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Your Full Guide to the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin

Your Full Guide to the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin

For a 30 something woman, hiding my real age has become a big challenge!

I am always trying to find the most natural and effective skin care products. But every time I visit a local store to buy a moisturizer, I find it very difficult to choose from the huge number of “miracle,” “ultimate solution,” “The best,” “Anti-Aging,” “Magical”…. products that I find there.

So when it comes to choosing the best moisturizer for my skin, the choices are endless. Still, there are plenty of things to take into consideration, like my skin type, my age, and many more. Do not you agree?

Your Insider's Guide to the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin

Well, I spent the past few weeks searching and reading about the best moisturizers for your skin. What you are about to read, is NOT a list of “The Top 10 moisturizers to choose from“; it is a guide on how to choose the best moisturizer for your skin.

To help you choose the best one, you will need first to answer these three simple questions:

  • What is your skin type?
  • What does your skin need the most? 
  • How old are you? Do not worry; I can keep a secret 😉

One important ingredient, which your moisturizer should always have, is sunscreen with SPF of at least 25. If your moisturizer does not contain SPF factor, buy a sunscreen, and use it daily. And for the best anti-aging benefits, make sure one or more of the following are listed as an active ingredient: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb. If you have to choose between applying your moisturizer or SPF, then use your SPF in the morning and your moisturizer at night.

Choosing Your Moisturizer According to your Skin Type

Your skin type plays an important role in choosing the best moisturizer for your skin. Using a lotion for dehydrated skin does not make sense; the same applies when using heavy cream for oily skin.

Oily moisturizers can clog pores and cause many problems for oily skin including acne. To avoid that, make sure to follow these simple tips:

  • Normal skin: it is neither too oily nor too dry. The best moisturizer has a water-based formula that is not greasy.
  • Oily skin: use lotions (water-based products) that are labeled noncomedogenic (i.e., does not clog your pores), and look for exfoliating ingredients like lactic acids, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid.
  • Dry skin: you will need oil-based cream (or ointments) for your skin.
  • Combination skin: this is the hardest among skin types. I have combination skin, and I know that lotions are great for the T-zone, but not quite enough for hydrating my cheeks in winter. On the other hand, creams cause my skin to breakout. I find that lotions work quite well in summer, while light creams are good for winter.

Choosing Your Moisturizer According to Your Skin Needs

Adjust your Moisturizer According to the Weather

Since your skin type might change according to the weather, for example from normal to dry on cheeks in cold seasons, you may need to switch products according to weather conditions.

Whatever kind of a moisturizer you are using, it should have one of the following:

  • Humectants, like glycerin and lactic acid, which attracts moisture.
  • Emollients (fatty acids and ceramides) will soften your skin.
  • Occlusives, like petrolatum, Dimethicone or lanolin, which form a thin film on the surface of your skin thus sealing in moisture.

In dry cold weather, you will need occlusives (i.e., an ointment) to prevent your skin from losing moisture. This oil-based cream will help your skin retains moisture by creating a protective layer on the skin.

On the other hand, the hot, humid weather will cause you to sweat, so it is better to use a gel or a light lotion especially if you have oily skin.

Choosing Your Moisturizer According to Your Age

My skin type has changed dramatically throughout the past 20 years. When I was a teenager, my skin was very oily, as I grew up, it changed to a combination, and to dry skin in winter. I noticed that dark spots are developing all over my cheeks and forehead, and a few fine lines started to appear, too.

It makes sense then that what worked for me in my 20’s, may not work the same way now since I am almost 40. I should have to change my moisturizer and look for one that has more anti-aging power.

To choose the right one for you, you should learn the basics.

It will be useful if you bookmark this post for future reference.

Famous Ingredients that You Should Know:

  • Antioxidants: These include vitamins A, C, and E. Whether you are in your 20’s or 50+, antioxidants should always be part of your daily skin care regimen. Antioxidants reduce and prevent the damage that free radicals are causing to your skin when you are exposed to sunlight and pollution without protection. Ignoring the use of antioxidants will make your skin prone to aging fast. Antioxidants also allow your skin to build more collagen.
  • Dimethicone: usually used to create a smooth, flawless look by forming an oily layer on top of it, it also helps trap moisture within your skin. Hint: look for foundations and primers that contain Dimethicone if you wish to temporary dimension those fine lines.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: you probably read something about it. It has been one of the most famous skin care superstars lately. Because it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, it makes your skin feel smoother and looks plumper. It is a must in most skin care products especially for those who have fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Retinol helps skin cells create better, healthier skin cells, and it also promotes the production of new collagen. Therefore, if you are looking for an anti-aging moisturizer, retinol should be on the list of ingredients.
  • Niacinamide (or Vitamin B) helps smoothes your skin by increasing ceramide and free fatty acid levels in the skin. It also prevents your skin from losing water content.
  • Natural substances including green tea, grape seeds, curcuminoids (derived from turmeric), soy extract, and pomegranate are all great natural ingredients that will add value and effectiveness to your moisturizer.
  • Ceramides hold skin cells together. If your skin is extremely dry or irritated, that means it is losing this important factor. Look for dry skin creams that contain ceramides. Hint: it helps soothes eczema, too.

You Need to Change Your Moisturizer if…

  • It is in a jar packaging. Every time you open the jar, you are exposing those delicate ingredients to air and light; anti-oxidants and peptides will break down and become ineffective. Also dipping your fingers in the jar each time you use it will contaminate the product.
  • If it contains irritating ingredients like synthetic fragrances, menthol, and alcohol.
  • If it is very expensive. I know it is hard to assign one scale for classifying products according to their prices. Just make sure you compare products’ ingredients before you buy one; some products contain the same ingredients, except you pay extra $$$ for the fancy packaging.

You can also Make Your Moisturizer!

If you are trying to avoid harmful ingredients in beauty products, DIY creams are the best way to go. I managed to make my whipped shea butter with argan oil; you can check my recipe here. I like to use this one for my body, and it works quite well for dry skin around my mouth in winter. Unfortunately, I could not make my light cream for my combination skin.

Whether you wish to make your moisturizer or purchase from a local store, being aware of what you put on your skin is very important. Next time you buy skin care products, make sure you check the ingredients’ list, say NO to Parabens and fancy products’ descriptions, and look for what your skin needs.

Did you like this post? It would be great if you share it with your friends!

Did I miss anything? What else should you look for when choosing your moisturizer?

Sources:

http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/moisturizing/products/5-important-ingredients-in-face-moisturizers-for-women.htm

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/look-great/skin/5-myths-ans-truths-about-moisturizers

http://www.paulaschoice-eu.com/learn/ways-to-avoid-buying-the-wrong-moisturizer/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/04/how-to-moisturize-your-face_n_4704301.html

http://www.webmd.com/beauty/ten-winter-skin-care-tips

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/in-depth/moisturizers/art-20044232

http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/anti-aging/_/anti-aging-ingredients-your-skin-needs-now

http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/anti-aging/_/anti-aging-superstars#no-1-best

Copyright: bowie15 / 123RF Stock Photo

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Exercise may be the best protection against aging that we have, according to new research

Exercise may be the best protection against aging that we have, according to new research

source
Shutterstock

Let’s get physical isn’t just a catchy line from an Olivia Newton John song – it’s a health intervention.

Exercise is increasingly being recognized as the closest thing to a miracle drug that we have. Not only does regular movement appear to benefit our mind and body, it also seems to protect us from many aspects of aging’s slow wear and tear.

For a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers found that older people who spent less time sitting and more time moving had fewer signs of encroaching heart disease.

The scientists had 1,600 British volunteers between the ages of 60 to 64 wear heart-rate sensors for five days. They analyzed the participants’ activity levels and compared them to indicators of heart disease such as cholesterol precursors and a substance called interleukin-6. Overall, the participants with more activity had lower levels of all of the negative biomarkers.

The effects were even noticeable when the researchers looked at participants’ activity in 10-minute chunks. Every 10 minutes spent doing some kind of movement – whether it was walking, playing tennis, or gardening – was linked with measurable improvements in at least one type of biomarker related to heart health.

Conversely, every 10 minutes spent sitting was tied to worse biomarker results.

These results add to a growing body of evidence that suggests physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease.

“It’s important to replace time spent sedentary with any intensity level of activity,” Ahmed Elhakeem, the study’s author and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Bristol, said in a statement.

2 forms of exercise may be the key to keeping your heart and brain young

An elderly man swims

source
Al Bello/Getty Images

This isn’t the first time that two forms of exercise – cardio and strength training – have been tied to anti-aging benefits. Aerobic exercise, or cardio, is the type of workout that gets your heart pumping and sweat flowing, while strength training helps keep aging muscles from weakening over time.

Both of those types of exercise are important for the heart, parts of which can grow stiff with age. The left chamber of the heart, which plays a key role in supplying the body with freshly-oxygenated blood, is especially susceptible to age-related damage.

A recent study published in January in the journal Circulation found that adults who practiced supervised exercise four to five days per week saw significant improvements in their heart’s performance over two years when compared to a control group that only did basic stretching and balancing moves. Those results suggest that some stiffening in the heart can be prevented or even reversed with regular aerobic exercise.

“Based on a series of studies performed by our team over the past five years, this ‘dose’ of exercise has become my prescription for life,” said Benjamin Levine, the author of the study and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern.

Regular movement has benefits for the aging brain as well.

In May, a large review of nearly 100 studies published in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice found that older folks who got roughly 40 minutes of exercise three times per week showed significant cognitive advantages compared with people who did less exercise or none at all.

Those benefits included better processing speed and superior performance on tests that measure skills like time management and the ability to pay attention.

“This is evidence that you can actually turn back the clock of aging in your brain by adopting a regular exercise regimen,” said study author Joyce Gomes-Osman, a rehabilitation scientist at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

The intensity of a workout matters less than moving regularly

A growing body of evidence suggests that the time you spend on a single workout matters less than the total time you spend at the gym over long periods. That means whether your latest workout was five or 50 minutes is less important than whether you hit the track or pool regularly – at least several times a week.

When it comes to the heart benefits observed in their latest study, the American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise like walking or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity exercises like kickboxing, along with muscle-strengthening exercises two or more days a week.

If you’re curious about how to get started, we recently spoke to a physical trainer and exercise scientist who laid out an easy weekly plan. Try it for yourself!

5 Things You Can Do in the Morning to Fight the Signs of Aging for Life

5 Things You Can Do in the Morning to Fight the Signs of Aging for Life

This is a guest post courtesy of Christina C., the lead esthetician at Silver Mirror Facial Bar.

We all want to fight off any visible signs of aging, but many of us aren’t necessarily doing it properly. Many people will do the bulk of their anti-aging skincare routine in the evening before they go to bed, but the truth is there is a lot you can do in the morning.

What better way to ensure you maintain a youthful, radiant glow through the day than by putting the work that you’ll get to show off all day?

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Here are some proven techniques that you can invite to your morning anti-aging routine.

Have a Fruit Smoothie

Smoothie

There are some important compounds in certain fruit that help strengthen your skin, boost its production of healthy skin cells, and protect it from photoaging. Things like antioxidants, vitamins C and E, and other minerals have been shown to have anti-aging properties to protect your youthful skin.

So first thing in the morning, make yourself a smoothie with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, papaya, guava, and other fruits that are high in those minerals.

Apply Natural Sunscreen

Sunscreen

Before you set out for the day, you should always apply sunscreen to your face and your neck. Most of the damage to your skin that you will accumulate in your life comes from UV radiation from sunlight, so you should have sunscreen on even if you are sitting inside by a window.

Find a good, natural sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher and comes with moisturizing properties. Avoid anything that says it has ingredients like retinyl palmitate, retinol, and especially oxybenzone as they have been linked to causing skin damage.

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Use Natural Oils

There are some good natural oils that can be very beneficial to your skin’s health. Coconut oil and olive oil are both excellent sources of antioxidants, which was mentioned above as being great for anti-aging.

You don’t have to use both these oils, however, so pick which one you like best. Coconut oil can be massaged into your skin after washing your face in the morning as a natural moisturizer, while olive oil has good natural protection against sun exposure.

Give Yourself an Acupressure Massage

Acupressure

Speaking of massaging, after you wake up you can give yourself a quick acupressure massage.

Take your index and middle finger and apply light pressure between your eyebrows, on each temple, and then the joints of your jaw while lightly clenching your teeth. Rotate the fingers on each spot for around 10 seconds.

This quick massage helps relax the muscles in the area and smoothes the skin there to prevent them from wrinkling due to tension caused by stress.

Apply Eye Cream

Eye cream

The skin around your eyes are usually the first part of your face to show wrinkling, due to you rubbing your eyes, smiling, crying, and other sources of stress on the skin.

Even as early as your 20’s, you should be applying eye cream around your eyes to help strengthen the skin there and fight off wrinkles from forming. Do it in the morning when you get up to help keep the skin around your eyes protected when you are out in the sun, smiling, laughing, and feeling stressed. That’s when your skin will need the help.

You can start with a lighter cream that also moisturizes and fortifies your skin with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and antioxidants.

Christina C.

Christina C. is the lead esthetician at Silver Mirror Facial Bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, NYC. She has over 18 years of experience in the beauty and spa industries, both as an educator for top skincare and makeup brands, as well as a highly sought-after esthetician providing high-end facials. Silver Mirror Facial Bar has been a natural step in Christina’s journey as it encompasses results-driven facials and treatments in a dynamic and skincare-loving environment. Connect with Christina on Twitter.

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5 Skin Conditions: How to Treat them & Be More Attractive

5 Skin Conditions: How to Treat them & Be More Attractive

We all want to look good, but a lot of us do not know how.

And because no one is perfect, some women opt for makeup to hide their unattractive features. However, do you have to put on layers of makeup to look attractive?

As many suffer from various skin problems, I believe that the key to solving such problems is to understand the causes, and know how to cure them without damaging your skin.

Here are the Five Common Skin Conditions and How to Treat Them

#1 Eye Bags

When you think of it, eye bags are not a skin condition but is an obvious issue that is common as well.

Eyebags typically occur due to weakness and a lack of sleep. A normal human requires about seven to eight hours of sleep per night. The sleep should be uninterrupted as waking up during the night or sleeping at random intervals can also be bad.

Other than that, weakness can also cause these bags to appear. While you can usually treat them by sleeping properly and having a healthy diet, you can enhance the process by using different face massages and creams to treat eye bags.

Placing a cold spoon under your eyes for a couple of minutes could do the trick. You can also try using green tea bags, and cucumber, simple, yet powerful home remedies for a quick cure.

#2 Wrinkles

Wrinkles are a sign of aging and typically appear in the 50s or early 40s, but some of us begin to have these even in our 20s. They also appear due to frowning and can be visible on the cheeks, forehead, and neck.

Wrinkles can be difficult to get rid of, and many people turn to specialists to undergo laser treatment to remove wrinkles. However, if it is just the beginning, you may be able to get rid of wrinkles by using simple ingredients like vitamin C, which is great for stimulating the collagen production in your skin.

There are also products available in the market that claim to fight wrinkles. However, be careful about what you apply to your skin.

The best way ever to deal with wrinkles is to delay their appearance by living a healthy lifestyle; using a sunscreen every single day, applying a moisturizer, and using natural recipes for treating wrinkles are the best ways to enjoy a beautiful and healthy looking skin.

#3 Acne

Adult acne

Acne is among one of the most common skin problems around the world. 90% of all people will face acne at some point in life.

Acne happens due to some reasons including hormonal changes, and dietary habits. In some cases, it will disappear on its own. However, it may leave marks that need intervention to get rid of.

Tea tree oil is an excellent way to get rid of acne and acne marks, without the need to expose your skin to harsh chemicals. According to reports, tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide, which is used in most acne creams, but with no side effects, as if using benzoyl peroxide.

Other than this, make sure to use products that are designed for acne-prone skin  (usually labeled as noncomedogenic); so that you do not cause a breakout.

A straightforward tip is to keep your skin clean and remove your makeup before going to bed, in order not to let dirt or oil accumulates in the pores and cause breakouts.

#4 Moles

Moles are very common and can be found on any part of the body. While they are usually considered normal, some of them can get very big in size and rise as well, causing pain and other issues.

Most doctors recommend getting moles removed before they grow any bigger.

#5 Venous Issues

Varicose veins disease infographic

Venous diseases usually occur due to issues with the blood flow. These diseases typically cause the veins to swell and turn purple or blue. This makes the skin looks very unattractive, and the condition can be painful as well.

Most venous diseases can be treated with medication but some may require endovenous laser therapy. If you or someone close to you is facing such diseases, then make sure to find more information on endovenous laser therapy. It is a painless procedure that can help you get rid of the problem.

If you have any of these five problems, then make sure to get them treated. Looking good could be as simple as paying attention to what you put on your skin and by living a healthy lifestyle. So rather than hiding your skin condition with makeup, make sure to treat your skin.

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