Oily Skin? Facial Mud Masques to the Rescue!

Oily, dry, combination – no matter what type your skin may be, sometimes a normal cleansing routine just isn’t enough. They say beauty is only skin deep – well, then perhaps that is where we should begin our daily beauty regimens. Cleansing, toning, refining and moisturizing one’s face daily is a major part of keeping healthy skin, but sometimes those steps could use a little help from a more powerful rejuvenating technique.

Facial mud and clay masques can work wonders on skin and the best part is, you need not set up an appointment at a salon for the perfect facial! Many brands offer great facial masque products, like Freeman’s Beautiful Skin® Facial Mud Masque or their Beautiful Skin® Mineral Clay Masque. Queen Helene® offers a very effective product, The Original Mint Julep Masque, which goes on green and just zaps the oil from your skin. These are just a few of the countless facial masque products out there.

To fully reap all the benefits of a facial mud masque, a certain itinerary should be followed, beginning with a gentle cleansing with face wash. Following the cleansing, apply the face masque to your entire face, and neck if you desire, and allow it to dry completely. Masque should normally dry in about 10 to 15 minutes, though it can be left on problem areas overnight for the utmost therapy. Rinse the masque from your face with warm water and a washcloth. To conclude the complete home facial process, use an exfoliating face scrub followed by a facial moisturizer.

This sounds all well and good, but who really has a half an hour or more to spend on facial treatments every couple of days or even once a week? Even if you cannot spare the time for each step of the facial process, using the mud masque at least once a week will give you noticeable results in your complexion.

Benefits of a facial mud masque:
• Absorbs excess oil
• Aids in shrinking large pores
• Clarifies skin’s texture
• Eases tension lines on face and neck
• Helps to dry up pimples
• Reduces appearance of blemishes
• Relaxes tired muscles
• Removes dry cells and impurities
• Replenishes vitamins, minerals and moisture
• Rinses away blackheads

No matter how you go about your facial care routine, using a masque at least once in a while will truly invigorate you, leaving your face silky smooth and soft. Because the results are immediate and purely amazing, you may even find yourself wishing to use a masque more than once a week. Enjoy the clean and clear effects of a facial masque and relax while you use it…after all, it will be like having your own spa treatment in the comfort of your home!

Five Perfect Pomegranate Beauty Products

Often perceived as a royal fruit, pomegranate offers many healing and rejuvenating qualities. Pomegranates are recognized as superfruits, meaning they boast superb nutritional and antioxidant value as well as delicious taste. In addition to having great nutrients and curative properties, pomegranates Pomegranates are SUPERFRUITS! (Photo courtesy of Scott Liddell, morgueFile.com.)played a role in Greek mythology and they are still considered a fairly exotic fruit today.

Pomegranates grow on small shrubs or trees, reaching size ranging from that of a lemon to a grapefruit. The seeds of the pomegranate are the edible fruit that people enjoy. Each pomegranate may contain as many as 600 seeds or more. In honor of these delightful and healthy fruits, we have scoured the beauty scene to find five practical and succulent pomegranate beauty products for your consideration.

For the Body
nubar Pomeganate Delight LotionNubar Skin Essentials Pomegranate Delight Mind Clearing Aromatherapy Hand and Body Lotion is a bright pink lotion that contains Shea Butter and Antioxidants A & E. This product is paraben free and packaging suggests that it provides cellular defense and skin cell revitalization due to the pomegranate ingredients.

The cream is smooth and fragrant, offering sheer coverage and deep moisturizing of your body, from rough elbows and knees to the tips of your fingers and toes. Pomegranate Delight is cruelty free. Learn more about Pomegranate Delight at nubar’s home on the Web.

For the Face
Pomessence Daily Cleanser is a delicately fragrant and refreshing facial cleanser that works beautifully on all skin types. You can use the product on a wet face or a dry face, massaging a small dab into your skin. Pomessence Daily Cleanser is gentle and doesn’t sting if it gets in your eyes. You can follow this step with the Pomessence Moisturizing Exfoliant and Pomessence Daily Moisturizer for the ultimate in pomegranate pleasure.Pomessence Starter Kit

Pomessence Moisturizing Exfoliant features a light fruity fragrance and a soothing and moisturizing solution that leaves skin feeling reenergized. Use the pomegranate exfoliant after cleansing skin on the face and neck areas. You do not need to rinse away the product. Pomessence Moisturizing Exfoliant contains 5% glycolic acid and pycnogenol.

Pomessence Daily Moisturizer delivers special antioxidants and nutrients to the body with a healthy dose of moisturizing. The product is light and gentle enough to apply near the eyes and it can effectively be worn underneath makeup. The appealing pomegranate fragrance is constant in this product line. You may use Pomessence Daily Moisturizer with both of the above ingredients, with the cleanser only, or even by itself.

To learn more about any of these products, please visit Pomessence on the Web.

Murad Energizing Pomegranate Lip Protector with SPF15For the Lips
Murad® Energizing Pomegranate Lip Protector SPF15 offers thirsty lips a deep splash of fruity delight. This product is bright, rosy pink in color and features a thick, liquid gloss that smoothes and hydrates lips. The SPF15 element truly adds to the benefits of this great lip slick, making it the perfect beauty item to tote along to the beach, to a tennis match, or on just about any outdoor activity. The pomegranate lip gloss delivers a pleasant and fruity aroma while coating even the driest lips with a blanket of sheen.

Pomegranate offers so many healing properties to the body in addition to a lovely fragrance. If you’re on the lookout for a new and healthy beauty product to try, consider one of these great pomegranate treats!

Best of Spring Beauty: Treats and Tools for Feet and Perfect Pedicures

Spring is the perfect time to put away the boots and break out of the rough, dry skin that we tend to get during the bitter winter months. New life is all around in nature, so why not continue the trend by welcoming fresh, soft skin on your feet? Pedicures, foot files, and pedicure tools, foot scrubs, and hydrating foot creams and lotions offer an effective means to a great end – soft, smooth feet! Here are our top beauty picks of treats for your feet this spring.

Microplane XL Pro Foot File

Beauty products for feet are becoming more and more abundant. Stores are lining their shelves with everything from at-home pedicure kits to specialized, battery-powered tools to gently slough off dry, dead skin cells. Here we offer a rundown of the spring’s top products to get your feet in beach-ready shape, for flip-flops, strappy sandals, and of course, barefoot relaxation.

YogaToes®
Many of us know that yoga is great for the body, mind, and spirit, but… for the toes? Sure – why not! Exercise keeps the body healthy and fit, so it makes sense that exercise can also improve the health of our feet.

YogaToes® are made of soft and flexible, hypo-allergenic medical grade gel that carries a lifetime guarantee. They are surprisingly soft, comfortable, and easy to use – just slip them onto your tootsies and relax! (You can hold them under running water to make it easier to get them on.) The flexible band of gel gently and effectively stretches and strengthens the muscles in your feet, which relaxes tired feet and helps to repair and prevent foot problems.

I received my YogaToes in the mail on a Friday, after a long week at work. Sitting down in front of the television with my husband, I decided to see what I thought. They easily slipped right over my toes, and while I could feel them stretching my feet, it was a comfortable and pleasant stretch. I kept the YogaToes on for roughly 15 to 20 minutes and instantly felt a difference in my feet when I removed them.

YogaToes are available as gift sets....

As a former runner and wearer of cleats in other sports, I look forward to continued use and improvement in the health of my feet. YogaToes really are like yoga for the feet. The refreshing stretch offered by YogaToes makes me feel great, as if I’d just had a pedicure. Now that would be an interesting pairing!

YogaToes are available in unisex small and medium sizes, where most women fit in size small, and most men wear size medium. The colors give YogaToes a nice touch, from orange, pink, crystal, or sapphire to metallic blue, green apple, black, or silver.

Learn more about YogaToes on the YogaPro Web site, http://yogapro.com/.

Microplane® Personal Care XL-Pro Foot File
The Microplane® Personal Care XL Pro Foot File is a comfortable and easy way to get softer feet for spring. This must-have beauty tool can give you the results you’ve been seeking instantly. Use the Microplane XL Pro Foot File to gently and effectively buff away rough calluses, revealing the soft and smooth skin underneath.

Available in two colors, Marbled Earth or Tuscan Gold, the foot file features a long handle and replacable cartridge, and a built-in compartment. As you filed away the dead skin cells from your feet, the built-in compartment catches the skin particles safely and effectively. You can clean the foot file easily with soap and water after each use – just read the instructions to see how to take it apart.

I used my Microplane XL Pro Foot File and noticed favorable results immediately, where the roughest areas on my feet suddenly felt softer and smoother. Since it was my first time using the file, I felt like my feet still had some rough patches from the scraping motion, so I just applied foot cream before bed for a more comfortable sleep. After using the file several more times over the course of a week, I noticed silky, soft skin on my feet rather than rough, dry skin.

The Microplane XL-Pro Foot File retails for $29.95 at various stores such as Bed, Bath, and Beyond, QVC, Ulta, Beauty First/Pure Beauty stores, salons and spas nationwide, and at http://www.microplane.com/.

Artemis Woman Heel Smoother
Artemis Woman Heel SmootherThe Artemis Woman Heel Smoother is a battery operated pedicure tool. This product features special DuraCrystals®, which are comprised of aluminum oxide crystals – the same as used in microdermabrasion treatments. Artemis Woman Heel Smoothers use removable and interchangeable tips for use on different parts of the foot. The larger oval tip worked fairly well for my heel, while the smaller, thinner tip was gentle and more forgiving on my toes.

At first, the tool may seem a little intimidating to try, as it did for me. Don’t be worried! It just takes a few moments of practice, though, to get down a rhythm and find your best approach to exfoliating the dead skin cells from your feet. In my experience, it takes several uses before feet are perfect, but this is understandable due to a long winter’s worth of dry skin. Truth be told, I noticed a positive difference, especially in my heels, immediately after use.

The Artemis Woman Heel Smoother is available in four package types. The heel smoother is available in either a waterproof or non-waterproof version. Some packages include a 1 oz. jar of Topaz™ Foot Butter, which contains aromatherapy essentials – oils of lemon, tea tree, and bergamot, as well as real topaz crystals to nourish and moisturize skin.

The packages retail prices range from $16 to $19.99 for the non-waterproof heel smoother, $19.99 for the HS-250 (which is waterproof), $29.99 for the HS-1000 and a jar of foot butter, and $49.95 for the rechargeable Heel Smoother Optimum HS-5000, which comes with a variety of tips and a jar of foot butter. Artemis Woman Heel Smoothers are sold at Wal-Mart, Target, The Sharper Image, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, QVC, Sky Mall, Amazon.com, and more. For more on this product, see http://www.artemiswoman.com/.

Dr. Scholl’s® For Her Foot Butter, 2.5 oz….


What’s Fresh and Ultra Clear for Spring – Top No-Show Deodorant Picks

Dove go freshSpring has sprung. Warmer weather’s almost here for good, which means tank tops and sundresses aren’t far behind. When we start to bare our bodies just a bit more with spaghetti straps and string bikinis, it’s vital that our deodorant stays put and invisible. For fresh and fragrant deodorant that sticks to your skin and not your clothes, here are our top deodorant picks for spring.

Choosing a deodorant or anti-perspirant is a very personal yet very important decision to balance. You want to be confident in your every day that your body is protected from embarrassing odors and wetness, but you also want to ensure that the product doesn’t cake itself under your arms or smear all over your clothing. You also want to make sure it’s effective for the duration of your day.

If you haven’t already found a tried and true deodorant or anti-perspirant product, I urge you to consider Degree® Women Ultra Clear (Little Black Dress Approved – and it is, too!) and Dove ® go fresh™ product lines.

Even if you are a faithful supporter of one particular brand that never fails you, I encourage you to check these products out. I have been a faithful user of the same deodorant product for probably between eight and ten years. These products offer true dependability, and their fragrances alone offer a pretty strong argument for a switch!

DEGREE® WOMEN ULTRA CLEAR
Degree Women Ultra ClearLittle Black Dress Approved Degree Women Ultra Clear has passed my test for both clear and smudge-proof factors. The anti-perspirant delivers the ultimate wetness protection and also stays on your skin, not on your clothes. The best thing of all is that it doesn’t leave those embarrassing white marks on your shirts or dresses – trust me, I checked. I even went to the mall wearing it, tried on a few dresses, and only got a very small, barely visible smudge on one dress when I literally had to wrestle my way out of it.

I tested this product a few days during the workweek, and I am happy to report that the fresh and flirty fragrance stayed with me throughout each day. Sweaters, close-fitting shirts – it didn’t matter what I wore; Little Black Dress Approved Degree Women Ultra Clear deodorant’s results remained the same. In fact, I would sometimes catch a whiff of the deodorant, smelling so good that I would almost think I recently applied an aromatic lotion or body spray fragrance. Nope, just my deodorant, doing its job!

According to product literature, Little Black Dress Approved Degree Women Ultra Clear uses a TriClear™ formula that allows it to go on clear and stay clearer. In my experiences using Degree Women Ultra Clear, this formula is highly effective, as I didn’t notice any smudging, smearing, flaking or other problems caused by so many deodorants.

Degree® Women Ultra Clear retails for roughly $3.64 for a 2.6 oz. container, but prices may vary. Available fragrances include: Pure Petal, Pure Satin, Pure Clean, Pure Rain, Pure Powder, and Pure Oxygen.

DOVE® go fresh™ ULTIMATE CLEAR INVISIBLE SOLID
Designed for 20-something women who have way too much stress to battle in their daily lives, the Dove go fresh™ line offers women a fresh new selection of products and fragrances. Dove’s collection aims to remind women to refresh, cool off, and energize – because it is so important to recharge our batteries every day, even if only for just a few moments.

Dove go fresh Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid deodorantI tried out the Dove go fresh™ Energizing Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid deodorant. The product applied very smoothly and cleanly, without any additional residue. The grapefruit and lemongrass fragrance is a delightful and refreshing scent that helped to get me moving in the morning (I am so not a morning person).

According to product literature, Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid contains ¼ Translucent Moisturizers™ that help to leave underarms softer and smoother in five days. The deodorant delivers 24-hour wetness and odor protection while offering a fresh and flirty fragrance that is oh-so delightful compared to standard powder-based products.

Dove Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid retails for around $3.79 for 2.6 oz. product or $0.99 for a 0.5 oz. travel size product. Available fragrances include Refreshing (clean waterlily and fresh mint – blue cap), Energizing (juicy, sparkling grapefruit and lemongrass – yellow cap), and Cooling (crisp cucumber and calming green tea – green cap).

Limited time offer: Try a free sample of Dove go fresh™ Ultimate Clear Invisible Solid here!

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I really enjoyed both products enough to purchase them on a regular basis. I’m actually a firm believer that every woman should always have a spare deodorant anyway, either in her car or set aside with other vital items (like spare toothpaste and toothbrush), ready to travel at a moment’s notice.

For more information, check out Degree online or Dove online.

Review: Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body WashLuxury in the shower doesn’t have to come at a steep price. Just take Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash for example. This gentle body scrub infuses delightful coconut fragrance with apricot seeds for ultimate cleansing, moisturizing, and rejuvenation of your skin.

This pretty potion gleams with pearly undertones and gold glimmers streaming through every small squirt. The fragrance is divine, offering a whiff that is subtle and lightly fruity. Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash uses a formula containing real coconut extract and apricot seeds to provide skin with a soft and clean, refreshed sensation following cleansing.

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash is effective at cleansing and exfoliating, yet gentle enough for sensitive areas and for everyday use. I liked the product so much that I do plan for everyday use, and in fact, I will be buying another bottle of it once I use this one up. Although, the size of the bottle is large as far as body washes go, so I expect it will be lasting a nice duration of time before I need to replace this container.

To use this product, just pour a small amount directly into your hands or a wet bath pouf or loofah. Apply the body wash to your skin, gently massaging it to cleanse and exfoliate. Rinse and enjoy the sensuous coconut fragrance and the supreme sense of clean and the soft, refreshed skin that is yours for the rest of the day. The sparkles and apricot seeds rinse off, taking with them any dry skin cells and leaving your skin soft and smooth.

In my own humble opinion, the product looks and feels nothing like a body cleanser you would be able to buy for under $3. It is, quite simply, luxury in a bottle. If you, like me, enjoy coconut fragrance and pretty, sparkly things, try Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash.

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body WashPROS:
• Affordable, low price
• Exfoliates
• Generous portion
• Gentle for everyday use
• Moisturizes
• Pretty and luxurious
• Smells great!

CONS:
After a week of use, I have no complaints or concerns with this product. I highly recommend it.

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash is new to the Suave Skin Therapy line as of February 2008. It retails for $2.49 to $3.49 and is available in a generous 12-ounce flip-top bottle for ease of use.

The Suave Skin Therapy Collection also includes:
• Suave Skin Therapy Complete with Vitamins Body Wash, enriched with Vitamins E, A, and B5, as well as silkening moisturizers
• Suave Skin Therapy Cocoa & Shea Butter Body Wash, containing rich emollients for gentle cleansing and moisturizing
• Suave Skin Therapy Body Moisturizers

Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash and other products in the Suave Skin Therapy Collection are available at drugstores, mass merchandisers, and supermarkets nationwide. Products are also available in six-packs at Amazon.com.

TIP:
For the perfect pairing of coconut in the shower, use Suave Skin Therapy Daily Exfoliating Body Wash with Clairol Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner (click for product review). You’ll love how the delicate coconut fragrance dances together in your shower and how it leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated, and ready for a nice day on the beach OR a grueling day at work.

Try Juicing for More Vibrant, Healthy Skin

JuicingDid you know that your diet contributes greatly to the clarity and condition of your skin? It’s true. Pay attention next time you eat an entire candy bar by yourself, or take notice of your skin’s tone and texture if you opt for a better diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, healthier foods, and lots of water. Try juicing for a tasty and highly effective change to your skin!

Juicing can positively contribute to your skin’s condition while also boosting your overall health and wellness. Because juicing utilizes raw fruits and vegetables, your body absorbs more of the nutrients than if you cook your veggies. Whether you’ve got a cheap juicer or the latest and greatest juicer, juicing a couple times a week – or even every day – can really enhance your skin, its complexion, and your overall health.

 

Nutritional consultant and author Elaine Wilkes, N.C., M.A. offers a delicious tip to getting radiant, glowing skin. In her book Food Choices Made Easy! Finally A Summary of What All The Health Experts Say!, Wilkes provides helpful tips compiled from hundreds of health advisors on how to get skin that looks and feels healthy and young. In these tips, she delves in to include advice on weight loss, great foods to eat and those to avoid, and money saving tips, to name a few.

So what is the secret to smooth, healthy, youthful skin? Wilkes points to a fabulous beverage recipe as the answer – Juicing!

“Believe me, I have tried everything,” Elaine Wilkes says. “But, doing this tip, I have had strangers come up to me and ask me why my skin looked so healthy. Say goodbye to weary skin with juicing.”

Elaine Wilkes is also a Certified Practitioner of Metabolic Typing, which means she matches people’s nutrition to their metabolism, taking into account their genetics, personality, blood type, etc. She recommends creating a juicy cocktail for a vivacious skin tone and healthier complexion, and to help anyone achieve glowing skin.

“Combine fresh green vegetable juices such as cucumber, celery, kale, parsley, spinach, and a little bit of apple for a delicious taste, into a juicer,” she instructs.

Wilkes also suggests also adding lemon and ginger for a yummy zing.

“Soon, you will notice a glow to your new, plumped-up, radiant skin,” she details. “For more added benefits, drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. Beautiful skin is about what is going on inside your body. Nourish your inside with these tasty, healthy juices and your skin cannot help but look terrific. Oh, and you’ll feel great, too.”

* * *

For healthy skin that looks and feels great, make a conscious effort to improve your diet. Also take the time to practice a regular cleansing routine, and engage in a realistic exercise program. Try juicing to deliver much needed vitamins and nutrients to your body. Juicing, proper cleansing efforts, improved diet, and regular exercise can all contribute to better skin and better health. These commitments to yourself will give your body and skin the boost they’ve needed to get on and stay on the right track.

How to Get a Clean, Clear Complexion – In Time for Your Wedding, Prom, or Other Special Event

Big events like your prom, graduation, or your wedding call for the most picture-perfect complexion of all. Oily skin can put a damper on your photo ops, causing your face to look shiny in your snapshots. It’s easy to get a clean and clear complexion in time for your prom, wedding, graduation, or other special event if you follow a dedicated beauty regimen and a healthier diet leading up to the big day. To get great skin and a beautiful complexion in time for your special occasion, follow these simple guidelines about skincare and dietary do’s and don’ts.

The best way to get a clean and clear complexion in a short period of time is to adhere to a strict cleansing routine coupled with a better diet and higher water intake. I’m sure you’ve heard the adage “You are what you eat.” Think about that next time you gorge yourself on those yummy French fries or potato chips!

Cleansing of the Skin and Cleansing of the Body

Water cleanses the body of its natural toxins. By drinking larger quantities of water and hydrating ourselves, the body is better able to release the dirt and oils that build up inside our pores. Also, it’s been said that exercising can help rid the face of oil and pimples too, by encouraging pore cleansing perspiration. So hydrate your body with water and exercise a couple times a week – it’s good for you any way you slice it!

One of my favorite tricks to clean up my complexion is a vigorous face scrub like St. Ives Apricot Scrub, followed by a deep cleansing clay facial masque like Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque. These products and similar ones seem to zap the oil right out of the skin’s pores, leaving your face clean, soft, smooth, and clearer than it was prior to the at-home treatment. The best thing of all is that these facial scrub and facial masque products are quite gentle, and they don’t require a lot of time to be added to your weekly routine.

St. Ives offers several Apricot Scrub products for different skin types and complexions. Queen Helene also offers peel-off masques delivering different skin purifying ingredients, antioxidants, and fragrances. Using St. Ives Apricot Scrub and Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque gives me cleaner skin almost immediately, but you should allow at least a week or two for your body to adjust to the new cleansing routine.

Read on for some more specific tips to help clean up your complexion and to get healthier, clear skin in time for your special day.

The Joys and Perils of Chocolate

While much research says chocolate does not cause pimples, acne, or other facial blemishes, my own little experiment begs to differ. I gave up chocolate for at least a month prior to my wedding. I felt guilty even eating a chocolate chip bagel, so I tried to avoid chocolate altogether. While chocolate is one of my most favorite things, the thought of a huge pimple or an oily sheen to my skin made me cringe. I didn’t want to worry about slopping makeup over red pimples or swollen spots on my face on my wedding day. All I wanted to worry about was walking down the aisle without tripping and making it through my vows without fainting.

In my own experiences, chocolate can swiftly and easily clog my pores, contributing to the amount of oil and the number of blemishes I get. While chocolate serves as my favorite pick-me-up, it also contributes to the condition of my skin. Perhaps science and studies may say this is an illusion, but I believe otherwise. From the day that I gave up chocolate leading up until my wedding day, I only saw my face getting clearer and my complexion becoming cleaner and more beautiful. I didn’t suffer from a single pimple on my wedding day!

Now I am not saying that giving up chocolate will definitely seal the deal for you, but you’ve got nothing to lose by trying it!

Tips to help prevent pimples and oily blemishes on your skin:

1. Drink lots of water.

2. Exercise regularly.

3. Cleanse your face at least twice daily.

4. Exfoliate your skin at least once a week.

5. Try a product with salicylic acid. It works wonders for clearing up the skin and keeping those pores clean!

6. Use St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub – it contains salicylic acid and it does a marvelous job at drying up the oil on your face. I use it every day.

7. Try a clay facial masque or facial mud masque at least once a week. Apply it to your face after normal cleansing and allow it to harden. As it dries, you’ll see the areas with the most oil and you will literally see where the facial masque has lifted the oils from your pores. Bye bye pimples!

8. If you do have a pimple under the surface, don’t touch! Instead, apply 10% benzyl peroxide solution to the blemish and leave it on overnight. A word of caution – these products can often cause bleaching of fabrics, so try not to get it on your good pillowcases!

A Plastic Smile – Cosmetic Surgery Pros, Cons and Risk Factors

Before you slap on a plastic smile, do some deep thinking on the whole picture when it comes to plastic surgery and its risks.

It’s in the news, on television, movies and just about everywhere you look. Did Britney Spears get a lip enhancement? Did Michael Jackson get another nose job? Which celebs have had plastic surgery and which haven’t? But the truth is – today’s celebrities and tabloid covergirls aren’t the only ones getting cosmetic surgery.

A pretty face, a slender frame, and sizable, perky breasts are society’s general prerequisites for a “beautiful woman,” and people are increasingly more willing to succumb to these diluted perceptions each year. But the purses and bank accounts of women are not the only ones being spilled out for a fresh new look….

More and more men are considering and even going through with cosmetic surgery to fit the trim and youthful appearance desired by so many. Male pectoral implants, calf implants, Rhinoplasty, facelifts, eyelifts and tummy tucks are just a few of the popular procedures in which males are recently partaking. If it’s good enough for celebrities such as Burt Reynolds, Elton John, and Michael Jackson, who have undergone cosmetic surgery, there is all the more reason for other males to consider it.

The ever-popular “nose job,” or rhinoplasty, is just one of dozens of treatments available to the big spenders. Music’s Michael Jackson is a well-known celeb who’s gone under the knife for this procedure. Typical nose job procedures cost anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars and ever climbing.) As the nose is rumored to be the most prominent feature on a person’s face, many are quick to have theirs sculpted to perfection, or at least to improvement.

In addition to aesthetic nose surgery, procedures such as aesthetic ear surgery, cosmetic eyelid surgery, facelifts, forehead lifts, and chemical face peels attempt to present cosmetic surgery patients with a more appealing visage.

Eyelid rejuvenation, or Blepharoplasty, is a relatively common cosmetic procedure practiced in the hopes of reducing the signs of aging around the eyes. Facelifts and forehead lifts and chemical face peels also attempt to decrease the appearance of aging, thus restoring a brighter skin tone and an overall younger look.

Non-facial cosmetic surgery procedures are extremely common as well. Liposuction and tummy tucks are common treatments to aid in contouring the body and eliminating localized deposits of fat in areas such as the waistline, thighs and buttocks.

Breast size and shape become a concern to women for several reasons, including physical appearance and personal comfort. Breast implants, breast reduction and breast lifts may deliver desire results to happy patients, but several risks could dampen the bliss. Inability to nurse a baby, uneven nipple placement and sensory loss are possible flaws known to occur after a Mammoplasty.

The obvious and ultimate goal, or benefit, is to construct the desired appearance in as little time as possible with little or no pain and a quick recovery. Often, patients know exactly what they want to see when the procedure is done, so a match to the envisioned or sketched result is the greatest advantage, though there is no guarantee.

The cons and risk factors are much more abundant, though sometimes rare or uncommon. The need to take time off from one’s professional career and typical daily activities can be seen as an immediate disadvantage. Financial expenses, imminent bruising and discomfort may also deter an individual from receiving a cosmetic surgical procedure. Speaking with a person who has had cosmetic surgery performed on them may be the best means of deciding for oneself if opting for surgery is the right choice.

As with any type of surgical procedure, certain inherent risks are involved. Infection, dry eye problems/ decreased tear production, bleeding, blindness and damage to nerves, blood vessels and muscles within the eye are just a few complications that can occur when a Blepharoplasty is performed. Less serious risks can include allergic reactions, asymmetry (a notable difference in appearance of the eyes), chronic pain, delayed or prolonged healing of the affected area, permanent or temporary eyelash hair loss, scarring, and dissatisfaction with the end result, among others. This is not to mention additional risks involved with local and general anesthesia administered to patients receiving surgical treatment.

With so many risks, why do so many people continue to go through with cosmetic surgery? Not surprisingly, for the same reasons many people dye their hair! Satisfaction of one’s appearance is intrinsically linked to one’s happiness and overall mood and performance. Do blondes really have more fun? If someone asks your mom one more time how old she is, will she tell? Will enhanced or reduced breasts really make someone a “different person”? It is all a state of mind.

Though risks such as blindness, blood clots, and serious lung problems are rare, it is critical that you are aware of these possible outcomes. The 2007 death of Kanye West’s mother, Dr. Donda West, is a prime example of how cosmetic surgery can go terribly wrong. If you cannot live with the potential consequences, it is best to think twice and weigh out your options before plunging into a procedure that could change your life forever.

DISCLAIMER: This article’s purpose is to briefly inform individuals about the pros, cons and risk factors involved with cosmetic surgery. It is not meant to replace the opinions and judgments of medical professionals, but to bring a clear and unbiased awareness to the overall concept of cosmetic surgery.

Body Art – Pros and Cons of Getting a Tattoo

Tattoos are a form of self expression. (Photo courtesy of David Kitchenham, morgueFile)Self expression comes in many flavors these days. Getting a tattoo is a popular way to show off your own sense of style, your favorite things, or even a spontaneous element that enters your life. But, before you set aside a certain section of your skin and get a tattoo, make sure you know all the important issues surrounding these permanent pieces of art.

Many adolescents begin counting down the days to their 18th birthdays – not so they can vote – but so they can get a long-awaited tattoo emblazoned on their body. A carefully selected tattoo offers insight into the individual bearing it.

But should you personally get a tattoo? Ultimately, you are the judge of that. If you are under 18 years of age, your parents have the final say – but even if you are 18 or older, consulting close friends and family members in the decision-making process can also prove helpful.

The Benefits of Getting a Tattoo

Tattoos are available in countless colors or simple black, and designs span far beyond the realm of the imagination. If you can draw it, or create it, a tattoo artist can most likely reproduce it on your body. Words and phrases, pictures, objects, and abstract designs are just a few of the many possibilities. If you can’t quite make up your mind, they’ve got books with literally thousands of options for the perfect tattoo to suit you.

Tattoos often give their wearers a sense of reckless abandon and a somewhat safe sense of rebellion. They make a statement without taking the physical appearance to the very edge. Getting a tattoo can serve as a bonding experience between friends or a coming of age for a growing individual.

Symbolism runs deep in many tattoos. Chinese letters and other hieroglyphs are among the most popular designs in some circles. Occasionally, an individual may choose to create a symbolic design of which only he or she knows the true meaning. Cartoon characters and military insignias also reign among the favorites. Selecting from these and innumerable other tattoo designs allows for a satisfying sense of self expression.

Risks and Cons of Getting a Tattoo…


Moisturize from Head to Toe… Winter Tips for Smooth Skin

Flaky, dry skin…red, chapped lips…scaly alligator legs…. From winter’s frosty bite outside to heated homes and hot blasts from hairdryers, one’s skin puts up with a lot when the colder months roll in. Moisturize for a smooth, beautiful visage…
During the chillier months of the year, you may notice the skin on your face becomes especially dry in some places. To fend off flaky skin, massage a little bit of moisturizer into your face. Use it as needed, but try to work moisturizing into your daily skincare routine. Cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturize your way to healthy, glowing skin!

If you haven’t yet picked out a moisturizer to suit your skin, some normal, unscented lotion will do in the meantime, but use this with caution if you have exceptionally sensitive skin. Johnson & Johnson makes a wonderful moisturizer, Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer. This product contains salicylic acid, which works to fight acne while skin conditioners keep your skin soft and smooth.

Enjoy sweet and fruity flavors of lip-gloss and Chap Stick to keep your lips kissably soft. Some lip balm contains sunscreen for added protection from the elements. Try to keep a tube of lip balm with you at all times incase the wind and chill start beating up on your sexy smile.

Moisturize for soft and supple skin…
While dryness and peeling on the face becomes apparent immediately, dry skin on other parts of the body may not be so obvious. One thing women should watch out for is dry skin on the undersides of the breasts. Friction caused by bras and the onset of the winter weather makes the skin more susceptible to peeling and dryness.

To combat this undesirable dryness, select a body lotion that you like and warm it up by rubbing a small amount between your hands. Smooth the lotion over the dry parts of your chest to prevent the dry areas from becoming worse. Just before bedtime and just after getting out of the shower are great times to moisturize!

Moisturize for sleek, sexy legs…
Just like your face and chest, your legs become more susceptible to dryness in the winter, too. A great way to keep your legs silky smooth – invest in some shaving cream with extra moisturizer added. If you can bear it, also consider shaving less frequently. If your legs will be safely tucked inside pants all day, you might be better off shaving your legs when you have time to moisturize them after your shower.

After you get out of the shower and whenever you think of it, slather on your favorite lotion from your thighs to your toes, paying special attention to your knees, shins, ankles and heels. Many people experience cracked skin on the bottoms of their feet from excessive dryness. You can ward this off with lotion formulated for extra dry skin. As you are caring for your lower limbs, take special care to treat your elbows, which often become dry this time of year as well.

The backs of your arms may also need some special attention, and don’t forget about your hands! If you do a lot of housework – especially washing dishes – your hands may crack easily. Keep a small bottle of hand lotion with you at all times so you can treat problem areas before they get worse. Treat your skin daily with a moisturizing cream or lotion and you should have smooth, flawless skin no matter what the weather’s like!

Secrets to smooth, sexy legs

Many men can’t resist a sleek and sexy set of legs. From short and sassy miniskirts boasting miles of gorgeous legs to long, silky skirts subtly showing off beautiful legs through tasteful slits – fashion is your friend when it comes to accentuating your wheels. To emphasize your legs with very minor adaptations to your normal cleansing and beauty routines, read on for a few quick tips to bring out and maintain a sexy look for your legs.
Don’t rush when you shave. Nothing ruins a super-close shave like nicks from a hurried shave. Hastily shaving your legs may cause the razor to snag your skin and remove tiny chunks at a time, especially around your knees, ankles and the thin areas of flesh on your shins. To combat nicks from shaving too quickly, rinse away the blood before exiting the shower, blot with a tissue or toilet paper and apply a tiny corner of tissue to your wound. Allow it to dry the blood and decide whether the cut necessitates a bandage.

Moisturize! Shine adds a whole new dimension to smooth legs. A fragrant lotion creates softness and newly applied lotion creates a nice glow that draws attention to your silky legs.

Use a loofah pad to exfoliate and buff out imperfections. Sometimes tiny blemishes caused by ingrown hairs or minor skin conditions render legs to be not as smooth as they once were. By gently exfoliating at least once or twice a week, your legs can be healthy, soft and blemish-free with very little effort. If you aren’t sure what a loofah pad looks like, visit the beauty aisle of your local drugstore, supermarket or superstore. They typically have a beige-colored surface on one side and a terrycloth type surface on the other. These items usually only cost a dollar or two, and they’re well worth the investment!

Try a vitamin-rich body scrub. While exfoliating with the loofah pad provides a great scrubbing motion, indulging in a luxurious body scrub is as good for the senses and the spirit as it is for the body. The nutrients contained in the scrub potion nourish the skin and welcome healthier cells to replace the dead skin cells shed through exfoliation. Don’t just scrub away old cells – promote new ones!

Exercise! While the aesthetic elements mentioned above will truly lend themselves to the overall condition of your legs, these products and practices won’t do a thing for your muscle tone and body mass. To keep your legs in swimsuit shape all year long, consider engaging in regular exercise several times a week. Get into a good habit of running, walking or jogging, bike riding, stair climbing or doing simple exercises like leg-lifts. Even the smallest amount of exercise can be beneficial to your body as you build your way up to longer routines.