Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Know Your Sunscreen

Protecting yourself from UVA and UVB rays is extremely important, especially now that its warm out and most people are going to be spending a ton of time outside. If you do not use sunscreen it will lead to premature aging, skin spots, and possibly even skin cancer. Here are some things you need to know and some products with SPF in them that you may want to try.

1. Never Skip. Put applying sunscreen into your daily routine. Whether it is actual sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF in it, be sure to apply it every day. Any time you forget, that is aging your skin by creating fine lines and wrinkles. 

2. SPF 30. Every day before you leave, make sure you apply an SPF of 30. That is the daily recommendation by the American Academy of Dermatology. Use a nickel sized amount for your face, so you get optimal coverage. Most people tend to use less then that.  

3. Chemical & Physical. There are 2 different types of sunscreens chemical and physical. Chemical absorbs into your skin, which can take up to 30mins to fully soak in. This one is great to apply at work on your break so your skin has time to fully soak it in. Physical immediately starts protecting your skin as soon as it is applied. This is great if you are at the beach or outdoors and need to reapply. You should apply sunscreen when outdoors every 2 hours.

4. Nothing Is Completely Water Proof. Even if you use waterproof sunscreen, it doesn't last. Once you are out of the water, you should put it on again. Even if you are just running errands, the sunscreen can sweat off. Apply every 2 hours.

5. Roll on SPF. They make a balm or roll on SPF that is great for applying to your face, ears, neck and lips. This are areas that you might not think about burning but they do, and it hurts.

6. Spray Sunscreen. The spray versions are a quick and easy way to apply sunscreen. Make sure you rub it in and spray every where. When you don't rub it in properly, it can lead to a disaster.

7. BB or CC cream. BB and CC creams are tinted foundations that you apply to your face and neck. They also have moisturizer and SPF in them. This is great if you are going to an outdoor event. They give even coverage, and a smooth, even skin tone. 

Be sure to always protect your skin from the sun, don't forget your SPF.


Friday, May 20, 2016

How You Are Accidentally Damaging Your Hair

For most people, their hair is everything to them. You cannot fathom the thought of something happening to it. Did you know there are every day things you could be doing to hurt your hair? Well there are! Here are some things you are doing to damage your hair and how you can fix it.

1. Sleeping With Wet Hair.
Your hair is the most fragile when wet. When you go to sleep with wet hair, the tossing and turning through out the night can cause breakage. To prevent this you can shower earlier in the evening about two hours or more before you go to bed so your hair can air dry mostly. Another option is investing in a satin pillow case. Satin pillow cases are smoother so they minimize friction. 

2. Blow-drying Your Hair When Its Soaking Wet. 
When you blow-dry your hair when its completely wet without towel drying it or putting any products into it you are allowing the heat to constantly be on your hair. This in return will cause the hair to be dryer, more frizzy and you will get more split ends. When you 1st get out of the shower, ring your hair out so you get rid of as much excess water as possible, then brush your hair through. You can put it in a towel for a few minutes to ring out more water before applying your products. You should apply a serum for frizz and that has a heat protector in it. It is also good to apply a leave in treatment at this time. Then rough dry your hair about 75-80% of the way before round brushing. It will keep your arms from tiring out easily.

3. Over Flat Ironing.
When you flat iron your hair make sure it is 100% dry. Then apply a heat protecting serum of spray to your hair other wise you are going to damage your hair. Then straighten, never more than 7-10 times per a section, especially if you have it on high heat, you do not want to burn your hair off.

4. Brushing From The Top To The Bottom.
Knots start at the bottom of your hair, so when you brush your hair from top to bottom, you are just ripping at the knots or you could be making them bigger. If your hair gets knotty easily, then try spraying a leave-in conditioner on your hair to help the brush get through easier. Start at the bottom and work your way up the hair shaft. Once you have all the knots out, you will be able to brush your hair from scalp to ends.

5. Wearing Hair Up All The Time.
Wearing your hair up can put a lot of strain on the hair strands. It causes tension in the hair which can lead to breakage, especially in the crown and around the hair line. If you have noticed some thinning in that area, it could be from wearing your hair up and so tight. Try wearing your hair down more or if you do put it up, add a little oil to loosen the strands up and do not wear your hair so tight.

6. Over Doing The Dry Shampoo.
I am sure some of you are HUGE fans of dry shampoo just like I am. I live with it in my hair. The only problem with it is that you can't constantly use it every day. It will clog up the hair follicles on your head and dull your hair color. So if your about to go on day 3 of using dry shampoo, it is probably time to wash it with shampoo and conditioner. Your hair and scalp will thank you.

7. Using The Wrong Conditioner. 
Don't get me wrong, your hair needs conditioner especially if you over color your hair. But your hair may be getting too much protein. Putting protein in your hair is great, but over time too much can damage your hair. Try to avoid using the ones that say strengthening and switch to the moisturizing ones. 

When using shampoo, conditioner, and hair products please avoid buying them from a drug store or grocery store. These products are not always what they say they are. It is best to use what your hair stylist recommends for you and purchase it from them. When you use the right stuff, you will actually not have to use as much as you would if you use the wrong stuff. Pay the extra money. Believe me, its well worth it, and your hair will thank you.


MSN Article: 8 Ways You Are Accidentally Damaging Your Hair
from PureWow

Friday, May 6, 2016

Losing Weight & Keeping It Off

Losing weight is about a mindset and a plan. You have to want it to happen and be logical about the outcome. This is a complete lifestyle change, and not just a diet. Diet's are temporary solutions, and changing your lifestyle is a long term solution. This lifestyle change does not just happen over night. Here are some tips to help you get started on the weight loss journey and get you to help keep the weight off long term.

1. Avoid Cleanses. Cleanses reduce your muscle mass, and slow down your metabolism which will cause you to regain the weight after the cleanse. 

2. Don't Over Cut Calories. Cutting calories is a good thing but not when you cut too much. If you cut calories too low you will slow down your metabolism which will effect your body's ability to gain muscle and burn fat. Your body will essentially go into starvation mode and try to store any calories you intake. Talk to your doctor or a dietitian about getting the right amount of calories daily for your age and height. 


3. Cook At Home. Cooking at home allows you to be in complete charge about what you are putting in your body. You can read labels, measure out portions, and know exactly what you are eating. Eating at restaurants, will just give you lots of foods that are processed, prepackaged, and high in sodium. Eating at home will also help you save money in the long run. 

4. Drink Tea. Tea is a great for your body, as long as its not full of sugar. Try drinking green, black or white tea. These are full of antioxidants and help to increase fat burning.


5. Eat Healthy Fats & Proteins. This was something I did not know. You are supposed to eat half your body weight in grams of protein a day. So that's 50 grams for every 100 pounds, and I can guarantee that most people do not reach that in a day. Eating this will help keep your metabolism up and helps you to maintain healthy muscle. Also try to eat lots of non starchy veggies as snacks like celery, broccoli and carrots.

6. Avoid Over Eating. People eat for all sorts of reasons and not always because your hungry. People turn to food as a comfort if they are stressed, depressed, happy, tired or even bored. Stop and ask yourself if you are actually hungry before you go to eat. If you are not, try to channel that feeling by doing something else. You can go to the gym or for a walk, or even pick up a hobby to keep your brain occupied so you do not reach for food.

7.  When Eating Out Plan Ahead. Look at the menu for the place you are going, and chose healthier options (unless this is your cheat day/meal then enjoy a little something.) Chose something baked or grilled vs fried. Avoid red meats, sauces, pastas and ask for dressings on the side. Asking for dressing on the side allows you to be in control of how much you are putting on, and so you are not just eating empty calories.

8. Eat Fruits & Starchy Veggies For Carbs. When eating carbs, always go for the healthier carb vs eating white bread and pasta. Veggies and fruit have lower calories, and are better for you because they don't have all the fillers. Pair it with a protein so you avoid blood sugar spikes, because blood sugar spikes increase fat storage and nobody wants that.


9. Reduce Salt. I am not saying to completely cut out salt because your body does need it but switch to low sodium options. Most people take in more than 2,500mg of sodium a day! Avoid prepackaged foods because that is where most of the sodium comes from. Having to much sodium increases water retention.

10. Handle Cravings. To handle your cravings, you do not have to completely cut out things you want. You can reduce the amount you have so it one or two fun size chocolate bars instead of a regular sized bar. You can also try to find a healthier alternative that tastes just as good and hits the spot.


11. Avoid Alcohol (As Much As Possible). Not only is it loaded with carbs and sugar, it is also a depressant. It can alter your mood and slow down your motivation. It is also an appetite inducer to some people, so you end up eating empty calories. If you must drink, drop down the amount. Go from a day to one every other day or to just the weekends. You will notice a difference in yourself and your kidney's will thank you.

12. Walk. Walking is a easy exercise that allows you to relax and clear your head. If you are not very active, start by going on a 10 minute walk 2-3 times a week the slowly increase the time and/or the number of days a week you go.

13. Avoid Skipping Meals. I know this from experience, do not skip meals. Skipping breakfast especially slows down your metabolism for the entire day and makes you eat more at night. By having 3 basic meals a day in slightly smaller portions and a few healthy snacks throughout the day, you will notice a difference in your energy levels and you will eat less in each sitting.

14. Resistance Training. Doing resistance training helps build muscle and burn fat. Squats, planks, and push-ups are all exercises that can be done. 

15. Portion Control. Allow yourself to have foods you would normally eat, but cut 1/4 of the serving. Less calories and you still are allowing yourself to eat something you want.

16. Journal. Keep a journal or food diary of everything you eat for that day and the exercise you do. You can do this by writing it down, using one of those fitness watches to monitor movement or download an app to your phone. The apps work great especially paired with one of the fitness watches so you can constantly track your every move.

17. Drink Water. To help maintain a healthy weight, drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day. It helps to keep you hydrated and aid in digestion which in return will help your metabolism increase which helps you lose weight.


18. Buy A Scale & Use It. Weighing yourself is a great motivator and helps you see the results even though you might not see them on your body yet. To get the most accurate readings ever day, step in the scale at the same time every day. Remember your weight can go up a few pounds do to extra sodium the day before or from your period so don't be alarmed if this happens as long as it goes down in a day or two. 


19. Reduce Stress, Increase Sleep. Stress takes a toll on peoples bodies in different ways, some times it is weight gain. Stress can be caused by a lack of sleep, so try to eliminate out all distractions and get 7-8 hours of sleep at night. This will reduce the ghrelin in your system which in return will also stop suppressing the leptin in hormone which causes you to not feel hungry. 

Exercising is important in weight loss but the saying you are what you eat is really true. Healthy lifestyles are primarily 80% food and 20% exercise. So getting your eating under control will help boost your energy, which will make you more active and in return you will start exercising more. Its all a cycle that you have to get on and motivate yourself while doing it. Sometimes its hard to get healthy by yourself, so get your spouse, a parent, a sibling or a friend to do it with you so you can motivate each other. Set goals that are attainable, and celebrate when you get them. Good Luck!


Articles Used:
 The 10 Rules of Weight Loss That Lasts
Shape January/February Issue 2016

MSN Health & Fitness Article (unknown name, cannot find it)