Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Hair

A lot of people actually pay a good deal of money just to make themselves look more attractive and feel better about themselves, but what they don’t know is that they can actually achieve this easily by keeping fit and staying healthy. Having lustrous and shiny, full hair is not always due to extremely expensive salon treatments but of impeccable hygiene and a good diet.

Antioxidant vitamins play an important role in achieving healthy hair and scalp. Common antioxidant vitamins that can actually help in having gorgeous hair are Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. While lack of Vitamin C can actually lead to gradual or even excessive hair loss among men and women, it is best to load up on anything citrus so as to ensure a healthy looking mane. Vitamin A serves to help the scalp produce sebum which is essential to the hair’s volume and fullness while Vitamin E promotes the healthy circulation that the scalp needs.

The vitamins that make up the B complex are not only important to the many functions of the body and mind; it can also be a good beauty tool for you, too. In addition to promoting the good circulation that ensures a healthy scalp, these vitamins play a big role in preventing hair loss and also help the hair retain its natural color, including the prevention of premature graying.

There are many minerals that are equally important in order to achieve healthy hair. Among these are silica, iron, iodine, copper and chromium, all of which help to prevent hair loss. Copper helps maintain the hair’s natural color and is important to the weight and structure of the hair. Iodine prevents dryness of the hair, as does zinc, which teams up with Vitamin A for this purpose. Silica also helps to strengthen the hair. Sulfur is one of the prime building blocks of the hair and is essential to its structure. Selenium is important to keeping the scalp elastic and flexible. Potassium helps in the circulation in the scalp, encouraging the healthy growth of hair. Calcium, magnesium and manganese are all essential minerals for hair growth.

However, engaging in a newfound health plan would not automatically alter your looks to superstar proportions; it actually takes some time before these positive effects take place. A great deal of patience is actually required for a person to be able maintain a healthy lifestyle, which, in the long run, will benefit him or her two-fold. Aside from having an overall healthy well-being, it can also result to a gorgeous outward appearance. You can expect that it will take about three or four months before you will actually be able to see the results of your efforts. When using dietary supplements, it is important to follow the recommended dosage for each supplement that you take. In fact, some of the supplements that are specifically good for your hair can cause hair loss if they are taken in extremely high dosages. If you are unsure what the best supplement dosage levels are for your individual dietary needs and health goals, you should see a licensed nutritionist, dermatologist or physician.

Naturally, paying close attention to the amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that you consume daily and trying to develop good nutritional habits is important for keeping your body and mind functioning well. However, it can’t hurt that your physical looks may also benefit from this healthy change in lifestyle.

Everything about Face Cupping

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIN YAMAGATA
            Most of us have come to recognize cupping therapy, thanks to the circular bruises spotted on the backs of celebrities like Michael Phelps and Gwyneth Paltrow. But renewed interest in the practice has a new focus: Facial cupping is the latest Eastern medicine-based skin-care method to gain attention from stars and beauty editors. It’s popped up in social media feeds, and there are at-home kits which promise to deliver the same benefits as an in-spa treatment.
            The ancient remedy uses cups to increase blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, as well as stimulate collagen and elastin production from fibroblasts in the skin, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. Yet, instead of sitting on the body, facial cupping requires the cup to constantly move across the face with the help of a facial serum or argan or coconut oil to avoid bruising (which can happen if you’re not careful). “By using a ‘suction/vacuum’ technique we can control where we want the [fluid] movement to flow,” celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar (whose client roster includes models like Miranda Kerr and Lindsay Ellingson) explains in an email.
          Cosmetic acupuncturist Shellie Goldstein compares cupping to a massage, which has similar benefits. “With a massage, you’re using compression to press on the tissue. With the cup, it’s the inverse of that,” she says, as the suctioned cup pulls blood to the skin’s surface. Practitioners often use heat to eliminate the oxygen in the cups, which Dr. Zeichner says enhances blood flow to the skin further. Also, there are electrically charged magnets, which Pekar uses in her practice, and Dr. Zeichner says it further stimulates collagen and wound healing. As such, the practice is said to improve natural skin hydration, increase skin’s radiance, and even reduce acne after eight to 10 weekly treatments. In fact, studies have shown that cupping significantly improved acne cases compared to more conventional methods.
               Similar to other Eastern medicine practices like gua sha, Goldstein and others trained in facial cupping move the cup in rows from the base of the neck up to ensure the lymphatic fluid can easily drain out. Then, they work their way up to the forehead, with the cups moving from the center of the face out to sides, following the drainage path down the neck. “When you slide the cups, there are certain patterns and directions that you want to use in order to promote lymph flow, and force it to the primary lymph nodes, which are at the base of the clavicle towards the center of your breastbone,” she explains. “You’re going to bring everything out to the side of your face and down the sternocleidomastoid muscle, which is that big [neck] muscle that turns your neck from side to side…that’s where the major lymph drainage portals are.”
           This movement, in turn, promises to help reduce puffiness (especially during allergy season, according to Goldstein) and tighten skin for a “lifted and sculpted” look. “That’s going to give you rosy cheeks; it’s going to give you a nice, bright complexion,” she says. Also, Pekar added, “When we create better flow, we can guide nutrients to the surface of the skin, reenergizing and refreshing it.” In fact, Goldstein often compares the treatment to giving your skin a real workout for those tight and toned results. “It’s like taking your face to the gym. So you have to work the muscles and train the tissue,” she says. “So that and with strategic acupressure [on the] acupuncture points specifically designed for face lifting and anti-aging, you can see a difference of maybe up to five to 10 years.”
           While the benefits fulfill our need for instant gratification, the experts stress that your lifestyle can affect how long the effects of the treatments last. A night out drinking with friends or an indulgent meal can cause the puffiness the treatment reduces to quickly return. “It’s not a permanent treatment,” Goldstein said. “It may not be as puffy, but tissue fluid is tissue fluid. And so, depending on your lifestyle, you may just want to do it to look good for the night.”
The use of at-home cupping kits has become popular in recent months, but most experts agree that the practice works best when the cup is out of your hands. Goldstein argues that you receive better results in-office because it’s easier for you to relax, which results in
an even tighter and more sculpted visage. Pekar agrees, saying, “At-home kits are great, only if you know what you’re doing. It can be easy to bruise yourself if you don’t know how to create the right pressure or move it in the right directions. I would recommend seeing a professional to get this done.”

8 Common Remedies to get rid of StretchMarks

Geez, those ugly lines are already showing out even before you have read the prevention advice? Well, it not the end of the world. From home cures to medical creams, you can find a list of common remedies here. A word of advice though. A few of these treatments could be undesirable for expectant mums or breastfeeding ladies. So it’s highly recommended that you confer with your doctor before testing them out.

Retin A Cream
Retin A Tretinoin is an ingredient that has been laboratory tested to lighten up stretchmarks lines. In accordance to a study, the 0.1% tretinoin cream managed to bring down fourteen percent of the length and eight percent of the stretchmarks’ width. In a different study, the length was cut down by twenty percent. It helps to get rid of redness, avoid the bad impacts of the hormones resulting in stretchmarks and boost the remodeling of elastin and collagen in the skin, thereby enhancing its overall appearance. Such ointments can also be utilized for preventing stretchmarks.

For the best effects, apply the Retin A creams on newly formed stretchmarks so that it can work on the damaged elastin and collagen immediately. Some patients may find them too irritating or drying. If you find that you’re forming some negative reactions to it, ease its use and seek medical attention right away. Expectant mums or breastfeeding ladies may want to give this treatment a miss.

Emu Oil
Increasingly, people are utilizing Emu oil to battle several skincare ailments. It includes fatty acids that have been acknowledged to fix tarnished skin like stretch marks and various other forms of skin conditions. It is natural and arrives in the variety of capsules tablets, drink mixes and even topical ointments. Frequent use or intake of emu oil can uphold your skin’s general wellness, catalyzing its mending function simultaneously.

Topical Vitamin C
Whilst such ointments can be handmade, the easier alternative is to obtain it from the health supplement, beauty or drug stores. It is commonly in an oil or ointment texture and can be readily drawn into the skin for stretchmarks eradication.

Green Tea
A common anti oxidizing agent, green tea is recognized for its varied wellness enhancing attributes. Though little is noted clinically about its results on eliminating stretch marks, some folks attest to it and advocate drinking green tea every day (contrary to spreading it out onto your physical body) for best results. As they come in either caffeinated or decaffeinated choices, bagged or loose wrapping, you have many alternatives when it comes to selecting the one that is most accessible for your busy lifestyle.

Soy Products

Soy stuff have all of the time been awesome for ladies grappling menopausal issues by keeping hormonal levels under control and battling various ailments. It is also observed to be pretty good for the skin. For a start, get those soy adds-on and put them into your food bit by bit. When you are more used to the taste, you can then increase the dosage or fix your meals with such soy products straight away.

Vick’s Vapor Rub
A lot of people have encountered success getting rid of stretchmarks by exfoliating the affected skin every day with Vick’s Vapor Rub using a paper towel, washcloth or loofah sponge for a couple of weeks. This action of rubbing augment blood circulation in the region and may hence assist in bringing down the appearance of the stretchmarks. Results may be different for different individuals.
Frequent Hot Massages & Baths
As augmented blood circulation is rumored to cut down the appearance of stretch marks, chances are, by taking frequent warm massages and baths, you are acting just that!

Sun Bathing
Although tanning can make the stretchmarks fainter, do remember to apply sun screen. Why? Since sunscreen forestalls the exposure of the elastin & collagen within the more in depth layers of the skin, the skin’s elasticity will not be compromised so easily. Surely you would not want those stretchmarks to come out again after you have attempted to cover them up with your suntanned skin? If you choose not to sunbathe and “show off” your stretch marks, try out those self tanning merchandises which permit you to attain the same result. Those products claims to decrease the looks of those unsightly stretch marked lines.

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Lose Weight without Drastic Changes

While many people turn to the latest fad diet or diet program in hopes of “losing 10 pounds in 10 days!” or experiencing “fast weight loss overnight!” few people actually get results from these programs and end up gaining weight from their yo-yo dieting habits in the long-term. Experts say that more than 90 percent of dieters fail at losing a significant amount of weight because they cannot stick with the program long enough to make it a part of their lifestyle. And many people pursue drastic weight loss to get instant results, but soon find that they actually gain weight after the crash diet is “over.”

Fortunately, there are several ways you can overcome this common obstacle to weight-loss success. Incorporating small changes into your daily lifestyle and tweaking your diet gradually will help you get on a healthy track and help you lose weight for the long-term.

The Downside of Extreme Diets:  Extreme diets and complicated weight loss programs may offer some short-term benefits but typically leave you frustrated, stressed and hungry in the long-term. When you are required to make drastic changes to your lifestyle, it can be very hard to stay focused and stick with the plan long enough to get the results you want. Extreme weight loss plans can also pave the way to unhealthy yo-yo dieting; this happens when you’re always on some type of diet or new weight-loss program — your eating habits are never really stable. Your body responds by storing extra fat as it protects itself from constant starvation. How do you get out of this unhealthy loop? By making small, minor changes to your regular eating habits.

Changing Your Lifestyle for Gradual Weight Loss:  Slow and gradual changes are the only way to make permanent changes and get permanent results. Some simple ways to lose weight gradually include:

Adjusting your diet:   Instead of adopting an entirely new eating plan, consider cutting back on portions, adding healthier foods to your diet and drinking more water each day. All of these are positive changes that allow you to get one step closer to your goal.

Sticking with a consistent exercise routine:   Avoid jumping into an entirely new workout routine and add simple and enjoyable physical activities to your day. Start walking more, go for a morning jog or go on a bike ride after work to get your heart pumping and enjoy moving your body. Sustain the activity for at least 20-30 minutes each day and you have a “workout” routine that you actually enjoy!

Reduce junk food and unhealthy snacking habits:  Eliminate one or two unhealthy snacks from your day so you can start cutting back slowly. If you feel true hunger, reach for healthier alternatives such as fresh or dried fruit, low-fat yogurt or a granola bar so you are not putting yourself in starvation mode.

Resist the temptation to jump into the next fad diet program or fall for promises of “extreme” weight loss and adopt a sensible and healthy approach instead. Your body will benefit from a healthier, more gradual transition as you lose those extra pounds, and you won’t be at risk for bingeing and overeating during the process.

11 Weird Skin Care Tricks That You Must Know

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A wise person once said that healthy skin is a reflection of you feeling great in general. When it comes to caring for your skin, it can be quite difficult to know which products are the best. Moreover, the Internet is filled with suggestions on how you can take good care of your skin. Well, we have gathered less conventional but definitely efficient skin care tricks that you have to try out. These might sound weird at first but they will help you obtain a natural and beautiful skin, as this is all that matters in the end.

#1 Diaper Rash Cream for Blemishes

Unfortunately, we cannot control what happens to our skin, at least not completely. In the situation that you have woken up, noticing an unpleasant blemish (or several) on your face, you can try this solution for immediate results. Apply a little bit of diaper rash cream over those nasty blemishes and enjoy the improved aspect of the skin. This is definitely one of the most important skin care tips to remember.

#2 Coconut Oil for Makeup Removal

Coconut oil has been presented as an excellent skin care remedy, being praised for its hydrating properties. But did you know you can also use coconut oil in order to remove your makeup? All you have to do is apply it on your face, using a cotton pad to clear away any traces of makeup. In the eye area, make sure that you apply it with your ring finger, in order to reduce the damage to the skin.

#3 Hot Water Steaming to Open Your Pores

Before cleansing your face, it is important to open up your pores, as this will help you eliminate any accumulated dirt in a more facile manner. All you have to do is cover your head with a towel, keeping your face near hot, steaming water. This will help you open up your pores, increasing the efficiency of the cleansing ritual.

#4 Facial Oil on Oily Skin

If you are suffering from dehydration, you most likely also have oily skin. Everyone thinks that oily skin does not require additional moisturizing but this is not true. If you want to prevent the skin from producing excess oil, hydrate it with facial oil.

#5 Yoga to Brighten Dull Skin

When you are too stressed and your skin is not adequately oxygenated, you can suffer from a dull appearance. In order to brighten dull skin, it is recommended to try out various yoga poses, such as the downward dog or the sun salutation. These yoga poses will help you bring more blood to your skin, eliminating the dull aspect.

#6 Bath Soak for Toxins’ Removal

Every day, we expose ourselves to a number of aggressive factors, including traffic and general pollution. All of these environmental toxins can accumulate at the level of the skin, leading to damage in the end. If you want to clean your skin and remove your skin, try a bath soak with sea salt, baking soda and Epsom salt.

#7 Black Tea as Natural Astringent

If you are looking for a natural astringent, all you have to do is brew a cup of black tea. Apply the tea on your face, without rinsing it off. Make sure that you apply it every day for the best results.

#8 Dandruff Shampoo Against Flaky Skin

No one likes to deal with flaky skin, especially since it can lead people to form the wrong impression about yourself. If you want to improve the aspect of your skin, wash your face with dandruff shampoo, at least once or twice per month.

#9 Vaseline before Perfume

For many women, the most important thing is that their perfume remains on their skin for as long as it is possible. If you want the same thing, all you have to do is apply Vaseline on the areas of interest; then, apply your regular perfume and enjoy its long-lasting presence on your skin.

#10 Milk and Ice Cubes for Irritated, Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin and you have noticed it has become irritated, it is recommended to take a cloth and soak it in milk (to which ice cubes were previously added). Apply the cloth on your face and keep it there for a couple of minutes, in order to reduce the irritation.

#11 Raw Potatoes Against Eye Puffiness

Eye puffiness is a common sign of tiredness but definitely one of the easiest to hide. If you want to escape the puffy eyes look, take a potato, peel it and cut it into halves. Apply the potato halves on your eyes for ten minutes; this natural remedy will soothe the skin and bring down the inflammation.

These are some of the least known skin care tricks that you have to try out. As you have seen, these are far from conventional but they can definitely be of help, allowing you to look more beautiful than ever.

Carrot Pulp for Skin Care

I know you all have carrots in the fridge, right?  They’re great for snacking, kids love  them because they are sweet, and moms love them because they promote healthy eyesight.  Carrots are one of the easiest foods to juice because they’re easy to prepare and taste great with most other fruits and vegetables.  If you juice a lot of carrots then you’ll have a lot of carrot pulp left over.

Carrot pulp is such a versatile ingredient.  It can be used in muffins, cakes, sauces, soups, veggie patties and more.  But why stop there?  Carrots have great benefits for the skin as well and many cosmetic companies include carrot extract, juice, and oil in their beauty formulas.  Vitamins A,B,C,D, and E make carrot pulp for skin care an excellent choice, especially for mature or dry skin.

Next time you juice some carrots, save the pulp and give this recipe a try.  It’s a fun way to incorporate a little “me” time into your week.

After juicing your carrots (and drinking the carrot juice), you can use the carrot pulp for this skin care recipe.

Carrot Pulp Facial Mask

carrot pulp from 2-3 carrots
3-4 Tablesppoons honey

Mix honey into carrots one tablespoon at a time until a nice paste forms.  For added carrot nutrients, or if you’re pulp is very dry, you may add a *small* (less than 1/2 tsp) bit of the carrot juice to the paste.  Apply to clean skin and wait 10 minutes.  Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Honey is good for most skin types.  It is a humectant, which means it helps hold moisture in the skin.  Honey also has astringent properties to help draw out impurities.  This mask is non-drying and your face should feel nice and smooth afterward.

So that’s why people are using Snail Essence on their face

Run an online search for “snail essence,” and you’ll find a whole host of skincare products that feature snail secretions ― yes, the goo that comes out of a snail ― as a key ingredient.

Used as a skin treatment in ancient Greece, the substance has made a big comeback in recent years as a Korean-based beauty trend. Brands like Tony Moly and Missha sell moisturizers, masks, makeup creams and serums with snail slime in them, and a snail-infused “EscarGlow” facial has made its gooey mark on New York City.

New York City dermatologist Tabasum Mir told HuffPost exactly where snail secretions come from.

When snails are agitated, they excrete a thick fluid as a means to protect themselves,” Mir said. When concentrated, this slimy snail mucin is said to aid human skin by hydrating, preventing aging and improving wrinkles and scars.

Popular products generally run between $6 (for a snail gel mask by Missha) to $60 (for Tony Moly’s “timeless ferment snail essence set”).

So, is it worth it?

Likely not: Snail mucin is packed with nutrients, but there’s no guarantee it’ll be effective as a skin treatment, Marie Jhin, a dermatologist at California Pacific Medical Center, told HuffPost.

“The slime is not consistently concentrated and [benefits] may depend on the type of snail and amount excreted,” she said. “The way the slime is processed is not easily done and universal, thus the formulation of the slime may not be the same [across products].”

DUSANBARTOLOVIC VIA GETTY IMAGES
In beauty products, snail mucin is sometimes listed as “snail essence” or “snail secretion” on ingredient lists.

You can find the same key nutrients of snail slime ― which Jhin says are hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes and peptides ― elsewhere, she added. Mir agrees.

“There is nothing specifically unique to snail mucin that you cannot get anywhere else,” she said. 

Ling replenishing hydrator, for example, comes recommended from Into The Gloss and contains the same moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid as snail mucin. And Goldfaden MD’s bright eyes serum is a good source of peptides that doesn’t contain mollusk goop.

The glycolic acid in snail mucin is said to help your cells produce collagen and elastin, which even out skin tone and smooth its surface. But any product with glycolic acid can do the same, Mir says: She recommends her own line of exfoliating pore pads, and Allure recommends The Magic Pads as a cheaper option.

Limited research suggests moderate success of snail slime in improving skin. In one small study, California researchers prescribed snail essence creams to 25 participants with skin damage and found that it improved eye wrinkles and skin texture after 12 weeks. That study dealt with slime from the same type of snail whose mucin is available in products like Biophelle’s, researcher Sabrina Fabi told HuffPost, while noting that the study was not a large clinical trial.

Overall, snail mucin’s practical benefits are few, according to Beverly Hills dermatologist Jennifer Ahdout, who said she conducted her own review of the topic after patients started asking about it.

“[Mucin] can help with hydration of the skin, but to claim that it treats wrinkles, acne scars, and other skin conditions is quite bogus,” she told HuffPost.

Jhin says you’re free to give snail products a whirl if you’d like, but do so with caution as you would any beauty product: Use only a small amount at first on a specific spot to check for reactions or allergies, and don’t use if you have sensitive skin.

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