There is a chill in the air outside, even here in sunny California! (Yes, in southern California, we wear scarves and light jackets in anything cooler than 65 degrees. Don’t judge.) As the temperature begins dropping nationwide, it means your skin and hair are more vulnerable as the air becomes drier. While summer temperatures bring humidity that adds lots of moisture to the air, during the colder seasons like Fall and Winter, the moisture in the air lessens (at least here in Cali).
Photo: @sebastianlibuda on IG
Caring for your hair and skin is essential all year long but particularly this time of year when the air threatens how your body retains moisture. It’s time to kick start that beauty routine into high gear. Here are some tried-and-true beauty tips for women of color in the fall and winter seasons:
Use natural cleansers.
Lather, rinse and repeat without soap that is. Most generic soaps and shampoos can strip the skin and hair of its natural oils. Say HECK NO to ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate as you do not want to clean your skin with the same stuff used to clean spilled oil on car garage floors and auto shops. Instead, try a lightweight bodywash or shampoo that is SLS- or SLES-free to gently cleanse.
Side Note: If you are often using heavy sealants like gels or mousse (not recommended) or those "curly puddings" that make your natural hair crunchy, then you may need a clarifying shampoo with SLS to remove that build-up.
Exfoliate 2x to 3x a week at most.
Yes, we all want to get rid of dull skin; we all want shiny, smooth, and baby soft skin. But please, all we ask is that you do not damage your skin in the process. Exfoliate with natural scrubs no more than 2 to 3 times a week. Say HECK NO to scrubs made with white sugar (bleached). Instead, opt for natural scrubs that cleanse, exfoliate and add moisture like our 3-N-1 scrubs that can be used on face, body, and scalp if you tend to get dandruff and want to reduce product build up. Try our Mango, Almond and Carrot, the Strawberry Mojito and the Avocado & Vanilla, to add the moisture your skin it needs.
Side Note: If you were going to ask about "epsom salt," it comes from the naturally occurring minerals of magnesium and sulfate (the Mg and S on the periodic table from chemistry class). It is NOT really salt and it does not come from the ocean.
Photo: @veggiepeggy on IG
Eat fruits and vegetables.
That saying you are what you eat is true, and your skin will show it. Avoid unhealthy, high glycemic foods, which tend to release sugars rapidly and foster weight gain. Fried, fatty foods will leave your skin and hair dry and dehydrated. Instead, eat foods that will enhance your skin’s natural glow like apples, broccoli, blackberries and other seasonal fruits and veggies. You will notice that many of the feature ingredients of our Medleys are the healthy foods you are encouraged to eat, like avocados, almonds, strawberries, mint, lemongrass, pumpkin, lavender, etc. Why? These ingredients essentially work the same way for the inside of your body to topically on your hair and skin.
Opt for lukewarm showers.
Of course, there is an urge to take a hot shower in the cooler weather, but resist! Hot water strips skins of the nutrients and vitamins it needs to be healthy. Instead, try a cool shower to avoid skin irritation and heat rashes.
“Limit your showers to five minutes using lukewarm water vs. hot water,” Philadelphia based, board certified dermatologist Dr. Nazanin Saedi said in an interview with Essence. “As comforting as those long, hot showers in the winter seem, they tend to dry out the skin.” Now, every once in a while if you want to hop in a jacuzzi or take a hot bath, do it! Just be careful on how much you do it.
Photo: @aseamae on IG
Use moisturizing natural hair products.
Whether you are just starting your natural hair journey or are a seasoned Naturalista, moisture is key to healthy curls. In fact, "Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize" is one of the 10 Curl Commandments. Moisture-based products have water or aloe vera juice as one of the top 2 or 4 ingredients on the back of the container. Our Floral Waters add hydration to both your hair and skin. Our Rose Water is the most popular. Follow with a creamy product like KSM’s Original Butter Cream to add more moisture, and then seal with an oil like our Avocado + Vanilla Oil Medley.
Photo: @marianarodr on IG
Drink your H20. Period.
Just like your skin is a reflection of the food you eat, so is your hair. We cannot emphasize enough that what you eat and drink is so important to your overall health. If you are dehydrated on the inside, it will show on the outside as dull, dry, rough, and lifeless skin and hair. They say to drink half your body weight in ounces every day, so if you are 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water per day. Of course, consult your physician for what is best for your body needs. We do know that your hair is the last part of your body to receive nutrients and vitamins from what you eat and drink. Simple solution: Eat right and Drink water!
Focus on the scalp.
Your hair grows from your scalp so it only makes sense that this would be the most important area to protect. Unfortunately, the scalp goes unnoticed and get the least amount of attention (next to our ends) when it comes to beauty care regimens. Massage your scalp daily for at least one minute (or have your significant other do it for you) and feel free to apply natural oils like KSM's limited edition Pumpkin Spice Oil Medley or any of our other Oil Medleys.
We greatly appreciate our community for trusting your skin and beauty care to Kyra Shea Medleys this fall and all year long! Continue to shine like the queens and kings you are! - Your KSM Family
If you want to be featured as a Kyra Shea Queens and share your natural journey, then please click here to fill out our KSM Queenin’ Survey. Of course, you will also receive something special for your participation.
For more from the author, Stephanie Taylor, check out her blog, Life as Told by an Upcoming, Twenty-Something.