Archive for August, 2009

Free Radicals — Finding the Facts

Posted on August 28, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

My easy definition of a Free Radical:  Cell molecules experience loss of electrons from stress, excess sun exposure, smoking, lack of rest, inadequate diet, etc.  The cell that has lost an electron is called a Free Radical.  In an effort to replace the missing electron, the Free Radical starts robbing electrons from other cells.  This can lead to a rampage of cell raids, leading to premature aging and disease. The process can be halted if your body has enough antioxidant protection from vitamins, herbals, etc.

If you are not into chemistry, this seems kind of boring.  But, science has found out how premature aging happens and we can learn a lot about how to keep ourselves “looking younger” by understanding the impact of Free Radicals.

If you look for information about Free Radicals on the web, it will usually be a scientific study worded for the professional in the chemical industry or a sales ad that skims through the science and has the consumer believe that the only way to fight Free Radicals is to purchase brand X’s lotion, potion, or serum. 

The truth is antioxidants are available in certain foods we eat.  Herbs as well as green and white teas, can also protect us from Free Radicals.  If your diet is lacking in the required vitamins, just take a supplement once in a while.  Most of the other things you can do are also common sense.  The information at livestrong. com is easy to read and straight forward.  Check out the Related Articles on the right side bar for more great links:   http://www.livestrong.com/article/14045-5-things-you-need-to-know-about-free-radical-damage/ 

The sites below have more information on Free Radicals:

Dr Oz and Oprah (great graphics, for those who are more visual):  http://www.squidoo.com/oprahcom-and-dr-oz

This site talks in med-speak, but the info is good:  http://www.skintactix.com/free_radical_damage.htm

This site has good, clear information based on diet: http://www.ezhealthydiet.com/free-radical-damage.html

Not one mention of Free Rads here, but the info supports all the data: http://www.pioneerthinking.com/jm_younger.html 

The main point to remember is that Free Radicals are caused by many things that we have control over.   Getting enough rest, reducing stress, keeping pollutants away from our systems, and eating right will help keep us looking younger naturally.

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Tips on Lips

Posted on August 25, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Here are some ideas on keeping lips soft and smooth: 

1)  Keep lips moisturized.  Use a natural (or as close to natural as you can get) lip balm or lip gloss to help protect lips.  

Finding a natural ingredient lip gloss can be a challenge (I use Royal Bee brand for it’s great honey taste and smooth application), but if you have the time to make your own…  

http://www.spaindex.com/HomeSpa/HoneyCitrusLipGloss.htm 

or if you like chocolate:  http://www.skin-care-recipes-and-remedies.com/chocolate-lip-gloss.html

2)  Protect lips when out in the sun or wind.  Hydrate frequently and apply a layer of balm or gloss.

3)  Get lipstick with non-irritating ingredients.  Purchase the highest quality, most natural product you can.  We ingest about seven pounds of lipstick over a lifetime!  Check this link for ingredients to avoid: 

 http://skin-nail-care.suite101.com/article.cfm/lip_care

4)  Occasionally exfoliate.  Try this lip scrub:  http://www.skin-care-recipes-and-remedies.com/lip-care.html

5) Get your vitamin B’s.

6)  Go natural.  Honey, butter (or ghee), and olive oil are much better for your lips than commercial petroleum-based products. 

To find out more check out:  http://www.natural-skincare-authority.com/chapped-lips.html

Royal Bee Lip Balm:  http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&safe=off&q=royal+bee+lip+balm&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=gZKVSqvrF5WiMfv8tPoH&sa=X&oi=product_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4

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Chemical Spotlight

Posted on August 21, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Phthalates–

These chemicals are commonly found in cosmetics and personal care products.  The European Union banned their use in cosmetics in 2005, but we in the USA are lagging behind.  Why are phthalates such a bad ingredient?  One of the reasons is this chemical is a known male reproductive toxicant.  Studies on animals show that exposure in the womb can lead to compromised fertility of the unborn male later in life.  Read more about phthalates at the sites below: 

http://www.ewg.org/node/8173                 http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=24

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Girl’s Spa Night

Posted on August 18, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

A relaxing spa night with your girlfriends, sounds fun and indulgent but it doesn’t have to be expensive.  The key to success is to keep things simple and fun.  You may just want to focus on one area of the body, like the feet or hands.  Or do a facial or yoga themed party.  Be extra trendy by making products for spa treatments and providing little take home containers for the guests as party favors.  If you have a friend that is a professional instructor in yoga or other forms of exercise or someone who is good at giving massages, why not make that part of the spa experience?  

Below are some links to help you get started putting together your own Girl’s Spa Night:

For step-by-step info that will get you off on the right foot, check out:  www.mahalo.com/how-to-throw-a-spa-party

This site has some good info about party ambiance and how to set the mood (plus it is super cool):  www.diva-girl-parties-and-stuff.com/home-spa-party.html

This one is for kids, but who said fun is just for kids?  www.birthdaypartyideas4kids.com/homemade-spa-recipies.htm

Evite has spa invitations, who knew?  www.evite.com/app/cms/ideas/spa-party  This site has great tips on how to organize your spa party, too.

So many spa tips and recipes, you will go crazy-happy just looking at them:  www.spaindex.com/HomeSpa/HomeSpa.htm  remember to choose recipes that will work for all three skin types or go for the ones that work for the normal skin range.  Leave out heavy moisture masks, abrasive scrubs, and oil stripping toners.  Go for gentle acting formulas using mild ingredients, that way everybody can have a happy spa experience. 

And one last thing, remember to keep it green, natural, and organic.

Sheila’s Bookshelf  —

This book is great because it has so many skin care recipes and some sexy romantic spa recipes to share with your sweetheart.   Check it out:  http://www.amazon.com/Organic-Body-Recipes-Stephanie-Tourles/dp/1580176763  This is a review of the book and some sample recipes:  http://www.epinions.com/content_403806260868

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Great Skin Care Information on the Internet

Posted on August 14, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Might sound impossible, finding great (and free) skin care information on the internet, but it is easy if you follow a few tips:

1)  Although googling “skin care” will get you loads of web sites, look for a website or an article written by a professional organization or medical professional. 

2)  You are better off with information that is from an expert and given out for free, compared to information that is really an ad created by someone who has no healthcare background or knowledge.

3)  Use common sense when reading skin care tips and and making your own products.  Use caution when working with new, exotic, or unknown ingredients.

The following websites have passed muster and I like the way the information is presented (and you might too), so I’m passing them along:

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/optimumhealthessentials/a/5_Tips_Skin.htm

The next web site is from the Mayo Clinic.  The tips are health based and take a long term view.  The info on the side bar is great too.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/skin-care/SN00003/NSECTIONGROUP=2

This site has acne treatment tips: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/take_care/skin_tips.html

And this site gives you skin care tips if you are pregnant:

 http://health.yahoo.com/experts/skintype/8846/skin-care-tips-for-pregnancy/ 

and we can’t forget the newborns:

http://www.webmd.com/baby/baby-skin-care-8/default.htm

Although this site is more common sense than professional, there are sooo many money saving tips to read:

http://www.pioneerthinking.com/lotions.html

Sometimes finding good, reliable information on the web seems like searching for a needle in a haystack.  Following these tips will steer you through all the ads and hype to some solid information.

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Green Skin Care Journals — Lemon and Water

Posted on August 10, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

When I think of lemon and water, I come up with an image of a tall glass of chilled water and a twist of lemon served at a restaurant, but for some reason drinking lemon and water at home never came to mind.  Until I read about how lemon water has been used for centuries in cultures like India’s and China’s as a detox.   But now even more reason to try this healthful and very cost effective drink, it is a great way to clear your skin and support skin health.  For some general info check out these web spots:

http://beautifulwithbrains.com/2009/03/13/benefits-of-lemon-water/ 

http://www.lifemojo.com/lifestyle/top-10-health-benefits-of-lemon-water-1422542 

http://redefinability.blogspot.com/2009/01/benefits-of-lemon-water-health.html

http://www.carefair.com/Nutrition/Lemon_Water_2766.html

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Exercise and Beauty

Posted on August 7, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Here are some great websites to check out how exercise can help your skin look better and be more vibrant:

http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/guide/exercise-your-body-your-skin

http://www.fitfiend.com/faq/how-can-exercise-improve-beauty-and-self-image

http://www.modelbeautytip.com/exercise.htm

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Skin Care from the Inside Out

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

When someone talks about skin care, I immediately think of something that is put on the skin or done to it.  Yet, in reality, skincare is so much more than that.  Good skin care is part of a lifestyle of healthy eating, getting enough rest and exercise, learning to reduce stress, and controlling the intake of harmful chemicals.  Genes can give peaches and cream skin and a healthy glow, but being smart about your health in general will keep that good look lasting a long time.

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Can Green and Glam Co-exist?

Posted on August 3, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Being green is a good thing, but do you have to look like an Iowa farm girl because of it?  Of course not!  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the natural look.  Having healthy skin so you look great without make up is a really good goal.  But how about the times when you feel like looking glamorous?  Can green and glam co-exist? 

Pondering this question, I headed out to the department store to do some snooping.  The first place I checked out was a high end department store, lots of sales people doing professional style make up applications on eager potential buyers there.  Then I decided to go to the natural food store (with earth friendly cosmetics) just to check out the difference. The whole beauty care area was just a cramped display of several different brands and the sales girl in Birkenstocks ignored me.  Bummer.  No help, no hand holding.  To find somewhere between those too extremes, I headed out to the trendy natural skin care shops at the mall and I decided to start in those shops to find my glam.  But first I decided to do some homework.

The first thing I settled on was the focus of my “mission”.  Mostly, I was looking for a color palette that worked with my skin tone and natural coloring.  And I reminded myself that I have my skin care stuff down pat, so I was going to resist any skin care product sales pressure (even if she produced a mirror that was so magnified that my pores looked like the moon surface, I vowed to “just say no”). 

Next, I decided what kinds of make up I would be checking out.  Lip color, eye pencil, and blush.  These are the color cosmetics and the ones we need expert advice on (otherwise why pay the 250% mark up?) and it’s a short enough list so I can jot down any big bad chemicals that I should avoid.   Anything with coal tar dyes, formaldehyde, mica, etc. will be rejected outright.  I kind of bend my rule on parabens when it comes to make up around the eye.  Since the amount used is small and the risk for bacterial infection is huge, it makes more sense to use something with parabens — till they come up with something safer.  Check out these web sites, which have good cosmetic dictionaries:

 www.enviromom.com/2008/01/eco-friendly-co.html,                 

http://www.natural-skincare-authority.com/cosmetic-chemicals.html

www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/splash.php?URI=%2Findex.php

After you have your list of bad chems to avoid and a few blank index cards to jot down names and colors, you are ready to hit the stores.  Wear a top with a color that is flattering to your skin tone and matches your personality.  What you wear everyday is the best bet.  Go with only foundation and powder on.  I like to go near the end of the day, since persistent salespeople will only have so much time to badger me.  *smile*

At this point you can be like me and vow to only buy one new cosmetic, all the while jotting down names and smearing color samples on those handy index cards (tell you why in a minute) or just kick back and have the sales person do their thing and pass on the gold card.  I like to buy only one thing because I realise that the natural food store may have the same colors, only greener (that is, more natural).  Just try to find the closest matching colors and read the labels.  Since people who shop in natural food stores are more ingredient aware, you can bet that the cosmetics will be more earth friendly.  (If I can’t find a better product, no worries, I still have the information on my cards and can go back to the trendy mall shop.)  In the best case scenario, I have made two sales people happy.  Sharing the love.

One other thing (if you really want to go glam), check out make up artistry books for application tips and also salons for waxing and eyebrow shaping.  Having a polished look and being green.  A terrific combination.

Update:  Found this cool site that gives you shopping guidelines in one easy-to-print-up- and-take-along list:  http://www.pioneerthinking.com/ls_naturalcosmetics.html  also… got a few names of natural cosmetic companies that you might want to check out:  Dr. Hauschka, Logona (from Germany), and Jane Iredale’s.

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