Monday, June 30, 2008

Please Make My Beauty Treatments Work!!

Are you in it for the long haul? Did you recently purchase an anti-aging serum, or new moisturizer, or acne lotion? You've used the treatment for a while now, but it isn't working. Or doesn't seem to be working. Help!!! Where do you go from here?

We're all anxious for the quick fix. We want results ASAP, or as soon as possible. That's why beauty treatments like Botox and Juvederm are so crazy popular around the globe. Poof! And wrinkles are flattened and smoothed away.

Make certain that you are applying the product exactly as the directions tell you to use the treatment. If it is used primarily for nighttime, as you sleep, then, that is the time to use the product.

And be certain your beauty treatment has been researched through clinical studies, and has some solid science behind it. In other words, do your homework.

What if we suggested to patiently wait for your beauty treatment to work. At least a few months. That's what the professionals tell us. Beauty treatments take time to work.

Please visit this website, It is full of excellent research, beauty tips, product reviews, and so much more. Dr. German Todorov, a researcher with a lengthy background in biology and chemistry and keen interest in anti-aging science, has written all the articles at his website.

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Todorov's article What To Do If Nothing Seems To Improve Your Wrinkles:

"Another potential pitfall is a lack of patience. Skin changes do not happen rapidly. Keratinocytes, the cells of the epidermis, the skin's outer layer, are replaced about every four weeks. Changes in the dermis, the deeper layer where wrinkles originate, usually take longer. Even under the best of circumstances (i.e. proven treatment and responsive patient), changes are usually barely noticeable after one month. Most experts feel that 2-3 month is a reasonable trial period for anti-aging/anti-wrinkle products. Keep in mind that slow and gradual changes are hard to notice. Sometimes, a person may think that a product is not working even when it does. Unfortunately, objective measurements of treatment effects are hard to perform without a research lab. Some people resort to split face testing but that may be impractical over a span of 2-3 month. Another alternative is to take before and after photos. However, such photos are useful only if taken in reproducible, well-controlled lighting and camera conditions. This is doable but requires a substantial degree of diligence."

Another point, don't go out and buy a huge arsenal of beauty treatments. Settle on a few and stick to a beauty routine.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Trident White Gum For Stronger Whiter Teeth

Many of us are obsessed with white, clean teeth. Please, no cavities.

Several articles ago, we discovered that cheap brand Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening Toothpaste ($2.09, for a big tube) is the number #1 BEST whitening paste around, according to the latest Consumer Reports' studies.
Meantime, sugarless gums are getting in on the whitening kick now. Trident and Orbit Gums, both claim they can whiten teeth beautifully with their special whitening agents blended into the gum.
Trident White Sugarless Gum ($1.19, Walgreens) promises it can whiten your teeth in as little as 4 weeks. If you really love to chew and chew gum, this one's for you.

Trident White has an ingredient in it called---recaldent. Recaldent is a tooth strengthener containing molecules that bind to calcium. This sugarless gum has xylitol in it, too. Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetner that helps protect teeth from decay by stabilizing a neutral pH level in the mouth. Huh? Alright, that's getting a bit complicated here, but it all sounds like good science.

So how do we go about brightening our smiles, lifting stains, making stronger teeth, and fighting away tooth decay?

According to the folks at Trident, just chew 2 pieces of Trident White Sugarless Gum after eating and drinking. Chew 2 pieces, 4 times a day, for 4 weeks. That's one busy mouth. Another plus here, chewing gum burns some calories, not a thousand, but a minor few. But also, chewing gum prevents you from eating, so that way, you're burning calories, too.

Maybe, brushing with Ultra Brite Toothpaste, AND chewing Trident White Sugarless Gum equals double the whitening agent strength.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Help Me Find The Best Lip Balm

When it comes to lip balms, it seems like these little beauty treatments in a tube, are very personal. We all have strong opinions about the best ones. And we all become addicted to our little 'chapsticks.'

Probably the 'most popular lip balm in the country' award goes to Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm ($3.00). Everyone LOVES Burt's Bees. And why not? It's formulated with ultra-emollient lanolin, coconut oil, and sunflower oil. And you taste that peppermint tingle. M-mmm good. My friends, Paula and Alyssa, can't get enough of this beeswax lip balm. They can't live without it.

Then there is Mary. Mary Kay, that is. Satin Lips Lip Balm by Mary Kay Cosmetics ($9.50). I have acquaintenances who swear up and down, that this is THE best lip balm going. Mary Kay brags that their lip balm lasts for 6 long hours, giving your lips a non-stop moisturizing treatment.

And then, the old stand-by. Chapstick, by Chapstick. Classic Original Chapstick ($1.89). This lip balm has been around for decades, and yet, it keeps on working. With an SPF of 4, Chapstick is great under the sun and for those cold winter days. Actually, this one's my fav. The one in the black tube with the white cap. Very effective, and I love the no-taste. Whatever it is, it tastes good.

Then there are more. Like Aquaphor. Aveeno. Avon. And good old vaseline. Your lips need some kind of protective balm. Don't go outside without it.

Friday, June 27, 2008

This Lip Gloss Helps You Lose Weight?!

There's a lot of buzz about lip gloss these days. Some of it good. And some of it bad, like gloss and its connection or invitation to skin cancer.

It sounds so crazy, but not according to this well-respected New York City dermatologist, Dr. Bruce Robinson. Apparently, it's the moisture in the gloss that attracts the sun's harmful rays. "Take a magifying glass and put it over your lips." When you apply shiny lip gloss and go out into the sun, "that's essentially what you're doing."

But today, here's some encouraging news about wearing lip gloss. It can help you lose weight. Or so they say. Too Faced FUZE Slenderize Guilt-Free Lip Gloss($18.50

The lip gloss is formulated with the "appetite-curbing, energy-boosting ingredients" of FUZE, a weight loss drink. Too Faced FUZE Lip Gloss comes in three mouth-watering flavors and high gloss shades:

Blueberry Raspberry (sheer purple)
Dragon Fruit Lime (sheer pink)
Strawberry Melon (sheer peach)

Is this credible? Can lip gloss help you NOT want to eat or over-eat? Who knows. The lip glosses are very sheer and silky and taste delish, though.

What makes these lip glosses such magical diet aides? According to the makers of Too Faced, there are three key ingredients:

Chromium--improves the amount of energy you obtain from food.
L-Carnitine--an amino acid that increases your energy.
Super Citrimax--helps you maintain a normal appetite and support a healthy metabolism.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Meet West Coast Makeup Artist Stephen Moleski

He's only 28, and already he's carving a legendary status as a super makeup artist on the west coast. Stephen Moleski (The Makeup Man INC.) makes women look more beautiful, and Hollywood celebrities all want him for that reason. He was kind enough to give us some wonderful makeup tips and to let us take a peek at the exciting world of beauty.

Some of Stephen's famous clients are the Kardashian sisters-- Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney. You may have seen him on E! Channel's Keeping Up With The Kardashians. He applies makeup to Kim Kardashian and she always looks so sexy, glamorous, and red carpet-ready.

"She is a dream client," Stephen says. "Kim is not afraid of any look, and she wears every look with confidence (and such a sweetheart)."

Other celebrity Stephen Moleski clients include: The Pussycat Dolls, Adrienne Bailon of the 'Cheetah Girls', Hugh Hefner's 'Girls Next Door' playmates, and many others.

Okay, Stephen, so what beauty items should we carry in our makeup bags?

"To get the most out of your makeup, you need to first go into the bathroom and look at your skin care routine. Bad skin leads to bad makeup and vice versa. I recommend using an organic product. I LOVE Sodashi.( It's a high quality product that really hydrates even the most dry skin. I use it on all my clients and they not only love it, but are using it now themselves at home. You also need a great concealer, like Makeupforever, and a great bronzer with a mineral finish. I also suggest ZOOM by MAC. It's a great mascara."

What about eyebrows? The L.A. brow is a thinner, sleeker brow. That's the brow some actresses like to wear. But according to Stephen, put down the tweezers. Don't take away too much hair.

"Brows should look like they have not been over-tweezed or over-groomed. A more natural shape always looks best."

And don't remain forever in a cosmetic rut. In other words, you don't have to put on the same blusher, in the same shade, for 7 years in a row. Be adventurous, Stephen says.

"I see women getting stuck in one look, and never trying anything new. People shouldn't be afraid to change up their look a little or a lot. Makeup goes through trends just like clothing."

And if you absolutley hate wearing makeup or don't have time to put it on, or just don't know what to apply, Stephen has this suggestion. "I would warm up with a neutral bronzer."

A very talented makeup artist knows more than just applying makeup. What sets Stephen Moleski apart from others, is his huge talent as an artist in understanding that each individual set of features presents a unique challenge.

"I have had a keen interest in art since I was a child, " he explains. "That I think, not only led me to this career, but has also secured my success in it. As a makeup artist, it is very important to know balance and proportion. This is why I consider my job similar to that of an actual artist, rather than just someone who knows how to buy and apply makeup. A makeup artist has to know the importance of healthy, glowing skin. A basic knowledge of how to achieve this is very important. Makeup is meant to enhance a person's features, not hide them. I learned the important tools very quickly in the beginning. Makeup is second nature to me. Faces are my muse. I am very proud of my accomplishments and very excited to continue my work."

Two famous faces Stephen would love to make up, but hasn't yet, are Drew Barrymore and Christina Aguilera. At the rate Stephen's rising star is soaring, we believe that dream isn't too far away.

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kim Vo's Beauty Tip For Green Pool Hair

Okay, this sounds crazy, but if celebrity hairstylist and master colorist Kim Vo, tells you to try this, I would. The Vietnam native has one of the most beautiful heads of blonde hair around. He knows color, believe me.

Today, he mentioned ketchup. It's summer now, and that means lots of pool parties, and lots of laps. So if your bottle-blonde hair turns a nasty green, don't fret. Kim has a simple solution. Just apply ketchup to your locks, massage in, and let it sit there for a few minutes. Then jump in the shower and rinse thoroughly. Shampoo, and rinse again. It really works. The green is gone!

According to Anne Marie Helmenstine, a chemistry expert, the culprit is the copper, not the chlorine.

"It isn't the chlorine that turns blonde hair green. Oxidized metals in the water bind to the protein in the hair shaft and deposit their color. The metal that produces the green tint is copper, which is most commonly found in algicides, though it naturally occurs in some water. The bleach that is added to a pool may be responsible for oxidizing the metal, but it's not the cause of the color.
If your hair turns green, you can remove the discoloration by using a shampoo that chelates the metal. To some extent, you can prevent copper from binding to the hair by sealing the hair cuticle with a conditioner before swimming. Rinsing your hair immediately after leaving the pool will help protect it, too."

Hmmm. We kind of like the simple ketchup idea better.

By the way, Kim Vo is one of the hottest hairstylists around. He has tended to the long, lovely tresses of Teri Hatcher, Kate Hudson, and Pamela Anderson. And this evening, Kim will be presented as one of the lead judges in Bravo TV's Shear Genius reality series. The second season is premiering at 10 PM/ET/PT with hostess Jacyln Smith. Twelve contestants head to Los Angeles to compete for $100,000. Get ready to lather. Rinse. Compete.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How Safe Are The Vitamins You're Popping?

Apparently, half of us pop vitamins and supplements on a daily basis. That's what the American Dietetic Association has surveyed. That all sounds fine because beauty really begins from the inside. But do you exceed the dosages? Do you need all these pills? Is there a vitamin overload?

Some medical experts seem to think so, and that's been the buzz in the headlines today. Watch what you are popping for vitamins, because you could mess up the inside of your body.

Vitamin A (retinol) Great for skin, bones, teeth, and vision. Too much Vitamin A, however, can cause birth defects in pregnant women. Too much can also make your hair fall out and skin turn yellow. On the other hand, too little Vitamin A can also cause birth defects. Limit dosage to 5000 IU.

Vitamin B6. Builds a strong nervous system. But high doses can damage arms and legs. Limit dosage to 100 mg.

Vitamin B9. Folic acid is necessary for healthy blood. Too much folic acid, however, can bring about nausea and insomnia. Limit dosage to 1000 mcg.

Vitamin C. Folks around the globe all applaud the good stuff in Vitamin C, especially for keeping colds at bay. But overdosing on it can cause indigestion, diarrhea, and gastro-intestinal problems. Limit dosage to 2000 mg.

Vitamin D. We've all heard about the welcome benefits of Vitamin D, to prevent cancer and other ailments. Dr. Weil raves about it. But too much of a good thing can go badly, like kidney stones and kidney damage. Do not exceed 2000 IU.

Vitamin E. Faithful Vitamin E takers swear buy this golden supplement, calling it one of the great anti-oxidants of all time, a pill that maintains good cardiovascular health. But overdosing on E can cause serious bleeding and even congestive heart failure. Plus, latest medical studies now show that E has 'no proven clinical benefits.' Do not exceed 400 IU.

There you have it. Please keep a record of all the vitamins and supplements you take, so that your primary care physician has a good idea of how you're treating your body.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pretty Feet Sans Calluses And Cracks

I was just talking to a girlfriend last night about her feet. She has a stubborn callus under her foot, and she wants it gone. Now. She mentioned Ped Egg which is a little device seen on television that targets hyperkeratosis, or thickening of the skin. In other words, your foot calluses.

A few reviews about Ped Egg turned up good news. But most critics say the product works best on lightly callused feet. As one reviewer put it: Using Ped Egg is like "rubbing a fine cheese grater across the bottom of the feet." Ha ha. In other words, it won't do much to wear away a thicker callus.

Nordstorm's has a new beauty treatment out specifically for stubborn foot calluses. It's by Lippman Collection Get Off Callus Softener ($29, 3.38 oz). Lippman's zeroes in on calluses, cracks, corns, and fissures. It smoothes the skin and helps wear away the hyperkeratosis.

You can also soak your feet, and pumice stone the heck out of them. But that method, too, seems to take forever. Pumice stones work better on elbow dry skin. Probably one of the best items to use on thick calluses is the almost dangerous Callus Razor. You can pick one up for about $10. This beauty foot device actually shaves away dead skin. These razors come with replacable double-edged blades.

A note of caution, callus razors take some practice. We're not kidding here. If you push too hard on the razor device, you can slice off a bit too much skin, and end up with bloody feet. But these razors are your best bet for removing thick, dry skin from under your feet.
After all, it' summer. And a gal's gotta have pretty feet sans calluses and cracks.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dr. Perricone's Cosmeceuticals Battle Inflammation

What does inflammation have to do with aging?

Everything, according to Dr. Nicholas V. Perricone. The Connecticut-based dermatologist claims his research shows that, "controlling inflammation can help delay and even reverse the signs of aging."

Dr. Perricone is no stranger to the world of skin care and cosmeceuticals. He has authored several books and has gotten attention for his unique approach to fighting wrinkles. It's a 3-tiered philosophy he strongly believes in:

Diet. Anti-inflammatory. Foods like avocado, fresh water fish, nuts, lean protein, and olive oil
Supplements. Omega 3. Alpha Lipoic Acid. Vitamin C Ester. Beauty on the inside.
Topicals. Skin treatments that are formulated with patented sciences.

"We no longer have to age the way our parents did." That's what Dr. Perricone says, and his 3-pronged approach to younger, healthier skin revolves around that theory.

Dr. Perricone has introduced new packaging to his skin care line. The boxes, jars and tubes are now flashier and prettier.
Celebrities like movie star Uma Thurman are gaga over Dr. Perricone's skin care treatments.

His top seller:
The Instant Fix Duo--- Ceramic Skin Smoother ($75.) Ceramic Eye Smoother ($50.).

The skin smoother instantly smoothes and fills in lines and wrinkles. Pore size is reduced. Skin brightens, frims and tones.

The eye smoother instantly fills in lines and wrinkles around the delicate eye area. Discoloration improves.

Dr. Perricone has a topical treatment for just about every skin problem out there. From acne to sagging skin to dry complexions, and more.

The new book from Dr. Perricone:
Ageless Face, Ageless Mind:Erase Wrinkles & Rejuvenate the Brain
"From his vitamin line to his superb skin care products, Dr Perricone has not only helped me look better but has improved my overall quality of life."- Uma Thurman

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hemp Seed Oil Gives You High Hair

Hemp seed oil is legal, so let's get that out of the way. In fact, hemp oil is now commonly used in a number of beauty treatments---shampoos, hairsprays, conditioners, etc. It's got good properties in it, that can strengthen your hair. And don't worry, your hair will get high in volume, but not high off the THC, because there is not enough of it in there to get you stoned.

Marijuana and industrial hemp both come from Cannabis sativa L, but the plants are cultivated in very different ways. Industrial hemp makes use of the seeds and fiber, whereas pot plants are harvested for their flowering tops and leaves.

When hemp seed oil is extracted from the hemp seed itself, it comprises 35% of the total seed weight. It is full of essential fatty acids.

Naturelle Hemp Haircare, distributed by the Zotos beauty company, offers a lovely line of hemp seed oil hair styling products. I found them at:

Naturelle features: Hemp hydrating shampoo, Hemp hydrating conditioner, Hemp volumizing shampoo, Hemp volumizing conditioner, Hemp Firm Hold Shaping Spray. and my fav:

Naturelle Hemp Volumizing Root Lifter ($6.49, 8.5 oz., aerosol can). This stuff rocks! I'm always going on and on about big hair and big volume. The can is shaded a pretty green with a pot, er, hemp leaf on the front.

The root lifter gives you "vital amino acids and proteins to nourish and reinforce your hair against damage." Plus you get volume and thickness, shine, style memory, and a special humidity resistance factor, all-in-one.

You can use the hemp seed root lifter on towel-dried hair or dry hair. Just shake, spray at roots, blow dry, air dry, or use a diffuser for maximum fullness.

Why not try a product that truly comes from nature, where everything, including the seeds and fiber, can be formulated into such wonderful beauty treatments.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Oil Blotting Papers Zap Away Shine And Grease

Oil blotting papers have been around for many years now, and with good reason. There are plenty of brands on the market to choose from. And these tiny squares that resemble tracing paper, are a valuable beauty item.

You know you need oil blotting papers when you have very oily skin. And that's easy to identify. You have greasy skin with lots of unattractive shine, and you feel like washing your face every couple of hours. Some of it is genetics, and some of it has to do with your menstrual cycle. And some of you might just produce too much sebum. In other words, your sebaceous glands are working overtime.

You often hear about the 'T-zone,' when it comes to oily complexions. The 'T' area involves the forehead, nose and chin. That zone has the most oil-producing ability on the entire face. And many of you probably notice more breakouts and or acne in the T-zone.

The best oil blotting papers to buy, are the ones with flaxseed oil in them. Linen and rice paper are also wonderful oil absorbers. These three are able to mop up the shine and grease, and leave your face looking matte and pretty again. It would be wise to stay away from oil blotting papers made of mineral oil or powder, because those can clog your pores.

Oil blotting papers usually come in a little compact. You take one out at a time, and simply press these small sheets against your face, and watch the oiliness lift away. They're convenient, too, easy to tuck away in a purse or pocket to be used throughout the day.

One to try is Jane Iredale's Natural Facial Blotting Paper Compact made with flax seed ($11, for 100 sheets). Fore more information, visit:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Alpha Hydroxy Acids To The Rescue

There are so many skin care words being floated around these days, that it really gets dizzying to the average customer. AHA, tretinoin, glycerin, alpha lipoic acid, DMAE. And on and on.

Today, we are going to concentrate on AHAs or Alpha Hydroxy Acids. The AHAs are commonly referred to when re-building skin. In other words, these chemical formulations are designed to improve roughness, uneven pigmentation, lines and wrinkles. But these AHAs can also do a number on your skin, if you aren't cautious. Alpha hydroxy acids are not for the faint of heart.

Alpha hydroxy acids are actually made from gentle ingredients like fruit and milk sugars. The beauty of using an AHA on your face is quite appealing. These acids are able to penetrate deeply into the skin. Their main focus is to exfoliate, or remove dead skin cells, and increase cell turnover. In the end, AHAs return the skin to a smoother texture, firmness, and healthy appearance. The skin is rejuvenated, and the big bad wrinkles and sun damage start to slowly fade away.

There are five major AHAs found in skin care treatments (use concentrations of 10% or under). Higher concentrations are best applied by dermatologists, since the side effects can be tough going:

Glycolic Acid....made from sugar cane
Lactic Acid.......made from milk acid
Malic Acid........made from pears and apples
Citric Acid........made from lemons and oranges
Tartaric Acid...made from grapes

AHAs are great for thickened, oily, pimpled, and sun-damaged skin. When applied, their formulations can dry out the skin, but can also cause burning, itching, peeling, redness, and even scarring, if the acid is too harsh. You must be very careful when applying an alpha hydroxy acid because of the irritation and sensitivity to sunlight. If you don't arm yourself with a good sunscreen, you will turn red, and yes, even your face can hurt with a stinging senation.

If you can get through the nasty side effects, your face will love you back. Alpha hydroxy acids can work wonders and rescue damaged skin, as long as you gradually work up to their applications, be smart in the sun, and let your dermatologist work along with you.

Here's one of the more popular AHAs to try:

M.D. Forte® Skin Rejuvenation Lotion I ($55).

It combines Alpha Hydroxy Acid with a boost of Vitamins A and E to renew and rejuvenate the skin reducing the visible signs of skin aging. Helps diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles, defend against future skin damage, and promote healthy looking skin. Consult your physician prior to use.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Artefill Is The Hottest New Injectable For Wrinkles

It's quick and somewhat painful, so they say. And it lasts longer than Restylane and Juvederm. It's called Artefill. And it's the hottest new injectable for facial wrinkles and folds. Artefill was launched in February of 2007, and so far it's been clinically tested and labeled safe by the FDA. It was formulated especially for its staying power. Patients and physicians have been hoping for a longer lasting wrinkle filler. That way you save money, stay wrinkle-free months longer, and maintain your youthfulness.
Artefill is an injectable made of purified collagen with some tiny, smooth microspheres in a gel base. According to information from, the gel becomes absorbed by the body while these tiny microspheres provide a permanant backbone or support structure for your skin to keep it smooth and wrinkle-free. Artefill is actually injected under the wrinkle, deep into the skin and right above the fat layer. Results are immediate. And your skin gets better and better with each passing month. Wrinkles, like smile lines, iron out to a smooth surface.

A skin test is required before receiving an Artefill injection. Doctors want to make sure you are not allergic to bovine collagen gel.

How safe is the hottest new injectable around? So far, a 5-year follow-up study has been conducted by Artes Medical. And independent experts concluded that, "Artefill safely maintains significant correction of smile lines at least five years post-treatment."

For more information, visit, and speak with your dermatologist about this new injectable for wrinkles.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wii Fit Balance Board Helps You Lose Weight

This game disc is huge in Japan. And now it's gaining by leaps and bounds here in the United States, since it was launched by Nintendo at the beginning of June. We're talking about Wii Fit, the $90 video game package that comes with a game disc and a sturdy, 10-pound platform that you stand on and choose from 40 virtual activities to do. You CAN lose weight with Wii Fit.

You can row, squat, ski, and hula hoop your way to fitness. Even leg-extension exercises! In addition, the really cool aspect to Wii Fit, is its technological ability to weigh users and calculate their body mass (BMI) .

The platform or Wii Balance Board, allows the user to stand on and shift their weight from side to side, to control their in-game characters.

Training falls into four fitness categories:

Strength Training
Balance Games

What a fun and fit way to play! Get off your couch and off your butt! And that's exactly what Wii Fit enables the user to do---move, exercise, lose weight. Young and old can use the video game and it's family-friendly. Bonding physical activity to video games is a challenge for game companies, but this time, Nintendo has scored big. And with more than 40 physical activities to select from, you won't be bored easily.

For more information, visit:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Top 10 Anti--Aging Foods And The 10 Bad Ones

USA Weekend had an interesting feature by Jean Carper, about food, and how strongly it can affect aging of the body.

Don't believe it? Well, there is so much research out there about the beneficial role fruits and vegetables play. And there are also tons of studies done on the damage too much red meat and sugar can do to your body. We've all heard the science.

According to Ms. Carper, we all need to do four things to age slowly and fight chronic disease:

Get Plenty of Anti-Oxidants
Infuse Your Body With Omega-3
Control Blood Sugar
Maintain a Normal Weight

Here are the Top 10 Anti-Aging Foods, according to Ms. Carper:

Popcorn, unsalted
Nuts, especially almonds, walnuts
Spinach, dark, leafy greens
Legumes, including peanuts
Salmon and sardines
Green Tea
Whole-grain cereals
Extra-virgin olive oil

Here are the 10 Terrible Aging Foods, according to Ms. Carper:

Sugary processed cereals
Hot dogs
Sugary soft drinks
Potato Chips
Red meat
White bread
White potatoes
Corn oil

I don't know about you, but I follow the top 10 anti-aging foods, and some of the 10 bad foods. Just food for thought here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rejuvenating The Delicate Eye Area

If you want to guess someone's age, take a look under their eyes, and around them. That's where the damage begins. That is where you can readily observe fine lines and wrinkles.

Why? As most skin specialists will tell you, the eye area contains the thinnest skin in the body. It is delicate and easily damaged. Unfortunately, the eye area also holds the biggest challenge for rejuvenating, or making look youthful again.

Sure, we see all the eye creams and serums lining store shelves and expensive skin salons. We are constantly bombarded with promises of younger, wrinkle-free eyes. No more bags. No more undereye circles. Etc.

But 'rebuilding' the eye area without cosmetic surgery is not impossible, but if you've enjoyed the sun for a number of years, well, you've got a task on your hands.

According to Dr. Loren Pickart at, what we wear on top of our skin and how we cleanse it, can destroy the delicate skin, too:

"The use of many color cosmetics and makeup, with their high concentrations of dyes and metal salts, can produce extensive skin damage and sagging. This skin is often chronically irritated and may be in a condition of sub-clinical inflammation.......Many cleansers used to remove makeup cause further irritation by stripping away protective lipids from the skin. "

Dr. Pickart suggests using his own Skin Biology skin care line.

"Rebuilding this skin area is complicated. Use of progressively stronger remodeling system works best. This method was developed by our clients. Most clients start with Super GHK-Copper Cream($39.95) or Super GHK-Copper Serum, CP Night Eyes Premier (relatively mild cream), then move to CP Night Eyes Regular($24.95). When this skin is somewhat thicker and more protective, most clients move to using Super CP Serum, and finally Super Cop($29.95)."

Avon is also boasting about its new Anew Ultimate Contouring Eye System($30) . It's formulated to restore firmness around the eyes, reduce saggy skin under the eye, and rebuild skin's cellular structure.

For more information, visit:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oprah and Bob Greene Take Their Diet Tips To Mississippi

Here we go, again.

Oprah and fitness guru, Bob Greene, are telling folks how to lose weight in a new way. And now, they're taking their diet tips to Oprah's home state of Mississippi, the fattest state in the country. One of out three Mississippians is considered obese. Yes, that is an alarming statistic, but how can Oprah claim to be a fitness and diet expert, after so many well-documented diet failures??!!

Oprah is currently in the last days of her 21-day detox diet. The divine Ms. O was inspired by popular author, Kathy Freston, and her book, Quantum Wellness. Oprah had remarked in a blog at her website, that she was jump-starting an inner makeover. In addition, Oprah had gained some considerable weight recently, and wanted to stream-line her figure.

Lets give props to Ms. O, for wanting to tone up, keep an uncluttered mind, and being forced to abstain from bread, sugar, animal products, caffeine, and alcohol for 21 long days. This vegan diet plan isn't easy. What is left to eat, Oprah asked? Kathy Freston said, there is plenty. Like brown rice, steamed vegetables, apples, blueberries, flax crackers with peanut butter. And so forth.

Oprah is on the last leg of her 21-day cleanse or detox diet. And she misses one item terribly. She explains it in her 21-day cleanse blog at

Wine…yes, I've missed it the most. It's amazing how many things I have to toast in life. We did a champagne toast with the crew today as we finished last show of the season. Neither I nor the Veganista Cleanse Team took a sip. That wasn't as hard as it would have been last week—that same team was at dinner with T.C. (Tom Cruise), where we did have wine. So we felt okay today. This cleanse has provided discipline and restraint. Only once have I craved chicken. Too many lentils that day.This week was harder without Tal, but we've managed to do okay. Yesterday, I prepared breakfast for the VCT before doing the show. I brought gluten-free waffles and Morningstar vegetable sausage that Tal had left in my freezer from his shopping at Whole Foods. Delicious and easy breezy to prepare.Eating more consciously now feels like a way of being. I actually think about how my food got to my plate. That was the whole point, right?Doesn't mean I'm committed to veganism…but I am thinking about what I eat and why. And from that I can never turn back.— Oprah

I'm proud Oprah is getting back on the diet track. But she has done so, over and over again, with mediocre success. Why does she have to take her personal journey on the road? Leave the good folks of Mississippi alone. Since when is Oprah an authority on weight loss?

This is one battle I wish Oprah would quietly fight on her own.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Favorite Hairspray Beauty Tip

We all want hair that's thick and healthy. Hair that doesn't wilt in the humidty. Hair that moves, but has big body. Or as the makers of Stiff It hairspray say: "Intense volume! Crazy hold!"

Hands down. Stiff It Hairspray is my favorite for several years now. I used to buy the cans at CVS and other drugstores, until suddenly, the hairspray disappeared off store shelves. I panicked. Major panic! I looked at my empty can of Stiff It and found the address and located a telephone number. Then I began ordering them by the case, and have been, ever since.

Stiff It is distributed by Key Brands International of California. To order from their website, visit:

What's so super about this hairspray? Well, it actually has hold, or memory. It gives you volume. It isn't sticky. And it's pretty good in muggy weather. Okay, it isn't perfect. It's not a miracle, but for me, with long, straight hair, it's prety darn good.

Stiff It Mega Hold is made with wheat protein and panthenol B-5. It also comes in a non-aerosol hairspray.

I prefer the aerosol cans. The cost is $34.90 a case (6 cans). The price includes shipping and handling and arrives quickly by UPS Ground. Not bad, averaging out to actually $5.00 or less, for a can of Stiff It Hairspray. That's a good deal.

And if you'd like to explore more wonderful hair styling products, the Key Brands website features these brands:

Freeze It
Freeze Fame
Hi Def
Merci Gelle
Polish It
Vital Care
Vital Plus
Vital Solutions

There are shampoos, anti-frizz serums, spiking gels, sports gels, more and more hairsprays, shiny hair serums, volumizing mousses, etc. So many varieties. Every hair type and texture can find something good at

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How To Apply Suncreen The Right Way

I never knew this:

When you apply sunscreen, don't forget to put it along your hair part. What? Yes, your scalp can burn. Wherever you part your hair, remember to rub some sunscreen in there. And if you are bald, your head needs to be shielded from the sun's damaging rays, so sunscreen is essential.

I learned these tips from a dermatologist making the morning TV rounds yesterday. In addition, don't forget to rub sunscreen along the sides of your face. This is actually another simple, but intelligent tip. Most times, we hurry applying the sun lotion, and end up ignoring the entire face and ears.

And use plenty of sunscreen. Don't skimp. You need to apply a lot of it, for it to do its thing, and that is, protection from the UVA and UVB rays. Think of the rays like this: UVA rays affect aging of the skin, and UVB rays affect burning of the skin.

The number one best sunscreen for 2008, according to Consumer Reports:

Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch, 45 SPF. Score: 86/100.
Excellent protection all the way around. Cost: $4.33 per fl. oz.

World-famous plastic surgeon, Dr. Michelle Copeland, swears by her excellent sunscreen product. She created it:

SPF-40 Lotion Mist Sun Block ($30, 4 oz.)
Recommended for: SPF-40 sun protection to block UVA/UVB rays in easy-to-apply spray mist.

More advice from Consumer Reports: Choose your sunscreen with the highest protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure the sunscreen is very water resistant or waterproof. And select an SPF of at least 30.

When applying sunscreen, the Food and Drug Administration says a sunscreen works most effectively when:

applied about a half-hour before heading outside
applied liberally on all exposed skin (Many dermatologists suggest at least a teaspoon of sunscreen just for the face.)
reapplied at least every two hours or more often if you're sweating
reapplied after swimming

And most of all, have fun in the sun, but try and avoid the peak burning hours of 10 AM to 4 PM.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Personal Beauty Tips From Dr. Michelle Copeland

We recently spoke with world-famous plastic surgeon, Dr. Michelle Copeland, of New York City. She told us about her skin care line and the beauty treatments that bear her name. Dr. Copeland is very serious about healthy skin. And as she reminded us all:

"Everyone can have beautiful, healthy, and lustrous skin."

In today's article, we have taken a further look at Dr. Copeland's personal beauty tips.

We asked Dr. Copeland about vitamins and supplements. Is that baloney, or can they really play a part in delivering good skin?

"Daily use of a product with anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, E, or green tea, is crucial. These anti-oxidants help to keep the skin clear, healthy, and nourished. Some moisturizers and serums now contain these anti-oxidants. The skin is an outward reflection of the internal situation. A diet rich in fruits, green leafy vegetables, herbs and spices and lean proteins such as chicken, give you the nutrients you need for healthy skin."
Do smoking and boozing eventually rob a woman of her youthfulness? We see a number of young models and actresses partying away, and they all look stunning. Does it catch up to them in time?

"Yes, definitely. Smoking causes vaso-constriction of the tiny vessels that feed the skin. The result is a complexion that's dull, as opposed to luminous. Smoking also deepens lines and creates furrows. Alcohol affects the liver and causes dehydration, making your skin crepey, sallow, and dull."

How bad is the sun for our skin? Give us the honest truth.

"Sun exposure. Simply put, sun is the single most powerful factor responsible for aging skin. Solar radiation doesn't just change skin pigmentation; it penetrates deeply, disrupting and weakening collagen and elastin(another layer that holds skin together), adversely affecting cellular turnover.

Sunlight also breaks superficial blood vessels and triggers the release of free radicals, destructive molecules that change cellular DNA and can lead to pre-cancerous changes in the skin.

Using a sunblock all year round is vitally important. I've created a sunblock with an SPF40, that includes clear zinc oxide, aloe, is PABA-free, and safe for children to use."

And lastly, do you have a favorite skin care tip? One that doesn't involve your skin care line?

"Loofahs and washcloths are the bane of my existence. You never want to break the normal skin barrier, and that is what loofahs do. I have told many patients to lose the loofah, and they flat out, will not do it. I'm not ordering you to throw away your loofah because I want to torture you. It's an issue of cleanliness and abrasion. Think about how warm and steamy your bath gets, particularly around your tub. As we all know, bacteria and fungus thrive in hot, moist climates. Skin is our body's natural protective blockade. You don't want to compromise it.

The small abrasions caused by harsh scrubbing, aren't visible to the naked eye, but they are plenty big enough for germs, bacteria, and their counterparts, to slide right on in and set up shop."

Dr. Michelle Copeland suggests that every woman adopt a sensible skin care regimen.

"Treat your body’s skin as well as you do your face. Having healthy, beautiful skin means looking after all of it, from hairline to heel. This includes product usage. So many products on the market are just that: marketing. I don’t believe the body skin requires a million individual items. There’s no reason to go overboard or load your countertop with hundreds of bottles."

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nucelle Skin Care For Rosacea

No one knows what truly causes rosacea. But it is a skin disease that affects more than 14 million Americans today. More women than men have it, and it usually strikes those with fair skin and blue eyes, namely of Irish and Scottish descent. Sadly, most Americans don't know how to treat it. But there is a product line called Nucelle, and many people sing its praises.

What does rosacea resemble? There are four subtypes, but simply speaking, it can appear as a redness or persistent flushing of the face. Sometimes it includes the distinct redness, but with a bumpy texture. Other rosacea examples feature a thickening of the skin with an irregular epidermal texture. And lastly, ocular rosacea, which shows red, swollen, iriitated eyelids.

There is no cure for rosacea, but there are a number of treatments available, such an the antibiotic tetracycline, laser therapy, zinc oxide formulations for serious sun protection, and numerous skin care lines.

The Nucelle skin care lines gets high marks from customers, many saying it really helps tone down rosacea and acne, leaving skin radiant, clear, and smooth. Nucelle Mandelic Basic Kit ($97.50, The kit lasts a long time, according to happy users.

Mandelic acid is an AHA, or alpha hydroxy acid, that gets rid of dirt and impurities, while toning and hydrating the skin.

According to Wikipedia, famous people with rosacea, include: former President Bill Clinton, the late Princess Diana, Mariah Carey, and Rosie O'Donnell, to name a few.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Ultra Brite Really Whitens Teeth Inexpensively

I just got back from the dentist. I scored high on good oral health. No cavities. But I'm always complaining to my dentist about wanting the whitest teeth on the planet. He thinks my teeth are already white enough.

"Have you tried the Crest Whitening Strips," he asks. Yes, I answer, and they don't do a thing for me, I tell him.

But what's interesting here, I just caught a report by the well-respected and well-researched And they claim, the best tooth whitening toothpaste is:
Ultra brite All In One Advanced Whitening.

Consumer Reports tested 41 toothpastes, toothpastes that all boast about whitening your teeth. And they found that most brands do not live up to the hype or expensive price tags. But only one was really superior at stain removal. And this one wasn't too abrasive, meaning, the toothpaste would not harm teeth and gums. And that is---Ultra brite. And what a bargain at just $2.19 a tube, 6 oz. But it's not available on all store shelves. You can get it at and drugstores like CVS.

Ultra brite doesn't even contain peroxide, and yet is able to whiten teeth beautifully. The winning toothpaste is also good at fighting cavities and tartar.

No, I haven't tried Ultra brite yet, but I am going to give it a shot and let you know how well it whitens. I read several reviews about the toothpaste, and a number of coffee drinkers gave Ultra brite, the big thumbs up!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How To Be Younger Slimmer And Sexier By Cheryl Forberg

If you watched the NBC Reality series, The Biggest Loser, then you know who Cheryl Forberg is.

She's a nutritionist for the reality show. And she is also a chef. Her new book is called Positiviely Ageless($21.95, Barnes & Noble). Cheryl Forberg says that we can't stop aging, but that we can do it with grace, health, and vigor.

Cheryl is big on taking care of skin. Here's her advice:

Eat foods high in Vitamins A and B6
Drink plenty of water
Eat foods high in anti-oxidants
Cut out the sugar
And eat a lot of protein

Cheryl's Positively Ageless book has wonderful tips on staying at the top of your game. Here is Cheryl's Cornmeal Yogurt Scrub. The cornmeal acts a a fine abrasive. And the yogurt and olive oil nourish the skin.

1/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Mix everything together. Mositen skin with warm water. Massage mixture into skin with an upward/outward motion. Leave it on for at least 5 minutes. Then rinse.

For more information, visit:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Remove Your Makeup With These

Okay, don't laugh. I once read in Allure magazine, that some makeup artists use Pampers Baby Wipes to quickly remove makeup, especially eye makeup. In unscented with natural aloe, preferably. I figured, if Pampers are good for a baby's behind, then they must be gentle enough to use elsewhere. Hmmm.

I usually have a stash of Pampers on hand. I don't always use them to remove makeup, because I find the baby wipes sting my eyes, upon occasion. I also use plain old soap and water. Or even good old vaseline. But when you're wearing eye shadow, eye liner, and a few coats of mascara, you need a product that will remove all traces of cosmetics. And I'm stressing 'completely' remove.

Kathy Hilton told me she loves this budget beauty buy. Andrea Eye Q's Oil Free Makeup Remover Pads ($4.49, drugstores). I interviewed her recently and she said this:

"I can't live without them."

Maybe Kathy Hilton is on to something. Andrea Eye Q's Oil Free Pads come in three formulas: Ultra Quick Dry Skin, Oil Free, and Moisturizing. The pads are wonderful for removing waterproof mascara. That's what a swimmer told me, and she's in the pool 24/7. The pads are also great for contact wearers. So the formula is gentle. No stinging there.

There's another well-received beauty product that makes makeup disappear quickly. Extra gentle cleansing towlettes. Rodial Glam Balm Wipes ($19). These towlettes are enriched with good ingredients like Vitamin E, pro Vitamin B5, chamomile extracts, and more. Each disposable wipe is super for removing all traces of cosmetics---from the face, lips, and the oh-so-sensitive eye area. And Rodial wipes are opthamalogically tested, too.

Hey, at least I'm not sleeping in my makeup like some of you out there. It's so very important to remove makeup every night before retiring. A clean face is vital for a healthy complexion.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Makeup That Covers Skin Discolorations Perfectly

We all strive for smooth, flawless skin. Some women are lucky, and enjoy a healthy, clear complexion. But many of us have uneven pigmentation, a scar, an old tattoo that shouldn't see the light of day, port wine stains, Vitaligo, etc. And what's so frustrating, is that traditional concealers and foundations usually do not cover or hide our imperfections so perfectly. Until now.

Remember this name: Judith August. She was a former model, and understands the need to appear flawless, even when we're not. Judith August Cosmetics has been featured in top magazines like, Elle, Allure, and Women's Health & Fitness. She has received several awards for the goodness her makeup brings to women who deserve to get their beauty back; women who might have suffered, and only want a smooth skin to show the world. features a wide variety of concealers and foundations. Judith even has The Everything Pencil. It's an amazing and unique set of corrective colors that hide age spots, broken capillaries, birth marks, fine lines, and more. And it's doctor-approved.

You can also find Judith August's corrective cosmetics at salons, spas, and specialty stores.

There's one brilliant concealer, that really does it all, when all else fails. It's the ultimate concealer, called----Killer Cover ($32).

Read below, how Judith describes her 'ultimate concealer:"

I'm Judith August. My revolutionary new waterproof and smudge-proof formula is designed to cover the most difficult skin discolorations and problem areas that traditional concealers cannot touch such as vitaligo, blazing birthmarks, bruises, scars, tattoos, loss of pigmentation, port wine stains.
You have five colors to choose from on the color wheel. Color blending is often necessary because every part of the body is a different color. For instance, brown spots on your hands and face will take a different coloration than a blue and red birth mark or veins on your legs. Pigmentation loss would be a different coloration from the rest. So, start with the color closest to your skin tone, apply with the enclosed sponge or nature's very best cosmetic tool, your fingers. Use the "Dab and Pat" technique when applying and blending, not a stroking motion.
If needed, "stipple" several shades together and pat over the area until you achieve your perfect match.
Killer Cover™ will stay on longer than normal make-up since it is based on a formula used in the theatrical industry- therefore it is head and perspiration resistant and highly pigmented. It will stay put until you remove it.
Enjoy my newest cosmetic solution - after all...
Everybody's got something to hide!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Celebrity Skin Care Secrets

Women in Hollywood always look polished and glamorous with flawless skin. We all want to know their beauty secrets. Is it something expensive? Is it a beauty treatment only found in Europe? Can I buy this same product in my local drug store? And so forth.....

Get ready. We found some super celebrity skin care secrets in OK! magazine. And we're ready to name names.

According to the June 2nd issue of OK!, some of the skin care treatments are expensive, some middle of the road, and a few, low end.

Jennifer Lopez loves Elizabeth Grant Caviar Rejuvenating Eye Pads($50/6-pack;

Nicole Richie is a loyal Dove user. Dove Go Fresh Beauty Cool Moisture Body Lotion in Cucumber ($5; drugstores). According to OK!, Nicole said this: "I don't use many skin products. I just wash my skin with Dove soap and use their moisturizers."

Uma Thurman reaches for wrinkle filler. N.V. Perricone M.D. Ceramic Skin Smooth Finishing Serum ($75;

Jennifer Aniston use TNS to smooth her eye area. TNS Night Eye Repair ($90;

Kerry Washington likes glowing skin. ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($85;

Kate Bosworth keeps her flawless skin pimple-free with Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17;

Nicole Scherzinger maintains her soft Pussy Cat Doll shape with Caress Brazilian Exotic Oil Infusion Body Wash ($4; drugstores).

Do you use any of these skin care treatments? Maybe they all know something we don't. It's nice when gorgeous celebrity women share their beauty knowledge. Everyone gets pimples, rough skin, undereye circles, lines and wrinkles, even our Hollywood favorites.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dr. Michelle Copeland's Simple Beauty Philosophy

Dr. Michelle Copeland's practice is located right across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Quite fitting for a specialist whose career involves bringing out the beauty in both women and men. As a plastic surgeon, Dr. Copeland knows skin inside and out. And she realizes the impact that young-looking, healthy skin can have on a person's self-confidence.

No. You don't always have to go under the knife to achieve your personal best. Dr. Copeland's simple philosophy is this: "Everyone can have beautiful, healthy, and lustrous skin."

We interviewed Dr. Copeland recently, and learned what a super woman she is. Not only does she have a wonderful skin care line, but she is the first female plastic surgeon in the United States to have earned combined doctoral degrees in both medicine and dentistry from Harvard University. She is also a popular author, wife and mother, and a woman with a big heart. Dr. Copeland believes in giving back to her community. She's involved in a number of charities.

Dr. Copeland's skin care line bears her name, so she is very serious about promoting treatments that truly work. She says that cleansing, exfoliation, moisturization, and sun protection, are the four keys to healthy skin.

"As a plastic surgeon, I know the skin from the inside and out and I see what happens when skin is left uncared for. My knowledge of biochemistry allows me to formulate effective, yet gentle products that work together to give you the youngest looking, healthiest skin possible. I personally select each ingredient and test each formula, including our revolutionary Rewind Age-Defying Cream for the face and body, that reverses the aging process of skin cells. Our skin care products are allergy-tested, fragrance-free, and not tested on animals. My name isn't just on the package, it's in and behind, every product offered."

Dr. Copeland's skin care line offers:

Her skin care line is designed for men and women. And she especially understands that women are affected by the pre-menopause and menopause stages of life.

"Changes in hormone levels, such as estrogen, can definitely affect the health and appearance of the skin. After menopause, women experience a drop in estrogen, which can lead to thinning and sagging skin. Women may also notice increased fat deposits around the waist. That's why, as we age, it becomes even more important to take care of our skin. My Rewind products are loaded with effective anti-oxidants that can help firm sagging skin on the face, neck, and body, by stimulating collagen production. The Rewind Age-Defying Cream has Reservetrol, which Harvard has shown, is the most powerful anti-aging anti-oxidant."

To learn more about the distinguished background of Dr. Michelle Copeland, and to purchase her skin care line, visit:

We'll be featuring another article about Dr. Copeland during the week of June 9th. She will share her skin care tips, information about the sun's damaging rays, and how smoking and alcohol affect a woman's skin.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

At Home Spa Treatments By Kathy Hilton

I interviewed American socialite and businesswoman Kathy Hilton back in May, and we discussed her PureBotanical skin care line. Yes, she is mom to Paris and Nicky.

But what we didn't talk about, was her Kathy Hilton Personal Beauty Spa Collection. Spa treatments in the privacy of your home. I had no idea how popular her at-home spa beauty treatments were, until I headed to The Home Shopping Network is currently the only place you can order these treatments. And guess what? Kathy Hilton's collection is SOLD OUT, once again.

Let's take a closer look. Kathy Hilton has two interesting at-home spa beauty items women are raving about: Sculpting Treatment for Body(hot effect, $21.95) and Firming Pack Face & Neck(cold effect).

So what's so special? Both beauty items have come out of the advanced research labs of the Swiss Wellness Center. And both spa treatments use cutting edge formulations that deliver firmer, smoother skin in minutes. We're talking red carpet ready moments. Or maybe for a wedding or party social event.

Each treatment comes in a single-use metal canister from Italy. You shake each canister for 30 seconds. Then you take the enclosed spatula, and mix the product, and apply. Twenty minutes later, rinse with water, and you've got a toned sculpted face and neckline. And the body is firm, too, with cellulite much reduced in appearance. And we all love that!

You will feel like you're at an expensive, upscale spa. The great news, you're in the privacy of your own home.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bad News About Stretch Marks

No matter how many creams you rub on your belly, you can never get rid of stretch marks permanently. That's the latest news. And the news is not encouraging.

Today's New York Times featured a story about stretch marks and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (photo by Getty Images)

“There’s not much you can do about these, other than monitor your weight gain,” said Dr. Laura Riley, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of “You and Your Baby” (2006). “Various creams and lotions are sold to prevent stretch marks from developing or getting worse, but the jury is out on whether they work.”

But the American Pregnancy Association is saying something else. The APA suggests that women CAN reduce the probability of stretch marks. Note the key word here, 'probability.'

Stretch marks occur when skin loses its elasticity, usually from rapid weight gain — a common occurrence, when a woman is pregant. It's estimated that 85-90% of pregnant women get them at some point during their pregnancy. 'Striae gravidarum'(medical lingo for stretch marks) are caused by tearing in the skin and connective tissue, due to the stretching of the fat tissue. Over time, stretch marks turn almost a silvery color in comparison to one's normal skintone.

So what's a gal to do?

Dr. Amy Derick, a dermatologist in Barrington, Illinois, says you should try and diminish their appearance. And act sooner, than later.

“There’s really not any data regarding creams,” she told the NY Times. “But you can do laser treatments or Retin-A after the fact, especially early on when the lines are red and purple.” Studies have found that topical tretinoin can lighten stretch marks as well as reduce their size. And she is certainly not opposed to pregnant women massaging their bellies with moisturizing oils and creams. “It makes them feel like they’re being pro-active, and if it feels good, why not?” she said. “It can’t hurt.”

By the way, Retin-A should NEVER be used during one's pregnancy and during breast-feeding. Research is still not clear on how Retin-A medication might affect the fetus or nursing baby. Please check with your doctor.

I still hear from women who have had good success battling their stretch marks, by attacking them early on. Here are two popular creams to rub on your belly, to help lighten, smoothe, and fade stretch marks.

StriVectin-SD Intensive Repair ($135, 6 oz.)
Avon Anew Clinical Professional Stretch Mark Smoother (new product. $25, 5 oz.).

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Think Hair Removers For Summer

When I think of having to shave my legs, I often smile. I remember being about 11 years old and babysitting three little girls in my neighborhood. All three sisters noticed the dark little hairs growing on my legs, as I sat with them in my shorts. I was embarrassed, but also, too afraid to ask my mother to buy me a shaver. So one summer afternoon, I, and my hairy long legs, took the girls to the corner store. And with my babysitting money, I bought a little, pink bottle of Nair.

Yes, the hair remover lotion stunk like rotten eggs, but the next day I saw Leigh Anne, Laurie, and Leslie, my legs were soft and smooth and my underarms were hair-free.

Boy, have times changed. Yes, there are tons of hair removers on the market. And some, still stink, but the products work. And with the hot summer temperatures on the way, and you in your short-shorts, you have to think hair removers for summer.

What's the big deal? If you're just plain tired of shaving and nicking your legs and getting razor burn, or going for expensive hair removal laser treatments, or electrolysis, waxing (ouch!), or even endless tweezing, then it's time to try the hair removers again. Believe me, these products have improved. Now you can shower them off quickly. And most come formulated with moisturizing benefits, like aloe vera and chamomille. And bare skin lasts for 2-3 weeks.

Just a few reminders:
Be careful in the genital area. Do not apply hair removers too close to sensitive places.
Keep hair removers away from nose and ears, and breast nipples.
Do not apply hair removers to sunburned skin or irritated skin.
Do not use deodorant/antiperspirant for several hours before and after treatment.

Here are three hair removers to try:

New! Sally Hansen, Extra Strength Spray-On Shower-Off Hair Remover ($7.99).
New! Nair Hair Remover Shower Power ($8.50).
Bodybuilders know hair removers! Hair No More Advanced Vanishing Creme ($15.89)

Best of luck, and get beautifully bare for summer!