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.

 

 

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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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?

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

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How To Safely Clean Away Mold in Your Home

How To Safely Clean Away Mold in Your Home

 

 

Can You Just Wipe Household Mold Away?

 

Are you wondering why you’re still experiencing mold issues despite wiping the affected area? You may need to do more.

You probably don’t know that mold is growing in your home. Mold thrives in dark, humid places such as your bathroom and basement.

Mold can develop within 24-48 hours under the right conditions and can potentially cause health problems or affect your home’s air quality if untreated. Once faced with this issue, you must recognize how to eliminate it.

If you’re wondering how to perform mold cleanup, here’s how.

 

 

Signs of Mold on Walls

 

The most common causes of mold growing on walls are high humidity, condensation and water leaks (which are often hidden inside the wall).

Condensation forms when water vapor in the air meets cold surfaces and cools to become liquid. Condensation is especially common on walls which form the perimeter of a house. These walls are often colder because of cool outdoor air on the other side.

Things like drying wet clothes inside or steam from hot water increases the humidity in the home. If humidity stays high in your home for a long time then you might see mold starting to grow on your walls. Usually the best way to decrease the humidity is to ventilate your home by opening windows and doors.

Leaking pipes near or inside of walls are a common cause of mold. If there’s a leaking pipe inside a wall cavity then mold will usually be well and truly set in before it’s discovered.

 

Look for:

  • cracked or peeling paint
  • discoloration
  • bulging

 

These are all tell-tale signs that there could be moisture in a wall. If you notice any of these things in a wall in your home, take a closer look and you might see the beginnings of small amounts of mold growth.

These signs could also indicate that mold is actually growing hidden behind the wall, in the wall cavity. Seeing small spots of mold on a wall can sometimes be a sign that there is actually a larger mold colony on the other side which is slowly growing through.

 

 

Mold Symptoms

 

Smelling a moldy odor or suffering allergic reactions are also good indications that there could be mold growing hidden behind a wall in your home.

Most mold symptoms are caused by mold allergies. When you breathe in mold spores your immune systems responds by creating allergic reactions. These reactions are the immune system’s defense against foreign particles entering the body.

The more a person is around mold the more sensitive to it they will become. This means that they can end up unable to tolerate being around even small amounts of mold. Their allergic reactions will also become more and more severe.

 

Indoor air quality doesn't have to be a scary unknown. Get easy-to-understand answers you can act on for cleaner, healthier air. Home Air Check - the test for VOCs, Mold, Formaldehyde, Tobacco Smoke

 

Symptoms that mold allergies cause include:

 

  • Cold or flu like symptoms
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Irritated, itchy throat
  • Blocked nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus congestion
  • Sinus headaches
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Irritated, itchy skin
  • Skin rash, hives
  • Watery eyes
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy ears
  • Hair loss, baldness
  • Hay fever symptoms

 

 

Toxic Symptoms from Exposure to Toxic Mold

There are about 16 mold species which are toxic to humans. These molds put out highly toxic chemicals called mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins cause toxic symptoms which are much worse than the allergic symptoms caused by ordinary molds. Some of the symptoms caused by toxic molds include bleeding, damage to internal organs, mental impairment, cancer and even death in some cases.

 

Mold Infections

Sometimes mold spores that are breathed into a person’s lungs begin to grow inside them. Mold infections like this can also grow in the sinuses, skin or digestive system.

These mold infections usually don’t occur in healthy people. Elderly people or those who are sick with compromised or suppressed immune systems can suffer these infections though, since their immune systems might not be strong enough to fight off the mold. Sometimes these mold infections can even cause death.

Mold species that can opportunistically infect people include Trichoderma, Penicillium marneffei and Aspergillus fumigatus.

 

Eliminating Mold

 

It is virtually impossible to eliminate all molds and spores indoors. This is because some spores float in house dust and through the air. However, the mold spores won’t grow in the absence of moisture.

However, you can and should prevent or control mold growth indoors through moisture control. Although eliminating mold completely in a household setting is almost impossible, you can reduce an existing infestation to a point where it’s no longer harmful.

 

 

How to Remove Mold from Different Areas

 

Non-Porous Areas

 

You can simply scrub and wipe non-porous areas with a cleaning solution, sponge the affected area, and dry it fast (drying fast eliminates moisture that would allow recurring mold growth). This method is ideal for areas with small quantities of mold. An unscented detergent will enable you to smell residual moldy spots.

To remove and kill the mold, I recommend using Borax.

There are many advantages to using borax to kill mold. For starters, borax is a natural cleaning product and although it is toxic if you swallow it, borax does not emit chemicals or dangerous fumes like some other mold killers. Borax, a white mineral powder, has a pH level of about 9 (baking soda is pH 8.1 and pH 7 is neutral) and a low toxicity.

Borax is commonly used as a deodorizer as well as for cleaning toilets and drains. Borax is also used as an insecticide, herbicide and fungicide and it can be mixed with water in a solution to kill and remove mold as it is a natural mold inhibitor. You can buy borax in supermarkets for a few dollars from the laundry section.

 

How to Kill Mold with Borax

 

  1. To kill mold using borax, create a borax-water solution using a ratio of 1 cup of borax per gallon of water.
  2. Vacuum up any loose mold with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner to lessen the number of spores stirred up into the air during the cleaning process.
  3. Use a scrubbing brush with the borax-water solution to scrub the mold off the surface.
  4. Wipe up any extra moisture and excess mold particles or dust/debris to prevent them spreading into the air once the surface has dried.
  5. You don’t need to rinse off the borax as the solution will prevent more mold beginning to grow on the surface again.
  6. Leave the surface to dry completely.

 

 

Mold Stains

If the mold has left a stain, try RMR-86 Instant Mold & Mildew Stain Remover.  It works on wood, concrete, drywall, siding and walls, tile & grout, fiberglass, vinyl and fiberglass.  It has lots of terrific reviews at Amazon. 

Note though, that this is a very powerful product (which is why it’s so effective for removing tough mold stains):  use it in a well-ventilated space, and wear gloves.

 

 

Mold Growing Behind Walls

Mold commonly grows out of sight behind walls in the wall cavities. These spaces often contain pockets of humid, moist air. Mold can also grow hidden behind wallpaper. Wallpaper glue can hold organic debris which can then become a food source for mold growth.

To find hidden mold behind walls you need to use invasive inspection methods and, optionally, mold testing. It’s best to talk to a professional mold specialist in this case.

 

Porous Areas (Like Unpainted Drywall)

If you discover mold on a porous area for instance, an unpainted drywall, you’ll typically need to cut the wall where there’s mold growth.  Because drywall is a substance high in cellulose, it is one of the most common materials mold grows on in the home. As there is no practical way to completely remove mold from drywall, you will have to cut out and dispose of any drywall you discover which has mold growing on it.  Bottom line – for such an area, you can’t merely wipe it because mold growth occurs inside the material rather than on the surface.

 

Wood Surfaces

Use an externally vented or HEPA vacuum cleaner for wood surfaces. Scrub using an unscented detergent solution, rinse and dry fast. You may have to sand and refinish the surface if the stain does not come off.

You should perform sanding with a sander/vacuum combination, allowing the vacuum to pick up the spores emitted by sanding.

 

Example: This lightweight Shark Navigator utilizes Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology® + a HEPA filter; it traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum.

 

 

Mold on the Ceiling

If you see mold on the ceiling in your home then you probably have a humidity or condensation problem. It is also possible that the mold is caused by a water leak above the ceiling.

 

Removing Mold on the Ceiling

Like with mold on walls, if the ceiling is made of a non-porous material then you can usually just wipe the mold away with a wet cloth. You can use a mold killing product like bleach if you like too.

If the ceiling is made of a porous material though, like unpainted drywall, then you may have to cut away the material where the mold is growing since the mold has probably grown inside the material.

 

Windows

Condensation frequently forms on windows due to cold outdoor air on the other side of the window which cools the glass. Although mold cannot feed on the glass itself, if the window is dirty then mold can feed off of the grime on the window glass.

Condensation can also lead to mold growing around window frames because of moisture condensating on the glass and then running onto the frame. The other place to watch out for mold growing around your windows is in the seal where the window frame meets the wall.

So discovering mold on your windows isn’t uncommon if you have a condensation  issue.  After removing excess mold, you’ll be in a better position to establish the full extent of the issue.

If you discover a relatively minor problem, spray some cleaning strength white vinegar on the windows and then combine with some baking soda.

You can prevent mold from recurring by keeping your windows free from condensation. Wherever possible, ensure window ventilation to allow air circulation and prevent dampness.

 

Mold in Floor

Mold can grow beneath the floor in your home just like it grows above ceilings and within wall cavities. Dirt and dust which fall under the floor become trapped, along with moisture, leading to perfect conditions for mold growth.

Tiles and especially carpets trap large amounts of dust and can become a haven for mold growth. Carpets hold moisture particularly well, taking a long time to dry out, which means they can very easily foster mold growth if there are spilled liquids, water leaks or floods.

 

Mold on Furniture

Furniture left in storage can accumulate mold and mildew, especially in damp, dark conditions. Mold thrives in moist environments, and fabrics such as upholstery can absorb moisture from the air and provide an ideal place for mold and mildew to grow. It usually appears in patches, and can give off a foul, musty odor. One of the best ways to prevent future mold growth is to keep the area and items as dry as possible.

Furniture made of organic materials, such as wood, are another thing that mold soon ends up growing on if there’s a moisture problem in your home. Upholstered furniture in particular absorbs moisture, making it a prime candidate for mold growth.

Your household furniture should not be kept close to, or touching, the walls as this diminishes the air flow and creates condensation. When you check your furniture for mold remember to check underneath pieces of furniture. Also look inside furniture like cupboards, drawers, etc.

 

How to Remove Mold from Upholstered Furniture

Lay down newspaper around the couch to catch any falling mold. Brush the couch with a stiff broom or brush to loosen the spores and knock them onto the newspaper. Pick up the newspaper and throw it away.

Combine 1 qt. of warm water and 1/2 tsp. of liquid hand soap in a container. Alternatively, you can use equal parts rubbing alcohol or white vinegar and water. You can also use 1 qt. of warm water and 2 tbsp. of ammonia.

Dip a sponge into the liquid and squeeze it until suds form.

Apply the suds to the couch, focusing on the moldy areas.

Rub the upholstery with the sponge to remove any mold, rinsing and wringing the sponge as you go.

If you use alcohol, rinse the upholstery with a clean, damp sponge.

Dry the couch completely in a well-ventilated area or in the sunlight. Use fans or open a window, if possible.

Allow it to dry before using.

As an alternative to preparing your own cleaning solution, try Chem-Girl No Rinse OxyPro Deodorizer Biodegradable Peroxide Cleaner.  It’s very effective at removing mold and mildew, it utilizes hydrogen peroxide (not bleach), so there are no fumes.  Plus, you don’t have to rinse it off.  6 oz of OxyPro makes 1 quart of cleaning solution.

 

 

 

Testing For Mold

If you suspect that your home has a mold problem, and want to be sure,  you can pick up a mold testing kit.  Keep in mind that a mold testing kit is for mold only, and does not test for any other volatile organic compounds or off-gas.  For that, you will need a comprehensive test.

 

Example: This DIY Mold Test tests for mold and pollen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you with some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

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About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Retinol Creams

(No Prescription Needed!)

 

 

 

 

Retinol is the ingredient most likely to make a major visible improvement in your skin.

 

Few skin care ingredients have been as extensively studied—and proven—as retinoids. This vitamin A derivative has skin benefits that range from improvement in visible signs of aging to reduction in acne and brown spots.

Over the counter retinol products work as both treatment and prevention of the visible signs of aging skin.

 

What do Retinoids Do?

The primary effect of retinoids is increased skin cell turnover. Our skin cells are constantly multiplying and sloughing off, about every 30-35 days. When retinoids are introduced to the skin, damaged cells are eliminated and replaced with healthy cells more quickly.

Secondarily, retinoids stimulate the formation of new collagen in the upper levels of the skin thus resulting in increased firmness and smoothness. Retinoids can also reduce the activity of melanocytes, the cells that produce unwanted pigment in our skin (e.g. melasma, hyperpigmentation).

 

Side Effects of Retinoids

Side effects such as irritation, redness or skin flaking may accompany the benefits of retinol, but they can be managed.

To acclimate the skin, start with a low-concentration retinol or retinoid, and gradually build up the concentration over a few months. If you have very sensitive skin, you can always start using it twice a week at night, then build up a tolerance to eventually be using it nightly. Remember, you can always cut back in concentration or frequency if you start to develop irritation.  The good news is, the irritation is never permanent, but the benefits of retinoids are long lasting.

As with any method of skin exfoliation, retinoid use can make skin more sun sensitive, so diligent use of sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater is essential.

When applying retinoids to the face, it’s also important to take care around the eye area. I recommend applying an hour or two before bedtime, as applying right before bed may cause the product to migrate too close to the eye, especially when sleeping on one’s side and then causing eyelid irritation.

 

Choosing a Retinol Product

Many of these are marketed as “deep wrinkle creams” giving the impression they exist only to treat women with established lines. But retinol creams work wonderfully as a preventative measure.

Below are some of the best:

 

 

RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

 

If you are starting out on a new retinol program, RoC’s Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is a good first product for newbies.

Retinoids can cause redness and scaly skin at first as it sloughs away the top layer of skin (anyone who has tried Retin-A knows this), so a mild retinoid is a good starter cream.

This sensitive night cream is less potent than other OTC products listed here and is a good start because your skin can get used to the active ingredients. Once you’ve adjusted, you can move on to more potent formulas, like RoC’s Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.

 

 

Peter Thomas Roth’ Retinol Fusion PM

One of the most beloved retinol creams is Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion PM. It contains 1% retinol plus a host of extras, which is always great when buying a retinol.

Those extras include shea butter for hydration (since we know by now that retinol can be drying to the skin) and vitamins A, C and E. There’s also caffeine to help with puffiness.

This product gets rave reviews from all of the top review sites. The biggest con is that the company tests on animals.

 

 

SkinMedica Retinol 0.25 Complex, 1 oz.

Skinmedica Retinol Complex

 

Skinmedica is revered for its retinol products, which come in three strengths from the least potent .25 (this means the ingredients are .25% retinol) to the most potent 1%.

It’s recommended to start with the .25% product and then move your way up to the 1% if needed. Your skin needs time to adjust to the retinol.

 

 

 

NeoCutis Nouvelle +Retinol+Correction+Cream

 

 NeoCutis Nouvelle+ is an excellent product for most skin types because it contains not only a good dose of retinol but a nice mixture of antioxidants (vitamins C and E) and it does not include added fragrance.

Because it contains .6% retinol, it’s not for sensitive skin. If you suffer from redness or rosacea you likely shouldn’t be using retinols anyway because it will simply be too harsh on your already super sensitive skin.

The only con is the price, which is more expensive than many others on this list. But yes, the price is worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

Roc Retinol Correxion Max Wrinkle Resurfacing Anti-Aging Skin Care System

 

RoC was the brand my dermatologist recommended when I told her my super dry skin could no longer tolerate prescription-strength Retin-A, which can be very drying.

This set gets rave reviews because it includes a retinol cream and a serum. The two together are incredibly hydrating and effective. After weeks of use, users report seeing noticeable results.

 

 

 

Algenist Retinol Firming and Lifting Serum

 

This Algenist Retinol Serum is chock full of antioxidants and peptides along with the retinol that’s necessary for cell turnover in skin. While pricey (you can certainly buy other products for less), the added benefits and the fact that a few drops per night is all you need, make this a great buy.

Olay is known for its wonderful anti-aging products that can be bought at drugstores. Users love it because it goes on smoothly and works.

 

 

 

Olay Regenerist Intensive Repair Treatment

Another retinol from Olay that’s a bit less expensive is Olay Regenerist Intensive Repair Treatment.

Olay is known for its wonderful anti-aging products that can be bought at drugstores. Users love it because it goes on smoothly and works.

 

 

 

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Paula Begoun has been around for ages, first as the self-described “Cosmetics Cop” with several books and a huge online following. She has since parlayed her fame into her own brand of products.

Her retinoid creams get great reviews online. This Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment has licorice, oat extract and other anti-irritants help to minimize the side effects many people experience with retinols.

 

 

 

 

Alpha Skin Care Enhanced Wrinkle Repair Cream

 

This Alpha Skin Care Enhanced Wrinkle Repair Cream is an incredibly mild retinol cream containing only .15% retinol plus a host of fabulous antioxidants including vitamins A, C and E. It’s also very affordable, making it a great choice for women with sensitive skin or concerns about using retinol creams.

 

 

 

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist 24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask

People swear by these Shiseido Benefiance Eye Masks despite the hefty price tag.  Reviewers swear they leave their under-eye areas much brighter (see reviews).

You have to apply and leave them on for 20 minutes and for this reason (along with the price) many people use them only for special occasions, such as before a wedding or event.

It’s not clear how much retinol is in the formula. Another con is that these have been tested on animals.

 

 

 

OzNaturals Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer with

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B5
  • Shea Butter
  • Hyaluronic Acid

 

This OzNaturals Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer is packed with amazing ingredients, including 2.5% retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin C. All of these in combination increase cell turnover and plump up the skin.

I like that the ingredients are all-natural and cruelty-free. This is a beloved and fantastic OTC retinol product and it’s well-priced, too.

 

 

 

A Personal Recommendation for Sunscreen

 

On a personal note – for sunscreen, I like Avene SPF50 plus Light Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen.  I have extremely sensitive eyes, and cannot use sunscreens with chemicals in them; even if I don’t put the products around my eyes, the “fumes” from the product on my face can irritate my eyes! 

This sunscreen uses titanium oxide and zinc oxide as its active ingredients, and helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to breakouts, rosacea and discoloration. Very lightweight and silky, it may be worn with makeup or alone. It is fragrance free, oil free, and paraben free.

This is a cosmetically-elegant mineral sunscreen that leaves no with cast, and will protect your face very effectively while using a retinol product.

If your skin or eyes are sensitive, I think you’ll be happy with this sunscreen.

 

 

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, just about anyone is a good candidate for a retinol cream.  Anyone with aging skin, rosacea sufferers, those with hyperpigmentation, or uneven skin tone and even those wishing to reduce the appearance of surgical scars will see some great benefits of Retinol.

If you start using them when you hit 30,  your 60-something self will thank you – but no matter how old you are now – it’s never too late! 

And don’t forget to stock up on sunblock!

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information to help you on your search for a new retinol treatment (whatever age you are!).

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Comfortable Fashionable Shoes For Mature Women

Comfortable and Fashionable Shoes For Mature Women

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Finding Attractive Shoes That Feel Good on Mature Feet

 

I think we can all agree that there’s some truth to the stereotype that women love shoes. For some of us, “obsessed” would be a more appropriate word. Throughout our lives, shoes have been a part of our identity. Now, as we get a little older, we have to learn to adapt to our changing feet.  Image above:  Clarks Women’s (Super Comfy) Reedly Salene Wedge Sandal (available in 6 colors).

 

 

Elements of a Comfortable Shoe

 

You probably already know how you like your shoes to look on you, but at this age, it’s also important to pay attention to what makes that great shoe comfortable.

There is no one criteria that makes a shoe comfortable. In fact, the “comfort” of a shoe has even been measured in a 16 step process by SATRA (Shoe and Allied Trades Research Association). Are you kidding me? Sixteen steps to determine the comfort of a shoe? As much as that is a valid scientific way to assess shoes, it has to be easier than that!

Let’s simplify the SATRA process down to four key elements: correct size, shape, stability, and style.

 

Size

Our feet are often different sizes and widths. The size you measure doesn’t always fit the best. Shoes of the same size and width also can vary substantially due to manufacturing and materials.

You want to allow 5/8″ room between the end of the longest toes and the end of the shoe, about one thumb width. This is often the 2nd toe, not the great toe. Also, try on shoes at the end of the day. Your foot does swell and it is bigger in the afternoon than in the morning.

Note: Most people are wearing their shoes too small. If your feet are truly different sizes, buy the bigger pair. Better to add a filler to the smaller side than to try to stretch the larger one. If you are going to wear socks with your shoes, have them with you when you try them on. Don’t guess that the nylon sock available at the shoe store is the right thickness.

When in doubt, buy the wider shoe. Most people in the United States actually need a wide not just because of the width of your foot but the thickness of your foot.

 

Shape

The only people I know that look at the shape of a shoe are podiatrists or runners. A shoe is made on a distinct last. This determines the shape of the shoe. A shoe can be curved, semi-curved, or straight lasted. Determine the shape of your foot then try to find a shoe that is made off a last that is the same shape. A straight foot in a curved last is like putting a round peg in a square hole. Not comfortable!

 

Stability

How rigid is the shoe? How rigid is your foot? If you have a wide, flat foot, then you need a stable shoe. If you have a high arched, rigid foot, then a more cushioned flexible shoe will be more comfortable.

A great way to determine if a shoe is stable is to look at the rigidness of the heel counter (the rear end of the shoe) and also to do the twist test. If you can make a shoe pretzel, chances are it is not a stable shoe.

 

Style

Well, this is the zen factor. It doesn’t matter how well a shoe fits if you can’t stand what it looks like and won’t wear it. Choose a style you like to look at and all of a sudden it is instantaneously more comfortable. Funny how the power of suggestion works that way!

 

 

Know Your Lifestyle

 

Many people buy shoes because they have a “feeling” about them. Others just like the way that a pair of shoes looks. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look stylish, but, by the time we reach our 60s, we hopefully know enough about ourselves to choose shoes that match our lifestyle.

It’s better to invest in a few high-quality pairs of shoes that will add value to your day-to-day routine than to buy numerous pairs of colorful, but, ultimately useless shoes that grab your attention in the store.

If you do a lot of walking, invest in good pair of walking shoes. If you have mobility issues or any health challenges or physical limitations, think of stability and safety. If you travel a lot, look at options that are good for walking on uneven sidewalks and perhaps suited for some spontaneous dancing (I’m speaking from experience here). Shoes are not just a fashion statement; they are your connection to the world, literally.

 

Know Your Feet

 

When it comes to shoes, size matters. As women get older, our feet change size and sometimes get wider. This makes it especially important to measure your feet every time you buy a new pair. Don’t order shoes online without an unconditional return policy. Most of all, when it comes to fit, don’t compromise.

Don’t believe a shop assistant when they say that a pair of shoes will “wear in.” They won’t. If they don’t fit perfectly in the store, don’t buy them.

Next, make sure that you buy each pair of shoes with a purpose in mind.  Don’t be afraid to get a pair of heels for special occasions, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that they can be your everyday shoes.

One final tip for getting a great fit is to try shoes on at the end of the day. If you try on a pair of shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are slightly swollen, you will be more likely to get a perfect fit.

 

 

 

Know Which Brands to Shop

 

If you’re looking for fashionable shoes that are known for high quality and comfort,  here are some ideas…

 

Marc Joseph New York

Marc Joseph New York prides itself on offering footwear that is modern & fashionable, yet extremely comfortable and of luxurious quality…most importantly at great value!  Every shoe is designed with an unsurpassed attention to detail, handcrafted in Brazil by skilled artisans

 

Marc Joseph New York Women’s Atlantic Loafer (available in 6 colors)

 

 

They are best known for their luxurious Driving Moccasins and Loafers however as our following grew that extended to a full Lifestyle collection of many products. The footwear is hand- stitched and crafted from premier quality leathers using state of the art machinery and the most contemporary techniques.

 

Marc Joseph New York Women’s leather Midtown Pump (available in 4 colors)

 

 

According to Joseph, the brand’s co-founder and Creative Director, “My goal is to design shoes that are unique and distinguished in character, incorporating the use of the most luxurious hand finished leathers & components, while remaining practical in every sense. My continuous direct communication with our loyal clientele keeps me in tune with what they desire and seek. I place extensive effort into making sure comfort and fit is unmatched. Each and every style is laboratory tested for its quality, comfort and wear and tear.”

 

 

Easy Spirit

Easy Spirit has an entire line of comfortable women’s shoes, with styles ranging from flats to sandals and wedges to clogs.

 

 

Easy Spirit Women’s Safra Dress Pump

 

 

Easy Spirit Women’s Nice Day Thong Sandal

 

 

 

Aerosoles

Aerosoles is a unique shoe company because they create comfortable shoes in a variety of styles – not just flats. Using the same types of fabric and construction allows them to create shoes with maximum comfort.

 

 

Aerosoles Tru Match Women’s Slip On Loafer (available in 4 styles)

 

 

 

 

 

Aerosoles Women’s Landfall Flat (available in 3 colors)

 

 

 

 

Clarks

Clarks is a well-respected brand of British shoemakers that has been around since 1825, and is known for quality and classic styles.

 

 

Clarks Women's Flores Poppy Pump, Cream Leather, 9 Medium US

Clarks Women’s leather Flores Poppy Pump (available in 6 colors)

 

 

Leonardo da Vinci described the human foot as “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. And to make sure we can look after it better than anyone else, Clarks has studied it. From the cradle to old age, they’ve looked at the way it develops and scrutinized its biomechanics (the way it moves at work, rest and play), and what it takes to keep feet healthy and happy.

 

 

Clarks Jeness Cloud Dress Pump with Cushion Plus and Ortholite Foot bed

 

 

 

Earth Shoes

For over 40 years, Earth shoes have been making women’s shoes including casual shoes, sandals, sneakers, wedges, and boots with exceptional comfort and fashionable style to the delight of discerning women.

Earth Shoes are inspired by their founder Anne Kalso – a Danish Yoga Instructor – and her core belief that wellness and healthy living should start from the ground up. Anne created the original wellness shoe with a trademark negative heel design, called Kalso Earth Shoes. They still make the negative heel shoes today, as well as traditional and contemporary fashion comfort shoes.

 

 

 

When Anne Kalso originally set out to make comfortable shoes for women, wellness was her priority. Her yoga practice taught her that comfort and wellness start with proper footwear for your feet. She believed whole body wellness could only be achieved when a healthy lifestyle is complemented with genuinely comfortable shoes, sandals, and boots.

Earth Shoes’ signature comfort features including amazing arch support, breathable materials, padded heels and cushioned comfort – all with fresh style and on-trend looks season after season.

Earth is also eco-conscious and does their small part to do better for our planet by using water-based adhesives, vegetable tanned leathers and glueless boxes.

In 2015, Earth partnered with a non-profit organization, Trees for the Future, and planted over 50,000 trees globally. Today, their goal is to plant another 50,000 trees every year and in doing so, we’re helping keep our air clean and our bodies healthy.

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

Finding great-looking comfortable shoes, sandals and boots for older women doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience! There are more options than ever for women our age to find shoes that our feet actually love – while enjoying some fashionable fun.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on finding some great-looking, comfortable shoes.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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What Kind of Catheter Do You Need?

Urinary Catheters:

What Kind Do You Need?

 

 

How to Select the Correct Catheter

 

Urinary catheters are a complex and diverse group of medical products. While they all serve a similar ultimate purpose, the specific needs and demands of each individual patient can lead to some confusion as to which product is right for them.

Patients who are considering catheterization as a solution for urinary incontinence should exercise diligence in choosing the right urinary catheter for their lifestyle and health requirements. (Image above: Straight Catheter – Comfort Medical)

 

 

Intermittent Catheters

By far the most common type of catheter is the Intermittent (or Short Term) Catheter.

 

 

An intermittent catheter is inserted into the urethra on demand to empty the bladder, and then removed again as soon as the bladder is empty. Users are taught how to catheterize themselves, and it is a straightforward technique that can be performed by most people.

Even children as young as seven or eight years old can be taught how to catheterize, and by using aids, people with reduced hand function can practice it as well.

Catheterization is undertaken roughly at the same intervals as you would normally go to the toilet, about 4-6 times a day.

Medicare will cover up to 200 of these single-use, disposable catheters each month, allowing for frequent catheterization.

These are available in both straight tip and coude tip varieties. The straight tip is the most frequently used of these two, as Medicare requires patients demonstrate a medical necessity that specifies the use of a coude tipped Intermittent Catheter.

This need will arise from specific patient anatomy which makes straight tip catheter insertion difficult or impossible. This is especially true in men who have an enlarged prostate, where the curved coude tip catheter is the only choice for insertion into the bladder.

 

Hydrophilic Catheters

 

As insertion can be one of the main barriers to appropriate catheter use, it is usually recommended that patients use a hydrophilic catheter.

Hydrophilic catheters are lubricated with sterile water rather than gel, more closely mimicking our body’s own natural fluids. This produces greater ease of catheter insertion, helping encourage patients to catheterize whenever the need arises, leading to greater compliance with catheter treatment.

 

 

Indwelling (Foley) Catheters

Beyond simple intermittent catheters, there are also Indwelling, or Foley, Catheters. This type of catheter is replaced monthly, usually with the aid of a licensed medical professional.

As with Intermittent Catheters, these are available in both straight tip and coude tip varieties. Again, patients who can demonstrate a specific medical need will often opt for the curved coude tip version of a Foley Catheter as they tend to be easier to insert for many people.

The obvious advantage of Foley Catheters is that the frequent process of catheterization must be repeated much less often. For patients with a more active lifestyle that can make frequent catheter insertion difficult, Indwelling Catheters can be a good option.

This type of catheter is also frequently utilized for a preset period of time, such as after a surgery which can lead to urinary incontinence, since the catheter can be inserted by a doctor or nurse while the patient is already in their care. Foley Catheters are also available in a silicone version which enables patients with a documented latex allergy to avoid any unpleasant reactions to catheterization.

 

 

External (Condom) Catheters

For men, Condom Catheters are yet another option for urinary incontinence.

Rather than being inserted directly into the urethra as with Foley and Intermittent Catheters, a Condom Catheter is used externally on the penis.

Medicare provides for up to 30 of these catheters a month. As they can help avoid the sometimes difficult process of catheterization almost entirely, this can be a popular choice for men who have had difficulty with traditional Intermittent Catheters.

 

 

Closed System Catheter

 

While this system is more complex and thus expensive, it will significantly reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections, by far the most common consequence of catheter use.

A closed system catheter is, at a quick glance, a self-contained, sterile, pre-lubricated catheter housed within a collection bag.

The collection bag eliminates the need to void the urine into a receptacle or toilet, and since it’s already self-containing, it also eliminates the need to hook up any other kind of bag or container. It’s basically ready to use once it has been opened.

These systems often include other features to help assist with the catheterization process and keep everything more sterile. As with all other types of catheters, its main function is to drain the bladder of all urine in a comfortable, smooth process while minimizing risk of bacterial infection of the urinary tract and/or bladder.

 

Conditions for Medicare Coverage of a Closed or Sterile Catheter:

Medicare will cover a Closed or Sterile Catheter System only for patients with very specific sets of medical criteria.

  • If patients already on traditional Intermittent Catheters have had at least 2 urinary infections in the past 12 months, Medicare will cover a closed system.
  • Patients in nursing homes, immunosuppressed patients, patients with vesico-uteral reflux, and spinal cord injured pregnant female patients can also qualify for this system.

 

 

10 Steps to Safe, Simple Self-Catheterization

 

1.  Wash your hands thoroughly.

2.  Set out all necessary supplies – these can include a mirror, the catheter, water, soap and/or a sterile wipe.

3.  Position yourself in front of the toilet or in front of a collection container.

4.  Wash or sterilize around the urethra. For women, wash from front to back, never re-using a wipe. For men, wash in a circular motion, starting at the urethra and working your way out.

5.  Open the catheter. To keep the catheter as clean as possible, do not allow the catheter to touch anything once you pull it out of the wrapping.

6.  Apply lubricant to the catheter if applicable.

7. For women, gently open the labia with your fingers. For men, hold penis straight out from the body and angled slightly upward toward your body and gently squeeze the head of the penis to very gently to open the urethra.

8.  Insert the clean or sterile catheter until urine begins to flow. Gently push the catheter about 1 inch further into the bladder after urine begins to flow.

9.  When the urine stops flowing, shift position a few times to ensure all urine is emptied, then slowly remove the catheter

10.  Wipe the insertion site of any urine, throw away the catheter and wash your hands.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Although intermittent self-catheterization may be more intimidating than a Foley (indwelling) catheter, there are some definite advantages of intermittent catheterization (if it is an option for you).

Intermittent catheterization (IC) is the preferable method to empty the bladder when you can’t urinate naturally. It is safe in the short-, mid- and long-term, minimizing common risks such as urinary tract infections (UTI’s), strictures, bladder stone complications and upper urinary tract deterioration.

Intermittent catheterization is closest to natural urination, and gives the user control and freedom. For short-term users, intermittent catheterization gives a faster recovery and return to normal voiding (emptying of the bladder) after surgery.

Of the different types of intermittent catheters, evidence shows that hydrophilic single use catheters are best at reducing the risk of complications.

Of course, the biggest advantage of self-catheterization is having the freedom to choose when and where to empty your bladder, giving you more control over your life. Using a single-use intermittent catheter also reduces the risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) compared to an indwelling catheter.

Navigating the complex decision of which catheter is right for your personal needs should be a collaborative decision between the patient, doctor, and their medical equipment provider.

Ideally, you’re looking for the middle ground between medical necessity and lifestyle preference.  This can be a complicated affair, so be sure to communicate fully and honestly with your doctor during the decision-making process.

 

 

Purchasing Your Catheter Supplies

 

Always purchase your catheter supplies from a company that is a nationally approved medicare provider participant which has been awarded accreditation by Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), a national accreditation organization authorized by the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.   This will ensure that you are using quality products made to exacting standards, and that your privacy will be protected by law.

 

 

Recommended Catheter Supplier

I recommend Comfort Medical, which is accredited by the ACHC, has a superior reputation for quality and customer service, and is specifically licensed to offer urological supplies to their patients (and are required to keep your information confidential and protected under strict HIPAA guidelines).  Comfort Medical also fills out all necessary insurance forms and bills Medicare or private insurance on your behalf.

Comfort Medical has partnered brand name manufacturers who offer the highest quality products, and ships your catheter and ostomy supplies discreetly to your home.  Shipping from Comfort Medical is free of charge.

Comfort Medical also supports its customers by creating an individualized program; one of their product specialists will contact your physician to verify that you are receiving the correct amount and types of catheter and ostomy supplies, ensuring that you never run out.  The products specialists are always available to you to answer any questions you may have about the supplies.

 

Why Do I Recommend Comfort Medical?

  • Accredited by the ACHC
  • Solid reputation for brand-name product quality and customer service
  • licensed under HIPPAA guidelines, protecting your confidentiality
  • They fill out all the paperwork and bills Medicare or Private Insurance on your behalf
  • Delivery to your home is discreet
  • Shipping is free
  • Comfort Medical stays in contact with your doctor to ensure correct type and volume of supply
  • Comfort Medical product specialists are available if you have any questions

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information about urinary catheters. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

 

 

TeloYears+TeloCoach

 

… And Should You Bother With It?

 

A fast-growing body of research is finding that telomere length in leukocytes, the white blood cells of the immune system, reliably predicts age-related disease — and can be affected by genetics, chronic stress and health behaviors, such as exercise and diet.

Twenty years ago little was known about the aging process. Many ideas existed but nothing was certain. Today we know how and why we age. We cannot control it just yet, but even that may change in the near future.

The human body has 100 trillion highly-specialized cells. Each of these cells has sets of chromosomes that contain your DNA and RNA, the latter being a compound that tells each cell what its job is. At the ends of each chromosome are cap pieces called telomeres. These telomeres keep the DNA and RNA from getting damaged by all of the activity that goes on in a cell.

 

 

What Your Immortal Cells Can Tell Us

Research demonstrated that the vast majority of cells in our bodies are mortal and have a fixed lifespan. On average, they can divide only 52 times and no more. When the cell cannot divide anymore, it is said to be senescent and susceptible to disease, infection, malfunctioning, and death. The reason cells cannot divide more than 52 times is that half of the telomere goes with the newly-cloned cell and half stays with the parent. Eventually the telomere is so short it cannot divide into two.

A tiny percentage of the cells in your body are immortal and can divide again and again with no limit.

These immortal cells are largely a part of your immune system and fight off diseases and infections as well as repair injuries. Immortal cells also have telomeres that split into two, but an enzyme called telomerase restores the telomeres to their full size after cell division. For some reason the mortal cells in our bodies do not allow telomerase inside. Only the immortal cells do so.

 

While immune cells are essential for our survival, another category of immortal cells are very deadly, and these are cancer cells.

When cancer starts to grow in a person’s body, the immune cells are dispatched to the area, recognize cancer as not belonging there, and try to do away with it. The immune cells bring telomerase to the location where the cancer is growing to clone themselves onsite. However telomerase also fuels the growth of the cancer. Cancer cells need telomerase to clone themselves and cannot do so without it.

 

 

A Possible Cure for Cancer?

One really intriguing possibility presents itself: Can we cure cancer by denying telomerase to the portion of the body where the cancer is growing?

Well, such a medicine has been developed, and right now there are four clinical trials taking place with human cancer patients to test its effectiveness.

To be deemed a success, the medicine must:

(1) kill all cancer cells, not just some of them;

(2) not spread to other parts of the body and take out telomerase where it is assisting immune cells; and

(3) not cause serious side effects like heart attack or stroke.

 


TeloYears “Now and Later” 2-pack

from: Telomere Diagnostics 

 

If successful, the cancer cells would not be able to clone themselves and multiply. The existing cancer cells would become senescent and die. Since 90 percent of all cancer cells are rapidly growing and need telomerase, the medicine has potential to take out all of these cancers at once.

Time will tell if these studies are successful.

 

 

Fountain of Youth

Another intriguing possibility also exists: Can we get the mortal cells in our bodies to welcome telomerase inside, turning these mortal cells into immortal ones? If done to all of our mortal cells, we would then become immortal. Believe it or not, this has already been done, albeit on a small scale.

Researchers collected human senescent cells that are incapable of dividing. Telomerase was force-fed to the cells in a test-tube study.

What happened? The senescent cells had their biological clocks reset to zero and started dividing again, just like baby cells. In one case they divided 26 times before the experiment came to an end.

Importantly, none of the cells in the experiment showed any cancer or tumor growth. This is great news, as scientists had previously speculated that the reason the body does not allow telomerase inside 99 percent of its cells — with the exception of immune cells and some cells that develop during pregnancy — is to prevent healthy cells from becoming cancerous.

Researchers are working on methods to introduce telomerase into mortal cells. It is one thing to do research with just 100 cells in a test tube and another to do it with 100 trillion cells in the entire human body. However, we know exactly what needs to be done to make the Fountain of Youth a reality.

 

The Telomere Effect

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer

Molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn shared a Nobel Prize for her research on telomeres—structures at the tips of chromosomes that play a key role in cellular aging. 

The main message of her breakthrough book, “The Telomere Effect,” is that you have more control over your own aging than you may imagine. You can actually lengthen your telomeres—and perhaps your life—by following sound health advice, the authors argue, based on a review of thousands of studies.

“Telomeres listen to you, they listen to your behaviors, they listen to your state of mind,” said Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.

Telomeres sit at the end of strands of DNA, like the protective caps on shoelaces. Stress from a rough lifestyle will shorten those caps, making it more likely that cells will stop dividing and essentially die.

Too many of these senescent cells accelerates human aging, the pair say. This doesn’t cause any particular disease, but research suggests that it hastens the time when whatever your genes have in store will occur—so if you’re vulnerable to heart disease, you’re more likely to get it younger if your telomeres are shorter, said Epel, director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Aging, Metabolism and Emotions Center.

“We can provide a new level of specificity and tell people more precisely with clues emerging from telomere science, what exactly about exercise is related to long telomeres, what exact foods are related to long telomeres, what aspects of sleep are more related to long telomeres,” Epel added.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Should we all just sit around and wait for more scientific telomere discoveries to happen?

That would be a great mistake, because we already know of four sets of factors that each correlate with longevity, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia (as well as many other deadly conditions).

 

These four factors are:

  • aerobic exercise,
  • cognitive enrichment,
  • psychological states of mind
  • nutrition

Discover how well you are agingThere is a proven correlation between telomere length and these four factors. For example, one study found that runners have been found to have longer telomeres than sedentary people.

The bottom line is that if you take great care of your body,  cell division is postponed, just as  research also shows that if you take lousy care of your body and the cells are under stress, they will divide more quickly, shortening your telomeres.

Doing the right things with these four factors will not make you immortal, but it may be the difference between dying in your 90s and dying in your 60s.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some practical, empowering information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

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Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Is Your Guy Still Into His Ex?

Is His Ex Ruining Your Relationship?

 

 

Don’t Allow Yourself to be Second in Love

 

Even though he is not legally married, doesn’t mean he’s not still emotionally married….

Some men have a very difficult time emotionally letting go of an ex-wife, especially when the divorce was not their decision. Add children to the mix, and dating a guy like this will make you feel like a constant loosening third wheel. Yikes!

 

You would think that if a marriage ended due to:

  • His wife cheating
  • His wife having a full on affair
  • His wife leaving him for another man
  • His wife completely falling out of love with him
  • His wife having zero respect for him—and clearly demonstrating this

…that he would not only want to move on emotionally, but also have very little to do with her. Unless, of course, they have children, and if so, keeping the communication strictly about the kids.

Although that might sound great in theory, there are men who are either too ego driven—not accepting their fault in the divorce, too insecure with themselves—to believe they deserve better, or a combination of both.

 

 

Your Man’s Ego – Is it a Problem?

The ego of a man (and frankly the competitiveness) will convince him that he still wants a woman who has left him, even if he didn’t try hard enough to keep (or value) her when he had the chance. Once she “causes” the demise of her marriage—cheating—or leaving him, his ego will set in and determine that he still wants her. His ego will convince him to do anything to win her back. What he fails to realize is that most women, when they emotionally move on—due to lack of feeling secure—are hard to obtain again.

Often, when a woman decides to have an affair—emotional or physical—it is because she is not feeling emotionally secure, financially secure or supported by her husband anymore. Once this break-down has happened, winning her back is not always an option. However, the ego will convince him to try even if it’s not about honestly wanting to keep her.

There are men who cannot accept a woman being the one to end things. So when she does, it is a huge bruise to their ego, making it their mission to get back together with her just so that he can be the one to officially end things. Of course this will usually tend to backfire in his face. And if you are dating or in a relationship with a guy like this, it will make you feel like you are never good enough since he is always thinking and talking about his Ex.

 

 

Is Your Man Insecure?

Many insecure men cannot deal with the fact that a woman has ended the relationship because they did something wrong. When this happens, they will seek forgiveness in the form of being a doormat for their Ex. Men like this will also look for things they are doing wrong or “think” you’re unhappy with—assuming they will never be good enough for you since, they weren’t good enough for their Ex.

Even if he emotionally pushed her towards the decision to get divorced by his actions (or lack of), taking ownership for his part is just as hard for an ego driven man as it is for a guy who has insecurity issues. Denial is an immature way of dealing with any problem, however so many men are guilty of this.

The man’s denial can also cause him to be subconsciously emotionally invested in his ex-wife—who no longer wants him. And if he’s in denial, how can he be expected to move forward with a new love? If your man is not dealing with his issues of insecurity over the failure of his previous relationship, it will  likely end up being a relationship killer for the two of you.

It might be hard to determine if your man is insecure; men who are insecure don’t always acknowledge their faults in the demise of a relationship. Instead they will focus on what their ex-wife did—cheating or leaving—in order to make themselves feel better.

If he’s not being honest with himself about what he did to push her away, he will continue to be emotionally connected to his ex-wife.  He will always be concerned about upsetting her and will work to please and appease her. Until your man can own up to his mistakes and forgive himself, he will remain tied to her.

 

 

Tell-tale Signs That Your Guy is Still Emotionally Stuck On His Ex:

 

  • If you and his Ex are both in need of his support—he will choose her over you
  • If he has kids, he won’t (or hardly) ever switch custody days with his Ex—for anything important having to do with you.
  • He reminds you (frequently) that she is the mother of his children and will always be in his life (duh)—but that should not mean she trumps you!
  • He will gladly let his Ex switch her custody days whenever she feels like it.
  • He will leave work early to pick up the kids for his ex-wife on her days—but she will never reciprocate.
  • If she calls him upset, he will stress out until he can call her back.
  • He has zero backbone when she is around.
  • In her presence he will be wanting to get her attention like a lost puppy.
  • Even if she is in a relationship, living with a guy or remarried, he will still go out of his way to help her when she is sick, has surgery or is injured.
  • Her plans will always trump your plans that you have made together.

 

 

Final Thoughts

As woman we really (really) want to believe when a guy proclaims that he is over his Ex, that he actually is, especially if it’s been years since the divorce. Unfortunately, men like this can be convincing because they are in denial themselves.

Take a long hard look at your relationship. What are you getting out of this? Would you stay in a relationship if they were unfaithful with someone new? What’s the difference with them being in love with someone “old”?

You get to choose your experiences and it’s time to think about what you really want. Find someone who puts you first, not second place to a ghost.

Instead of being present for yourself, you are torturing yourself with your partner’s past and feeling inadequate. You need to accept that your partner’s past makes them who they are. The person you have fallen in love with is a product of their past influences. They are not the person they were in that relationship. Look at them closely. They don’t even look the same.

If you can, communicate your fears to your partner. Ask them to support you and reassure as you work through these feelings. If they are the person you are supposed to be with, the feelings will fade as your relationship becomes more real and established.

Most men don’t want to admit that they are still in-love, harboring feelings or care (to a high degree) about their Ex—and what their Ex thinks or feels about the them—when the reasons she finally left were due to falling out of love or cheating. He will think that by still harboring feelings for her, he is pathetic. Is it pathetic to admit these feelings? Or is it more cowardly to be in a relationship with another woman knowing you are secretly pining for validation or in need of an ego boost? Either scenario, being with a guy like this is a lose-lose situation for you.

Ladies, being with a man who has not sorted out his true feelings and emotions (other than some therapy) regarding his Ex means that you will live in the shadows of her. Until he is open and willing—and actually deals with his unresolved feelings—he can never be the man who can one-hundred percent give himself to you. You deserve to be with a man who is emotionally baggage free. Don’t allow yourself to come second in love.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article helpful and empowering. 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

-Laurie

 

Recommended Reading:

What Men Won’t Tell You: Women’s Guide to Understanding Men

How to read their minds, what men want, why men cheat, why men won’t commit, why men lose interest, and how to avoid rejection from men.  By Ryan Thant.

What Men Won’t Tell You: Women’s Guide to Understanding Men (How to read their minds, what men want, why men cheat, why men won’t commit, why men lose interest, how to avoid rejection from men) by [Thant, Ryan]

Read Reviews

 

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A Step by Step Guide for Moving On

 

 

Being in a relationship is great. Loneliness rarely sets in because you always have someone to spend the day with or talk to when you need to vent. You experience new things with this person, like seeing plays, going to concerts, traveling, exploring new restaurants and shops, etc. You can also learn from this person by conversing and challenging each other to understand different ideas and philosophies.

Oh, and there’s sex! Who doesn’t love sex? So being in a relationship sounds great, and on paper, it is. However, in reality, relationships aren’t bulletproof. You’ll argue about trivial nonsense like where to eat, or what movie to watch. Relationships are complicated and stressful so failure is always a great possibility. Now, no one who is happy in their relationship would want it to end; unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want. Like the famous saying goes, “All good things must eventually come to an end.”

Dealing with the aftermath of a failed relationship is always a tough thing to overcome, but you can make it easier on yourself by being proactive with these steps:

 

 

 

Accept the Truth

 

Honestly, there are many things that can act as a catalyst in ending a relationship: cheating, lack of communication, or just plain boredom. It doesn’t really matter where the relationship went wrong, and you’ll only drive yourself insane trying to rework the timeline attempting to pin down the exact moment in which everything fell apart.

Instead, take a deep breath and swallow the truth. That’s step number one: accepting that it’s over. This will be the hardest step for most people, as optimism naturally takes over when the relationship ends. You’ll try to get the person back, hanging onto the notion that there may be a chance he will take you back.

Let go. The quicker you accept the truth, the quicker you’ll get over him or her and start dating again.

 

 

Reflect on the Failed Relationship

According to Dr. Karen Weinstein, a psychologist from New York, you should look back at the relationship for everything it was: both the good and the bad. Don’t idealize it. Instead, make a list of the things about it that didn’t make you happy. You might find some reasons it’s better that you two went your separate ways.

A study from the journal, Social Psychological and Personality Science, also shows that thoughtful reflection about a relationship after it ends can help speed up the healing process — this isn’t wallowing, though. If you’re not in a place where you can think about your relationship clearly, that’s okay. Give it some time and then try again.

 

 

 

Image result for BFFs

Connect With Your Friends

The worst thing you can do after a relationship ends is become a recluse. You see it in the movies all the time (typically romantic comedies). The protagonist is lying in bed, sulking over their broken heart. Friends then burst into the room — usually throwing back the curtains to let light into the depressing, dark room — and finger through the protagonist’s filthy food scraps and unkempt belongings.

For the rest of us, we have to be the ones to instigate a “hang out” with our friends, because they have lives too. Also, when you tell someone to leave you alone in real life . . . they usually do. So be a big boy or girl and call a friend to spend time with you.

 

 

Talk it Out

Talking through the breakup with close friends can also be therapeutic. A study by Grace Larson of Northwestern University found that talking through how you feel now that you’re no longer in a relationship and revisiting key points of the breakup, such as when you thought it was going south and how it affected your view on romance, can help you regain your own identity and sense of self now that you’re no longer in a couple.

While talking it through, it may be helpful to consider your own story from a third-person perspective. In other words, put yourself in your friend’s (or someone else’s) shoes and describe it from their viewpoint. Research shows that this kind of distancing helps you reflect and gain insight from what you’ve experienced without falling into feeling sorry for yourself.


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Get Busy

This step ties into the second one. Make sure you find something to do. Let me clarify that this step is mostly for the times when you are alone. What I did was watch movies, play lots of video games, listen to my MP3 player, and read a bunch of books.

Of course, hanging out with a friend is a great way to take your mind off of the relationship and your ex, but they have lives too and can’t spend every waking minute consoling you. So, do anything as long as you’re not just sitting in your room browsing the Internet.

What you do doesn’t have to be something big, either. In fact, research indicates that even just doing something with the intention of it helping you could be effective. Journaling intentionally is one example of something small that can be really helpful.

I suggest getting yourself a beautiful new journalling notebook to inspire your new habit. 

Some Examples:

 

 

 

Learn Something New

Similar to the previous step, this step requires you to get up and do something. Where it differs though, is in what you are doing. Step three gets your mind off of your ex, but it allows you to do unproductive things for the sake of healing.

Step four is different in that you should do things considered “productive.” I took the time to write and to learn how to play piano. I also took up the hobby of paper crafting. So do something productive like writing, learning to play an instrument, learning a new language, or taking up a hobby.

This is a crucial step of rebuilding your identity — one that doesn’t include your ex. It’s been shown that people who strongly identified themselves with their partners had a harder time getting over the relationship, so the more you can build a new you or rediscover old hobbies, or even rediscover what it’s like to do your old hobbies as a single person, the closer you’ll get to being happy without your ex.

 

 

Work Out

Exercising is good for your body as well as your mind. It has been proven to make you more focused and energized. Having focus and energy will help motivate you to do things like those listed in step four. Plus, if you are out of shape, then exercising will help you tone that body so when you are ready to get back to dating, you’ll be more confident about your physical appearance.

 

 

Take a Vacation if You Can

This step may not be possible for some of you. If money is tight, or if you’re young and don’t have a job, then this step may not be too useful. For those who can spare the cash, take a mini-vacation. You don’t have to fly off to Hawaii, Italy, or somewhere outlandish.

When a relationship ends, it’s hard to give complete, undivided attention to work and school. Sometimes you need to shake loose and enjoy life.

And if you’re having impulses to do something crazy — like dye your hair, get a tattoo, quit your job, and move to New Zealand — you’re better off waiting to do those things until you’re a little more stable and in control. A vacation could be a good way to feel a little impulsive without being totally out of control. You can try on a new identity later on down the line.

 

 

Cut Yourself Some Slack

Slightly different from going on vacation, this step encourages you to take a break from dating. A common mistake people make after being dumped is to date someone immediately after. That’s a no-no. Don’t make someone your rebound — that’s never nice.

Instead, take a break to reflect on yourself. Spend time working on bettering your life through your hobbies, your schooling, your career, or whatever else. Stay away from dating because there are too many things that can go wrong with that. You could annoyingly bring up your ex to your new partner, causing them to question your sanity and attraction to them. If your ex cheated on you, then you will most likely have trust issues with the new girlfriend or boyfriend (I’m guilty of this).

So just take a break. You don’t have to wait a whole year like I did before getting back into the dating scene, but at least give it a few months.

You might even be over them faster than you think. Most people overestimate how long it will take for them to get over their ex significant other, especially if they weren’t involved with the decision to end the relationship in the first place. So it might seem like things are never going to get better and that you’re never going to find someone else, but those thoughts simply aren’t true.

 

Recommended Reading:

The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Healing From a Breakup or Divorce

 

 

Embrace Change in Your Life

I should note here that these steps don’t have to be followed in any order, with the exception of the first step. In fact, these steps shouldn’t really be “steps” at all. You should continue doing all of them simultaneously or interchangeably until you have reached an emotional state you are satisfied with. That being said, I believe this final step is the MOST important step, hence why I saved it for last. It’s going to sound a bit harsh and a bit drastic, but I promise it is necessary.

The final thing you need to do is change your life. This can mean almost anything and will differ from person to person, but one thing should always be done. Get rid of your ex’s stuff. Throw away the pictures, videos, notes, presents, etc. or at least hide them away. You cannot completely move forward if you are clinging to the past.

 

 

Also, I’ve never met someone who was comfortable with their significant other having things from their previous relationships. It’s unhealthy and stubborn. Why would you want to hold onto memories of a failed relationship? I mean, sure, there were good moments in the relationship, but the very fact that it ended means that those good memories were outweighed by the bad. Like in the movie 500 Days of Summer, if you just stop focusing on all the good times from the relationship, you’ll remember all the bad ones.

 

 

Cut Him Out (Entirely!)

The next thing to do is get rid of your ex. Wait a minute, that makes no sense . . . I mean, we are already broken up, right? Wrong. In today’s Internet-driven age, most people never really get rid of their ex. They keep them as friends on various social media platforms.

This usually happens because both parties agree to “still be friends.” Don’t do this! Get rid of him or her. You will only hurt yourself by pretending that you can still be friends. I know it sounds mean, but you’ll regret it when he gets a new girlfriend and floods his Facebook with pictures of them kissing and loving each other or bombards his “wall” with status updates about how awesome the new girl is (the alternative applies for guys as well).

 

 

Protect yourself. Stop worrying about him. If in the future you decide you can be friends, then go ahead (unless your new partner has an issue, which is entirely understandable), but during the healing process, it’s best to shut them out entirely.

Besides, one study showed that people who cyber-stalked their exes tended to have more negative feelings about them, missed them more, and in general felt worse about the breakup. Don’t do it! Removing them from your social networks will make it much harder to do.

 

 

Expand Your Social Circle, and Possibly Your Career

Also, if you are young and can afford to find a new part-time job, then do so. A nice change of scenery and routine will help cast the illusion that things are better. The effort to move forward in life and create major changes to your job and circle of friends will help motivate you to become the person you want to be.

 

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Building off of what I just said, you should also find new friends. Now hold on! Before you call bullshit and close your Internet browser, hear me out. If you have friends that are exclusively your friends, who will stick by YOU and not your ex, then keep them.

However, if you had mutual friends, then you might want to consider distancing yourself from them. After all, your friends won’t be courteous enough to plan out every “hang out” so that you and your ex aren’t invited to the same event. Not saying that they are bad friends, just that it is not their obligation to ensure this doesn’t happen. How awkward would that be to get invited to a party, movie, or some other event by one of your friends, only to run into your ex when you arrive? Remember, you can always find new friends. And the ones that can’t choose you over the ex are probably not worth being friends with anyway.

 

 

Final Thoughts

So there you go. Those are my tips on how to get over a long-term relationship. Once again, not all of these will work for everyone. You have to choose which ones feel most natural to you. Maybe you don’t want to get a new job, and that’s fine. Maybe you really do want to be left alone, and that’s okay too.

Just remember that all things heal in time. So, cheer up, because there really are plenty of fish in the sea. And I know it hurts now, but eventually you will look back at all of this and laugh.

Use this time as an opportunity to work on yourself. Make new friends, work on personal goals, and play some damn video games if you want! It takes work to be happy and to get over that long-term relationship, but when you finally do…you’ll wish it would happen again. No I’m just kidding! But honestly, at least you will be wiser from your experiences and you’ll know how to handle it if or when it happens again.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article helpful and empowering.

If you would like to speak with a psychic to help you get over him,  I recommend Psychic Access.


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All Psychic Access psychics are tested and verified, and you can start with a totally free reading to see if it feels right for you.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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