Thursday, August 30, 2012
There is nothing like Vitamin C to fight off ageing, say top dermatologists and it's on top of the popularity charts all over again this season. As one of the most popular ingredients in skin care products today, it is one of the most sought after vitamins around. But if you are not seeing enough results on your face when it is in combination with other anti ageing ingredients in a cream, you could use it on its own, as is sold by pharmaceutical companies today, both as ampules or as an injection. Many dermatologists now even say that Vitamin C can be the 'prime beauty product' in your skincare routine.
While many noted international skin care giants have long known the benefits of Vitamin C and often offer a cocktail of anti-oxidant ingredients which usually includes Vitamin C, women now want vitamin C to reach them, directly into the skin, either on the face or the body. But experts warn that since an injection is rather extreme, it is important to do so only under medical supervision and only if the kidney and liver organs are completely healthy. And it is always best to remember that what suits one person may not suit someone else, so any jab should be taken only under medical supervision.
An expert dermatologist from a Bangalore hospital explains, "Vitamin C has anti-oxidant properties, protects against sun damage and lightens skin too. It removes all the free radicals which can injure cells. It is one of the best anti-ageing remedies. But for best results it has to be used in conjunction with sunscreen."
And while the jury is still out on the vitamin being injected into the skin, it is widely believed that Vitamin C is a good addition to a skin care routine, but is best to consult a dermatologist first, if you are prone to allergies or other problems.
On: Stomach and thighs
These are fat deposits that sit below the surface of the skin, giving it a dimpled appearance like the rough skin of an orange. Cellulite accumulates on the abdomen, lower limbs, and the pelvic region.
What causes it: "Unlike what most people believe, being overweight or thin has no bearing on the incidence of cellulite, although shedding some kilos can help reduce its incidence," says Thomas. The thickness and colour of your skin, hormonal changes, total body fat, rate of metabolism, crash dieting and lack of physical activity are major contributing factors.
How to beat it: Cellulite is difficult to beat with medication although sundry pills and creams are available in the market. "Creams that claim to dissolve fat, often contain a compound called amino phylline which narrows the blood vessels by forcing water out of the skin. This is dangerous since it can cause blood circulation problems and allergies," says Thomas. Keeping your skin hydrated and indulging in exercise can work towards reducing its appearance.
Dark and light patches
On: Hands, feet, face
Prolonged exposure to the sun and bad hygiene play a part in discolouration on your face, hands and feet.
What causes it: Rubbing your skin with pumice stones and rough sponges can end up causing skin discolouration. "Friction causes the skin cells in the epidermis layer to die," says dermatologist Dr Manohar Sobhani, adding, "This leads to the deposit of amyloid, a type of protein, forming dark spots or patches. Regular back and forth wiping of the back with a towel, and the use of artificial scrubbers on your arms, elbows and knees can leave you with dark patches." Poor hygiene can lead to fungal growth on your skin, causing de-pigmentation also known as tinea versicolor. These light patches resemble spots seen in vitiligo disease. Sweating in tropical weather conditions, skipping a bath, and not drying yourself after a shower can be contributors.
How to beat it: Be gentle with your skin. Use natural loofas and sponges made of plant extracts. Human skin has a Ph level of 5.5. Use soaps and cleansers that match this level, to avoid irritation. Always take a shower after exercising. Check with your dermatologist and rule out skin allergies to perfumes and deodorants.
The red, blue or purple patterns that resemble a spider's web are most commonly found around the ankle.
What causes it: Dr Mohan Thomas, senior consultant, cosmetic surgery at Breach Candy Hospital, says factors such as abnormal » blood flow and weak vein walls cause spider veins. "It can be occupational hazard for people who are constantly on their feet. On the other hand, sedentary jobs lead to a lack of movement that can cause the blood to remain stagnant in veins, leading to an increase in venous pressure, causing the capillaries to stretch and dilate. That's what gives the skin a characteristic purple colour," he says. Wearing tight clothing and under garments can add to the problem.
How to beat it:Wearing support calf stockings, keeping the legs elevated when resting, and doing calf muscle exercises can help channel the blood flow from the veins to the heart. Consult your dermatologist if you wish to undergo sclerotherapy.
Here, saline is injected into the vein forming an internal scar tissue, and fading the mark over time.
On: Belly, thighs
When stretched, your skin thins out just like a plastic bag, leaving permanent marks. Stretch marks are common among pregnant woman, teenagers who put on and lose weight radically around their abdomen, butt, thighs and shoulders, and adults who work out.
What causes it: The marks appear on your body when collagen, a fibrous protein that makes up to 75 per cent of your skin, is affected. "Babies don't develop stretch marks even though their bodies are growing because their skin is well nourished," says Sobhani. "The problem arises when the natural order of collagen fibres is disrupted due to an unhealthy lifestyle, bad eating habits and aging." Exposure to ultra violet radiation and free radicals from smoking add to collagen woes.
How to beat it: Despite your age, stretch marks can be made less prominent by stimulating the redistribution of existing collagen and promoting new collagen synthesis in the skin. Eat foods that are high on vitamin C and E, both of which are known to assist manufacture of the protein. Keep your skin well hydrated since dry skin is more susceptible to developing marks. Nourish it every day with a moisturiser.
Each emotion and mood swing is not just a sign of PMS - that great vortex to which is attributed nearly everything wrong with a woman's day; these are signs that she needs tender care, consideration and space. Since the world doesn't really get this, women have a system of fighting and de-stressing. Today we're listing it out for the uninitiated amongst our readers. Men might not understand these complex rituals, but you may try at your own risk. We open the Pandora's Box on how women deal with stress and depression in a positive way.
Shopping sprees are stress-free
Confessions of a shopaholic is not just a book, it is 'the' book for women and how to deal with a boring work life. Shopping is a great way to hangout with the girls, gossip about the men in their lives, but most importantly - a way to purge themselves from all worries and anxieties. Shopping forms a de-stress mantra that cannot easily be explained, but the health benefits are like the effects of an antioxidant fruit. The smile on a woman's face is priceless after a shopping spree.
Dolling up to brighten the day
If men are trying to decode this de-stress mantra then you need to get in touch with your emotions. Women believe that when they wear their best outfit, bright and sassy, with accessories to boot and their favourite shoes, their day will feel a whole lot better. Dressing up makes women feel pretty, confident and makes them smile. They feel light and carefree like a butterfly; they experience a sense of excitement. It's true and sadly it cannot be scientifically proven.
Reading is a hobby
Recently China revealed that women are obsessed with fashion magazines. We beg to differ. Women are not obsessed with fashion magazines, it's merely a way to chill out and read about the latest and the hottest fashion of the season. Fashion magazines are ways to escape reality, just as men are 'obsessed' with automobile and gadget magazines.
But no stereotyping here, we'll stick to the fact that reading (no matter what the content's sexual orientation) makes for a great de-stressing tool for all the ladies out there.
Nothing's wrong with applying make up
Make up can hide a woman's true feelings; you don't know what the woman feels behind that red lipstick. Cosmetics help women add a bit of glamour in their lives, it adds the oomph quotient to spruce up and spice life. It may be a mask, but it sure makes women cheer up and admire themselves in the mirror.
Flaunting the best 'pics'
Social networking sites are a way to flaunt your life and the travel plans. It completely conceals the true identity of the account holder. But women love to upload 'pics' in their best dresses from exotic locations. It definitely puts you on the cool list among 'friends.' Women receive sympathy, love and praises thanks to that glamorous array of pictures. When dozens of people tell you that you look great, your day is bound to get better.
Rom-coms are women's favourite pastime
Feeling low and out? Switch on your favourite romantic comedy with a tub of 'healthy snacks'. This is one formula that works with women; it feels great to watch SRK romancing Kajol or Cameron Dias making you laugh with a quirky persona. Women love reel life over the mundane, same old real life. Movies, too, are a way to escape life's taunting moments.
Communication is therapeutic
Any shrink will tell you, it's best to talk about your emotions and feelings. That is exactly what women love to do. Let's not get judgmental about it and the cell phone bill. Life is tough and women want to share their problems and love to offer solutions. Men may be able to discuss their problems in one sentence, but women need to really talk about the issues. Stress and depression can make women 'irritable', hence it is importance for women to relieve this tension the way they are comfortable in. Conversation is not just a discussion - it's therapy!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Walk into any health food store, grocery store, or mass merchandiser store and you'll surely find a vast assortment of healthy nutritional bars somewhere in the store. They claim to pack a nutritional punch and give you the necessary nutrition and nutrients you need when you are on the go. But is it really that good for you? I say 'NO!' Especially if you stop to read the ingredients in some of these.
Now let's look at one of the more popular bars. A bar that is aimed mostly at women who are trying to eat healthy and trying to lose weight. The Slim Fast Bar. You don't have to go very far in the ingredients list to see that this bar is junk! The first ingredient is High Fructose Corn Syrup! Next was a special syrup, which is just a way to cover up that they put more sugar in it. Add in some partially hydrogenated oils which equals one thing-Trans Fats, and then just a bunch of artificial flavoring and sweeteners. Seriously, I would rather you ate a Snickers Bar. At least then you'll be getting peanuts, skim milk, and egg whites as well as the junk. And it will taste a lot better.
Then, of course, are the bogus claims by the manufacturers: 'The Slim Fast Plan cuts your calories and helps provide the nutrition you need to stay healthy while you lose weight and keep it off...' I'm sorry, nobody needs High Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans Fats, and Artificial Sweeteners in their diet. Period!
And this is just one company. I'm telling you right now, read the nutrition labels and ingredients list. Even if you think it is healthy, or it says it is healthy. 95% of Food and Supplement Companies have one thing in mind-To make more money! They will cut costs however they can, even if it means deceiving you and putting crap in their products.
So how do you tell what nutritional bars are good for you? Well here are some general guidelines to follow if you are looking for a Meal Replacement Bar or one for weight loss:
- Needs to have at least 175 calories. Anything less won't be enough calories to get you to your next meal.
- Should offer 4 grams of protein or more. Protein mixed with carbs and fat are better at filling you up and giving the satisfied feeling. Plus protein should be eaten every 2-4 hours regardless.
- Minimum of 3 grams of fiber. Fiber also has the tendency to make you feel full longer. You should be shooting for 24-36 grams daily. -Stay away from ingredients like High Fructose Corn Syrup, added sugar, partially hydrogenated oils (Trans Fats), and added artificial sweeteners.
- Limit saturated fats. No more than 4 grams per bar.
Hope this helps. Organic ingredients are also a big plus in a bar. Health food stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods offer some excellent choices. Some good bars out there are Lara bars, Prograde Cravers, Perfect 10, and Organic Food Bars.