#HAWMC, au naturale, beauty, beauty products, castor oil, challenge, chronic autoimmune, clarisonic, co-wash, exfoliate, face, face wash, facial, lupie chick, lupie chick project, lupus, lupus Awareness, lupus foundation, natural, natural hair, neutrogena

#HAWMC Lupie Chicks Love Hate Relationship with the Sun

20130411-204927.jpgWinter has finally realized that his season is over! Spring is here; the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, sun shining, warm weather (75+ degrees daily), fresh spring/summer fruit is ripe and sweet (I had the best strawberries from Sam’s club last week). I love this Caribbean type weather, the hotter it is the more I enjoy it! What’s there to complain about?? The sun… ooh the sun is NOT my friend. Lupie Chicks such as me should avoid exposure to the sun as much as possible. Photosensitivity is one of the most aggravating triggers of our disease. It doesn’t take much exposure to ensure that we have a reaction. I went out yesterday for lunch with a girlfriend (trying to be “normal”). After lunch we walked around, enjoying the fresh air and the street vendors. Minutes after I returned to my desk, the nauseous feeling, and migraine hit me like an atomic bomb. I could feel myself slowly deteriorating right at my desk. I wanted to crawl under the desk and lay in a fetal position until it passed. I held it together trying not to bring attention to myself. As soon as 5 o’clock came, I was OUT of there, went straight home…. 3 extra strength Tylenol and 2 hours later Advil, I SHUT IT ALL THE WAY DOWN….

sun

For us, sun exposure, even for as little as 30 minutes, causes us to develop migraine headaches, makes us feel nauseas and/or we will experience painful joints. Additionally, exposure to the sun can cause our disease to flare-up (an increase in the activity and symptoms of the disease. This may cause an acute attack of arthritis, pleurisy (chest pain when inhaling), fever, kidney disease, and even epilepsy. Sun sensitivity and UV light sensitivity (photosensitivity) is present in about 90 percent of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 40 to 60 percent of patients with discoid lupus, and about 70 percent of patients with subacute lupus erythematosus.

I had to get back into my “summertime” routine. ** I occasionally, try and move about my day like my counter parts and not like a Lupie Chick, BUT I can’t, it’s not healthy for me. I’m accepting that the few extra minutes it takes me to do the extra things are well worth it at the end of the day.

Skin, after my shower, I start by applying Shea Butter (which has a SPF of about 5) & Coconut Oil (whipped together) as an all over skin moisturizer (body only-not face).

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I then apply sunscreen (to my entire body). My dermatologist recommended Neutrogena Age Shield (SPF 70). Face, I apply Clinique Super City Block Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 40, then follow with Clinique stay Matte Sheer Press Powder. You can CLICK HERE to review my complete skin routine (including usage of Clarisonic cleansing brush, hydrocortisone, and daily face cleansing).

420403_3700599594512_871037023_nMe & Mama Naturalista

( I wasn’t being a diva, I was in my summer time protective gear)

Clothing, I wear either long pants, mid sleeve top, with a long sleeve spring/summer sweater or blazer (to cover my arms) or I wear maxi dresses (that come pass my ankles- to cover my legs) along with a summer sweater or blazer. I can’t adorn a hat or scarf to work, but I will wear sunglasses, if I have to go out during the day. On the weekends I will wear a wide brim hat or scarf. I purposefully bring my lunch and avoid going outside until after 2:00pm (when the UV rays aren’t as strong), If I must go outside earlier in the day, I will also use an umbrella to block the sun. Shoes, I typically wear flat ballerina shoes, but most recently I’ve had to opt for pep toe flats (due to Subungual Hematoma).

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Dress  & Sweater Target, Sandals Nine West, Necklace-hand made by Me

I try and wear brighter colors, (it may be my imagination) but it seems as if the dark colors draw more heat. I have to take every precaution necessary to stay cool. The season is here, and we have to be careful and take extra precaution to stay well during these spring/summer months.

Disclaimer: The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.
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acne, aloe vera gel, au naturale, biotin, blackhead, blemish, cetphil, cvs apricot scrub, dermablend, facial, lemon juice, miss sixx, pores, prenatal vitamins, rosewater, whitehead

My New Love Affair with Aloe Vera Gel

I suffer terribly with adult acne, which in my case causes blackheads & whiteheads. Every time I remove one, I’m left with scarring, bruising, and damaged skin ( irritation, peeling, & redness). I have very sensitive, oily, & acne prone skin. I had sought the advice of a dermatologist 11 months ago, I was prescribed all sorts of topical creams including bleaching creams to fade the dark marks, 10% Benzoyl Peroxide cream ( which cause severe drying, and peeling), Biotin, Prenatal Vitamins, Cetphil Face Wash, Cetphil facial moisturizer-in which none of them worked. Actually- my skin WORSENED *yikes*


The dark mark in the center of my forehead started my affair with products to lighten the dark spot and stop the peeling & dryness.

In recent months,I’ve become a slave to Dermablend. I inquired on Twitter about concealers and everyone responded to forget concealers- go for the Dermablend. I ran out, purchased the Dermablend and thought I have found the solution to my problems. Well- sorta… I’ve never been that chick to wake up and apply mounds of make up because of insecurities. My face had broken out so badly that I was embarrassed of my naked face. My nose was RED like Rudolph the red nose reindeer, I have hyper pigmentation all over my nose, and checks, and bottom line- I wasn’t happy looking at myself with a bare face. If any of you are familiar with Dermablend– you know that its a full coverage face cream & very HEAVY. For me personally- I cant do Dermablend in this heat- I sweat+ its runs=NotAGoodLook.com

A picture of me in full make up wearing Dermablend

**Note.. When I had loc’s I normally wore my hair away from my face- with my fro, hair typically touches my face- will start wearing my hair awayf from my face to aid in clearing up my skin**

I was discussing the situation with a girlfriend yesterday, she had never seen me without makeup and couldn’t imagine what I was talking about. So I sent her a pic of my “naked” face. She instantly replied and said it wasn’t as bad as I had made it sound and all I needed was aloe vera gel. O_o ( Bubbled Eyed GAS FACE)- Did you just say Aloe Vera Gel? The same stuff that I apply to my hair almost daily??? She said YES- it will soothe your skin and stop the peeling. ummmmmm … OK, I’ve tried EVERYTHING else under the sun- WHY NOT..

** pic of nose-most troubled area-no makeup**
**naked face- no make up**

I went to my local CVS and purchased the CVS brand aloe -the brand I always use. When I picked up the bottle the first thing I saw was a quote that said ” Cools and soothes minor skin irritations, abrasions and sunburns. Helps restore moisture to damaged skin and helps prevent drying and peeling.” SAY WORD!!!!

As I strolled through the aisles I notice this weird looking tool. Its a blackhead/whitehead remover- wait- this is the same tool that the esthetician used on my face when I went to get a facial a few months ago? I sat in the aisle- went to you tube on my phone to see if there were any videos on how to properly use the tool- yep- there were videos with all the necessary instruction- so I purchased the tool as well.

When I got home, I watched additional videos on how to use the tool. In the videos , it was also suggested that you do a gentle scrub- which the dermatologist had instructed me NOT to do. Obviously what she instructed me to do wasn’t working so- I went for it..


Step One
I steamed my face to open pores

Applied CVS Apricot Scrub with my finger tips and massaged it into my skin ( for 30-45 seconds)


Rinse face to remove all traces of the scrub


Step Two
I rolled the wire loop of the Blackhead Extractor across my face, applying light pressure ( I started with my nose), be sure to have a tissue or something handy to wipe away the secretions that’s clogging your pores or white/black heads. ** this is not for those with a weak stomach- very disgusting**


Step Three
Apply Toner to face ( I use Rosewater and Lemon Juice mix)

Step Four
Apply Aloe Vera Gel generously all over my face. ** I paid special attention to my nose- since that is the area this is peeling, bruised, and red.**

Let me tell you- today is the FIRST day in 11 months that my nose isn’t peeling, and my skin isn’t feeling greasy or looking like an oil slick!!!!! The Aloe Vera did the TRICK!!!!!! Let me find out that I’ve spent hundreds of dollars over the past 11 months and all I needed was aloe vera to stop the peeling on my nose. Normally, I wake up to cracked dry patches on my nose, followed by peeling after I wash my face or exit the shower ( just scabs of skin hanging there like a booger-disgusting). This morning, I washed my face with plain water ( no face wash, creams, or cleansers), I then applied a small amount of my rosewater toner all over ( with a cotton pad) and more aloe vera gel ( as a moisturizer). Today, my nose feels smooth-and its not as red. I’m feeling like I have hope and I’m on my way to skin recovery and healing. If Im seeing results like this after 1 application, Im excited to see whats ahead in 2 weeks, 6 months, this time next year!!!!!

DISCLAIMER: I am neither a doctor nor a licensed esthetician. Use at your own risk! Remember that my experience should not take the place of professional advice.

au naturale, conditioner, deep conditioner, dry hair, egg whites, eggs, EVOO, facial, Garnier Fructis, honey, miss sixx, natural hair, protective style, receipe, twist outs

My Deep Conditioner Receipe


**Picture is after hair was DC and styled twist out**

Most of you know that I use very little commerical product on my hair. 97% of the items I apply to my hair, most of you have in your kitchen. I was making an egg white facial mask and didn’t want to discard the yoke ( food is too expensive to disgard stuff). So I thought I would whip up a quick deep conditioner for my hair. The mixologist in me was experimenting and this is what I came up with.

1 egg yoke ( you can use the whole egg if desired)
1 tbsp of Raw Honey
2 tbsp EVOO ( Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
2 tbsp spoons of your favorite conditioner ( I used Garnier Fructis Haircare Triple Nutrition 3-Minute Undo Dryness Reversal Treatment)

Directions:
Beat (egg)yoke with a fork, add the remaining ingredients, mix until everything is well blended.

Substitutions:
* Feel free to substitute the olive oil for any natural oil of your choice.
* Add more oil for extra dry hair (e.g. 1 tablespoon).
* Add more honey for hair that needs more sheen (e.g. 2 tablespoons).

Instructions for Use:

* Section hair into 4 segments.
* Generously apply evenly to hair, from root to ends concentrating on ends
* Smooth hair into a protective style (e.g. braided ponytail, or bun).
* Put a conditioner cap or heat cap over hair
*let sit for 30-60 minutes
*Rinse, style as desired

Have you experimented with making homemade conditioner(s)?? I’m very curious to hear about your experiments and favorite homemade receipe- Lets talk about it!

acv rinse, apple cider vinegar, au naturale, bentonite clay, blow dry, coconut milk, damage, ezema, facial, hair treatment, herbal infusion, miss sixx, shampoo, vitamin Shoppe

Benefits of Bentonite Clay

What is Bentonite Clay?
It is a detoxifying clay that can be used both internally and externally. It is commonly used amongst us natural queens as a hair cleanser but is also great for the skin.

Benefits of Bentonite?
Used as a shampoo, Bentonite removes build up and dirt from the hair and scalp without stripping. It is highly absorbent, so when used on the skin-it extracts oils and toxins from the skin.

How to use Bentonite?
It it mostly commonly combined with plain water, EVOO, or ACV.

Where to find Bentonite?
It can be found at many health food stores.

Bentonite Clay Curl Popping Hair Care Treatment Recipe:

This recipe depends on the length and thickness of your naturally curly hair.

Prep time: 10 mins

Instructions
Mix 1 to 2 parts Bentonite clay
Slowly add *water to the clay until you achieve a pancake mix texture.
Apply to your hair (dry or wet)
Allow to set for between 15 – 20 minutes
Rinse thoroughly until it’s all out of your curls, kinks and coils.

*water can be replaced with your choice of liquid for example: Organic Coconut Milk Herbal infusion or anything you like…* (Source: Anitagrant.com)

While researching info about Bentonite, I found so much information about this wonder clay. It is also effective treatment for skin rashes like Eczema, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, Autism and the list goes on. I don’t know about you, but I am running to my health food store to whip up a recipe this weekend.
I’ll keep ya posted.

antioxidants, au naturale, beauty, facial, hair, hair receipes, homemade skin care, ingredients, make your own skin care, mouisturizer, natural, natural skin care, organic, vegatable glycerin, water

Vegatable Glycerin

What is it Vegetable Glycerin?

This is a versatile all natural product with an extended shelf life. It is a carbohydrate made from vegetable oil, often palm or coconut oil. It is water-soluble as well as hypoallergenic. Not only is it safe for use in cosmetics but ingestible as well.

Vegetable Glycerine is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid with an incredibly sweet taste having the consistency of thick syrup. It is used as an agent in cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoos, soaps, herbal remedies, pharmaceuticals, and other household items. Because it is soluble in both, water and alcohol, its versatility is a major benefactor in its purported growth and popularity within the manufacturing sector. It is invaluable as a natural source ingredient with emollient like properties which can soften and soothe the skin and it assists the outer epidermis in retaining moisture. This helps to explain why it is one of the most popular cosmetic additives used today.

Glowing Skin Benefits

Vegetable Glycerin will help your skin by aiding with moisture retention that is so vital to skins health. We damage our skin with nature’s elements, make up, and water everyday. We use cleaners that contain drying agents and synthetics. We dry skin to the point of being visually flaking, peeling and look dull.

The anti-aging properties of vegetable glycerin helps keep that healthy additional moisture locked into the skin. The result is soft, smooth, silky skin that is radiant and younger looking.
Whether it is young, hormonal skin changes or mature skin the advantage of using this all-natural product will be obvious almost immediately.

Battling Acne

The skin being clean and properly moisturized prevents acne. There are commonly adverse effects such as redness or irritation with the common chemicals used in skin products. Vegetable glycerin is hypoallergenic and ideal for all skin types. There is a visible difference in skin when using these acne cleansers and moisturizers.

Preventing Acne

The antibacterial properties will keep pores clean from clogging debris that causes acne without the inflammation that can occur from using unnatural products.
Healing Acne:The same antibacterial properties in Vegetable glycerin will aid in the healing of acne after it has surfaced without undesirable or harmful effects.

There are very few products on the market today are not only as affordable but also as adaptable to your skin type as Vegetable glycerin. This acne and anti-aging solution is the answer to many dilemmas over what products are safe and effective for all skin types and ages.


Most glycerin recipes that I come across are

3 parts aloe vera gel
1 part vegetable glycerin

combine the two and mix well, use as a hair moisturizer. I have also used this as a facial moisturizer, it works you do need to refrigerate the concoction though ( its the aloe vera) there are also other variations such as a

natural hair spritzer

8 ounces distilled water

1 teaspoon aloe vera gel

1-2 drops of vegetable glycerine

1-2 drops essential oil

15 drops grapefruit seed extract

antioxidants, au naturale, castor oil, dry skin, EVOO, face, facial, method, miss sixx, mouisturizer, ocm, oil cleansing method, oily skin, olive oil, organic, skin cleansing, sunflower seed oil

OCM Cleaning Method

The Oil Cleansing Method

Today I decided to wash my face with olive oil and castor oil mix. I did a google search on natural facial cleaners and moisturizers after I broke out ONCE a gain with white heads. Of course I was itching to try it. I asked a few co workers about it and they were very informative. They provided and had mixed reviews; One co worker stated that she broke out around her hair line ( which was a concern because at the time, I had several white heads on my forehead and hair line), a second co worker raved about it and lets say she has the most beautiful skin I’ve ever seen. So I figured since I had the products at home in my make shift chemist lab ( the basement) I had to do it. Results:I like it. It left my face tight like I had washed and toned my face but still smooth and not dry looking. From the reading that I done that is probably the castor oil as that is suppose to be the one that pulls out the impurities.

What you need:
  • Wash Cloth
  • Extra Virgin Olive or Sun Flower Seed oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Flip top bottle/Container to keep the oils premixed.

The basic combination of oils for OCM is Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) or Sunflower Seed Oil and Castor Oil. The olive oil is for moisture, Sunflower Seed Oil has a more luxurious feel for massage. It sinks into the skin better, aiding the castor oil in transportation deep into the pores and allowing it to draw the dirt and grime to the surface of your skin where it can be wiped away. and the castor oil is the cleansing part. If you have dry skin, you would want to use more olive oil than castor oil. Say 75% olive oil, and 25% castor oil. Oily skin would be the opposite: 75% castor oil, 25% olive oil. I would start with 50/50 when you first start and then adjust.

The OCM Method:
1. On DRY skin, massage the oils all over your face and neck. Do this over makeup, dirt, whatever else is on your face. Take your time and really massage it in.
2. Take your washcloth and wet it with hot, or very warm water (the warmer the better so it can dissolve the oil better, but don’t burn yourself.) Wring it out and then drape it over your face. (This is steaming the pores) do this a couple of times.

3.As the washcloth cools, start wiping the oil off of your face. Rinse the washcloth and repeat as much as necessary.

4.After that, you can rinse your face in cool water.

5. If your face feels tight, you can apply your moisturizer. If it feels good, you don’t need to. You don’t have to use this method every time you wash your face. You can just do it before bed, or in the morning. I do it daily right before I shower. You will be very surprised that this actually works! Castor oil is known to be an excellent skin cleansing agent, but it is too drying for some skin. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants and is an excellent moisturizer. Olive oil renews the skin, but it can be too fatty for oily skin types.

6. mix and store my mixture in a clean four-ounce flip-top bottle for convenience. When you go to replenish your oil blend, I suggest cleaning your bottle thoroughly with dish soap or the dishwasher. Better yet, if you can replace the bottle, this is ideal. We want to be extremely cautious in introducing bacteria to the bottle.