Tag Archives: black women

Black don’t crack

20 Apr

We’ve all heard the expression before, “Black don’t crack!” Meaning that black women do not get wrinkles, creases, or laugh lines. Some of us carry that expression as our only form of skin care, and some of us know better. I’m a big fan of make-up and am a sucker for a fancy designer counter brand, when it comes to skin care, however, I keep it really simple: Dove bar and Argan oil to moisturize. What I’ve learned though, is that good skin (as with most things) starts from the inside out!

According to the article Good Food, Good Skin:

Perhaps the simplest way to maintain a healthy, balanced diet and ensure the skin is getting optimal nutrition from the foods we eat is to follow the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Daily Food Guide, commonly referred to as the food pyramid.

These include:

* Choosing and eating at least three ounces of whole grain breads, cereals, rice, crackers or pasta.
* Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, including more dark green and orange vegetables.
* Consuming calcium-rich foods, such as fat-free or low-fat milk and other dairy products.
* Opting for a variety of low-fat or lean meats, poultry and fish.

“The foods recommended by the USDA as part of a healthy diet contain valuable vitamins and minerals that have proven health benefits for our bodies,” said Dr. Taylor. “Research has shown that the antioxidants in vitamins C and E can protect the skin from sun damage and help reduce damage in skin cells caused by harmful free radicals, which contribute to aging skin. Similarly, we have long known that the B vitamin biotin is responsible for forming the basis of skin, hair and nail cells, and vitamin A – found in many fruits and vegetables – maintains and repairs skin tissue. Without an adequate supply of these vitamins, you may notice it in the appearance of your skin, hair and nails.”

While the direct link between food consumption and skin damage has not been widely studied, one study comparing the correlation between food and nutrient intake with skin wrinkling found a positive relationship. The study, “Skin Wrinkling: Can Food Make a Difference?”, published in the February 2001 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, determined that Swedish subjects aged 70 and older had the least skin wrinkling in a sun-exposed site among the four ethnic groups studied. This cross-sectional study, which analyzed the pooled data using the major food groups, suggests “that subjects with a higher intake of vegetables, olive oil, and monounsaturated fat and legumes, but a lower intake of milk/dairy products, butter, margarine and sugar products had less skin wrinkling in a sun-exposed site.” (source)

I know many women that take a multivitamin or even prenatal vitamins to grow their hair and nails, and maintain healthy skin. Biotin is also a supplement of choice, along with Vitamin E or Vitamin B6. Three Fat Chicks on a Diet also have an extensive list as to what vitamin supplements, or foods will help keep you looking youthful!

What is your skin care regime??

The “D” Word

18 Oct

because she didn’t know any better
she stayed alive
among the tired and lonely
not waiting always wanting
needing a good night’s rest
– Nikki Giovanni, “Introspection”

As a black woman, we will quickly define ourselves with an array of colorful words: strong, assertive, capable, resilient, audacious, and the list goes on.  When things are quite as warm, we tend to lose the ability to communicate quite so aptly, chalking everything up to “going through.”

Why are we afraid of the word depression? What does it mean? Well, clinically depression is a combination of symptoms (described below) that interfere with one’s ability to work, sleep, eat and enjoy once pleasurable activities.

Common Symptoms
of Clinical Depression

There are different forms of clinical depression with different combinations of the following symptoms:

Physical:

  • Sleep disturbances-insomnia, oversleeping, waking much earlier than usual
  • Changes in appetite or eating: much more or much less
  • Decreased energy, fatigue
  • Headaches, stomachaches, digestive problems or other physical symptoms that are not explained by other physical conditions or do not respond to treatment

Behavioral/Attitude:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, such as going out with friends, hobbies, sports, sex, etc.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Neglecting responsibilities or personal appearance

Emotional:

  • Persistent sad or “empty” mood, lasting two or more weeks
  • Crying “for no reason”
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, guilty or worthless
  • Feeling irritable, agitated or anxious
  • Thoughts of death or suicide (UC Berkeley)

Is it because we see depression as weakness? Is it because depression takes us over in a way we don’t understand?  Why are we so afraid to use the D-word?

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