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Try These Lifestyle Habits to Slow Aging

Woman touching her temples and looking into the mirror

Lifestyles that prevent aging don’t have to be lifestyles of the rich and famous. You don’t have to have own private yoga instructor or personal chef to slow the aging process. Nor do you need your own spa and steam room, or Botox injections delivered upon request. There are some lifestyle habits that we can easily get used to, and there are some that take getting used to.  Both can slow the aging process if we have the means or determination to adopt them.

The aging process is pretty relentless. There’s no way to stop it completely, but there are ways to slow it down a bit, and they don’t necessarily involve getting the Leaning Tower of Pisa to stop leaning. You don’t need to take drastic measures to slow down the aging process. There are small lifestyle changes you can make that go a long way. Want to check out some of them?

Here are some of the little ways to turn back the clock even as it’s going forward.

The Best Foods

Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you to “eat this not that.” However, we will tell you that eating a lot of processed food with high levels of sugar is not likely to do much in the way of helping you stay youthful. If slowing aging is your goal, you want to look for foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins to support healthy bones and skin and stave off damage from free radicals. Here are a few foods that fit the bill for your consideration:

  • Olive Oil

Behind every beautiful Italian woman, there is a good bottle of olive oil. The Italians not only eat this healthy fat in food, but they also slather it directly on their skin to keep it from aging prematurely. It also helps maintain good cholesterol levels.

  • Fish

Why are fish so smart? Because they go to school. Ok, maybe fish aren’t that smart, but fish has been called “brain food,” because of its fatty acid content. The DHA and EPA in fish keep your brain and nervous system functioning the way they should. Eat it once a day to stave off early dementia.

  • Beans

Here’s something to toot about. The fiber in beans helps digestion and lowers your chance of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Try to include them in your diet 3-4 times a week.

  • Berries

If berries aren’t the sexiest fruits on the planet, they’re definitely one of the richest in antioxidants. Berries stave off cancer and brain disease and they also happen to be just as beneficial frozen as they are at room temperature. Check your local grocer’s freezers for a berry good winter.

  • Veggies

Your mom always said you would thank her later for making you eat your veggies. She knew how youthful they would keep you in your adulthood.

With every color of veggie comes a different benefit. The dark leafy greens have Vitamin K for strong bones. The orange crew (sweet potatoes and carrots) have vitamin A to keep your eyes healthy and skin healthy while protecting against infection. The reds lower blood pressure, LDL levels and risk of prostate cancer.

  • Mediterranean Diet

Technically, the Mediterranean diet was brought to attention when doctors found it to be the cause of longevity and heart health among the Italians and French. Less scientifically, the Mediterranean diet was brought to attention when Americans were trying to find out the secret behind what was keeping those Italians and French looking so darn sexy and youthful.

Most commonly, the Mediterranean diet includes a lot of olive oil, vegetables, whole grains, and fish with just the right amount of red wine to keep your heart healthy. The diet also substitutes salt with spices and herbs to flavor food, which is key in preventing hypertension. It also lowers your risk of memory loss as well as some types of cancer.

The Best Exercise

If you found out that there were people who had cells that looked nine years younger than yours, it would probably have you wondering who their plastic surgeons were. Don’t bother asking, it’s likely they’ve been spotted more frequently at the gym than at the dermatologist office.

Exercise may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are scientific studies that say it can slow down the aging process. Apparently, it all has to do with telomere length. Telomeres are the DNA on either end of chromosomes. Think of the plastic tips on shoelaces for a visual. Just as the plastic tips protect the shoelaces from fraying, the telomeres protect the chromosomes responsible for cell division. Each cell divides the telomeres get shorter. When they get too short, the cell can no longer divide and it dies a tragic death.

What’s the secret to keeping our telomeres long and lovely?  Doctors say exercise. A study appearing in the American Heart Association journal Circulation showed that middle-aged professional athletes who ran an average of fifty miles a week had longer telomeres than those who did not exercise regularly. The pros also had slower resting heart rates, lower blood pressure and less body fat.

Headed for the gym? If you are, here are a few aging pitfalls and the exercises that can help you avoid them.

  • Cardio

There may be a  special circle of hell where people are doomed to an afterlife spent running laps for eternity. Cardio can be punishing, to say the least, but it does have its rewards, especially in the anti-aging department. According to one study done at McMaster University, the overall skin composition of individuals over forty who did cardio regularly was comparable to that of 20 and 30-year-olds. Guess forty really is the new twenty.

  • Squats

You might not think bending at the knees would be one of the worst ways to slow down the aging process.  But experts say, hey if you’re squatting all the time, might as well learn to do it the right way. Ladies, turn your toes out when your squatting, men keep them pointed forward.

Squatting improves flexibility, builds muscle mass, and helps support bone health.

  • Tai Chi

How about incorporating something a little exotic into your routine? If you’re flirting with the idea of taking up martial arts, the antiaging effects of Tai chi might just be the deciding factor. Tai Chi is low-impact, so it puts less pressure on the joints and muscles than other more intense workouts. It helps to improve balance, cognitive focus, and sleep.

The Best Self-Care

Even if stress takes does take years off your life, by no means is the party over. The age-defying woman doesn’t sweat the small things.  She too busy singing karaoke and playing strip poker. She knows what it’s like to end the night with breakfast and to begin the day with chocolate cake and espresso. She takes time to treat herself and doesn’t let the petty stuff get the better of her.

Ok, so maybe she is a little extreme. The point is that a lot of keeping young has to do with taking time for yourself. It’s about staying in the moment and taking time to do the things that make you feel young. Here are a few healthier habits to help you keep happy and relaxed and age-defiant.

  • Meditation

Even if you can’t reach full-on zen, you can take some time each day to give your body mindful attention.  Try taking deep breaths, stretching out kinks, or use the body scan technique to relax each part of your body separately. You can even punctuate your day with a series of mini-meditations. Take:

  • One minute a day to become aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations
  • One minute a day to focus attention on your breathing
  • One minute a day to check in on your body as a whole.
  • Invest in Good Skincare

Great looks starts with great skin, and there’s no better time to start investing in quality skincare than now. So how do you know which skincare to invest in?

  • If you’re concerned with fine lines and wrinkles, look for products with vitamins A and E, and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
  • If you’e concerned with sagging skin, look for products with antioxidant-rich ingredients like vitamin A, resveratrol, green tea extract, and co-enzyme Q10, which all help to prevent oxidative damage in the body and the onset of visible signs of premature aging
  • If you’re concerned with dark spots and hyperpigmentation, look for products with vitamins A and C, and brightening acids like glycolic acid, azelaic acid, and kojic acid.

Not sure where to begin? The Resveratrol Cabernet Collection would be a good place to start. It’s packed with amazing botanical extracts for the skin to really boost the skin’s barrier, as well as antioxidants, peptides, resveratrol and vitamins to do everything from moisturizing and cleansing the skin, to plumping up the look of fine lines and restoring the skin’s gentle glow.

  • See Friends and Family

What happens when you see your family and friends? You laugh, you talk, and most importantly, you relieve a lot of stress, and not only the stress your mother gives you about not seeing her often enough. Seeing friends and family keeps you connected, and talking with them can be downright therapeutic. Schedule some time for a cuppa or night out with your bestie/ significant other/mom.

  • Sleep (Adequately)

Sleep is the time when your body really turns back the clock. Once its lights out for you, all those antioxidants (like melatonin) go to work, the skin detoxes and cellular reparation begin.

One study showed that participants who didn’t sleep well showed more signs of aging, including fine lines, uneven pigmentation, and lack of skin elasticity than those who got the full 7-9. Those who enjoyed full nights of sleep were also were able to recover more easily from skin damage, such as sun and environmental toxins. 

Remember Your Sunscreen

In the purse of every age-defying woman, you will find sunscreen. The forms may be different, (lotion, foam, foam lotion, whipped lotion, spray, or gel – take your pick)- but the SPF formula is protection is always over 50 and the expiration date is always good.

Another thing about the age-defying woman is that she has a habit. Every morning, she applies the SPF ( tops of hands included), the size of a golf ball. During the day, she reapplies it regularly, at especially after she goes swimming or sweats a lot – even if the label says waterproof- she would rather be safe than sorry. She buys only broad spectrum to make sure it blocks out both UVA and UVB rays.

As a result, the age-defying woman is not likely to develop wrinkles, moles or sagging skin. She also at less of a risk for melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Apparently, a little sunscreen can go a long way. The good news is that we can all be the age-defying woman. All it takes is a little sunscreen. Pop some in your purse and apply it diligently to bring out your inner age-defying persona.

What Not to Do

Unfortunately, for almost every does in life, there is an equal and opposite don’t. Even if adopt every beneficial anti-aging lifestyle habit out there, one false move could undo the advantages easily. Here are a few habits that you should steer clear of so all your hard work pays off.

  • Smoke

Purse strings from puffing, eye wrinkles from squinting – whoever called smoking a glamourous habit?  The good news is that your body is the damage is actually reversible! Right after you quit smoking your blood pressure and circulation will begin making their ways back to normal and your risk of cancer will miraculously decrease. Talk about turning back the clock!

  • Slouch

Just because you’re not a teenager anymore doesn’t mean you’re immune to slouching. Not only is it unattractive  (unless you’re an emo musician), slouching can cause a host of health problems like headaches, back pain, and pulled muscles. It also puts musculoskeletal stress on your vertebrae and the disks between them.

Posture check infographic

Check your posture by standing against the wall with your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks touching it. Your feet should be 2-4 inches away from the wall. Run the palm of your hand along the space at your lower back. If your posture is correct, your hand should fit perfectly. If you have more space, it means your pushing out your hips and stomach too much. Contract your abs and back up to the wall. Not enough space, you’re too far forward and you need to pull your shoulders back.

  • Over-Drink

Drinking is a privilege that comes with age. Unfortunately indulging in that privilege excessively can come with more age. While the occasional glass of red wine can be quite beneficial (lowers heart attack risk, cholesterol, and risk of dementia), drinking too much can be quite detrimental (premature wrinkles, collagen loss, redness, dehydration, and puffiness). The recommendation for women is no more than one drink a day, two for guys.  Aim for that to keep the aging process slow and the lifestyle balanced.

 

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Back-to-Office Skin Care 101

Thoughtful young woman with glasses and dark hair holding a cup of coffee

So it’s back to the office, and you’re not the only one that’s having a hard time with it. Your skin is going ballistic. The days of endless sun and open air have been replaced with days of endless cubicles and commitments. Can you keep your rosy glow without losing your desk job?

Of course you can. Back to the office doesn’t have to mean pasty-faced and serious. You can keep your radiance and your job at the same time. Here are some tips on skincare for the office environment. We’ll leave the maintenance of your sanity up to you.

Air Conditioning

What do you get when you put a bunch of stressed out guys in three piece suits in small cubicles?   You get a lot of reasons to blast the air conditioner. Good for them, but not always so good for you. Even if your body temperature runs high, the air conditioning is going to wreak  havoc on your skin.

Air conditioning dries air and reduces humidity. That takes a toll on the outer layer of your skin causing to become dry and lose elasticity.

Infographic on dry skin

What can you do? Unless, you work in an old folks home, turning the AC down is not an option. Can you actually keep your skin moist and supple without short circuiting the thermostat? When the going gets tough, the tough get going… outside!

  • Try taking air conditioner breaks periodically. That may just mean walking outside on a break and giving your skin some time to recover. FYI: five minutes outside can reverse the damage done by eight hours of work. Skin is very dynamic).
  • Also, bring along a spritzer, you know those adorable little spray bottles that you can put in your purse for a little hydrating pick me up? Bring those. You’ll sometimes find them marketed as ‘face mists’ or ‘body mists’ – they’re basically humidifiers for your skin.

Stuffy Air

Do you ever notice that no matter how much air conditioning is blasting in the office, there’s always one room that seems to be vacuum packed? It’s almost as if all the cool air from that room was sucked into the other room, leaving two undesirable extremes.

Stuffy air happens, mostly in closed off rooms that lack ventilation, and it’s just as insidious to skin as air conditioning. If your office is not one of the more oxygenated in the building,  a humidifier may be in order.

Elegant humidifier on table

Running a humidifier adds moisture to dry air and keeps your skin, mouth and nose from drying out and there are tons of desktop appropriate ones available. They also clean the air of free radicals and pollutants that can lead to premature aging.

Icky Germs

If you thought sharing doorknobs with your office mates was a good way to exchange germs, just think about how much yucky bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that can be transferred through office equipment. You’re sharing key boards, printers, phones – hey, even the walls can be a prime hangout for bacteria, not to mention the sinks and toilets!  That can lead to skin irritations, blemishes, and laundry list of health problems.

Got disinfecting wipes? Start early in the day by wiping down all the desktops, photocopiers, desktops and any other shared office equipment. Who cares if you co-workers call you a germaphobe? They’re just air conditioning fanatics anyway.

Also make sure to wash your  hands regularly during the day and clean your face thoroughly before retiring at night. Don’t even think of touching your face during the day. That’s a surefire way to transfer germs cell phones to skin cells.

Bad Lighting

We all know that no one’s skin looks good under fluorescent lighting, but did you know it could  make your skin look bad – period? Experts say that you’ve got more UV rays inside the office than you do outside – especially if you’ve got one an office with a window view.  Put concentrated exposure to the sun and indoor lighting together and you’ve got a virtual cocktail for hyperpigmentation,  wrinkles and premature aging.

Only SPF 50 can save you now. Wear it every day and keep some at your desk to reapply every three to four hours.

Poor Beverage Choices

Unless your boss keeps a food processor in the office, the chances of you drinking a smoothie at your desk is unlikely. You’re much more likely to find a coffee machine and soda dispenser. However, all the really popular kids hang out around the water cooler, and you probably should too.

Caffeine certainly perks you up, but it doesn’t do the same for your skin. Caffeinated drinks and sodas don’t only get their energy jolt from caffeine, they get it from sugar – both of which don’t play well with your skin.

Tired woman working while drinking coffee

There may be no better feeling than the bubbly sensation of soft drink hitting a parched throat. However, while sugary sodas are quenching your thirst, their also releasing cytokines you’re your blood, which decreases the amount of collagen and elastin in your skin. Inflammation, sagging skin, and wrinkles (oh, my!).

No matter how cold it gets in that air conditioned office, don’t think about warming yourself up with a nice cuppa Joe. Caffeine is only going to exacerbate the moisture robbing effects of the AC air on your skin. Green tea packed with antioxidants may be a better way to defend yourself and your skin against dehydration. However, if you must stand your coffee grounds, at least keep it to one or two cups a day.

Unfortunately, the best skin option also happens to be the blandest. Water has no caffeine to perk you up, no fancy bottles or cans to use for accessories, and no taste to speak of. In fact, if you’re taking the water cooler route, you might even end up drinking it from a paper cup. Double yuck!

Luckily, there is something you can do to up the water’s coolness factor. Bring your own bottle and create your own fruit cocktail.  Here are four top choices for adding a little zest to your H2O.

  • Cucumber Strawberry Water: Slice up some cucumbers and some strawberries for a little color contrast and a flavor both refreshing and sweet.
  • Lemon Lime Water: Hey, put this in a water carbonator and you might even think you’re drinking a diet 7-Up! Use ½ lime and ½ lemon for 4 cups of water. Lemons and limes are known for their potent flavors and are best when used in moderation. Get your eight cups a day in and you’ll have made use of the whole fruit.
  • Blueberry Orange: Here’s a  funky little combo.  Ripe slices of orange dotted with bursts of blue. You’ll want to snap a pic to post on social media.
  • Blackberry Mint: Perhaps the most exotic of the recipes. With the mint flavor, you can  imagine you’re sipping on a Mojito in your office.

For best results, mix or muddle fruits with the back of wooden spoon to help release the flavors.

Screen Squinting

Do you ever catch your reflection in your computer screen and find you’re squinting back at yourself? Squinting is not the most attractive image, nor the most age defying practice. When you squint, you get crow’s feet even if you don’t have them already (albeit temporarily).  Ever heard the expression, “if you don’t stop (insert unattractive facial expression here), you’re face is  going to stay that way?”

Woman squinting in front of laptop

It’s true that squinting too often can lead to permanent fine lines around the eyes and wrinkles between the brows. It’s also true that hunching over a computer monitor can cause neck muscles to shorten, leading to the dreaded turkey neck. Is there any way to stay tech savvy and young looking at the same time.

Cutting down on squinting can take years, and a lot of pressure off your eyes – even if it means swapping out your contacts for you old horn rims. In addition to that, make sure to apply generous amount of eye cream in the morning to maintain elasticity around the eyes. Look for products with vitamin C and green tea extract, such as in the Resveratrol Age Defying Eye Serum, as these two ingredients will also help to brighten up the area around the eyes. 

Wondering what’s the correct way to apply eye cream?

The best way to do it would be to place a few dots around the eyes, and then gently pat this into the skin using quick, successive dabbing motions. This helps to prevent unnecessary tugging of the skin.

Illustration on how to apply eye cream

As for the neck, try applying some firming cream under your chin before retiring in the evening. If unsure of the best neck firming cream to use, start with the Resveratrol Sauvignon Blanc Neck & Chest Cream. Thanks to the combination vitamins A and E, and antioxidant-rich Resveratrol, this cream can go a long way in reducing the look of neck lines and wrinkles.

Sitting Still

Sitting is the new smoking? Save the drama for your mama. There are certainly a lot more preventable deaths caused by smoking than there are by couch surfing. However, while sitting in and of itself has not so far been proven fatal, it can have a negative impact on your skin.

Exercise is responsible for the healthy glow that comes from increased blood flow to your skin. Perspiration gets rid of toxins and helps cleanse the skin of dead skin cells, making way for new ones. Lack of exercise can lead to an increase in age spots. Could the sit-and-stand desk be the new botox?

Apparently not. According to studies, employees can stand for 40 to 45 minutes a day without seeing a positive impact on their health. Unfortunately, when working, you might as well stay seated. Sitting is not as harmful as the lack of physical activity in general.

As for treadmill desks – what could go wrong with that? Ever try to draft a budget while walking uphill? The best way to make up for those stagnant eight hours is to use the eight others (with eight taken out for sleeping) to exercise as much as possible. Walk run, hit the gym, whatever it takes. Keep the work and the workout separate.

Tips For Office Skin Health

Now that we’ve addressed the occupational hazards to your skin, let’s address the arsenal of products you should keep at your desk to keep them from getting out of hand. Here are some expert tips for keeping some of the dryness out of the regular workday.

1) Use a Non-Fragranced Moisturizer

Moisturizer good. Fragrance bad. When skin feels dry and tight, a moisturizer will restore hydration to your skin. Trade the fragrance for humectants like urea and glycerin that help absorb moisture from the air. What you’ll lose in scent, you’ll make for in naturally beautiful skin.

2) Take Steps to Keep Away Further Irritation

If the air conditioning is causing your skin to become irritated, it’s best not to compound the problem by using heavily scented products. Steer away from harsh perfumes, soaps and strongly fragranced detergents that will dry your skin further.

3) Stock Up on Facial Oil

What do you find in the desk drawer of a working woman who takes care of her skin? How about a few paper clips and a bottle of facial oil?  To troubleshoot those particularly bothersome dry spots, keep facial oil handy to apply as needed. Use your fingertips to locate the particularly dry areas on your skin, and massage in oil until fully absorbed. 

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Urge to Pick? Do This Instead

Young woman squeezing pimple in bathroom mirror

It may be fair to say pimple-popping has a cult following. With YouTube channels and virtual forums dedicated to zit-popping, and even the recent phenomena of pimple-popping celebrities, it seems clear that there is some kind of fascination with the manipulation of the blemish. Satisfying as a good popping session might be for some, pimple-popping can cause scars, and even worsen acne. What’s a popaholic to do? If you are among those who can’t keep your hands away from your pus-filled friends, here are a few healthier skin care options.

What’s Wrong With Picking?

Zayika Rice, MD, at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta advises you to think of a pimple as a little sack filled with bacteria, debris, and oil. “What we call the pustule is actually keeping the bacteria nice and contained,” she says. Therefore, when you break the sack, the gunk oozes out, landing in other pores and causing more pimples. Even worse, picking a pimple can force all that debris even deeper into your skin and the bacteria already on your finger can make the zit even redder, more inflamed, infected and swollen, and could result in permanent scarring.

What’s the best thing to do? “Let a pimple run through its life span,” advises Rice. A pimple left alone should heal within 3 to 7 days, while one popped improperly can result in a lifetime of scarring.

Leave It To A Professional

Dermatologists know how to safely pop a pimple. They put on a pair of medical glovess, lance the pimple using a sterilized needle, and use a comedone extractor to suck out the gunk. However, if you simply can’t leave it well enough alone, there is a method to the madness.

Pimple Popping 101

  1. Wait for the perfect moment. When your pimple has a firm white head, it means the pus is nearing the surface and ready for drainage.
  2. Wash your hands well with soap and water. Use a fingernail brush to clean your nails.
  3. Sterilize a straight pin by holding it up to a flame. Let it cool, and wipe it with some rubbing alcohol. Apply the alcohol to the zit as well as your fingers.
  4. Dry fingers and wrap them in a clean tissue.
  5. Hold pin parallel to the skin’s suface and lightly pierce the very tip of the zit’s center.
  6. Use your fingers, or a swab of cotton to gently squeeze the pimple, pressing around, and not on the tip of the blemish. If the pus does not emerge easily, stop. That means the pimple has not reached its time.
  7. Apply more alcohol or a bit of bacitracin to the remains.

Makeup

If you’re among those who can resist the carnal urge of the zit pop, there is always the makeup alternative. Rice advises chosen a noncomedogenic cover up, which means it won’t block your pores. She advises you to keep it to a minimum. “Less is more when it comes to covering up a blemish,” she says.

Hollywood makeup artist Tasha Reiko Brown advises, “When you’re trying to hide a pimple, your aim is to take away the redness, not flatten it out. If you keep piling on layers of makeup, you’ll be creating a little mountain. It may not be a red mountain, but it will still be bigger and more noticeable than when you start out.”

Brown recommends using a concealer that matches your skin tone, or a foundation in a dry, rather than creamy texture. These are most commonly found in pots or sticks.

When it comes to methods of application, Brown goes for a brush with short bristles, rather than her fingers. “That way I can get the concealer right where I need it without leaving a fingerprint behind,” she says.

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Essential Vitamins for Perfect Summer Skin

Beautiful young woman in white dress in the garden

When summer comes, you know you have to make some changes. Lighter clothes, more sunscreen, less foundation, more air conditioning. But what about your vitamins?Going from cool weather to intense heat means your body has different needs, and different needs mean different nutrients. The right nutrition can help to protect your body for summer specific dangers like sun exposure, wrinkles, and skin cancer, and even help the body fix daily cell damage. Read on to find out how the right vitamins may help you to outsmart summer heat.

Vitamin C

Research support in the fact that vitamin C helps the body handle heat stress stems back to the 1930’s. For decades, vitamin C has been known to reduce the likelihood of heat related ailments like heat rash and heat exhaustion, and can also be used to treat already existing heat rash. Daily vitamin C intake also allows the body to adapt to the heat more quickly by lowering body temperature.

Additional research shows that vitamin C may also be a natural anti histamine, and may help lessen seasonal allergic rhinitis symptoms, while its antioxidant effects may help protect against cell damage by stimulating collagen production for cell growth and repair. These antioxidant benefits may also assist in protecting skin from sun damage and photo aging.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E has antioxidant benefits to help prevent UV damage to skin when topically layered under sunscreen, before sun exposure, as well as on its own after. It has been shown to have similar anti allergy benefits to vitamin C, especially in relation to nasal symptoms and asthma.

Vitamins D

Vitamin D increases the density of the skin, which means fewer wrinkles, and  explains its regular addition to anti aging skin car products. The most common way to get vitamin D is through sun exposure. Too little sun exposure may result in a vitamin D deficiency, which increases the risk of skin cancer. Recent research shows that vitamin D3 may prevent cells from growing and dividing, protecting us from breast, colorectal, and skin cancer. In fact, according to a recent study, women who took vitamin C supplements daily had a 57% reduction in risk of developing melanomas.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A (retinol) may also protect against melanomas. Researchers found that people who took daily vitamin A supplements had a 60% lower risk of developing melanomas than those who did not.

Vitamin A is also one of the best options for combatting photo aging, fine lines, and hyper pigmentation. Those who use vitamin A  in its compound form, retinol,  will already know the benefits it can have on the skin. Vitamin A can help the body make much needed repairs, including those from sun related damage, helping skin maintain elasticity and restoring collagen.

What changes are you making to help you get through the summer? Let us know how you survive when the mercury goes up.

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Treat Yourself to a Mom Makeover

Beautiful woman in blue floral dress resting on the sofa

At one time, having a child changed things. Surely, you couldn’t be a proper role model for a child if you couldn’t let go of your own youth. Motherhood wasn’t a time to celebrate your self, it was a time to focus on your child, and let go of silly vanities- to keep your figure hidden, your makeup minimal, your hair plain, and what did this amount to? A lot of miserable mothers who modeled low self esteem to their children. If motherhood has left you feeling like an old hat, you probably owe it to yourself and your family to change things up a bit. Here are some ways to do that.

New Bra

Underwear is often cited as a crucial element of fashion. Blogger Laura Coronado says, ” I recommend going to a department store where associates are trained to perform a proper bra fitting.”

She believes that,”once  a woman knows her correct bra size and carries her bust in the proper area of her body, she will discover a new, sexy figure she may not have been aware she had, including a smaller waistline than she originally thought.”

Mani and Pedi

Having no time to go to the spa is no excuse to skip out on a good manicure and pedicure. Just use some white sugar combined with a few drops of lemon juice as an exfoliator for the hands, feet, and cuticles and finish with a bright coat of polish.

Teeth Whitening

You know one of your best fashion accessories is your smile, and today, that doesn’t even necessitate a visit to the dentist. Pick up a home teeth whitening kit the next time you’re at our local drug store. You’ll find its an easy fix, that doesn’t require much time or effort.

The Mommy Makeover

Within the past few years, you may have heard the term “mommy makeover” used to describe the package deal surgeries which usually include breast augmentation, liposuction, and a tummy tuck. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 62% of mothers would consider a mommy makeover if it weren’t for the cost. Here are a few things you may want to know if you are in that 62%.

Surgery is not a substitute for healthy living. Although plastic surgery may seem to be a quick fix for shedding extra baby weight, it is really meant to correct imperfections that exercise can’t. According to ASPS president Debra Johnson, the best results of plastic surgery are most likely seen in those who are fit and healthy. Johnson stresses that the point of surgery is to increase breast volume, get rid of excess skin, or repair the abdominal wall. Eating well and exercising should both come before the eventuality of plastic surgery.

Make sure you’re not planning to have any more children. Breast implants via areola incision or breast lifts can make breast  feeding difficult because of excess scar tissue. In addition, tummies that have been tightened can stretch out again, although mothers who have had tummy tucks tend to carry high.

Recovery is Painful. One of the pros of the mommy makeover is that it is cost effective in that it allows for multiple surgeries to  be done at the same time. However, it is important to note that what is saved in money may be sacrificed in comfort. Most patients can expect to have someone assisting them constantly for at least three days following surgery and should have someone to care for their children for at least a week following the procedure.

What do you think? Would you do the Mommy makeover? Let us know!

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Plan for Perfect Wedding Skin

Beautiful red-headed bride with bouquet of red roses

There are a few things things most wedding planners can’t help you with, something more important then the who, what, when, and where, of the wedding, and that’s the how: how you look, that is. Weddings mean getting in shape, looking your best, and that includes your skin. But good skin takes a lot of work, and chances are the stress levels aren’t going to make it look any better. Luckily, some dermatologists have it all figured for you. Read on to find out what treatments you should be scheduling and when in order to wake up with perfect skin on your big day.

Twelve Months Before The Wedding

  • This is the ideal time to schedule any procedures that might require downtime, such as:
  • A chemical peel: Chemical peels can kickstart the exfoliation process. They  get your cell turnover going, guaranteeing you blemish free, glowing skin on the big day.
  • Micro needling with Plasma: Although not for the faint of heart, micro needling with platelet rich plasma is a one-size-fits-almost-all treatment that uses the cells in your own blood to promote growth of cells for an even complexion.
  • Remember to communicate with your dermatologist. It is important that he or she knows your goals so you’re on the same page about which treatments will bring your desired results.

Six Months Before the Wedding

  • If you missed out on the micro needling or peel, there is still time for that, as is there time for other rejuvenating treatments, such as lasers or IPL’s.
  • Six months should provide you with enough time to recover from the first treatment, which tends to require the longest downtime, and still leave time to receive one or two more treatments before the wedding.
  • Start planning and thinking about rejuvenating and healing treatments that help to maximize the results you get from these treatments when the skin begins to shed, in the not too distant future.

Three Months Before the Wedding

  • At this point, you should not be introducing anything new to your routine; concentrate on healing from the treatments you’ve already received.
  • This is a good time to have the last dermaplaning session.

One Month Before the Wedding

  • Have the last of the professional treatments; do not plan or receive any more.
  • Stay away from deep peels and extractions, and spend your time using exfoliating products and other skin nourishing formulas.
  • Ask your dermatologist, aesthetician for any last minute tips to get the bridal glow on your big day, and what you should do to get rid of those evil stress induced blemishes that might pop up the week before the wedding.

Good luck, congratulations, look beautiful, and remember, it’s all about that bridal glow! And, for those in the know, let us know how you prepped your skin for your wedding!

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The Best Diet for Your Skin

Young woman eating salad in the kitchen

Ah, the buffet table. The never-ending choice of culinary options, healthy and unhealthy.  What do you pick? Is it the item you like best, the one that is best for you, or a combination of both? Why don’t you ask your skin? The skin is the largest organ of the body, and the outer fingerprint of inner health. That means that when it comes to food choices, your skin should have a lot of input. What would your skin pick from the buffet table? While you can’t directly ask it, luckily researchers have done a lot of the work in  taking the guesswork out of it for you. Here is a sample of what they have to say.

Olive Oil

You may have heard of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and its superfood status. That comes in part from its reputation as an anti-ager for the skin. According to a 2012 study in PLOS One, women who consumed more than 2 teaspoons of olive oil per day showed 31% fewer signs of aging that those who ate less than one teaspoon. The fat in olive oil is 75% mono saturated fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease skin aging, and the antioxidant polyphenols in the oil help to fight free radicals which can contribute to the aging process.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another great addition to your Skin Menu. A 2008 UK study showed that people who consumed 5 tablespoons of tomato paste and a tablespoon of olive oil daily, for a period of 12 weeks, showed a 33% greater increase in sun protection than those who ate only olive oil. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has been associated with increasing the skin’s natural SPF. Note: Cooking tomatoes raises lycopene levels.

Chocolate

Chocolate, good for your skin? Apparently, aside from the sugar level, chocolate is a definite skin friendly ingredient. The flavanols in chocolate contain antioxidant properties to improve circulation and keep skin hydrated. In fact, women who consumed a flavanol-enriched cocoa powdered drink for a 12-week period reported less skin dryness and roughness compared to those who did not drink the cocoa. While the test group consumed the equivalent of 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate, Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, suggests keeping chocolate consumption down to a one ounce portion to reap the benefits without the calories.

Oatmeal

If your idea of a typical breakfast is a bagel and jelly, you may want to rethink your choice. Apparently the bagel and jelly combo is a double threat to the skin, offering refined carbs which stimulate insulin and androgens in the body. Drayer says,”Elevated androgens cause sebaceous glands in the skin to secrete more oil that gets trapped inside pores, causing pimples.” Apparently, this is not the case with oatmeal, although experts advise swapping out the brown sugar for natural fruit.

Sardines

Big things come in little packages. One serving of sardines contains 1.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, putting it at the top of the list of good fat sources. Like other fatty fish, sardines are rich in an anti inflammatory omega-3, called DHA. Dr. Jessica Wu, MD, says, “inflammation is now known as the root cause of acne.” Eat sardines for clear skin.

What’s your skin menu like? Let us know what the best diet is for your face. We want to know!

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Look Forward to Graceful Aging

Beautiful curly-haired woman in elegant green dress in the garden

Most of us tend to think that, unless we have access to plastic surgery or a really good line of skin care, there is no such thing as aging gracefully. For shame! If aging has taught us one thing, it should be that beauty is more than skin deep, and the biggest part of aging gracefully is probably realizing and embracing that belief. It has been said that, “You don’t stop laughing when you get old, you get old when you stop laughing.” Here are some tips to help you keep laughing.

You Have Survived!

Experts agree that wisdom, maturity and resilience are all necessary components of graceful aging. Psychologist Susan Whitburne, PhD, says that you need to recognize growing old as an accomplishment. “But if you get to be older, you have survived a lot of the threats to your physical and psychological integrity that have affected other people who are no longer around,” she says, “You are stronger and you get to live longer. Most people think that’s a benefit.”

She also approves of a little denial when it comes to coping with old age. “The people who do the best with aging aren’t thinking that much about getting older. If you sit around mulling over the meaning of existence and how time is running out, you’re building a scenario where you’re not going to age as successfully.” She advises the aging to keep focused on the positives.

Accepting Changes

Of course, it seems perfectly normal to react to our first visible wrinkle or loss of hair with horror and denial. However, Dr. Mark Frazier, PsyD, advises acceptance as the healthier response. Says Frazier, “To age gracefully, one needs to anticipate the changes that are inevitable. As they encounter the natural changes and health status that are part of aging, these things are experienced as negative and adding a lot of stress and strain to their lives.” He also acknowledges the wisdom of “foreseen is fore-armed.” “Other people anticipate what’s going to happen. It’s more of a ‘Yes, I knew this was coming and I know that I’ll negotiate my way through it.” Frazier acknowledges the importance of preparedness as a successful management strategy for aging.

Avoiding Stereotypes

Unfortunately, mature adults tend to get lumped into categories, and with categories come stereotypes. Sue Ellen Cooper, 62, is so adamant to break these stereotypes, she was motivated to start the Red Hat Society to celebrate women 50 and above. Members wear red hats and purple dresses to the group’s social outings, hence the group’s moniker.

Cooper admits that, as a young woman, she had some reservations about making friendships with older people. She says,”When I would meet people, I’d think, ‘She probably wouldn’t be a potential friend for me because she’s 20 years older.” Now, having met so many older women in the society she’s changed her tune. “First impression doesn’t tell you a thing. Some of these people have had incredible lives and careers and still have a great sense of humor and a lot of intellect, and the culture will write them off: ‘Oh, she’s an old lady and she’s overweight.'”

Find Meaningful Activities

Paula Abbott, EdD, warns against the danger of inactivity as one grows older. “Part of the challenge of aging gracefully is that you have to continue to find things that are important to you.” Experts encourage the aging to engage in hobbies, travel, spiritual pursuits, and spending time with family as options. Abbott advises planning purposeful activities before retiring. “It should be a transition,” she says, “It shouldn’t be, ‘Stop work one day and fall off a cliff.”

She also recommends activities as a distraction from focusing on the down sides of old age.” If you don’t have important things out in front of you,” she says, “there’s enough about the aging process that is not positive, and you can get caught up in what you don’t like about it.”

Got it? Stay active, give yourself props, accept changes and don’t give a hoot what anyone has to say about it? Let us know your secrets to graceful aging! You’re sure looking good!

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Are You Considering a Tattoo Removal?

Young red-headed woman with tattoos

Think before you ink! You may have heard the advice, but how many of us actually heed it? Out of the 30% of the people in the US who have at least one tattoo, 25% claim to regret getting it. Is it the name of a scorned lover, a neck tattoo that might disqualify you for the job you want, a picture of your mom that looks more like your dad? Whatever your reason for wanting a tattoo removed, you need to be prepared for the consequences. Here is a more in-depth look at tattoo removal.

How Does Tattoo Removal Work?

Tattoo removal works by employing lasers that break up pigment colors with the use of high-intensity beams. Because black tattoo pigments absorb all laser wavelengths, black is the easiest to treat. Other colors must be treated with selected lasers depending on pigment color.

The first step in tattoo removal is a consolation. Arrange a meeting with a trained professional.  He or she will evaluate your tattoo and give you some advice about the process. The number of treatments you will need will be based on the size, age, and color of the tattoo. The color of your skin and the depth of the tattoo pigment will be important factors affecting removal technique.

The Process

This is what you should expect to happen in a tattoo removal session:

  1. You will be given protective shields for your eyes.
  2. Your skin will be tested so the technician can determine which energy treatment will be most effective.
  3. A laser will be used to pass intense light pulses through the top layers of the skin. These will be absorbed only by the tattoo pigment.

Small tattoos should require only a few pulses for removal, while larger ones will need more. Either case will involve several visits to get rid of the tattoo completely, although you will notice progressive fading after each treatment.

The Pain

No pain, no gain. Laser tattoo removal can be painful, but it usually does not call for anesthesia. You may want to apply your own topical anesthetic beforehand. Treatment should be followed with an application of an ice pack to soothe the affected area and an antibiotic cream or ointment is suggested to prevent infection and irritation. Be sure to cover it with a bandage and use sunblock on it when outside.

The Side Effects

When it comes to tattoo removal, laser treatment is the safest because it only targets the pigments in the tattoo. However there are a few side effects:

  1. Risk of Infection – There is always a risk for infection at the tattoo removal sight, and a slight chance of a permanent scar.
  2. Incomplete Removal – More often than not, traces of your tattoo will remain after the process. Usually certain colors will respond more effectively than others. Black and blue tattoos offer the best potential for complete removal.
  3. Hypopigmention – Hypopigmentation sometimes results from tattoo removal, which means that the treated skin will become a bit paler or darker then the rest of your skin.
  4. Cosmetic Tattoo –  Tattooed lip liner, eye liner, and eyebrows may get darker after primary treatments. However, they do tend to fade after additional sessions.

The Doctor

As in all health procedures, it is important to find a reputable doctor. Find a good dermatologist or cosmetic surgery center, preferably with a recommendation from you primary care physician. Insurance will not cover it in most cases, as it is not usually considered medically necessary, Be sure to discuss the charges and obtain the associated costs in writing before treatment.

Have you undergone tattoo removal? Thinking about it? Let us know!

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Famous Men Who Age Well

Handsome chiselled man with dreamy grey eyes

Do you ever feel like you’re still going through puberty? You look in the mirror and see a smart sensible professional, but inside, you’re still a lovestruck teen with a weakness for Tom Cruise? Well, for those of you who haven’t quite gotten over your teenage celeb crush, take heart. He’s probably still around, and chances are, he’s still looking pretty good. Here are some of the famous older men who’re still getting us through the night.

George Clooney

Gorgeous George kept our hopes up for a pretty long time, but he’s certainly met his match in Amal. Proud papa George Timothy Clooney was born in 1961 in Lexington, Kentucky. He first came to public attention on the 1984 sitcom E/R as “Dr. Doug Ross,” following a stint as a returning character on “The Facts of Life.” Since then, Clooney has played the leading man in a host of films, including “One Fine Day” opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, and “Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen.” He and wife Amal welcomed twins on June 11, 2017.

Brad Pitt

Brad’s a free agent now! After a surprise breakup with long time partner and wife, Angelina Jolie, Brad is back on the market. The film actor and producer born in 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, made his big screen debut in the 1989 horror film “Cutting Class,” and made his mark on Hollywood with his role in “Legends of the Fall.” The actor is best known for roles as the hitchhiking con man in “Thelma and Louise,” the obsessed fighter in “Fight Club,” and the strangely gifted Benjamin Button in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Now divorced, Pitt and Jolie share custody of their six children: Maddox, Pax, Shiloh, Zahara, and twins, Knox and Vivienne.

Johnny Depp

If you remember “21 Jump Street”, you may have had a picture of Johnny Depp on your wall. John Christopher Depp was born June 9. 1963 in Owensboro, Kentucky. After his Golden Globe-winning role on “21 Jump St,” Depp decided that  the series “forced him into the role of product,” and decided to appear in films. Apparently, he made the right decision. Depp achieved superstar status, taking larger-than-life roles in movies such as “Edward Scissorhands” and “Ed Wood.” He’s currently best known for his recurring role as Jack Sparrow on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Also musically inclined, current bachelor Johnny is a member of hard rock outfits “Rock City Angels” and “Hollywood Vampires.”

Mick Jagger

The consummate ladies’ man, Mick Jagger was born Michael Philip Jagger way back in July 26, 1943, in Dartford, Kent, England. Although the Rolling Stones’ singer only managed to tie the knot twice (to Jerry Hall and Bianca Jagger), he has been romantically linked with supermodels, including 60’s luminaries Chrissie Shrimpton and Marianne Faithful and, more recently, Sophi Daho. Proud papa of eight, Mick’s most recent familial addition occurred this year with partner Melanie Hamrick, and offspring include the genetically blessed Jade, Elizabeth, James, and Georgia May. You can still find Mick and the Stones hitting the stage and strutting their stuff all over the US on their latest tour.

Which older famous men still “start you up?” Let us know! We want to reminisce!