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Category Archives: Beauty

The Aging Effects of UV Rays

Damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause your skin to age prematurely — think wrinkles. The good news is that premature aging due to UV rays is largely preventable. By taking steps to avoid excessive sun exposure and protecting your skin when you’re in the sun, you can help keep your skin healthier and postpone wrinklesfor years to come.

The Sun’s Spectrum of Ultraviolet Rays

Radiation energy emitted from the sun reaches the earth in the form of UV rays. Ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere provides some protection, but the breakdown of the ozone layer that has occurred over the past few decades is making us even more vulnerable to UV rays damage. Even on overcast days you’re still being exposed to UV rays — “cloud cover” offers no protective value.

Two types of UV rays reach the earth, UVA and UVB (the sun also emits UVC rays, but these are absorbed by the earth’s atmosphere). UVA rays are the rays that cause tanning as well as wrinkles and other signs of premature aging, and UVB rays cause sunburns and skin cancer. But both ultimately damage your skin. UV rays are more powerful during the summer months. They are also stronger in high altitude areas and the closer you get to the equator — geographic factors that increase your risk of premature aging.

Damage Done by UV Rays

When UV rays reach your skin, they interact with a natural chemical in the skin called melanin. Melanin is your first line of protection and absorbs UV rays in order to shield your skin against sun damage; this chemical reaction is what gives skin a tan. When the amount of UV rays you’re exposed to exceeds the protection provided by melanin, however, you get a sunburn.

Repeated overexposure to UV rays can lead to various forms of skin damage including:

  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Age spots, freckles, and other discolorations
  • Scaly red patches, called actinic keratoses, thought to be the beginnings of skin cancer
  • Tough, leathery skin that feels and looks dry and rough

As if these signs of aging weren’t enough, the sun causes numerous types of skin cancer, including life-threatening melanoma; eye damage such as cataracts, which impair vision; and a weakened immune system, leaving you less able to fight off infections.

Break the UV Ray Cycle

You can help protect your skin from wrinkles and other sun damage with the following steps:

  • Use sunscreen. Every day, generously apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, choosing products that provide what’s called “broad spectrum” protection against both UVA and UVB rays. When you’re in the sun for prolonged periods of time, reapply sunscreen every two hours.
  • Wear protective clothing. Whenever possible, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to further shield your skin from the sun. Consider clothes made from fabrics with built-in SPF.
  • Avoid peak sun hours. Stay in the shade during the hottest part of the day, usually from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their most intense.
  • Follow the UV Index. The UV Index is a daily indicator of how much UV radiation is expected to reach the earth — think of it as a pollen count reading for your skin. Developed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Weather Service, it’s usually broadcast along with your local weather report. A rating of 1 to 2 is considered low, and anything over 11 is very high. The higher the number, the more you risk overexposure to UV rays.
  • Never use tanning beds. Tanning beds emit the same UV rays that come from the sun, so skip them. Contrary to popular belief, they are not a “safer” way to tan.
  • Bronze yourself with sunless tanning products. If you like the look of sunkissed skin, consider do-it-yourself tanning products or splurge on a salon spray-on tan. But remember to still use sunscreen and take all other precautions against UV rays when you’re going to be outside.

While the sun may feel warm and inviting, exposure to UV rays comes at a cost. Take steps to protect yourself from the havoc that sun damage can wreak on your skin.

7 Ways to Reduce Wrinkles

Are you tired of waging a war against wrinkles? Scott Gerrish, MD, of Gerrish and Associates, PC, a non-surgical skin care specialist with offices in Virginia and Maryland states, “Don’t give up yet. There are steps you can take to lessen and even reverse one of the biggest signs of aging: wrinkles.”

7 Simple and Smart Skin Care Steps to Reduce Wrinkles

1.Avoid sun exposure. Try to wear white or light colors, and wear a hat when you’re outdoors. Also, don’t use tanning booths, which can be worse than the sun.

2.Wear sunscreen. For the best anti-aging protection, Dr. Gerrish strongly recommends, “Apply sunscreen with at least an SPF 15 (sun protection factor) thirty minutes before sun exposure to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Look for one with zinc or titanium oxide in the ingredient list.”

3.Avoid environmental pollutants. Ozone, smoke, and gasoline fumes are just a few of the pollutants that can age skin and cause premature wrinkles.

4.Start an anti-aging skin care program. June Breiner, MD, an internist in Maryland suggests, “Consult with a non-surgical skin care doctor. There are many products available that thicken your skin and reduce wrinkles.”

5.Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. Smoking takes away oxygen and nutrients, and it also increases the number of free radicals in your body’s cells, a main cause of skin aging. “The amount of cigarette consumption and the number of years you have smoked are correlated with an increase in premature wrinkles,” states Dr. Breiner.

6.Wear sunglasses. Other than staying indoors and away from windows, sunglasses are the best way to protect the thin, sensitive skin around your eyes from UV radiation.

7.Sleep on your back, if possible. Sleeping with your face pressed against the pillow can cause sleep lines, which can turn into wrinkles. Satin pillow cases can also help in the anti-wrinkle fight.

Your Guide to Anti-Aging Ingredients

As you search for the right anti-aging product, you’ll come across countless creams, lotions, serums, and cleansers that promise to improve the appearance of aging skin. Shopping for anti-aging products can be overwhelming, but having an idea of how different ingredients work can help narrow your choices. Keep in mind that most just make your skin look more moist, lessening the appearance of aging skin; some can actually affect the skin and lessen the damage; and a few protect against further damage.

The Beauty Shopper’s List for Anti-Aging Ingredients

These are some of the most common skin care ingredients intended to improve the appearance of aging skin:

  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs can help your skin appear more fresh and youthful by reducing the signs of sun damage, exfoliating the dead outer layers of your skin, and helping your skin retain moisture. Glycolic acids are a popular AHA.
  • Ammonium lactate. If your skin is dry and flaky, ammonium lactate can help keep it moist and remove dead skin cells.
  • Antioxidants. Products that contain antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C and coenzyme Q10, can repair aging skin, and may even help protect itfrom further sun damage and the effects of free radicals, molecules that irritate your skin and cause it to become inflamed.
  • Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). Similar to AHAs, BHAs help to exfoliate your skin. They are intended to help reduce the appearance of fine lines,wrinkles, and texture abnormalities. In a product ingredient list, BHAs may be listed as salicylic acid, salicylate, sodium salicylate, willow extract, beta hydroxybutanoic acid, tropic acid, or trethocanic acid. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that BHAs should be used with sunscreen to avoid skin irritation.
  • Growth factors. These are compounds that may be found in anti-aging products, due to their ability to stimulate cell division, blood vessel growth, and to help produce skin-firming collagen and elastin in your skin.
  • Lactic acid. Lactic acid, an AHA derived from milk, is often added to moisturizers to help get rid of dead skin cells and enhance the moisture content of your skin.
  • Peptides. Peptides are protein components that are sometimes added to anti-aging products because they can increase the collagen in your skin, making it appear thicker.
  • Petrolatum. Petrolatum, the main ingredient in petroleum jelly, is common in lotions and creams that soften skin by creating a barrier to help seal in moisture.
  • Retinoic acid. A specialized form of vitamin A, retinoic acid is the only skin care product ingredient that has been approved by the FDA for reversing signs of sun damage. It is available by prescription only. After applying retinoic acid every day for several months, you should begin to see the texture of your skin improve — your skin pigmentation will even out, and there will be increases in the amount of skin-firming collagen.
  • Sunscreen. Sunscreen is one of the best ways to prevent signs of aging caused by sun exposure, including fine line and age spots. Many anti-aging skin care products contain sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15; look for “broad spectrum” protection that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Urea. A common ingredient in moisturizers, urea increases the ability of your skin to hold water and reduces the scaly appearance of dry skin.

Most anti-aging skin care products contain more than one of the above ingredients. Keep in mind that some of these ingredients can irritate your skin as they slough off top layers, so be cautious when using anti-aging products on sensitive skin. Also, since trying too many products can often do more harm than good, consider consulting a dermatologist to help select anti-aging products that will do the most for you.

5 Common Culprits in Skin Damage

Your skin is affected by everything from the sun to irritating laundry detergent and cigarette smoke.

And it can show — with anything from redness to wrinkles, and in some cases even skin cancer. But before you resign yourself to the effects of your environment on your skin, consider the five most common culprits of skin damage and find out what steps you can take to avoid them.

1. Sun exposure. The sun is the biggest cause of skin damage, says Faramarz Samie, MD, PhD, director of Mohs Surgery and vice chair of the department of dermatology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. The ultraviolet rays of the sun break down the various components of the skin such as collagen and elastin that help keep your skin looking smooth. These rays also affect melanocytes, which can lead to changes in your skin’s pigmentation. What’s more: The aging effects of the sun eventually show on your skin as wrinkles, age spots (patches of brown spots), and possibly skin cancer.

To avoid skin damage that can be caused by the sun, dermatologists advise staying out of the sun during the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest, wearing protective clothing such as a hat, and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen — one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays — with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours for maximum protection.

2. Free radicals. One of the ways the sun damages your skin is through production of harmful substances called free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules with a single electron. In short, doctors think that ultraviolet light from the sun can lead to damaged DNA and skin damage, Dr. Samie says. Free radicals may even play a role in the development of skin cancer. They are also the result of exposure to tobacco products or other environmental factors. Some skin care products contain antioxidants such as vitamins C and E that can help lessen the effects that free radicals have on your skin. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which contain antioxidants (especially berries, broccoli, carrots, and spinach), can also promote healthy skin.

3. Smoking cigarettes. Overall, the skin of a smoker isn’t as healthy and doesn’t heal as well as a nonsmoker’s skin. It also has a tendency to wrinkle easily. That’s because smoking cigarettes causes your blood vessels to constrict, or become more narrow, and that lowers the amount of nutrients and oxygen that reach the skin and keep it healthy. As a result, the skin loses elasticity, meaning it can’t snap back into shape as easily. This lack of nutrients also makes it harder for skin to heal when you have a wound, and can lead to skin ulcers. In women, smoking leads to lower estrogen levels, which dries out the skin.

Cigarettes can also cause the skin on your face to become dry, more prone to wrinkles and stretch marks, and appear dull and gray, according to Smokefree.gov, a website created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute. Wrinkles can appear in smokers as young as in the early thirties, but quitting can help you avoid premature aging.

If you have trouble quitting, talk to your doctor about the best smoking cessation option for you. Nicotine gum, inhalers, lozenges, nasal spray, and patches can all help you quit, along with prescription medications such as bupropion, varenicline, nortriptyline, and clonidine.

4. Irritants. Certain chemicals in cleaning products and laundry detergent can cause red, irritated skin and allergies in people who are susceptible, Samie says. For example, ammonia and bleach have a tendency to irritate skin. These chemicals may cause contact dermatitis, which causes scaling, irritation, and sometimes even a chemical burn. People with sensitive skin may experience more skin irritation than others. There are also over 3,000 substances in our environment that can cause allergies.

The easiest way to protect your skin from irritants is to avoid contact, either by wearing gloves when you clean or wash dishes or by switching to less irritating products. Also, moisturizing your skin can help. Some people may need an antihistamine or steroids for treatment.

5. Smiles and frowns. As you age, your skin loses elasticity, which means it loses the ability to snap back into place after you make facial expressions the way it did when you were younger, Samie says. As a result, your skin is more likely to show wrinkles even when you’re not frowning or laughing.

While there’s no need to avoid showing expression on your face, you can try to combat wrinkles by preventing skin damage from the sun by using sunscreen. You might also consider using over-the-counter or prescription wrinkle creams or other topical medications to smooth out the skin. Also, there are many procedures available to reduce wrinkles, including microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and injectable fillers such as collagen.

Why Some Get Zits and Others Don’t

The bacteria that causes acne lives on everyone’s skin, yet 20 percent of people will never have to deal with a pimple.

Why? There are three strains of the acne-causing bacteria — two linked to pimples and a third strain linked to healthy skin, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, and Washington University in St. Louis report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Harnessing the healthy kind could lead to bacteria-targeting probiotic treatments to fight acne formation and promote skin health, researchers say.

Currently, probiotics are not used to treat acne, says Mark Kaufmann, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist who did not work on the study.

“At this point, there are four main categories to treat acne: antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and anti-inflammatories,” Kaufmann says. “Because there’s not one good regime that treats everyone, dermatologists mix and match to find what each patient can tolerate, and what is best for the type of acne they have.”

Using over-the-counter pore strips, researchers in the study extracted the acne bacteria Propionibacterium acnes from both pimply and clear-skinned volunteers. They then sequenced the genomes of 66 P. acnes strains, zeroing in on genes unique to each strain.

“We were interested to learn that the bacterial strains looked very different when taken from diseased skin, compared to healthy skin,” said co-author Noah Craft, MD, lead investigator at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, in a release. “Two unique strains of P. acnes appeared in one out of five volunteers with acne but rarely occurred in clear-skinned people.”

Most importantly, there was also a third strain of P. acnes that’s common to healthy skin only — leading researchers to believe that this strain contains a natural defense mechanism that enables it to fight off acne-causing bacteria. Offering new hope to acne sufferers, researchers believe that increasing the body’s friendly strain of P. acnes through a simple cream or lotion may help calm pimples.

Kaufmann cautions that acne has multiple causes, so treating bacteria alone might not be enough for most patients. “Acne is multi-factorial,” he explains. “Many dermatologists believe the hormonal component is the most overriding factor.” Genetics and clogged pores also play major roles, he says.

When it comes to treating acne over the counter now, Kaufmann recommends atopical benzoyl peroxide cream. For more severe acne treatment, Kaufmann says more research is needed, “but only because there’s not one good regime that treats everybody,” he says.

The Best Foods for Your Skin

If you want a smoother, clearer complexion, Jessica Wu, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at USC Medical School and a dermatologist in Los Angeles, encourages you to toss all six of these fortifying Feed Your Face foods into your grocery cart.

Tomatoes

Definitely one of your skin’s best defenses, tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. While studies have not yet been entirely conclusive, many suggest that lycopene may be responsible for helping to protect the skin against sun damage.

Lycopene is best absorbed by the body when it has been cooked or processed, so eating tomato sauce, tomato paste, and ketchup is likely to be more effective than just eating raw tomatoes when trying to safeguard your skin against harmful UV rays. Lycopene is also fat soluble, which means that it is absorbed more easily when consumed with fat, such as eggs, avocado, and olive oil.

Red Meat

Sometimes it gets a bad rap, and even though red meat does contain saturated fat and cholesterol, lean red meat is one of Dr. Wu’s favorite Feed Your Face foods because it’s so high in protein and zinc. In fact, recent studies suggest that red meat may be even better at treating acne than antibiotics.

To produce collagen, your skin needs the amino acids glycine and proline, and theprotein in red meat has the highest concentration of these two amino acids. Themineral zinc is also crucial for collagen production. “It’s an essential cofactor,”says Dr. Wu. “Without enough zinc, it’s difficult for the skin to make collagen. Plus, zinc is a natural anti-inflammatory.” And vegetarians don’t need to miss out. Dr. Wu adds that high concentrations of glycine can also be found in seafood, proline in cottage cheese and cabbage, and zinc in lentils, kidney beans, and raw oysters.

Green Tea

It’s no secret that green tea is an antioxidant powerhouse. Its strong anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects are attributed to its high concentration of catechin compounds. Studies have shown that green tea can be used both orally and topically to help protect the skin from sunburns and UV-associated skin cancers. Research also suggests that drinking one cup of green tea twice a day over the course of six months may actually reverse sun damage and significantly improve any problems you have with redness and broken capillary veins.

Green Beans

As long as we’re going green, let’s talk about how these low-calorie beans can help you grow thicker hair and healthier nails. Green beans are a star Feed Your Face food because they’re one of the richest sources of silicon — not to be confused withsilicone,which is found in bad lip jobs and breast implants! The USDA has not yet established recommended daily intakes (RDIs) of silicon, but 10 mg per day seems to be adequate for strengthening hair and nails, according to recent studies. Dr. Wu recommends choosing organic green beans, since they retain more silicon from the soil. Don’t like green beans? You can also get your silicon fix from volcanic mineral waters such as Volvic, which contains 14.5 mg per liter.

Walnuts

Usually it’s salmon that’s synonymous with omega-3 fatty acids, but did you know that walnuts are also incredibly high in omega-3s? If you’re concerned with redness,swelling, blotchiness, acne breakouts, or wrinkles, walnuts may be your new best friend. Plant-based omega-3s, such as the ones found in walnuts, are naturally anti-inflammatory; they can help seal moisture into your skin and protect it from chemicals and other toxins. In particular, the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in these omega-3s can work to combat the dryness associated with aging that leads to wrinkles. But don’t stop with walnuts; you can also increase the amount of plant-based omega-3s in your diet by eating almonds,olive oil, and flaxseed, too.

Yogurt

Not only is it the main ingredient in the best smoothies, yogurt is a natural probiotic, which means that it helps replenish the “good” bacteria in your body and keeps yeast in check. This can come in handy if you have gastrointestinal issues or you’re prone toyeast infections, but what does it have to do with feeding your face? Well, according to Dr. Wu, yogurt is an excellent Feed Your Face food for dealing with acne breakouts, eczema, and even dandruff. Just be sure to choose a low-fat and low-sugar yogurt, since sugar can aggravate inflammation. And if you think your breakouts are related to dairy, Dr. Wu suggests skipping the yogurt and going straight for a probiotic supplement instead.

6 Amazing Reasons to Sleep for Skin Health

A good night’s sleep can mean good skin health because when you’re sleep-deprived, your body makes more of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol can lead to increased stress and inflammation in the body, hurting your skin’s quality.

But the relationship between skin health and lack of quality sleep can be a vicious cycle, especially with conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema, which can lead to scratching even through the night, recent research published in the journal Clinics in Dermatologyshowed.

“Poor sleep can lead to increased stress hormones in the body that increase the severity of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis,” explains Jessica Krant, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and founder of Art of Dermatology in New York. This can result in increased itching, which can disrupt sleep. As the vicious cycle continues, skin conditions and sleep quality can increasingly worsen together. In contrast, skin conditions and sleep quality can also improve together. Getting a good night’s sleep will help to clear up skin, which allows sleep to improve and, in turn, will improve skin health.”

Need more convincing? Here are six reasons why not getting enough sleep detracts from skin health and your health in general:

  1. Not enough sleep worsens existing skin conditions. Increased inflammatory response shows up as increased acne breakouts, increased skin sensitivity, increased allergic contact dermatitis reactions, and increased irritant dermatitis — and more severe conditions mean more treatment and skin care.
  2. Not enough sleep detracts from your skin’s natural beauty. Increased inflammatory cells in the body lead to an increase in the breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid, the molecules that give the skin its glow, bounce, and translucency.
  3. Not enough sleep makes immune-related skin problems worse. Increased inflammation in the body throws off the body’s ability to regulate the immune system, which leads not only to getting sick more often, but also to flares of immune-related skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. Psoriasis is not just a skin disease; it’s also an indicator of body inflammation. “Many people with severe psoriasis actually have an increased risk for heart attacks, which is even more reason to keep stress low and get good quality sleep,” Dr. Krant says.
  4. Not enough sleep results in less beauty. While you’re sleeping, the body’s hydration rebalances. Skin is able to recover moisture, while excess water in general in the body is processed for removal. Not getting enough sleep results in poor water balance, leading to puffy bags under your eyes and under-eye circles, as well as dryness and more visible wrinkles.
  5. Not enough sleep accelerates the aging process. During deep sleep, the rise in growth hormones allows damaged cells to become repaired. Without the deeper phases of sleep, this won’t occur, allowing daily small breakdowns to accumulate instead of being reversed overnight. This results in more noticeable signs of aging.
  6. Not enough sleep contributes to weight gain. Sleep also helps with weight management, which is good for your skin. Sleep makes you feel less hungry, Krant explains — recent studies have linked sleep deprivation to excess snacking and calorie consumption.

Getting a Good Night’s Rest

Here are tips from Krant for getting good sleep and better skin health:

  • Don’t eat a big meal too late in the day.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but not late at night.
  • Sleep under a warm blanket in a cool, dark, quiet room.
  • Keep electronics out of the bedroom.
  • Use breathable cotton sheets and wash them regularly, so they don’t collect dust mites and bacteria.
  • Use laundry detergents that don’t have strong fragrances, which can be irritating to skin.

8 Cellulite Treatments

Even in a down economy, women are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to conquer their arch-nemesis: cellulite. Cellulite tips and remedies constitute a booming multimillion-dollar business catered to the nearly 90 percent of women who are afflicted by the classic “orange peel” or “grape bunch” texture on their hips, legs, or buttocks. But weeding out the truth between the beauty tips and overhyped cellulite treatments can be a challenge.

The classic appearance of cellulite is caused by changes in fat cells that live in between collagen fibers – the latticework of your skin. Fat cells rupture and sag between collagen supports, causing that distinctive dimpling effect.

One known reason that women get cellulite is genetics – it’s essentially written into your genes. But beyond genetics, understanding why some women get it more than others is a challenge. “Speculation ranges on a wide set of issues including inflammation and edema fluid,” says dermatologist David McDaniel, MD, an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and founder of McDaniel Laser Cosmetic Center of Virginia in Virginia Beach.

Other possible causes of cellulite include:

  • Diet. Experts note a correlation between a diet high in processed foods and the development of cellulite. Populations that eat more whole foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean meats) seem to have less cellulite.
  • Hormones. Cellulite is found most often in women and almost never in men — probably because of the hormone estrogen. And for women, cellulite increases as estrogen levels drop.
  • Sedentary lifestyle. Granted, some athletes develop cellulite, but since circulation plays at least a small role in the biology of cellulite, many women develop cellulite in part because they habitually keep the blood pumping slowly.
  • Underwear. Quirky, maybe, but many women develop dimpling and cellulite in a classic pattern that mirrors their panty lines. Underwear that’s too tight could be a contributing factor because it interferes with the fluids circulating through your skin, so loosen up a bit or opt for thongs.

Cellulite Treatments That Don’t Work

“Nobody talks about the social and emotional impact of cellulite on women,” says Lionel Bissoon, MD, a cellulite specialist and author of The Cellulite Cure. Some patients tell him that cellulite can be “emotionally devastating,” and despite a challenging economy and costly out-of-pocket expense for treatments, he sees several new clients at his New York City practice every week.

Given the expense, some of the following treatments should be avoided altogether — others may be worth a small try.

  • Creams. Dozens of over-the-counter beauty creams are promoted ascellulite treatments. Though some may temporarily tighten or brighten skin, be skeptical. “When you look at cellulite, there are three treatable aspects: the fat, dense collagen, and circulation,” says Bissoon. There is no topical product that successfully addresses all three, he adds.
  • Brushes. Cellulite does seem to be affected by circulation concerns, but skin brushing increases circulation only at the surface and not in a way that will repair the damage that leads to cellulite. Massages, wraps, and similar therapeutic touch remedies aren’t effective beauty tips either, although they could help you feel better in your body.
  • Cellulite garments. Specialized garments, often called “massage garments” or “compression garments,” have been developed and promoted as ways to manage cellulite. How long these effects last may depend on individual use of the garments.
  • Roller-suction treatments. The devices often go by a name like “cellulite massagers” — they roll or suck the skin and, at least in theory, increase circulation. “The roller-suction devices seem to give some — I think usually temporary — improvement, but it depends on the device, settings, technique, patient,” cautions Dr. McDaniel.
  • Liposuction. It might seem that simply removing the troublesome fat would fix the problem, but that’s not the case with cellulite. “Liposuction is intended for body sculpting or contouring,” points out Bissoon. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of lipo is increased dimpling.
  • Weight loss. Weight loss is a worthwhile health goal, but it can actually make cellulite look worse. If your weight loss is significant, you could end up with “redundant” skin — loose skin that can make cellulite seem more severe than it is.
  • Lifestyle changes. Overall it’s a good idea to start eating more healthfully(more fruits and veggies, please!) and exercising, but these changes alone can’t cure cellulite completely, although its appearance may improve.
  • Hydration.Staying hydrated won’t conquer cellulite, but you should do it anyway, says Bissoon. “Take your body weight and divide it by 2.2 to give you the number of ounces you need to drink per day,” he advises. This will help you look and feel better, even with cellulite.

The good news for cellulite sufferers is that researchers are working to find a solution to the problem. Some approaches, such as radio-frequency treatments, low-level LED light treatments, and mesotherapy (injecting proprietary compounds directly into the cellulite-afflicted areas), show some promise, but they still need larger and more controlled clinical studies to support their effectiveness and safety, says McDaniel. The challenge for researchers is to distinguish between treatments that provide some temporary improvement and those that can change cellulite at the structural level.

7 Best Healthy Food in The World

Almonds

Almonds are a rich source of fiber, protein, heart-healthy fat, antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, making them a one-stop food. “[They make] a great snack but watch your portion size as almonds are high in calories,” warns Johnson. “Stick to no more than one ounce.” That’s 23 whole, shelled nuts. While the monounsaturated fat works to lower LDL cholesterol, their significant dose of vitamin E provides antioxidant power. What’s more, a quarter-cup of almonds has about 100 milligrams of magnesium (about 25 percent of a daily allowance), which promotes vascular and heart health, and 257 milligrams of potassium, which helps prevent high blood pressure. These benefits also have a track record in real-world scenarios: in five longitudinal cohort studies, including the Iowa Women Health Study and the Nurses’ Study, researchers found that replacing some portion of carbohydrate with nuts like almonds led to a heart disease risk reduction of 30 percent. And in a study in the journalMetabolism, researchers found that eating almonds along with a high glycemic index food (such as white bread, potatoes or sweets) at breakfast significantly lowered the overall glycemic index of the meal by helping to modulate the postprandial blood sugar rise.

Apples

Apples are an “excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can lower blood cholesterol,” says Wixom. The fruit is also high in fiber and its peel contains something called ursolic acid, which has been shown in recent studies to lower the incidence of obesity. “Apples also contain quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can help in preventing respiratory problems,” Heather Bauer tells The Huffington Post. “Research shows that pregnant women who incorporated apples into their daily diet were less likely to give birth to a child with asthma.”

Artichoke Hearts

These small greenish-yellow veggies are jam-packed with fiber — 12 grams per cup, in fact. And a diet sufficient in fiber helps to promote healthy weight and cholesterol levels — and digestive health. But what’s more, a 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that artichoke hearts had the highest antioxidant density of any vegetable, beating out such well-known antioxidant powerhouses as blueberries, dark chocolate and grapes.

Avocado

Packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat that help people feel satiated, avocados are also rich sources of vitamin C, E, potassium, and lutein. And, points out Politi, when paired with salsa or salad, the monounsaturated fat helps us better absorb carotenoids, lycopene and beta-carotene — an important class of antioxidants found in many vegetables that help to protect against everything from cancer to eye health problems to heart disease. Early research has also found that the fruit could play a role in inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Beets

“The dark red color indicates the powerful phytonutrient package of beets,” Diekman tells The Huffington Post. Indeed beets are rich in betalains, such as betanin and vulgaxanthin, that give them their pigment and also have anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties. Beyond that, beets contain significant amounts of folate, vitamin C, B6, iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, zinc, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine.

Beans

Thanks to a certain gross-out childhood rhyme, everyone knows that beans are good for your heart thanks to a high fiber content. Their fiberous quality also makes them protective against certain cancers and a top-rated food for diabetics, per the American Diabetes Association. And when combined with a grain, they comprise a high-quality vegetarian source of complete protein. Beans are an excellent dietary source of folate and also have high levels of iron, potassium and magnesium, according to Wixom, which help with bone health and blood pressure levels.

Bell Peppers

The peppers are “loaded with vitamin C,” says Joy Bauer. But unlike many other sources of the nutrient, bell peppers are relatively low in sugar, while also providing fiber and several antioxidants from the carotenoid class (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin). Carotenoids improve eye health, and are associated with areduction in cancer risk and a lower risk of cardiovascular-related death. And at least one study found that they can make you appear more beautiful.

Summer Hair Problems, Solved

If only summer hair were as easy as those magazines would have you believe!

Instead of “beachy waves” we’re left with greasy, frizzy, brittle strands that have seen far healthier days.

Luckily, there are easy and natural ways to tame your tresses. Here are some of the most common hair problems you’re likely to encounter this season, and how to fix them.

Chlorine Damage

It’s not just an old wives’ tale — too much time in the pool really can change the color of your locks, especially if they’re very light, Jessica Wu, M.D., author of “Feed Your Face” tells The Huffington Post.

But it’s not due to the chlorine. Instead, it’s likely because of copper lurking in poolswhere the chemical balance isn’t quite right, according to WebMD. “The chlorine molecules get trapped in the hair and oxidize the metals found in trace amounts in the water,” Jessica J. Krant, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, writes to HuffPost in an email. “It’s the oxidized copper that is actually the cause of the green color.”

Chlorine can still damage hair, though. “The outer layers of the cuticle of the hair — which are like shingles on a roof — start to lift up,” says Wu. “When the outer layers lift up, then [chlorinated] water can get into the center of the hair and make your hair more brittle.” Swimmers may find their hair breaks more easily in the summer, especially if it’s dyed or straightened, she says.

Luckily, there are a few simple ways to prevent the damage. The easiest can be done anywhere — just rinse your hair under tap water before taking the plunge. “Plain water binds to the hair, making it harder for chlorine to get to it,” says Wu. A leave-in conditioner will have a similar effect, and can be a good pre-pool option as well. A weekly hair mask can help repair the damage and seal the cuticle, she says.

The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends wearing a swim cap and washing with shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for swimmers to replace lost moisture.

Grease

We’ve all had those summer days when a daily shower just doesn’t seem like enough. And yet we’ve also heard about how you don’t need to — and maybe shouldn’t —wash your hair all that often.

But during the summer, all bets are off. “I tell people you should wash more frequently in the summer,” says Wu, and not just because of all the chlorine and salt water. “Those of us with long hair, it touches our back, and the sunscreen on our back and shoulders can come off onto the hair making it dirtier, faster.” If you’re noticing an oilier-than-usual scalp, feel free to lather up.

Sun Damage

The same UV rays that damage your skin without proper protection can hurt your hair, too, says Wu. The sun breaks down the bonds that make the keratin of the hair strong, she explains, leading to weaker strands and fading color. Just like covering up your skin can help prevent sun damage, wearing a hat can help save your hair.

A number of hair products that boast UV protection may also work, as long as you’re thorough in your application, she says. “Work it through like you’re working in a conditioner so as many strands as possible are coated.”

Sunburn

While you’re protecting your hair from the sun, don’t forget about your scalp. During skin exams, Wu notices “very striking” differences between the skin on patients’ hair parts and the skin on the rest of their scalps. If you often wear your hair in the same position, be sure to use sunscreen on the part, she says. And if you pull your hair back in the summer, apply sunscreen all the way up to your hairline — you may miss vulnerable skin that you’re not usually exposing.

“Using shampoos and products with antioxidant ingredients such as soy, green tea or vitamin C can sometimes be helpful” in protecting “that part of you that’s closest to the sun,” writes Krant, who is also the founder of Art of Dermatology in New York City. And if you do happen to do a little damage, cover up as soon as possible to avoid further sun, then use cool water in the shower and normal sunburn soothers like aloe, she says.

Frizz

Anyone with any wave or curl to her hair has spent her fair share of time fighting frizz. In the summer, thanks to the high temps and oppressive humidity, flyaway strands increase in size. “The generally smooth cuticle covering the shaft of healthy hair gets disrupted when the hair shaft absorbs moisture from the air, breaking some of the chemical bonds that keep the hair straight and roughing up the cuticle, taking away shine and smoothness,” writes Krant.

If you’re all too familiar, stay away from heavy products, says Wu, and look instead for an anti-frizz serum or spray. Krant recommends products with the moisturizer dimethicone — silicone-based products can also help smooth down the cuticle, according to Ladies Home Journal.

Split Ends

UV rays aren’t the only thing that can break summer strands. High temperatures can take their toll on the bonds that make hair strong as well, says Wu. While the temps won’t be quite as high as the heat of your blow dryer, writes Krant, the heat can still suck the moisture out of your locks and lead to breakage. To ease the brittleness, Wu suggests a heavier treatment like Moroccan oil.

Keep in mind, however, that according to Krant, once hair is outside the scalp, what’s done is done. “True damage can never really be reversed, only cosmetically improved until that part of the hair grows out and can be cut off,” she writes. Products can “temporarily ‘glue'” split ends back together, but “the best bet may be a little trim to freshen up,” she writes.