If your skin is dull or flakey, has rough texture or an uneven tone, you should consider exfoliating. If it’s puffy, shiny and breaking out, you might be over-exfoliating.
I’m sure at some point in your life the importance of using a facial exfoliator became oh-so apparent. Perhaps your skin was looking dull or flakey, had rough texture or an uneven tone. No matter what the reason, I’m sure after that very first scrubbing you thought wow, why didn’t I do this sooner?
Exfoliation, or scrubbing the skin, is the process of polishing away the dead skin cells that build up on the surface. When you remove the dead cells, the newer skin beneath is instantly revealed. Your skin looks more radiant and definitely feels softer and smoother as a result. And quite frankly, you may just look a little bit younger and fresher after a good exfoliation. But, the question is, can something that looks and feels this good be bad for you? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. You can get too much of a good thing.
If you are exfoliating a bit too much, you will experience some subtle changes in your skin. These changes may be in your skin’s appearance or in how it feels. Redness, irritation, dry patches and tightness are all examples of what could happen when you over do it.
Here are a few other signs to look out for to determine if you are over exfoliating your skin:
You’re Breaking Out
Most people don’t equate skin breakouts with exfoliation. In fact, many people believe if they are breaking out they need to exfoliate to keep pores clear and free from clogging. But you can definitely experience breakouts if you’re scrubbing too frequently. When you scrub, you’re looking for that deep pore cleaning experience, but when you overdo it, you can end up with the opposite effect. You never want to compromise your healthy skin cells, as they are the ones that protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier. When you overdo it, you disrupt the moisture barrier, which can lead to hypersensitivity that can in turn lead to breakouts. And when this happens, there is no one to blame but yourself. Avoiding breakouts should be reason enough not to over scrub your skin.
Your Forehead Looks Like a Mirror
If you notice that your forehead is super shiny then you have probably over-exfoliated. Light has the ability to reflect off of over-exfoliated skin because the skin in those areas is very smooth and free from texture. Think of driving down a road in your car. On a normal day you can see the stones, cracks and bumps in the road. Now, drive down that same road in the rain. The road looks slick and smooth as glass. Same road, same forehead, just a different perspective due to how light is reflected. So, if your forehead is looking a bit shiny, stop exfoliating. Once the shininess goes away you can start to exfoliate again. Just be gentle.
You’re Looking Puffy
Believe it or not, if that reflection of yourself in the mirror is looking a bit puffy or swollen, then over-exfoliating may be the culprit. Excessive exfoliating can cause inflammation and even damage your skin’s natural lipid barrier. And, it doesn’t matter if you are using a physical exfoliator, one that contains granules and particles that physically slough off skin cells, or, if you are using a chemical exfoliator where specific ingredients break down the dead skin cells. If you are over-doing it you may notice you are looking puffy and swollen.
To get the results that you are looking for with your facial exfoliator, follow these tips:
Be sure to introduce a gentle facial scrub into your skin care regimen and exfoliate one to three times a week, as needed. Allow for a few days in between scrubbing so you don’t aggravate your skin and end up with a negative reaction. For some folks, once a week is sufficient. Only you know your skin. And keep in mind, it’s not just your face that benefits from a good exfoliation, your body will benefit too.
The benefits of exfoliating are amazing when you are gentle and diligent. Just remember to take care of your skin, as the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful.
Written by Beauty Expert Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.
It takes the right nutrients to help support strong, healthy nails.
Just like your skin and hair, your fingernails are a window to the “world within” – the health of your skin, hair and nails are a reflection of what you put into your body. And, like any other living tissue, your fingernails rely on a steady supply of nutrients to help them to be strong and healthy. Fingernail Fundamentals
Your nails are made up of layers of protein, known as keratin, the same protein found in your hair. And, they tend to grow at a fixed rate, with some slight variations: men’s nails usually grow faster than women’s (except during pregnancy, when the pace often picks up); fingernails grow faster than toenails; the nails on your little fingers grow more slowly than the others; and nails usually grow faster in the summer than in the winter. Also, the hardness of your nails is largely determined by genetics.
Even though you can’t make your nails grow faster or make them harder, it’s important to provide them with the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy, that way, your nails may be able to grow longer since they may be less likely to crack or break.
Four Nutrients that Support Nail Health
Protein. Since your nails are composed primarily of protein, it should come as no surprise that you need adequate protein in your diet to support the health of your nails. Choose from a range of low-fat plant and animal sources: soy and other beans, eggs, dairy products, seafood, poultry and lean meats.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy fats can help keep your nails moisturized, keeping them from appearing dry and dull. Fish is the best source of these healthy fats, but you can also find omega-3s in walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds.
Zinc. Zinc is a mineral that’s vitally important in protein synthesis, so it helps your body manufacture the keratin protein in your nails. Oysters are the richest source of zinc, but you’ll also find it in other proteins – meat, fish, poultry, beans and yogurt – as well as nuts.
Magnesium. Magnesium is a multitasker mineral – it’s needed for literally hundreds of chemical reactions in your body and, like zinc, helps your body to manufacture the proteins found in your nails. Magnesium is easy to get because it’s so widespread in healthy foods. Green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, avocado, whole grains, yogurt and soymilk are all good sources of magnesium.
Susan Bowerman is Director of Nutrition Training at Herbalife. Susan is a Registered Dietitian and a Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.
If you want to have soft, shiny and healthy hair, first your hair needs to be strong.
When it comes to our hair, we all want it to look shiny, soft, smooth and healthy. What we don’t want to see is a lot of breakage, split ends, color fading and damaged hair. Our hair needs to be resilient, elastic and resistant to breakage. In other words, our hair needs to be strong! How can you tell how strong your hair actually is? Well, strength all comes down to porosity and elasticity.
Test the porosity of your hair to measure its ability to absorb and retain water. The next time you wash and towel-dry your hair, feel it with your hands. If it feels quite wet, then chances are it’s more porous. When hair is porous it becomes dry and prone to damage. In other words, porous hair is weak hair. On the other hand, if your hair feels quite dry after towel-drying, then it’s less porous and therefore healthier. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also do a quick test by dropping a few clean, dry hair strands into a bowl of water. After a few minutes if your hair sinks, it has high porosity because it absorbed the water quickly and sank. If your hair is still floating, then it has low porosity and is stronger.
To test the elasticity of your hair, you need to stretch a strand while it’s wet. The farther you can stretch your hair the more elastic and healthy it is. Healthy hair, when it’s wet, will stretch up to 50% of its original length and return to its normal shape and size without breaking. Unhealthy (dry) hair only stretches to about 20% of its original length. But remember, it’s never a good idea to brush your hair while it’s wet. You don’t want to stretch your hair out to the point of breakage so be careful.
Here are a few simple ways to keep your hair strong:
Good nutrition builds strong hair.
A healthy diet is the key to the health of your hair. Protein is essential, as your hair is made up of a tough protein called keratin, which helps form the strength of your hair, skin and nails. But, you also need to focus on trace minerals like copper, iron, magnesium and selenium, as well as Vitamins E, D and C. These nutrients are important in the production of keratin. Antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies are a great vitamin source, as are healthy fats. Fish is also a great choice because omega-3 fatty acids encourage hair growth.
All shampoos are not created equal.
Choose a shampoo specifically for your hair type that helps strengthen your hair. Select a gentle shampoo and conditioner to help repair hair and bring it back to a strong and healthy state. Choose products that are sulfate-free and clinically tested to improve hair strength. Try to avoid chemical-based products, as they can be damaging. Look for more gentle ingredients like Aloe vera, shea butter and plant-derived micro proteins to help soften and strengthen hair.
Condition more often.
Even on the days when you might not be shampooing, if your hair is wet, apply some conditioner. This will help lock in much needed moisture. When water evaporates, unfortunately, it draws moisture out from the inside of the hair shaft, ultimately causing it to dry out and weaken. Consider a weekly deep conditioning treatment, including DIY ones like this: 4 tbsp. of coconut oil and 2 tbsp. of pure honey mixed, warmed and applied to your freshly washed, towel dried hair. Put on a shower cap and leave for approximately 20 minutes before rinsing. It’s a great alternative to a store bought conditioning treatment.
Tip: When conditioning hair, squeeze out excess water before applying. If your hair is saturated with water, it can’t absorb your conditioner.
Get a trim.
As your hair ages the ends will tend to split more. And if your hair is damaged, you should cut off the damaged areas. Regular trimmings will give your hair a much healthier appearance and will also help to prevent split ends from traveling up the length of your hair.
Cut out the heat.
We all use dryers and irons to achieve a specific look, but if healthy, strong hair is what you’re striving for then cut back on the heat as this can burn and damage your hair quickly. Use heat protectant spray and clean your styling tools with alcohol to help remove product residue, which can damage your hair over time.
There are several other things to keep in mind as you are working to strengthen your hair:
When it comes to hair, nails, skin, it’s all about strength. So, implement some daily practices to look and feel your absolute best.
Written by beauty expert Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.
The appearance and strength of your fingernails are good indicators of their overall health. Healthy-looking nails are usually strong nails.
Are your nails everything you want them to be or are they brittle, do they break easily or never seem to grow? If they are not up to par, then you are not alone. Sure, there are ways to camouflage the condition of your nails with polish, gels and even acrylics. But, did you know that there are a few habits that you can develop to truly make a difference in your nails?
Here are a few simple tips to get your nails in top shape:
Eat right for strong nails.
Just like our skin and hair, nail health is also tied to diet. If your nails are brittle and weak, then you want to evaluate how much protein you are eating. Your nails are comprised of protein so, if you aren’t getting enough in your diet, it will be reflected in your nails. Protein shakes are great for adding necessary protein to your diet, as are eggs, meat, fish, beans and legumes. Be conscientious of the foods you are eating if your nails are weak and brittle. There can be other reasons, of course, why nails might not be strong. Remember to check with your doctor if you are concerned about your circulation or chronic problems with your fingers and nails.
Regular maintenance is key.
Trimming your nails on a regular basis will help to keep them strong. When you allow your nails to constantly grow without trimming, they tend to get rough and jagged in appearance. When this happens, they are more likely to get weak or break. Think of your nails in the same way you think about your hair. A regular trimming will help remove the weaker, damaged areas that develop at the tips, encouraging the rest of the nail to strengthen. They will look fresher and healthier as a result. Here are a few trimming tips:
There is a right way and a wrong way to file.
Yes, something so simple as filing your nails can actually weaken them when not done properly. It’s important to select an emery board for nail filing. They are available in fine or course textures, similar to sand paper. When you file your nails, you should never file back and forth, as if you’re sawing your nails. You should always file in one direction. And do this in a gentle way. Remember, your goal is to strengthen the nail by removing the ragged areas so they don’t split or fray. When you file too hard or in a back-and-forth motion, you run the risk of damaging the fibers in your nails, which only causes them to weaken more. A little regular and gentle filing will keep your nails in top shape and they will be less prone to tearing.
Moisturize and condition.
Just like your hands, your nails can become dry, too, and will benefit from a good conditioning. Hand creams and lotions are great for both your skin and your nails. Remember to apply hand cream on a regular basis, especially after washing them. Take a few extra seconds to massage your cream into your nails and surrounding cuticles. Ingredients like aloe, shea butter and olive oil are great when it comes to conditioning. Keep your favorite hand cream on your nightstand and apply before you got to sleep. You will wake up with hydrated hands and nails that will not only look good, they will feel good, too. Remember, when your nails get dry, they can become brittle and more prone to breakage.
Sure, most women love to get their nails done. But, if strong nails are your goal, then it’s good to go au naturel once in a while. Think about it, filing, buffing, base coats, color, topcoat, gels, acrylic fills and more definitely affect your nails. Give them a break. Again, similar to your hair when you take a break from your styling aids and heating devices, your hair will flourish. Same rule apply to your nails. Give them a break so they can stay strong and not break.
Protection is key.
When doing household chores, especially those that involve hot water or harsh chemicals, wear gloves. You want to keep your hands and nails protected from being exposed to damaging and drying chemicals at all costs. Wearing gloves when you are washing the dishes or cleaning your house is the best way to keep nails from becoming weak and damaged due to exposure.
Everyone wants healthy-looking nails and by following these simple steps, you too will have fabulous nails in no time. Remember that what you put in and on your body is equally important. So, take care of your nails and they will be stronger in no time.
Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.
*Results may very from person to person
Many men think skin care is just for women, but that simply is not the case.
It’s a challenge to get men committed to a skincare regimen. I’ve heard every excuse possible including, “Skin care is just for women.” Sorry guys, that’s just not true. There are differences between men’s skin and women’s. But, that doesn’t mean men don’t need to use skincare products just as much as women do. In fact, in some cases, men need skin care even more than women.
One of the most obvious differences between men’s facial skin and women’s is that men grow hair on their face. They can grow a mustache, a beard or even sideburns, if they prefer; something that women can’t do. But, from a structural perspective, there are other differences that aren’t so obvious. A man’s skin tends to be thicker, oilier, higher in collagen density and different in overall texture. But even with these differences, men suffer from the same skin conditions and concerns as women do. They too can experience breakouts, uneven skin, fine lines and wrinkles, and more. Here a few key differences between men’s skin and women’s:
How thick a person’s skin is depends on many factors, including their sex, age and the location of the skin in question. For example, skin on the eyelids is very thin, while skin on the palms is very thick. On average, a man’s skin is approximately 25% thicker than a woman’s. This is primarily due to testosterone. Men’s skin will gradually thin with age, while the thickness of woman’s skin remains steady until around the age of 50, when it too will start to thin, especially after menopause. Because men have thicker skin, they also tend to have more elastin and collagen than women, making their resistance to the signs of aging greater than women’s. Unfortunately, women show the signs of aging faster than a man and are much more vulnerable to the damaging UVA rays of the sun.
Oily vs. Dry
Because men have thicker skin, they also have more sebum-producing glands. A woman’s oil production starts to decrease a lot sooner than men’s, on average by about 20 years. And, it’s these natural oils that help to protect the skin, keeping it feeling softer and smoother. So, while a woman may experience more skin dryness, men may experience larger pores and be prone to more blackheads and whiteheads. Women also do notice an even further increase in dryness of their skin during menopause, a time when a good moisturizer becomes a girl’s best friend.
When it comes to skin texture, there is a big difference between genders. Men have skin that is rougher, primarily due to the fact that the outer protective layer of their skin is thicker. Throw in differences in hormones, oil and sweat production, facial hair, and shaving, and there are bound to be textural differences. Men tend to have acne that lasts longer, they experience more skin irritation and suffer from a condition called rhinophyma, which is only found in males with extreme cases of rosacea.
Sun spots, age spots, uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation are things that will affect both sexes. However, since men are less hormonal than women, they are less likely to develop dark spots or signs of hyperpigmentation. In other words, compared to women, men are lucky! As a result, the cosmetic “cover-up” business is booming and, unfortunately, all of us women have had to invest in a foundation or two over the years.
Shaving: Bumps and Sensitivity
Finally, there’s something we women can be happy about: We don’t have to shave. But because men do, they are definitely more prone to shaving bumps, ingrown hairs and skin sensitivities, primarily brought on by daily shaving. Shaving damages the hydrolipidic film on the surface of the skin, which erodes the skins natural lubrication and protection. Shaving can also cause nicks and scrapes on the skin, allowing for a man’s skin to become more sensitive and easily irritated than a woman’s.
So what should every man do when it comes to his daily skincare regimen? Easy…
Skip the bar soap.
Invest in a gentle facial cleanser to wash your face. You may have gotten used to using an average bar of soap, but that isn’t doing your skin any good. They contain harsh detergents and deodorizers that aren’t meant for the face. They can disrupt your skin’s pH balance and strip the surface of your skin of the healthy oils it needs. Choose a facial cleanser that can target excess oil, thoroughly remove dirt, oil, sweat, debris and provide much needed hydration. Look for formulas that do not contain sulfates or parabens, but do contain antioxidant vitamins and aloe vera for added hydration.
Due to the thickness of a man’s skin, exfoliation is necessary and can be done more frequently than a woman. Scrub away that dead skin buildup on a regular basis, which will help clear out your pores and ease the frequency of white and black heads.
No more aftershave.
Most post-shave products contain alcohol, hence the burning and stinging when applied to the skin. It’s time to ditch those irritating products because they just aren’t healthy for your skin. They can cause dead skin-cell build-up, which causes hair strands to get trapped in the skin, leading to ingrown hairs and irritation. Invest in an antioxidant-rich facial skin toner that is alcohol-free to help soothe the skin post-shaving. No more stinging and burning for sure.
Applying sunscreen every day before going outdoors is essential for both men and women. But, it’s super important for men. Men tend to be exposed more often than women to environmental factors as, on average, they spend more time outdoors. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 46,870 new cases of invasive melanoma in men and 29,510 in women will be diagnosed in the United States alone in 2016.* There is also great risk of incidental sun exposure just from walking the dog, doing a bit of yard work or simply driving your car (Yes, the sun’s rays can penetrate through glass.). So, men and women must always apply a moisturizer containing SPF 30 sunscreen to help fend off the signs of premature aging.
Bottom line, men and woman alike need to take care of their skin. Everyone benefits from a daily skincare regimen that will clean, protect and moisturize their skin. We all need to take care of our skin so it can continue to take care of us. After all, the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful!
*Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2016. American Cancer Society. http://ift.tt/20tjte3
Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife.
*Results may very from person to person
Do you look in the mirror and think that your skin should look better than it does? Do you start to question your products, skincare routine, diet and perhaps even genetics? I’m sure you aren’t alone. But, it’s important to note that there are several things you can do to help your skin along (and several things you can do that may get in the way of progress.) If you’re seeking a healthy looking complexion, but you’re just not getting results, here are a few potential reasons that may be holding you back:
Related Article: Dry Skin Vs. Dehydrated Skin: What’s the Difference?
# 1: You love junk food.
As we all know, healthy looking skin starts with a healthy diet. And, like I always say, if you eat a lot of junk food, chances are your skin won’t look its best. But, if you eat a healthy, nutritious diet, chances are your skin will look healthy and more youthful. So, if you aren’t happy with your skin, then take a good look at your diet. Try to indulge in more fresh fruits and veggies and stay away from fried and processed foods and sugary snacks. You know that too many fatty, sugary foods aren’t good for your body – and they sure aren’t good for your skin! In the name of healthy, more youthful looking skin, be aware of what you are eating.
# 2: You think you’re cleansing your skin but you’re not.
Sure, you go through the motions every morning and evening, but you just might not be doing as good of a job as you think. Are you rushing through it? Are you really lathering up your skin and rinsing clean? When it comes to makeup in particular, you might be surprised at just how much is left on your skin even after you have cleansed your face. How can you tell? Dry your face with a clean, white towel. If you see any traces of foundation, lipstick or mascara, you didn’t do a good enough job. Wearing waterproof makeup? You may need to invest in makeup remover to ensure you are removing everything before you crawl into bed. Some makeup is designed to last all day. Translation? It’s difficult to wash off. So be diligent in your cleansing process and try not to rush through this step. Your skin will thank you for it in the long run.
# 3: You see a blemish and go bonkers.
Everyone suffers from an occasional blemish. But, it’s what we do about it that can make a difference with our overall complexion. It’s important to only treat the blemish and not your whole face. Products developed to treat blemishes can be a bit harsh and drying to the skin, so we need to contain the area that we are treating. If you start slathering anti-acne products onto your entire face, you run the risk of disrupting your skin’s natural balance, which could cause your skin to produce excess oil, resulting in clogged pores and more blemishes. So only treat the blemish itself to keep your skin looking its best.
# 4: You’re over or under scrubbing.
Our skin “sheds” its outer layer of skin cells constantly. But, sometimes we need to help by using an exfoliating scrub to remove the dead skin cells from the surface to reveal the beautiful, healthy skin cells beneath. This will get your skin looking and feeling soft and smooth. But, too much of a good thing can have adverse effects. And, over scrubbing your skin could compromise the skin’s protective moisture barrier, which is necessary to keep your skin looking youthful. On the flipside, there are those who don’t exfoliate enough. And when you let the dead skin cells build up, you most likely have a complexion that looks dull and drab. You may also notice that with this barrier of skin, your skincare products may not be able to do their job effectively. Everyone should exfoliate 1 to 3 times a week, depending on the skin type. Don’t overdo it and don’t forget. If you make this a weekly ritual, you will notice the improvement in your skin for sure.
# 5: You’re not applying your products in the right order.
Every skincare regimen has steps that should be followed to ensure the best benefits. And it’s important to follow the directions as provided and to layer in the order suggested. Cleansing is your first step, followed by your toner, serums and moisturizers. When you apply out of order, you run the risk of getting a negative effect or potentially no effect at all. For example, serums have the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin than moisturizers. So, they must be applied first. If you apply your serum over your moisturizer it won’t be able to penetrate effectively and do its job. If you don’t apply in the correct order you could get a negative reaction. So apply only as recommended for the most beautiful skin.
The next time you look in the mirror and just aren’t content with what you see, remember these five easy steps. Give them a try and see if you notice a change. Your skin needs you to take care of it so it can continue to take care of you. Remember, the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful.
Written by Beauty Expert Jacquie Carter. Jacquie is Director of Outer Nutrition at Herbalife. Discover the Herbalife SKIN® line here.
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