Wednesday, March 31, 2010

First Winner for Ethnic Skin Care Month and Final Savings

As we wrap up our celebration of ethnic skin, I want to conclude the month by offering 15% off ALL products at

Just use coupon code ETH10 at checkout ~~~> good thru April 5th Only.

Pick up a Mother's Day Deluxe Pampering Box today!

I would also like to announce the first winner of the Beautiful Woman of Color contest for the month of March. It was a very close decision between 2 beautiful women but only one can be chosen.  I literally agonized over who to choose but in the end the decision was made based on the very descriptive life of...Brenda Williams.  Here's a little about Brenda (as shared by her nominator):

"Brenda Williams dedicates herself to helping others; primarily the elderly. She is a single mom working a full time job and still finds time to volunteer at the local food bank, church, and assisting others with their household responsibilities. She provides her time for free and never refuses to help someone in need.  She is truly, a hard working angel."

The Women of Color Contest continues throughout 2010 so if you know a beautiful woman of color, then please DO nominate her here.  Previous entries are still in the running.

Tip: If you nominate someone, be VERY descriptive as to why you think the beautiful lady should win.  An example of vague is : "She cares." That does not provide enough information so please be specific in your entries.

Thank you and I look forward to Ethnic Skin Care Month again next March 2011.

Friday, March 26, 2010

How To Prevent Your Sensitive Skin from Over Reacting

It's no secret that people with sensitive skin appear to be allergic or "sensitive" to just about every product on the market.  At least the commercial ones (that's me being coy)...

In celebration of ethnic skin care month, I've been highlighting the various skin types along with providing product recommendations and tips to care for the specific types. Today's focus is on ladies with sensitive skin and ways to prevent it from over reacting

If you suffer with sensitive skin, you are not on an island alone.  Many women, especially women of color have this problem.  Could it be that result of being removed form our "natural" climate?

Regardless to where you live (and why), you can best care for your sensitive skin and prevent it from being so darn over reactive with steady changes to your skin care routine such as:
  • Avoid products that contain fragrance
  • Opt for Organic (food too) as much as possible
  • Reduce the amount of synthetics you allow to come in contact with your skin (ie polyester)
Want more? Pick up your sensitive skin guide here

This article was written by Michelle Howard, founder of
If you like this post, then why not subscribe to Michelle's Skin Naturale newsletter where you'll get tons of tips to accomplish your beauty care naturally.  Receive a free Basically Beautiful Tips Guide with your subscription.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Prevent Acne Breakouts with These 3 Products

Have you ever heard the term, "The best defense is a good offense?" Well, that can be applied to just about everything in life.  Let's apply it to our skin care regimen.

If you struggle with acne like I did, you are not alone. I thought it was because of me.  The U.S. Census Bureau reports that approximately 85% of people in America have problems with acne.  With those odds, it's time to get on the offensive.

Introducing: Blended Naturals Skin Clarifying System

Skin Clarifying Face Cleanser: The unique formulation contains a blend of natural ingredients:

* Charcoal - To absorb excess oils and draw toxins away from the skin
* Natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) - To dissolve bacteria that causes acne
*Also contains organic Lavender and Chamomile to soothe overactive skin

Skin Clarifying Face Toner: Cleanses, firms and balances skin with non-drying ingredients:

* Aloe Leaf Juice - To improve skin elasticity
* Witch Hazel - To thoroughly clean skin and tighten pores
* Fruit Extracts - To refine skin and help even skin tone
* Essential Oils - To improve circulation, reduce oil production and aid healing

Skin Clarifying Face Cream: Formulated with a blend of fruit extracts, milk enzymes, and certified organic ingredients:

* Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) - Moisturizes and removes dead skin cells that cause a dull appearance
* Milk - Gives your skin a healthy glow
* Organic Aloe - Helps heal scars to promote healthier skin and a more even skin tone

Non-comedogenic so it doesn't clog pores!

Save $6 on the Complete Clarifying Skin for a limited time.

Buy your skin clarifying system here
BONUS: Complimentary War on Acne E-book to first 10 Customers

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Is It Because I Stole the Candy?

Isn't it something when you think you've escaped a common problem known to mankind that affects just about everybody only to find out that it got you in the end?

Now, I'm not talking about some communicable disease but rather a common skin condition that everyone in every race experiences at some time on another...Acne

Yes, I thought I had it made during my teen years, skating nicely through high school without a zit in sight.  Nope, not a zit in site at all.  Some would say I was lucky. However, the acne imps finally caught up with me in my mid 30s.  All of a sudden I was no longer experiencing clear unblemished skin.  What went wrong?

Was I being punished for stealing candy from my co-worker's desk? Or maybe it was because I snuck off to Uno's that time for a feast while my family sat home eating leftovers?  Ok, that's probably a stretch but more practically could it be my hormones?? My diet??

God knows. All I know is that every few days I was waking up with a zit somewhere along the side of my face that eventually led way to cystic acne.  *Sigh

Getting cystic acne is no fun. You get these fine micro pimples that are kind of hard and not easy to get rid of.  So, I started my investigation to figure out why I was having acne issues at 34 years of again and how do I make it stop?!

I saw dermatologists and tried pharmaceutical drugs for a time. They stopped the breakouts for a little bit but didn't clear up the little cysts that were annoying me mad.  Around the same time, I started seeing an alternative health practitioner who practices applied kinesiology and uses whole food supplements to address common health issues...including acne.

Fast 41 years old I am finally on my way to clearer skin.  Yes, I still get the occasional outbreak like you probably do too.  The difference is I'm finally experiencing real results and relief from the dreaded cystic acne.

It's been an emotional battle but here's what I discovered I need to be on top of to keep my skin clear (yours may differ):
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid unhealthy oils. Stick with butter and extra virgin olive oil
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Cut way back on my sugar intake
There you have it. My pathetic little story. What's yours? Hey, everybody has a story. Share it. I'd love to read it.  Makes others feel good to know they are not alone in the world of acne...

About Michelle:  Michelle Howard is creator of Blended Naturals, a hand crafted natural skin care line for women.  As an advocate for women of color to care for their beautifully pigmented skin, Michelle helps with this pursuit by providing an array of information and skin care resources.  Subscribe to her Skin Natural newsletter for monthly tips, beauty information and a Free Basically Beautiful Tips Guide.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Is Your Spicy Lifestyle Secretly Causing Acne?

Acne is a common problem amongst women of color.  Could it be our spicy culture or just our spicy nature?  Probably neither but in any event, acne is common and more times than not, we try to do too many things at once to remedy the problem.

If you suffer from acne, just as if you were trying to lose weight, don't try to do too many things at once to get rid of it.  It can be demoralizing when you don't see the results you expect.  Besides, you won't know what's working !

Here are 2 tips that may prove helpful in preventing acne as well as treating it:

Natural Acne Prevention Tip: Make it a practice of using facial toner regularly.  Toner helps to cleanse away excess dirt while also shrinking your pores.  This is good!  The smaller your pores, the less likelihood of dirt and debris getting into them.

Natural Acne Treatment Tip: Here's one you many never have heard of. Cucumber juice.  Use a cotton puff to apply cucumber juice to acne breakouts.  Allow this to sit for about 15 minutes and then through wash off with tepid water.

For more tips to care for acne prone skin, pick up the next in the series of free mini guides for Oily/Acne Prone Skin Care here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I am passing along some information that I received from business source:

FDA Food Recall. If you're experiencing symptoms of Salmonella, what should you do? Full story below:
The FDA announced that HVP manufactured by Basic Food Flavors has been recalled, and an estimated 10,000 products are affected by this recall. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is a flavor enhancer commonly used in processed foods.

HVP is found in snack foods such as potato chips and pretzels. It's also used in dry mixes for chip dips, gravy, au jus and marinades. HVP is also used in frozen foods (such as taquitos and quesadillas) and in fresh foods such as potato salad and fresh dips. In addition to these items, it is also used in many other grocery products.

The recall was issued due to possible salmonella contamination. Salmonella is one of the most common causes of bacterial food-borne illness in the United States. It can cause fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

The following soup and dip mix products are included in the HVP recall.
Castella Chicken Soup Base
Concord Foods Vegetable Dip Seasoning - Homestyle
De la Casa Spinach Dip
Dean's - various brands of soup/soup mix & dip/dip mix
Delicioso Spinach Dip
Follow Your Heart Beef Au Jus
Fresh Food Concepts Garden Fresh Spinach & Spinach Dip with Real Yogurt
Great Value Ranch Chip Dip
Healthwise Cream of Mushroom Soup
Homemade Gourmet Tortilla Soup Mix
Johnny's French Dip Powdered Au Jus
Kroger Onion & Beefy Onion Soup Dip Mix
McCormick French Onion & Vegetable Dip Mix
Mrs. Gerry's Crab Creole Spread & Old Home/Old Fashioned Spinach Dip
Oak Lake Farms French Onion Chip Dip
Publix Beef Flavored Stew Mix
Reser's soup and dip mixes
Rojo's Garden Fresh Spinach Dip
T. Marzetti soup and dip mixes

Bouillon products
Herbox chicken, beef & vegetable bouillon

Dressing and dressing mix products
Follow Your Heart Organic Creamy Ranch Dressing
Reser's Ranch House Dressing
Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Ranch Dressing & Dip

Flavoring base and seasoning products
Garden Harvest Special Blend Seasoning
Minor's Bacon Base
Publix Meatloaf Seasoning

Gravy mix products
McCormick Onion Gravy mix
Publix Mushroom & Au Jus gravy mixes

Sauce and marinade mix products
Durkee Spaghetti & Marinade Mix
French's Thick Spaghetti Sauce Mix
Weber Grill Creations Italian Herb Marinade Mix

The following is a list of snack and snack mix products that are included in the HVP recall.

CVS Honey Mustard Pretzel Bites
Great Nut Supply Honey Mustard Pretzels & Bar Mix
HK Anderson Honey Mustard Pretzel Bites
Tim's Cascade Hawaiian style snacks
Herr's Sea Salt Flavored Kettle Style Potato Chips
National Pretzel Company (various)
President's Choice Honey Mustard Onion Pretzel Bite snack
Pringles Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger & Family Faves Taco Night
Quaker Baked Cheddar Snack Mix
Rouses Louisiana's Best Snack Mix
Safeway brand Honey Mustard Onion Nugget Pretzels
Spec's Wines & Fine Foods
Sunflower Markets Honey Mustard Nugget Snack Mix

Frozen foods
Casa Solana Shredded Mini Beef Taquitos
E-Z Eats! Beef Taquitos
El Pasado Shredded Beef Mini and Beef Taquitos & Grilled Chicken Quesadillas
Giant Eagle Steak Taquitos
Jose Ole Taquitos
Posada Corn & Shredded Beef Taquitos
Tornados Ranchero Beef & Cheese

Prepared salad products
Reser's Redskin Potato Salad
Safeway brand Redskin Potato Salad
Walmart brand Redskin Potato Salad

Ready-to-eat meal products
Follow Your Heart Ready-to-Eat Meals

Stuffing products
McCormick Corn Bread Stuffing

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Free Dry Skin Care Guide #1

Ethnic skin care month is almost half over and I wanted to start giving out the freebies.

Today, we begin with the Dry Skin folks. You can pick up the first in a set of 3 mini guides to skin care as a token of my appreciation for sticking around.

The Mini Tips Guide For Dry Skin Care contains:
  • Tips to alleviate and prevent dry skin
  • Dietary suggestions to promote balanced skin
  •  More
Get your Mini Tips Guide here

An advocate for women of color seeking to have healthier skin by natural means, Michelle Howard helps with this pursuit by providing an array of information and skin care resources.  Subscribe to her Skin Natural newsletter for monthly tips and beauty information and receive a Basically Beautiful Tips Guide.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Natural treatment for dry patches

Among the many skin conditions that women of color experience, dry patches are probably the most common.  The rest of the body may be dry but there are certain concentrated areas that tend to be even more dry.  This could be the result of a number of conditions.  Eczema is one but the other is Seborrhea dermatitis.

Seborrhea dermatitis is common in people of color and is identified by the crusty, scaly patches on the skin that also have an oily coating.  The cause of Seborrhea dermatitis is unknown but it is believed that yeast may be the culprit.  Again, we are back to diet. *sigh.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Free Mini Skin Care Guides

REMINDER:  I will migrate my blog from blogger to my website. The new blog address will be  Please subscribe to receive updates at:

Just wanted to give you a heads up that I will be shortly distributing some free mini skin care guides for the various skin types so look out for that.

We are in our second week of Ethnic Skin Care Month and I hope you are learning as much about women of color's skin care concerns and needs as much as I am.  It's funny how just when you think you knew it all, there's something new to be learned!

So, look out for your skin care guides.  They will contain tips, recipes and recommended products for your skin type. If your skin type isn't up for the day, not to's coming!  Pass the guides on to friends and family.

An advocate for women of color seeking to have healthier skin by natural means, Michelle Howard helps with this pursuit by providing an array of information and skin care resources.  Subscribe to her Skin Natural newsletter for monthly tips and beauty information and receive a Basically Beautiful Tips Guide.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Preventing Eczema Flare Ups One Day at a Time

Eczema is another common problem in women of color, especially black women.  Our skin is inherently dry by nature. Couple that with dietary factors and eczema is the result.

While many people view eczema as an external disease, it's actually internal.  Muscle response testing can get to the root of what foods are causing you to have a reaction that's appearing in your skin. Getting the proper testing done will help you isolate the problem.  I suggest seeing a kinesiologist or other alternative health practitioner that performs muscle response testing.

In the meantime, here are some things you can do to prevent Eczema Flare Ups and make them less irritating:
  • Avoid common foods linked to eczema: wheat, gluten, soy, dairy sugar, and corn
  • Avoid products containing known allergens: sodium laurel sulfate, fragrances, dyes
  • Avoid materials made of polyester and wool
  • Invest in an air purifier for each room of your home to minimize dust mites and other allergens
  • For soothing your skin:
    • Bathe in water with added oatmeal
    • Bath in water with a few drops of Olive oil, Chamomile or Lavender essential oil added 
    • Moisturize with heavy emollients and body balms such as Organic Shea Butter
An advocate for women of color seeking to have healthier skin by natural means, Michelle Howard helps with this pursuit by providing an array of information and skin care resources.  Subscribe to her Skin Natural newsletter for monthly tips and beauty information and receive a Basically Beautiful Tips Guide.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Natural Hyper Pigmentation Treatments

REMINDER:  I will migrate my blog from blogger to my website. The new blog address will be  Please subscribe to receive updates at:

With March being Ethnic Skin Care month, I will be examining and providing solutions to the many problems us women of color face.  The first one I'd like to examine is Hyper-pigmentation.

Hyper pigmentation by definition is an excessive deposition of bodily pigment. In other words, the skin appears with too much pigmentation in it which is usually the result of an injury to the skin, including picking pimples! Of course, hyperpigmentation can also be the result of various diseases.  However, for the sake of simplicity and focus on caring for skin that isn't necessarily "diseased", let's examine hyperpigmentation resulting from acne.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Common Skin Problems for Women of Color

NOTE: Before I get into today's post I wanted to share with you that I plan to migrate my blog from blogger to my website. The new blog address will be  To make it seamless, I won't stop posting here until May and I will post all content here and on the new blog.  Please subscribe to receive updates at:

While women of color come in beautiful shades and tones, with that beauty comes some common skin issues that need to be addressed.  Over the next month as we celebrate Ethnic Skin Care month, I will give an overview of some of the most common skin conditions that affect ethnic skin.

Along with an overview of the skin conditions, I will share some natural remedies that are affordable and have proven effective for many.  Now let's get started.

Some of the common skin problems that affect people of color are:

Acne/T-zone Oily skin problems
Hyper Pigmentation
Seborrhea Dermatitis
Dry Patches

There are also some not so common skin problems and I want to point out one of them - Vertiligo because of the discrimination of the condition toward people of color.

Vertiligo is a skin disorder where there's a sudden massive loss of pigment from the skin.
I will not go into debth about this skin condition but wanted to provide you with some startling quick facts:
  • Approximately 2% of people worldwide suffer with this skin disease
  • Cause of Vertiligo is unknown but it's suspected to be a hereditary and linked to certain auto-immune diseases like low thyroid function and alopecia (extreme baldness and bald patches)
  • Vertiligo affects people of color more than any other race
Now, through the rest of the month I will touch on each of the common skin conditions mentioned above as well as provide some alternative treatments and a few freebies along the way. Stay tuned...

An advocate for women of color seeking to have healthier skin by natural means, Michelle Howard helps with this pursuit by providing an array of information and skin care resources.  Subscribe to her Skin Natural newsletter for monthly tips and beauty information and receive a Basically Beautiful Tips Guide.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Announcing Ethnic Skin Care Month

Fresh Radiant SkinBlack History month just ended but I think it's important to keep it going with a more specific focus on skin care for women of color. That's why I'm deeming the month of March as "Ethnic Skin Care Month."

Ethnic skin care month is not just about women of African descent but also Latinas, Native Americans and ALL women of color. We have special skin care concerns and addressing them during the month of March is what Ethnic skin care month is all about!

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