Monday, November 29, 2021

Latest Research On Metabolism

Recently, there was some research published which seems to disagree with the normally accepted view of metabolism.  Traditionally, we've heard that as we age our metabolism slows down so it is not as effective at 45 as it was at 20 but this new paper indicates that belief is wrong. According to this study, our metabolism is pretty stable until we hit the age of 60 and then it slows down.

This new discovery will change the way professionals look at metabolic health and recommendations will change. This study looked at over 6,400 people spread out over 29 countries of all ages from new born to extremely old. They used a method that is considered the best way to determine how fast each person burned calories and how many calories were burned through out the day from brushing teeth, thinking, or exercising.

What they discovered is that there are four stages of metabolism in life but they do not correlate with stages of life such as puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. In addition, your metabolism peaks earlier than previously thought and begins slowing down much later.  As far as controlling body fat and muscle percentage, women's metabolism is the same as men's. Finally, in the larger population clusters,  individual metabolic rates could be as much as 25 percent higher or 25 percent lower than the average for each age.

This is not everything they discovered.  They found that a new born's metabolism mirrored it's mother's but within a month, their own metabolism increased so it became about 50% faster than adults. Furthermore, metabolism peaks when people are toddlers and then begins losing about 3% of the metabolism until the age of 20. It remains at this rate until you reach the age of 60 when it begins to decline, slowing down at a rate of about 0.7% each year.  

There are other factors that cause adults to gain one to two pounds a year over time.  These factors include stress, schedule, hormone levels and energy levels and they change during your 40's and 50's which is where the idea that your metabolism was slowing. In addition, it appears that metabolism and weight are not as closely related as previously thought. The bottom line is that you need to be burning more calories than you partake of in order to keep your weight down. 

It turns out this new research can impact other areas such as does of medicines because of the ability of the body to metabolize it. It could also change the way the medical profession treats cancer because the cancer cells metabolize energy when they grow and divide so the rate at which they grow may be different as people age. This study provided a map of how the changes occur at a metabolic level and can be used to look at the the age related decline works across all body systems.

So if you are having weight issues, know that they might not be caused by your metabolism but by other factors.  I know I've gained a few pounds in the last five years and this new research helps me understand why this is happening and how I might go about getting rid of those few extra pounds.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a good day.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Last Step


When we got turkey soup for dinner, we knew this was the end.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Sandwich Day


Mom always made turkey sandwiches with turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry sauce

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Can Wrinkles Be Prevented Or Reversed?


As you get older, you'll notice those fine lines forming or the dips around your face get deeper and more noticeable.  One day you have none and the next they are there.  In addition, you see commercials or ads offering the miracle cure for those fine lines and wrinkles. 

So we buy those products that offer us the belief if we use it, we'll get rid of wrinkles and look younger, but can we prevent wrinkles or even reverse them?  The short answer is we will end up with wrinkles no matter what we do but there are things we can do to minimize them.

Unfortunately, as we age, our skin undergoes wear and tear just like our joints and the rest of our bodies.  Our skin is made up of a framework of collagen and elastin which is responsible for keeping our skins looking young and unmarked.  As we age, the framework weakens and causes the skin to sag.  In addition, the skin becomes thinner, so gravity pulls at it so it begins to sag. The last factor is our genetics which is what makes us look younger or older than our actual age.

Now there are things we can do to cut down on getting wrinkles but many of them can be avoided or minimized.  One of the biggest factors contributing to wrinkles is the amount of your exposure to the sun. I know that so many of us as teens want to be in the sun.  We want that wonderful glowey skin tone you get from being in the sun but its only as we get older that we realize we need to limit our sun exposure. 

When the suns rays hit your skin, they penetrate it and damage the supporting fibers causing them to break down thus allowing wrinkles to form.  In addition, UV rays cause age or "liver" spots.  The number and condition of the wrinkles depends on your lifetime exposure to the sun so if you spent most of your life in the sun, you are more at risk of wrinkles but don't get upset because you can keep the amount of further damage down.  So start using sun screen now.  Put it on in the morning and reapply every two hours to protect yourself and top your outfit off with a hat.

It has been shown that smoking increases the number and depth of wrinkles. Smoking decreases the amount of blood flowing to the face and the face is exposed to chemicals present in the smoke.  Most smokers also squint to keep smoke out hot their eyes and it is the squinting causes wrinkles around the eyes. So if you are smoking, give it up to prevent further damage.

Another factor that contributes to the formation of wrinkles is heavy or excessive drinking because most people who drink too much tend to have poor diets and a poor diet contributes to having wrinkles. Your body needs you to eat a good diet so it is able to repair and prevent damage. 

To prevent additional damage, use sunscreen, apply a retinol , moisturize, drink enough water, eat a diet with lots of vitamin rich foods. don't smoke, don't sleep on your face, and relax to prevent or minimize wrinkles and sun damage. If you haven't done all of these, go ahead and start doing them because its never too late to start. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Which Facial Products Are Best Used When?

If you read about skin care, there is always some new ingredient being touted as "the" current one.  After a while, it fades being replaced by a new one.  You read about all it's great benefits but the one thing you seldom see is when one should apply it.   Even with some of the standard industry ingredients, its not clear  about morning or night application or even why. 

Let's start with the most obvious items first.  Since the last item used in your routine is the sunscreen, that should be the last thing put on in the morning.  On the other hand, if you include retinol in your routine, it should be used at night because retinol degrades when exposed to UV rays.

Now, if you are a regular user of products that contain Vitamin C, it is better to use it during the day because Vitamin C is classified as antioxidant which protects you from UV damage.  For the most part this is true but if your Vitamin C preparation is a non water based solution, then it should not be used during the day due to the silicone content. Furthermore, it doesn't work well with sunscreen. 

Another ingredient, Niacinamide or Vitamin B is great for fighting pigmentation and found in so many products.  This is one that can be used both during the day or at night. Although it can be easily used with concentrations of up to 20 percent, it is most effective in the 3 to 5 percent range. Another ingredient is Vitamin E which is often found in small concentrations with Vitamin C but this one can be used at night or during the day easily.

If you read the ingredients on most products, you'll find hyaluronic acid in them.  Hyaluronic acid is great for boosting the moisture in your skin and it can be used either during the day or at night. This ingredient is designed to sit on top of the skin where it forms a layer of hydration. This layer disappears when you wash your face so it has to be reapplied frequently. 

As mentioned before there is retinol or Vitamin A which is often found in over the counter or acne products. In general, the retinol in over the counter products tend to break down when exposed to sunlight. and this causes the product to be less efficient.  On the other hand, if you use a prescription acne product that contains retinol, it can be used during the day due to its form being photostable.

When your skin product glycolic acid also known as alpha hydroxy acids or AHA's, you do have to be careful.  Although it is a great exfoliator,  it is best to use these at nights because it can increase the possibility of a sunburn during the day.  In fact, it makes it so it takes less time for the sunburn to occur and the effect continues for up to one week after you quit using it.  If you want to use glycolic acid during the day be sure to wear a good efficient sunscreen but I'd strongly recommend using it only at night. Another great AHA product is Lactic Acid and since its an AHA, it is best to use it at night due to the same issues.

If you have acne, salicylic acid is something you are quite familiar with. Salicylic acid is classified as a Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA. BHA's do not cause increased photosensitivity like AHA's and so it can be used in both in the morning and at night but one needs to still use a good sunscreen.

Finally, comes the peptides. These short chain amino acids are great for helping your skin produce collagen, elastin, and keratins and can be used at either at night or during the day.  No matter what you use during the day always finish it with a good sunscreen, even during the winter.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Saturday, November 20, 2021

One Pot Of Gold?


They say there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So if that is true, do you get…….?

Friday, November 19, 2021

Bee Venom For The Face


For most of us, our encounter with bee has been in summer when we've gotten stung by bees.  I've had my few encounters over my life and they hurt.  Recently, I discovered that bee venom is now being found in facial products. 

The idea behind using bee venom is that it is supposed to reduce wrinkles and inflammation.  It is considered a natural product and is said to help both acne and signs of aging.  Of course, as one ages, certain things will happen and you can't avoid the process completely but you can work on reducing the effects.  

Officially, bee venom, is a colorless, liquid poison deposited by the bee when it stings.  The bee venom is a mixture of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as sugar, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. One of the compounds contained in bee venom Melittin, contains 26 amino acids and makes up about half of the dry weight of the venom. In addition, it contains two peptides, apamin and adolapin which possess anti-bacterial effects.

Furthermore, it has been found that bee venom is good for treating both acne and aging.  It is specifically recommended for use with common, everyday acne, aka pimples.  For acne, it is best used in conjunction with other products such as a salicylic based wash.

According to some research, bee venom, especially in purified form, appears to be able to increase collagen, while stopping sun damage.  When used twice a day, the bee venom reduced the depth of wrinkles, and number of wrinkles in one study.  When bee venom is applied to the skin, it causes it to inflame and trigger a response by the skin to heal wounds.  This causes the skin to produce collagen.  

The nice thing about bee venom is that it is easily absorbed by the skin where it goes down fairly deep into the skin so it looks plumper, lifted, and much firmer.  It plumps the skin by increasing blood circulation, and in the process fills and smooths the fine lines, and wrinkles.  The increased blood supply hits the area, it encourages increased production of collagen and elastin.   

Furthermore, it is recommended that bee venom be used in conjunction with other products to get the best results.  When first using it, it is recommended one carry out a patch test because of possible reactions.  If there is no reaction after 24 hours, it is safe to use it all over your face.  It is best to use it after your face has been cleaned and before the application of moisturizer.

I regularly use three products that contain bee venom every night.  One is a serum, one is an essence, and one is a face cream. I've noticed that my wrinkles are a bit less and it leaves my skin feeling nice and it looks decent.  I like using it at night because I tend to use other products during the day.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Improving Collagen Levels In Your Skin.


As we know, the amount of collagen in your skin decreases over time.  It is said that one way to improve collagen in your skin is by using supplements but that is not proven and it is not vegetarian so I for one will not take it.  Fortunately, there are other ways to improve the amount of collagen so your skin doesn't show signs of aging as much.

One way is to increase the amount of hyaluronic acid in your diet. It is found in foods with amino acids such as beans, root vegetables, and soy. It can also be taken as a supplement.  Increasing the amount of hyaluronic acid in your diet will improve your collagen levels.

In addition, make sure you have enough vitamin C in your diet since this is one vitamin that your body cannot produce. Vitamin C can help protect your skin and helps boost collagen production by the body.  Vitamin C can either be taken via supplement or via foods such as oranges, green leafy vegetables, and other foods.

Furthermore, there has been a study which seems to show that people who take aloe steroids as part of their diet, experienced increased production of hyaluronic acid and collagen. In some, it doubled the production while the appearance of facial wrinkles decreased.  

There is a recommendation people should make sure to increase the amount of antioxidants in your diet.  Although, antioxidants do not improve collagen production, they do protect help the amount of collagen do a better job.  Researchers have looked at using retinol, a specific type of antioxidant that helps boost collagen in levels in the skin and help collagen last longer, while blocking enzymes that destroy it.  You will find retinol in many, many skin products and there is research to show this works. In addition, products with peptides used on the face will help improve collagen production.  Peptides are short chains of amino acids used to make proteins and collagen by the body.

Of course, it is important to wash and exfoliate the face on a regular basis helps protect the collagen levels in the skin. Furthermore, finish off your morning routine should include a layer of sunscreen to help protect your skin from both UV rays and environmental factors.  Both UV and environmental factors such as dust, smoke, and pollution can impact collagen levels.  

Many skin care products that include collagen, advertise that your skin will use the collagen to reduce visible signs of aging and wrinkles but that isn't true.  The size of the collagen molecules in these preparations are actually too large to pass through the skin to the lower levels and do not do anything. As mentioned earlier it is better to rely on products with retinol, vitamin C, and peptides since the skin can absorb those.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Take care and have a great week.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Do Collagen Supplements Work?


If you've been checking out YouTube or TikTok, you might have noticed that people are recommending one take a collagen supplement to help replace what is lost to aging.  In case you didn't know, Collagen is a type of protein found in the skin, muscles, bones and tendons in the body.  In fact, it is the most abundant protein present in the human body.  Although there have been at least 16 types of collagen identified, most of them are classified as type I, II, or III.

Types I and III are found mostly in the skin and and bones while type II is located in your joints.  The collagen found in the skin is actually located in the middle layer or dermis.  Collagen makes up part of a networking system called fibroblasts which is where new cells are produced and it helps replace old dead skin cells with newer vibrant ones.

One of the marketed ways to improve collagen levels is to take a supplement.  This raises the question concerning the effectiveness of such supplements.  Do they really help your body restore your collagen levels to what they should be?  Let's check that out.

First thing to know is that most collagen in supplements comes from cows, pigs, and fish and contain types I , II, and III. These supplements might be in the form of hydrolyzed collagen where the protein is broken down into smaller pieces called amino acids, gelatin which is only partially broken down, and raw where the protein is not broken down at all.

There is some research that supports the idea that your body will absorb the hydrolyzed collagen best but the reality is that your body will break down all forms of collagen into amino acid which is absorbed by the body.  In fact, your body produces collagen naturally from the protein you put in your body. 

There is some early research supported by a couple of different studies which indicates that taking a collagen supplement in hydrolyzed form will reduce wrinkles, and improves skin hydration but it is too early to really know how they work on overall skin health. 

Furthermore, since most of the collagen found in the supplements comes from ground up chicken, pigs, cow, and fish parts, there is concern about its safety since the parts used tend to absorb contaminants and heavy metals.  In addition, concern has been expressed that some of these supplements might contain mad cow disease and in 2016, the FDA prohibited companies from using certain parts of the cow due to this concern. 

Some doctors feel that since supplements are not as well regulated as medications, it is better to create a homemade bone broth made out of chicken, fish, or beef bones to get collagen. If you are going to buy a supplement, look at companies use bones and skins from free range, cage free, and antibiotic free sources. Check the bottle for the NSP or USP labels because this means they are meeting the requirements of a third party overseer. In addition, check out web sites to see what the company is doing to make sure they are keeping heavy metals and contaminated ingredients out of their product.

If you decide to try a collagen supplement, understand that it could take up to 12 weeks to see any results and if you are a vegetarian or vegan, this is not a good option.  On Wednesday, we'll be looking at products that can help improve the amount of collagen in your skin without taking a supplement. 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Protecting Your Hair In The Winter

At sometime, during the winter, most people end up going outside.  Unfortunately, most people only think about staying warm when its cold outside rather than taking time to protect their hair.  Cold winter weather is extremely harsh on your hair and it is important to take steps to protect it.  Even when it's not well below zero, one should still do things to keep the hair healthy.

One of the easiest things to do is to wear a hat during the winter.  The hat protects your hair to shield it from  the dry air, rain, snow, and/or wind which can rob the moisture from your hair. 

Unfortunately, winter weather can dry your hair out, causing breakage so a hat is great protection but make sure your hat is lined with silk or satin if your hat is made of wool, polar fleece, or cotton because those fabrics can cause additional breakage. Furthermore, the dryness of winter air can cause your hair to build up static electricity so make sure to apply a spray a dry oil to hydrate your hair and keep it shiny. 

Another thing to do in winter is to run a humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to the air which has been removed due to indoor heating and by using a humidifier you are helping to keep your hair hydrated. Furthermore, don't forget to get regular trims so the ends are no longer dry and split. Getting regular trims help the hair stay healthy and cuts down on split, dry, ends. 

Often in winter, we opt for those nice hot showers with the temperature of the water turned up as much as possible.  Of course, this makes the room nice and steamy but for your hair, the temperature should be lower because the hot water can remove moisture from your hair, making it more brittle leading to additional breakage.  Wash your hair in warm water followed by a cool, not cold rinse.

If you can, let your hair air dry. When you blow dry your hair, it can remove moisture from your hair, making it more dry and brittle. The dryer air is hard enough already but when you apply heat to your hair, it sucks any moisture from your hair, damaging it.  If you don't have the time, wash it at night to give it enough time to dry on its own. Try not to straighten it or use a curling iron.  Instead wear braids, buns, or twists. 

Growing up, I was told never to go outside when its cold because your hair can freeze and break off. Guess what? It is true so make sure your hair is dry whenever you leave the house.  If you have to, you can blow dry it but make sure you use some sort of protection so it doesn't lose moisture.  Don't be afraid to use hot oil treatments or hair masks to provide deep moisturizing at least once a week. You might also need to add oil to the ends daily to keep them moisturized.  In addition, consider using a heavy duty leave in conditioner to provide additional protection.

Finally, try not to wash your hair every day.  Instead, plan to wash it every three to five days to help it stay healthier.  Hint: If you have fly away hair, rub a dryer sheet over your hair to eliminate static from your hair.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Exercising Outdoors


It is that time of the year when temperatures fall and people who exercise are having to make adjustments with rain, snow, wind, or just overcast days. We all know that if you skip one day, it becomes easier to skip the next, and the one after that.  It's easy to decide not to go outside when its too wet, cold, or snowy.If you are willing to continue your excise regime outdoors there are some things you can do to stay warmer, remain in good health and be successful. 

First thing is to dress dry and warm.  If you get wet, the dampness will conduct the heat away from your body and you'll end up chilled and feeling miserable. This could lead to hypothermia which is when the core of your body drops to below 95 degrees F and if its cold enough outside, you might even experience frostbite. Avoid wearing anything made of cotton because cotton soaks up both sweat and rain, consequently holding in moisture.  Instead, consider wearing only synthetic fabrics such as polyester, polypropylene, or nylon to stay drier and warmer. These fabrics will draw moisture away from your body about 50 percent faster than cotton.

Next, wear layers instead of just one or two pieces.  Begin with a thin base layer made of synthetic fabrics to pull moisture away from your body.  If it is cold, think about wearing a middle layer made out of polar fleece, and top off with some sort of outer layer or shell to protect you from the elements. The outer layer could be a windbreaker, a vest, or a heavy weight jacket depending on the weather. In addition, choose bright colors to increase your visibility to passing vehicles. In fact, it is recommended adding reflective gear, tape, or blinking lights to make it easier for others to see you.

When temperatures are down, it is important to protect your extremities from the cold by wearing gloves, mittens, a hat or headband. These should be made out of wool or synthetic materials and these items are small enough to tuck in a pocket if they are not needed. Should you find your toes becoming chilly, think about using shoe covers because running shoes are designed to let heat escape and shoe covers will help keep the heat in. If not, look to purchase running shoes designed for winter use. 

In addition, make sure you take care of your skin by drinking lots of water and wearing a good moisturizer because winter weather is dry. Think about using something like Vaseline under your nose, on your ears and the tip of your nose for additional protection or consider using a running mask or scarf.  When I have to be outdoors, I wrap my face with a scarf to make sure the incoming air is warm so it doesn't freeze my nose, mouth, or lungs.

One other thing in regard to your skin, make sure you use a broad spectrum sunscreen.  Yes, it is winter but the snow covered ground tends to reflect sunlight so you are exposed to it twice.  If you are up in the mountains, the air is thinner and you are more exposed to UV rays.  Don't think that if its cloudy, you'll be fine because they come through and you are still exposed to them.

When you are outside, stay to paths that have been plowed or salted so you are not exposed to ice while running. If you can't avoid areas that have snow or ice, think about using cleats or spikes.  The thing is that spikes are not good to use on pavement and may make it more difficult for you to balance. 

Now that we've covered dress, don't forget to warm those muscles up before hitting the trails. Think about performing dynamic warmups to increase blood flow and raise your muscle temperature. If you do not do a good warm-up you could be at an increased risk for sprains and strains. Don't forget to breath when you are exercising outdoors. In colder weather, the vessels of your airways tend to shrink so if you cover your nose and mouth when outside, you keep moisture in your body as you breath out. 

If you start warming up, do not be afraid to remove layers of clothing. Do not wait until you are feeling super warm to remove layers, rather remove the clothing when you start feeling a bit warmer.  Tie the layers around your waist where they are easy to retrieve should your body temperature drop. In addition, consume liquids while outdoors because it is too easy to become dehydrated because you don't feel thirsty.

One other thing, be aware of the wind because of the wind chill factor which makes the temperature lower than it actually is and it is possible for you to end up with hypothermia.  If you are doing laps, start by running into the wind so when you are sweaty, you'll have the wind at your back.  Finally, as soon as you are done, cool down with more dynamic moves and then immediately get out of your workout clothing so you don't get chilled.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Digital Perms

I was cruising YouTube and came across digital perms.  I didn't know about them.  My mother was born with baby fine hair and always permed her hair, otherwise it looked horrible.  She did them at home until she discovered the local cosmetology school where she could get a perm for not too much. I don't know if she'd have liked these but I find the whole concept interesting.

A digital perm is a perm created with hot rods whose temperature is regulated by a machine with a digital display.  It is this machine with wires coming out that connect with the rollers.  It looks a lot like the first perm machines from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. It is also known as a "hot perm". In addition, it is called an Asian Perm, Korean perm, or Japanese perms.

In the process, a digital perm combines heat with the use of chemicals to change the chemical makeup of your hair so it produces loose curls instead of tight spiral curls. The chemicals help break the bonds of your hair so they can take a curl that is but in with the hot rollers.  According to what I saw, the resulting waves will last up to a year and look absolutely natural.  A digital perm takes many hours to complete and can be more expensive than the traditional perm.

The process is that solutions are applied to the hair and then it is wrapped in specially designed curlers.  The curlers then are fastened with rubber bands and a small pad is wrapped around each roller.  The curlers are attached to these cords which are connected to a digital display that applies heat.  After a certain amount of time, the curlers are disconnected and taken out, a neutralizer is applied, and the hair is twisted a bit here and there until it is dry and the curl is there.  I will say, the individual processes varied a bit from video to video but the general description I gave was pretty much the same in all of them. One other thing, they do not recommend this type of perm on bleached or damaged hair due to the heat and chemicals.

Now for the more detailed things you need to know about digital perms.  First the amount of time it takes to curl your hair and it's cost is based on the length of your hair, the shape its in, and the type of hair you have such as thin versus thick or course versus fine. It normally takes between two and four hours to complete but it can take longer. As far as price, it is going to run at least $150 and up again depending on the salon and your hair.

Secondly, make sure you want the hairstyle since it will last up to a year or longer.  If you do it and then want to do something else, it will be hard to reverse the process without damaging your hair.  So make sure you want the curl. You will probably experience frizz after having it done because digital perms were originally designed for Asian hair and the heat used may fry your hair.  Be prepared to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize your hair to counter any damage. 

In addition, take time to research the type of shampoo, conditioner, and styling products you will need for curly or wavy hair, otherwise your hair might end up being crunchy and you won't get the frizz under control.  Think about keratin based products since they help your hair. Another aspect to think about is the time you will need in the morning to fix your hair.  There is a good chance it is going to take longer than it did when you had straight hair. 

In order to keep the frizz down, do not run your fingers through your hair since it will only add to the frizz.  Furthermore, you will need to twist sections of your hair as you are blowing it dry with a diffusing hair dryer to keep the curl at its best. 

The best way to keep your curls is to use a curl cream after you wash and condition your hair.  When you dry your hair, dry it at the roots to keep the volume there. When your hair is 70 to 80 percent dry, start twirling sections of your hair as you dry it.  Once your hair is dry, use your fingers or a large tooth comb to smooth the curl and apply oil or serum to keep it from frizzing. 

I think it can be a great thing for someone who really wants curly hair for a long period of time.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Fingers Crossed.


They predict a couple of feet of snow on the mountain.  Hopefully it will be enough to go snowboarding.

Friday, November 5, 2021

What Is Your Hair Type?

 I'm from the days when hair was either straight, wavy, or curly.  You knew if it was wavy or curly, your hair might have a mind of it's own and there really wasn't much you could do about it.  I've been discovering the classification system people use now but not all hair stylists are aware of it.  I spoke to the lady who cuts my hair and she didn't know anything about it but was able to tell me I have dry course hair since it "has a mind of its own".

This system is a fairly recent development created by Andre Walker who was Oprah's personal hair stylist. The general classifications are straight, wavy, curly, or coiled and each of these has three subdivisions based on tightness or looseness of the curl.  It is quite normal to have hair that is more than one subdivision. 

The amount of curl in your hair is determined by the follicle of your hair.  Its shape is what makes the curl and that is determined by genetics although it can be changed via heat or chemical.  Lets start with type 1 which is straight hair. The individual strands may be fine or course but they have absolutely no curl at all. This type of hair tends to run oily and it is recommended you look for products that will not add extra oil or weight to your hair. In addition, use a dry shampoo rather than washing it every day.

Next, is type 2 which is wavy which means the hair has a wavy that looks gently tousled from eye level length down to the end but from the roots to eye level, the hair is relatively straight. This hair can be divided into 2A which is flat from the roots to eye level and then wavy from that point down.  The wave is gentle and nice.  The second is 2B which also has waves from eye level down to the ends but the curls have more of an S shape. This type of hair looks great done in a balayage style. The last, 2C is hair that has more of an S shape from eye level down. 

Then we have type 3 or curly hair which also has three subdivisions.  The first is 3A in which the S shaped curls form loose loops and look more like loose ringlets. Unfortunately, should you decide to brush your hair, the curls will turn into a frizzy mess.  Using curl defining products is recommended to keep the curls looking nice and it is recommended you do not put your hair in a ponytail or your hair will lose the curls.

Of course type 3B has larger curls.  The circumference of the 3A curls are about the same size as a dinner candle while the circumference of 3B curls are about the same size as a large sharpie. It is recommended one provide moisture to keep the curl in the hair from roots to ends. The 3C curls are curliest of this group with a circumference equal to that of a drinking straw so these curls are the tightest. It is recommended you use leave in conditioner and only use fingers to comb it otherwise you could turn your curls into frizz.

The last type is type 4 or coiled hair.  Hair classified as 4A has extremely tight S-shaped curls that will wrap around a chop stick and it is extremely delicate. It is very dry and needs a lot of moisture. Choose a wash and wear style so it remains healthy. The curls found in type 4B hair has a zig-zag pattern but again, use leave in conditioner.  One way to fix this type of hair is to divide it into four sections and place curling creme in each section before wrapping each section around your index finger. 

The final subtype of hair is 4C which has the tightest curls and are the most fragile. Unfortunately, it is easy to break or damage this type of curl if you comb it too often or too roughly. Use plenty of moisturizers on your hair and some people only use a condition, never a shampoo on it.  

Figure out what type of hair you have and it makes it easier to keep your hair healthy and under control.  let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Where Do The Names Listed On Beauty Products Come From?

The other day, I was watching a YouTube video in which the person was reviewing a new skin care line that didn't seem to have the ingredients listed properly as required by the INCI.  The INCI or International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient, is the list of systematic names of cosmetic ingredients recognized internationally. This list is assembled by the International Nomenclature Committee and published by the Personal Care Products Council. 

What this does is provide a way for all beauty and cosmetic suppliers to use standardized terminology when listing ingredients. One advantage is the common labeling means dermatologists and others are able to look for ingredients that are known to create  rashes or other adverse reactions.  In addition, scientists are able to publish results using these standardized names so everyone is aware of any issues or results.

Furthermore, the use of standardized terms for ingredients means that global companies are able to meet all requirements world wide for their products.  This prevents them from getting in trouble with governments for using banned ingredients. In addition, it is much easier to maintain safety records since everyone is using the same name.  It prevents confusion if different places use a different name for a certain item.  

Although the names have been approved for use globally, it does not mean the actual item is approved for use in cosmetics. Creating a standardized name for an ingredient does not mean that it is safe, or that its use in cosmetics automatically guarantees the product is safe.  It is left up to the manufacturer to determine the safety and fitness of an ingredient used in the product.  

Where the INCI names come into play in the United States is with the FDA.  The United States Food and Drug Administration requires all cosmetic and beauty manufacturers to use the names listed in the International Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook in their cosmetic ingredient labeling per US regulation 21 CFR 701.3.

The aforementioned International Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook is considered the worldwide authoritative reference of ingredient information for the medical profession, industry, government, consumers and academia. The International Nomenclature Committee is charged with making sure that all information appearing in the dictionary/handbook is correct. 

If you wonder, this process began back in the 1970's when countries began requiring all ingredients to be listed on products.  The listing of ingredients has been evolving and changing over time with the development of new technologies and innovation of new ingredients. Furthermore, ingredients are listed under either general conventions, specific conventions, or miscellaneous conventions.  Ingredients may be reclassified as necessary.

So now we know where the names used for the ingredients come from.  You also know if there is no list of ingredients on some skincare, personal beauty supplies, or cosmetics, then the manufacturer is breaking the law.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day?

Monday, November 1, 2021

Nail Buffing

 I have never been one to use nail polish unless I was performing as a Middle Eastern dancer.  Most of the time, I succeed in getting polish on the skin around the nail and I can't keep it on more than about 2 hours before it starts chipping.  I prefer buffing my nails because I get a beautiful shine and my nails look great.  In addition, it is important to bluff your nails before you apply nail polish for the absolute best results.

Nail buffing means you are polishing your nails using a buffing block. The process will smooth out the ridges on your nails, making them feel super smooth, and your nails look so much shiner.  I love the shiny finish on my buffed nails and feel that they look finished without the polish.  In addition, it is said that when you buff your nails once a month, you are keeping the natural oils from building up and leaving a nasty residue on your nails. 

In order to do your nails properly, you need to purchase a four way buffer block that has everything you need. Before starting, make sure your nails are clean but totally dry.  If you wear polish, remove all of it completely before buffing your nails, 

First begin with the coursest side to file down the tips and sides of your nails. Do not file back and forth as this could damage the nails. Instead, file one half of the nail in one direction and the other half in the other direction. Start and the base and file upwards towards the tip for the best results with the least amount of damage. 

Next use the buffing side on your nails to remove the ridges and smooth down the face of your nails. To actually buff, hold the buffer parallel to your nails and stroke it across your nails in an X shape. Do not buff in a side to side motion because it can dry out your nails which leads to damage. For the third step, use the polish side of the block. The fine grit of this side will help remove any imperfections while making them smoother at the same time. Use the same X stroke technique as in the buffing step four to six times. 

Last step is to finish the nails with the shine section which is the smoothest side of the block. Run the block in small circular motions over the nails to make them shiny.  If you are going to apply nail polish after this, do not polish them to a high shine.  If you do, the polish will not last as long but if you are not using polish, feel free to get a high gloss shine.  When you are done buffing your nails finish with a bit of cuticle oil to nourish your nails.

Although your nails look great at the end of the process, do not buff them more than once a month or you could damage your nails while making them brittle at the same time. Always be gentle and try not to use so much energy that your buffing produces heat from the friction.  In addition, Do not press too hard when doing your nails.  I usually stock up on buffer blocks from my local Dollar store unless they are on sale at the local drug store.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.