Posts Tagged 'beauty'

Getting Rid of Panda Eyes! How to Deal With the Dark Circles and the Eyebags?

eyebagsThere is nothing of a surprise to see dark puffy circles around the eyes after a couple of sleepless nights, but what if you see them each morning even after 8-10 hour sleep? What causes the eyebags and dark circles to appear and what are the measures to get rid of them?

The eyebags may appear when your body starts retaining moisture, – it may occur due to kidney malfunction, large amount of salt taken daily with food, some diseases. The eyebags may also be a sign of an allergy, stress, the lack of sleep or side effect for a congested nose. If you start noticing that you are having the eyebags without any obvious reason, it is better to see a doctor and find out the cause for this.

The dark circles around the eyes may be caused by a thin undereye skin that lets vessels to be well visible, bad blood circulation, poorly balanced nutrition, aging, some diseases accompanied with itching, like eczema or allergies (rubbing or scratching the eyes may damage the skin and underlying vessels).

Good Night, Honey

If you need some quick solution for a better look, try putting cucumber or raw potato slices or cold teabags (just plain black tea, nothing flavored or colored) on your eyes so that they overlap the undereye area, keep them for about 45 minutes and then rinse the eyes with the lukewarm water. 

Avoid drinking much coffee and tea, cut down energy drinks and alcohol, every time you’d love to make tea, have a glass of water instead (lemon allowed). Try not to drink anything for an hour’s time before going for bed and sleep with you head slightly upwards to avoid retention of moisture and “baggy” look in the morning. 

Gently remove all the make-up every evening, so that no particles of mascara get into your eyes. Make sure that this “puffiness” is not an allergic reaction to your newly bought eye-shadows or mascara, if so, don’t hope for “eyes’d get accustomed and everything’d be OK”, as it won’t. Get rid of the product that causes allergy right away and next time either try pricey products before buying them or buy something that you’d be ready to throw away with no regret.  

In order to lighten the dark circles and considerably brighten the skin around the eyes you can massage almond oil mixed with honey before going to bed.

Good Morning, Dear

You may start each morning with a light minute-long massage of the problem area with an ice cube made of water or green/chamomile tea.

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Skin PHacts – Know What The PH Is

Have always been curious what all this chatter about PH balance is about. Have forgotten my chemistry classes long ago and called to my friend, who himself is a doctor, to fish out some facts from him… There is nothing too complicated, really, but still interesting… Here is what I’ve “caught” from the discussion…

PH (potential of hydrogen) is a system, with the scale from 1 to 14, to measure the strength of acids and basis. Water, as a neutral element, takes the middle point of the scale, with the PH number of 7. Everything that is above 7 is categorized as a basis, below – as an acid. The farther the PH number of any substance is from the middle point of the scale, the stronger base/acid it is.

Human skin at birth is neutral (PH7) and then quickly becomes more acidic to resist outside bacteria. At puberty, when human organism is undergoing hormonal changes accompanied with the increased activity of sebaceous and eccrine glands, a thin protective layer, called the “acid mantle” (with the PH in between 4 and 5.5) is getting formed on the surface of the skin.

Acid mantle is a mixture of sweat and sebum (secreted by oil glands of the skin to keep it waterproof and protected from penetration of the environmental irritants) and is mildly acidic to help control the growth of bacteria living on the surface of the skin.

Not all the bacteria are harmful to the skin, some of them naturally associate with skin, help in protecting it from the incoming pathogens and keep its PH balance slightly acidic. These bacteria are referred to as the microflora.

Hint: The bacterium (Propionibacterium acnes) known to be the reason for developing acne – is a resident bacterium that can be found in any person, but on the skin of acne-prone people its amount is greatly increased. The natural solution to prevent bacteria growth (and thus avoid developing acne) is to keep the PH balance of the skin at PH5.5.

With the ageing, the skin’s acid mantle gets thinner as the body’s oil and sweating glands start working worse. As a result, the acidity is reduced and the skin is getting closer to neutral PH again, it makes the skin more susceptible to bacteria and infections and leads to development of various skin problems and diseases.

Note: Most soaps have PH in between 9 and 11 that means they are highly alkaline; it means that they remove acid mantle, kill the natural microflora of your skin and you need the PH balance of your skin to be restored after using them.

Hint: You are able to detect the PH level of any skin care product at home by using simple lacmus paper. Blue litmus paper turns red when dipped into an acid, red litmus paper turns blue when dipped into a base. Color changes: pH 4.3(red) to 6.8 (blue-violet) to 8.1(blue).

Still Moisturizing, Huh?

Every time I come to a beauty store to add to my decorative makeup supplies, I pass numerous shelves with different skin care products – there are scrubs, cleansers, cleansing milks, lotions, crèmes, and make-up removers. There are products for dry and for oily skin, products needed to be applied in the morning and those to be put on before going to bed. Nourishing and Moisturizing, with Vitamins and Minerals. They all promise to make me 10 years younger and 10 times prettier. The more they promise, the more I become skeptical.

I believe in simple things.

I believe in nature that is smarter than all of us and has its own ways. Any organism naturally knows how to be healthy, but when it gets out of balance again and again, it forgets about this ability, it forgets about how it can get back to its normal state.

When we sit most of time, we have our legs thin and weak, with muscles unable to carry the body’s weight. When we don’t use the resources of our body – we lose them. The more we allow different “goodies” to do the work for us, the more we perform such substitutions, the weaker we become finally.

When you are unable to walk, you need to use crutches to restore the muscles, but with the muscles getting back to shape, you should leave crutches to let your body work. The same is with the skin. To my mind all it needs is – some help in getting back to its natural balance (when it cares of itself by itself), and then – some additional help in keeping this balance in place. That is all.

Majority of lotions deal only with the symptoms, not reasons for the skin’s problems, they never let the skin work. When put on, they start to take over some of the skin’s functions; by doing this they lead you to being “addicted” to the lotion. Your skin looks OK while you use the lotion and becomes even worse (than it initially was) as soon as you stop applying it daily. It means the skin has stopped functioning the way it should.

It means it is high time to remind the skin about its duties.

“Here Comes the Sun…”

As summer time draws near many of us are planning vacation days spent on sun-drenched beaches.  There will be innumerable beautiful women with their skin tanned from light gold to dark chocolate and me… in shades of red.

Noble white skin, as it was considered in centuries past, makes me feel like a stranger where sun worshipers frequent. So, I only try and go outdoors early in the morning, before 10 AM, and later in the afternoon, after 3 PM, when the sun is not so “harsh” on my skin. But I was not completely sure that the excessive sun wouldn’t be as bad for my body as the lack of it. So it decided to further research the subject.

Pros & Cons of the Sunbathing

tan and hatWhat is Positive: natural sunlight is vitally important for your health, as your skin produces Vitamin D in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation (it is the best and most reliable way to produce enough of Vitamin D, as there is no diet containing adequate amounts of this vitamin). The lack of Vitamin D in your body prevents calcium absorption, it is harmful for your bones and may cause osteoporosis. Vitamin D deficiency may also be among reasons for such diseases as psoriasis, some types of cancer and even diabetes.
While it is absolutely impossible to generate too much Vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure (your body self-regulates its production and only generates as much vitamin as necessary), excessive sunbathing may result in sunburn, which is extremely harmful for the skin that leads us to…

What Is Negative: Sunburned skin resulting from ultraviolet radiation causes damage of collagen fibers along with accumulation of abnormal elastin, that makes the skin look older than its years. Besides premature skin aging, sunburns may provoke skin cancer and the entire host of various skin disorders.

In Summary: In order to have your skin healthy, you should get adequate amount of Vitamin D (naturally produced by your body) keeping in mind that every excessive exposure (to heat, cold, wind or sun) is harmful to the skin, and as a result – to your overall health. It is highly recommended to restrict the exposure to hours when the sun is not too bright. In case you can’t avoid being outdoors between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM when the UVB radiation is of the highest intensity, you should wear wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts in order to protect your skin from sunburns.

“Beauty Is Only Skin Deep…”

The first thing I see every morning – is my face in the mirror. Sometimes it looks fresh, young, with healthy vibrant skin, but there are times, it looks old and tired. I’m quite a curious person, you know. This has caused me find some simple tips on how to keep my skin good-looking. Some simple things to share with you:

  1. Rest – you should sleep for no less than 8 hours a night (for children it is 10 hours ). It is better to go to bed early, by 9 PM, as many experts agree that every hour of sleep before midnight is as valuable as two hours after midnight. Make sure that the room you sleep in is aired well (remember that your skin loves oxygen). Regarding your bedroom – it is better to have cool air as opposed to warm and darkness to light. This allows you to rest better.
  2. Clean Face – gently remove your make-up and be sure to go to bed with your face “clean”. Wash your face with lukewarm water (never hot!), do not rub or tug your skin while washing.
  3. Go Natural – make some natural nourishing mask (there are plenty of mask recipes on the web, I will find and post the simpler ones in the next post). You may apply some yoghurt, honey or several pieces of cucumber or just smear your face with a piece of strawberry, banana or avocado and leave it there for some time. This has worked well for many – some of our moms and grannies will vouch for these skin treatments. Use natural lotions to care for the skin. When you check the list of ingredients you should keep in mind that some of the best botanicals for the skin are: aloe vera, comfrey, calendula and chamomile.
  4. Fresh Air and Exercise – toned bodies have better blood circulation, increased metabolism and burn more fat than a body of a sedentary lifestyle. The effect is that your skin is better supplied with oxygen and all nutrition to help keep the skin supple and resilient.
  5. Moisture – both inside and outside the body – You should drink at least half of gallon (8 – 8 oz glasses) of water daily to keep your entire body hydrated (not tea, not coffee, not juice – just pure, fresh, sugar-free water). Remember that dry, unhealthy-looking skin is a reflection of some disorder of the organs or other systems.
  6. Alcohol and Tobacco – absolutely NOT!
  7. Food/Drink – your diet should be well-balanced. It should include:
  • Red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, which contain much beta-carotene (antioxidants)
  • Vegetables, which are rich with sulfur, such as garlic, onions and asparagus (for skin smoothness)
  • Grains, seeds, and nuts
  • Milk cheese, natural plain yogurt, kefir
  • Vegetable oils that are cold-pressed, unrefined (Avoid cooking on such oils as they may become carcinogenic when heated)
  • Avoid junky food, animal fats, cooking on cold-pressed vegetable oils (try to avoid everything that is fried), sugar, chocolate, coffee, strong black tea.