Friday, May 22, 2009

Quick and Easy Ab Workout...

... that only takes ONE MINUTE. Ok, honestly, I don't know how well and how soon the results become visible; I only found this yesterday. But because it's extremely easy to do and because it only takes a minute to go through the entire workout, I decided to make this post before I see the first results. I personally like it. I'll update this post later on and we'll see how well this workout is working out for me :)

To see the youtube video, click here

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What Everyone Should Know About Sunscreen

With the summer quickly approaching, sunscreen is probably the most commonly used skin care product in America and around the world. Is that a good thing or bad thing?

Well, I'll begin by telling you my personal experience with sunscreens. Long story short, I always got sunburned no matter how much sunscreen I put on. Until recently I thought I simply have bad skin. I really do have troublesome skin, which is partially why I'm so interested in beauty tips, especially natural ones. Anyways, my point was that sunscreen is not a 100% protection from sunburn.

Not only does the sunscreen sometimes fail to do its job, it has also been linked to cancer development. Horrifying! So here's what happens: sunscreen blocks the rays that produce vitamin D in human bodies. Vitamin D is a very important vitamin that strengthens immune system and does a whole lot of good stuff to your body, along with fighting cancer. So, vitamin D production is stalled (because of the sunscreen). At the same time, sunscreen allows some rays to pass through, the rays that actually cause cancer activity to begin under your own skin. Now, if no sunscreen is used, then the effects just cancel each other out (vitamin D kills the cancer cells) and no cancer results. Ironically, not only does the sunscreen not protect from skin cancer, it actually promotes it!

Another thing that happens: many components of a regular sunscreen are dangerous and carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals that freely enter your skin and then your bloodstream. These ingredients are commonly used in sunscreen production even though they have never been tested by the FDA.

I was shocked by this information and I honestly want to avoid use of sunscreen altogether this summer.

By the way, I read that there is an alternative way to protect skin from sunburn. I personally find it weird and I've never tried this before. Here's what I read, "... in fact, the real cause of sunburn is not merely UV exposure: It is a lack of antioxidant nutrition." The article went on to suggest regularly eating berries and carrots, which should build up a natural internal sunscreen. Supposedly, this will make the skin much less "vulnerable to DNA mutations from radiation." Weird, huh? Nevertheless, it might be worth a shot. Since I already decided to ditch my sunscreen, might as well eat a few berries/carrots everyday; I don't think it will hurt me in any way. I'll make an update post later this summer, so be sure to check back to see how my poor skin is doing :)

For more information on ill sunscreen effects click here
To see the article that I quoted in the post, click here

Friday, May 8, 2009

Best Teeth Whitener Known [to Me]

I began searching for the alternative when I realized that fluoride is actually quite dangerous. It is true that a certain amount of fluoride makes teeth somewhat resistant to acid (thus preventing many cavities). It is also true that fluoride is not biodegradable and accumulates in your body, eventually poisoning it. According to my online research, fluoride causes demineralization of bone and teeth (fluorosis). Osteosclerosis, exostoses of the spine, genu valgum (whatever it is), and some other conditions are also (at least partially) caused by accumulated fluoride in a person's body.

I'm not up for hospital adventures like that, so I really began searching for something safe. And I think I found it :) Many people (I even know some of them personally) claim that baking soda cleans even better than any toothpaste. I've tried it for a while and I must admit, it really does work better than toothpaste. Only about 2-3 brushes and my teeth were as white as if I just got back from a dentist. And so far I have not heard of any health defects in the short or long run that are caused by brushing your teeth with baking soda.

I've found two ways to do this:
1. Place baking soda directly on your toothbrush and begin brushing right away.
2. Put baking soda in a glass and add just enough water to make a paste-like substance. Then use it like you would use a toothpaste.

I must warn you of one downside though. Baking soda cleans teeth pretty well, but unlike toothpaste it does not give you that minty fresh breath. So you might want to rinse with a mouthwash, or add a mint extract to your baking soda paste. :) Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This Tip Worked for Catherine the Great :)

Today I accidentally learned a new beauty tip. I don't know how credible it is, but I plan to try it. Apparently, Catherine the Great (if you don't know who she was then shame on you) rubbed an ice cube against her face every morning to make her skin look younger. Hmm... interesting. So far all I could conclude is that ice would make her pores smaller, thus preventing much dirt from getting inside. Maybe there was something more to it?

At any rate, I want to try this, maybe starting tomorrow. I guess if for the next few days you don't see me complaining about my face being paralyzed, then the experiment was a success :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

7 Ways to Minimize the Chances of Another Acne Breakout

The most common skin problem, especially among teenagers, is acne. While no one is immune to it, there are ways to minimize the chances of acne breakouts.

1. Common sense rule -- do not touch your face with your hands. I'm not saying 'with dirty hands' because unless you just washed your hands, they are considered dirty. The reason for this rule is simple -- less dirt and oil on your face equals lesser chance of a breakout.

2. Keep your hair out of your face. Hair is naturally oily, and when that oil clogs up the pores on your face, the result will be a breakout. If you have bangs and you have acne on your forehead, pin up the bangs when you're at home and let your skin get regular exposure to sun and fresh air. I've been through this myself -- had bangs until like 8th grade. Then when I decided to get rid of the bangs I realized that it would leave my acne in plain view for everyone to see. I don't remember for sure now, but I believe that acne disappeared the same week my bangs did and I haven't had much trouble with forehead breakouts since then.

3. (For girls) Keep your hair in a ponytail or braided for the night. Just like I mentioned above, your hair will get in your face as you're twisting and turning in your sleep. For me, most of my breakouts appeared in the morning (I have really long hair that I would just brush and let down for the night). When I started gathering them in a ponytail or a braid, my skin became a lot healthier and the pimples went away.

4. Change your pillow case about once a week. Hair oil accumulates on the pillow case and is then smeared across your face when you go to bed. You can imagine what happens next, right?

5. This one is weird, but I know from personal experience that it works. Wipe the surface of the phone before you use it. If you don't understand the point, look at the phone or cellphone right after someone has talked on it for an hour or so. I don't really know the reason why, but almost always the screen and the buttons are covered with oily stuff. Don't let that substance [whatever it is] touch your skin. Wipe the surface before you use the phone, and if you talk on the phone for more than 30 minutes at a time, then wipe the surface once or twice during your conversation as well. It only takes about 5 seconds.

6. Putting toothpaste on a pimple for 10 minutes might make it go away faster. You can put toothpaste on that spot right before the shower (just avoid getting water on your face for the first 10 minutes or so) and then wash it off. I know a girl who claims that the pimple was gone the next morning.

7. Wash your face daily. Some people say you should wash it with hot water, others say that cold water is better. One thing for sure, your face has to be clean in order to look healthy. I usually wash my face with hot water first, and then splash it with cold water.

These are the basic guidelines I used to clear my face from acne. Even now as long as I follow these rules I have no breakout problems. I will post more tips from this annoying skin condition if I find out more, and if you know some good tricks let me know, I'll add them too.