More often than not when we see ourselves in the mirror, we are taken aback by how physical features are going beyond our control. Everyone loves a lively glowing face and a flawless skin, but it really disheartens you when you find yourself with pigmentation and discolored skin, puffy eyes, wrinkled skin, and a generally dull face.
No amount of cosmetic investment can bring back the natural beauty. However, you need to understand what cost you your natural glow when you were never actually born that way. A large number of people spend hefty amounts on cosmetic treatments and still get zero reasons because they fail to address the root cause.
Do you know that if your mind is constantly under stress, it eventually ends up showing on your face?
Dark circles, pigmented skin, and poor health of your skin are often consequences of stress. What most people fail to understand is that something that is caused by what is going on inside you cannot be fixed by temporary cosmetic fixes.
If you want a permanent fix of your physical beauty and want a natural, glowy happy face and a bright smile, your inner peace and your mental strength are of vital importance.
The Importance of Good Relationships in our Lives
We are blessed with the ability to build relationships that provide us with an emotional or mental support system. Whether it is a romantic partner, a spouse, parents or kids, your relationships can be a means of mental peace for you, but it can also become a source of stress when there is an emotional disconnect.
That usually happens when your external stressors take over your life to the extent that you forget to prioritize your relationships and do not give them the time and effort they deserve.
While you cannot do much about what is going outside your space, but if you come back to a homely environment where you have a partner to take care of you while you watch your kids play, you get the much-needed therapy to relieve you of the stress.
The ability to rise above the things that bring you down and finding happiness in the little things around you keeps your physical beauty intact healthy and you can retain your smile and glow.
Here are some of the simple ways in which you can strengthen your personal and family life and destress yourself for a healthier naturally beautiful face and a generally healthy life.
Exercises, workouts or any other sort of physical activity is not only one of the best stress busters. But it also improves the blood circulation in your body and detoxifies it resulting in a healthier and more beautiful face.
Unfortunately, many people find workouts a burden or a boring activity and find excuses to avoid it.
Interestingly, you can make it a family activity where the whole family can get together and workout and bond together while they are at it. You can go along for morning runs, evening walks, or cycle over the weekends as a family. If outdoors is too time-consuming for you, just grab your yoga mats and follow a Yoga video for a revitalizing family yoga session. Workout together to make it less boring.
Eat Meals Together
Nothing relieves stress better than good food and nothing strengthens your bond as a family than eating together at meal times. Try to have at least one meal together as a family, be it either your breakfast or dinner. Cook a favorite family meal, share responsibilities for setting up and cleaning up the table so that no single person feels burdened. Use this time to have heart-to-heart conversations and a generally light and fun environment.
Gifts and Presents
You do not have to wait for Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, father’s or birthdays and anniversaries to let your loved ones know how important they are. You can just randomly leave them a surprise present with a heartfelt note, and let them enjoy a cherishable keepsake. Jewelry and watches make an amazing keepsake, and you can find something for every age and budget.
You can pick up tactical watches for your husband or dad, a cool smartwatch for young adults and teen kids and an elegant fashion watch for the mommy. Other than that fresh flower, perfumes and chocolates make amazing presents.
Run Errands Together
We all hate running errands and house chores plus it drains us from most of our time and energy, however, has it ever occurred to you that running errands could be something fun, stress relieving and can help bind you together as a family.
Use a Sunday morning to go for grocery shopping as a family, wash your car or trim your lawn and clean the house together to make it fun, exciting less time-consuming.
Human life is often surrounded by multiple influences that may stress or distress it. Often, many of the external stressors such as financial bills and academic pressures are beyond our control. However, we can make up for that by finding solace in things that are pretty much in our hands. Exercising and sharing good times with your family and beloved ones can for sure lower stress levels and improve your overall health.
Malaysians are definitely living longer. According to a 2018 life expectancy report by the World Health Organization (WHO), Malaysians now live an average of 75 years.
This is higher than the Malaysian life expectancy in 1990, which was 70 years.
But health issues have catapulted upward since then as well.
Between 2007 and 2017, the number of deaths caused by heart disease increased by 37%, colorectal cancer went up by two-thirds, and chronic kidney disease increased by 62%.
Longer life and a less healthy lifestyle has caused a change on multiple levels.
The Government has been encouraging Malaysians to make healthier lifestyle decisions, and while a number have dutifully answered the call, the year-on-year growth in disease numbers continues to dismay.
We now also face higher risk of living with disease caused by numerous factors, not least of which is the stress of daily modern life.
Cancer, diabetes, mental illness and other major medical conditions are growing more common.
As a result, healthcare insurance offerings have morphed to match.
Moving into AI
A few decades ago, insurance choices were a lot simpler than they are today; people picked from life or endowment plans, and paid their monthly premiums without question.
Insurance was a safeguard against unexpected death and a way to save money for the kids, with consumers happy to trust insurance companies.
But today’s digital age has obliterated the traditional face of insurance.
Insurers are now tapping into mobile technology and building digital platforms and portals to add value to customer offerings.
For instance, there are mobile-friendly applications in Malaysia designed to connect customers with health-based offerings.
Rewarding Malaysians for choosing healthier options and supporting them at different points in their health passage are a couple of the digitally-driven initiatives founded on an application platform.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Insurance Trends 2019 report, digital transformation has turned the insurance sector into one of the most globally disrupted industries.
In fact, over 80% of insurance CEOs stated that artificial intelligence (AI) was either already a part of their business model or would be within the next three years.
More and more insurers are working with real-time data from sensors, machine learning and smart devices.
These can capture data that can be used to predict or identify health risks.
For example, this data can be used to predict the likelihood of a client’s diabetes complication risk based on population data, and appropriate care services or solutions can be recommended to lessen the client’s chances of developing any further diabetic complications, after fulfilling their claim.
AI can also reduce human error, predict infectious disease outbreak areas, and read a radiology image to determine if a shadow might be a malignant tumour.
It can even reduce the hassle of filing a claim. For example, an insurance plan to protect women against gestational diabetes mellitus was launched in Singapore in 2018 as the world’s first automated insurance solution.
Women diagnosed with this condition would receive automated payouts, powered with secure blockchain technology.
Keeping you healthy
Health insurance used to be basic and standardised – insurers used to just dole out cash when insured persons died, became disabled or came of age.
Now, not only do insurance companies prioritise health, but they have also reshaped their insurance offerings.
Health insurance plans now come with a host of extras, from the option to personalise plans based on family size, income and lifestyle, to giving clients exclusive portal access to enjoy benefits such as complimentary health assessments, screenings and discounts with health partners.
Wellness programmes tied to healthcare plans and rewards for making healthier choices (such as smoking cessation) are becoming increasingly common.
In certain markets, health insurance plans even include culturally-relevant offerings, such as Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine benefits.
In fact, insurers now closely follow up on consumers long after they have committed to a plan.
Resources are allocated to ensure that you stay well and healthy, instead of just passively insuring you against disease.
Plans are also becoming increasingly specific, with single-disease insurance schemes covering only cancer and diabetes respectively, for example.
And in keeping up with the evolving healthcare landscape, one medical plan offers an add-on option that allows the client access to gene testing for cancer.
Cancer genomics is a relatively new field, which tests for mutations in genes that can guide the doctor in narrowing down and prescribing the best treatment options.
For example, HER2-positive breast cancer – where there is a mutation in the gene that produces the HER2 protein – has a different treatment protocol than non-HER2 breast cancer, with an excellent success rate.
With cancer being one of Malaysia’s biggest health concerns, tools like cancer genomics can help improve a patient’s chances of surviving the illness.
Looking at current trends, health insurance is likely to move more and more into cyberspace, with apps, care pathways and online communities that help and support consumers and their health.
All of us are aware of the health risks of drugs, including heart problems, psychosis, overdose, and even death. We also know that drug use can cause the spread of diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.
But, although these effects of drugs on your health can be devastating, they are not always obvious until it’s too late. The condition of your skin, however, can often be a good early indicator of the internal damage that drugs do to your body.
But how and why are drugs bad for your skin? Read on to find out.
1. Dry and Flaky Skin
Most drugs make your body work harder as a way to flush out toxins. This can lead to dehydration as your skin cells don’t get the fluids they need to function properly. This dehydration then results in dry and flaky skin, as well as sore, chapped lips.
Cutting agents used in drugs such as heroin can also reduce the amount of moisture that reaches the epidermis, resulting in dry and itchy skin.
Dehydration and the resulting chronic dry skin caused by drug abuse can also lead to premature aging and wrinkles.
In addition, drug addicts often neglect to drink water or eat a healthy diet. This makes dehydration worse and can lead to sudden weight loss, resulting in deeper wrinkles and an older appearance.
3. Acne and Skin Eruptions
Acne is another common sign of drug abuse on your skin. And cocaine use can cause small pus-filled areas of skin known as pustulosis, as well as bullous erythema multiforme, leading to skin eruptions all over the body.
But it is not just illegal drugs that can cause skin conditions like acne. Addiction to prescription opioids is a growing problem in the US, which you can find out more info about here.
These painkillers can cause dry skin, hormonal changes, and excess sweating. Without adequate hygiene, this can then cause a build-up of bacteria on the skin resulting in spots and acne.
4. Open Sores
One of the common characteristics of meth users is a ‘drug face’ full of open sores and scabs.
These sores are the result of dry, irritated skin and acne spots which users pick at until they are left with open wounds on their skin. These self-inflicted wounds then become scabs and scars which take a long time to heal.
5. Dark Spots and Uneven Skin Tone
Like wrinkles, dark spots are usually a sign of aging. But the trauma of drug abuse can cause dark spots in users from a young age.
Often, drug users are malnourished, dehydrated, and exhausted. In combination, these can cause color changes to the skin tone, including dark spots, discoloration, and blotches. Drug use can also cause poor circulation, which can lead to dark patches on the skin.
The Effects of Drugs on Your Skin
As a disease, addiction causes poor health. And when your health is poor, it shows on your skin and complexion.
Of course, the effects of drugs on your physical and mental health are more of a cause for concern. But the damage that drugs do to your skin is an indicator of the effect they have on your health from the inside out.
To find out more ways that you could be ruining your skin, check out these other bad habits that are destroying your beauty.
Are you growing tired of spending money on beauty products or treatments to enhance your skin? Beauty products are excellent at concealing poor skin condition but they won’t give you glowing skin – instead, they’ll keep you dependent on high-end products to look good. To get glowing skin naturally, there should be a consideration of internal and external factors, and yoga is therapeutic, even to your skin.
Practicing simple yoga poses every day can help remove toxins that would otherwise give you dry skin and wrinkles. Not only does practicing yoga clear the body of toxins, but it also improves circulation and oxygen intake; both of which are important for maintaining healthy skin. The following poses are ideal for working the muscles, creating balance, and giving you perfect skin.
To do the Corpse Pose, start by lying flat down on your back with the eyes closed. Still your thoughts and try to relax your body, working from each muscle to the next, to make sure every part of your body is relaxed. This should take between 10-15 minutes, but take more time if necessary. Once your body and mind are completely relaxed, your breath should follow a rhythm, and your energy levels will increase, as will circulation. Spend most of this time being completely still, and allow your energies to balance themselves.
Spread a yoga mat on the floor and take a kneeling position. Next, bring both hands to the back of your head and interlock your fingers. Strengthen your shoulders and hold the palms of your hands tightly together. From this position, place your hands on the floor with the elbows anchoring you, and try to lift your body so that you stand up straight with the toes pointing up.
It takes quite a lot of energy to hold this position but if practiced regularly, it will get easier. Hold this position for a few minutes and start lowering one leg and then raising it back up. Do this with each leg, and breathe slowly throughout.
Twisted Seated Pose
Sit down on a mat and cross your legs with both your hands stretched to one side. Gently twist your body to one side using your hands as to stretch further. Take deep breaths as you twist your body, and release the muscles as you let go. Do this on each side and hold for 10 seconds before moving to the other side.
Lie down on your stomach and put your hands flat down on your sides. Lift your upper body up using your hands and stretch your body, tilting your neck back to allow your whole spine to stretch. Hold this position for one deep breath and then fall back down. Do this repeatedly, for a few minutes. This pose will deepen your breathing to some extent and this will increase oxygen intake and circulation on your skin.
To do the Triangle Pose, stand straight up with arms spread outward and arms to your sides. Bend forward with arms facing out toward the ground, and then raise one arm high up in the air, bending your upper body to one side. Keep the other hand down, grasping onto your foot for support. Breathe slowly and deliberately when doing this pose, and try to stretch your hand high up and back, and do this on both sides.
Do this once or twice and day, in the mornings and/or evenings to unwind, build strength, and to release tension.
Shoulder Stand Pose
The shoulder stand looks very challenging but once you get into this position, it’s not difficult to hold it. It’s also great for tightening your stomach muscles, boosting collagen, and smoothing your skin. Start by lying flat on the ground on your back, and then lift your knees up so that your legs are up in the air. Put your hands firmly on your back, and press into your back to anchor your body. Lift your legs straight up in the air, and use your arms to support your weight.
This will create some tension around the back of the neck and in your shoulders. Hold for a few moments and repeat. Be careful when performing the shoulder stand, as it’s easy to lose balance.
Holding this position reduces the number of fluids in your legs, which is also a good thing. It also temporarily relieves pressure from the immune system and streamlines the digestive process. All these factors contribute to better skin. Do the Shoulder Stand Pose every day for a few minutes to improve blood flow, reduce puffiness, and to promote healthy skin.
The Fish Pose stretches the front part of your body (chest, abdomen, throat, intercostal muscles) and it works the upper back muscles to improve posture and flexibility. It also strengthens respiratory health and boosts oxygen intake. Do this regularly but take all the proper precautions to make sure you don’t fall over and hurt yourself. Also, don’t get into this position immediately after a meal.
To get into the Fish pose, lie down flat on your back with hands on your sides, palms facing the floor. With your head looking up, lift up your spine so that it forms a curve on your back and use your head and elbows to support your weight. Your neck should also be lifted, with only the top of the head touching the ground for support. Hold for 5-30 seconds on each turn.
The most common reason for doing the Camel Pose is to strengthen the spine, but there’s a lot more than you can gain from it. The Camel Pose is essentially a backbend that is meant to stretch the entire front part of the body and it has a ton of therapeutic effects in the body including improving the quality of your skin.
To do the Camel Pose, start from a kneeling position and lower your body backward and bend your head down facing the back. Rest your hands on your feet for support and hold this position for 30 seconds, and repeat. This will stretch your stomach, legs, arms, neck, and shoulders. It will also improve strength, tone your muscles, and strengthen your skin. Do it every day for the best results.
About the Author
Dr. Sean Daneshmand has been nominated as a “Top Doctor in San Diego” as published in San Diego Magazine continuously since 2008-2018. He has also completed extensive training in Aesthetic procedures including Vaser Liposelection and has been the Medical Director of Ageless and beautiful Medical Spa since May 2005.
We all love the sweet smooth after taste associated with chocolate, and it is almost impossible to resist it.
You will find about three different varieties of chocolate in your favorite local store, but it is not all of them that have the same benefits to our health and skin.
Not all chocolates are equal. Some are better than others.
Milk chocolate contains milk, butter, sugar and different measures of cocoa solids, and is the most loved the world over. Its sweet, creamy taste is so irresistible, and most would not mind taking dozens of milk chocolate.
On the other hand, white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids. The main ingredient is cocoa butter. Sugar and milk are added to give it a special sweet and creamy taste.
Dark chocolate has a large content of cocoa solids. As a result, it is a little bitter compared to the other varieties. Other ingredients are cocoa butter and sugar. However, dark chocolate may contain milk or not.
White chocolate and milk chocolate are the sweetest among the three varieties, and have a huge following among the consumers. It is a case of letting the taste buds lead the way, for most people.
Interestingly, dark chocolate is the most beneficial to our health based on the number of cocoa solids that it has.
The following are the benefits associated with taking dark chocolate.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate to the Skin
Magnesium is the essential mineral, often dubbed as the ‘natural chill pill’ that suppresses the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Stress breaks down collagen and hurts our skin elasticity.
As a result, cell growth cannot occur effectively when stressed, and your body is ineffective in replacing dead cells.
Apart from suppressing the stress hormones, magnesium helps you sleep better. According to research, sleep is critical to cell growth, and that translates to a better hair volume and skin.
Protection against the Sun:
The study, published in the Journal of the US National Library of Medicine, show that chocolate provides skin protection against sunburn. Literally, it is the natural sunscreen.
Dark chocolate reduces skin redness and maintains a smoother texture after exposure to sunlight. The flavonoids in chocolate give your skin the ability to reflect UV rays, protects it from harful UV, and thus prevent skin discoloration.
Has a Range of Antioxidants:
There’s so much good associated with antioxidants in fruit and vegetables. Similarly, dark chocolate has powerful antioxidants that prevent the damaging effects of free radicals. Your skin remains supple and soft for longer, as your body has the ability to get rid of harmful substances.
Enhances Cell Growth:
Dark chocolate is loaded with essential minerals such as zinc, copper, and iron. These essential minerals play a crucial role by promoting cell growth to replace old and dead cells. Dark chocolate also has a detoxifying effect on the skin to keep it glowing and flexible.
Protects the Skin from the Damaging Effects of Ultraviolet Rays:
Long periods of exposure to sunlight can have damaging effects on the skin. However, the antioxidants in dark chocolate can prevent the detrimental effects of exposure through improved blood circulation.
Promotes skin Healing:
The mineral-rich dark chocolate packs a load of healing properties on the skin. It helps get rid of dead cells and remove scars from the skin. As a result, you can maintain a youthful and beautiful skin that attracts attention from afar.
Two melted dark chocolate bars mixed with milk and applied on the face regularly can do the trick of significantly improving skin texture and elasticity.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate to the Hair
Improves the Quality of your Hair:
Magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc in dark chocolate are the essential minerals that enhance the quality of your hair. The vital minerals promote cell division and strengthen every strand of hair. Dark chocolate also makes the hair lustrous and soft.
Those with long hair and who often use curling tools can make their hair luscious and smooth by mixing melted dark chocolate with mashed ripe bananas. Add one teaspoon of honey to the mixture and apply it on the hair. Avoid applying on the roots.
Treats Infections in the Scalp:
Dark chocolate has extra-ordinary anti-inflammatory properties that promote healing to the scalp and prevents further development of infections. Taking dark chocolate improves blood flow to the scalp which brings essential nutrients to promote healing.
Improves Hair Volume:
Dark chocolate contains essential minerals that promote cell division. And together with increased blood flow to the scalp, the hair volume improves considerably. Dark chocolate has a positive effect on blood circulation, and that enhances the transfer of nutrients necessary for cell growth to your hair.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate to your Overall Health
Keeps Premature Aging at Bay:
Wrinkles and fine lines on the skin are some of the most visible signs of aging. And even though some can argue that wisdom comes with age, no one fancies having visible signs of wisdom on their skin.
Dark chocolate keeps the skin healthy and prevents pigmentation. It improves collagen content and keeps the skin moisturized.
Eating dark chocolate improves circulation on the skin making it more elastic and healthy to prevent wrinkles. Elastic skin does not have any wrinkles.
Studies show that dark chocolate can improve visual contrast sensitivity. Visual contrast sensitivity is the ability to see an object at different contrasts. Another research shows that Dark chocolate improves visual clarity and visual acuity.
According to researchers, the flavonoids in dark chocolate improve blood flow in the eyes which transport essential nutrients and oxygen.
Inflammation can affect various body processes including cell growth. The flavonoids in dark chocolate prevent inflammation and help in the management of such conditions as eczema.
Improves Heart Health:
The flavonoids in dark chocolate have anti-inflammatory properties, and they promote heart health. Dark chocolate improves the health of endothelial cells on arteries to improve blood flow to the heart.
Helps the Cognitive Function:
Flavonoids penetrate and accumulate in the region of the brain associated with learning. You become a better learner and excel in your studies by eating dark chocolate regularly.
Flavonoids also increase blood flow to the brain thus prevents memory loss, increases attention span and improves problem-solving skills.
For the senior citizens, taking dark chocolate can keep mental decline at a minimum.
Helps Manage Blood Pressure:
Magnesium and copper in dark chocolate help regulate blood pressure and prevent any associated complications such as heart disease and kidney problems.
Improves the Mood:
Dark chocolate increases the production of endorphins or the feel-good hormones. You may notice that your mood improves significantly after taking a delicious bar of chocolate.
Endorphins are associated with reduced stress and pain. Chocolate also has an amino acid related to happiness, tryptophan, which further reduces stress and improves your mood.
Bad cholesterol is the main cause of various diseases such heart diseases. The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, shows that dark chocolate reduces bad cholesterol in the body. High cholesterol levels can also cause blockage of arteries and cause such complications as high blood pressure and heart disease. Dark chocolate increases good cholesterol in the body and reduces the harmful effects of bad cholesterol.
Cures Mild Cases of Anemia:
Dark chocolate contains iron and together with iron-rich foods can heal mild cases of anemia. The flavonoids in chocolate help increase the red blood cells in the body.
Flavonoids such as epicatechin, available in dark chocolate, are known to safeguard the brain against stroke. Studies show that the nerve cells of individuals that consume dark chocolate are less likely to develop stroke compared to those that do not take dark chocolate.
Good for Workouts:
Dark chocolate also contains proteins from the added milk. The proteins together with carbohydrates are a good source of energy for those that desperately need to recover from workouts. Chocolate milkshake will help you build muscles and give you the stamina to push yourself and achieve workout goals.
Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be boring, add some dark chocolate to your daily diet, apply some to your skin, be creative!
About the Author
Anna is a healthy lifestyle blogger at curltheblessing.com as she is passionate about health, fashion, natural living. She spends most of her time writing for her fashion and healthy lifestyle blog. She has her writing published on thefrisky.com before. Being a writer and a stylist doesn’t really stop her passion from traveling, too. Besides writing, she loves to hang out with her friends. She plans to launch her own beauty brand some day.