Browse Tag

wellness

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A Five-Step Skincare Routine Guide For Beginners

If you’re not into skincare yet, it’s time to step up your personal care. A consistent skincare routine helps keep your skin happy and healthy, and it’s the perfect excuse to show yourself some much-needed TLC two times a day.

Everyone’s skin is different, so naturally, every skincare routine will be unique to the individual. However, every skincare regime should consist of the most basic steps that you’ll learn about below. So, if you’re ready to take your self-care to the next level, here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a simple skincare routine.

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleansing your skin helps eliminate dirt, sweat, and other impurities that rest on your face and clog your pores. If all else fails in your skincare routine, this step is the most important. You can pick out the right skincare for yourself by assessing your skin type (oily, dry, or normal) and your skin concerns.

How often should I cleanse my face?

You should cleanse your face at least twice a day, once in the morning and then again at night. If you’re active, be sure to wash your face immediately following a workout to cleanse the skin of sweat and other dirt.

 Step 2: Toner

Toners are liquid-based products that can help tighten the pores, exfoliate the skin, and provide additional cleaning. Some skincare experts say this step isn’t essential, but toners come in handy for giving the skin some additional nutrients.

How often should I apply toner?

Always apply your toner after cleansing your skin and before applying serums. Usually, toners are best used by soaking a cotton pad or ball with the product and then gently spreading the product over the face.

 Step 3: Serums

Time for the fun part! Think of serums as the “treatment” part of your skincare routine because these powerful products directly target the skin’s concerns by deeply penetrating the skin.

When do I apply serums?

Every serum is uniquely made to address everyday skincare problems, so it’s best to read the bottle for instructions. In addition, some serums require night-use only or morning, so it’s crucial to follow the directions on the package to make sure your serums are working for you and not against you.

Step 4: Moisturizer

Depending on the time of day, this is your final step in a basic skincare regimen. Applying your moisturizer at the end of your routine helps keep your skin hydrated and supple.

When do I apply moisturizer?

You should use a moisturizer every time you cleanse your skin. Light moisturizers are great for daily use, but you can opt for thicker creams for the nighttime.

Step 5: SPF

Contrary to popular belief, those of us with dark skin are still vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Therefore, it’s crucial for everyone to wear sunscreen daily, whether it’s cloudy or sunny out. The sun can cause premature aging, wrinkles, and, even worse, skin cancer. So, the secret to keeping your melanin poppin’ is slathering on the SPF!

When do I apply SPF?

Apply your SPF in the morning as the final step of your skincare routine. If you wear makeup, your SPF goes on before you start makeup application. Squeeze a generous amount, and apply two fingers (index finger and pointer finger) worth of sunscreen to both your face and neck.

Ready to get your skincare TLC on? Well, now you know exactly where to start, and you can continue to build on your routine from here. Happy skincare!

 

Use code SHOPPEBLK for a FREE sampler pack of several different herbal soaps from Herb’N Eden

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Black Owned Oral Hygiene Brands You Should Know

The global oral hygiene market is projected to reach $53.3 billion by 2025 from $44.5 billion in 2019, at an annual growth rate of 3.0%.

The growth in this market is driven by rising awareness about oral hygiene, growing incidences of dental diseases, and technological advancements in oral care products.

Online purchases of products are a key trend in this market due to the emergence of eCommerce platforms and the high accessibility they offer. Here’s a list of Black 0wned oral hygiene brands you can support now and going forward.

Black Owned Oral Hygiene Brands

Feels Good to Smile 

 

Go Natural!

Natty Naturals

Illuminate Essentials

Dirt Don’t Hurt Me

Sprinjene

The Shea Shack 

 

Ivyees

Sprëtz

Natural Passion

Twiggy Fresh Bamboo Toothbrush

 

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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Black Owned Yoga Studios You Should Know

Regular yoga practice has been shown to have tremendous physical, mental and spiritual health benefits. We’ve compiled a list of Black Owned Yoga Studios for you to support. Let us know which others we should know about!

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Deeply Rooted (Atlanta, GA)

Xude Yoga (Houston, TX)

Sugar and Sage (Dallas, TX)

Embraced Yoga (Washington D.C.)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Anacostia Yogi (Washington D.C.)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Spiritual Essence Yoga (Upper Marlboro, MD )

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Pies Fitness Yoga (Alexandria, Virginia)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Eb and Flow Yoga (Chicago, IL)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Anasa Yoga (Oakland, CA)

Trap Yoga Bae (Los Angeles, CA)

Yoga Love (Oakland, CA)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Yoga with Rocky (San Francisco, CA)

Bianca Yoga Floetry (Los Angeles, CA)

Vitality Meditation (Philadelphia, PA)

Khepera Wellness (Philadelphia, PA)

Bodywork by Bre (Palm Springs, California)

Studio 34 (Philadelphia, PA)

Ase Yoga Studios (Philadelphia, PA)

Sisters of Yoga (New York, NY)

Urban Asanas (Brooklyn, NY) 

Magnolia Yoga Studio (New Orleans, LA)

The Soular Yogi (Gulfport, MS)

More & More I AM (Baton Rouge, LA)

Yoga Noir Project (Baton Rouge, LA)

Your Inner Yogi (Memphis, TN)

Any Body Yoga (Memphis, TN)

Yoganic Flow (Detroit, MI)

Heal Haus (New York, NY)

Yoga House (Houston, TX)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Level 3 Yoga (Atlanta, GA)

Sankofa Yoga (Laurel, MD)

 

Special thanks to  Ajax Jaxon, owner of Magnolia Yoga Studio and her community of Yogi’s for helping us create this list!

-Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your business to this list (or another) SUBMIT HERE.


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The Funky Diabetic – Why Phife Dawg’s Death should Spark a Conversation about Diabetes

Like many of you, I was greeted by sad news this morning. Phife Dawg of the legendary group, A Tribe Called Quest, had passed away from medical complications caused by diabetes. He was only 45 years old. Phife had been battling diabetes mellitus type 1 since he was first diagnosed in 1990, the year that Tribe’s first album dropped.

56f2c71bac874.image Phife’s condition was hereditary (his mother had diabetes) and it was exacerbated by his hectic touring schedule which caused him to eat large amounts of fast food. In a 2010 interview , he said, “I was still waking up to a glass of Quik, you know what I’m saying? Oreo cookies for breakfast, just stupid shit. It didn’t make it any better that we were on the road performing, eating KFC, McDonalds, shit like that and I was going hard when we was younger”. At some point, his kidneys began to fail and in 2004 he started dialysis. Eventually, his wife became his donor and gifted him with one of her kidneys. He drastically improved his eating habits and seemingly regained control over his diabetes before A Tribe Called Quest’s reunion in 2008. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to prolong his life into old age.

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His passing reminded me of the death of Patrice O’Neal, one of my favorite comedians. Patrice was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in his early twenties and died at 41.

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I’m 37-years old now, and thankfully, in good health. So as far as I’m concerned, these guys were way too young to die. Unfortunately, diabetes is one of the most life-threatening health problems plaguing the Black community today. Over ninety percent of people who have the disease suffer from type 2 diabetes. This is largely the result of excess body weight and lack of physical exercise. According to the American Diabetes Association, Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only five percent of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

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Compared to the general U.S. population, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health (OMH) website, “African Americans are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. In addition, they are more likely to suffer complications from diabetes, such as end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and lower extremity amputations. Although African Americans have the same or lower rate of high cholesterol as their non-Hispanic white counterparts, they are more likely to have high blood pressure.”

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End-stage renal disease (ESRD) signifies that the kidneys are barely or no longer functioning after about 10-20 years of chronic kidney disease. Without dialysis or a kidney transplant, ESRD leads to death. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ESRD related to diabetes is about 170% higher in black men than in White men and about 131% higher in black women than in White women.

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Diabetes isn’t exclusive to the Western world though. This health condition is also becoming more prevalent in African countries. A report by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) states that the African continent counts approximately 13.6 million people with diabetes. Nigeria has the highest number of people with diabetes(with approximately 1.2 million people affected).

MCC-treating diabetes in Kenya

In Ghana, a large percentage of the population suffers from type 2 diabetes. According to Elizabeth Denyoh, president of Ghana’s National Diabetes Association, the country has no national diabetes program. Denyou said, “In Ghana, most people diagnosed with diabetes are the poorest of the poor. There is a lot of Type 1 diabetes in rural areas. ” Type 1 diabetes, although still rare in many areas, is becoming increasingly more prevalent. IGT (Impaired Glucose Tolerance) is also becoming problematic in many African countries. This counters the prevailing myth that diabetes is solely a disease of the wealthy west.

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In numerous interviews (3 min mark), Phife mentioned how he used his celebrity as a platform to raise diabetes awareness. He said that he would love it if he could inspire others with the condition and let them know that they can still achieve their dreams and desires despite the hardships that come with diabetes. Like Phife, there are many other well known individuals who have been affected by diabetes directly or indirectly. Many are using their popularity as a platform to raise awareness.

For example, Lil Jon raised money the American Diabetes Association during his stint on The Apprentice. His now deceased mother had type 2 diabetes and suffered a stroke while they were the taping a season of the show. He went on to raise $195,000 for the cause. A lot of women also struggle with diabetes. There are many problems that are associated with this. It is always best to look into finding help. For example, you may struggle with having an over active bladder due to diabetes. If you are looking for help, you might want to look into a site like https://www.advancedurology.com/.

1361555530_lil-jon-now-560Dennis Coles aka Tony Starks aka Ghostface Killah of the Wu Tang Clan, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1996. In a 2005 interview about his condition, he said “I didn’t know what that shit was.” He went to two doctors before it was detected. “My sugar was mad high, but it was a little relief to know what it was.” His doctor prescribed insulin along with a healthier regiment. “That meant putting down the blunts and cutting back on the alcohol and sweets.” It’s about discipline”, said Ghost. “You can quit the cigarettes and all that other shit but as a diabetic you fiend for sweets. When you sitting at the crib staring at them Oreos, you gonna fuck around and go in. You want those Fruity Pebbles and all that shit. I had to learn how to just chill, exercise, drink protein shakes and monitor my sugar.”

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Let me be clear: this isn’t some pathological problem that’s simply impacting our community. Black people are dying and developing poor health, largely because of racism and oppressive systems. There are virtual food deserts in many Black communities across the U.S. Young people consume high amounts of soda and candy and other crap. There are rarely any healthy food options, let alone affordable options in many of our communities.

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Most of us know someone or have someone close to us who are diabetic, if we’re not diabetic ourselves. If you are not sure whether you are diabetic, there are plenty of diabetic supplies on the market you can test yourself with. Eating habits are hard to break, especially considering the fact that sugar is literally in everything we consume. The impact of everyday racism and classism have a way of negatively impacting our immune systems and the physiological functions of our bodies. But to know better is to do better. Let’s all do what we can to prevent another loss like this. If you want to know about some Black owned businesses that are committed to health and wellness, check out our previous post.

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To address this growing epidemic, the American Diabetes Association has created programs and materials to increase awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and its complications among African Americans. Learn more here.

Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that Phife had type 2 diabetes instead of type 1.

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22 Businesses in the $3.4 Trillion Health and Wellness Industry

Our list of Black owned businesses in the health and wellness industry is here right on time. Why? Because each new year is typically accompanied by resolutions related to improving health. My goals have generally stayed the same – to increase my income, improve my diet and to exercise more.

This past year, kudos to me, I’ve made quite a bit of progress. I’ve lost almost 30lbs in the past 7 months. Now, in the right lighting and depending on how much I’ve had to eat, I can actually see something that resembles a six pack. I owe much of this progress to whomever created the meme below.

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With so many factors negatively affecting our health, whether it is genetically modified food or the unpronounceable chemicals in our household products, it is even more important that we pay much closer attention to our health.

There are at least five chronic health conditions that disproportionately affect Black Americans more than any other group. Also, the health issues that were once unique to the West are now becoming prevalent on the Continent. Don’t be fooled by the late night infomercials featuring starving children.

Today, increasingly more people in developing countries go to bed having consumed too many calories rather than going to bed hungry. Being overweight is rapidly becoming a more common problem than being underweight. This is due in large part to the popularity of fast food chains spreading across Africa.

 

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The good news is that these days, whether you live in the Western hemisphere or on the Continent, it is likely that you are taking some steps toward living a healthier life.

Africans in Africa are rapidly becoming much more health conscious and the big bellies that once represented wealth and good living are not the status symbol they once were.

In the U.S., more Black people are also interested in fitness and health, as is evident by the large following that fitness-related sites like Black Men RunBlack Women Do Workout, and Black Fitness Today have amassed.

hbcu_5k1According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, the $3.4 trillion Global Wellness Market is now three times larger than the worldwide Pharmaceutical industryThe report states that the sectors seeing the most significant growth since 2010 are the Fitness and Mind-Body industry as well as Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss industry.

What does this mean? Simply put, people are relying less on drugs to prevent and solve their health issues.
The Fitness and Mind-body industry ($446.4billion) includes gyms and health clubs; personal training and yoga. The Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss industry ($574 billion) include: health foods, natural and organic foods; weight-loss and diet services; diet and weight-loss foods and meal services; and anti-obesity prescription drugs.

Black Owned Businesses in the Health and Wellness industry

There are abundant opportunities available for Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs who are interested in in this industry. Here are several businesses and services that encourage health and wellness and will help you get in shape for the new year and beyond!

Healthy Eating, Nutrition, & Weight Loss

Food and Beverage

Black Owned Businesses

Jus Blend is a Jamaican-rooted; New York City-based family business that produces fresh, cold pressed juices to the city and surrounding areas. Their produce is “fresh and sourced within 24-hours of your order.”

Black Owned Businesses

Jimmy’s Vegan Cookies  Jimmy Prude is the founder of this wholesale Vegan Cookie company based in Chicago. His products are now available on select Whole Foods shelves.

Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar: Khepra Anu founded this Washington DC-based raw food juice bar that was featured in the Washington Post’s Best Eats in 2012.

The WaterHole is owned by Lisa Harris. This Maryland based juice bar also provides coffee, wifi cable, and good vibes.

Local Farms

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Five Seeds Farm is a family-owned and operated city and country farm in Baltimore, MD. This city-based farm was developed in the spring of 2008 in the backyard of a Belair-Edison neighborhood and quickly expanded to other vacant lots and private yards across the city.

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Renaissance Community Co-op has a mission to create a democratically-owned and controlled grocery store in Northeast Greensboro, NC, that provides all of Greensboro with healthy foods at affordable prices.

Black Owned Businesses

Patchwork City Farms is a family owned urban farm located in the South West Atlanta historic West End neighborhood. Patchwork City Farm’s mission is to “work with local landholders – public and private – to create a sustainable, naturally grown local food system.”

Fitness and Mind-body industry

Yoga

Black Owned Businesses

NY based Afro Flow Yoga infuses electrifying dance movements of the African Diaspora with a meditative yoga sequence of gentle yet powerful stretches. Founder, Leslie Salmon Jones is a former Alvin Ailey dancer, certified holistic personal trainer, yoga instructor, certified wellness coach, and public speaker.

Michael Hayes, the owner of NY based “Buddha Body Yoga,” has over 20 years experience teaching and has has traveled regularly to Thailand to study with master teachers. His class will benefit anyone regardless of their individual anatomy, flexibility, age, or yoga background.

Black Owned Businesses

Chelsea Loves Yoga is founded by Chelsea Roberts, PhD. She is an Atlanta based yoga instructor and educator. The purpose of Chelsea Loves Yoga is to illuminate the voices and images of yogis who have been traditionally eliminated or (under)represented in Yoga in the United States and abroad.

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Dade2Shelby  Derrick “DJ” Townsel, a former NFL athlete, has become an inspiration to thousands who didn’t think a passion for fitness or yoga could be a possibility for them— mainly men and people of color. Derrick is now a sought-after Certified Personal Trainer and Calisthenics Instructor based in Orlando.

12208487_1160592893969453_8166857437012076124_nSelamta Yoga is an eco-friendly yoga mat company based in San Diego and founded by Aregache Demelew, or “Mimi’. The company is dedicated to spreading the practice of yoga, eastern philosophy & culture to the world. Selamta means “Peace Be With You” in Amharic (a native language of Ethiopia)

Black Owned Businesses

Spa & Resorts

Black Owned Businesses

Virginia-based, Salamander Resort & Spa, features 168 luxurious rooms and suites, a luxury spa, full-service equestrian center, a dedicated cooking studio, wine bar, billiards room and a unique array of conference and banquet facilities.

Chatto Salon is a full service, eco-friendly salon located in the Gold Coast area of Downtown Chicago, IL, that offers its own natural and organic products.

Atlanta-based, IWI Fresh Garden Day Spa, partners with local farms and gardens and handpicks fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs to create fresh skin care products. They offer spa services such as Manicures, Veggie Pedicures, Veggie Facials, Herbal Massages, Waxing, Threading and Natural Hair Care.

Black Owned BusinessesFrancine’s Salon and Day Spa, the first Black owned Salon & Day Spa in Hartford County has been located in Bloomfield, Connecticut, for over a decade. The founder, Francine Austin, is a 20-year plus veteran of the cosmetology industry.

Fitness Centers

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Shaun Chambers, BodyRoc founder, is a former boxer and song writer. His BodyRoc Fit Lab is CT’s first dynamic, boutique boxing studio. A high-intensity workout that fuses fitness with entertainment, the signature circuit-style workout combines treadmills, heavy bag boxing, and weight training, all in a dance club environment.

Black Owned Businesses

KTX Fitness founder, Keith Thompson, has created an Atlanta-based cycle class that is guaranteed to have you sweating. KTX’s “Rock the Bike™” Cycle, Step, and Zumba are uniquely different and literally an exercise party as it provides a fun and challenging workout that is sure to have you working every muscle.

Black Owned Businesses

Rahman “Ray” Grayson, Mr. Shut Up and Train, is the founder of this Atlanta-based personal training company. His signature “In Motion” style of training focuses on keeping the heart rate elevated and the body in motion. Whether you are aiming to lose weight, build muscle, or gain endurance, Ray has the plan for you.

Knight’s Personal Fitness is a Philadelphia-based personal training facility founded by Tommi Knight. His first location was in a basement. A few months later he moved to a 1,100 square foot studio space. Now, Tommie trains clients in a 5,000-square-foot facility. I guess you can say, business is booming.

Dance

Black Owned Businesses

BRUKWINE is a Caribbean inspired dance workout created by professional dancers and choreographers, Tavia and Tamara. Brukwine, “Break out and Wine,” is a NY-based workout class featuring dancehall moves turned choreography, complete with waste winding and hot sounds straight from Jamaica.

The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center is based in NY. Founded former principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater turned Director of Student Affairs (and founder of the OWLAG’s Dance Company) at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, DSPAC aims to mold the world’s next generation of elite dancers and artists.  No worries, they also offers a variety of classes for adults ranging from Orisa dance workshops to Afro-Caribbean technique classes.

Black Owned Businesses

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson