Woman exercising

Get A Handle On Your Health

When it comes to health, are you a Felix or an Oscar? Maybe you remember an episode of the original Odd Couple where the two protagonists order room service. Oscar, the wild man, typically orders a rare steak with a baked potato and fried onions, while the mild-mannered Felix opts for sand dabs, cottage cheese, and weak tea. Where do you fall in? Are you the one drinking a smoothie and wielding a yoga mat headed for the nearest gym, or the one at the donut shop peering out from your stained napkin.

If you are the Oscar, you might be noticing a proliferance of healthy people out there and you may even be starting to feel that you are in danger of being run over by the relentless human race. But, buck up, you too can get a handle on your health by taking some simple steps.

To Do List for Healthy Living
Go see your doctor. Even if you’re feeling great, its always a good idea to make sure everything is running smoothly. Get yourself screened and immunized and get the answers to all of the nagging questions that may be on your mind.

Keep tabs on your height and weight and make sure you are getting in enough physical activity. The CDC recommends that adults get a minimum of two and a half hour of moderate aerobic activity and 15 minutes of more intense aerobic activity each week, plus muscle training exercises at least two days a week.

Nutririonist Kathianne Sellers Williams, MEd, RD, LD tells you to, “Keep track of what your eating – all of it. The idea is to write it down without judgement. You can’t change what you’re not aware of or don’t acknowledge.”

Check your relationships and evaluate your mood and energy levels. Make sure your surrounded with people that enrich your life; get adequate sleep, and monitor yourself for signs of depression.

Exercise More
Not the exercise type? No such thing! Dr. Williams says there’s no need to stick with the dreaded cardio: find something you enjoy and keep track of what you’re doing. Put big Xes on the calendar on days when you exercise. A visual record will Keep you motivated. Set weekly goals rather than daily ones, so you have greater day to day freedom. That way, you can forgive yourself if you miss a day, so long as you make it up before the weekend.

Improve Your Diet
It’s all about taking back the power over food. Says Williams, ” Instead of,’I should be eating more fruits and vegetables,’ it’s, ‘I choose to eat more fruits and vegetables,’ or, ‘ I choose not to, It shows your in control, you’re making the choice. Stock the kitchen with healthy foods, so you have a healthy strategy for when cravings hit. Slow down and enjoy your food. According to Williams, “You’re much more likely to feel psychologically satisfied,'” and shoot forgive to nine servings of varied vegetables and fruits per day.

Cut Down On Stress
When it comes to handling stress, Williams has two suggestions. Routine maintenance entails the development of coping skills, like meditation or yoga to keep your stress level down. You can also breakthrough stress, by finding ways to handle stressful situations when they pop up. For example, you might run up and down the stairs to quell aggravation after a stressful encounter.

Sleep More Soundly
If sound sleep is a problem for you, Lisa Shives. MD has a few tips. The doctor advises avoiding the stimulation of computer and tv two hours before bedtime and recommends a light reading lamp that doesn’t shine into your eyes directly. She warns against vigorous exercise near bedtime and taking a hot bath to relax yourself mentally. Shives also stresses the importance of maintaining a regular sleep schedule and making good sleep a priority saying sleep is, “just as important as diet and exercise.”

Sound doable to you? Of course it does! Let us know how you’re getting a handle on your health in the New Year. We love to hear it!

woman massaging painful neck

Tips For Reducing Neck and Shoulder Tension

There are a lot of people out there with shoulder and neck pain, and apparently, a number of them have found a temporary solution. There are online communities dedicated to the joint cracking habit, providing members with a forum in which they can share their most satisfying bone crunching experiences. Although cracking joints has been linked with arthritis in the past, there seems to be no definitive proof of this, and many professionals even condone the practice, crediting it with relieving “tons of tension.” If you have no compunctions about joint cracking, it seems as if you are in good company, but if you are still skeptical about the practice, there are other methods to relieve neck tension and shoulder pain. Here are just a few.

At the Computer
While the computer age has done much for improving almost every part of our lives, it has done very little for our posture. To fix the computer hunch, draw your head back as if someone was grabbing the hair at the center of your head and gently pulling. Then, imagine a helium balloon was attached to the top of your head and as pulling it upward. This head position should work wonders.

Looking Down at Your Device
Tipping your head forward for long periods of time puts a lot of stress on your neck muscles. One way of relieving this is to bend your arm at the elbows and lean the elbow against the center of your ribcage. This should bring the device closer to your face and alleviate some of the strain.

If this is not possible, you can try to use your eye muscles instead of your neck and shoulders. Put the phone in your lap. Look down at your phone while keeping your head straight. Then place the phone on a table slightly to your right or left. Look over at the phone without turning your head. Do these steps repeatedly to get in the habit of using your eyes rather than assuming uncomfortable positions.

When You Work Out
The muscles in your neck connect to the muscles in your trunk, so working the two together is a sensible idea. For example, if you’re doing planks, try and bring your head backwards while keeping your eyes to the floor, stretching your spine up to your head. Training with good posture is key to improving posture in general.

While You Sleep
Even though sleep is a time of general relaxation, it does not always mean that our muscles are relaxed. When you lie down, consider the position of your head in relation to the rest of your body. Think of your spine as your center with your head stacked on top of your body. If you find your head leaning to the side or curling forward and down, try to reposition it so it is in line with your spine.

And if you still “love to crack everything,” that’s fine! These are some helpful ideas for even the most dyed- in – the wool joint crackers. You can let us know about how you get neck and back relief; nothing is too weird!

Woman getting aromatherapy

The Anti Aging Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a practice which uses plant based oils to treat infections, stress, and tight muscles. Although many believe that aromatherapy applies only to inhaling the oils, massaging the oils into the skin figure strongly into the treatments as well. Here are some of the best anti-aging essential oils.

Jojoba Oil
Not only does jojoba oil contain vitamin E, vitamin B complex, silicon, chromium, copper and zinc, it can also supplement the lack of iodine in your diet. With an 82% content of the mineral, jojoba oil gets a good part of its healing power from iodine. Jojoba oil is probably one of the world’s most hydrating oils and it is noncomedogeic, which means it does not clog pores. Its antioxidant properties can soothe fine lines and wrinkles and slow down the aging process. A study done by the Department of Environment and Life Sciences in Italy proved that jojoba oil speeds the closure of wounds and stimulates collagen syntheses with low toxic effects, while another study in Germany found it improved overall skin condition in 194 participants who applied clay masks with jojoba oil two to three times a week.

Pomegranate Seed Oil
Pomegranates have been noted for their association with anti aging with their oil being the most potent source. The dark red color of pomegranates are caused by biflavonoids which protect skin from sun damage. Pomegranate seed oil has a natural SPF that can be used as a natural sunblock and can be applied directly to your skin.

Frankincense Oil
So much for witchery, this oil even found its way into the Bible! Frankincense is good for balancing uneven skin tone and can help get rid of sunspots and age spots. It is also a powerful astringent, so it can be used for acne blemishes, and to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and wrinkles. Frankincense can also be used to combat sagging skin on the stomach, jowls or under the eyes and has been shown to be effective on stretch marks and surgery scars.

Lavender Oil
Lavender is one of the best oils for getting skin into a healing state and improving cellular communication. This makes it an excellent essential oil in relieving cuts and burns. Lavender also helps your body to produce three of the most powerful antioxidants: gluthione, catalase and superoxide dismutase to fight radical damage. Mix it with aloe vera or coconut oil to soothe sunburn and promote healing, or mix with frankincense to reduce age spots.

So get on your broomsticks, get out your spells and potions and embrace your inner witch. Let us know about all that you’ve got brewing up for this holiday season and whether these luxurious oils are a part of them!

Women walking in polluted air with a mask

Your Skin’s Reaction To Pollution

Pollution can be a tricky issue to deal with, because, unlike other factors in your life, such as sun exposure and diet, the effects of pollution will not be immediately visible on your skin.

Nevertheless, your skin reacts to pollution in a number of different ways, and it is important to understand this in order to protect your skin as much as you can.

What Is Pollution and Where Does it Come From?

Simply put, pollution is when contaminants are introduced into a natural environment, and this is something that happens on a daily basis.

Every day, an increasing amount of microscopic specks of smoke, acid, soot and more are released into the atmosphere.

Where do they come from?

So many different sources, including cars, power plants, fires and more.

factories releasing harmful smoke into the city

Air pollution is actually one of the most common types of pollution, with research showing that traffic pollution in particular may be the single most toxic substance for the skin.

As you can imagine, this is a greater problem in urban areas, and even rural areas that are nearby to them, as the wind carries and distributes pollutant particles.

Water pollution is another one that you need to be aware of. Again, this is caused by so many different things, from industrial waste to chemical run-offs to laundry detergents.

While there are other types of pollution out there, from noise and light pollution to thermal and radioactive pollution, it’s air and water pollution that you really need to focus on when it comes to your skin.

How Exactly Does Pollution Affect the Skin?

Pollution has been linked to a wide range of different health issues, from lung and heart diseases to diabetes and even to mental health. However, the effects that pollution has on the skin are only now being understood…

To begin with, pollutant particles are absolutely tiny, often up to 20 times smaller than the size of one of your pores.

As you can imagine, this means that once they settle on to the surface of your skin, it does not take long for them to work their way into your pores and infiltrate your skin’s different layers.

So, what do these particles do when they enter your skin?

They trigger inflammatory responses in a few different ways…

Firstly, they create free radicals, while depleting the body’s natural levels of antioxidants.

In a way, this is a two-pronged attack, because it is the antioxidants in the body that are key when it comes to fighting free radicals. With all of these extra free radicals, and a loss of antioxidants, your body, and your skin, are somewhat defenseless.

Free radicals not only accelerate the aging process, but they also severely damage the cells within the body, including the DNA within them, which then causes new cells to grow in a damaged way.

In fact, studies have shown that people who live in highly polluted areas age 10% faster than those who live in the countryside.

Another result of the inflammation caused by pollution is a stimulation of melanocytes, which are basically the cells responsible for your skin color. By over-stimulating these melanocytes, excess pigment is created, which results in what are known as age spots, or sun spots.

close-up of woman with sun spots

In some cases, environmental pollutants can be so harmful that they cause severe genotoxic stress, potentially leading to skin cancer.

The inflammation caused by pollution also expands the blood vessels in your skin, making them much more visible. This manifests as redness, and, in some cases, rosacea.

The collagen in your skin, which is basically your skin’s support system, giving it its firmness and smoothness, is also affected by pollution…

How?

Well, not only does pollution break down the collagen that is already in your skin, it also interferes with the production of new collagen. This then results in sagging skin, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. This is exacerbated by the fact that pollution starves the skin of oxygen, while drying up its natural oils, as dehydrated skin ages much faster than hydrated skin.

Another effect that pollution can have on the skin is hives. In fact, studies in Beijing, which is an extremely polluted city, have shown that there are direct correlations between spikes in air pollution and hospital visits for skin conditions, with hives being one of the main ones.

With pollution affecting so many different processes within the skin and body, everybody’s skin will react in its own way.

However, here are a few of the other skin issues that pollution can cause:

  • Breakouts, similar to acne
  • Skin allergies
  • Rashes
  • A dull complexion
  • Dry and dehydrated skin
  • Eczema

Protecting Your Skin From the Effects of Pollution

Now that you know about the damage that pollution can cause, you likely want to know about how you can protect your skin from this, while also reversing any damage that has already been caused.

Cleansing is one of the most important steps in your skin care routine when it comes to tackling pollution.

Why?

Because this will remove any environmental toxins from your skin, clearing away clogged particle matter.

For those who live in extremely polluted areas, a double cleanse may be worth considering, as this will ensure that all pollutants have been removed from your skin. While this may be the case, you do need to make sure that you are not overdoing it with the cleansing. Everybody’s skin reacts differently, so while some people may benefit from a double cleanse, others may find this too drying for their skin. 

Exfoliating a couple of times a week is also vital. While cleansing clears away the pollutants on the surface of your skin, exfoliating will enable you to get even deeper, clearing out any pollutants that have already worked their way into your pores.

Exfoliation will also help any subsequent skin care products that you apply to better penetrate your skin, meaning that they will be able to work so much more effectively.

When it comes to the free radicals that pollution causes, one of the best ways to protect yourself from this is by increasing your antioxidant intake.

Wondering what makes antioxidants so powerful?

Well, they are able to donate missing electrons to free radicals, therefore neutralizing them and preventing them from causing damage to the rest of your skin cells.

infographic on free radicals, antioxidants and normal molecules

Antioxidants can be consumed, as well as applied topically. When it comes to topical antioxidants, your best bets are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Squaline

You are likely to find these antioxidants, as well as many more, in numerous skin care products.

In terms of foods that contain antioxidants, try to increase your consumption of the following:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables of a wide range of colors
  • Green tea
  • Oily fish
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Coffee
  • Dark chocolate
  • Herbs and spices

However, keep in mind that in order to maximize the effects that antioxidants have, you need to be providing your body with a wide range of them. 

Why?

Because antioxidants work in conjunction with each other to heal and protect your skin, and single ingredients on their own will not have much of an impact in the end.

Another way to protect your skin from pollution is to strengthen your skin’s natural protective barrier.

This can be found on the outermost layer of your skin, and is not only important for keeping moisture locked in, but also for keeping environmental toxins out.

If you have a damaged skin barrier, then the effects of pollution will hit you so much harder.

So, how do you go about protecting and strengthening your natural protective barrier?

To begin with, you need to be moisturizing daily. Moisturizers are designed to form a thin film over the surface of the skin, therefore, in a way, creating their own barrier. Moisturizers will also keep your skin hydrated, which is essential for your natural protective barrier to thrive.

You should also be paying close attention to the ingredients in the skin care products that you use.

Why?

Because harsh ingredients will strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your protective barrier vulnerable. Many ingredients can also have an alkalizing effect on your skin, meaning that they alter your skin’s delicate pH balance, disrupting all the natural processes that your skin goes through.

Your diet can also have an impact on your skin’s natural barrier. Ceramides, as well as essential fatty acids, both do so much to strengthen the barrier, and while these can both be consumed through your diet, obtaining enough to actually protect your skin from the damaging effects of pollution can be difficult.

So, what can you do about this?

Well, in addition to using skin care products that contain both of these ingredients, you could also consider taking oral supplements for both. These will be absorbed by the skin from within, and have been proven to have a significant effect in just a couple of months. 

Of course, sunscreen is also vital. While you may be focussing on fighting pollution rather than the sun, the sun’s UV rays will damage your skin’s barrier, making sunscreen essential.

For those who live in areas that are extremely polluted, it would be worthwhile listening in to your daily weather forecasts. On the days when meteorologists call for high amounts of smog or low air quality conditions, try to stay indoors as much as possible, and wear clothes that completely cover your skin when you have to head outdoors.

If you use air conditioning in your house, you should also make sure that the filters are kept clean, so that they do not end up trapping pollutants and blowing them into your home.

What About People Who Live in Rural Areas?

If you live in a rural area, you may think that your skin is safe from the effects of pollution, but this is not at all true…

As mentioned above, pollution particles are incredibly tiny, meaning that, even with a small gust of wind, they can spread further than you would imagine.

This means that nobody is safe from the effects of pollution, no matter where you live.

While you may not need to be quite as diligent when it comes to protecting your skin from pollution if you live in a rural area, you will still need to take at least a few of the steps mentioned above.

Don’t Forget About Indoor Pollutants

In addition to all of the pollutants outdoors, you need to also remember that indoor pollutants will also damage your skin.

Where do indoor pollutants come from?

A variety of different sources:

  • Stoves
  • Fireplaces
  • Particles from pressed wood products
  • Foam insulation

In addition to following the steps above to protect your skin from pollution, you should also be taking a few extra measures to reduce the damage that indoor pollutants can cause. These include improving the ventilation in your home by allowing more fresh air to flow through, while keeping the humidity relatively low.

Anti-Pollution Skin Care

With the effects that pollution has on the skin being more and more recognized, skin care companies are now investing heavily into researching ways in which they can create products that will protect the skin.

There are already a few of these products out there, with many containing high levels of niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, since this is quite effective at combatting pollution damage.

However, researchers are currently looking into ways in which they can create products that actually block this damage from occurring in the first place. One molecule that is able to do this has already been found, and is being registered as a cosmetic ingredient, meaning that this will soon make its way into skin care products in the next few years. 

Pollution is something that everybody has to deal with, no matter where in the world you may live. While pollution has been proven to have severely detrimental effects on the skin, in a number of different ways, there are, fortunately, steps that you can take to protect yourself from this, and you should really try to do this as much as possible.

Woman taking a pill

How Does The Pill Help Reduce Acne?

If you have acne, the struggle is real.  You’ve bailed on your plans with friends, foresworn chocolate, and fried food tried every product on the market, and even considered joining a heavy metal band so you have an excuse for painting your face.

  Acne is an unfortunate right of passage and, although it may seem like every time you zap that last zit, a new batch is on its way, you will survive it.  Hey,  Adam Levine and Julianne Hough  both admitted to having acne and look at them now!  Maybe having acne increases your chances of ending up on reality TV!  And if you are female, you have one advantage over Adam Levine: birth control!

Going on  “the pill”  can make a big difference in your skin. It regulates the hormones, which are especially important to devoting young women who’d may be adjusting to menstruation.

How Does It Work?
‘The pill’ contains estrogen and progestin.  These are the same hormones being made by your body.    When you take ‘the pill’ it can override your body’s signals to ovulate, or release an egg, thus the birth control part.  However, as an added bonus, the oil also lowers your body’s testosterone level, which reduces acne.

Will the Pill Work for You?
Not all acne is a result of a hormonal imbalance. Maybe it is all that greasy pizza or that wing of hair that falls over the side of your face causing that breakout.  If that’s the case, the pill may not work for you.  How can you tell?   According to celebrity esthetician Renee Rouley,”hormonal breakouts are oftentimes one bigger blemish-  a pustule or a cyst.  They happen mostly around the chin or jaw area.”

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, OB-GYN and senior medical contributor for Good Morning America says, “I would say that 90% of girls’ skin problems improve dramatically or completely resolve within six months of starting the pill.”  However, she does warn that sometimes the acne, depending on the way your body reacts to the pill, will get worse before it gets better. So give it a chance.   Rouleau suggests you wait 90 days before you make a decision on whether or not  to continue using it.

Considerations
Before deciding if birth control is the way for you to go, you may want to consider the following;

  • Convenience:  The pill is only available by prescription and needs to be taken at the same time every day.
  • Cost:  The pill can cost between $15 and $50 per month
  • There are three types of birth control approved by the FDA which is recommended for acne.  They are:]
  1. Orth-Tri Cyclen
  2. Estrostep
  3. Yaz

Studies have not shown a major difference among these in the way they treat acne.

Side Effects  of the Pill May Include
Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, bloating, weight gain, weight loss, headaches, breast tenderness and dizziness, and turning into a judge on a reality show.  Proceed with caution.

The picture of a sun drawn on a woman's shoulders using sunscreen.

Are You Wearing the Right Sun Protection?

You know you need to protect yourself from the sun and harmful UV rays. You know to apply sunscreen before you head outside and even to reapply often or after being in water. But is the sun protection you are using right for you? Check out Resveralife’s guide below on how to be sure you are wearing the most effective sun protection possible.

Little girl wearing a hat and sunglasses holding a sunscreen bottle in a beach.

Kids
You need to keep the entire family protected, especially your little ones. Children have more reactive, sensitive skin than adults, so the type of sun protection you choose for them should be suitable for sensitive skin types. Kids tend to tolerate physical sunscreens better than they do chemical sunscreens as chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients like PABA and oxybenzone which have been associated with irritation.

Woman wearing a hat applying sunscreen.

Acne Prone Skin
Acne is a common problem and many people believe that sunscreens tend to increase blemishes and breakouts. The first thing to check in your sun protection, like any other skin care product for acne prone skin, is that it is free from unnecessary preservatives and fragrances. Some sunscreens are available in gel formulas that may suit acne or oily prone skin better than a traditional liquid. Just as with children, the most frequently cited aggravating active ingredients in sun care products are PABAs and oxybenzone. Physical sunscreens tend to work well for people who suffer from acne. If you are opposed to the thick white cast these can leave, look for a chemical sunscreen with salicylates or ecamsule. Note that if you are on a prescription medication for acne, it is best to consult with your doctor because some of these medications increase sensitivity to the sun.

Woman applying sunscreen on her hands.

Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, look for a sunscreen that contains moisturizer or a moisturizer that contains sunscreen. Many cosmetic and skin care companies now make day creams with an SPF in them already. Sunscreens that contain moisturizing ingredients such as lanolin, oils and dimethicones (silicone) tend to be appropriate for dry skin. Formulations of sunscreens with added moisture are often marketed as creams, lotions or even ointments.

If you are already using a sunscreen that is perfect for your skin type and your needs, that is awesome. However, dermatologists and skin care experts warn that even if you have the perfect sunscreen, not wearing enough renders the protection virtually useless. As a general rule you should be applying an ounce of sunscreen every single time you plan on getting sun exposure. If you are just covering your face, use about the size of a silver dollar to ensure proper coverage. Sunscreen has a shelf life of one to two years, so if you have a bottle from last year it is probably safe to use. Remember that the most effective sunscreen is the one that you apply every day and that you use the proper amount of. If using a chemical sunscreen, apply the product 20 minutes before sun exposure to allow time for it to absorb. Once out in the sun, reapply your sunscreen (with a full ounce of product) every two hours or more often if you have been swimming.

Business woman campaigning for equality

Women Campaigning for Equality

Picture for a moment a world without a gender gap. Though it may seem an impossibility, women have continuously proved throughout history that campaigning for equality is not only necessary, but effective. Women have made impressive strides towards equality in our world, though there is still a long way to go. Just two weeks ago Satya Nadella, CEO of the Microsoft Corporation, spoke to women at a technology conference. His message to these brilliant and hardworking women was that they ought not ask for raises, and rather let a raise come to them if they deserve it. According to the website Global InvestHER, women currently comprise 24 to 29% of the tech sector workforce. Clearly, there is much more campaigning and awareness raising that we must do.

The comment made by Nadella received immediate backlash, causing him to publicly retract his statement. The problem is that his words have not been forgotten and they echo the sentiments of many men who are leading corporations and businesses. One of the most discussed gender equality issues is that of the salaries women are offered. The National Women’s Law Center states that “American women who work full-time, year-round are paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts – which means it’s important to keep pushing for new legislation that would make the workplace fair for women.”

It’s not all about money, women’s accomplishments are often slighted by focusing on more feminine details. Every award season, host after host of red carpet fashion shows ask women what designer they are wearing and from whom did they borrow their fabulous jewelry. The male attendees are asked about the projects they have been working on, how they felt about roles they have taken on and then are subsequently praised for their contribution to the industry, rather than being told that they look pretty. This year, Reese Witherspoon along with a host of female and male supporters, launched a campaign at the Oscars titled “Ask Her More.” The campaign was intended to point out the treatment of men versus women, and to encourage reporters to ask questions that matter.

The promising news is that there are a many organizations, both in the United States and internationally, that focus on the rights of women and the closing of the gender gap. The National Organization for Women (NOW)  was founded in 1966 after measures such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 failed to protect women against discrimination and unequal wages. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, commonly referred to as UN Women, became operational in 2011 in order to help empower women on a global scale and to hold the United Nations system accountable for its commitments to gender equality.

Women campaigning for equality is a huge part of our history, and remains a part of our present. A recent campaign, HeForShe, urges men to stand in solidarity with women on the issue of gender equality. The HeForShe mission is beautifully stated saying that the campaign  “brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all.” The campaign to end the gender gap has been taken up by not only women, but all people. With constant diligence and tenacity, perhaps we can stop the gender gap from being a part of our future.

Glycemic Index list

Glycemic Index and Why It's Important to Beauty

Here at Resveralife, we hear new terms related to healthcare and diet all of the time. With so much information it can be hard to fully comprehend what each term or phrase relates to and why these things matter to us. One of the frequently discussed health terms is “glycemic index.” But what exactly is the glycemic index and why does it matter to us?

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a diet system, originally intended to aid diabetics in making appropriate food choices, that ranks foods based on the effect that carbohydrates have on our blood levels. Foods are assigned a numerical ranking, providing a way to identify which foods are beneficial for our blood sugar, and which could be damaging. Those foods with a high ranking have a rapid blood sugar response while those that are low help to maintain steady levels of of sugar. The glycemic index ranges from the zero to 100.

The Health Benefits

The theory upon which the glycemic index is based maintains that when we ingest foods that rank highly on the scale, our blood sugar response is quick. This results in a sugar spike in our bodies, which inevitably leads to the dreaded sugar crash. When we experience the comedown from sugar, our bodies respond by producing cravings for more sugar.

However, there are other benefits to knowing a food’s glycemic index score than knowing what to avoid if we don’t want to experience sugar crashes. When we consistently feed our bodies large amounts of sugar, there are a number of undesirable reactions. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that the glycemic index is “increasingly being used to prevent typical diseases of the Western world, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and acne.”

The benefits of understanding and following the glycemic index range all the way from our heart health to the clarity of our skin.

The Beauty Benefits

We all want radiant, clear, beautiful skin but most of us find the perfect complexion elusive. That’s because what we are putting into our bodies is just as important as what we are putting onto our bodies. We have all heard that eating a certain food whether it is pizza, chocolate or fries will cause breakouts. This is not true, though it is important to put thought into your foods. The reason that foods with a low ranking on the glycemic index may be beneficial to skin is that our blood sugar is responsible for inflammation in our bodies. By reducing the inflammatory response, we reduce the number, frequency or severity of pimples.

Experts caution that the glycemic index is a great starting place to help control our levels of blood sugar, but it is equally important to maintain a well-balanced diet. Some foods that rank highly on the glycemic index, fruits for example, are full of nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial both to our bodies and our skin. Paying attention to what we eat does help in our quest for healthy skin, though it is not the only determining factor in how our skin appears. A good guideline for both body and skin is to gravitate towards fresh produce, lean meats, low-fat dairy and avoid refined carbohydrates as much as possible. We won’t only be eating our way to clearer skin, but also to improved health.

online shopping

Resveralife Reports: Consumer Research a Threat to Retailers?

We live in an age of instantaneous information, connection and satisfaction. We get what we want, when we want it. As consumers, it has always been important to be informed when it comes to our purchases. We want to know what we are buying, what benefits the item or service might have, any disadvantages that the item may have and what performance we can expect from the thing we are spending our hard earned money on. Whether it is a silk camisole or a washing machine, we like to be savvy shoppers. But does our increased availability of information and our knowledge of products threaten retailers?

Recently, Google partnered with Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands to see what impact technology has on consumption and shopping habits. Included in this study was the question of whether or not consumer research is damaging to retailers. The common belief among brick and mortar retailers is that the primary reason we go into stores is simply to conduct a transaction. Retailers assume that we have already completed our research and as such, that we are fully informed about their product. They assume we are there only to pay for our items. However, the research suggests that the retailers who believe all we want is a sales transaction are doing damage to themselves.

The data gathered by Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands, suggests that as consumers, we expect more than ever from our retailers. We still visit stores, and online shops, to compare and to stimulate interest in items. The research suggests that while we are more informed than ever, we still look to retailers to be an authority on their products and to provide use with a shopping experience. Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands found that just because we perform searches and gather information does not mean that we are turning our backs on retailers. We simply want more out of them. We visit our favorite stores not only because we like the merchandise that is sold there, but also because we enjoy and savor the shopping experience in these stores.

Retailers would do well to take heed of this information. The majority of us visit stores to get an idea of what we want to buy prior to conducting research. Once we have seen the item, then we go into detective mode and try to learn as much as possible about what we intend to buy. Our research doesn’t necessarily hurt retailers, though it does affect what we want from them. Because we can pull together so much information on a product, we expect our retailers to be able to still tell us more. Why buy something when the retailer seems less knowledgeable about the product than we are? We expect retailers to be experts in their products and services. We also anticipate that retailers will provide us with a personalized shopping experience.

Being an informed consumer is important, and some of the burden certainly does rest on us. However, retailers also need to remember that customers want more than just information and details on products. We want to feel valued and important. When it comes to shopping we want more than product specifications, we want to have an enitre experience when it comes to shopping.

Charcoal

Charcoal for Skin Care

A number of new beauty ingredients have come up to cater to the ever increasing demand for new beauty and skin care ingredients. One of the latest ingredients to enter the world of skin care is activated charcoal. This black residue always played a huge role in heating up your grills. Now it seems to be heating up the world of skin care as well. Charcoal is being used for all sorts of solutions – right from whitening the teeth to cleansing the skin.  Vine Vera reviews some of the main reasons why charcoal has become so popular in the world of skin care.

According to some experts, charcoal absorbs 100 – 200 times its weight in terms of impurities. This makes it an amazing ingredient to deep-cleanse and purify the skin. Numerous spas are using crushed black charcoal as soft powder masks to assist in drawing out toxins from the skin. The powder is converted into a thick mixture that is then applied to the skin using a brush. Activated charcoal is created when oxygen is added to regular charcoal. It is commonly used as a medical treatment to treat poisoning, nausea and GI tract infections.

Despite the fact that dermatologists are not buying into the hype that has been created by charcoal, those who have used these treatments have said that their skin felt pretty good after the treatment. According to Dr. Craig Kaffert, there isn’t any solid scientific evidence that charcoal offers these supposed benefits to the skin. He mentions that the solid black color of the ingredient is one of the main reasons behind its surge in popularity, simply because using this pitch-black product on the skin sounds extremely cool and exciting.

Keeping scientific evidence aside for a minute, Resveralife  tried to examine what beauty bloggers had to say about this ingredient. According to Shiva Rose, a popular beauty blogger, charcoal helped her with a number of issues such as teeth whitening, skin treatments and healing mosquito and spider bites. She mentioned that it draws out impurities from the pores and recommended dabbing the black powder on the skin using a toothbrush. Rose also confessed to using carbon tablets as supplements during her juice cleansing routines.

Whether or not charcoal actually offers these purported benefits remains to be seen. Experts are certainly not buying into the craze until there is some solid evidence that charcoal offers these wondrous benefits for your skin. They mention that the human body is already well-equipped to remove its toxins and all one needs to do to remove these toxins is to lead a healthy lifestyle and follow basic skin care processes.

Resveralife  would recommend you to make sure that you follow these fads and trends only when you’re sure of the benefits. There are all sorts of ingredients that are being offered by skin care brands across the world. It certainly makes sense to do some basic research before adding a new ingredient into your skin care routine, because with the proven ingredients already available in the market, you would want to ensure that you spend your money on something that really works.

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