Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to get rid of spider veins naturally

Spider veins.  They can truly have a negative impact on a woman’s self esteem. This condition affects nearly half of the population.  If you often find yourself covering up with long pants and skirts, even on summer’s hottest days, these tips may be for you.  


Here are ten ways to get rid of spider veins naturally.





1. Elevate your legs.


This is crucial.  When you are seated, be sure not to cross your legs. Elevate them on an ottoman or step stool as much as you can while seated.  This is important for regulating blood flow in the legs and improving circulation.


2. Get a massage.


Not only are massages a relaxing treat, but they may improve your spider veins.  Poor circulation is related to spider veins and we know that getting regular massages can improve your circulation. That’s why massages can be an excellent remedy for this condition. If possible, schedule a Swedish massage on a monthly basis.


3. Cayenne pepper (Capsicum)


One of the most popular homeopathic remedies for spider veins involves the use of cayenne pepper. Anecdotal evidence suggests that mixing a spoon of cayenne into water and drinking it daily may bring relief because of cayenne’s effect on circulation. Cayenne pepper is also found in skin care products! My favorite one is Perfectly Posh Hot Pepper ShaBang Body Butter. This cocoa butter-based muscle rub features Capsicum, along with soothing aloe vera and may be worth a try for your pesky spider veins.



4. Exercise!


Movement benefits all of us.  Whether it be riding a bike, swimming laps or taking a walk, exercise is essential to well being.  It gets your circulation moving, which helps improve spider veins.  These low impact exercises above use your legs, which will help prevent these unsightly veins from reappearing.


5. Support hose may help.


Compression stockings aren’t exactly fashion forward, but they may greatly improve this condition. Plus, they are readily available at your neighborhood drugstore.  They gently add pressure and get the blood flowing in the legs to help get the problem under control. It is an affordable, painless, and effective way to treat spider veins.


6. Be sure you’re at a healthy weight.


If you are overweight, try to shed some pounds slowly and in a healthy manner.  Not only will getting down to your ideal weight improve your overall health and self esteem, it may also help with your spider veins. If you are overweight, you are adding stress to your legs and feet, which both contribute to spider veins.


7. Make an apple cider vinegar compress.


You can soak towels in a small basin of apple cider vinegar and wrap your legs in the towels.  You can also apply as a compress.  Why? The vinegar can help calm swelling, inflammation, and pain caused by spider veins.  We recommend chilled vinegar, as anything warm applied topically may make the problem worse.


8. Apply witch hazel.


Witch hazel is a cooling ingredient and when it is applied to the spider veins with cotton balls, it can help reduce the pain and swelling.  Witch hazel also has astringent properties, making it an excellent choice for spider veins. Simply apply to a fresh cotton ball and pat onto affected areas.  This is one of the best ways to soothe the discomfort that goes along with this condition.


9.  Consider Gotu Kola extract.


You know me. I love natural remedies, but I also need evidence and science when it comes to ingredients. This one I was not sure whether to include, but if you take supplements, you may want to give this a whirl. Gotu Kola has been used for thousands of years to treat many conditions.  It is well known for treating conditions related to veins and circulation, making it a prime choice for spider veins.  In fact, if you do an online search for this natural extract, you will find thousands of testimonials for people saying that their spider and varicose veins were cured by taking Gotu Kola.


10.  Don’t forget the sunscreen.


Skin care experts are quick to recommend sunscreen usage for many reasons.  Using sunscreen can also help to prevent spider veins.  Sun damaged skin and increased exposure to the sun actually make existing spider veins look much worse.  Be sure to protect your skin from the sun.  In doing so, you will help reduce the appearance of spider veins at the same time.

My top 3 sunscreen picks:


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Do you suffer from Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition affecting more than 16 million Americans. Many sufferers don't even know they have Rosacea, so awareness is key. Do you have the following symptoms?
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Skin tends to flush easily and it often looks like you’re blushing
  • Swelling of the eyelids and watery eyes
  • Soreness and itching of the skin
  • Bumpy and rough skin texture
  • Pus-filled pimples
  • Skin is almost always red and inflamed

If you’re experiencing two or more of the above symptoms, you should visit a dermatologist because you may be suffering from Rosacea. There is still no exact cause of Rosacea, despite years of research. While we don't know the cause, there are several known triggers. Being aware of these triggers and avoiding them may help to reduce Rosacea flare-ups.
Beat the heat
Hot, humid weather can aggravate Rosacea. The heat tends to promote flushing and redness, so avoiding it when possible can help keep flare-ups at bay.  People also find that sweating and overheating due to exercise can make things worse. Even relaxing spa treatments such as saunas and steam rooms are common triggers, so they should be avoided.
Food and drink culprits
Certain foods and drinks can wreak havoc on Rosacea symptoms, so knowing these triggers will be beneficial. Spicy foods made with aromatics such as curry and cayenne can make your flushing worse, as can alcohol. Hot beverages such as coffee, tea and cocoa also may lead to more redness and irritation.
Read your product labels
Skincare products often contain harsh ingredients known to contribute to flare-ups. Menthol, camphor, alcohol, peppermint, clove and eucalyptus are all common Rosacea triggers found in skincare.
Be 'scentsible'
Synthetic fragrance is a common contributor to the side effects of Rosacea. Yet, it is hard to avoid. From perfumes and shower gels, to shampoos and laundry detergents, fragrances are everywhere. Avoiding anything with artificial fragrance that comes into direct contact with your skin will be helpful. Look for fragrance free personal and laundry care items and see if using them rather than their scented counterparts makes a difference in your skin.
Sun smarts are essential
Sun exposure is considered the number one Rosacea trigger, so protection is key. Wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen will not only help to prevent a sunburn, but it also will help prevent flushing and redness. Thirty minutes before you head outdoors, be sure to apply sunscreen to all exposed skin to help minimize UV damage.
Find your moment of zen
Emotions -- good and bad -- are known to exacerbate Rosacea flare-ups. Something as innocent as laughing can trigger flushing just as much as crying or yelling. Many Rosacea sufferers also find that being embarrassed can literally have them seeing red. While we are not suggesting you ignore your feelings, trying to find a sense of balance and calm can help prevent flare-ups caused by extreme emotions. While there is no cure for Rosacea, knowing and avoiding the most common triggers may help keep redness, irritation and flushing at bay.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The 5 Best Beauty Buys from Groupon

Psst. I have a secret. A savings secret! 

Did you know that you can use Groupon Coupons to save money or get freebies with your skincare and beauty purchases? It's true!





I know my friends and I use Groupon for deals on pizza or mini golf or things like that, but to get deals on beauty products we'd be shopping for anyway is a huge perk. And the brands and retail outlets featured are ones that all beauty lovers already flock to.

In healthy and beauty, you'll find some really fantastic offers. I am here to share The Beauty Blogger's Favorite Groupon Deals!

1. Juice Beauty has offers on Groupon -- we've talked about the Green Apple Peel here on this blog several times over the past 8 years. Before you order anywhere else, be sure t check out the website's offers because you can get some great extras!

2. Sally Beauty Supply also has deals on Groupon! In fact, as I type this, there is a $5 coupon code available to snag. My favorite summertime product is their Ion Swimmer's Shampoo. I swear by this to prevent the dreaded chlorine-induced green tinge that the pool usually gives me.

3. Yves St. Laurent is one of the luxury beauty brands you will find with special offers on Groupon. Need an YSL recommendation? Go for one of the couple cult favorites: Touche Eclat and Faux Cils. They won't let you down!

4. Ulta is over on Groupon and you'll find both online promo codes to save money and in-store coupons that you can print out or scan from your smartphone. While you're at Ulta, I recommend checking out the Hollywood & Highlight from Smashbox, Butter nail polish and Exuviance's brand new water-light sunscreen.

5. Sephora is a participating store on Groupon as well. This is, of course, on every beauty junkie's list. Their special offers right now include freebies of mascara and CC cream.

How about you? Do you use Groupon Coupons? If you don't you're truly missing out! With almost 9000 stores participating, there are definitely deals to be had. Oh, before I forget to mention it, Groupon Coupons are NOT just for beauty! You will find TOMS, Vitacost, and many other favorite brands of The Beauty Blogger on the website. Head on over and START SAVING!

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Glossique Nail Deco Review

I am no stranger to nail wraps. I have tried the original -- Minx -- as well as hundreds and hundreds of Jamberry Nails nail wraps while I was a consultant for 21 months, most of those in leadership. I've used nail stickers and Sally Hansen, Incoco and Essie, as well as Avon and So Gloss. I know there are others, but these are the ones that come to the top of my head. From August 2013 through May, I used no others but Jamberry.





I have had so many to try over the years, but while I was a consultant I opted not to do so. Now that I am not affiliated with any nail wrap companies, I have had the chance to try some others out -- including Glossique Nail Deco.




After experiencing peeling, sore, breaking nails, I took a several week hiatus between nail wrap applications. I had to get them back to a healthy and strong state. Here is what they looked like a few weeks ago. Thankfully, Seed  Fragrance Free Hand Cream and Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream -- and time -- repaired my nails.




When I was introduced to Glossique, I was extremely skeptical. "No heat? No way." My previous experience with nail wraps not needing heat was really unimpressive. The heat is typically used to form a better bond to the nail. And I was worried that I would experience a setback in my nail growth and strength. Plus, to be frank, Jamberry holds an INCREDIBLY SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART. I did not even want to LIKE another brand.





Back to my experience with Glossique. No heat is needed, none was used, and my wraps still lasted very well without lifting, bubbling, getting little uneven spots. I removed mine at 7 days ONLY because I wanted to choose a different pattern. They were still on securely and I believe they would have lasted a few more days.

Glossique Nail Deco nail wraps are formaldeyde free, paraben free,  made in America (in Minnesota) and are cruelty free. There is no detectable odor. Also, unlike many others, they do not dry out. Sally Hansen, for example, is wasteful because you have to open the whole package to use. These are on a sheet (19 per sheet) and you remove each wrap as you use them.

 Like other nails wraps, they are vinyl with a polyacryalate adhesive & silicone.



Gypsy Story is a favorite of mine!



Juicy Apple is lots of fun, too!

Glossique comes in TWO sizes. This is a game changer, as it is available for ALL wraps designs. You can choose Regular or Petite. Both work for me, although Petite is best as I do have smaller nails beds.

You just pick a size, cut in half and then peel off and apply to your prepped nails. Glossique advises using acetone to make sure your nails are well-prepped. I confess that I just washed my hands with Dawn (blue) liquid dish soap and then swiped clean with an alcohol pad. The wraps applied with great ease and I did my fingernails in about 5 minutes and a pedicure in less than 10.

Like I said, I was REALLY worried about longevity without heat. These stood up to gardening and heavy duty closet cleaning, as well as packing and taping moving boxes. I scrubbed the bathroom floors and tile with them, the messy lasagna pan, and more. No chips. No peeling. No lifting. No fraying.


You do NOT need to file these at all. You just trim. Glossique offers their own nail scissors. I used my own nail clippers and then smoothed one rough tip (my own fault) with my glass file.

To remove, you can gently peel off side to side. I was VERY skeptical, as that is not how I typically remove nails wraps. Even doing so "properly", I tend to have nail damage. HOWEVER, these peeled right off and the couple sticky spots that remained I was able to swipe right off with nail polish remover.

My final thoughts:


I highly recommend Glossique. My experience with customer service has been really lovely. In fact, I need to say something. I debated whether or not to add this, but I just have to. Looking over at the Glossique Facebook page, I see some REALLY unprofessional posts from consultants at a competing company. Not only are they posting links to their own personal websites, they are being rude about the new product on the marketplace. Their tone is snippy. When you click their names, you can see that they represent another company. Here's the thing: COMPETITION is a good thing. It is NATURAL. Just as Jamberry was not the first nail wrap on the market (nor is it the last), there are companies out there. Wouldn't it be BORING if there were only one coffee brand you could buy? Or what if you could only drive a Ford? Having competition is not bad! So instead of posting things that give the impression that you lack grace and integrity, how about "Good luck with your new company. I also love nail wraps!"

I have worked for Seed Body Care for a couple years. I do their blog and social media. I ***LOVE*** the products. Would I go to a competing site and badmouth them? Would I jump on a company's corporate Facebook page and post their link link? No. Why? Because it is UNPROFESSIONAL.

My cousin and two of my friends sell Lemongrass Spa. Technically, you could say that Seed and Lemongrass are competitors in some regards. You know what? Lemongrass Spa makes some fabulous products, too. I have used them and I have blogged about them.

My point is that the powers that be over at Glossique have handled these unfortunate posts with kindness, respect and professionalism. THAT is how you run a business and the consultants from competing companies who behaved so poorly should be ashamed of their immaturity.

The bottom line here: Do I adore Glossique? YES. I am pleasantly surprised! I am impressed. The wraps are nice and they are very gentle on my nails.

To buy: You order from their website, where wraps sell for $15 per sheet.

Glossique offers a very generous return policy: 30 day money back guarantee and 90 days for a credit.

Head over to http://glossique.com and tell them The Beauty Blogger sent you! 


Disclosure: I was sent nail wraps at no cost for possible review, like with most of my review posts. I received no monetary compensation for this review and all opinions are 100% mine.

Monday, June 8, 2015

How to get rid of your Keratosis Pilaris

I have been dealing with a skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris for the past 15 years. When my symptoms first appeared, it was particularly frustrating for me to deal with, as I had always been able to troubleshoot my own skincare woes based on professional experience. My tried and true products and remedies didn't address this condition, which affects an estimated forty percent of Americans.

Having Keratosis Pilaris can have a negative impact on self esteem. In the summer, I like to wear sundresses and sleeveless tops. When the condition was at its worst, I found myself shopping for shirts that would cover my upper arms. I was very self conscious. Well meaning friends and family would point out that I had a "red rash" on my arms and asked if I was aware of it. Of course I was. It is something I could see in my mirror each day and planned my outfits around.
I went to my dermatologist, who advised me to use a lotion with lactic acid. Unfortunately, this popular lotion also has the strong odor of ammonia and parabens. After a few weeks, I only saw a slight improvement, so I gave up. I spent that entire summer covering my arms because the red bumps were so noticeable.
Let's take an in-depth look at this condition and see what can be done to treat it.

What is Keratosis Pilaris?

Keratosis Pilaris is a common skin condition that causes very small white or red bumps to form on arms, cheeks, thighs and bottom. They are painless and tend to resemble a rash. People sometimes call it "chicken skin" and the bumps look very much like red goosebumps. The texture in the affected area tends to be quite rough and dry, worsening in the winter.
It is more common in children and those under thirty. My son, age 11, has it on his cheeks. Mine only affects my upper arms. While I am over thirty, this is less common with age.

What causes Keratosis Pilaris?

You have no doubt heard of keratin. Keratin is the protein that protects the skin, hair and nails from infection. It is fibrous. Sometimes too much keratin builds up. It ends up clogging the hair follicles, forming a plug. The result? Rough, scaly bumps. It is that simple. There is nothing that you are doing wrong to create this problem. Even those who are extremely conscientious about their skincare routines can still have Keratosis Pilaris.

Treating Keratosis Pilaris

Where I went wrong is when I assumed I would care for this skin condition the same way I would any other dry or rough spots -- through applying a scrub. It was a logical choice. When you apply a manual exfoliant like a scrub, you are sloughing off dry skin. You cannot slough off Keratosis Pilaris, though. When you use a scrub, it may end up making the condition worse. I found my own skin to become more irritated, which made the red bumps more noticeable.
Exfoliation is key, but using the right type for this condition is a must.  The best skincare treatment for Keratosis Pilaris is a topical exfoliant that you do not rinse off. Products containing lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid are your best treatment. The dermatologist gold standard is BHA. 
Experts agree that the worst thing you can do for your KP is harsh exfoliation. You risk scarring by doing this.

Topical Salicylic Acid (BHA) is the single most effective way to treat Keratosis Pilaris

Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid) is a highly effective Keratosis Pilaris treatment. BHA has the ability to get into the pores and help release the congestion. Applying a BHA treatment daily will help clear most cases of Keratosis Pilaris gradually over several weeks. Patience is key. If you do not see results after only a couple of days of use, please do not give up. It takes time to clear the blockage.

Glycolic acids (AHA) are viable options, too. However, the ONLY way to reach into the pores is with Salicylic (BHA).

Products I recommend


Spotless from Perfectly Posh contains 2% salicylic acid, aloe vera & witch hazel and comes in handy pads. Just $16 and these rival the most expensive brands.




Exuviance Clear & Smooth are also exfoliating pads. These are dermatologist grade and combine 2% salicylic acid with mandelic and benzelic acids for maximum exfoliation. When I worked as a skincare therapist for the company, it was a client favorite. I saw many with greatly improved self esteem after just a few uses of these pads!



Another sound product for Keratosis Pilaris is something that is in my shower right now: Emmaus Smiling Beads Body Wash. In my view, this is a MUST HAVE PRODUCT if you are suffering from Keratosis Pilaris. Why? This AMAZING body wash features both glycolic AND salicylic acid. It also contains jojoba oil, aloe vera, coffee, hibiscus & more. This is a new to me product and every time I get in the shower these past few weeks, I cannot wait to lather up because it DOES have a noticeable impact!


Paula's Choice Resist Weightless Body Treatment 2% BHA is another product I highly recommend. This lightweight lotion is non-irritating, fragrance free and keeps the skin nicely hydrated.





Sources:

Friday, June 5, 2015

5/3 Friday


Five minutes, 3 products...mini reviews on 3 products. Here is a quick overview of 3 products I have been sent for review or have purchased on my own and my thoughts in a nutshell--









Prescriptives is really underrated. I really hope that Estee Lauder gets its act together and revives this line, which seems to be hanging on to life support once more. There are rarely any social media posts these days, and in this day and age of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, there is no excuse for this.

The company recently sent me their newest paraben free eye product-- the Super Line Preventor Serum. It is lightweight, feels silky and is fast-absorbing. This is not ultra moisturizing, so if you have dry skin under the eyes, you will want something more. The formula is packed with effective anti-aging peptides and hyaluronic acid. It really does brighten the undereye area, too.

The most impressive part of the product is the applicator. It is fab and allows you to dispense the right amount without waste. This product comes in at $55 and, while expensive, it really rivals the best department store counterparts.




Pops is my current fave! I also like Sugar Wafer, which is shown below over my It Cosmetics Nude Lip Liner:



I love a good bargain and this one is an exceptional bargain. Have you tried NYX Butter Lipstick yet? I buy mine at Ulta for 6 bucks! 





Last up is Eartheasy Soaps. These soaps are lovely. I especially love the packaging and the message behind the products. This is a company with a mission. For $5.95 you get a stellar bar of soap and 100% of the net profits go to good causes! For example, the Eartheasy Orca Bar benefits Ocean Alliance and the Honeybee Bar benefits Pollinator Partnership. I  also was sent the Leatherback Bar, which benefits SEE Turtles and the Orangutan Bar to help the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Each of these soaps is something special and chock full of goodness. My personal favorite is the Honeybee Bar because I am a sucker for honey & oatmeal!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Stop. Just stop.

"Do you know anyone who has been affected by cancer, infertility, autism, ADD/ADHD, asthma, or allergies? Have you ever thought about being a part of a movement for change? Would you want to educate and empower others to make safer choices? Do you love beautiful, chic, safe, and effective products? Do you care about our planet?"

Ugh. I just saw this on Facebook. I RARELY vent. I am a positive kind of girl. I love peacefulness and am very accepting--until I am not. When my bullshit detector is triggered by ridiculous posts, all bets are off.

I am all for being healthy. I don't eat processed crap. I haven't had soda in eons. I do yoga. I drink tea. I scrutinize my product labels. I am educated and am always interested in learning more. And, yes, I care about the planet.

I am sick and tired, though, of the snake oil salesmen ( and women) on social media selling their "miracle" products. I am sick of Sally Homemaker declaring herself an "expert" on health and wellness because she can quote the likes of "Doctors" Mercola and Oz or Food Babe. I am OVER IT.

My son has autism. I have personally been affected by cancer. And allergies. And, yes, there is one with ADHD under the roof, too. The person who wrote the above post is selling Beautycounter. It is a perfectly lovely brand, but sweetheart, just because you are selling face products does NOT make you an expert on saving the earth or preventing autism

Every single day, I am bombarded by fear mongering and dangerous posts on my Facebook feed by people who claim that their essential oils can take the place of antibiotics, cure anxiety, RA, TMJ,
ED, m-o-u-s-e. This needs to stop. It is irresponsible and it is QUACKERY.

Do you know what is NOT quackery? Science. Good old science is based on facts. You know, things that can be proven--not based on emotion or innuendo or by preying on people's emotions. You will not save the planet with your lipstick. Your body scrubs will not prevent cancer. And your overpriced oils from your companies which have been warned by the FDA will not treat a UTI, the mumps or prevent cancer.

You have the right to sell your wares. I totally respect that -- and wholeheartedly encourage that. You most likely have WONDERFUL products! I support my friends in direct sales. I am in direct sales. So promote your FANTASTIC products based on what makes them so stellar! Is it the aroma?The texture? Does your product make your skin glow? Taste good with crackers? Make my nails pretty? Because THOSE are the things that should be the focus. Stick with the products, not the gimmicks.