Glow Therapy: Candid Conversations With A Skin Specialist

So I’m having an event in NYC! Think of it as a TEDtalk for all things beauty and wellness related. I’ll be breaking down the functions of the skin, how you can get the most out of your seasonal skin care routines & much more. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask me any questions you might have about beauty (even professional questions). The best part is you will receive a free skin consultation from me as well! I hope to see all your beautiful faces there ❤ I’m so excited to meet you!

Here’s the link!


SAY NO! Protect Your Glow

If you’ve followed me for a while, you are absolutely aware that my approach to skin care (and overall wellness) is being gentle with the skin. This means not doing anything that would disrupt the acid mantle of my skin. The acid mantle is the outermost layer of the skin that protects it from any bacterias and potential invaders. Moral of the mantle is, it keeps the dirties out. Being that it is so important to skin health, I want to do everything within my power to keep it intact. So here’s a list of things to avoid that could disrupt and/or destroy your acid mantle.

  • Drying Alcohols– drying alcohols wear away at the acid mantle and make the skin vulnerable to infection and overproduction of oil
  • Peel-off masks– masks that dry hard and peel from the face not only hurt like hell to take off but they can make the pores appear larger
  • Nair– it falls under the category of chemical depilatory which means which means it is highly alkaline (unlike the natural state of the skin) so… NOPE!
  • Shaving– call it dermaplaning or whatever you want… it is shaving. Those little vellus hairs (yes, they have a name) are the equivalent of a wire fence for your acid mantle
  • Microneedling- poking holes in my face with needles? Blood? Need I saw more?
  • Mineral Oil– check all your products and if they have mineral oil in them, burn them. Or just throw them in the garbage. Although it softens the skin, it does clog the pores and increase water loss in the skin. Water loss speeds up aging
  • Face Scrubs– anything with granules on the skin that is meant to exfoliate usually does not. Instead, it scratches at the acid mantle and makes the skin raw. Step away from the St.Ives ladies!
  • Lemon Instagram hobbyists will lead you to believe that lemon juice on the face is a great lightener and exfoliator. It is actually too acidic for the face.
  • Vaseline– Its derived from petroleum… like the stuff we put in cars. Also, uses paraffin wax which is bad for your skin in the exact same way as mineral oil. It is also horrible for the environment
  • Facial Brushes Similar to face scrubs, they can wear away at the acid mantle. Aside from that, they hold bacteria and makeup.

What the pHuck?

Everyone from doctors, dietitians and beauty professionals are mentioning the importance of pH levels. Usually, people just smile and nod as if they know what the hell is going on. So what exactly does it all mean? Let’s say you had a garden and you wanted to create the best possible conditions for said garden to thrive. You would probably provide top of the line water, air and sunlight. Maybe even talk to it a little bit because you read an article once that plants liked that kind of stuff. My point is, you would facilitate a proper place for growth to take place. Your hair, skin and insides are similar to your (metaphorical) garden in the sense that they all require proper environments in order to thrive. Part of your wellness mission is to achieve and maintain the proper pH for your body to thrive.

Let’s get technical for a sec… pH stands for Potential Hydrogen and describes the alkalinity or acidity of a product/substance. The pH scale goes from 1-14. The higher the number, the more alkaline the substance. Just in case I’m losing you, here’s a chart!

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pH for hair: scalp should be 4.5-5.5 – to maintain this, your products should be a little on the acidic side (less than 7)

pH for skin: acid mantle should be 5-5.5 – to maintain this, your products should be a little on the acidic side (less than 7)

pH for body (internal): 7.5> – to maintain this, the foods in your diet should be as alkaline as possible (more than 7) *this includes a healthy vagina*

Usually, when shopping for any kind of beauty products, you can find the pH level listed on the website or can just research them online. pH level is especially important when it comes to shampoos and face cleansers because of the stripping of vital oils that may occur. When certain oils are removed, the pH of the skin is disrupted.

So stay balanced!

Water your gardens with the finest alkaline beverages

Keep your body clean

Stay away from bad products, bad foods and bad men! lol 

Coming Soon: Mask Mondays!

You know what pisses me off? Seeing tutorials and skin care vids of women with beat faces sparingly applying mask products to their face. As if they are completely unaware that the skin around their brows, mouth and eyes also needs to be tended to. After providing these women with one too many views, I have decided that I will begin a weekly Periscope broadcast featuring myself and some of my fav masks and other products. Those tuning in will be able to ask me health, beauty and wellness questions. So you’ve got a week to download the app and follow. Can’t wait to see you there!

Not into livestreams and such? No problem! I’ll bring the best questions, suggestions and ideas here for your consumption.

Body Love

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I will share with you a few tips for getting smooth, touchable skin… just in case you find yourself getting rubbed down on this cold winter’s night! I will share my own beauty routine and a few of the products I use to preserve my skin. I dabble with different products but I will only be sharing the ones that I absolutely cannot live without.

As Pharrell put it, exfoliation is the key to great skin! Often times I find that people do not exfoliate their bodies enough. This can leave the skin flaky, dry and slow to accept moisturizers. That’s a huge no for me… which is why exfoliating gloves are a major part of my regimen. I was introduced to them as a child by my grandmother who called them the “Michael Jackson gloves”. They’ve been a staple for me ever since. I love that they can be used dry or wet and are extremely easy to clean. I throw them in with my laundry. They can be found in the beauty aisle at your local drug store. For the best results, gently exfoliate your limbs every day.

People love to debate as to what should come first, cleansing or exfoliating. I think it makes the most sense to eliminate dead skin cells then cleanse the skin. Some body washes/soap brands I especially love are Soaptopia (natural handmade bar soaps & body oils), HEMPZ (natural eco friendly soaps & lotions), and of course Carol’s Daughter’s Almond Cookie Collection (sulfate/paraben free body washes & moisturizers). Try to avoid any heavily scented body products because they throw off the skin’s pH.

This next body care tip may sound weird but after your shower, never dry off! Allowing the body to air dry does remarkable things for the skin and moisturizing process. More than anything, the skin loves water. This means to effectively moisturize the skin, you should first use a product that has a good amount of water in it followed by an oil/oil based product to seal it in. The brands I mentioned before also have pretty amazing lotions and oils. I really love Soaptopia’s Oil Slathers!

I hope you found some helpful tips that will help you be your smoothest, most beautiful self! And even if no one has the pleasure of touching your skin this Valentine’s Day, enjoy!

Yoga Bones

I have always loved low intensity workouts. There is something deeply satisfying to my body about feeling my joints and muscles  move and separate cohesively with my breath. That makes yoga the ideal workout for me. Although I have always been interested in it, I found myself too shy to practice in a class setting. You could say it was nerves or fear of not being able to keep up with the rest of the class. What I think I really needed was a partner. Someone to go with that made my anxious ass feel more comfortable. That person came in the form of my friend/coworker and fellow esthetician, Andrea. She is the proactive, positive, and cool as hell friend every girl needs. She found Harlem Yoga Studio which offers great deals for potential yogis that find themselves lacking the funds for ritzy (and sometimes ineffective) yoga classes. 

We took a beginners class with instructor Sarah Snider. She was quirky yet committed. My goal is to strengthen my body and possibly elimate the many aches I have from a combinations of scoliosis and standing all day at work. Andrea’s goal is to help strengthen her lower back and knees. After today’s hour long class, we walked out feeling grounded and renewed. She said some of the chronic pains she deals with already felt relieved. I feel elongated. I’m standing a little straighter and more conscious of areas of my body that I previously ignored. Basically, we both feel good as f*ck!! We will be returning. I hope to make yoga a part of my lifestyle. 

At one point in the class, Sarah (our instructor) had us lay flat and breathe mindfully. As I laid there with my mind racing from person to place to obligation, she said “now thank that thought for coming and let it go”. And I did. I realize that there are so many thoughts in life we hold onto that do not need to sit with us. Being able to allow them to pass through my mind is a skill I would love to develop. Wish me luck! lol 

Five Benefits of Practicing Yoga

•increases blood circulation

•improves respiration 

•improves athletic performance 

•helps with weight loss 

•prevents joint breakdown 

Period Talk

So it’s been established that pads and tampons are bad. The bazar part is, we don’t know exactly how bad they are for you because the companies you love like Playtex, Always, etc. are not required to let consumers know what their sanitary products are made of. How come? Because they are classified as medical equipment. Yes, I know what you’re thinking… if you can’t use tampons and pads then how will you stop your vag from bleeding all over the place during that time of month? 

There are alternatives such as organic/natural/eco friendly pads. If you would like to be adventurous you could experiment with the a Diva Cup which is a little cup-like device (hence the name) that you insert in the vagina. It catches the blood, you remove it after a certain amount of hours dependent on the heaviness of your flow, rinse it then reinsert. I’ve tried it. IT WAS A DAMN MESS! There was blood everywhere …from my hands to the walls smh. It was also very uncomfortable to insert it. I couldn’t get it in the proper position so after a day of sitting home trying to get it right, I gave up. However, I do know some women who swear by it. 

My own personal favorite alternative is the Thinx period underwear. If you live in NYC, you probably (briefly) saw their controversial advertisements that were taken down because they used the word “period” to refer to …periods. 

They’re made of a comfortable, breathable material for all the ladies out there who experience a little excess sweating during their lady time. They’re easy to clean and ACTUALLY WORK! I don’t know about you but i do not have a nice, delicate period. Mine is relentless… a beast in the night. Since using the underwear, I have not had any spills. I highly recommend them. Right now, Thinx is having a sale. You should get them in your life. They are worth it.