Are You In a Skin Care Rut? Look Out for These Signs

good skin

Our bodies (and our skin) are constantly changing. As we get older, gain or lose weight, change our diet, or even experience a change in seasons or environment, everything has an impact on our skin. However, many of us maintain an unchanged skin care routine, even when our skin itself is changing. Your skin may be in a rut, and that has to end! Below are the signs you’re in a skin care rut — and how to bust out of it right now.

Your  skin no longer has a healthy glow.
If you look in the mirror and your skin looks dull, it’s time to change things up. Maybe use a different exfoliant (or start using one to begin with) as this will eliminate excess dead skin cells which will allow your healthy skin to shine through, suggests Gabriela Santana-Blackburn, Executive Director of Esthetics and Teacher Training at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture.

Your pores are not clear (they are clogged) and you get oily skin.
You may want to try using products that contain salicylic acid. “Salicylic acid is a lipophillic acid, meaning it loves oil. It goes after the oil on the skin and in the clogged pores and breaks it down,” says Santana-Blackburn.

Does your skin seem dry in the winter and oily in the summer?
Or vice-versa? If your skin is changing with the seasons, why not change what you put on your face? We’d never wear our winter coat in August, so it makes sense to switch up heavy creams for light moisturizers (and the like) from winter to summer.

You are using skincare products you used 10 years ago.
When was the last time you re-evaluated your skin care regime and shook things up a bit? As we age, our skin type may change. The skin naturally produces less sebum, is prone to hyperpigmentation and becomes less hydrated, says  Dr. Roshini Raj, a celebrity doctor, women’s health expert and Co-founder of TULA. While your regular skin care routine may have worked perfectly well for you in the past, today it’s time to reevaluate your skin and possibly switch to more potent, nourishing formulas that target dehydration and dark spots. 

MORE: 50 Brilliant Beauty Uses for Common Household Items

You keep slathering moisturizer on but your skin feels tight, thirsty or dry.
This is a sign that your moisturizer is inappropriate for your skin type or that cream or lotion isn’t jam packed with the right hydrating ingredients, says Liliana Aranda of FACES Mobile Spa, an esthetician, certified in oncology esthetics.

You can’t remember the last time you cleaned out your beauty stash. 
Cleaning out your makeup drawer and getting organized is an ideal way to embrace the “out with the old and in with the new” saying. Get rid of anything that’s been sticking around for a while and use the opportunity to upgrade to some new skin treats.

Your eye cream leaves your under eye area dry the next day.
Possibly lacking the nutrients, the delicate eye area needs to plump up and fight wrinkles (vitamins, hyaluronic acid, etc.).

Your serums “do nothing” on your skin.
Paying big bucks for a caviar serum with sea minerals sounds exotic but those ingredients may do absolutely nothing for your particular skin type. Time to find more skin-appropriate ingredients, says Aranda.

10 Things No One Ever Tells You About: At-Home Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening 
We all want that million dollar smile, and what makes it even more valuable than having the perfect pearly whites? Although we may want our teeth to look like a million bucks, that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to shell out all that money in order to do so. Teeth whitening comes in various forms as it can be professionally done in a dentist’s office, at home with over-the-counter gels and strips, or even as a DIY with items you probably have in your house this very second. While all this information might sound like old news, below you will find 10 facts about teeth whitening that aren’t spoken about so often.

1. Healthy teeth are key. If you have major stains from not brushing your teeth as often as you’re supposed to, bleach has passed its point of being your life-saver. Not taking care of your teeth will call off all chances of receiving an effective result from any whitening product, and if the whitening material gets into cavities or decay it can actually make matters worse.

2. Pain is common. The main side effects of teeth whitening are increased tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. On the not so common side effect scale is stomach irritation and nausea, often caused from swallowing the gel.

MORE: DIY Teeth Whitening: The Best At-Home Tricks

3. Yet, avoidable. Right before whitening, it’s best to brush your teeth with an oxygenating toothpaste which contains natural polishing agents and aloe vera; this will help strengthen your gums and prevent sensitivity.

4. Instructions were made for a reason. When whitening your teeth yourself it is extremely important to follow the directions you are given. Leaving strips on for longer than the recommended time, or adding more gel will not give you even whiter teeth, but instead expose your gums to to potential chemical burns and irritation.

5. There’s such a thing as over doing it. If you’re continuously bleaching your teeth, they will end up looking chalky instead of shiny. A good rule to follow is to match your teeth to the white of your eyes.

6. One size does not fit all. Since everyone’s smile is different, we all shouldn’t be using the same size tray to whiten our teeth. Custom trays help ensure to keep the bleach where it’s intended, and not on harmful places like your gums.

7. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Having your teeth whitened by a dentist or even buying over-the-counter strips can get expensive, luckily there are some natural remedies that can do the trick for a fraction of the cost. Strawberries may help whiten teeth because they contain malic acid, which is found in some whitening toothpastes. Apples, celery, carrots, and citrus fruits increase saliva production and act as natural stain removers.

MORE: 8 Foods That Have Been Staining Your Teeth

8. It isn’t permanent. No matter where or how you whiten your teeth, it won’t last forever. Most results last from 6 months up to 2 years, but it all depends on how easily your teeth stain, as well as your diet.

9. No coffee or tea for at least two weeks. Before you freak out, there is an exception to this rule: it’s okay as long as you use a straw. Drinking coffee or tea after a teeth whitening can cause staining, so make straws your new best friends before ruining your new look.

10. Drink water. That seems to be the answer to all of our problems in life, doesn’t it? Water is the best for washing away bits of food, sugars, and other junk that build up on your teeth and make them look dull. So, for a quick and easy way to brighten up, drink up!

Hair Care-A Natural Solution for Healthy Looking Hair

There are many benefits to giving your hair and scalp an olive oil treatment. Not only is it a great may to cure an itchy scalp and dandruff, but it can also be used to repair split ends, while giving your hair a silky feel and healthy looking shine. 

Luckily, giving your hair an olive oil treatment is incredibly simple and it can easily be done from the comfort of your own home. All you need to do is massage the olive oil onto your dry hair and scalp, wrap it in a towel or shower cap, and leave it in place for around 30 to 60 minutes. 

Wrapping your olive oil treated hair is important for several reasons. True, it will allow you to move around the house without creating a mess, but more importantly, it will prevent the olive oil from drying, while allowing your natural body heat to warm up the oil for an extra beauty boost. 

After you've left the olive oil in your hair for around 30 to 60 minutes, you will need to wash it out. Simply massage some shampoo onto your hair and scalp and rinse like normal. The first rinse may not be able to remove all of the olive oil, so shampooing additional times may be necessary. 

Depending on your preference, you may wish to shampoo your hair in a sink, rather than in the shower. This will help to prevent you from slipping, as the shower floor can become very slippery as you wash out the olive oil. If you do decide to rinse your hair in the shower, be extra careful not to slip and wash any remaining oil from the shower before its next use. 

Olive oil is a natural hair care solution that will leave you with the kind of healthy looking hair that you've always wanted. It is a simple and affordable may to treat an itchy scalp and dandruff that will leave your hair looking and feeling its best. 

How to Lose Weight Without Giving Up Junk Food

you are trying to lose weight, but aren't yet ready to give up on junk food, then you aren't alone. People everywhere want to lose weight, but most of these people still want to enjoy eating their favorite junk foods. By changing a few of your current eating habits, you can still lose some weight, without losing all the foods you love to eat. 

The first thing you'll want to look at is how you buy groceries. If you normally buy a large amount of junk food, scale this back a bit. It's okay to buy junk food, just don't overdo it. Buy enough to satisfy your cravings, but also pick up some healthier alternatives while you are at it. 

When you get home, it's time to put your groceries away. Prepare any of your healthier foods so they are ready to be eaten and keep them in a convenient location. As for your junk food, put it in an inconvenient place. The more inconvenient this place happens to be, the less likely you are going to want to get it. 
 When you do decide to get yourself some junk food, never take the full bag or container back with you. Fill a small dish if needed, but leave the rest of the junk food behind. If after this small snack you aren't satisfied, try to resist the urge to go back for seconds. Instead, grab some of your already prepared healthier food items. 

It can be hard to give up junk food when you are trying to lose weight. The good news is you might not have to. If you can change some of your eating habits by keeping healthier alternatives close by and your junk food in more inconvenient locations, you can still lose some weight without giving up on junk food altogether. 

How to Rid Your Scalp of Dandruff Using Olive Oil

There are many people who suffer from an itchy scalp and dandruff, but are looking for a more natural solution than the typical department stores offer. Traditional dandruff shampoos are filled with harsh chemicals that can sometimes do a scalp more harm than good. Luckily, there are natural dandruff solutions if you know where to look. One of the more popular solutions is to use olive oil.

Treating your scalp with olive oil is simple. All you need to do is massage enough oil into the roots of your hair to thoroughly cover your scalp. Once applied, wrap your hair in a towel or shower cap, and let the oil set for around 30 minutes before washing it out. Take care when washing out the oil, however, because it can create very slippery shower conditions.

If you'd like to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, use a little extra olive oil and massage it through your entire length of your hair instead of just your scalp area. This has the added benefit of leaving your hair naturally soft and shiny looking, with little added effort.

Just a word of warning - because olive oil isn't as harsh as chemically medicated dandruff shampoos, it can take longer to see significant results. Because of this, some people find it more beneficial to use a store-bought dandruff shampoo for the initial treatment, before switching to olive oil to naturally maintain a dandruff-free scalp.

If you've been looking for a way to get rid of dandruff, but would like to avoid the harsh chemicals found in traditional dandruff shampoos, why not give olive oil a try? It's worked wonders for many people who have tried it and has the added benefit of being both a natural and cost-effective dandruff treatment.

How to Prevent Dry Skin Caused by Cold Weather

As the temperature drops during the cold winter months, humidity levels often drop with it. It's these lower levels of humidity that can wreak havoc on your skin, drying it out. Fortunately, there are several ways to help prevent your skin from drying out, even during the coldest months of the year. Four methods for preventing cold weather dryness are listed below. 

The first and arguably most effective may to keep your skin from drying out during the winter months is to moisturize. That said, the most important time to moisturize is just after bathing, as water alone is enough to wash away your skin's healthy oils. Cleansers, no matter how gentle, also dry out your skin making it doubly important that you moisturize each and every time you step out of a bath or shower. 

The next method that will help prevent your skin from drying out during the winter months involves drinking plenty of water on a daily basis. Your body is made up primary of water and your skin is no different. Though drinking a glass of water isn't an immediate fix for dry skin, drinking a reasonable about of water on a regular basis will help keep your skin cells properly hydrated, which will help prevent dry skin at the cellular level. 

A third may to keep your skin from becoming too dry is to fight back against winter's lower humidity, as it's known to be a leading cause of skin dryness. One of the most effective ways to do this is installing a humidifier at your home (and office if possible) and raising the indoor humidity to a level where it will no longer have a negative impact on your skin. Keeping indoor humidity levels between thirty and fifty percent is often recommended. 

A fourth may of preventing dry skin during the winter months is to always dress appropriately for the weather. Be sure to dress in layers and cover any exposed skin to keep it protected from the elements whenever you venture outside. This doesn't mean you should overdress, however. Overdressing can cause you to become overheated and sweaty, which can over time also lead to dry, irritated skin. On the same note, if your clothes become wet from the snow or rain, be sure to change into dry clothes as soon as possible. 

Cold weather and dry skin often go hand-in-hand. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent your skin from drying out during the cold winter months. By getting a humidifier for your home and office, always moisturizing after bathing, drinking plenty of water, and dressing appropriately for the weather, you will be better able to fend off that dreaded cold weather dryness. 

How to Quickly Rehydrate Dry, Brittle Hair

Are you sick and tired of your dry, brittle hair? Are you looking for ways to quickly rehydrate it without the help of a professional? If so, then here's an easy way to bring a little moisture to your tresses - simply swap out your regular shampoo and conditioner for something a little more moisturizing. 

Many types of shampoos strip hair of its natural moisture. That's why it's important to use a shampoo with moisturizing and anti-breakage qualities if you are suffering from dry, brittle hair. Using the right shampoo will help strengthen your hair and replenish its lost moisture. 

As for the type of conditioner you should be using, look for one that is rich in proteins. A protein-rich conditioner will seal up any cracks or splits along your hair shaft, allowing your hair to better retain moisture. A deep conditioning hair mask applied on a weekly basis will also help you quickly rehydrate your dried out tresses. 

If you've been looking for ways to revive your dry, brittle hair, then use a moisturizing shampoo followed by a protein-rich conditioner. By using products specifically made for dry, brittle hair, instead of a regular shampoo and conditioner, your hair will quickly become more hydrated and less brittle.