Posts tagged Quality of Life

Ten Things to Do Before Your Wedding to Ensure Your Best Day Ever!

On the most significant day of your life, looking and feeling magnificent is an absolute requirement. There are people to see, pictures to take, and of course it’s the first day your spouse will be able to call you his wife! It’s more than just looking great; it’s feeling great at those exceptional moments that really matters. 

In order to accomplish this level of utmost bridal beauty, it’s important to organize. So, check out these top ten tips by experts to ensure your magical day is the one you’ve always hoped for!

1. Make sure you do a hair and makeup trial before your big day to guarantee that everyone is prepared, and you look exactly as you imagined. You don’t want last minute surprises tarnishing your special day.

2. Two days prior to saying “I do,” make sure you exfoliate your skin to eliminate any rough patches. You want to have a smooth base for your makeup artist to work on.

3. Moisturize and hydrate to conserve a healthy glow. Using a water bottle with a squeeze top helps you drink much more water, much more often.

4. Don’t wash your hair the day of your wedding! Clean hair will not style easily and tends to slip and fall. Wash a day prior to conserve your hair’s oils and spot use dry shampoo if you have too much oil.

5. Eat very sensibly. A trivial and healthy diet will keep you feeling strong and happy. Stay away from starchy food as much as possible, and keep in mind that if it’s crunchy it’s bad for you (unless it’s a fresh vegetable or fruit). Also, avoid sodium so you don’t swell up. When you feel good, you look good!  

6. Select individual eye lash extensions. Your eyes will really open up and they’ll last through your honeymoon.

7. Get a mani-pedi! Fingers should always look your best, especially when he puts a ring on it. Don’t forget the pedicure! No one wants ugly toes on your beach honeymoon.

8. Avoid the sun. If you want healthy luminosity, opt for a spray tan or bronzing cream. You will get all the paybacks of the sun without the dry skin.  

9. Be sure to get enough sleep. If anxiety keeps you awake, though, and your eyes are puffy, a slice of a COLD cucumber on each eye while relaxing for at least fifteen minutes will help. Cucumbers have powerful antioxidants and flavonoids that lessen puffiness.

10. Don’t forget to SMILE!  You’re never fully dressed without one. If you smoke, drink coffee and/or red wine on a consistent basis, over the counter whitening strips do miracles for your teeth.

6 Alternatives to Try Before Getting Botox

Botox, known and loved by many, is one of the most common ways to ward off wrinkles and help you appear younger. When injected, Botox goes into your muscles which keeps the muscle from contracting, making it appear smoother and relaxed. However, Botox treatments can be expensive, invasive, and sometimes not be done properly. The treatments are also not permanent, so you will have to get numerous treatments done regularly to keep your younger appearance up to date. If you’ve considered getting Botox injections, try these 6 alternatives before you do so and see if you safe yourself the time, money and headache.

1. FaceXercise

FaceXercise is a technique that uses cupping and facial exercises to help increase blood flow and circulation in your skin. It’s loved by many top celebs like Cindy Crawford and Jennifer Aniston, but considered expensive, ranging from $200-$480 per session. FaceXercise is also known to work out the lymphatic system to rid your skin of toxins. It’s an all-natural way to look younger and does not require any needles or injections.

2. Acupuncture

Although acupuncture is a fairly new treatment in the anti-aging world, the procedure has been around for years. It shows be to very promising. One study has shown that acupuncture as an anti-aging shield is shown to help improve hydration and improve skin elasticity, both of which can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and help fight off other signs of aging. If you’re considering acupuncture, make sure you go to a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in facial treatments. Acupuncture does use needles, so it’s only a good alternative to getting Botox as long as you’re not afraid of them.

3. Face Patches

We all have seen our favorite YouTube beauty gurus using under-eye face patches to help ward off bags and crow’s feet. They’re onto something! Face patches, like ones applied under your eyes or around your mouth, are used to help smooth out wrinkles with super hydration and retinol. Types of patches like these are easy to find and inexpensive, but they are not a permanent solution.

4. Vitamins

One of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to help your skin is by taking vitamins and supplements. Key nutritional supplements can help boost collagen productions and help pump your skin full of antioxidants to fight off free radicals. You can get your vitamins from Amazon, CVS, Walgreens, anywhere; they are easily accessible and affordable. Be sure to get a vitamin from a reputable source, with high-quality ingredients and look for an FDA approved seal. The best vitamins you get take to help boost your skin’s appearance are Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin A.

5. Facial Creams

Although you probably already have a skincare routine that works for you and you have an anti-aging cream you think is best, not all skincare facial creams are made the same. Make sure you’re using products that are cell regulators and full of antioxidants. They have a direct effect in collagen production and the speed at which your cells regenerate. You can find a range of products to choose from almost anywhere these days, suitable for any budget. However, depending on your skincare concerns, you might want to speak with a skincare specialist or dermatologist to get some real insight in what your skin needs and what will work for you.

6. Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are one of the fastest ways to see anti-aging results. You can see healthy results in as early as one day, but they do require some recovery time. They are used to treat acne, help with skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation, and reduce signs of aging. Considered safe and effective but not permanent. You do need to see a skincare specialist to have one done and they do require some amount of recovery time, so make sure you’re seeing someone reputable and you give yourself enough time to recover, no major events or outings!

A Guide to Clean Eating

Considering healthy eating but don’t know where to start? Feel like you’re stuck in a nutrition decline? It’s easy to find yourself confused and misinformed when it comes to clean eating. One day you’re super motivated, the next you’ve got no idea what to do next.

If you want to find triumph with your clean eating labors, you’ve got to embrace meal planning and prepping food in advance. To help you get started, here are 5 steps to make it happen as swiftly and proficiently as possible.

Step 1: Plan Your Menu

This fundamental step is probably one of the most essential parts of meal prepping. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll be lost. You know the idiom, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” This phrase never held so much accuracy than when it comes to nutrition and clean eating. Take some time to put together a provisional meal plan of what you’d like to eat throughout the week for meals and snacks. Don’t think of this meal plan as the end-all, be-all because it’s not – there can always be adjustments and will most likely be times where you have to make last minute modifications. That’s totally ok. This meal plan is supposed to work as your outline and standard.

Step 2: Grocery Shop

Using your fresh meal plan, construct a grocery list. Go to the store and get everything you need for the week. Having all the fit foods you want in your house leaves no excuse to grab fast food or reach for the cookies you have hidden in the back of your pantry.

Step 3: Cook

Choose one day during the week to cook and concoct the foods that will make up your meals and snacks. Most often Sunday is a good day for this because it’s commonly not a workday and it’s the day before the start of a new week, so your food will have less of a chance of ruining before you eat it. Fire up your grill (or oven) and cook up a bunch of chicken breast, steak, fish, burgers or whatever lean protein source you desire. Boil a huge pot of hardboiled eggs to stockpile in the fridge and peel as you need them. Make a huge pot of brown rice, quinoa or whole-wheat pasta to ration out for your meals. Clean and cut fresh fruits and veggies. You can do all of these takes concurrently. Boiling water for eggs and rice can be done in two separate pots at the same time while your steak and chicken cook on the grill. Find ways to save time and multi-task.

Step 4: Portion and Pack

Get yourself a lined tote or lunch box and some plastic dishes that aren’t too big or too small, but just the accurate size to fit your meals and snacks. Freezer and sandwich bags work well too for excess food you won’t require until later in the week. Spend some time dividing out meals and snacks for Monday through Friday in your containers and plastic bags. Put Monday-Wednesday meals and snacks in the fridge and preserve Thursday and Friday in the freezer. When Wednesday rolls around, transfer Thursday and Friday meals from the freezer to the fridge to defrost. If you prepare and bundle everything in advance, it will be easy to grab-&-go everything you need to eat for the day before leaving for work. If you have these foods with you all day, you’ll have no reason to eat out, saving calories and money.

Step 5: Pack Extra

Sometimes you get held at work or worse, stuck in traffic just at that instant when your stomach begins to growl. This is where those “just-in-case” added snacks you packed in your lunchbox will come in handy. Carry additional pieces of fruit, bags of baby carrots, packs of diversified nuts or almonds, and protein bars with you, and more often than not, you’ll be relieved you did. If you’re not equipped for the worst, you’ll end up falling off the wagon and decelerating your progress. Think ahead and plan for your entire day whether you’re going to work that day or not.

Building a meal plan for yourself is simpler than you think. But if you’re still a bit unconfident, here’s a mockup meal plan to get you started. Fine-tune this one to work for you and your routine or try it the way it is.

Simple Meal Plan:

  • Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs with 2 slices of toast and 1 cup berries
  • Snack: 6 ounces plain nonfat Greek style yogurt with 1 100-calorie pack almonds
  • Lunch: Large salad topped with 4 ounces grilled lean protein, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. On the side, 1 100-calorie pack of hummus with sliced baby carrots, cucumber, red pepper and celery sticks.
  • Snack: Protein bar
  • Dinner: 1-cup brown rice or other complex carb with 4 ounces lean protein and 1-cup steamed broccoli or other green vegetable
  • PM Snack: 1 cup sliced strawberries with whipped cream
  • Extra “Just-in-case” snack: 1 apple or banana and 1 protein bar

Get Your Best Workout at Home with These 10 Easy Exercises

Stick to the basics when you’re short on time but want to get a full body workout in. Daily exercise is very important, but we know it can be very overwhelming with the amount of information available. These 10 exercises can be combined to do as often as a every day or a few times a week. You should see improvement within a month with this simple but very powerful routine.

1. Lunges

Lunges are going to help promote functional movement while challenging your glutes and legs. Make sure you’re standing with your feet shoulder length apart and switch off right then left. Complete three sets on each leg, 10 reps each, and make sure your knee doesn’t go past your foot.

2. Push-ups

Push-ups are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises you can do because of the number of muscles you use to complete them. Begin in a plank position and keep your core tight. Keep your back straight and lower yourself to the floor. Complete as many as possible!

3. Squats

Squats engage some of the largest muscles in your body, so they not only are a great workout, but they burn the most calories. They help increase core lower body strength and increase flexibility. Keep your feet shoulder-length apart and engage your core while you squat. Keep your back straight and hold when you get to a “chair” position. Complete 3 sets of 20 reps.

4. Overhead Dumbbell Presses

Over the shoulder dumbbell presses help work your arms, back and core. Try with a set of lightweight dumbbells if you’re new to working out. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder length apart, and push the dumbbells up over your head slowly, then back down and hold. Try doing 3 reps of 12 to start.

5. Dumbbell Rows

Dumbbell row exercises help keep your back toned and engage your core. You can use the same size dumbbell as the one used for your overhead presses. Keep your waist at a 45-degree angle and hang your weights in front of you. Pull up slowly to the sides of your chest, hold, and then release slowly. Don’t drop the weights, you risk accidentally letting go! Complete 3 reps of 12, same as your previous exercise.

6. Single Leg Dead Lifts

This exercise uses your dumbbell to challenge your balance. Begin by standing with your knees somewhat bent with your dumbbells in your hands. Slowly lean forward, keeping your back straight, and kick out your right leg. Once you’re at a comfortable height, hold and then bring down and do the same with the left leg. Engage your core while doing so! Do the same amount of reps as your lunges.

7. Burpees

We love to hate them, but burpees always delivery. They not only promote cardiovascular health; they also are a whole-body workout that deliver great muscle strength. You can see a video on how to do the right burpee here.

8. Side Planks

Don’t neglect core-strengthening exercises like side planks. Lie on your right side, with one foot stacked onto the other. Prop yourself up with your forearm and then tighten your core to lift yourself off the ground, hips included, and then return to a relaxed state. Focus on the mind to muscle connection and keep the movement controlled for best results. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side of your body.

9. Sit-Ups

They may seem basic, but sit-ups are a great form of exercise to target your abdominal muscles if you’re a beginner to working out. Lay on the ground with your knees bent and put your hands behind your head. Roll up to your knees while engaging your core and hold when you reach the top. Release slowly and repeat. Try completing 3 reps of 15 at first.

10. Glute Bridge

The glute bridge effectively works your entire posterior chain, which isn’t only good for you, but will make work on your abs too. Lay on your back with your arms to your sides, knees bent, and push up your hips to the sky. Squeeze your core and contract your glutes when you get to the top and then slowly bring back down to the floor. Complete 3 sets or 10.  

14 Things You Could Be Doing to Make You Look Older

Acting your age is one thing, but looking your age is another. We all want to make sure we stay looking and feeling as young as we can, for as long as we can, but what if you’re doing things you don’t even realize are making you appear older than you actually are? Stop neglecting you’re your body and appearance, it can make you look younger, and help you make an awesome first impression. Looking your age is all about being comfortable and confident, and less about trying to stay on trend and acting younger.

1. Holding onto Past Trends

Be sure to rid your closet of past trends, like polyester suit sets. Studies show women who overuse or continue to wear old past trends look older than they appear. You’re not doing yourself any justice by struggling to let go of past trends. Find yourself some classic, well-fitted pieces that never get old and rotate them to stay current with new trends and accessories.

2. Confusing Your Brand

Finding your “brand” and letting your personality shine through your clothes is something every woman needs to learn to do. Make sure you’re dressing yourself by not only how you want to be perceived but also in what makes you feel more comfortable. Try describing yourself in three words and trying to see if your clothes match those descriptions. If they don’t, work on trying to find and incorporate pieces into your wardrobe that scream “That’s so you”.

3. Find the Right Fit

Once you work on finding your brand and making sure you’re letting go of those bell-bottoms, it’s time to work on making sure your clothes actually FIT. Wearing oversized clothes, or clothes that are much too small, make you look much older than you are. Sometimes the style of your clothes isn’t the problem, it’s the fit. Be sure to find a reputable tailor to have things altered if you need them to be.

4. Bad Posture

The way you stand and sit has a huge impact on not on the way people see you but also your health. Make sure you stand with your shoulders back and your core tight. Sit up straight and keep your eyes forward, rather than on the ground, when you walk. A good posture can help you not only bring loads of confidence to your appearance, but also help you look younger.

5. Take Care of Your Teeth

If you’re neglecting your mouth, it’s the first thing people see when they meet you, so I would think twice about skipping that pm brushing. Make sure you’re obviously brushing morning and night, be sure to floss and clean your tongue, and if need be, whiten your teeth. Teeth yellow and stain as we age, so if you’re thinking your teeth are now turning to an off-white color, it’s time to think about some teeth whitening treatments, whether at home or at the dentist.

6. Poor Diet

You already know you’re supposed to be eating healthy, but studies show it’s the easiest and most efficient way to get younger looking skin. Balancing your diet with the right amount of fruits and vegetables is just as important as limited sugar and fat intake. Alcohol is another culprit. We’re not saying you need to cut it out entirely, but surgery drinks and excessive beverages take a huge toll on your skin and need to be monitored.  

7. Washing Your Hair Every Day

Washing your hair every day can strip it of its natural oils. Try to figure out what your hair type is and then figure out how often you need to wash it from there. Be sure to find a happy medium between washing it too much and not enough, because for the latter, not washing enough can cause the same kinds of problems are washing too frequently: excess breakage, dryness, buildup of product, itchy/dirty scalp and even stunt growth.

8. Lack of A Skincare Routine

Obviously, your skin is a huge indicator of your age. By the time you’re a teenage, you should have some concept of what your skin type is and how you can manage it with a skincare routine. Be sure to wear sunscreen every single day and talk to a professional about the condition of your skin and what kinds of products you can use to help prolong the aging process, if you haven’t already.

9. Wearing the Wrong Makeup

The key to a healthy, youthful glow is finding the right shade for your foundation and finding a formula that works well with your skin type. Be sure to change your shade to match the seasons: in the summer you’re obviously out in the sun more so you’re going to need a darker shade to match your tan and during the winter months, are skin is lighter, so make sure you’re matching your shade properly and choosing a foundation with an SPF.

10. Not Drinking Enough H2O

Don’t do your body a disservice by not getting enough water. You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, to not only help keep your skin clear and get a youthful glow, but for the rest of your body. Your body is 70% water! When you’re dehydrated, your body pulls water from your organs (skin too!) to maintain the amount of water your bloodstream needs. This makes you look tired with sunken eyes, your skin to dry out and your body to not function normally.

11. Avoiding Workouts

Working out and getting that after workout glow should be a regularly occurring activity at your age now. Avoiding a workout every now and then is okay but neglecting to work out all together is going to cause your skin and the rest of your body a lot damage. Exercise goes beyond your general well-being; it makes you look and feel younger, helps with posture, and keeps you moving.

12. Lack of Sleep

Your body goes through its regeneration cycle while you sleep, so not getting enough sleep at night is going to cut that process short. A good night’s rest boosts the “youth hormone”, known as HGH, which helps keep your metabolism fast, restorative muscles, younger looking skin. Be sure to get your beauty sleep and commit to eight hours (at least!) a night.

13. Protect Your Hair

We’re not saying you need to protect your hair by avoiding heating products, but you should be using heat-protecting products before you do so. Think of it the same way as you think of applying SPF to your skin. Your hair can only withstand temperatures of 275 degrees or less, so when you’re using a flat iron on your hair at 400 degrees, you’re basically melting your hair. The worst thing you can do to your hair, and make you look older, is drying it out and not protecting against heat.

14. Attitude

How you feel on the inside is a huge contributor to how you look on the outside. If you think you need an attitude adjustment, consider working on that before anything else. Your overall attitude contributes to your facial expressions and your attire, which affects how we appear to others. A person might judge your age based on how you react to certain situations or your overall attitude towards something, so make sure your attitude is positive and youthful.  

Before You Go Under the Knife, Know Your Risks!

We’ve all heard the saying, “Pain is Beauty”, but why should we overlook the risks of cosmetic surgery to look younger? Cosmetic and plastic surgery is becoming more and more common among women, but you need to be sure you’re really considering the risk factors before you go under the knife. Have you done everything you can to avoid surgery? Even with all the technological developments and progress surrounding cosmetic correction, there is still room for human error.  There are many risks involved, so make sure you’re well versed in what could happen after your surgery and educate yourself on the negative side effects of invasive procedures. Here are the top 7 side effects to know.

1. Surgical Risks

Just like with a medication prescribed by your doctor, the laundry list of side effects and possible risks is endless when it comes to surgery. Like aforementioned human error, when a surgeon can leave a surgical tool inside your body and sew it up or your body can reject an implant causing complications. You can also experience nerve damage, skin neurosis, pigmentation problems, swelling, scarring, and blood clots. Not only do smokers need more time to heal, smoking can cause cardiovascular problems while under anesthesia. Even when you’re open on the table, you can go into shock, cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.

2. Financial Burden

Not only do you need to fund your cosmetic procedure, you also need to take time off work to heal and make a full recovery.  You can get away with a few days off if you’re doing something small, but major invasive procedures sometime take weeks of rest. If you’ve financed your procedure, you’re also adding a monthly payment to your bills. The cost of a procedure will be more expensive the more invasive it is and with the experience of your doctor, so consider a huge financial loss before you make the surgical commitment.

3. Emotional Toll

If your cosmetic procedure doesn’t go as planned, it could take a huge emotional toll on your mental health. Half the patients who get work done leave feeling underwhelmed or unfulfilled. Sometimes the procedure doesn’t yield the results you might be expecting, so you could potentially have resentment towards yourself or your doctor.

4. Botched Work

While it might make good reality tv, botched cosmetic surgeries are probably the worst risk of cosmetic surgery. You can prepare and save to have a procedure done, do the research and find a good, reputable doctor, make all the necessary preparations you need to take time off to recover, and your surgery can still not go according to plan. Not only does it take a huge emotional toll on you, it also more than likely results in more surgeries to make the corrections. If your surgery ended up really botched, you could now be dealing with distortions and pain. Do your research on the surgeon you choose and really consider other non-invasive routes before risking botched surgeries.

5. Pain

Cosmetic surgery can bring on a multitude of physical pain such a vomiting, nausea, headaches and muscle pains. As you heal, your pain can go away, but sometimes it doesn’t. You run the risk of having on-going, permanent pain when you get a cosmetic procedure done. You will also have inflammation and pain at the incision site if you’re under-going a major surgery. Healing time varies from person to person, just as side effects do, so make sure you’re honest with your doctor when you’re feeling any kind of discomfort.

6. Blood Loss

Large amounts of blood loss can lead to organ failure and death. This is one of the most common and feared side effects when you’re undergoing surgery. Whether it be cosmetic or health related, large amounts of blood loss can be indicative of something going severely wrong on the operating table and a huge risk to take to look younger. It’s rare but real!

7. Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions can happen to anything when you’re undergoing surgery, not just medication. Make sure you know the risks of what could happen when you’re exposed to something that you’re allergic to and most importantly, know ALL your allergies. You could have an allergic reaction to a certain kind of metal used during your surgery or latex gloves. Allergic reactions to pain medications are most common after surgeries, so if you have one, you might have to live with post-surgical pain.

5 Imperative Skincare Musts to Start ASAP

Aging seems to have a negative connation in the skincare community these days. We’re constantly told we need to find a skincare routine that helps us look younger longer and makes us feel bad about what comes naturally to us as we get older; our skin tends to age. While we all want to look our best, we shouldn’t feel bad about aging or the changes our skin goes through as we get older and approach our mid-30s. Our skin is not going to look like we’re 18 anymore, and at this point in our lives, we don’t want it to. These 5 skincare tips are the best ways you can pamper yourself and treat your skin to some self-love. Take pride in knowing you’re making these changes not only for your skin but also for yourself and remember that some extra TLC can not only prevent signs of aging (if that’s our concern) but also help us appreciate ourselves in ways we never thought we would.

1. Increase Hydration

Not only do you need to be sure you moisturize properly every day and night, you also need to make sure you’re drinking enough water. H2O will keep your skin hydrated, yes, but it will also help overall production of collagen, cell turnover, and most importantly, your body to stay and feel healthy. You can also consider taking a daily supplement that will ensure you get other essentials in your daily diet, like Resveratrol, Vitamin E and more Collagen. Keep in mind, even if you don’t consider your skin dry according to your skin type, once you’re in your 30s, your skin will need a moisture boost to help ward off other skincare concerns. Even if you have oily skin, it’s still possible your skin is dehydrated. Your collagen and elastin levels tend to fall, so your skin needs more help retaining moisture. To keep your skin hydrated, try incorporating a hyaluronic acid serum or antioxidant oil into your daily skincare routine.

2. Marry Your Acids

A Vitamin C serum at this point in your life is completely necessary. Consider splurging and investing in one that is of high quality. This ensures the formulations are stable and the ingredients are high quality. Ascorbic and L-ascorbic acids are best to wear during the daytime, after sunscreen and before makeup, because they act as free-radical fighting antioxidants. They won’t build up under your make and will be a second barrier to fight off UV damage. Glycolic and Lactic Acid are both Alpha-Hydroxy Acids, which are best when incorporated into your nighttime routine, because they act as an exfoliator. They work best when your skin is going through its repair cycle and regenerating cells while you sleep.

3. Rekindle Your Dermatologist Relationship

At this point in your skin’s life, it’s time to make an appointment with your Dermatologist to get a new outlook on what your skin needs. At this age, your skin is going through a lot of changes and you might need some professional advice to see what you can do to ensure your skin’s best care. Your skin’s elastin and collagen levels are slowing down, so your skin could break out and develop acne. You will see inflammation and dryness in areas you might not have even seen before and your skin’s moisture barrier is thinning. While most over the counter skincare products work for us when we were in our 20s, our 30s need more concentrated, active ingredients. A dermatologist will be able to prescribe you with products that will give you a steady, youthful glow and help your collagen productions level out. In addition, if you’ve never had a skin cancer screening, now is the time to do so!

4. Find an Esthetician

Finding an Esthetician that you have a good relationship with is going to be really important for your new skincare journey. If you’ve never heard of or been to one before, an Esthetician is someone who specializes in the beautification of skin. As you use new products and try new routines to keep your skin healthy, a monthly appointment with an esthetician will help you see if what you’re doing is working. A licensed skincare specialist will be able to tell you if what you’re using is working for you skin, will give you someone to talk to and consult with any questions or concerns about ingredients and technique, and most likely be the most beneficial thing you can do for you skin. Your skin regenerates itself every month, exactly 27 days, so seeing one every month or so will really do some good.

5. Worship Your SPF

It isn’t easy to reapply your SPF as needed throughout the day when you’re at work and wearing makeup. But sunscreen at this point in your skin’s like is more important than ever. However, cosmetic companies have finally jumped on the SPF bandwagon and are now making makeup with SPF. Be sure to choose a foundation, concealer and loose powder that has an SPF. They more than likely will have an SPF value of 30 or higher, so in addition to your am SPF application, these products will help ensure you escape sun damage as long as they have SPF in them. Also, be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, hats if you’re going to be in direct sunlight for a long period of time, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen on every part of your body that’s going to be exposed to the elements.

What’s Your Skin Type?

We all know the best way to keep ourselves looking young is to take care of our skin and beginning a routine as soon as you can. But how do you know what kind of skin you have and how do you know what you need to keep it looking youthful? This simple quiz will help you find out what kind of skin you have, what you need to do to keep it looking great and allow you to live up to your best potential!

Your skin type will all be affected by a multitude of things, but keep these three in mind: how sensitive your skin is, how much water is in your skin (not how much you drink, but how much water is absorbed to help elasticity) and oil (which effects softness).

1. Normal:

Normal skin is in between dry and oily. This is the skin type we all strive to have.

  • Glowing complexion
  • Barely visible pores
  • Few or no imperfections or blemishes
  • Unsensitive

2. Combo:

Combination skin can be oily in some areas, like your T-zone, and then dry in others, like on your cheeks or neck. This is the most common skin type.  

  • Normal sized pores
  • Blackheads
  • Shine or oil

3. Dry:

Your skin is very dry and tight. It can crack, peel and itch. This skin type can also be confused for a sensitive skin type but doesn’t necessarily mean you have sensitive skin.

  • Red patches
  • Dull, tough complexion
  • Invisible pores
  • Wrinkles and fine lines more visible

*Keep in mind, dry skin can be caused by weather, UV rays, your genes, hormonal changes and even other skincare products you’re using, like your makeup.

4. Oily:

Oily skin can be prone to acne and blemishes, have major shine at the end of a day and have a hard time keeping makeup in place without proper primers.

  • Large pores
  • Shiny, thick complexion
  • Blemishes, blackheads, imperfections and even acne

*Keep in mind, oily skin can be caused by weather (extreme heat or humidity), puberty or hormonal changes and stress.

5. Sensitive:

Your skin is very red and rough. You have a hard time finding product that doesn’t cause irritation or allergic reactions.

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Dry
  • Burning sensation after product application

5 Ways You Can Tell You’re Aging Too Quickly

Your body has the magical ability to let you know something is wrong by giving you clues on the outside. These signs tell us our bodies are stressed and aging too quickly. Try slowing down and keep an eye on these signs if you think you look older than you really are.

1. Red Eyes

If you know they aren’t due to allergies, your red eyes may be a sign of premature aging. Chronic red eyes are a sign of inflammation and one of the biggest giveaways to our age. Try eating a more alkaline rich diet. Alkaline foods include ripe fruits, sprouts, greens, and other non-starchy vegetables. When you switch out fast food and fatty snacks for more wholesome ones, you will definitely notice a difference in your inflammation all around, your quality of life and most importantly, those red eyes.

2. Droopy Eye Lids

Droopy eye lids not only make us look tired, but they could also be an indicator of premature aging and thyroid dysfunction. In most cases, droopy lids are connected to oxidative stress, which allows free radicals to accumulate and cause cell damage in your body. Try eating blueberries for a snack or munching on carrots, to replenish your body of antioxidants and remember to drink lots of water.

3. Sagging Skin and Wrinkles

Although wrinkles and fine lines are normal as we age, if you’re seeing them early on they are definitely a sign of early aging and stress. Make sure you find a skincare routine to do every day, morning and night. One that is designed to help fight free radicals and prolong the elasticity of your skin with help keep wrinkles at bay and prevent sagging skin. Limit alcohol consumption and if you smoke, stop now while you still can! Of course, diet and exercise are also very important, so make sure you’re eating healthy and if you’re struggling to workout, find a workout buddy and make it daily girl time.

4. Skin Tone Change

Dry skin could be a thyroid problem, so definitely speak with a professional if you’re seeing dry patches or thirsty skin that it out of the norm. A weak thyroid indicates that your adrenals may not be making some of the hormones you need to stay energized and feel young. Give your thyroid and adrenals a break by skipping the soy and caffeine.

Try using whole foods and vegetables to power through your day. When you switch out coffee for a balanced meal, your thyroid can recover, and you will be able to instead rely on your body’s natural ability to sustain itself.

5. Consistent Stress and Fatigue

If your home or job life is stressful and you aren’t taking care of yourself in a way that will help you get rid and manage stress, cortisol is probably running wild in your blood stream, hurting your circulatory system, and helping weight gain. Stress is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, can lead to heart disease and adrenal failure. Ultimately, if you’re stressed out, your body will experience damaging reactions and overall make you feel and look older.