All posts by Esthetics

Nutrition Power: Wild Copper River Salmon

Wild River Salmon Photo

While we have yet to discover the elusive “fountain of youth”, consuming salmon regularly might get you pretty close.  Salmon  contains an antioxidant (Astaxanthin) that helps slow down the aging process. Salmon is an easy protein to digest, easy to prepare, and highly nutritious.  While most are aware that salmon contains a healthy dose of  omega-3 fatty acids which help to keep skin soft and selenium which provides the skin with protection from sun exposure, few realize that salmon is also a rich source of vitamin D, and research shows us that many people are deficient in it.
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Hair Loss: The Challenge for Black Women

Esthetics Collage 1


I’ve practiced dermatology for almost  20 years. During the past seven years, I’ve seen an exponential rise in appointments for hair loss among black women. I suspect if I polled other dermatology colleagues around the country, their impressions would strikingly be similar.


Why is it happening? Here are some issues we need to consider to tackle this conundrum:

* Is access to dermatology care more readily available, or has the frequency of hair loss increased among black women?

* Are there cultural and family habits practiced and passed down through generations that are contributing to  hair loss?

I believe there are unhealthy hair habits perpetuated from generation to generation.  Both in my practice and in day-to-day life, I’m seeing girls younger than 18 who display early signs of permanent  hair loss that may lead to baldness.  That’s tragic!

In this series, I’ll talk about the causes, prevention, strategies, and treatments for hair loss.  Let’s embark on this quest for knowledge together.  Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.

Biochemically, the composition of “black” hair is identical to naturally straight hair. However, under the microscope, the strands appear in a curled and spiraled pattern. This tight curl pattern makes curly or kinky hair more prone to form knots and tangles.  That’s why black women’s hair can be fragile, making it susceptible to breakage and injury.

One other factor is important to understand. Black hair has a lower water content and fewer sebaceous glands, which help to lubricate the hair. The result is an increase in hair dryness as the natural oils are unable to migrate down and lubricate the hair shaft.

Moisturizing the hair is very important because the tight curl pattern makes the hair more susceptible to breakage when styling. Which moisturizer to use?  Many companies have jumped on the bandwagon in the multi-billion-dollar black haircare market.  Using monikers such as “organic” and “sulfite free”, they position their products as best for healthy hair, but some of their ingredients are cheap and diluted for mass marketing.

I personally use and recommend Hair 180(degree sign) Organic Hair Formula Revitalizing Shampoo, Hydrating Deep Conditioner and Leave-in Conditioner and Detangler.  They can be purchased online at The shampoo is free of sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens and DEA. Mild on all hair types, it contains high-quality ingredients specially formulated with Omega-3 and Omega-6 properties.

The Hydrating Deep conditioner is infused with excellent quality shea butter, organic coconut oil and organic raw honey which intensely nourishes, repairs, and strengthens dry, damaged hair, minimizing split ends.  The leave-in conditioner is a lightweight formula that moisturizes hair without leaving residue.

Once a week, I also use Emergencia (“emergency” in English), a deeply penetrating, intensive hair treatment which controls volume and softens. This rich treatment is infused with organic avocado and olive oils that replenish very dry, thirsty, porous and rebellious hair with essential nutrients. In the winter, I apply it and sit under a dryer for 30-45 minutes. In the summer, no dryer is necessary but I’ll leave it on for 30-45 minutes and wear a shower cap. To ensure product authenticity, I recommend purchasing Emergencia from Amazon Prime online as it is made in the Dominican Republic.


Next time: When is hair loss temporary and when is it permanent?

It’s All About the Kale!


“It’s all about the Kale!”

Everyday we are inundated about the merits of kale, however is kale all that it’s cracked up to be or is it just another fad or passing craze? Of all the dark leafy greens, I simply LOVE kale and never get tired of eating it! It’s sweet in taste and is able to be consumed in a plethora of ways, including baked, broiled, fried, steamed, juiced, etc. Kale delivers a hefty supply of powerhouse vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, as well as other essential nutrients for the skin and hair.

Vitamin A is one of the most skin-essential vitamins around. Vitamin A supports skin cell turnover, the process of replacing dead skin cells with healthier new skin cells. Without adequate Vitamin A, skin becomes dry, tough, and scaly, because the top layers of dead skin cells are continuously building on top of each other, and not being removed and replaced by newer skin cells. Lack of vitamin A can also weaken the skin, so wounds heal at a slower pace. So since your skin is an integral part of your immune system, strengthening this barrier by promoting cell production will help protect your skin from infection or other unhealthy irritants.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which helps reduce damage caused by free radicals. This damage includes premature aging of the skin caused by overexposure to the sun. Antioxidants in kale can help keep your skin youthful!

Vitamin K is as a powerful ingredient found in many skin care products that helps diminish puffiness and dark circles under your eyes. Like Vitamin C, it also has anti-inflammatory benefits that helps with bloating and prevents puffiness around your face. The anti-inflammatory property also reduces redness and flakiness of the skin.

The mineral Copper boosts the production of melanin, a pigment that protects your skin from the sun. Copper also helps produce more collagen like its buddy, Vitamin C and promotes wound healing.

Omega-3, Omega-6 fatty acids, and iron are also found in kale. These nutrients can help boost the elasticity, strength, and growth of your hair.

So, without hesitation, dive into one of my favorite superfoods…the queen of Vitamin A and a powerful source of other noble nutrients…ALL HAIL TO THE KALE!

Note: My other green and leafy top picks include the following: spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, arugula, swiss chard and bok choy.

Medical Conditions


Hair Loss

Hair Transplantation



Nail Disease & Injury


Rashes & Eczema


Skin Cancer

Sun Damage


For the Mom-to-be

MomToBe Collage

Pregnancy Advice #1: Acne Breakouts

Pregnancy Advice #2: Dark Spots/Melasma

Pregnancy Advice #3: Skin Rejuvenation

Pregnancy Advice #4: Salon/Spa Services

Pregnancy Advice #5: Dental Care

Bridal Beauty Timeline



B2B Brides 6

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 12 Month Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 9 Month Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 6 Month Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 5 Month Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 4 Month Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 3 Month Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 2 Month Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 1 Month Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 2 Week Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 1 Week Plan

Bridal Beauty Timeline: 1 Week Plan

Image Source: Wedding Party App

Food Tips for the Ladies



Place of Origin: Acai berries grow in the Amazon rainforest region of Brazil.

What is it: Acai is a tiny purple berry (and powerful superfruit) that grows on palm trees in the Amazon.

What are the benefits: Acai berries help support natural energy, healthy hair, skin and nails, as well as antioxidant levels.

Why it’s important for women: Women need protein, fiber, omega fatty acids and antioxidants.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: With a variety of Acai products available in the market, incorporating Acai into your daily diet/everyday routine is pretty easy. One popular way to get your daily does of Acai is in the delicious chew form – they’re about the size of a postage stamp, but can pack some nutritional punch.


Place of Origin: Thailand and other tropical regions.

What is it: The liquid extracted from a young, green coconut.

What are the benefits: Coconut water supports the balancing of your body’s electrolytes, as well as promotes natural energy and healthy hydration.

Why it’s important for women: Lack of energy is a common complaint of women, oftentimes due to dehydration.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: Coconut water is in liquid form and is easy to drink. You can feel the hydration almost instantly when drinking coconut water. It is Nature’s hydration drink, which hydrates without the sugar and calories of most sports/fitness drinks. I’d suggest making coconut water part of your daily regimen. It tastes great and hydrates better than water.


Place of Origin: Sea buckthorn hails from some of the harshest environments of Eastern Asia, Mongolia and the Himalayan Mountain regions.

What is it: A tiny, sour and pungent orange berry that is no larger than a pea, but packed with vitamin C and other powerful nutrients.

What are the benefits: Sea buckthorn supports healthy skin, hair and nails, as well as promotes healthy energy and immune support.

Why it’s important for women: Antioxidants are even more important for women as they age.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: Sea buckthorn in natural form (i.e. the berries) is not typically found at local grocery stores. However, liquid supplements and soft gel capsules are becoming increasingly available at stores and online. Just a note – because of its very tart and pungent flavor, you may want to mix or chase it with a juice or tea.


Place of Origin: The tropical belt: countries within the 10 degrees N and 10 degrees S of the equator.

What is it: Cacao (theobroma cacao) is the purest, rawest form of chocolate.

What are the benefits: Cacao is an antioxidant powerhouse that helps support healthy antioxidant levels and heart health, plus natural energy, mental alertness and focus.

Why it’s important for women: Many women are deficient in the mineral magnesium (which is one reason why women crave chocolate when it’s that time of the month). Magnesium supports a healthy heart and is needed for your body to be able to absorb and utilize calcium.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: Cacao is one of the easiest superfoods to incorporate into your daily diet and routine.  Who doesn’t love chocolate?


Place of Origin: Mangosteen grows in the jungles of Thailand.

What is it: Mangosteen is a small, white-fleshed fruit with a dark purple rind that tastes sweet (a cross between a strawberry and a peach).

What are the benefits: Mangosteen contains over 40 xanthones (super potent antioxidants) that help fight free radical damage, as well as keep your body’s inflammatory responses in check.

Why it’s important for women: As women age, risk of inflammatory health concerns rise.  Also, it’s not secret that with age come weaker joints.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: You would have to fly all the way to Thailand to actually get fresh Mangosteen.  Luckily, Mangosteen is popping up at specialty grocery stores across the country in juice and liquid supplement forms. You can also make smoothies with these juices with a combination of fiber and yogurt.


Place of Origin: Goji berries come from the valleys of the Himalayan mountain region of China, Mongolia and Tibet.

What is it: Goji berries are small reddish orange berries that look kind of like tiny chili pepper that grow on bushes.

What are the benefits: In Asia, goji is known as the “happy berry” for its ability to support positive moods, as well as a sharp mind, memory and eye health.

Why it’s important for women: Hormones affect women’s health.  And as women age, their health and mood-supporting hormones decrease.

How to incorporate into diet/everyday routine: Since dried goji berries can be found at places like Whole Foods, it’s easy to incorporate this superfruit into an everyday routine/diet.  Just sprinkle goji berries on your food such as oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, and salads. You can even bake them into side dishes or desserts.

Superfoods Addendum


Beans part of the legume family and great for feeling full. Contains fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium and phytonutrients. Beauty benefits include increased strength and health of the root and strand of hair.

Blueberries – another tasty superfood. Contains Carotenoids, Vitamins C & E, iron, niacin, polyphenols, and phytonutrients. Beauty benefits include increased hair root health through improved circulation. Also reduces the environmental effects on the skin.

Broccoli – a real power food that contains fiber, folate, calcium, vitamins A & C, beta carotene, lutein, and vitamin K. Beauty benefit: broccoli increases the turnover rate of skin cells and protects against environmental damage.

Green Tea – a much healthier choice than soda. Contains flavinoids, fluoride, and polyphenols. Beauty benefits include reducing cellular inflammation associated with the aging process and increased tooth strength.

Oats – start your day off right. Contains fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, selenium and thiamine. Beauty benefits include increased hair strength, prevention of hair loss and color enrichment. Bet you never knew eating a bowl of oatmeal was good for your hair.

Oranges – makes your mouth water just thinking of one, doesn’t it? Contains vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium, polyphenols, and pectins. Beauty benefits include reducing the environmental effect on the skin.

Pumpkin – and often overlooked superfood. Contains vitamins C and E, alpha and beta carotene, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and phytonutrients. Beauty benefits include keeping your skin supple and preventing damage from sunlight.

Salmon– mighty tasty. Contains omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, selenium, potassium, protein and vitamin D. Beauty benefits include helping to reduce wrinkles and the harmful chemical levels associated with the aging process. Eating salmon regularly can also help reduce the severity of an acne breakout. The vitamins and minerals in this mighty fish can increase the strand strength of hair and encourage growth.

Soy – a trendy food gaining more widespread acceptance. Contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, potassium, folate, magnesium and phytoestrogens. Beauty benefits: helps to reduce wrinkles and the chemicals associated with the aging process and can reduce the environmental effects on the skin.

Spinach – the ultimate superfood. Contains omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene, vitamins A, B & C, polyphenols, folic and alpha lipoic acid. Beauty benefits: all the things that make up spinach help to reduce wrinkles and the chemical levels associated with the aging process. Spinach can also help increase cell turnover (to continually produce new and healthy skin cells) and protect against environmental damage.

Tomatoes– rounding out the superfoods perfect for a healthy diet. Contains vitamin C, alpha and beta carotene, lutein, fiber, lycopene, potassium, chromium and biotin. Beauty benefits: Protects skin against environmental damage and increases cell turnover which brings new healthy cells to the surface of your skin.

Walnuts– Contains omega 3 Fatty Acids, vitamin E, protein, fiber, magnesium, polyphenols, and Vitamin B6. Beauty benefits include protecting the skin from UV damage.

Yogurt – the perfect snack. Contains calcium, vitamin B 12, vitamin B2, zinc potassium and magnesium. Beauty benefits include boosting your immune system.


Organic & Natural Food Choices

Fresh green vegetables, macro close up

High Glycemic Index Fruit Choices

Low Glycemic Index Fruit Choices

Moderate Glycemic Index Fruit Choices

Natural Fat Choices

Natural Protein Choices

Vegetable Choices (High Fiber Carbohydrate)

Vegetable Choices (High Fiber Starchy Carbohydrate)