Are you a breastfeeding mom? Well, bravo first of all, because the rest of us breastfeeding moms know it isn’t easy. What with the discomfort that can be associated (in the beginning) with the taboo surrounding it being done in public?! (Hey all! In our opinion, Mother Nature wins.)

Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun's ultraviolet, or UV, rays. Two types of UV rays, known as UVA and UVB, trigger harmful changes in your skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth's surface. Although UVB rays are less prevalent, they also cause skin damage. Both UVA and UVB rays contribute to the development of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone – regardless of skin colour – protect their skin by wearing sunscreen. Protection from UV rays is important all year round, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

kinks and coils and curls

There is a point in the lives of most black women when they are at a complete and utter loss for what to do. The woman sits forlornly in front the mirror hopelessly wishing for the intervention of a third party, as her reflection stares back at her. This is because her hair is in absolute tangles and she has no idea what to do; or if she does know what to do, she really doesn’t have the energy to carry out the arduous tasks. Just thinking about obstacles like detangling and little things called fairy knots can make haircare a chore. There are different types of hair, which are not as hard to maintain, especially when cut in a low and manageable style, but talks of the different textures is for a whole other time. When it comes to black hair, the science behind it can be complicated and exhausting, but the takeaway is a beautiful head of healthy hair.

Preparing your face to receive makeup

Many see makeup as something complicated and will shy away from it for fear they may not look exactly perfect when they finish with their looks. This concern is both right and wrong. It is right in that applying makeup takes practice, so one may not achieve perfection the first few times around. However, it is wrong, because perfection is often boring when it comes to makeup application. As people’s knowledge of makeup grows and the techniques begin to change; there are newer methods for makeup application that strive for a more realistic outcome rather than the porcelain perfect looks of Instagram. Not only are those looks hard to maintain on a daily basis, they are also time-consuming and don’t look great after a few hours in the Caribbean sun. The most important aspect of makeup is healthy skin.

What is often forgotten is that it is essential to remove the dead and flaking skin from the face before anything is applied. Without exfoliation, you’re just adding a layer of makeup to different textures. The best way to avoid this is to start with a clean, smooth slate. Exfoliation is not something that should be done every day, as you will not develop extra dead skin over the course of one day, but perhaps every five days. During the process, avoid ripping and scraping the skin off. Yes, the skin on the top may be dry and flaked; but the skin beneath is sensitive. A cheap, at-home remedy for this is using some baking soda and water in the palm of the hand and very gingerly rubbing the dead skin from your face. This can also be achieved using a soft exfoliation brush in addition to your choice of cleanser. Rinsing with lukewarm (not hot) water helps to remove excess skin without burning the tender skin beneath.

Many respond to this next step with apprehension. The weather is very hot on St. Maarten and the prospect of adding a layer of heat seems to be unnecessary, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Once you remove a layer of skin from your face, you should replace it with some sort of moisture. Find products made to add extra moisture without coating your skin and creating that icky layer of grease. It is suggested you apply the moisturizer with one finger on the four quadrants of your face directly on wet skin. Use your damp fingers to very gently spread the product around to create an even coating on your face. Depending on the choice of moisturizer, it’s possible to add a bit more. Finally, use a fresh towel to pat your face dry, do not rub or scrape at your face. Allow your face to cool and the moisturizer to evaporate.

After these two steps, your face will be ready for the makeup or to be bare for the rest of the day. It will feel healthier and smoother.

By Claudienne Peterson

~ Quash those cravings happily ~

It’s not easy getting on the healthy eating track if you’ve fallen off, or even if you’ve never started. I’m slowly getting back on after delivering my beautiful bundle of joy – and let me tell you, a lot of my “bad” foods, that are unfriendly to the upper thighs, upper arms and face, still made it over to the other side AFTER pregnancy. I still crave lots of sugar, salt and fat. I need that satisfaction, I want to give myself a partial excuse that some of it comes from the fact that I’m breastfeeding.

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