be more careful about sun damage.  There a lot of topical and injectable treatments like Botox and Restylane that address wrinkles and loss of volume, which can be administered in-office. Nevertheless, it’s important to maintain a good skin routine at home.  

According to Dr. Robinson, you may need to use two different cleansers to address different issues- a mild exfoliating cleanser and a creamier lotion-like cleanser. The reason for this is to hydrate your skin and to deal with cell turnover, which becomes more apparent as we age.

Hyaluronic acid is a word that we begin to see more of once we’re over forty. It’s a natural molecule found in our skin as well as the connective tissue in our bodies. The main benefit of it is keeping our skin moist and lubricated. It can draw moisture from the air and allow your skin to hold almost 1000 times its own weight in water. For ultimate moisture retention, Dr. Robinson also recommends incorporating hyaluronic acid  (can be used both day and night), as well as a rich night cream that contains glycerin, ceramics, and or fatty lipids to help encourage skin barrier repair.

Skincare in your fifties

Cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize to keep your tone bright

Women in their fifties are beginning to experience changes due to hormonal fluctuations just as they did at the onset of menses, According to Dr. Robinson, “Post menopause, our bodies experience a hormone shift with declining levels of estrogen and increased levels of androgens and this can affect the skin”. Moreover, she explained that skin will be thinner and less elastic. B bone resorption is the process by which osteoclasts break down the tissue in bones and release the minerals, resulting in a transfer of calcium from bone tissue to the blood. This process also presents as a loss occurs of volume. Dryness is another factor, and to add insult to injury, many women see a return of acne and breakouts we haven’t had since the teen years. Many women also experience excess pigment and signs of sun damage (i.e., brown spots and photoaging also become more prominent. 

First, we have to focus on maintaining our skin’s moisture. Dr. Robinson says that few skin types can endure the roughness caused by an exfoliating cleanser at this point in their skin, and instead emphasizes the importance of a milder, milky cleanser that doesn’t get too sudsy. “These types of cleansers are effective at removing dirt and debris without removing important oils produced by the skin that the skin needs,” she says. To deal with a loss of collagen, you can opt for in-office treatments like lasers, microneedling, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and chemical peels to encourage skin cell turnover and boost skin repair in a more controlled setting. 

The sixties and beyond

Enjoy life and the skin you’re in

It’s important to note that it’s not too late to begin anti-aging treatments in your sixties. Dr. Robinson says that the main concern with patients in their 60s and beyond is lack of hydration and moisture retention. 

“The emphasis in our 60s shifts from skincare to procedures,” she says. “I recommend keeping skincare very simple, hydrating, and gentle at this age and focusing on procedures such as lasers that can be performed once or twice a year for improvement and maintenance.”

Source

https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/anti-aging/aging-skin-concerns
Learn more about skincare with renowned dermatologists

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