Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Why is Sugar Bad for You? Does Sugar Age You & Cause Wrinkles?

 conversation hearts
We love our sugar! Especially when we are stuck at home.

I know I have a weakness for anything chocolate. A few pieces of Dove Dark, vanilla buttercreams covered in dark chocolate, chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and ohhhh, fresh bake chocolate chips cookies!!!🍪 To die for!!!

But, we all know eating a lot of sugar is bad for us. But, why is sugar bad for us when it tastes so good? It's just plain not fair.

The American Heart Association, in August 2016, issued new recommendation for kids and the amount of sugar they should eat. Children and teens ages 2 to 18 should have no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. Children under 2 should have no added sugar. Adults have a sugar limit as well.

Why is sugar bad for you?

Lately, I have been hearing even more about sugar. It's not good news. Eating sugar causes chronic inflammation that can lead to a variety of disorders and diseases like some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and cardio vascular disease.
Sugar also causes a process in the body called glycation.

What is Glycation?

The sugar we eat attaches to protein and fat cells in the body forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs) or it's just called glycation. 

These glycation end products are damaging compounds that can accumulate in the body and can lead to the development of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's.

Our bodies can eliminate AEGs that are in small amounts. AEGs become a problem in large amounts when they build up in the body.

Glycation also causes premature aging. That's what I am going to focus on since I work in the skin care business. 

How does sugar age the skin?

These AGEs damage the collagen and elastin fibers that give our skin firmness. They cause the collagen and elastin fibers to become discolored, weak and less supple. This results in our skin looking dull, yellow, saggy and wrinkly. Not a look I'm going for! 

So glycation causes the breakdown of the skin's elastic fibers.

AGEs also make our skin more vulnerable to damaging UV radiation from the sun. 

As we age, we don't produce as much collagen and elastin as we did when we were younger, therefore, the body can't repair damage like it used to. 

Our skin shows signs of aging. This, unfortunately, is a natural body function. Some healthy foods cause glycation, but sugars are the main culprits. Reducing sugar intake will help slow breakdown of collagen and elastin.

So how much sugar is too much? 

Most of us will have to cut waaaay back on the sweets!

The American Heart Association says that women should have no more than 24 grams of added sugar, that's just 6 teaspoons, 100 calories, of sugar per day. 

Men should have no more than 9 teaspoons which equals about 36 grams, 150 calories of added sugar. 

Why are men allowed to have more? That's not fair, right? It's because the amount is based on calories. A man is allowed a higher calorie count. Again, not fair! 

Let's talk about added sugar.

What is added sugar?
Added sugar means sugar, brown sugar, fructose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, agave syrup, etc. that has been added to sweeten food. 

It's not sugar that naturally occurs in food. 

Even honey, with all it's health benefits, is a sugar.

What foods have a lot of added sugar?

24 grams is not much sugar when you start looking at the sugar content in foods. 

There is sneaky added sugar everywhere! 

I decided to count up my sugar grams just after lunch. I am already over the limit at 33 grams! This is not going to be easy. 

Yogurt is healthy right? Well, maybe not all yogurt!

There can be 27 grams of sugar in one regular yogurt! Now some of that is naturally occurring sugar but still, that's a lot of sugar for a supposedly healthy food. 

Go for a low calorie yogurt. They have less sugar. Chobani Less Sugar Greek Yogurts contain 9 grams of total sugar per 5.3 ounce. 

Oikos Triple Zero has no added sugar, the 6 grams of sugar it contains are naturally occurring sugar. 

We have to read the nutritional labels on all the products we buy. Look at the sugar content.  Even organic marinara sauce has added sugar. 

Fruit juices are notorious for their sugar content. It's naturally occurring sugar but it's high non the less and should be limited for a low sugar diet. 12 ounces of grape juice has 58 grams of natural sugar. 12 ounces of apple juice has 39 grams of naturally occurring sugar. 12 ounces of orange juice has 33 grams of naturally occurring sugar.

Then there is the obvious sugar!
One serving of delicious Entenmann's Marshmallow Iced Devil's Food Cake contains 27 grams of sugar. 27! One piece and you are over the limit!  

And those Girl Scout Cookies that are everywhere at the beginning of every year. Oh, how I love those Thin Mints!

4 Thin Mints=11 grams of sugar
2 Peanut Butter Patties/Tagalongs=8 grams of sugar
2 Caramel deLites/Samoas=12 grams of sugar
2 S'mores=16 grams of sugar!!!

The best Girl Scout cookie choice, sugar wise, is the Shortbread Cookie.
4 Shortbread/Trefoils=4 grams of sugar

A 7 piece serving of Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses is 18 grams of sugar.

Soda is the absolute worst sugar culprit!

One 12 ounce Pepsi has a whopping 41 grams of sugar!!! One 12 ounce Coke has a 35 grams of sugar. Plus, there is absolutely no nutritional value with soda. At least with high sugar juices you get vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants. 

Don't get caught thinking diet soda is a better choice. It's loaded with unhealthy artificial sweeteners that actually stimulate your craving for sweets.

Now, let's get back to the American Heart Association. I wondered why they, a heart association, would be recommending a sugar limit. 

Well, the liver converts food to fat. That includes sugar. Too much sugar increases that conversion to fat. All that fat can built up in the liver causing a fatty liver. 

The built up fat gets released into the bloodstream as triglycerides and cholesterol which can lead to heart disease.

So that explains the American Heart Association.

Besides cutting back on obvious sugary foods, there are a few other ways we can reduce the glycation aging process.

How to Reduce Glycation & Glycation damage:

Cut down on your carbs
Cut down on the high carb foods you eat. Some high carb foods are bread, cereal, pasta, rice, cookies,  and cake.

Read food labels
Cut down on added sugar by reading ingredient labels as you food shop. Leave those high sugar items on the shelf!

Use stevia as a sweetener
Stevia is a natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia plant. It has no calories and sugar. You can easily find stevia products in the grocery store. Truvia is a brand that may sound familiar to you.

Drink green tea and white tea
Drinking green tea interferes with glycation and it also promotes collagen production. 

Ditch the Soda
Drink seltzer water flavored with a splash of juice, instead of soda.

Eat foods that support collagen production

Soy products, beans, dark green veggies, orange veggies, red fruits & veggies, berries, citrus fruit, garlic, food high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, food high in omega 3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, flaxseed) all help support the production of collagen.

Use the Right Skin Care Products
We can use skin care products that help build up collagen in our skin. Anti aging skin care products contain ingredients such as retinoids and peptides to stimulate collagen production.

There are skin care products designed specifically to support collagen production in the skin. Dr Brandt is one of them.  Click here to view Dr. Brandt products.

Get Facials
Get facials that include peels. That is, when we are allowed back in the salons again! Peels are a great way to stimulate collagen production. The massage during a facial is also beneficial for promoting collagen production.

Use electronic Beauty Tools
Use a sonic skin care brush to help stimulate collagen and smooth wrinkles.

Use a home laser such as Tria SmoothBeauty Laser to stimulate collagen with light.

Use micro current to stimulate collagen and facial muscles such as the NuFace Trinity.

We may not be able to get ourselves down to 24 grams of sugar everyday, but we can easily cut back to slow down the aging from sugar. And, some days, like Valentine's Day and Birthdays 🎂, I think we get a day pass!😁

Have Beautiful Day!

Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

PS: Thanks for using my amazon & direct links💋
I receive a small commission that keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day 2020: Zoya Earth Day Exchange & How to Dispose of Old Nail Polish

zoya thrive collection spring 2018
Hi Everyone!

Here is your yearly Earth Day reminder to get rid of your old nail polish in an earth friendly way and get beautiful new discounted colors from Zoya.

If you haven't heard, Zoya is offering new nail polish in exchange for your old polish, any brand of old polish. They are offering 50% off brand new Zoya nail polish. It's an awesome deal!!! 

Simply choose a minimum of 6 bottles of Zoya polish and enter their Earth Day Code when you check out on Zoya's site.

When you order a minimum of 12 bottles of polish, you get free gifts along with the 50% off deal when you enter their Earth Day Code!

The code is on their site.

Hurry! This Earth Day deal ends April 30, 2020.

Click here for Zoya Earth Day Exchange details!

Due to COVID-19, Zoya asks that you do not send back your old polish or donate it until the COVID-19 all clear. If you choose to not send back your old polish after the all clear, please dispose of it in the earth friendly way! Below is the proper way to dispose of old nail polish.

 Click here for zoya swatches

How to Dispose of Old Nail Polish

There are special guidelines when throwing away paint to prevent contamination of soil and water sources. For instance, a can latex paint needs to be a solid, not liquid, to be thrown in the trash. The paint can should be opened to allow the liquid to evaporate. The can is okay to put in the trash when the paint is dried.
old nail polish
We don't think about it, but nail polish is paint. Most of us just toss an old unwanted bottle of nail polish in the trash. This creates the possibility of contamination of soil and water if the bottle is broken in a landfill. Here is what we need to do:

1. Pour the polish out of the bottle on to a paper towel and let it dry.
pouring out old polish
2. Leave the top off of the polish bottle to allow the polish remnants to harden.

3. Once the polish is all dry, the paper towel and polish bottle can be tossed safely in the trash.

It's an easy way to help protect our environment everyday.

Click here for my Spring Bride wearing eye shadow in shades of purple!

Visit my shopping page!
shop with me

       Have a Beautiful Day! 
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

PS: Thanks for using my amazon & direct links💋
I receive a small commission that keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸

Saturday, April 4, 2020

No Elastic! How to Make an Easy DIY Washable Fabric Face Mask with a Filter Pocket and Pleats

Hi Everyone! 
DIY face mask with filter pocket
I started making protective fabric face masks and I want to share with you how to make an easy DIY washable fabric face mask with a filter pocket and pleats with an easy no measure way to make the pleats. I'll show you the pattern I use and give you 12 step instructions with images on how to make to make a filter pocket face mask with ear loops or ties.

This post includes:
✔The best fabric to use and why
✔3 No elastic strap options and how to make fabric ties for a mask
✔Directions on how to make a pleated face mask with a filter pocket and pleats in 12 steps
✔Links to my face mask tutorial video
✔Filter material options
✔Safest way to remove your face mask

I've made hundreds so far so I've figured out a few tricks to make them better and faster. I am crazy busy making them for people who are local to Delaware County, PA. 

Visit Ricci Crafting Company on Facebook

I can't believe how many items are in shortage right now due to the COVID-19 Pandemic including elastic for making the straps on face masks!!! I've been waiting for an order for 4 weeks now. It is no where in sight!

So, I have three great elastic alternatives that I will share with you to help any of you trying to make masks for yourself, your friends and your family. 

This post contains Amazon links to help you get the supplies you need delivered right to your door. When you use the links I provide for you, I earn a small amount at no cost to you. I truly thank you for using my links!😘

My mask style of choice is the pleated mask with a filter pocket to add extra protection. I feel this style of mask provides a high level of protection and it's fairly easy to breathe through. Also, a fabric face mask is washable so you can reuse it over and over which is great for our pocketbooks and earth friendly too.

It may look intimidating to sew, but I tried to make the process as easy as possible in 12 steps.

I have seen people do an elaborate process of measuring and pinning to make the pleats. I have a faster and easier way to create them just using an iron.

So what fabric should you use to make a face mask?

Best Fabric To Use to Make a DIY Washable Face Mask with a Filter Pocket and Pleats

Some materials you can use to make a face mask filter small particles, like the COVID-19 Corona Virus, better than others. The issue is, some of the materials are stiffer and uncomfortable. They also can be difficult to breath through. A person who has breathing issues to begin with, such as asthma, would never be able to tolerate a face mask that is hard to breath through.

Therefore, the best materials for a DIY face mask may not be the highest filtering materials. They are the ones you will be able to wear more comfortably for a longer period of time.

Researchers at Cambridge University tested many materials for making face masks from vacuum cleaner bags to silk scarves. They tested how different materials filtered 1 micron particles and smaller 0.02 micron particles such as viruses.

For instance:
An N95 mask will filter 95% of small particles
A surgical mask will filter 89% of small particles
A vacuum cleaner bag will filter 86% of small particles
A dishtowel will filter 73% of small particles
A cotton blend T shirt will filter 70% of small particles
A pillowcase will filter 57% of small particles

Double layers of fabric slightly improved the percentage of filtration. The more layers of fabric, the harder it is to breath.

The bottom line is the best, most wearable materials to use for to make a DYI face mask are cotton blend and cotton fabrics such as T shirt material, pillowcases and sheet material.

Here is a link the an awesome post from SmartAir regarding the Cambrigde University Study on the best filtering most breathable materials for making a DIY face mask.

They have some very informative charts and info. It's definitely worth checking out.

I like using bandanas. They are 100% cotton, easy to work with, inexpensive, plus, I like the patterns and colors. I also like any tightly woven cotton or cotton blend material.
bandannas for face masks
Get bandanas on Amazon! 

Always wash your fabric before sewing with it. 100% cotton will shrink a little. Plus, there are chemicals used in textile production that you shouldn't be breathing in.

Let's go over the different materials you can use to make the straps on a face mask.

Face Mask Straps: 3 No Elastic Options

Option #1: Fabric Tie Straps or Ribbon Straps
The fabric tie straps tie at the back of your head making the mask highly adjustable for large and small head sizes. Because they are fabric, they are latex free. They are not hard to make, but they are time consuming. 

Some people are using 1/4" ribbon or shoe laces instead of making fabric ties. It's a lot easier!

Option #2: Elastic Ear Loops
Elastic straps seem to be the most widely used material for fabric face masks but elastic is extremely difficult to find at this time. Elastic is easy to add to your mask creating those elastic loops the go around you ears. The problem is typical elastic contains latex so allergic people should avoid it. I also have had thin, lower quality elastic break on a few of my masks. Quite disappointing!

Option #3: Nylon or Polyester Ear Loops
You will know exactly what I'm talking about when I explain what they are. Do you remember weaving potholders using a loom when you were a kid? Those loops you used to make the pot holder are the craft loops I'm talking about. 
weaving loops for face masks
They can be made of nylon, polyester, cotton or wool. We want to use the polyester or nylon loops because they have some stretch. They are not as stretchy as elastic but they will work just fine and they are latex free. Plus, it is easy to tie a knot in them to make the mask fit tighter and they are fun, bright colors. I use them a lot on kid's masks. They create loops that go around your ears.

Get weaving loops on Amazon!

Option #4 Lycra Spandex Fabric Ear Loops
This is my latest favorite, no elastic, latex free option!!! It's the fabric that is used to make bathing suits. It's stretchy, durable and comfortable for ear loop straps. My friend said "who needs elastic!" after I told her to try it. You will need a big enough piece of fabric to cut two 6" long x 1/4" wide strips for one mask. 1/4 of a yard of fabric will give you plenty for a lot of masks.

Shop for Spandex Fabric on Amazon

I have put together a how to video showing you how to make an easy DIY Washable Fabric Face Mask with a Filer Pocket and Pleats. I know it helps to actually see it done.

watch make an easy face mask video

How to Make a DIY Washable Fabric Face Mask with a Filter Pocket and Pleats in 12 Steps Directions

🧵1- 8/2" x  15" piece of fabric
🧵2- 7" long pieces of elastic or nylon, or 2- 6" pieces of Spandex, or 4- 18" pieces of fabric or 1/4" ribbon
🧵optional: paper to make a pattern
🧵an iron
🧵a sewing machine

Step 1: Prepare the Straps
Your choice: Elastic, Weaving Loops, Spandex Fabric, or Fabric Ties
mask strap options
Elastic: Use 1/4" wide elastic. Cut two 7" long pieces of elastic.

Weaving Loops: Choose 2 loops to color coordinate with your mask fabric. Cut the loops so they are 7" in length. If they are very stretchy, make them 6 1/2".

Lycra Spandex Fabric: Cut the Spandex fabric into 1/4" wide strips. 
cut spandex into strips
The best way to cut the strips is with a rotary fabric cutter. I have an Olfa Rotary Cutter the works great!

Shop on Amazon for an Olfa 45 mm Rotary Cutter
rotary fabric cutting tool
The rotary cutter works best when you cut on a hard surface. I use a scrap piece of melamine particle board to cut on. 

Cut the strips 6" long instead of 7" to make the Spandex straps.
cut strips 6 inchs

Directions to make Fabric Strips: 
Cut 4 strips of fabric 18" long by 3/4" wide. The long raw edges will need to be hidden so they don't fray. 

Or cut 4 strips of 18" long ribbon.
fabric strips
Fold a strip in half lengthwise and press making a crease in the center. Unfold the strip. 

Fold one side of the long raw edges to the center ironed crease. Press. 
press fabric

Fold the other side of the long raw edges to the center ironed crease. Press. 

Fold the strip in half again and press. 
press fabric

Stitch the seam closed close to the edge.
fabric ties for face mask

Step 2: Cut Fabric
Cut one 8 1/2" by 15" rectangle. I like to make a paper pattern to make it easier when making multiple face masks.
pleated face mask size
Step 3: Fold in Half
Fold the rectangle in half with the right sides together. 

Step 4: Measure the Filter Pocket Opening
Measure a 3" space in the middle of the raw edges on the opposite side of the folded side of the fabric. Mark the space with pins or make pencil markings on the fabric so you know to leave that area open when you sew that edge. This will be how you turn the mask inside out. It will also be the pocket opening to insert the filter.

Note: I originally made the opening 2" but found a 3" opening is better.
measure filter pocket opening

Step 5: Sew the Raw Edges
Sew the raw edges (with the pins or pencil marks) using a 1/4" seam allowance. Sew to the first pin or pencil mark. Leave the space open between the pins or pencil marks. Stitch the remaining seam after the second marking pin.
sew the filter pocket opening
This space will be the opening for a filter.

You can make the mask a little smaller by using a bigger seam allowance such as a 1/2" or 5/8".

Step 6: Center the Seam and Press
Move the filter pocket seam to the center of the mask and press the seam open. Ironing makes sewing neater and easier!
press the seam
Note: You can also move the filter pocket seam at the lower third of the mask. 

I find the designs on certain fabrics look better from the front when the seam is moved to the lower third of the mask. Also, it makes ironing in half easier when thicker fabric is being used when the seam is lower on the mask.

Step 7: Trim the Corners
Cut the corners being careful not to cut into the sewn seam. I skip this step on thinner fabrics.
clip corners

Step 8: Pin the Straps to the Mask 
For Elastic or Weaving Loop Straps
The elastic, Spandex and the weaving loops are all attached to the mask in the same way. One elastic strip, or one Spandex strip or one weaving loop goes each one side of the mask. The elastic, Spandex or loops will be sandwiched inside between the two layers of fabric.
ear loop straps for face mask
Pin one end of the strap to the top right side corner and the other end to the bottom right corner so the end of the elastic or loop lines up with the raw edge of the fabric.
pin straps inside
Pin the other end of the strap to the top left side corner and the other end to the bottom left corner so the end of the elastic or loop lines up with the raw edge of the fabric.

Fabric Strips or Ribbon
The fabric strips or ribbon will attach to each corner but on the inside in between the layers of fabric.
fabric strips attachment
Sandwich the strips inside the two layers of fabric. Match the end of each strip with the raw edge and pin in place. 

All the strap options pinned will look like this.
pinned straps

Step 9: Sew the Sides of the Mask
Sew the sides of the mask to secure the straps and close the seam. Back stitch the straps to reinforce them. Be careful not to get the loose unpinned part of the straps caught up and sewn in the seam.
sew straps

Step 10: Turn Inside Out
Turn the mask inside out through the 3" opening. Use your fingers to push the corners out.
turn inside out

Step 11: Make the Pleats
This is an easy, no measure way to make the pleats in your face mask using an iron.

Have the mask so that the seam with the opening is facing up. 

Press the mask so it is flat and neat.
mask filter pocket seam
Next, fold the mask in half horizontally and press the folded edge making a crease. Unfold the mask.
press mask in half
Now, fold the lower edge to meet the center crease. Press the folded edge making another crease.
press lower crease
Fold the upper edge to meet the center crease. Press the folded edge making another crease.

Flip the mask over. These creases will make it easy to make the pleats without measuring.
creases in mask to make pleats
Take the bottom crease and fold it half way between the middle and bottom crease. Pin in place. 
pinch up pleats
Take the middle crease and fold it half way between the middle and top crease. Pin in place. 

Take the top crease and fold it half way between the top crease and the top edge of the fabric. Pin in place. 

It looks like this.
pinned pleats

Step 12: Sew the Sides
Sew the sides using a 1/4" seam allowance.
stitch the pleats

That's it! It's done!

pleated filter pocket face mask

 View my Video 

pleated face mask

pocket in face mask
If you like my creamy red nail color in my pics, I'm wearing, Zoya Sheri!

zoya sheri

Filter Materials for a DIY Washable Fabric Face Mask with a Filter Pocket and Pleats

The filter pocket in this face mask allows you to slip a filter between the layers of fabric to give you even more protection. So what can you use as a filter?

Charcoal Filters
The filters that are made use in a reusable DYI face mask are generally activated charcoal filter paper that are not washable. They will improve the percentage of filtration in a face mask and they are made to be breathable. They are a hot commodity so they are hard to find. You can try Amazon.

 face mask filters

Coffee Filters
I also heard that people are using coffee filters. They can filter an additional 21.4% of small particles.

Blue Shop Towels
My Favorite Choice!
shop towels
People are also using blue Shop Towels. These disposable towels that are thick and feel like cloth are made of a polyester hydro knit. They can be cut and used as a filter in the pocket of a face mask. They seem to add significantly more filtration to a filter pocket face mask and they are easy to find and use. You can find Shop Towels in home supply stores such as Home Depot and on Amazon.

Heater Filters
Fpr10 heater filter
You can deconstruct a heater filter and cut up the HEPA material to use as a filter in your mask. It needs to be a high filtration filter that removes small particles such as allergens. Look for filters that are FPR 10 or MPR 600. 
heater filter wire
There has wire in it so you need to gently peel the fabric from the wire. The other issue is that these types of filters can contain fiberglass so they should be used very carefully and only between the fabric layers of a mask.

Change your Filter
Whatever kind of filter you choose to use, you will need change that filter every time you wash your mask. Really, you should wash your mask each time you wear it out. It's a good idea to have several masks so you can always have a clean one available to wear.

Tips for Removing your Mask

When you come back home, you feel like you want to rip that mask off right away, but wait! 

Don't touch the mask that is on your face wash until you have washed your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water to remove any contaminants. 

Grab the straps around your ears or untie the ties and remove the mask by holding the straps. 

Immediately spray the mask with disinfectant or better, machine wash or hand wash in warm/hot water to remove any virus on the mask. Dry the mask in the dryer so it is clean and ready for the next wear. Remove your filter before washing and drying.

I hope this post helps you create your own DIY washable fabric face mask with a filter pocket and pleats and also helps you get the best filter materials for your mask to keep you and your family safe in this extremely difficult time. 

To my local friends, I can make a mask for you if you need one! Visit Ricci Crafting Company on Facebook.
ricci crafting company facebook page

#stayhealthy, #staysafe, #withme

Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist, Creative Spirit

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

Thanks for using my amazon links💋
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. That keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸