Woman playing golf

Round the Year Skincare for Golfers

Let’s review the facts.

Golfers spend a lot of time in the sun. The average time for a foursome to play 18 holes is four hours.It’s also recommended that if golfers play regularly if they are serious about improving their game.  In fact, as of 2011, golfers played an average of 58 rounds a year.  Do the math and that works out to a lot of time outside.

The majority of golf players are male.  Even though the popularity of the Ladies PGA tour grows every day, and we love you, Maria Sharapova,  77.5% of golfers in the U.S. are male.  And the average age of golfers in the U.S. is 54.  Now, ask yourself this, honestly, how many men do you know who are over 54 religiously apply sunblock?

Men over the age of 40 have the highest annual exposure to UV radiation and the majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are caucasian meant over 50. According to an article in Golf digest, dermatologists believe the odds of skin cancer are worse for golfers and it is likely that a higher percentage of golfers have skin cancer than the 20% reported for the US population.   According to Dr. Michael Kaminer, “Some golfers, it’s like they’re going out of their way to get skin cancer,” and he plays golf.

But just because you’re not in the average demographic for golfing, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy golf, and just because you are not a female millennial, you do not get an excuse for being ignorant about skin health.  So, let’s agree that golfing and taking care of your skin is not mutually exclusive! So listen up golfers:  here are some round the year skincare tips for golfers.

Use Sunblock Every Time You Play
Make sure to go with at least SPF 30 and make sure it says “broad spectrum”  on the label.  This way you know you are getting both UVA and UVB protection.

Woman playing golf

Wear a Hat, Long Sleeves, Pants and Sunglasses
The Skin Cancer Foundation says to wear one that extends 3″ ALL THE WAY AROUND; that means, no baseball caps or visors.  (Something tells me this may be a problem.) Wearing pants and long sleeves are very helpful in keeping the sun off.  If you are really too hot for sleeves, Nike and Under Armour make sun sleeves.  Try to get them with at least a 30 UPF.  and don’t forget to rock the SGs.  Make sure you choose a pair that blocks 99-100% of the sun.  OK, so now that you’re bundled up, let’s go play some golf.  No, only kidding, but statistics show that most golfers are college educated, so use those brains!  Stay away from the sun.

Re-Apply Sunscreen Every Two Hours
Sweat, moisture and time can all effect the strength of sunscreen. Check around the 8th or 9th hole to see how long it has been since your last application.

Schedule an Early or Late Tee Time
Try to avoid putting between 10 and 4 when the sun is strongest.  Take advantage of twilight rates, or predawn hours.

Find Shade
Trees are not really the most common features on golf courts, so a golf cart may be a good idea. The cart’s awning will provide some sun relief. If you must walk the court, try and stand in the shadiest place possible when not teeing off.  You will be cooler as well.

woman lying on grass

What to Wear During a Heatwave

“It is times like these, that great heaven knows, that we wish we had, not so many clothes.”  So begins the 1980’s pop summer hit,  now cult classic, “Strip,” by Adam and the Ants.  Remember it or not, on hot days, it is definitely an appropriate mantra and a fashion dilemma.  Yes, it is all well and good for those of us who have he luxury of baring it all on a daily basis, but unfortunately, most of us have to maintain some modicum of propriety.  So what do we do? How should we dress on days in which we really don’t want to dress at all?

Shoes
Sure sandals and flip-flops are easy and great, but, let’s face it, our feet aren’t always our best assets and open shoes are often not the best office look.  Luckily, canvas espadrilles are a stylish alternative, as are backless mules and flip flops. And be aware, smart pedestrian, foot discomfort is more common in the hot weather, as sweat causes friction that can lead to blisters.  Invisible ballerina socks are good summertime investments and you may want to rub some Vaseline on the backs of your shoes.

Undies
Although some of us will chose to forego the undershirt in especially hot weather, keep in mind that in may be your best weapon against sweat patches.  Your best bet is a t-shirt rather than a sleeveless, which will not guard against armpit leakage and grey or pearl colors are the least likely to show through white material. Ladies who are concerned with concealing the errant bra strap may want to consider a clip in strap converter or multiway bra.

Woman wearing a pink top and shorts

Materials
Textured fabrics such as seersucker, linen and cotton are good summertime choices.  They only touch parts of your skin, allowing air to get in.  When buying cotton tees, aim for quality to avoid looking too casual.  Pair them with loose fitting skirts or baggy pants or culottes for a professional summer look.  If you feel you look too “beachy”  accessorize with killer shoes and purse.

Accessories
The only hat you want to wear is a straw one which will provide shade while allowing air to get through.  Most of our body heat escapes through our heads, so trendy as they might be, ski hats and baseball caps may be figuratively cool, but they are literally quite the opposite.  A blazer is a good move for covering up those sweat patches, but leave the lined ones at home.  Silk, satin and polyester, most commonly used for lining suit jackets, make it notoriously difficult for skin to breath.  A bandanna in the back pocket is a good idea for a quick rubdown and, if you really want to get a leg up on the rest of us, you can pick up a hand held fan.  Also, consider keeping a spritzer handy. Apply sunscreen regularly.  Wear light colors.  Look hot, keep cool.

Woman applying nail oil

Healing Cuticle Damage

There’s no doubt about! Nails are all the rage! With all the nail trends that have emerged and continue to emerge in the coming season, a stylish manicure is becoming as necessary a fashion accessory as a great pair of shoes. But bad habits, natural elements and even certain manicures can cause cuticle damage that can seriously put a damper on putting your best finger forward. Well, never fear, because here are a few tips on how to heal cuticle damage and get those nails in shape for the upcoming season.

Treatments for damaged cuticles vary from simple creams to surgical treatments depending on the severity of the damage. “If you’ve been biting your fingernails or yanked off a hang nail, taking care of the issue may not be any more difficult than treating a minor cut,” says health journalist Elizabeth Whitmore. She recommends simply putting hydrogen peroxide and a bandage over the affected area.

More serious cuticle damage can include infections, commonly known as paronychia. These can be caused by bacteria, fungus or yeast and manifest as soreness and occasionally puss-filled blisters. Treatment for these infections usually involve soaking of the affected area in warm water and taking antibiotics, but occasionally surgery is necessary. If you suspect your finger is infected, it is best to see a doctor for proper medical attention.

Another source of cuticle damage is dry skin which can result in cracked and peeling cuticles. “When skin dries out, your cuticles lose natural fats that help keep them soft”, notes Whitmore. Treatment for this kind of damage includes cuticle creams which have fats and oils to help replace those you’ve lost. Other tips for dry, cracked cuticles includes Beauty blogger Nicole Quinn’s recommendation of applying Neosporin to cracked cuticles, covering them with band-aids and leaving them on while sleeping for an overnight transformation. Bobbie Brown recommends soaking hands in warm olive oil for five minutes while massaging the oil into your fingernails.

Of course, the best way to solve the problem of damaged cuticles is to prevent them from happening in the first place. You can save yourself a whole lot of pain, time and money by following some simple cuticle care tips.  These include the following:

  • Wear gloves in cold weather and while washing dishes
  • Don’t bite or pick your nails
  • Moisturize
  • Avoid rough manicures
  • Use acetone free nail polish removers
  • Avoid cutting your cuticles

Maintaining a healthy diet can also make nails strong and resistant to damage. Vitamins A, B, C, E, zinc and calcium are all recommended for healthy nails. Foods rich in these vitamins include citrus fruits, dairy products, bananas, lean meats, and leafy green vegetables. Caffeine and alcohol should be avoided as they can diminish the amount of vitamin A in the body. Cutex recommends their Quick and Gentle Nail Polish Remover Nourishing with Vitamin E.

If your nails are looking rough and peeling, it may be time to explore these options and start taking these steps for a healthier you, not to mention a beautiful manicured look.

Manicure

Dare To Go Bare

Nail polish is so attractive and there are so many trendy manicure options now, it’s hard to think of taking time off to let our nails go bare for a while. However, keeping polish on nails for a prolonged period of time can be doing our nails harm. Find out how your nails might be suffering the effects of being constantly polished and what you can do about it.

Many of us have heard of the benefits of leaving polish off to let nails ‘breathe’. The reality is, nails don’t actually need to breathe, as they receive nutrients and oxygen from the blood stream, not the air. However, leaving polish on can lead to keratin granulation. “These are white, rough patches on the nail that form when the polish is removed along with the superficial layers of nail cells,” explains certified dermatologist and nail specialist Dana Stern. Stern goes on to explain that these are caused by trauma to the nail matrix. The granulations do grow out over time but can result in permanent damage to the matrix that can lead to nail alteration.

Foot specialist Joy Rowland expands on this theory. “The danger with keeping your nail polish on too long is that the pigment in the nail polish can soak into the top few layers of the nail and dry it out,” says Rowland. When that happens, mildew, yeast, mold and bacteria can develop under the nail plate which can lead to long term problems. Rowland recommends leaving polish off and trying to keep feet dry to promote healing. She also recommends rubbing the nail beds with vitamin E.

Nail polish remover can also be dangerous to the nails. Dermatologists simplify the science behind this by comparing nails to tiles on a roof. “These tiles are made of protein, specifically keratin, just like our hair. These cells are very delicate and can become damaged with prolonged exposure to certain chemicals,” says Stern. One of these chemicals is acetone, commonly found in nail polish remover. Acetone can dry out the keratin cells that make up the nail plate causing them to separate, split, peel and break.

Obviously, it is a good idea to take breaks between manicures and let nails go bare. A few weeks with nail polish on, and then a few weeks with bare nails is the recommended procedure. Here are some other helpful hints for keeping nails healthy:

  • Always wear a protective base coat. This will keep nails from yellowing.
  • Take biotin and vitamins to keep nails healthy.
  • Use gloves while doing housework.
  • Keep nails trim and buff them lightly in one direction.
  • Don’t peel your nail polish. This will make the cells on your nails grow in a slanted direction and weaken them.
  • Rub oil into nails to seal in moisture.
  • Avoid overexposure to water and alcohol (which can be found in hand sanitizers).
Aging

A Decade of Changes

As we age, our skin changes drastically. Skin is a reflection of what is going on inside our bodies. When we eat well, it shows in the skin. The skin also betrays when we eat poorly. Our skin reflects when we are stressed, tired, happy, and angry. It’s no surprise that our skin will also change when we get older, even though they are definitely not always welcome changes.

What happens to your skin at 40?

What is your body doing?

Your estrogen levels are heading down. You may be experiencing a slower metabolism and more fatigue.

How does your skin reflect this?

The collagen that keeps your skin firm is starting to break down. Your skin is also losing hyaluronic acid, which helps maintain the skin’s elasticity, giving the skin that bouncy, youthful appearance.

What can you do?

  • Taking a low dose of estrogen can help keep your estrogen levels from dropping too drastically, so these changes won’t happen quite so suddenly. This can make them more manageable.
  • Adding a product with hyaluronic acid will help your skin maintain its elasticity and hydration.
  • Using a retinol will increase the cell turnover of your skin. This will keep your skin looking fresh and bright- just make sure you are using a good exfoliator because retinol will create dead skin cells to exfoliate away and uncover younger-looking skin.

Woman applying serum

What happens to your skin at 50? 

What is your body doing?

Most women experience menopause during their 50’s. This means their estrogen production has slowed or stopped.

How does your skin reflect this?

Your skin can lose up to 30% of its collagen in the first few years of menopause. Skin will lose a lot of its elasticity, and be much more prone to dryness. Wrinkles will deepen as your skin loses collagen.

What can you do?

  • Hormone therapy (if your doctor approves) can help your skin hold on to more of its collagen.
  • Keep using retinol creams and firming eye creams to slow the loosening of the skin, especially around the eyes.
  • Switch to a rich night cream to combat dryness.

What happens to your skin at 60? 

What is your body doing?

As you age, your body becomes more susceptible to illness. Your immune system isn’t as strong, and things like smoking and drinking start to have a more negative effect.

How does your skin reflect this?

Your skin is drying out and thinning, so it is much more sensitive to sun damage, heat rash, damage from smoking, and other environmental factors. Wrinkles can deepen, and collagen breaks down further.

What can you do?

  • Keep using your rich night creams and retinol.
  • Protect the skin around your eyes- it is your thinnest skin.
  • Be careful to wear sunscreen and shield your skin from the sun as much as possible.
  • Most importantly, don’t worry about it! If you care for your body and your skin, you will age beautifully.
Beautiful woman smiling

Maintaining a Healthy Smile

There are many components to looking great; as important as skincare may be, it’s not the only thing you need to keep on top of to look your very best. That said, making sure to take proper care of your pearly whites, and keep them just that: pearly white, can be difficult. So let’s go over the basics of smile maintenance, as it were, and how to avoid some common pitfalls.

Don’t Skimp on the Brushing…
…and make sure you do it properly. Ideally, you should brush your teeth twice a day, but at least once daily is a bare minimum. When you brush, you want to make sure you brush down right to the gum-line, not just on the exposed surface of your teeth. Plaque can hide under the gum-line, in the tight space between your teeth and your gums. Brush the exposed enamel of your teeth, but after that, push the bristles down into your gum-line and push any plaque out with a flicking motion. Do this along every millimeter of your gums, and don’t forget the hard to reach areas in the back! Try to brush for at least two minutes.

Remember that Floss Is your Friend
Of course, brushing along isn’t enough. You need to floss regularly too. Every day is always a great idea, but you could scrape by with 2-3 times a week. If your gums bleed when you first start flossing after not doing it for ages, don’t worry, they’ll toughen up as you continue to floss. However, if they still bleed after a few weeks of consistent flossing, make an appointment with your dentist, you could have some kind of gum disease.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Seriously, don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Get your appointment over with sooner rather than later. Your dentist is trained to detect problems you won’t necessarily notice, even if your home care is fantastic. Further, if you’re trying to improve your home care, your hygienist can show you things like proper brushing and flossing technique, and give you other pointers. And the sooner you visit, the better your odds are of staying cavity-free.

Consider Whitening
If your teeth are yellowed or otherwise stained for whatever reason; be it poor dental hygiene in the past (regardless of whether you’ve worked on it since or not), drinking way too much coffee or tea, or for any other reason, you might consider dental whitening. There are simple, at-home things you can do, like getting a whitening toothpaste or, if you like DIY solutions, making a paste from 1 part baking soda and 1 part water, and using that to brush once a week (baking soda is a natural tooth whitener you can find in your kitchen or at the grocery store for a pittance). If your discoloration isn’t helped by using such methods for a month or two, then talk to your dentist about dental whitening procedures they provide. Discolored teeth are less pressing than a cavity, but it’s worth looking into whitening for the sake of achieving that pearly-white, confidence-filled smile.

Woman sleeping

Tips for Clearing Skin Overnight

We all want our skin to look its best, which is why it’s important to take good care of it. After all, it’s not just a blank canvas for makeup; skin is our body’s largest organ! Eating a healthy diet, which should include plenty of leafy green vegetables and healthy fats, staying well-hydrated, and getting a solid night’s sleep every night should be the base of your skincare routine.

Unfortunately, even the best skincare routines can’t keep every single breakout at bay. Hormonal acne, food sensitivities, environmental factors, and even stress can trigger a breakout. When dealing with blemishes, there are a few important things to remember. The last thing you want to do is make it worse and the following advice will help get your skin clear again.

Hands Off
It’s easy to look at a big, ugly pimple and think popping it will make things better, but it won’t. Your hands can introduce new bacteria to the breakout and make it worse. Even squeaky-clean hands can spread bacteria from an existing pimple to otherwise clear skin, creating new breakouts. Not to mention, the pressure and aggravation caused by picking at blemishes can cause damage to the skin and lead to scarring.

Cleanse
Properly cleansing your skin can help start the healing process. All you need is a gentle cleanser and warm water. When shopping for cleansers, look for ingredients that can treat blemishes without overdrying your skin. Salicylic acid in low percentages can be quite effective and ingredients like chamomile or aloe vera help calm inflamed skin. To wash your face: wet your skin with warm water and apply a dime-sized amount of cleanser with your (clean!) fingertips. Using gentle, circular motions, massage the cleanser into your skin. Rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.

Woman moisturizing feet

Moisturize
While your skin is still damp is the perfect time to apply a moisturizer. Often, we think we need to dry our skin out to heal pimples, but well-hydrated skin will heal quicker and look better in the process. Those with acne-prone or oily skin should look for oil-free moisturizers. Normal and dry skin types can use richer formulas suited to their individual needs. All skin types can determine if their moisturizer is right for them by seeing how their skin feels within 5 minutes of application. If your skin feels dry, you need a more hydrating moisturizer. If it feels tacky or greasy, you need a lighter, or oil-free option.

Treat
Finally, applying a spot treatment can help clear your skin when time is of the essence. There are hundreds of over-the-counter treatments available; look for ingredients like sulfur or benzoyl peroxide to help dry up pimples. For a d.i.y. treatment, apply a small amount of raw honey to the affected area for about 15 minutes before rinsing off. Since honey is naturally anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, it can treat blemishes without being quite so harsh on the skin.

Following these tips will help you wake up in the morning with clearer skin. Remember that most of all, your body needs good nutrition, hydration, and sleep to heal breakouts and repair damage. Treat your body with t.l.c. and your skin will be clear again in no time!

Shoes

Best Shoes For Everyday Use

When choosing an everyday wardrobe, practicality, comfort and style are all key issues, especially when it comes to footwear.  Your feet are an important part of your mobility, and wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes can really ruin your day, and in some cases, even lead to long term damage. But what should you be looking for in a shoe, and which styles and brands are recommended? Read on to find out.

“The main things you want to look for in an everyday walking shoe are responsive cushioning, breathability and lightweight construction”, says Riley Jones, a writer specializing in sneakers and style. He goes on to recommend several brands of lightweight, supportive athletic sneakers. These include the SpeedForm Appollo model from Under Armour, one of the first ‘sock-like shoes’ that feature an anatomical outsole designed to cater to the movement and structure of your foot. Also making the cut is the Adidas Ultra Boost with its Boost cushioning and primeknit upper, and the Nike Flyknit Racer, one of the most lightweight sneakers around.

If you’re looking for options outside of the athletic sneaker category, look at alternatives such as the Crocs Women’s Alice Mary Jean Flat which provides enhanced support and a non slip sole. They are good quality and odor resistant. If you are looking for a stylish sandal, try out the Ecco European Strap Dress Sandals. They have a thicker cushion sole that offers extra support and cushioning as well as being very lightweight.

Those searching for everyday styles for men can look at the Ecco Men’s Chander Classic Sandal which features a criss-cross upper ankle strap for extra support and comfort. They also offer a cushioned sole with excellent durability. Men looking for a slightly dressier look might consider the Clarks Men’s Armada Spanish Loafer. The shoes are made of leather with a man-made sole, mesh linings and a removal footbed. They also offer shock absorbing support which provides traction and durability.

At the same time, you should stay away from shoes where the heel is higher than the toe. While high heeled dress shoes are an obvious no-no, there are also athletic shoes which encourage the wearer to land on the heel of the shoe when walking and running. This alters the natural step and posture and can result in long term damage to joints in the feet, knees and hips.

To this end, look at shoes like the New Balance Minimus. These offer a minimal cushion and support with no positive heel so the wearer gets the effects of being barefoot. A more everyday option might be Toms brand shoes. While not ideal for working out, the shoes also do not have a positive heel. They offer a minimal cushion while being stylish and comfortable. Also making the list Earth Runners. These shoes are made by hand according to your foot trace to get a perfect fit. They also offer a non-cushioned, minimal sole and added copper grounding elements.

Woman with exfoliative keratolysis

Exfoliative Keratolysis

Exfoliative keratolysis is a common skin condition characterized by recurrent focal peeling that often affects the palms of hands, the surface of the fingers, and the soles of the feet. It manifests as air-filled blisters and skin flakes which will later slough off leaving skin dry and itchy. It can occur at the tip of the finger, resulting in a deeper crack which can lead to a numb sensation and make the finger feel hard.

Exfoliative keratolysis is prevalent in children and young adults. It is generally benign and painless though it can be made worse by constant exposure to detergents and soaps. The incidence of this condition is more common during summer months, and especially in individuals who tend to have sweaty hands. It usually resolves spontaneously with no long lasting damage, although extreme cases may result in bleeding as a direct effect of the cracking skin.

The first signs of exfoliative keratolysis are the air-filled blisters which usually appear on the palms and fingertips. These will eventually peel off or split and form skin tags. The peeling skin of the fingers and fingertips can lead to harder skin which can take a longer time before they resolve. As the blisters split, a new skin will be revealed. Though the skin will be tender, it will gradually develop into normal skin. However, the exfoliative keratolysis will recur after several weeks.

Although exfoliative keratolysis is generally harmless and painless, it is unattractive and can cause embarrassment on the part of those affected.

Exfoliative keratolysis involves the outer layer of the skin or the epidermis. The epidermis is composed of multiple layers of keratin, a protein essential to the strength and flexibility of the skin. These characteristics enable the keratin to serve as a water barrier. The breakdown in the keratin causes it to lose its strength, flexibility, and effectiveness as a water barrier which, in turn, causes the skin to exfoliate.  The cause of the breakdown in keratin is unknown although factors such as genetics and allergies are being looked into.

Excessive sweating can stimulate the breakdown in keratin which, in turn, exacerbates the peeling of the skin which is why exfoliative keratolysis is more common in summer months and among those with naturally sweaty hands. Soap and detergents will also trigger the exfoliation of the skin and stress is believed to trigger the incidence of the condition as well as aggravate symptoms.

Exfoliative keratolysis resolves spontaneously without lifelong damage, so treatment is not necessary. To prevent exfoliative keratolysis, it is recommended to avoid contact with irritants like soaps, detergents and solvents which will trigger the exfoliation of the skin. Extra care is also recommended during the seasons when breakouts are more likely to happen. One should also keep hands clean to prevent infection from setting in through the cracks resulting from the condition. Relief from dryness and other symptoms can be achieved through applying emollients containing urea and lactic acid. These are also effective in keep the skin from becoming infected.

Woman using aloe vera to sooth sunburn

Soothing Sunburned Backs and Shoulders

Sun protection is always important but the face, neck and shoulders are crucial areas. Skin is thin near the tops of our bodies which also tend to be closest to the sun and receive the most exposure. The face and neck are also the most susceptible to two of the most common forms of cancer, basal and squamous cell carcinoma. Furthermore, people with melanoma of the head and neck are almost twice as likely to die from the disease as patients with melanomas on other parts of their bodies. So what is the best way to keep these parts of our bodies safe?

Hats are a great line of defense. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends you wear a hat with a brim that extends three inches or more all the way around to shade the face, neck, ears and even the tops of the shoulders.

Sunglasses are also essential. Solar UVR can cause or contribute to conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, ocular melanomas and other skin cancers. Five to ten percent of all skin cancers arise on the eyelids. The SCF recommends looking for glasses that cover the eyes, eyelids and as much of the surrounding area as possible. They should come with a tag that verifies that they block 99-100 percent of all UV radiation.

Many sportswear manufacturers also offer a variety of high UPF staples including hoods, scarves, wraps, sarongs and caps. These will offer protection to the head, neck and shoulder area. They are designed to keep you cool, dry and sun safe during outdoor activities. Choose high UPF swimsuits that cover more skin like one piece suits that might offer protection to shoulders.

Many people forget about sun protection in cold weather venues, but ice and snow reflect about 80% of the sun’s UV light, doubling the intensity of exposure. Also, snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness. For optimum protection, go for hats made of high tech manmade materials that will keep you comfortable and sun protected. Wraparound sunglasses with UV protective cut glare will block most UVR.

Of course, sunscreen is always an important consideration for the face and neck area. “You might want to look for a sunscreen designed for the face since these products are formulated to suit the needs of different skin types,” explains Arielle Kauvar, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. Many facial sunscreens are oil free which gives them a lighter feel. They are less likely to clog pores of those with oily or acne prone skin. These sunscreens are also easier to use under makeup. Beware of facial sunscreens with a strong scent since those are more likely to cause skin irritations. Also, avoid sunscreens for the face with high SPF as the higher levels of active ingredients will feel heavier on the skin. Products with SPF of 30 should offer a perfect balance of feeling lightweight on the skin while still offering the recommended amount of sunscreen protection.

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