Recent Articles

 

The Importance of Protecting Your Skin

Written by: Tami Nicewander
March 12, 2015

While it is undeniable there are many benefits of sunlight, if we are not careful sunlight can also be harmful. UV rays can burn our skin, damage our eyes, cause premature aging and lead to skin cancer.

Skin is affected by sun exposure and by the time we reach the age of 20 years old the accumulated damage from the sun has already been done. The appearance of tanned skin may appear healthy, but it is actually a result of injury to the epidermis and can lead to cancer. Tan skin is the skin producing additional melanin to protect the skin from too much UV light. Too much sun on unprotected skin damages cellular DNA and the once healthy cells begin to mutate which can cause the cells to divide uncontrollably. It may take 20-30 years to show the damage, but it will manifest in sun damaged skin, known as photo-aging. The visible damage on our skin can include: wrinkles, lines, broken capillaries, pigmentation, age spots and leathery texture. These appear on areas most often exposed to sun, for instance, hands, face, shoulders and chest.

UVB rays or burning rays, tend to do most of its damage in the outer layer of skin, the epidermis. UVA rays or aging rays, produce damage in the dermis, the inner layers of skin containing collagen. It is estimated that 90% of the visible damage in skin aging is the result of unplanned or casual sun exposure without the necessary protection. This may include riding in a car, walking outdoors or sitting near a window in your office.

The best thing we can do for our skin and to prevent premature aging is not to stay out of the sun completely, but remembering to protect our skin when exposing it to the sun’s UV rays. To ensure our skin is protected, we can use sunscreen or a sun block. Sunscreen contains chemicals that absorb UV radiation and reduce the amount that reaches the skin.  Many of the chemicals used for SPF such as avobenzone, avobenzene, oxymethylcinnemate can irritate the eyes or even cause skin irritation. Sunblock contains physical or inorganic ingredients that physically block the sun (both UVA and UVB). Often it is a much thicker lotion than a sunscreen. Look for Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as the main ingredient.

When using a sun screen or sun block, keep in mind the time for reapplication. If your skin typically begins to burn after just 15 minutes, the appropriate time for reapplication is an hour and a half. If your skin typically begins to burn after 30 minutes, the time to reapply sunscreen is 3 hours. This is a general guideline. If you are swimming or sweating the reapplication may need to be sooner.

Enjoy the summer months, enjoy the sun, but protect your skin and keep it healthy and looking young.

j

 


Preparing Your Skin For Winter

Written by: Tami Nicewander
October 30, 2013

 

There are very few guarantees in life, but we can pretty much expect to experience some dryness during the winter months.  The most obvious cause of dry skin is the change in the environment.  The different methods of heating our homes and venturing out into the harsh winter weather absorbs the moisture from our skin leaving it dry, flaky, chapped, irritated and red.  We bundle up and tend to forget treating our skin with the extra care it needs and deserves.  Grittiness on the upper arms, and a look at alligator skin on our legs are additional evidence of our winter skin care habits and a reminder to give our skin a little extra TLC.

Considering the products we are using is the first step to take when contemplating how to prepare for the climate changes.  The products that worked so well for your skin during the summer months may no longer be adequate.  For example, using a heavier moisturizer in the evening may give you the added moisture you need.  Choosing a product containing hyaluronic acid can battle skins dehydration and a lip treatment blocking natures elements can prevent chapped lips.   Using different products during the winter months doesn't mean you need to discard the products you already have, it may just mean setting them aside for a few months until the conditions outside turn mild again.

 
When we are experiencing redness in our cheeks or an irritating dryness using a less abrasive exfoliator may be necessary.  Using the correct exfoliator can give your skin a soft, beautiful glow and aids in the removal of dry, dead skin cells which can become a barrier and prevents moisture from penetrating into our skin. Great facial exfoliators include; Alpha hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acids, Enzymes, Micro Beads and Retinol,   When treating the body we can also use salt scrubs, loofahs, buffing cloths to achieve results that will give your skin a wonderful glow.  
 
Now is the perfect time to stock up on those winter products and prepare your skin for the cold months ahead.  

 The Unconcious Benefits of Aromatherapy 

Written by: Tami Nicewander
May 6, 2012

Stop, and smell the roses. This is a timeless saying used to encourage one to take a deep breath and slow down. One never really focuses on the rose or the scent of the rose. What if it's not really the time it took to smell the rose that calms us down or the deep breath that soothed us, but the scent of the rose deep within us - the aromatherapy that seeped into our core and created the sense of calm?

In our everyday life, our senses are assailed by different smells and scents. Fast food, car exhaust, perfume, the list is endless. Some of these sensations we acknowledge, such as hunger, while others, we simply ignore.

I would like to suggest we use our sense of smell in a way that will benefit our bodies mentally as well as physically. Essential oils are a beautiful way to relax, reduce anxiety, improve your mood, and even improve discomfort. Walking into an environment where essential oils are being diffused can cause your body and mind to instantly relax.

There are a variety of essential oils available for anyone to keep in their home, car or office:

  • Lavender oil: aids in sleeping and reducing stress
  • Mandarin oil: is very calming
  • Peppermint oil: aids with exhaustion, nausea, and headaches
  • Patchouli oil: can be used for meditation and grounding
  • Clary Sage oil: aids with stress and exhaustion
  • Sandalwood oil: aids with stress relief
  • Rose oil: is very calming

Using some of these oils can make a difference in how you feel during your day - whether you place a diffuser in your office at work or place a few drops in your bath water at the end of the day.  

I encourage you to STOP!  Take a deep breath and smell the roses.

Please follow suggested use when using essential oils.