Thursday, July 5, 2007

Skincare Ingredients – What Do they Mean?

You’re at the cosmetic counter at the mall, looking to invest in a few new products for your skin. You choose several products and compare the ingredients, but you ask yourself, what is hyaluronic acid? Or, you’re at the drugstore and notice your cleanser has new packaging with headlines such as “antioxidant-rich” and ingredients such as kinetin and Vitamin A. You ask yourself, is it still good for my skin?

Gone are the days when skincare products were simply categorized for dry, normal or oily skin. Over the past decade, products have (and continue to) evolved with sophisticated new formulas and ingredients that can mimic products and treatments once found only in dermatologist’s offices. Here is a quick guideline on how to decipher the current list of 50-cent words on product labels.


Chemicals that halt the oxidation of cells and ward off free radicals, unstable electrons that lead to cell breakdown. Cell breakdown leads to fine lines, loss of moisture and elasticity, dull, rough appearance and discoloration. Common antioxidants used in skincare are Vitamins A, C, E and K.

Alpha Hydoxy Acids (AHAs)

A group of chemical compounds that can occur naturally or chemically that can help reduce aging and wrinkling and improve the skin’s look and texture. AHAs include glycolic (the most commonly used in skincare), malic, citric, tartaric and lactic.

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

A mild acid that helps with the sloughing of dead skin cells that can clog pores and deep cleans without overdrying. The most common BHA is salicylic acid.

Coenzyme Q10

A fat-soluble antioxidant with a similar structure to Vitamin K. Plays an important role in preventing cell breakdown and promotes cell renewal and an increase of hydration, moisture and cell revitalization.

Hyaluronic Acid

A jelly-like substance that occurs naturally in the soft connective tissues of all living substances and can also occur in some cartilage and joint fluids and skin tissue. Hyaluronic acid holds moisture within the collagen and elastin of the skin and can hold 1000 times its weight in water.


A powerful, topical lightening ingredient that was once available only in dermatologist’s offices. Over the counter products only allow up to 2% of this ingredient. When using hydroquinone, one must use it on a three-months on, three-months off basis, or as soon as discoloration is less noticeable.


A botanical-based ingredient found in plants, which helps plants to retain water. When used in skincare products, kinetin helps treat the signs of photoaging and restore the skin’s moisture barrier.


Pronounced “ee-dee-bee-known”, its structure is similar to Coenzyme Q10 but its function is more powerful. Along with the treatment of wrinkles, idebenone has been successful in both cerebral and some organ studies.

Let Your Skin Breathe

Everyday we put our skin in harm’s way, whether we realize it or not. UV rays and environmental pollutants are common culprits when it comes to upset skin but what about what you wear? Surprisingly enough, the very material your skin comes into contact with can trigger rashes, irritation and other negative skin-specific responses. Learn what fabrics you should stay away from and which ones you should include in your wardrobe and in your life.

Dry skin, eczema, acne prone and sensitive skin types often have the toughest times maintaining happy skin. When the use of a daily skin care routine isn’t enough, look around your home to see what factors may be contributing to the problem. This includes the clothes you wear, the sheets you sleep on and even the pillowcase you rest your head on at night.

When it comes to clothes, completely avoid harsh fabrics such as wool, which can easily irritate any skin type and cause severe itchiness. Although Spandex, Rayon and Lycra don’t pose a direct hazard to your skin the way wool does, it’s still important to limit how long you wear this type of material throughout the day. These fabrics are widely used in leggings and athletic wear and are being used more often in dresses and other form-fitting fashions. As stylish and comfy as Spandex, Rayon and Lycra can be, your skin is not able to breathe properly and wearing these restrictive garments for too long can trap sweat and other surface debris, leading to breakouts and zits on the chest and back. Make it a point to never lounge around the house in these fabrics and remove them as soon as you get home so that your skin can breathe - the same goes for all clothes that are designed to fit tightly on your body. Hop in the shower or bath soon after so you get a head start in washing away the sweat, oils and other dirt that may have accumulated underneath the fabric.

In order to avoid putting your skin at risk, be sure to wear safe and natural fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, tencel (this fabric is made from wood pulp and is cool, smooth and dry), linen, silk/satin and hemp. Because these contain natural fibers, the chances of irritation or contact dermatitis is greatly reduced, not to mention that the cool and soft feel pacifies upset skin.

In addition to the clothes you wear, you also need to be mindful of the sheets you sleep on, the pillowcases you use and even the furniture you relax on. Before you start to get worried, switching out harsh fabrics for gentler ones is a simple task. To ease your nights, turn to satin pillowcases and silk, linen or cotton sheets. These fabrics allow your skin to breathe at night and are restrictive so you can toss and turn as you please. If you own a couch or comfy recliner that irritates your skin but you don’t want to toss it out, buy blankets made of cotton or another skin-friendly material that you can wrap yourself in so you can enjoy the coziness of your furniture without putting your skin at risk. By following these tips you’ll be able to simplify your life and your skin care.

How to Make Your Own Night Cream

A good night cream can restore your skin’s elasticity, making it soft and smooth. A good night cream can renew skin as well as help keep skin moisturized. What a good night cream does not do however, is come reasonably priced. For a good night cream you can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $200. If you’re on a budget like most of us are, then that can be quite a bit of money. You don’t have to spend a lot for a night cream, however. Making your own night cream can be just as good, but with the added benefits of being all natural, as well as reasonably priced. Here are a few you can try.

Almond Oil Night Cream for Dry Skin

3 tbsp. almond oil

2 tbsp. hydrous lanolin

2 tbsp. cocoa butter

2 tsp. rose water

1/2 tsp. honey

Using a double boiler, melt almond oil, lanolin and cocoa butter until it forms a smooth texture. Remove the mixture from heat and add the rose water and honey, and blend. Allow to cool before apply the homemade mixture to your face. Store any unused mixture in the refrigerator.

Almond-Rosewater Night Cream for Dry Skin

½ cup of almond oil

¼ cup rose water

2 tbsp white wax

Using a double boiler, melt the wax and almond oil just until smooth. Add the rose water and let cool before applying to your face. Store any unused mixture in the refrigerator.

Olive Oil Night Cream for Oily Skin

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup water

3 tbsp white wax

Melt the white wax and olive oil in a double boiler until smooth. Add the vinegar and water to the homemade mixture and let cool before applying to your face. Refrigerate any unused mixture.

Cucumber Night Cream for Normal Skin

½ cucumber chopped with skin

1 egg white

½ cup olive oil

In a blender, combine cucumber, egg white and olive oil and blend until smooth. Apply the homemade mixture to the face and relax for about 20 minutes. Remove with a dry cloth. Refrigerate any unused mixture.

Apple Night Cream for Sensitive Skin

2 cups chopped apples

2 cups olive oil

1 cup rose water

Place the apples in a blender and blend until smooth. Next, add the apples to the olive oil and heat in a double boiler over a low flame. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the rose water. Let cool before applying. Refrigerate any unused mixture.

Some Useful Tips:

To apply the above homemade night creams, use only a dab and apply using an upward, circular motion until the cream has absorbed into skin.

Never apply the creams to your upper eyelids since it can cause puffiness.

If you would like your homemade night cream to have a wonderful scent, you can add a drop of your favorite essential oil to the mixture.

It is best to throw away any unused night cream after 4-6 days.

Copper Peptides and Cosmetics

On the market since 1997, copper peptides are major players when it comes to the rejuvenation of skin. Nowadays, people scramble to find the fountain of youth, or product that will make them appear younger. Skin care is one of the main beneficiaries of scientific research, research that discovers new surgical procedures, treatments, ointments with the latest fad molecules, and anything else that could provide effective. As molecules have been studied as anti-aging promoters, one molecule stands out and that is the copper peptide. Its effects on the human skin cannot be denied.

Copper peptides are a chloride solution that generally react with amino acids and proteins and have the effect of decreasing fine line in the skin and improving skin’s elasticity. Wrinkled skin is helped with its firming properties and protection from the sun is also provided by its antioxidant qualities which eliminates the damaging elements caused by the sun. They also go hand in hand with other anti-aging molecules that have penetrated the market like AHAs.

Copper peptides are especially adept at fighting cellulite. The cottage cheese look that is caused by waste accumulating under the surface of the skin can be offset by the effects of copper peptides using its anti inflammatory effects. In addition, copper peptides also help to speed the recovery of skin lesions. That, coupled with proteins that help build tissues and heal damaged tissue under the skin, help to give copper peptides the ultimate seal of approval.

Another molecule that go hand-in-hand with copper peptides are alpha hydroxyl acids, also known as APAs. Many creams, lotions, and skin care products have this ingredient working. These also help with improving the appearance of age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. Those with sensitive skin can also benefit from APAs with few side effects that may include irritation. As with copper peptides and APAs, it is important to use these products gradually and seeing how you react before going on a daily treatment regimen. Although copper peptides contain proteins that protect against cellulite affected tissues, it is always wise to pay attention to the warning label.

Today, consumers can find copper peptides in various leading cosmetic brands. If you want to speed up wound healing, smooth rough skin, improve skin firmness, reduce fine lines, improve your skin tone, and bring irritated skin back to normalcy, look no further than cosmetic products with copper peptides.

Transitioning Your Skin From Winter to Spring

The sun is shining, the first spring flowers are beginning to push through the ground and your skin is telling you it’s time for a change in your daily routine. Winter months are naturally drier and indoor heat works against us to further decrease the humidity our skin needs to stay soft and supple, so we bring out the extra-emollient creams and butters and our skin thanks us for them. But with spring comes an often unnoticed increase in moisture both in the air and in our skin. If we continue to hold that moisture against our skin, especially our faces, we often see unexplained breakouts that last longer than usual. But fear not, a few simple steps will help effortlessly transition your skin from winter to spring leaving you with a look that puts the brightest flowers to shame.

Start with your cleanser. Be sure you’re using a formula for your natural skin type. We often need to switch to a dry skin formula in winter months. Go as gentle as your skin will permit without giving up all the necessary deep cleaning or acne fighting benefits you need to stay looking smooth and polished.

Speaking of polished, add a gentle exfoliant to you facial cleanser. You’re shedding dry skin and want to rid those flakes as soon as possible. Stay natural by using oatmeal or any number of other food products that benefit your skin while polishing away dead skin. Don’t limit exfoliation to your face. An all-over scrub will leave you feeling revived and your body shinning. Try a mint scrub for added energy and a tingling clean.

Don’t forgo the moisturizer, even on the most humid days. Switch to a lighter formula – the more natural ingredients it uses the better. Apply smaller amounts, paying closer attention to your eye area and lips.

As temperature rise outside, your body temperature will increase, too. Be ready with a quick change of foundation formulas. Try a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation. Apply the moisturizer and allow plenty of time for it to dry before applying concealer. Allow time for that to dry, especially around your eyes, before applying powder and color cosmetics. This allows your skin time to acclimate to the product and decreases clumping and smudging. When you apply your powder, use a brush instead of a sponge or pad. This gives your face room to breath and aids in decreasing oils throughout your day. When those oils do escape, have blotting tissues on-hand to remove the shine without losing your make up.

As an added measure in your transition from the dry months to the sun-soaked days of spring, invest in an equalizer that balances your skin’s hydration and pH. Spritz a small amount all over your face after cleansing and follow immediately with moisturizer. Look for equalizers that use plant extracts so you’re not adding chemicals to freshly cleansed skin. At any time during the day you can give you skin a boost with a small spritz. Most formulas are designed to absorb into your make up without smearing or leaving water spots.


3 Ways to Hairless Happiness

As more and more people opt for hairlessness each day, they begin seeking alternatives to less work and better results. Shaving is perhaps the easiest fix when dealing with a last minute emergency. However shaving often irritates those with sensitive (i.e. razor burn), the hair grows back quickly with the blunt edge cut from the razor causing stiff stubbles. Of course most men - and many women still shave on a daily basis, yet there are other options out there, some dating back centuries! Threading, sugaring and waxing are the top three best temporary hair removal methods that leave you with longer-lasting hairlessness!


Threading, by far the gentlest form of hair removal for the skin, is a simple process involving a cotton thread that is twisted and pulled along areas of unwanted hair. The thread acts like a mini-lasso, lifting the hair follicle directly from the root.

There are several major reasons why threading is the superior treatment:

The Ouch-less Factor – Since threading is able to target the individual hairs, so skin irritation is kept to a minimum, unlike waxing which often causes unnecessary stretching and the removal of the skin’s delicate top layers.

Au Naturale – Threading is 100% natural, there are no artificial waxes, chemicals, or invasive techniques used. Thus, individuals using certain medications like Retin-A and Accutane and those who have even had recent cosmetic surgery can still get hair removal without the worries of waxing! These medications/procedures make the skin ultra-sensitive and waxing could literally remove the top layers of the skin, exposing the delicate under tissue! Also, the majority of people that breakout from waxing tend to not do so from threading. Threading is completely safe and dermatologist-recommended.

An Art of Perfection – Threading is very precise and allows the Specialist performing the service to have greater control than waxing. This precision is especially useful in eyebrow shaping, where every hair is important! Often times when people wax they tend to take the tail of their eyebrow off, making it too short.

Destiny Control – Threading allows the freedom to create a more manicured brow or just enhance a person’s existing natural shape. The strand of thread is used as a guide to ensure that the proper line is followed, unlike tweezing which lacks this guidance and increases the risk of brow boo-boos.

Take it all off! – Even those short stubbly hairs can be removed, giving you the option of avoiding the cumbersome growing-out period that all waxers grow to hate!

Wrinkle Prevention – While waxing can tug, pull, stretch and even remove the delicate skin on your face, eventually facilitating the development of wrinkles, threading does not target the skin, so it won’t put a wrinkle in your day!


While threading is able to target individual hairs on the face and to remove strays in lieu of tweezing, it is not practical for arms, legs, and the ever-popular bikini, as it would require a huge time commitment! Sugaring is an amazing natural solution for these hairier, larger sections of the body!

Sugaring dates back to the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece. It began as a home remedy for hair removal and over the years, recipes for the sugaring gel were perfected and then passed on down through the generations – now treatments are available by professionals as well as DIY kits for the motivated!

Made of only sugar and lemon juice (and sometimes water), the ingredients are cooked until it is honey-like both in consistency and color. These very basic ingredients make it the most natural product for removing hair from bigger sections at one time.

Sugaring most closely resembles waxing, but is actually much gentler on the skin and less painful to endure:

Sensitivity and Pain – Sugaring gel can be used on the even the most sensitive skin. While still removing hair from the root, many claim it to be up to 50% less painful than waxing.

Hairlessness Not Redness – Since the sugaring gel sticks less to your skin than wax, it doesn’t pull on your skin as much when it is removed, and thus reduces the pain factor in the hair-free equation.

Denim - Not Just for Fashion – The weight of the denim cloth used in sugaring treatments, is heavier than the usual muslin strip used with wax, helping to eliminate discomfort.

Irritation Minimization – Sugaring gel is less abrasive to the skin and rids you of the risk of removing the top layers of skin as in waxing.

Sweet Results, Naturally – Since sugaring gel is only made from sugar and lemon juice, it is great for those who have specific allergies to the different resins and other ingredients found in wax (i.e. beeswax – some people are actually very allergic!) but who still want a longer lasting hair removal solution.

Simple, Not Sticky – Unlike wax, the sugaring gel is water soluble and any remaining gel, after the treatment is complete, can easily be washed off with water.


Waxing is a tried and true method of hair removal and works for those with even the coarsest of hair, or hair that is slightly shorter than the ¼” requirement for sugaring. Many waxes now contain anti-inflammatory ingredients, like azulene oil, making the wax a gentle as possible.

A few tips when waxing at a salon/spa:

Beware of Double Dippers - Double-dipping is common in wax application in which the same wooden or plastic spatula is re-dipped back into to the vat of wax during the procedure. Unfortunately this technique increases the chances that any potential bacteria from one client could spread to another (yikes!). Ideally, you should only go to a salon/spa that doesn’t double-dip, however if you are unable to locate one in your area, you may always request that a new can of wax be used for your service, so at least the only germs you’ll be sharing are your own!

Better Safe than Sorry – Salons vary drastically, especially when it comes to technique and supplies used in waxing. It is in your best interest to research your waxing destination, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you are concerned with how your skin will react to a new wax, request a patch test, often salons will offer this quick appointment for free. Then give yourself at least 24 hours before committing to the real deal. If there is no reaction in the first 24-48 hours, it’s pretty much smooth sailing for you!

It Takes Two – Even if a salon is the cleanest you’ve ever seen, remember to do your part in the after care to ensure harmonious hairlessness:

· Please be kind to your skin, avoid harsh products that may cause adverse reactions, for the next 24 - 48 hours after your treatment.

· Refrain from using skin care products, like cleansers and moisturizers, which contain acids (i.e. alpha-hydroxy, glycolic, salicylic, etc.)

· Avoid ultra-violet rays from tanning beds and/or sunbathing for at least 48 hours. Always wear proper UV protection.

· Resist the sauna and steam room for at least 48 hours.

· Hold off taking hot baths/showers for at least 2 hours after your treatment.

· Use a cold compress to help soothe the hairless skin if you feel any discomfort or irritation after your treatment.

· Medical experts recommend abstaining from sexual activity for the first 48 hours after any type of bikini wax. This time period is when your body is most susceptible to outside bacteria which can potentially cause an infection.

· Follow a daily exfoliation regime to help prevent ingrown hairs after the first 48 hours.

· Hydrocortisone cream may be used after any hair removal treatments to help reduce irritation and inflammation and can be found at your local drug store.

Lasting Results – What to Expect

Of course everyone’s hair grows at different speeds, but generally speaking, hair will start to grow back about 2-3 weeks after it is removed from the root, as in all three treatments (threading, sugaring, waxing) mentioned. Unlike the sharp edge created by shaving, you will notice that your hairs grow back softer – in short: no rough stubbles!

Hair Removal Regimes

Threading – twice a month (every 2-3 weeks) is ideal, specifically for maintaining your brow shape. Remember that with threading the hairs can be shorter than they need be for waxing!

Sugaring & Waxing – once a month (every 3-5 weeks) helps reduce the pain. Just remember that your hair should be at least ¼” in length (or long enough to lay flat on your skin) for optimum results.
by Shobha Tummala

The Battle of the Calories

Counting calories has become an obsession for many people concerned with health and fitness. In order to lose weight safely, it’s very important to know how many calories should be consumed without putting your health at risk. Once you know that, it will be super easy to put together a diet you can follow.

Contrary to popular belief, calories are good for you. Without them, your body wouldn’t have enough energy to make it through the day. However, consuming too many calories without burning them off through exercise can result in weight gain. By knowing what foods to stay away from and keeping track of the amount of calories and fats you eat on a daily basis, you’ll be able to successfully lose weight without worry.

Knowing the difference between good and bad fats is key in the food choices you make. Saturated fats are bad for your body and are responsible for high cholesterol. This type of fat is mainly found in eggs, seafood, dairy and meat. Trans fats are also unhealthy and are used in many commercially packaged foods to ensure longer shelf life. You can find trans fats in any bag of chips, French fries, margarine and microwaveable popcorn. Unsaturated fats are the ones to include in a healthy diet. There are two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol and can be found in nuts, canola oil and olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats also work the same as monounsaturated fats and are found in salmon, fish oil, corn, soy and sunflower oils.

An easy way to replace bad fats with good fats in your daily diet is to read the labels of the products you buy. All of the ingredients and nutritional information is listed in detail so you know exactly what you’re getting. Switch to using canola oil or olive oil for cooking. When grocery shopping, cut out the commercially packaged food to avoid trans fats and opt for foods that are trans-fat free. Because dairy is an important part of the food group, switch to skim milk instead of whole and when it comes to preparing meat for dinner, trim off the excess fat.

When it comes to calorie counting and losing weight, the key is to lose weight slowly instead of all at once. Trying to shed 15- 20 in a short period of time is an unrealistic goal dieters have that can actually backfire. Losing too much weight at once only results in gaining it back after going off the diet. A more realistic goal is to lose no more than 2 pounds per week.

In order to know how many calories you should cut back on, you’ll need to figure out your BMR, which is the amount of energy your body needs to function properly. There are BMR calculators online that help simplify the math. Once you know your BMR, you can begin setting your caloric intake goal. The easiest way to count calories is to keep a diary of the food you eat each day - don’t forget to list how many calories each food has. With each day, you’ll be able to keep an accurate count of how many calories you consume. Be cautious, as calorie counting can become additive and can cause you to lose more calories than necessary. Never consume less than 1,200 calories per day.

Wear What You Eat – Making Masks From The Fridge

No one does it better than Mother Nature, and skin care is no exception to that rule. Get together with some friends and have fun whipping up these quick and easy recipes for facial masks that require ingredients you probably already have in your refrigerator.

For normal skin , this peach and oatmeal mask loaded with alpha-hydroxy acids that help soften wrinkles, reduce blemishes and unclog pores is just for you:

Cook one medium peach until soft, then mash. Add one tablespoon honey and enough oatmeal to thicken the mask. Apply evenly to skin and wait ten minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.

For normal to oily skin , try this blend of carrots and honey:

Cook until soft, then mash 2-3 large carrots. Mix with 4 tablespoons honey. Gently apply the mask to your skin and wait ten to twelve minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.

For oily skin , strawberries and honey will help reduce excess oil and refresh enlarged pores:

Mash nine strawberries into a pulp. Add three tablespoons honey. Mix well, but don’t over do it or your mask will be runny. Apply to entire face and wait three to five minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

If your skin is oily and acne prone , let this apple and honey mask spruce up your natural glow and texture:

Core and grate one medium sized apple. Blend with three to four tablespoons honey. Smooth over entire face and relax for eight to ten minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.

If your skin is normal to dry and prone to bouts of acne , let this aromatic mask work to remove toxins and oils that reduce blemishes and tighten pores:

Boil five bay leaves in one cup distilled water and allow to cool. Strain the leaves, but keep the liquid. Slowly add the bay liquid to four tablespoons French clay. Mix until it is medium thick. Dab and blend onto skin and allow mask to dry for up to twenty minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

For dry skin , your mask of bananas and honey will restore vitality to over-stressed skin:

Lightly mash two medium bananas. Don’t over mash or mask will be runny. Add two tablespoons honey and lightly blend. Apply to skin and wait ten minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry.

Want to get crazy? Try this recipe for a banana bread mask that will moisturize, soothe, soften and cleanse your skin along with the added bonus of a whole wheat flower antioxidant:

Mix well ½ very ripe mashed banana, a pinch of nutmeg, two tablespoons ground oats (put rolled oats through a clean coffee grinder or blender until it is a fine powder.) Add two tablespoons whole wheat flour. Blend in milk or cream until mask is a smooth paste. Apply to a clean face and enjoy for five to ten minutes. Rinse well with warm water and pat dry.

Because there are no preservatives in these recipes, they should be used immediately and then discarded.

The Brazilian Wax

So you have finally decided to take the plunge and get your first Brazilian style bikini wax. A Brazilian bikini wax removes all of the hair in the bikini area, including the crack of the buttocks. The practice of this kind of waxing originated in Brazil, which is where the practice got its name. The wax is performed in a similar way to any other wax, much like a leg wax, but the area is more sensitive. Many women prefer the Brazilian method of bikini waxing because it leaves skin looking and feeling clean. To experience the best results from your wax, follow these simple tips before and after visiting the salon.

Grow your Hair out for Several Weeks before Waxing

If you are used to shaving your bikini line, stop this practice for several weeks to several months before getting a Brazilian wax for the best results. For a clean look and feel, it is important that the hair is long enough to be ripped fully out from the root, or else shorter hair gets left behind leaving the skin looking and feeling patchy.

Keep your Skin Moisturized

Dry skin can end up feeling itchy and irritated after an intensive wax. Be sure to moisturize your skin well before a wax for healthy, soft skin afterwards.

Expect Discomfort

A Brazilian bikini wax is an intense experience. The first time is definitely the hardest, because much of the hair has never been pulled out before, even if you had a less extensive bikini wax in the past. Know that the pain is very temporary, and by the time you leave the salon, you should not feel any discomfort at all.

Allow your Skin to Breathe

After a Brazilian bikini wax, give your skin a chance to breathe and be comfortable. Your favorite pair of painted on jeans may not be the best choice for directly after your first wax. Wear loose fitting clothes and no synthetics, especially if you have easily irritated and

Use Baby Powder to Soothe Skin

Baby powder is soothing to irritated bikini lines. Use some after your wax, and put some on before bed for a night free of irritation due to sweat and friction on the sensitive newly waxed skin.

Sunburn Remedies

With the decline in the ozone layer, sun damaged skin and sun burns can be prevalent everywhere in the world at practically any time of the year. Although many people suffer from burns from the sun, many people do not take treatment and prevention of these burns seriously. Repeated sunburn of the skin is strongly linked to skin cancer, and anyone who is serious about their overall general health should not take the burning power of the sun lightly. Remember, it is impossible to know how harsh the sun’s rays are on any given day. Cloud cover and fog can make you feel safe when in reality your skin is in for a burning surprise.

There are many ways to help your body recover from and help prevent sunburn. Here are a few:


1. Eat foods high in protein to help your body repair tissue, and eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables for the vitamins and minerals your body needs for healthy skin. Taking trace minerals will also help give the body what it needs.

2. Drink plenty of fluids, because sunburn dehydrates the body.

3. Drink horsetail tea or take supplements. Horsetail is a good source of silica which aids in tissue repair.

4. The protein amino acid L-Cysteine promotes the healing of burns, and can be taken as a supplement.


1. Sunburn prevention is the key to healthy skin. Avoid too much time in the sun, and protect yourself with a hat and light colored, light weight clothing.

2. Aloe vera is used in the burn units of some hospitals because of its amazing healing affects on burned skin. Gently apply a thin layer of gel to the affected area and reapply every hour until the pain is gone. It is best to use the gel from the leaf of an actual aloe vera plant.

3. There are many herbs that can be used externally to aid in relieving severe sunburn symptoms. An herbal bath of chamomile or lavender can be very helpful. Try using 6 cups of tea made from either herb in your water, or about 6 drops of the essential oil in your bath should do the trick. Comfrey, Calendula, and St. Johnswort have all been used in compressed that can be applied to the affected area. Tea tree oil helps heal skin burns and other skin irritations, and products rich with it can be helpful as well.

SPF, UVB and UVA: What Does it all Mean?

We all know that one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from the sun is to regularly use sunscreen. Experts say you should use a sunscreen with SPF 15 anytime you are going to be exposed to the sun for more than 10 minutes. Studies have shown that using SPF 15 everyday provides more protection than using a higher SPF intermittently.

But, How does Sunscreen Work?
The letters SPF stand for Sun Protection Factor, but there are still moderate discrepancies as far as what exactly the numbers indicate. Many sources say that the SPF number is directly correlated to a specific amount of time a person has before they start to burn. Really, the only thing that is known for sure is that the higher number, the more protection. For all practical purposes, an SPF number should be thought of as a general scale to evaluate the level of protection.

A good sunscreen will block exposure to both UVB and UVA rays. They do this by breaking down collagen, creating free radicals, and inhibiting the natural repair mechanisms of the skin. Neither UVA or UVB rays are visible, but both can separately cause damage to the skin. UVB rays, or ultraviolet light, type B, can cause cellular damage to outer layers of the skin, drying and aging the skin. They penetrate into the deepest cell layers of the epidermis and are the main cause of sunburn, DNA-damage and the development of skin cancer. UVA rays, or ultraviolet light, type A, penetrate deeply into the connective tissue. They cause immunosuppression and chronic light-induced damage. UVA rays are also responsible for phototoxic as well as photoallergic reactions.

Nearly all sunscreens provide some level of protection against UVB rays, though no product yet screens out all UVA rays. SPF sunscreen numbers indicate sunburn protection from UVB rays only. No rating system yet exists for UVA, but if you check the ingredients, the presence of avobenzone, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxide indicate that the sunscreen protects from both.

Experts stress the importance of using the recommended amount and re-applying at the correct intervals. Most people only apply 25% to 50% of the recommended amount, so read directions carefully. Sunscreen needs time to penetrate the skin, so it is essential to apply it one-half hour before going out in the sun, and should be reapplied every 2-4 hours, or immediately after swimming, excessive sweating, or toweling.

If you want to keep yourself protected from the sun at all times, avoid being in direct sunlight between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm, wear tight-weave clothing that covers your body, as well as a hat—and wear sunscreen!

Why it’s Okay to Eat More Than the Standard 3 Meals a Day

The concept of eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner has been deeply ingrained into our minds for years. But new studies show that eating five meals a day is a healthier and more effective way to lose or maintain a steady weight. How is it possible to lose weight when you’re constantly eating? The answer may surprise you.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the idea of eating five meals a day does not mean consuming huge meals throughout the day. It’s all about portion control. There are many misconceptions when it comes to how the human metabolism works so let’s take a crash course on how this part of the body functions.

Your Metabolism

Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories and turns it into energy. This rate is based on the foods you eat. Maintaining a healthy metabolism is important because your body’s metabolism is always working—even when you’re asleep. Your metabolism is responsible for creating new cells and tissue, maintaining body temperature, repairing injuries and helps with the overall performance and function of all bodily activities.

The Benefits

The more food you eat, the more active your metabolism will be. By introducing more meals into your regular diet, your metabolism burns off calories more efficiently and helps with food absorption into your body. Eating three times a day often leads to hunger pangs as you wait for your next meal. This can result in overeating and weight gain. Eating five meals a day curbs hunger pangs and suppresses your appetite, which keeps you from consuming too much food in one sitting. Overall, you’ll feel more energized and focused with your metabolism constantly working. When you eat the same amount of calories spread throughout the day in multiple meals, your body burns 10% more calories than normal.

How to Eat Five Meals a Day

The best way to make eating more meals work for you is to learn portion control. You can’t lose weight if you eat five huge meals. It’s all about breaking it down into smaller portions that sustain your appetite throughout the day. A good way of measuring the portions of your meals is to use your first or size of your palm as a reference. This is more than enough food to keep you going.

· Start off with breakfast and include as much fiber as you can get.

· Be sure to eat a small meal between breakfast and lunch. This can include fruit, a baked potato, celery, etc. These types of foods keep you full and will tie your over until lunchtime.

· For lunch, have something handy like a sandwich, hearty salad or microwaveable pasta.

· Once your lunch is digested, it’s time for your next meal before dinner. Again, snack on small foods that aren’t bigger than the size of your palm. Grab a handful of crackers to keep hunger pangs down.

· Dinner should not be a huge portion. Follow the palm measurement for this meal as well. By the time you get to dinner, the small meals you’ve digested will have taken effect, so you won’t have the appetite to consume a large dinner anyway.

Once your body adjusts to the change, you’ll find it easier to avoid binge eating or stuffing yourself and you’ll have more energy than you’ll know what to do with.

Is Fasting Harmful or Helpful?

The concept of fasting used to be associated with religious and cultural traditions in an attempt to seek God. Now fasting is steadily becoming the method of choice for those who seek to lose weight. From fitness fanatics to teens, the idea of fasting is easily becoming more attractive but if fasting is pursued without a full knowledge of how it works, it can have dire consequences.

Fasting, for those not familiar with the term, is the practice of abstaining from a meal or the overall consumption of food for a predetermined amount of time. Outside of religious purposes, people are often asked to fast in order for an accurate blood test to be performed. But what about using fasting as a method for weight loss?

Many people who want to fast have the misconception that if they avoid eating food for a few days or weeks, they’ll shed excess pounds faster and emerge with a healthier body. However, medical experts do not approve of using fasting as a healthy weight loss method. What many people don’t realize is the loss that occurs during fasting is not substantial weight loss, but fluid loss. Fasting to lose weight can be hazardous to your health if you are not already leading a healthy lifestyle. If you have a preexisting health condition, fasting will only make your body and immune system more vulnerable.

Doctors explain that fasting is not meant to be a weight loss tool because it slows down the metabolic rate. When this happens, it makes it easier to gain back the weight once you go back to your normal diet and eating habits. Losing excess weight to gain it back again is a dangerous tug-o-war if you become dependent on fasting as a means to lose weight.

One of the most dangerous factors that happen when you try to lose too much weight during a fast is that it causes your body to burn its own muscle for energy. Our bodies are designed to prevent drastic weight loss and fasting only confuses the body, giving it no other choice but to go into recovery mode. Fasting can also cause diarrhea, which can result in dehydration and constipation. The dramatic loss of calorie intake, vitamins and minerals can also have an effect on your appearance - literally causing you to look gaunt and tired.

When it comes to fasting for weight loss, medical experts stress not falling into the hype. Fasting appears to be the easy solution to shedding unwanted pounds, but it isn’t worth risking your health. According to doctors, the best way to effectively lose weight is through lowering your fat intake, eating five fruits and vegetables a day, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep and daily exercise.

How to Tame Binge Eating

Snacking is a common habit. Whether it’s in between meals or late at night, everyone has been guilty of eating favorite foods when it wasn’t really needed. But there is a dark side to snacking that can have very disastrous consequences. Binge eating is a common occurrence, especially for women and teens.

Binge eating is different from regular snacking in the sense that more food is consumed in a short period of time. Often people who binge are not eating because they are hungry, but because of depression, guilt, boredom, anger and even plays a part in eating disorders such as bulimia.

Teenagers are becoming a fast-growing group of binge eaters. The reason binge eating is so dangerous is because the person bingeing feels out of control and can’t stop eating, even when they are full. It is for this reason that binge eating is also known as compulsive overeating. Surprisingly, this type of eating disorder is not limited to those who are overweight. Those who suffer from bulimia are likely to take part in bingeing, which results in an unhealthy practice of overeating and purging. Boys and girls are both prone to binge eating.

Before worrying that you may be a binge eater, look over these symptoms that are common when it comes to those who suffer from this eating disorder:

· Eat large amounts of food when not hungry.

· Eat alone to cope with emotions.

· Feel guilty, angry, or ashamed after overeating.

· Overeats as a form of punishment.

· Eat much more rapidly than normal.

· Eat until uncomfortably full.

If you are indeed a binge eater, it is important to seek help. In addition to being bad for your health, binge eating can take a huge emotional toll that can disrupt your daily life. Visit a nutritionist or dietitian who can educate you about healthy eating behaviors and will work with you to tame the bingeing beast.

If your binge eating isn’t severe, set up a strict but easy to follow daily diet. Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. This will curb hunger pangs and suppress your appetite. Eating frequently will also prevent you from overeating. When you feel the need to snack, reach for healthy foods such as fruits and veggies. Throw out junk food, candy and other foods you would normally eat when you feel the need to binge. Many times when we think we are hungry, we are actually just thirsty. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and make it a habit to reach for it when you think you want to binge. Water is not only good for you but it will keep you full in a way that is healthy and natural.

8 Secrets to Great Hair

It’s no secret that we’ve all experienced a bad hair day or two. Dealing with unruly hair when it just doesn’t want to work with us or cussing at mother nature for her own hand in our hair problems. Whatever the reason, check out our secrets below for help in turning your bad hair day into a great one.

1. Use mini bobby pins instead of regular ones to hide the pins in your updos. Not only will the pins not be seen, it will also allow your hairstyle to be seen instead of the pins.

2. To get a smooth silky effect that will last for days, spray your head with hairspray before you straighten it with a flat-iron. To Do: Brush the sections of hair you want to straighten and then spray with a light mist of hair spray. Iron sprayed sections beginning at the roots and work the iron down to the ends.

3. For quick waves, crimp your hair with a crimping iron and then curl with a curling iron. Style the waves using your fingers and spritz with hairspray to hold the look. Or spritz hair with sea salt and water and scrunch hair for sexy-instant waves.

4. For an instant headband, try a pair of old panty hose or a pretty ribbon. The pantyhose keep hair in tighter than a normal headband and the ribbon is quick, easy and gives your hair some funky pizzazz! To Do: Cut off panty hose feet and torso, wrap around your head and tie the ends together. For ribbons, wrap around the head and tie. You can either hide the bow or show it off.

5. If you have a problem with the frizzies, try adding jojoba oil to the ends of hair or anywhere your hair is frizzy. For added moisture, heat the oil or wrap in a heated towel for a few hours. Afterwards, be sure to shampoo and rinse hair thoroughly to remove any traces of oil.

6. Using a spray-on or leave-in conditioner once a week will help penetrate hair cuticles and leave your hair feeling soft and looking beautiful. Find one that is non-greasy and spray or apply a dime size amount through hair from roots to ends after your regular shampoo and conditioning treatment.

7. Use Velcro rollers for a natural sexy look. To Do: Apply a small amount of styling product when hair is slightly damp. Next, roll up hair and allow to dry completely before removing. Remove rollers carefully and add a small amount of hairspray underneath hair.

8. Finally, if you want great hair, avoid chemicals as much as possible. Bleaching, perming and dying your hair are eventually going to take their toll on the health of your hair. If you want great curls, try rag rollers or braids. While you’re at it, you may want to lay off of the styling products as well. Too much of your favorite styling gel or spray can make your hair look dull and feel sticky.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

TODAY Style Editor Bobbie Thomas on summer's skin smoothing secrets
While most women already have a pre-pool party hair removal ritual, new technologies and products are making it easier than ever to achieve glossy gams and a beach-ready bikini line. From new Nair-like lotions to barber-type brushes, and the latest laser solutions, these hair removal methods will wipe away (literally in some cases) your stubble trouble. Whichever process you prefer, Bobbie Thomas, TODAY Style Editor and author of the Buzz for In Touch Weekly, has got your summer guide to smooth skin — and answers to your most hair-raising questions too:

While blades and brushes were at one time considered the center of men’s grooming, and only an afterthought for women, creative companies are shedding those old-fashioned views, and focusing on fabulous shaving products that are perfect for HER. Davies Gate now offers a sugar plum scented shaving cream that warms upon contact with skin -- opening pores to result in a close-as-can-be shave ($20;, while Whish Body is a luxury line specifically deigned for ladies who want to pamper their legs. Shaving brushes covered in crystals, “shave crave” cream, and “shave savour” after-shave lotions are whimsical and womanly ($28-$180; And even men’s shaving Mecca, The Art of Shaving, is now embracing the experience for women. Their four-step “perfect shave” concept has been converted into a women’s line infused with Rose Absolute, withnew products like pre-shave oil and ingrown hair night cream ($18-$60;

Creams and Sprays
For those who want to avoid going under the razor, but still prefer a home (un)-grown approach, a few new lotions and other easy-on, easy-off products are making hair removal, well, painless. Nair has set the standard for depilatory creams, and the brand has reinvented the wheel once again with their new In-Shower Bladeless Shaving Kit. The kit is water-resistant and includes a hair removal device and cream applicator for razor-like results, without any nicks or cuts ($7.99; Carefree and Veet have both launched similar products recently as well, with Carefree’s Totally Smooth Leg Cream ($7.49; and Veet’s Rasera Bladeless Kit ($8.99; Complete with a contoured blade-free applicator, the brands claim that with use of their product, your legs will stay silky smooth for up to twice as long as they do with a regular razor. And for those who want a super simple solution, Sally Hansen’s Spray-On Shower-Off Hair Remover goes on without any rubbing, spreading or touching ($7.99;

If you’re looking for longer relief from your leg hair hassles, waxing is one way to do the trick. Whether you seek out a professional to pull off your pricklies, or opt for one of these at-home helpers, waxing will get to the root of your problem to leave you silky smooth longer. What was once an insider beauty secret, Bliss Spa helps to not make it hurt. Their poetic wax melts at a low temperature, which reduces redness and the likeliness of burning, and grabs at even the shortest stubble. But ladies, the best part truly is — that regulars say it´s virtually "pain-free." While the Spa has locations nationwide, those who prefer a more private solution can pick up a Bliss poetic waxing at-home kit ($45;

And NYC hair-removing haven Completely Bare has come out with a Wax Works kit that will make all your how-to hair-removing fears fade away. The kit includes an instructional DVD that lays down the laws of waxing and provides a step-by-step guide for each body part. It is also one of the most complete kits I’ve ever seen — with a professional at-home wax heater, spatulas, strips, Completely Bare’s signature wax, and Completely Prepped and Completely Off products that cleanse skin before and moisturize and remove access wax after ($135; 212-366-6060).

For women who are looking for more than just a quickie when it comes to hair removal, laser techniques have a leg up on the competition. Designed to permanently remove hair (or at least rid you of it for months or years at a time), this method is shedding some light on fuzz-free fixes. While laser treatments are usually performed at a doctor’s office or spa, two out-of-the-box ideas will have you beaming with delight. Licensed clinical aesthetician Michele Leifer created Hair It Goes, a NYC-based mobile hair removal venture that will zap your unwanted fuzz in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Currently, Leifer only takes her portable SpaTouch laser to clients in Manhattan, but she hopes to expand quickly ($2,400 for 7 session half-leg package; 646-298-5348 or After all, ladies nationwide want their luxury laser services too.

And while it won’t be here in time for summer, a new at-home product is revolutionizing permanent hair removal. Starting this fall, the No No at-home hair removal device will be available in the U.S., exclusively at Sephora. Clinically tested, the No No by Radiancy can be used just like a razor, but it’s designed to reduce hair density over time, like the results you get from a laser. The device, which is already available in Europe and South America, has a patented Thermacon technology, which uses a heating element to destruct hair follicles (For more information, contact Dr. Sadick, 212-772-7242 or Available this fall $249; All we have to say is a big Yes, Yes to the thought of no more hair!

Last but not least, PREP and CARE
If you get bad ingrown hairs, and are convinced you can’t do anything about it — chances are, you haven’t prepped properly. Exfoliating before you start the hair removal process is key, so be sure to take a loofa to your legs or bikini area first. And if all else fails, many waxing experts swear by the results of Tend Skin, a product that improves the appearance of ingrown hairs or razor burn ($20-$35;

Dry Skin May Be Easier to Handle Than You Think

I have to admit that even I, who spend hours and hours every week delving into the subject of skin care, do not automatically think of men using dry skin care products or even anything other than Irish Spring. So, I was naturally surprised when my son came to visit me for a while and my bathroom was suddenly stocked with a variety of skin care products that I didn’t put there. It was loaded – moisturizers, soaps, cologne, cleansers, tubes and bottles and on and on, and a few different products for dry skin. Obviously he needed some education on the subject of dry skin – how you get it, how you avoid it, and which dry skin care products actually prevent and treat it.

The first step is to go through each of the bottles and tubes and check out the ingredients with the help of an Internet search. Review each ingredient, find out which are carcinogenic, and which would simply exacerbate the dry skin condition.

Chances are, you won’t find one product that doesn’t contain ingredients that dry the skin – even those specifically labeled ‘dry skin care treatment’. Replace those products with a good shielding lotion that keeps moisture in and chemicals out, and you will now have removed a major source of the problem. And you will have completed part of the education on ‘how you get it’ and ‘how to avoid it.’

The next step is to find out about diet. What’s missing? Often it simply comes down to a lack of high quality fats. This one is easy to handle – out go the prepared salad dressings and margarines, and in come the olive oil and fresh, organic butter. It’s surprising how simple handling dry skin can be. A little change in diet, a little change in the skin care routine and you’re on your way. People search for years for products that handle dry skin, trying one product after another. But nothing works as well as a simple change in diet and a shielding lotion product that actually does the job.

Do-it-yourself skin care regime

There are hundreds of ingredients that people use daily in their skin care regime yet most never think of implementing powerful vitamins, oils or acids.

If you are looking for a cheap and effective way to care for the skin or are tired of wasting money on all those "magical" products that do almost nothing for you, here are a few simple recipes for completely natural, easy-to-prepare skin remedies that are inexpensive, 100 percent chemical free, and are always available.

Blackhead buster

You need: egg white, one piece of large cotton.

Soak the cotton in egg white. Cover the affected area with the cotton and wait for it to dry and harden completely.

Carefully remove the dried cotton and the blackheads should come off with it.

Facial scrub

For oily skin: Mix one teaspoon of skimmed milk powder with one teaspoon of honey. Add a few drops for freshly squeezed lemon juice if your skin is very oily. Use that as a mild scrub on the face. The undissolved milk powder forms a gentle scrub.

For normal, dry or mature skin: Mix one teaspoon full of cream or whole milk powder with one teaspoon of honey. Use as a mild scrub on the face. Use lots of water to rinse so as to prevent bacterial residue.

Dandruff lightener

Mix one part cider vinegar to three parts warm water to balance scalp pH and control dandruff. You can also apply undiluted vinegar to the scalp. Allow it to penetrate, then shampoo with a mild shampoo.

Hair conditioner

Mix 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup olive oil. (Use two tablespoons of oil for normal hair.) Work a small amount at a time through hair until coated. Cover hair with a shower cap and leave on for 30 minutes. Remove shower cap, shampoo well and rinse. Dry as normal.

Sunburn treatment

Snip off one of the stems of the aloe vera plant. Squeeze out the gel from the leaf and apply to the sunburnt skin. The healing and antibacterial properties of aloe vera is because of the aloectin B, which stimulates the immune system.

Hand moisturizer

Take a few drops of olive oil and massage into both hands making sure all areas absorb the oil. Wear gloves overnight and see how soft your hands are in the morning.

Remedies for tired eyes

Rose water - soak cotton ball and apply to eyes once a week.

Cucumber - place a slice on each of your eyes and rest for around 10 minutes to reduce stressed eyes.

Potato (shredded) - put on top of eyes to reduce black circles. Keep it there for around 10 minutes.
By Patsy Yang

Do Sunscreens Have You Covered? part 2#

Dr. James M. Spencer, a dermatologist in St. Petersburg, Fla., who specializes in skin cancer, said that he hopes the updated standards will clarify how much protection sunscreens provide, the dose needed to achieve significant protection, and the frequency with which a sunscreen should be reapplied.
The F.D.A. in 1978 first proposed a system of labeling products with an S.P.F. or Sun Protection Factor, which measures how effective the product is in preventing burn caused by the sun’s ultraviolet B rays. UVB radiation can also be a factor in skin cancer.

Dr. Spencer said that an S.P.F. 15 product screens about 94 percent of UVB rays while an S.P.F. 30 product screens 97 percent. Manufacturers determine the S.P.F. by dividing how many minutes it takes lab volunteers to burn wearing a thick layer of the product by the minutes they take to burn without the product.

But people rarely get the level of S.P.F. listed because labels do not explain how much to use, said Dr. Vincent A. DeLeo, chairman of dermatology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan.

“Sunscreen is tested at 2 milligrams per square centimeter of skin, which means you should be using two ounces each time to cover your whole body,” Dr. DeLeo said. “But for most people an eight-ounce bottle lasts the whole summer.”

People who apply S.P.F. 30 too sparingly, for example, may end up with only S.P.F. 3 to S.P.F. 10, according to the Web site of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control,, which has comprehensive guidelines.

“The S.P.F. is a terrible system to guide consumers,” Dr. Spencer said. “Nobody is using sunscreen the way it is measured in a lab.” He said he hopes that the new standards will call for S.P.F. to be replaced with a system defining sun protection as high, medium or low.

Until then, Dr. Spencer said that people should use about a shot glass of sunscreen for the body and a teaspoon for the face to best achieve the S.P.F. protection listed on labels. It should be reapplied every few hours and immediately after swimming or sweating.

Dermatologists said that the agency is also likely to introduce a rating system for the sun’s ultraviolet A rays, which can contribute to cancer and skin aging. Many products already contain UVA screening agents, but under the current rules there is no rating for them.

Manufacturers are catching on that some consumers seek UVA protection. In print advertisements this month, Neutrogena and Banana Boat have been battling for UVA supremacy, including graphs in which each shows their product offering the highest coverage.

But Dr. David M. Pariser, the president-elect of the American Academy of Dermatology, said that without a standardized UVA rating system, consumers can’t be sure how much a sunscreen provides.

“Right now, we don’t know whether doubling the percentage of a UVA sunscreen ingredient doubles UVA protection or not,” Dr. Pariser said. “That is part of the muddled system we hope will be cleared up.”

Until then, Dr. Pariser said to choose sunscreens that contain ingredients known to filter UVA. These include Mexoryl SX, avobenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. He also recommended a database at created by the Environmental Working Group that lists products with UVA protection.

Some doctors, along with Mr. Blumenthal of Connecticut, predicted that the new sunscreen rules would prohibit outsized marketing terms.

“ ‘All-day protection’ is just plain false since sunscreen has to be frequently reapplied,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “And ‘waterproof,’ which may be O.K. for an adult taking a quick dip in the pool but not for kids who are in and out of the water all day, is just plain deceptive.”

Dr. Green in Australia said the best way to prevent skin cancer is to stay out of the sun during peak hours and wear sun-protective clothing. But Dr. Halpern said you can’t keep Americans wrapped up.

“There is only a small subset of American society that is willing to wear long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed — defined as four inches wide — hats on a sunny day at the beach,” he said. “Until we can get that behavior, the next best thing is sunscreen. Put on two coats, so you won’t miss any spots.”


Protection from the sun’s harmful rays requires more than slapping on a coating of cream. There are multiple precautions to take, according to interviews with doctors.

• Avoid outdoor activities during peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Wear protective clothing, sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats.

• If you are prone to burn, use a sunscreen with S.P.F. 30 or higher.

• Apply about a teaspoon of sunscreen to your face and a shot glass of it to your body.

• Make sure your sunscreen contains at least one ingredient known to filter UVA rays, such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone or Mexoryl SX.

• Reapply sunscreen frequently, and immediately after swimming.

Do Sunscreens Have You Covered? part 1#

AS the noon sun began to cook bathers in Long Beach, N.Y., last Sunday, members of the Sofferman family lounged on towels, each wearing a sun lotion chosen with the care usually given to picking out a new bathing suit.
Denise Sofferman and Ilene Sofferman, sisters who both work in the apparel industry in Manhattan, had put on tanning oil, their bodies already golden brown. Denise’s daughter, Lauren Levy, 21, a student at the University of Pennsylvania, had protected her pale skin with a heavy-duty S.P.F. 50 product formulated for children. Ilene’s 9-year-old daughter, Alison, had received a head-to-toe coating of S.P.F. 30.

Two hours later, the daughters were sunburned, their backs as pink as watermelon.

“It says waterproof, but Lauren didn’t even go swimming,” said Denise Sofferman, reapplying sunscreen to her daughter.

Ilene Sofferman, smearing another coat of lotion on Alison’s pink face, read from the back of the sunscreen bottle. “They have all these different marketing terms —S.P.F., UVA, UVB, waterproof, sweat-resistant — but you have to figure out what they mean by trial and error,” she said.

After decades of warnings about the dangers of sun exposure, an increasing number of Americans are making sunscreen part of their skin-care routines. Americans bought 60 million units of sunscreen last year, a 13 percent increase compared with 2005, according to Information Resources Inc., which tracks cosmetics sales.

But the increased demand has spurred an explosion of lotions, sprays, pads and gels with such diverse marketing claims — All-day Protection! Ultra Sweatproof! Total Block! Continuous Protection! Ultra Sport! Instant Protection! Extra UVA Protection! — that the Soffermans are not alone in their confusion over how to choose the most effective sunscreen.

In the nearly 30 years since the Food and Drug Administration issued its first regulations for sunscreen as an over-the-counter drug intended to reduce sunburn risk, the science surrounding skin and cancer has expanded dramatically.

Critics have clamored for the F.D.A to update the rules, saying that the standards have not kept pace. At the same time, they complain, the agency has allowed manufacturers to make vague and improbable-sounding marketing claims, leaving consumers confused and, worse, misled about what to use and how to use it to protect themselves.

The pressure on the agency has been mounting in recent weeks. Last month, reports by Consumer Reports and by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit group in Washington, found that a variety of popular sunscreens lacked sufficient broad protection against the sun’s harmful rays. And in May, Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s attorney general, sent a scathing petition to the F.D.A. saying that unclear sunscreen labels and inflated marketing put people at risk.

“Most sunscreens are deceptively and misleadingly labeled, most perniciously to give consumers a false sense of security,” Mr. Blumenthal said last week. “In my view, the F.D.A.’s failure to act is unconscionable and unjustifiable in any public sense.”

John Bailey, the executive vice president for science at the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, an industry trade group, said that the directions on sunscreens adequately convey coverage. “These are very beneficial products which should be used to protect against the adverse effects of sunlight,” said Dr. Bailey, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Nonetheless, the F.D.A. seems poised to address the labeling issue. Although it has been planning since 1999 to confirm new rules, Rita Chappelle, a spokeswoman for the F.D.A., said the agency expected to issue new sunscreen standards in the coming weeks. But until they are released, Ms. Chappelle said the agency would not answer questions about forthcoming regulations.

One fact about sunscreens is indisputable: They can impede sunburn and lower the incidence of at least one form of skin cancer in humans.

Dr. Allan C. Halpern, chief of dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, said that the regular use of sunscreen can inhibit squamous cell carcinoma, a cancer that kills 2,000 to 2,500 Americans a year.

In a study of about 1,600 residents of Nambour, Australia, volunteers who were given sunscreen to use every day for four and a half years had 40 percent fewer squamous cell cancers than a control group who maintained their normal skin-care routines. Even 10 years after the study concluded, the volunteers assigned to use sunscreen during the trial period had fewer cancers.

“It shows that using sun protection for almost five years gives you an intense, longer-term benefit against squamous cell carcinoma,” said Dr. Adèle C. Green, deputy director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia, which ran the study.

Dr. Halpern said that sunscreen should also protect against melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, and basal cell carcinoma, because the product can inhibit harmful ultraviolet rays that can contribute to the diseases.

Yet even after new F.D.A. labeling rules are published, it may take two years for the changes take effect.

Looking nifty at 50

SITTING cross-legged in her room at the Balmoral Hotel, Bobbi Brown looks every inch the international make-up artist.

In fact with her glossy hair and perfect complexion she could easily pass for one of the celebrities who have come to rely on her for beauty tips.
It's only when she collapses into giggles at the disastrous affect the Edinburgh weather has had on her hair that it becomes clear that Bobbi's real appeal lies in her ability to relate to the concerns of the average woman.

"We spend a lot of our holidays in Edinburgh," she says with a smile. "And we always have a great time. But the weather hasn't been on our side this time. We went to the Castle yesterday to see the crown jewels and the dungeons and I got drenched in the rain. I looked like a little rat."

This sums up Bobbi - unassuming and down-to-earth. And at 50 she doesn't look a day over 40 and is far more stylish than most 20-somethings..

In fact Bobbi is the ideal advertising campaign for her new book, Living Beauty. The book is aimed at women in the 40-to-60 age range, and offers advice on how to look and feel good without resorting to drastic measures, namely surgery.

"Why cut your face when you can get a new haircut and learn to do your make-up properly?" Bobbi says with a smile. "Plastic surgery? Wear some concealer instead. I don't know why it's not okay to age. I think that a face

without lines and planes is an expressionless face - a face that lacks warmth and confidence. I want to get rid of the stigma that surrounds ageing - it really is just an evolution."

Bobbi wrote the book to celebrate her 50th birthday - and to show other women how they could feel better about themselves.

She adds: "I realised that one of the reasons I was okay about turning 50 was because I knew how to make the most of myself. So I wrote the book for other women who were experiencing a similar journey to me."

Bobbi has many strong female role models including the actress Helen Mirren.

"I was so happy when Helen Mirren was all over the news as finally there's a woman who's gorgeous and natural," she enthuses. "One of my friends did her make-up at the Golden Globes and she looked stunning. A woman changes as she gets older and the key is to evolve and stay modern - Helen has done that perfectly."

It comes as no surprise to discover that Mirren's make-up artist chose Bobbi's products for the actress's appearance.

Bobbi's unique blends have been the secret of her international success since she launched her beauty empire back in 1991. "As a make-up artist I had to carry around so many products with me," she explains her expansion from fashion make-up artist into cosmetics. "One day I realised that I didn't need to carry all these things - all you really need is the right taupe, the right bone, the best black, the best colours.

"Make-up was very artificial back then, like a mask. So I thought it would be great to have a simplified make-up range out there. I started with one lipstick after I met a chemist one day while doing a shoot. I had always wanted to make a lipstick that looked natural, didn't have an odour and wasn't greasy or dry - and he made it. It was the colour of my lips which is now called Brownie lipstick.

"At first I thought that if I loved it then everyone would love it. But of course not everyone wants a lip-coloured lipstick."

And so she created ten lipsticks, which could be blended to make new colours every time. "The response was really big," she smiles. "I thought we might sell 100 in the first month - we sold 100 in the first day. It was revolutionary. Everything was shipped out of my home - I never thought it would go further than that."

But it did. And Bobby realised that by relying on her instincts she had created a product that had captured the imagination of a generation of women.

"I went on my gut more than anything, to be honest. People would say that they loved the lipsticks but they needed [lip] pencils. So I would do pencils. Then we did eyes. Then blushers. We launched foundation sticks. Then eyes. And then skin care. The orders kept coming in."

And throughout this, Bobbi stuck to the same simple philosophy - that women just want to look pretty. "With the right knowledge, the right products and tools, any woman can be her own make-up artist," she says, adamantly.

"I'm really honest about skin care products and what they do," she says. "There is nothing that will get rid of wrinkles and lines.

"But so much of what is happening on the inside is shown in your skin. If you smoke, drink and don't eat so well you're not going to look so good."

According to Bobbi, after skin care, our biggest - and most cost-effective tool - is make-up.

"Make-up can help you look prettier and less tired, because when you get older you do need some things to make you look better."

So what is her top beauty advice for holding back the years?

"You want to plump (moisturiser), you want to smooth (concealer), you want to brighten (foundation), define the eyes (liner and mascara) and then colour and define your cheeks and lips (lipstick and blusher)."

And for those who are still not sure, Bobbi advises that they head to the Jenners counter immediately for a "free" makeover with the experts. "We don't charge for our makeovers - I always say to women that they should only buy something if they love it."

Or visit the new Bobbi Brown counter in John Lewis which launches on July 23. At a massive 400sq ft, this counter will be the largest in Edinburgh and will have six consultation areas allowing up to six customers to receive makeovers or advice at one time.

"I am excited about the John Lewis counter," she admits. "Women in Edinburgh have been very favourable towards the brand, and Edinburgh is a very up and coming fashionable city so it made sense to expand.

"So many people I know come to Scotland regularly on holiday - it's very civilised and beautiful, with lots to do, but it's not as intense as London. It's like Chicago compared with New York."

So what else is on the holiday agenda? "I don't know. But I will be buying the Evening News."

Monsoon Skin Care

The onset of the monsoon is a welcome relief from the sweltering heat. But don’t be surprised if your skin doesn’t share your enthusiasm! Take a little extra care for that dewy glow…
Monsoon is that time of year when one’s skin behaves a little strange and is often unstable. It may become either oily or dry and dehydrated. Hence, it’s very necessary to take special care of your skin during this season in order to look fresh.
Dr. Rajika Kacheria, a Consultant Cosmetologist with EverYuth, offers some tips that we must adhere to in order to enjoy a healthy, glowing skin without a high-maintenance routine that few of us working women have time for anyway!
l “You must wash and cleanse your face thoroughly with a face wash and then rub an ice cube for five to ten minutes to lower the sweating rate. In case you have an oily skin, you must use a face wash with an oil control formula. It will work best for your skin if the face wash has Tea Tree Oil, Neem and Chamomile, as they would soothe, cleanse and will give immediate freshness to your skin. However, if you have a dry skin you must use a cream-based face wash with fruit extracts to give a natural glow to your skin and keep it fresh in such humid conditions,” Dr. Rajika suggests.
l Cleansing should always be followed by toning. This helps to tighten the pores and prevent pimples and acne, which if neglected will spread all over the face and make it look blotchy. Toning gels help to remove acne-causing bacteria and also act as an antiseptic. However, if you have a dry skin, you must use a toner which is rich in Tea Tree Oil, rosewater and glycerin, which are very effective, she adds.
l “No matter what the season is, as long as there is daylight our skin needs protection from UVA (Ultra-Violet A) and UVB (Ultra-Violet B) rays. Always apply a Sunscreen with SPF 30 before you step out of your house. It is advisable to use products which are dermatologically tested and have options for all skin types,” stresses Dr. Rajika.
l She adds, “You should wear water-based moisturisers during the rainy season to keep away oily skin, acne and water loss due to perspiration and sweating.
l Basic handy tips like the above will ensure a healthy, glowing skin even in humid conditions where it becomes a challenge to manage your skin. Healthy and supple skin will not be so much of a dream if these precautions are taken and the right skin care products are used regularly, she signs off!


5 sendok makan beras direndam selama 4 jam lalu tumbuk, kencur 5 potong, jahe 2 potong, asam kawak, rebus dalam 4 gelas air, ambil ampasnya kemudian tumbuk bersama beras, lalu masukkan dalam air rebusan tadi tambahkan jeruk nipis, madu sedikit. Minum ramuan ini sehari 3x, niscaya kurang dari sebulan berat badan anda akan turun.


Ambil 5 siung bawang putih, tumbuk sampai halus, daun kumis kucing rebus bahan tersebut dalam 1 gelas yang menjadi ½ gelas saja, minum ramuan ini sehari sekali.


Benalu mangga 35 gr ditambah akar ubi jalar 35 gr tambahkan gula sedikit, rebus semua bahan dalam 1 liter air sisakan menjadi 3 gelas saja, minum 3x sehari.
Benjolan tersebut jangan dipijat-pijat, disentuh, ditekan-tekan, biarkan saja, karena dengan gerakan tersebut dapat menyebabkan penyebaran benjolan tersebut.


Bagi pasangan suami isteri yang menginginkan cepat mendapat momongan, ada resep cantik yang bisa menjadi salah satu upayanya. Caranya:
Untuk Wanita:
Sediakan kecambah secukupnya (1 mangkuk), cuci lalu tumbuk sampai halus, peras dan saring, air sarinya tersebut ditambahkan 1 butir kuning telur ayam kampung, tambahkan madu murni 1 sendok makan, perasaan jeruk nipis dan garam sedikit. Ramuan ini diminum menjelang tidur dan setelah bangun tidur.
Untuk Pria:
Sediakan beberapa irisan hati nanas, parut sampai halus, tambah 8 batang daun seledri tumbuk halus, campur bahan tersebut dan tambahkan gula secukupnya. Minum ramuan ini sehari 1x.


Ramuan dari Dalam (diminum):
Ambil 6 lembar daun alpukat yang muda, rebus dalam 3 gelas, yang menjadi 1 ½ gelas saja, minum air ini sehari 3x.
Ramuan dari Luar:
2 ruas jahe, cuci dan perut lalu tambahkan minyak atnah sedikit, oleskan ramuan ini pada tempat yang sakit, lakukan sehari 3x.


Ramuan dari Dalam (diminum):
Sediakan beberapa buah salak iris tipis llau dijemur sampai kering, ditambah 3 genggam daun kemangi jemur sampai kering, kedua bahan tersebut ditumbuk sampai halus. Lalu simpan dalam toples. Ketika dibutuhkan tinggal ambil saja. Caranya: ambil bubuk tersebut 1-3 sendok makan, seduh dengan air hangat lalu diminum.lakukan perawatan ini sehari sekali saja maka anda akan mendapatkan vagina yang sehat dan tidak becek. Shippppp……………….
Ramuan dari Luar:
Sediakan 25 daun sirih, 25 pucuk daun jambu biji, tambah garam dapur yang beryodium 1 sendok makan, rebus semua bahan dalam 4 gelas air sisakan jadi 3 gelas saja, lalu airnya dijadikan cebok saat mandi atau waktu buang air.


Cuci, parut dan peras 2 ruas kunyit, kencur, temulawak, tambahkan asam kawak, campur semua bahan,lalu diminum sehari 2x.


Sediakan kunyit 1 ons, ditumbuk dan diperas, ditambah asam kawak 2 sendok makan, gula pasir sedikit, masukkan dalam 1 gelas air.minum 2x sehari.


Tips: hindari bantal, guling atau kasur yang berbahan kapuk!!!!!!
Ramuan untuk mengobati asma adalah: 6 lembar daun randu, dicuci sampai bersih lalu tumbuk saring dan masukkan dalam air steril ditambah 3 sendok makan madu.lakukan perawatan ini 3 jam sekali.


Sediakan 7 lembar daun jarak pagar, dikukus sampai layu dan taburi garam sedikir, tempelkan pada perut tutup dengan daun pisang kemudian dipakain stagen atau korset.


Biasanya ibu-ibu setelah melahirkan, mengeluhkan adanya garis-garis putih diperutnya. Hal ini disebabkan rasa gatal waktu hamil, dan seringnya digaruk jadi terinfeksi dan menginggalkan bercak dikulit. Untuk mengatasinya, coba ramuan dibawah ini:
Daun bunga kemuning, tumbuk dan balurkan ketempat yang ada bercak putih tersebut, lakukan sesering mungkin sampai bercak tersebut hilang.


kalau sedang batuk dan takut mengkonsumsi obat karena efek sampingnya. maka gunakan saja bahan alami di sekitar kita.
Sediakan 1 buah apel manis yang sudah tua, dibelah empat lalu dikukus selama 20 menit, makan selagi hangat.lakukan sehari 3x.


siapa bilang ejakuliasi dini tidak dapat di atasi. dengan kekayaan alam indonesia dan khasanah ramuan tradisional masalah ejakulasi dini dapat di atasi.
Sediakan 2 ruas jahe, 2 ruas laos llau diparut, 7 butir kuning telur ayam kampung, 1 sendok kecap manis, 1 sendok madu hitam, 1 sendok perasaan jeruk nipis. Aduk semua bahan menjadi satu lalu diminum. Sisa ampasnya dioleskan pada penis. Lakukan secara rutin 1 minggu 2X.


skin yang putih dan kencang adalah dambaan setiap wanita. dengan cara yang natural dan sehat kita dapat merasakan skin yang cantik dan sehat.coba deh ambil bengkuang.
Bengkuang dikupas, bersihkan lalu diparut. Kemudian jemur sampai kering. Timun diparut dan diperas, ambil airnya. Kedua bahan tersebut dicampur lalu gunakan sebagai masker wajah maupun untuk lulur tubuh.


Ambil 3 buah timun yang masih muda, dicuci lalu diparut dan diperas, diambil airnya kemudian diminum. Sehari 2-3 kali.


Menggunakan es batu. Bila mata kita letih karena terlalu lama di depan layar komputer atau menonton tv, ambil sebongkah kecil es batu. Lalu usapkan pada sekeliling mata. Cara ini akan membuat peredaran darah kembali lancar sehingga mata menjadi segar.
Mengompres mata dengan mentimun. Caranya ambil irisan mentimun. Sambil berbaring tempatkan seiris mentimun di atas kelopak mata yang ditutup rapat, lalu diamkan selama setengah hingga satu jam.
Mengompres mata dengan kantung teh bekas untuk mengempeskan kantung mata. Pastikan bahwa kantung teh yang hendak digunakan tersebut sudah diperas dengan baik, sehingga tidak ada air yang menetes, serta sudah dingin. Lakukan secara berkala untuk memberikan kesegaran pada mata.
Menghilangkan lingkaran hitam dengan campuran satu sendok teh madu murni dengan 2-3 tetes perasaan jeruk lemon. Aduk hingga larutan lemon larut ke dalamnya. Jika sudah larut dan menyatu, segera borehkan larutan pada daerah bawah mata yang menghitam, berulang-ulang, dan merata. Jika sudah yakin merata di bagian lingkaran hitam tadi, biarkan larutan itu bekerja selama 15-20 menit sampai larutan madu dan lemon tadi mengering dan mengerak di bagian mata.


Polusi dan paparan sinar matahari kerap membuat kulit menjadi kusam, apalagi jika kerap beraktivitas di luar ruangan. Padahal setiap orang menginginkan kulitnya halus dan kenyal seperti bayi. Lantas apa yang harus dilakukan?
Salah satu cara yang bisa dilakukan adalah merawatnya dengan menggunakan lulur. Ketan hitam sangat bermanfaat bagi kulit sebagai penyegar dan pelembab kulit. Cara penggunaannya: sediakan kemiri 5 buah, ambil ¼ kg ketan hitam, rendam selamaman tiriskan lalu disangrai kemudian haluskan (blender) bersama kemirinya. Setelah menjadi bubuk, gunakan sebagai lulur seminggu sekali.


Alpukat: Kandungan lemak pada alpukat sangat baik untuk perawatan kulit wajah dan tubuh yang kering. Alpukat mengandung vitamin D, vitamin A, asam amino, asam organik bermanfaat untuk melembabkan dan menyegarkan kulit. Cara menggunakannya: ambil buah alpukat, haluskan tambah madu murni(jika ada), lalu oleskan pada wajah dan tubuh secara merata, diamkan hingga kering kemudian bilas. Lakukan seminggu sekali.
Pisang Ambon: pisang bermanfaat untuk menjaga kesegaran dan kelembaban kulit, sehingga kulit kusam akan menjadi cerah. Caranya adalah: ambil buah pisang, lumatkan sampai lembut, bisa dicampur dengan susu, madu murni dan minyak zaitun, oleskan secara merata, perawatan ini bisa dilakukan seminggu sekali atau dua kali.
Pepaya: pepaya mengandung vitamin dan mineral, yang mampu merawat kulit agar tetap kencang, menjaga peremajaan dan melembabakan kulit sehingga terlihat berseri-seri. Cara penggunaanya: ambil pepaya lalu haluskan (jangan diblender), campur dengan madu murni sedikit, gunakan sebagai masker dan lulur seminggu sekali.


Menetralkan kulit yang teriritasi dan memberi nutrisi pada kulit, menghilangkan bau badan, menghilangkan bekas jerawat, vlek serta noda hitam pada wajah, dapat mengangkat sel kulit mati dan memperbaiki jaringan kulit yang rusak.
Perawatan kopi ini bisa juga dilakukan di rumah sendiri, karena lebih efisien dan menghemat pengeluaran. Adapun caranya sebagai berikut:
Ambil ampas kopi, jika ampas tersebut kering dapat dicampurkan dengan air mawar dan lidah buaya sebagai pelembutnya. Lakukan scrub ke seluruh badan dan diamkan selama 20-30 menit, kemudian bilas. Lakukan secara rutin untuk mendapatkan kulit halus mulus, seminggu sekali atau dua minggu sekali.


Selama ini kita mengenal kopi hanya sebagai minuman dan pengusir rasa kantuk saja, tetapi ternyata kopi tak hanya nikmat diminum, tapi juga bagus digunakan untuk kecantikan. Kopi memiliki kandungan astringen, dan memiliki pH sama dengan pH kulit, sekitar 4,5 serta mengandung asam alami yang bisa mengencangkan, melembutkan, menghaluskan serta meremajakan kulit, dan menghilangkan selulit.