Anti Aging Tips

Years of exposure to glossy magazine ads and slick television commercials for anti-aging serums have taught us that our faces tell our stories. They reveal damage from all those summers as a lifeguard or camp counselor, lines from a nasty breakup or two, and the perfect “11” of a furrowed brow.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Most of us fret about wrinkles as we reach middle age, yet carrying an extra dress size ages a person much more than a few wrinkles ever could. Managing weight is also a more realistic goal than getting rid of wrinkles.

Don’t Smoke

According to the Mayo Clinic, smoking can accelerate the skin’s aging process. The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the more likely you are to have wrinkling of the skin.

Quitting smoking improves your circulation, lowers your risk of developing varicose veins, reduces the likelihood of obesity, and makes exercise easier and more enjoyable. You’ll also have a better sense of taste and smell as you age, and the smell of smoke won’t cling to your hair and clothing.

Follow a Nutritious Diet

Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens. It is also important to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is the one of the easiest, most effective ways to keep your skin looking healthy.

Stay Active

Participate in sports, dancing, or other activities you enjoy. Follow the federal government’s most recent Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommends that adults ages 18 to 64 should engage in two hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, combined with strength-training exercises two days a week.

Avoid Sun Exposure

Use sunscreen on your face and exposed skin every day. Wear a hat and use sunglasses to protect your eyes, since some evidence links sun exposure to later formation of cataracts. Exposure to sun also increases your risk of wrinkles or “leathery” skin.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep is responsible for the development of  “dark circles under the eyes” and can result in other issues like weight gain and depression. Adequate sleep is important for skin cell rejuvenation.

Consider Facial Cosmetic Enhancements

You may think about having a facial rejuvenation procedure like Botox or pursuing a surgical option such as a facelift, brow lift, or neck lift. These procedures can tighten or remove sagging skin beneath the chin, at the jawline, or around the eyes or remove puffy fat pads beneath the eyes that give you a prematurely aged look. However, these enhancements can be obvious to the trained eye if the outcome is not as good as you expected. There are also potentially very serious risk associated with these procedures. Your money might be better spent on a gym membership and healthy foods.

How to Get Long Hair ASAP

Pixie cuts, bobs, and shoulder-length hair can all perfectly frame a face, but when it comes time to grow out strands for a new style, the wait can be a real drag. Forget marking days off the calendar until you’ve achieved a Rapunzel-inspired mane—we’ve got the 411 on how to get long hair. Read on for the fastest way to grow your tresses, sans extensions.

Adjust Your Diet
“A healthy diet that incorporates a mix of protein and nutrients can improve the condition of your hair,” says celebrity hairstylist and NYC salon owner Julien Farel. He explains that balanced eating keeps follicles strong and prevents the hair from breaking easily. Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, MD, a board-certified NYC cosmetic and medical dermatologist, advises to incorporate omega-3 oils. She says, “I recommend salmon or supplements. Nuts are a good source, too, especially almonds.”

…But Don’t Overdo It
Dr. Gerstner says it’s important to keep weight stable and not avoid yo-yo dieting, as hair can be affected by extreme regimen changes in addition to stress and hormone levels.

Get Smart About Styling
It’s a fact well-acknowledged that heat can be wildly damaging to hair, especially when it’s already compromised, so limiting the use of a flat iron or curling wand to three times a week is best, says Dr. Gerstner. She also advises limiting exposure to sunlight, as it can strip the hair, and blow drying, adding, “A weekly deep conditioner masque is a good idea to keep hair as healthy as possible.” According to Farel, many hair care products include the same stripping ingredients as detergents, so it’s vital to choose wisely.

Try Vitamins and Conditioning Ingredients
“Phytantriol, arginine and fish oil, and biotin aid in the production of enzymes and hormones, which can help stimulate hair growth,” says Farel, who suggests his “hero” product line, Julien Farel Restore. The cleanse/treat/condition routine is designed to push regenerating anti-aging ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, deeper into the follicle, scalp and hair, which helps prolong the hair’s growth phase.

In addition, Dr. Gerstner recommends the use of supplements like Viviscal, which includes biotin, vitamin C, and a special complex of shark powder known as AminoMar, to help aid hair growth and scalp stimulation.

Take it Easy
Because stress can affect hair, Dr. Gerstner recommends weekly deep-tissue massages to relax body and mind. “The adrenals pump out extra cortisol when we are stressed, which leads to acne, skin inflammation, and possible hair disorders,” she says.

And you can always afford to take some time off: “Your hair is a reflection of how you feel,” says Farel. “If you are healthy, or on vacation, your hair looks great, shiny, and is easy to style.” What will our bosses say to that?

Beauty Skin Care Healthy Bodies Overview

These days, what it means to have a beautiful body focuses on two themes, in roughly equal measure. The first is the importance of being healthy—or, at least, as healthy as you can be if you’re living with a disease or chronic condition. The second theme is the importance of accepting your unique body shape and size.

Shape and Size

Height

Most of us have a tough time, though, accepting what we perceive to be our flaws. Those who believe they’re too short look for miraculous growth formulas. But with the exception of human growth hormone administered to children of short stature under strict medical supervision, which can add 1.5 to 4 inches to a child’s adult height, the only way to increase height is to improve your posture or to wear platform shoes or high heels. People who think they’re too tall are less likely to look for a way to change their height, but they may unconsciously slouch or otherwise try to make themselves less conspicuous.

The truth of the matter is that there is no “right” height—or even a “healthy” height for that matter. And because you can’t really control your height, it’s best to do what you can to not worry about it. Sure, wear high heels if you want a couple of inches, and stick to vertical stripes to make you look longer, but don’t go crazy over it, because it’s out of your control.

Weight

On the other hand, if you’re unhappy with your weight, you can do something about it. It may take some willpower, hard work, commitment, and maybe some outside help, but losing weight is something we all can do. If you’re ready to lose weight, make sure you don’t get suckered in by any lose-weight-quick schemes; most of them are unhealthy and ineffective in the long run. Used tried-and-true methods like healthy dieting and exercise programs to shed pounds.

Weight loss has an extra benefit that goes above and beyond feeling good about fitting into a smaller size dress or shirt: even mild weight loss can prevent the onset of disease, ease symptoms for those already suffering, and even reverse the course of some chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, some types of cancer, osteoporosis, erectile dysfunction, back pain, and sleep apnea.

Weight is a touchy subject: not everyone is going to agree on an ideal body size. There are, however, some useful measures to determine your own personal “healthy weight.” The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests using the Body Mass Index (which estimates body fat) to determine whether you are in a healthy weight range for your height. Calculate your BMI by following these steps:

Multiply your weight in pounds by 703.

Divide by your height in inches.Divide by your height in inches a second time.

BMI isn’t always accurate; it may overestimate body fat for athletes and bodybuilders, and it may underestimate body fat in the elderly or others who have lost muscle. Also, children should be assessed on a different scale.

Cellulite

Cellulite is high on many women’s lists of unwelcome physical attributes. Women tend to have more cellulite than men because their bodies naturally have a higher percentage of fat relative to lean body mass. Cellulite is simply fat that appears near the surface of the skin. Exercise is the best way to minimize the appearance of cellulite because it bulks up lean muscle and decreases body fat, both near the surface of the skin and in the deeper layers of tissue. Don’t waste your money on “firming creams,” thigh-rolling procedures or devices, or any other means of attacking cellulite. They don’t work. Put the cash toward a pair of walking shoes instead.

Repeatedly gaining and losing weight will make cellulite appear worse, because this cycle weakens collagen fibers in connective tissue beneath the skin that acts as a girdle, of sorts, to keep fat from bulging. It’s also a good idea to stay hydrated. Just as an athlete looks more ripped when he’s dehydrated, cellulite becomes more visible on us normal folks when we don’t drink enough water.

Varicose Veins

Fine, weblike spider veins or twisted, ropelike varicose veins often appear with age, usually in the legs. Veins have one-way valves that keep blood flowing in the right direction. As these valves weaken, blood collects in the veins, causing them to balloon out to accommodate the backflow of blood. Formation of varicose and spider veins may also be related to heredity, hormonal changes, pregnancy, obesity, or lack of physical activity. Spider veins can be treated by sclerotherapy, the injection of a substance that irritates the veins and causes them to form scars that are less visible than the threadlike red or blue veins. Superficial varicose veins (those close to the skin’s surface) that pose a cosmetic problem can be surgically stripped out of the leg.

Though rare, varicose veins may be painful and can be associated with serious health problems, such as deep vein thrombosis. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop a rash near your ankle, if the skin of your calf or ankle changes color or thickens, or if you have bleeding, swelling, throbbing, pain, warmth, or tenderness near a varicose vein.

Solving Skin Care & Beauty Problems

Solving Beauty Problems

Beauty isn’t always pretty. Sometimes we’re faced with an unexpected problem, such as thinning hair. Other times we battle a problem we’ve had for years, such as acne or excessive sweating.

Such problems tend to have an unfortunate association with poor hygiene and thus carry a social stigma that can cause people extreme embarrassment. If the condition is chronic, such embarrassment can lead to emotional problems.

Thinning Hair or Balding

The most common kind of baldness is called male pattern baldness. According to Mayo Clinic, it’s caused by a combination of genetic inheritance and the presence of specific male hormones. Usually you have a receding hairline and hair loss at the crown of the head. If your hair is thinning, cutting it more often won’t make it grow faster or thicker. If you’re really confident, embrace your baldness by shaving your head. Women who are self-conscious about their thinning hair can consider wearing a wig.

Some people find that minoxidil (Rogaine), an over-the-counter topical medication, will regrow a modest amount of hair. Hair transplant or replacement is the most expensive option for men and women with thinning hair. Modern hair transplantation uses micrografting to transfer hair follicles to bald or thinning areas.

Unwanted Body Hair

Unwanted body hair can be just as distressing as baldness, particularly for women who have hair on their chin or upper lip. Shaving such hair often yields cosmetically unsatisfying results. A hair removal product may produce a better result if it doesn’t cause too much skin irritation. Another option for light-skinned people is to bleach the hair to make it less noticeable. Those with bigger budgets can consider electrolysis or laser treatments. These treatments are permanent and effective but are expensive and time-consuming ways of keeping hair from growing back.

Excessive Sweating

Chronic excessive sweating of the palms, face, armpits, or feet is a nervous system disorder known as hyperhidrosis. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, treatments for hyperhidrosis include:

  • Anticholinergic medications such as glycopyrrolate, oxybutynin, or benztropine may be useful in controlling perspiration, but they often have unacceptable side effects.
  • Use of an electrical current to disrupt sweat glands may help, but this therapy requires time-consuming daily treatments.
  • Injection of Botox into the armpits is very effective in reducing perspiration. This treatment may work on the palms and face as well, but the paralyzing effect of the drug limits its usefulness in these areas.
  • A surgical procedure can cure the condition by severing the nerves responsible for sending the signals that trigger excessive sweating. This procedure is also effective for those who blush inappropriately. However, the procedure carries several serious risks and must be performed under general anesthesia.

Acne

Most of us have had to deal with acne at some point in our lives. Acne is an inflammatory condition that occurs when glands in the hair follicles become plugged with dead skin cells and bacteria. It’s most common on the face, shoulders, back, and chest. According to Mayo Clinic, acne occurs more frequently among adolescents because hormonal changes during puberty affect the oil glands. However, it can affect a person of any age.

As with baldness, acne is primarily related to heredity and hormonal factors. It’s unrelated to poor hygiene practices. As anyone who has had it knows, acne can’t be treated or prevented simply by washing your face. Of course, if you wear makeup, make sure it’s an oil-free formulation.

Over-the-counter medications containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid may be effective in managing acne, but many people suffer with the condition far too long before consulting a dermatologist or family doctor. Prescription topical antibiotics and medications containing vitamin A (retinoids) are often highly effective. Severe, intractable acne may require treatment with isotretinoin (Accutane), an oral vitamin A preparation available by prescription. Patients who take this drug must be closely monitored for side effects, and women of childbearing age must ensure they don’t become pregnant while taking isotretinoin and for a short time afterward. The drug is known to cause birth defects. Treatment lasts about four months. The drug’s effects are dramatic, often clearing severe acne completely, and the change is usually permanent

8 Ways to Treat Sunburn at Home

Home Remedies for Sunburn

Summer’s here, and that means it’s time to head outside and soak up the sun. But along with the all those hours spent outdoors during the summer season, there usually comes one inevitable thing: sunburn. Fortunately for all of us, there are plenty of household items you can use to cool the burning, itching, and peeling that come with damage from the sun.

Keep reading to learn about home remedies that can help heal and soothe your skin

Cool Water

Sunburn, basically, is inflammation of the skin. One of the easiest ways to treat inflammation is to cool down the affected area. An effective way to immediately help sunburn, even while you’re still outside, is to hop in the water, whether it’s an ocean, lake, or stream. Dipping in and out throughout the day can help keep sunburn from worsening. Be wary of pools, as chlorinated water can irritate the skin more. You should also avoid directly applying ice. Although it may look appealing when your skin is burning, it could actually cause even more damage to your extra-sensitive sunburned skin

Baking Soda & Oatmeal

Throwing a few heaping tablespoons of baking soda into a bathtub full of cool water and soaking for about 15 to 20 minutes helps minimize sun damage. Adding a cup of oats to the bath also soothes irritation and helps the skin retain its natural moisture.

Aloe Vera

If you don’t have an aloe vera plant in your house, you should get one. The gel inside this succulent plant has been used for centuries for all sorts of ailments, from upset stomachs to kidney infections. It’s also the sunburn relief most commonly found over the counter.

Breaking off a chunk of the plant and applying the gel directly to the skin provides immediate, soothing relief from the sting of minor sunburn. If you can’t get your hands on a plant, try a 100 percent aloe vera gel (not an aloe-based lotion or ointment). You can find these gels in most pharmacies

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea can be soothing to your spirit, but it can also soothe your sunburned skin. Brew the tea as you normally would and let it cool. When it’s ready, soak a washcloth in it and apply it to the affected area.

Vinegar

Opinions are mixed about using vinegar for sunburn relief. Some say adding two cups of vinegar to cool bath water can help take the sting out of burn, while others say the high acidity in vinegar only makes things worse. If you haven’t used the treatment before on smaller, lighter sunburns, it’s best not to try it for larger, more serious burns.

Wear Loose Clothing

As your skin is repairing itself, make sure to wear clothing that doesn’t stick to your skin. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it’s best to give it some room to breathe as it heals from a major traumatic episode like sunburn. Natural fibers, such as cotton or bamboo, make for the best post-sunburn coverings.

Drink Lots of Water

As your skin is battling the damage from the sun’s rays, it needs moisture that it lost during your time out in the sun. If you aren’t already drinking your eight glasses of water a day, a nasty sunburn should be reason enough to get you to start doing so.

Don’t Forget the Moisturizer

After the initial treatment, you skin will still need some tender loving care. One of the most important things you can do to prevent skin from peeling — or at least keep it to a minimum — is to regularly apply moisturizer to the affected areas. Use scent- and dye-free moisturizer (marketed for “sensitive skin”) to keep skin irritation to a minimum.

Get More Information

Stay hydrated, keep cool, and if the sunburn is too painful, you can take some ibuprofen. You should also make sure you stay covered up next time you go outside so your sunburn isn’t exposed to even more sun. Call a doctor if a sunburn causes you to have a fever or if you are showing signs of dehydration.