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vine vera Back to School Skincare Tips For Tweens

Back to School Skincare Tips For Tweens

No matter how many times you do it, it’s always traumatic. Going back to school. Never mind the fact that the lazy summer is over and you’re going to have to deal with (pardon the phrase) homework- and (yuck) teachers, but you also have a whole host of other things to think about, like mean kids who are going to make fun of your hair/ outfit/acne. While the hair and the outfit may be your choice, it’s probably pretty safe to say your acne isn’t. So, for all you tweens going back to school this year, here’s a little advice on avoiding and treating acne.

Acne
If you’re a tween, it’s a pretty safe bet you know all about acne, but just in case you’re not sure, here’s the breakdown. Acne is a general term referring to a group of skin rashes that have different causes. In preteens, it’s usually an inflammatory condition of the skin. Acne lesions are usually called blemishes, pimples, spots, and zits, and if you’re a teen or a tween, you probably have them. About 80% of teens have acne, and acne is considered a normal part of puberty.

Causes
The three mean causes of acne are:

  • Overproduction of sebum ( the skin’s natural oil)
  •  Clogged pores from debris of dead skin cells
  •  Bacteria infections in the oil (sebaceous) glands

vine vera Back to School Skincare Tips For Tweens

What worsens acne?

  • Popping and scrubbing: Although it may be difficult, try and resist the urge to pop. Blemished skin does not respond well to rough treatment.
  •  Things that rub skin: Headbands, hats, and anything that rests on the forehead, bangs included, can clog pores and lead to forehead acne.
  • Cosmetics: Cosmetics, hair products, and creams containing oil can also congest pores and lead to acne.
  • Hormones: Hormones produced during puberty are the most common causes of acne. Girls experience a boost in hormone production before menstrual periods, making it common time for breakouts. For boys, increases in levels of testosterone can bring on an increased chance of acne.
  • Stress

Acne Treatments and Avoidance
Cleansing: Keeping skin clean is the most basic and important part of avoiding and treating acne. You can wash with plain old soap and water, but you may want to invest in a mild cleanser formulated for acne prone skin. Cleanse twice daily using gentle motions. Harsh scrubbing can worsen acne by irritating the pores.Exfoliating: Exfoliating removes the layer of dead skin cells, which can clog pores and make acne worse. Exfoliate after cleansing once or twice a week with an acne facial scrub.

Pick Cosmetics Carefully: When buying skin products, look for labels that say “noncomedogenic.” This means they won’t clog your pores. Use oil free cosmetics as often as possible, including an oil free sunscreen.

Medicines
Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide is an acne medication that is available in most pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription. It kills acne bacteria, opens oil ducts, and help heal blemishes. Begin by using a 2.5% lotion or gel once a day, increasing use to twice daily if needed and tolerated by your skin. If the acne does not improve in 4 to 6 week, consider upping the dose to a benzoyl peroxide with a 5% or 10% concentration. If acne still does not go away, you may want to see a dermatologist who will prescribe a stronger medication.

Are you a tween headed back to school this year? Let us know how you’re addressing your acne problems!

vine vera banner presents Got Zinc In Your Sunscreen?

Got Zinc In Your Sunscreen?

Just when you thought it was safe to go out in the sun….. All summer you tried to be the sun protection poster girl. You applied sunscreen (SPF 30) half an hour before going out to let it sink in. You made sure you got the tops of your hands and the tips of your ears. You used a golf ball-sized application and reapplied every two hours. What more could you have done in the name of avoiding skin damage? How about not done any of it? Recent studies show that sunscreens contain a number of chemicals that can actually increase the risk of skin cancer. Read onto find out what some new evidence is revealing about the safety of certain sunscreens and why you might want to think twice about your sun protection.

Physical and Chemical Sunscreens
Sunscreens usually fall into one of two categories: physical and chemical. Chemical sunscreens are made in laboratories and contain chemicals such as PABA, oxybenzone, and cinnamates. They work by absorbing UV rays to reduce sun damage to the skin.

Physical sunscreens, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are made of natural elements from the earth. These work by scattering or blocking UV rays, preventing them from entering the skin at all. Physical sunscreens are considered safer than chemical sunscreens because they offer more broad spectrum protection. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, have been linked to hormone disruption. Research has shown that chemical sunscreens can mimic estrogen in the body, and throw natural hormones off balance and that the chemicals in the sunscreen can be absorbed into the body, leading to allergic reactions.

SPF
SPF is sun protection factor, which is a measurement of protection from UVB rays. UVA rays are considered to be more dangerous, because of their ability to penetrate more deeply into the skin, but SPF does not take sunscreen’s protection against UVA rays into account.

Another problem with SPF is that the numbers are misleading. An SPF number is the number you can multiply the time you can spend in the sun without burning unprotected, by to get the amount of time you can spend in the sun without burning with the protection of sunscreen. In other words, if a person normally burns in ten minutes without sunscreen, an SPF of 15 will multiply that number by 15, which means that individual can remain in the sun for 150 minutes without burning with sunscreen.

By this reasoning, it would seem that an SPF of 30 would allow individuals to remain in the sun for twice as long as they could by wearing an SPF of 15. In truth, the difference between the two is minimal. An SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks about 97% and an SPF of 50 blocks about 98%. So in essence, the increase in SPF stops making a difference after a certain point.

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Zinc Oxide
Zinc Oxide offers broad spectrum protection which can shield from both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, zinc is an essential mineral that we need in our bodies and the only active ingredient in sunscreen approved by the FDA for infants under the age of six months.

The Best Formula
If you are considering investing in a physical sunscreen, here are some of the natural ingredients you may want to look for on the label:

Zinc Oxide: This is the safest option for sunscreens. It’s the only one the FDA has recommended for infants and offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Antioxidants: These protect skin from oxidative stress, to give skin extra defense against sun damage.

Natural Ingredients: Natural soothing ingredients like hemp seed oil and lavender naturally sooth skin keeping it cool and calm. Moisturizers can be effective against flaking and dryness caused by the sun.

Tell us what you think about chemical vs. physical moisturizers. Which do you prefer? Let us know!

vine vera banner presents Quit Peanut Butter For Better Skin

Quit Peanut Butter For Better Skin

Sometimes, life is cruel. We grow up eating the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches mom packs for lunch, believing it is keeping us healthy. Then someone comes along and makes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and we believe we have discovered nirvana. A literal peanut butter explosion ensues. We begin to invent new places to put this delicious spread. Peanut butter shows up in ice cream, in pretzels, as fillings in donuts, in cereals, on the ends of celery and carrot sticks it’s a veritable peanut butter breakout; but could the peanut butter breakout be responsible for the breakouts on your skin? New evidence shows a link between peanut butter and acne. Read on if you can bear it.

Omega -6 Fatty Acids
Aren’t these supposed to be good for you? Here’s the breakdown. You may know from looking at the label that peanut butter has a high fat content. Two tablespoons pack a whopping 16 grams. While most of that fat is mono saturated, 31% of it is polyunsaturated, which means it can trigger acne.
Omega-6 fats can cause inflammation. That means that when you get a clogged poor, a sebaceous gland could burst, which will cause your immune system to respond to what it perceives as an internal wound. When your body has an overload of omega-6 it has difficulty fighting inflammation, and that can make for some pimples that can stick around for a while. Try balancing omega-6’s with omega-3s to keep acne problems from becoming chronic/

Peanut Agglutinin
While it may sound like what a person turns into after eating too many peanuts, peanut agglutinins are lectins found in peanuts that can cause digestive problems. After eating, peanut agglutinin enters the blood stream and may well increase intestinal permeability. This means, it opens holes in the intestinal wall to make it easy for food particles to pass into the bloodstream. This may contribute to food allergies, autoimmune conditions, and systemic inflammation, such as “leaky gut,” which makes it difficult for the body to clear clogged pores before they develop into pimples, or full blown acne.

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Aflatoxin
Anything with the root word “toxin” could not possibly be good. Aflatoxin is a toxin created by molds which contributes to kidney and liver cancer, malnutrition, and virtue defects. Peanut butter is one of the most common dietary sources of aflatoxin. Although there is some evidence that the peanut butter making process may reduce aflatoxin by 89%, further studies need to be done to confirm whether or not the aflatoxin in peanut butter is a health concern. However, if aflatoxins are the problems, you’re probably better off with a processed peanut butter than a natural one, as the aflatoxin level tends to go down with increased processing.

Peanut Butter Is Addictive
“No kidding,” you say, as you scrape the last bit out of the jar. Peanut butter is what some might classify as a domino food, which means it may be a challenge to stop eating it. Remember,there are a lot of calories in just two tablespoons, and there’s a lot of tablespoons in a jar.

Sugar and Gluten
Most peanut butter on the market is made with sugar and hydrogenated oils, neither of which are very food for acne. Natural peanut butter may be a better choice, but you may want to put it on top of a banana rather than bread, and you may want to leave off the jelly, which will increase the sugar content.

Peanut Butter Alternatives
If you’re looking to cut down on the PB intake, cashew and almond butter are healthy alternatives, although they have yet to appear in Reeses products.

What do you think of these findings? Are you ready to cut down on the peanut butter? Let us know what you think.

vine vera banner presents Don't Use Face Moisturizers For Your Eyes

Don’t Use Face Moisturizers For Your Eyes

If you are a follower of the hot debates in the beauty world, you may be aware of the ongoing controversy over whether or not it is necessary to use an eye cream in addition to a moisturizer. While some swear by their eye creams, others insist they are simply glorified moisturizers designed to generate more sales for cosmetic companies. So which is it? Is CTM all we need, or is it necessary to bring in more players? The final answer may be somewhat divided, but it seems that at least some of us may benefit from a little attention around the eye area. Read on to find out how some experts weigh in on team cream vs. team moisturizer,

The Delicate Eye Area
The skin around our eyes is notoriously delicate. While our facial skin may be thinner than the skin on the rest of the body, the skin around our eyes can be as much ninety percent thinner than that. In addition, the area around the eye has fewer oil glands than the rest of the face, making it a prime target for dehydration and aging. The ocular area is a sensitive one, easily affected by environmental factors that can accelerate the breakdown of collagen, and facial expressions like squinting, winking, frowning, smiling and looks of surprise can all take a toll on the area. Combined with a lack of sleep, sun exposure, smoking and alcohol intake, these factors all contribute the wrinkles we commonly call crow’s feet.

Eye Cream Vs. Moisturizer
Eye creams and moisturizers both usually include two types of active ingredients: humectants and emollients. Emollients, such as paraffin, mineral oil, hyaluronic acid, and cocoa butter can soften and plump skin. Humectants, like urea, glycerin, and aloe vera gel, help skin maintain moisture levels. As the body ages production of collagen and elastin decreases along with a rate of skin turnover. Ingredients, such as vitamin A (retinol), peptides (ceramide) and antioxidants help with retaining collagen and elasticity.

Many women cite under eye darkness as a skin concern. Dilated blood vessels and thinning skin can heighten the appearance of under eye darkness. Lightning ingredients, like hydroquinone, vitamin K, and Kojic acid are useful for diminishing shadows under the eyes. Allergies and lack of sleep can lead to fluid buildup, causing bags under the eyes which require anti inflammatory ingredients such as caffeine, chamomile, and cucumber Polymers have tightening benefits to reduce puffiness and prevent wrinkles.

Product designed specifically for the eye area tend to be free of excess fragrance and are ophthalmologist tested for sensitivity issues. Eye cream used consistently can show results in as little as four to six weeks.

So, I Need An Eye Cream?
The answer is; not necessarily. While eye creams can bring great benefits for those with the especially fragile skin around the eyes, some of us are lucky enough to not have puffiness, dark circles, or lines, in which case the use of a good moisturizer may suffice. The choice depends on the individual needs and preferences.

How do you weigh in? Team cream or team moisturizer? Let us know which side of the debate you’re on!

vine vera banner Antioxidant Foods For Glowing Skin

Antioxidant Foods For Glowing Skin

Your friends are dying to know why you’re glowing. They think it must be a new love, or maybe pregnancy, or a new skin treatment. Should you tell them? Should you tell them that antioxidants are the reason behind your glowing skin? Antioxidants are the cause of a lot of the latest buzz in the world of health and beauty. You may know about how beneficial they can be to your skin in creams and serums, but did you know they can also give your skin a boost from the inside out? Here are some of the best ways of getting the antioxidant glow from what you put on your plate.

Kale
Kale is full of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients absorb free radicals from UV light, including the ones that actually reach the skin. One cup gives you 134% of Vitamin C and 133% of Vitamin A, both skins firming wonders.

Green Tea
When it comes to healthy foods, green tea can do no wrong. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who drank a beverage containing green tea polyphenols showed increased skin elasticity and had one-quarter less sun damage after UV light exposure, compared to a control group. Green tea has catechins like EGCG to help stimulate oxygen and blood flow to the skin to keep your complexion radiant and healthy.

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Olive Oil
Women in the Mediterranean have been known to slather olive oil directly on their skin for its antioxidant properties. One study in PLOS ONE analyzing diets of 1264 women, found that those who consumed over 8.4 grams of olive oil a day showed 31% fewer signs of aging than those who ate less than one teaspoon. Olive oil also topped the list of oils for its anti aging properties, deftly knocking out both sunflower and peanut. Researchers credit the 75% mono saturated fatty acid content with the anti aging properties, and say the antioxidant polyphenols in the oil could be responsible for quenching free radicals that cause skin damage.

Tomatoes
If you’re looking for a place to drizzle your olive oil, how about on some ripe tomatoes? A study found people who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste per day with a tablespoon of olive oil for a twelve week period, had 33% more sunburn protection than a control group who ate just olive oil. The antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes increases the natural SPF levels in the skin, however, it is not recommended that you abandon your sunscreen in favor of tomato paste just yet.

Dark Chocolate
Save the best for dessert! Dark chocolate is the newest sinful delight that is scoring high points for antioxidant levels. The treat is rich in antioxidant plant compounds called cocoa flavanols. Studies found women who drank a high flavanol cocoa powder beverage every day for three weeks showed less skin dryness and flakiness when compared to a control group. Unfortunately, though a dark chocolate binge is not recommended. Stick to one ounce, 150 calorie portion to get the good skin without the extra weight.

What are your favorite skin healthy foods? Let us know what you’re putting inside you to get that antioxidant glow on the outside.

vine vera banner presents This Is Why Your Skin Needs Magnesium

This Is Why Your Skin Needs Magnesium

When it comes to vitamins, you know the major players: Vitamin C, calcium, the B vitamins, the list goes on. Then there are the vitamins which we seem to hear about a lot less, like magnesium. We may get our daily dose of magnesium in multivitamins, but we never seem to go out of our way to make sure we’re getting it. Why is that? Is magnesium just a wingman? A back up to the real stars of the show? It may surprise you to know that magnesium does a great job on fighting almost all the underlying causes of acne all by itself, which should probably qualify it for some top billing. Here are some of the ways magnesium can benefit your skin.

Fights Stress and Anxiety
Acne does tend to explode in times of stress. Stress causes the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which help us to act quickly when we’re in danger, and may be good is the situation is temporary, but in states of chronic stress, the hormones don’t switch off, causing the build up of cortisol, leading to the production of more sebum, and clogging pores.

Magnesium is a relaxation mineral which supports your adrenal function, so when cortisol is released, magnesium dampens the effect of the hormones, therefore helping to manage acne.

Improves Sleep
You may know that the skin does most of its restorative work when we sleep, which is why it’s so important to the skin that we get our eight hours in. Too little time in the sack will increase stress, and cortisol levels, worsening insulin resistance, decreasing immune function, and making it difficult to fight acne bacteria. Magnesium helps muscles relax. It synthesizes serotonin, which is a precursor for melatonin, the sleep hormone. Studies of elderly patients taking 500 mg of magnesium daily for eight weeks all showed a boost in melatonin levels as compared to a placebo group. Plus, serotonin also boosts the immune function to help high P.acnes bacteria.

Helps The Gut
Gut imbalances have a negative impact on acne. Magnesium helps break down food, so a magnesium deficiency can lead to poor digestion. This makes bad bacteria thrive and good bacteria die out. Magnesium helps the parasympathetic nervous system function better which improves digestion and allow the gut and micro flora to function properly.

Fights Insulin Resistance
Insulin is good in small doses, but when our bodies produce too much of it, the cells become resistant to glucose, which can lead to metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and opens the body up to acne related problems. Sebum production increases and inflammation worsens. Magnesium has been proven in studies to lower insulin resistance. One such study showed that pre diabetic individuals were able to decrease their metabolic markers for insulin resistance by 71% by increasing the amount of magnesium in their diets.

Anti Inflammatory
One study of more than 3000 post menopausal women showed that increased magnesium intake reduced three biomarkers for inflammation. Magnesium is also a precursor to vitamin C, helping vitamin C express itself as an antioxidant in the skin to fight inflammation. It also assists in Vitamin D activation, also vital to your skin.

Magnesium is responsible for inhibiting e selection which directs inflammation to your skin to help the healing process. Although this is usually a good thing, when skin is chronically damaged e selection is never turned off and acne lesions result. Therefore, magnesium helps the body shut off inflammation to skin and decreases the outbreak of acne.

Have you tried magnesium for your acne problems? Has it worked for you? Let us know for experiences with magnesium.

vine vera banner presents Ingredients to Avoid In Your Skincare

Ingredients To Avoid In Your Skincare

Hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, peels, exfoliants, mud, clay, retinol, vitamins A-Z, ceramides, essential oils; sometimes it seems like there are too many skincare ingredients to fit in one product, much less on the human face. Add that to the new layering trend, and, it may even seem like companies are creating more room on the human face for even more products. If you’re confused about which ingredients to look for when you’re looking to buy your next skin care product, maybe you should focus on what not to use. The FDA has only so much say in what goes into and what stays out of your cosmetic products, so for optimal health, you may need to be the one who makes the decisions. Here are some ingredients to avoid in your products to help you narrow it down.

Aluminum
Aluminum is a chemical salt you don’t want to find in your skin care products. It is used for its disinfectant and absorbent properties and is most often found in deodorants and antiperspirants. Recent studies of breast cancer patients detected higher amounts of aluminum is the outer areas of the breast, where deodorant is normally applied. A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health showed that the accumulation of aluminum in bodily tissues can lead to bone disease, tissue damage, impaired kidney function, and has also been found in the brains of those suffering Alzheimer’s disease. Opt for aluminum free natural deodorants and antiperspirants.

Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone is a compound commonly used for lightening of freckles, melanoma, age spots and discolorations which has been found to increase exposure to UV rays and cause mutations in laboratory studies. The chemical has been shown to cause contact dermatitis, and degeneration of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. Doctors warn pregnant women to avoid its use during pregnancy and nursing, and the Environmental Working Group has assigned a hazardous warning to the compound. Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid may be a better choice for skin brightening.

Fragrance
Fragrance can be intoxicating, in more ways than one. Apparently, fragrance can contain up to 200 undeclared ingredients, some of which may be hormone altering preservatives called phthalates, and you may have no way of knowing. Since companies don’t have to give a chemical breakdown of fragrances, it is difficult to tell the exact components of the scent. Problems such as coughing, vomiting, hyper pigmentation, allergies, skin rashes, and dizziness have all been known to occur from the use of synthetic fragrances. A word to the wise: avoid the word “fragrance” on the ingredient label unless it is derived from essential oils.

Parabens
Parabens can include propyl, butyl, methyl, and ethyl parabens. This group of preservatives extend shelf life of cosmetics, and are estimated to be contained in over 90% of all beauty products. A 2006 study of the urine sample of healthy adults showed evidence of parabens in over 90 percent of the participants.

Phthalates
You probably don’t want to find any chemicals used to make plastics in your cosmetic supplies. Phthalates are chemicals derived from oil, often found in product like perfume, hair spray, and nail polish and are often used to help the product cling to the skin, nails, and hair. The fear is that these products may be absorbed through the skin, fingernails, and lungs. Animal studies have shown an association between phthalates and kidney, liver, lung, and reproduction system damage. Human studies have shown abnormal development in male infants whose mothers show high levels of phthalates in their bodies. You may especially want to look out for dibutyl phthalate (DBP) di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and butylbenzylphthalate (BBP) on ingredient lists.

What ingredients are you looking to avoid on your beauty products? Let us know! It may be helpful!

vine vera banner Don't Believe These Beauty Myths

Don’t Believe These Beauty Myths

Some myths die hard, others, we’re pleased to let go of. The big reveal about pizza and chocolate not causing acne may have been a little easier for many to accept, the one about Santa Claus may have been a little more difficult. However, like it or not, eventually the truth will come out. Here are some of the latest “facts” about beauty that are turning out to be, not so factual. Hopefully, they won’t be too hard to part with.

Myth 1: Skincare Products Should Be Chosen According to Age
We often see skin regimens and care products targeted at certain age groups, however, it is important to make a distinction between age groups and skin types. While there are certain skin issues associated with aging, there is no guarantee that a woman in her 30’s does not face the same concerns as a woman in her 50’s. Clogged pores don’t automatically disappear when you reach 50, and wrinkles can occur on women in their 20’s. The bottom line is, fighting aging should begin as soon as possible. It is never too early to start on a healthy skin regimen.

Myth 2: Hypoallergenic Products Are Best For Sensitive Skin
Hypoallergenic is a term which means that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, and is better for sensitive and allergy prone skin. However, there are no regulations for determining if a product can be labelled as hypoallergenic. Rather than looking for the word, “hypoallergenic” on the label, look at the ingredient label. Fragrance free, gentle ingredients are more friendly to sensitive skin.

vine vera banner Don't Believe These Beauty Myths

Myth 3: Age Spots Are A Part Of Getting Older
The term “age spot’ is something of a misnomer. The brown spots and discoloration come from years of exposure to the elements that lead to visible imperfections in the skin, and can show up at any age. The best skin brightening products are those that contain niacinamide and vitamin C. Plant extracts such as arbutin have also been shown to have skin brightening properties, but none of these ingredients will work without the application of a broad spectrum sun screen. If a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is not applied 365 days a year, the uneven skin tone and spots will not take a turn for the better.

Myth 4: You’ll Outgrow Acne
Unfortunately, acne is not only a rite of passage. Adults up to the age of 60 can get blemishes, and the products that treat them are the same for any age group. The causes of acne are not age related, and the conditions can be triggered at any time. Another common misconception: having clear skin as an adolescents does not exempt you from acne in later life.

Myth 5: Makeup Triggers Acne
There is no research showing a link between makeup and acne, but if you don’t remove makeup completely and correctly, you may run into problems. When you leave traces of makeup on your skin at night, the anti acne products you apply to your face cannot penetrate the pores, which means they are less effective if at all. It is not the makeup itself that triggers acne, but its likelihood to block pores which prevents the acne medication from absorption that pulls the trigger on blemishes.

What beauty myths shocked you? Let us know your favorite busted myth. We love to get your comments.

Six Reasons To Use A Serum

woman examining herself in the mirror

CTM. Cleanser. Toner. Moisturizer. It’s all you need. The three basic steps. Everything else is just unnecessary, right? We’re all into compacting our skin routines, finding products that multitask and cutting out the extraneous, and these can be valuable time-savers. However, the serum may be a rare exception. It’s one of those products that is worth investing a few extra minutes a day for. In fact, if you’re already using a serum, you might even say it’s worth sacrificing a few minutes of sleep for. What is it about this wonder product that makes it such a great investment? Read on to find out.

They’re Powerful
According to Zoe Weisman, director of product development at Advanced Clinicals, it has a lot to do with content. “Serums tend to be more concentrated when it comes to the active ingredient.” That means that whatever the star ingredient in your serum, be it retinol, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid or another noted skin enhancer, a serum is likely to have a more potent dose that your average moisturizer with the same active ingredient. Weisman also advises looking for a product in an opaque bottle with an airtight lid to prevent oxidation. Smiling woman in white at mirror

There’s One For Everyone
If your skin tends to be on the dry side, Weisman suggests investing in a serum with hyaluronic acid to draw moisture to the skin, which will help to plump up lines and fill in depressions. If dark spots are your concern, vitamin C will prevent damage and hyper pigmentation, while vitamin A (retinol) will increase cell turnover and decrease wrinkles.

Layering
Another of benefit of serum is their light weight and easy absorption, which lend themselves to layering. That means you can combine serums to address different problems, or add one under your moisturizer, SPF, or foundation without creating a pile up.

Eye Serums are the New Eye Cream
If you’re looking to compartmentalize your beauty routine, while still incorporating a serum, you may want to give your sticky eye cream its walking papers. “The ideal,” says Weisman, “is a milky serum. You get the light texture and high potency of serum plus the milky aspect that makes it moisturizing.”

Happy woman applying eye serum at mirror

Benefits Go Below the Neck
If you love your serum, why stop at the jawline? There are serums designed for the neck and décolletage. “If you think about it, ” says Weisman, “this is a bad time for necks since we’re always hunched over our phones.” In fact, if you’re really serum happy there are full body serums to soften stretch marks, and smoothen cellulite, and hand serums to moisturize and treat age spots.

Penetration
Penetration. We’re always wondering whether it happens or not. With serums, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Serums’ lightweight formulas absorb better and penetrate more deeply into your skin than moisturizer, so you get better results with no residue.

Why do you love your serum? Let us know what your serum does for you!

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Don’t Let Sand Rub You the Wrong Way

Ah, the beach! That salty air! That beach smell! Don’t you wish you could just take it home with you? Many of us wish we could capture the essence of the beach, but when it comes to bringing it your house, there may be certain elements better left at the shore. Sand fleas can feast on human flesh, carrying diseases and transmitting viruses, and you certainly don’t want them making your body their home. Read on to find out little more about these pests and how you can make sure they don’t get in the way of your summer fun.

Sand Fleas On Humans
Don’t judge them by their size. They may be quite small, but sand fleas can cause big problems. Because they are so close to the ground, your ankles, feet, and legs, are their most convenient targets, and they can’t jump more than 20 to 40 centimeters, so unless you’re lying in the sand, your upper body should be relatively safe. These creatures are nocturnal, so you’re most likely to get bitten in the evening, at night, or at dawn.

There are two types of sand fleas bites to look for. The first resembles a mosquito bite. You’ll get these when the flea bites and sucks your blood and they move on to another host. As they do this, they leave behind saliva which prevents blood clotting, and this clotting that may cause an allergic reaction. The second type of bite is inflicted by breeding females. These fleas will burrow themselves into the skin and stay there until their eggs hatch. The bites of the female breeding fleas are characterized by a swollen area with black spots in the middle. The black spots are the fleas.

Both types of bites can cause symptoms like pain, discomfort, and itching. If you have an allergy to sand flea bites, these symptoms can be more severe. When breeding fleas burrow into your skin, you may experience fever and infection, which may develop into tungiasis, which is an inflammatory skin disease that needs treatment to prevent further infection.

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Treatment
If you are bitten by and fleas, here is some advice for treatment

  • Don’t scratch the bites. This will only increase the chance of infection.
  •  Examine the bite for breeding sand fleas who can live under your skin sucking blood for weeks.
  •  Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to control itching, and take painkillers for pain and swelling. See a doctor if treatments worsen. He or she may suggest the use of an antihistamine cream.
  •  A combination of baking soda and water may prove soothing. Just apply to the area and let it work.
  •  Soak in a lukewarm (not hot) oatmeal bath to reduce itching.
  •  Aloe vera may provide relief from itching and help bites heal.
  •  Essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, and cedar wood, may all relieve discomfort

Preventing Further Attacks
Prevention is, of course, the best treatment. Here are some suggestions for those who want to avoid sand flea bites.

  • Stay away from the beach in the morning and evening, and when it has recently rained. Sand fleas are more active when the air is moist and cool. If you do visit the beach during any of these weather conditions, bring insect repellant.
  • Cover yourself when lying down or sitting to avoid bites on your legs, back, and feet.

Have you ever provided a home for a sand flea? Let us know your experiences and how you rid yourself of these bloodsucking parasites.