Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Can You Prevent Wrinkles?


According to most ads, wrinkles are a woman's worst enemy.  There are all sorts of recommended products or even surgery we could use to keep from showing wrinkles.  The thing about wrinkles is that they are a part of the aging process but there are things we can do to cut back on the number and severity of the ones we get.

The best way to prevent wrinkles is to start when we are extremely young but most of us don't think about it until we are a bit older.  We can still do things to prevent wrinkles.

First off, skin looses its elasticity as we age because the body produces less collagen which is what keeps the skin firm.  In addition, factors such as sun exposure, smoking and other life style choices, and pollution can speed up the loss of collagen.  In addition, over time, the skin becomes thinner, and drier which contributes to the formation of wrinkles.

Although genetics can play a part in when a person gets wrinkles and how severe they are, it is possible to do things to make wrinkles less noticeable. One of the best things to do is to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat, light colored clothing, and sunglasses with UV protection.  The sunscreen needs to have an SPF of between 30 and 50 while the light colored clothing can reflect the sun and the clothing should be long sleeved.  Even when it is overcast, it is important to wear sunscreen and everything else because one can get sunburned as easily.

Include retinoids in your skin care routine because they've been shown to increase collagen production in your skin.  Retinoids or retinol are derived from Vitamin A.  In addition retinoids are noted to help regenerate skin while helping to increase the number of blood vessels. One thing, be sure to test it on your skin before you begin using it because some people are more sensitive to retinoids.  

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize because it helps keep the skin hydrated and most moisturizers have nutrients the skin needs. As you age, it becomes more and more important to moisturize your skin so it doesn't dry out and wrinkle.  Look for hyaluronic acid and vitamin C in the ingredients list because these two ingredients have shown they can keep wrinkles from forming or getting deeper. 

Furthermore, it is important to drink lots of water to help hydrate your skin from the inside. In addition, drinking enough water helps flush toxins from your system, helps with digestion, and helps keep your body temperatures steady. In addition, having a healthy diet helps keep your skin healthy which reduces the formation of wrinkles. The best diet has less red meat and unhealthy snacks in it.  Instead, it has more fruit, vegetables, flax seed, avocados, salmon, and olive oil because these are all good for your skin. 

Another way to decrease wrinkles is to sleep on your back.  When you sleep on your side or front, you are pressing the skin which can cause your skin to form wrinkles. If you are a side sleeper or stomach sleeper, think about switching to silk pillows because they do not produce as much friction as cotton does.

Do not smoke because the smoke from tobacco damages both the elastin and collagen production. In addition,  the nicotine in the cigarettes cause blood vessels to constrict which reduces the blood flow to the skin so your skin does not get as much oxygen. Furthermore, fewer nutrients are being transported to the skin so it isn't as healthy. 

One other thing, try to relax your face.  It is the repeated movements such as squinting, frowning, or pursing the lips can cause wrinkles to form faster. One way to cut down on squinting is to get your eyes checked to make sure you aren't doing it to see better or make sure you wear your sunglasses regularly outside. 

You won't eliminate wrinkles completely but you can cut down on their formation by following the above suggestions.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Trends For Spring 2022


We've hit the point of the year when winter transitions to summer, the snow melts and flowers spring up, and the weather gets nicer.  As always, there are trends happing in the beauty world so we'll look at a few today so your up to date on much of what is happening.  

One thing that is continuing into spring of 2020 is choosing a more minimal look with less foundation, selecting makeup products that benefit the skin, and having a more fresh face. As far a products, people are going after ones that hydrate the face, brighten the skin, and make it healthier.

Next is choosing a blush that provides a sheer layer of color that is bold enough to make a statement but doesn't overpower the skin tone.  You might want to check out a more purplish blush to create a natural looking flush with just enough color but not too much.

When you next buy lipstick, go after a glossy type because glossy lips are in.  Don't worry as manufactures have changed the formulas so your hair no longer sticks to your lips and the gloss won't get sticky.  Choose one that hydrates your lips, adds a bit of color, and keeps your lips nice and soft. Finish the lips off with a brown lip liner for emphasis.   

Where the pizzaz comes in is with adding a bit of glitz to your makeup in the form of crystals, pearls, and gems.  When you attach these all over your eye lids, you won't need to use eyeshadow.  You can use a line of pearls across your eye lids, or gems in the corner of your eyes. Add the glitz and you'll capture people's attention.

If you prefer to wear eyeshadow, look for the metallic ones to add a shimmer to your eyes.  Colors range from subtle shimmers to bright metallics that call attention to your eyes.  Choose from liquid eyeshadows that can easily be blended to the powder ones that provide a bit of shimmer. 

People have moved back to a more natural brow so they don't stand out. For the best look, choose a mechanical brow pencil, to fill in and define your brows.  The mechanical pencil will help you achieve the perfect arch so your brows complete your look.

Then think about making your eye lashes big and voluminous as they emphasize your look. They also make your eyes look bigger so make sure your mascara will provide that look. Don't forget to add a graphic liner to add emphasis.  Graphic lines allow you to add color and or create geometric shapes around the eyes. Think of perhaps creating the classical cats eye look. 

Follow these ideas and you'll be trending this spring with the latest looks.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Friday, March 25, 2022

Is The SPF In Your Makeup Enough Sunscreen?


When I go shopping for makeup and moisturizers, I notice that some of them include sunscreen.  I know I'm supposed to wear sunscreen all the time but if makeup has the sunscreen already, I wondered if it was enough so I didn't have to wear any additional or remember to keep it stocked.

If you check the makeup aisle, you'll find SPF listed for everything from foundations, to tinted moisturizers, to loose powders, to skin cremes.  Lets start with what SPF is. 

SPF stands for sun protection factor which is actually a clinical measurement that tests the effectiveness of any product in protecting against sunburn.  The number tells you how long you can be in the sun before you start to burn compared with the time it takes to burn when you don't wear any sunscreen at all.  In actuality, the SPF in makeup is provided by adding sunscreen to it.

So if your makeup contains sunscreen, do you really need to wear sunscreen? The answer is a surprising yes because sunscreen ratings are based on a fairly heavy application of sunscreen, usually 2mg/cm^2.  This means you need 6 to 7 times the normal amount of makeup to achieve the the same amount of protection as a normal application of sunscreen. Furthermore, most skin care companies lather on an extra thick layer so the SPF rating is said to be higher than it actually is. 

The rule of thumb is that you are probably getting about half of the rating so if the foundation says SPF 30, you are probably getting about an SPF 15 coverage.  In addition, the FDA has a fairly strict definition for a sunscreen so even if the makeup product contains the ingredients found in sunscreen, they cannot make claims on the amount of sun protection the product provides.

If you do have makeup stating it has SPF in it, you can still use them.  These products with sunscreen should be used in addition to a regular sunscreen.  Choose a sunscreen that is broad spectrum with a rating of at least 30 for best protection. The best way to use it is to begin by cleaning your face in the normal way before applying 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of sunscreen over the face and neck.  Then put on your makeup with or without sunscreen. This way your face is fully protected.

It becomes difficult to adhere to the two hour rule.  The two hour rule is that your sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours and it is certainly not practical for most people to clean their faces so they can reapply everything including the sunscreen. So the best alternative is to use setting sprays or powders containing sunscreen and apply them on top of your makeup.  

It is important to use sunscreen in addition to any makeup containing sunscreen every day, summer or winter.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Natural Versus Regular Sunscreen.


If you ready anything about your skin, beauty, or health, you'll see that being told to wear sunscreen is at the forefront, even in winter.  I admit, I don't usually wear sunscreen in winter since I live in Alaska up near the Arctic Circle and I'm seldom out during the few hours of sun but I'm back wearing it by the time the sun is out several hours a day.

Then when you are shopping for sunscreen, you see so many choices in the local store, online, or recommendations via your friends.  You'll hear some people talk about natural sunscreens being better for you than those "chemical" ones but what do they mean by that?  Natural is simply another word for sunscreens classified as mineral or physical.  They contain active ingredients like zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide which form a physical barrier between your skin and the sun, causing the sun to reflect away from the skin.  If you have sensitive or acne prone skin, it is strongly recommended you use this type of sunscreen.

Over the years, manufacturers have worked hard to make these sunscreens more acceptable.  There was always a kid who had a bright white nose or white all over their body but now they look more natural and are so much easier to apply.  In addition, they come in SPF's of 70 or so. One time, I accidentally purchased one and it really wasn't bad but I prefer something a bit lighter on my skin.

On the other hand, chemical sunscreens actually contain ingredients that absorb the suns rays, turn them into heat before releasing the heat through the skin. Chemical sunscreens contain oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate. Furthermore, chemical sunscreens can be lighter, go on to form a sheer finish and are more easily absorbed into the skin.  Unfortunately, there are two things to know about chemical sunscreens.  First they can irritate certain types of skin and second it is possible they have adverse environmental effects but its not solidly proven yet.

Although mineral sunscreens may be better environmentally, the best sunscreen to get is the one you will wear.  It is best to choose one you are willing to wear everyday and that fits your lifestyle.  I have one I use on my face because it is very light, doesn't sting my eyes, while doing a great job.  I have another I wear on the rest of my body, including my neck and both are SPF 50 minimum.

In addition, companies have created tinted sunscreens that help blur imperfections, developed ones that will hydrate your skin, mattify the skin, or work with mature skin.  It is possible to use both types of sunscreen on different parts of your body depending on need. When you purchase your sunscreen, keep your skin type in mind otherwise you might suffer from a breakout due to materials in the sunscreen or a sensitivity reaction to chemicals.  In cases like these look for a sunscreen that are oil free or non-comedogenic.

So the bottom line is to purchase the type of sunscreen you like and will use but it should be rated at least at SPF 30 and classified as a broad spectrum.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day and don't forget to wear sunscreen everyday even if it's cloudy.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Avoiding The Dowagers Hump As You Age.


I'm sure we've all seen it.  The member of the family who over the years becomes more bent over and just can't stand up straight.  They develop that little hump so it's hard for them to stand up straight.  Every wonder why not everyone suffers from it?  Well let's look at the whole topic.

The bump we see is known as a Dowagers Hump or Kyphosis more correctly.  This rounded hump occurs at the base of your neck and is caused by leaning forward all the time. The long term bending over causes a curve in the bones of your upper spine and tissue grows at the bottom of your neck.  It is said to effect two out of every five adults over the age of 55.

One of the biggest causes of Kyphosis is poor posture such as slouching or hunching in front of the computer or television, leaning back in chairs, or carrying heavy loads on your back such as a backpack full of books.

As we grow, our spines change their normal angles of curvature to around 40 degrees by the age of 40.  If the angle of curvature goes over 40 degrees, that is when you begin to see Kyphosis.  This is more likely to occur in women since they are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis.

Unfortunately, the spine begins to curve more as we age but there are things we can do to help prevent or reduce the condition as we age.  This can be done  by eating a diet with enough calcium and vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis because it can cause this condition.

Secondly, it is important to practice good posture by standing up straight all the time.  This means keeping your shoulders back, head high, and instead of leaning over to read your computer screen or book, elevate them so you are not looking down. 

Next, always, always, always stretch because tight muscles can pull the body out of alignment, contributing to Kyphosis.  When a person stretches regularly, they increase their flexibility, keep muscles more limber, thus keeping the neck in spine in better alignment.  Furthermore, it is important to exercise the whole body to enhance the muscles of the body, improving posture.  The stronger the core, the better alignment the body has.   It is best to include weight bearing exercises to help build and maintain bone density to stay healthy.

If you are interested in using exercise to help prevent or decrease Kyphosis, it is best to speak with a personal trainer who can set you up with the proper exercises.  Three movements that come highly recommended are pulling down, pulling back, pulling up.  Pulling down might be the part of the pull up when your body does down to the bottom of the movement.  The pulling back can be accomplished through exercises that have you pull your arms back so you strengthen your rhomboid muscles.  Pulling up can be done by raising weights and keeping your shoulders down.

This is something to keep in mind when you spend your day hunched over your computer or your desk.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day. 

Friday, March 18, 2022

Changing Hair Routines As You Age.


If you pay any attention to your hair, you'll notice that it undergoes changes, some minor, some larger as you get older.  Your hair can change colors, become thinner, or even quit growing as you age. In addition, in our society, it is fine for men to go gray because gray is associated with wisdom but when women go gray, they are seen as "old". 

Realistically, we usually see our first gray hair in our 30's but it doesn't really become noticeable until we reach our 40's and by the time we are in our 50's and 60's, we suffer from multiple things. 

As you get older, the cycle of hair growth gets shorter.  In addition, the width of the hair strands gets narrower, and the scalp becomes dryer.  These factors effect the look and feel of the hair you are growing.  

Your hair becomes dryer due to the decreasing production of lipids. The lipids is what is responsible for shine, softness, and the smoothness of the hair.  In addition, changes in your hormones can change the diameter of the hair strand. If you have curly, coiled, or heavily textured hair, you will experience more dryness because these types of hair begin dryer. It is also noted that curly, real wavy, and coiled hair is seldom uniform and will get even more when we are older.  

As far as aging goes, we associate that first "grey" hair with getting older.  It is telling us that our bodies are no longer producing as much melanin in the hair follicle. The decreased melanin production means our hair becomes more transparent which is seen as grey or white. Unfortunately, grey hair is more sensitive to external factors such as weather or pollution. Consider using a shampoo and conditioner designed for silver or gray hair as they hydrate, boost shine, and make it less brassy. 

Another side effect of aging is an increased amount of hair loss.  It is considered normal to lose up to 100 strands a day but when our hormones fluctuate, we could lose more than that.  It is the hormones that effect our scalp and hair health throughout our lives.  Even the smallest shift in hormones can lead to severe hair loss and there are so many factors that effect our hormone levels including medicines, hair care products and practices, and life such as menopause and pregnancy.  Furthermore, as we age our body no longer produces all of the hormones at the levels it had been so our hair thins and some hair follicles even stop producing hair so we have fewer strands of hair growing. 

If you are one of those folks who love being out in the sun without sunscreen or a hat, your hair could be effected. Too much sun can dry the hair or change its texture.  In addition to sun, hair styling, use of heat, or chemical issues such as coloring, bleaching, or perming can also change the texture, or make your hair dryer, or damage it significantly. 

So as you age, you need to change your routine to accommodate all these changes.  The way we handle them will change around the age of 45 or so. First off, stay away from products that are heavy like a balm or oil because it can weigh down finer hair.  Choose light weight serum that is easily absorbed instead so the hair is hydrated without being weighed down.  

In addition avoid any texturizing product with salt in them and avoid dry shampoos because they can make your hair dryer and rougher.  If you love your products, just use less of them if you can't give them up. Read the ingredients list, looking for restoring lipids, cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol and keratin. Check out products designed for older women so you get what you need for your hair.  

Aging is a normal process and begins in your late 20's and early 30's but it isn't noticeable till around 40 or so.  Stay one step ahead of things by changing products to prevent the damage.  Don't be afraid of it since it happens to everyone.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Chemical Versus Mechanical Exfoliation.


An important part of having beautiful skin is to include exfoliation into the cleansing routine.  The exfoliation is designed to help clear off dead skins so our bodies can create new, healthy skin.  When we are newborns, skin cells are replaced every couple of days but as we age, the turnover rate slows down so the dead cells remain longer.  These dead cells can clog pores, while highlighting your fine lines and wrinkles. 

This is the biggest reason one should exfoliate - to get rid of all those dead cells and encourage new cells.  Furthermore, exfoliation unclogs pores so the skin is better able to release natural moisturizing oils, fades age spots, minimizes the appearance of pores and scars, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, improves the absorption of moisturizers and lotions, and improves collagen production.

There are two types of exfoliants one can use, chemical or mechanical.  Chemical exfoliation is mostly a liquid such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA), or enzymes. AHA's are most often used in light chemical peels.  AHA's come from sources such as milk, fruits, and sugar.  The two most used ones are Lactic Acid or Glycolic acid.  BHA's are also used in light chemical peels and is better known as salicylic acid which is found as aspirin.  Enzymes come from fruit and work like acids but are much slower.

Mechanical exfoliants are physical ones such as microbes, small granules, large granules, or natural materials.  Microbeads are tiny plastic particles found in so many skin products. When the particles were found in various lakes and oceans, the government outlawed them and manufacturers phased this ingredient out. Small granules such as jojoba seeds or ruby crystals that are small, uniform in size, and shape.  This makes them a good size to exfoliate skin without damaging it. 

Large granules are larger sized pieces such as pumice, or magnesium oxide that are used in exfoliation for people who have thicker skin.  The final type of exfoliant are the natural materials such as ground up walnut shells, or ground fruit seeds. These have sharp edges and can be extremely abrasive.  These can really damage the skin. 

When you choose an exfoliating product, it helps to keep in mind your skin type.  If you have acne prone skin, stay away from the physical or mechanical exfoliants because they can make your skin worse by encouraging additional breakouts.  Instead, choose an exfoliant with BHA and plan to exfoliate your face no more than once a week.

If you have dry skin, you will have difficulty in absorbing moisture.  You want something to remove dead cells while encouraging your skin to produce additional natural oils so you want a product that contains both AHA and BHA's along with small granules such as jojoba beads to sooth your skin while exfoliating it. 

Oily skin usually allows for more exfoliation, up to five times a week so you want something with AHA or BHA and plan on moisturizing your skin when done exfoliating. If you have combinations skin, you'll need something with both chemical and mechanical exfoliations so look for a product with glycolic or salicylic acids combined with exfoliation beads.  On the other hand, if your skin is sensitive, look for something with enzymes to gently exfoliate.  

If you are older, you want something that will get rid of dead smell so look for a product with glycolic acid to keep your skin from drying out and it will encourage collagen production at the same time.  Finally, if you have healthy skin, you can pretty. much use what ever you want.

Now if you use a chemical exfoliator, you need to cleanse your face and dry it first. Apply a small amount of the chemical exfoliator to a cotton pad and dab it on your skin starting at the jaw line, moving to the cheeks, forehead, the nose and brows.  Do not apply it to the area close to the eyes. Leave the product on for about 30 minutes before continuing with the rest of your facial routine including the moisturizer. 

For the mechanical exfoliant, cleanse your face but leave it damp.  Apply a little bit of the mechanical exfoliant to your finger tips, before applying it to your skin using small circular motions. Begin at your jaw, move up to your cheeks, then up to your forehead and down to your nose before finishing around the chin.  Again, do not apply to the area around your eyes.  Remove the exfoliant with lukewarm water before patting off.   Continue with your normal routine and don't forget the moisturizer.

So now you know which is type of exfoliant is best in what situation.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Changing Your Makeup When You Are Over 40.


When we are in our twenties, we can wear any style, play with colors, and just have fun but as we age, we need to change the way we apply makeup.  Our skin is thinning, drying out a bit, and becoming wrinkled.  By the time we hit 40, we can't wear makeup in the same way. In addition, we don't want to apply makeup so we look older than we really are.

The recommendations concerning color is that one should wear more color as you get older but it should be applied carefully using sheer makeup. In addition, the makeup should be either long wearing or water proof because as a woman ages, her body undergoes some significant temperature fluctuations.

When a woman gets older, her skin appears duller and she develops small wrinkles and fine lines around the eye. The challenge is to apply makeup so it doesn't fill in those fine lines and wrinkles. Your mantra will be "Less is more." To counter this one should use a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 although 30 is better. 

Before applying the foundation, use a hydrating primer because the hydration plumps the sun so it is smoother. The next step is to use a tinted moisturizer or foundation to provide lighter coverage but only where needed.  One might need to use a corrector or concealer to counter the discolorations and cover dark circles under the eyes. Consider using a sheer powder in limited areas such as the T-zone but check the ingredients list.  You do not want talc on the list because it absorbs moisture and can make your skin look dull.  

As you age, the eyes can appear smaller, puffy, or droopy and the lines become more visible. Furthermore, the  eyebrows can appear faded and spacer so they don't look as thick and vibrant.   Make sure to use eye cream in both the morning and evening.  To make the eyes look better, shape and fill in the eyebrows but do not use a color darker than your hair color.  When you line your eyes, start a thicker line at the edge going thinner as the line moves towards the inner corner but make sure it is softer.  This makes the eyes look more almond shape.  It is important to choose waterproof products since you tend to sweat more as you age.

In addition, there is a good chance the color of your eyelashes will gray so either use a double pigmented volumizing mascara or have someone professionally color your lashes rather than doing it yourself at home. Start conditioning your lashes and brows will help keep them from breaking.  As far as colors go, choose the more neutral ones such as taupe, gray, a soft bone, or basic brown shades. Use the seasonal colors or shimmery shades for accent. Stay away from the bright, glittery, or frosty shadows or colored mascara.

Then in regard to the lips, they start loosing volume, definition, and pigment.  In addition, glosses and lipstick can get into the lines on and around the lips. First off, think about using a lip conditioner.  Next this is a case where one should use lip liner with a fat liner and fill in the lips with a lighter shade in the middle to give a fuller, plumper look.  Before using the lip liner, use a lip primer in a neutral shade to prevent feathering. No matter what shade of lip stick is chosen, make sure it is the sheer rather than glossy formulas. In fact, the older we get, the less gloss we should be using.  In addition, it is best to avoid dark matte's and the super bright shades. Furthermore, if you use a brighter lipstick, tone down the eyes but if you use brighter coloring around the eyes, tone down the lipstick.  It is all about balance. 

Finally, always use blush.  Blush ties the whole look together while adding dimension.  For best results, apply blush on the apples of the cheeks to lift the face.  Keep these tips in mind as you age so your makeup doesn't look too heavy.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.  

Sunday, March 13, 2022


 Tomorrow, you are graduating and heading off to conquer the world.

Friday, March 11, 2022

The Benefits Of Yoga.

Yoga is my other to go exercise when I need to ease back on my workouts since it doesn't feel like exercise to me.  I do come out sweating and feel warm just as if I'd done a good aerobics workout but it is much gentler.  I am proud of myself.  I managed to do a downward facing dog without falling on my face. Yeah, finally. 

There are some good reasons to practice yoga. First of all, yoga improves strength, balance, and flexibility.  One of the top reasons for taking yoga is to improve flexibility and all forms of yoga contribute to improved flexibility. 

Since many of the poses demand use of core muscles or standing in positions that require you balance, yoga is great for improving balance which is good.  You want to maintain your balance as you age so you won't fall and remain independent in your later years. 

The slow movements of yoga combined with deep breathing, help increase blood flow while warming up the muscles.  In addition, when you hold the pose, you are building muscles. The second reason given for taking yoga is to relieve stress.  Yoga helps relieve stress through physical practice, meditation, and breathing.  Since yoga helps people relax, they often sleep better at night because it prepares your body to sleep at night.

Yoga also  helps relieve back pain because yoga helps stretch to ease pain and improve mobility.  In fact, the American College of Physicians recommends yoga for chronic low back pain.  Yoga can also ease arthritis  symptoms because it helps ease tender swollen joints. Furthermore, there are indications that yoga can help. improve heart health by reducing levels of stress and inflammations in the body.  There is a study out there that found yoga helps reduce inflammations experienced in heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases linked to extended inflammation.  

Another feature of yoga is that it may improve bone density due to the isometric aspects of its practices.  All movements rely on using your body and body weight to get into and out of positions.  Since most positions are held for a certain length of time, your body weight helps bone density which can help you with preventing osteoporosis.

Yoga can also improve mood while making people feel more energetic.  It also supports managing stress, helps mental health, control weight, with better sleep. It also encourages self-care and improves posture.  When performing yoga, you are aware of your body and your posture so you stand straighter.  You are also not slouched over a desk working in front of your computer. 

In other words, yoga provides a good overall workout that can help you in so many ways.  I started doing yoga to help improve my balance but now I'm branching out to make it the primary workout on weekends or when I need a slow day.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Why Do Tai Chi?


I tend to be addicted to exercise and want to always do the aerobic or weights so I feel as if I've actually had a workout.  I like "knowing" I worked out but I know that I need some down time so when I "need" to exercise, I switch to yoga and tai chi.  I actually like the tai chi but I've often wondered why it is considered good for me since it tends to be so slow and methodical.  

Originally, tai chi was not used as a form of exercise, it was actually a form of self defense but over time it changed focus.  Tai chi is made up of slow, flowing movements that are almost like meditating. It is classified as a system of gentle exercise and stretching and is self-paced. 

Furthermore, there are several different variations of tai chi.  The focus can range from health to the martial arts origin.  It is different from yoga in that yoga has postures and breathing techniques. The good thing is that tai chi is a low impact form of exercise and puts minimal stress on joints and muscles so it is good for all ages and levels of fitness. However, it is recommended that people check with their doctors before taking it up.  

Although it is a slow exercise, it has multiple benefits such as decreasing stress and anxiety, improves the mood, improves aerobic capacity, increases stamina and energy while improving flexibility, balance and agility. It also helps improve muscle strength while defining muscles.  In addition, there are indications that tai chi can also help you sleep better at night, helps lower your blood pressure by reducing stress, decreases the risk of falling in older adults because it improves balance, and helps over all health.

There has been some research done on the benefits of tai chi.  One study indicated that tai chi provided the same amount of stress relief as regular exercising. This is thought to be due to the meditation that is included in tai chi.  It has also been observed that people who regularly practice tai chi have noticed a reduction in the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.  It is thought that the slow, purposeful movements combined with deep, slow, breaths positively effect the nervous system and hormones that regulate mood and help people sleep better at night.

Furthermore, there are indications that practicing tai chi can help people lose weight without doing anything additional in their routine. In addition, it appears that tai chi improves cognitive ability in older adults because it effects memory, paying attention, and carrying out complex tasks.  Another reason for older people to take tai chi is that it helps improve balance while reducing the fear of falling due to an increase in confidence. 

Overall, tai chi is considered a safe exercise with few side effects. Although there are DVD's available for learning tai chi, it is strongly recommended you find a class in your area so you get the full benefit of having a in person teacher. This is especially true if you have health issues and may need alternate movements because you can't do certain movements.  

In general, there are five major styles of tai chi.  The Yang style of tai chi is filled with slow, graceful movements for relaxing and it is a good style for beginners.  The Wu style focus on micro movements so it is extremely slow.  The Chen style combines slow and fast movements and might be difficult for beginners.  The Sun style also combines slow and fast movements like the Chen style but has less crouching, kicking, and punching so it is less demanding.  Finally there is the Hao style is the least used since it focuses on accurate position and internal strength.

It is possible to experience benefits for short term use of under 12 weeks, so it's recommended one get in the habit of doing it regularly for longer periods of time.  It is suggested one practice tai chi at the same time every day but if that isn't possible, do it when you can, even just imagining in your mind when you are stuck in traffic.

So if you want something that isn't too strenuous to start with, look at tai chi.  On Wednesday, I'll be exploring the benefits of yoga since it is also exercise that doesn't seem like exercise. 

Monday, March 7, 2022

How To Choose A Perfume.


So far we've talked about why one should wear perfume, how to apply it properly so now it's time to talk about choosing a perfume.  If you are going to wear a perfume, it should be one you like a lot, like enough to make it your signature scent. 

Have you ever noticed that a scent you love on your friend, doesn't smell as nice on you?  It has to do with your body chemistry and how it reacts to the perfume.   So your body chemistry, body oils, body heat, and the bacteria on your body, all contribute to the way the scents diffuse into the air. These factors also contribute to how long the scent lasts and the notes that are released.  In fact, these same factors effect vary from person to person and year to year.

One of the first things that effect the scents of your perfume is your skin type.   The amount of oil produced by the body depends on diet, lifestyle, and stress level and these same factors determine the aroma the oil makes. This scent mixes with both sweat and perfume to create a unique scent. The general rule is that the oilier your skin, the less perfume you need and the longer it lasts. On the other hand, dry skin is rough and the roughness traps the perfume molecules so that the fragrance evaporates quickly, leaving behind a duller scent that lasts a while.  

Another factor is the pH of your skin.  If the pH is off, it won't absorb the scent as well as it does when its balanced. For the best results, your skin should be slightly acidic but if you have dry skin, moisturize it since hydration seems to be the key to helping fragrances last longer and smell proper.  In addition, if the temperature of your skin is warmer, the fragrance will seem more intense.  Since the human nose has over 400 olfactory receptors, everyone will experience scents differently so you need to look for a scent that people complement you on. 

Most perfumes have three layers of scents, the top note, middle or heart note, and bottom note. The top note refers to the scents that appear instantly while middle notes are the scents that take over when the top notes disappear, and the bottom notes are the ones left after the middle notes are gone. This is important when you are checking out scents because sometimes one scent doesn't strike us right while another one seems perfect. 

When you are out to choose a perfume, you want to spray the scent either in the air, or on a card to smell the top scents so you know what the first scents will be.  If you find something you like, put it on your wrist and smell it again in 20 minutes so you experience the middle notes.  Then in about an hours, smell your wrist again so you experience the base notes. It is the perfume interacting with the scents produced by the body that determine if the scent will be awesome or a disaster.  This is why you need to take your time in choosing the "perfect" scent.

Now you know how to select the perfect perfume.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, March 4, 2022

How To Wear Perfume.

Last time, I gave reasons for wearing perfume including boosting your mood, evoking memories, and making you feel like you are ready but it is important to know how to apply it properly so you don't make everyone around you want to escape.  There really is a proper way of applying perfume based on certain principles of chemistry and methods that have proven themselves over the years.  

As mentioned before, the best place to apply the perfume is directly to the skin because the warmth from it helps the oils release the scent and the oils in the perfume attach to the skin using by using its oil loving properties.  One way to have it last longer is to apply the perfume to the skin after you've applied body lotion or oil so the perfume is able to bind better.  Do not apply any of it to your hair because the alcohol in a perfume can dry and/or damage your hair.  If you want to spray it into your hair, make sure you have chosen a brand that has no alcohol it in. 

It is important to place the perfume on your pulse points because they are naturally warm and moist.  Pulse points include the insides of the elbows, back of the knees, the chest, and the sides of the neck. When you apply perfume to these points, the perfume is released fully and the top notes don't just disappear, leaving the scent smelling stiff and lifeless, or too heavy.  In addition, just dab the perfume so it is gently released rather than hitting you in the face.

Do not rub the perfume into the skin because it needs to sit on the skin so it can mix with your natural oils.  Avoid rubbing your wrists together because the top notes will disappear quickly and you loose important nuances of the scent. In addition, when you rub the perfume, you are also either rubbing away the scent or drying it faster so the depth of the scent does not develop.

Be careful when you use the cloud technique with perfume.  By cloud technique I'm referring to spraying it around before walking through it when you want to feel totally immersed. Take care to make sure the perfume you are using has no toxic ingredients or the person near you is allergic to it. Look for a biodegradable fragrance that won't hurt anyone.

In addition, it is possible to layer scents to refresh a scent without overpowering it. If you decide to refresh a scent, the new one should be a single note such as a powdery musk.  Try not to refresh one big fragrance with another big fragrance because it can be overpowering and cause headaches in you and those around you. Instead, refresh the big fragrance with either a single note musky or woody one. Try to avoid the fruity scents as they can be overwhelming.

Finally, think about spraying a bit on your clothing but make sure you only do this to washable fabrics. In addition, try to avoid silks or other fabrics that may be stained by the spray. For a more even coverage, wave the fabric through the scent. Just know that fabric only catches some of the spray so the fragrance may not smell the same as it does on you. 

So if you want to wear perfume, you know the best way to do it so you get the full benefit of the scents.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Why Wear Perfume?


I've always wondered why women wear perfume.  I never got into the habit of wearing it because I didn't like the scent of most.  They were either too heavy or didn't smell right.  I prefer scents that are light and barely there.  I don't want to leave a trail saying "Look at me!".  I am fully aware that many people now have reactions to perfume but sometimes, it is nice to feel a bit special. 

There are some reasons to wear perfume but it is important to wear it properly for the maximum benefit. The perfume needs to be applied directly to the skin because the oil molecules in the perfume attach to the oil loving properties of the skin so the scent unravels.  The heat of the skin warms the oil so the scent is released. 

When you wear perfume, it can boost your confidence when you head off to a meeting, your first date with someone, because when you smell good, you feel good.  However, it is important to choose a scent that you love and shows your personality.  In addition, it can help make a good first impression.  It is the scent that completes the whole picture.  It adds that finishing touch like those earrings or necklace you chose to go with the outfit.  If you are dressed up to go out, the scent makes you smell fresh and awesome. It lets people know that you care about your appearance and you take care of your hygiene.  Again, you need to make sure you select the correct scent so you aren't wearing one designed for a night time adventure when you are headed off to work.

In addition, scents are connected to memories and emotions.  For instance, you might connect a certain aroma to your mother and every time you smell it, it brings back memories of her.  Scents can bring forth feelings of love, hurt, grief, or sorrow.  Furthermore, many women have a signature scent they always wear so when you smell it, you associate it with them.  The signature scent is like when you smell fried chicken, you know your grandmother is cooking.  

Wearing perfume can also lift your mood, remind you of happy events, making you feel better.  The correct scent can make you feel energized, uplifted, and happier.  This psychological booster works great during the pandemic when you can't get out of the house or go visit friends and relatives.  It is a way to improve self-esteem and well-being. This is because our olfactory system has ties to the part of the brain that triggers memory and fear.  This is why when I smell a rose based perfume, I think of my aunt and the scent of baby powder reminds me of a niece. 

So wearing perfume boosts your confidence, evokes memories and emotions, boosts your mood, improves self-esteem and your well-being.  I'll discuss how to apply perfume on Friday because you do want to wear it properly.  It should hint, not hit everyone over the head or announce your arrival two miles away and remind people you came by for another two miles.  

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.