BEAUTY A-Z

IS IT TRUE BLACKS DON’T CRACK?

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I bet you heard this term before: “Black don’t crack”?

After living in Lagos for 30-something years and almost a decade of that time travelling Mainland to Island everyday to go to work (with an average of 5 hours on a good day in traffic congestion), I think I can say a thing or two about the effect of stress on my skin; add to that the endless long hours seated in front of a computer screen, it’s easy to forget that my skin needs a break. – I hate to bear ill news, but yes, “Black do crack if care is not taken”.

If you fall in the category of my sisters and brothers who make the “daily traverse across the longest bridge in West Africa” in search of daily bread – I pray you to read on!

Let me try to explain what that saying – Blacks don’t crack – really mean: “Women and men of Color have more melanin in their skin, which serves as natural protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Melanin acts as a photo protective, meaning it protects our skin against ultraviolet light; “Because a lot of the signs of aging — fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, etc. are caused by UV light, we don’t get a lot of those signs of aging with pigmented skin.” While that doesn’t mean darker skin tones can avoid sunscreen altogether, it does mean that outward aging takes longer to appear on caramel and ebony complexions than our fair-skinned peers.

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I checked in with a dermatologist on ways I can take care of my skin even with my crazy daily schedule and here are some tips she gave on how I can make my workspace skin-friendly to keep the largest organ on my body – i.e. my skin – from bearing all the brunt of my workload. After hearing all she had to say to me, I figured I can share with you all too. After all, we are all “Lagosians” or “Nigerians” aren’t we?

  1. Don’t make that tense, focused face all day, or it will stay that way!

Sometimes when you’re working intently at your computer or focused on solving a knotty issue at work, you don’t realize that you contort your facial expressions to help your eyes focus and eliminate glare. Keeping your face “frozen” puts undeserved stress on the delicate tissue around the eyes and forehead. Over time, these fines lines turn into crow’s feet and those famous 11’s show up big time between your eyebrows. To help avoid this, remember to relax your face and blink often. For glare, consider installing a screen protector on your computer to help avoid squinting.

Worried-squinting at-Computer

  1. Take a break!

Yeah, I know you can’t sleep on employer’s time BUT if you have one hour lunch break, I bet you can block out 20minutes for a quick power nap, if possible. It will help you to rejuvenate. Better still, take a quick brisk walk to relieve stress. Exercising does wonders for your entire body, including your skin.

 

 

power-nap

  1. Sun-proof yourself indoors

Now this is one skin-beauty crime we are all guilty of. I’ve often heard folks say things like “Africans don’t need sunscreen”. Well, that’s a lie from you know where! Yes, Africans (male and female) need and must wear sunscreen. (See my post on LETS TALK SUN DAMAGE)

Studies have shown that if you sit next to a window at work, you should wear broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays. Protection from the sun’s rays passing through windows will help you reduce photo damage that develops over time.

sun-proof_1sun-proof-2sunscreen

  1. Give your skin healing defenses.

All that artificial air (a.k.a Air conditioner) in our offices and variable temperatures does wreak havoc on the moisture content of our skin. Incorporate a glycolic acid containing product into your skin-care regime to help ward off skin dryness and boost elasticity.

Yes, that’s where you need to start paying attention to the ingredient list of skincare product when next you go shopping; Podozi.com offers an extensive list of ingredients and their effects here (coming soon).

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  1. Remember to eat fruits and Veg. high in antioxidants.

These includes fresh produce like melons, berries, red kidney beans, strawberry, spinach, or apples; (Antioxidants offer your skin protection from free-radicals). These and similar foods also keep your appetite at bay and helps fight temptation to snack on less healthy choices. Topical products containing antioxidants are also very helpful in fighting free-radicals induced by environmental exposure.

antioxidants

  1. Get away from the office!

A recent poll showed that less than 33 percent Nigerians go on vacation. And only 16 percent of those who do actually go anywhere new during their vacation – most just remain in the same place.

I know we all think we don’t make enough yet to give ourselves treats like a vacation – but let me tell you a little secret: only those alive and healthy can actually go to work and earn a living. It’s highly important that we learn to give our entire bodies and minds a break whilst we can. Your skin especially will bear the testimony.

Black-woman-vacation

If you follow these work tips, maintain a skin-healthy  lifestyle and use appropriate skin-care products, you will go  a long way in fighting the effects of time and stress.

Now, shall we raise our glasses and give a toast to your  beautiful black skin that never cracks…. Sure, as long as  you take proper care of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teni Beauty

Resident Chief Editor, Signature Reporter.

Teniolami is an accomplished makeup artist and beauty therapist with almost 10years experience in the beauty industry. She is a full-time Beauty Business Coach, Brand & Product Developer, Educator and a soon to-be published Beauty Author

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