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Monday, April 23, 2012

Can food allergies cause acne?

April 23, 2012 1 Comments

Many often associate acne with raging hormones and excessive sebum production; however there are lots of other things that can cause acne.  Did you know that food allergies are the number one cause of acne? Swelling and inflammation of the skin is one of the symptoms of allergies; acne is simply another kind of inflammation.

If you notice acne appearing after you eat a particular food, you may have a food allergy.  Allergy symptoms may show up hours or even a day later.  Besides, acne doesn’t come and go quickly enough to be associated with food.  Other, more common food allergy symptoms include swelling, hives, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Food allergies are caused by a hypersensitivity of the immune system to the proteins found in particular foods.  The allergic reaction occurs because the immune system mistakes the proteins as an invading substance, such as a virus or bacteria.

Common food allergens:
  •   Dairy products
  •   Eggs
  •   Peanuts
  •   Tree nuts
  •   Seafood
  •   Shellfish
  •   Soy
  •   Wheat

Any food allergy can cause acne.  However, the most common allergens that cause acne are dairy and wheat products.  A lot of people consume dairy and wheat products nearly every day.  For this reason, connection symptoms to food consumption can be tricky.    

One of the most effective ways to determine if your acne is related to a food allergy is to implement an elimination diet.  If your doctor determines that you have a food allergy, the most effective treatment for your acne is to permanently eliminate that food from your diet.  

If you suspect that your acne may be causes or triggered by a food allergy, eliminate that food from your diet for a few months.  If your acne does not improve, it's likely that other triggers are responsible for your acne.


Photo from here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

STOP nail biting!

April 16, 2012 5 Comments

One of the most common and irritating stress relieving habits is definitely biting nails.  Biting nails can lead to broken skin on the cuticle which can lead to infection.  When biting your nails you are also transferring bacteria and germs from your fingernails to your mouth!  Nail biting is a bad habit that is not easy to quit.

WOW! These are my brother's NOTD ;)

Here are some tips that can help...

Identify triggers
It could be boredom, or stress or a particular time of day.

Love your nails
Get a manicure and paint the nails to make them look at their best.  

Artificial nails
These will protect your natural nails for some time until they grow out.

Make them taste bad
Apply a clear, bitter-tasting nail polish to the nails.  This is one of the most popular methods used to try to break the habit.

Keep you hands occupied
In case the problem is stress or boredom related try another activity that uses the hands.

Increase calcium and magnesium intake
Calcium and magnesium strengthen the nails.

Chew gum
Chew gum to keep your mouth busy.

Clipper and file
Carry a nail clipper and a nail file with you all the time. 

Healthy fingernails will boost your confidence!  However, to kick this habit, one requires patience.  KEEP TRYING! 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Shaving tips

April 11, 2012 2 Comments

Today, women are increasingly opting for epilation and laser hair removal.  However, shaving remains the most popular form of hair removal.
Here are some shaving tips and tricks:
  • Do not shave dry skin.  Shaving is a natural exfoliator and if you shave dry skin, you risk clogging up the razor with dead skin.  This may result in nicks, ingrown hair and razor burns.
  • Only use shaving cream recommended for women, not soap!  Leave the shaving cream on for 3-4 minutes to soften up the hair.  

  • Experiment with razors until you find the perfect one for you.  Look for a razor with lubricated strips, pivoting heads and multiple blades. 
  • Be sure to change razors or cartridges on a regular basis; a dull blade can lead to nicks and irritation.
  • Be sure to exfoliate your skin before shaving.  This gets rid of dead skin cells, allowing a closer shave. There are several ways to exfoliate.
  • Since your leg hairs grow down, start at your ankles and shave up.  For your underarms, shave in every direction since the hair there grows in at different angles.  
  • When finished shaving; rinse, pad dry and apply moisturiser.  
  • Ingrown hairs are caused when the hairs curl back under the skin.  Avoid ingrown hairs by exfoliating daily.  Read this post for more information: Removing and preventing ingrown hair
  • If you have coarse hair, consider waxing or sugaring.  You'll find that in time, hair won't grow back as fast.  Read this post for more information: Sugaring vs. Waxing

Hope you found this post useful!  

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Photo from here.

Friday, April 06, 2012

At-home hair dye tips

April 06, 2012 0 Comments

As I told you in a previous post, I colour my hair.  When I used to have highlights, I used to colour my hair professionally, but for the last few years, I’ve been dying my hair with an at-home hair dye kit for a fraction of the cost of professional hair colour.  

If you want to cover gray hair, or do a couple of shades lighter or darker, home hair colouring is for you.  But if you want a drastic change or you have damaged/chemically processed hair, then it's best to go to a salon. 

If you’re still hesitant to give it a try, follow these steps and you’ll achieve great results.

Step 1: Select a colour

Check the colour guide on the box, which is an indicator of the results you can expect based on the colour of your hair.

Step 2: Condition

Two days before colouring, apply a deep-conditioning treatment/hair mask to help strengthen hair.

Step 3: Preparation

 In addition to your home hair colouring kit, you will also need a few supplies.

·         a wide-tooth comb
·         hair clips
·         petroleum jelly (optional - to apply along your hairline to protect your skin from staining)
·         an old shirt
·         a kitchen timer 

Step 4: Read the instructions

Sounds obvious, but this step is the most ignored.  If you haven't used the particular hair dye before, you should do a patch test.

Step 5: Colouring

Optional: Apply petroleum jelly to your skin all around your hairline to protect your skin from the dye.

Put your hair in a bun.  Then put on your gloves, and prepare your dye as directed in the instructions.  Begin applying all around the hair line.  This should be easy if your hair is in a bun. 

Next take your hair down.  Take sections of hair and apply generous amounts of dye.  Continue to apply until all the hair is saturated. 
Start the timer for the amount of time indicated on the box.

After your first time, dye only your roots: You will damage your hair and your colour will become patchy, if you recolour your whole head every four to six weeks.  Again, follow the instructions to touch up your roots!

Step 6: Rinse

When the time is up, rinse your hair according to the instructions. 


  • If you are new to colouring your hair, select a temporary or semi-permanent hair colour rather than permanent.
  • Dry your hair to see the final shade (hair looks different when wet).
  • After you colour, wait 24 hours before washing hair; you want the pigment in the dye to fully settle into your hair. 
  • Maintain with the right shampoo; select a formula created for coloured hair. 

Have you ever dyed your own hair?  Did you like the result?  Leave a comment and let me know.


Photo from here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Nails Of The Day (NOTD): Easter/Spring nails

April 03, 2012 2 Comments

Today I’m wearing polka dot nails and since Easter is almost here, this NOTD features the Easter bunny

First I applied a single coat of base coat, and then I painted my nails white, except for my thumbnails, which I painted pink.

Next, I dipped the rounded ends of a bobby pin in the fuschia nail polish and painted random polka dots on my white nails.

On my thumbs, I drew a little bunny. 

bunny head...

bunny ears...

eyes and nose.

And finally, I sealed with top coat.

I you don’t celebrate Easter, you can skill rock your bunny thumbnail this Spring!


Monday, April 02, 2012

Sea salt and acne

April 02, 2012 7 Comments

Recently I re-discovered a natural acne treatment I used years ago, but for some reason I stopped using.  I used to treat my acne with sea salt.  Yes, sea salt.  
Sea salt helps destroy the bacteria that lead to acne while also calming overactive oil production. 

Use sea salt for treating acne because regular table salt can irritate your skin.  Table salt is heavily processed to eliminate minerals and usually contains an additive to prevent clumping.  Sea salt contains beneficial minerals including; zinc, iodine, calcium, sulfur, potassium and magnesium.  These minerals will cleanse and nourish your skin, reduce inflammation, and heal skin tissue.
There are a few different ways to use sea salt.  I do not suggest using sea salt as a toner or scrub because those methods tend to irritate and dry the skin.

These are the methods I use…

Method 1:
Sea salt soak
  • Wash your face.
  • Warm a cup of distilled water. 
  • Add about one tablespoon of sea salt, stirring until it dissolves.
  • Soak a wash-cloth in the salt water solution and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  • Lay the wash-cloth on your face and relax.
  • Keep the wash-cloth applied to the acne for at least five minutes.
  • Rinse your face and apply a moisturiser.

Method 2:
Sea salt steam
Add one or two tablespoons of sea salt to your facial steam (using the bowl and hot water method).  For instructions check out Facial sauna

  • Use a fresh solution each time.
  • Treat you face with sea salt twice a weekOveruse of salt water will dry your skin and can lead to more skin problems.  
  • If you suffer from body acne, try adding a cupful of sea salt to you regular bath.  Do not forget to moisturise you skin afterwards.

Of course, if you have access to the sea, go swimming!  If you have any questions, leave a comment or contact me.


Sunday, April 01, 2012

Spring skin care tips

April 01, 2012 1 Comments

Hello everyone!

It’s Spring, and as the seasons change, so do our skin care needs.  Temperature variations can take a toll on our skin. 

Here are a few Spring skin care tips:
  • Exfoliate face and body.  Exfoliate from head to toe to slough away dead skin cells and rejuvenate your dull complexion.
  • Switch to a lighter moisturiserThe heavy moisturising cream that you used in the winter months may be too heavy for Spring.  
  • Use a sun screen/sun blockDon’t ignore warnings about protecting our skin; take the time to apply sunscreen.  You’ll benefit from it by having fewer wrinkles, age spots and you’ll avoid the discomfort of sunburns and heat rashes.
  • Pamper your feet and toe nails.  If you can't afford a trip to the salon, you can do your own pedicure at home.  Knees, elbows, heels, and toes can also suffer from a winter in boots.
  • Drink more water.  Carry a bottle of water wherever you go.
  • Snack on berries.  Berries are rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and encourage collagen renewal.

Don't you just love Spring?


Related posts:
DIY: Pedicure