Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Barbie Without Makeup

Growing up, I never quite identified with Barbie. Maybe it's because the pale skinned blonde haired figurine was not very similar to my dark skin and dark haired self. Whatever the reason it may be, Barbie has come under a lot heat over the last few decades for setting a negative example and ideal for young girls.

It's a contentious topic that most people can easily add their two cents to, and many people have looked into how realistic the doll really is. While some have blown up the doll to make it life size (and in turn, make it clear that the doll is not made to human scale), others argue that toys are not meant to be realistic. And after all, a toy is just that: A toy.

Recently, an image of Barbie without makeup has been making rounds across the internet. And surprisingly, this 'makeunder' of the glamorous doll has not been faring well. It's surprising and ironic, given how people wanted a real doll for so long. 

Is the doll realistic? Most argue otherwise. Read the rest of my article over at Latin Times to find out the three reasons why Barbie may need a new look.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Organic Cosmetics: 3 Reasons To Consider Using Them

Over the past few years, organic cosmetics have become more prevalent on the makeup market and in turn, have been more accessible to consumers. But despite all that, there is a hefty price tag that comes with organic makeup which naturally raises the question: Are they worth it? If you're considering switching over to natural and organic products, then consider these five reasons to make the switch:

1. Reduced exposure to parabens.
Truly organic cosmetics won't have any parabens—the controversial preservative that is used in cosmetics and personal care products ranging from your soap and moisturizer to your shaving cream and deodorant. Scientifically speaking, they are a compound of p-hydroxybenzoic acid; the most common ones are ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben.

While it's great that the chemical increases the shelf life of beauty products, this added benefit does not come without risks. The chemical has become increasingly controversial since it have been linked to immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, skin irritation, and hormone disruption—which, in turn, causes breast cancer and fertility issues. The chemical can be absorbed by our bodies through the skin, blood, and digestive system.

What's more, a 2004 study by Dr. Philippa Darbre, published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, found this chemical in breast tumors of 19 out of the 20 women studied. For full disclosure, the FDA's official stance is that this study did not show that the preservative causes cancer.

2. Many traditional cosmetic ingredients are linked to cancer.
Many cosmetics contain nitrosamines and according to The President's Cancer Panel, the ingredient can potentially cause brain cancer and kidney cancer. What's more, many personal care products (e.g. makeup, fragrances, hair products) also contain pthalates, which have been linked to breast cancer and testicular cancer. Other statistics show that roughly 22% of all personal care products contain 1,4-dioxane, which has been linked to cancer.

3. No regulations or safety tests
Unfortunately, there is little to no regulation on the cosmetics. In fact, according to The Story of Cosmetics, a documentary focusing on the dangers of personal care products, less than 20% of all chemicals in cosmetics have been assessed for safety by the industry's safety panel. The documentary shares: "Major loopholes in U.S. federal law allow the $50 billion beauty industry to put unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing, no monitoring of health effects and inadequate labeling requirements—making cosmetics among the least-regulated consumer products on the market."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Vitamins for Beautiful Hair

If you're looking to take vitamins for the hair, whether it be for hair growth or to simply make sure your hair is healthy from within, then it is important to know what benefits different vitamins offer. Generally speaking, the vitamins that help your hair the most are B Vitamins, Iron, Vitamin C, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and Calcium.

B Vitamins: According to a study from the University of Maryland, Vitamin B5 ensures your scalp has blood supply to produce strong hair. Vitamin B5 can be found in whole grains, kale, and cauliflower. What's more, a deficiency in Vitamin B complex can result in hair loss.

Iron: If you have an iron deficiency (ask your doctor to run tests to find out) then you could be suffering from unnecessary hair loss. How does iron impact your hair? A deficiency in iron results in a low red blood cell count which, in turn, hurts the health of your hair follicles. Some iron-rich foods you can eat to increase your intake are: beef, pork, fish, and beans.

Vitamin C: If you're suffering from hair loss relating to iron deficiency, then consider taking a Vitamin C supplement, as Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron.

Omega-3: Taking a supplement for omega-3 fatty acids can keep your hair moisturized. Or, consider eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, oatmeal, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.

Vitamin E: Rich in antioxidants, Vitamin E gives your hair the shine and luster that many covet. If you'd rather get your Vitamin E through your diet than a pill, then some Vitamin E rich foods include: walnuts, seafood, legumes, soybeans, eggs, carrots, cauliflower, and cabbage.

Calcium: While calcium is more commonly known for bone strength, it also plays a role in keeping your hair strong. Make sure your dairy intake is up to par to ensure your locks are strong and healthy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Natural Acne Remedies

The market is filled with acne treatments promising to give clear skin and to zap away your pimples and zits, but there are natural acne remedies that give most products a run for their money. The best part is that the natural remedies won't apply harsh chemicals to your skin.

Beware of Your Phone.
Your phone can be a breeding paradise for acne, so be sure to diligently clean your phone to make sure the source of acne is not your phone. Skeptical? According to researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 82 percent of the subjects' phones had some kind of bacteria on them. Depending on how much you use your phone, and where you store it on a regular basis, you should be cleaning your phone every night.

A good facial clay can cleanse your pores without drying out your skin. Simply add a little water to clay and add a dollop to the zit before going to bed. You can apply clay to your face as a mask or as a spot treatment on your acne.

Ice is a temporary fix to acne, but it's an efficient temporary fix. Rubbing a cube of ice on the zit will cause it to (temporarily) shrink.

This will sound counterintuitive, but oils can help fight acne, as some oils have been found to reduce acne and acne-related scarring. What's more, a gentle cleanser helps preserve your skin's natural oils, which is important for acne-prone skin.

Tea Tree Oil. Studies have shown that tea tree oil work just as effectively as benzoyl peroxide, although it takes a little longer to work. For acne-prone skin, applying tea tree oil can keep acne at bay.

Take Zinc Supplements. Zinc is said to reduce inflammation, which may play a role in reducing acne breakouts.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is a key ingredient in many personal care products primarily for one reason: The odorless golden-colored oil promises to hydrate and soften your skin and hair. What's more, the oil is said to have been used by Native Americans to treat sores and wounds.

Applying the oil to your hair is a fairly simple endeavor. Simply massage the oil onto your scalp and hair and allow the oil to penetrate your scalp for at least thirty minutes. Then shampoo and condition your hair, as you normally would, making sure that there is no oil residue.

If you're looking to apply jojoba oil to your face, then consider using it as a nighttime moisturizer. Apply a thin layer of oil (or a more generous amount if your skin is dry) onto your clean face before going to bed. This will allow to the oil to moisturize your face while you sleep, as the oil will take the place of your nighttime moisturizer.

Another great way to incorporate the oil into your daily routine is to use it with your foundation. Mixing equal parts oil and foundation will create a more light consistency, and thus, a more sheer coverage when applied. This makes it a great DIY tinted moisturizer, since the foundation will provide pigment and coverage, and the oil will provide moisture and a glowing finish.

Lastly, if you suffer from dry skin, then consider using this oil right after coming out of the shower. Simply pat your skin dry and apply the oil in lieu of your moisturizer for extra hydration. Be sure to emphasize areas of your skin that are more dry (e.g., elbows, knees, etc.).

Friday, February 1, 2013

Coconut Oil for Hair

 Image via Pinterest.

Many people use coconut oil in cooking for its health benefits, but followers of Ayurvedic remedies (which are traditional Indian remedies) use the oil on their scalp and hair claiming it prevents hair loss and hydrates your hair. But is there any substance behind using coconut oil for hair? Yes, there is!

The rich fatty acids found in the oil nourish hair and remove excess dead cells on your scalp. Many bottled conditioners are water-based and thus, do not offer the same deeply concentrated moisture that the oil provides. In fact, studies have found that the chemical structure of coconut oil allows it to penetrate the hair fiber and have a higher moisture retention value. And it's not just deep conditioning: You can keep flyaways at bay by applying a tiny dab of coconut oil.

Read the rest of my article about the benefits of coconut oil at Daily Glow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dry Skin Remedies

 Image via Pinterest
Dealing with dry skin is a problem almost everyone has to face at some point in their life. But know that there are daily changes in your routine that can serve as a dry skin treatment if you want soft skin. Here are four easy steps to getting smooth skin.

1. Exfoliate
Exfoliating sloughs off dead, dry skin, leaving a layer of fresh, soft skin exposed. By eliminating the layer of scaly skin cells on top, you can enjoy the supple skin underneath. That said, the supple skin will only stay soft if you take care of it.

2. Moisturize
Moisturizing your skin (especially freshly exfoliated skin) is crucial. If you've exfoliated in the shower, then pat your skin dry and immediately slather on a hydrating oil or a rich emollient. Your pores are dilated after a shower, which makes it an ideal time to rub on a moisturizer since your skin will absorb and retain it better.

Read the rest of my tips at Daily Glow