Budget Beauty Guide:Moisturizers

I often get the sense  that  my friends have an almost mystical faith in moisturizers.  While they avoid taxis and  stagger home  from Costco  with 10  pounds of rice, they  have faith that a $300 moisturizer  is the key to beautiful  young skin.  If  only it  was that easy.

First, a little back story.   Water is essential  for healthy skin.  It promotes normal  metabolism   and keep skin cells organized and flexible.  The mission of a moisturizer is to simply help the skin maintain a healthy water balance. The  most basic   water and oil formulas act  like Saran Wrap to prevent  evaporation of water from the skin.   And the  simplest moisturizers will do  just that.  But there are three affordable and effective ingredients which  crank up   water attracting and holding powers in a moisturizer.  Hyaluronic … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Kitchen Cosmetics

I’ve been getting some pushback from blog visitors who are getting annoyed with the price tag on the  products and techniques I am recommending– and they’re right.

This is no time to throw money around.  To lower  overall beauty costs, effective and super affordable personal care products  can be  made  in your own kitchen.  Natural ingredients like lemon juice, honey and oatmeal are packed with active agents including fruit acids, antioxidants and soothing colloids. 

But before you squeeze a  single lemon or crack an egg,  you need to organize your kitchen cosmetic set-up. While the basic rules of simple cooking apply to homemade skin care formulations, these freshly made products are preservative free.  This  definately lowers  our exposure to chemicals, but  it can raise  risk of bacterial contamination.  To stay safe take … Continue Reading…

Psoriasis– Sensitive Skin, Part 5

What do Kim Kardashian, Leann Rimes and my neighbor Erica  have in common?  Like almost 8  million Americans they all   have psoriasis.  This  chronic skin condition is caused  by  a dramatically increased speed of  skin cell growth leading  to red splotches coverd with  silvery scales.  Itchy, dry and  painful it usually pops up on the torso, hands, elbows,  and legs.  Unlike eczema, its found on the outside rather than on the underside of  joints.

Like so  many health problems, doctors  don’t  really have a good handle on the causes of psoriasis. It seems to be genetically driven and  about 30%  of people with  psoriasis have at least one family member with the condition.  Psoriasis flare-ups  have been  linked to wheat, stress, weight gain, strep infection cold weather, smoking  and heavy drinking.  Psoriasis can also cause joint  pain and swelling and up to 30% … Continue Reading…

Friday Question and Answers

Question:  Help!  I’ve got a painful sunburn.

Answer:   Despite our best intentions, sunburns  happen.  Its all to easy to forget to reapply  sunscreen  during the day and by the time  the sun goes down,  you’re red and achy.  To deal with the sunburn I suggest   assembling a little sunburn emergency kit in advance.  You need just five affordable and easy to find items:

1.  Aspirin

2.  A real live Aloe Vera plant

3.  A  jar of Shea butter

4. A box of  Quacker’s Oatmeal

5.  Green tea bags

Here’s the drill:   When you realize that you’re fried, take two aspirin.  This will reduce  the inflammation which is  the root of the pain and damge  to your skin.  Then fill a tub with lukewarm water and swish  a handful of oatmeal into the water.  Get in and soak for 20 minutes.  Oatmeal is one of … Continue Reading…

Naturally Beautiful

While I’m not that impressed by the power of  six glasses of water/day, I am in awe of the value of oatmeal.  There are literally hundreds of peer-reviewed, published studies that demonstrate the benefits of oatmeal, both inside and out. As part of  a  breakfast, fiber rich oatmeal is low in sodium, fat free and can lower cholesterol.  And its not  just for breakfast.  I  use it in meatballs, meatloaf, muffins, quick breads and of course cookies. 

In skin care, oatmeal is a superhero.  It’s high in anti-oxidents, can reduce inflammation and  is a terriffic moisturizer  that never leaves your skin oily.  You can make an effective face mask  by blending  one tablespoon of oatmeal with an egg white for  oily skin or with an yolk for dry complexions.  Oatmeal is used … Continue Reading…