If you’re going through a transition with your natural hair, getting acquainted with the new set of tools you’ll need to manage it can be tough. With days of relaxers, blow dryers and other heat tools in your past, you’ll likely have to endure the trial and error phase of spending on products you’ll love and ones you’ll regret the moment you use them.
To make sure your hair is set up for its beautiful transition, here’s a list of 9 tools key to the care and keeping of your curls.
1. A Spray Bottle
Keeping the strands of your natural air moisturized is imperative from the start of your transition to end of it. Most natural hair care stylists will recommend that you always keep a spray bottle with your favorite oil and another one with water nearby to spritz on your hair in the morning and before you go to bed. For the best outcome on your hair, load up your bottle with a mix of your favorite oil and water, then spritz on your hair from root to end.
2. Bobby Pins
Whether you’re in transition or have already gone through the big chop, know that bobby pins will still be your saving grace. These classic pins can be the perfect accessory and tool when you want to create updos or sections in your hair. Pro tip: be sure to search for snack free larger pins to help you to better manage your thick hair.
3. Applicator Bottle
Just because your days of straightening and or relaxing your hair are behind you, it doesn’t mean you get to neglect your scalp. One of the easiest ways to get direct access to your scalp through your tresses is to part your locs into sections and then use an applicator. Single tip pointy applicators will be your best in getting through your curls and straight to the root.
4. Rattail Comb
Ah, that rat tail comb. It might give you a few shivers down your spine on sight and send you through flashbacks of the days your abuela used to whack the side of your head with them when you didn’t sit straight, but never fear. It’s a new era for you and your curls, and you got this! This time the rat tail is here to be your friend and make things easier for you as you part and manage your coils.
5. Speaking of combs, don’t forget your Wide Tooth
Detangling your natural hair from end to root can be tricky, but it’s essential for your effort in going natural and keeping your hair healthy. While detangling as much as you can with your fingers is great, never forget the damage an unattended to knot can do. Unless you’re actually going for a loc look, consider giving your tresses a good comb with a wide tooth.
6. Control Clips
Now, before you go running out to the store, remember that your goal is maintaining healthy hair. That’s why I recommend going for a set of clips that’ll be less harsh on your wet coils as you style your hair. Use them to part, detangle and style your hair.
7. Microfiber Towel
Nope, microfiber towels aren’t just for the carwash. Now, this one might catch you off-guard, but you know how sleeping on a cotton pillow cover is a big no-no? How cotton dries out your hair? Welp, it’s the same for those cotton towels you use to dry your hair. Microfiber towels create less friction which means less freeze and breakage.
8. A Good Conditioner
Key to managing your curly hairs, particularly keeping them hydrated and free of frizz. A good conditioner that adds extra moisture to your rizos will not only help you to detangle your curls but will also help you to define them.
9. A Reliable Strengthening Shampoo.
The key to long hair? A good shampoo that not only cleans your hair but helps to fortify it. Of course, everyone has their preferences when it comes to brands and shampoo types but FAST shampoo has become particularly popular in recent years. Also be sure to check out shampoos from Ouidad and Deva Curl!
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In a recent public-health advisory, the CDC announced its recommendation that every American wears a cloth face covering while in public. The news has sparked a ping in DIY masks, and innovative uses of clothign and scarfs to cover faces to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, as necessary as the measure is (and it is!) not only is it not the greatest look it also has undesirable effects on the skin. From chafing and breakouts, masks can take some pretty wonky toles on the skin. Fortunately, dermatologists are doling out advice on how to combat the negative sides of masks we should all be wearing.
According to NYC-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, the issue lies in the purpose of the bask: blocking.
“Protecting your face with a mask creates a moist, hot environment for your skin, as your breathing is being trapped,” Dr. Zeichner told Refinery 29 in a recent interview. “This can lead to a build-up of sweat and oil on the skin under the mask, which can lead to inflammation, rashes, and even acne breakouts.” Dr. Zeichner’s words come at a time when doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic are sharing images of their skin covered in “hives, red marks, and even bruises.”
Thankfully, Dr. Zeichner and a few other dermatologists have broken down a guide on how to keep skin clear during the age of masks.
According to his interview with Refinery, Dr. Zeichner recommends using a foaming cleanser before and after using a mask. “Foaming cleansers remove oil more effectively than hydrating oils or balms will,” Zeichner explains. “For people with very oily skin, look for a face wash that contains salicylic acid. This will help remove excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin, which will prevent potential flareups and clogged pores.”
Be sure to keep your skin moisturized.
Use a lightweight moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Even if your skin is oil-prone!
“Skin hydration and skin oil production are separate issues,” Dr. Zeichner explains. “Even acne-prone people may need a moisturizer. Especially if you’re wearing a mask, you want to make sure you skin barrier is in the best shape possible, which means it’s both balanced and hydrated.”
Use moisturizer on your ears everyday.
Speaking to the Today.com, Dr. Joshua Zeichner explained that “Moisturizer helps repair the skin barrier and keeps the outer skin there as healthy as possible,” Zeichner said. “A great ingredient to look for is colloidal oatmeal because it forms a breathable film over the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties.”
Know that you have to treat your skin with moisture to make sure it heals.
“If you have any open, raw or sore areas, use an occlusive ointment like Vaseline petroleum jelly. Triple purified petrolatum forms a protective seal over the skin to enhance wound healing and increase skin hydration,” Zeichner explained. “Honey has wound-healing and antimicrobial properties and may be used to any open or raw areas,” Zeichner said.
It might be discouraging but now is the perfect time more than ever to give your skin a makeup break. Wearing makeup on your entire face can cause your pores to clog. “Any potentially irritating or pore-clogging ingredients should be avoided under the mask-covered skin,” dermatologist Hadley King, MD told R29. “I would recommend minimizing makeup — particularly foundations and concealer with heavy formulations — because the increased humidity under the mask could affect your skin’s sebum production and potentially lead to an increase in clogged pores and breakouts.”
Be sure to keep your mask breathable and cotton grade.
According to the CDC, it’s important to keep surgical masks and N-95s available to healthcare providers on the frontlines. Americans should instead be using cloth face coverings. “The best idea is to wear a cover that sits close to the skin and that doesn’t wave away,” explains Dr. Markowitz. “It’s important to remember to touch the mask as little as possible, so you certainly want to wear something that is comfortable, especially if you have sensitive skin.”
Want to keep your skin together and support Latina businesses during this time? Try out these skincare brands by Latinas.
There have been studies done to determine whether Latinxs age slower than others. It’s scientifically proven that we’ve got some good genes, but it could also be that our abuelas taught us the importance of una buena crema.
Here, some Latinx-owned skincare lines to keep your skin looking and feeling blessed. Shine on, reinas!
1. Brujita Skincare
Inspired by the vibrant mercados and healing minerals of Mexico, this brand brings magia straight to your face. Focusing on the power of what Mama Earth gifts us, the products are packed with natural clays and powders all sourced in Mexico. Featuring a vegan crema and face masks with ingredients like cinnamon, cacao and honey powder, Brujita Skincare is some serious face food.
BreadxButta is a lifestyle brand based in Brooklyn, New York, but we are focusing on their CBD wellness line called “Botanica.” Most of the recipes for these Puerto Rican-made products have Taino roots that have been passed down through generations. With healing products like CBD bath soaks, CBD Moon Oil and a CBD tattoo balm, this is where skincare and inner self-care meet.
Sweet Face by Rocio offers an impressive line up of natural products. The shop includes face scrubs, milks and oils for all skin types. Sweet Face even has a little something called “Brow Reviver” for all those chicas that suffered through the skinny brow trend of the ‘90s. With these mujeres-made essentials, your skin is sure to feel sweet.
Mud Shop Naturals are handmade to order in Providence, Rhode Island. To ensure high-caliber, they are produced in small batches. You will definitely feel that quality with products like Turmeric, Kelp and Coffee mudMasks. Finish with some Hemp Seed Facial Serum for the full mud experience.
With the tagline “Skincare for Sun-kissed Skin,” Sun Kiss Organics delivers the goods to help your skin feel its most radiant. Eco-friendly and Harlem, New York-made, this line carries stand-out products like Aloe Rose Toner and Lemon Body Balm. But what we love most about them is their charity. For every product sold, Sun Kiss donates $1 to EarthJustice, an organization working to “ensure widespread protections from pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals.”
You may already be familiar with Loquita Bath & Body for their original Concha Bath Bomb. However, these Mexican-Guatemalan-owned products go far beyond their variety of delicious vegan bath bombs. You’ll definitely go loca over products like Bidi Bidi Body Butter, Chingona Sugar Scrub and Agua de Jamaica Face Mask.
For all the expecting and new mamis out there, Bubbly Moon Naturals has you covered. Literally. Their products are certified vegan and cruelty-free, so you can feel good about what is being absorbed by your skin. There is a natural nursing salve for the breastfeeding mamas and a body soufflé to keep your changing skin as soft as your baby’s.
Tiny Shiny Naturals is the Indigenous-Latinx shop serving up organic, mano-made products bursting with Madre Tierra magic. Products like Concha Serum and Organic Pomada are crystal and moon charged. The thing we love most about this nature-based brand though is the fact that they offer their products at a sliding scale.
While we still don’t know the whereabouts of the Garden of Eden, we do know that Eva’s Garden is located in the Dominican Republic. With a $40 anti-acne facial kit and toners for every skin type, Eva’s Garden is a place you’ll want to get lost in.
All we have to say is: Horchata, Dulce de Leche, and Guava lip balms. However, delectable lip balms are not all Yaocihuatl Organic has to offer. This Los Angeles-based brand has all the fixings to keep your Latinx-glow going. Peep their Etsy shop for goodies like Calendula Face Cream, Coffee Eye Serum and Cayenne Salve.
Amomati Medicinals is where skincare gets sacred. Bridging ancient Mexican and Chinese medicine, these products are sure to elevate not only your skin, but also your spirit. Snag some Medicinal Copal Oil to remove energy blocks or to reduce inflammation in the skin. There’s even a Healing Warrior Face Cream infused with calendula and yarrow to help strengthen and tighten your warrior womxn skin.
If you want your skincare products a little more witchy and revolutionary, look no further than the Indigenous-Xicanx alchemy of Firme Arte’s online bodega. Good luck not spending all your money in this sanctuary of self-care. There are spell soaps and spell scrubs with intentions we love, like: Hella Sensitive, Gimmie Dat Money and F*ck Outta Here. While this is definitely not your abuelita’s bodega, we love how every item is so full of magia.
Hello Kitty decided to big this year for her 45th birthday by collaborating with a Korean beauty brand to create the ultimate a skincare collection. In honor of the beloved Sanrio Japanese cartoon cat, who was first introduced to audiences in 1974, Korean skincare brand The Créme Shop has created a new line called Celebrate. All eight of the new line’s select products are focused primarily on skincare and add up to an entire regimen that start from face cleansing to makeup preparation.
With all of the products holding a $20 max tag price, we’re pretty sure this new line guarantees price effective products that you don’t want to miss out on.
There’s no doubt that makeup remover wipes are highly debated about beauty product. BUT if you are a fan of the easy off wipes, you might just get a real kick out of these strawberry rose-scented babies. Especially because they can even remove waterproof makeup! – $6
For the chica trying to stave away aging and wrinkles, this vitamin E packed serum could be the answer. Loaded with an “apple essence” and ceramides serum this product is meant to retain moisture. The instructions say to use five drops of the serum before applying to your skin that was washed.- $15
Like the other fruitful scents in this line, Hello Kitty’s watermelon-infused moisturizer is loaded with hyaluronic acid and rich antioxidants and is meant to help reduce fine lines and promote a JLO-like glow. – $20
Even though Hello Kitty’s under-eye patches are made with collagen and caviar might seem too fancy to be true but the $5 masks promise to alleviate dark circles and puffiness. The instructions say to keep the masks on for 15 minutes on freshly cleansed skin and gently press dry. – $5
Ahh, the venda. So heavily relied on but so under-appreciated for what it does to your skin-care and beauty routines. Hello Kitty’s Plush Spa headband isn’t just adorable for all of its logo designs but its material will totally make you feel as if you’re in a spa. – $9
This rose water and diamond essence priming spray will prep your skin and have it ready for your makeup routine when it comes time for application. For a dewy moisturized base, spray the water onto your skin after you’ve cleansed and moisturized. Once you’ve applied your makeup spray the product on afterward. – $14
This cute Hello Kitty donut sheet mask looks tasty and delicious like a birthday treat. Infused with collagen, cucumber, and white tea to ensure a glowing and brighter complexion this product from Hello Kitty’s birthday collection is a guaranteed gift. – $4
Big-time fans of Hello Kitty know that The Créme Shop has a history of creating hand creams, but this one from the Celebrate collection is 100% for keeps. The whipped cacao scented hand cream is enriched with vitamin E and shea butter for a lovely and subtle chocolate smell that will help to moisturize dry skin. A big plus? The 1.6 oz. bottle is travel-friendly. $10
Minimize your pores and blackheads with this apple and rose-scented clarifying peel mask that promises to also remove oil, and dirt right from your pores. For the most effective results be sure to keep the mask on for 15 minutes after cleansing and toning skin. – $12
To really kick off celebrations for the beloved white cat go all out with your pampering and go for Hello Kitty’s boxset spa collection. The box includes a sleep mask, the spa headband, and strawberry champagne-scented bath crystals. – $20
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