Jun 23, 2011

New resource will help women share beauty secrets for African American skin

A newly launched online resource,, recently updated their website to include celebrity resources and features that are revised daily. will enable African American women to connect with their favorite supermodels and businesswomen who share their common beauty interests and may offer personal insights that range from skin care to relationship advice.

The editors hope to instill a sense of inspiration for the African American woman. By reaching a wide array of individuals, the goal is to promote positive feedback and empower women on a large scale. Although the range of women is certain to vary, the common threads of interest and inquiries amongst them most likely will not. As such, the site will foster a greater sense of camaraderie amongst African-American women.

There will be blogs available for any African-American woman to express her thoughts and/or questions to their peers. Whether the objective at hand is relationships, black skin care or lifestyle changes, this website provides a platform to discuss these ideas amongst African American women.

Jun 22, 2011

Poll finds that many ethnic women are not satisfied with their skin care regimen

A recent poll that was conducted in the Long Beach, California area assessed women's satisfaction with their current skin care products. Approximately 60 percent of respondents reported dissatisfaction with their current skin care regimen.

The poll gathered data from than 1,000 women of varying ethnicities. Whether their ethnic background was African American, Asian, Middle Eastern or Hispanic, many of these women were disillusioned by their current skin care regimen, and several respondents did not understand that their skin color should not deter them from choosing an SPF that is typically used among lighter skinned individuals.

Darker skin color does not protect individuals from the sun, as many individuals believe. Sun exposure may lead to discoloration of the skin in the form of blotches and dark spots. In fact, darker skin is actually more susceptible to changes in color and texture than lighter skin, according to African American dermatologists.

A large percentage of women who participated in the survey said they would invest in more products if it could satisfy their skin care needs.

Beauty experts share tips on new interactive forum

A national pharmacy chain has announced the launch of Beauty Board, a panel of experts in the cosmetic and fashion world who will offer tips and interactive content on skin care concerns and trend advice.

Experts to be featured on the forum include Mickey Williams, celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist, Nichelle Pace, editor of blog StyleMom, and Keiko Lynn, an up-and-coming fashion designer.

"The introduction of the Beauty Board allows us to expand the beauty benefits by offering interactive expert advice for our members' specific beauty needs. The Beauty Board is the latest enhancement in our effort to personalize the beauty experience for our customers," said Cheryl Mahoney, VP of beauty care for CVS/pharmacy.

Available on the the drugstore's Facebook page, the forum might prove to be a useful resource for individuals with ethnic skin, who tend to have unique skin care issues.

Women who seek skin care products for black skin as well as cosmetics that flatter darker complexions have more options now than ever, making finding the right creams and makeup difficult. Those who want to lighten dark spots on black skin should consider using products with natural ingredients over those that contain hydroquinone.  

Jun 20, 2011

Kelly Choi recognized for her charity work with Positively Beautiful Award

Television host, former model and foodie Kelly Choi will be honored on June 28 at the HBA Global Expo with the Positively Beautiful Award for her work with charities Angelwish and Citymeals-on-Wheels.

Hailing from Korea, Choi first gained notoriety as the winner of Elite Modeling Agency's Look of the Year and also worked as a host on MTV Korea and the TV Guide Channel. Now, she enjoys combining her talents for being a television personality with her love of food, as the host of Bravo's Top Chef Masters and a judge on Iron Chef America.

"I'm excited to have such successful relationships with these amazing organizations in order to help educate the new generation on important issues that hit home for me," said Choi.

Angelwish is an organization that helps dreams come true for kids with chronic illnesses. Meanwhile, Citymeals-on-Wheels provides hot, nutritious food to homebound elderly people living in New York.

To prepare for the award ceremony, Choi may want to consider using Asian skin care products to ensure that she looks her best on stage.  

Liya Kebede: Model, actress, activist

At the age of 18, Liya Kebede left her home country of Ethiopia for France in hopes of becoming a model. She was immediately recognized by top fashion designers like Tom Ford and since then, she has gone on to explore an acting career and taken on successful ventures as a humanitarian.

Kebede's role in 2006's The Good Shepard led to her being cast in the 2009 film adaptation of Desert Flower as the character Waris Dirie.

In 2005, Kebede was given the opportunity to advocate for maternal, infant and neonatal healthcare as a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization. Just months later, the multi-talented model began the Liya Kebede Foundation, which raises money for the Durame Hospital in Awassa.

Kebede also supports her native continent with her clothing line called Lemlem, which utilizes the skills of African artisans and aids communities in becoming self-sustaining.

Perhaps because of her glowing ethnic skin, Kebede was recently named a spokesperson for L'Oreal Paris, joining other beauties like Frieda Pinto and Jennifer Lopez.  

Jun 17, 2011

FDA rules on sunscreen labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently ruled that a sunscreen must protect against both UVA and UVB rays in order for it to be labeled "broad spectrum." Additionally, such products may also include labels that inform consumers about the cancer-preventing benefits of broad spectrum sunscreen.

Dermatologist Julie Pena said that many people are unaware that UVA rays may be even more dangerous than the sunburn-causing UVB rays, which almost all sunscreens protect from.

“SPF has nothing to do with UVA protection,” said Pena. “UVA does everything bad UVB does and more. It causes skin cancer and aging of the skin.”

Additionally, the FDA proposed a ban on labeling sunscreens as having an SPF of higher than 50, since these products have not been shown to offer any protection.

African American women may have a tendency to forego sunscreen because they feel as though their ethnic skin gives them adequate protection from the sun. While the prevalence of skin cancer in this population is lower than among Caucasians, the disease tends to be more deadly for people with dark skin. Skin care products for black skin that include sun protection may help these individuals to avoid melanoma and other carcinomas.  

Keep skin looking beautiful during pregnancy

Pregnant women often experience feelings of low self-esteem as their bellies grow big and skin issues begin to arise, such as stretch marks, acne, oiliness or melasma.

However, these ladies should know that their round stomachs are beautiful and that the vast majority of skin problems that occur during gestation are temporary and treatable.

Melasma is a skin discoloration that is the result of hormone fluctuations during pregnancy, and can be more pronounced in African American women. It almost always disappears after giving birth and is easily treated with skin care products for black women. Such creams are meant to even out skin tone and help dark spots on black skin disappear.

To prevent oiliness or acne, choose a skin care product that is oil-free and contains natural ingredients to help your complexion stay healthy looking and bright.

Stretch marks may be avoided by keeping the belly and breasts moisturized. Additionally, plenty of water and a nutritious diet have been shown to improve skin elasticity, thereby avoiding excessive marks from stretching.

Pregnant women should always consult with their doctor before using any skin care products that contain active ingredients.  

Jun 16, 2011

Sun safety myths exposed

While advice to wear sunscreen has become ubiquitous over the years, confusion and myths about keeping skin safe in the sun remain and may cause some individuals to put themselves at risk of cancer, wrinkles and dark spots on black skin.

Allure and Fitness magazines have busted some of the most prevalent misconceptions about the sun and SPF.

Allure reports that many African American women or individuals with dark, ethnic skin believe that they don't need sunscreen since they don't tend to burn. However, this is untrue. People with darker complexion still experience damage from the sun, and skin cancer has been shown to be less prevalent but more deadly in these populations.

Additionally, the magazine reports that some women believe that foundation helps to protect their skin from the sun. This is not true, and the source recommends wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen beneath makeup.

Fitness magazine reports that 5 to 10 percent of skin cancers occur on the eyelids, so it's important to cover every inch of the body. The source said that individuals should look out for creams with SPF that are specially formulated for the face.


Jun 15, 2011

How to conceal pimples, scars and hyperpigmentation

While skin problems like blemishes, scars and patchy discolorations make no impact on a woman's all-important inner beauty, they can still be a source of grief for those who endure them.

Concealing and treating such skin issues may help an individual look as lovely as she feels.

If the problem is a pimple accompanied by inflammation, it may be best to choose a concealer that has a green tint to it, since the pigment may help to counteract any redness, according to If the blemish is large, look for a skin care product that is thick enough to provide the desired coverage.

To help cover up scars, look for a cream or serum that promotes smoothing, to reduce any uneven texture. Use the product in conjunction with a favorite concealer to help treat scars while hiding them.

The website also recommends using a serum to reduce the appearance of dark spots on black skin beneath foundation. Much like with scars, this will help to fade hyperpigmentation while also evening out skin tone. reports that vitamin C and skin care products that contain the nutrient may be effective in staving off blemishes and keeping complexions looking healthy.  

Oprah honored with Broadcasters Award during her show's final season

Over the past 25 years, Oprah Winfrey has been hosting her own daytime television show that features a wide array of topics of interest to women - from domestic violence to skin care.

Now, in the last season of her eponymous program, NBC reports that Winfrey will be inducted into the Illinois Broadcasting Association's (IBA) Hall of Fame for maintaining high television standards and gaining an impressive number of dedicated viewers throughout the years.

Dennis Lyle, president of the IBA, said Winfrey is the "epitome of broadcasting excellence," quoted by the source.

Her last show will air on May 25, and is planned to be a surprise even for Winfrey, since producers are keeping the guest list a secret.

Winfrey has become such a force in the media that each book she features for her book club, every skin care product she recommends and every person she interviews soon becomes a household name. While The Oprah Winfrey Show is coming to a close, her fans will still be able to benefit from her advice and entertainment through her television network, website and magazines.  

Jun 9, 2011

Anti-aging properties found in tree leaf bud

Research has suggested that skin care products that contain antioxidant-rich ingredients like soy or pomegranate may help to stave off wrinkles and dark spots on black skin that may occur with age.

Now, French scientists have discovered that the leaf bud of the poplar tree may be an effective addition to skin creams that promise anti-aging benefits.

"The collective antioxidant properties and transcriptional effect of this extract suggest potential anti-aging properties which could be utilized in cosmetic and nutraceutical formulations," said study authors.

In a clinical trial on cell cultures, the researchers found that extract from poplar leaf buds appeared to have antioxidant and anti-aging effects.

For some time, compounds found in the plant buds have been used to treat the common cold, sinusitis, sunburns and arthritis. Additionally, propolis, which is found in beehives and derived from poplar buds, has been shown to have similar properties.

Results of this study suggest that skin care products for black women that contain plant-derived antioxidants may be an effective, natural way to prevent fine lines, wrinkles and spots from age.  

Jun 8, 2011

Researchers working on topical treatment for melanoma prevention

The melanin that is present in higher concentrations in ethnic skin tones provides a degree of natural protection from the sun. While the most serious type of skin cancer - melanoma - is less likely to occur in African Americans and other individuals with dark complexions, it is most often fatal when it does develop in these populations.

Now, a team of researchers at Penn State College of Medicine have developed a topical treatment which they believe could be effective at preventing melanoma.

The ointment, called ISC-4, works by inhibiting a certain protein that has been associated with the development of serious skin cancers.

The "addition of agents such as ISC-4 to sunscreens, body lotions or creams could have a profound impact on this market for preventing melanoma," said lead researcher Gavin Robertson, Ph.D.

While the study authors report that further research on ISC-4 is needed before it can be marketed and sold, they said that natural compounds found in cruciferous vegetables - like broccoli and Brussels sprouts - also help to inhibit the cancer-causing protein.

In the meantime, African Americans should be sure to wear skin care products for black women that contain sunscreen.  

Global study finds that women link beauty with happiness

Pharmaceutical company Merz Aesthetics recently surveyed 2,939 individuals from five different countries and found that physical beauty is important, and may even affect a person's sense of happiness.

A total of 70 percent of the survey respondents said that when they are happy, they feel beautiful. Moreover, 89 percent said that feeling beautiful causes contentment, and the same percentage reported more confidence on days when they are satisfied with their physical appearance.

"Whether she is in Seoul, Seattle, Sao Paulo or Stockholm, today's woman is clearly interested in products and procedures that enable her to create a more beautiful, and more confident, but not necessarily younger looking version of herself," said Merz CEO Steve Basta.

One optimistic finding was that 70 percent of the respondents reported feeling more confident as they aged.

However, a staggering 95 percent of the women said they would like to change a facial feature, and 78 percent said that they think cosmetic procedures are reasonable.

Women who want to look more beautiful without the use of scalpels or needles may want to consider using skin care products for black women, which are specially formulated to keep ethnic skin looking its best.  

Jun 7, 2011

Women with severe wrinkles may want to consider getting bone density screening

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine recently found that women with more severe facial wrinkles also tend to have lower bone density than their counterparts with smoother skin.

The team of scientists examined the health data and skin texture of 114 post-menopausal women in their 40s and 50s. The participants were less than three years into menopause and none were on hormone therapy during the trial.

"This information may allow for the possibility of identifying postmenopausal women at fracture risk at a glance, without dependence on costly tests," said lead author Lubna Pal, M.D.

The results showed that women with smoother skin tended to have stronger bones, while those with multiple deep wrinkles had lower bone density - even after taking into account age, body composition and other factors that have been known to relate to bone density. Moreover, skin texture appeared to correlate with bone strength in all skeletal sites.

Results of this study suggest that women who struggle with wrinkles may want to consider getting a bone density test. Additionally, skin care products for black women could help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  

Blackout Awards to honor accomplished African American women

Sponsored by Covergirl's Queen Collection, the 2nd Annual Blackout Awards will take place on June 12 to give recognition to the hair stylists, makeup artists, photographers and fashion experts behind celebrity style.

The ceremony will also pay homage to accomplished African American women in other fields.

For Colored Girls playwright Ntozake Shange and Inside Edition and BET journalist April Woodard will be awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Trailblazer Award, respectively.

Shange and Woodard will be among many other honorees, including the first-time winner of the Blackout Humanitarian Award, HIV/AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent.

"Each year we set the bar higher because this awards ceremony is about giving back through philanthropy and appreciating the artists who work so diligently," said Yancey Edwards, founder of the awards and hairstylist.

The event will take place at the Hilton Newark Gateway Hotel in Newark, New Jersey and will be hosted by Grammy Award-winning makeup artist Karen Dupiche.

The Covergirl Queen Collection is inspired by Queen Latifah and is formulated to complement various shades of ethnic skin. Products for black skin may be better able to keep dark complexions looking healthier than those produced for the general market.  

Jun 3, 2011

The vicious cycle of allergies and dry skin

Individuals who have dry, itchy skin also sometimes endure seasonal allergies or allergic conditions like eczema, and sources are unclear on which is the cause and which is the symptom.

An article in reports that a study published in the journal Trends in Immunology revealed that people with dry skin may be absorbing allergens through tiny cracks in their skin, suggesting that allergies are caused by an undernourished dermal layer.

The article recommends using skin care products with calming, natural ingredients. Using lotions may help to create a barrier between the outside world and your skin.

The Mayo Clinic reports that dry skin is actually caused by eczema and allergic reactions, which trigger itching.

The health source also recommends lotions and ointments to help hydrate the skin and alleviate discomfort.

Individuals with ethnic skin may want to consider specially made skin products for black women since they are formulated to address unique issues. Additionally, sun exposure has been known to cause dry skin, so be sure to wear a daily sunscreen with SPF.  

Jun 2, 2011

Get blemishes under control for National Acne Awareness Month

In June, dermatologists and skin care experts will help to spread awareness of the country's most common skin condition: acne.

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, more than half of women in their 20s experience mild to severe acne. The condition can be embarrassing, but a visit to the dermatologist and a new skin care product regimen may help to clear things up.

Linda Stein Gold, director of Henry Ford Health System's Dermatology Clinical Research department, says that acne is a condition that is greatly caused by genetic or environmental factors, and not merely a symptom of puberty. So it's perfectly normal for adults to experience acne.

Secondly, those who endure the condition should seek an appropriate healthcare provider. Ethnic skin has unique issues, so it may be a good idea to find an African American dermatologist who understands what dark skin needs.

Next, re-visit skin care product regimens. Be sure to cleanse, use topical ointments for blemishes and always use a moisturizer and sunscreen, since the sun can exacerbate scars or dark spots on black skin.  

Jun 1, 2011

Men need skin care too

Husbands and boyfriends all over the country are sneaking into their wives' or girlfriends' medicine cabinets to snag some of their creamy, luxurious skin care products.

Hide no more, boys. There's no need to be ashamed of wanting soft, healthy skin. recommends a five-step method that begins with cleansing the skin with an effective yet gentle facial soap. Next, exfoliate the skin with a scrub to remove dirt hiding deep within the pores and to soften beard follicles.

Skin also needs to be moisturized. Try a brand with SPF to prevent age- and sun-related wrinkles. The source reports that most men begin looking their age when the skin around their eyes develops fine lines, so use an eye cream to help slow this. Finally, recommends using lip balm to prevent chapping.

According to WebMD, men can avoid getting dry skin by showering in lukewarm water as opposed to hot, and limiting shower times to five to 10 minutes.

Additionally, African American women are not the only ones who experience uneven tone or dark spots. Men with these issues should consider skin care products for black skin to help reduce the appearance of such discolorations.  

Texas ban of excessive hydroquinone raises questions

Recently, the state of Texas banned the use of skin-lightening chemical hydroquinone (HQ) in concentrations of 4 percent or more for skin care products for black skin.

The action has caused many to wonder about the safety of the chemical, which also has several industrial uses.

Cosmetic company founder Rhonda Allison said that use of the product should be left to professionals who can administer it properly and recommend treatments to keep the skin healthy after a HQ treatment.

"With the nature of HQ, or any corrective product, it's absolutely essential that it be paired with skin-building ingredients like epidermal growth factor, and protected with SPF 30," Allison said. "That said, there are also a number of HQ-alternative lighteners available."

Many natural extracts and acids can help to even out dark spots on black skin but are not as harsh or damaging as HQ. Additionally, using antioxidant-rich cleansers and moisturizers in conjunction with daily sunscreen may help to even out complexions.

HQ works by destroying melanocytes, which are cells that produce the pigment melanin that gives skin its color.