Smart Shopping Tips for Your Spring Planting

Smart Shopping Tips for Your Spring Planting

 

 

Ready to start planting?  Here are some tips for shopping smart!

 

It’s finally time to start planting – but before you plant, you shop.  With garden retailers preparing for the predictable spring surge in business, shoppers need to prepare themselves for the best shopping experience ever.

 

Before You Head Out Plant Shopping

 

Here are a couple of things you should know/do before you begin your spring plant shopping:

 

Know how sunny your garden is.

Watch your garden and figure out whether the area you want to plant in is in full sun (i.e. it gets 6 or more hours of direct sun a day) or not. This is key information to have—some plants won’t thrive in less than full sun and some plants will wither with that much sun. This rule applies to all plants, whether you’re looking to buy perennials, pretty annuals to fill a pot, trees, vegetables, or herbs.

 

Snap some photos of your garden with your phone before you go shopping.

Once you get into the garden center, there is so much selection it can be overwhelming. Having a photo with you will help you remember what planting hole or pot you came to fill and how big it is. And, if you need to ask a staff member for help it will make it a lot easier for them to give you good  advice if they can see your space instead of hearing “well, I need something to plant in the backyard, in front of the rosebush, beside the Hostas, well, I think they’re Hostas—is that what you call those things with green leaves that grow low to the ground?”

Bring close-up, in focus shots of the leaves of any plant you’re looking for help with identifying, as well as a picture of the whole plant, and, if it flowers, a picture of the flowers with you.

Once you’re in the garden center, read the tags on the plants — they’ll tell you whether the plant needs full sun or tolerates shade, and tell you how big it will get (height and width). Between the information on the tag and the homework you did before you left the house, you’ll be well on your way to buying the right plants for your garden!

 

Here are some tips for getting the very best plant value while shopping this spring.

 

Perfect is Imperfect

All of us do it:  we automatically reach for the perfect flowering plant, like a hydrangea in full bloom, a pot of pansies brimming with color.  The fact is, though, a plant brimming with color is soon in decline.  This is true of plants that bloom at their very best once a year, like a hydrangea, but not so much a season-long performer like a geranium.  Choose plants that are in flower bud, not in flower, and enjoy a longer bloom cycle.

 

Avoid Root-Bound Plants

Often, plants have been grown past their peak.  The easiest way to determine the quality of the plant you are buying is to pull it gently from the pot. Retailers won’t mind that you do this, as long as you’re careful not to spill soil everywhere.  The pot should be 50 to 70% roots, with the balance, a quality potting mix. 

If the roots twirl around the inside of the pot, they are likely to sit in your garden in shock.  pull tightly woulnd roots apart before you plant (or avoid root-bound plants in the first place).

 

Autumn Stock is a Good Bet

Some retailers store their leftover stock from last fall and bring it out for sale carly in the spring.  This stock may perform very well in your garden, as the plants are generally more established and “hardened off,” therefore more tolerant of frost than new stock fresh from the greenhouse.

 

Imperfect May Be Temporary

Experienced gardeners know that some of the best plant deals are at the back of the store, where less than perfect specimens are often offered at discount prices. 

Something like a broken branch or a scar in the bark that can be overcome with time or pruning.  In a few years, a tree or shrub that is imperfect at the time of purchase can look great; patience and pruning can really pay off!

 

Seeds Save Money

Many plant shoppers forget to go inside the store to peruse the seed racks.  The truth is, many herbs, annuals, vegetables and perennials grow easily from seed and they always cost much less than plants.

 

Divide and Save

Some of the best plant deals at this time of year are not at retailers, but at local horticultural society or master gardener meetings, and even sometimes at garage sales.  The divisions from someone else’s Hosta or Daylily can take root and perform very well in our garden this season, and save you a lot of money.

 

 

For that matter, if you have perennials of your own in your garden that are several years old, chances are that many of them can be dug up, divided with a sharp spade or knife, and planted around your garden.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful information on spring plant shopping. 

You may find some terrific planting ideas and inspiration at the new Amazon Plants Store!

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

 

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Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health

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Get Prepared For Summer Camp Season

Get Prepared For Summer Camp Season

 

 

Start Planning Kids’ Summer Recreation Now

 

Many families spend winter figuring out how to chase away cabin fever and endure frigid temperatures until spring and summer mercifully return.  Parents and grandparents thinking ahead to swimming pools and days lounging on the beach can put their daydreams to practical use by planning ahead for their youngsters’ summer vacations.

Youth recreational programs and summer camps can bridge the gap in care between the end of school and the day when classes resume.  Due in part to high demand, parents who want to place their kids in summer recreation programs or summer camps should be vetting such programs and camps well in advance of summer.

 

The Benefits of Summer Camp for Kids

 

I am a huge believer in the summer camp experience for kids, especially these days, when many of today’s youth spend much of their time playing with their digital devices.  Summer camp is great option for parents who want their children to get outdoors once the school year ends, but there are so many other benefits to be had from a session or more of summer camp.

 

 

Kids Explore Their Talents at Kids’ Summer Camp

 

 

Summer camps help young people explore their unique interests and talents.  Under an organized, yet often easygoing camp schedule, kids can dabble in sports, crafts, the visual arts, leadership, community support, and so many other activities that may not be fully available to them elsewhere or during the school year.

 

 

Physical Activity at Kids’ Summer Camp

 

Many camps build their itineraries around physical activities that take place outdoors.  Campers may spend their time swimming, running, hiking, playing sports, climbing and so much more. 

 

 

 

 

This can be a welcome change for kids accustomed to living sedentary lifestyles.  Regular physical activity has many health benefits, and can set a foundation for healthy habits as adults.

 

 

Kids Gain Confidence at Summer Camp

 

 

Day and sleep-away camps offer campers the opportunity to get comfortable in their own skin.  Camps can foster activities which enhance self esteem by removing the academic measures of success and replacing them with noncompetitive opportunities to succeed.  Campers learn independence, decision-making skills, and the ability to thrive outside of the shadow of their parents, siblings, or other students.

 

 

Kids Try New Things at Summer Camp

 

Camp gives children the chance to try new things, whether that’s learning to cook, exploring new environments, or embracing a new sport or leisure activity.  Opening oneself up to new opportunities can build character and prove enlightening for children.

 

 

Kids Make New Friends at Summer Camp

 

 

Camp is a great place to meet new people and make lifelong friends.  Campers flood in from areas near and far, which provides kids with a chance to expand their social circles beyond their immediate neighborhoods and schools. 

 

Searching For a Summer Camp

 

The following are some handy tips for parents and grandparents who want their kids to have fun and fulfilling summers.

 

Determine Your Budget the Kids’ Summer Camp

As varied as program offerings may be, camps can also vary greatly with regard to cost.  Government-run camps may be less expensive than those offered by private companies.  day camps typically cost less than those that provide room and board.  Find out if a particular organization subsidizes a portion of camp costs.

Scouting programs often have a dedicated camp, and may offer affordable options for scouts.  Martial arts schools and dance centers frequently offer day camps, as well.

if camp seems out of reach, look into local summer recreation programs at parks or schools.  Such programs may not be as extensive as those offered by camps, but they can quell kids’ boredom and keep children occupied during the day.

 

Ask For Recommendations For Good Camps

Speak with fellow parents and trusted friends about where they send their children.  Personal recommendations can be very helpful, providing firsthand insight into a particular camp or program.  Schedule appointments to visit camps that fall within your budget.  Take your son or daughter (or grandkids) along, so he or she can get a sense of what camp will be like.

 

Explore All the Kids’ Camp Options

Camps come in more flavors than ever before.  Certain camps may be faith-based ministries, while others may focus on particular sports.  Band camps and art camps may appeal to creative kids.  There are also plenty of general-interest camps that offer various activities without narrowing in on any particular one.

Parents may need to choose between a sleep-away camp or day camps, depending on which camp experience they want for their children.

 

Inquire About Camp Schedules

While many camps are flexible, day camps do not have the same level of flexibility as after-school programs.  Arrangements will need to be made if care is required after regular camp hours.  Speak with camp staff to see which types of after-hours programs, if any, are available.

 

Plan Time Off This Summer For the Kids

In addition to camp, remember to plan for some free days, so children can just enjoy some downtime.  Such days can break up the monotony of a routine and provide kids and families time to relax together.

 

 

Purchase Your Kids’ Summer Camp Supplies Early

According to The Summer Camp Handbook author and psychologist Dr. Christopher Thurber, the most important thing to remember about packing for camp is simple and surprising: Give yourself plenty of time. This will ensure you’re not rushing and forgetting things last-minute and can even help ease nerves about heading off away from home.

 

Recommended Reading:

The Summer Camp Handbook – Everything You Need to Find, Choose, and Get Ready For Camp – And Skip the Homesickness

 

Camp Packing List

Your camp will provide you with a packing list, but even if you don’t yet have the list in hand, you can get started purchasing and organizing supplies that you are sure to need.

Think about which items you already have, and make a list of the items you will need to buy.  If possible, plan to go shopping in advance of the big rush, when all the parents are stocking up on the same items.  This will save you from the stress of “the hunt” when the stores are busy, or when the sizes and styles may not be as plentiful.

I always like to purchase as much online as possible:  if it’s not an item that your child must try out or try on in advance, order it online and have it delivered to your home.  For the other items, plan a shopping trip with your kid(s), and allow plenty of time to find just the right items.  If your kids are happy with the things they bring, it will be one less stressor as they get used to their new surroundings and fellow campers.

Here are the things you and your child will likely need to pack for a typical sleep-away summer camp:

Consider visiting Amazon for some of these supplies.  You’ll find a ton of choices and prices, you’ll be able to read consumer reviews, and if necessary, you can return anything easily.

Plus, they have really cute items you can’t find in the stores, like these:

 

 

 

 

 

Okay… I got sidetracked.  Here is the packing list:

 

  • Bandana/scarf
  • Hat
  • Glasses/contacts and cleaning solution
  • Prescription medication
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles for swimming
  • Dress clothes and coordinating belts and shoes
  • Light jacket
  • Jeans
  • Rain gear or umbrella
  • Shorts
  • Sweatshirt
  • Swimsuit
  • Swim shirt with UV protection
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Underwear
  • Sweatpants or warm-up pants
  • Pajamas
  • Cotton bathrobe
  • Bras
  • Athletic support (jock strap)
  • Boots
  • Cleats
  • Flip-flops
  • Shoes, plus a spare pair
  • Socks
  • Bedding — check with your camp checklist for what, if any, to bring for bedding
  • Hand towels
  • Beach towels — can be used for bath or swimming
  • Shower caddy
  • Comb or brush
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Bug repellant
  • Lip balm
  • Nail clippers
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shaving cream and razors
  • Soap in carrier
  • Sunblock
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush, toothbrush container and toothpaste
  • Camera
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Laundry bag
  • Reusable water bottle or canteen
  • Writing paper, pre-addressed envelopes, stamps and/or calling card
  • Spending money (but check with camp for policies)
  • Comforts of home, like a family photo or a stuffed animal
  • Entertainment, like books and deck of cards
  • Small backpack or tote for day trips
  • Medical ID bracelet, if applicable

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Camps benefit children in a variety of ways.  Lessons learned in camp can strengthen values, build confidence, develop coping mechanisms for when adversity strikes, and enable campers to make lifelong friends.

Summer recreation may a little ways off, but it’s never too early to start making summer plans, including finding camps and other activities for the kids.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on planning some great summer activities for the kids!

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Ease Your Allergies With These Simple Tips

Ease Your Allergies With These Simple Tips

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

Clean Your House With a HEPA Filter Vacuum

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Consider a Roomba or Robotic Mop

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

Use an Air Purifier

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Correct Your Air Humidity

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 


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

 

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

 

 

Try an Allergy App

 

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

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

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

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

 

Walk-In Lab Allergy Test

 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Why Switch to Organic Makeup?

Why Switch to Organic Makeup?

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Our Skin is Not an Impermeable Sheet of Plastic

 

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

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

 

Just think about nicotine and birth control skin patches:

 

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

 

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

Cosmetics can penetrate the skin to some degree. 

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

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

 

 

Consumers are Concerned, and Rightfully So

 

 

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

 

…But Here’s something Disturbing:

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

In the United States: 10. 

What gives?

 

 

Ingredients to Avoid

Forms Found in Cosmetics and Possible Negative Side Effects

Aluminum

Thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Found in almost all antiperspirants.

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

Artificial colors

FD&C, derived from coal tar.

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

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

Benzoates

Benzoates Benzoic acid, sodium benzoate or parahydroxy benzoate.

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

Certain essential oils

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

DEA, MEA, TEA

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

Dibutyl phthalate

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

Highest levels were found in women of reproductive age.

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

Used in cosmetics to assist the absorption of other ingredients.

Formaldehydes

A preservative.

Causes skin reactions.

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

DMDM hydantoin

Quaternium 15

Diazolidinylurea

2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1

3-diol

Fragrances

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

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

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

Genetically Modified Organisms

Soy, Corn

Effects still undetermined.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Drying agent, from petroleum.

Keratolytic chemicals

Such as hydroxyl acids, retinoic acid.

Corrosive, used in skin peels.

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

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

Methylisothiazolinone

Causes allergic reactions and irritations (Fairley, 2001).

Parabens

Petroleum product.

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

Paraffin

Derived from petroleum.

In the form of wax, mineral oil or petrolatum.

Comedogenic, i.e.blocks pores.

Propylene Glycol

When derived from petroleum.

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

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

Sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate

Forms carcinogenic nitrogen compounds when combined with specific ingredients.

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

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

Tallow

Animal fat.

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

Toluene

Found in many nail products and nail polish removers.

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

Evaporates into the air when products containing toluene are opened.

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

Au Naturale Cosmetics High Lustre Lip Gloss

 

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

 

 

The Benefits of Organic Makeup:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • It’s widely available and affordable.

 

 

The Drawbacks of Organic Makeup

 

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

 

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

 

  • Organic makeup isn’t usually waterproof;

 

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

 

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

 

Final Thoughts

 

 

Au Naturale Cosmetics Swipe-On Essential Eye Pencil

 

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

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

Green Meets Glam

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

My advice to you?

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

Ultimately, you are in charge.

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

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

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

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

You can read their story here.

 

 

Eternity Lipstick

 

 

Zero Gravity C2P Foundation

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

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

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Simple Steps to Ease Your Allergies at Home

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

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How to Keep Your Cuticles Looking Manicured

How to Keep Your Cuticles Looking Manicured

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Cuticle Cream

 

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

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

 

Cuticle Creams to Try:

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Cuticle Oil

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cuticle Oils to Try:

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Cuticle Remover/Softener

 

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

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

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

 

Cuticle Removers/Softeners to Try:

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

Cuticle Sticks and Pushers

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Cuticle Nippers

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

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

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

 

 

Nail Polishes I’m Currently Loving …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

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

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

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Choosing the Right At Home Chemical Peel for Your Skin

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Simple Steps to Younger Skin

Simple Steps to Younger Skin

 

 

Products That Actually Work

 

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

But all the anti-aging options can prove overwhelming.

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

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

These are the anti-aging products dermatologists recommend.

 

 

Moisturizer

 

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

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

Yikes.

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

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

 

Moisturizer Recommendations:

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Retinoids and Retinol

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

 

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

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

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

 

Great over-the-counter AHAs choices include:

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

Antioxidants

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

Sunscreen

 

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

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

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

Look for a sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection.

 

 

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

 

Hydroquinone

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Kiss Red E Creme also has impressive ingredients:

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

 

 

Other Ways to Keep Skin Youthful

 

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

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

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

Orange Hudson Sunglasses Aviator Matte Gold Metal Frame with Pink Crystal Acetate Legs, Rose Gold Mirror Lenses 100% UV Block - Versailles Sky

Example: these gorgeous Orange Hudson sunglasses block 100% of UV rays (they’re budget-friendly, too).

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

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

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

Choosing the Right At Home Chemical Peel for Your Skin

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

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

Which Scar Treatment Works Best?

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan For You

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Over 40 and Looking for Love

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Fashionable, Comfortable Shoes for Mature Women

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health

How to Get Over Him

Blue Emu and Australian Dream – Which One is Better?

Aleve Direct Therapy TENS for Back Pain Review

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

How to Find the Best Travel Luggage for Seniors

 

 

Choosing an At Home Chemical Facial Peel

Choosing The Best Chemical Peel for Your Skin

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

How Chemical Peels Work

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Benefits

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Glycolic Peels

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

Salicylic Peels

 

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

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

Women with acne swear by these peels.

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

Try CleaRx Risk Free Today!

 

TCA Peels

 

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

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

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

For a high quality TCA peel at home, try:

 

 

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

Each kit includes:

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

 

After Your Chemical Peel at Home:

 

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

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

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

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

Today’s Best Home Retinol Treatments

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

Which Scar Treatment Works Best?

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

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

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan For You

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Over 40 and Looking for Love

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Fashionable, Comfortable Shoes for Mature Women

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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

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

Choosing the Right At Home Chemical Peel for Your Skin

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

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan For You

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

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

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Over 40 and Looking for Love

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Fashionable, Comfortable Shoes for Mature Women

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health

How to Get Over Him

Blue Emu and Australian Dream – Which One is Better?

Aleve Direct Therapy TENS for Back Pain Review

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

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Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

How to Find the Best Travel Luggage for Seniors

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Adult Acne

 

What’s Different About Adult Acne?

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Reasons For Adult Acne 

 

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

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

Fluctuating hormone levels can lead to breakouts.

Women often experience fluctuating hormones: 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Treating Adult Acne

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Benefits of Benzoyl Peroxide

 

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

 

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

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

 

The Downside to Benzoyl Peroxide

 

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

 

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

 

Recommended Benzoyl Peroxide Products

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Treatment Features

 

CleaRx®

Differin®

Proactiv®

Murad®

Maximum Strength Formulation

Kills Acne Bacteria

Cleans & Exfoliates Skin

Unclogs Blocked Pores

Hydrates & Protects Skin

Reduces Redness & Inflammation

Promotes Healthy, Even Toned Skin

 

 

Prescription Treatments for Adult Acne

 

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

You have several options:

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

 

 

Final Thoughts

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

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

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

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

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

You may also be interested in:

Which Scar Treatment Works Best?

Choosing the Right At Home Chemical Peel for Your Skin

Thinking About Switching to Organic Makeup? Read This First …

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

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

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

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan For You

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Over 40 and Looking for Love

Signs That You Need to Test Your Indoor Air Quality

Top 10 Massage Chairs – Full Reviews

Fashionable, Comfortable Shoes for Mature Women

Get Gardening to Lose Weight and Gain Health

How to Get Over Him

Blue Emu and Australian Dream – Which One is Better?

Aleve Direct Therapy TENS for Back Pain Review

Anytime Gifts That Seniors Will Actually Use

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

Detailed Review of the SoClean CPAP Cleaner

How to Find the Best Travel Luggage for Seniors

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Today’s Best 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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