Month: April 2014

7 Deadly Skin Sins ­­­­– And How To Beat Them

 

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Photo from America’s Next Top Model

We’ve talked a lot about do’s and don’ts when it comes to skin care, so I thought it would be a good idea to make a quick and dirty list of the usual suspects that damage your skin and can lead to less than desirable results. The weather is warmer and more skin is showing, avoid these sinful seven, and keep your skin glowing!

1. The Sun: I’ve said it over and over again – there is simply no such thing as a healthy tan. However, most of our sun damage comes from our every day lives, not just trips to the beach. Just because you don’t see a tan line forming, doesn’t mean you’re not taking sun damage. UVA rays that cause fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots don’t cause sunburn, so we don’t always pay attention to the exposure. I suggest wearing a facial moisturizer with SPF 15-30 daily to protect your skin from those damaging rays. UVA rays are active all year long, and unlike UVBs, can penetrate glass. So, if you’re seeing natural light, wear your SPF! Your skin will thank you as the years go by, and all those 10-minute walks outside add up!

2. Dehydration: An adult body is made of up to 60% water. Water is required for many of the natural biological functions that take place in your body at any give time. You simply cannot operate at full capacity if you aren’t properly hydrated, and that includes having healthy skin. Getting enough water means better functioning metabolism, faster clearing of toxins, and all round better health. You should try to get 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim to drink 75 ounces of water a day. It’s also a good idea to eat lots of fruits and vegetables that have high water content as well!

3. Smoking: Smoking causes asphyxiation to your skin. It literally suffocates your skin cells and denies them oxygen, nutrients, and blood flow – causing the skin to appear dull and lifeless. Smoking also produces cancer causing free radicals, and premature wrinkles around the mouth from drawing in. There are a lot of good reasons to quit smoking, and none to start. Talk to your doctor about ways to kick the habit for good if you’re already a smoker. If you’re thinking about starting, please don’t!

4. Lack of Sleep: Your body goes into a natural reparative and restorative phase while you sleep, and that includes healing your skin. You have to give your body a chance to reset and heal from the day, and all of the stresses that are a part of our lives. While sleeping, your body’s production of cancer causing free radicals drops to it’s lowest, and your body can play catch up neutralizing and eliminate them. We all know “You look tired.” isn’t a compliment, so get your beauty rest!

5. Alcohol: A glass of red wine with dinner can be good for you, but like everything, moderation is key. Alcohol dehydrates your body, and it can also exacerbate the problems of sensitive skin. Too much alcohol can also result in a condition known as couperose, where weakened capillaries are unable to return to their normal size once dilated, and the skin retains a permanent pink tinge.

6. Poor Diet: Avoid CRAP: Caffeine, Refined foods, Alcohol and Artificial sweeteners, and Processed foods are not your friends. Everything you eat affects your whole body, from the inside out.  Your skin is your largest organ, and how you nourish it shows.   If you starve, suffocate, or deny its needs long enough your skin could end up looking older, sallow, dull, and even cause medical problems like acne or eczema. For optimal skin health from the inside out, most experts agree a balanced, healthy diet goes a long way.

7. Stress: Stress dehydrates skin. Most of us have probably noticed that we have more skin problems when we are under stress.  This happens because the human body developed its stress management systems back when our stressors were things like being eaten by saber toothed tigers or trampled by wooly mammoths.  Unfortunately, your body can’t tell the difference between a deadline at work or whether you’re about to become dinner for Tigger, but it does know you’re stressed so it assumes your life is being threatened.  When this happens, your body helps you out by going into a “vital organ protection mode,” which means it chooses to re-route hydration and nutrients from some less critical organs to the organs that will keep you alive.  The first organ that gets cut off is your skin. It makes sense; it’s your largest organ, takes up a lot of resources, and unfortunately beautiful glowing skin isn’t on the list of things that keep you breathing. So take a deep breath, and relax.

Hope this little cheat sheet of things to avoid helps you keep your skin in top-notch shape!

As always send any questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com and check out the fan page at www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next Sunday!

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Happy Easter!

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I hope you all had a beautiful and restful Sunday. This week is a rest week for me, as I celebrate Easter with family and friends. I’ll see you all next Sunday!

 

As always please send any questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, check out the Facebook fan page, http://www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty, and follow on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/MegJacobsBlog.

Warm Weather Skincare

Young woman enyoing summer.

Just two weeks ago, as I sat down to write, I looked out the window to huge snowflakes falling. Since then, the sun found its way out of hibernation, flowers bloomed, and many of us began to spend time outdoors! However, looking at my neighbors today, it appears many of us forgot fresh air and sunshine also leads to fresh sunburns. So, with the seasons finally changing, it may be time to make some changes in how you are taking care of your skin! Here are some tips to help you thaw out and enjoy the outdoors without wreaking havoc on your skin.

 

1. Your Sunscreen Has An Expiration Date: That “first time out sunburn” isn’t just because it’s been a while since you’ve been in the sun; it also could be because your sunscreen isn’t working as well as it did a few months ago. Believe it or not, sunscreen has an expiration date—usually about one year from the time you first open it. So, last year’s sunscreen won’t be as effective as you’re expecting for this year. In addition, regardless of when you opened it, your sunscreen expires by the date on the bottle. So go ahead and throw out your old stock, and get a new bottle for fun in the sun in 2014!

2. Don’t Forget Your Lips: Your lips take sun damage too, so don’t forget to put SPF on them as well. There are a lot of lip balms with SPF in them, so just find one you like and apply it before heading out. Otherwise, you might end up looking like this.

sunburned-lips

3. UVB/ UVA SPF Protection: The SPF number on the front of your sunscreen bottle only tells you part of the sunscreen protection story. Believe it or not, SPF number only describes the level of protection from UVB rays, the rays that cause sunburn. You also need protection from UVA rays, which are actually the stronger of the two UV rays. They penetrate all the way down to the dermis, break down collagen and elastin, and cause sunspots and age spots. In other words, UVB rays give you sunburn but UVA rays age your skin—B for burning, A for aging! So, make sure you see “broad spectrum” on the label to ensure you’re protecting yourself from wrinkles and age spots, not just sunburn.

4. Change Your Moisturizer: Did you know that many people can benefit from a change in their skincare routine products the weather changes? During the winter, the humidity levels are usually much lower than the summer months, and things like wind can batter your skin. As a consequence, most people tend to have drier skin during the colder months. However, once it begins to warm up, the same products that were making you feel hydrated during the winter will suddenly become overkill. If you feel like you are suffering from this problem, try a lighter moisturizer—one that feels physically lighter and less viscous to the touch. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel! Also, if your current moisturizer is only SPF 15, consider upping it to SPF 30 because the sun’s rays are more intense during the summer months.

5. Drink More Water: Warmer weather can lead to dehydration fast, so you’ll want to make sure you’re drinking plenty to make up for what your body is losing. The general rule is 1oz of water for every 2 pounds of body weight. So, if you weigh 150lbs, you want to aim for 75oz of water a day. Gatorade, lemonade, Kool-Aid, and flavored water don’t count. The only substitute for water is ice water.

6. Need For Vitamin D is NOT An Excuse To Tan: Yes, you do need vitamin D. No, that’s not permission to “lay out” and get hours of sun damage. Moderation is the key! You only need 10-15 minutes of sun exposure a day to get healthy vitamin D levels.

7. Wear Sunglasses…With UV Protection: Your eyes take a beating from the sun, too. First, if you don’t wear sunglasses, all that squinting can lead to crow’s feet. However, your eyes can suffer from sun damage, too, and believe it or not, you can even get difficult-to-detect and deadly melanomas (a type of skin cancer) on your eyes! So, grab a few pairs you like and keep a pair in your car, your purse, your house, and at work so you’ll always have a pair handy and ready to put on!

 

As always please send any questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com ,check out the Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty, and follow on Twitter www.twitter.com/MegJacobsBlog.

Make sure you check in for a very special collaboration post with The WAKE UP Project!

https://www.facebook.com/Wakeuplivethelifeyoudream

See you next Sunday!

Q & A : Wine, Chocolate, Makeup and more!

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It’s been almost three months since I started this blog journey with you all, and each week I hope I’ve brought you interesting information and maybe a laugh or two. I love what I do, and I hope it shows!

In 3 months this blog has seen over 3000 views, and I have all of you to thank for checking in each week and sharing with friends and family! Thank you for encouraging me to share my passion with the world!

I have never wanted this to be a one-way street, however. I always like to hear from my readers and answer specific questions people have. Truth be told, just like back in school, if someone has a question then a lot of others probably have the same question! So, you’ve been asking me your questions for months, and I’ve decided the best thing to do is to start doing a Q&A the first Sunday of each month to address the most popular questions!

Without further ado, here are this month’s questions, concerns, and in some cases, yes, validations.

Make sure to check out the bonus information at the end!

 

1. Can I use a washcloth to wash my face?

Many people use washcloths to help get their skin extra clean, or provide extra exfoliation, but the trouble is…washcloths just aren’t clean. They collect dust and usually have traces of laundry detergent on them that can irritate your skin. If you’re someone who gets more than one use from your washcloth, you’re basically wiping a bacteria rag across your face. Yeah…won’t be using one tonight, will you? On top of all that, even the softest-feeling wash clothes pull at the skin, leave microtears, and can cause inflammation— all of which leads to rapid aging. So just use your hands. They are softer, cleaner (you just put cleanser on them right?), and always available.

 

2. What foods cause breakouts?

None. Next….

Seriously, there is not one single food that absolutely causes breakouts in everyone. Often, foods like chocolate get accused of causing breakouts, but they tend to be consumed when we are stressed or during holidays when we may not be eating well as a whole. The overall health of you body and stress levels are really the things to blame for the breakout, not the chocolate.

Now, if you have sensitivity to a particular food, yes it can cause breakouts. Food sensitivities range from the usual suspects like gluten and dairy, as well as shocking culprits like chicken or spinach. So you have to listen to your body. If every single time you eat a particular item you break out, please stop eating that item. And if you’re really concerned there might be a connection between breaking out and a particular food, start tracking your meals and see if they match up with your breakouts!

 

3. My makeup has SPF, so why do I have to have a moisturizer with SPF, too?

Because you’re probably a normal person who doesn’t put your makeup on your ears, down your neck, behind your neck, and on your décolletage (google it). You need SPF in all of those places, not just your face. The other problem is that makeup doesn’t really get absorbed into your skin and has a tendency to wear thin in the places you need SPF most, like your nose and tops of your cheeks.

 

4. I use a tinted moisturizer/BB Cream/CC Cream as my daytime moisturizer, is that ok?

 

Nope. Sorry. No matter how it’s packaged or advertised it’s still makeup and won’t give you the protection a moisturizer will. However, I strongly prefer using these products to other types of facial makeup, so you’re doing great there!

 

5. I LOVE wine, please tell me it’s good for me?

Yes, red wine really is! It’s full of antioxidants that neutralize damaging free radicals, which play a large role in aging and disease. Red wine also contains polyphenols, which protect the skin from UV light damage and help keep it elastic. Polyphenols also strengthen the cross-linking of collagen, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Red wine drinkers also have fewer incidents of cancer lesions. One glass at night can be one of the best things for anti-aging and even overall health. Can’t drink alcohol? You can also gain these benefits from grapeseed oil scrubs made from red wine grapes and their seeds. You can get antioxidant benefits from eating blueberries, pomegranates, and YES….dark chocolate!

 

6. Did you just say chocolate is good for my skin too!?

Yes, dark chocolate that is. Dark chocolate is chock full of flavonoids that protect skin from UV light as well as the antioxidant properties we talked about with wine. However, it is high in calories so try to keep it under 3 ounces of dark chocolate per day for benefits without the less desirable side effects.

 

Bonus: Red Wine and Dark Chocolate At Home Facial Directions

Red wine and dark chocolate can provide excellent benefits topically as well, so if you’re feeling extra fancy, here is a recipe and directions for a DIY chocolate and wine facial mask.

Mask Ingredients:

1/2 cup of yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of honey

3 tablespoons of red wine, any red wine is fine

1 tablespoon of raw cacao.

Small bowl and a spoon to mix everything together.

Mix all ingredients together into a smooth creamy mask

 

Instructions:

1. Cleanse your skin and pat dry

2. Apply mask evenly on face. You’ll want it to be fairly thick.

3. Leave on for about 15 minutes

3. Rise the mask off thoroughly with lukewarm water.

4. Pat skin dry

5. Apply your favorite eye cream and moisturizer

You can repeat this as often as once a week! Enjoy!

 

Thank you again for being part of this exciting journey with me. I love sitting down on Sundays to write, and hearing feedback from all of you!

As always please send any questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com ,check out the Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty, and follow on Twitter www.twitter.com/MegJacobsBlog.

See you next Sunday!