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Skin Care Ingredients Pregnant Women Should Avoid

So you’re pregnant. Your husband and your friends keep telling you you’ve never looked better in your life, but you sure don’t feel it today. Your ankles are swollen, you have a headache, and all you see when you look down is your stomach. You know exactly what you need! A little pampering. Nothing like a nice spa session to make you feel like the goddess you are. But wait! Before you apply that mask, there are a few things you should know about the ingredients in the products you may be about to apply.

Pregnant woman in front of the mirror

Retin-A, Retinol, Retinyl Palmate
The FDA categorizes ingredients according to letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, and X. Usually, only A and B categorized products are considered safe for pregnancy. Retin-A, retinol. and retinyl palmate all lie in the C category which means it can present a risk to the fetus. Although vitamin A is an important vitamin for fetal development, Albert Sassoon, MD, an ob-gyn says, “getting too much can cause serious birth defects and liver toxicity.” While Retin-A is usually associated with prescription skin care, women should be aware that vitamin A derivatives are also present in many over the counter formulas as well.

Benzoyl Peroxide
Even though pregnancy may call for the occasional zit zapping, benzoyl peroxide also falls into category C, indicating possible fetal risk.

Woman applying oil to pregnant belly

Essential Oils
Essential oils are not subject to assessment by the FDA and are usually marketed as safe for use in beauty products. However, according to Dr. Sassoon, “Often they have 50 times the concentration used in a cup of tea and can be harmful even in a non-pregnancy state.” The most commonly used oils warranting cause for alarm are rosemary and tea tree oil.

According to Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, and dermatologist, “Tea tree oil is very potent and toxic when ingested. Its adverse effects include dermatitis, drug reactions, a blistering disease called linear IgA and estrogenic effects.” which may be to blame for premature contractions. Rosemary oil, meanwhile, is known to, “raise blood pressure and cause uterine contractions at high doses,” adds the doctor.

Woman buying product

Salicylic Acid
This category C acne fighter may be hard to avoid. But, as Dandy Engelman, MD, and dermatologist says,”When you’re pregnant, you have to seek out the purer products–the ones that feature just one of the acids that are approved. Lactic, mandelic, and glycol acids are all considered safe for pregnant women looking for some exfoliating action.

Hydroquinone
Although this may be tempting to use when pregnancy causes melanoma or dark spots, it falls into the C category.

Tazorac and Accutane
Both these vitamin A-derived product are prescription only and fall into category X: known to cause defects in birth.

What safe products do you use to soothe skin while you’re pregnant? Let us know what the modern pregnant lady is using to keep herself and her baby safe.

Tools That You’ll Need To Go Gluten-Free

When you go gluten-free, cleaning out your fridge and pantry is only the first step. In order to truly rid yourself of the scourge of gluten, you’ll need to replace cookware and kitchen utensils as well. All porous surfaces can be harbingers of tiny amounts of gluten, and that may be enough to make you sick. If you want to truly rid yourself of gluten, here are some new tools you may need.

cutting board

Cutting Boards
It is probably close to impossible that your cutting board is free of scratches, and as is the case with your cookware, scratched surfaces equal gluten hideouts. Make sure to replace all cutting boards and use them only in gluten-free recipes.

Toaster
Since the toaster is probably the appliance in your kitchen most likely to come into contact with bread, it is not surprising that it should top your list as one of the first to go. If you are avoiding gluten, it is crucial to buy yourself a new one of these, and also make sure that you never allow gluten bread to enter your new replacement.

Silicone Spatulas
What do you get when you flip a gluten pancake? A gluten covered spatula. You might want to get colored spatulas to separate yours from those of your gluten eating house-mates, but make sure to label them anyway. It only takes one bad pancake flip to contaminate your entire spatula, so better be safe than sorry.

Woman with wooden spoon

Wooden Spoons
Wood is another porous gluten trapping material, therefore all wooden cookware will need gluten-free replacements. If you live with roommates who are not cooking gluten-free, be sure to label your items to avoid contamination.

Rolling Pin
If you’ve got your Grandma’s rolling pin, you might want to keep it in the closet for sentimental reasons, but you’ll want to get another one to roll out the dough for your gluten-free breads and pizzas.

Baking Sheets and Muffin Tins
The scratches in your non-stick baking sheets and muffin tins will be sure to test positive for traces of gluten. While stainless steel sheets and tins may not pose as serious a threat, make sure to give them a thorough scrubbing, especially in the corners.

non-stick pan

Non-Stick Pans
It’s the scratches in the non-stick pans which trap the gluten, and, if you possess non-stick pans, you probably are aware of the likelihood of their being scratched. Even the smallest scratches are enough to warrant disposal. Stainless steel or aluminum pans without non-stick coating do not present a risk, as long as they are washed well to root out any food residue.

Colander
Unfortunately, a used colander is beyond salvaging from the ravages of gluten, so hopefully your not too attached to yours. The gluten from pasta sticks inside the holes, no matter how diligently you clean. If you’ve got an old colander, replace it.

Let us know how you’re managing post-gluten life. We want to hear your advice on parting with your prized kitchen utensils and appliances.

Signs You’re Allergic To Your Skincare Product

Woman in front of mirror

We all know how difficult it can be to find a skincare product you love. After consigning half your paycheck’s worth of products to the garbage bin, you come upon something that actually works; that anti wrinkle cream that really seems to be making you look younger, that spot treatment that really seems to be getting rid of those spots. And just when you declare yourself an official customer for life, it happens: the itching, the redness, the wheezing, the inflammation – the allergic reaction. Sure, the product did what it said it would, but are you really just trading one problem for another? Here are some signs that you’re allergic to your skincare product and what you can do about it.

Aluminum Compounds
If your armpits are getting red and peeling, it may just be that you’re having an allergic reaction to the aluminum compounds in your antiperspirant, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

You can try swapping it with a natural deodorant. However, Zeichner says, “They do a fine job of masking odor, but aren’t great at preventing sweating.” If leaky pits are still problem, try a sensitive skin antiperspirant with low levels of aluminum.

Acids
It may not surprise you to note that some of the products designed to get rid of skin cells may be causing more harm than good. Salicylic acid, topical retinoids, and glycol acids all, “can cause skin irritation, dryness, redness, and/or burning if you over-use them, ” says Zeichner.

If you notice a negative reaction to topicals, you may want to consult a dermatologist and follow usage instructions carefully. It may be that you need to start with a lower dosage and gradually build up from there, or decrease usage to every other day or every few days. If you are having an allergic reaction to a glycol peel, you may want to trnon-chemicalal forms of exfoliation, like a gentle scrub or a vitamin C or fruit enzyme peel.

Fragrance
Health researchers at the University of Washington credit the use of synthetic fragrance with the development of skin and respiratory irritation in over 20% of the American population. “And fragrance doesn’t just mean perfume; it’s used in almost every beauty product under the sun, points out Siobhan O’Connor, co author of “No More Dirty Looks.” Fragrances pop up even in products that are labeled “unscented” because companies are known to use fragrance chemicals as masking agents to create neutral “non-scents.”

A word to the wise and fragrance sensitive: avoid products with the word “fragrance”on their label, and look for the term “fragrance-free” instead.

Metallics
Glitter can be a girl’s best friend, but not if she’s allergic to nickel. If you’re allergic to the metal, found in the plating of buttons and snaps and costume jewelry, you may also have an allergic reaction to cobalt, used in personal care products, such as light brown hair dyes and antiperspirants. Aluminum, lead, and chromium are other metals to be wary of.

Do a patch test with any cosmetic or mineral makeup which is likely to contain metallic elements to be sure it will not cause a reaction when you apply it to your face.

Emollients
Perry Romanowski, cosmetic chemist says, “Emollients are ingredients designed to feel good on your skin, but any go them cause breakouts, especially for acne-prone skin. Coconut butter, lanolin, cocoa butter, iso-stearyl isostearate, isopropyl palmitate and myristyl lactate are all emollients to be put on the “use with caution” list.

If you’re breakout-prone, use a noncomedogenic, water-based moisturizer to keep skin hydrated without clogging your pores.

Are you allergic to your skin care product? Let us know how you prevent breakouts and what you use to replace the cosmetics that cause you irritation.

What Makes Argan Oil So Beneficial for Your Skin?

Argan oil is one of the most sought after culinary and cosmetic oils in the world. Here are some of the ingredients that make this oil so desirable and some of the ways you can take advantage of its benefits.

Argan Oil
Argan oil has been used as a healing oil throughout the centuries to treat skin conditions. The oil owes its healing properties to its high content of vitamin E and A and its wealth of antioxidants, such as omega -6 fatty acid and linoleic acid. Applied topically, the tocopherol from the vitamin E can boost cell production, promoting healthy skin and hair. Here are some of the top cosmetic uses for argan oil.

Argan oil

Night Time Moisturizer
After your nightly cleanser, pour a drop of argan oil in your palm to warm. Massage it into face and neck using a circular motion. Next, apply a drop to your face from the bridge of your nose to your temple using a tapping motion. Continue to use this gentle tapping to place a drop beneath your eyes. You will find the oil absorbs quickly without leaving a residue and that the A and E vitamins will help to reduce fine lines.

Skin Toner
To reap the benefits of argan oil in your toner, add two to four drops of the oil to eight ounces of toner or, follow this recipe to make your own chemical- free version:

Pour a cup of boiling water over a green tea bag and allow to steep for seven to ten minutes. Remove the bag and allow the tea to come to room temperature. Add a drop or two of an essential oil of your choice, add two to four drops of the argan oil and seal in a jar. Use twice daily after cleansing and before moisturizing.

face serum

Improving Acne-Prone Skin
Another benefit of argan oil is its ability to reduce sebum levels and fight acne. The high linoleic acid content can reduce inflammation due to acne while healing damaged skin cells. Simply apply a drop into problem areas, or fight whiteheads by making the skin toner (see above) using a few drops of tea tree oil. The tree tea oil will complement the argan oil with its supply of antioxidants, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Healing Stretch Marks
Argan oil helps restore elasticity to the skin lost to stretching. Warm two to three drops of the oil in your palms and rub on problem areas. The vitamin A and E will prevent stretch marks from forming. If you have already existing stretch marks, massage argan oil and brown sugar to the affected area before bathing. Rinse and reapply the oil to the area before dressing.

Caring for Your Nails
The non-greasy moisturizing agents in this oil make it ideal for treating nails and cuticles. Remove all traces of nail polish from hands and toes and dot a tiny drop into each nail, rubbing into cuticle and nail bed. Allow nails to absorb the oil, then rinse and apply polish as usual. Regular treatment should help your nails grow strong and beautiful, while preventing the formation of painful hangnails.

Have you used argan oil? Are the goats on to something? Their hair is fabulous and their hooves are really strong.

Benefits of Adding Lemon and Lemon Peel To Your Diet

lemon peel

Nowadays, when life hands you lemons, there are a myriad of beneficial things you can do with them, and making lemonade does not even come near the top of the list. Here are just some of the ways adding lemons and lemon peels to your diet can help improve your health.

Benefits of Using the Whole Lemon

More Vitamins
Lemon peels contain 5 to 10 times more vitamin than the lemon juice alone. If you’re discarding the peel, you’re discarding loads of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, calcium, beta-carotene, potassium, and magnesium.

Fights Cancer
If you’re thinking of doing a lemon juice cleanse, it may be more effective if you include the peel. Lemon peels help to eradicate the toxic elements in your body, including the carcinogenic ones. The peel contains salvestrol Q40 and limonene, components which are fierce defenders against the cancerous cells in your body. In addition, the flavonoids in the zest of the lemon can also be effective in stopping cancer cells from multiplying.

Additionally, a study reveals that drinking hot tea with lemon peel can help to prevent the development of colon, breast, and skin cancers.

Woman cutting up lemon

Boosts Bone Health
Because lemon peels contain loads of calcium and vitamin C, including them in your diet can help prevent bone conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and inflammatory polyarthritis.

Lowers Cholesterol
High levels of “bad cholesterol” are often linked to cardiovascular disease. The polyphenol flavonoids in lemon peels will help the lower the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels in your body. In addition, Vitamins C and P will clear blood vessels, decreasing or preventing the risk of developing related conditions such as heart disease, diabetic heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Including Lemon Peel In Your Diet
So now that you know how great lemon peel is for you, you’re probably wondering how you can make it a little more palatable. Here are a few ideas for including lemon peel in your recipes.

Lemon Pickle
Widely found in Indian households, including a little lemon pickle in your diet is a great way to get the health benefits of the lemon zest.

lemon cake

Cakes and Pies
Scrape a little lemon peel into cakes and pies to enhance flavor before baking and add some to give the icing on top a tangy flavor.

Candied Lemon Peels
Making candied lemon peels is a fun and easy way to reap the lemon peel benefits. Boil the peel in some water to reduce bitterness. Extract peel and addict to a pot of sugar and hot water. Simmer until peels soften. Sprinkle sugar on top and let them dry for a day or two.

So, when life hands you lemons. eat them whole, or at least, eat the whole thing. Let us know how you’re including lemons and their peels in your diet.

Five Steps To A Great Skincare Routine

There is nothing new about the “less is more” concept. Even before Susie Faux termed the phrase “capsule wardrobe” in the seventies, people have realized the wisdom of quality over quantity and the freedom derived from having less. So why is it that so many people are obsessed with multi-step beauty routines?

Of course, if you have the time and patience, you’re welcome to spend as much of it on skin care as you like, but, if you don’t, there is nothing wrong with keeping it scaled down. Remember, you own your beauty routine, it doesn’t own you. So, if you believe in keeping it short and sweet, here’s are five steps that will help you maximize while you minimize.

Woman cleansing skin

Cleanse
Cleansing skin is the most basic step in a skin routine. It should be done twice daily, once in the morning and once at night, to give skin time to heal and breath without being clogged by makeup and debris.

Cleansing should be done with clean hands. Begin by wetting skin with warm water to open the pores. Apply a cleanser appropriate to your skin type using upward circular motions. Some products will be more effective if you leave them on for a minute or two to allow penetration. Remove with damp cotton pads or by splashing your face with cold water. (Cold water will close up pores.) Pat dry gently with a clean towel.

Tone
Toning restores your skin’s pH balance, which is usually altered during the cleansing process. This step can also make your skin more resistant to bacteria. Some toners will only restore your skin’s pH, others will kill bacteria, still others may contain an extra ingredient to prevent acne. Choose the one that suits your skin, and, if you have sensitive skin, be sure to use a specially formulated toner.

Apply toner to entire face with a cotton pad, taking care to avoid your eyes. Do not rinse off.

Woman moisturizing

Moisturize
Moisturizing is the most important step in the beauty routine, and should not be omitted, even if your skin is oily. There is quite a variety of moisturizing products, such as gels (oily skin), creams (dry/sensitive skin), and serums (normal/oily skin). Some may contain anti wrinkle, and anti acne agents, others may tint, or tan, skin.

Apply moisturizer to the face and neck, after toner has dried, using a circular motion. You may want to follow up with a separate moisturizer targeted toward preventing swelling and aging in the eye area.

Exfoliate
Once or twice weekly, use an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells. Make sure not to use anything too harsh, which can irritate skin and tear skin cells.

Remove makeup and massage the exfoliator gently into your face using an outward circular motion for about thirty seconds. Remember, gently is the key word here! If you’re using an exfoliating wash cloth, soak it in warm water and rub it in small circles on your face. Be sure to target creases by your nose and other areas on which blackheads tend to develop.

Face mask

Face Mask
Peel off masks are the best option for unclogging pores, and are the best for oily or acne prone skin. Those with dry skin will benefit most from moisturizing masks.

Choose a natural, mild mask. Keep applications down to once a week or less; frequent applications will result in over cleansing your face. You can make your own, in the interest of keeping it natural, or use a store bought one, following directions on the package.

What do you think of the five-step skin routine? Is less more, or is more more? Let us know what you think?

The Skincare Products You Need To Manage Summer Breakouts

It’s summer and you’ve just had your first official breakout of the season. You calculate that with treatment, most of the pimples will go away in four to seven days, with at least another week for the scars to disappear. You figure that by that time, you most definitely will have broken out again, and that by the time it takes for the first set of scars to heal, you should probably have a whole new round to contend with, and by the time those goes away, summer will probably be over.

Acne can be a drag no matter what season it is, but the sweat and friction of summer sure doesn’t make it any easier to contend with. If you are determined to spend at least part of the season breakout free, here are some of the best skincare products for managing summer breakouts.

Woman checking skin

Accutane
Accutane is the only treatment for acne that results in long-term remission of acne symptoms. It was originally discovered in 1979 when patients treated with the drug reacted by showing significant to permanent clearing of acne symptoms. It was originally given only to people with severe acne, but has become more recently prescribed for less severe cases. It is controversial because it is known to cause lifelong side effects to the user.

How It Works
While how Accutane works on a cellular level is still much of a mystery, there are four known ways that it affects the development of acne:

  • It reduces the size of the skin’s oil glands by 35-58% and reduces the amount of oil produced by these glands by about 80%.
  • It decreases the amount of acne bacteria that lie in the oil of the skin.
  • It hinders the production of skin cells inside the pore, which prevents pores from becoming clogged.
  • It is an anti-inflammatory.

2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is second only to Accutane as an effective treatment for acne. It is the only medication capable of penetrating the skin and delivering oxygen. Because acne related bacteria cannot live with oxygen present, benzoyl peroxide can kill 99.9% of the bacteria almost immediately. Generous application is recommended.

Woman smiling

Oil Free Acne Wash
An oil free acne wash can be used as a regular cleanser for acne prone skin. Its active ingredient is salicylic acid which helps to get rid of existing acne, while preventing future breakouts from happening.. Acne washes are usually noncomedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores and many contain soothing ingredients to prevent over-drying and irritation.

Spot Acne Treatment
Spot acne treatment is the traditional acne treatment is used dry pimples without drying your whole face. It penetrates pores to kill acne bacteria and help to prevent new ones from forming. The active ingredient is spot treatment is benzoyl peroxide, which can irritate skin in large amounts. Look for treatments containing about 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide for minimal dryness and redness. Spot treatment is usually oil free and noncomedogenic.

Spot Eliminating Gel
This on the spot treatment can be used to clear breakouts and prevent emerging ones. Gels are a newer technology and alternative to cream treatment. They are generally preferred because of their clear color and, many claim, superior formula. The active ingredient is salicylic acid, and the gels often claim faster action than their lotion counterparts, which contain benzoyl peroxide. These gels are noncomedogenic as well.

If you’re suffering summer acne, we hope this has been helpful. Let us know how what you’re doing to manage your summer breakouts this year,

Natural Ingredients That Stimulate Healthy Cell Formation

These days, when the word “cell” is mentioned, most of us are likely to think “phone.” While many of us may argue that cell phones are vital to our well being, there are other kinds of cells that are probably just a little more important. These are the cells in your body; the fundamental units of life form which all your organs and tissues are made.

Like most of our cell phones, the cells of the body are in constant communication with one another, responding to the signals they receive from your environment. If the cells cannot operate efficiently, tissues and organs can breakdown, resulting in a host of health conditions. In order to keep these cells functioning properly you need to keep yourself well nourished. Here are some healthy ingredients you need to ensure that these very important cells continue to serve you well.

whole grains

Whole Grain
Whole foods contain the fullest variety of nutrients, which makes whole grains one of the most complete food sources for healthy cell formation. The three main parts of the whole grain each serve a different purpose, and provide a different complement of vitamins and minerals. The protective bran guards the sprout from sun damage; the germ contains a high level of micronutrients from the vitamin E family, while the endosperm contains the lowest level of nutrients and serves mostly to provide calories for the sprout. While all three parts are used in whole grain food, refined products, such as white bread, use only the endosperm, or starch component of the grain.

Fats and Cell Formation
The fats you eat have a major influence on your cells. As a matter of fact, they become your cell membranes. Unsaturated fats, like the omega-3s in fish and nuts, are needed to give your cell membranes their shape and the ability to communicate with one another. While trans fatty acids, or saturated fats, also become part of your cells membrane, they are less able to respond to signals and can cause cell membranes to become brittle.

Cereals, vegetables, fruits, and grains also have fats to protect cell membrane from damage. These include tocopherals and are found in highest amounts in wheat germ oil, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene in carrots, vitamin C from citrus fruits, and lycopene in tomatoes.

eggs and meat

DNA
DNA is the part of your cell which stores your genetic information, and it is vital that you take steps to make sure its integrity is not compromised. When the structure of DNA breaks down, the body becomes not only unable to produce proteins for proper cell function, but it may cause mutations that lead to cancer. While fats are an integral part of protecting the DNA, it is also important to maintain adequate levels of protein, choline, inositol, carotenoids, and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E.

Healthy DNA also requires an adequate intakes of vitamin B12 and folate, which are involved with repair and replication of DNA. Eggs, meat, fish and dairy are all rich in vitamin B12, while high levels of folate are found in eggs, grains, and green vegetables.

Organic Foods
Since agricultural chemicals are know to damage the function and structure if cells, organically grown foods are recommended to promote healthy cell formation. Studies show that pesticides can overstimulate enzymes which can be a cause of inflammation, and a contributing factor to psoriasis and atherosclerosis,
Organic foods can also minimize DNA degradation. Test tube studies show that agricultural chemicals can lead to genetic mutations leading to the development of cancer and have a negative effect on the production of energy.

Are you keeping your cells healthy? Let us know what you’re eating to keep your cells in tip top shape!

Would You Try These Innovative Skincare Ingredients

Americans have been accused of being vulnerable to the lure of the exotic. Of falsely attributing other cultures with possessing some ancient wisdom or magic that we, as Americans, are simply unable to harness. Like the belief in the the superiority of Asian skincare. Skeptics will argue that this is just another example of Americans being overly impressed by the foreign. However, if you consider that the Japanese published a “Capital Beauty and Style Manual” in 1813 that included directions for making an early sheet mask with kimono silk and flower water, it may seem that there is reason to think the Asians may know a thing or two about the subject.

If you are among those who are not entirely convinced that the Asian skincare routine is without merit, here are some of the more (and less) unusual ingredients topping the list of Asian beauty products you may want to get more familiar with.

Bee venom

Bee Venom
Bee venom is known to help skin produce collagen and elastin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Bees are reportedly not harmed in the process of extraction.

Vitamin A (Retinol)
One of the more common additions to our list, Vitamin A is an antioxidant that fights damage from free radicals and increases production of collagen to help protect against wrinkles, aging, and sun damage.

Vitamin B
(Niacinamide) B vitamins such as niacinamide, or B3, are known to possess skin brightening properties. They can be used to decrease redness from acne and even out skin tone.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C, including L-ascorbic acid, can improve skin tone as well as protect skin from UV rays. Store in an opaque container to prevent degradation due to light and heat.

Aloe Vera
This ancient plant has been used for centuries to soothe and hydrate. Apply it to sunburns for quick relief or as a soothing balm after shaving.

Pear on wheat

Arbutin
This hydroquinone derivative is found in wheat and pears. It is a safe and natural way of limiting the production of melanin and brightening skin.

Ferment
Use fermented products like yeast, rice or pitera to boost skin elasticity and prevent aging.

Green Tea
Another recommendation from the “Capital Beauty and Style Manual,” green tea has antioxidant properties which can decrease inflammation an fight the effects of carcinogens and age.

Honey and Royal Jelly
It’s back to the bee hive for some anti-inflammatory and and antiseptic properties to prevent acne and dryness.

Milk
Whether from cow’s or donkeys, milk is a great moisturizer and brightener.

Rice

Rice
Another,”I told you so” from the ancient Manual, rice as been used for centuries in Asian culture as a toner or scrub to even skin tone.

Snail
Asians swear by snail secretion filtrate as a moisturizing ingredient. It is associated with reducing redness acne and repairing skin damage.

Syn-ake
This is a synthetic snake venom said to be similar to botox in its ability to fight aging. It is known to firm skin and improve elasticity.

Yogurt
The lactic acid in yogurt can exfoliate the skin, while the zinc can reduce the production of oil and sebum, known to block pores.

Let us know if which of these ingredients you have tried, or would consider trying. We’d love to know!

What’s Best: Manual Or Electric?

When it comes to choosing between manual and electric products, electric wins hands down, right? Why use your own energy when you can get it from somewhere else? Seldom do we hear of someone rejecting the use of a sewing machine in favor of a good old needle and thread, and does anyone even remember manual typewriters? Likewise, it seems beyond consideration that anyone in their right mind would fan themselves with a piece of paper if a table fan was an option.

Yes, when you consider the choices, it seems electricity is the clear winner, but are there ever times when you’re better off doing it the old fashioned way? After all, we have all heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Let’s take a look at some common hygienic devices: the toothpaste and the razor to determine if we are ever better off doing it ourselves.

Woman brushing teeth

Toothbrushes
If you ask a child, they’ll go for the electric every time; after all you can’t beat the allure of the Spongebob handle, but, according to the ADA, manual toothbrushes can be just as effective. The key, say experts, is not in what you use, but how you use it. Kimberly Harms, DDS, says, “If you are a wonderful brusher and flosser than manual toothbrushes are just great.” However, she does allow that power devices can be better for those who have trouble physically maneuvering a toothbrush.

Cost
The cost of an electrically powered toothbrush can be triple the cost of its manual counterpart. Is it worth it? At 6,000 to 30,000 stroked per minute, it takes less time to do a thorough job with the electric version. However, the action may be a little intense for those with sensitive teeth and users also find the electric version difficult to store.

The Final Word
Braun Oral -B studied more than 16,000 patients after being asked to use a Braun Oral-B powered tooth brush. When asked, dental professionals said that the powered bush had a positive effect on the oral health of over 80% of the patients, with most participants claiming an improvement in the health of their mouths after using the device.

Electric Razors

The Pros
Electric razors are more time efficient; because electric razors force hairs up before cutting them, men don’t have to keep going over the same areas. They are also more portable than their manual counterparts and do not require items such as gels, soaps, shaving cream or even water for use, Electric razors also can be used to shape facial hair more accurately and reduce the probability of cuts, nicks, and ingrown hairs.

The Cons
Electric razors do not shave as closely as manual ones, and those with normal to heavy facial hair may find themselves having to shave more frequently with the electric versions. Electrics take time to get used to, and can lead to painful irritation in the process. The majority of powered razors cannot be used in the shower and are rather noisy.
Electric razors also need more attention when it comes to maintenance. They need to be cleaned ofter and require rechargeable batteries or an electrical outlet. Although the initial cost may be high, electric razors may actually be more cost effective than manual ones in the long run.

Manual Razors

manual razor

The Pros
Manual razors will provide the closest shave, keeping the need for touchups to a minimum. They are extremely easy to use and blades are easily replaced. Manual razors are easy to travel with and easy to keep clean. They are also usually the cheapest shaving option available, although their cost can add up over time.

The Cons
Shaving with a manual razor requires the use of grooming products, like shaving cream and aftershave. This not only necessitates the purchase of additional products, it also makes the shaving process take longer. Another negative aspect to the manual razor is the tendency of the blades to become dull. On the average, the blades of a manual razor need to be replaced every four to five shaves. Using a manual razor often requires join over the same area several times, which can increase the chance of getting nicked or cut, and a painless shave calls for water, making the manual razors the less versatile option.

So what do you think? Man power or electric? Let us know how you weigh in.