Grapes in a vineyard

Organically Grown Grapes and Wine

Organic is one of the major buzzwords right now in all areas of life from products you use in your bathroom right down to your kitchen table. However, the title of organic can be confusing at times, and as a consumer, you want to know what you’re paying for. Although organic wine is not a hugely popular item in the United States, there are many winegrowers that are dedicated to producing organically grown grapes on sustainable vineyards. It would be a natural assumption that organically grown grapes produce organic wine, and if you think this you are right – to an extent. Read below to find out what organically grown grapes are and what types of wine these grapes can produce.

What are Organically Grown Grapes?
Like any other food item, in order for grapes to be labeled as organic, they must be grown in accordance with the principles of organic farming. In conventional wine growing, chemical fertilizers are used to protect the vines and to promote larger yields. The chemicals that are sprayed onto the fruits are also absorbed by the soil and they make their way into the leaves and the grapes being grown, meaning that these chemicals ultimately make it into the wine. Those who support organically grown grapes say that not only do these chemicals destroy the soil and surrounding land, but they also remove some of the very unique and distinct flavors that accompany grapes.

Growing grapes organically provides a unique set of challenges to winemakers. For these growers to be the most successful, they must choose the correct type of wine for the growing environment and region. One of the major concerns in growing organic grapes is the presence of mildew and rot pressures, because grapes affected by these factors will not be able to be used in the production of wine.

What is Organic Wine?
In the most basic definition, organic wine is any wine that is produced using organically grown grapes. However, there are some various legal definitions that can be quite confusing to many consumers. Currently, the only effective preservatives that allow wines to last for substantial periods of time are “non-organic.” This means that a wine can be made from organically grown grapes, but still not be considered an organic wine. The difference between organic and non-organic wines lies in the use of sulfites. Many winemakers use sulfites in very small quantities to preserve the wine and to give it a longer shelf life, but a true organic wine in the United States may not contain any added sulfites. If a wine has added sulfites, but is produced using grapes that have been grown organically, then the label may read “wine made from organic grapes.”

Growing grapes organically requires extreme patience, commitment and dedication, and many winemakers are taking up this challenge. Pick up a bottle of organic wine, or wine made from organic grapes and see how you like the taste of grapes produced responsibly and wine made without sulfites.

Woman having wine at sunset

Warm Temperatures and Fine Wine

As temperatures rise, it is often necessary to reconsider the wines you have been drinking throughout the winter. While crisp whites can have an equal appeal during both winter and summer, many of the most popular red wines feel overwhelmingly heavy when the weather gets hot. Keep reading for a brief guide to the best fine wines for warmer temperatures.

Sparkling Rose
So how can you make summer’s ubiquitous wine even better? Just add some Pinot Noir and bubbles. Sparkling Rose made from Pinot Noir is an all occasion spring and summer wine that features the flavors of flowers and succulent red fruits. Veuve Clicquot’s chef de caves, Dominique Demarville says, “sparkling rose is an excellent pairing with lighter dishes like fresh fish and seasonal salads. Yet, it also has the structure to stand up to heavier dishes like grilled meats.” Sparkling Rose has moderate alcohol, almost indiscernible tannins and a bright effervescence that make it absolute perfection for warm temperatures.

Albarino
If you want to try a white that is a bit out of the ordinary and that pairs perfectly with your favorite summer foods, try a Spanish variety Albarino. Marimar Torres, owner of Marimar Estate winery in California’s River Valley, says that Albarino is an ideal white for summer because it pairs wonderfully with summer favorites such as grilled seafood, sushi and tapas. “It’s very refreshing and delicious, minerally, with classic notes of key lime, white peach and a floral accent of hyacinth. It’s long in the end, with a zippy and crisp finish.”

Rose wine
Rose

Rose is without a doubt the summer wine, but you don’t have to wait until summer to enjoy it. Dry rose wine walks the line between white and red, and often features fruity notes of summer fruits like strawberries and cherries. Rose also has bright citrus acidity, which makes it a highly refreshing wine during warm weather. While many people claim the White Zinfandel is not a Rose wine, but is instead blush, this is not true. White Zinfandel is technically a Rose wine because it is made in the Rose style, it is just a far sweeter version of most Rose wines. Rose wines pair perfectly with summer foods from salads and seafood to backyard barbecues.

Sangiovese
While whites tend to dominate spring and summer, you don’t have to shelve all of your reds until the weather gets cold again. “Sangiovese, when expressing its red fruit and delicate vibrant nature, is a versatile, smooth and ideal summer wine. Sometimes, there is a smoked meat, leather character to the wine that is classic for the famous bistecca fiorentina, so bring on the barbecue,” says Shelley Lindgren, wine director and owner of California restaurants A16 and APQR. You aren’t limited to meat when serving a Sangiovese; the wine also pairs well with vegetable-based pasta dishes, particularly those that feature eggplant, zucchini and/or cherry tomatoes.

The idea that spring and summer weather necessitates white wine is a misconception. You can drink any type of wine that you want all year, but there are some wines that fit seasonally better than others. Experiment with the different types of wine listed above for a spring and summer full of incredible wine and food.

Group of people exercising in aerobics class

Get Your Heart Rate Up

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Exercising daily does far more than burn calories and help you lose weight, it provides so many other health benefits one of which is improving the health of your heart. When you want to get your heart rate up, consider the following methods to keep your heart healthy.

Women warming up before exercise

Warm Up
Stretching before exercising is always a good idea, but in this case, we actually mean warming up your temperature. Environmental temperature can have a significant impact on your heart rate; the American Heart Association says that spending some time in warm air can increase your heart rate by anywhere from five to 10 beats per minute. While this may sound like a minuscule increase, it can actually have some pretty significant impacts on your heart when exercising. If you are exercising aggressively in high heat, you may run the risk of getting your heart rate up too high. If you ever experience light-headedness, dizziness or odd sensations in your chest, safely take yourself to a cooler location.

Aerobic Exercise
You probably know that if you want to get your heart rate up, cardiovascular exercise is one of the absolute best ways that you can do this. Taking a brisk walk around the block, spending some time on your bike or sweating it out in an aerobics class are all great ways to get your heart pumping faster. Your goal is to meet your target heart rate. If you aren’t sure what that number is, subtract your current age from 220 and then increase this number anywhere from 50 to 85 percent, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Meeting your target heart rate is an important way to improve your overall heart health.

Strength and resistance training

Strength and Resistance Training
If you don’t immediately equate strength and resistance training with a raised heart rate you aren’t alone, but you do want to reconsider. Aerobic exercise is imperative for a healthy heart, but a truly effective workout includes strength and resistance training in addition to your cardio. Performing bodyweight exercises, lifting weights and other resistance exercises provide a workout for your muscles. When you work out your muscles, they require more oxygenated blood, which will, in turn, lead to a higher heart rate.

Cardiovascular, or aerobic exercise, is perhaps the most well-known method for getting your heart rate up, but it is far from the only method. Any burst of activity like a vigorous home cleaning session, working in your garden or carrying boxes up and down stairs all will raise your heart rate. Strength training is also an important component in increasing your heart rate, and maintaining a strong and healthy body. Aim for 30 minutes per day of exercise, and if you are just starting out, be sure to clear your routine with your doctor and start low then increase the difficulty level of your workouts.

Woman walking

10 Ways to Meet Your 10K Step Goal

Whether you’ve just gotten a fitness tracker or you’ve had one for a while, this device can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Fitness trackers come programmed with a daily goal of 10,000 steps, which can be a breeze to accomplish on days when you’re super active or hitting the gym, but on other days this can seem like torture. Fortunately, there are some small changes that you can make to your daily routine in order to meet your daily goal of 10,000 steps.

Kill Some Time
Waiting for your child’s piano or dance lesson to end? Take a walk around the block to get some extra movement. If you find yourself waiting other places, like your doctor’s office, consider walking around the waiting room a few times to get steps.

Get Up and Move
Sitting at your desk all day isn’t good for your health or your productivity, so take a break every hour or so to get up and move around. “Take a break during your day, and go walk up and down a flight of stairs. It only takes a few minutes, but the benefits are huge,” says Lee Jordan. Not only do you boost your productivity and burn calories, you also increase your step count.

Woman walking to work

Walk to Work
Not everybody can use this tip, but if it is possible for you to walk to work, then do it. Walking to work can help you reach 10,000 steps super quickly and it’s great for the environment, so walk to work when you can. If you live in a rural or suburban area, simply park farther away from your destination or get off the bus one stop earlier than you need to.

Make it a Family Affair
Get in the habit of taking a walk with your family every evening after you eat supper. If you don’t have a spouse or kids, take your dog for a walk or just spend some time outside in nature by yourself.

Use a Different Bathroom
Using the bathroom right down the hallway gives you a few steps, but you can increase the number of steps you take during your bathroom break by going to one farther away or on a different level of your building.

Don’t So it All at Once
Meeting your goal of 10,000 steps can be overwhelming, and it becomes more so if you think of it as an all-or-nothing experience. Break your steps up into manageable numbers so that you can meet multiple goals during the day. Chris Jordan, the author of The 7 Minute Workout, suggests that you “aim for 2,000 steps before work, 2,000 mid-morning, 2,000 at lunch, 2,000 mid-afternoon and 2,000 in the evening. It will make hitting your goal much easier.”

Officegoers climbing stairs

Skip the Elevators / Escalators
Taking the stairs anytime you are able during the day, even just going up and down them a few times during a lunch break, can quickly help you reach 10,000 steps. Not only will it help you get your steps in, but Lee Jordan an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer, says it can help you in your fitness goals and in getting out the door faster. “Most people at the office use an elevator, so the steps are usually empty. People underestimate how good a workout step climbing is.”

Get Face-to-Face
Many of us are in the habit of simply sending an e-mail or making a quick call to a co-worker, but if you want to hit your 10,000 step goal, get up and walk to your co-worker to discuss what you need to.

Hang Out With Friends
Spend some time with your friends while working towards your 10,000 step goal. Take a walk around the neighborhood or head downtown and do some serious window (or actual) shopping and use this social time as a way to be more active.

Try to be Inefficient
You probably spend all day trying to be as efficient as possible; carrying in all the grocery bags at once, hauling all the laundry down the steps at one time or putting away as many items as possible in one fell swoop. Rather than be efficient, get extra steps by being really inefficient. Carry the grocery bags one or two a time, take smaller loads of laundry to the washing machine and put one item away before grabbing another to help meet your 10,000 step goal.

The American Heart Association endorses the 10,000 steps per day guideline, and it really can increase your health. Don’t let the number scare you, just use the above tips to help you meet your 10,000 step goal every day.

Squat and swing

Improve Your Appearance and Strength

You don’t have to want the look of a professional bodybuilder to benefit from using weights to improve both your appearance and strength. Dumbbells are an incredibly accessible, affordable and effective piece of exercise equipment that you should have in your home. Lifting weights not only builds muscle, but it can help you slim down, stick to a healthy eating plan and reduce stress. If you still need convincing, keep reading to learn why you should be grabbing some hand weights pronto.

Increased Weight Loss
Cardio exercise is important for your health and your weight, but cardio is not the king of weight loss. Studies have shown that, on average, 75 percent of weight loss is fat and 25 percent is muscle loss in groups of individuals who do not lift weights. While dropping muscle mass will reduce the number you see on the scale, it doesn’t necessarily enhance your appearance and it makes the weight way easier to gain back.

Calorie Burning
One of the absolute greatest benefits to using hand weights is that your body continues to burn calories after lifting. A study from Arizona State University found that exercisers who completed strength-training reps burned 79 percent more calories than those who didn’t use weights at all. “Think of that afterburn as your metabolism working overtime while you lounge,” says celebrity trainer Brian Nguyen. What all of this means is that when you’re done with your hand weights, your body continues to burn calories without you having to do any additional work.

Strong Bones
It isn’t just your waistline and your muscles that reap the rewards of using dumbbells; your bones also see benefits from strength training. As you age, your bone mass decreases which increases your risk of serious bone fractures. Research has shown that four months (16 weeks) of strength-training increased bone density and raised blood levels of osteocalcin (a bone growth marker) by almost 20 percent.

Windmill exercise

Exercise Ideas with Hand Weights
If you aren’t quite sure where to start, use these two moves that will help you increase your strength and improve your appearance:

  • Squat and Swing – Begin by standing with feet hip-width apart and holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward slightly from the hips and bend knees into a half-squat. Keep your back flat, and your arms by your sides. Push through your heels forcefully to stand up and as you do this, use the momentum to swing arms to chest level, then return to half-squat position. Do three reps of 15-10 swings. This exercise targets your shoulders, biceps, core, hamstrings and butt.
  • The Windmill – Begin with a dumbbell in your right hand, standing with your feet wide. Point your right foot forward and your left foot to the side. Extend your right arm overhead with your palm facing forward and side bend to the left at the waist reaching fingertips of your left hand to your foot. As you do this keep your right arm pointed upwards and your right leg straight. Reverse the motion to your starting position. Do eight reps, then switch and do the exercise using your left arm. Repeat for three sets.

You don’t have to lift for hours a day every single day of the week, a few simple exercises using hand weights can have a huge impact on your appearance and your strength. If you’ve never lifted before, begin with five-pound weight and gradually work up to 10 or 15 pound dumbbells. Watch your body transform and your strength improve as you continue to workout using hand weights.

Woman getting a spa treatment

Lifestyle Habits for a Healthy Body

A healthy body is the result of a healthy lifestyle and intentional actions.The decision to work towards a healthy body can be a little bit overwhelming because it may feel like you have to overhaul every aspect of your life. When adopting new lifestyle habits, it’s best to start slow and to add new habits gradually. The following five lifestyle habits are among the most important when it comes to getting, and maintaining, a healthy body.

Woman having a salad

Eat Well
Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, reduce the amount of sodium you eat and eliminate refined or processed ingredients as much as possible for a healthy body. Doctors and health experts suggest adopting a “meatless Monday” mentality and prepare at least one entirely meatless meal every week. Your diet should include plenty of dark leafy greens, complex carbohydrates like brown rice or whole grains and healthy fats like avocados or olive oil.

Woman exercising

Physical Activity
Getting your body moving is so important to achieving a healthy body, both mentally and physically. If you’re a busy individual (and who isn’t?), you might stress about when you can find time to get to the gym or how you can fit 45 minutes of exercise into your nightly routine, but physical activity does not have to be an all or nothing thing. Making small changes to the way you live your daily life can result in some serious health benefits. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine showed that taking short walks after eating a hearty meal reduced the amount of fat and triglycerides more effectively than long exercise sessions. Taking the stairs, taking stretching breaks every hour and parking your car further away are ways you can increase your physical activity without needing tons of time.

Woman reading labels

Read Labels
One habit that super healthy people always practice is to read the labels of everything they purchase. You might already read the ingredients list on the foods you buy, but what about the dish soap you use or your favorite shampoo? In order to treat your body well, you have to offer it the healthiest and most beneficial ingredients, which means that you need to be fully informed of what you’re putting into and onto your body. Always read labels on any product that goes in your body or on your body and avoid things like sulfates and parabens.

Woman meditating

Reduce Stress
With the busy lives most of us live, it’s no wonder that high stress levels are rampant. Unfortunately, stress has more serious effects on your body than simply making you a bit cranky or grumpy. The American Psychological Association states that stress has negative effects on your respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, reproductive and nervous systems. Stress is commonly associated with tension-type headaches or migraines, it increases your risk of long-term heart disease and a higher risk of developing diabetes. Luckily, you can help to reverse these negative effects: “Relaxation techniques have been shown to effectively reduce muscle tension, decrease the incidence of certain stress-related disorders, such as headache, and increase a sense of well-being,” according to the American Psychological Association. Practice breathing exercises or meditation to help get your stress under control.

Woman washing hands

Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body free from illnesses and infections. For the most effective clean, wet your hands with warm or cold water, then apply soap. Work soap into a lather for at least 20 seconds, making sure to clean the fronts and backs of your hands, in between your fingers and under your fingernails. Rinse your hands with warm or cold water and pat dry with a towel.

Achieving a healthy body is absolutely in your reach if you practice lifestyle habits that focus on all areas of your health. In addition to the above, drink plenty of water and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Lifestyle habits for a healthier body improve both your physical and mental health, and lead to a happier life overall.

Honeybee

Beware of Stinging Insects

Spring brings new life with fresh green grass and blooming flowers, but it also means the return of stinging insects. If you’ve ever been stung, and chances are that you have been, you know that insect stings can be incredibly painful and in the worst instances, they can cause severe allergic reactions. Below, find out what you need to know about four of the most common stinging insects.

Honeybees
Honeybees are highly social insects that are found throughout the world. These bees are active pollinators and they are responsible for pollinating more than 100 crops within the United States. Honeybees are about ½ inch in size, they have six legs and their bodies are predominantly golden yellow and brown bands. Honeybees, as their name implies, produce honey which helps feed their colonies during the winter months, and they are the only social insect who have colonies that can last for several years. Honeybees are a stinging insect, but they only sting once because when they sting, the stinger remains with the person or object that was stung. The stings of honeybees are most likely to be painful if the stinger is not removed immediately after the sting. If you find that you have a honeybee colony lurking in your attic or one of your trees, call a professional for removal. Honeybee colonies tend to be very large, and with the addition of honey, they are a mess to try and remove.

Paper Wasp
Paper wasps are a semi-social stinging insect that live in small colonies. These insects are also referred to as umbrella wasps because they make their nests in the distinctive shape of an umbrella. Paper wasps are anywhere from ⅝ to ¾ of an inch long and are brown with yellow markings, although some species of paper wasps are brown with reddish markings. Paper wasps feed off of nectar and other insects, and are not incredibly aggressive by nature. However, they will sting if they are disturbed or if their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are among the most painful, and can cause allergic reactions.

Yellowjacket
Yellowjackets are social insects that live in colonies of up to 4,000 workers and are most frequent during the late summer and early autumn months. Worker yellowjackets are usually ⅜ to ⅝ of an inch long and have a black abdomen with yellow patterns that often resemble bands. Yellowjackets are shaped more like a wasp than a bee, and they are a bigger threat to human than most bees. Yellowjackets are highly territorial and they will sting repeatedly if threatened. Allergic reactions are common with yellowjackets due to the number of times they will sting on person, and if you receive 10 or more stings at one time, experts recommend you go to a doctor or hospital for treatment. To keep the threat of yellowjackets down, keep all garbage covered, remove garbage frequently and be sure that your doors and windows have screens in good condition. Never attempt to remove a colony of yellowjackets, call a professional for your safety.

Bumble Bee
Bumble bees are considered to be incredibly beneficial because they pollinate crops and plants, but they are still a stinging insect. These bees are usually about one inch in length and are black with yellow stripes. Bumble bees often build their nests underground, but they may also use areas like decks and patios for a nesting spot. Bumble bees are highly aggressive when it comes to defending their nests and they often chase intruders for a considerable distance when they have been threatened. Like wasps and yellowjackets, bumble bees can sting more than once and their stings are among the most painful of stinging insects.

While removing a nest yourself seems like a pretty straightforward task, you should always call a professional for removal. All of the above stinging insects protect their hives and nests, and attempting a do-it-yourself removal can be highly hazardous. When stung, it’s always important to remove the stinger as quickly as possible and then to wash the area. Apply an antibacterial ointment and consider taking an antihistamine and over-the-counter pain reliever if needed. Take care outdoors this spring by knowing what insects can be threatening and how to respond if stung.

Woman mopping the floor

The Benefits of Spring Cleaning

With the official start of spring days away, everybody is buzzing about spring cleaning. Some people genuinely look forward to this time of year and take the opportunity to deep clean, organize and declutter every area of their home. However, some dread the thought of spring cleaning because it can be quite overwhelming. If you are somebody who needs extra encouragement and motivation to start your spring cleaning, we’ve got you covered. Below, find some surprising incentives to clearing out your clutter and organizing your home during spring cleaning.

Decrease Stress
The state of your surroundings can have a very significant impact on your mental health. In fact, many Americans rank home organization and cleanliness as one of the top five stressors in their lives. Women, in particular, are prone to being affected by how the perceive the general order of their home; women who believe that their home is cluttered have been found to have chronic levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Spending a few hours or a weekend clearing your home of clutter and cleaning it up can help you decrease your stress levels.

Boost Productivity
Think spring cleaning is just for the home? Think again. A cluttered desk decreases your levels of productivity because there are so many distractions. When your workspace is cluttered, your mind tends to mimic its surroundings. Getting a good system of organization and clearing clutter from your desk will help you organize your thoughts and your work more quickly. The Association of Psychological Science notes that clutter on your desk or work area can lead to increased snacking and craving of sweets, so clearing your clutter can also cut down on your calorie intake.

Woman painting walls

Get a Workout
You probably don’t consider your spring cleaning a workout, but vigorous cleaning can actually burn a lot of calories. With all of the lifting, bending, stretching and organizing, you get a workout that uses all of your muscles. The following activities are all great ways to burn some calories:

  • Mopping – Cleaning your floors may not be the most fun chore, but an hour of mopping burns about 150 calories. If you have to put some extra work into your floors and get on your hands and knees to really scrub, you can burn almost 190 calories in just 30 minutes.
  • Cleaning the Bathtub – There’s just something deeply satisfying about stepping into a clean tub or shower and the act of cleaning it can work up quite a sweat. Just 15 minutes of scrubbing your tub burns about 90 calories.
  • Redecorating – Putting a fresh coat of paint on your bedroom walls? Rearranging the pictures on your gallery wall? In 30 minutes of indoor decorating, you’ll burn more than 150 calories.

Spring cleaning may not always be the most fun activity, but it is an important undertaking. When you clear clutter, you clear your mind, boost your mood and increase your productivity. At the same time that all of these benefits are enjoyed, you also get physical exercise from cleaning, organizing and decorating your home. Hopefully, knowing these extra benefits of spring cleaning will make your work that much more enjoyable and easier.

Woman receiving botox injection

Botulinum Toxin Type A

Botulinum toxin type A is a biological substance that is produced by specific bacteria. In large doses, botulinum toxin type A can be highly toxic, but when used in very small doses, it can be used to treat a number of medical conditions. Botulinum toxin type A is most frequently referred to as Botox, which is a brand name of botulinum toxin type A. To find out more about what botulinum toxin type A is and how it is used, continue reading.

What is Botulinum Toxin Type A and What Does it do?
Botulinum toxin type A is a neurotoxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are eight distinguishable exotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum: A, B, C1, C2, D, E, F and G, according to an article published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology. The same article states that “all serotypes interfere with neural transmission by blocking the release of acetylcholine, the principal neurotransmitter at the neuromuscular junction, causing muscle paralysis.” While muscle paralysis sounds like it would be a bad thing, the paralysis is completely reversible, which is why people who use Botox have to go in every few months to maintain results. Botulinum toxin type A has results that last an average of three months. Botox is the primary brand name under which Botulinum toxin type A is sold, however, there are other brands like Dysport and Xeomin (in the UK).

Why is Botulinum Toxin Type A Used?
Botulinum toxin type A is perhaps most famously used for cosmetic purposes as it is an effective way to treat wrinkles. However, botulinum toxin type A is also used “…in the management of a wide variety of medical conditions, especially…various spastic movements, headaches, hypersalivation, hyperhidrosis, and some chronic conditions that respond only partially to medical treatment.”

When it comes to cosmetic uses, there are some misconceptions. Many believe that Botox is helpful in the removal of fine lines, but Botox is only helpful in treating hyperkinetic wrinkles, or wrinkles that are caused by repeated muscle movement. Botulinum toxin type A is an incredibly effective way to reduce wrinkles like frown and smile lines, crow’s feet and mental creases. The rationale behind using Botox for hyperkinetic wrinkles is that motion wrinkles occur due to repeated contractions of your facial muscles. By interfering with the cause of the wrinkles, Botox allows the skin to gradually reform itself, significantly reducing the appearance of the wrinkles. If motion wrinkles were shallow to begin with, Botox can make these wrinkles virtually nonexistent, but deeper set wrinkles may require additional treatment in the form of dermal fillers.

One of the most common concerns surrounding botulinum toxin type A is its safety, but it is generally well tolerated and it produces little to no side effects. Experts recommend choosing your cosmetic surgeon very carefully, because ultimately the effectiveness and safety of Botox injections depends on the skill and expertise of the person who administers the injections. If you are concerned with wrinkles that have been caused by repeated facial movement, then Botox is an excellent option to consider.

Woman with mature skin

Perioral Region Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Think about how many times throughout the day you make facial expressions – you may not even be able to come up with a number because it happens so frequently. Over time, these expressions result in facial lines and wrinkles as your skin loses its collagen and elasticity. Perioral lines are common among aging women, and there are ways that you can help to prevent and treat these fine lines. Keep reading to learn more about perioral lines and how you can get rid of them.

What are Perioral Fine Lines and Wrinkles?
Perioral fine lines and wrinkles are those that occur around the mouth and lip areas. There are three major types of perioral fine lines and wrinkles:

  • Smile Lines (Nasolabial Lines) – Smile lines are the lines that run from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth. These often start small and progressively deepen with age.
  • Marionette Lines – Marionette lines often result in an angry or sad looking face as you age. These lines are vertical fine lines and wrinkles found at the corners of your mouth and they can give your mouth a naturally downturned appearance that can make you look angry or sad even when you are completely relaxed.
  • Vertical Lip Lines – Smoking is one of the leading causes of vertical lip lines for two reasons: the constant lip pursing and the damaging chemicals, toxins and free radicals that result from smoking. Nearly all women, even non-smokers, end up with vertical lip lines because they are caused by repeated motion of the lips. Things like pursing your lips and drinking through straws also result in vertical lip lines.

Woman touching her face

Prevention and Treatments for Perioral Fine Lines and Wrinkles
You can’t live your life completely expressionless, but learning how to relax your facial muscles is a good start in preventing perioral fine lines and wrinkles. Facial massage is a great way to provide your muscles with much-needed relaxation, and you can do a quick two-minute massage at the end of your nighttime facial routine or as your apply an antioxidant serum. If you are a smoker, quit now. Always remember to apply sunscreen to every area of your face, and follow a healthy lifestyle that includes drinking plenty of water.

There are multiple ways you can treat perioral fine lines and wrinkles, including:

  • Facial Exercises – Giving your face a nice massage can help to smooth the appearance of wrinkles, and performing facial exercises are a way you can help strengthen your muscles. When you lose collagen in the perioral region, fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent. Using facial exercises tones your muscles, and when you have sufficient muscle tone, it can make up for the lack of collagen in your skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Topical Treatments – Anti-aging creams, serums and targeted treatments are all ways that you can help treat perioral fine lines. Look for skin care products that use antioxidants like vitamin C or resveratrol, that have moisturizing agents like hyaluronic acid and/or products that contain retinol. All of these ingredients help to fight the appearance of existing wrinkles and help prevent the formation of new fine lines.
  • Botox and Fillers – Injectables are a common way to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Injectables like hyaluronic acid help to plump up your skin and smooth wrinkles, while Botox paralyzes the muscles around the face, keeping them in a permanent state of relaxation. It is important to note that while these treatments are effective for wrinkles, the results are not permanent and typically last for a few months.

When it comes to preventing signs of aging, including perioral fine lines and wrinkles, sunscreen is the best anti-aging weapon you can use. A skin care routine full of quality ingredients like retinol and resveratrol will also significantly impact the appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles. Be consistent with your skin care routine and give your face some extra attention with exercises and massages to see your perioral fine lines and wrinkles diminish and disappear.