3 Ways to Know When it’s Time to Change Skin Care Products

I’ve often been asked “does our skin ever tire of certain products and we need to try something new”? The thought behind this question is typically they aren’t seeing the results they like or feel like they might benefit in some way from something different, especially if family or friends are using something new and looking great. My thinking has been that if you’re happy with your skin’s texture, tone, and appearance, why would you? Then I realized there are a few signs that it could truly be time to make a change.

Some things to consider are if you need to change just a product or two, or go for the complete overhaul, what would you like to improve and what changes would you like to see. So here are my thoughts on 3 ways to know if it’s time to change skin care products:

You’re in a new season of life. Going from teenager to young adult, to parenthood, middle or advancing age, all provide you with hormonal fluctuations that show in your skin. Stress, the environment, state of health, sun damage and the changing weather seasons all take their toll over time. If you see a skin care specialist for facials, or a dermatologist for regular skin cancer screening, these would both be good to gather input from on the health and appearance of your skin in every season.

You’re having skin issues. Eczema, acne, psoraisis, dry patches, hormone or age spots, redness, rosacea, and the list goes on. Again, seeing a skin professional will help you decide what you need to help your skin become healthier. Your overall health and diet play such an important role in the health of your skin, it is always a good idea to see a doctor for an annual physical and evaluate your dietary choices from time to time.

You are no longer happy with results from your current skin care. This is pretty straightforward, right? This could be the products themselves, or any aspect of the state of your skin and visible appearance. Maybe you’re seeing increasing wrinkles, blotching, dryness, sagging more than you like and you are looking for better tools in your anti-aging and beauty repertoire.

For me, I love science, so I like to look at ScienceDaily.com frequently to see what’s new with everything. I have been reading about results from studies where probiotics were applied topically to the skin of people with acne which demonstrated excellent results. This was interesting to learn, knowing that our skin’s top layer has immunoprotective properties which are our body’s first line of defense against “germs” from the environment and such. Keeping my skin’s acid mantle and overall protective barrier function healthy by daily cleansing, regular exfoliation and topically applied nutrients in moisturizers is my main focus. Then, as I age, those little, and then big, wrinkles started creeping up and the sagging begins. There’s more to skin care than cleansing and moisturizing!

I found a great line of skin care last fall when I received a gift of a brown sugar lip scrub. Fell in love! As I looked over all the other products Fresh.com offered. THERE IT WAS! A line of Fermented Black Tea skin care. Probiotics for my skin! I especially like the “Corset Cream” – do millennials even know what a corset is? Well, my face certainly needs one now!

A few months later I learned about a line of targeted Serums from a new company in which all of the serums have incorporated in them a grouping of specific natural ingredients. Each serum has Fermented Black Tea Kombucha! Now I have targeted serums with probiotics to start my skin care regimen and a corset cream with more probiotics to provide the rest. In just a short time I am seeing such an improvement in my skin, enhanced elasticity, a new vibrancy, and results better than I imagined for this season of my life, with just a few products. I’m thrilled!

Here’s where you can check them out:

Fermented Black Tea Kombucha Serums


Does Your Doctor Listen with Stethoscope Over Your Clothes?

Does your doctor or nurse listen to your lungs, heart or abdomen by placing their stethoscope over 1, 2 or more layers of clothes?

This is a pet peeve of mine, because I know I don’t hear as clearly when my patients have even a light weight t-shirt on. It bothers me so much, that I always pull up my top or remove clothing over the area they are about to listen to. And yes, the doctor/nurse almost always smiles in a smirky sort of way, or tells me that’s not necessary. (BTW I’ve never seen a physician or nurse cleanse the bell of their stethoscope before or after using, either.)

I know I want my health care provider to have the best chance at making an accurate assessment when I seek care. With accurate assessment, comes accurate findings to put together into the correct treatment plan. Right?

While we’re on the subject of accurate assessment, have you had someone take your blood pressure manually, done so quickly that it was off from your normal range? This has happened numerous times to me. My blood pressure is usually on the low side, but if the taker opens the valve a little too much, causing the air to be released too quickly, they will gather an inaccurate measurement. I always can tell, because it’s usually found to be 10 – 15 points higher than normal. I will ask for them to repeat it “because I’m usually not that high”. The second reading is most often found to be more accurate because they’ve released the air more slowly, and can hear the exact time when the sound of your pulse can be heard (systolic blood pressure) and when it disappears on the lower end (diastolic blood pressure).

Both, listening to your chest and abdomen and blood pressure measurements, are values that may change with sickness or age. It’s important to make sure they are done accurately. If you see the same practitioner consistently, they will be able to note changes and trends over time, which could allow for early interventions.

Thoughts or experiences?

What do our Skin Pores do?

What do our skin pores do? Some people have large pores and search for skin care products to reduce their size. Others have non-visible pores, their skin always looks smooth and soft. Then there are those whose pores, for a multitude of reasons, become blocked, fill with dirt, oil and “sludge”, and are visibly darker or infected.

If you want to truly learn how to care for you skin, you need to start with your pores. What exactly are they and what do they do?

There are 2 kinds of pores, or tiny openings in matrix fashion, all over the skin of your body. The first is a sweat gland, which makes sweat, allowing you to regulate your body’s temperature and attract the opposite sex. The second is an oil gland, which produces oil to naturally maintain your skin’s surface protective barrier and keep it soft.

Your pores also absorb the ingredients of your skin care products, or not – if your pores are blocked with old skin, oil and dirt. A good foundational understanding of the anatomy and function of the magnificent skin pore will hopefully help us care for our skin more intentionally.

On the PersonalCareTruth.com website, I came along a wonderful post written by Amanda Foxon-Hill titled “What are pores?” Just click on the <- this title and jump over to her excellent description of pores, a wonderful graphic of the anatomy, and discussion of their functions. Thank you Amanda for such a great post! I really enjoyed it and am sharing it with my readers today.

Give One to You, Give One to Me…Makes You Happier!

Shopping for a gift just got a whole lot easier and much more enjoyable for the giver! New research shows liking a gift you are giving someone enough to purchase one for yourself is viewed very positively by the receiver and makes the giver happier. Who knew!

Matching Gifts!

“Research published this month in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin by Evan Polman, marketing professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Sam Maglio, marketing professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, shows that gift recipients are happier with a present when the giver got themselves the same present.”

[Read more…]

7 Tips for Writing a Letter of Recommendation

I’m receiving all kinds of requests for letters of recommendation these days as my students have just graduated, and I’ve referred colleagues for positions they would be great in. After receiving a request from one of my former students for a “strong” letter of recommendation, repeating the word “strong” in her email request multiple times, I thought it would be great to share a few pointers I use when writing a letter of recommendation.

  1. If you cannot provide a “strong” recommendation of the individual, do not proceed. Let the individual know the reason(s), such as you haven’t observed them interacting with clients, known them long enough, or viewed any creative works they’ve developed in order to recommend them, or any of a number of other reasons that they shouldn’t take personally. [Read more…]

My Thoughtful Place to Ponder Things

My Thoughtful Place

Do you have a thoughtful place, somewhere to spend a few moments pondering things? From my workplace at home this is what I see, only in a dynamic form.

Large branches sway back and forth in the wind. Leaves dance about ever so quickly as they are pulled along. The movement mesmerizes my mind, pulling it into a creative state where I can find just the right words to write, gain clarity on situations I’ve been mulling over, gain some inspiration, and contemplate the passages of life.

As I look up past the tree tops, into the sky, I have conversations with the Lord. Many conversations. Telling Him what’s troubling me, pouring out my heart, thanking Him for so many, many blessings – and even thanking Him for the difficulties that seem to come more often than I’d like.

I find peace in the pouring out, rest in the thankfulness, and joy in creative inspirations.

If you don’t have a quiet place to go and think, I hope you can find one. I highly recommend it.

And when you do find one, I hope you visit it often!

 

 

 

 

Looking Fabulous While Flying in Turbulence

You hear the pilot overhead saying “please return to your seats and fashion your seatbelts, we are about to enter some “chop””, also know as turbulence. He might as well said to me “get out your “E” ticket, your going for a roller coast ride”!

Fastne Seatbelts!

Photo by Chris Pond, from Flickr

Flight turbulence really puts me into panic mode because it’s not like being in a car where you can pull over on the side of the road if things get too rough, but you just keep flying on. Much of my anxiety comes from some very bumpy flight experiences. So, when I saw this article about the realities of flight turbulence and how very few people are actually injured in it every year, I thought to share with you. After all, staying calm, cool and collected helps to keep us looking fabulous, right?

“While turbulence can feel scary, airplanes are designed to withstand massive amounts of it. “A plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket,” wrote pilot Patrick Smith on his site, AskThePilot.com. “Conditions might be annoying and uncomfortable, but the plane is not going to crash.”

To read the full article, with loads more very useful – and very calming – information, I invite you to click on over to Travel and Leisure where Melissa Locker has written a superb article for nervous fliers!

Melissa really knows how to calm the nervous traveler, and give assurance to the most anxious!

Do This With Your Cell Phone if You Want Focused Thinking

To be able to retain and process information optimally, keep your cell phone far away from you. Recent research shows this to be true through studies done on almost 800 smart phone users.

“Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off. That’s the takeaway finding from a new study from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

The findings suggest that the mere presence of one’s smartphone reduces available cognitive capacity and impairs cognitive functioning, even though people feel they’re giving their full attention and focus to the task at hand. “We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, participants’ available cognitive capacity decreases,” Ward said. “Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process — the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It’s a brain drain.””

Put Your Cell Away to Focus and be Present

How funny that those tested exerted so much energy on trying not to pay attention to their cell phones that it significantly decreased their ability to focus and concentrate. It’s kind of like “Pavlov’s Dog” with the dog anticipating the bell ringing, and can’t think of any thing else but that the bell will ring soon and they certainly don’t want to miss it. This could add to the existing body of knowledge that shows cell phone addiction, don’t you think? I guess my “note to self” from this study is to turn off and put my phone out of sight in order to be fully present in relating to others and focusing on tasks at hand!


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Citations from ScienceDaily.com


Journal Reference:

  1. Adrian F. Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, Maarten W. Bos. Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 2017; 2 (2): 140 DOI: 10.1086/691462

Pippa’s Wedding Day

Brides are simply beautiful, wedding days a joyous occasion to our delight. Everyone wants to see the bride’s dress, and how overcome with love the groom becomes when he catches the first glimpse of his bride as she begins her walk down the aisle to meet him. Celebrating Pippa Middleton’s wedding, I share a few sources of stunning photos capturing the beauty, love and delight of this special day.

This photo is shared from the story covered in the HuffingtonPost – Click the link <- or the photo to read the story of the day’s festivities and see many more gorgeous photos:

ENGLEFIELD GREEN, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Pippa Middleton arrives at the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews at St Mark's Church on May 20, 2017 in Englefield Green, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

ENGLEFIELD GREEN, ENGLAND – MAY 20: Pippa Middleton arrives at the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews at St Mark’s Church on May 20, 2017 in Englefield Green, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Then stroll over to the What Kate Wore Facebook Page, and Telegraph News for links to additional photos and coverage of this beautiful day and the details of Pippa’s dress. Enjoy!

Zinc Lozenges May Shorten Days of Cold Symptoms

Have a cold? Wish it would go away? Now you may be able to help along the symptoms of the common cold, and get back to feeling better in a shorter time. A new research study has shown the effectiveness of higher dose zinc lozenges to shorten the duration of a cold significantly.

Zinc Lozenges may help shorten the common cold!

“According to a meta-analysis of three randomized controlled trials zinc acetate lozenges may increase the rate of recovery from the common cold three fold. On the fifth day, 70% of the zinc lozenge patients had recovered compared with 27% of the placebo patients….The dose of zinc in the three studies was between 80 to 92 mg/day.”

What are the best zinc lozenges to use? Seems like there is a little bit to the proper selection of lozenges to have this type of effect on your cold. You need to find a lozenge with the right concentration of zinc, and one which does not contain substances that will bind the zinc ions, not allowing for full effectiveness, ingredients such as citric acid.

“Although the lead author, Dr. Harri Hemilä from the University of Helsinki, Finland, suggests that the optimal formulation of zinc lozenges and the best frequency of their administration should be further investigated, he also instructs common cold patients to test individually whether zinc lozenges are helpful for them: “given the strong evidence of efficacy and the low risk of adverse effects, common cold patients may already be encouraged to try zinc acetate lozenges not exceeding 100 mg of elemental zinc per day for treating their colds.””

Don’t you think giving a try of a zinc lozenge is worth a try for a few days to see it if works for you? I know I wouldn’t mind, especially if I needed to share an office space with you all day while you are sniffing, blowing, coughing and sneezing!


Quotations cited from ScienceDaily.com:

Journal Reference:

  1. Harri Hemilä, James T. Fitzgerald, Edward J. Petrus, Ananda Prasad. Zinc Acetate Lozenges May Improve the Recovery Rate of Common Cold Patients: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 2017; 4 (2) DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofx059

Health Benefits of Coffee – Made the Italian Way

We Italians, (or Eeeeeetalians as “Marco in a Box” in his “How to be Italian – 20 rules Italians never break  likes to say), LOVE our espresso and coffee. Our tried and true method of creating the perfect cup has been around for centuries.

Dr. David B. Samadi, on his blog, has recently shared a new health benefit for those men among us who are regular coffee drinkers – with the caveat of it must by made the Italian way.

Cappuccino

“A new study from Italy (where coffee-drinking borders on religion) indicates that men drinking three or more cups of Italian-style coffee daily may reduce their chances of prostate cancer by fifty percent. The new research was designed by the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention – I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Italy which collaborated with the Italian National Institute of Health and the I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata of Rome.”

Ahhhh, my Roman people, so creative and healthy! Mind you, the coffee in the study was caffeinated, and made in a specific way.

“The researchers discovered that the caffeinated coffee extracts reduced the aggregation of cancer cells and decreased their ability to metastasize, but these effects were almost non-existent with decaffeinated coffee extracts. The observations on cancer cells allow us to say that the beneficial effect observed among the 7,000 participants is most likely due to caffeine, rather than to the many other substances contained in coffee,” notes study co-author Maria Benedetta Donati.”

So is it the caffeine or the polyphenols, or both together which produces the anti-cancer benefits?

“They prepare coffee [the] rigorously Italian way: high pressure, very high water temperature, and with no filters,” says study co-author Licia Iacoviello. “This method, different from those followed in other areas of the world, could lead to a higher concentration of bio-active substances.”

Italians drink coffee as traditional rituals, certain times of the day, specific type of coffee and add the social customs along with it. A morning espresso is pretty much consumed as a shot, in one or two slurps. Your day can now begin! Other coffee drinks include friends to chat with, seats positioned to people watch, situated to invite others to stop by and join in the leisurely, and sometimes boisterous, conversations. Hands waving, opinions argued, solutions presented, and much shared friendship abound. Could it be the shared social community have an influence on health, as well?

Thanks for sharing this great health news, Dr. Samadi!

Which Kentucky Derby Hat is You?

The Kentucky Derby is such a fun and frolicky annual horse race, filled with tradition and beauty. From the gorgeous horses to the traditional mint juleps, there is anticipation and excitement in the air. What I love most about the Kentucky Derby is selecting “my” horse to cheer on and, always, seeing the beautiful hats on display everywhere!

“The long-established fashion was started with Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.’s vision for the Derby as an event that the high-class would attend, similar to European-style racing events, which mandated full morning dress for men and women. For the first running of the Kentucky Derby, he used high-class women to recruit his target clientele to attend the race. The event quickly became just as much about the fashion as the racing. Going to a horse racing event became an opportunity to show off the latest in spring fashion and women were known to coordinate their hats, dresses, bags, shoes, and even parasols.” *

I’m posting a few hats for you to enjoy from the official Kentucky Derby website as well as my personal choice if I were going this year!

  1. Playful and fun!

2. “Look at me!” (I like the shoulder sun protection this hat offers!)

3. This one has the floral embellishment underneath the brim – beautiful!

4. Such fun for men, too!

5. My choice from Berkeley Hats (where you will find many, many more lovely hats to order!)

Cheers to a great race and very fun day!

Lasik Surgery Reduces Eye Infections

If you wear contact lenses every day, reduced infection rate is now another reason to have Lasik eye surgery. Opthalmologists from the Hamilton Eye Institute, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, have completed a study which shows a small, but significant lower rate of eye infections in individuals post Lasik surgery when compared to daily contact wearers. Microbial keratitis is an infection that attacks the cornea, and causes significant long term vision issues, including devastating vision loss.

“An article on the findings was published in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, a high-impact, peer-reviewed scientific journal. “Microbial keratitis is a relatively rare complication associated with contact lens use and LASIK postoperatively,” the article said. The authors were Jordan Masters, MD; Mehmet Kocak, PhD; and Aaron Waite, MD. “The risk for microbial keratitis was similar between patients using contact lenses at one year, compared with LASIK. Over time, the risk for microbial keratitis was higher for contact lens use than for LASIK, specifically with extended-wear lenses.”

I wish they had included those who took their contacts out every day to clean and rest their eyes, changing the lenses every two weeks, and also those who use daily lenses, which are disposed of every day, starting the next day with a fresh, sterile set of lenses. I use the daily wear lenses, and have been thinking about Lasik surgery, but am still a little nervous about getting good results, and the possibility of surgical complications.

The researchers did go on to say that the rate of this type of infection is rare, but has long term devastating affects for those who do acquire it. I also wonder if they compared the compliance and routine of cleaning the lenses of those they compared to, although the more times our fingers touch the lenses, the higher the risk for any infection. Interesting study!

Excerpts cited from ScienceDaily.com

Southern California Spring This Year!

We are having a glorious spring this year, after years of drought, and I wanted to share some of the natural beauty with you! Enjoy!

 

We’re having what’s called a “Super Bloom” – so gorgeous!

More “Super Bloom”!

 

The Sounds of Nature Do Calm Our Stress

Does the sound of rain calm you? How about the sounds of a waterfall, or wind blowing or crickets chirping or birds singing? Now there is scientific evidence showing the sounds of nature do exert a calming influence over our stressed minds and bodies.

[Read more…]

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