Saturday, May 28, 2022

Friday, May 27, 2022

Why Have A Monthly Facial?

I think I've only had one official facial in my life and that was many years ago.  I know it left me feeling quite good and it helped my skin but due to where I usually end up, I've not had one since.  Today, we'll look at why you really need to have a facial at least once a month, and next time, we'll look at how to do one at home if you can't manage one done by a professional.

A facial is a process designed to clean the skin by cleansing it, using steam to help soften blackheads etc, exfoliation, extraction of blackheads and whiteheads, massage, mask, application of toner, serums, and moisturizer. 

One good reason to have a monthly facial is because a good facial can help smooth fine lines while promoting collagen production.  This is important because collagen is an important ingredient that helps prevent winkles, sagging skin, and premature aging.

In addition, a good facial can be quite relaxing and can heal you.  The touching, massaging, and other techniques professionals use during a facial can be quite healing. Thus one can undergo stress relief while ending up with wonderful skin.

Furthermore, facials can slow down the aging process of the skin by reducing aging spots and fine lines while reducing dehydration in the skin. They allow skin to look and feel so much better and they make us feel better.  Our skin fight aging through the use of exfoliation and massage.  It allows nutrients to penetrate the skin so it's healthier.

A professional is able to do exfoliation on your skin that penetrates deeper than at home but if you need to exfoliate your own skin, you will still receive benefits.  The process of exfoliation smooths your skin, unclogs pores so you can absorb nutrients better,  helps the skins ability to hydrate, and evens out the tone of your skin. 

In a properly done facial, the circulation of blood improves so that skin cells are encouraged to renew.  In addition, when pores are cleaned to a deeper level, thus helping the skin to be healthier, reduce the formation of acne, and reduce the size of the pores by eliminating dirt and oil.

When done, you'll feel so much better, you skin has had a treat and you'll feel less stressful.  If you can afford it and have access to a professional, it is best to go to them but not everyone has access to a professional so on Monday, I'll talk about doing a facial at home so you can indulge yourself.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Spray Sunscreen

While looking at powdered sunscreen, I wondered how effective spray sunscreens are.  I used a spray sunscreen one time when I went sailing with my sister and I ended up nicely burned so I wasn't sure it was any good in that form.  

We know that sunscreen when used in the lotion or creme form offers the absolute best form of protection, especially when it is reapplied regularly.  You now know that powder sunscreen is good used over a base of liquid sunscreen but is spray as effective as the lotions?  Let's find out.

According to a 2018 study, people bought spray sunscreen in almost the same number as those sold in lotion form.  The research indicates that spray sunscreen is as effective as the lotion form but only if it is used correctly. First of all, it is important to apply enough sunscreen for it to be effective but that can be difficult to determine. If you purchased a spray sunscreen rated at 45 SPF and spray it on for 2 to 3 seconds, you are not going to get the full benefit. Due to that issue, more dermatologists recommend the lotion over the spray form.

Since it is in spray form, it is possible to inhale particles and sprays are not regulated in the same way as lotions.  It is best not to use the spray form on a windy day because it will be difficult to get enough on your body instead of the towel, the air, someone else, etc. Also, don't apply it near a heat source such as grills, candles, lit cigarettes, etc because they are flammable and you don't want to set yourself on fire.

To use the spray sunscreen properly, use it outside rather than inside.  You need the ventilation and you don't want to make your floors slippery when the remaining spray ends up on the floor. When you use it, hold the nozzle near your skin and spray until you see the liquid on your skin (the skin glistens and is wet), then rub it into your skin. If you aren't sure if your skin is glistening, spray the sunscreen for at least 6 seconds for the area.  This way you ensure the sunscreen is applied evenly on your skin and you cover any spots missed by the spray.  For best results, use a lotion for the first layer, then use the spray for reapplying.  

They say that a normal sized spray bottle when used correctly is good for 6 applications if you use the correct amount each time because you need about an ounce of the spray for the proper amount. When you apply the spray sunscreen to your face, spray a good amount into your hands and apply it to your face for best results.  

Remember, even when using a spray sunscreen, it needs to be rated at least SPF 30, reapplied every hour or two, and you must spray until your skin glistens.  In addition, if your sunscreen is water resistant, you need to totally reapply it if you rub a towel on your skin because the towel absorbs the sunscreen thus removing it. Be sure to pair it with a hat and long sleeved garment for the best protection.  

So remember, use a sunscreen in lotion form for the very first layer, reapply lots of spray sunscreen every hour or two, reapply after drying yourself off, and always rub it in for best coverage.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Powdered Sunscreen.


I ran across something I'd never heard of  before the other day when I was reading my newsfeed.  I knew sunscreen came in spray, lotion, but I'd never heard of it in powdered form.  That made my mind go "wow".  It made me want to find out more about it.

We all know that dermatologists strongly recommend we wear sunscreen all year round.  We know it needs to be reapplied on a regular basis but that is kind of hard if you have it under all your makeup.  In theory, powdered sunscreen is a great way of reapplying sunscreen over your makeup so you have full protection but does it work that way?

Let's start with what powdered sunscreen is.  Powdered sunscreen is a sunscreen that has the same texture as setting powder. They are found either in a container with a retractable brush or in a compact like you see women use in films from the 1940's and 50's. These sunscreens tend to be quite light, great to wear as a finishing touch to your make up and are not heavy like lotions or creams.

On the other hand, there is some question as to whether sunscreen in this form is able to provide the same  protection as cremes and lotions. It turns out they are sort of as effective but with restrictions.  To get the most effectiveness out of powdered sunscreen, they cannot be used as the initial source of sunscreen.  They are much better used to retouch your sunscreen after using a lotion or creme for the initial application.  In other words, use the lotion or creme sunscreen when you get ready for the day and use the powder to tough up your makeup throughout the day.

Traditional sunscreen lotions and cremes provide the best coverage and should be applied under your makeup.  It is recommended that sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours.  Since you don't want to take your make up off and reapply the sunscreen off before putting the makeup on again, one can use the powdered sunscreen every couple of hours to improve the effectiveness of your sunscreen protection. 

However understand that powder sunscreens tend to be less effective on their own because they are not absorbed into the skin and they cannot create a good barrier.  In addition, they do contain less SPF than their liquid counterparts and need to be reapplied more frequently to get the full benefits of sunscreen.

The nice thing about powdered sunscreen is that they feel much lighter than lotions or cremes. Since they feel more like a setting powder, they are much easier to use over the makeup you are wearing. They are ideal for sensitive skin and they come in easy to take with you packaging.  They slip in your purse easily.  

Remember, do not use powdered sunscreen as your main source of protection, use it for touch ups.  Since it is a powder, it can be difficult to apply evenly and the SPF rating my not be as accurate as it is with liquid sunscreen.  If you decide to use a powdered sunscreen, look for a broad spectrum one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30.  Check the ingredients list for titanium or zinc since these two ingredients physically block the rays and are less irritating to the skin.  If it contains iron oxide, that is great because the iron oxide protects against blue light. Finally, look for ceramide 3, olive glycerides, vitamins E and C, and antioxidants for extra protection.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  

Friday, May 20, 2022

Keeping Your Skin Healthy While You Travel.

I'm getting ready to do quite a bit of travel this summer, both domestically and internationally.  When you read this, I'll be in Croatia exploring one of the places they filmed "Game of Thrones". This is one topic that is close to my heart because many of the trips take me all day or half the day and I don't have access to my usual skin routine. 

Not having access to your normal skin care routine, stress related to traveling, and having your sleep disrupted can all have negative effects.  Fortunately, there are things one can do to minimize any negative effects.

One of the most important things is to drink water through the flight so you are able to hydrate your skin from the inside. It is recommended to increase your water to an amount in ounces equal to half your weight several days before you begin your trip and continue drinking the same amount during the actual trip.

Don't forget your lips as they are so easy to forget. Long days of travel can dry your lips out as much as your skin.  Plan to use some ultra hydrating products on your lips so they stay hydrated on your trip. You could use something as simple as Vaseline or similar product.

Just because you are traveling does not mean you should skip the sunscreen because it is just as important when traveling as it is at home. When you are traveling by plane, you are closer to the sun and more exposed to UV rays.  A study indicated that pilots and flight attendants experience twice the amount of melanoma than regular people so it is important to use sunscreen even though you may not think you need it.

In addition, take your normal skin care products with you rather than trying to use something new.  It is easy to find travel sizes for most products and those are a much better size to take with you.  I purchased a set of my products in travel sizes and then refill them as needed.  This way they take so much less space and it helps your products stay effective.  If you transfer them into travel sized bottles, you lose some protections such as with Vitamin C serums, they need to be to be in dark bottles stored in cool dry places.

Furthermore, do not leave your products home and assume you can use the hotel. Bring your own products because hotel products often have scents and preservatives that can irritate your skin and dry it out even further. One should also be prepared to breakout due to stress, change in water, and new bacteria so bring a bit of something to treat acne.

Grab one of those sheet masks and tuck it into your carryon or have a nice hydrating skin spray handy to help rehydrate your skin.  It doesn't take long and can be done at your seat so you arrive at your destination with beautiful skin that is soft and fully hydrated.  Keep all of these items in mind as you travel.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

So You Want A Safe Tan?


So if we are told that we shouldn't tan directly under the sun, or resort to some sort of tanning bed or salon, how do we get a tan without increasing the chance of getting cancer sometime in the future.  If you've checked the market, one can find self tanning products also known as a sunless tan. 

Sunless tanners are considered so much safer than the tans gained through UV rays.  Most of these products rely on dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which combines with the amino acids in the skin to create the desired shade.  Dihydroxyacetone is actually a colorless sugar  that interacts with the dead cells of your skin and while it interacts it releases a distinct smell. 

Although there is no evidence that anything in the sunless tanner is bad for you, experts strongly recommend one cover the nose, eyes, and mouth when using it in spray form so none of the product is inhaled. Fortunately, you can find sunless tanning products as a lotion, wipes, and sprays to use to produce a great tan at home.  It is recommended one use self tanners at night.  

One of the most important things to do in preparation to use the products is to exfoliate your skin first. If you don't make sure you exfoliate dry areas such as elbows, knees, ankles, and wrists so they don't absorb to much product otherwise they look too brown or too orange. Once you've exfoliated your skin, let it fully dry for at least 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.

At this point, you apply the sunless tanning product evenly over your body.  When you are done, let it set at least 15 minutes before you get dressed but it is important to wash your hands once you finish the application or you'll end up with brown streaks all over your hands.  

One important thing to remember is to use sunscreen because the sunless tanning products do not protect your skin from UV rays. In addition, one should use hats, proper clothing, and a sun umbrella.  Furthermore, most sunless tanning products only last between five and seven days because as the dead cells fall off the body, the tan fades.

You might find something called a tanning pill being advertised as a way of causing your skin tan but there is evidence that it has some not so nice side effects and the FDA has not approved any of the pills to be used as marketed.  There have been a few studies to indicate that DHA may generate free radicals. Unfortunately, free radicals can cause your skin to age faster.  It can also interfere with the body's production of vitamin D and for some people, it will irritate their skin.

All in all, sunless tanners are still one of your best alternatives to getting a UV based tan so it is still safer to use than lying out in the sun or using a tanning booth.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.  

Monday, May 16, 2022

Don't Think Of Using A Tanning Bed


Summer is swiftly approaching and you might want to slip in a few sessions at your local tanning salon so you have a tan to start the summer with.  There are all sorts of myths associated with tanning floating around and today, I'll be exploring them since many are total myths and the information is important to staying healthy.

The first thing to keep in mind is that tanning beds are not safer than being out in the sun.  In fact, it has been found that one session in an indoor tanning bed, booth, or sun lamp can increase your chances of developing cancer. Specifically 20% for melanoma, 67% for squamous cell carcinoma, and 26% for basal cell carcinoma. 

When you tan either indoors or outside under the sun, your skin ages faster than without. When you tan, wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, and age spots appear earlier. When you tan, your skin turns leathery. In addition, the use of tanning beds can lead to burns, loss of consciousness, or injury to the eyes. 

There is a belief that if you have a base tan, you won't sun burn.  This reason is often given for using the tanning bed ahead of warmer weather.  In reality, having a base tan will not prevent sunburn.  In fact, each time you tan or burn, you are damaging the DNA in your skin and the more you damage the DNA, the greater the risk of cancer.  There is research to indicate that if you tan indoors before the age of 30, you have six times higher chance of getting melanoma.

If you've heard that you can use the tanning beds to get your body to produce enough vitamin D to meet daily requirements, that is false. Tanning beds use mostly UVA rays and your body needs UVB rays make vitamin D.  To get enough vitamin D, eat healthier or take a supplement because that is safer.

Believe it or not, but using indoor tanning methods can be addicting.  In a few studies, it has been found that 20 percent of the 18 to 30 year old white women who rely on indoor tanning methods, are addicted to tanning. If they don't get the steady dose of UV rays, they get fidgety or depressed. 

Don't believe the hype that one can hide stretch marks with a tan because stretch marks actually become more noticeable. If you really want to hide them, use a self tanner. Furthermore, too many tanning salons give out the wrong information when it comes to the safety of indoor tanning.  In a study commissioned by the U.S. House of Representatives, it was found that 90 % of the staff at indoor tanning salons gave incorrect information on the health risk for fair-skinned teenage girls.  

You don't need to use a tanning bed to keep a year round tan.  There are lots of self tanners that do the job and are so much safer.  Finally, when you avoid tanning salons, beds, etc, you are lowering your chances of getting cancer thus helping yourself live longer. If you have been tanning via indoor tanning places, quit so you can decrease your risk.  I try not to tan or use tanning salons since I want to live as long as I can.  Have a great week.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Manicures Are Almost All The Same.


My sister was one of those folks who went to the nail salon on a regular basis so she'd always have great nails.  I'm the one who always had mismatched nails simply because I end up working in my garden without gloves, scrape sticky stuff off the kitchen floor with nails, etc.  However, there are times when I choose to indulge in a nice manicure.  If you don't get manicures regularly, you won't know about the different types of manicures. Many of the differences are in the type of polish used but the basic part is all the same.

We'll start with the basic manicure, the one that isn't fancy or with extra things.  The one I usually go after since it only involves trimming your nails, shaping and buffing your nails.  In addition, cuticle oil is applied to the cuticles and they are massaged.  To finish it off, regular nail polish is applied and it leaves you with nice glossy nails.  The type of nail polish is easy to remove but it does dull or chip. 

The next possibility is the French manicure.  In a French manicure, the main part of the nails are done in a sheer tone and the tips are a nice white. The French manicure is done with either gel or regular nail polish and it goes with anything you wear.  This style also makes your fingers look longer. If you choose to have regular nail polish used, the polish is prone to chipping. Some places offer a reverse French manicure where a crescent moon is painted at the base of the nail in a slightly darker shade so it looks like the base matches the tips.  You might also find an American manicure which is similar to the French manicure but the colors are more blended and it looks more natural.

Then there is the gel also known as the shellac manicure. Shellac is the name of the original gel polish.  This type of polish is much tougher and more flexible than regular polish. After the basic part is done, they apply the gel and then us a special heat lamp to cure it.  The advantage to this polish is that it does not chip and the color doesn't fade but it is much harder to remove. It is recommended you have a professional remove the gel polish so you don't damage your nails. A variation of this type of manicure is the mirror look. A dark nail polish is applied as the base with a chrome pigment is brushed over the nails to create the mirror look.  This also requires the polish be dried under a UV lamp.

Of course, there is the acrylic manicure where the nail technician mixes a liquid and a powder together to create a solid nail overlay. These may end up in the traditional shape or may be made in a more creative shape depending on the ability of the nail technician. These are the ones that are applied, polished, and often have nail art applied to them. This type of nail can be bought at the store and is often referred to as fake nails. They can add length to your nails but they also can pop off due to daily activities and they become noticeable as your nails grow out.

The last manicure is a dip powder.  After the basic manicure, an adhesive is applied to your nails and they are dipped into a colored powder.  There is no drying or curing time to worry about.  This type of finish can last as long as gel polish but the finish may not be as smooth and it can effect your nails if used for long periods of time.

Be aware though that there is a chance of nail injury or infection during the process. Always make sure you go to an experienced professional who uses sterile equipment. In addition, check out their overall cleanliness procedures to cut down on the possibility of infections. Always insist the nail technician clean and sterilize the equipment before being used on you. Finally, make sure they clean their hands before beginning.  You do not want an infection or injury.

So although each is listed as a type of manicure, the name refers to the finish.  The basic manicure of trimming, shaping, and buffing is the same.  Even fixing cuticles, oiling and massaging them is the same for all.  So let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Selecting The Correct Shade Of Foundation

Finding the correct shade of foundation can be a challenge.  I saw a video on Youtube in which this girl with light skin, took a very dark foundation and used it on her skin so she'd get an instant tan. The thing about foundation is that you want it to look natural.  If you end up applying foundation all over your face so it looks even, you've chosen the wrong shade. 

In reality, the foundation you want is one that can be applied where needed so you look as if you are not wearing anything. So you want to find a shade that is invisible when you put it on.

When shopping for foundation, do not wear any make up so you stand a better chance of finding the right shade.  If you wear makeup and you've been wearing the wrong shade, you'll end up with the wrong shade. You want to match your bare skin, not your current foundation. When looking at foundations, ignore the names given to the shades, look at the actual foundation.  Keep in mind that a powder and liquid with the same shade name will be slightly different based on its ingredients.

Furthermore, keep in mind your undertones as you select a foundation. For a quick rule of thumb, look at the inside of your wrist.  If you have blue veins, then you have neutral undertones so you can wear both warm and cool shades.  If your veins look more purplish, then you have cool undertones which means your skin has pink tint.  On the other hand, if your veins look green, you have warm undertones which means your skin is more golden toned. You need to know this so you select a foundation with the proper undertones.

Do not grab the bottle with the foundation that looks like it's the correct shade.  Instead, choose three shades that seem to be the correct match.  You'll want to place a small swatch of each one along your jawline, one right next to the other with a small bit of skin between. This way, you'll find the shade that blends well into your neck in addition to your face. 

Once you've narrowed it down to one choice, remove the ones that weren't right and place a larger swatch of the best choice on your jaw.  Take a cotton swab soaked in makeup remover and run it down the middle of the foundation, cutting it in half.  If you see a difference between the foundation and your skin, it isn't the right shade.  You want the one where you don't see a difference.

Furthermore, you want to take the shade for a test drive out in natural light before buying it.  If it is possible, get a sample of the foundation to try out so you know for certain that it is the correct shade.  If it is, then commit and buy it.   Note that you will need to buy new foundation when the seasons change because even when wearing sunscreen every day, the shade of your skin will change and so you need to rematch your foundation on a regular basis. 

The way to decide is if your foundation looks a bit off, then it's time to look for something new.   If you have foundation for winter and summer, you can mix them together to wear in the fall and spring but please remember, most foundations are good for two years.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Mayonnaise On Your Hair - Yes Or No?


I have friends who refuse to buy hair masks because they have always used mayonnaise on their hair.  If you look around, you'll find so many sites that praise the use of it but I've wondered how much of it is hype and how much is truth.  I've done a bit of research to see if using mayo is truly good for your hair or if it is just an urban myth. 

According to the internet, mayonnaise is supposed to leave your hair both shine and soft.  It is especially recommended for curly or wavy hair but is good for all types and it is cheap.  

A hair mask made of mayonnaise is supposed to increase the amount of moisture in your hair.  Generally, mayo is classified as an oil because it contains lots of oil such as canola or soybean with eggs, lemon juice, or vinegar.   Theoretically, because it is made mostly of oil, the oil can make your hair oilier with is good for curly or wavy hair because they lack oil in the lower part of the hair and the ends.  Straight hair doesn't really need that extra oil.

If mayonnaise keeps hair moister, it will also cut down on the amount of frizz but it's important to cut back on using heat to dry it, curl it, or style. However, it may not be able to counter the extra humidity in the air which increases frizz.  

It is also claimed that using mayonnaise will strengthen your hair and help protect the color.  Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support these claims. There is also the claim that it will help your hair grow better due to an amino acid called L-cysteine. According to one study, L-cysteine is important in building Keratin which is a protein used to make hair but there is no scientific data to support this claim using mayonnaise.  There was one study done in regard to L-cysteine in your diet but not as applied to your hair.

When a village I worked in had an infestation of lice, I looked up natural ways to get rid of lice and mayonnaise was listed because it's full of oil and when applied to the hair, it is supposed to suffocate the little creatures. According to the American Academy of Dermatology and the CDC, mayo only makes the lice inactive, it does not kill them so it is not a good lice treatment.  

So all in all, it won't hurt your hair but don't use it if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Eggs For Your Hair

I remember when I was in my teens, my grandmother was always telling me to mix an egg with a bit of water and use it on my hair after I'd shampooed it.  She said it would make my hair shine.  She forgot to tell me that I shouldn't rinse my hair with hot water or as I found out, it cooked the eggs into my hair.  Trying to pick cooked egg out of your scalp is difficult and a pain to do.  I can tell you, I never, ever used an egg on my hair again.  I did try a shampoo which listed eggs as one of the ingredients but I refused to use eggs.
It is best to use the whole egg because it is  filled with nutrients such as biotin, folate, vitamin A and D and proteins. These nutrients are the same ones associated with glossy hair.  These vitamins may help protect your hair while helping to moisturize it. In addition, the nutrients are said to help your hair grow and stay healthy.  When you apply egg yolk to the roots, they infuse the roots with nutrients which can help the roots grow out stronger and your hair will be less prone to breakage.
One of the best ways to use eggs is by creating a mask with it. The mask can help counter any damage experienced via tools, environment or the sun. There are two ways to use the egg as a mask. One is to whip two whole eggs until they are frothy. Apply this to your scalp and the ends of your hair before covering with a shower cap or plastic bag.  Leave it 20 minutes and rinse with cool water or wash and condition normally.  The other way is to mix one to two eggs with one tablespoon of olive oil till well mixed before applying to the hair from roots to ends. Let it set 20 minutes and either rinse or shampoo and condition as normal. If you want to help your damaged hair, it is suggested you add a teaspoon of honey to the egg and olive mask since the addition of honey will help lock in moisture. 

Now there are some who claim that eggs really do not do much for your hair. According to this group, the proteins in eggs are too large to penetrate each strand.  The only protein that is small enough to penetrate the individual strands are silk proteins.  In order for the protein from eggs to penetrate the hair, it has to be hydrolyzed or broken down. 

It can also be incorporated into your diet because when you eat a healthy diet, you are likely to have healthier hair.  One of the most common deficiencies in people is the lack of iron and iron is important for the growth of new cells.  Fortunately,  the egg yolk contains a small significant amount of it. 

Sometime in the near future, I'll explore the use of mayonnaise for improving the health of your hair since mayonnaise contains eggs. Let me. know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

How Many Steps Are They Now Recommending.


If you count the number of steps per day, you'll know that 10,000 was the magic number but it turns out the magic number came about as part of the advertising campaign launched by the Japanese company who marketed one of the first pedometers in the 1960's. 

Some people finally did some research to determine if the 10,000 steps a day was good or if there was some other number that turns out to be better. One of the conclusions is that middle aged participants who log only 7,000 steps per day have a 50 to 70 percent reduced chance of dying of any cause over the following decade.  There is also a reduced chance of premature death when they walked 7,000 steps per day.

This particular study took place in 2005 and 2006. It observed 2110 adults aged 38 to 50.  They wore a special piece of equipment designed to keep track of all their steps over a week.  Once the study was over, the study continued following these people for 11 years.  Over the 11 years, 72 people died mostly from cancer or heart disease. 

The researchers discovered that people who took between 7,000 and 10,000 steps experienced a significant reduction in their mortality risk.  They also discovered there was no correlation between speed or step intensity and mortality. They did find a correlation between people who increased the number of steps with benefits they received. 

Currently, the guidelines that were rewritten in 2018 wrote their recommendation as walking for specific lengths of time but there is no recommendation for number of steps.  However, they recommend all adults walk at between 7,000 and 13,000 steps every day. A mile is made up of about 2,000 steps depending of the length of the stride.  Most people are able to achieve 5,000 steps a day just by going through their normal daily activity. 

The researchers did not use a standard pedometer, they used a research grade tracking device that is much more accurate than the normal pedometers used by people.  According to one study, pedometers are more accurate at counting steps when a person is walking at a speed of 3 miles per hour or higher.  In fact, the accuracy was found to be around 96 percent but if the person is walking between two and three miles per hour, the accuracy drops to between 74 and 91 percent.  If the speed of the walker drops below two miles an hour, the accuracy of the pedometer drops to between 60 and 71 percent.

This is due to the pedometer needing to detect the vertical movement of the hips in order to work well.  If a person is walking slowly, the pedometer is unable to detect movement as well. Furthermore, pedometers are either piezoelectric or spring-levered.  The piezoelectric versions are more sensitive at slower speeds while the spring-levered ones are position dependent and must have a certain tilt.  If the tilt is off, then the accuracy can be off by 20 percent at fast speeds and up to 60 percent for slow speeds. Since the piezoelectric type is not dependent on tilt, they tend to be much more accurate. In addition, they are not designed to calculate distance or number of calories burned. 

In the end, it is best to purchase a pedometer that only measures the number of steps and nothing more.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Reasons Why You Should Not Make Your Own Vitamin C Serum.


It seems like the Vitamin C serum we buy can be rather expensive and it never seems to last very long so maybe you got the bright idea to make your own.  It should be too hard.  Just mix orange juice or a vitamin C tablet with water and you have it.  Well, it isn't that easy. 

Let's start with the vitamin C itself.  The pure form of vitamin C or L-Ascorbic Acid is extremely hard to work with.  You can't just take a crushed up vitamin C tablet and add it to say your moisturizer.  If you dissolve it in water, it will just crystalize when you apply the mixture to your face. In this form, it won't penetrate your skin and it won't provide any antioxidants the regular serum does.  So you have to choose a carrier which will penetrate the skin such as alcohol, glycerin, or propylene glycol.  Unfortunately, alcohol is drying and the other two when mixed with vitamin C do not penetrate the lipid layer of your skin very well. 

Next you have the issue of having the serum at the proper pH.  Since L-Ascorbic Acid is acidic but the skin runs between 5.5 and 6.5 which is closer to neutral. When you mix the L-Ascorbic Acid with water to form a 5 percent concentration, it ends up with a pH of between 2.2 and 2.5 which can cause problems with the skin but most commercial vitamin C serums run between 2.8 and 3.4 because it works but won't cause any irritation. If you make your own serum, you need to check the pH to make sure it is not too acidic.

Furthermore, if L-Ascorbic Acid is extremely unstable and will oxidise so it is not as effective when you expose it to light, heat, or air.  When the vitamin C serum goes bad, it turns brown.  So if you want to make your own, you have to do something to stabilize it.  This can be done by adding antioxidants such as vitamin E and ferulic acid which help it last longer or you have to cover the solution with a protective coating to keep it from being exposed to light, heat, or air.  Both solutions are difficult to do at home so you'd have to make a very small batch, store it in an opaque container, and refrigerate it but it only lasts 3 to 4 days.

Finally, most of us want more than just L-Ascorbic Acid, water, and glycerine.  We want it full of  antioxidants because antioxidants work together to be more effective and it increases their ability to protect you from the sun.  Unfortunately, when you add extra ingredients, they can change the pH, make the mixture unstable, or clump.  The other thing is that when you make vitamin C serum at home, you can't tell how effective it is because you do not have the lab facilities needed to test the recipe.

If you really want to make your own, you can find recipes but not all of them work.  You really are better off buying the serum because they've been properly made.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, May 1, 2022