Archive for the ‘Tips & Tricks’ Category

Help Treat Acne with these Lifestyle Tips

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The affliction of acne can be worrisome, painful, and can affect self-esteem.  Acne has physical, psychological, and emotional consequences.  There are many tools that can be utilized to ease the condition.  Acne requires a lifestyle shift in order to aid in getting it in control.  The following are recommendations that will have a positive influence in treatment of acne.

Get more sleep:  According to a study in Sleep, the risk of psychological stress increases by 14% for every hour of sleep you lose a night. So what does this have to do with acne?

“Stress increases glucocorticoid production, which can lead to abnormalities in skin structure and function,” says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, a dermatologist in Danville, CA. And that can make conditions like acne worse.

To get your beauty sleep, crank your thermostat down to between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. French researchers found that a cooler body temperature makes it easier to fall asleep after you’ve hit the sack. (WebMD)

Change your diet: Some foods cause your blood sugar to raise quickly, triggering a boost in insulin. Too much insulin in your bloodstream can trigger changes in your body that can lead to the growth of pore-clogging cells. It can also boost action in your oil glands.

acne1So make some changes to your meals. A study in the American Journal of Nutrition suggests you may have fewer breakouts if you add more whole grains, beans, and veggies and cut back on pasta, white rice, white bread, and sugar. (WebMD)

Exercise: Exercise helps cut stress, which may contribute to acne outbreaks.

Physical activity also helps your skin by increasing your blood circulation, which sends more oxygen to your skin cells and carries away cell waste.

But keep in mind that sweat from exercise can also lead to breakouts by irritating your skin. So it’s important to shower right after a workout. (WebMD)

H2O: Increasing the amount of water you drink is a great way to flush out internal toxins and hydrate your skin from the inside out. Although there is no definitive research that shows toxins lead to breakouts.  Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that having about 2 cups of water significantly boosted blood flow throughout the body and skin. (WebMD)

Sunscreen: You may hesitate to put sunscreen on your face because you’ve noticed that after a day in the sun, your complexion looks clear and breakout-free. But the inflammation from sunburn can make your acne worse or cause more dark spots. Plus, staying out in the sun without sunscreen raises your risk of skin cancer.

Use sunscreen every time you’re in the sun. Read the ingredients list on the back of your sunscreen, and if you’re acne-prone, look for lighter chemical ingredients like avobenzone, oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, octocylene, and zinc oxide. If you have acne, look for “non-comedogenic” on the label, which means it should not clog your pores. (WebMD)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3s have been shown to control the production of leukotriene B4, a molecule that can increase sebum and cause inflammatory acne.

Omega-3s can be found in supplements or in foods like walnuts, avocados, flaxseed oil, and salmon. (WebMD)

Cleanse 2X a day: The face has more oil-producing glands than any other part of the body, says Carolyn Jacob, MD, a Chicago dermatologist. Top that with a day’s worth of makeup, sweat, smog, dust, and dirt and you’re left with a pore-clogging concoction that, if not washed away regularly, will seep into and fill pores, resulting in blackheads and pimples.

Even if you don’t shower twice a day, it’s important to wash your face thoroughly — and gently — in the morning and at night. Look for cleansers that say “non-comedogenic” on the bottle. (WebMD)

Exfoliate: Sure, overzealous oil glands can lead to breakouts, but so can underperforming oil glands. Dry skin has tiny cracks in which bacteria can breed; plus, excessive flaking can lead to clogged pores.

The fix: Gently exfoliate your skin a few times a week with a scrub designed for the face and follow up with a non-comedogenic moisturizer. (WebMD)

Clean your phone: Several studies have shown that cell phones are breeding ground for germs. Throughout any given day your phone can be exposed to thousands of bacteria, which spread from your fingers (via texting) to your face (via talking) and vice versa.

In addition, the heat produced by your phone can help bacteria to multiply. To keep the germs from landing on your face, wipe the surface of your phone with a little hand sanitizer each day. It’s best to use headphones. (WebMD)

 

 

 


5 Tips to Gorgeous Gams!

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Are you tired of shaving your legs?  Do you suffer from ingrown hair, irritation, and/or razor burn?  The following tips may help you in your journey to the perfect shave.

Exfoliate: Want a seriously close shave? Exfoliate first with a scrub. For your legs, choose a sugar scrub: it’s strong enough to get the job done, leaving skin and body hair ready for a smooth shave.

Soften your follicles: Resist the urge for a super steamy shower: keep water warm, not hot, which dries out skin. Instead of lathering up with hand soap, choose a body wash that will quench skin. Take your time—let your pores open up for a few minutes before breaking out the razor and shaving cream.

Getting a Smooth Shave: You can exfoliate, scrub, and moisturize but it will be of little consequence if you use a bad razor. Using the right razor will make all the difference. Skip the dollar store disposables and choose a razor with at least three blades… and throw it away after a few uses. How do you know it’s time for a new blade? A good razor should glide smoothly and effortlessly along your skin, especially after you’ve exfoliated and applied shaving gel. If you feel like you have to push down to get a smooth shave, it’s time for a new razor.

Prevent Ingrown hairs: Exfoliating before shaving is the first step to preventing ingrown hairs, but it might not get the job done if you’re prone to them. Cortisone cream will help treat irritation and ingrown hair that already exist. If you have sensitive skin, make it a habit to use a product specially formulated to prevent ingrown hairs right after shaving.

Moisturize: The best way to lock in moisture is to lotion up right after the shower while your skin is still damp—it’ll trap and seal in the moisture already on your skin. Next, air dry for a few minutes, letting the lotion sink in. It may feel a little slimy going on, but you’ll notice difference all day: your skin will look healthier and feel softer.


Hot Ingredient: Aloe Vera

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The use of aloe vera dates back to the ancient Egyptians.  They called the plant the “plant of immortality”.  It was presented to dead pharaohs as burial gifts. Stone carvings still exist depicting its uses. The ancient Egyptians utilized the Aloe plant to heal infections, burns, and to clear up the existence of parasites on the body.  Since those times, the use of aloe vera has expanded.  We know it’s a leading therapy for sunburns; however, the additional uses of this magnificent plant may astonish you.  Aloe vera is a cactus plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family. It grows in dry climates such as those found in parts of Africa and India and has been used medicinally for centuries. The plant can grow anywhere from several inches in height to several feet, depending on its growing environment.  Ancient Greeks, Spaniards, and Arabs applied aloe to the body to minimize the occurrence of perspiration and body odor. During the sixteenth century, aloe made its way to the West Indies and shortly thereafter arrived in the Caribbean and America. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, American herbalists relied heavily on Aloe Vera for many of their treatments.

Aloe leaves secrete, a clear gel that when broken off from the rest of the plant that can be applied topically to heal wounds and soothe skin.  The leaves of this plant contain a high percentage of water, essential oil, amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, essential fatty acids, and glycoproteins. Aloe Vera has been credited with the following capabilities: antibacterial (minimizing the presence of bacteria), antimicrobial (minimizing microbes), antifungal (minimizing the existence of fungus), anthelmintic (reduction in number of parasites and worms), anti-inflammatory (easing of swelling), antiviral (destruction of viruses), vulnerary (wound healing), purgative (performance as an aggressive laxative), and emollient (acts to moisturize and soothe).

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Various studies have been conducted to examine the benefits of the aloe vera plant and it was found that aloe vera does in fact have several properties that are effective in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, and hair and scalp problems.   Aloe vera has been credited with the ability to promote cell renewal as it soothes the skin. Taken orally, it is used to cleanse and support the digestive system, infuse energy, and support the immune system. Aloe vera juice is taken internally to provide relief from common digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. It is also taken orally to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, epilepsy, asthma, and diabetes. Topical applications revolve primarily around the treatment of sunburn, burns obtained from sources other than the sun, and psoriasis.

As an antibacterial substance, it offers relief from the redness associated with acne while helping to heal breakouts. Enhancing the skin’s natural levels of moisture, aloe vera is particularly helpful to use on sensitive or dry skin. Its moisturizing capabilities have led to its use in anti-dandruff shampoos. A rich source of many vitamins including A, B, and C, it is used to brighten skin tone and minimize minor pigmentation issues.  We hope you add aloe vera to your list of “must try” ingredients!


Anastasia: Dipbrow vs. Brow Wiz

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The days of pencil thin brows are over and full brows are here to stay! Every celebrity has an eyebrow guru to give them the desired natural but styled brow. Anastasia of Beverly Hills has been the Dipbrowfront runner of the eyebrow movement. Anastasia is an actual esthetician and brow technician who still runs her practice at her Beverly Hills salon. If you can’t afford the airfare, don’t fret! You can create a perfectly groomed eyebrow at home with her world famous Dipbrow Pomade or Brow Wiz.

AJ071The question is, which one is for you??

The Dipbrow Pomade is a waterproof, pot of highly pigmented eyebrow crème which comes in twelve shades. This is deal for sculpting existing hair or creating the illusion of hair where it may be lacking. If using a makeup brush isn’t your forte or time is of the essence, you may prefer the Brow Wiz. The Brow Wiz mechanical pencil comes in nine shades. The fine tip to mimic the appearance of small brow hairs and the bottom of the pencil is equipped with a spooley brush to effectively blend the product for a natural look. For optimal results, use short strokes and a light touch to fill in the brow, and extend where needed. Always blend pencil with the spooley for even color distribution.

Both are amazing products and will leave you with Hollywood style brows that will be the envy of all your friends!


Alchimie Forever Pigment Lightening Serum [GIVEAWAY]

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Alchimie Forever is an effective yet gentle skincare brand. This family owned and operated brand is great for all skin types, but especially wonderful for sensitive skin. All of the products in the brand are hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, paraben-free, gluten-free, soy-free, dye-free AND safe for Alchimiepregnant and nursing women (except for Brightening Peel)! They have recently added a new product that addresses hyperpigmentation and sun damage, just in time for summer. The Alchimie Forever Pigment Lightening Serum combines blueberry, vitamin C and E to fight off free radical damage and rejuvenate the skin. This serum may be used morning and evening underneath a moisturizer. You will see noticeable improvement in skin tone and redness relief. It will reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. This would be a fabulous addition to any skincare regimen.


Caring for curly hair – taming of the frizz!

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Caring for curly hair does not have to be stressful or complicated….relax, step away from your flat iron and read on! We totally empathize with our readers who tell us they feel as though they are at war with their luscious locks! We say…no more battling the frizz, waging war against humidity, or having hand to hair combat in front of the mirror every morning. Here are a few simple tips 7503410892_deded1338f_zand tricks that we feel every woman with curly hair should know.

Understand why you have curly hair. Chances are you received your curly hair from one of your parents or some other relative…genetics aside, at the root (pun intended) of the curly hair mystery is the hair follicle. The size and shape of your hair follicle determines your hair thickness and whether or not you will have curly or straight hair. Individuals with curly hair will have an oval to nearly flat shaped follicle. An oval follicle produces wavy hair, whereas a flatter follicle produces more coiled hair or tighter curls. On the contrary, individuals with rounded follicles have straight hair.

Nurture your curls through hydration and gentle care. First, washing your hair every day can be very drying. Second, many drug store shampoos can be damaging or harsh to your hair. Solution – because curly hair tends to be damaged easily, consider washing your hair with a shampoo made for curly hair every other day, or even less. Here is a tip – condition your hair daily, but wash no more than 2-3 times per week. At first the new routine may cause what feels like oiliness, but this is just your hair adjusting to a new regimen. Try to stick to the new regimen for two weeks before deciding if this is right for you. The benefits of this change may take a couple of weeks to notice, BUT it will save you time and you will still benefit from that fresh washed feeling everyday.

Condition, condition, condition. Find a hydrating conditioner to use daily. You want something light, but conditioning enough for daily use without ugly build-up, which can weigh your hair down. Find a daily conditioner made for curly hair and deep condition once per week. Leave in conditioners work well. If you are concerned about build-up or product residue, incorporate a clarifying 16782288678_84e157f22e_zapple cider rinse or shampoo that will remove residue without stripping the hair. Tip – if your hair tends to get tangled, comb (not brush) through your hair while conditioning. Avoid combing or brushing dry, unconditioned hair as much as possible. Shower time is a great time to get the tangles out!

Avoid heat. Flat irons, curling irons and blow dryers should be used sparingly. Allow your hair to air dry as much as possible and blow dry only when absolutely necessary. Seriously, when you minimize shampooing and hydrate your curls, you will find that minimizing your blow-dryer time gets easier…it is no longer just a styling tool; rather it becomes a way to get body without achieving the big-poofy over worked look. Instead, try to incorporate a high quality curl enhancing product, which eliminates frizz and defines your curls. Alterna, Oscar Blandi, Phyto and Briogeo all have fantastic products to choose from. Once your curls are managed and under control, your desire to straighten them is lessened and your curling iron and flat iron may not be as appealing for everyday styling.

Finally, it is important for curly haired vixens to find a superb stylist, one who understands curly hair. The right hair cut is crucial! I saved this tip for last because this subject can be sensitive. We have all experienced a bad hair cut…good news is your hair grows back eventually right?! Tip – find a stylist that knows curly hair. Get referrals if you can. In addition to the right cut, regular trips to the salon for a trim can make a huge difference in the appearance of your hair. Regular trims will reduce split ends and will help keep the hair looking healthy.

 

Looking for product suggestions?

Shampoo’s & Conditioners: Phyto Phytospecific Curl Hydration Shampoo Naturally Curly Hair, Frederic Fekkai Essential Shea Shampoo, Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino and Shea Curl Defining Conditioner

Curl Enhancers: Phyto Phytospecific Moisturizing Styling Cream, Alterna BAMBOO Smooth Curls Anti-Frizz Curl Defining Cream, Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino and Shea Leave-In Defining Cream

 


Beautiful Brows Revealed

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You can’t deny it; a fabulous set of brows are priceless. Nicely groomed eyebrows, not only polish off a great look, but also act as an instant eye lift. There will be no need to schedule your next waxing appointment when you follow these simple steps.

First and foremost, invest in a quality set of tweezers. Look for a slanted tip, which provides better accuracy and grip when tweezing unruly hairs. My personal favorite is the Tweezerman Slanted tweezersTweezer. FYI for all the divas out there, these tweezers also come in several different colors! How fun- I’m always on the hunt for cute new items to spice up my makeup bag!

5 Steps to perfectly manicured brows:

1. The cardinal rule- Never over pluck! This is probably the hardest of all of the guidelines. We have all been overzealous with the tweezers at one time in our life, leaving your brows sparse and over plucked. But don’t fear – there are helpful tricks to avoid this mishap.

Try filling in your brows with an eyebrow pencil first. This enables you to create your perfect shape, acting as a pattern for you to follow while tweezing. Tip- use soft, feathery strokes when penciling in your brows, this mimics the look of hair. A heavy hand will make your brows look too harsh and drawn on. By diverting attention away from areas that need to grow in, the focus remains on the hairs that need to be plucked. Follow this easy step and you’ll never be left with thin, wimpy eyebrows again!

2. Shaping- Keep in mind everyone has differently shaped brows. Some are more rounded, while others are more squared. Some have high arches and others are straight across. The key is to enhance the shape you were born with.

3. There are three parts to an eyebrow- the head, arch and tail. The head of the brow should start directly above the side of the nose. Tip- Hold a pencil parallel to the side of your nose. The pencil will land where the head of the brow should begin. Tweeze any hairs that land in unibrow territory.

4. Next, holding the pencil at the side of your nose, diagonally angle it so that the pencil crosses the iris of your eye. The pencil will fall on the part of the brow where your arch should be. Pluck hairs one by one to open up and define the arch.

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5. Now, angle the pencil toward the outside corner of your eye. The pencil will land where the tail of the brow should end. Pluck any stray hairs that remain.

6. Lastly, finish off your look by applying a brow gel. I recommend Billion Dollar Brow Gel, it works wonders! The gel sets your hairs, keeping your brows polished and intact from morning until night!

 

 

Tips for Success:

-Try to avoid overarching the brow, which can leave you with a surprised or angry expression.

-Plucking too many hairs at once can leave holes or gaps in the brow. For better precision, pluck one hair at a time.

-Pick a neutral toned eye brow pencil that matches your natural hair color.

 

 


Protect Those Feet!

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ST005Water shoes, aqua socks, flip-flops, whatever you have, you need to protect your feet this summer. This time of year people are running around barefoot and spreading some pretty nasty stuff around. Water Park restrooms, public pools, locker rooms are all breeding grounds for plantar warts and Athlete’s Foot.  Not familiar with these contagious foot issues? Here are some things to look for if you think you may have contracted one of these little gems. A plantar wart is a fungal infection that can be a painful bump. They are most commonly found on the hands and feet. They usually go away on their own but it may take years. If you would like to rid yourself sooner apply a salicylic acid to the infection and keep it covered to avoid it from spreading to others. In about 12 weeks the infection should be cleared. Athlete’s foot is just as easy to get rid of. If your feet are itchy, red and starting to blister, start an over-the-counter athlete foot treatment like the Stiefel Zeasorb Super Absorbent Antifungal Treatment For Athlete’s Foot . Within a few weeks of consistent use the infections should be gone.


Instant Peel

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Does your skin need a little tender love and care?  Can you use a great facial, but don’t have the time to make it happen?  I may have a great solution for you. Instantly peel away dead skin, sebum and impurities to uncover fresh, baby soft skin. Regardless of your skin type, Instant Peel will dramatically improve your skin texture, elasticity, and firmness. The proof is at your fingertips: peeling within seconds of application when used as directed. The gentle action comes from Instant Peel’s unique combination of proteins and enzymes, and is proven safe for even the most sensitive skin. Instant Peel is a natural exfoliator and an effective alternative to facial scrubs, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. You can’t overuse Instant Peel. Once the dead skin and debris are peeled away, Instant Peel stops working, revealing a youthful glow.

– Free of oils, artificial colorants and detergentsinstant peel

– Hypoallergenic

– Allergy tested

– Non-irritating and gentle

This product is recommended for all skin types and it will help to even skin tone and texture.  You can use this product on your neck and décolleté for an instant pick me up and sheer radiance.  With 28 reviews and a 4.5 star rating, this product has a loyal following and yields amazing results.


Quick Tip: Hydrate Dry Hands

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A huge pet peeve of mine is having dry hands, and it doesn’t seem to help that I’m constantly washing my hands or using hand sanitizer at work. No matter how much moisturizing hand cream I apply afterwards, it never seems to be hydrating enough.

So on the days it’s really bad, a little trick of mine is to use a moisturizing foot crème on my hands. These products are made extra emollient to penetrate into the thick skin on feet. AHAVA Dermud Intensive Foot Cream works fantabulously! The Dermud line is a bump up from the original AHAVA line, because it contains a higher amount of the Dead Sea mud to dramatically increase moisture levels in skin. I like to use it at night right before bedtime on my hands and feet, it’s a great hydrating treatment to do at least once a week.



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