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!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/glow-therapy-candid-conversations-with-a-skin-specialist-tickets-42162783019

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Birthday Bath House!

You may or may not be aware, but yesterday (Jan 31) was my birthday! In celebration of this, I spent most of my day lounging around King Spa & Fitness butt ass naked with two of my favorite coworkers! We treated ourselves to beauty masks, V-Steams, full body massages, a series of hot baths, steam rooms and much more.

King Spa is a Korean style bathhouse. They are opened 24 hours and have everything you could require during your visit (from toothpaste to a full menu of delicious food). There are coed common areas in the facility where you can lounge, but for the most part, you are required to be nude in the women’s quarters. This was something I enjoyed (not in a sexual way) because there were women of all shapes and sizes who seemed to be comfortable with themselves. It is refreshing to be in a room with women who aren’t ridiculing themselves or speaking about what they need to get cut away. We ran into a woman who was there to celebrate her 89th birthday! She was delighted to see young women who were interested in self care and encouraged us to stick with it so that we would age gracefully.

But what I really wanted to chat with you ladies about was my V-Steam experience! The V-Steam is a vaginal treatment in which you sit over a pot of hot, steaming herbs that help to open pores and extract toxins from within the body through the vaginal canal and sebaceous glands. The girls and I sat over the pot of assorted herbs for 30 minutes wrapped in what looked like a large shower curtain to help the steam lock in and do its job. We were also given a small cup of Mugwort tea. Mugwort also known as (Artemisia vulgaris) is an herb traditionally used in indigenous tribes to help enhance psychic abilities and lucid dreaming. Today, it is used to help with vaginal diseases, menstrual health, and cleansing. It tastes bitter.. especially if you swallow a piece of it by accident as I did.

We all went into the V-Steam with the hopes of clearing up our ingrown hairs and various winter skin concerns.  While some withstood the heat better than others, I was fuxking melting! Sweat was dripping onto the floor when i stood up. I won’t flash you guys my vagina but I will tell you that I see a big difference in my skin. Not only does it look healthier but it feels smoother. Today, I picked up some liquid exfoliate from Aveda to help prevent any further dead skin buildup and preserve these amazing results. I highly recommend this treatment, especially since we are so close to Valentine’s Day and many of us are preparing to give vagina as a gift.

TIP: If your local spa does not offer the V-Steam service or you simply want to be adventurous, I combed the internet to find a few videos of women creating their own herbal mixtures and setups for their at home V-Steams! Enjoy! 🙂

At Home V-Steam Setup : Please do not be grossed out by this one! Most women who steam at home do so by placing a pot in their toilet. the key is finding the perfect sized pot. If you don’t want to use your toilet, some women simply stand/squat over a pot. I recommend using a sheet to wrap around yourself while you do it, no matter what method you choose to use.

At Home V-Steam Herbal Blend : This one is a great video because it really organized. The only part I personally do not recommend is adding an essential oil to your blend. It can be too strong for the vaginal area.

 

Birth Control Business

My Birth Control Experiences

I promised I would save this topic for a later date. Well now is the time. Let’s talk about birth control… and how much I hate it. Many women (and girls) use it as a way to control their cramps and other physical symptoms of their period like acne. I was once one of them. I began my period at 9 years old. Every month I would become violently ill (fainting, vomiting, etc.). This meant calling out of work every month and missing out on school. PMS would leave me in a deep slump that was similar to depression. I would spend the week before sobbing and hating myself. So naturally, when the doctor presented birth control pills as a solution to my problem, I was hopeful. The dosage she gave me was low. It worked for a couple of months. Afterwards, we went higher. Each time I tried a new brand or dosage, it would work for a short amount of time and then the wrath of my period would return. It was bullshit. After a while, I gave up and didn’t take birth control for a few years.

Then randomly, my sickness got worse. My OB-GYN informed me that it was hormone related and that I should try this thing called NuvaRing to help me out. Im sure she had great intentions… Im sure she thought her medical knowledge and experience was going to be the key to saving me from monthly agony. After reading the side effects of NuvaRing (vaginal infections and irritation, vaginal itching or discharge, headache, nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps, changes in weight or appetite, breast pain/tenderness/swelling, headache and much much more) I decided I would go for it. There are very few things in this life I regret doing. Putting that little flexi circle of hormones into my vag is one of them. Everything went smoothly. I followed the directions. Put it in for 3 weeks and took it out on the 4th week so I could get my period. My period came. I still got sick. Then my period stayed. For 1 year. Not 365 days straight. Sometimes it would stop for a week or 2. I would think I was in the clear. Then it would return.

I consulted with three different doctors in that year. Each of them was completely baffled. One of them was convinced that I had done something to my own body to make it react this way. I got more sonograms than a pregnant woman. All three physicians recommended the same thing: an abortion. Even though there was clearly no baby up there. Apparently, the NuvaRing hormones interfered with the formation of the lining of my uterus. Every month, my body would try to rebuild itself, but the hormones had been so thrown off that it wasn’t happening. The abortion procedure consists of scraping away the lining of the uterus. The doctors were hoping that would allow the lining to come back regulated and healthy. I was not with it. I didn’t think it was a good idea. So i found natural ways to regulate my hormones. After a few months, I was back to my normal violently ill period. I was never more grateful for it!

Birth Control Industry

“Never has a drug whose target population is entirely healthy people been shown to be so pervasively carcinogenic in animals as has Depo-Provera”

-Medical Apartheid, Harriet S. Washington

The birth control business is shady af. Birth control is poisonous af. Prior to reading Medical Apartheid by Harriet S. Washington, all of my misgivings about birth control were simply due to my own experiences. I was skeptical about the use of synthetic hormones to regulate my living, breathing hormones. I was skeptical about the many side effects each birth control had no matter how much the doctor said there was a minor chance of them occurring. I figured if the birth controls are becoming better/more advanced, why the hell are the list of side effects nearly identical?!

Although Washington’s book is about the medical industry and its exploitation of black people in America throughout time, there is a particularly interested part about the inner workings of some birth control studies. For example, the Depo-Provera shot which was given to dogs (beagles), in 1978, before it was human tested. The shot was created with the intention of being a cancer treatment but seeing it helped to prevent pregnancy changed its destiny. All of the dogs developed breast cancer but didn’t get knocked up. So they moved on to phase 2: human experimentation.  Nearly 5,000 were injected. Because they were unable to find funding for the drug, it disappeared for a while. When I was in high school, the Depo shot was proposed to us as a new and easy solution to teen pregnancy. You didn’t have to worry about taking a pill every day and best part of it… no monthly period! I remember seeing commercials on TV for it and being envious of the girls I knew had it.

The birth control industry still texts on humans today. They usually do it in poor third world places like Nicaragua, Venezuela and various African villages. The notion attached to this is that black and brown women in these places are not only uneducated but also not cared about. Because the 17 year old girl in the Bronx does not care if 50 women had to become sterile in order to ensure she and her boyfriend can have unprotected sex. She was not taught to care. The saddest part is, sometimes these drugs are not just tested in third world countries. There have been incidents where drug research companies test birth control on young black and brown girls right here in the U.S. In cities with high teenage pregnancy rates like Baltimore drug companies are partnering with schools to administer birth control to students. This is wrong both because they are underage (with no parental consent) and because they do not have the girls medical histories and could be putting their health at risk.

Moral of the Story

If you read all of this so far, thanks! My point is, when you take hormonal birth control, you interrupt your body’s natural processes. Hormones are a vital part in every system within the body. When they are off balance, you are vulnerable. Also, many of them have life threatening side effects and can lead to major health issues like cancer. I’m not sure about you, but I would much rather have a baby than cancer. And from an humanitarian standpoint, when we give our money (or our insurance company’s money) to these drug companies, we condone their unethical business practices. We create a demand for a product that hurts other people. We give poor black/brown people around the world their death sentence.

 

 

 

 

 

PSA: Beware of Nair 

Please stop using Nair

Please stop using Nair

Please stop using Nair 

If you have in your adult life used Nair hair removal products, you are making a major mistake. A mistake that could easily be avoided. A mistake I spend my professional and personal life trying to prevent unknowing women from making. Often times, they are lured in by the promise of smooth skin, no ingrown hairs and no razor bumps. What they fail to tell you is that you can suffer chemical burns and far worse from this product. Nair is in no way good for your skin or body- especially when used in reproductive areas!  

Lye is one of the active ingredients in Nair. It loosens the hair from the follicle by distrusting (raising) the pH levels of the hair. It literally is dissolving the bond. Lye can cause serious chemical burns and blindness. If you’ve ever seen the Malcolm X movie starring Denzel Washington, lye is the shit that made him stick his head in the toilet. 

Lately, I have been seeing a trend on social media among young and I assume unprofessional makeup artists/hobbyists doing their eyebrows with Nair. As previously stated lye can cause blindness. Putting Nair on your eye area is dangerous af! The skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of the skin on your face (besides your lips) which means those harsh chemicals are not only going into your pores but they are wearing away at the already thin skin around your eyes. Many of the girls can be seen on Instagram with redness and lots of irritation in the eye area. These are burns and allergic reactions that they will then cover with makeup. 


At work, I see many women who suffer from severe chemical burns in their vaginal areas, legs, stomachs and underarms. Most of the time, they sum it up to ingrowns or razor burns. My first question is usually “Have you used Nair?”. Their answer is usually Yes. The burns are usually irreversible and you are also left with worn skin that is unhealthy. That increases your risk for sun damage and makes your skin more sensitive to pain.

For the safety of your reproductive system, sweat glands, skin, vision, hair health and overall wellbeing, I beg you ladies … please do not use Nair! 

Yoni & Me 

For the past month, I have been walking around with a stone in my vagina (most days). It’s a polished crystal gem that weighs about  half a pound. When my Yoni Egg isn’t inside me, it’s resting in a small velvet pouch or bathing in moonlight on my window ledge cause it’s fancy lol. 

Crystal gems are natural (often colorful) rocks that are composed of properties to help increase certain vibrations within the body. All beings vibrate because we are alive. The food you eat and things you put on/in your body can either help to increase your vibrations or decrease them. So basically, your energy/vibrations are determined by how naturally aligned your body is. Each type of crystal gem does something different for the body (chakras)

Chakra Chart

Choosing my stone took a while. I had to seriously assess myself as a person, think about where I am emotionally and where I want to be. Ironically, the color that is my least favorite was the one that seemed to be what I needed most: yellow. I chose the Citrine  stone. Citrine is known for aiding in open mindedness, acceptance of what is to come, manifesting dreams, emotional balance, pure thoughts and all that other good stuff. 

Aside from spiritual elevation, yoni eggs have been used for centuries to help women maintain vaginal health. It’s like weight training but for your pelvic muscles. Asian women believed inserting jade eggs into their vagina would help to hold in chi (good energy) so that it could be manisfested into positive thought and action. 

Benefits of strengthening your pelvic floor include improved bladder functions, reduced period cramps and more sexual pleasure. Anyone who knows me knowns I’m down for anything that will reduce period cramps (except birth control… but that’s a conversation for a whole other post). The yoni egg process consists of starting with a large/medium size and working your way down. 

So far, I have been using the medium size for exactly a month. I do notice a difference in myself both spiritually and physically! I’m very happy with the changes. I noticed that when I wear it I am more aware of my body. I focus on myself and protecting my own energy when I have it in. Physically, everything from urinating to sex has been different. I plan to continue using it and challenge myself with different sizes as soon as I find a distributor with a wide selection of stones near me. I like to buy them in person as opposed to online because I saw a few links where women were selling used yoni eggs. Yuck! 

The Secret Weapon 

This has been a staple in my medicine cabinet, beauty arsenal, and first aid kit for much of my life. It has helped me to cure burns, bruises, rashes, breakouts, and dryness. It’s known as none other than the North American Witch-Hazel Shrub. Used as a toner, it works wonders for absorbing key ingredients from beauty products. Scientifically known as Hamamelis virginiana (but who is going to remember that) has astringent and anti inflammatory properties which is why it can be used to treat acne and blisters. It also does magical things for ingrown hairs and razor irritation in beards (for my handful of male readers). There is truly no product that I have used that could replace this is my routine. I recently tried to substitute it with Micellar Water. It’s cute but it doesn’t leave me with the same refreshed feeling as my witch hazel. I will be back to it as soon as I run out! 

Lemisol Lement

When I was about 15, a young woman (we will call her Jenny) convinced me that a vagina was a dirty thing. She introduced me to the frightening world of feminine wash. There are many feminine washes on the market that offer you the option of making your lady parts smell like everything from summer rain to apricot and daisies. My best advice for choosing a feminine wash is: DO NOT! 

Jenny told me that her boyfriend loved it when she used Lemisol (a popular wash in the Latin community) because it left her vagina smelling “fresh”. I wasn’t really sure what that meant at the time. Being a young woman who suffered frequently from urinary tract infections (which I no longer get because now I know how to care for my body) I was willing to try anything to make the pain and constant urination go away. If you’ve ever had a UTI, you know it is pure hell. Like hell between your legs. So I went out and purchased my own personal bottle. The woman on the bottle looked pleasant, relaxed and mid bachata. I couldn’t wait to feel like her (minus the bachata part). 

Immediately, I took the product which was more watery than I expected and applied it to my parts. It brought me to my knees in pain. The intense burning was a signal from my body that I had done something completely wrong and unnatural. I knew this would end badly. And it did. After that, I experienced the worst urinary tract infection of my life. 

I have never seen anything good come from using feminine washes. No matter how mild or gentle they claim to be, they usually contain ingredients that throw off the pH of the vagina. Even when they declare that they in fact help to balance it. Your vagina is it’s own domain. It regulates itself. It cleans itself. If there is ever a time where you feel so put off or turned off by the smell of your own anatomy, you should seek medical help or possibly change your dietary habits. But the lesson here is … stay the hell away from feminine washes!