Category Archives: Hygeine

Skin, Hair and Nails, OH MY!

  1. If your hair is looking super greasy, dried and straw-like, discolored, broken-off and fuzzy, frizzy, tangled, engrossed with split-ends, or you have an itchy scalp with dandruff/scaling: it’s your endocrine system.
  2. If your skin has a funny yellowish/other color tint, is producing lots of acne-causing oils and blackheads, growing abnormal amounts of hair/ingrown hairs, is dry, cracked, flaky or discolored: it’s your endocrine system.
  3. If your nails are splitting, breaking off, ingrown, bleeding or cracked at the cuticle, discolored, really thin, flimsy or extra thick: it’s your endocrine system.
  4. If you are constantly getting sick, have swollen lymph nodes, have a chronic ailment related to your immune system: it’s most likely due to a dysfunctional gland(s) within the endocrine system; unfortunately, this dysfunction may prove to be an accurate reflection of lifestyle choices.

Your endocrine system is a collection of glands that produce hormones that regulate your body’s growth, metabolism, and sexual development and function.  The hormones are released into the blood stream and transported to tissues and organs throughout the body.  The endocrine system consists of:

  • Pineal body-Involved with daily biological cycles
  • Pituitary-Produces a number of different hormones that influence other various endocrine glands
  • Hypothalamus-Activates and controls the part of the nervous system responsible for many involuntary bodily functions (for example, regulating sleep or stimulating appetite) and influences hormones
  • Thyroid gland-Produces hormones that stimulate body heat production, bone growth, and the body’s metabolism
  • Parathyroids-Secretes a hormone that maintains calcium levels in the circulatory system
  • Thymus gland-Plays a role in the body’s immune system
  • Adrenal glands-Divided into 2 regions; secrete hormones that influence the body’s metabolism, blood chemicals and body characteristics, as well as influence the part of the nervous system that is involved in the response and defense against stress
  • Pancreas-Secretes a hormone (insulin) that controls the use of glucose by the body
  • Ovaries-Secrete hormones that influence female characteristics
  • Testicles-Secrete hormones that influence male characteristics

If any of these glands are not functioning the way they are supposed to, your body outwardly displays these problems through parts of us that essentially pertain to beauty standards (skin, hair, nails, sexual organs and our weight/body shape/size).  Maintaining a healthy endocrine system helps your body perform many of its vital functions, such as growth, development, reproduction and immunity. The endocrine system may also affect some aspects of personality and behavior. An unhealthy endocrine system can result in thyroid diseases, osteoporosis and a variety of other problems, both large and small.

Protect your endocrine system, health and overall appearance by:

  • Maintaining a balanced, healthy diet
  • Be aware of family history pertaining to endocrine problems and take preventative measures against those problems which could be hereditary
  • Find healthy ways to eliminate stress that can result in disorders or a weakened immune system
  • Take a daily vitamin or supplement such as Biotin or others that support endocrine system hormones and glands

Haircare Promises

Have you ever paused in the shower to read the back of your shampoo/conditioner bottles and attempted to comprehend even one word of the active ingredients?  I have been jumping in between shampoo and conditioning systems lately based on advertisements I see for these brands because I simply don’t have the time to research individual ingredients across hundreds of brands.  I switched back to Pantene Pro-V from Garnier about a month ago and noticed that my hair now has more split ends in these 30 days than it has had in the past two years.  I became frustrated as I was going through my hair, dusting my split ends  and grabbed the Pantene volume bottle to comb through the ingredients and compare them to another set of shampoo/conditioner sitting in the shower (John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde).  

Almost every active ingredient ended with the word alcohol, acid or sulfate.  Right off the bat I internalized those words picturing a FirsAid kit, doctor’s office, laundry detergent and then chemical cleaners.  It turns out that sodium sulfates, alcohol, hydrogens and acids are all highly effective surfactants in the removal of oily stains and residues.  These compounds can be found in engine degreasers, floor cleaners, car wash soaps, pesticides, and ah yes, toothpastes, shampoos, shaving creams and bubble bath formulas for their abilities to effectively lather.  I can’t speak for other people but I was very uncomfortable with the fact that the products I’m using to clean my mouth, body and hair have the same ingredients found in harsh, dangerous chemical cleaners.  Women’s Health Magazine explains each common ingredient in shampoo and conditioner and why manufacturers need them to all balance each other out.

So what products are safe and trustworthy?  Top 10 picks by TotalBeauty readers:

  1. Arbonne FC5 Nourishing Shampoo
  2. Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
  3. Kerastase Bain Oleo-Curl Shampoo
  4. Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Moisturizing Lather Shampoo
  5. Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile Hydrating Shampoo
  6. Mizani Thermasmooth Shampoo
  7. Kerastase Bain Satin 2 Shampoo
  8. Beecology Natural Honey and Botanical Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  9. Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo
  10. Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo


Look Your Best, Feel Your Best: Say No to Ratchet

#Ratchet: a word that has recently developed in our culture to describe a woman who doesn’t dress with class or sophistication, practices poor hygiene and makes tacky, uneducated decisions.  Ratchet is not a word to be proud of and the rise of social media just points out more and more of these scenarios that can be easily avoided.  Ladies, if you have the money and resources to take care of yourself, PLEASE DO for all our sakes and reputations.  Even those of you who think you don’t have the money to sacrifice on your personal appearance, there are ways around the ratchet routine.  I will personally share some pointers for those of you ballin’ on a strict budget.

  • If you aren’t washing your hair and body everyday because you need to lower your water bill, don’t have time to or can’t waste money on shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razors, body wash, etc. there are plenty of ways to keep a clean appearance and fresh smell.
  1. DRY SHAMPOO: Pick up a Dove or TRESemee dry shampoo from Wal-Mart for $5 or less.  Dry shampoo is a spray shampoo or powder that you rub throughout your roots and ends of unwashed hair to absorb oil and give a clean appearance.  If you don’t like the dry shampoo or can’t afford it, sprinkle a baby powder through your roots and work it through thoroughly to absorb oil.
  2. TOOTHPASTE W/ BAKING SODA: Toothpaste is only a few dollars, sometimes less.  You can pick up a toothbrush at the dollar store and brush your teeth at least twice a day with a whitening toothpaste like Arm&Hammer’s Extreme Whitening (or the generic) to effectively lift stains and keep breath fresh without purchasing scope or whitening strips.
  3. DEODORANT: You need to apply deodorant every day after cleansing your armpits with soap or a wipe to rid and mask unpleasant, overbearing body odor.  Try to buy a scented deodorant (spray or roll-on) if you can’t afford a body spray or perfume so you stay fresh and smell decent.
  4. BABY WIPES: If you don’t have time/can’t afford to wash your body everyday with a body wash, buy a large package of generic baby wipes from the dollar store and wipe your body down head to toe before getting dressed to remove dirt, oil and odor.
  5. RAZORS: If you aren’t going to shave an area on your body, don’t show it off!  Simple as that!  Purchase disposable razors and use them twice or a razor with a built-in shaving cream to cut shaving time in half and reduce costs of both shaving creams and razors