About Natiya Hood

Hello everyone, Thank you for reading my thoughts on beauty. Truthfully, I am ready for a change in the way we as Black women, African American, Women of Color, and Just women period; view ourselves. Word by word, post by post, and reader by reader, I'm sharing what beauty means to me. I hope you are inspired by my posts, to reclaim, and reinvent what your vision of beauty is; thank you for finally joining the Renaissance.

Ingredience Haul: The 411 on antioxidants

skinphd1Antioxidants are in almost all skincare, from shampoo to bar soap.  People swear by these age-fighting helpers, but do most of us even know what they are?  Allow me to explain.

 

What are antioxidants?

In a nutshell, antioxidants absorb free-radicals  inside cells. Since we’re talking about skin, we’ll say skin cells. Generally speaking, free-radicals cause cells to break down, which can age skin.  On a grand scale,  free-radicals can also attribute to cancer and illness.  Free-radicals are caused by  bad health and bodily pollution caused by the environment, or by you ( i.e. smoking, drinking etc.)

Where do antioxidants come from?

In nature, all fruits and veggies are filled with antioxidants;  especially fruit.  Different colors mean different types of antioxidants.  Berries, melons, carrots, you name it, nature has an antioxidant for you.  In skin care,  most antioxidants are synthetic. This is a good thing because it means the antioxidant is in a stable form that will allow the skin to utilize the antioxidant most efficiently when topically applied.

What’s the bottom line?

Antioxidants are very good to have in skin care because they help skin retain its youth, and helps us fight free-radical damage with regular use.  On the other hand,  topical application is no substitute for good health, and the whole body needs antioxidants, not just the skin!

When should I start using antioxidants in skincare?

Immediately! Antioxidants come in the form of vitamins, like C, B, etc.  You can never be too young to take your vitamins.  Skin PhD has many products that utilize the power of antioxidants in the perfect skincare cocktail.  Click here to learn more.

Why Renaissance is my favorite candy

candy-imageThere are so many new skincare products made for Black women, that sometimes I feel like I’m in a candy store and want to try everything I see! Since the beginning, Skin PhD had always had the Renaissance line to serve the skin care needs of Black women, and women of color.  The most unique thing about Renaissance is that many of their key ingredient are botanicals traditional to Africa, and have been  used there for generations.

Kalahari Melonkalahari melon

African Kalahari Melon extract  helps to protect against the appearance of UV and free-radical damage, similar to Vitamin C. It’s also rich in Vitamin B6. The Kalahari Melon extract in Skin PhD Renaissance products is concentrated, which is a good thing!

Marula Oil

Marula+fruit+on+branch+LR1Marula is a small golden fruit, indigenous to South Africa. Archaeological evidence shows the Marula tree is as old as 10,000 years B.C. The oil comes from the kernel inside the fruit; It’s more nutrient rich than argon oil and can be used on the whole body.

Renaissance products are also made with other ingredients we love like black tea and Shea butter. Skin PhD has always made products especially for women of color, which is why in this new “candy store,” this is one you should try.

The top three exfoliators, best suited for your personality

images (3)Women can and will find any and every excuse in the book not to try an new product. We know how to get out of doing something if we think it’s a waste of time.  Finding the right exfoliator can be hard; some of us just choose to stick with soap and water because we don’t feel like searching for the “right one.”  We’re all different and what one might like, the other may hate. To the task of trying something new easier,  I’ve recommended three different exfoliators, for three very different of women.  Keep reading to find your match made in heaven, at least as far as your skin is concerned!

“I have no time, I’m always on the run.”

The type of woman is so busy, she barely has time  to brush her teeth in the morning. She has a lot to do, and a small amount of time to do it.  For this woman, I would recommend the Papaya Exfoliator.  This exfoliant is so effective, you can feel and see it working  even after one use.  The busy woman will appreciate this because she knows it’s not a waste of time, the exfoliant actually works, and she doesn’t have to do it everyday.  To learn more about this product, click here.

“If I can help it, I only want the best of everything, all the time.”

This is the lady, that will travel an hour, just for the best donuts in  town, even if they aren’t for her.  If it something luxurious that she can rave about to her friends, she’ll  do whatever it takes to get it.  For her,  I’d recommend the AHA Seven Fruit Amidroxy Exfoliator.  It was voted best skin care product on the Dr. Oz Show. It’s made from natural fruit acids from red and citrus fruits and has intense anti-aging properties.  To learn more about this product, click here.

“If it’s not comfortable, I won’t wear it; from the bobby-pins in my hair, to the shoes on my feet.”

This type of woman is all about comfort, and won’t have anything that goes against her #1 requirement.  She’ll stop using a product in a heartbeat if is causes discomfort in anyway.  For her, I recommend the AHA Gentle Exfoliating Cream, This one is made from  natural fruit acids, along with minerals, proteins, vitamins and African Shea Butter.  It’s a cream base, so it feels good on the skin, and doesn’t leave you dry.  To learn more about this product, click here.

 

Combat uneven skin with this three step cocktail, sworn to leave you with flawless skin!

10952647_sAn uneven skin tone is enough to  kill your  vibe on any day.  Sometimes,  dark patches seem to appear out of no where, even when you think you’ve done everything right!.  Normally,  when get dark spots, it’s because I popped a pimple and it left a mark,  but you can also get dark spots from scars  that aren’t healing properly, and even from the sun     (normally dark spots from the sun tend to look like freckles).  You’ve probably read many different articles, and tried a few products to make your  dark spots go away;  many of which probably haven’t helped you.  If you’re still up for the challenge, then keep reading,  because I have a triple threat, skincare cocktail that will finally give you the results you want!

pap_enzyDark spots are caused by  an accumulation of dead skin cells caused by damage; it could be from a scar,  the sun, etc.  In order to jump start the fading process,  you need an exfoliant that is safe enough to use everyday without irritation, and one that effectively rids your skin of dead skin cells.  My favorite exfoliator is the Papaya Enzymatic Exfoliator.  If you want to learn why I love this one, click here to read all about it!

Next,  in order to fade dark spots and even your skin tone,  you’ll need a skin toner.  Thereren_even_tone are many different toners to choose from,   but for people with dark skin,  you’ll need a toner that slows the reproduction of melanocytes in your skin.   This is because, after we exfoliate, new skin cells are going to come to the skin’s surface, and since we’re trying to fade dark spots and even the skin tone,   it helps to slow melanocytes down,  at least until the dark spots disappear.  My favorite toner is the Even Tone Day Serum. To learn more about this product, click here.

 

ren_repl_night_creamFinally,  after all that toning and exfoliating,  a good moisturizer will make sure your skin stays supple and radiant until you’ve achieved the results you’ve been looking for.  My favorite moisturizer is the The replenishing night cream.  In addition to shea butter,  it’s enriched with  African botanicals and vitamins that your skin needs to stay healthy.

Try my even skin tone cocktail and let me know how it goes! If it goes really well, don’t forget to drop a selfie!

Three tips that will take your new year’s resolution from challenge to success story.

Happy-New-Years-2015-1All too common are  new year’s promises;  right about now, everyone is screaming, ” new year, new me,” and so on.  In the midst of all these new year resolutions,    I’m sure there’s many good things you did in 2014,  that definitely need to make an appearance in 2015 and vice versa.  When  it comes to healthy skin,  what we put inside  can always be seen on the outside.  Here are three tips  your should take with you into 2015,  that will make some of those new year resolutions a lot easier to keep!

Tip 1:  Be selective!  Don’t settle  for less than what you need to be happy,  that’s in life and in  your skin care products.

Not all skin care products are made to be  effective on dark skin.  We’ve all had that experienced trying product that was supposed to be  good,  but did absolutely nothing.  Skin PhD tailors it’s products to the needs of  people with different skin types, and colors. Go to www.skinphd.com to learn more about products specifically made for women of color.

Tip 2:  Read more! a chapter a day keeps the Alzheimer’s away.

Granted,  that’s not a scientific fact, but it has been proven that reading everyday keeps you’re brain sharp!   You will learn tons about being healthy and skin health just by reading this blog, and our sister blog.  Each post is not too long,  but packed with information that will leave  you sounding something like a skin care guru to all your friends.

Tip 3:  Fruits and veggies save lives! Add more  to your diet whenever  and however you can.

For those of us that love junk food,  fruits an veggies can seem  boring and almost like a chore.  On the other hand,  no one  ever got sick from  too many veggies (unless allergic).  Skin PhD products, are like salad for the skin; packed with healthy ingredients derived from super foods like algae, papaya and watermelon.   Visit the website and browse some of our “healthy” selections; your skin will eat them up!

Three tips that will save your skin from the Holidays

Happy+Holidays+allThe Holiday season is upon us; that means more friends, more family and more memories.  Along with these jolly good times, will be more drinks, more food, longer nights, and partying,  which can definitely wear on the skin.  This year,  give  your skin a gift  by using these three things to keep your skin looking good all season long.

 

1.  Drink a  glass of water with every meal

This Holiday season, you’ll be eating a lot more meals with family and having a lot more drinks with friends.  Have just and 8 oz glass of water with every meal and every cocktail.  Make a conscious effort to drink water with your turkey and cranberry spritzer,  will   help give the body  a better chance of clearing toxins, so they don’t end up on your face!

2.  Get some sleep

It you’re not slaving over a stove,or wrapping gifts all night, you’re out painting the town red!  In between the  long nights,  don’t forget the body needs at least 8 hours of rest to fully recuperate.  Make every effort to get a good night’s sleep  this year and your skin  will look most healthy.

3 Limit internal pollution

Around the holidays,  we drink more, we eat more, and some of us may even have a cigar or two when the clock strikes 12 on  the 1st, but all those extra toxins inside our body tend to show up on the face almost instantly.  In order to control breakouts,   limit the amount of drinks,  fatty foods and smoke pollution on your body  and your  skin will thank you!

 

The truth about Cellulite and how to get rid of it

photolibrary_rm_photo_of_woman_pinching_cellulite If you are a woman, there’s an 80% chance you’ll have cellulite on your body at  some point in time.  What is cellulite? I’m glad you asked; its  those fat deposits that look like cottage cheese, lumpy, loose, unattractive skin, that seem to frequent your thighs, booty, stomach, and arms.  Fortunately Skin PhD has come up with something to help us get rid of it, but first,  lets go over the cold facts!

What Is Cellulite?

Cellulite is technically just fat;  however, specialists  say that  the protrusion of underlying fat within fibrous connective tissue is what causes cellulite’s lumpy appearance.

What Causes Cellulite?

There are several factors that cause cellulite, but  what seems to be most popular are:

  1. Genes: Most likely,  if your mom doesn’t have it, than neither will you!
  2. Hormones: Specialists speculate that women are more likely to develop cellulite because of estrogen; men hardly ever develop cellulite.
  3. Lifestyle: People who eat fatty,  salty foods and who don’t frequent exercise, are more likely to get cellulite.

So now that we know  a little more about that horrible monster that  haunts the back of our thighs ( mine especially), lets talk about getting rid of it! click here to learn more about getting rid of cellulite.

Head into fall looking flawless!

autumn-leaves-wallpapers-photos The summer was fun, but as it comes to an end, it’s time to do some damage control.  The secret to flawless skin in the fall is to keep the summer glow and repair damage at the same time. In order to do this, I’ve listed three simple steps that will make  this Fall the best your skin’s ever seen.

1. Keep the glow

It’s inevitable, the beautiful tan you got this summer is bound to fade. The sun gives your skin a dewy, hydrated glow.  To retain that glow, the best thing you can do is hydrate and moisturize regularly.  In order to do this, the Skin PhD Renaissance Replenishing Night Cream  will give your skin all the moisture it needs to stay hydrated and supple in the fall.  It’s made with a generous amount of shea butter, marula oil and jojoba oil in order to help heal dry skin and to  bring a natural glow.

2. Repair damage from the sun

Even though the sun makes us look good, UVA and UVB rays cause harm to skin cells and collagen production.  Peptides encourage skin cells to increase collagen production.  Skin PhD Peptide Complex Cream contains two types of peptide chains:  Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5 and Hexapeptide-10. Over time the overall appearance of your skin will be more firm and more youthful.

3. Give your skin the vitamins it deserves

In addition to regular moisturization and repair, the skin needs vitamins just as much as your body does.  Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins that aid in cellular regeneration and repair. Vitamin C  helps inhibit overactive melanocytes.  This will help even your skin tone.  Vitamin C also helps promote collagen repair in the skin.  Click here to learn more about Skin PhD and products that will give you flawless skin, once Fall is in full effect.

The truth about sundamage, sunscreen and people of color pt. 2

sunshineLately sunscreen has become all the rage; even the news is urging people of all colors to wear a sunscreen. Although healthy skin is your best protectant against sun damage,  when choosing a sunscreen, all are not created equal.

There are two types of sunscreen: physical and chemical.  Chemical sunscreens are  very common and inexpensive.  Chemical sunscreens absorb sun rays, instead of the skin absorbing sun rays. These are the ones that go on clear, and that should be applies about 20 minutes before sun exposure in order for them to protect the skin against sun rays.  They usually last for about an hour, then you have to reapply more.

Physical sunscreens are made from crushed zinc and titanium.  Physical sunscreens reflect sun rays off and away from the skin.  These last much longer on the skin than chemical  sunscreen are  less harmful.

Due to recent discoveries, chemical sunscreens have become very controversial. Some doctors even say this type of sunscreen is toxic and may cause cancer.  Chemical sunscreens are made with endocrine disruptors. These toxins are known to stay in the body and may cause:

  1. Higher levels of estrogen in women leading to earlier puberty in girls.
  2. Higher risk of infertility in men.

So when it comes to protecting the skin against the sun,  be safe by using a physical sunscreen, and always keep to your skin care regiment. This will ensure your skin will stay healthy and beautiful for a long time.

The truth about sun damage, sunscreen and people of color Pt. I

dv088103aSun protection has always been a tricky subject,  especially for people of color.  I’m sure as children most of us never wore sunscreen or anything  along those lines.  Nowadays,  everywhere you turn, even the news says that people of all colors need to be wearing sun protection.

Truthfully for people of color, healthy skin will provide more more protection from harmful sun rays sunscreen,  Although people of color are least prone to skin diseases caused by sun exposure, photoaging still poses a threat to beautiful, ageless skin.

What is photoaging?

Photoaging occurs when the skin is exposed to the sun’s ultra violet rays for prolonged period of time.  There are two  types of ultraviolet sunrays: UVB and UVA.

UVB versus UVA damage

UVB rays are sun rays that only penetrate the epidermis;  the most outer layer of the skin.  For people of color,  UVB rays are what make us darker in the summer.   Over exposure of UVB rays may also lead to discoloration and freckles.  UVB rays are also the culprit of the common skin cancer, melanoma.  Although people of color are least likely to develop melanoma,  studies have shown that melanoma in people of color is three times more likely to be fatal than in fair skinned people, if it is not detected early enough to heal the skin.

UVA rays are most damaging to our skin.  These rays are able to penetrate the epidermis and able to reach the dermis,  the second layer of skin.  This layer contains blood vessels, collagen, elastin, and extrafibrillar matrix which gives the skin structure.  UVA rays thin the dermis;  thinner dermis means thinner,  more wrinkled,  drier, more aged skin.

Healthy skin versus sunscreen

Healthy skin plays a major role in protecting our skin from UVA and UVB rays.  Unlike sunscreen,  proper skin care will promote the skin’s natural ability to  create the  vitamins, minerals and amino acids it needs to  continue to produce proteins and other nutrients that keep the skin healthy and youthful.

While we can’t hide from the sun, but  we can nourish our skin  in order to preserve natural beauty.  To learn about products that promote healthy skin and protection from photoaging and other skin disorders caused by the sun,  click here.