Friday, July 18, 2014

The Good VS Ugly Ingredients in Natural Skin Care Products

Natural skin care 
Natural skin care may sound like it's good for your skin, but it really depends on the ingredients and your specific skin needs.  Instead of buying skin care products based on what the label says, you need to learn to separate the good from ugly natural skin care products ingredients.

We live in a green-conscious world and the word natural in anything sounds good.  This has been a great marketing tool for skin care and cosmetics companies who want to sell products.  They add numerous plant ingredients, including extracts and essential oils, hoping this will ring loudly with potential buying consumers who are looking for "natural skin care".

Now that we know natural skin care or cosmetics may only have marketing benefits, let's see if there are natural ingredients that are really good for you.

Beneficial Ingredients in Natural Skin Care Products 

  • Shea butter has long been known as a great anti-aging moisturizer.  It hydrates without clogging pores, and keeps your skin smooth and healthy.

  • Vitamins such as antioxidant vitamins C, A and E do have benefits for your skin. Although there are many kinds of vitamins, antioxidants offer the best skin care benefits.  American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) reports that antioxidants can reduce the harmful effects of free radicals, which are molecules that injure the skin's cells and cause inflammation and premature aging.

  • Soy oil derived from soybeans are a great source of isoflavones, which can help to increase skin thickness and help with production of collagen, for preventing premature aging of the skin.

  • Hyaluronic acid is a natural chemical that we all produce in our body. It's been shown to aid in healing wounds, and beneficial in natural skin care as an anti-aging moisturizer.

  • Alpha hydroxy acid are derived from fruit and often added to natural skin care to exfoliate and promote collagen formation.
Negatives of Natural Skin Care Products
  • Since they're marketed as "natural" many brands charge more for these natural skin care products.
  • Plants have side affects and can actually cause sensitive skin irritation.
  • You may have an allergic reaction to a plant ingredient and not know it. Many assume natural skin care products will not cause allergic reactions, which of course is not so.
  • Some natural oils may clog pores or cause breakouts.
  • Preservative or pesticides may have been used to process the natural ingredient.  It's easier to grow mold on a natural ingredient, which is why strong preservatives are often needed to prevent bacteria or mold to grow in a product.
How to Choose Your Skin Care and Cosmetics
  • First look for skin type match with yours.  For example, if you have acne prone skin, choose an oil-free facial lotion.
  • Look for plant free unless it's one of the ingredients listed above, or as few plants as possible.  The ones with a potpourri of plants may be a problem.
  • Instead of buying a lot of skin care products from one brand, choose one and test it on the inside of your arm.  Wait 24 hours to see if any negative reactions occur.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Anti-Aging Skincare Tips Every Woman Over 50 Must Know

Anti-aging skincare essentials
As fine lines and dry skin begin to show on your face, anti-aging skincare can become an obsession. Movie stars and models are put to pasture by the time they're even 40 years old.  If you're over 50 and not in the entertainment or modeling profession, your goal should be to look good and have a healthy, radiant complexion without subjecting yourself to Botox or the knife.   And let's face it, ultimately beauty and youthfulness is skin deep, but a little TLC goes a long way towards a beautiful complexion.

At the age of 50, you either can maintain that youthful glow or quickly age with each passing year. Although there are no miracle quick fixes towards keeping your skin beautiful and healthy for years to come, the following steps have been recommended by dermatologists and shown to be effective for minimizing premature aging.

Healthy skin care habits are the key to help prevent fine lines, retain skin firmness, avoid blotchy skin, and reduce risk of skin cancer.  Create your own best skin care routine, making sure to incorporate the following tips.

Many people think their skin care products should include lots of plant ingredients.  What they don't realize is that just because the label has the work 'natural' on it, it does not mean it's good for you.  Most plants may have medicinal properties and be good for healing certain conditions, they also may have side effects, just like any prescription drug.  Most are also subjected to pesticides, even organic ones may have harsh preservatives.

It's also a good idea to avoid parabens, fragrance, gluten and other irritating ingredients, such as salicylic acid.  Salicylic acid is often added to anti-aging creams.  Many are finding they are allergic to this ingredient, which is the common anti-inflammatory part of aspirin like products.

1.  Moisturize everyday with sensitive skin products:
  • Whether you have sensitive skin or not, an anti-aging moisturizer should be mild and non-irritating.  When shopping for a sensitive skin moisturizer, look for antioxidant ingredients and hyaluronate.  Unlike Retin-A, hyaluronate is non-irritating, but effective in minimizing fine lines.
  • Moisturizer is important at any age, without it as you get older the skin becomes dry and leathery in appearance.
     
  • Use an appropriate moisturizer for your skin type.  If you have oily, acne prone skin, choose an oil-free moisturizer.  Moisturizers with shea butter are excellent for dry skin.  Shea butter does not clog pores and even has some sunscreen benefits.
2.  Never leave home without protecting your skin from the sun:
  • The foundation of anti-aging skin is to protect it from the sun.
  • Wearing a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses is helpful, but not always practical.  When possible, cover up with long pants and long sleeves.
  • The sun's UVA (long waves that age skin) and UVB (short waves that burn skin) rays make your skin age quicker.
     
  • The ingredients listed as safe sunblock by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.  To prevent brown spots, wrinkles and most important, risk of skin cancer, use sunscreen every day.  
3.  Keep your skin clean
  • Some factors help you from aging sooner:
    - If you have olive or darker complexion.
    - You have oily skin versus dry skin.
    -  No matter what your skin type, it must be kept clean.
  • Use a gentle sensitive skin cleanser suitable for your skin type.
4.  Give yourself a regular home facial
  • When you're young, you shed old skin cells frequently, and new cells take their place.  With aging skin, it takes a lot longer for the dead cells to shed, and be replaced by new cells.  These old cells can clog pores and make your skin appear dull.
  • A weekly at home facial can not only save you money but allows you to use products you have found to be effective.  Spas use skin care they want to sell, and may be be the best for you.
  • An exfoliating scrub with fine pumice is gentle but effective in helping to remove those dead cells.
  • Facial mask with kaolin clay and dead sea mud is excellent for adding vital nutrients to your skin.
4.  Eat healthy foods that are approximately 35-40% protein, 35-45% carbs and 20-35% healthy fat per meal

5.  Stop use of tobacco products and excessive alcohol drinks.

6.  Get enough rest and relaxation.  Studies show fresh air, exercise and balancing work with play will show in your inner and outer beauty.

Best home facial


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How to Naturally Stop Hair Loss & Grow New Hair in Women

Hair loss and thinning 
Hair loss, (also called alopecia), is normal up to a point.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology (aad.org), normal hair loss means losing 50-100 hairs every day.  However, if your hair is becoming more thin and bald patches are appearing, you may be experiencing more serious or permanent hair loss.

Causes for Hair Loss and Thinning

It's normal for men and women to experience hair loss.  Some may loose hair over time, but if it happens quickly, it may be due to hormonal changes, certain medical conditions and medications.  Once the cause is managed, hair will regrow.

According to mayoclinic.org, thyroid problems, autoimmune diseases, anemia can result in hair loss. They also list scalp infections, stress, and skin conditions as causes of hair loss.  Giving birth will cause hormonal changes , cancer therapy (radiation and chemotherapy), medications for depression, high blood pressure and heart problems, and heredity can all give rise to excessive hair loss.

Other causes include weight loss, too much Vitamin A, not getting enough protein and iron.  Anorexia (not eating enough) and bulimia (vomiting after eating) can also cause hair loss.

Even more obvious cause may be not washing your hair properly, how you dry your hair and even your hairstyle.

Easy Steps To Regrow Hair

Hats, scarves, wigs and changing your hairstyle to cover baldness may help.  But finding the cause and natural ways to regrow hair are better answers.  Of course, if infection or certain illness is the cause, treatment with medication may be necessary.  A dermatologist can determine if medication is necessary due to a medical condition, or if a medication is the cause, an alternative may be prescribed.

Step 1: Finding the Cause of Your Hair Loss

  • Are you on a yo-yo diet and perhaps not eating enough, or not eating a balanced diet?  A balanced diet includes 10 to 35 percent protein, 45 to 65 percent healthy carbohydrates and 20 to 35 percent fat of your total daily calories.

    Protein is made of amino acids. Essential amino acids are those your body does not make and non-essential are amino acids your body is able to make.  Essential amino acids are called "complete proteins" and are found in red meat, fish, and poultry.  Some plants, low fat dairy, nuts and soy also contain essential amino acids. By eating protein from a variety of food sources, you will get all the daily essential amino acids.    However, less red meat and more cold water fish is a better option.
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine (umm.edu/altmed) website, includes certain foods that may be allergens, include dairy, wheat (gluten), corn, soy, preservatives, and food additives.
  • Excessive alcohol, tobacco and coffee may cause hair loss symptoms.
  • According to aad.org, years of wearing hair in a style that pulls the hair, such as a ponytail, cornrows, or braids can cause hair loss called "traction alopecia."

Step 2: Natural Remedies to Help Regrow Hair
  • The Journal of Dermatology published a small study with people who applied onion juice to their scalps twice a day. They saw hair regrowth in six weeks.
  • Biotin supplement can help with hair and scalp health. Biotin is also available in nuts, brown rice and oats.
  • B-complex supplements that include biotin and vitamin B6 may also help stop hair thinning and increase circulation to the scalp.
  • Other supplements with antioxidant vitamins of A, C, E, and trace minerals of magnesium and selenium are important for healthy scalp and hair.
  • L-lysine, 500 - 1000 mg daily, for hair loss has been suggested.
     
  • Always use healthy oils in foods, such as olive oil.
  • Avoid trans fatty acids typically found in crackers, cookies, and fast food restaurants.
  • Drink plenty of water, at least six to eight glasses.
  • Avoid frequent bleaching or permanents that damage hair. Harsh hair sprays, gels and shampoos (specially with sodium lauryl sulfate).
  • Hot blow dryers used daily tend to damage hair.
  • Avoid hairpins, hair clips and rubber bands that are used to hold hair tightly.
  • Be very gentle with your hair when it's wet.  When your hair is wet, breakage occurs more easily.
  • It always feels so good when getting a scalp massage from the hair dresser.  Why not give yourself a scalp massage.  This helps increase blood flow, and as circulation improves, nutrients reach the hair follicles.
  • Balance a stressful life with laughter and time for relaxation.  
Emu Oil for Hair Regrowth

Michael Holick, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine conducted a study that concluded "over 80% of hair follicles became active and began growing hair" after applying emu oil to the scalp.  The recommendation is to massage a small amount of emu oil to the thinning area of the scalp three times a day for at least 21 days.

It's very important to use emu oil that has been properly purified.  If not, it can be contaminated. Choose one with the seal of approval from the American Emu Association.  They mandate very strict guidelines and lab reports for purity of emu oil from manufacturers who are members.
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Emu Oil for thinning hair