Category: Health

The Truth About Beauty Sleep

Looking better just by sleeping may sound too good to be true, but there’s science to back up the idea that beauty sleep is more than just a myth.

What Happens to Your Skin When You Don’t Sleep Well

When you don’t get enough sleep, or the quality of your sleep suffers, so does your appearance. People who are sleep deprived look more tired, less healthy, and less attractive than those who sleep well. This is apparent in paler skin, droopier eyelids, and redder eyes.

A study from the University Hospitals Case Medical Center found that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of intrinsic aging, diminished skin barrier function, and lower satisfaction with appearance. Women in the study who experienced poor sleep were less able to recover from exposure to ultraviolet light and were overall less happy about their appearance than women who slept well.

How Sleep Helps You Look Beautiful

Getting enough rest helps support a more healthy and beautiful look, particularly when you get enough deep sleep. During deep sleep, your body releases increased growth hormone, which helps repair and rebuild body tissues. It’s during this process that your skin regenerates and refreshes, and stimulates the formation of natural collagen.

During deep sleep, your body ramps up cell production and has a slower breakdown of proteins. During this process, your body works to repair the damage of UV rays, stress, and other things that can age your skin.

Preserving Beauty While Sleeping

Applying beauty products while sleeping gives you the best of both worlds. In recent years, many companies have been putting aloe microbeads into sheets and adding copper flecks to pillowcases. The science of cosmetic bedclothes is still new and unverified but certainly worth checking out – if you can afford it.

  • Aloe Vera Bedclothes. It’s proven that aloe vera is good for the skin. Why not add it to your sheets? Companies have been embedding aloe vera microcapsules into sheets. They don’t release until your weight presses on them. The light layer of aloe vera should give your skin a nice sheen as you slumber.

  • Cooling Pillows and Mattress Toppers. Sleeping is more comfortable at cooler temperatures. Keep your face and body sweat-free by using a cooling pillow and mattress topper.

  • Copper Inflected Pillowcases. Copper claims to reduce crows feet and wrinkles. It is also a natural antibiotic, which may help treat back and face acne. Scientists still haven’t agreed what copper inflected pillowcases can effectively do, but it does sound like a luxurious way to sleep!

*This post was authored byTuck Sleep, a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources.

Self Care Sunday: Eating for your Skin Type

As the saying goes: you are what you eat. If you feel like you’ve tried everything to clear up your skin and you still aren’t seeing the results you want then maybe it’s time to turn towards your diet. We are supremely connected beings and there is a cause and effect for everything within our bodies. Skin care concerns that aren’t being addressed by your skin care regimen could likely stem from a problem with your diet and/or lifestyle. This is an ancient ayurvedic principle that has been fact-checked by modern medicine.

I know green juices/smoothies can seem like a trendy millennial breakfast but they are actually a great way to activate the daily vitamins and minerals that promote healthy skin in any skin type. Continue reading below for more information on which foods can help alleviate or exacerbate certain skin concerns and how to eat right for your skin type.

Acneic Skin Type

Eating low-glycemic foods is the key to keeping your breakouts in check. Berries, grapefruit, leafy greens, and most non-starchy vegetables should be your go-to snacks. Sugars—both processed and the natural variety—are prone to elevate testosterone levels. This leads to the hormonal imbalances that can cause breakouts on the skin.You’ll want to avoid foods containing lots of sugars, alcohol, peanut byproducts, caffeine, dairy, soy, and gluten. Acneic skin types also benefit from being a light drinker. One too many alcoholic drinks can wreak havoc on your skin for up to 28 days in women. Peanuts and peanut byproducts are considered high-androgen foods which are known to exacerbate acne. Dairy, soy, and gluten are known to clog pores and can be especially troubling for those with cystic acne.


Sensitive Skin Type

With sensitive skin types, balancing your diet includes watching what you eat and also what you drink. Spicy foods, foods high in sugars, and too much salt can lead to inflammation and dehydration—the latter which exacerbates sensitive skin. Foods that contain and are naturally high in quercetin and essential fatty acids should be your go to. These ingredients are naturally found in: leafy greens, tomatoes, red onion, buckwheat, peppers, and olive oil. Buckwheat is particularly helpful for sensitivities caused by rosacea. Alcohol and caffeine are not friendly to the sensitive skin type… and, sadly, you’ve got to cut soda too.

Dry Skin Type

If your skin is dry, then you already know hydration is everything. First things first: you want to make sure you are staying hydrated by drinking lots of water. And you’ll also want to keep that hydration going throughout the day by eating hydrating fruits and vegetables. Your go-to snacks should be: citrus fruits, watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries, cucumber, lettuce, and spinach. That’s right. Salads and fruit cups are the way to go for you my dear dry skin type. But you can also have foods high in omega fatty acids like eggs, salmon and walnuts. Drinking in moderation is important for you as too much can throw your skin of its game.

Oily Skin Type

Oily skin types will want to avoid the same foods as the acneic skin types since the triggers for these two skin types is often similar. However, it is suggested that oily skin types eat foods that are high in fiber. Fiber aids in detoxifying the body. To perfect your glow, try eating whole grains, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, beans, tuna, soy, and pumpkin seeds. You’ll also want to take a cue from the dry skin types and hydrate heavily. Getting your proper daily amount of water can also help flush toxins and discourage an overproduction of sebum.

So if you see something on the list that you now know you should avoid, try making and adjustment in your diet and let me know how it goes. If you’d like a more in-depth skin care consultation, you can book one with me anytime. They are free when you come visit the spa!

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Sunscreen Isn’t Just for Summer

My favorite time of the year is anytime the sun is out and the temperatures are hot. I would imagine I’m not the only one who feels this way; we all love summer! However, we don’t all love putting on sunscreen. Some of us enjoy being a golden bronze and will spend countless hours in the sun achieving the perfect glow. While others don’t dare step foot outside without layers and proper covering. Both types of people can think skipping sunscreen is okay and they couldn’t be any more wrong. Sunscreen should be your unisex beauty BFF (yes, even the men reading this need to apply daily). There is a lot of information out there and, with more consumers being concerned about toxic chemicals and being organic, there are valid concerns about the safety of ingredients. This post will not only help you navigate the sunscreen aisle but also help you better decide which sunscreen is right for you.

Why do we even need sunscreen?

The CDC lists skin cancer as the most common form of cancer in the United States despite being one of the easiest cancers to prevent. Using sunscreen daily (and properly) on all exposed areas of our skin helps reduce the risk of developing melanoma. A heavy emphasis is put on daily use because even on a cloudy day, about 70% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can reach us. The sun emits two types of ultraviolet rays that can cause damage to our skin if we are exposed for too long. These are UVA and UVB. UVA rays are long waves that penetrate deeper into the layers of our skin. The result of UVA damage causes visible wrinkles, sun spots, and other signs of aging. UVB rays are slightly shorter and tend to affect the outermost layers of our skin. The result of UVB damage is sunburn, tanning, and even eye damage (hello, cataracts). A third UV ray, UVC, is primarily filtered out by our ozone layer and doesn’t reach our skin.

And, yes, everyone really does need sunscreen. Even people with more melanin than others and babies age 6 months and older.

What is the best type of sunscreen to use?

There are two types of sunscreen: chemical and physical. The categories are a bit of a misnomer as both have chemical ingredients in them so you can’t automatically assume that one is safer than the other. Both are regulated by the FDA and considered an over-the-counter drug. The difference between the two is that chemical sunscreen causes a chemical reaction on the skin and usually absorbs the sun’s rays while a physical sunscreen scatters or reflects the sun’s rays. If you have sensitive skin, a physical sunscreen might be best as chemical formulas tend to be more irritating the higher the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). The absolute best way to determine which type of formula is best for you is by doing a patch test.

How can you determine the difference between the two? By reading the labels. Chemical formulas will list carbon-based ingredients such as: oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone. Physical formulas usually contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

No matter which type you choose, you can find a great one for under $10. Consumer Reports highest rated sunscreens for 2017 are La Roche-Posay, Anthelios 60 Melt-in Sunscreen Milk ($36); Equate, Sport Lotion SPF 50 ($5); and Pure, Sun Defense Disney Frozen Lotion SPF 50 ($6). The Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+ also made their top 10.

How much sunscreen should I actually put on?

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a liberal amount of sunscreen for use all over the body, approximately one shot glass full (1 oz.) and a bit more for the face. So, for some of us, this means putting on additional sunscreen outside of the SPF 15 that is found in most cosmetic formulations. Don’t worry, you can use tone and moisturize as usual and use sunscreen as your base primer before putting on your makeup.

And if you are spending a day outside, reapplication is crucial. Be sure to keep your sunscreen close by.

What is the right SPF?

For everyday use, you want to no less than SPF 30. If you are going for a day at the beach, SPF 50+ is best. Any SPF listed higher than 50 is usually a scam as the efficacy of those does not tend to be higher than what an SPF 50 can do. SPF 75 and SPF 100 is usually just marketing.

Be on the lookout for “Broad Spectrum” SPF as those are the only sunscreens classified by the FDA to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Image via Instagram

Self Care Sunday: Drink More Water

Water can solve many of our skin care problems, so why aren’t we drinking enough of it? Most doctors recommend 8-10 cups of water each day. I’m lucky if I can finish two 16.9 fl oz. bottles. What gives? Drinking H2O is a necessary part of our survival. It protects our internal organs, keeps our joints lubricated, and detoxifies the body. We can’t sweat or dispose of waste through urination or bowel movements without water. It’s essential.

Surprisingly, a lot of us are walking around dehydrated and don’t know it. We think that just because we are drinking something throughout the day, that means we’re covered. But drinking coffee, tea, sodas, or juices don’t offer the body the same hydration benefits as water. Proper hydration is vital to maintaining your skin’s health. Having dehydrated skin can lead to breakouts, dry patches, and even excessive oiliness—all things we’d like to avoid. So how do you stay hydrated? The easy answer is to just drink at least 2.5 liters of water each day. However, that’s way easier said than done. Read below for helpful hacks and tips.

If you “don’t like the taste of water”…

Try adding fruit to give a natural flavor. Lemon and cucumber in water is a natural way to help with digestion. Other fruits like melon, strawberries, raspberries—as well as herbs like mint and thyme—provide antioxidant properties.

If you really need to detox…

Chlorophyll water is the wave. If you didn’t already know, chlorophyll is a dark green pigment found in plants that helps with photosynthesis. Because it is rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, more people are starting to add chlorophyll to their water (or take as a supplement in capsule form). You can get chlorophyll in the form of liquid drops or powder and follow the directions on the label to make sure you’re adding the right amount to your water.

Chlorophyll is especially beneficial if you’re looking to detox as it helps cleanse the liver as well as the digestive tract. In addition to cleaning your system internally, chlorophyll helps to give your skin a healthy glow as well!

If you just really need a water hack…

You can mark your water bottle by time intervals to help pace your water intake throughout the day. Keep your bottle close by and sip, sip, sip! There are also smart bottles on the market that come with apps to help track your daily water intake.

Did you know there is one other way you can get more water without actually drinking anything? It’s in your fruits and vegetables. So be sure you’re getting the healthy amount of fresh fruits and veggies daily.

How do you drink your water?

Image Credit: Neelam Johal Gill by Seb Winter via Miles to Go