4 Changes To Make to Your Beauty Regimen in 2021

The new year is a great time to embrace a new you. As you replace one calendar with another, it only makes sense to replace bad habits with better ones. Here are four changes to consider making to your beauty regimen now that 2020 is finally in your rearview mirror.

1. Skip the Soap at Bedtime

You may already know that you should always wash your face before you crawl under the covers, but did you also know that you should leave the face wash in the medicine cabinet? As women age, their skin’s oil glands slow down. The result? Drier skin. While soap is great for taking off the day’s makeup, it’s not great for retaining moisture. In fact, most soaps actively strip your skin of moisture.

Instead of working against your skin’s natural anti-aging properties, work with them by skipping the soap when you wash your face before bed. If that’s a deal breaker, choose a very gentle cleanser so you can avoid robbing your skin of so many beneficial oils.

2. Make the Switch to Natural Beauty Products

How closely do you examine the label when you buy a new bottle of shampoo or tube of mascara? You might be surprised to discover how many toxic ingredients are in the skin care products, hair care items and cosmetics that line the shelves of your local pharmacy or beauty supply store. From parabens, which can disrupt hormone function, to formaldehyde-filled preservatives, there’s often more to that new conditioner than its enticing coconut scent.

The good news is that it’s never been easier to avoid potentially harmful chemicals in your beauty regimen. More and more companies are committing themselves to clean beauty, and most major retailers now carry a wide array of clearly labeled non-toxic products.

If you’re not ready to detoxify your entire beauty regimen just yet, start with those items that make the most contact with your skin, such as lotion or foundation. Think of it this way: Any product that you literally rub into your skin probably shouldn’t be full of carcinogens or other harmful chemicals.

3. Break Out the Dry Brush

While you likely have no room for dry skin in your beauty regimen, 2021 is a great time to embrace the dry brush.

Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like: rubbing a dry, stiff-bristled brush against your skin, particularly your arms and legs. The effect? Supremely — and naturally — exfoliated skin.

It may be trendy, but don’t let that turn you off. While some claim that dry brushing can help with circulation and other issues, the jury’s still out on those claims. It is a powerful way to remove dead skin cells, though, so before you jump in the shower, spend a few moments dry brushing. You may even feel like you're at the spa.

Just don’t overdo it: Brush firmly, but not so hard that you break the skin or it’s painful. Beauty shouldn’t hurt.

4. Stay Out of the Sun

If you think it’s too late to safeguard your skin against the sun, think again. Shielding your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is important at any age, but it becomes paramount as you grow older. When you hit the backyard, beach or bike trail, show your skin some love by always wearing sunscreen from head to toe. Keep your face extra-protected with a hat and chic sunglasses, too.

New year’s resolutions get a bad rap. It’s only natural that as one year gives way to the next, you become more introspective and more motivated to find a better tomorrow. As you craft your plan to make 2021 the best year yet, consider upgrading your beauty regimen to look as good on the outside as you feel on the inside.

How To Prevent Crow’s Feet (Without Those Expensive Creams)

In some ways, crow’s feet are a sign that you’ve lived your life right. Moments of genuine happiness cause the muscles around your eyes to contract, which is what people mean when they talk about your “eyes smiling.” A lifetime of laughing and smiling will eventually create these fine wrinkles. Still, wrinkles don’t make any woman happy. How can you prevent crow’s feet?

Tips for Preventing Crow’s Feet Wrinkles

1. Wear Sunglasses

Squinting a lot from intense sunlight can contribute to premature crow’s feet wrinkles. At the same time, UV damage from the sun’s rays hurts your skin. Give your eyes a well-deserved rest by wearing sunglasses every time you go outside, including in winter (UV rays are still strong on overcast days). For maximum protection, choose sunglasses with 100% protection against UVA and UVB.

2. Put on Sunscreen Every Time You Leave the House

The more sun exposure you get around your eyes, the more potential damage your skin has to deal with. In fact, too much sunlight is one of the most common — and most preventable — causes of wrinkles and aging. UV rays make the skin’s layers less elastic.

I know it’s tempting to skip putting on sunscreen when you’re just running to the store  or taking care of errands, but your skin needs it. Something with SPF 30 is fine. As an added bonus, sunscreen protects your whole face from premature wrinkles, not just your eyes.

3. Relax More

Another common cause of crow’s feet is stress. Frequent anxiety makes you frown, and stress also provokes headaches. When you have a headache, you probably shut your eyes tightly when the pain is bad. If this happens a lot, you can end up with deep forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet.

The solution? Make time every day to relax. Whether you’re a successful entrepreneur or an amazing mom, you deserve to take at least 15–30 minutes for yourself. Listen to calming music, read something inspiring, massage your feet, watch the hummingbirds in your garden or take a steamy shower.

Natural Ways To Reduce the Appearance of Crow’s Feet

As I said at the beginning, laughing and smiling also contribute to crow’s feet, so there’s no way to avoid them completely. With some TLC, however, you can make unwanted wrinkles less noticeable. Here are my favorite tips for hiding crow’s feet:

  • Apply: Facials made with natural ingredients can deliver wrinkle-reducing enzymes and vitamins directly to your skin. Cucumber slices, shea butter, coconut oil, fresh aloe vera gel, avocado puree and mashed papaya are all great choices.

  • Exfoliate: Dead skin cells make wrinkles look deeper than they really are. A gentle exfoliation with cinnamon and honey (once a week) can smooth your skin and make crow’s feet thinner.

  • Sleep: While you sleep, your body repairs the damage from UV rays and produces new collagen for healthy skin. Beauty sleep really is a thing.

  • Eat: Make sure you’re getting plenty of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins in your diet. Your skin depends on these nutrients to prevent sun damage, improve natural hydration and create collagen. When your body has lots of antioxidants, it heals better.

These simple steps for taking care of the delicate skin around your eyes have a bigger effect than most women realize for reducing crow’s feet. You may not be able to completely avoid wrinkles, but you can slow down the aging process and keep your skin nourished and healthy.

What Causes “Old Person” Smell?

Getting older can be pretty weird, don't you agree? Grey hairs, wrinkles, and a little extra padding around the middle can leave you thinking "who is that person in the mirror?" every morning. While it's best to take these changes with a grain of salt and a good sense of humor, you also want to look and feel your best, no matter your age.

That brings us to a bit of an uncomfortable topic: body odor. Getting real for a minute, a lot of older folks are concerned about "old person smell", which is hard to define but you can definitely identify when you smell it.

What causes changes to body odor as you grow older? Is it all in your head? How can you stay smelling fresh well into your golden years? Here are a few insights into old person smell, as well as what you can do to combat it.

Changes to Body Chemistry

Senior smell is a natural occurrence, to some degree. It's a complicated scientific process, but the gist is an increase in fatty acid production and a decrease in antioxidant production causes a boost in a chemical that can smell somewhat pungent. While there isn't much you can do about science, you can increase your antioxidant intake by eating more tomatoes and taking vitamin C supplements.

Lax Hygiene

Mobility issues make it more difficult for older folks to get in and out of the shower. This can lead to a lax approach to personal grooming, which in turn increases unpleasant bodily smells. If you have concerns about mobility in the bathroom, install some grip bars and anti-slip flooring to keep you safe and secure. And you can prevent mobility problems later in life by building up muscles and joints via exercise. It's never too late to get started!

Dental Issues

Lots of older people have dentures, which can be a good solution to missing teeth. While dentures won't decay like natural teeth, they can accumulate food debris and bacteria. If you have dentures, care for them correctly by brushing them once a day and soaking them overnight. You should also brush your gums, inside your cheeks, and the roof of your mouth on a daily basis using a soft-bristled tooth brush. Whether you have dentures or not, schedule a check-up with your dentist twice per year.

Medications

Medications are a common part of life for many older adults. Some medications impact your body odor, and not in a good way. Medicines used to balance hormones, treat depression, and regulate blood pressure can all affect body odor. Supplements, such as garlic pills, can also create a strong odor in those who take them. When it comes to prescription meds, talk with your doctor about side effects, including unpleasant smells. You may be able to adjust the dosage for better results.

Dehydration

Be honest: do you drink enough water? Water is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, regardless of your age. Men should be drinking 3.7 liters, or 15.5 cups, per day, while women are encouraged to drink 2.7 liters, or 11.5 cups. When you don't drink enough water you become dehydrated, and when you're dehydrated your bodily excretions, including sweat and urine, become much stronger smelling. Increasing your water intake reduces strong odors, and can also provide an energy boost.

While aging is inevitable, you don't have to assume the role of an "old" person just because another year has passed. People these days can remain vital and healthy well into their golden years and beyond. The key often lies in diet, exercise, supplements, and stress-reduction, all of which can help you look great and lead a long, happy life.

I Should Be Putting Egg Whites in WHAT?

Have you ever noticed how egg whites are treated as second-hand citizens in many recipes? I have. After all, anytime a recipe instructs me to separate my eggs and use only the yolks, I dump the whites down the sink without a second thought. But then I got to thinking “what if I could actually use those for something?” That’s when I did some research and found out just how versatile egg whites really are. Here are a few surprising things you should start saving your egg whites for, starting today.

DIY Face Masks

Before you throw egg whites out, put them in a bowl to whip into an effective little DIY face mask. I know, I know. Putting food on your face doesn’t seem natural. However, you can’t knock it until you try it. It turns out that egg whites contain an impressive amount of protein, which can help tighten the skin and mop up excess oil.

It’s really easy to make a face mask with egg whites. Simply separate the yolk from the white, mix it with juice from half a lemon until it gets nice and frothy, then apply it to your face in a thin layer. Let it dry for approximately 10 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. It’s as easy as that! Oh, don’t forget to avoid your eyes. Lemon juice and eyes don’t go together well.

Candied Nuts

Egg whites probably aren’t the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of candied nuts. But I learned that they’re a key ingredient for creating a nice crunch and binding the dry ingredients to the nuts. Practically every candied nut recipe calls for the humble egg white, and if you omit it from your recipe, you’ll soon see why it’s necessary. If you plan to make candied nuts this holiday season, get ready to learn how to use egg whites in a creative way.

Homemade Marshmallows

Eggs and marshmallows don’t seem to go together, but it turns out they’re a match made in heaven. If you have the ability to whip egg whites, you have the ability to make pillow-soft homemade marshmallows. All you need are a couple packages of powdered gelatin, sugar, egg whites, light corn syrup, water and a little flavoring. You can find many different homemade marshmallow recipes online. Give several a try until you find your favorite.

Cocktails

Adding egg whites to cocktails may seem strange or even gross to you, but it’s a practice that’s been going on for longer than a century. Egg whites can make your cocktail creamier and foamier than it would otherwise be. Don’t worry, your drink won’t end up tasting like eggs. Unpasteurized egg whites are almost tasteless and odorless. Their primary purpose in cocktails is solely textural.

To create frothier cocktails, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Then, work the egg whites into a frothy consistency using the dry shake method. This involves shaking the egg white, along with the other cocktail ingredients, in a cocktail shaker (without ice) for at least a minute. You’ll get tired, but it’s a great way to get rid of those flabby underarms!

After a minute, add ice, then shake the egg whites cocktail mixture for at least 30 more seconds. Strain it into your glass using a double-straining method to make sure the foam layer is nice and clean. That’s all there is to it! your guests will most likely ask you what your trick is. Feel free to tell them, or keep your egg white cocktail secret to yourself.

Try Your Own Egg White Recipe

These are just a few of my favorite, surprising egg white recipes. There are many more uses for egg whites that you can research. Give one a try the next time you have extra egg whites to use up.

The Truth About Essential Oils

If the wonderful woman who cuts my hair is to be believed, essential oils are nothing short of magic potions. They’ve done everything from cure her back pain and rejuvenate her nail beds to make her house smell like Thanksgiving all year long. Sounds great, right?

Before you load up on essential oils, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. Essential oils can provide an exciting array of benefits for your well-being, but some of the health claims made about them have stirred up controversy.

Fact: Essential Oils Are Plant Extracts

Essential oils are aromatic compounds that are derived from plants. Sometimes they’re harvested using a cold press or other mechanical means; sometimes they’re distilled using steam. Once those appealing aromatics are separated from their plants, they’re combined with an oil for ease of use.

How that oil is made matters. When buying essential oils, stick to those that are chemical-free and list the aromatic’s botanical name, like “cinnamomum zeylanicum” instead of “essence of cinnamon bark.”

Fact: Essential Oils Are Good for Your Limbic System

One very popular way to use essential oils is to add a few drops to some water in an oil diffuser, which will disperse the scent of the oil, or combination of oils, throughout the air. Studies show that smelling these aromas can stimulate your limbic system. That’s the part of your brain involved in behavior, emotion and memory. Inhaling certain scents can have a calming effect by reminding you of cherished places and events. For example, when I mix a few drops of clove, cinnamon and orange oils in my diffuser, it takes me right back to holidays in my grandmother’s kitchen, even if I’m firing my diffuser up in mid-July.

Fiction: Essential Oils Are Good for Your Blood Pressure

While research proves that essential oil-based aromatherapy can boost your memory, the jury’s still out on whether or not it can lower your heart rate or blood pressure, or improve any respiratory functions.

Fact: Essential Oils Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety

The keyword here is “can.” There’s no guarantee that inhaling essential oils will rid you of your worries, but research has shown that certain scents can reduce stress for certain users. For example, that Christmas kitchen oil cocktail I mentioned earlier often does wonders for my state of mind, but that’s because it tends to stir up pleasant memories.

Ultimately, it’s virtually impossible for researchers to do a blind study when scent is involved, so it’s been equally tricky to come to any strong scientific conclusions in this area.

Fiction: Essential Oils Are an Alternative to Antibiotics

While some essential oils, such as tea tree oil, have demonstrated antibacterial properties outside the human body, none of them have proven effective in fighting bacterial infections in people. In other words, adding tea tree oil to your homemade counter cleaner is a great idea. Taking a big swig of it after you wipe down your kitchen is absolutely not.

Fact: Essential Oils Can Reduce Headaches

While more research is needed, several studies have shown that rubbing peppermint oil or lavender oil on your temples or forehead can reduce headaches.

Fiction: Essential Oils Are Safe for Your Pets

According to the ASPCA, essential oils can be extremely harmful to some pets. It varies from animal to animal, of course, and the type of oil and the amount that the animal inhales, ingests or comes into physical contact with all matter as well.

Does this mean you need to junk your essential oil diffuser? If you have a pet bird, then yes, you probably should. They have exceptionally sensitive respiratory systems. For other pets, stationing the diffuser in an open area and out of your pet’s furry reach should be safe. If you’re worried, ask your vet.

Essential oils can be a great way to cozy up your space or take the edge off your migraine. As with any wellness product, however, you should do your homework first and read all labels.

How To Increase Skin’s Collagen Production

Collagen is your body’s secret weapon. It not only makes your skin appear more youthful but also strengthens your body as a whole. It’s the most abundant protein in your body, and when you have a healthy level of it inside, you look and feel healthy on the outside. Here are six simple, non-invasive ways to kick-start your body’s production of collagen.

Vitamin C

Is there anything vitamin C can’t do? It’s great for your bones and a healthy immune system. Adding citrus to your diet can increase iron absorption and decrease the time it takes wounds to heal. And it helps your body create collagen by synthesizing hyaluronic acid, which decreases naturally as we grow older.

To give your skin a more robust glow, pick up a hyaluronic acid concentrate at the pharmacy or load up on colorful, vitamin C-filled foods such as the following:

  • Oranges and grapefruit

  • Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries

  • Mango, papaya and kiwi

  • Watermelon and cantaloupe

  • Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli

  • Kale, spinach and cabbage

  • Red and green bell peppers

  • Tomatoes

  • Sweet potatoes

Ginseng

Sometimes helping your skin is as simple as brewing a soothing cup of tea. Ginseng, which has been used in medicine for hundreds of years, provides a handful of health benefits for your skin. It can increase collagen growth, reduce inflammation and fend off UVB rays. It’s also packed with the antioxidants you need to fend off free radicals for radiant skin. If ginseng tea turns you off, no problem. Try a ginseng supplement or tincture.

Antioxidants

Ginseng isn’t the only way to aid the antioxidants in your blood stream. Several foods, beverages and spices contain antioxidants:

  • Green tea

  • Yerba mate

  • Thyme, oregano and basil essential oils

  • Blueberries

  • Various extracts including coffee, licorice, mulberry and pomegranate

Some of these delicious flavors increase collagen production, while others simply aid your body’s existing antioxidants. Either way, you have no shortage of reasons to snack on a second bowl of fresh blueberries.

Aloe Vera

You’re probably well aware that aloe vera is great for sunburns, but did you know that it’s all because of its collagen-boosting properties? You can apply it directly to your skin or ingest it via supplement. Either way, studies show that its knack for stimulating cell growth can enhance your skin’s appearance. In fact, one study found that taking aloe vera orally caused the participants’ production of both collagen and hyaluronic acid to double.

Cilantro

I know, I know. You either love it or you hate it. I happen to love it, and not just because it’s full of vitamin C and linolenic acid, both of which have anti-aging potential. You already know that vitamin C has been found to elevate collagen levels. Linolenic acid, meanwhile, contains those helpful antioxidants your skin craves, giving you all the more reason to add an extra handful of cilantro to your salsa or pick up some cilantro extract online.

Algae

For the more adventurous of us, algae is quickly gaining steam as a popular treatment for supple skin. Here’s why: It stops oxidation, which is what happens when your skin comes into contact with environmental factors, thereby preventing pollution and its undesirable pals from stripping your skin of collagen. Odds are, you won’t be able to pick up algae on your next trip to the grocery store, but it’s a health food store staple.

Fine lines and wrinkles are inevitable as we age, but that doesn’t mean we have to welcome them! Partner any of these collagen-intensifying tips with a healthy skincare routine that’s low on UV rays to help your skin look and feel fantastic, no matter how old you are.