• LEARN HOW TO

    EAT WELL

    Explore expert nutrition advice.

    READ MORE
  • LEARN HOW TO

    LIVE WELL

    Discover healthy lifestyle tips.

    READ MORE
  • LEARN HOW TO

    LOOK WELL

    Uncover secrets to a better appearance.

    READ MORE

LOOK WELL

Three panels of woman's aging process

A Decade of Changes

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

What happens to your skin at 40?

What is your body doing?

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

How does your skin reflect this?

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

What can you do?

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

Woman applying serum

What happens to your skin at 50? 

What is your body doing?

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

How does your skin reflect this?

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

What can you do?

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

What happens to your skin at 60? 

What is your body doing?

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

How does your skin reflect this?

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

What can you do?

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

Maintaining a Healthy Smile

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

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

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

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

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

Woman sleeping

Tips for Clearing Skin Overnight

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

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

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

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

Woman moisturizing feet

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

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

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

Red sneakers

Best Shoes For Everyday Use

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

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

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

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

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

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

Woman with exfoliative keratolysis

Exfoliative Keratolysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Woman using aloe vera to sooth sunburn

Soothing Sunburned Backs and Shoulders

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

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

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

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

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

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

Woman buying cosmetics from a store

Changing Up your Skincare Products

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

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

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

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

Woman measuring waist with tape measure

Pre-Wedding Weight Loss Tips

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

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

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

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

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

Cardio

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

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

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

Woman applying sunscreen

SPF 30 vs SPF 50

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

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

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

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

Resveralife-spf-30-vs-spf-50-spf-50-spf50

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

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

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

Lady applying sunscreen while hiking in the canyons

Using "Natural" Sunscreens

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

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

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

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

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

resveralife-using-natural-sunscreen-organic-sunscreen

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

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

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

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

Page 3 of 812345...Last »