Does This Really Work…?

There are five ways to get rid of a pimple–or at least there are five top rated “old wives tales” that claim to rid you of zits forever…it is so silly. How do these myths keep popping up? Does this mean that these pimple wizards are right? Does this stuff actually work? Big zits are awful, I mean, you can wear a drapey shirt if you had too many cupcakes, or you can dust with some bronzer when you’re feeling a little blah–but glaring pimples are a different story…

I can remember being in middle school, somehow hearing that toothpaste that could clear up my tiny red mound of embarrassment. TOOTHPASTE! I’m sure you’ve heard it…but does it work? The theory is that the paste can pull the pus out and relive the redness and swelling…I didn’t notice any differences…Baking soda is supposed to work in the same way, and it is interchangeable in case you don’t want to smell minty fresh all night long. I never tried it, but it is going on my mental list. (Lemme get back to ya.)

White Vinegar is supposed to dissolve the pus while it is still inside your pimple–interesting. Anyone try this? I will tonight, maybe as a toner…Ice can be used to combat the redness and swelling, but good luck on anything else…Also, Visine is supposed to be ideal to “get the red out,” even in regards to your screaming red pimple.

There you have it, sound familiar? If they don’t work–why do they keep popping back up? And if they DO work, why are we spending too much money on acne creams? Aargh.






Candy Lips and Champagne Dreams

I was crazy about candy when I was a kid–I still am! My mom tried to raise me right–with all natural food and little to no sugar. I remember hearing her talk about sugar like it was the work of the devil! lol. She really hated sugar, we didn’t drink soda and candy was a sneaky treat. Well, now that we’re all grown ups, we can use sugar for some serious beauty results. I’ve seen sugar in body scrubs, the exfoliating nature of sugar is well-known.

Now that summer is over, we’re going to start dealing with some wind-chapped lips. No one wants to love on some ragged, torn up lips. Do you want to smooch someone with sandpaper smackers? Didn’t think so. Before you begin your chapstick regiment, you should always start with a good scrub down…with…SUGAR! Shhhh! DON’T TELL MOM!

Long gone are the days that I rubbed purple or red Pixy Stix on my lips–it was my childhood “lipstick”. Today, you can get smooth, baby soft lips with a relatively easy recipe. Pour a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a small, shallow bowl. Now, sprinkle in some organic sugar (you can use regular if you must). Mix the sugar in until you have a paste-y scrub. Now,  GENTLY rub this into your lips. You will feel the scrub go to work on those lips. You can do this once a week to keep up on your lips. Maintainance on those lips will keep away dead skin cells and flakes, it will also give your lipstick and lip gloss a better canvas–you could notice that you’re doing less lip touch ups.

Baby Shower Facial Treats

Yeah. Finally, I have been liberated from the bowels of party planning! There is a definite downside to being creative or stylish. You will see other people struggling to make something cool happen and perhaps you will feel compelled to step in and help…This is exactly what happened!

A month or two ago, the whirlwind began. The recipient of the shower was not even my friend, it was my friend’s sister! She’s not the most popular girl, so when she got pregnant, no one was anxious to help her out…long story. I’m as close to her family as I am to my own…so, I took the reigns. Yeah. For the past few months, I have been going non-stop. First, I had to devise the concept, since it was going to be all ladies, I thought it would be cool to set up a mini-facial spot! How awesome is that! We ended up renting out this gorgeous botanical garden and we rented white tents. At one of the “stations,” the guests could sit for a rejuvenating facial. We had almost 75 guests, so we had to hire three facialists. They offered the guests one of three services, an exfoliant facial, an anti-aging and an anti-acne facial. Which facial was the most popular? The anti-acne of course! The girls started with a steam (with minted towels, I might add). Then they worked in a cleanser, scrub and then followed it with a mint julep mask. (Mint Julep works wonders on my acne, it is a clay base, it smells amazing and actually works without over-drying.) The whole set up was a huge hit! Facials are better than baby-name games–any day!

Did I get to enjoy the services? I doubt it–I was WAY too busy making sure everything ran smoothly. And run smoothly it did. I kept everything running like clockwork, the music, the meal, the activities. I even included a Blessing Tree, a little pot with a few branches on it, sitting amid a pile of handmade cardstock cards. Each guest was encouraged to write down blessings for the parents-to-be and the new baby. Then, they use the ribbon to hang these blessings on the Blessing Tree. Everyone went nuts for the Blessing Tree! HUGE slam dunk…Then came the gifts, every gift was logged on my Ipad and then emailed to our friend. She had a great time, the stress level was super low, everything was done and she had a blast!

Did I have a bucket-sized glass of wine after we packed up? YA!


Cut your Breakouts with More Milk? NOT SO FAST!

Hold the phone! I am on the internet all day long—some of it for research and some of it just for fun. But, this is a weird one. I just found some articles that are saying some interesting things about acne breakouts. First off, have you heard the rumor or wives’ tale that milk is a possible trigger for acne? I’ve heard the story, but sort of filed it under “mehhh, not so much.” However, there is a study that just found that one milk protein in particular is being made into a supplement that can actually reduce your breakouts.

This study took a plain yogurt drink and packed it full of “lactoferrin,” the study participants drank this lactoferrin laden beverage every day for almost four months. At the end, the study participants that drank the lactoferrin fortified drinks had far LESS breakouts that those in the placebo category. This magic drink also lowered sebum/oil production, and kept the inflammatory lesions (those are nasty customers) from swelling up. It was suggested that this lactoferrin has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects and can boost the activity of certain immune cells when consumed. Opponents said that the benefits were from the probiotics in the yogurt…either way…interesting.

If this IS true–praise the Lord and pass the Lactoferrin!



America Hates Smokers More than…

…fat people. Yeah. Apparently, America has finally put people who smoke at the top of their “most hated” anti-fan list. Yikes. There once was a time when smoking was the coolest, most rebellious thing you could summon up to show “the man” how bad ass your were. (A little history: cigarettes were once considered a part of the WWII’s soldiers ration pack, AND menthol cigarettes were marketed to “soothe and relax” the throat. LOL.) Well, as more and more bars and other public places toss out their ashtrays, America’s sentiment toward smokers has taken a turn for the worst.  The blackout on smokers isn’t unwarranted–the health effects are widely known. In addition to health issues, your skin can suffer from smoking and even second-hand smoke.

Premature wrinkles are in your future if you insist on smoking. Trust. This is from the Mayo Clinic–pretty much the definitive answer on all things health related. Smoking will speed up your skin’s normal aging process. You will also see more wrinkling may not happen all at once, it can be stretched over a longer period of time. It doesn’t only impact your face–smoking can increase wrinkling on your INNER ARMS! Yeah, I did NOT know that. :/

But how does smoking cause wrinkles? Ok, the nicotine in cigarettes narrows your blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. Less blood flow means that the skin isn’t getting oxygen AND this means it’s not getting the nutrients it needs, like vitamin A. In case you’re still smoking, consider that tobacco smoke damages your collagen and elastin–the stuff that makes your skin that bouncy, stretchy elasticity. With less collagen/elastin–your skin is saggy and will wrinkle faster.

Think about not smoking. Today.

Your pretty face will thank you.


Dark, or Discolored Armpits–What’s the Deal?

Hey there! Are you loving this beautiful weather?! I am, but I am haunted by this sneaking suspicion that the “back to school” season is right around the corner! Noooo! Is summer over or what?! I love the breeze, but I don’t want the summer to leave! However, is it wrong that I love that kids have to go back to school?! lol. HAAA HA. Get your crispy new backpack, fresh notebooks and sharpened pencils–first day of school! No more haunting the mall or clogging up the city streets because you have nothing to do! Sorry, I love the fall, but I love the sun almost as much. lol.

Ok. Down to business–I got an email a few days back, it was a chick dealing with darker armpits. I’ve seen this before but I didn’t really have an answer for her. Well, I did some research. There are a few things that can make your armpits appear to be a little darker than the rest of your body.

First, consider how often you shave, because when you shave, you cut just below the surface of the skin. If your hair is darker than your skin tone, your skin can appear to be stained–but it is actually just hair at the subsurface. If you cut back (get it?!) on your shaving and start waxing more, you will remove more of the hair from a much deeper level.

OR your discoloration could be the result of dead skin cells that have become locked into the nooks and crannies of your pits. Get in there with a loofah and/or a soap or product with some lactic acid. Another reason you could be experiencing dark armpits can be linked to your antiperspirants and deodorant usage. (Which is a little hard to avoid…) It could be that these products are reacting with your skin and then causing a discoloration. I’ve read about avoiding the underarm products with fragrance to stop the underarm staining.

Last but not least is kinda serious, and maybe you should ask an actual doctor about it. There is a medical condition called Acanthosis Nigricans, that causes light brown to black markings on the neck, under the arms or in the groin. It can be related to insulin production or even a glandular disorder. It happens to overweight people. If this is you–avoid your limit the sugar and simple carbs and get in to your doctor immediately.


Addicted to Lip Balm?!

Ok. I have a lip balm of choice, most people do, right? I’ve been using this stuff since I was in high school! (Our love affair has gone on for more than ten years.) I’ve always heard the silly stories, “you’re going to ruin your lips!” Or, “oh, you’re gonna have to use that stuff forever!” And of course, “the oil glands in your lips will stop producing oil if you use that stuff!” Well, there are not oil glands in your lips, sooooo. Yeahhhhh.

Once and for all–CAN you be addicted to lip balm? (I’m trying to work in a clever Robert Palmer joke, here. I’m blank, so let’s just pretend it was super clever and move on. Thanks.) A very popular urban beauty myth is that your lips can become dependent on your regular lip balm application, is this true?!

Calling it an addiction in the literal and medical sense is taking it a bit far. But, yes, your body can be “hypnotized” into relying on your lip balm of choice. Here’s the deal–your lips feel dry, chapped or feel flaky, they send a message to your deeper layer of skin–the “basal” layer. The basal layer is in charge of producing fresh, plump new skin cells. If you are always spreading that lip balm on, the message never gets sent because you have just created a new barrier layer that prevents the release of moisture. SO, the basal layer doesn’t get the message to create some new cells.

After the lip balm wears out, your lips dry out again and your basal layer will rush to send more skin cells. BUT your lips are dry so you put on more lip balm, which tells the basal layer, “hey no bigs, everything is fine up here on the surface, we don’t need any more plump new skin cells.” And the cycle repeats until you are a fully functioning lip balm-aholic.

Now. No one is going to say that brand spanking new, plump skin cells are a bad idea. But that is what you’re telling your body. Yikes. So, start to wean yourself off of that lip balm or “lip chap” as the girl at my book group calls it. (You know who you are, lady. lol. Holla!)

So, ease up on the lip balm! Your lips will feel dry and chapped, go with it. I started to cut back a few days ago, they are dry and feel a lil stiff, but we’re getting there. PLUS, there is a whole new color to my lips, it is a little more pink than before, which negates any need for lip gloss. lol. Also, if you lay off the blam, you can enjoy some new lip cells–perhaps your basal layer can whip up some Angelina Jolie type cells. lol.