There is Nothing like It!
Alexa, what is “Black Don’t Crack”?
—The act of not aging or in some cases the Benjamin Button phenomenon possessed by black people. The skin does not wrinkle or blemish with age, thus the term “black don’t crack”.
As a skincare professional of color, I am frequently confronted with this age old question and I always have a hard time answering because my first instinct is to go all #blackgirlmagic on folks. Sometimes this is warranted but other times, a true educational explanation is needed in order to address and correct any misunderstanding behind this saying. In this this week’s blog entry we will explore the truth behind the legend, melanin, and how black and brown people are out here looking so got-dang young!
Melanin POPS, severely!
We all can appreciate a good #tbt. Well imagine looking in the mirror in present day and basically seeing the same you from 1991. Auntie Angie, age 60 is a far out goal because she, for one, is a celebrity with disposable income for quality products and receives regular skincare treatment by a professional esthetician. However, when it comes to the activity of melanin, we can still learn a few things from her!
And here we have Kellyanne Conway… Age 50…
What happened, what is working or not working?
Melanin… Melanin is working. Melanin is our skin’s very own sunscreen which protects it from harmful ultraviolet rays (UVR) from the sun. Melanin is also responsible for the various pigmentations found in our skin. Melanocytes the cells that produce melanin; they are located in the stratum basale, the bottom layer, of the skin’s epidermis. Pigment is produced by the melanocytes in small packets called melanosomes. The melanosomes are then forced out of the melanocytes and then taken into the keratinocytes in the epidermis to protect the skin. Considering that sun damage is one of the largest factors when it comes to premature aging, melanin and it’s protection can surly help to prevent it. This, however, does not mean that black people do not need to wear sunscreen!!!! This also does not mean that every white person will look old at 50 years old or younger. Each person face a case by case situation based on the activity of their melanin, the environmental protections they take themselves, and/or a their genetics.
“Shea Butter Baby, f%cking up your pillow
Shea Butter Baby, f%cking up your sheets”
Shea Butter Baby by Ari Lennox ft. J.Cole
A homage to the secret sauce that is shea butter; which actually does f%ck up just about any type of material around you when wearing it! LOL!
Shea butter is fat that has been extracted from shea tree nuts. It’s off-white or ivory colored and has a creamy consistency that’s easy to spread on your skin.Most shea butter comes from shea trees in West Africa.
High concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins make shea butter an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening skin. Shea butter also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Using shea butter on your body can condition, tone, and soothe your skin.
You can even mask with this magic! To make your own mask, mix together:
- 1 tablespoon of raw honey
- 3 to 4 drops of grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon of pure shea butter
Mix well and spread out over your face. Leave the mask on for 10 to 12 minutes before gently cleansing your face with warm water and a soft washcloth for best results. This mask is best suited for aging, dry skin.
Face & Body Exfoliation
I remember spending the night over my friends’ houses who were not black and asking for a wash cloth to no avail. Finally, I started bringing my own everywhere I went for fear of being without when it came time to shower. Later in life I realized that many of my non black friends did not use wash cloths at all. The critical side of me wondered what they washed their private parts with and then I quickly muted that thought process, for obvious reasons. However, the professional skincare therapist in me saw this as an opportunity for education. The use of a wash cloth during your daily hygiene routine promotes regular gentle exfoliation and increases blood circulation within the body. This along with the use of the butters right afterwards is what many people of color credit their “glow” to. So, turn on some Lil Boosie, Wipe Me Down, and follow these golden rules with your wash cloth:
- your wash cloth is a single use item- do not use the same one everyday, that is just nasty.
- Wet your cloth, apply your soap, suds it up, wash your body twice using circular motions.
- You should have two separate cloths- one for the face, one for the body, for obvious reasons of course.
- When cleaning your intimate areas be gentle and save the derriere for last
The Real Tea
It is easy to get caught up in quick fixes and home remedies when it come to aging, don’t! When in doubt seek the help of a professional Esthetician who can help you become the best version of yourself no matter what age or skin tone. Think of him/her as guide on your journey through skincare and maturing skin; someone that will cheer you on and make sure you’re on the right track! Companies will always sell you Hyaluronic Acid (HA) and other serums that claim to turn back the hands of time. While these things can work they are not for certain nor do they hit as hard as the education behind them. Now when someone uses the term “Black don’t crack” around you, hit them with the facts you found today to either support or challenge. Until Next Week,
Miss There She Glows