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LOOK WELL

Smiling woman in winter sweater

How to Boost Your Skin’s Winter Radiance

The winter months can quickly take their toll on your skin, zapping it of its radiance. 

Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can boost this back up, resulting in that vibrant winter glow you have always dreamed about. 

Use a Gentler Cleanser

In the warmer months, your skin’s sebaceous glands naturally produce more oil. However, this slows down in the winter. This, coupled with the fact that the dry air outside, as well as inside from artificial heating, is sucking away your skin’s moisture, means that you need to try to retain as much of your natural oils as possible.

Retaining your natural oils will give your skin the radiant glow you’re looking for.

What does this have to do with your cleanser? 

Well, a cleanser is designed to clear away dirt, makeup and, of course, oil from the skin. A stronger and more potent cleanser will do this to a greater extent, stripping away a large portion of the skin’s natural oils. 

In order to prevent that from happening, you need to switch to a gentler cleanser. 

Which cleansers are more gentle? 

Cream cleansers tend to be the best for the winter months, as they add moisture back into the skin while they cleanse. Cleansing oils can also be useful for dry skin, although those with oily skin may find these too heavy. 

Moisturize Your Skin While It Is Still Damp

Want to give your skin an instant boost of radiance? 

This trick is the way to do it, and it also benefits your skin so much. 

After cleansing your skin, whether this may be in the shower or otherwise, make sure that you do not rub your skin dry. Not only will this irritate and damage your skin, but you also need your skin to retain quite a bit of that extra moisture in order for this to work. 

Gently pat your skin with a soft towel to clear away excessive amounts of water, and then reach for your moisturizer. Apply this to your damp skin, gently massaging it in. 

Now, take a look in the mirror…

You will likely see that your skin has a glow to it that wasn’t there before. 

Why is this? 

It is all down to making the most of the way in which a moisturizer works…

While a moisturizer does deliver a small amount of moisture to the skin, its main role is to form a protective seal over the surface of the skin. This prevents the moisture that is already in and on the skin from evaporating, while stopping any impurities from easily entering into the skin. 

When you apply moisturizer to skin that is already damp, all of those extra water molecules end up trapped beneath the moisturizer’s protective layer. This then means that there is only one place for them to go, and that’s down into your skin.

Young woman applying moisturiser to face

This is why your skin instantly looks so much more radiant after moisturizer has been applied on damp skin. 

What should you be using to moisturize your skin? 

In the winter, you need a thicker, heavier and greasier moisturizer than you do in the summer. 

Plant butters and oils are perfect for this…

Make Use of Plant Butters and Oils

Plant butters and oils are incredibly nourishing for the skin, containing so many vital minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids and more. All of this will help your skin to battle through the harsh days of winter. 

Which plant butters and oils should you be using? 

Here are some of the best plant butters to use on your skin in the winter: 

  • Shea Butter – packed with vitamins A and E, as well as essential fatty acids and antioxidants, shea butter strengthens skin cells while protecting them from environmental damage. It also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can significantly relieve dryness and itchiness. If you are looking for a way to protect your skin from windburn, shea butter is again worth considering 
  • Cocoa Butter – a great source of vitamin E, which heals and protects the skin, cocoa butter is packed with a number of other vitamins and antioxidants too. It hydrates and re-balances the skin, and has aromatherapy benefits too. Massaging this ingredient into the skin has been proven to improve the immune system and reduce feelings of stress
  • Mango Butter – known for its protective and moisturizing qualities, mango butter supports skin cells, preventing degeneration, while also giving the skin increased flexibility. It is great for treating some of the dry skin issues that often come with winter, from peeling and itching skin to eczema and roughness 

When it comes to the best plant oils to use on your skin in the winter, these are all worth considering: 

  • Camellia Seed Oil – known for being a favorite among Japanese Geisha, camellia seed oil, along with its many antioxidants and nutrients, is easily absorbed by the skin. Unlike many other ingredients, it is able to make its way deep into the skin’s layers, where it then replenishes the skin and prevents moisture from evaporating 
  • Carrot Seed Oil – thanks to its high content of carotol, beta-carotene and vitamins A and E, carrot seed oil is fantastic for rejuvenating the skin and giving it a glow in the winter months. It quickly counters dryness and dehydration, while bring light enough for those with oily skin to use 
  • Cucumber Seed Oil – known for its gentle yet effective properties, cucumber seed oil is packed with phytosterols. These compounds have been proven to be able to restore the skin’s moisture balance, strengthen its protective barrier and improve its elasticity 
  • Jojoba Oil – one of the best oils for those with oily skin to use. Its molecular structure closely resembles that of the skin’s own sebum, tricking the skin into believing that it has produced the oil itself. This triggers it to adjust its own production of oil, slowing this down. This is a great way to deal with oily skin in the winter, instead of using harsh products that strip away too much of your skin’s natural oils

Stay Active

You may not think that the amount of exercise you do has any sort of direct effect on the radiance of your skin, but it really does…

Yes, it can be so tempting to stay wrapped up indoors in the warmth in the winter, but keeping your body active and moving is so important. 

Why? 

Well, to begin with, your blood flow naturally slows down in cold temperatures, due to the way in which the cold constricts your blood vessels. Exercise helps to speed your blood flow back up. This means that your skin cells are able to receive a greater amount of oxygen and other nutrients, enabling them to fully function. 

Since your blood flow is also responsible for carrying waste products away from your skin cells, this increases skin detoxification, which will enhance your skin’s glow.

There is nothing wrong with exercising indoors, and this is definitely better than not exercising at all. However, even if you keep the majority of your workouts indoors, try to spend at least one session a week exercising outdoors. This outdoor time is great for your skin, enabling it to get away from the dry indoor air. 

Two friends jogging in the woods

Plus, embracing the winter will really help you to beat any winter blues and appreciate all of the beauty that the season has to offer.

Make Sure that You Are Regularly Exfoliating 

You will likely notice more roughness and dryness on your skin in the winter months, and this is due to all of its moisture being sucked away into the dryness around you. 

This leaves your skin cells parched and flaky, which is not a good look to have! 

While exfoliation is important throughout the year, it becomes even more so in the winter. Exfoliation will quickly clear away any rough, dull, dry or dead skin cells, enabling the fresher, newer ones beneath to show through. 

Not only that, but exfoliation enables the rest of your skin care products to better penetrate into your skin’s layers, meaning that they are able to work to their full potential. 

How should you be exfoliating? 

Well, you have two main options: 

  • Physical Exfoliation – this makes use of abrasive materials that are physically rubbed across the skin in order to dislodge dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil 
  • Chemical Exfoliation – this makes use of chemicals that dissolve the glue-like substance that keep dead skin cells attached to the skin’s surface, enabling these to then be washed away 

So, which one is best for winter? 

Many would guess physical exfoliation, but that’s where you would be wrong…

The abrasive nature of physical exfoliation ends up causing quite a bit of friction against the skin. This irritates and damages it, and some abrasives can even end up creating micro-tears in the skin. 

On the other hand, chemical exfoliants work in a much gentler way, and there are different ones out there that are suitable for every skin type. 

Alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and tartaric acid, are great for dry and sensitive skin. However, make sure that you begin gradually, so that your skin has the chance to get accustomed to these new ingredients. 

For those with oily skin, beta hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid, would be your best choice. This exfoliates deeper within the pores, helping to clear out the blockages that would have otherwise led to breakouts.

How often should you be exfoliating in the winter? 

This depends on your skin type…

Once a week is enough for those with dry or sensitive skin, while those with oily skin may need to increase this. 

Make sure that you aren’t tempted to over-exfoliate either… 

This can severely damage your skin’s protective layer, leaving you with redness, dryness, inflammation, sensitivities and more. 

Adjust Your Diet

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it only makes sense that the food you eat will have a direct impact on the health and appearance of your skin.

Your body, as well as your skin, has different nutritional needs in the winter than it does in the summer, and it is important to cater to these. 

Flat lay of healthy food on table

What should you be eating in the winter? 

Try adding more of these foods into your diet: 

  • Oily fish – these are packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as vitamin D, all of which help to protect and nourish the skin during the winter 
  • Avocados – one of the best sources of vitamin E, avocados heal and protect the skin from within 
  • Sweet potatoes and winter squash – high in vitamins A and C, these vegetables help to increase skin cell regeneration and protect the skin from aging 
  • Cocoa – contains specific flavonoids and antioxidants that help to improve skin texture and increase blood flow to the skin, therefore nourishing it with more nutrients and oxygen 
  • Bell peppers – vitamin C not only boosts the immune system, which is why it is often recommended for winter colds, but it also provides potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin. While citrus fruits are great for obtaining vitamin C, bell peppers actually contain three times the amount of vitamin C as an orange, making this the vegetable to eat more of

Anything you should stay away from? 

Yes. Stay clear of alcohol, sugar and excess salt in the winter, along with any other foods that lead to dehydration. Your body needs to retain all of the moisture it can in the winter, especially if you want your skin to look radiant. 

The winter months can be tough on your skin, but there are plenty of steps that you can take to restore your skin’s natural radiance. From knowing which ingredients to use topically to understanding the best skin care techniques for the colder season, these tips will give your skin a beautifully rosy winter glow. 

Woman applying lipstick

The Beauty Of Poliosis

How we all wait for the day when our mother’s promises come true. When the features that we most wish we could be rid of become the envy of the ‘cool kids’ at school. When the thick heavy brows we spent our lifetimes trying to pluck into non- existence show up on the cover of Vogue, when the poliosis that made some a target for classroom bullies becomes an inspiration for the latest trend in hair.

What is Poliosis?
Poliosis is a condition resulting in the depigmentation of the hair. It can affect hair on the eyebrows, eyelashes, or head. It is caused by a decrease or lack of melanocytes and melanin in the hair bulbs of the affected follicles.
Poliosis may be mistaken for age- related hair graying. It can affect both men and women and is often associated with thyroid disease, chemotherapy, irradiation and malignancy.

Types of Poliosis

  • Genetic: Sometimes poliosis is inherited. White patches of hair can be present from the time of the baby’s birth and are caused by genetic issues, such as gene mutation.
  • Acquired: If poliosis is non-congenital, it may be due to a side effect of medical conditions that reveal themselves later in life.

Diagnosis
Although this disorder is not linked to any certain medical condition, it is important that it be properly diagnosed. Most healthcare professionals will do so by establishing the patient’s family history followed by a physical examination, nutritional and endocrinal surveys, a skin sample analysis, and a blood test.

Treatment
Although there is no “cure” for poliosis, there are a few preventive methods which include:

  1. Elimination of factors that lead to the formation of white patches
  2. Treating those factors.
  3. Discontinuation of the use of antibiotics
  4. Exposure to UV-B lamps
  5. The application of Ammi magus lotion or ointment
  6. Epidermal grafting on the depigmented skin under the white patch

The Beauty of Poliosis
One needs only to look at 23- year old Brianna Worthy to appreciate the beauty of poliosis. Brianna says, “I had several names, such as skunk, that kids would try to insult me with as a child. Sometimes it would bother me when I was younger, but I grew to end up really loving it in my hair and was confident that it was my own unique signature look.” And the biggest perk? Brianna’s daughter will carry on the legacy. Millianna was born with her own white streak making the mother-daughter duo one of the cutest teams ever seen.

Let us know your stand on poliosis! To dye or not to dye? Let us know!

Woman meditating on grass

Meditate For Clear Skin

If you put on the T.V. these days, it is hard not to see Ellen Degeneres. If you miss her daytime talk show, you can always catch her doing Oil Of Olay commercials, showing off her age-defying skin, or in her Amex commercial, meditating over a pair of socks that she was charged for twice. From these two examples, it becomes clear that Ellen DeGeneres is known for two things, good skin and meditation. Did you ever think these two things might be related?

Meditation, Stress and Your Skin
You’ve heard it a million times, stress is not doing you, or your skin any favors, but how do you avoid stress? While that may be impossible, there are ways to lessen it. Meditation anyone?

Dr. Jeannette Graf, MD and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center says, “Meditation is great for everything. There’s nothing like it. For starters, it settles you so you’re in a state of deep relaxation and you’re breathing. Meditation helps every single cell in the body, and it helps your skin.” Graf explains that deep breathing adds oxygen to skin which is, “the key to help boost the actions of the cells to act normally and with great health.” She goes on to sing the praises of meditation, mentioning its positive effects on blood pressure, body, and mind.

Meditation Lessens Negativity
The popularity of meditation has grown exponentially in the past 30 years. Research from the University of Sheffield found that relaxation sessions, meditation and cognitive behavior therapy can benefit people suffering from eczema. psoriasis, acne, and vitiglio. In one such study, individuals suffering from psoriasis were asked to listen to meditation tapes while receiving UV light treatments. They were found to have healed four times faster than non-meditators. It was determined that this was caused by meditation’s ability to reduce the stress that initially caused psoriasis and helped to trigger the body’s ability to repair itself. Meditation can reduce wrinkles and slow the aging process, brightening you skin’s complexion. It will also help you feel younger by relieving tension related ulcers, headaches, muscle aches, and joint problems.

How Do You Start?
Good skin? You’re in! Meditating can be done anywhere at anytime. Just focus your mind and center your breathing. Try to clear your mind and concentrate on each breath as you inhale and exhale, excluding other thoughts. You don’t even need a quiet room, candle, or a lot of time. Graf enthuses, ‘First of all, a yoga class is a moving meditation, so find a yoga class nearby and pop in. Yoga is amazing for your skin. If you’d rather practice privately, you can buy guided meditation on iTunes and listen anywhere.

Are you a good skin guru? If you are, we want to know your secrets. Tell us what meditation has done for your skin. We love to hear from you.

Woman looking in mirror

Is There An Upside To Acne?

It is arguable that yearbooks may, in actuality, be a compilation of photos documenting case studies on acne. After all, how many teens can sincerely claim to have been lucky enough to have taken a yearbook photo on a breakout-free day or, for that matter, how many teens can actually claim to have attended high school on a breakout free day? Unfortunately, it seems that the graduation, intended to be a celebration of a coming of age, is more often a woeful testimonial to a less than perfect adolescence. Do any high schools offer photoshop on student’s yearbook photos? Please feel free to weigh in.

Anyway, if you are one of the unfortunate students whose yearbook was marred with acne, take heart. When reunion time comes around, you will exact revenge! New British research reveals that those afflicted with acne may have an edge when it comes to aging.

What’s Behind It?
Telomeres are caps on the end of chromosomes which protect DNA from damages. As we age, the telomeres gradually become shorter and eventually die. As a result, people with long table-mores remain biologically younger than their peers of the same age. A King’s College study of adolescent twins, one-quarter of whom were acne sufferers, found that the telomeres of the acne afflicted were notably longer. Yet another study examining skin samples showed that the gene cluster responsible for cell death was showed less activity in the acne prone.

New Findings
If these revelations do not seem completely new to you, it is not surprising. Dermatologists have noted correlations between slow aging and pimples for quite a while, however, the deficit of wrinkles was always thought to be related to the excess production of oil. The connection to longer telomeres is a newer revelation. Says lead researcher Dr. Simone Ribero, “Our findings suggest that the cause could be linked to the length of the mores which appears to be different in acne sufferers and means their cells may be protected against aging.” Adds co- author Dr. Veronique Bataille, Longer telomeres are likely to be the one factor explaining the protection against premature aging in individuals who previously suffered from acne.”

Moles
Other research from King’s College, reported in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology,shows that people with a lot of moles may also fare better in their later years. Maybe that explains the eternal youth of Cindy Crawford. Longer telomeres are also associated with stronger bones and less frailty in old age. In parting, all of you who are doomed to a damning yearbook pic, listen to the wise words of Dr. Veronique Bataille who assures that you are going to look, “fantastic in their 40’s and 50’s.” and, “It’s nice to know there’s a positive aspect to having acne.” Knock ’em dead at the reunion!

We’d love to hear from you on this. Do you have a reunion revenge story or know anything about the possibility of photoshopping a yearbook photo? Curious minds want to know.

Woman with healthy skin in the fall

Tips For "Fall Proof" Skin

“To everything there is a season” and to every season there is a new skin regimen. In the summer, we sun proof, in the winter, we moisturize, and in the fall? What do we do in the fall? If you got questions, we got answers.

Fall is rough on the skin because it is a time of transition. Not only is the drying weather a problem, but new routines and busier schedules put our complexions under stress. Our skin is subject to imbalances such as, flakiness, and eczema breakouts and dryness. Here are some ways to prepare and keep your skin beautiful in this season of change.

1. Buy A Humidifier
One of the the reasons autumn is so dehydrating is drop in the humidity level. Dryness leads to inflammation, which is why rosacea and eczema are so prevalent in the fall months. The solution? Bring the humidity back with a humidifier. Use humidifiers to boost the moisture level in the home or office and increase hydration. It may also reduce redness and increase comfort levels.

2. Slather On The Oil
Nourish dry skin with some natural oil. Not only does oil help to maintain the skin’s elasticity, it decreases trans-epidermal water-loss. Worried about worsening acne? Don’t be. Lubricating skin loosens dry, pore- clogging sebum and helps to bring balance to acne prone skin. It is important that when choosing an oil, you aim for one with natural ingredients; mineral oil will not absorb as well. Your best options are olive, jojoba, and coconut oil.

3. Hydrate
Moisturize from the inside as well as the outside. Hydration includes the increased consumption of foods like moisture-rich fruits, leafy greens, and healthy fats. Soups and stews are great for you and great for the season. Avoid dehydrating dry meats, alcohol, starches, and caffeine.

4. Feel The Peel
Exfoliate! It gets rid of dead skin and clears pores allowing the skin to absorb oils and moisturizing elements to replenish skin and prevent dry skin patches form appearing. Peeling is also crucial for circulation and keeps skin looking young. While you may choose to use an intense scrub on your body, you may want to use a gentler product on the face.

5. Stimulate Circulation
Cold weather constricts the blood vessels making for dull looking skin. Strong blood flow transports waste from our skin cells while delivering oxygen, keeping skin healthy and bright. Use skincare with ingredients such as lemon, oil, Vitamin C, ginseng, and ginger. These will help to restore color, improve circulation and increase collagen for anti aging.

6. Nurture Your Skin
Pamper yourself with a facial. The pore extracting elements will help to purify skin and the massage portion with boost blood flow and brightness. Masking treatments can be tailored to your beauty needs and aid in stress relief.

If you have any fall skin tips, please share. We welcome your insight!

Woman touching her neck

Problems Only People With Sensitive Skin Understand

“You’re too sensitive.” Whom among us has not heard or used this phrase once in their lives? “Too sensitive” is usually used to imply that someone is weak or overly emotional. But, really, what is wrong with being sensitive? Should there be shame in the expression of true feelings? ” No! ” comes the resounding reply. Since when are deep feelings a sign of inferiority? Quite the reverse! Sensitive people are just more emotionally attuned and compassionate.
The same is true of sensitive skin. You may have been told that your skin is “too sensitive” or overly sensitive. Well, know that there is nothing wrong with that. It just means your skin expresses its feelings more easily than other people’s. If you have sensitive skin, it doesn’t mean that your skin is inferior, it is simply discerning. For those of you whose skin is a little less susceptible to irritants, here are some things you may never have to deal with. Please be empathetic.

  1. Doing Patch Tests: Every time someone with sensitive skin is trying out a new product, it needs to be tested on the jawline and slowly spread out, provided no visible negative reactions occur.
  2. Being Unable to Purchase Products with Fragrance: Even though a product may say “for sensitive skin,” including fragrances will lend lie to that phrase. The unaware and sensitive skinned may be in for a nasty surprise.
  3. Not Being Able To Get a Casual Facial: Although, a pleasurable pampering for most of us, facials can be a surefire inflammation trap for the overly sensitive. Many dangers may lie behind every touch and every new product.
  4. Knowing That You’ve Woken Up With A New Breakout Before You See it: You don’t have to see it any more to know its there. You’ve put something on your face at some time and now you’re feeling the burn. You dread the mirror.
  5. Explaining Why Your Face is So Red: Just because your skin is sensitive, it doesn’t mean your feeling aren’t. You would think people would be a little more polite and keep the questions about the “sunburn” to themselves.
  6. Having to Avoid Getting Your Face Wet: Water? Et tu, Brute?
  7. All The Cool Kids Are Using A New Product: Everybody’s trying the new peel and why should you be left out? It’s just not fair.
  8. Unavoidable Red Cheeks: Even if your product does wonders for most of your face, your cheeks tell a different story.
  9. Not Being Able To Cover Redness with Foundation: It’s usually a no brainer. Your face breaks out, you reach for foundation. Not you. Foundation only irritates your face more.
  10. Buying Something New and Having to Throw It In the Bill: You shell out the 20 odd dollars for the new “sensitive skin” product, only to wake up realizing that your face looks and feels like its on fire.

It’s not fair. For those of you with sensitive skin, we feel your pain. If you have sensitive skin and think your voice has not been recognized, we would love to hear from you. You are not alone.

Woman measuring circumference of thighs

Causes Of Inner Thigh Skin Sag

Did she so it or didn’t she? Did Beyonce, the woman who only needs one name, photoshop her world famous legs to create the image of a thigh gap? We can all agree that Beyonce is flawless, so why is she so concerned with creating the illusion of thinner thighs?
A survey commissioned by REAL Magazine found that , of the body parts that cause the most dissatisfaction to women, 91% of women named their hips and thighs.
Inner thighs are a cause of consternation for many, mainly because inner thigh muscles can be very difficult to target with exercise. Overweight women may find loose skin forming in this area. Muscle targeting can be helpful, but it often does not completely solve the problem.

Identifying Loose Skin
If you have loose skin on your thighs, you probably don’t need any help identifying it, nor do you want to help anyone else identify it. However, for those of you who may be new to it, saggy thighs are often characterized by drooping skin that hangs lax from the muscle without tone. It is often wrinkly and may have cellulite and is common in those who have had a recent dramatic weight loss.

Causes
When obesity occurs, skin expands to accommodate the excess fat. When weight loss occurs, the added skin remains and will only increase the amount of weight lost. Sagging thighs can also develop from a general lack of physical activity or age. Excessive sun exposure can also break down collagen in the legs, causing the skin to sag.

Exercise
One option for tightening up skin is exercise, but, if you are targeting your thighs, you may want to concentrate your efforts on the thigh muscles. Running may work, as may standing leg lifts, squats, and side lunges. If you are familiar with pilates, the side split may also be helpful.

Creams And Lotions
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and alpha-hydroxy acids are known for their ability to firm skin. Coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter are known for their moisturizing properties. Using creams and lotions with these ingredients along with regular exercise may help to give your thighs a tighter appearance.

Non-Surgical Methods
Radio frequency is a nonsurgical option which has been compared to a microwave by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery(ASAPS). It heats the skin to a point at which firming occurs. Pulsed light treatments are another option and work in a similar way, converting light to heat.

Surgical Methods
If you are considering a surgical solution, a lower body lift will remove loose skin and fat tissue , and, according to the ASAPS allows the “remaining tissue to stretch and smooth around the lower body, especially the buttocks and thighs.” Thin scars may result, but can be hidden by clothes or covered with concealer.

If you are considering surgical or nonsurgical methods, remember to consult a dermatologist first, and, if none of these options float your boat, there’s always loose clothes and photoshop!

Woman sneezing into white napkin

Environmental Allergies and Dark Eye Circles

Are the dark circles under your eyes getting you down? Well, hear this! It seems that there is a whole army of people with dark circles under their eyes who wear these features as badges of honor. Dark circle mantras include,”Those dark circles under my eyes are not from being tired, they’re from being awesome.” Benicio Del Toro defends his dark circles by saying, “Before I was ever in high school, I had dark circles under my eyes. I have dark circles under my eyes, deal with it.”

But if you don’t feel ready to bin your concealer, here are some facts that may be helpful. Dark circles under the eyes can usually be attributed to exhaustion, age, or illness. But those dark circles can also be a product of environmental allergies and can be fought accordingly.

Seasonal Allergies
Allergies, like hay fever, cosmetic allergies, food allergies and allergies from the workplace are all likely to cause dark circles. The blood vessels under the eyes to swell and rub the thin skin of the eyes, resulting in a darker color. Blocked nasal passages can also contribute to the formation of dark circles as the veins connecting the nose and eyes become dilated and dark. In the winter season, pollen from certain flowers can cause allergies which create dark circles.

Environmental Allergies
Environmental allergens include dust, mildew, mold and smoke. Pet dander can also cause allergies which lead to dark circles. Environmental allergies can lead to congestion which accelerates blood flow to the nose. Because of the delicate texture of the skin under the eyes, the excess blood flow creates a purplish color and makes the blood vessels around the eyes larger, creating a drier hue. Add to that the fact that allergy sufferers suffer adrenal fatigue and don’t sleep properly.

Food Allergies
Although the way foods affect allergy sufferers differ from person to person, the most common culprits are peas, chocolate, citrus, mustard, peanuts, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Foods with high sodium and potassium contact can also lead to dark circles.

Remedies for Dark Circles

  • Eye Cream: A topical cream containing ingredients like Vitamin A, cucumber extract or green tea extract can be effective on dark circles.
  • Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress on the eyes can reduce the appearance of dark circles by reducing inflammation, Place them on the eyes for about 15 minutes to affect a change.
  • Cucumber slices: Cucumbers are known to have natural bleaching properties and their pulp contains and solution that reduces skin swelling and restores texture. Apply cold slices to eyes for about 10 minutes and rinse with cold water. Potato slices and moist chamomile tea bags can also be effective.
  • Medication: While seasonal allergies can usually be effectively treated with OTC meds, allergy sufferers are also known to be deficient in folic acid, B6 and B12. Multivitamins can help to restore levels of these vitamins to the system.
Woman playing golf

Round the Year Skincare for Golfers

Let’s review the facts.

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

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

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

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

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

Woman playing golf

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

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

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

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

Carefree woman lying on grass

What to Wear During a Heatwave

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

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

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

Woman wearing a pink top and shorts

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

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

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