Your face is one of the most vital parts of your body. You use your face to communicate, to breathe, to read, to watch, to eat, to smell, and more. That is why taking care of the skin on your face is so important. Here are 10 common skincare mistakes you might be making.
Not moisturizing right away
Many people, especially men, tend to skip this step in their skincare routine. Any time your face has gotten wet, it is important to moisturize right away. This can include after showering, washing your face, or even after swimming. Allowing your face to dry up and become stiff after it has been wet will cause any healthy moisture to escape. Instead, you should dry your face last. Pat your face dry with a clean towel and immediately apply a creamy and oil-free moisturizer. A light or thin moisturizer will not be as effective.
Not wearing sunscreen
UV rays from the sun are probably the most damaging thing to skin. They have been known to cause skin cancer, premature wrinkling, redness, freckles, and sunspots. If you are hoping to avoid any of these effects, wear sunscreen daily. The recommended SPF is 30. Anything under SPF 15 will not protect you from the sun. for your face, apply an oil-free sunscreen underneath your makeup.
Exfoliating too often
Exfoliating can be great for your skin. It helps remove dead skin cells that have been building up over time. However, exfoliating your skin too often can cause damage. It can lead to dehydration, flaky skin, and red pigmentation.
Related article: Benefits of Collagen
Picking at cysts
Almost everyone has heard you should avoid picking at your zits. Whiteheads should be carefully pooped when they are ready. However, you should keep your hands away from cysts. They should be treated with care. Keep the area clean and place a warm washcloth on them multiple times a day for at least 20 minutes. If needed, have them removed by a dermatologist.
Wearing makeup to bed
It is so tempting to get home from a long day and go straight to bed. Do not do this! No matter how tired you are, take the time to finish your skincare routine every night. Make sure that all makeup has been carefully removed before gently cleansing your face. Finish with face toner and an oil-free moisturizer. There are many other steps you can take as well such as face masks.
Not washing your bedding weekly
Throughout the week, our bedding accumulates dirt, oil, and dust. If left there long enough, they can transfer to our skin. This can lead to breakouts. To keep your skin clean while you sleep, wash your bedding at least once a week. You may even want to consider washing your pillowcase more often or switching it out with a fresh one.
The condition of our skin does not just depend on what we do on the outside, but also on the inside. A well-balanced diet and water can help give our skin a better chance of achieving a healthy glow. To help, make sure your body is getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals. A daily multivitamin can even help supplement your healthy diet. Make sure your body is also getting enough collagen, which is an important protein for healthy skin.
While a nice hot shower feels great, it is hurting your skin more than it is helping. The hot water can strip your skin of moisture, leaving it dry, red, and inflamed. Instead, switch to a lukewarm shower.
Not using a proper skin toner
Another commonly skipped step is applying face toner in between washing and moisturizing. Toner helps remove any left-over dirt, oil, and makeup that your face wash was unable to get. If a quality toner is used correctly, it can improve the tone of your skin. However, be careful with toners that contain alcohol. They may help kill bacteria that cause acne, but they can also strip your face of the moisture it needs.
Related article: Can the Light from Screens Harm Your Skin?
Touching your face
Finally, do not touch your face. Keeping your skin clean and healthy can be a lot of hard work. However, your hard work can go to waste if you cannot keep your hands away from your face. This is because our hands are covered in oils and dirt from all the things we touch throughout the day.
Avoiding these 10 common skincare mistakes can help give your skin its best chance. Start cutting these out of your life today and form healthy habits. You may not notice results right away, but one day your skin will thank you.
Ways to Protect the Immune System
Many people have heard that boosting your immune system will help you stay healthy and fight illnesses. However, how do you boost your immune system? First, it is important to remember that your immune system is not just one part of your body. It is a system with many cells that work together to keep your body functioning. Here are some ways to protect the immune system.
A well-balanced diet
One of the most important things your body needs is vitamins and minerals. Your body gets many of these vitamins and minerals from your food and drinks. Most people with a healthy diet can get all the nutrients their body needs just fine. This includes getting plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein, water, and other essential foods each day. While a proper diet is highly encouraged, not everyone eats like this each day. Lacking in these essential nutrients can take a toll on your health and immune system. Luckily, dietary supplements like a multivitamin can help. It is important to remember that dietary supplements are not there to replace a well-balanced diet, but to supplement your diet.
Another essential activity your body needs is exercise. The recommended amount you should get each week is around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. Exercise has many health benefits. It can help with your cardiovascular health, lower your blood pressure, and lower your body weight. It can help with all of these, while also improving your immune system. Read our article, “Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise”, to help you make healthier habits.
Do NOT smoke
Most likely the worst thing you can do for your immune system is smoke. Smoking may lead to many health hazards including heart disease, many different cancers, respiratory infections, and more. These hazards are a threat to both heavy and light smokers. Secondhand smoke can also affect the health of those around you, including your family, friends, and even neighbors. Secondhand smoke has even been known to cause inflammation in skin conditions like eczema. While you may not be concerned about the effects smoking has on your health, it is important to remember how it can hurt those around you. Try to be courteous and keep your distance from others while smoking. If you live in close quarters like an apartment complex, be aware that smoke can seep through walls, vents, and outdoor windows.
Drink alcohol only in moderation or not at all
Studies have shown that even alcohol can have negative impacts on the immune system. While moderate amounts of alcohol have not been proven to have many health hazards, excessive alcohol can be dangerous and detrimental to your health. What many people may not realize is that even as little as 8-15 drinks a week is considered excessive.
Many people may not consider the effects of mental health on the immune system. However, stress can be especially damaging. Stress can weaken the immune system, leaving you more prone to illness.
More time in the sun
One of the best ways to protect the immune system is with vitamin D. It is no secret that spending time outdoors in the sunshine for a few hours each can brighten your mood. Time in the sun can also have a positive impact on your physical health. This is because our bodies absorb vitamin D from the sun. Dietary supplements are also available if you are unable to spend enough time outdoors or even if you have a difficult time absorbing vitamin D from the sun.
Wash your hands
According to the CDC, washing your hands regularly can help you avoid getting sick while also limiting the spread of germs to others. This is another one of the ways to protect your immune system. Your hands should be washed for at least 20-30 seconds. Always wash your hands after using the restroom, handling raw meat, touching doorknobs and handrails, going to the grocery store, and even after touching your face. Doing so can help protect your health and the health of those around you. You should especially be careful around young children. The top killers for young children are diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which could largely be avoided with proper handwashing.
Get enough sleep
The amount of sleep we get each night can have a big impact on our health. Our bodies need proper amounts of sleep in order to function properly. Check out our article, “Nothing Beats a Goodnight’s Sleep“, for more information on the importance of sleep.
Antioxidants for Your Skin
Almost everyone wants clear, glowing skin. There are hundreds of products available for your skin to prove it. However, some products can cause more damage to your skin than good. Here is what you need to know about antioxidants for your skin.
Retinoids, otherwise known as vitamin A, have been known to help reduce premature wrinkles. Studies have been done over the years to even prove this. Experts have discovered that this antioxidant can help fade actinic keratosis spots. It can also even skin pigmentation and speed the turnover of skin cells. Pretty amazing. It can do all of this by increasing the production of collagen and blood vessels in the body. Results will not be immediate when you use products with this antioxidant. However, with use over time, the overall health and appearance of your skin should improve. One thing to be aware of, however, is that it can dry out or irritate your skin. Limiting its use to only every other day and wearing sunscreen will give your skin the best results.
This antioxidant has been known to protect the skin against ultraviolet radiation damage and stress. It is found in grapes and some berries. However, you would need to eat quite a lot to receive all the benefits of this antioxidant. Luckily, there are products available, like face creams, that have this antioxidant in them.
Related: 7 Cold Weather Skincare Tips
Vitamin C is listed under a few different names on skin products. Some of these names include ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. This vitamin has been researched many times and has been deemed one of the most potent antioxidants for your skin. This powerful vitamin helps prevent wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin tones, and even skin dullness. It does this by firming and brightening the skin by hydrating it. Luckily, vitamin C is also a water-soluble vitamin. This means that your body will remove any excess that it does not need. You can find vitamin C in foods like oranges. However, certain skin products can offer a more concentrated dosage to either drink or apply to your skin.
Check out: Skin Rescue + Renew
Niacin is an antioxidant that is a B vitamin. Another name for it is vitamin B-3. Many people get enough of this vitamin from the food they eat, however, there are other ways to make sure your body gets it. Some foods that are rich in niacin include milk, meat, grains, tortillas, and more. If your body is unable to make enough of this antioxidant, you can also talk to your doctor about other ways to get enough of it. Just be aware that it can have dangerous side effects when taken with alcohol, certain prescription drugs, and vitamin supplements.
Related: Benefits of a Collagen Supplement
Tips for Keeping Your Produce Fresh
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to eating healthy is keeping your produce fresh until your next shopping trip. A lot of money and good food is wasted when it goes bad before the end of the week. Here are some tips for keeping your produce fresh.
How to store fruits and veggies
Most refrigerators have a crisper drawer that is designed to help keep fruits and vegetables fresh. These drawers have a higher level of humidity than the rest of the fridge. This is due to the way the drawer is built with vents. Most fridges, depending on when it was made, also have humidity controls for the vents on the drawers. When it comes to fruits like apples, avocados, pears, and other melons, you should keep the humidity low. High humidity can cause them to ripen and go bad too quickly. However, most vegetables and berries should be stored in a crisper drawer at high humidity.
However, not all produce belongs in the refrigerator. Different types of root vegetables and squash should be kept outside the fridge. This includes things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, yams, garlic, etc. Instead, these need to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place outside the fridge. This can include a cupboard, a pantry, or even a root cellar.
Related: Healthy Alternatives for Your Meals
How to store leafy greens
Leafy greens include things like lettuce, spinach, and cabbage. With proper care and storage, these leafy greens should last a week or longer. Unlike fruit, leafy greens need to be sealed in a cool, dark place like the refrigerator. Many people seal them in plastic bags, but they also can be stored in glass containers and cloth bags. Before placing them in a sealed bag or container, rinse them thoroughly and wrap them in a paper towel or cloth. Rinsing them will also help to remove bacteria like E. coli that lives in the soil stuck to the surface of the greens. Even if they are prewashed, rinsing them again in cold water can help clean and make them crisp before storage.
When storing leafy greens in a crisper drawer, they should be kept in a high humidity setting. When filling these drawers, it is important to make sure that they are also not too full or too empty. The ideal crisper drawer will be about 2/3rds full. When too much is packed into one drawer, the produce becomes squished. This is especially harmful to leafy greens that can become wilted when squished.
Following these tips for keeping your produce fresh will help extend their lives for healthier eating. To help supplement your daily vitamins and minerals, a liquid multivitamin can be taken daily as well. Getting the proper amount of nutrients each day will help you to live a happy and healthy life.
7 Cold Weather Skincare Tips
It’s no coincidence that colder temperatures bring with them dry skin, irritation, and break outs. The science behind winter dryness has to do with the density of water molecules in cold air versus warm air. Cold air has a lower density of water molecules, meaning there is less dew in the air replenishing the moisture in the upper layers of your skin. This lack of moisture has wide-ranging effects on your health, and your skin especially. By trying these 7 cold weather skincare tips, you can beat the dry-skin blues and have dewy, healthy skin all year round!
Use a Humidifier
To combat the lack of moisture in the air directly, make your first line of defense a humidifier! Simply heating cold air will not replenish the moisture in the air—you have to do it yourself. Humidifiers work by releasing water vapor to increase moisture levels. Using a humidifier can positively impact more than just your skin—it can also be used to treat respiratory problems like bronchitis, sinus issues, and nosebleeds.
Some things to consider: Overusing your humidifier can cause problems, particularly if you are not cleaning and maintaining it well. According to the Mayo Clinic, if it is not cared for properly humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria that are released into the air, potentially aggravating allergies and asthma. Additionally, if humidity is too high in your home, it can cause condensation on the walls and floors, triggering further growth of bacteria that again, might aggravate respiratory problems.
If you’re unsure about the use of humidifiers, check out this article about how house plants can act as natural humidifiers!
Turn Down the Heat
There’s nothing quite as nice as coming into a warm house after being out in the cold, just take it from literally any rendition of the song Baby It’s Cold Outside. Did you know, however, that cranking up the heat is drying out your skin even more? Indoor heating sucks moisture out of the already dry winter air, drying out your mucous membranes leaving you susceptible to dry lips, noses, and throats. Instead of turning up the heat all the way, keep it at a lower temperature—try 69-72 degrees. Turn on the humidifier and cozy up in a soft sweater or blanket if you’re feeling cold. This simple step will help out both your skin and your heating bill!
Adjust Your Shower
It can be tempting, during the cold months, to sit in a steamy, hot shower and to forget that it’s frozen outside. As nice as it might be, your personal sauna time could be sabotaging the glowing skin you want. The next time you shower, lower your water temperature to warm instead of hot and keep your shower time to 5-10 minutes. Long exposure to hot water will strip away your skin’s natural oily barrier, leaving it extra vulnerable to the harsh effects of the cold and wind.
Use Gentle Skincare Products
Avoid products with perfumes or harsh soaps—instead reach for moisturizing cleansers that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Limit your use of exfoliants, that can aggravate already sensitive dry, flaking skin. Refrain from using products with drying effects like astringents and products with alcohol. Perfumes, fragrances and toners often contain alcohol because it helps the products to dry quickly, but the benefit of their dry-time can be detrimental to your already dry skin.
You might also consider adding a supplement to your regimen to promote the health of your skin from the inside. Try our Skin Rescue & Renew vitamin supplement to help maintain skin hydration and to fight the effects of aging!
Swap Lotions for Creams and Ointments
If you’re like me, your typical winter skincare regimen starts and ends with lotion application. Lotions are meant to replenish and lock moisture into your skin, and during warmer months they do a great job! During the colder months, however, dermatologists recommend switching out your lotion for a heavier-duty cream or ointment. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests looking for products that contain some of the following nourishing ingredients:
- Oils (ex. Olive oil or jojoba oil)
- Shea Butter
- Lactic Acid
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Mineral Oil
Use Sunscreen Every Day
Sunburns and sunscreen are for hot days spent on the trail, at the beach, or on the lake, right? Wrong! Sun damage can occur at any time during the year, including on rainy or cloudy days, whether you’re directly in the sun or being exposed through windows. Dermatologists recommend that everyone wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day of the year, regardless of season or weather conditions.
Wear Soft Fabrics
Dressing for the cold means bundling up with layers of clothing and heavy, sometimes scratchy fabrics. While it is important to stay warm and to protect your skin from the harsh temperatures, it is also important to make sure you choose fabrics that don’t irritate the skin. Fabrics like wool are fibrous and can be itchy, undermining the work you’ve done to protect your skin from irritation and dryness. If you’re going to wear a potentially irritating fabric, layer softer, breathable, more gentle fabrics beneath to act as a buffer. Natural fibers like cotton will help keep your skin healthy and glowing all year long!
Guide to Breaking Bad Habits
Everyone has habits, whether good or bad. Many people focus on forming new habits like exercising and reading. However, to form new habits, old habits may need to be broken. Here is your guide to breaking bad habits. With hard work and determination, you can break your bad habits and focus on ways to live healthier and happier.
How bad habits are formed
Many bad habits are formed by chemicals in the brain. Things like smoking, drinking, texting, or scrolling through social media all trigger endorphins that make us feel happy for the moment. Even eating processed foods like fast food, soda, and pastries have this same effect. The problem, however, is that the feelings are temporary. You may feel happy at the moment because it feels or tastes good. However, once you have finished eating, drinking, smoking, etc. the negative effects can be felt as well. Almost every bad habit also has a trigger. Whether it is money, stress, and emotions, being around certain people, etc., you need to discover what these triggers are.
Don’t set yourself up for failure
If you have a bad habit that you want to break, you need to start small. Trying to tackle too much at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed. This can quickly lead to you losing the motivation you once had to break your bad habit. One way to avoid this is to break your goal up into smaller goals. These goals should be ones that you know you cannot fail. It can even be as simple as just getting a small soda instead of a large with each lunch. Your goals can even be smaller or larger than this goal. The key is to know yourself and know what you are capable of. These goals may seem small compared to your long-term goal. However, each small goal accomplished leads you closer to your big goal.
To some, these little daily goals may seem pointless, but doing them will still leave you closer to breaking your bad habit than you would have been otherwise. Another way to help break your bad habits is to get things ready beforehand. Set a timer for yourself before logging into social media. Lay exercise clothes out or something for another activity to remind you to stay off the T.V. Another helpful tactic is to get clothes and lunches ready the night before to prevent you from running late to work once again. These are great ways to help yourself do what you need to do to break these habits and split up the work.
Related: Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise
The last tip in our guide to breaking bad habits is to reward yourself. Like mentioned earlier, a lot of bad habits like fast food and smoking, have their way of rewarding the mind. This can make it difficult to stay away from these things when it does not feel quite so rewarding. One way to help is to find other ways to reward yourself when you have accomplished your goals. Take a fun cooking class once you have cut out processed food or go see a movie with friends after limiting your T.V. time for a month. Whatever your goals, take the time to create a plan and dedicate yourself to executing it. The rewards are endless and far outweigh the effects of bad habits.
Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise
February is the month that many people begin to start slacking off on their New Year’s resolutions. Life gets busy and people lose motivation. Almost every year the most common thing many people want to improve is fitness. Many people might wonder, how do I stay motivated? Here are some tips for staying motivated to exercise. Maybe you will beat the odds and continue striving towards your fitness goals past February.
Why it is important
First off, let’s talk about why exercise is important. As time has gone on, exercise and physical activity have become less common in the world. This is mostly due to the increase in technology. Nowadays, most people spend their time sitting in chairs at desks or on a couch. While technology is incredible and has made some great things possible, it also has its disadvantages. Elevators have replaced stairs, among other things. While there have been many medical advancements, exercise has been deemed one of the best preventative measures we can take for our health.
Start with small goals
One of the best tips for staying motivated to exercise is to start small. People are easily overwhelmed when they have a huge goal in front of them that they are so far from accomplishing. Instead, break your goal up into smaller goals. Don’t focus so much on the 40 pounds you are trying to lose or the six-pack. Focus on getting in a 15-minute walk every day for a week or a month. Once you start checking these little goals off your list, you will eventually end up with this big goal you have accomplished.
Make it a competition
One thing that motivates people is competition. People are usually willing to work harder when they know they are competing against others. You can even include prizes! This can either be bragging rights or a fun prize everyone pitched in for. Just remember to keep it friendly.
Exercise with friends
Exercising with friends is another great way to stay motivated to exercise. It is harder to slack off when you have someone else holding you accountable. Sometimes exercise can get boring after a while. However, having a friend to exercise with can also make it more fun and exciting.
If you do not have a group to exercise or compete with, you can compete with yourself. Is there something you have been wanting like a new pair of shoes or a fun trip? Work for it! Write down your goals and the rewards you are working towards and give yourself a time frame. If you can accomplish your goals, then reward yourself with the prize you recorded. If you do not, re-evaluate, set new goals, and work towards that reward.
In the end, it really all depends on what works for you and motivates you to keep exercising. While some people may thrive off competition or working-out with friends, others may feel discouraged. Especially if they are not seeing the same results. Exercise at your own pace, but be sure to stick to it and don’t give up. You’ve got this!