5 Ingredients for Healthy, Glowing Skin This Summer

Summertime is finally here, and while you may welcome the warmth and sunshine with open arms, there are a few things you could likely do away with, such as breakouts, dull skin, a sweaty shine, clogged pores and more. Yes, with summer comes the intense heat and, depending on where you live, oppressing humidity, neither of which is excellent for your complexion. The good news is that you can combat the potentially adverse effects of environmental stressors simply by changing up your skincare ingredients. So which ingredients should you be using? Check out experts’ top picks for healthy, glowing skin all summer.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide — more commonly known as vitamin B3 — is the powerhouse of skincare ingredients. A key ingredient in almost all SPF products, niacinamide prevents damage caused by UV rays and boosts the skin’s natural barrier function. Considering preventing UV damage should be a primary goal for skin care this summer, B3 is one ingredient you want to add to your repertoire — that is, if your products don’t contain it already.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful ingredient for combatting collagen damage and hyperpigmentation caused by prolonged sun exposure. It does this by using its antioxidants to inhibit the production of melanin and stimulate collagen production at the same time. With vitamin C in your arsenal, you can keep your skin wrinkle and fine-line-free not just through the season but also for years to come.

Salicylic Acid

Humidity wreaks havoc on the skin in several ways throughout the summer, one of which is by causing intense oil buildup beneath the surface. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, meaning it can cut through the oils on your skin and exfoliate deep within the pores to remove any blockages. If your skin becomes shiny with oil beginning in late May to early June, and if it is prone to acne breakouts because of it, add this acid to the list of ingredients with which to pamper your complexion this summer.

Hyaluronic Acid

A combination of constant air conditioning and intense heat can quickly dry out the skin, leaving your complexion looking dull at best and downright parched at worst. To keep your skin from feeling (and looking) like a sheet of sandpaper, add hyaluronic acid to your daily skincare regime. This ingredient not only boosts hydration beneath the skin’s surface but also, it helps the skin retain its moisture. Not only that, but hyaluronic acid has been known to make the skin appear plumper because of its water retention abilities.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Though not an ingredient in and of itself, alpha hydroxy acids are a class of ingredients that work wonders on the skin, especially during the summer months. Acids in this class include glycolic acid, citric acid and lactic acid. These acids have gentle exfoliating properties, which help to remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface without damaging the newly formed cells beneath. This careful balance helps to prevent the over-drying of the skin during what should be maintenance and healing processes.

Achieving and maintaining healthy skin throughout the summer months is a tough feat. However, with these five ingredients in your arsenal, you can accomplish what so many others before you deemed “impossible” — a beautiful, even and glowing complexion all summer long.

My Favorite Natural Energy Boosters (They Aren’t What You Might Think)

Lack of energy is a pervasive problem in America, with as many as 42% of adults claiming they regularly feel tired before noon. In addition, an astounding 65% of 2,000 people surveyed said they never wake up feeling refreshed and energized. These statistics may account for the hundreds of self-proclaimed energy-boosting products on the market today — some of which make no claims of being natural and many more that do. Regardless of whether “energy” comes in a can, herb or supplement form, the truth is that the best energy boosters are already inside of you. You just have to make a few lifestyle changes to help them do their work.

Fortunately, the changes you need to make are not big or difficult to implement. See for yourself — check out the top five natural energy boosters that actually work.

1.    Say “Yes” Less

A major reason for the fatigue epidemic in the U.S. is obligation overload. Not only do Americans tend to overwork themselves but also, many find it nearly impossible to say no to their bosses, friends, family members and social obligations. To avoid burnout, learn to say “yes” less. When someone asks you to do something — whether five minutes from the moment or six months down the road — consider whether it is something you really want to do. When the time comes to do it, would you still say “yes” to the commitment? If the answer is no or not a solid yes, don’t commit.

2.    Manage Your Stress

Stress is a major energy zapper. If you don’t yet have a stress-relief outlet, adopt one. Such an outlet can be a support group, a happy hour date with a BFF on Tuesday afternoons, a yoga class or a simple 20-minute walk each evening. There are no rules to how you must control your stress, but you must find a way to do so.

3.    Get Moving

Exercise has many proven benefits, ranging from improved brain health to decreased risk of major health problems. It makes sense, then, that exercise has several energy-boosting properties.

Exercise helps you sleep better at night. It also generates higher dopamine levels in the brain, contributing to a better mood. Finally, exercise gives the cells more energy to burn, which helps circulate oxygen and increase energy levels.

4.    Drink Caffeine Sparingly

Yes, coffee does provide a much-needed jolt of energy in the morning. However, when consumed in large amounts, caffeine may prove ineffective, and it could even have adverse consequences across several areas of your life.

If you drink too much, your body may build a tolerance to caffeine. Moreover, high caffeine intake can lead to insomnia and sleep deprivation, contributing to fatigue. Coffee can also dehydrate you, which leads to fatigue, and affect your blood sugar levels, which also causes feelings of tiredness.

The bottom line is that caffeine is great in small doses. Stick to one to two cups a day to reap the benefits of the world’s favorite beverage.

5.     Drink Water

Water is the one nutrient proven to enhance the performance of all but the most rigorous endurance activities. If your body is even slightly dehydrated, decreased energy levels will be one of the first signs.

If you’re tired of being tired, you don’t need canned energy or fancy supplements to restore your energy. You simply need to make a few lifestyle changes. Incorporate the above five changes into your life today for more energy tomorrow.

The Effectiveness of Reiki

Based on an early 20th-century Japanese practice, Reiki is best described as spiritual healing. The term is typically not associated with hospitals or medicine, especially in America; however, more reputable facilities have been adopting and offering reiki programs in recent years.

As the skepticism wains, it is natural for patient questions to arise. Is Reiki effective? Is it real? While questions are abundant, the answers are few. Few, if any, peer-reviewed journals have offered studies of the practice, and any studies that do exist elsewhere focus on a patient's feelings rather than science-backed data.

If the science of Reiki cannot be proven, then why are hospitals permitting and suggesting reiki treatments to patients? In a nutshell, pain management is challenging and comes with its fair share of risks, primarily when narcotics are involved. Reiki offers an alternative to prescriptions that some might find compelling. Additionally, many patients find the combination of medications, therapy, and Reiki effective.

Lack of Evidence

There is no concrete proof that reiki works. However, when meditation and yoga became mainstream, there were few studies to prove their effectiveness.

While people might be concerned that a hospital is offering alternative medicine to patients, there is no mandate that they have to use it. The growing popularity and recognition of such programs suggest popularity and usefulness.

Unfortunately, popularity does not equate to tangible and measurable change. Many opponents to the acceptance of Reiki argue that any results are placebo, that patients are not experiencing any real benefit. However, proponents of the practice and its adoption into hospitals say that a positive response is effective enough.

Power of Positivity

While there is no significant evidence to support Reiki as a legitimate medical therapy, research and evidence support the claim that a positive attitude improves patient outcomes. Studies have proven that people who maintain a positive outlook about treatments, surgeries, or conditions typically experience fewer adverse side effects and pain, suggesting that psychology plays a role in treatment and outcome.

While Reiki might not have a swath of supportive evidence, patients express feeling better after a session. Don't patient feelings matter. As some medical experts expressed, there is no definitive way to measure pain, but doctors still believe patients when they say it, so why can't professionals accept that Reiki works for some people.

Is Reiki Right for You?

Unfortunately, because Reiki does not have much supportive evidence, it is up to you to decide if it is right for you or not. The best way to tell is to schedule a reiki appointment with a professional and certified practitioner. See how the visit goes. If you experience something positive, then it might be worth it for you.

Reiki is not for everyone, and there is little evidence to suggest it works. However, despite the lack of credible evidence, Reiki can still be an effective practice, especially when combined with other treatments.

What do you think about Reiki? Do you have experience with the practice?