Woman touching face in front of mirror

Jojoba Oil is Biocompatible with the Skin

There are only a handful of ingredients out there that are genuinely suitable for all skin types, and jojoba oil is one of these.

What makes this ingredient so great?

The fact that jojoba oil is biocompatible with the skin, meaning that the skin readily accepts it and puts it to good use.

What is Jojoba Oil? 

Jojoba oil is extracted from the seed of the jojoba plant – a shrub that is native to certain parts of southern USA and Mexico. Around 50% of the seed contains the oil, which looks like a thick golden liquid when it is pure, with a subtle nutty scent to it.

Although this liquid is referred to as an oil, it is technically a wax, making it even softer than a normal oil.

Unlike many of the other oils out there, from almond to safflower to squalene, jojoba oil is quite stable when it comes to resisting oxidation, making this a fantastic oil to incorporate into skin care products when you need them to have a longer shelf life.

Wondering what else the oil is used for?

Since the jojoba plant itself is quite slow and difficult to grow, jojoba oil is only really used for small-scale purposes.

Historically, it has been used by Native Americans to treat skin wounds and other similar conditions, and is now also currently being explored as an alternative sustainable fuel source.

The Biocompatibility of Jojoba Oil

So, what exactly does it mean when an ingredient is said to be biocompatible with the skin?

It basically means that the molecular structure of jojoba oil, along with the natural fats within it, are extremely similar to the oil that the skin naturally produces.

This means that, when jojoba oil is applied to the skin, the skin is tricked into thinking that this oil is actually its own sebum. This results in the skin absorbing much more of it, and at a much faster rate, than other ingredients.  

Jojoba is the only plant out there that creates an oil that is so similar to the skin’s natural sebum, making this ingredient rather special.

If you have oily skin, you are probably thinking…

Why would I want to be putting even more oil on my skin?

The idea of applying oil to oily skin may seem counter-intuitive at first, but hold on….

When you apply the oil and trick your skin into thinking that the oil is its own sebum, this then causes the skin to cut back on the amount of actual sebum that it is producing.

Intrigued?

Keep reading…

A Fantastic Anti-Acne Ingredient

Oily skin is also usually prone to breakouts. This is due to the excess oil settling in within the pores and mixing together with dead skin cells, dirt and other impurities. This then forms a clog, blocking up the entrance to the pores and resulting in inflammation, which manifests as a breakout.

Well, as mentioned above, jojoba oil quickly helps to rebalance the amount of sebum that your skin produces, leaving your skin significantly less oily.

Worried that the jojoba oil itself will clog your pores up?

Jojoba oil is noncomedogenic, meaning that it is unlikely to lead to clogged pores on its own.

There are a few other ways in which jojoba oil can help to treat and prevent acne too:

  • Antibacterial – the oil’s antibacterial qualities mean that it is able to destroy the acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin, preventing it from triggering a breakout. Don’t worry, research has shown that jojoba oil leaves all of the good bacteria alone, targeting just the bad ones instead
  • Anti-inflammatory – jojoba oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe irritated skin. Since acne is largely caused by inflammation, this goes a long way in preventing breakouts
  • Cleansing – many people don’t realize that jojoba oil boasts cleansing properties too. It is able to dissolve away any sebum that has been deposited within the pores, clearing the pores out and preventing blockages. This is all down to the fact that it can penetrate so deeply into the skin’s layers, thanks to its biocompatibility

How do you cleanse with jojoba oil?

Good question! Lots of skin and body products are infused with jojoba oil to enhance the cleansing properties, so all that sebum and clogged pores can be effectively and gently removed.

Are soaps infused with jojoba oil effective?

Resveralife soaps

These are soaps used for the skin on the body, and can be highly effective as an anti-acne measure, especially if you struggle with body acne. Resveralife recommends the Coco N’ Oats Soap and the Hemp Soap if you are looking for a swift, effective cleanse.

An Effective Sunscreen

Moisturizers are designed to support the skin’s protective barrier, enabling it to do its job better.

What does the skin’s barrier actually do?

It has two main responsibilities:

  • Keeping moisture in the skin by preventing it from evaporating
  • Blocking dirt, impurities and more from entering into the skin

Infographic on skin barrier function

Wondering why you need a moisturizer if your skin already does that on its own?

Because your skin’s outer protective layer is quite fragile and susceptible to damage. There are so many different factors out there that cause harm to this layer, from sun exposure and wind to pollution and certain cosmetic ingredients.

This then means that this protective barrier will not function as well as it should, resulting in everything from dryness to breakouts to other blemishes.

How does jojoba oil help with all of this?

Due to the fact that it is a waxy oil, jojoba oil forms its own protective layer over the surface of the skin. This enables it to perform both of the roles mentioned above, therefore effectively moisturizing the skin.

Helps to Treat Inflammatory Skin Conditions

The way in which jojoba oil can help to treat acne has already discussed, but there are other inflammatory skin conditions that this oil can be used for too…

Eczema and psoriasis are perfect examples of this.

Both of these skin conditions produce dry, itchy and sensitive areas on the skin, with those patches being highly susceptible to infections.

How does jojoba oil help?

Well, the way in which it forms a protective moisturizing layer over the surface of the skin helps with both the dryness as well as with preventing infections.

The oil also boasts antibacterial and antifungal properties. This means that the oil destroys any harmful bacteria and fungus it comes across, keeping infections at bay.

The oil’s anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe irritated skin, reducing inflammation enough for the skin to start healing.

Those who suffer from eczema and psoriasis also commonly deal with open skin wounds.

Again, jojoba oil can help with this too…

It is highly effective at speeding up wound healing. Research shows that, when the oil is applied to a wound, the skin cells in that area bind together so much more effectively, enabling them to heal faster and better. 

A Powerful Anti-Aging Ingredient 

Looking for a new ingredient to add to your anti-aging arsenal?

Jojoba oil may be just the thing…

A powerful anti-aging ingredient needs to be a good source of antioxidants.

Why?

Because each and every day, free radicals are created in the body. These are unstable molecules that are formed due to everything from exposure to the sun or pollution to exposure to certain chemicals or cosmetic ingredients.

What do these free radicals do?

They attack the cells and tissues that surround them, causing serious cumulative damage that then ends up permanently harming the DNA within your cells. Free radicals are responsible for everything from accelerated wrinkles to dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Wondering how you can stop free radicals from causing all of this damage?

With the use of antioxidants!

Antioxidants are pretty much the only thing that can neutralize free radicals. They turn them back into healthy molecules, where they can then function to support the skin, rather than attack it.

Jojoba oil contains quite a few different antioxidants, and in addition to neutralizing the free radicals in the body, they bring with them several other benefits too: 

  • Vitamin A – a powerful antioxidant that also stimulates skin cell turnover and provides the skin with a mild exfoliating effect. Vitamin A is one of the best anti-aging vitamins out there
  • Vitamin E – known for its healing properties, vitamin E is extremely effective at keeping the skin moisturized
  • Phenolic Compounds – protects the collagen and elastin in the skin, preventing them from being broken down

Speaking of collagen and elastin…

These two proteins are so important when it comes to the health and appearance of your skin. They are key components of your skin’s structure, giving your skin its firmness, smoothness and elasticity.

Both collagen and elastin are naturally produced by the skin, with the skin creating an abundance of this when it is young. However, as you progress through life, the amount of collagen and elastin that the skin produces decreases quite significantly. This is why fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin are such common symptoms of aging.

Infographic on collagen in the skin

Free radicals damage the collagen and elastin in the skin, so by making use of the antioxidants within jojoba oil, you are already taking steps when it comes to protecting these vital proteins.

However, jojoba oil can help with your collagen and elastin in other ways too…

Thanks to its many powerful antioxidants, jojoba oil is able to stimulate the skin’s production of collagen and elastin, speeding this back up. This is one of the most effective ways to tackle the visible signs of aging, as there aren’t really any topical ingredients out there that can match the effects that your skin’s own collagen and elastin have.

Using Jojoba Oil on Your Skin

Convinced that your skin would be able to benefit from the powers of jojoba oil?

You have a few different options when it comes to using this ingredient…

The easiest way is by purchasing skin care products that already contain jojoba oil in their formulas.

Fortunately, there are several of these to choose from, ranging from serums to moisturizers to oils. All of these are quite effective, so long as they contain a high quality source of jojoba oil.

Jojoba oil

How do you know if the jojoba oil in a product is high quality?

Ideally, it should be cold-pressed. This means that it has been extracted with minimal use of heat, which then preserves all of the skin-boosting compounds within the oil. An organic oil would be even more beneficial, as this ensures that the oil contains the minimum amount of toxins.

Wondering if jojoba oil can be used pure on the skin?

Unlike many of the natural essential oils out there that cannot be used on the skin, it is safe for pure jojoba oil to be applied to the skin.

The oil can also be used as a carrier oil for other essential oils, meaning that you can dilute other pure oils with jojoba oil to create your own unique formula.

Does Jojoba Oil Have Any Side Effects? 

Jojoba oil is a hypoallergenic ingredient, meaning that it is safe to be used topically by all skin types, with little chance of it causing a negative reaction. It is even safe to be used around the eyes, which is why this ingredient is so popular when it comes to oil-based eye makeup removers.

Of course, there are always exceptions, and the possible side effects you might experience from using jojoba oil on your skin are:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Hives

Fortunately, these side effects are very rare, with most people able to use the ingredient without any problems at all.

However, if your skin is particularly sensitive with new ingredients, you would be best off performing a patch test first before using jojoba oil on your skin.

What is a patch test?

It simply requires you to apply a small amount of the product onto your inner arm, before waiting for 24 to 48 hours. If, after this time, there is no sign of any irritations or reactions, then that means that you are safe to continue using the product.

Jojoba oil really is such a universal ingredient, which sets it apart from many of the other ingredients that are commonly used in skin care. No matter your skin type or the skin concerns you may be dealing with, it is likely that jojoba oil would be able to benefit your skin in some way, making this an ingredient worth incorporating into your daily skin care routine.

Potential Causes Of Aging

Remember the Sure Antiperspirant commercials: ” Confident, dry, and secure, raise your hand if you’re sure.” It seems the antiperspirant campaigns of old were aimed at promoting deodorants as something we could depend upon; our best friends in a potentially sticky situation. Oh, antiperspirant, how thou dost betray us! Now it seems we can’t turn on the computer without seeing or hearing a piece of news containing information about the unhealthful effects of our deodorizing friend. Antiperspirant has been linked with everything from causing cancer to Alzheimer’s Disease to kidney failure. But how much of this is true? Let’s take a look at how much of this antiperspirant scare is “fake news.”

The Heart of The Fear
At the heart of the antiperspirant, fears lie aluminum. The active ingredient in antiperspirant is an aluminum-based compound that plugs sweat ducts and prevents perspiration.This, coupled with deodorant, which, as the name suggests, prevents unpleasant odor, along with a few inactive ingredients constitute your typical antiperspirant.

Antiperspirants and Cancer
Links between antiperspirants and breast cancer are built on a theory that because antiperspirants are applied to the armpit, adjacent to the area at which most breast cancers develop, the chemicals, namely aluminum, can be absorbed into the skin, especially if there is an open cut from shaving. The theory suggests that the chemicals will interact with DNA or interfere with estrogen activity, influencing the growth of breast cancer cells.

Experts say the claims have little or no support. According to Ted S. Gansler, MD, and director of medical content for the American Cancer Society, “There is no convincing evidence that antiperspirant or deodorant use increases cancer risk.” He suggests the studies were flawed, and though a few found that chemicals from antiperspirant may have been detected in breast tissue, there was no proof that these had any bearing on cancer risk. In fact, a trusted survey comparing breast cancer survivors with healthy women found no association between antiperspirants and risk of cancer.

Antiperspirants and Alzheimer’s
When a study done in the 1960’s found that people with Alzheimer’s Disease had high levels of aluminum in their brains, the health risk of many houses hold items, antiperspirant included were called into question. However, because these results could not be replicated in later studies, experts have ruled out a relationship between aluminum and Alzheimers. Heather M. Snyder, Ph.D., senior associate director of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer’s Association says, “There was a lot of research that looked at the link between Alzheimer’s and aluminum, and there hasn’t been any definitive evidence to suggest there is a link.”

Antiperspirants and Kidney Failure
The concerns about the effect of antiperspirants on the kidneys began when dialysis patients were prescribed aluminum hydroxide to control phosphorous level in their blood. Because of poor kidney function, their bodies were unable to remove the aluminum quickly enough and it began to accumulate. Scientist found that the patients with the high aluminum levels were more likely to develop dementia.
These finding resulted in an FDA requirement for antiperspirant levels to carry a warning against the use of antiperspirants by those who have kidney diseases. However, these warnings are directed at people with kidney function of 30% or less. Says nephrologist and spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation, it’s almost impossible for the skin to absorb enough aluminum to harm the body, “unless you eat your stick or spray it in your mouth.”

Bottom Line
It seems that most professionals agree that, while we would like to find an easy explanation for diseases like breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, antiperspirants are not the solution. Snyder adds, “Part of the reason that the discussion about aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease continues to be a topic is Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease, and people want to know why their relative has this disease, and they want an easy answer.” Maybe antiperspirants are still our friends.

What do you think? Antiperspirant, friend or foe? Let us know your comments and thoughts!

Young woman drinking orange juice

Try Vitamins To Stave Off Surgery

Plastic surgery. It seems more and more as if “Wow, how does she/he do it?” has given way to, “Where do you get your work done? However, even with the most unlikely suspects are taking the,” If you can’t beat ’em join ’em” attitude to going under the knife,” there are still a few downsides to plastic surgery: the expense, the permanent looks of surprise, the difficulty emoting, the batches- it seems safe to say there may still be a few reasons to hesitate. However, fortunately, there are some less drastic alternatives. If you’re one of the few determined to keep it real, here are some vitamins that may help you stave off aging naturally.

Vitamin C
That morning glass of OJ may be doing more than helping your immune system. Vitamin C is also great for collagen production and protection against sun damage. You can find it primarily in bell peppers, strawberries, guava, broccoli and citrus fruits. Try to get 100mgs of vitamin C daily, and if you’re looking for the fastest way to do that, Bell peppers are your best bets. The veggies contain 280 mg of the stuff, while oranges only contain 90.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is well known for its skin friendliness. A faithful guardian of the skin’s barrier, vitamin E protects the cell membrane, keeping harmful elements out while preventing helpful ones from leaving. It also works well with vitamin C. The two together make an excellent team for preventing UV damage. Vitamin E can be found in oatmeal, wheatgerm, nuts, seeds, and avocado.

woman with healthy food in the kitchen

Omega -3
Omega -3 is the vitamin that redefined the word “fat” This healthy fat keeps the skin hydrated and helps strengthen the cell membrane, keeping toxins out and protecting against sun damage. Omega-3 can be found in ground flax seeds, fatty fish, and walnuts. The best way to get your Omega -3 is by eating 3 to 5 ounces of fish 3 to 5 times weekly, or if fish isn’t your thing, you can get it in a fish oil supplement, but check with your doctor first, as these supplements have been known to cause the blood to thin.

Selenium
Selenium is a vitamin that maintains skin’s integrity and elasticity while protecting it from the sun. You can get selenium is seafood, wheat germ, and eggs. While you don’t really need a set amount each day, it’s a good idea to try and get some of this food into your diet.

Polyphenols
Drink a cup of green tea a day to get your polyphenols in. They have anti-aging benefits and have been shown in studies to exhibit properties which reduce the risk of sun-related cancers.

Beta Carotene
You might know beta carotene as that stuff that makes fruit orange. It does, and it’s also found in a lot of dark green produce. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A, which is crucial for cell repair and growth. In case you’re colorblind, or otherwise incapable of recognizing orange and green fruits and veggies, here are a few for you; carrots, cantaloupe, swiss chard, pumpkins, kale, and spinach are all teeming with beta carotene. Try and get two servings a day of one of these.

What vitamins are you taking to keep your skin healthy the natural way? Let us know!

Fresh potatoes on table

The Health Benefits of Potatoes

So you go to your favorite juice joint and order your lunchtime smoothie? What do you put in it? Almond milk, coconut milk, carrot juice, ginger? What about potato juice? “Potato juice,” you say, “is that even a thing?” And if it is, do you want it? After all, aren’t potatoes full of starch and carbohydrates? Last you heard, the only thing potatoes were good for is making fries, chips, and vodka. Well, prepare to have your mind blown!

Potato juice has a long history of being used as a remedy for everything from skin disorders to inflammation to cancer and is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients. Have a look at the endless benefits for yourself.

For Your Skin

Dark Circles
If dark circles under the eyes are one of your pet peeves, here’s potato juice to the rescue. Just soak some cotton balls in spud juice and place them under your eyes before you go to sleep. In a week, the dark circles should be things of the past.

Anti-Aging
Applying a face mask made with potato juice and curd is a great way to reduce fine lines and hydrate skin. Mix potato juice with olive oil to help eliminate dark circles and crow’s feet.

Blemishes
The anti-inflammatory properties in potato juice is an effective acne treatment. Apply directly to blemishes for best results.

Angular Cheilitis and Eczema
Angular cheilitis is a skin disorder which causes swelling and redness of the corners of the mouth. Potato juice is an anti-inflammatory that can help tone down lesions when applied to the affected area. Potato juice also contains vitamin B complex which can prevent vitamin B deficiency associated with this condition. Drinking potato juice can also be used to treat eczema, another common skin disorder.

For Your Hair

Hair Loss
If you want to speed up hair growth, mix potato juice with egg white and honey. Apply to hair and let it sit for two hours before rinsing with a mild shampoo and water.

Dry Hair
A combination of aloe vera and potato juice can restore the moisture to dry, fly-away hair.

Grey Hair
Use potato juice to rinse shampoo from your hair instead of water to darken gray hair and give it a radiant glow.

For Your Health

Detox
Another benefit of spud juice is its ability to flush toxins from the body. Toxin overload can break down the immune system. Drinking potato juice can ward off health problems caused by bacterial and fungal infection by detoxifying and boosting immune resistance.

Joint Pain and Arthritis
Potato juice’s ability to perform as an anti-inflammatory makes it a great remedy for gout, back pain, joint pain, and arthritis. Drink it before breakfast in the morning for optimal effect.

Weight Loss
Drink it twice daily to help you slim down–once in the morning on an empty stomach and again two or three hours before you hit the hay.

Digestion
Drink potato juice on a regular basis to improve digestion and thwart constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and indigestion. It is also known to have positive effects for those who suffer from GERD and can be used to treat peptic ulcers when combined with carrot juice.

What do you know about potato juice? Let us know how you get the most out of your spuds!

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!

Portrait of woman

Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

We owe so much to the eyes; they are our vision, our mirror to the soul, the place we apply some of our best makeup, and the inspiration for some of the best songs ever. After all, if not for eyes, would Van Morrison ever had written “Brown Eyed Girl?’ Would Kim Carnes ever have sung about Betty Davis’ peepers? Would Billy Idol have crooned over, “Eyes Without A Face?” And, perhaps most distressing to consider, wherever would we be if Survivor had never written, “Eye of the Tiger?”

Because our eyes are so inspirational and so useful at the same time, many of us would agree that we need to take special care in maintaining them. Let’s look at some of the ways in which we can keep out eyes healthy.

1. Foods For Healthy Vision
Maybe we should call this section ‘see food.’ (joke) When it comes to protecting the eyes, nutrients like lutein, zinc, Vitamins C and e and omega-3 fatty acids are at the top of the list for avoiding vision problems related to age, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Next time you’re at the supermarket, load up on oily fish, like salmon and tuna, meatless proteins like nuts, beans,and eggs, citrus fruits, oysters, pork and leafy greens.

2. No Smoking
Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and damage to the optic nerve. Don’t quit trying to quit. The more attempts you make, the higher your likelihood of success.

3. Sunglasses
Keep rocking’ those shades. They look great and they block UV rays which can make you a candidate for cataracts and macular degeneration. Look for a pair that blocks 99-100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparounds (favored by Jon Bon Jovi, circa 1990) will also shade your peripheral vision and polarized lenses reduce sun glare when driving.

4. Turn Off The Computer
While the Siren’s call of social media may be hard to resist, staring at computer screens for extended amounts of time can cause blurry vision, trouble focusing, eyestrain, headaches, dry eyes and neck, shoulder and back pain. If you wear glasses or protective lenses, make sure your prescription is not out of date and effective for computer use. You may need a special prescription to help with glare, eye strain and contrast.
For the least amount of eye discomfort, make sure your computer is positioned so that the top of your monitor is at level with your eyes, allowing your to look slightly down at the screen. Avoid glare on your screen from windows and lights and invest in an anti-glare screen if needed.

5. Visit The Eye Doctor
When it comes to eye care, this is the man. Eye exams can provide early detection of eye diseases like glaucoma, which has no symptoms. Vision tests can also test for nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism and age-related vision changes, or presbyopia. Make sure to talk about medical history and mention anything you think may be worrying or relevant.

Family Playing On Sofa At Home

The Power Of Family And Anti-Aging

You come home after a long day. Your daughter has just broken her brother’s gaming console and she is threatening to smash his cell phone over his head. Your husband is asleep in your room, the dishes haven’t been done and the tv and air conditioning are both on. You collapse on the sofa, sure that your family is going to be responsible for your premature death and possible loss of sanity. But, according to some studies, the opposite is more likely.

Having More Children Keeps You Younger
According to a recent study done at Simon Fraser University, more children equals long telemores! Confused? Telemores are protective tips located at the end of DNA strands used in the replication of cells. The study found that the number of children a woman gives birth to is directly related to the length of the telemores, hence, the greater the length of the telemores, the greater the longevity of the cells. In short, the cells of women who bore multiple children age at a slower rate! Good news Mommies! The study leader, Pablo Nepomnashy believes that estrogen is responsible. He says, ” The slower pace of telomere shortening found in the study participants who have more children, however, may be attributed to the dramatic increase in estrogen, a hormone produced during pregnancy.”

Marriage Keeps You Younger

Heart
More good reasons to get hitched! A recent study at NYU’s Langone Medical Center found that women and men who were married had a 5% decreased chance of getting cardiovascular disease than their single peers. Doctors speculate that the emotional support offered in marriage may lead to lower blood pressure.

Mind
Robin Simon, sociology professor at Wake Forest University, says that, “hundreds of studies document a robust relationship between marriage and improved mental health.” He goes on to point out that marrieds report being less depressed and are less likely to participate in substance abuse.

Longevity
Having a family seems to be a motivating factor in living a long life. Husbands especially, fare better in the life span department than bachelors. They have a smaller chance of death by suicide and, thanks to their wife’s  attentions, are more likely to get check- ups, stop drinking, and take medications.

Here’s One (or two) For The Singles
In case reading this article has made put you in mind of “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and her descriptions of the “smug marrieds,” listen to this. Marriage isn’t all that glamorous. Married people are more likely to suffer from obesity that bachelors and bachelorettes. A study found that single people exercise more than married people and married men were 25% more likely to be overweight. Talk about, “letting yourself go!” So before you run to the altar and toss out the birth control, remember, people in bad marriages are more prone to bad heart and mental health than those in good marriages. As for the heart and mental health, exercise and eating right will keep your heart in shape and an active social life will keep you happy and balanced. Quality of life takes precedence over all.

Woman relaxing in a suana

The Health Benefits of Hot and Dry Heat

You have just finished working out at the gym and you feel like crawling home.  It must have been somewhere between the 50th and 51st set of squats when your muscles just gave out.  Your legs feel like jello.    You decide that some relief is definitely in order if you have any chance of getting to your car and driving home without  requiring medical attention.  You spot the sauna. “This is just the thing,” you think.  I will sit in here, let my muscles relax  a little and I will feel like a new person!” Then you spot the steam room.  Could this be a better option?  You try and think.  What have you heard about them?  You can’t remember which one is which and think that in your condition it may just be a matter of which one is closer.  Well, just so you are prepared for when this happens to you, here’s the breakdown.

The basic difference between saunas and steam baths is that steam baths use moist heat, while saunas offer dry heat.  Both are hot baths which stimulate blood flow, easing pain and promoting healthy metabolism.

The Heat Factor
Saunas are a good deal hotter than steam rooms with the set temperature at somewhere between 160 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and a humidity level between 5 and 30%  In other words, it’s a dry heat.  Steam rooms measure somewhere between 110 and 120 degrees but the 100% humidity will make it feel much higher.  Heat rises in both saunas and steam rooms, so the higher you sit, the hotter you will be. Wet and dry heat have a sedative effect which can provide relaxation to those suffering emotional disorder and pain relief to those suffering from a muscular injury.

The Bare Bones
Have you ever gotten on a slide in the hot weather as a child? Perhaps, then you understand why saunas are built of wood and not metal.  In addition, wood absorbs moisture, keeping surfaces cooler and pulling humidity from the air.  In steam rooms, high humidity would cause wood to deteriorate and are therefore made of tile or plastic.  They feature sloped ceilings which allow the water to run down the wall rather than drip on your head.

The Relaxation Factor
Both steam rooms and sauna reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation. They improve circulation and cause occupants to perspire, opening the pores and cleansing the skin,  The humidity of the steam rooms may be more comfortable for people suffering from allergies and congestion, whereas those with conditions that may be aggravated by humidity, like arthritis, may opt for the sauna.

The Expectoration Factor
One advantage that a steam room may have over a sauna is the expectorant effect.  Wet heat opens the sinuses throat and lungs and can loosen and clear the mucus in your nose, chest, and throat.  However, it can also aggravate asthma, which would make a sauna a better choice for asthmatics.

The Myth
You may have heard that both of these baths may remove toxins from the body and help you lose weight.  There is no evidence to support that either removes any toxic chemicals from your body and any weight loss will be temporary, resulting from water weight lost from sweating, so hanging out in the sauna or steam room will not make you svelte, which is why you still have the gym.

So which way do you stagger?  To the dry or to the wet?  The choice is yours, just pick one soon!

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.
Issues that affect aging skin

Avoid These Environmental Agers

There are all kinds of little things you can do to prevent premature aging. Follow these types to keep you skin looking younger, longer!

Take Care of Your Pores
Making sure you cleanse your skin appropriately plays a huge role in maintaining the skin’s youthful appearance. Dirt, makeup, and bacteria can clog pores and cause blackheads and uneven skin tone. It is important to cleanse your skin and remove makeup before bed. Sleeping in makeup can really add years to your skin. You should also always cleanse your skin after you work out, so sweat doesn’t sit on your skin causing it to dry out and breakout.

Woman smoking

Don’t Smoke
There are many reasons not to smoke, but if you are looking for one more to add to the list, smoking also ages your skin. Smoking causes wrinkles and dulls the skin. Dewy, bright skin is youthful looking, and smoking causes it to take on a sallow tone.

Be Careful in Dry Climates
If you live in a dry or extremely hot area, keeping your skin hydrated will help preserve its youth. Using thick night creams or overnight masks to replenish your skin overnight can help combat dryness. Looking for products with collagen and hyaluronic acid will replace what your skin losing as you age, keeping it looking young.

Woman drinking

Limit Drinking
Alcohol takes a huge toll on your skin. Drinking dehydrates your skin, and can deprive it of nutrients it needs.

Avoid Sun Damage
The sun causes age faster and more easily than any other environmental factor. It dries out your skin very quickly, and if you are at the pool or the beach, it may be several hours before you can moisturize and rehydrate. Sun spots and liver spots can also form on the face or hands, and they tend to be a dead giveaway when it comes to age. Make sure you wear sunscreen every single day- yes, even during the winter and on cloudy days. Buy a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that is non-comedogenic and non-irritating. It also doesn’t hurt to pair your moisturizer with a foundation that also has sun protection. Wearing a hat when you know you are going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time is also a good idea. Sun damage can result in wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, which can age your skin immensely. Too much sun can also cause skin cancer, so protect your skin!

Basically, you should listen to what your mother told you to protect your skin from aging. You should also be taking preventative measures in your twenties to try to maintain youthful looking skin. Using an eye cream is a great way to prevent wrinkles from forming. The thin skin around your eyes could use the extra care. Using a retinol cream can also help prevent signs of aging and keep your skin looking young. Whatever measures you take to prevent aging, don’t forget the sunscreen!

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