Posts Tagged ‘Skin’

Adios Adult Acne

May 3, 2011

I, unfortunately, am one of those women who has to suffer with adult acne.  It’s not enough that zits plagued my teen years, nope, I continue to endur the plague (I know it’s not, but it might as well be) into my 30s.  If you’re like me, then you’ve tried everything in the name of clear skin.  Here’s something new that’s been working for me.

Try switching up your skincare regime to include one product with salicylic acid and a second with benzoyl peroxide.  Doctors have recommended the two separately forever, but new research finds that when used together, two are definitely better than one.  The trick is to use the salicylic acid product first and then follow it up with the benzoyl peroxide.  Apparently, the first opens up pores which allows the second, which treats breakouts, to penetrate.

Seriously, what have you got to lose?

12 days of sporty gifts — Day 11 — Stuff those stockings

December 23, 2010

Here we are…the homestretch of the holiday shopping season.

Instead of the big ticket items, lets turn our focus today on stocking stuffers…those last-minute, often not-thought-out gifts.

If you’ve got to stuff the gym socks of a sporty guy or gal, consider these options.

A travel size bottle of sport suntan lotion

Anti-chafing stick

Chapstick

Energy/Protein bars

Head/wrist sweat bands

And while this next suggestion has nothing to do with athleticism it certainly would help pay for all that sporting equipment if it pays off…scratch off lotto tickets.

Better hurry…you’ve got only one day left to shop!

Afternoon D-lite

July 29, 2010

Being summer and all, I’m sure you’re lathering on the sunscreen everytime you know you’re going to be spending an extended amount of time outside.   But the fact is, while that sunscreen is helping to preven skin cancer it’s also blocking our bodies from getting the amount of Vitamin D it needs.

Just how essential is Vitamin D?  Almost every tissue in your body (we’re talking skin, heart, brain, muscles and immune system) has receptors for it.  And a lack of Vitamin D affects bone growth and can lead to a loss in bone density, not to mention there are new studies that suggest it results in an elevated risk of certain cancers, heart disease and high blood pressure and various auto-immune disorders.

More and more people suffer from a lack of Vitamin D and a lot of it has to do with how well we protect ourselves from the sun.  That’s because our main source of it comes from the sun’s ultra-violet B rays.  Vitamin D can also be absorbed through food sources (like fortified milk and orange juice), but you’d have to consume massive amounts to get the amount the body needs.  There are also supplements you can take, but they can be dangerous because if you take too much, your body is unable to get rid of it.

So the best way to make sure you’re getting Vitamin D is to spend some unprotected time in the sun during these hot summer months.  In fact, one doctor tells the New York Times that if we get enough summer sun exposure, our bodies should be able to produce enough Vitamin D to get through the entire year! 

Now, I’m not condoning spending an entire day at the beach without sunscreen.  That would just be stupid.  Here’s what that same doctor mentioned above recommends:  wear minimal clothing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. two or three times a week for 5 to 10 minutes.  That means no sunscreen, except on your face, where you should always wear it.

So the next time someone tells you you should always wear sunscreen, don’t feel guilty and then share the info you just learned!

Tips for staying safe this holiday weekend

July 2, 2010

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is upon us.  The beach!  Pools!  Fireworks!  Backyard BBQs!  Go out and enjoy, but do me a favor and stay safe.  Lest you need some reminding, here are my top ten tips for a safe summer.

1 — Wear Sunscreen!  At least an SPF 30 if it’s your first time out in the sun.  A lower SPF means you’ll burn quicker, not tan faster.  And don’t forget to reapply, especially after swimming or excessive sweating.  If you’re not sure when it’s time to lather up again, invest in some UVSunSense bracelets.

2– Wear Sunglasses!  Protecting your baby blues from the sun is just as important as protecting your skin.  Some studies suggest prolonged unprotected exposure to harmful UV rays increases your risk of developing macular degeneration.

3–Stay Hydrated!  And no, parking yourself next the keg in the backyard doesn’t count.  Be sure to drink plenty of water.  The hotter it is, the faster you lose liquids.  If you are imbibing, try to alternate every other alcoholic drink with a glass of water.

4–Swim Supervised!  This goes especially if you’re at the beach.  Be sure to only swim in the waters patrolled by lifeguards.  With Hurricane Alex churning out there in the Atlantic, rip currents along the coast are stronger than usual.

5– Leave the Fireworks to Macy’s! Emergency room visits skyrocket during the fourth of July holiday, mostly because of all those backyard fireworks shows.  If you want to keep all your fingers and toes, let the pros handle the fire show.

6–Don’t Drink and Drive! Believe it or not, the Fourth of July is the deadliest holiday weekend for drunk driving.  Yes, even more than the New Year holiday.  So if you’re drinking, please make sure you have a designated driver.  If you’re not drinking, but will be on the road, be alert to the dangerous drivers around you.

7–Don’t Get Sick!  Summer grilling seasoning is high time for food poisoning.  Whether it’s salmonella or E coli or just food that’s been left out in the heat too long, take care to not get sick (or make your guests sick).  Make sure everything’s cook/served/stored at the proper temperature.  That’s unless you don’t want to host the BBQ next year!

8–Shoo Fly!  Bugs.  They’re the bane of outdoor summer fun.  If you want to keep them at bay, skip the scented soaps, perfumes and hairspray.  If your backyard is especially buggy, invest in a sunscreen with bug repellent. 

9–Don’t Forget Fido! Pets, like people, aren’t immune to the hot weather.  They can become dehydrated more quickly than humans, so make sure your pooch has plenty of fresh water available if you’re taking her along to the picnic/BBQ.  Also, make sure she has a shady place to rest.

10–Practice Moderation!  Here it is again, the BuffBroad golden rule!  Whether it’s the sun, or the water or food and especially the alcohol, don’t overdo it.  Too much of something isn’t always a good thing.  But don’t forget to have fun!  Being happy is one thing this buff broad doesn’t think you should moderate!

Happy Fourth!

Photo courtesy of Flikr

Chafed Thighs — Summer’s Bane

June 29, 2010

God, it’s hot. 

A girl’s best friend in this weather is the skirt.  It’s cute and has built-in air conditioning.  But it’s not always the most comfortable choice of clothing if you’re carrying around some extra weight.  I’m talking about chafing — the result of your (and my) meaty thighs rubbing together.

Some of my friends opt to never wear a skirt in the summer because they want to avoid the pain and redness.  Others, will suffer through the heat wearing Spanx just so they don’t have to wear pants.  I’ve come up with a different solution.

Say bye-bye to chafing!

Head to your local sporting goods store and buy the anti-chafing roll-ons or sticks that they sell for runners.  Rub it on your thighs…and voila!  No more chafing.  Seriously.  I have two different brands at home.  One is like solid stick deodorant (Body Glide).  The other is like a roll-on deodorant (Sport Shield).  I prefer the roll-on.  It glides on more easily and lasts longer, although it is slightly oiler than the stick version.  Neither stains my clothing or has an offensive smell.

I also use it on my feet.  You know those cute summer shoes that always end in blisters?  Just apply this stuff to those areas where you usually get the blisters and I swear your feet will survive unscathed.

So try it!  After the first summer outing, you’ll wonder why this stuff isn’t mass marketed towards women instead of just athletes!

Sweat Fest

June 4, 2010

When I workout, I sweat…a lot (especially during the summer).  So I was pleased when I stumbled across an article that proclaimed fit people sweat more than the regular population.  At first I thought, “Finally, an answer!”  But then I realized this couldn’t possibly be true.  I mean, people carrying around more than a few extra pounds must sweat more than I do, right?  Turns out the answer to both questions is yes.

Sweat. Prespire. Glisten.

Let me explain.

Overweight and obese people do sweat more than most because the extra fat on their bodies acts as an insulator.  That means their bodies have to work harder to cool down, i.e. they sweat more and more often.

Fit people also sweat a lot and they’re likely to break a sweat first.  That’s because they’ve trained their bodies to operate more efficiently at higher temperatures.  Once they start heating up, they automatically start to regulate their body temps so that they can keep running and biking without missing a beat.  And it makes sense that the longer you workout, the more you’re going to sweat.

There are, of course, other factors that play into how much a person sweats besides activity level and weight.  There’s age, sex, genes, outdoor temperatures and humidity levels.

In all cases, while it may not be pretty, sweat is essential.  It’s how our body cools down.  Consider this: our brains malfunction if our internal temperatures go up a mere six degrees (to 110 degrees).

And here’s something else you should know.  If your clothes smell like ammonia after a sweat fest, it could mean you’re ingesting too much protein and not enough carbs.  That smell is the amino acids in the protein breaking down.  Solving the problem is as easy as working in some simple carbs (whole grains or fruit) into your diet.

How to know when it’s time to reapply sunscreen

June 3, 2010

Using sunscreen is a seemingly simple idea. 

The UVSunSense Wristband

You slather it on before heading out and then reapply when needed.  But what if it’s hot and you’re sweating.  How soon do you need to reapply?  Are you safe after spending some time in the water if you’re wearing waterproof sunscreen?  What about if it’s a cloudy day…does your sunscreen last longer since you aren’t being exposed to as many direct rays?  Not so simple anymore, is it?

Enter the sunscreen wristband.

Created by a nuclear physicist, the UVSunSense wristband claims to detect and measure the strength of dangerous UV rays and changes color to let you know when it’s time to reapply suntan lotion.

Here’s how it works.  You apply sunscreen to yourself and the bracelet (SPF 15 or higher).  It’ll turn bright purple as soon as you expose it to sunlight.  Wear it while you’re out in the sun and when it turns light pink, it means it’s time for another round of sunscreen. 

But beware if the bracelet turns a pale yellow.  That color is an indicator that you’ve reached your maximum daily limit of UV radiation and should spend the rest of the day in the shade.

You can purchase the bracelets at Amazon.com as well as Kmart, Costco and Walgreens.

If it does work the way it says it does, I think the funky bracelet tan line is a decent tradeoff for preventing skin cancer.

Don’t get burned by suntan lotions: list of the best

May 26, 2010

Cruise down the suntan lotion aisle at your local drugstore/pharmacy and the options are sure to overwhelm you.  But if you’re wondering which to take along on your inaugural summer trip to the beach this weekend, look no farther!

The Coppertone girl. She didn't make the list.

Consumer Reports recently tested 12 popular sprays and lotions and found 4 that provide the best protection.  Oddly enough, they’re all sprays.  They are: Up&Up Sport Continuous (Target), Walgreens Sport Continuous, Banana Boat Sport Performance Continuous and Aveeno Continuous Protection.

The winning sun protectors were ranked on how well they protect against UVA and UVB rays, water resistance and price.

And like any survey, there are, of course, the worsts.  They are: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40, Avon Skin-So-Soft and Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free.

See the entire list from Consumer Reports here.

Facing Spring

March 11, 2010

With the end of winter in sight, it’s time to put your best face foward for spring.  Here’s a great all natural mask, that you can make at home, that will leave your skin smooth, hydrated and it might just help get rid of those pesky pimples.

What You’ll Need:

1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (DON’T use any other kind!!)

2 tsp green tea (brew and let cool)

5 tsp sugar + an additional 2 tsp sugar

1 tsp honey

Mix the vinegar, tea and first 5 tsp of sugar together in a bowl.  Stir in honey until it’s paste-like.  Add the additional 2 tsp sugar.  Mixture should be very thick.  Using a cotton pad, smear the mask on your face and then use your fingertips to massage it in, about 2-5 minutes.  Rinse with warm water and follow up with your regular skin regimine.  The leftover mask can be stored in the fridge up to two weeks.

Got Milk?

November 6, 2009

Milk may do the body good, but it can harm your face.  milk_325

Three large studies have found that the more moo juice teens and adult women drink, the worse their acne gets.  Researchers blame the natural hormones in cow’s milk for the increase in zits. 

If you’re a big milk drinker, but suffer from breakouts, doctors suggest switching to soy or rice milk. 

Beauty takes sacrifice people!  (that is unless you’re a soy/rice milk fan)