I started using apple cider vinegar some time ago when a friend gave me a 32 oz bottle. Soon after, I had run out of balsamic vinegar and substituted the raw apple cider vinegar for my salad dressing. It tasted fabulous and I actually seemed to feel better than usual the next day. It lead me to do a little research on the benefits and risks of apple cider, both internally and externally.
Certain apples are preferred in the making of really good apple cider vinegar. Generally heirloom apples are used depending on their taste, and the maker’s desired balance of tastes. My own recommendation is that it be organic and pesticide free.
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are numerous and include:
- Helps to promote healthy skin and clears blemishes
- Improves bowel irregularity and helps eliminate toxins from the body
- Helps to regulate blood pressure and bad cholesterol
- High in malic acid which has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties
- High in potassium, a mineral that is often lacking in our diet, especially for adults
- High in acetic acid which slows the digestion of starch and helps to lower glucose
- May help with chronic fatigue
- Some studies have noted that it may be able to slow the growth of cancer cells.
There are risks, too, mostly related to the acidic nature of apple cider vinegar. They include:
- It can irritate the lining of the mouth, esophagus and stomach lining
- Weaken tooth enamel
- Side effects of certain medications
- Mineral deficiencies and potential bone loss
- Potential danger to diabetics
Certainly everyone has a unique health profile, and there are exceptions to all situations. Moderation is always recommended. The benefits of apple cider vinegar are many, and any risks tend to be from over indulgence or it not being properly applied or diluted.
Remember an apple a day keeps the doctor away!!
Ashley Grossman, Marketing/Social Media Manager at Skin Therapease
The key to achieving amazing skin is directly related to how you take care of it. Establishing a skin care routine requires a little bit of discipline, but as you begin to see results, it will be worth the effort! I’ve found that there are three easy changes that you can make to your lifestyle that will give you great looking (and feeling) skin.
Stop Touching Your Face
Do you have a tendency to rest your face on your hands while in a meeting or while working on a project? If you have a habit of touching your face throughout the day, you are unintentionally contributing to clogged pores. Your fingers and hands contain natural oils and bacteria, which will rub off on your face when you touch it. In addition think about all the surfaces you touch in a day. Many of those surfaces contain debris that can easily clog pores.
Find Products that Work
As with any skin care routine, you have to have good products. To find products that are right for your skin type, I advise visiting a skin care specialist. They will be able to read your skin and give you proper advice on what your skin really needs to become healthy and vibrant.
In general, you’ll need a cleanser, toner, and a moisturizer. Cleansers are designed to eliminate bacteria and debris from the surface layer of your skin. You can find a variety of cleansers for different skin types. Some of them you can wash off right away and others will need to remain on the skin a couple minutes. Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed away the cleanser, you apply toner. Toners restore your skin to its natural pH and removes any cleanser you might have missed. After your toner has dried, you MUST apply a moisturizer deigned for your skin tone. A good moisturizer will nourish your skin, even if it’s oily!
Address Your Diet
Ever heard the phrase, “you are what you eat”? This couldn’t be more truthful. The skin directly reflects what is going on inside your body. If you are consuming foods that your body can’t properly digest, such as dairy, it will appear on your skin. If you are unable to process dairy, calcium will begin to deposit around your eyes and become what is known as milia. Also, reduce the amount of high glycemic foods from processed carbs in your diet. These foods would include pizza, donuts, French fries, etc. When your body takes in high glycemic loads, your insulin spikes, which contributes to more acne prone skin.
Reach for foods that are plant-based, i.e. fill up on your fruits and vegetables. Additionally, reduce the amount of dairy your take in.
Keep in mind that I’ve only provided you with three easy changes you can make to your lifestyle to achieve healthy, radiant skin. I would also suggest getting daily exercise, resisting the urge to pop your acne, drinking plenty of water, and really cleaning out your skin every month by seeing a skin care specialist for a facial.
Guest Blogger: Todd Stebleton, CNN, CPT
Menopause is of worldwide interest. I suspect for two reasons: First, it influences most everyone in the world, some directly and others indirectly. Second, very few people understand what it actually is.
The symptoms of menopause seem to be pretty well understood. Everything from dry skin, brittle nails, depression, moodiness, poor sleep quality, hot flashes to low energy—just to name a few.
The word menopause is of Greek origin. Meno = monthy. Pause = cessation. Menopause is the cessation of monthly cycles. It is not defined as a change in female hormones, which is a common misconception about menopause. If it was, how would one describe the difference between puberty and menopause?
Monthly cycles cease when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. This is a natural phenomenon, as the human body is only at its most capable in regards to reproduction from late teens to mid-forties.
What happens after the ovaries stop producing estrogen is where things really become misunderstood.
The pituitary gland secretes a couple key hormones which include FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (leutinzing hormone). When the ovaries no longer produce estrogen, the pituitary gland eventually slows its production of FSH and LH.
Unfortunately, LH also produces GH (growth hormone). This can become devastating because growth hormone is important for so many functions within the body. These functions include bone remodeling/repair, muscle preservation, body composition, health skin, sleep regulation, metabolism, libido, immune function, and more.
The good news is that GH can be significantly increased by weight-bearing exercise, which we’ll call resistance training. All women have heard that resistance training exercise is important during and after menopause. Why? Because it increases GH and triggers a sharp decline in bone loss, among the other ill effects of low GH production listed above.
At the same time the ovaries stop producing estrogen, the adrenal glands pick up the slack, as estrogen production is still important for non-reproductive functions. The adrenal glands utilize cholesterol (a very important hormone for females during and post-menopause) to create pregnenalone. At this point a fork in the road is presented. Pregnenalone can either make the necessary hormones to produce estrogens, or it will create cortisol.
Cortisol is our body’s primary stress hormone. When the body is under stress (from any kind of stressor, such as too little exercise, emotional stress, compromised diet, bad water intake, dramatic change in temperature, change in time zones, electro-magnetic fields, sleeping next to plugged-in devices such as cell phones and lamps, etc.), it will naturally increase the need or demand for cortisol. Because of the increased demand for cortisol, estrogen synthesis becomes compromised. As a result, women don’t feel well during menopause. As cortisol increases, we tend to store body fat in the belly (umbilicus region), another common symptom for many women going through menopause.
So what to do…
Master the basics. Healthier women have a more favorable experience with menopause.
Here’s a quick checklist of things anyone can implement for improved health, menopausal or otherwise:
✓ Get to sleep before 10PM (this will regulate sleep/wake cycles, which help regulate cortisol, growth hormone, and brain chemistry)
✓ Get rid of all electronics within six feet of your head while sleeping
✓ Participate in resistance training 2-4 times per week
✓ Eat right by increasing vegetables, healthy protein, and healthy fats. And yes, you should choose organic. It doesn’t make sense to voluntarily put known carcinogens into your body. Avoid white/bleached table salt—use Himalayan Sea Salt to nourish the adrenals.
✓ Drink 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water every day, minimum
✓ Work with the appropriate health professional to consider doing a systemic detoxification
✓ Identify obvious stressors and do your best to avoid them
Todd Stebleton CCN, CPT
Todd is a nationally Certified Clinical Nutritionist and corrective exercise specialist. He educates nationally and works with clients in the Minneapolis area.
For questions, please contact the writer or the owner of the blog post: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Pumpkin is as good for your skin as it is to eat! It is rich in nutrients necessary for healthy and radiant skin. Because the molecular structure of pumpkin is small, it can penetrate deep into the skin when applied topically. Pumpkin fights free radicals and prevents premature aging and other skin damage. (Free radicals are the culprits responsible for causing poor skin tone and elasticity and wrinkles over time because they break down skin-plumping collagen and elastin.) The long-term results of this breakdown are wrinkles.
New skin cells require about twenty-eight days to form and gradually work their way to the surface as old cells die off. This renewal process slows with age, stress, lack of sleep and overexposure to the sun, among other environmental factors. Fruit enzymes and Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) help to increase the skin cells’ natural turnover rate, while removing dead, dehydrated cells on the surface, to reveal the smooth appearance of the new cells. AHA’s act to dissolve the intracellular cement, or “glue” that binds the dead skin cells. The fruit enzymes digest the dead skin cells and improve the skins’ complexion and radiance.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamins, including vitamins A and C, E Copper, Zinc and Beta carotenoids.
Vitamin A increases the softness of skin and enhances the youthfulness of skin by increasing cellular turnover, by reversing the summer’s sun damage, soothing and softening the skin.
Vitamin C boosts collagen production and decreases the breakdown of elastin to help prevent signs of aging. It naturally firms the skin and protects it against wrinkles by stimulating the growth of collagen. Pumpkin’s natural glycolic properties remove dead skin cells without disturbing healthy skin
Copper plays an important role in collagen, elastin and melanin production. Some experts even suggest that pumpkin helps fade away the brown spots left behind by acne.
Pumpkin also contains Vitamins E and T, more commonly known as Torulitine. These vitamins, along with Zinc, promote healthy skin by reducing inflammation, minimizing pores, regulating oil production and aids in healing breakouts.
Please don’t neglect your hands and feet. The natural enzymes in pumpkin can also soothe, hydrate and soften your cracked hands and feet.
Dry skin brushing, also known as body brushing, is a great way to slough off dead skin cells and promote circulation. Doing so encourages your body to regenerate healthy new skin cells and promote your health in a number of ways. Dry brushing…
- Stimulates your lymph system which is vital to your immunity.
- Removes dead cells and allows your skin to breathe better. It improves the texture of your skin, promotes cell renewal, and enhances the absorption of nutrients.
- Strengthens your immune system and may reduce the duration of infections as well as accelerate the clearing of toxins from your body.
- May stimulate your endocrine system and oil glands, allowing your skin and body systems to function more efficiently.
- Helps to tighten your skin by increasing blood flow to the surface, which in turn moves toxins and decreases the appearance of cellulite.
- Helps to tone your muscles and improve the function of your nervous system.
I recommend that you dry brush your skin on a daily basis, preferably in the morning right before bathing. If you’re not feeling well, you should brush twice a day to help rid your body of toxins. A thorough skin brushing can take up to 15 minutes, but even a 1-2 minute brush does wonders for your whole body.
Dry Brushing Fiber Mitt
There are numerous types of brushes to pick from, but most will likely feel stiff to start with and soften up with use. A natural fiber is recommended, however there are softer bristled brushes available that are synthetic fiber. Clean your brush using soap and hot water at least once a week. You can also use a fiber mitt, which I prefer for sanitation purposes. You can throw a mitt in the washing machine and dryer, which I recommend after every third brushing. You would be surprised how fast the dead skin cells can build up; the top layer of skin turns over every 24 hours—so keep your brush or mitt clean!
- Start brushing from your feet and move towards your heart starting with long strokes then moving to a circular motion.
- Continue brushing up your legs, hips, buttocks and then to your hands and arms.
- Brush your entire back, abdomen area, shoulders and neck.
- Use counter-clock wise on the abdomen and lightly around the breasts.
- Remember your elbows and knees.
- Avoid sensitive areas or anywhere your skin is broken, such as wounds, cuts or infected areas, especially poison oak or poison ivy.
End by bathing with a cold shower starting at your feet and moving up toward your heart, which further invigorates your skin. After drying off, massage and slather your skin with a nourishing moisturizer. Plant oils (avocado, apricot, coconut, olive) will work very nicely as well.
Dry brushing is also known to reduce the appearance of cellulite. It’s important to keep your diet alkaline and include regular exercise into your regimen. Cellulite is generally found in subcutaneous tissue, which can be a difficult area to address. Plan on a three month stimulating program for best results, followed by a maintenance program.
Be sure to include foods that feed your skin, including those rich in lecithin, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. Good choices are organic eggs, organ meats, a balance of Omega 3-6-9 oils, fresh dark green leafy vegetables, berries of all kinds, and dark chocolate (keep it to 1 ounce a day).
Happy Dry Brushing!!!
Posted in At Home Skin Care, Teenage Skin Care, Thirty Something Skin Care, Twenty Something Skin Care
Tagged at home skin care, body brushing, dry brush, dry brushing, exfoliate, exfoliation, fiber mitts, Skin Care