Quality Skincare

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Many consumers are frustrated by skin care products that don’t do what they claim to. Worse still is investing in an expensive yet ineffective cream or treatment only to discover the cheapest drug-store brand would work just as well. In a world of hyper-consumerism, false advertising and a plethora of products from which to choose, how do you choose the good from the bad?

There are some great products on the market that can genuinely improve your skin’s appearance and help your skin look smoother, more radiant, and youthful. But, there are literally thousands of products to choose from and unless you spend hours a day researching beauty products, it’s difficult to find the one of the few that actually produces real results and eliminates years of aging from your face and body.

Not only should a quality skin product help reduce bags under, and fine lines around, the eyes, but it should even out coloration inconsistencies caused by age spots and other unwanted pigment concentrations.

In a marketing-rich world of super models and glamorous actors, many will understandably spend any amount of money to make themselves look better or younger. Cosmetic surgery and skin care is a multi-billion dollar industry.

As the law of supply and demand proves, the higher the demand for youth and beauty, the more manufacturers will rush to provide the solution. Many times this rush results in the creation of an inferior product with little to no research and development to back it.

All of the money goes into the marketing of the product. On the surface everything looks great. The bottles and jars that the creams come in look appealing. The magazine advertisements are glossy, complete with a youthful looking model or a well known celebrity who doesn’t even really use the products.

You can’t really blame these companies. When you are spending a fortune paying for marketing, whether it be on the product containers, magazine, radio, and TV ads, royalties paid to celebrities and models, you have to charge a lot of money for your products or you’re going to lose money.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean you and I have to fall for these types of marketing schemes. After all, these companies aren’t going to encounter any shortage of people who will open their wallets and purses to purchase their products anytime soon. The reality is most people simply won’t take any time to research products and understand what ingredients work and what ingredients are actually bad for your skin!

Facial Masks for Your Skin Type

Written by Author on . Posted in Face Masks

Choose the Best Facial Mask for Your Skin
A weekly facial mask is a great way to boost your skins radiance and normalize oily or dry conditions. No matter what your skin type, there is a facial mask suited for you. Facial masks, when used once a week or twice a month for sensitive skin, can deep clean your face, tighten your pores, or brighten and exfoliate. Exercise caution though when shopping for a mask. Not every facial mask will suit your particular skin type. Several varieties are clay masks, moisturizing masks, fruit extract masks, yogurt masks, and gel masks, just to name a few. Before you buy a facial mask, you must recognize your skin type and buy accordingly.

Normal Skin

You have many mask options if your skin is normal. That is, if dryness or breakouts are of no real concern for you. You can use one that will give you radiance, one for deep cleaning or a gentle one for sensitive skin. Regardless of how “normal” your skin may be; you should see overall benefits of radiance and balance from using a weekly mask.
Oily or Combination Skin
Those with oily or combination skin do best with regular use of a clay mask. Clay is great for removing excess oil, deep cleaning your pores and preventing and clearing up blackheads. Natural clay is a great detoxifying treatment for your face without leaving your skin extra dry. Most clay masks work well with sensitive skin.

Dry Skin

Dry skin conditions require a mask for a very different reason than those with oily skin. You are not looking to reduce oil, but add moisture. Using a moisture mask will rejuvenate and rehydrate your skin. Many masks for dry skin require you leave them on longer than other masks for maximum effect. You leave the mask on your skin for up to 10 minute and then moisturize slightly with it before wiping off the excess. You will notice smoother, softer skin immediately.

Dull Skin

For a boost of radiance, try an exfoliating mask, but be careful to make sure the grain is not too coarse or you could cause skin tissue damage. You could try a peel off mask, which are actually kind of fun – like peeling off glue – this will help exfoliate your skin by removing the dead layers of cells, but again, be careful not to pull too harshly and tear tissue. Many exfoliating masks use fruit extracts such as papaya or pumpkin to naturally exfoliate. These tend to have a slight acidic range to them and may sting your skin just a little when you apply them. The scents are always quite pleasing though. You should see noticeable results within a few applications.

Mature Skin
To firm up wrinkled or sagging skin on the face and neck, look for moisturizing masks meant for dry skin or a specified “firming” mask. A firming mask will boost your skins moisture content, which will reduce fine lines caused by dehydration. This will give the appearance of a more youthful, firmer face. Massage onto your face and leave for about 10 minutes before you rinse off.

Sun Safety for Skiers

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Higher altitude means increased levels of harmful UV exposure compared to sea level areas. UV exposure increases 8-10 percent with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of 9-10,000 feet, UV may be 45-50 percent more intense than at sea level. In addition, snow reflects about 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, meaning that you are often hit by the same rays twice. This only contributes to the problem, further increasing the risk for skin cancer.

The combination of higher altitude and ultraviolet (UV) rays reflected by the snow puts skiers and snowboarders at an increased risk of sun damage and ultimately, skin cancer. More than 90 percent of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. It’s easy to associate winter with frostbite and windburn, but most people are unaware that UV rays can be even more damaging on the slopes than on the beach,it’s important to take proper precautions while on the slopes.

Both snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness, so you have to take extra precautions. To protect your skin from the bitter cold, heavy winds and winter sun, follow these important sun protection tips:
• Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher whenever you spend time outdoors. Apply 30 minutes before hitting the slopes.Be aware that the sun’s reflection off the snow is strong even on cloudy days.
• Apply sunscreen liberally and evenly to all exposed skin – most skiers and snowboarders do not use enough sunscreen and therefore do not get the maximum protection.
• Use a more moisturizing sunscreen. Winter conditions can be particularly harsh on the skin.
• Be sure to cover often-missed spots: lips, ears, around eyes, neck, underside of chin, scalp and hands.
• Always wear a lip balm with an SPF 15 or higher. Lips are even more sensitive than most parts of the skin.
• Reapply at least every two hours, and more often after sweating or exposure to wind and snow.
• Carry a travel-sized sunscreen and lip balm with you on the slopes. Reapply on the chairlift, especially after a long, snow-blown run.

Cover up.

• Wear items like ski masks, which will cover most of the skin, leaving very little exposed to the wind and sun.
• UV-blocking sunglasses or goggles that offer 100% UV protection and have wraparound or large frames protect your eyelids and the sensitive skin around your eyes, common sites for skin cancer and sun-induced aging. The sun’s rays and glare can impair your vision, so it’s important to wear sunglasses or goggles to clearly see the terrain. Plus, it will increase your enjoyment and performance while skiing.
Be mindful of time spent in the sun, regardless of the season.
• Keep track of the time you spend in full sunlight. If possible, ski early in the morning and later on in the day, before 10AM and after 4PM. This helps avoid long lines and decreases the amount of time spent outdoors in the most intense hours of sunlight.

• If you are on the slopes for most of the day, take a few breaks indoors to reapply sunscreen.
• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration from the sun.
Enjoy the winter season, but be sure to take care of your skin to avoid the damage the cold season can cause.

The first organization in the U.S committed to educating the public and medical professionals about sun safety, The Skin Cancer Foundation is still the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research.

Acne Symptoms and Treatments

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SYMPTOMS

Acne is often not apparent to an observer. Inflamed pores, however, can cause pain or itching. The most troubling aspect of acne for many people is the scarring that can occur. And, while acne may not be very noticeable, individuals tend to be sensitive about their appearance. Teenagers especially may become concerned about the way other people react to them.

DIAGNOSIS

People with acne are often treated by family doctors. More serious cases are referred to a dermatologist (a specialist in skin disorders) or an endocrinologist (a specialist in hormonal disorders).
Because of its appearance, acne is not difficult to diagnose. A doctor takes a complete medical history, which includes questions about skin, diet, medication use, and other factors associated with risk for acne. He or she conducts a physical examination of the face, upper neck, chest, shoulders, back, and other affected areas. The doctor determines the number and type of blemishes, whether they are inflamed or not, whether they are deep or near the surface of the skin, and whether there is scarring or skin discoloration.
Laboratory tests are not done unless the patient appears to have a hormonal disorder. In that case, blood tests and other tests may be ordered. Most insurance plans cover the cost of diagnosing and treating acne.

ANTI-ACNE DRUGS
Brand Name (Generic Name) and their pssible common side effects:

Accutane (isotretinoin) > Dry skin, dry mouth, conjunctivitis
Benzamycin > Dry and itchy skin
Cleocin T (clindamycin phosphate) Dry skin
Desquam-E (benzoyl peroxide) > Itching, red and peeling skin
Erythromycin topical (A/T/S, erycette, t-stat) > Burning, dry skin, hives, red and peeling skin
Minocin (minocycline hydrochloride) > Headache, hives, diarrhea, peeling skin, vomiting
Retin-A (tretinoin) > Darkening of the skin, blistering, crusted, or puffy skin

Alternative Acne Treatments and Prevention

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Several surgical or medical treatments may be used to reduce acne or the scars caused by the disease.
• Chemical peel. A chemical known as glycolic acid is first applied to the skin. When it dries, it is peeled off, taking the top layer of skin with it. This treatment helps reduce scarring.

• Collagen injection. Shallow scars are filled in by injecting collagen, a skin protein, beneath the scars.
• Comedo extraction. A special tool is used to remove a comedo from a pore.
• Dermabrasion. The affected skin is first frozen with a chemical spray. Then it is removed with a brush or sandpaper-like instrument.

• Intralesional injection. Anti-inflammatory drugs are injected directly into inflamed pimples.
• Punch grafting. Deep scars are removed and the area repaired with small skin grafts.

Alternative treatments for acne focus on proper hygiene and diet. Patients are advised to keep their skin clean and oil-free. They are also encouraged to eat a well-balanced diet high in fiber, zinc, and raw fruits and vegetables. They should also avoid alcohol, dairy products, caffeine, sugar, smoking, processed foods, and foods high in iodine, such as table salt.

Some doctors recommend the use of herbs to supplement the diet. Some herbs that have been used in the treatment of acne include burdock root, red clover, and milk thistle. Additional nutrients that may help to control acne include B-complex vitamins and chromium. Chinese herbal treatments that are recommended include cnidium seed and honeysuckle flower. Another herbal treatment is tea tree oil. The proper dose of these substances can be recommended by physicians or nutritionists.

Acne cannot be cured. However, it can be controlled in about 60 percent of patients with the drug isotretinoin. Improvement usually takes at least two months, and the problem may recur after treatment has been stopped. Inflammatory acne that results in the formation of scars may require one of the more aggressive treatments already described.

PREVENTION

There are no sure ways to prevent acne. However, the following steps tend to reduce flare-ups ofthe condition:
• Gently wash—do not scrub—the affected areas once or twice every day.
• Avoid rough cleansers.
• Use makeup and skin moisturizers that do not produce comedos.
• Shampoo often and wear hair away from the face.
• Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid foods that trigger flare-ups.
• Give dry pimples a limited amount of sun exposure unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
• Do not pick or squeeze pimples.
• Reduce stress.

Home Toner Recipes

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Blueberry Toner
Make this mask the day you plan to use it, and do not store.

3 tablespoons steamed, crushed blueberries
1/2 C. sour cream or plain yogurt
Purée ingredients in a blender at low speed until well mixed and fluffy. Apply to face and neck. Let penetrate for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with tepid water. If you find the mask is too runny after blending, you should refrigerate for one hour or until of the consistency you desire.

ALMOND FACIAL MILK
The herbal waters are antiseptic and toning. Grapefruit seed extract is available in health food stores, and is included in the recipe as a preservative.
• 1/2 cup rose, lavender, or distilled water
• 1 teaspoon pure vegetable glycerin
• 1/4 to 1 teaspoon cold pressed organic almond oil
• 12 drops grapefruit seed extract
Make the rose or lavender water by placing a small handful of dried organic rose petals or lavender in a pint mason jar and adding boiling water to cover. Let steep overnight, then thoroughly strain. Combine the remaining ingredients in a glass jar and shake to blend. Dab some on your fingers or a cotton ball and massage into your skin. Rinse with warm water. Keep stored in the refrigerator for no more than a month or so. Discard at the first sign of mold.

Apple Face & Neck Gelee

Yield: Approx. 2 applications
Ingredients:
4 teaspoons hot distilled water
1 teaspoon freshly juiced apple juice
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin
1 heaping teaspoon powdered pectin

Add the glycerin to the water/juice/gel combination and stir to fully incorporate. Add the pectin while the liquid remains quite warm (if it cools, place it in the microwave or a double boiler to raise the temperature) and use a hand held electric mixer to blend, or stir vigorously to dissolve the pectin. Once the pectin has fully dissolved, a light gel will begin to form. This may take from 15 minutes to 1/2 hour. Once the gel sets, Apple Face & Neck Gelee is ready to use. Apply the gel in a layer to your clean, damp face and neck. Rest for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and follow with a light moisturizer if desired. Leftover product can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week. Enjoy!! The shelf life of this product is necessarily limited by the fresh apple juice. It should be used within a few days after it is made.

APPLE SKIN TONER

Intended for slightly oily skins, we’re told by our skincare team that Apple Toner is an excellent substitute for rubbing alcohol (a real no-no, as it actually stimulates the oil glands to produce more oil).
Combine 2/3 cup witch hazel,
1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar,
and several drops of Lavender Essential Oil (or essential oil of your choice).

Mix, and add to clean bottle. Shake bottle well before using, and then dampen a cotton ball or pad saturated with your toner, and swab over face. Witch hazel is a gentle astringent, apple cider vinegar will help restore your skin’s natural ph balance, and lavender soothes sensitive skin.

BASIL ACNE TONIC

Basil is known for its “soothing and toning” properties.
2 to 3 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 C. boiling water
Steep basil leaves in water for 10 to 20 minutes. Cool, then apply to face with a white cotton ball. Keep tonic refrigerated. Recommended shelf life: 90 days.

Facial Mask at Home

Written by Author on . Posted in Face Masks

Spending a bomb to buy a facial product with claims of having all natural ingredients for beautiful skin and having drastic results on its usage is very depressing for any beauty conscious woman. We see wide varieties of cosmetics available in supermarkets, department stores, health food stores as well as internet and TV.

Not everybody has the same skin type. What product works on your friend’s skin, might not work for you and vice versa. If you buy a product for your skin type, it could have adverse effect as there could be some chemical or ingredient which could cause a reaction on your skin. Moral of the story – “Not all cosmetic products work well for everyone’s skin”.

Cosmetics labeled as having “natural ingredients” do contain some amount of artificial chemicals or elements. With over priced cosmetics made from natural ingredients, many people have started preparing beauty products at home. Making a facial mask at home with all the ingredients available in the kitchen is quite easy and inexpensive.

– Create a salon like atmosphere while doing a facial at home. Ideally they tie your hair in high ponytail or make you wear a band around head. Choose to do what ever you feel comfortable about.

– Start by splashing tepid water all over your face. Massage your face gently with water. Repeat it twice or thrice and let your face air dry.

– While your face is still damp, massage vitamin E on your face. Let your face soak the oil for 5 minutes or so. Use a mild soap to remove the oil from your face.

– Again splash your face with water at room temperate. Repeat it for 2 or 3 times. Avoid towel drying your face.

– Next make your facial mask. Blend 1 egg white or fresh Aloe Vera juice of same quantity, 2 tsp vegetable oil and 1 tsp pure apple juice in a clean bowl.

– Dip your hands in the facial mask and apply the mask to your skin. Start with your chin, move upwards and then outwards skipping the area around the eyes and lips.

– Now you have to just sit back and relax. Cover your eyes with wet cotton balls or cucumber pieces. The mask has to dry completely. An ideal time for a small nap.

– Mask takes anywhere from 20 – 30 minutes to dry. You feel your skin tightened when the mask is dry. Splash water all over face and gently remove the mask with light massage strokes on your face. Continue doing this till your face is cleared of the entire home made facial mask. Let your face air dry.

Use this home made facial mask once or twice a week or depending up on the time you have on hand. You will feel fresh and have much younger looking face all the time.

Dry skin recommendations

Written by Author on . Posted in Fundamentals

Dry skin recommendations and supplements that can help your skin

LIFESTYLE RECOMMENDATIONS

Dry skin responds best to climates with high humidity and hates cold, dry and windy climates. Indoor heating and air-conditioning can also be drying to skin. If you live in a dry climate, try to use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. There are many affordable varieties available on the market or for re-sale today.
Don’t steam facials because steaming is actually more drying than hydrating. Likewise, avoid steam rooms, swimming pools, chlorinated hot tubs and overly hot baths. Avoid those old-fashioned recommendations to put your face under a towel over a pot of boiling water. Not only will this lead to excessive drying, it can also cause broken capillaries or blood veins along the fragile skin of the cheeks and nose.

If your skin tends to be dry, and tight or wrinkled and sun spotted, avoid excessive sun, exposure or hot wax facial treatments, hair sprays and hair dyes that can dry your skin and provoke inflammation leading to dark spots.

Hormone replacement therapy can help to lessen skin dryness after Menopause though it will increase age spots due to new hormones stimulating pigment production. It may help prevent the wrinkles that quickly occur after menopause Consult with your doctor with your family health history to make an informed decision on HRT.