Ease Your Allergies With These Simple Tips

Ease Your Allergies With These Simple Tips

 

 

 

Here are some tools I recommend to make allergy season a little less painful.

 

More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies—and even if you aren’t one of them, you almost certainly have a friend or family member coping with allergies as pollen counts rise.

Aside from the usual over-the-counter remedies, you can take a few easy steps to remove allergens from your home. There are air filters built into vacuum cleaners that can remove and trap pollen, pet dander, dust mites and other particles. There are washers with a special allergen cycle that can kit dust mites. And a good dehumidifier can prevent mold from growing.

So whether you’re dealing with springtime allergies or year-round issues with household dust and other allergens, here some tools I recommend you use to make allergy season a little less painful.

 

 

Clean Your House With a HEPA Filter Vacuum

 

Unfortunately, not all allergens are in the air. All kinds of dust and grime can get caught in your carpet which will aggravate your allergies with every step. And while serious allergy sufferers may want to consider removing carpet from their homes entirely, most of us can manage with regular vacuuming to suck up dirt before it becomes a problem (weekly vacuuming is ideal).

 

Example: Electrolux EL4021A Silent Performer Bagless Canister Vacuum with 3-in-1 Crevice Tool and HEPA Filter

 

The Electrolux EL402A is a a true silent performer, with their Silence Pro system for minimal noise and disription.  This powerful vacuum provides deep cleaning suction on bare floors and carpets, while its HEPA filter captures 99.97% of airborne pollutants (great for allergy sufferers!).  It also comes with a 3-in-1 crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery nozzle.  This vacuum is bagless and easy to empty.  Read reviews.

 

 

Consider a Roomba or Robotic Mop

 

While vacuuming is a simple solution to allergy problems, it takes a time and effort to do it weekly—and to keep dirt away you may need to vacuum even more often in high-traffic areas or areas frequented by your pets. If you’re having trouble finding the time, the Roomba 980 is the answer.

 

 

 

Despite its petite size, the Roomba 980 can do the cleaning of a conventional vacuum with its AeroForce cleaning system which is more powerful than previous Roombas.

The Roomba 980 cleans an entire level of your home: With Smart Mapping and vSLAM® technology, the Roomba® 980 robot vacuum seamlessly navigates your home, keeping track of where it’s been and where it has yet to clean.  It cleans continuously for up to 120 minutes, then recharges and resumes cleaning until the job is done.

 

 

 

 

The Roomba 980 removes dirt from high traffic spots of your home using patented Dirt Detect™ Technology. Sensors recognize concentrated areas of dirt and prompt the robot to clean them more thoroughly.  At just 3.6 inches tall, the Roomba® robot vacuum is designed to clean under beds, sofas, toe kicks, and other hard-to-reach areas.  Its Cliff Detect sensors prevent the robot from falling down stairs or tumbling over drop-offs.

Its advanced Gen 3 motor gives the Roomba® robot vacuum up to 10x the air power in Performance Mode or when the robot detects it’s cleaning carpet, while its multi-surface brushes work together to pull in pet hair, dust, dirt, and large debris without getting tangled.  Its Edge-Sweeping Brush is specially designed at a 27-degree angle to sweep debris away from edges and corners and into the path of the 3-Stage Cleaning System to be suctioned off your floors.  The 980’s High-Efficiency Filter is made from a special material that captures 99% of dust, mites, and allergens as small as 10 microns.

This little unit is not only powerful, it also utilizes cutting edge technology while being so simple to use:  You can use the IRobot HOME app to set your cleaning schedule up, and its Clean Map reports show where your robot cleaned, along with details such as coverage and duration from completed jobs. Plus, receive Push Notifications when your robot completes a cleaning job – all on your smartphone. Its also compatible on devices with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.  All in all, the Roomba 980 is a terrific little household assistant!

 

While dust and dirt hide in the carpet, the grime on hard floors is often in plain sight. A vacuum will help pick up the dust bunnies, but damp mopping will do a better job of trapping dust and allergens instead of knocking them back in the air. Unfortunately, mopping is another one of those chores you probably don’t do as often as you should—and that won’t help the allergy-sufferers in the household.

Example: iRobot Braava 380t

 

If you can’t find time, outsource your mopping to the iRobot Braava 388t. This bot can sweep and mop using either a washable microfiber cloth or a disposable cloth (it’s compatible with Swiffer pads).

It makes neat back-and-forth passes across the room (three passes when mopping) to thoroughly clean the entire floor, covering up to 1,000 square feet (sweeping) or 350 square feet (mopping).

 

 

 

While it’s a bit less turnkey than the Roomba—you’ll have to replace its cleaning cloth, fill it with water or detergent for mopping, and manually start it each time you want it to run—it’s still a lot easier than doing your own mopping!

 

 

Use an Air Purifier

 

The air in your home could be packed with pollen, dust mites, pet dander and more potential allergy problems. An air purifier will filter the air, catching those particles before they set off your allergies.

Honeywell’s True HEPA Allergen Remover captures 99.97% of microscopic particles, including dust, pollen, tobacco smoke, cooking smoke, fireplace smoke, pet dander, mold spores and even some germs—leaving you with clean, easier to breathe air.

Example: Honeywell True HEPA Allergen Remover

 

This Honeywell uses a quiet fan to pull air into the unit and through its filters, cycling the room’s air up to five times an hour to keep it allergen-free. This model performs well in large rooms, too, cleaning rooms up to 465 square feet.

Using this purifier is simple, with a push-button panel to turn it on or off and set the cleaning level. Though you will have to change the filters—this Honeywell has two—to keep it cleaning efficiently, a light on the control panel will tell you when it needs replacing, so there’s no guesswork.  This Honeywell Air Purifier is consistently a top-seller good consumer reviews.

 

If you have specific concerns about VOCs (volatile organic compounds), mold, or other toxins, you can test your indoor air quality at home with a Home Air Check kit.  My husband and I did this test, and it was simple to do. 

Home Air Check - The advanced home air test that provides a solution to indoor air quality issues.

Home Air Check offers a variety of test kits, and they are very thorough.  If you need to get to the bottom of a suspected indoor air issue, I highly recommend doing this testing; it will provide you with actionable information and set your mind at ease.

 

Correct Your Air Humidity

 

If the air in your house is too humid (over 50% humidity), it can encourage the growth of mold and dust mites—both common causes of indoor allergies. A dehumidifier will help by removing water from the air and keeping the humidity level down.

 

Frigidaire 50-Pint Dehumidifier With Effortless Humidity Control

 

This Frigidaire will remove up to 50 pints of water from the air before its tank needs to be emptied, meaning should be able to run all day without trouble, even in large rooms.

Operation is, like the name suggests, effortless—all you need to do is press a few buttons to select your desired humidity level and it will run until the tank is almost full.

Though you do have to empty the tank and clean the filter regularly (how often depends on how humid it is), otherwise you can just ignore it—and enjoy cutting down on home allergens.  Read consumer reviews.

 

 

Though humid air can be a problem, dry air can also be a problem, irritating your nose and lungs.

In this case, you’ll want to add some moisture to the air with a humidifier. Among these, the whisper-quiet Air-Joy Premium Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier, remains my favorite.

 

Air-Joy Premium Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

 

The  Air-Joy Premium Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier has a generous 3/4 gallon tank, and can run for 24 hours.  There are 3 timer settings and an automatic shutoff. 

The Air-Joy is whisper quiet, features 9 light settings, and comes with a tank brush and 2 ultrasonic disk cleaning brushes for hassle-free cleaning and maintenance.  User reviews are excellent for the Air-Joy Premium, with many allergy sufferers heaping on the praise.

 

 

Use Your Washing Machine (and Hot Water) to Reduce Allergens

 

Washing bedding regularly—once a week—is key to keep it free of allergy irritating dust and dust mites.

Additionally, washing clothing, especially outerwear, frequently can help prevent members of the household from tracking allergens in from the outside.

You’ll also want to keep bathmats, towels, curtains, cushion slipcovers and throw rugs as clean as possible by throwing them in the wash, if you can (be sure to check the manufacturer’s care instructions first).

A regular cycle in hot water should suffice, but if you’re in the market for a new washer, many reviewers classify the Speed Queen TR3000WN as a great machine (some saying it’s the best one they’ve ever owned!).

 

Speed Queen TR3000WN 26 Inch Top Load Washer with 3.2 cu. ft. Capacity, Stainless Steel Wash Tub, in White
Speed Queen TR3000WN

 

And while we’re talking laundry, make sure you choose hypoallergenic laundry supplies.  Some suggestions:

 

ECOS Laundry Detergent

 

ECOS is made without dyes, optical brighteners, parabens, phosphates or phthalates; it’s dermatologist-tested hypoallergenic, and pH-balanced.  It also has built-in fabric softener to add freshness and reduce static cling (and save money).

 

 

Sun & Earth Hypoallergenic Unscented Natural Fabric Softener Sheets


Sun & Earth uses 100 % plant-based ingredients, which are non-toxic, hypoallergenic, compostable and biodegradable.  These sheets are free from synthetics, scents, and UV brighteners. They are also and are vegan and cruelty-free.

 

Housoft Wool Dryer Balls

If you want to avoid fabric softeners, these Housoft Natural Fabric Softener Dryer Balls are a good alternative.  They are made with 100% organic New Zealand sheep wool, and are especially good for babies or those with sensitive skin.  These dryer balls will soften and de-wrinkle your clothes in the dryer, while also cutting down on dryer time (which saves money and lengthens the life of your clothes).

 

 

Try an Allergy App

 

An allergy app can tell you what today’s forecast means for your allergies, which can help you plan accordingly. My favorite app is WebMD Allergy (for iPhone and Android) which creates a personalized allergy forecast with doctor-approved tips for dealing with your symptoms.

You can also use the app to look up general allergy information and track your symptoms day to day—a handy way to figure out what’s working to help keep your allergies in check!

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on reducing allergens in your home.  By the way, if you suspect you are having allergic symptoms, but aren’t sure, Walk-In Lab offers discount allergy testing with no doctor’s order required.

 

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test

 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Best Air Purifiers for COPD – Full Reviews

Natural Options For Managing Asthma

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

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Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

Choosing The Right Allergy Treatment (So Many Options!)

 

Why Switch to Organic Makeup?

Why Switch to Organic Makeup?

 

 

 

Have You Been Thinking About Making the Switch to Organic Makeup?

 

 

 

Our Skin is Not an Impermeable Sheet of Plastic

 

Certain chemicals make it all the way into our bloodstream. Our skin is not an impermeable sheet of plastic. Stuff gets in and makes it down into the bottom layer of the skin where the blood vessels are.

The fact is, much of what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream:

 

Just think about nicotine and birth control skin patches:

 

We administer effective doses through the skin to our bloodstream, enabling us to forgo a daily oral pill in lieu of a patch that prevents pregnancy. Or a patch that keeps nicotine in our system without the side effects of smoking, allowing us to wean off of an addiction. While there may be some chemicals that are too large to enter our bloodstream, many are small enough to penetrate.

 

Luckily even then the body has defense mechanisms which can kick into action, depending on what’s entered your body in the first place. But that doesn’t mean that all chemicals are neutralized though, and some will undoubtedly make it into your bloodstream.

Cosmetics can penetrate the skin to some degree. 

We also now know that enzymes in the skin can activate and inactivate many drugs and foreign compounds as well as the body’s own natural chemicals such as hormones, steroids and inflammatory mediators (Hotchkiss, 1994).  In other words, our skin protects us from exposure to certain chemicals while actually intensifying the effects of others.

And when it comes to lip products, we inadvertently ingest them! For instance, people who wear lipstick regularly consume 1.5 to 4 tubes in a lifetime.

 

 

Consumers are Concerned, and Rightfully So

 

 

Personal care products over the last century have contained all sorts of ingredients, many beneficial, many superfluous and many downright nasty. There’s a reason that regulators have banned certain chemicals from being allowed in our personal care products.  Image above: Ere Perez (chemical free) Organic Correcting Powder Foundation.

 

…But Here’s something Disturbing:

Toxic ingredients banned from cosmetics in Europe: 1,300+. 

In the United States: 10. 

What gives?

 

 

Ingredients to Avoid

Forms Found in Cosmetics and Possible Negative Side Effects

Aluminum

Thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Found in almost all antiperspirants.

Works by blocking pores so sweat cannot be released by the skin.

Artificial colors

FD&C, derived from coal tar.

For example, Azo dyes are a risk to asthmatics, eczema sufferers and people sensitive to aspirin.

Causes hyperactivity in children, severe headaches, blurred vision and itchy/watery eyes and nose (Antczak, 2001).

Benzoates

Benzoates Benzoic acid, sodium benzoate or parahydroxy benzoate.

Used as a preservative in cosmetics and fizzy drinks.Causes gastric irritation, numbing of the mouth and aggravates asthma (Antczak, 2001).

Certain essential oils

Rosemary is harmful to epileptics.Sage is not recommended for pregnant women.

DEA, MEA, TEA

Causes allergic reactions, irritating to eyes and dries out hair and skin (Fairley, 2001).

Dibutyl phthalate

Found in all persons tested by the CDC (Center for Disease Control, USA) in a 2000 Fall study.

Highest levels were found in women of reproductive age.

Causes birth defects in animals, and damaging to the male reproductive system (ABC News, Internet Ventures 2000).

Used in cosmetics to assist the absorption of other ingredients.

Formaldehydes

A preservative.

Causes skin reactions.

Imidazolidinyl urea is the second most identified preservative causing contact dermatitis (American Academy of Dermatology: Fairley, 2001).

DMDM hydantoin

Quaternium 15

Diazolidinylurea

2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1

3-diol

Fragrances

Can contain up to 200 undeclared substances (Fairley, 2001).

Major cause, in addition to artificial colours, of skin irritations and allergies (Antczak, 2001).

May cause dizziniess, skin irritation and hyperpigmentation (Fairley, 2001).

Genetically Modified Organisms

Soy, Corn

Effects still undetermined.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Drying agent, from petroleum.

Keratolytic chemicals

Such as hydroxyl acids, retinoic acid.

Corrosive, used in skin peels.

Dissolves the stratum corneum of the epidermis (outermost layer), making skin more sensitive to sun damage.

Accelerates production of dead skin cells; the skin thickens to repair its surface so that vulnerable skin cells underneath are protected from the effects of skin peeling.(Antczak, 2001).

Methylisothiazolinone

Causes allergic reactions and irritations (Fairley, 2001).

Parabens

Petroleum product.

Triggers skin irritations and may be an xerestrogen (Fairley, 2001).May play a role in falling sperm counts and rising breast cancer rates (Fairley, 2001).Used in 99% of all cosmetics (Fairley, 2001), and in many so-called ‘natural’products.

Paraffin

Derived from petroleum.

In the form of wax, mineral oil or petrolatum.

Comedogenic, i.e.blocks pores.

Propylene Glycol

When derived from petroleum.

Increases the amount of acid in the body, resulting in metabolic problems.

Large amounts are needed to produce this effect (Agency forToxic Substances and Disease Registry or ATSDR, 2003).

Sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate

Forms carcinogenic nitrogen compounds when combined with specific ingredients.

Irritating to eyes, skin and lungs (Antczak, 2001).

Harmful if swallowed and may cause damage to eyes (Antczak, 2001).

Tallow

Animal fat.

Not suitable for vegans, and may be a skin irritant.

Toluene

Found in many nail products and nail polish removers.

Produced during the process of making gasoline and other fuels from crude oil or coal.

Evaporates into the air when products containing toluene are opened.

May affect the nervous system, and/or cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, nausea, or loss of appetite.

Symptoms disappear when exposure is eliminated (ATSDR, 2003).

 

 

It’s probably best to ask yourself whether you want some of these chemical compounds there in the first place. They may be there in tiny quantities, but that doesn’t make them inherently risk-free.

My personal preference has always been to use beneficial plant-derived skincare and makeup.  If you know what you are using is good for you or even edible, you are generally going to be less concerned about applying your beauty products.

 

 

 

Au Naturale Cosmetics High Lustre Lip Gloss

 

While it still may not be an exact science, if you consider the ingredients being absorbed and ingested by the body over a life of cosmetic use, absorbing plant oils and waxes certainly seems healthier than absorbing synthetic chemicals and petroleum by-products.

 

 

The Benefits of Organic Makeup:

 

  • Natural and organic cosmetics contain organic vegetable oils and organic essential oils. Vegetable oil is rich in active substances, such as, essential fatty acids, vitamins which have a natural feel and texture; it has a moisturizing effect on the skin;

 

  • It is better to use organic products on a daily basis especially for skincare and hair care because there is little chance of harsh reactions.

 

  • Organic makeup does away with experiments on animals and promotes fair trade etc;

 

  • People with skin conditions and other medical requirements should go for organic products as they are natural and safer than their synthetic counterparts. To be on the safe side, always test for allergies as certain products can react differently on some of us;

 

  • In case of reactions, they subside very quickly as natural products are much safer than the chemical compounds;

 

  • It doesn’t contain endocrine disruptors – Endocrine disruptors are man-made chemicals, which mimic, change hormone production or the system carrying them. Many of these endocrine disruptors are found in regular makeup and can be linked to mood swings, hormonal imbalances, fertility issues and even cancer;

 

  • It’s good for the environment – organic makeup is generally more nutrient rich and tends to contain more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many consumers that are fans of its true environmental benefits look at using organic products as a way of cutting down the amount of pollutants that can enter the body, and

 

  • It’s widely available and affordable.

 

 

The Drawbacks of Organic Makeup

 

  • The shelf life of organic beauty products is shorter, as they are free of preservatives and lead;

 

  • Not as many options as are available in mainstream cosmetics;

 

  • Organic makeup isn’t usually waterproof;

 

  • No preservatives – If a product is truly made up of ‘all certified-organic ingredients,’ then it does not contain the preservatives that have been developed to keep bacteria and other contaminants from forming in your makeup bottle. These well-understood preservatives ensure your makeup mixes smoothly and lasts longer. There are some ‘natural preservatives’ that do help, but they just don’t work as well, and

 

  • It’s not safe for everyone – There is a misconception that natural or organic means safe and meant for everyone. However natural and organic ingredients are some of the strongest on the market. Therefore some skin, especially sensitive skin types, can react badly to these ingredients.

 

Final Thoughts

 

 

Au Naturale Cosmetics Swipe-On Essential Eye Pencil

 

While our skin isn’t a sponge, it’s certainly taking in some ingredients that we apply to our bodies and transporting them further down into the body where they may or may not make it into the bloodstream.

One thing is absolutely clear: it is impossible to put a figure on this absorption rate and it is impossible to estimate how much ends up in our bloodstream. Every person is different and every chemical is different. It is always good to question what you put on your skin but your body’s response will be individual.

Green Meets Glam

Making the switch to organic makeup can help your skin because your skin is not being fed harmful chemicals. For instance, skin problems such as, acne, contact dermatitis, irritations and allergies may disappear once petroleum or synthetic ingredients are removed from your skin care regimen.

My advice to you?

Read your labels, understand what you’re putting on your skin.  Consider a gentler alternative if you want or need one. There’s nothing wrong with being cautious. If you don’t want to use certain ingredients, then look for alternatives.

Ultimately, you are in charge.

If you would like to wear organic makeup, there are some great choices at Amazon, drugstores and department stores.

I purchase my organic makeup at Au Naturale Cosmetics.  They are vegan, organic, paraben free & ethical.  And, importantly,  they make lovely cosmetics:  highly pigmented and refined, and cosmetically elegant.

In particular, I am a fan of their Créme de la Creme Eye Shadow, Eternity Lipstick, and Zero Gravity C2P Foundation.

They have very responsive customer service, and offer samples and free shipping over $50.

You can read their story here.

 

 

Eternity Lipstick

 

 

Zero Gravity C2P Foundation

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on organic makeup.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Natural Options For Managing Asthma

 Natural Options For Managing Asthma

 

 

 

Natural Remedies and Complimentary Treatments for Asthma Management

 

 

If you have asthma or care for someone who does, you probably already know that prescription drugs are the largest medical expense related to asthma. According to the American Lung Association, asthma medications cost $6 billion a year in the United States.

In addition to the expense of asthma prescriptions, keeping track of different inhalers and medications can also be a pain. If you’re seeking more natural methods of asthma treatment or are looking for ways to improve control of your asthma symptoms, you may be thinking about using a natural remedy or alternative treatment for your asthma.

The natural treatment of asthma focuses on several key principles: reducing allergic exposure, reducing the sensitivity and spasticity of the airways of the lungs, balancing the allergic/inflammatory pathways in the body, and correcting nutrient imbalances.

 

 

Steam Baths as Asthma Treatment

 

While warm steam baths have often been used to help alleviate nasal congestion and airway irritation associated with asthma, there’s never been a study that proves that steam treatments help improve asthma symptoms. It’s important to understand that it’s not a cure for asthma.

Even so, just because the studies haven’t established a definite benefit doesn’t mean that steam baths won’t be of benefit to some people.

Steam baths may relieve some of the symptoms because it may provide moisture to the airways.  One caution, though, is that steam can be dangerously hot, so in some asthmatics, it could exacerbate symptoms. So, always use a gentle steam and monitor how you react.

Steam baths may help offset some symptoms, particularly nasal stuffiness,  it has to be stressed that steam baths are not a substitute for asthma medications. 

If a steam bath isn’t convenient, try a personal steam inhaler to efficiently get the soothing steam into your nose and throat.

Example: This Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler provides gentle, germ-free steam.

 

 

Herbs and Other Alternative Asthma Treatment Options

 

A number of herbs have been touted as natural remedies for asthma.  While there are no definitive studies proving the efficacy of these options for asthma, it’s important to note that there is no financial incentive for large pharma companies to invest millions studying natural products which cannot be patented and profited from. So, just because a remedy hasn’t been scientifically proven, does not mean if doesn’t work for some people, or that it won’t work for you.  I do suggest, though, that you check with your doctor before adding any of these supplements to your routine.

 

Some alternative treatment options and their associated risks and benefits include:

 

Garlic

Garlic has been used as a natural remedy to manage many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Since asthma is an inflammatory disease, it would make sense that garlic may also help relieve asthma symptoms.

There have never been any controlled studies investigating the effect of garlic on asthma symptoms, so its role in asthma treatment is unknown. The use of garlic as an alternative treatment for asthma is, however, currently being studied.

 

Example: BRI Nutrition Extra Strength Odorless Garlic

 

 

Ginger

Ginger is also thought to decrease inflammation, and a recent study did show that oral ginger supplements were linked to improvement in asthma symptoms. The study didn’t show, however, that ginger use led to any improvement in actual lung function. As a result, we can’t really use this study to draw any conclusions about the use of ginger as an alternative treatment for asthma. Additional studies are now being conducted to evaluate more fully whether or not ginger may help manage asthma symptoms.

 

Example: Nature’s Way Premium Herbal Ginger Root

 

 

 

Turmeric

Turmeric has been the subject of a number of studies, and it has been found to have some anti-allergy properties. It’s thought that turmeric has an effect on histamines, which can cause inflammation. Nevertheless, much more research needs to be done before turmeric can be established as a safe and effective natural remedy for asthma. 

I have written extensively on turmeric (it’s a true adaptogenic herb that is beneficial in so many ways!).

 

Example: NaturMyst Natural and Pure Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine

 

 

Example: This Vimerson Health Turmeric and Ginger With Bioperine combines 2 helpful herbs plus bioperine, which enhances turmeric absorption.

 

 

Honey

Honey is an ingredient in many cough and cold remedies, used to help sooth an irritated throat and calm a cough. Many people with asthma may try mixing honey with a hot drink for relief, but again, there are no studies to support the use of honey as an alternative treatment for asthma symptoms.  Choose Manuka honey for its added health benefits.

 

Example: Manuka Doctor 24+ Bio Active Manuka Honey

 

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are often used as a natural remedy to help prevent and treat heart disease. Though some research suggests that omega-3s may also help to decrease airway inflammation and boost lung function, there’s still a lot that isn’t known about their role in asthma treatment. There is some literature to say thatfish oil supplements may also be beneficial in people with asthma, but as of right now, more research needs to be done.

Example: Dr. Tobias Triple Strength Omega 3 Fish Oil

 

 

 

 

Avoid Echinacea and Licorice Root 

 

 

One study that examined the use of a number of different herbs to treat asthma found that Echinacea — an herb often used to treat upper respiratory infections — was not only ineffective, but was also associated with a number of side effects.

Worsening asthma symptoms, skin rashes and possible liver damage when taken with other medications are risks linked to Echinacea use. Likewise, licorice root — which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is sometimes used by people with asthma to soothe their lungs — was found to be ineffective as an alternative treatment for asthma and was also associated with side effects such as high blood pressure.

There have not been any clinical trials that have shown either Echinacea or licorice root to be an effective asthma treatment and she notes that there have been some reports that Echinacea may worsen asthma symptoms in some people.  So, just stay away from both.

 

 

 

Check Your Indoor Air Quality

 

There might not be much you can do about pollution outdoors, but minimizing pollutants in your home can greatly lessen susceptibility to outdoor asthma attacks.

Believe it or not, the Environmental Protection Agency tells us our indoor environments are two to five times more toxic than our outdoor environments!

Here are tips to help you remove many sources of irritants that are likely found in your home:

 

  • Try to keep a window open even during the winter to bring fresh air in. If you can afford it, use a heat recovery ventilator (air-to-air heat exchanger) to bring outside air in.

 

  • Avoid secondhand smoke from wood-burning stoves and cigarettes.

 

  • Switch to natural cleaning products or use baking soda, lavender oil and vinegar to make your own. There are many simple recipes available online that can keep added chemicals out of your home and save you a bundle of money.  I like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day products.  They’re made with essential oils and plant-derived ingredients, they smell wonderful, and yes – they are very effective.

 

  • Avoid antibacterial soaps and disinfectants.

 

 

  • Use a dehumidifier in damp areas, and fix water leaks to reduce mold.  If you have (or suspect) a mold problem, read this article.

 

  • Buy a water filter to remove chlorine from your tap water.

 

  • Install flooring or carpets that you can vacuum beneath to reduce dust mites.  Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner.

 

  • Wash bedding weekly, and keep upholstery and carpets regularly vacuumed.
I use Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent. It’s a natural, HE compatible product that does a great job on dirty laundry. It’s free of phthalates, chlorine, formaldehyde, artificial colors, parabens, animal derived ingredients, MEA, DEA, optical brighteners.

 

  • Use sheets and pillow cases that are non-allergenic and don’t contain down or feathers.

 

  • Keep furry friends out of the bedroom to limit the amount of pet hair you’re exposed to. Clean and brush pets regularly to remove some of their fur that can wind up around your home.

 

  • Cockroaches are another asthma trigger, so speak with a professional exterminator if you suspect you might have some in your home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manage Your Stress

 

The Western lifestyle includes high degrees of emotional stress, and studies show that stress management techniques help reduce asthma severity. It’s well-known that stress increases the severity and frequency of asthmatic attacks because it hinders immune function and raises inflammation.

In fact, studies show that roughly 67 percent or more of asthmatics have diminished adrenal capacity, increased anxiety and other mood disorders related to stress. Mood disorders are considered “adaptive diseases” — that is, they result from a person’s inability to deal with stress.

Try natural stress relievers, including massage, deep abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and art therapies. These can all help reduce stress and give asthmatics the tools to modulate their stress responses. This lowers susceptibility to future attacks and lessens reliance on asthma drugs.

On a personal note, we have a massage chair at our house, and it is a huge stress reducer (plus, it helped my husband heal from debilitating sciatica pain).  I wrote about that and reviewed the best massage chairs here.

 

 

Stay Active

 

A growing body of literature indicates that lifestyle changes in recent decades, specifically decreased physical activity and dietary changes, are key contributing factors causing an increase in asthma prevalence and severity. Obesity is linked to higher risk for asthma and other breathing problems, including sleep apnea.

Although vigorous exercise can sometimes cause symptoms in people who already have asthma, staying active is generally very beneficial for improving immune function, preventing obesity, dealing with stress and lowering inflammation.

 

 

Asthma Attacks May be Unavoidable – Always Wear a Medical ID for Asthma

 

Over time, people with asthma may learn what triggers their asthma attacks and are thus better able to avoid having serious episodes. However, not all allergens are avoidable, and not all asthma attacks are caused by allergies. In fact, as we discussed, many asthma attacks are unavoidable because they are caused by chemicals, exercise, smoke exposure, and stress.

While most asthma attacks are treatable with rescue drugs such as inhalers, sometimes an inhaler is too far away to be reached. Other times, the attack may be extreme. In both instances, those surrounding the person suffering an asthma attack need to know what to do and how to help.

By wearing medical ID jewelry, those with asthma can have their diagnosis and treatment protocol on hand in the event they are unable to speak. Additionally, if EMTs do need to respond, knowing the cause of someone’s inability to breathe can contribute toward faster, more effective treatment.

If you have asthma, wearing medical ID jewelry is imperative. I recommend listing your name, diagnosis(es), any medications, all allergies, and emergency contact numbers.

Here are some examples of what to engrave on your asthma medical alert jewelry (ICE = In Case of Emergency):

 

Medical ID BraceletBELLA FRANKLIN
ASTHMA
GIVE INHALER
CALL 911
ICE 555-746-4097

 

ANGELA CURTIS
ASTHMA
INHALER IN PURSE
ICE 555-746-4097
ICE 555-746-0014

 

JESSE ABRAMS
ALGYS: BEES, LATEX
SEVERE ASTHMA
EPI & INHALER IN BAG
ICE 555-746-0014

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Risk factors and underlying contributors of asthma include an inflammatory/poor diet, low immune function, food or seasonal allergies, and exposure to household or environmental irritants.  Anything you can do to mitigate those factors will help with asthma management.

Look into supplements which reduce inflammation and enhance your body’s immunity, try to cut down on stress, and avoid chemicals and pollutants wherever possible.

 

Recommended Reading:

 

Breathe To Heal – Break Free From Asthma
 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on natural options for managing asthma.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

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Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

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The Most Powerful Herb on the Planet

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How to Keep Your Cuticles Looking Manicured

How to Keep Your Cuticles Looking Manicured

 

 

How to Condition and Care For Your Cuticles to Maintain a Healthy, Groomed Look

 

Dry cuticles are a common problem that can take your nails from nice to nasty in a matter of days. When your cuticles are dry the nail area hardens and splits, forming unsightly and often painful hangnails. 

So what causes dry cuticles? Seasonal changes, moisture-sapping activity like frequent water use and a failure to take care to treat the area can all cause your cuticles to dry.

Whether you simply push them back or opt to remove them, keeping your cuticles in check is important. There are several different types of cuticle products on the market, and they all serve different purposes.

Here’s an overview of the most common ones to help you find out what each type of cuticle product does, how to use it, and which one might be best for you.

 

 

Cuticle Cream

 

Cuticle cream is a treatment product designed to nourish, soften and restore moisture to the cuticle area, often rich in natural plant nut, fruit, essential oils such as avocado oil, apricot oil and wheatgerm oil.

Cuticle creams are thick, moisturizing creams meant to be applied liberally to cuticles and nail beds. They can be applied at night or during the day, but nighttime is ideal so that you can apply a thick coat without worrying. Many cuticle creams also contain light exfoliating ingredients that are safe to be left on all day.

 

Cuticle Creams to Try:

 

 

Carmichael’s Imperial Cuticle Cream is a cult favorite (and one of my personal faves).  This pale golden cream is a beeswax and petrolatum formula, designed to heal and protect your cuticles and encourage healthy nail growth. Users’ reviews are especially good for this cream.

 

 

 

Badger Certified Organic Soothing Shea Butter Cuticle Care contains soothing East African shea butter helps to quench and protect dry, splitting cuticles. Badger uses sophisticated blends of pure steam-distilled essential oils deliver a highly nourishing product with a mild lemony fragrance. 

This high quality cream balm includes some wonderful ingredients, including geranium flower oil, seabuckthorn extract, mandarin peel extract and ginger root extract.  It also has super user reviews.

 

 

Cuticle Oil

 

Cuticle oil often comes in a bottle that looks similar to nail polish. You can brush it on after a manicure to seal the surface to help resist smudges, but the main purpose is to moisturize the cuticle skin.

According to Sally Hansen nail expert Alison Bowhill-Hayes, cuticle oil is the go-to product if your cuticles are looking a little damaged. So if your cuticles are a bit cracked, dry or broken, it’s probably time you started applying the nourishing oil to your nails. Keep an eye out for vitamin E as an ingredient – it works wonders to help repair any damaged or torn skin and will keep your cuticles soft and supple.

Alison recommends applying cuticle oil every night to keep your nails and cuticles nourished and protected against drying out and splitting. Using the product regularly will smooth cuticles and restore them to health. Just remember: persistence and consistency.

Apply a few drops to both your nail and cuticle to help soften and hydrate. Massage it into your skin for about a minute to help stimulate the blood supply.

You can expect a good cuticle oil to perk up your nails, smooth dry cuticles, and add a shiny finish to polish that will make everything look instantly better.

Cuticle oil should be applied every night before resting, the oil should be applied with either the provided applicator or a cotton ball and should be massaged into the cuticles for a few minutes to allow the oils to sink in and nourish the skin healthily, this is recommended instead of applying it before putting on shoes and doing work which require the use of your hands. By utilizing the oils at night your skin is allowed to both breathe and nourish itself.

 

Cuticle Oils to Try:

Wench Crafts Fine Handmade goods Nail and Cuticle oil is an all natural product which features an exotic blend of oils that will leave dry and damaged nails hydrated and vibrant. 

I am impressed with these high quality ingredients, which include grapeseed oil, cranberry oil, pomegranate seed oil, marula oil, baobab oil, organic pumpkin oil, organic jojoba oil,organic sweet orange oil and neroli oil.  

 

 

 

 

 

Bee Naturals Cuticle Oil contains a blend of natural oils, as well as vitamin E.  I especially like the addition of tea tree essential oil, for its anti-fungal properties.  This cuticle oil has a wonderful lavender and lemon scent, making it a pleasure to use. 

 

 

 

 

Cuticle Remover/Softener

 

If you have overgrown or thick cuticles, a cuticle remover is a must.  Cuticle remover is a product which contains Potassium Hydroxide or something similar, to soften the cuticle (skin) on the nail plate and to help loosen it up. This allows for easier pushing back and cutting of the cuticles and it also prevents tearing and feathering of the cuticles which often results in sore and inflamed cuticles.

Follow the instructions on the bottle as these formulas do differ, but here’s the basic idea: Apply a thin ribbon of the cuticle remover (usually in gel form) to cuticles for a minute or two.

Dip hands into a warm bowl of water to soak for up to 30 seconds, and then use a wooden cuticle stick to gently push back cuticles. Use a towel to thoroughly dry nails and cuticles, and then you can cut the rest with a cuticle nipper if necessary.

 

Cuticle Removers/Softeners to Try:

 

California Mango’s Cuticle Softener is a fast-working lotion that penetrates to gently remove dead, dry and cracked nail cuticles and prepares the area for further treatments. Users love this product, both for its efficiency and its wonderful mango scent.  Some ingredients include aloe vera gel, jojoba oil, mango seed extract, natural esters and oils of mango, and vitamin E.

 

 

Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover is a popular maximum strength gel formula, which can also be used on calluses. This is a good choice if your cuticles are thick and growing up the nail.  This instant cuticle remover gel works fast to dissolve cuticles in about 15 seconds, and the reviews are excellent for this budget-friendly option.  It also contains aloe and chamomile to condition and soothe.

 

 

 

Cuccio Naturals offers this Apple Cuticle Remover with Apple Alpha Hydroxy Fruit Acid.  This is a high quality product, enriched with malic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, aloe vera and almond oil, among other nourishing extracts and oils. 

I like that it uses natural acids and enzymes to eliminate the  thickened dead skin cells around the nail bed.  This product does a good job at both exfoliating and moisturizing the cuticle.  Reviewers are very happy with this gel.

 

 

 

Cuticle Sticks and Pushers

 

Cuticle sticks and cuticle pushers are an inexpensive and easy way to push back your cuticles.

They are wooden sticks and often come in packs of 5-10. Another way they come in handy is for fixing mistakes when painting your nails. Simply pull off a small piece of cotton from a cotton ball, stretch it out, wrap it around the end of the cuticle stick, and then dip in nail polish remover. You can now easily clean up any errors using the precision of the stick.

I like these emery tipped cuticle sticks.  The regular ends pushes back and refines your cuticles, and the other end is emery tipped with grit to remove unsightly leftover skin particles other shapers and buffers simply can’t reach. It’s a great 2-in-1 tool to have in your manicure supplies.

 

 

 

Cuticle Nippers

 

Cuticle nippers should only be used to nip hangnails. Despite their confusing name, hangnails are torn pieces of skin often caused by a dry, brittle cuticle area.

Make sure you use a high quality stainless steel nippers; if they are not sharp, high quality blades, you’ll run the risk of cutting your skin by pushing down too hard.

 

I am a fan of these Finox Stainless Steel Cuticle Nippers.  They are extremely sharp, and they’ll stay that way (they’re guaranteed for a lifetime of use!).  These nippers are handmade in Germany, of high carbon stainless steel.   They are a little more expensive than some other nippers, but they really are superior product, and the only cuticle nippers you’ll ever have to buy.

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Now that you know all of the basic cuticle care products and tools, don’t forget to use them. It’s a good idea to make a daily habit of applying a moisturizing cuticle cream or oil. You can also save pushing back or cutting cuticles for when you change your polish (every 1-2 weeks).

If for any reason you wind up with a cut or raw skin, you’ve simply removed too much and should err on the side of caution next time. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and apply a little antibacterial ointment to the area in the meantime as it heals.

 

 

Nail Polishes I’m Currently Loving …

 

ILNP Aria - Sky Blue Ultra Holographic Nail Polish, Chip Resistant Manicure, Non-Toxic Nail Lacquer, Vegan, Cruelty Free, 12ml
ILNP Aria
Cirque Colors Halcyon Rose Gold

 

 

Karma Organic Hues in “Little Blue Box”

 

 

 

KBShimmer Pink Tourmaline (OMG!)

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on keeping your cuticles looking great.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

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Simple Steps to Younger Skin

Simple Steps to Younger Skin

 

 

Products That Actually Work

 

A common question from women over 35 is what lotions and moisturizers they can buy to fix sagging skin, diminish fine lines and brighten a dull complexion. While lasers, Botox, fillers, face lifts and liposuction work best to turn back the hands of time, there are creams and peels available to those of us not ready, willing, or able to go under the knife or the needle.

But all the anti-aging options can prove overwhelming.

The industry is bigger than ever and the marketing tactics are more questionable than ever. You simply cannot trust the claims most brands make about fixing wrinkles and tightening a jawline.

But some ingredients and products do have a track record of results. The key is knowing which ones are worth the buy.

These are the anti-aging products dermatologists recommend.

 

 

Moisturizer

 

Dry skin leads to wrinkles, at least according to a study by Greg Hillebrand, Ph.D., of P&G Beauty and Science, and reported in Elle Magazine.

“Hillebrand’s study found that having dry skin more than doubles the rate at which lines will develop. That means a 28-year-old with dry skin will have a 52-percent increase in wrinkles by the time she’s 36, whereas a woman of the same age with a well-hydrated dermis will show only a 22-percent increase,” writes April Long in Elle Magazine.

Yikes.

So, no matter your age, it’s important to keep skin moisturized.

Facial moisturizers have the temporary effect of plumping up the skin and the longer-lasting effect of keeping skin supple and less prone to the inevitable etching in of lines.

 

Moisturizer Recommendations:

 

Vichy Laboratories Aqualia Thermal Riche is a replenishing and soothing 48-hour moisturizer for dry skin.  It is formulated with hyaluronic acid and aquabioryl, known to replenish the skin with hydration and form a protective film. It also contains fortifying and soothing Vichy Mineralizing Thermal Water.  Aqualia Thermal Rich has a wonderful creamy texture, and melts immediately into the skin, leaving a velvety soft finish. 

If you have oily or acneic skin, this product will provide moisture without causing a flare-up (it’s oil free, non comedogenic, and non acnegenic).  It’s also paraben free, and suitable for sensitive skin. Consumer reviews are excellent.  

 

Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals Face Finishing Moisturizer  contains alpha lipoic acid, Vitamin C Ester and wheat proteins for intensive hydration.  Alpha Lipoic acid is considered a super antioxidant, which helps to diminish fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration, refine skin texture, and reduce pore size, puffiness, imperfections and uneven skin tone. Consumer reviews are excellent for this cream.

 

 

 

Retinoids and Retinol

 

I’ve done quite a bit of research on anti-aging products and what I’ve found is that dermatologists agree on one thing: The only anti-ager on the market that has proven again and again to reduce fine lines and wrinkles are retinoids (think Retin-A and Renova), which work by increasing cell turnover deep within the dermis.

“I never recommend any of the other expensive products out there claiming to do this,” says dermatologist Maryann Mikhail of Spring Street Dermatology in Manhattan.

I’ve been using Retin-A on my skin for years. I noticed results within a couple weeks and I get regular compliments on my skin tone. Used nightly (or every other night), retinoids stimulate collagen renewal and prevent skin cells from breaking down. They also keep fine lines from turning into deeper furrows.

Retinoids come in a large range of strength. The most powerful punch comes from prescription retinoids such as Retin-A and Renova. You can buy these over-the-counter outside of the US, but in the US, you need a prescription and insurance typically won’t cover anti-aging products.

The good news is you can buy over-the-counter retinoid products, which are milder than prescription-strength formulas.

Great products to try are RoC Retinol Correxion Max Wrinkle Resurfacing System or Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair.

 

 

 

 

Retinoids can be irritating to skin; the key to usage is to not give up when your skin shows its first signs of redness and peeling.

 

 

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

 

As we age, our skin tends to become thinner, drier, and dull. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) work as exfoliants, helping break down dead, dry skin and leaving skin looking brighter and more dewy.  Studies also show that AHAs may increase the thickness of skin.

They come in the form of topical creams and chemical peels and the most common AHAs are made from food products, such as glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from sour milk), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruits), and tartaric acid (from grape wine).

Dermatologists recommend using an alpha-hydroxy acid peel no more than once a week. You can use a milder cream every day.

 

Great over-the-counter AHAs choices include:

 

 

 

Alpha Skin Care Essential Renewal Lotion (10% Glycolic Acid).  This unique anti-aging lotion is specially formulated with the optimal balance of 10% Gycolic Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and a pH level of 4.0.   It is also free of parabens and fragrances. 

 

 

Organics Holistic Apothecary Triple Alpha Hydroxy Acid & Multi Fruit Acid Complex is a naturally  formulated cream that includes Lac­tic Acid (from Bilberry), Glycolic Acid (from Sugar Cane), Citric Acid (from Orange, Lemon, and Cranberry), and Malic and Tartaric Acids (from Sugar Maple) plus antioxidants.

 

 

 

QRxLabs Glycolic Acid 30% Gel Peel is a professional grade glycolic  acid face peel which stimulates collagen production, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation in the skin by increasing cell regeneration. New cells replace older and damaged ones, exposing a younger skin surface.

Each bottle contains up to 20 complete facial applications. Do it yourself at home and save on expensive spa treatments!  Higher concentrations of glycolic acid are available, but I recommend the 30% concentration if you’re just starting out with peels.

 

 

Antioxidants

 

Free radicals — the unstable oxygen molecules produced by pollution, stress and sun — are a skin care nightmare. They attack healthy skin cells and cause collagen breakdown, all of which lead to wrinkles.

You can fight free radicals by using an antioxidant cream each morning that has a combination of any two or more ingredients such as green tea, vitamins C and E, and coenzyme Q10. These work together to neutralize free radicals and a cocktail of these antioxidants is like a multi-vitamin for skin, according to dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross.

You may use antioxidants both orally and topically. In Elle Magazine, dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD, swears by Heliocare vitamins.  Topically, antioxidants are great for bolstering UV protection. Apply an antioxidant serum containing vitamins C or E, Co-Q, alpha-lipoic acid, green or white tea, pomegranate, or idebenone under your sunscreen (see products below). The antioxidants will fight those free radicals the sun generates.

 

One of the most popular topical antioxidants on the market right now is Prevage Serum from Elizabeth Arden. 

You can also find some decent antioxidants at the drugstore; I recommend Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum.

 

 

 

Sunscreen

 

Sun damage is the No. 1 cause of wrinkles. The lighter your skin, the more susceptible you are to wrinkles caused by the sun. This is why women with darker skin tend to age better than Caucasian women.

No matter your age, you can prevent more skin damage by wearing at least an SPF 30 sunscreen daily. Dr. Fredric Brandt, dermatologist to the stars, suggests using a “two-finger scoop” of sunscreen to the face and neck (never forget your neck when it comes to an anti-aging regimen). Get into the habit of wearing sunscreen every day, no matter the weather.

Your skin will thank you down the road. Your dermatologist, too.

Look for a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.

 

 

You can’t go wrong with Anthelios Face & Body 60 from La Roche-Posay.  This melt-in sunscreen milk provides excellent broad spectrum and antioxidant protection, and is water resistant.

 

Hydroquinone

 

Dark spots on skin are caused by sun damage and can make your skin appear years older than it is.

The quickest and most effective way to get rid of dark spots is by lasers, but these can be costly and must be performed in a doctor’s office.

A cheaper version is to use a hydroquinone cream such as the dermatologist favorite, Ambi Fade Cream, which is super affordable.   Ambi contains hydroquinone, as well as alpha hydroxy acid and Vitamin E.  Apply to dark spots at night and keep in mind it may take up a few weeks to see positive results.

 

 

 

 

 

As an alternative to hydroquinone creams, Kiss Red E Anti Aging Whitening Creme has outstanding consumer reviews (4.9 stars average!), so it’s certainly worth a try.

Kiss Red E Creme also has impressive ingredients:

Organic Aloe, Aqua, Organic Sunflower, Hyaluronic acid, Kosher Glycerin, Organic Shea, Jojoba, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Bergamot Essential Oil, Melissa Essential Oil, Glycolic Acid, Reishi, Willow Bark, Licorice, Lemon Balm, Ginseng, Anise, Horseradish, Schisandra, Fennel, Horsetail, Gotu Kola, Wild Geranium, Green Tea, Xanthan Gum.

 

 

Other Ways to Keep Skin Youthful

 

As you age, there are many other ways to keep your skin in tip-top shape. Here are a few of my favorite tips:

Get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep shows on your face.

Wear sunglasses on sunny days. Excessive squinting can cause permanent crow’s feet.

Orange Hudson Sunglasses Aviator Matte Gold Metal Frame with Pink Crystal Acetate Legs, Rose Gold Mirror Lenses 100% UV Block - Versailles Sky
Example: these gorgeous Orange Hudson sunglasses block 100% of UV rays (they’re budget-friendly, too).

 

 

Wear a hat and long sleeves when out in the sun for a long time.

Stress leads to furrowed brows, which leads to permanent lines etched into your face. Turns out wrinkle prevention is just another reason to take up meditation or yoga!

Here’s something we often forget about: our UV exposure in the car!  Studies show that lines develop more on the left of the face on people who spend a lot of time commuting in a car. So, put up a UVA/UVB protector screen on the driver’s side of your car window if you spend a lot of time in the car.

 

Example: This 3-pack Sun Shield Set blocks over 98% of UV rays, and comes with bonus accessory set.

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on keeping your skin young looking.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

Choosing the Right At Home Chemical Peel for Your Skin

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

How to Keep Your Cuticles Looking Good (And Products You Need)

Which Scar Treatment Works Best?

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan For You

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Over 40 and Looking for Love

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Fashionable, Comfortable Shoes for Mature Women

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health

How to Get Over Him

Blue Emu and Australian Dream – Which One is Better?

Aleve Direct Therapy TENS for Back Pain Review

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

How to Find the Best Travel Luggage for Seniors

 

 

Choosing an At Home Chemical Facial Peel

Choosing The Best Chemical Peel for Your Skin

 

 

How to Tell Which Type of Peel is Best for Your Skin

 

Chemical peels are a popular, easy way to brighten your complexion and solve common skin problems. But before you go under the peel, it’s important to know the differences between the different types of peels and which one is best for your skin.

 

 

How Chemical Peels Work

 

Chemical peels dissolve your skin’s topmost layers of dead skin cells.

Here’s how they work: the peel is painted onto the face by a dermatologist or trained cosmetologist.

The stronger the formulation and the longer it’s left on, the more powerful the “peel.” The peel is then washed off and you should notice instant results.

There are three basic types of peels, all which are formulated with acid: Glycolic or salicylic acid (best for oily skin) and trichloroacetic acid (or TCA) which goes super deep.

One thing to note: just because these are called peels doesn’t mean your skin will actually peel. The acids break down the dead skin cells, but the shed skin is so small, you won’t be able to notice. You will know the peel is working when it’s brushed on your skin because it should tingle a little.

 

 

Benefits

 

All chemical peels help with fine lines and wrinkles and can help reduce the appearance of acne blemishes and pocked skin. Glycolic peels are great for skin brightening while salicylic peels are best for acne-prone skin.

Peels are easier on the skin than scrubs, which can create microscopic tears in the skin.

The benefits are also immediate. Once the peel is washed off, you’ll be left with glowing skin. But just one peel won’t solve your acne problems or fix your dull skin forever. You’ll need a series of peels to get the best results.

The cost is about $300 and up, depending on where you go.

Here are the three types of chemical peels, along with recommendations for products you can use at home:

 

 

Glycolic Peels

 

If you are looking to simply brighten skin and get rid of the dullness that comes with age and skin that collects dead skin cells, a glycolic peel is likely your best bet. Glycolic peels (also known as alpha hydroxy acid peels) are the most gentle of the chemical peels. They are made from fruit acids (but can also be man-made) and they penetrate only the top layer of skin, sloughing off dead skin cells. They don’t go as deep as TCA peels.

They can remove blemishes and fade sunspots and hyperpigmentation. These peels are great for women with fine lines and wrinkles, freckles, and blemishes. 

You will notice results after one peel, but for best results, you’ll need a series of 3 to 6 peels over a period of time.

Don’t want to spend the money on a dermatologist’s peel?  Try excellent these at-home products:

 

CANE + AUSTIN Facial Moisture Cream with 10% Glycolic Acid are highly recommended by Allure Magazine. This dual action, hydrating and regenerative treatment cream contains 10% glycolic acid to minimize fine lines, brighten skin without irritation, and protect against free radical damage. This cream can be used for any skin type.

 

 

 

These Beauty Rx by Dr. Schultz Advanced 10% Exfoliating Pads gently remove dulling skin cells to reveal a glowing even skin tone without peeling or redness. 

You can expect these glycolic pads to improve the overall appearance of your skin with their multi-acid exfoliating complex, Tetrafoliant. Regular use will lead to the disappearance of enlarged pores, dark-spots, combat acne breakouts, control oil production, and soften the appearance of fine lines.  These pads are paraben and fragrance free, and dermatologist-tested.

 

 

 

Salicylic Peels

 

Salicylic acid peels are a great bet for women who struggle with breakouts.

The peels not only soothe pimple-prone skin but help keep breakouts at bay and help remove acne scars. This is another light peel; the penetration is not as deep as the TCA peels.

Women with acne swear by these peels.

“I get an enzyme and salicylic acid one, so it’s very light. You just feel a tingling sensation when it’s on. It’s only on for about five minutes and then you wash it off. It gives you a refreshed feel, but the process really controls breakouts and evens out skin tone if you have dark spots from acne or just being in the sun. I get dark spots, and it’s so annoying.” New Yorker Kai Avent-deLeon said in a beauty blog.

Famed makeup guru Lisa Eldridge also swears by salicylic acid peels for her acne-prone skin that also tends to be dehydrated. “I’ve got really annoying acne-prone skin that can break out, but it can also get dehydrated.

My skin’s what I call a ‘lazy’ exfoliator, so I need to exfoliate but in a very gentle way,” Eldridge says.

Try these superb at-home products that contain salicylic acid:

 

 

Formulated Professionally with Medical Grade Ingredients, YEOUTH Salicylic Acid Face Peel 20% Chemical Peel contains 15-20 full face chemical peels. You can expect improvement in skin conditions like acne, clogged pores, blackheads, oily and congested skin.

This YEOUTH Salicylic Acid Gel Peel work especially well for dull, lifeless skin, damaged skin, dry, dehydrated skin, and uneven skin tone. With the addition of antibacterial Tea Tree Oil, it’s the perfect peel for acne-prone skin, and acne scars, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Another nice addition is the Green Tea Extract, which helps as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and provides a small amount of UV sun protection post peel.

 

 

 

This MedPeel Salicylic 30% Chemical Peel is a deep strength beta hydroxy acid used to clear clogged pores with repeated use. This is a deep strength chemical peel, and is appropriate for experienced users only with an oily and acneic skin type and is safe for all skin tones.

 

Try CleaRx Risk Free Today!

 

TCA Peels

 

A TCA Peel is a type of Chemical Peel used as a skin resurfacing technique. Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) solution is applied to the face to remove the outer surface layers of skin. A TCA Peel allows new, healthier skin to emerge.

TCA (trichloroacetic acid) peels are medium-skin-depth treatments (much more effective than glycolic acid peels). They help with sun damage, facial wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and pigment abnormalities.The concentration of the peel varies according to need, and downtime is 2-7 days depending on the strength used.

Because TCA Peels penetrate deeper than the glycolic or salicylic acid peels, they are  a good choice for women with acne-scarring or pigmentation issues. The TCA peels will likely cause redness a few days after use. You’ll want to stay out of the sun for a few months after your treatments to protect your new top skin layers.

For a high quality TCA peel at home, try:

 

 

Ideal Skin Care Solutions TCA Peel Kit provides an effective light-medium depth peel and produce an outstanding level of controlled damage without the risk of side effects. 

Each kit includes:

  • Professional Jessner Cosmetic Peel Solution (30ml)
  • Professional TCA 30% Cosmetic Peel (30ml)
  • Professional Ultra Healing Moisturizing Lotion (0.5 fl oz) for the healing process w/ Vitamin E
  • Easy-to-Read and Easy-to-Follow instructions
  • After Peel Therapy and healing process procedure
  • Transfer Dropper

 

After Your Chemical Peel at Home:

 

  • Avoid using acids or exfoliants for the next few days to allow your skin time to heal.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. The week after the peel, you’ll be more sensitive to sunlight.
  • Avoid smoking to minimize the risk of any infections.
  • Apply a sunscreen with at least the 30 SPF to protect the skin while healing and avoid any hyperpigmentation.
  • If you have flaking skin, do not manually peel it; you may create scabs and cause an infection.
  • Use a gentle cleanser to avoid aggravating your skin.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on chemical peels.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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How to Get Rid of Those Pesky Bed Bugs

How to Get Rid of Those Pesky Bed Bugs

 

Photo credit: CDC/ CDC-DPDx; Blaine Mathison

 

The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) has long been a pest – feeding on blood, causing itchy bites and generally irritating their human hosts. Bed bugs are a public health pest. Fortunately, however, they are not known to transmit or spread disease.

They can, however, cause other health issues (and they’re disgusting), so it’s important to pay close attention to preventing and controlling them.

 

Identifying Bed Bugs

Knowing what to look for is the first step in identifying and controlling bed bugs. There are many bugs that look like bed bugs so an accurate identification is a critical first step to avoid costly treatment for the wrong bug.

The types of bugs that look like bed bugs will vary somewhat depending on your region of the country, but these photos and descriptions will give you some good guidelines.

 

Two adult bed bugs in a petri dish – Photo Credit: Kim Jung

 

Adult bed bugs, in general, are:
  • about the size of an apple seed (5-7 mm or 3/16 – 1/4 inch long);
  • long and brown, with a flat, oval-shaped body (if not fed recently);
  • balloon-like, reddish-brown, and more elongated (if fed recently);
  • a “true bug” (characteristics of true bugs include a beak with three segments; antenna that have four parts; wings that are not used for flying; and short, golden-colored hairs); and
  • smelly, with a “musty-sweetish” odor produced through glands on the lower side of the body.

 

Young bed bugs (also called nymphs), in general, are:
smaller, translucent or whitish-yellow in color;
and if not recently fed, can be nearly invisible to the naked eye because of coloring and size.

 

Bed bug eggs, in general, are:
  • tiny, the size of a pinhead;
  • pearl-white in color; and
  • marked by an eye spot if more than five days old.

 

Actual size of a bed bug
Actual size of a bed bug
The life cycle sizes of a bed bug is shown in the photograph  to the right. 
During its lifetime, a bed bug will go through the following stages (Starting from the top left, moving counterclockwise):
Eggs (1mm).
1st stage nymph (1.5 mm).
2nd stage nymph (2 mm).
3rd stage nymph (2.5 mm).
4th stage nymph (3 mm).
5th stage nymph (4.5 mm).
Unfed adult female.
Unfed adult male.

 

 

 

 

Paying For an Exterminator

 

Unfortunately, bed bugs are the hardest insect to get rid of without calling an exterminator. It’s less about killing the bed bugs (which can be easy) as it about finding them, which is hard.

They smell chemicals coming and run deep into crevices, and even sideways. Because it can take up to four visits from an exterminator before your bed bug infestation has been solved, bed bug extermination can cost into the thousands of dollars. 

If you rent your home (and since bed bug infestations happen more often in apartment buildings, this is often the case),  the good news is that your landlord is probably financially responsible for the cost.  So contact him or her immediately if you believe you have a bed bug problem. If they refuse to pay, you may even be able to deduct the cost of the exterminator from future rent payments.

 

 

Thoroughly Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

 

If you just have a mild infestation, you might be able to tackle bed bugs on your own. You’ll need a powerful vacuum–the plug-in canister kind work well, but something battery-operated or upright usually won’t do the trick. Vacuum all carpet, baseboards, switch plates, wallpaper creases, appliances, and any cracks you can find. Wash the vacuum canister with hot water to kill any eggs that may be there.

 

Example: Prolux Tritan HEPA Vacuum With Powerful 12 amp Motor

 

Next, hit up these same areas with a substance called diatomaceous earth, which you can find in pet stores or gardening stores.  Diatomaceous Earth (often referred to as “DE”) is an off white talc-like powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.

When sprinkled on a bug that has an exoskeleton (such as bed bugs, ants or fleas) it compromises their waxy coating so that their innards turn into teeny tiny bug jerky. But it doesn’t hurt mammals. We can eat it. We do eat it! It’s in lots of grain based foods because lots of grains are stored with diatomaceous earth to keep the bugs from eating the grain!

 

Example: Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth

 

All we really need to know is that it dehydrates the bed bugs and thereby kills them (but it’s safe for humans and pets), so sprinkle it or smear it everywhere you think the beg bugs may be living, including on the floor near your bed, all over your bed frame, and in any cracks in the wall near your bed.

 

 

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on Your Mattress

 

Now it’s time to tackle that soft, comfy home that gives bed bugs their name: your bed. To get bed bugs our of your bed, first strip it of all bedding and wash and dry it on the highest heat setting available.

Then thoroughly vacuum your mattress and box spring, focusing carefully on every crease and crevice. This means taking the fabric sheeting off of the box spring and getting inside of it.

When done, seal the mattress and box spring inside bed bug–proof mattress covers. It’s recommended that you leave the bags on for an entire year, simply putting the sheets and any mattress pads right on top of the bags.

 

Example: Allerease Zippered Bed Bug Barrier Mattress Protector

 

 

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Clothes

 

Even if you don’t think your clothes have been infested, it’s important to wash all of them to make sure you’ve gotten rid of bed bugs permanently. Wash and dry clothes, bedding, blankets drapes, cushions, pet beds, and seat covers in the hottest heat settings they can stand. (110º is recommended to make sure the bed bugs die.)

For fabrics that absolutely can’t stand the heat, you may be able to freeze bed bugs and their eggs to death. However, the EPA advises that temperatures need to get as low at 0ºF (quite low for most home freezers), and you should keep the fabric at that temperature for at least four days to make sure to kill the bed bugs.

 

 

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Car

 

As you’ve realized by now, bed bugs can get anywhere. That’s why it’s important to make sure you kill the bed bugs in your car. The process is similar to everywhere else in your home–first wash anything you can, including floor mats and removable seat covers. Give the car a thorough vacuuming, paying special attention to crevices and seams. Then sprinkle diatomaceous earth and leave for as long as possible before vacuuming again. If you suspect your car is infested, cover your seats in plastic for at least a month.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Avoiding bed bugs in your home can be difficult, since a bed bug infestation has little to do with sanitary conditions. Bed bugs can even be carried by birds and animals living outside and can enter through an open window!

To minimize your risk of bed bugs, you can buy encasements for your bed and box spring—this won’t prevent bed bugs from entering your home, but it will make the problem way easier to fix if they do.

 

You can also buy the ClimbUp Interceptor, which prevents bugs from climbing into your bed from the floor. Just note that the interceptor is kind of ugly, so you might want to hide it beneath a bed skirt (just don’t let it touch the floor).

ClimbUP Insect Interceptor

 

Other good tips:

  • After you buy  new or used clothes, throw them into a high heat dryer.
  • Limit clutter so bed bugs have fewer places to hide.
  • Inspect luggage and clothing after a hotel stay. You might want to wash clothes when you arrive home (and put in a high heat dryer) just to be safe.

Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that you won’t get bed bugs, but if you follow these tips, you’ll hopefully be saving your family from these persistent blood suckers.

 

Green Bean Pest Control

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on getting rid of bed bugs (and keeping them away!).

I welcome your comments below.

 

-Laurie

 

 

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Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

Prepare Your Home and HVAC System For Warmer Days

 

 

Correcting any issues in the HVAC system well in advance of the arrival of warm weather can help ensure comfort when air conditioning is needed. 

 

The arrival of a new season can be an exciting time.  Homeowners may have renewed vigor to start home renovations projects, or even tackle some cleaning and organization tasks.

It won’t be long now. The cold winter winds will give way to warm spring breezes,  you’ll need to switch your HVAC system to cooling mode.

 

For the best indoor air quality this summer, give your home through a good spring cleaning before you switch your HVAC to cooling mode by following this brief guide:

 

Wipe Walls and Ceilings: Use a vacuum with HEPA filter to remove dust. Tackle stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, with a solvent-free degreaser (test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t mar the surface).

 

Reseal Grout Lines: The cement-based material between wall, floor, and countertop tiles is extremely porous and stains easily. Protect it with a penetrating grout sealer; it’s best to apply it with a small foam brush.

 

Vacuum and Shampoo Rugs: Synthetic carpets and rugs with waterproof backings can be deep-cleaned with a rotary shampoo machine and a hot-water extraction machine. Rugs without backings, including Orientals, require professional cleaning.

 

Dust Books and Shelves: Take everything off the Shelves, and brush shelves and books with a feather duster. Use the dust-brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots. Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth.

 

Clean Upholstered Furnishings: Take cushions outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. If there are stains, check the pieces for care labels. Use a vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean under seat cushions.

 

 

Polish Metal Door and Window Hardware: Liquid polishes and polish-impregnated cloths work well for medium-tarnished surfaces; pastes and creams are for heavier work. If tarnish doesn’t come off, try a stronger product.

 

Dust Your Home Thoroughly: This includes hard-to-reach places, such as the tops of ceiling fans and window casings. Always work from the top of a room down, vacuuming the dust that settles on the floor. Avoid using dusting sprays.

 

Wax Wooden Furniture: Wipe surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid. Apply paste wax, such as Butcher’s wax, a few feet at a time with a cotton rag folded into a square pad. Let wax dry; buff with a clean cloth.

 

Ensure Fire Safety: Change batteries in smoke detectors (this should be done twice a year), and make sure units are free of dust. Teach everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher, and review escape plans.

 

Wash Window Screens: Using warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid, scrub each screen with a brush; rinse thoroughly.

 

Clean Window Treatments: Many draperies and curtains are machine washable; check labels. Dry-clean fabric shades. Wipe wooden blinds with a damp cloth; warm water mixed with a mild dishwashing liquid is safe for metal and vinyl blinds.

 

Wax Non-Wood Floors: Vinyl and linoleum floors that have lost their shine should be waxed with a polish designed for these surfaces. Most stone and tile floors can be treated with either a paste or a liquid wax designed for the material.

 

 

Preparing Your HVAC System to Keep You Cool This Summer

 

Your HVAC system has worked hard all winter, keeping you and your home warm. And after several months of non-stop running, it’s probably developed a little dust and debris of its own. This is exactly why you should take a little time to make sure it’s ready to run at maximum performance once the hot, humid days of summer roll in.

Before the weather starts to warm up too much, you may want to evaluate your home cooling needs and ensure that all equipment is in good working order.

Spring air conditioning inspections and tuneups are essential steps in system performance.  Don’t take for granted that a system that performed optimally last year will do so this year when temperatures climb. 

Various factors, including weather damage, dust and grime, mechanical wear and tear, and even rodent or insect infestations, can compromise HVAC systems.

Since HVAC systems have so many moving parts, a thorough inspections of such systems can save you headaches and money down the road.

Extreme weather conditions that come along with fall and winter can be especially taxing on homes and the systems that keep them comfortable.  During a spring visit, an HVAC technician will perform maintenance on the air conditioner and make sure it is ready for the heat of summertime.  This maintenance may include cleaning the unit, checking controls, calibrating the thermostat, lubricating moving parts, checking refrigerant levels, tightening electrical connections, and clearing any clogs. 

You should also change the filter at the start of the cooling season.  Chances are, you don’t swap filters each month (even though that’s recommended). But changing filters is one of the easiest ways to prevent damaged equipment. Make a note to inspect, clean, and replace air filters (if necessary) at the start of each season. 

After all, your furnace has been running all winter and its filter has been trapping harmful pollutants like:

  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Dirt
  • Hair

 

 

HVAC Spring Maintenance Checklist

 

Keep your cool with simple A/C maintenance

 

  • Clear leaves, brush and dirt from inside your air conditioner’s top grille.
  • Trim nearby shrubs and bushes to allow at least two feet of clearance around the unit.
  • Set the thermostat to cooling mode and run your air conditioner a few minutes to make sure it’s working.
  • Schedule an annual checkup of your air conditioning system.
  • Replace your air conditioner filter once a month. Dirty filters restrict air flow and can waste energy.
  • If you use a room air conditioner, install it on a north-facing wall to keep it out of the sun.
  • If it’s time to replace your air conditioner, now is the time!

 

 

Don’t let April showers bring May mildew

 

  • Clear leaves, pine needles and other debris from gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage. Check that they’re stable to   avoid flying debris during storms.
  • Be sure downspouts slope away from your house. They should carry water at least 5′ from foundation walls.
  • Position lawn sprinklers so they don’t spray your home’s walls.
  • Examine window and door seals and weather-stripping. Reseal if needed.
  • Move furniture a few inches away from the inside of exterior walls to increase air circulation.
  • Check windows for condensation and walls for water stains, which are signs of too much humidity.
  • Keep your home’s relative humidity between 30 – 50%.

 

 

Take control of home energy costs

  • Reduce air leaks in your home by caulking, sealing and weather-stripping around doors and windows.
  • Use exhaust fans to reduce moisture in the kitchen or bath, but turn them off when they’re no longer needed.
  • Make sure your refrigerator’s seals are airtight. Test by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the dollar out easily, the seal may need to be adjusted.
  • Wash only full loads in your dishwasher and clothes washer.
  • Turn off lights you don’t need to save energy and reduce extra heat in your home.
  • If it’s time to replace your air conditioner, choose an energy-efficient model with two-stage cooling.  Two levels of operation allow you to rely on the low setting most of the time.
  • Prepare dinner on your outdoor grill to help reduce your air conditioner’s load.
  • Check ducts for air leaks, including holes or separated sections.
Bestseller: Nest Learning Thermostat

 

 

Final Thoughts

Correcting any issues in the HVAC system well in advance of the arrival of warm weather can help ensure comfort when air conditioning is needed.  As an added advantage, you could also install programmable thermostats if you don’t already have them, to keep cooling as cost- and energy-efficient as possible.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on getting your home and HVAC ready summer.

I welcome your comments below.

 

-Laurie

 

 

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Is Your Indoor Air Making Your Allergies Worse?

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Which Scar Treatment Product Works Best?

Which Scar Treatment Product Works Best?

 

The Best Scar Treatments Can Help Solve the Problem

 

Because scars, like accidents, happen to all of us. And whether it’s the result of a surgery, a stumble or a pimple-popping session gone awry (come on, we’ve all been there), getting rid of them is no easy feat. After all, you might be dealing with skin that’s discolored, sunken, raised or bumpy.

Your body worked hard to repair itself from whatever caused the scar; and while covering it up with makeup temporarily patches things up, the best scar treatments can help solve the problem in a more permanent way.

However, with an abundance of lotions, creams and oils, all of which promise to eliminate any and all evidence of scarring, it can be hard to tell which are the best scar treatments — the ones that deliver real, lasting results — and which ones do diddly squat.

That’s why I have researched best scar treatments on the market. The following products are easy to use, affordable, effective and don’t take six months of use to kick into gear.

 

 

Kelo-Cote Advanced Formula Scar Gel

 

 

Kelo-Cote makes just one product: their Advance Formula Scar Gel. It’s so useful, Kelo-Cote applied for and received a patent on the formula. That shouldn’t worry you though because the ingredients are safe, explicitly listed, and well understood.

The gel is made of silicon dioxide and long-chain polymers, which is just a confusing way to describe silicon molecules that are connected in a chain. Now, you might be wondering what silicone has to do with skincare, but it’s a proven treatment for healing wounds, and it makes sense that the same properties could work on scars.

When Kelo-Cote is applied to the skin, those polymers and the silicone dioxide work together, forming an ideal mat that sits on the injury to soften and heal it for up to 24 hours. If you’re dealing with abnormal or heavy scars (like keloids or hypertrophic), silicone gels may offer the best chance for long-term improvement.

There will inevitably be times you’ll need to apply makeup, sunscreen, or clothing over your scar cream and Kelo-Cote dries nicely into a thin, invisible layer that’s safe to use first but won’t interfere with other products you put over it. 

If you suffer from skin allergies or sensitivity, you might want to try Kelo-Cote because of the super short ingredients list that contains no irritants, additives, or fragrance. Silicone gels are a new, but promising scar treatment technology and Kelo-Cote is a product to consider, especially if you have thick scars or your skin isn’t showing improvement from other methods. (The Efficacy of Silicone Gel for the Treatment of Hypertrophic Scars and Keloids).

 

 

 

Selevax Intensive Scar Cream

Selevax Intensive Scar Cream can be used on any part of the body and nurtures your skin with all kinds of right ingredients.

If you’re dealing with dull skin and scars, Selevax might be worth considering because it combines components known to improve scars (like silicone and dimethicone) with a whole list of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential oils that boost and revitalize your skin while it heals.

You can apply Selevax to all types of scars with noticeable results possible within 30-60 days. This is excellent news because Service offers a 90-day money-back guarantee and return period. Plus, their creams are manufactured in an FDA approved facility in the United States so you’ll never have to worry about a compromised product. Service also donates a portion of all sales to the Save the Children Foundation, so you can know you’re giving back to a good cause every time you order it!

 

 

 

Evanesce Advanced Scar and Blemish Treatment

 

 

Evanesce, made by Natura Science Labs, designed for use on all types of scars, old and new. It’s one of the few scar creams on the market to offer something called Epidermal Growth Factor, a promising treatment for scars that’s been proven effective in wound care.

When you apply Evanesce, Epidermal Growth Factor will work to stimulate cell production and proper tissue growth while your skin benefits from an extra boost of Vitamin C and collagen at the same time!

Evanesce is an all-natural product with an easy-to-read ingredients list. It applies quickly and easily under makeup or sunscreen, which makes it great for using every day.

If you’re worried about taking a chance on a new product that might not work for you, Natura Labs lets you try Evanesce risk-free. They’re so confident you’ll love this cream that they’ll make you return it for a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied. 

 

 

 

Bio-Oil

 

Reviewers were pleasantly surprised by this affordable oil, reporting that Bio-Oil works “better than [they] expected.”

Patience is key here: One reviewer says that the scar treatment works “really well,” but that visible results take time. Another reviewer calls this her “C-section savior,” because it successfully flattened and smoothed out her scar post-delivery.

 

 

 

SBC EGF Serum

 

SBC EGF Serum stimulates the skin to encourage collagen production and stimulates the growth and proliferation of the cells involved in wound healing and inflammation, therefore, diminishing the appearance of acne scars and other scars.
 
It also stimulates the skin to encourage collagen production and accelerate the skins renewal process meaning improved texture and elasticity of the skin, and reduced pigmentation.
 
 
It contains ChroNOline, which is a Biomimetic peptide which activates skin repair, and CococinTM, which is rich in essential fatty acids and assists in reconditioning the skin and improving lipid barrier strength, stimulating blood circulation, moisturizing and promoting healthy cell growth.

 

 

 

Incision Plus Scar Gel

 

 

Incision Plus® has been used on hundred of surgery and injury patients with outstanding results. They use high quality, natural ingredients– anti redness and skin softening botanicals not found in any other scar creams. 

Potent sunflower oil based omega 3 and omega 6 anti inflammatories are included, as well as vitamin E and black currant oil, one of natures most potent anti-oxidants for skin health.
 
Collagen building peptide blend from France furthers supports skin during the post-injury phase.  This product is ideal for after surgery, acerations, burns, and injuries.
 
 
Incision Plus is best for new scars and injuries, but can help over many months for old scars. The peptide and anti oxidant effects that are useful in anti-aging and wrinkle treatments are combined with cosmetic dimethicone gel to create a natural, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free product. It comes in an airless pump is superior to jars for hygeine safety and preventing ingredient oxidation.

 

 

 

 

 Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Scar Serum

 

Reviewers are impressed with Palmer’s Scar Serum‘s ability to smoothen skin on a budget. One reviewer who used the product on her post-pregnancy stretch marks writes, “I tried this product and I saw results within the first week. It made the red marks less red….This product didn’t make them vanish for good but it did make them less noticeable.”

Other users who’ve used the products on scars agree that while it doesn’t work to remove the marks entirely, it makes skin feel “so soft.”

 

 

Scar Esthetique Scar Cream With Polypeptides and 10 Anti-Oxidants

Scar Esthetique Scar Crème contains 23 active ingredients including 10 anti-oxidants, 2 polypeptides, liquid silicone and natural botanicals to speed scar healing.

Scar Esthetique® is a silicone-first product that contains a total of 23 ingredients to improve your scar.  It nourishes your scar and skin on a cellular level with the combination of silicone, anti-oxidants, and botanicals. 

• Silicone creates an semi-occlusive barrier to decrease water loss
• Anti-Oxidants provide environmental protection for your scar
• Botanicals brighten and nourish the skin in a number of ways

Scar Esthetique® is used to improve the appearance of surgical, traumatic scars (including normal post-op scars, hypertrophic scars, and keloid scars) and burns. Scar Esthetique® is gently massaged into a clean and dry scar 3 to 4 times daily.

Scar Esthetique® absorbs quickly, is discreet, often unnoticeable, not greasy and sunscreen can be applied shortly after application.

 

 

Scar/Away The Solution for Scars

 

ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets is one of the highest rated C-section scar treatments on the market, this stuff is “great after surgery,” according to reviewers. One reader writes, “Use these regularly, and they really will smooth and fade scars surprisingly fast.”
 
ScarAway C-Section Scar Sheets use patented 100% silicone technology to effectively shrink, flatten and fade hypertrophic (raised) and keloid scars. Silicone is the #1 dermatologist and plastic surgeon recommended scar reduction treatment ingredient. 100% silicone technology is often used by plastic surgeons, burn centers and hospitals around the world. Scars may feel softer in just a few days, with visible results in just weeks. Optimal results are achieved in about 12 weeks. Numerous clinical studies support the safety and efficacy of silicone sheeting for the reduction and prevention of scars.

ScarAway sheeting mimics the natural barrier function of healthy skin. This safe, gentle process diminishes the scar’s appearance and restores skin to a more natural texture and color.

In addition, ScarAway Scar Sheets offer these features:

– Can be used on any skin tone and on scars that are old or new, as soon as skin is healed.

– Ultra-thin, flexible, breathable, and durable wear.

– Silky soft fabric backing for wound comfort- conceals while you heal.

– Each washable sheet lasts approximately two weeks.

 

 

Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream

 

Mederma PM is the first and only overnight scar cream specifically formulated to work while you sleep. During sleep our bodies work harder to reverse the skin damage caused during the day, repairing and regenerating skin cells at a faster rate.

Mederma PM intensive overnight scar cream is formulated to complement this nighttime activity with tripeptol, a skin-nourishing complex with peptides, collagen and antioxidants to promote healthy looking skin and help your skin fight free radical damage.

Once-nightly application is clinically shown to make scars smaller and less visible and can begin to bring noticeable results in as little as 14 nights.

 

 

 

 

 

DermaSafe Stretch Marks and Scar Defense Therapy

 

Organic Aloe is the primary ingredient in DermaSafe Stretch Mark & Scar Defense Therapy.

Other elements to note in this cream are dimethicone (that skin protectant we mentioned earlier) and the addition of peptides, which are just amino acid chains that exist naturally in your body already.

Peptides are an exciting area of study in cosmetics and skincare, and DermaSafe Defense Therapy includes peptides that promote collagen production and reduce inflammation. (Topical Peptide Treatments with Effective Anti-Aging Results)

Now, keep in mind that DermaSafe is designed for skin defense and to prevent and minimize skin scarring. If you’re dealing with ancient, thick, or discolored areas, you might first want to consider other products that are more targeted toward breaking down and minimizing scar tissue. However, if you’re concerned with new scarring or your skin is still actively undergoing damage, this is the go-to cream to consider. 

Since it’s marketed explicitly for stretch marks, DermaSafe gives you a more significant product quantity than many retailers so you can apply it generously to large areas of your body. And if you’re the type that worries about how products are manufactured and tested, you’ll feel better knowing that DermaSafe guarantees their products are made in the United States and never tested on animals.

 

 

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing a scar treatment product. No matter what you decide, keep the following ideas in mind to help you formulate the best plan of attack for your type of scarring:

All scar treatments have one thing in common: maintaining moisture on the skin. The more you can hydrate from the inside-out, the better chance you have to heal old scars and prevent new ones from forming, so stay hydrated.

Always use sunscreen with your scar treatment. Sun exposure is known to exaggerate the appearance and color of scar tissue, so the less UV damage, the better. Since many scars won’t tan, going without sunscreen means you’re more likely to develop uneven skin color, especially in the summer months.

Scars are permanent. Regardless of the treatment or how long it’s used, most scars will remain visible at least a little bit. Make sure you understand the type of injury and tissue damage that you’re trying to treat. Having realistic expectations will help you track your progress better and avoid frustration or disappointment.

Scar treatments take time. You might see noticeable results as soon as a few weeks, but you may have to use the product consistently for several months to see significant improvements. Taking pictures along the way will help you track your progress.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information about products to help heal and fade scars.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

 

What’s Different About Adult Acne?

 

Acne isn’t just a problem for teenagers. Many adults also have acne. Around 80% of adult acne cases affect women, thought to be because of changing hormone levels during periods, pregnancy, medical conditions such as PCOS, or as a side effect of medication.

Acne develops when dead skin cells and natural oils (sebum) block up tiny hair follicles in the skin. Bacteria work their way into the plugged-up follicles and start multiplying. When the body’s immune cells move in to attack the bacteria, the results of the battle are the classic symptoms of acne – swelling, redness and spots.

Adult acne differs markedly from the spots of your teenage years, both in how it appears and how it’s treated.

In teenagers, you’ll mostly see lots of tiny bumps, blackheads or whiteheads on the skin of the face, especially the forehead, along with occasional cysts on the chest and back. That’s because teens’ skin tends to be a little stickier and they’re more likely than adults to get clogged pores.

In adults, acne is more likely to appear on the lower part of the face, especially around the mouth and jawline. It’s usually deeper nodules or red papules in those areas. The fine little bumps of teen acne can still happen in adulthood, but it’s much less common.

 

 

Reasons For Adult Acne 

 

Some adults continue to get acne well into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s. It is even possible to get acne for the first time as an adult. Dermatologists call this “adult-onset acne.” It is most common among women going through menopause.

Women tend to get adult acne more often than men do. If you’re getting acne as an adult, it is likely due to one or more of the following reasons:

Fluctuating hormone levels can lead to breakouts.

Women often experience fluctuating hormones: 

  • Around their periods 
  • During pregnancy, peri-menopause, and menopause
  • After discontinuing (or starting) birth control pills 

 

Stress: Researchers have found a relationship between stress and acne flare-ups. In response to stress, our bodies produce more androgens (a type of hormone). These hormones stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which can lead to acne. This explains why acne can be an ongoing problem when we find ourselves under constant stress.

In my personal experience, stress has been the largest factor in my adult acne flare-ups.

 

Family history: Does a close blood relative, such as a parent, brother, or sister have acne? Findings from research studies suggest that some people may have a genetic predisposition for acne. People who have this predisposition seem more likely to get adult acne.

 

Hair and skin care products: You likely already do this, but if you have adult acne, you should read the labels on your skin care and hair care products. Make sure that you see one of the following terms on every container:

  • Non-comedogenic 
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Oil-free
  • Won’t clog pores

 

You want to make sure your moisturizer, cleanser, sunscreen, and all other products contain one of these terms. These products are least likely to cause acne. 

 

Medication side effect: Acne is a side effect of some medicines. If you suspect that a medicine is triggering your acne or making it worse, continue taking the medicine — but talk with the doctor who prescribed it. Ask if acne is a possible side effect. If acne is a possible side effect, ask if you can take a different medicine. If you cannot take another medicine, you may want to see a dermatologist who can help you control the acne.

 

Undiagnosed medical condition: Sometimes, acne is a sign of an underlying medical condition. Once the medical condition is diagnosed and treated, the acne often clears. 

 

 

Treating Adult Acne

 

Acne medications help by interrupting this process in different ways. Some over-the-counter and prescription acne creams help by unplugging the follicles. Others – such as antibiotics – kill the bacteria that move into the follicles and reduce inflammation. Oral retinoids such as isotretinoin work differently by reducing the amount of oil secreted by glands in the skin.

There is no single best acne or spot treatment. Some people do well using one acne cream, while others need a combination of approaches to control their acne.

Most of the over-the-counter products involve salicylic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide.

 

 

For Adult Acne, I Recommend Looking For Products With Benzoyl Peroxide

 

Benzoyl peroxide is non-prescription drug that works to destroy acne-causing bacteria in your pores. Also known as BPO, it works primarily as an exfoliating agent by increasing the turnover of the skin and removes the mixture of sebum and dead skin cells from the pores.

There are many BPO product options available to consumers.  Not only are there numerous brands, but it also comes in a variety of concentrations.

Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful ingredient that is effective against all kinds of acne lesions (blackheads, whiteheads, and big, red, cystic pimples). It is bactericidal, meaning it kills bacteria, rather than simply slowing down their growth.

Benzyol peroxide acne treatments can also work very quickly, improving acne as early as five days after starting treatment. It’s a great first line treatment for acne, but it’s also helpful to use in combination with antibiotics. In fact, benzoyl peroxide has the ability to prevent antibiotic resistance.

One thing to watch out for with benzoyl peroxide is that it can bleach dark fabrics.  It can also cause drying, peeling, and redness if it’s not delivered in the right amount, surrounded by the right mix of ingredients. It may take some experimentation to see what concentration or frequency of use your skin tolerates best.

 

The Benefits of Benzoyl Peroxide

 

  • It kills bacteria.
  • Benzoyl peroxide works quickly (as soon as five days!).
  • As an added bonus, benzoyl peroxide prevents antibiotic resistance.

 

A study published on The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology suggests that:

“Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) has been an important component of topical therapy for acne vulgaris for more than five decades due to its ability to markedly reduce Propionibacterium acnes and inflammatory acne lesions and its ability to moderately reduce noninflammatory acne lesions.” [source]

 

The Downside to Benzoyl Peroxide

 

  • It can cause dryness, peeling and redness.
  • It can bleach fabric.
  • In some cases, benzoyl peroxide can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (a.k.a. dark spots).

 

Note – I’m a staunch believer of the fact that there’s no quick acne treatment, and studies have proven this. So if you’re thinking that a benzoyl peroxide based product can cure your acne overnight, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.  You’ll  have to be patient and let the product work for at least 2-3 weeks.  It can be very effective at clearing up adult acne, but it takes a little time.

 

Recommended Benzoyl Peroxide Products

 

 CleaRx, Differin (uses retinoid), Proactiv, and Murad all have excellent reputations and high quality product lines.  Any one of these can work well on adult acne. 

As a personal recommendation, I like CleaRx products.  They have worked really well for clearing up my adult acne (even the cystic bumps on my jaw – which are a nightmare).  CleaRx contains the maximum OTC (over-the-counter) strength 10% benzoyl peroxide along with other acne fighting ingredients, so  Give CleaRx a chance on your toughest acne before you see a dermatologist. 

I also find them to be the  cosmetically elegant (spa-like), and pleasant to use, which, while not as important as effectiveness, also matters to me.  For me, CleaRx and stress management are the best ways to manage my adult acne.  I feel like CleaRx really helps bring my skin back in balance, and helps me to keep my flare-ups to an absolute minimum.

 

 A quick look at the treatment features of some excellent products:

 

Treatment Features

 

CleaRx®

Differin®

Proactiv®

Murad®

Maximum Strength Formulation

Kills Acne Bacteria

Cleans & Exfoliates Skin

Unclogs Blocked Pores

Hydrates & Protects Skin

Reduces Redness & Inflammation

Promotes Healthy, Even Toned Skin

 

 

Prescription Treatments for Adult Acne

 

Try non-prescription products as your first line of defense, but if you’re having no luck with them, talk to your dermatologist about prescription treatments. Your doctor may recommend one treatment, or suggest combining a cream with an oral medication.

You have several options:

  • Prescription creams containing retinoids (derived from vitamin A) to help unplug follicles.
  • Combination creams that combine the cleansing agent benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics such as clindamycin.
  • Oral contraceptives, which can regulate the hormonal fluctuations that spark breakouts.
  • Oral antibiotics, which also act as anti-inflammatories.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Adult acne is different from teen acne, but it can be cleared up and managed.  Be aware of your stress level, and watch for products you use which might aggravate your skin and clog pores. 

Purchase a high quality acne system and stick with it, adjusting as needed for formula strength and/or frequency of use.  If you don’t have a satisfactory result from an over the counter system, consult with a dermatologist.  And don’t panic – there are many options available.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information about clearing up and managing adult acne.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Which Scar Treatment Works Best?

Choosing the Right At Home Chemical Peel for Your Skin

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

Simple Steps to Younger Looking Skin (Things That Actually Work!)

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

How to Keep Your Cuticles Looking Good (And Products You Need)

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan For You

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

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Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

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