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LOOK WELL

Woman buying cosmetics from a store

Changing Up your Skincare Products

You know how you can develop a tolerance to things like medications (painkillers are a common example), alcohol, and other substances? It turns out, you might actually be able to develop a tolerance to certain skin care products too. What we mean by this is that there is evidence suggesting that if you use certain skin care products for long enough (around a year) they can stop being as effective, in the same way that if you take a certain painkiller a lot for the same kind of pain, it will get less effective at blocking it out for you after awhile, or how the more you drink alcohol, the more you can drink at a time without the adverse effects being as effective (do note, this is only provided as an example, and we do not encourage irresponsible drinking by any means; try to keep it to one glass of antioxidant-rich red wine a night).

How does this happen? And what can be done about it? Let’s talk about that.

The Process
The process wherein your skin can develop a tolerance to certain ingredients involves the particular enzymes that the ingredient activates. You can’t develop a tolerance to all skin care ingredients, because this applies specifically to ones that are active in a certain way. Some skin care ingredients, like retinol, vitamin C, and others, cause enzymes to be released in the skin cells and attach themselves to a specific receptor, which then triggers the desired effect of the product. However, your cells only have so many receptors, and if you repeatedly flood them with enzymes, eventually they will all be taken up and bonded to an enzyme and unable to accept more for awhile, lessening the effect the product can have on your skin.

How to Fix It
The solution here is to vary the skin care products you use; to change them up on a regular basis. It’s recommended to use the same set of products no longer than 6 to 8 months, and then switch to another set of products which aims at producing similar effects, but with different formulations of ingredients, and/or with ingredients available in different forms (recall, for example, that all vitamins have several different “forms” which all act as the vitamin, but trigger slightly different reactions in cells). Conveniently enough, this span of time lines up relatively well with the change of seasons from summer to fall and then winter to spring. As such, try taking advantage of this convenient timing and do what’s already recommended anyway: a seasonal switch. Use slightly heavier, more moisturizing products in autumn and winter than you do in spring and summer, and kill two birds with one stone.

Pre-Wedding Weight Loss Tips

It’s easy to get caught up in all the glamor, perfectionism, and stress tied to a wedding ceremony, and it’s easy to fixate on how many eyes will be on you, how there will be no way to prevent them from seeing your “bad” side, etc, etc, etc.

Try not to focus on all that too much. There are better reasons to want to revamp your diet and exercise, like staying healthy and starting positive life habits now that can last the rest of your life, and make your marriage happier and healthier too.

So let’s talk about pre-wedding health ideas, including but not limited to weight loss.

Reconsider Your Diet
No, we don’t mean that kind of diet, but rather the literal meaning of the word “diet,” which is quite simply, what you eat. Strict diets are very rarely a good idea. Instead, just try to eat plenty of dark, leafy greens and some fruits, and make sure you get complex carbohydrates, not just simple ones. Lean protein is also desirable in moderation, and limit your high-fat, high-sodium, high-carb snacks. Don’t cut them out entirely, just indulge sparingly, maybe a small portion a couple times a day at most. And that bag of potato chips? Don’t take the whole bag with you to the bedroom to snack, pour a small amount into a bowl to regulate yourself.

Further, keep water handy all the time and sip whenever thirsty. Monitoring how much you drink isn’t actually necessary as long as you keep it close by at all times, meaning when you feel the need to take a sip, you can. That makes a huge difference in preventing dehydration.

Cardio

Start a Cardio Routine
It’s recommended you get 20 or more minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day, or at least several times a week. We recommend aiming for 20 minutes a day for three days a week, with the eventual goal of reaching a half-hour of exercise five times a week (though it is worthy of note, cardio, unlike weight training, is safe to do seven days a week if you want to). Every week, add a day, or five minutes, or both, until you hit the target of 30 minutes five days a week.

The possibilities here are nearly endless. Jog around the block, use a treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or other cardio machine, go for a bike ride, swim laps, take up a martial art, there’s so many ways to go about it. Pick the one that suits you best and stick with it!

Remember to Love Yourself
Last, but most definitely not least, don’t forget to love yourself. This is more important than anything else, to be perfectly honest, because if you love yourself and cultivate your inner beauty, it can take a huge load of stress away from the need for everything to be “perfect.” You WILL look great in that dress no matter your shape, size, or weight, and anyone who disagrees can shove it, so focus less on meeting a socially imposed standard of beauty and perfection, and focus instead on loving yourself. With your wedding day coming up, it’s important to realize that loving yourself is just as important as loving others, and while you and your spouse may love each other to death, loving yourself is equally necessary.

Woman applying sunscreen

SPF 30 vs SPF 50

When you shop for sunscreens, you’ve probably noticed products available with SPFs ranging from 15 to 100. You would think an SPF of 100 would be more effective than one of 15, but it’s not as simple as that. So, what exactly do all these numbers mean?

SPF refers to a sunscreen’s ability to block UVB rays, but not UVA rays. UVB rays cause sunburns while UVA rays are more closely linked to deeper skin damage. Both kinds of rays can contribute to skin cancer. The SPF rates measure the amount of time it would take for you to sunburn without sunscreen as opposed to the amount of time it would take you to burn with the sunscreen on. But Florida dermatologist. James M. Spencer, MD, explains, “SPF is not a consumer friendly number. It is logical for someone to think than an SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15, but that’s not how it works.”

Spencer further explains that SPF 15 will block about 94% of UVB rays while an SPF 30 blocks 97% and an SPF 45 blocks about 98%. “After that it just gets silly,” says Spencer. Doctors like Farah Ahmed, general counsel for the cosmetics industry group Personal Care Products Council, tends to agree, but adds that high SPF products may protect better against long term skin damage and exposure related skin cancers. Generally, an SPF of 30 is recommended.

Dr. Steven Q Wang, MD and director of dermatologic surgery and dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, points out ways in which using sunscreens with a higher SPF can even have negative effects. Since SPF protects against UVB rays only, and UVB rays are responsible for sunburn, individuals may not burn while using these sunscreens. However, this does not mean they are not susceptible to damage from UVA rays which cause premature aging. To these lengths, Europe and Australia have adopted UVA testing guidelines and measurement standards and capped the SPF of sunscreens at 50. The U.S. Food and Drug Association may follow suit.

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Wang also points out that people who are wearing an SPF of 50 or higher, may adopt a false sense of security and may stay out in the sun longer. They may not make wise choices like seeking shade or wearing sun protective clothing. Sun damage can take place even if skin is not becoming tan or reddening.

No matter what produce you choose, water resistant sunscreen should be applied liberally a half hour before you go outdoors and should be reapplied every two hours or after you are swimming or sweating. Look for broad spectrum sunscreens with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are less likely to wash off and effectively protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Avoid avobenzone products which are not stable and oxybenzone, which is absorbed into your skin and has demonstrated to be a hormone disruptor.

So, what’s your number? Let us know in the comments section below!

Lady applying sunscreen

Using "Natural" Sunscreens

With all the information available about the damaging effects of sun exposure, it seems as if sunscreens are no longer just an option, they are pretty much mandatory. But many of us dislike the chemicals sunscreens contain. Well, for those of us who feel that way, there are mineral sunscreen formulas on the market… but not all mineral sunscreens are safe. Read on to find out the best products for you in natural sunscreens.

Let’s start by looking at why we might want to avoid chemical sunscreens. They have been found to accumulate in body fat and breast milk and have been linked to hormonal disruptions like early onset puberty, low sperm count, breast cancer and allergic reactions. It is also said that they absorb UV rays, allowing them to penetrate into the skin where they can cause free radial formations that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer.

For these reasons, natural sunscreens, or those that contain only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as their natural ingredients, are more popular than ever. They work against both UVA and UVB rays and are effective immediately after application, unlike chemical sunscreens that can take 30 minutes before they start working.

However, health and beauty writer Liz Thompson warns us to beware, as certain mainstream brands simply add these minerals to their sun protection line up without actually reformulating to safe products. These products may still contain harmful chemicals.

Consumer Reports questions the effectiveness of natural sunscreens claiming that many products that use zinc oxide as its only active ingredient were getting feedback from customers that the products didn’t work as well as they claimed to. Further investigations yielded lotions with an SPF 50 only performing at an SPF of 8. CR goes on to say that they believe the natural sunscreens perform poorly because most mineral sunscreens contain particles which do not form a uniform film on the skin that is necessary for maximum sun protection. They go on to recommend using a mineral product which comes close to its SPF (since they claim none quite add up) or going with a chemical sunscreen choice.

resveralife-using-natural-sunscreen-organic-sunscreen

Organic sunscreens are another option. These products, likely to contain oxybenzone as their active ingredient, absorbs UV light, protecting your skin from UV damage. However, they come with their own drawbacks, including a higher risk of allergic reactions. Also, there is the possibility that the compound can be disruptive to hormones like estrogen. However, studies have proven that while oxybenzone does bind to estrogen, there was not enough evidence to suggest that the absorption affected hormone levels.

So, with all these pros and cons arising, what is one to do? Read the label. According to Dr. Josh Axe, here are a list of products you definitely want to avoid in your sunscreens

  • Para amino benzoic acid
  • Octyl salicyclate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Homosalate
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Octcrylene
  • Methoxycinnamate
  • Parabens

So, what’s your take on it? Mineral, chemical, organic? Hit us up in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!

Woman holding sunscreen

Save Your Skin From the Sun

Don’t leave your skin vulnerable to sun damage this summer! Follow these simple steps to keep your skin safe, so the only thing you have to worry about this summer is finding a good chair at the pool and an ice cold beverage.

Layer
Don’t expect your makeup to serve as your only protection! Use a moisturizer with SPF 30 as well as a foundation or tinted moisturizer with sun protection. Also, give your moisturizer some time to really sink into the skin before you move on to your primer- you don’t want to risk wiping off your protection when you move on to the next step of your routine!

Reapply
Most sunscreens will only protect your skin for a few hours- especially if you are at the pool or the beach! You should reapply your SPF a few times a day- or every 80 minutes if you are swimming or sweating. Read the label on the bottle to figure out exactly how often it is suggested to reapply for each brand of sunscreen or moisturizer. Don’t forget to throw a bottle of sunscreen, or a setting spray with SPF, in your bag before you leave the house to ensure your skin will be protected all day long!

Don’t Forget your Eyes!
Even if you use a moisturizer with SPF religiously, you may be neglecting some of your most sensitive skin- the areas around your eyes. Some kinds of sunscreen can sting your eyes, so try to find an eye cream or concealer formulated with SPF to protect those peepers!

Woman wearing sunglasses

Accessorize
Always getting those painful sunburns where your hair is parted? Try throwing on a cute, wide brim hat next time you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time. Oversized sunglasses are also a trendy way to protect your eyes from sun damage. Mix up your looks this summer with cool accessories, and protect your skin at the same time!

Don’t Stop at Your Face
While wearing sunscreen on your face every day is important, we tend to spend more time outside during the warmer months, so extending our sunscreen coverage is essential. Applying sunscreen to your ears, neck, chest, shoulders, and hands can do a lot to help protect your skin from sun damage. It doesn’t take long for the stronger summer sun to harm your skin, so adding these extra steps to your morning routine will help you remember to do this every day!

Limit Sun Exposure
We’ve all heard this tip, and no one likes to follow it, but whenever possible, it is best to limit your sun exposure during peak hours. Taking a lunch break inside while the sun is highest in the sky (and using this time to reapply your sunscreen) can help decrease your chances of getting burnt. We hate to say it, but less sun is always better for your skin’s health.
No need to skip out on all of the fun outdoor activities that summer brings, but don’t forget to protect your skin first!

Woman looking in the mirror

Pimple Classification and Treatment

Pimples are never a fun thing to have to deal with. Nobody likes having unsightly, sometimes painful blocked pores to deal with, especially when they catch you by surprise or linger way longer than they should. And to make matters worse, not all pimples are created equal, and as such some require different treatment than others, and some are more severe than others. So how do you tell the difference, and how do you know which ones you can take care of at home and which ones you need a dermatologist’s help with? Keep reading and you’ll find out.

What’s a Pimple?
You might not think we’d need to define what exactly a pimple is, but it’s important to clarify before we move on; it’s always a good habit to review a concept before examining it in further detail. The term “pimple” is a broad umbrella term that encompasses a variety of localized infections that all share the common trait of occurring within pores that have been blocked by some form of debris (anything from oil to makeup you forgot to take off can do it) and as such, ceased to function properly—pores need to be open to “respire” and do their job properly.

Blackheads and Whiteheads
The most common and, thankfully, least serious, and easiest to deal with pimples are blackheads and whiteheads. Both tend to be rather tiny. Blackheads are clogged pores that remain open, so the blockage is easily visible and has a blackish appearance. Whiteheads are similar but have closed up around the blockage and appear more whitish. Both can be treated with products that contain salicylic acid, and may benefit from light to moderate exfoliation. Give it a few weeks, resist the urge to pop (seriously, you don’t want the acne scars; don’t do it), and they’ll more than likely go away. If they don’t, though, feel free to talk to a dermatologist about other methods of treatment. It’s unlikely you’ll have to, though, as blackheads and whiteheads should respond to daily salicylic acid treatment (look for face washes, scrubs, and even moisturizers with this ingredient) and once to twice-weekly exfoliation.

Papules and Pustules
These are the “middle of the road” pimples, meaning it’s a coin flip whether you’ll be able to take care of them on your own or need to see the doctor. Pustules and papules are pimples that have grown so large the pore walls have broken. Papules are hard bumps in the skin, while pustules are a bit softer and visibly filled with pus. Again, resist the urge to pop. Try salicylic acid and exfoliation as described above, but seek immediate treatment by a dermatologist if this isn’t working after three or so weeks.

Nodules and Cysts
The worst, but fortunately, least common types of pimples are nodules and cysts. These are blocked pores which have gotten irritated and expanded outward and inward (they go deeper into your skin and are visibly much larger than any other pimple type). Nodules are hard, while cysts are softer to the touch and may be visibly reddened and irritated. If you have any nodules and/or cysts, don’t waste time with home treatment. Make an appointment with a dermatologist today.

Woman getting cleansing treatment

Clearing Clogged Pores

Clearing clogged pores is the goal of countless products you can find at any price point, but it’s important to understand how and why you should worry about your pores so you can figure out which products to choose. Clogged pores can cause blackheads and uneven texture, so paying attention to your pores is the key to clear skin. These days, we are pretty pore-obsessed. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the pore-related products out there, follow these easy steps to clear clogged pores!

Step One: Choose Your Products Wisely
Certain products are more prone to clogging pores than others. Look for products labeled “non-comedogenic” which means they won’t clog your pores. Using a primer that is non-comedogenic will help protect your skin. Your foundation, as well as other cream and powder products, can start to sink into your pores at they wear throughout the day. Having a protective layer of primer will shield from your pores from getting clogged with makeup! As an added bonus, primers will provide an even base that your foundation and concealer will glide over, making your skin look even and perfected.

Step Two: Don’t Skip Cleansing in the Morning
You wake up, look at the clock, and realize that you’re running late! Even though you may be short on time, don’t skip cleanser in the morning! Starting each day with a fresh face will help a lot when it comes to preventing clogged pores. Even swiping a cotton pad soaked with micellar water across your face is better than nothing! Even if you are using non-comedogenic products, you don’t want to layer your day cream, primer, and foundation on top of your night cream from the previous day. That, on top of any bacteria that collects on your skin during the night, will not do you skin any favors!

Resveralife-Clearing-Clogged-Pores-Cleansing

Step Three: Don’t Sleep with Makeup
Even with primer, makeup and dirt can still get into your pores. Leaving your makeup on all night can trap dirt in your pores and cause you to break out, so washing your face every night before you go to bed, or earlier when you are home for the night, it the best thing you can do for your skin. Leaving your makeup on for an extended period of time can cause breakouts, uneven texture, and redness so don’t skip this step!

Step Four: Don’t Wait to Wash Your Face After a Workout
It is never good to let sweat sit on your skin. Then the best thing to do for you skin is to rinse your face, and cleanse if you can, right after you are done working out. If you don’t want to worry about washing your face at the gym, through some cleansing makeup wipes in your gym bag. This way, you can remove sweat and makeup from your skin before it can clog your pores and cause breakouts.

Step 5: Exfoliate a Few Times a Week
The worst side effects of clogged pores are blackheads. They are hard to get rid of, and they can keep your skin from looking smooth. Exfoliating, either with a gritty cleanser or a chemical exfoliator, around 3 times a week can help prevent blackheads, and get rid of any dead skin that makes your skin look dull.

Woman getting her skin examined

Petechiae or Pinprick

You may or may not have heard the term “Petechiae,” but you’ve probably seen its effects on the skin. Petechiae are tiny spots that appear on the skin and look like little pinpricks. They often appear in clusters, and can look like a rash if there are a lot of them close together. Usually, Petechiae are harmless, and will go away after a few days.

Causes: 

Petechiae are caused when capillaries in your skin break and bleed. Many different things can cause capillaries to break:

  1. Straining for an extended time: Extended periods of strain can cause capillaries to break, resulting in Petechiae. Even something as simple as intense coughing can cause capillaries to break and bleed. Things like holding your breath, weightlifting, and many other activities can also cause the kind of bleeding that leads to Petechiae. These types of activities often cause Petechiae to form on the face, often around the eyes and mouth. These types of Petechiae will usually clear up on their own, but can cause discoloration on the face.
  2. Side Effects of Certain Medications: If you don’t know what is causing the spots that are forming on your skin, check to see if Petechiae is listed as a side effect of any medication you may be on. There are several different medications that can result in broken capillaries, including penicillin.
  3. Medical Conditions: Common illnesses like mononucleosis and strep throat can cause Petechiae, but the spots can be indicative of very serious conditions as well. Things like leukemia and endocarditis are also associated with the formation of Petechiae. Be sure to consult your doctor if you notice a lot of broken capillaries that are not going away to make sure there is not an underlying cause.
  4. Injuries and Extreme Sunburn: Victims of strangulation or smothering will often have Petechiae on their faces, and people involved in car crashes can develop the condition as well. Extreme sun exposure can also result in broken capillaries in some cases.

Treatments: 

  1. The first step is to figure out what is causing broken capillaries to bleed. If you can’t find out what is causing the condition, see a doctor immediately. They will help you figure out if the cause of the Petechiae is serious.
  2. Treat the cause. The Petechiae will heal on their own, but if you aren’t treating the cause, more will form. This may mean taking it easy at the gym, taking the time to recover from a cold, taking medication for strep throat or another illness, or switching medication to one that doesn’t cause Petechiae.
  3. While you are waiting to Petechiae to heal, putting an ice pack on the affected areas can help ease any swelling or discomfort that the broken capillaries cause.
  4. Give it time. Unfortunately, Petechiae can only slowly dissipate on their own. Taking it easy and giving your body time to heal itself is really the only way to go!
Woman applying face mask

Types of Facial Masks

Every skin type can benefit from a facial mask. The problem isn’t enjoying them; it’s finding the perfect type for each skin type and skin problem. There seems to be an endless list of combinations to try and narrowing down the choices can be frustrating at times.

Face masks can accomplish a plethora of skin-boosting benefits. They can soothe dry skin, eliminate and prevent blemishes, prevent oily spots and help skin glow. Here are some of the best types of facial masks to improve skin.

 

Woman taking off her eye mask

Eye Masks
If a specific area of the face needs to be treated, a full facial mask might not be necessary. Eye masks are a great way to get fast, great results for puffy eyes and wrinkled, sagging skin. They can be applied during the morning while eating breakfast or completing a few tasks around the home. Results last all day, if not longer, and with plenty of over the counter treatments available, there’s no need for measuring or mixing.

Coffee Masks
Just like it helps to perk up your brain, a facial mask with coffee as the main ingredient can perk up facial skin. It can help with under eye puffiness and really brighten up the complexion, all in a matter of minutes. The smell is also heavenly and surprisingly relaxing.

Charcoal Masks
For those who have never tried a charcoal mask, the benefits can be incredibly impressive. Activated charcoal can help to draw out impurities from pores and prevent blemishes from ever forming in the first place, while eliminating any existing imperfections. For anyone suffering from acne, a charcoal mask is highly recommended as both a treatment and preventative measure.

Woman applying clay mask

Clay Masks
Probably the most popular type of facial mask, clay masks work for pretty much every skin type. They’re versatile yet effective. Despite clay masks being the most popular, most people use them incorrectly. It’s important to understand that the mask is doing the most for your skin when it is still damp. If the mask is allowed to completely dry, it can actually have a negative effect by causing irritation and dehydration.

Homemade Masks
Making homemade masks out of ingredients found in the refrigerator seems to be all the rage lately. Mother Nature has provided plenty of fresh ingredients that can transform skin. There’s really no limit to what can be mixed together. Try berries, avocado, yogurt, honey, oats and more. Just be sure to mix the ingredients right before using them and avoid storing leftovers for too long.

Facial masks are a great way to improve skin tone, eliminate blemishes and add a refreshing and energizing glow. Use facial masks for special occasions, as part of a weekly skin care regimen or on an as needed basis for skin issues.

Whether homemade or store-bought, facial masks should always be used according to specific instructions to avoid negative side effects. Never be afraid to try a new facial mask. There’s always a new combination of beneficial ingredients to experiment with.

Woman smoking

Smoking & Skin Aging

Smoking is an unappealing habit. It leaves you with bad breath, yellow nails, and moreover is linked to a vast host of health conditions such as lung cancer and even depression. What you may not fully realize however is that smoking also leads to significant premature aging of the skin and causes wrinkles, furrows and thinning lips. There’s really no soft way of saying this – if you smoke cigarettes, you need to stop. Many scientists have also stated that smoking adds between 10 and 20 years to your natural age.

It is estimated that around 1 million people start smoking in the United States every year and virtually all will go on to regret this decision as they find out the effect this poisonous habit has on their health, bodies and skin. Some studies have established that smoking is actually worse for women as the nicotine is more addictive. Women who smoke are also twice as likely to have heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer than their male counterparts.

How Does Smoking Age the Skin
The effects of smoking on skin have been known for a long while. One study as early as 1965 identified what is now known as ‘smoker’s face’. What has become more apparent in recent years is exactly how smoking causes premature aging. There are numerous mechanisms by which smoking accelerates aging. It begins with the formation of free-radicals in the body when exposed to cigarette smoke. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause disease and damage to cell DNA. Smoking also restricts blood flow to the minuscule veins in your skin known as capillaries preventing oxygen and vital nutrients from doing their job. All in all, this leads to a dull, grayish skin tone which has an obviously discolored look.

Additionally, smoking increases production of enzymes that break down collagen in the skin which is integral to maintaining its elasticity. Smoking for many years will also deplete stores of vitamins A and C, both of which are involved in skin protection and health and help to keep harsh UV rays at bay.

Finally, the actions involved in continually sucking on cigarettes and squinting from cigarette smoke causes deep lines to develop around the eyes and mouth. Smoking doesn’t just cause wrinkling on your face, it is also associated with damage and sagging on nearly all parts of the body including your inner arms and neck.

Reversing Skin Damage
Many smokers wonder if they can reverse the damage they have caused to themselves by smoking. Simply put, the best thing you can do to begin the reversal process is stop smoking – although you must realize you will never fully undo the damage that you’ve done. Healthy diets and supplements are great at maintaining skin health. You should also be aware that skin damage won’t usually appear until 10 or 20 years after you began smoking. A proper skin care regimen using anti-aging and moisturizing creams can also assist in preventing the formation of further wrinkles and fine lines.

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