Six Vitamins and Minerals that Slow the Aging Process

eat-your-vitamins-1329779-639x425How do we hasten up the results from our beauty products while stagnating the aging clock? There are several ingredients that you can incorporate in your diet, in your weekly homemade face masks or simply look for as ingredients in your favorite beauty products that will guarantee to slow the aging process to a crawl.

  1. B Vitamins.  “Vitamin B and all its derivatives are essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails,” states dermatologist, Joel Schlessinger, M.D.  Serving as potent moisturizers, vitamin B helps keep your skin looking supple all while filling in the crinkles and wrinkles that imprint on your skin over time.  Your best food source for vitamin B? Bananas. A banana a day will keep the dermatologist away. Other sources of vitamin B derivatives include: fish, red meat and low fat dairy products.  
  2. Vitamin E.  Vitamin E helps boost your immune system all while clearing out free-radicals through its power of being an antioxidant.  By consuming in more vitamin E, your blood flow increases, which helps promote more rejuvenated skin cells and helps the old and dead ones turn over faster.  Foods that contain vitamin E include: sunflower seeds, almonds and spinach.
  3. Selenium. Also an antioxidant, selenium works with other minerals and vitamins in your body to repair and prevent free radical damage that makes you look worn down with age.  You can find it in high concentration in foods such as mushrooms, codfish and barley.
  4. Vitamin A. Consuming vitamin A can help banish your wrinkles if consistently practiced.  Topically, vitamin A is famously used for skin disorders such as severe dry skin and acne as it soothes out the skin after repair and diminishes any after math marks left over. As an additive bonus, Vitamin A also helps promote collagen production.
  5. Vitamin C.  Another well-known antioxidant, vitamin C or ascorbic acid, helps tissue growth and helps maintenance on all of your bones. As a free radical avenger, Vitamin C helps diminish brown spots that have accumulated on your skin over time while also strengthening your immune system enough to fight off a common cold. You can find vitamin C in any of your bright colored citrus fruits.
  6. Vitamin K.  Vitamin K is used cosmetically to get rid of spider veins, dark circles under the eyes and any broken capillaries that give your skin discoloration.  Since its main function is to control blood clotting, with proper intake of vitamin K, you can count on your blood flow to be equivocal, smooth and directed where it needs to go when it’s needed. Foods that are packed with vitamin K include: kales, spinach, mustard greens, beet greens, turnip greens and Swiss chard.  As you can see, a lot of greens!

How to Make Your Shaving Session Worthwhile

shaver-1484462-640x480Not all of us like to put down top dollar to go to a beauty salon to get waxed, and some of us just don’t like the pain or time invested in it either.  For those that use the razor for silky skin, there may be a couple additions to your routine you can tweak in order to get the most out of your shaving session. Call it Operation Baby Skin- and you my friend have just been brought on board.

  1. Exfoliate before. We do not mean for you to bring your facial exfoliator into the tub with you for this task- you need to invest in a good body scrub and get an exfoliating scrub brush.  There’s a lot of scrubs that are formulated for specific skin types, so if you have sensitive skin-there’s a product for you.  Exfoliating before you shave helps clear away dead skin that would ultimately dull your razor while shaving.  This way you leave the razor with just your hair. Moreover, exfoliating dead skin means that you can ensure you’re getting a close shave- which means less shaving accidents and less painful shaving burns.
  2. Use a shaving gel. Shaving gel is that middle ground platform that stands between your razor and skin.  It helps protect your skin from over irritation. As an additional bonus, find a razor gel that moisturizes as well to optimize your shaving session to the maximal. As with most beauty products, try to avoid any products that contain alcohol or fragrances as these can dry and irritate your skin in the process of your shave.  
  3. Keep the shaving short and sweet.  A lot of women shave once starting from their ankle and move up their entire leg. This is an inefficient technique because your razor is gathering hair from your ankles and loses room to collect more hair by the time you reach your thigh.  You want to keep your shaving sessions short, and break up the area of your body into smaller proportions to shave.  
  4. Wait until after you’ve soaked.  In warm water, this is the best method to loosen up the hair follicle on your body and prepare for the shave. You may also want to perform the duty under warm water.  
  5. Moisturize. After you leave the shower or the tub, pat dry your skin, don’t rub.  Rubbing will only increase the irritation and rob moisture from your body- all while making any burns appear more prominent.  After pat drying, follow up with a body moisturizer and let the product soak into your skin before putting clothing on.  There are many specialized moisturizers you can use for your skin such as tanners, skin illuminators and moisturizers that tighten and firm your skin. These moisturizers act in a dual nature and can help you kill two birds with one stone.  Above all, it’s best to understand your skin type and invest in a body moisturizer that is formulated for your specific skin.  

Fight the “Burr”: Treating Winter Skin

julia-1568557-1279x852It’s the time of the season where your fall skin fades away and is replaced by drier, tighter and a more irritated substitute.

What gives? Dry skin usually occurs during the seasons of November through February (depending on your location these months could be different) and is signified by the presence of flaking, scaling, less visible pores, dull skin and roughness.  It involves the process of dehydrated skin from cold air and lack of humidity.   Although an unpleasant nuisance, there are some tips and options you can integrate into your beauty regimen until the season blows over:

  1. Invest in different moisturizers.  The type of moisturizers you want on board for your skincare routine are ones that contain no fragrances and ones that are packed with hydroxyl acids. Hydroxyl acids, despite the vile sounding name, gently clear away dead skin in order to leave room for your skin to retain more moisture.  Contrarily, fragrances should be avoided in order to avoid unwarranted periods of dryness and irritation.
  2. Switch out your soaps.  Antibacterial and deodorant soaps are harsh on skin and can dehydrate skin as well – especially for those with sensitive skin.  Brands such as Dove and Aveeno offer gentle options that can also be fragrance free and formulated to hydrate.  Be sure to switch out all of your soaps- hand soaps, bath soaps, etc.
  3. Mind your diet.  There can be a plethora of different ways to ensure that externally your body receives all the moisture it needs, but it will never be to par with internally hydrating your body starting with your diet.  This starts with consuming the good kind of fats- the type that reside in oils, nuts and fish.  These are the types of foods that bears consume in order to stay plump throughout winter, and so you can use them in somewhat of a similar matter.  These types of fats will keep your skin looking supple and slightly plump all winter long instead of gaunt.  Unsaturated fats are fruitful, but drinking water is equally as crucial.  Drinking eight glasses of water a day or more can help you stay hydrated from the inside and out.  
  4. Invest in a humidifier.  A humidifier is cheating the environment a little, but that’s alright.  As opposed to other central heating systems that blow hot streams of air at you consistently, humidifiers inject moisture, dispersing more water molecules that your skin can be receptive to.  

Don’t forget during this season to avoid getting any cotton clothing wet while outdoors.  This can cause severe irritation that can dry out your skin.  Additionally, as the holiday seasons take a toll, may sure to take a breather as stress increases inflammation.

Clear the Stench: How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

mouth-1559638-1280x960If your spewing out hot air with each comment you make that has people looking at you like you just commenced the next methane gas expulsion, it’s time to cure the stink, Stinky! Bad breath is a common deal breaker in dating.  You could be reciting lines of golden prose, and it wouldn’t matter.  What are some reasons for this vile condition and what are some hints and tips that we can pursue in order to cure the stench?

Causes of Bad Breath

90 percent of cases of bad breath have to do with bacteria breeding on your tongue.  The tongue is a sponge that contains hairs that trap bacteria that you create in your mouth from everything you consume. It’s the breeding platform and unless you get rid of it, the numbers will multiply and so will the stench.  Sometimes, our body uses mechanisms to alarm our senses if some physiological hardwiring is damaged.  Bad breath could be an indication of kidney or lung problems.  Most likely however, bad breath is usually caused by salivary gland complications, dry mouth, dental problems, diabetes or chronic acid reflux.  Follow these tips and strategies to rule out all other causes before consulting a doctor to see if there’s a physiological cause for your bad breath:

  1. Watch your diet. Avoid consuming and limit intake of alcohol, garlic, foods with lots of sugars, caffeine, garlic and onions.  
  2. Your tongue is where the bacteria breeds-clean well. Every time you eat, be sure to flush out all of the bacteria, paying special attention to your tongue. It is advised however, that you don’t use your tooth brush to brush your tongue first as you accumulate all the bacteria and then disperse it amongst your mouth. Invest in a tongue scraper.  Follow up with a non-alcoholic mouth wash.
  3. Baking soda. Scientifically, baking soda is a great way to add a new sense of clean to your mouth by altering the pH or acidity level.  To reach a whole new extreme of clean, switch out your toothpaste for baking soda or simply add some to your brush with your toothpaste before you brush.
  4. Never wear your dentures while your sleep.  Clean them thoroughly and wait until morning to put them back in. Use a specialized cleaner to clean them overnight.  Make sure to have them regularly checked by your dentist to make sure there are no repairs to be made- denture problems are also related to bad breath.

Dry mouth is the most common association with bad breath. Characterized by lack of saliva and sores and slits at the corners of the mouth, there are a variety of ways to treat this to improve your bad breath.  Be sure to avoid breathing through your mouth, invest in a humidifier, drink at least eight glasses of water a day and possibly considering investing in a salivary substitute.  

What Kind of Risk do you have for Osteoporosis?

mr-bones-2-1484353-1280x96025 million Americans are diagnosed with osteoporosis and 1.2 million bone fractures are related to osteoporosis.  These numbers are no joke and they carry significant weight in telling us the crucial impact that osteoporosis has in women’s’ health.  These numbers translate to one third of all women experiencing a fracture of the spine due to osteoporosis a year.

What is Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis occurs when someone loses too much bone over time through age.  It causes bones to become brittle and fragile, leaving them very vulnerable to break with injury or fracture.  The reason why so many women get diagnosed with osteoporosis is that it’s common has to do with menopause. During menopause, the level of estrogen produced by the body curbs significantly leading to bone loss.

Are you at Risk?  

Here are some risk factors of osteoporosis that can help gauge your vulnerability:

  1. White women typically have a higher risk than other ethnicities in receiving diagnosis of osteoporosis.
  2. Women that are genetically slenderer and have a more petite-build are at higher risk.
  3. Those with a history of osteoporosis are also at a significantly higher risk.

What are some Things you can Do to Prevent the Onset of Osteoporosis?

  1. Avoid medications such as diuretics, steroids and anticonvulsants as they greatly enhance the risk of being diagnosed with osteoporosis.
  2. Avoid alcohol and smoking as these group of women have a higher incidence of osteoporosis.
  3. Try to maintain and active lifestyle. Those that lead a sedentary lifestyle have a generally higher risk.  Although everyone is biologically different in terms of exercise and while age certainly poses some limitations on the extent of exercise one may be able to perform, opt to perform low-level exercise for 20 minutes at least four times a week and try to include aerobic as well as cardio in this exercise regimen.
  4. Consume more Calcium-rich foods and liquids or take calcium supplements. If you know that you have a majority of risk factors for developing osteoporosis, be aware that your body can only absorb up to 500 mg of calcium at one time.  The best method is to consume calcium through foods and liquids.  Milk, for example is calcium-rich and contains plenty of vitamin D.  Other calcium rick foods include: cheese, yogurt, sardines, dark leaf greens such as spinach, kale and turnips, specialized cereals, soybeans, and some foods fueled with grains.

 

How much calcium is enough?

Ages 1-10: 800 mg/day

Ages 11-19: 1200-1500/ day

Ages 25-50: 1000 mg/day

Over 50: 1500 mg/ day

 

Let’s put this in perspective: One cup of milk contains about 300 mg of calcium, one cup of yogurt contains 450 mg of calcium, ice cream contains 100 mg, an 8-ounce cup of orange juice contains 300 mg and a cup of kale contains 55 mg.

For more about the calcium content in other foods visit: www.ucsfhealth.org