Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mosquito Bite Remedy

It's summer and they're back! Those nasty mosquitoes leaving itchy bite welts on our skin! Unfortunately, they seem to love me so I'm always looking for a way to relieve the itch. My favorite remedy is mud mask. Apply a thick layer of a mud or clay mask, such as Ahava Purifying Mud Mask or Yon Ka Mask 105 or 103, to the bite as quickly a possible. Leave it on a long time. You can rinse it off hours later. I sometimes leave the mask on overnight. The mask keeps the bite from getting big and it relieves the itch. 


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Monday, June 25, 2012

Chicken Skin

Q. The skin under my eyes is bumpy like chicken skin! What can I do about it?


A. Using heavy products under your eyes can clogged the pores in this delicate thin skinned area. Try using an eye cream instead of regular face moisturizer around the eye area. An eye cream is formulated for the delicate skin around the eyes and is less likely to cause clogged pores and puffiness. An eye cream containing retinol or alpha hydroxy acid will help slough off dead cells, unclog pores and help the skin look younger. Give the under eye area a gentle massage as you apply the eye cream. Lighten up on your concealer. Try a liquid concealer instead of a cream concealer. Apply as little as possible to get the job done. Finally, use a clean washcloth when washing your face and gently,very gently, massage the under eye area with the wash cloth to reduce clogging and stimulate circulation. These steps should help reduce or eliminate that chicken skin look!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Beautiful Rose Lipstick


I love this Vera Wang lipstick color. It's the perfect medium creamy rose shade. Simply Vera Vera Wang Smoothing Lipcolor #707. Find it at Kohls for $18.50.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dangerous Spray Tans?


It's that time of year again! We all want that beautiful glowing tan! A fake tan is safer than a real tan. But, spray tanning has been in the news lately. I have never gotten a spray tan at  a tanning studio. I'm more of a DIY tan girl. As it turns out, the ingredient, Dihydroxyacetone abbreviated as DHA, used in spray tanning products was approved back in 1977 for external use only in a cream or lotion form. It was not meant to be sprayed! It should not get into the body by breathing it in or getting it on and in mucous membranes including the eyes, nose or lips. Studies done on non-human cells show that DHA can cause DNA changes and mutations that could lead to cancer or possible birth defects.


Here is an excerpt from the FDA product information page for sunless tanners:

As noted above, the use of DHA in "tanning" booths as an all-over spray has not been approved by the FDA, since safety data to support this use has not been submitted to the Agency for review and evaluation, When using DHA-containing products as an all-over spray or mist in a commercial spray "tanning" booth, it may be difficult to avoid exposure in a manner for which DHA is not approved, including the area of the eyes, lips, or mucous membrane, or even internally.

Consequently, FDA advises asking the following questions when considering commercial facilities where DHA is applied by spraying or misting:
  • Are consumers protected from exposure in the entire area of the eyes, in addition to the eyes themselves?
  • Are consumers protected from exposure on the lips and all parts of the body covered by mucous membrane?
  • Are consumers protected from internal exposure caused by inhaling or ingesting the product?
If the answer to any of these questions is "no," the consumer is not protected from the unapproved use of this color additive. Consumers should request measures to protect their eyes and mucous membranes and prevent inhalation.

What about sunless tanning products sold in retail stores, such as creams and lotions?

DHA is approved for external application to the human body, which is the way these products are intended to be used. Consumers can easily avoid inhaling them or applying them to the area of the eye or mucous membrane.
Read more:
http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformation/ucm134064.htm


What all this means is when you get a spray tan, you need to wear:
Protective Undergarments
Nose filters
Lip Balm
Protective Eyewear


There is another concern regarding DHA. It was always thought that DHA interacted and stayed in the outer dead cell layers of the skin only. Tests have shown that DHA was absorbed by living layers of the skin. The FDA wrote a follow-up paper regarding DHA absorption by the skin, concluding that "probably" only 0.5 percent of each application of DHA becomes "systemically available" which means it would be distributed throughout the body by the bloodstream.  The FDA concluded that this is low percentage meaning a low health risk and no further testing was needed. It seems that more testing is in order! On humans!


A fake tan is still safer than a real tan! Be sure to follow the protective recommendations when getting a spray tan. I do feel that tanning creams are the safer way to go. But, I now question whether a pregnant woman should use any kind of tanning product containing DHA due to the fact that a small amount is absorbed into the bloodstream. Also, maybe it's not such a good idea to be tan like Snooki and Kim Kardashian year around! 


If you want to read more, here is a link to the ABC new article.
http://news.yahoo.com/spray-tans-safe-experts-raise-questions-industry-puts-190727621--abc-news-health.html



Thursday, June 14, 2012

Recipe: Jill's Beta Carotene Special




Jill's Beta Carotene Special
This dish is loaded with beta carotene. Beta Carotene converts to Vitamin A, is part of the carotenoids which are powerful anti-oxidants found in highly pigmented red, orange and yellow fruits and veggies, and is fabulous for your skin. Eat a lot of it to help protect your skin against the sun.


    1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
    2 yams, cut into 1 inch pieces
    1/2 of a butternut squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
    1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
    baby carrots (1/2 of a 16 oz. bag)
    3 tablespoons olive oil 
    salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your grill on medium. Place veggies on a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. A big enough piece to form a packet. Drizzle oil evenly over the veggies. Season with salt and pepper. Close foil to form a packet. Place on the grill and close the lid. Grill for about 30 minutes. Can also be made in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes at 350.


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Monday, June 11, 2012

Q&A: Keratosis Pilaris



  • Q. What is Keratosis Pilaris?
  • A. Keratosis Pilaris is a buildup of protein in the skin which clogs the hair follicles causing small bumps. It occurs commonly on the upper arms, the thighs and can even occur on the face. It looks like a rash with bumps and dryness with some redness. It feels rough like sand paper. Gentle exfoliation and moisturizing will improve the bumps. Use a gentle sugar scrub on the bumpy areas in the shower. Then, apply a moisturizer. Try a cream containing salicylic acid  such as Cera Ve SA Renewing lotion available at drugstores. The bumps are stubborn so you need to keep after them daily. If you stop, they will just come back!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wrinkles!


69 Year Old Truck Drivers Face Shows Sun Damage on Window Side | New England Journal of Medicine
Photo from Jennifer R S Gordon MD

Look at this man. He is 69 years old. Check out the the left side of his face (on our right). It looks so much older than the right side of his face. Notice the deep wrinkles, the thickened sagging skin, the bumps and discoloration. This is sun damage. It is called unilateral dermatoheliosis. But, why is the one side so much more wrinkled? This man was a truck driver for 28 years. The UV rays from the sun would shine in on him from the driver's side window of his truck as he traveled his route. Even if the window is up, the UVA rays come through the glass damaging and aging the skin. UVA rays are also still present on cloudy days.  This is just a reminder for us to wear a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection every day!


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vera Wang Makeup



Vera Wang has a new makeup line available at Kohl's. Simply Vera Vera Wang Cosmetics. The line is simple and basic consisting of primers: an illuminating eye primer, an illuminating skin brightening primer and a smoothing lip primer and a color collection which includes tinted moisturizer, concealer, pressed powder, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, lip liner, lipstick and lip gloss. The colors are soft and natural looking in shades of beige, peach, pink and rose. Vera Wang's philosophy is that "makeup should let the real you shine through." That explains why there is no foundation in the collection! It looks like a great line for those who want a natural look. Check it out at kohls.com.
http://www.kohls.com/upgrade/webstore/subcategory.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374760241210&SiteID=veracosmeticsveracosmetics&bmUID=1339072812979

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pregnancy and Pedicures

Q. I'm pregnant. Is it safe to get a pedicure? I have heard that foot massage can bring on premature labor.


A. A pedicure is a great way to soothe your swollen feet!  Some people believe that certain reflexology or pressure points on the feet can cause a miscarriage by stimulating the uterus to contract. However, there is just not enough evidence to suggest that foot massage can actually bring on labor. If you are worried, opt for a gentle foot massage that does not include reflexology or pressure point therapy. It is safe and will provide you much needed pampering!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Coffee and Skin Cancer

Love your coffee? Here is a good reason to love it! According to a recent study,  women who drank three or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day were 20% less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma (a slow growing skin cancer). Men who drank three or more cups of coffee were 9% less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thyroid Trouble and Nails

Q. My nails are a mess. They are dry and brittle. They just keep breaking. I have heard thyroid problems can cause this. What should I do ?


A. A under active thyroid can cause brittle nails and hair. Other symptoms include fatigue, increases sensitivity to cold, unexplained weight gain, muscle and joint aches. Make an appointment with your doctor and have a blood test done to check your thyroid hormone level. If the level is low, the doctor will prescribe a synthetic thyroid hormone for you to take. You should start to feel better in a week or two. The nails will start to look better in about 6 months. I have heard from someone taking thyroid hormone, that her nails improved when taking the brand name medication Synthroid, but not while taking a generic brand. 


Friday, June 1, 2012

Deceiving Product Labeling

I am so annoyed with product labels! You look the at front of a product for information about the product, but when you turn it around, the ingredients tell a different story. Here is the front of a bottle of Dove Body Wash for sensitive skin. It says "unscented". 

Here is the ingredient list.

Clearly labeled on the last line you can see fragrance listed. It is just like buying a snack at the grocery store that says "0 grams trans fat" right on the front of it. That leads you to believe there is no trans fat in the snack. Don't be fooled! Manufacturers can legally say there is no trans fat in their product if there is less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. So deceiving! Read the ingredient list, not the nutritional content, and you will see hydrogenated oil listed! It infuriates me! Why do we have to examine a product so carefully before we buy it?