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Philadelphia Skin Care And Beauty Blog | Best Skin Care Advice

By Maxine Dean 21 Jun, 2017
1.   Choose the  Perfect Cleanser !  Acne prone skin needs a face wash that's powerful enough to clear away oil, dirt and dead skin, but gentle enough not to irritate the skin any further.
A daily face wash containing micronized benzoyl peroxide (a form of benzoyl peroxide that is 10 times more effective than the regular benzoyl due to its smaller molecule) can make a world of difference, with blemishes starting to clear in a little as 5 days. Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide kills acne causing bacteria on the surface of the skin and deep within pores, while reducing oil production, inflammation AND redness.

Tip:  Massage the cleanser into the skin, focusing on pimples and leave on for 5 minutes before washing it off.
By Maxine Dean 20 Jun, 2017

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most tried and true acne treatments. BPO is an effective treatment for active breakouts and as a preventative treatment that has been used for over fifty years.

Benzoyl Peroxide has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It penetrates pores and kills p.acne, the strain of bacteria that causes breakouts. BPO even fights bacteria that is resistant to topical antibiotics. It's also a  keratolytic, which means that it'll help breakdown the buildup of dead skin, dirt and oil trapped inside pores. With continued use, BPO reduces sebum production which helps control oil.

Types of Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl Peroxide is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. It comes in a variety of forms including gels, creams, cleansers and body washes. And it's available in several concentrations, 2.5%, 5% and 10% being the most popular.

Look for Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide  - a finely milled version of traditional Benzoyl Peroxide.   Benzoyl peroxide is not very water soluble, traditional BPO molecules have the tendency to crystallize and form clusters that can be too large to effectively penetrate pores. Benzoyl Peroxide is micronized to produce smaller, more consistently sized particles that are able to penetrate pores easier and more efficiently.
By Maxine Dean 17 Jun, 2017
Dermatologists and skin care professionals diagnose acne type and severity with a grading scale. Acne grades are determined by the amount of blemishes, the type of blemishes, the location of the blemishes and the amount of inflammation present. Acne grades can help you and your doctor determine the best treatment plan for your skin.
By Maxine Dean 14 Jun, 2017
By Maxine Dean 13 Jun, 2017

MYTH: If you pop a pimple, it will be less noticeable and go away faster. 

TRUTH: Instead of speeding up the process of healing, popping pimples actually makes them stick around much longer!  Popping a whitehead causes the bacteria inside to be pushed deeper into the skin, allowing  more infection to grow. 

After popping a pimple, the area will get redder and more inflamed - typically more noticeable than if you had left it alone in the first place. Popping pimples leads to scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, both of which last much longer than a pimple. 

If you need to calm down a pimple right away, try covering an ice cube with a cloth or paper towel and gliding it gently over the affected area. Keep the ice moving and never hold it down on one spot of your skin.


By Maxine Dean 13 Jun, 2017

MYTH: Acne is caused by being dirty.

TRUTH: Having acne doesn't mean your skin is dirty or unhealthy! 

Acne is not caused by poor hygiene but by hormonal changes taking place within the body. Sometimes the sebaceous glands within the dermis become overrun with oil and block nearby follicles. This causes clogged pores, which turns into acne characterized by pimples, zits, pustules, and even cysts. 

It doesn’t matter how often you scrub your face or other areas affected by acne. In fact, a rigorous regimen of washing and scrubbing can actually irritate the skin and make the acne worse, not better.

Acne is not caused by poor hygiene. It doesn’t mean that hygiene isn’t important, but it's not the cause. Good hygiene in conjunction with acne treatment products can help. Rather than frequent, harsh washing, it is generally recommended that you wash your face twice a day with a cleanser formulated for your skin type and then pat it dry - never scrub your skin dry. Washing your face any more than twice a day can aggravate your skin and actually make acne worse.

By Maxine Dean 10 Jun, 2017
Acne is estimated to affect 650 million people worldwide, making it the most common skin condition. Although it's a very common problem for adolescents and teens, acne can affect anyone. Left untreated, acne can leave scars, lead to anxiety and negatively impact self esteem.  The more you know about your skin, the easier it is to manage your acne and uncover clear, beautiful skin. 

Acne vulgaris is a broad term for several different types of lesions found on the skin, these include blackheads, whitehead, papules, pustules and cysts. Acne occurs when pores become clogged with oil and dead skin. Acne is typically accompanied by oily skin, inflammation and scarring. Dead skin and sebum can become trapped inside pores or hair follicles to form a plug. These clogged pores are called a comdeones. If bacteria is present in the comedo, then the pore and surrounding cells may become inflamed becoming a blackhead, whitehead, papule, pustule or cyst. Hormones, diet, lifestyle and medication can aggravate acne.

 
There are a couple different types of acne lesions:
  • Blackheads are open comdeos. When a comedo is open and exposed to air the dead skin and oil that clogged the pore oxidizes, turning it black.  

  • Whiteheads are closed comedos. The opening of the pore is either very narrow or completely blocked by skin. Whiteheads are clogged pores just like a blackhead, only they have not been oxidized and remain white.

  • Papules and  Pustules form when a pore becomes so irritated the walls collapse, these are generally what we call pimples. The pore and surrounding cells are inflamed and can be painful. Papules are raised, solid bumps that are typically red and may be painful. Pustules occurs when a papule becomes infected, or “comes to a head” and fills with pus. Not all papules turn into pustules and may resolve on their own.  

  • Cysts are hard, pus filled lesions that rupture deep beneath the surface of the skin. Cysts are often large and quite painful. Cysts occur when the oil gland within a pore becomes engorged and hardened. Unable to push the excess oil and debris through the pore, it ruptures leaving behind a painful, swollen mass under the skin. Cysts are the most severe type of acne lesion. They can last anywhere from a couple of days to weeks, and usually leave a scar.

 Acne is classified into 4 grades. Each grade is characterized by the types, the severity, and the number of blemishes present. These breakdowns aid dermatologists and other professionals in determining the best treatment plan for your skin:
  • Grade 1 is mild acne consisting of a few blackheads and papules that are not deep or inflamed.
  • Grade 2 is moderate acne, with 10 or more blackheads, papules, milia, pustules with redness and inflammation.
  • Grade 3 is severe acne involving 12-20+ blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts and a lot of redness and inflammation. Acne generally spreads from the face down the neck, the chest, shoulders and the upper back.
  • Grade 4 is often called cystic or nodulcystic acne. severe acne involving 12-20+ blackheads, papules, pustules, multiple cysts and a lot of redness and inflammation. Infection is deep and widespread, affecting the face, chest, shoulders, the entire back and upper arms.

  Acne treatments at MaxAesthetics in Philadelphia are used to increase cell turnover, eliminate acne causing bacteria, reduce inflammations and help regulate oil production.   Acne is usually treated with topical products such as salicylic acid, retinoid, benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid or laser treatments.
By Maxine Dean 27 May, 2017
This delicious smoothie is packed full healthy foods to clear your skin and nourish your whole body!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Small Roasted Beet
  • 1 Cup Frozen or Fresh Strawberries
  • ½ a Fresh or Frozen Banana
  • 1 Kale Leaf (torn into small pieces)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Almond Butter
  • ½ Tbsp. Hemp Hearts
  • ½ cup Water
Directions: Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. 

Beets  are a wonderful source  of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, folic acid, Vitamin C, zinc, copper, and iron. Beets also contain the antioxidants  polyphenols and betalains. They are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that protects cells from environmental stress and reducing inflammation. Zinc and folic acid are known to help clear acne. 

Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and Ellagic Acid. Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant known for strengthening your immune systems and anti-aging benefits.  Ellagic acid acts as an antibacterial and an antioxidant. Studies show that ellagic acid helps to negate skin damage caused by UV Radiation such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, the breakdown of collagen and inflammation. 

Kale contains many vitamins and nutrients that are good for skin and whole body, like beta carotene, vitamin k and lutein. Our bodies convert beta carotene into Vitamin A, an antioxidant that increases the rate cellular turnover which can help reduce clogged pores, acne, wrinkles, discoloration and dryness. Vitamin K improves circulation, helps to reduce dark under eye circles, and improves skin elasticity. Lutein, a carotenoid like beta carotene, can provide a bronzed glow to skin when consumed in large quantities. 

Hemp Hearts  are rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) that maintain healthy cells, keeping you skin looking hydrated, plump and youthful. These fatty acids strengthen the skin barrier function to protect the skin from free radical, and  can help soothe inflammation and dryness from a variety of skin concerns.  

Almond Butter is loaded with Vitamin E and fatty acids that help keep skin supple and hydrated. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, strengthens capillary walls, improves moisture, reduces inflammation and aids in the healing of skin. By reducing inflammation and speeding up skin regeneration, Vitamin E is a great help to resolving acne. Vitamin E also helps your body create stores of other vitamins, making them work better. 

By Maxine Dean 25 May, 2017

Quality of life means different things to different people. Happiness also takes a variety of forms. According to a Harris Poll conducted in 2013, only 33 percent or one in three Americans are very happy. However, quality of life and happiness share some common components, good health, financial security and a sense of well-being. While no one experiences a perfect life, it is possible to build a better one by bringing these three components into balance.

 

Health

Keep It Moving

In order to optimize your years and your health, include daily physical activity in your life. This does not necessarily require you to have a gym membership or a regular workout routine. It simply means you spend at least 30 minutes of your day doing some moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. You may choose to engage in dancing, a brisk 30-minute walk, gardening, play intramural sports and more. You can even break your activity into short increments throughout your day as long as it adds up to 30 minutes or more of activity.

When you choose your physical activity, focus on functional fitness. Choose activities which support daily movements, standing from sitting, walking, driving, using stairs, lifting 10 to 15 pounds and actions which require balance. Many accidents and physical restrictions in the elderly are tied to their level of functional fitness.

 

Eat Well

Along with functional fitness, good nutrition sets a strong foundation for good health and a better life. Follow a balanced and varied diet of nutritionally dense foods, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. These food choices give the body the materials it needs to build and maintain healthy cells.

 

Get Some Rest

Sleep deprivation affects approximately 30 million Americans. About 20 percent of Americans average 6 hours of sleep per night. Most people require seven to eight hours of sleep to be at their best physically and cognitively. Aside from causing deficits in attention and thinking capacity, sleep deprivation places people at higher risk for diabetes, accidental injury, high blood pressure and stroke.

Sleep is more important than many people realize. The brain and body do important maintenance work while we sleep. The brain consolidates the day’s learning while the body completes maintenance to its tissues and systems.

 

Pursue A Work-Life Balance To Suit Your Needs

Many people cite quality of life issues as one of the key reasons for their unhappiness. We all need to earn a living wage; how well we balance earning our wage, making time for relationships and pursuing recreational activities greatly impacts our perceived quality of life. The better the balance, the greater a person's perceived quality of life.


 Wealth

Build Your Financial Health

Wealth is more than money. Money is a tool to keep a person in the lifestyle they desire. It is not an end in itself. So, maybe the ultimate goal when it comes to money is not being "rich." Perhaps the goal is to live without exorbitant debt and with the ability to make emergency and "fun money" purchases without decimating your household budget.

Resources to assist people with little financial knowledge are widely available. Financial consultants and literature can guide you through managing and repairing your credit, making a major purchase like a car and creating savings for retirement and vacations. Financial health supports peace of mind.

 

Mood

Act Happy - Be Happy

When things get difficult, the quickest way to happiness is to act happy. Smile when you greet people and when you say goodbye. Go about your day as you would if you were in a good mood. Your actions will coax your head and heart into a happier state.

 

Practice Gratitude

Take a moment every day to note the things, people, circumstances and relationships for which you are grateful. Practicing gratitude allows you to acknowledge what is going well in your life and takes your focus off of the negative. Some people keep a daily gratitude list of five to ten things for which they are grateful. Other people keep an entire journal. A mental note, a list or a journal describing your sources of gratitude in detail--any of these approaches will serve--as long as they allow you to intentionally practice gratitude.

Practicing gratitude fosters a sense of abundance. It creates the expectation of more positive experiences and outcomes. The expectation of positive experiences cultivates actions which create more abundance--more sources of gratitude and a better life.

By Maxine Dean 25 May, 2017

Stress affects just about everyone’s daily lives. Unfortunately, stress is not a benign thing. It can affect your body in ways that canhave a long lasting impact on your health. Here are some ways stress can affect your health:

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Brain - Stress can cause you to lose your concentration and memory abilities. Whether this is psychological or physiological is not completely clear. When you are under stress, parts of your brain associated with memory, such as the hippocampus, do not work well and you cannot turn short-term memory into long-term memory. You can also fail to concentrate on things you hear or things you are reading. It isn’t clear whether this is a long-term effect or short-term effect; however, things like stress reduction techniques seem to be able to restore your ability to think.

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Gastrointestinal Tract - Stress triggers the body’s fight or flight response so that epinephrine and norepinephrine are released from your adrenal glands. This has multiple effects on the body. One thing this phenomenon does is shunt blood away from the gastrointestinal tract and toward the muscles of the body as a way of gearing up to “fight or flee” from a real or imagined opponent. This can lead to a decreased blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract, which translates into indigestion and poor uptake of nutrients. Fortunately, this can be short-lived unless you live under situations of chronic stress. Then the GI system will be more permanently affected.

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Cardiovascular System - Stress causes the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which automatically raises your blood pressure and heart rate. This puts more stress on your heart and puts you at higher risk of suffering from hypertension-related diseases like heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. These kinds of things do not happen overnight but if you suffer from chronic stress, the long lasting implications of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, and stroke are real possibilities, especially if you do not eat well or have a strong family history of heart disease.  

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Immune System - Excess stress also causes the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex. Cortisol has many effects on the body but one of the main ones is that it suppresses the immune system. High levels of cortisol mean that you are at greater risk of getting colds and the flu and have a harder time healing from open sores, cuts, or wounds. Cortisol can suppress several aspects of the immune system so you will find yourself sicker more often when under stress than you would be if you were under less stress.  

Things You Can Do To Reduce Stress

Because stress can wreak havoc on your body, you need to do what you can to lessen the stress on your life so you can remain healthy. Sometimes it is just a matter of reducing the things in your life that are major sources of stress. It might mean getting out of a stressful relationship, getting your finances in order or changing your job situation so you don’t go to work each day with stressful feelings.

If you can’t change your circumstances, you may want to practice stress-relieving techniques. These include things like meditation, Tai chi, yoga, and Qi gong.

These activities can be easily learned through attending classes at a local health club or buy purchasing a DVD that will teach you ways to reduce the amount of stress you perceive in your life so you can live a healthier life.  

Another great way to reduce stress is to take a vacation, or spend time in nature that naturally calms the mind, body, and spirit.





By Maxine Dean 17 May, 2017
This tropical smoothie is packed with vitamins and nutrients for glowing skin and a healthy body.
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Mango
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 Cup Frozen Pineapple
  • 1 Cup Kombucha (any flavor desired)
Directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Use all frozen fruit for an frosty, refreshing treat!  

Kombucha is fermented tea drink loaded with naturally occurring probiotics, vinegar, vitamins, enzymes,   and acetic, gluconic and lactic acid. Kombucha tea helps with digestions, relieves inflammation, provides antioxidant support to prevent free radical damage, and supports collagen production for the prevention of fine lines and wrinkle and joint damage! 
 
The fruit in this smoothie are all antioxidant powerhouses that are sure to give your skin an extra boost!

Pineapples  are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Manganese, the enzyme Bromelain, and dietary fiber.  Eating pineapple provides antioxidant and immune support, and is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce signs of aging and breakouts.

Strawberries are extremely high in vitamin C,  folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, magnesium biotin, and ellagic acid. Biotin is essential for strong, healthy skin, hair and nails, and ellagic acid protects elastin fibers from sagging, for firmer skin!  

Mangoes are high in vitamin A which supports health skin function and cellular turn over, for clear and bright looking skin. Mango is a natural source of quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, and enzymes that have been found to protect the body against certain cancers. 


By Maxine Dean 12 May, 2017


It's hard to think of skin as being an organ much less the largest one of the human body. Skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system of human beings. It is our protective barrier against the environment as well as the protective covering for our internal organs and body parts. It helps keep germs and other organism from entering our systems. It serves as our first line of defense against dehydration, extreme temperatures and injury. The skin actually detoxifies harmful substances and germs much like our liver does for us internally.


The average adult has from 18 to 20 square feet of skin covering their entire body which weighs approximately 6 pounds. Skin is one unbroken piece of tissue that covers the whole person. It's amazing to think that just one square inch of skin has 6 million cells. The human skin consists of 3 layers. The top layer which is what we see is called the Epidermis. The middle layer is called the dermis and also contains connective tissue. The third layer is called the Hypodermis or the subcutaneous layer. This layer contains adipose (fat) tissue and blood vessels. Skin has 5,000 sensory points throughout the body. It has 100 glands throughout the skin system as well as 15 sweat glands. Human skin is 00.7 or 2mm in thickness.

The outer most layer or the Epidermis is where melanin is produced. Melanin is the substance that gives us our skin colors as well as helps to protect us against sun rays. The darker a person is the more melanin their skin contains. In the second layer or dermis we find nerve endings sweat and oil glands as well as hair follicles. It is in this layer when the sebum which is the oil produced by the oil glands is produced. The sebum travels to the first layer and gets trapped in the pores creating skin conditions like acne because of this.

Another interesting fact about skin is that skin cells constantly regenerate themselves. This means human skin is always regenerating. The process of skin cellular regeneration begins in the dermis. A skin cell is generated in the dermis first. The same cell travels to the epidermis outer layer over a 14 day period. By the end of 14 days it finally reaches the bottom of the epidermis layer. Once it reaches there it continues to travel upward until it reaches the outermost layer or top of the Epidermis. After it reaches our outermost skin layer it takes two more weeks flattening out there and then it eventually dies. When it dies the cell sheds and then the process starts all over again. So this is how our skins constantly renew its self. We have billions of skin cells that shed daily.

This same idea of shedding the old cells and rejuvenating our skin is used in products to keep us youthful and our skins looking healthy.

The premise is that the old skin needs to constantly be shed so the young skin can remain exposed. That's why there are exfoliating products available for all skin types. These type of skin products do just that it helps with the shedding process. It is important that our bodies do this naturally to keep our skin looking young and remaining healthy.


By Maxine Dean 05 May, 2017
Start a food fight with your acne! Learn what foods can help your body's defense against acne. Anti-inflammatory foods heal the body and the skin by preventing skin issues such as acne, eczema and more. By reducing inflammation in the body in general, we can prevent skin disorders.
By Maxine Dean 21 Apr, 2017

What Are Complex Carbs and Why Do We Need Them?

Have you heard someone mention "complex carbs", and you wondered what they were talking about? Basically, carbohydrates are either simple or complex. At first glance, you may think that simple carbohydrates are better for your body. They are broken down simply, so doesn't it make sense that these would be healthy for you? Actually, the opposite is true.


The Difference Between Complex (Good) and Simple (Bad) Carbohydrates

Complex and simple carbohydrates very differ in how they are absorbed into your body. They are also digested differently. Think of simple carbohydrates as simple sugars. Simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly, and deliver no nutrition, just energy. Complex carbohydrates deliver lots of nutrients and minerals, as well as energy.

Complex carbohydrates have longer molecular chains. So it takes your body a long time to break them down and absorb them. This leads to an even distribution of energy over a longer period of time, and a much longer feeling of fullness. Simple carbohydrates, like those delivered by refined sugar, enter your bloodstream immediately. They are processed quickly, have little nutritional value, and lead to fat storage, short spikes in energy and an energy crash.

 

Why Your Body Needs Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are important for a few reasons. As mentioned above, they are nutrient and mineral rich. They have all of the vitamins, phytonutrients and healthy, natural goodness your body needs to function properly.

They are usually also very high in dietary fiber. Fiber keeps your digestive system working properly, and helps you regulate a naturally healthy body weight. Complex carbs are energy rich, and deliver that energy consistently over a long period of time.

"Good" carbs promote proper sleep, boosted brain function and a healthy nervous system. In many cases, they are also low in calories, as opposed to unhealthy simple carbohydrates. Simply put, complex carbohydrates deliver much-needed benefits that promote inner and outer overall health.

Some Examples of Complex Carbohydrates

The following list includes some healthy complex carbohydrates you definitely should be eating more of.

·        Quinoa

·        Oats

·        Broccoli

·        Oatmeal

·        Spinach

·        Brown rice

·        Cucumbers

·        Peas

·        Asparagus

·        Beans

·        Soy Milk

·        Whole grain breads

 

Simple Carbohydrates to Avoid

Avoid or limit the following simple carbs. Your health and waistline will thank you.

·        Sugar

·        White carbohydrates – rice, bread, pasta

·        Potatoes - technically a complex carbohydrate, they are treated like simple carbs in your body

·        Desserts, pastries

·        Artificial syrups

·        Candy and cookies

·        Soda and energy drinks

Complex carbs also have great benefits for the skin due to the anti inflammatory properties they posess.

Eat more healthy complex carbs and watch your skin improve

For more information and skin care tips email us @ maxaesthetics@maxaesthetics.com

Visit Us For More Healty Tips Or A Free Healthy skin consultation 

By Maxine Dean 06 Jan, 2017

If you look up a definition of unrefined, you will be presented with something that roughly says “not processed to remove impurities”. In essence, that is what unrefined food refers to. However, this could lead to some confusion. In general parlance, we tend to think of refined as being superior to unrefined. When it comes to foods, the opposite is often true. Refined foods tend to be heavily processed, altered or ‘enriched’ foods, whereas unrefined foods are those foods occurring naturally and unaltered. The development of refined foods has grown exponentially in recent years, as society has become busier and more reliant on these convenience foods. 

 In modern society, refined foods serve an important purpose. Unfortunately, their role has grown in stature in the average person’s daily diet. This is not a welcome development. Store bread, packaged pasta, breakfast cereals, flavoured chips, candy bars and soft drinks all hold a strong place in many people's diets, and yet none of these foods are naturally occurring. On the contrary, they are full of artificial preservatives and lacking in many of the necessary and fundamental nutrients and minerals that our bodies thrive on.

 We are a society that demands instant gratification, and that attitude has filtered down to our food. We want quick cook pasta, instant rice and frozen ready meals that can be easily heated up for convenience. From a health perspective, this is incredibly worrying. We are becoming increasingly dependent on these refined foods and moving away from the basic unrefined foods that are so critical to our health. Fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, nuts and seeds and unrefined whole grains are all excellent sources of the fuel that our body craves, but their perceived lack of convenience means they are increasingly shunted to the side. 

 The benefits of adopting a diet more weighted towards unrefined foods cannot be overstated. As with any diet plan, balance is important, but when there exists a choice between unrefined and refined, unrefined should always be the victor. Choosing fresh vegetables and fruit over frozen and canned alternatives is an easy switch to make, but one that all too few people make. Similarly, the difference between making your own home style French fries and cooking frozen ones might be only ten minutes, so why do so few people choose to make their own? To truly overcome our reliance on refined foods, we must first change our convenience approach to diet.

By Maxine Dean 06 Jan, 2017

 Most of us have grown up eating 3 square meals a day; breakfast lunch and dinner. However, the wisdom of this convention has been challenged with increasing regularity in recent years. There are those who insist that eating 5 - 6 times per day, but reducing the amount of food per meal, is a more efficient way of monitoring your intake, is healthier for your body and can lead to weight loss. So just how accurate are these claims? Let’s look at them in more detail.

 Claim 1: More Regular Meals Increase Your Metabolism 

 The most common claim by those who recommend eating more often during the day is that the process of eating a meal raises your metabolism, so by eating several smaller meals every day you are increasing your metabolism more regularly. This, in turn, should lead to more fat being burned by your body. While the statement that eating does increase your metabolism, it’s not quite right to suggest that by digesting more often, you are expending more energy. The truth is that the amount of energy you use when digesting food is directly related to the quantity of food to be digested. The net benefit of more regular meals in this instance is little. 

 Claim 2: Eating More Frequently Helps to Control Cravings  

 This is a far more practical claim, and one that is more readily accepted by many health experts. No matter how big a meal we eat, there always seems to be room for a snack in between meals. This tends to be true regardless of the size of the meals consumed. However, by eating twice as often, you can remove the cravings for snacks, simply because they don’t have time to present themselves. By the time you start to crave a snack, it’s time for your next meal! For this reason, eating several smaller meals per day can be hugely beneficial in monitoring calorific intake.

  Claim 3: Eating More Frequently Helps to Maintain Stable Blood Sugar Levels  

 Unfortunately, this claim stops dead in its tracks when compared against actual evidence. The theory that blood sugar levels can be more accurately maintained by regular meals makes sense, but in practice it has little impact on most people. For this reason, it really shouldn’t be considered a benefit of eating more frequently. The science simply isn’t there to back it up. 

 Conclusion 

Eating more frequently every day might work for some people, but it should not be pitched as a scientific solution to fat loss. Are there benefits? For some people, absolutely. Eating more regularly can be an effective tool in controlling cravings and thus lead to a more managed diet. However, from a strictly biological point of view, the differences between strategies are negligible. Ultimately, if it works for you, stick to it. If it doesn’t, stick to what does work. It’s that simple!

By Maxine Dean 06 Jan, 2017

 While canned food used to be limited to simple vegetables, fishes and beans, the increase in modern demand for long lasting preserved foods has resulted in all manner of food types ending up in canned forms. Canned potatoes, canned burgers and canned whole chickens are just some of the strange offerings that have made their way to shelves in recent years. For many people, canned foods can never or will never be as good as the fresh alternative. However, the reality is not as clear cut as you might think. While some canned produce is undoubtedly less healthy than the fresh alternative, there are some anomalies.

 Beans are one of the most commonly canned goods. From baked beans to kidney beans, the vast majority of beans are sold canned. And are they unhealthier as a result? Not quite. Although being canned does rid beans of some of their folic acid, they retain much the same levels of iron and calcium as with fresh beans. Similarly, canned beans are also a superb source of fibre. When comparing canned to fresh, the argument against canned beans is weak. 

 Corn, or sweetcorn, is also one of the most heavily canned vegetables on our shelves. While there are a number of varieties with canned corn, there remains one fairly inarguable truth; canned corn gives just as much fibre as fresh corn, and does so at a cheaper cost. You do sacrifice some vitamin C along the way, but few people are eating corn because they are looking to get the vitamin C for the day. Much like the beans, canned corn stands up pretty well to scrutiny. 

 Tinned tomatoes are a life-saver. The variety of chopped, peeled, diced or whole tomatoes allow even the laziest of shoppers to find exactly what they want at very affordable prices. That may be all well and good, but what about the nutritional content of tinned tomatoes? The canning process for tomatoes involves preserving them with heat. This process releases a certain carotenoid which has been linked with reducing the risk of certain types of cancers.

 So as you can see, there are huge benefits from some canned goods. This is not to say that you should soon be going out to buy a whole chicken in a can - far from it. However, you also know that not everything in a can is to be avoided. Do your research, and you’ll find that there are some cans worth picking up.

By Maxine Dean 06 Jan, 2017

Choosing the right kind of cooking oil can be a nightmare for people looking to monitor their fat levels. With so many different oils to choose from, and so much conflicting advice on what kind of oils to choose, it can be particularly difficult to know what kind of cooking oil is right for you. While there are some cooking oils where opinion is split, there are also several inarguable truths about some great oils, and some not so great oils. So let’s have a look at some of the best…and some of the worst. 

 The Best - Olive Oil 

 Olive oil is one of the few undisputed kings of the cooking oil market. With a smoke point of somewhere between 375 and 470 degrees, olive oil is not always perfect for high heat cooking, but its health benefits cannot be overstated. Olive oil is packed full of antioxidants that have proven health benefits, and with a number of varieties on offer, buyers can ensure they choose an extra virgin olive oil that is entirely unrefined. Olive oil has a high ratio of monounsaturated fat to polyunsaturated fat, making it great for fat levels. 

 The Very Good - Avocado Oil

 Avocados are slowly being recognised as something of a superfood, so it’s not surprising to see that avocado oil is amongst the best in show. With a smoke point of 400 degrees, avocado oil is full of vitamin E, a vitamin that is heavily linked to boosting the immune system. Avocado oil is also not too far behind olive oil in terms of its monounsaturated fat ratio. 

 The Not So Good - Corn Oil

Corn oil is made from the most inner part of the corn grain, and it has a monounsaturated fat to polyunsaturated fat ratio of around 1 : 2.5. Compare this to the ratio in Olive oil of roughly 8 : 1 and you can clearly see the difference. Corn oil also has an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio that is more than 10 times greater than the ideal. All of this adds up to corn oil being a bad choice for cooking. 

 The Worst - Vegetable Oil

 Generally made from soybeans, vegetable oil is usually the cheapest cooking oil you can find…and with very good reason. Vegetable oil is heavily refined, has terrible fat ratios and is more often than not used in heavily processed foods like snacks or potato chips. If you’re looking to keep an eye on your fat levels, you should stay well clear of vegetable oil.

By Maxine Dean 06 Jan, 2017

Many of us grew up with parents and teachers advocating that we should be eating fruit and vegetables 5 times a day. “One of your 5 a day” has long been an advertising slogan for branded foodstuffs, more often than not slapped on an item that really shouldn’t be considered a fruit or veg helping. Yet, in adulthood, we often forget that which we learned as a child. Few people doubt that fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and nutrients, but does that mean that we are eating enough of them? 

 Consensus differs amongst academics regarding specific quantities, but the most up to date recommendations on this subject would advocate that an adult eat five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit every day. That might sound like a lot, but when you break it down it really shouldn’t be considered all that much. In fact, it should be a basic standard.

 When considering breakfast, many people will stick to that which they know. This often involves toast, cereal or even nothing more than a cup of coffee. Whether breakfast is or is not the most important meal of the day may be debatable, but there is no doubt that a good breakfast sets your body up for the day ahead. Very few people consider fruit for their breakfast, when it should be a staple. Switching a bowl of cereal full of added sugars for a banana could make a huge difference in your overall diet.

Lunch is a great time to load up on vegetables. Again, all too often people repeat the same mistake that they make at breakfast time. Deli made sandwiches and rolls may taste nice, but they are packed full of carbs and calories, and are often severely lacking in proper servings of vegetables. Swapping the sandwich for a homemade salad can be the perfect way to redress an imbalance you may have in your diet. Vegetables also make for ideal snacks. Ditch the packet of popcorn, the biscuits or the fizzy drink you have to keep you going between lunch and dinner and swap it for a piece of fruit, or even a fruit and veg smoothie. 

 These are all small changes you can make to your diet, but these small changes can do wonders for your health, and your waistline. Fruit and vegetables should be at the core of our daily dietary intake, and yet they are all too often forgotten about for their more attractive carb-cousins. Ask yourself this; are you eating 5 servings of veg and 2 of fruit every day? If not, you’re probably not eating enough fruit and veg.

Besides your health, fruits and vegetables have minerals and vitamins that do wonders for your skin. So Do your skin a favor and eat your fruits and vegetables 5 servings a day


By Maxine Dean 03 Jan, 2017

One of the most difficult aspects of sticking to a strict, balanced diet is keeping that balance when snacking at work. Long days at work often need to be broken up, and people snack to keep their energy levels up or often just to break up the day. While it can be quite easy to carefully plan the main meals of your day, planning your in between meal snacks can often prove problematic. However, it can be done. With a little preparation and the right mind-set, you can ensure that those mid-morning or late afternoon snacks don’t ruin your diet! Let’s take a look at a number of simple snacks that are easy to prepare and tasty to eat! 

 Mixed Fruit

 Fruit is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, and yet it’s something that most of us don’t eat enough of. Bringing an apple or banana in to work involves no preparation, little cost, and is a tasty way of boosting your energy levels. For those looking for a little more variety, why not prepare a fruit salad. Chop up your favourite fruit or berries and you can have a delicious treat that won’t mess up your daily diet! 

 Yoghurt 

 Yoghurts can be a superb source of probiotics, vital for maintaining a healthy gut. Much like fruit, yoghurts involve little no preparation, and also offer a range of flavours for a varied experience from day to day. Similarly, by choosing healthy yoghurts, you can ensure that your afternoon snack doesn’t ruin your appetite, nor your waist line! 

 Smoothies 

 Smoothies can be a superb way of treating yourself during the working day. By preparing a smoothie to bring to work, you can ensure that you are getting enough fruit and veg in your diet, and give yourself an excellent energy boost when the afternoon lag sets in! Smoothies also allow you to vary your snack from day to day, ensuring that every day feels like a new treat!

 Salads

 Salads don’t have to be grand, extravagant affairs. A simple salad can consist of a hard-boiled egg and just a few of your favourite vegetables. The preparation time for a salad snack is minimal, but the benefits are huge. Tasty and healthy, salads are one of the most under-utilised workplace snacks So why not ditch the chocolate bar and crisps for a healthy, easy to prepare workplace snack!

By Maxine Dean 03 Jan, 2017

 It is often suggested that eating seasonally is a great idea, but it is rarely explained why. Look at any restaurant menu and they will proudly boast about their “Seasonal Fruits” dessert, or go in to any supermarket and wonder at their seasonal vegetables. Local, seasonal foods are all around us, and yet so many of us remain ignorant as to the real reasons why we should care. When it comes to making food choices, there are generally 3 main reasons to pick one food over another. Is it cheaper? Does it taste better? Is it healthier? Let’s consider local, seasonal foods under those 3 headings. 

 Is it Cheaper? By its very nature, seasonal foods are cheaper than foods out of season. The reasons for this are simple; when something is in season, there is plenty of it to be supplied. Contrast this with something that is out of season, and there is far less of it supplied. As a result, the cost of seasonal produce is always cheaper than foods that are produced out of season. This is one of the biggest reasons why people should consider shopping seasonally. There are huge savings to be had be simply being aware of what is scarce and what is in great supply. 

 Does it Taste Better? This is directly linked to the considerations above. Food tastes at its best when it is freshest, and it will undoubtedly be at its freshest when it’s in season! There is also the very real consideration that in season foods can generally be sourced locally, as there are less preservation considerations when the produce is at its freshest. As a result, seasonal foods can often be some of the freshest, tastiest and most affordable foods available. 

 Is it Healthier? You can probably answer this one yourself by now, but let’s consider it anyway. We already know that a balanced diet consists of fresh, unrefined foods that haven’t been heavily processed or tampered with. Local, seasonal foods are exactly what you’re looking for in this regard. Farmed up the road and entirely unprocessed, local seasonal foods give you the best chance to get the most out of your food. And the brilliant thing about eating seasonally is that your diet changes throughout the year! As a result, seasonal eaters get a huge variety in their diet throughout the year, further enhancing the health benefits of seasonal eating. 

 When you consider all of these benefits, it’s hard to explain why anyone wouldn’t consider tailoring their diet with a more local, seasonal focus.

By Maxine Dean 03 Jan, 2017

The number of pre-prepared meals being handled by individuals on a daily basis has grown hugely in recent years. From children bringing their lunches into school, to professionals bringing cooked or prepared lunches into work, the prevalence of the pre-prepared meal has never been so obvious. However, there exists a worrying ignorance surrounding the storage of these pre-prepared meals. Ask 100 office workers what kind of storage container they use for their lunch and the vast majority will say a plastic box. This might be fine, but unfortunately all too many of us are unaware of the dangers that plastic lunch containers might present. 

 Have you ever been told not to drink water from a plastic bottle that has been left in the sun all day? If not, you should have been. The problem here is that plastic containers can release certain chemicals into the food they are storing. Certain actions can exacerbate this situation, such as exposure to direct sunlight, or even putting these containers into the microwave. While there does exist a small market of plastic containers free from these leaky chemicals, they are few and far between, and rarely used.  

So what is the alternative? Should we all just stop making pre-prepared meals? Of course not. Alternatives exist, and they are reasonably straight forward to implement. Inexpensive glass lunch boxes and containers are available in many places, and while these might prove slightly heavier than their plastic alternatives, they offer peace of mind that no harmful chemicals are making their way into your food. Another alternative is to bring your food in a ceramic bowl from home, covered in cling film or aluminium foil. Again, this might prove slightly more hassle than a cheap plastic lunch box, but there exists no risk of exposure to contamination. 

Going one step further, you could even pick up a pack of disposable paper plates, depending on what your pre-prepared meal is. Disposable paper plates are extremely cheap, and have the added benefit of being recyclable. Again, using these with cling film or aluminium foil can avoid contact with these cheap, harmful plastics. Ultimately, you should not be put off by the risk of plastic contamination. The warnings are there not to scare people into changing their habits, but to simply raise awareness of the potential risks. These risks are minimal, but. However, with the right storage options, you need not worry any more!

By Maxine Dean 01 Jan, 2017

Is there anything more perfect in design than a Mason Jar Salad? The concept is ideal - a fresh and delicious salad, perfectly preserved in a strong container that won’t imprint on the food and is easily transportable - what’s not to love!? While many people know what they want from a Mason Jar Salad, constructing the perfect one is not quite as simple as simply filling a jar with whatever you want! Without careful planning, your delicious salad can quickly turn into a soggy mess. So just how do you make the perfect, healthy Mason Jar Salad? 

 The trick real here is in how you go about layering your salad. It doesn’t matter what you plan on putting in, as long as you put the ingredients in an order that makes sense! So first things first, you should always start with the dressing. Choose whatever dressing you want, but putting it in first the cornerstone of the perfect Mason Jar Salad. Next, choose an ingredient from your salad that won’t just soak up all your dressing. Carrots are a good choice, as are chickpeas or cherry tomatoes. These will retain their own flavour without soaking up all of the dressing, and provides a stable base for further layers on top.

Once you have a solid layer above the level of your dressing, it’s time to start layering up. Keep your green leaves, cheeses or nuts aside, as they will make up the final layer. Always try to pack each layer tightly. This helps maintain the freshness of the salad. The less tightly your jar is packed, the less time your salad will stay fresh for. This is the core fundamental of a great Mason Jar Salad. Layer it cleverly, and pack it tightly. 

 Finally, add your green leaves, cheeses and nuts at the top. The green leaves will form a barrier that will help to maintain freshness, and this allows you place cheeses, nuts or even proteins like chicken on top without risking any soggy spread. And that’s it! Screw your lid on tightly and you’re ready to go. When you are ready to consume, simply open the jar, pour the contents into a bowl and toss as necessary. If you’ve layered your jar correctly and kept it upright, you will be rewarded with a crisp, fresh and delicious salad every single time.

By Maxine Dean 23 Dec, 2016

In the world of dietary extremes, people always want to hear definitive, clear answers to complicated questions. As a result, there tends to be polarizing views on a number of issues where the truth generally seems to lie somewhere in the middle. One such issue is the debate over raw food versus cooked food. Raw food advocates insist that cooking food (or heating it over a certain temperature) goes against our very nature as humans. On the contrary, cooked food advocates argue that the cooking of food changes it chemically, and in doing so causes certain reactions which help our bodies in digestion. So which is true? 

 Let’s consider the raw food diet. Recent studies have suggested that raw food should make up the majority of a balanced diet. Many foods, when cooked, lose much of the nutrients that they inherently possessed. Thus, by cooking these foods, we are removing any potential benefits that we have received from consuming the food. Eating these foods raw allows us to get the full benefit of the enzymes natural to the foods. This is particularly true with many fruits and vegetables. 

 However, cooked food advocates would argue that other foodstuffs are only so beneficial to us because of the cooking process, and they would be right. Certain fruits, like tomatoes, release certain antioxidants when heated. These antioxidants are extremely helpful in reducing the risk of cancerous cells growing in our body. Similarly, some vegetables like asparagus also release more nutrients when boiled or steamed than in their raw form. This would lend further weight to the argument that cooked foods are better for your long term health. 

 So, again we ask, which is true? 

 As with many dietary this or that questions, the answer is somewhere in the middle. There are some foods that are better eaten raw. On the other side, there are some foods that are better cooked. What does this tell us? Well, we should probably eat some raw foods and some cooked foods. Yes, it really is that simple. There is no right or wrong absolute approach, merely common sense. If cooking a food is better for you, then you should cook it. If eating it raw is more beneficial, then eat it raw. As any health guru should tell you, the key to healthy eating is all about balance. That balance includes a balance between cooked and raw.

By Maxine Dean 01 Dec, 2016
Are All Calories Created Equal?

Interestingly, the calories your body takes in may not be the same as the calories your body uses. A 2500 calorie per day diet may cause some people to gain weight, while a 2500 calorie per day diet consisting of different foods may cause no weight gain or even a weight loss. It all depends on how the calories are counted and on how your body digests those calories.
How Calorie Count Is Measured

Calories are the units of energy we use every day to measure the food intake we eat. One calorie is the amount of energy necessary to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at normal atmospheric pressure.

Calories In Food

When we talk about calories in food, we are actually talking about kilocalories. One scientific kilocalorie is equal to a thousand calories. When talking about food, one calorie is actually a kilocalorie.

Manufacturers of different types of food are measured using what is called a “bomb calorimeter.” The food is placed in a sealed container that is also filled with water at normal atmospheric pressure. Electrical energy is used to burn the food. When it is burned completely, the temperature of the water is measured and a calculation is made as to how many calories are in that food.

How The Body Uses Calories

The problem with the bomb calorimeter is that it measures every available calorie the food contains and, in our diets, we don’t always use up every available calorie.
Take fiber, for example. Fiber can be burned in a bomb calorimeter and its calories are measured as part of the total amount of calories in a specific food. In the gut, however, fiber is not digested (especially insoluble fiber) and it instead passes through the body to make up the bulky portion of stool. This means that the calories you ate from fiber aren’t absorbed and you are actually consuming fewer calories than you’d expect. This is a good reason to eat high fiber foods.

The Atwater System

Another method of determining calories is called the Atwater system. In this system, the calories are broken down into the number of calories in the protein, fat, carbohydrates, and alcohol in each food. There are reference tables based on the energy density of the food. For protein, there are 4 kilocalories in each gram of protein. There are also 4 kilocalories in each gram of carbohydrate. Organic acids contain 3 kilocalories per gram and fats contain 9 kilocalories per gram. If you drink alcohol, it takes up 7 kilocalories per gram of alcohol. The food is broken down into the amount of each of these components and the calorie count is added up.

Neither Method Is Truly Accurate

Neither method is a true measure of the digestibility of food and the degree of absorption of the digested products. The truth is that the food those calories come from greatly determines how they are processed in the body.

Calories are NOT created equal as the exact same amount of calories from two different types of food can pose completely different biological effects in the body.

Soda Versus Mushrooms: A Case Study
Is 182 calories worth of soda the same as 182 calories worth of mushrooms? Let us see.

The Soda
A 22-ounce serving of soda has 44 grams of sugar, 182 calories and nothing else. The stomach quickly absorbs the sugar causing a spike in blood glucose levels and a variety of bad chemical reactions in the body, including, but not limited to increases in storage of belly fat, increases in bad cholesterol and blood pressure, and may even contribute to infertility in women.

The flood of insulin also blocks leptin, the hormone that controls appetite. As people become more resistant to leptin, they never register satiation, and this leads to overeating, out of control cravings and adds fuel to the sugar addiction fire. This domino effect leads to bad eating habits, and cravings for sugar that will never truly get satisfied.

Additionally, the fructose in the soda does not send a signal to the brain that the body just received calories, so they are not registered as food, and this means that it will also effect ghrelin, the appetite hormone that is reduced when the body receives real food, leading to more hunger, more cravings, and over eating.

The Mushrooms
Mushrooms are also carbohydrates, but instead of being simple sugars like the soda, they are complex carbs that digest slowly in the body. They will not cause blood sugar spikes, but instead be digested slowly and they provide essential nutrients, like potassium, fiber, protein, iron, vitamin D, and magnesium, healing the body instead of causing immense harm.

The quality nutritional profile of the mushrooms supports numerous healthy results in the body, and also helps protect against chronic disease, including various cancers and heart disease.

The nutritional profile, slow digestion, and fiber found in mushrooms allow you to feel full and satisfied, eliminating out of control cravings and over eating. Will mushrooms contribute to weight gain? NO WAY!

The difference between the calories in soda and mushrooms is marked. In fact, as opposed to the soda that is all harmful, there is not one thing in mushrooms that is.

One study that looked at the correlation of sugar and calories to risk of diabetes found that simply adding 150 calories a day to a diet barely raised the risk for diabetes, however when those calories were from soda the risk increased by 700%.

The Volume Is Impressive Too
By the way, 186 calories worth of mushrooms is almost 9 cups, which is a lot of mushrooms, especially in comparison to the 22 ounces of soda.

Now, most people will not consume 9 cups of mushrooms in one sitting (mainly because they are so filling), but think about how much more food you can actually eat when choosing quality food?

What Does This Mean For Eating And Counting Calories?
*Eat slow digesting foods and skip the simple sugars!

*Eat real whole food!

Look at food labels for foods that contain a high amount of fiber. Plant foods naturally contain a great deal of indigestible fiber that will bulk up the stool and won’t be counted as “real” calories because they are not digested or absorbed in the body.
Vegetables are always your best choices, as are low sugar fruits like berries.

More Count
Meats, proteins, and other low fiber foods are more fully digested and absorbed, so those foods will count more than vegetables.

Highest Count
Empty calorie foods, like cake, donuts, cookies, potato chips, soda and other junky foods are your worst choices that will do nothing good for your body and will cause serious harm.

Stock up on high complex real food for your health!
By Maxine Dean 11 Oct, 2016

Corticosteroid and steroid creams are prescribed by doctors to treat inflammation from skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. These corticosteroid or steroid creams contain powerful ingredients like Clobetasol Propionate, Fluocinolone Acetonide or Betamethasone Dipropionate. Although these are legal creams that if used properly have good effects, they are being misused and abused due to the skin lightening  side effect of steroid creams.

Many have been illegally selling and marketing steroid creams as skin bleaching creams. This is a way to capitalize or monetize the known side effects of using steroid creams. The mechanics behind steroid cream-induced skin lightening is not yet understood. However, one theory is that steroids may reduce the number of melanocytes or melanocyte activity in the skin.

The Black Market sale of steroid creams as skin lighteners pose a huge treat to consumers who buy these creams with the belief these creams are safe for bleaching. Most users of these creams are unaware of the dangerous side effects of prolonged steroid use.

Steroids by nature are :

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Immunosuppressive
  • Anti-Proliferative
  • Vasoconstrictive
Skin damage from inappropriate steroid application can be visible as early as 2-3 weeks of use. Side effects of prolonged steroid use include:
  • Skin Thinning 
  • Stretch Marks
  • Enlarged Blood Vessels
  • Easy Bruising
  • Localized Increase of Hair Thickness & Length
Most may improve once steroid use has ceased, although it may take months to even years to recover. However, issues like stretch marks and thin skin are difficult to repair. 

If you have have hyperpigmentation, it's best to seek professional help. There are options available to lighten hyperpigmentation and even out the skin without the dangers of steroids. Chemical peels and lightening creams provided by skin care professionals  can provide a safe alternative to steroids. 


By Maxine Dean 17 Sep, 2016

Exfoliation is the means by which we slough of dead skin cells from our skin, either on the face or the body. There are two ways to exfoliate,  Physical Exfoliation or Chemical exfoliation .

1) Physical Exfoliators  are either products with granules or substances that physically scrub the skin such as walnut hulls, almond or corn meal granules, jojoba beads and so forth. Other physical scrubs are machine or equipment based, such as Microdermabrasion machines used in spas by a professional, or scrubbing brushes, like the Clarisonic Brush. 

Facial scrubbing brushes, like the Clarisonic, use vibration or oscillating movements to exfoliate the surface of the skin while removing makeup and oil.   A Microderambrasion treatment gives you an even deeper cleaning than a brush. Microdermabrasion uses either crystals that blow through a wand, producing a sand blasting effect, or a diamond tip wand which deeply scrubs, buffs and suctions the dead skin cells of at the same time, producing a smooth polished look to the skin.

2) Chemical Exfoliators  go even deeper than Microdermabrasion by loosening the “glue-like” substance that holds your skin cells together.  This allows dead skin cells to slough or peel off over a few days usually 2-5 days depending on the strength of the chemical peel exfoliator.The strength of chemical exfoliators can be modified so as to produce a gentle mild exfoliation (flaking of the skin) or an aggressive deep peel that can last up to a week.

There are different types of chemical exfoliators.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids like Glycolic and Lactic are primarily used in anti-aging treatments. 
  • Beta Hydroxy Acid, generally known as salicylic acid, is usually used for acne or oily skin.
  • Retinoic acid, derived from Vitamin A, can be used on all skin types.
  • TCA is beneficial in both acne and anti-aging treatments.
  • Mandelic and Citric acids,which are much gentler, can be used on normal to sensitive skin types.

If you are seeking a chemical peel, it is better to seek one from a professional who can analyze your skin and determine the best peel for your skin type in order to prevent a chemical burn, which is a possibility when using any chemical peel.

Exfoliation is a great way to keep the skin looking healthy and smooth. A weekly peel is recommended for oilier, acne prone skin and a biweekly gentle exfoliation is recommended for normal to sensitive skin types.  Be careful not to overdo any form of exfoliation as this may cause more harm than good! Be gentle, and when in doubt, seek a professional treatment.

For a Free Chemical Peel Consultation at MaxAesthetics, Please call 267-528-3859 or Request An Appointment Here


By Maxine Dean 08 Sep, 2016

Pimples are more than just a nuisance, they can also be emotionally challenging! However, there are a few at home remedies that can be used as a quick fix to assist in the healing of  inflamed skin. This quick remedy can be followed at least two to three times a week to help keep breakouts at bay or to quickly calm the skin.

1. Start out by preparing the diy acne mask. Simply take a heaping tablespoonful of plain uncooked oatmeal, mix it in whole milk,  add one uncoated baby Aspirin (crushed up) and let it stand for 30 minutes or until the oatmeal and Aspirin are soft enough to stir up into a paste that has the texture of a face mask. Oatmeal acts as a natural exfoliant, and instantly soothes the skin. Aspirin is a form of salicylic acid, which is in a variety of acne treatments. It reduces inflammation and helps keep pores clear. Whole milk is gentle source of lactic acid, an aha chemical exfoliant. 

2. Prep your skin by cleansing with a good salicylic face wash, or a 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Wash .  Massage the cleanser into the skin and leave it on for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat excess moisture of your face. 

3. Apply the mask mixture to your face, focusing on the areas of inflammation and acne or pimples. Allow this mixture to set on your face for 15 minutes or until it is completely dried before rinsing off with lukewarm water.

Try to integrate this method at least twice a week, as it takes very little time and effort and will yield great results.

4. After removal of the oatmeal mask, take a cool compress, ice pack or cold gel pack and apply it to pimples or acne for 5 minutes, then finish with an application of a moisturizer containing either 2.5% or 5% Benzoyl peroxide .


                                       Follow MaxAesthetics Skin Care Blog for more Acne Information,                                                                                                                                               and for information on how to join our upcoming  Acne Management Membership Club.

By Maxine Dean 02 Sep, 2016

Healthy skin is beautiful skin, and it all begins with good nutrition. Skin is an organ that requires nutrients just like every other part of our bodies to thrive, and remain healthy, especially as we age. That radiant healthy glow can be achieved with regular intake of plant foods that provide key vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support the health of the skin. Juicing your fruits and vegetables is a great way to get your antioxidants to benefit both your health and your skin.

Try this quick easy recipe below for a few days and see how you feel.

This is a juice that works for any skin type. It contains parsley, which detoxifies the system and stimulates the lymph system to reduce water retention. The spinach has omega fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid), that helps skin glow. Green apples are better for the skin than red apples and will both tone and brighten the skin. This makes for a dark green juice that is sure to protect your skin from damage and keep it bright and toned.
You can juice these ingredients by using a juicer, a blender( just add a cupful of water or you can use something called the NutriBullet . This is what I use at home for all my green juices and smoothies.
You can even add a bit of protein powder, a handful of nuts, or some Greek yogurt for a creamy smooth effect and you will be getting your protein also.
Ingredients:
 4 Carrots

 Handful Of Parsley

 1⁄2 Green Apple

 Handful Of Spinach
By Maxine Dean 24 Aug, 2016

Many chronic diseases are caused by lifestyle. People tend not to exercise as much as they should, they allow themselves to become overweight, by indulging  unhealthy foods and habits that may lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and strokes.

The problem with unhealthy and bad eating habits is that they are difficult to turn around. Many people try to change their lifestyle all at once, which is extremely difficult to accomplish. As a result, they often give up all of their healthy habits and resort to the usual negative health habits that they had before they attempted a healthy lifestyle.

Sometimes it just takes a few days or a few weeks of trying to live healthy before the individual becomes overwhelmed and gives up. They stop exercising and go back to eating processed foods and junk foods.

This is why it is better to change your health habits one habit at a time so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stop trying to be healthy altogether.

Most weight loss programs work if they are done carefully and don’t deprive the individual too much. The same is true of exercise programs. If you choose an exercise that you really enjoy or increase your physical activity gradually, it will be a lot easier to stick to the program so that you don’t become discouraged and quit exercising altogether.

The trick to healthy living is to begin gradually. Don’t try any trendy diet or fitness fad. If you try a fad with gusto, you are likely to respond negatively and you won’t stick with the programs.
 
There are a few simple things you can do to live a happier and healthier life. Start with just these 5 changes in health habits:

1. Try eating one healthy meal a day. Even if you eat processed foods most of the time, by eating just one healthy meal each day, you will feed your body with good nutrition and healthy proteins. Healthy meals consist of mainly fruits and vegetables, supplemented with whole grain products, and lean meats.

2. Drink a glass of water before each meal. Water is perhaps the best liquid you can drink. When drink a glass of water before meals, (an 8-ounce glass is enough), you will feel fuller before eating, and you won’t eat as much.

3. Be active during lunch.  Try eating your meals and then take some time to exercise. You don’t have to work out excessively but you should be able to take a brisk walk. Not only will this energize you but also it will help burn off the calories and aid in the digestive process.

It really doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do as long as you choose something reasonable that will help you feel better after eating your lunch. Exercising also helps decrease stress .

4. Try a Meal Replacement Bar. This involves eating a healthy protein bar as a snack instead of junk foods. Most meal replacement bars contain a lot of good nutrition and fiber. They are also not as calorie-rich as you would think. They help stave off hunger pangs that are typical by mid-afternoon time.
Keep a stash of these protein bars in your desk at work or in your purse or brief case so you can grab one whenever you feel hungry. It will keep you from going to the vending machines and making poor food choices. Try eating a meal replacement bar that is high in fiber and that has at least 10 to 15 grams of protein per bar.

5. Exercise regularly. If you have a gym membership, try working out at least 3-4 times per week. Choose an activity you enjoy and make the most of it for at least a half hour per session. This will help energize you, may build muscle mass, and will help you lose weight by burning off excess calories.
Need help with nutrition  Ask Maxine 
By Maxine Dean 09 Aug, 2016

                                                                     

It can be a real challenge for busy people to eat healthy and nutritious meals. There is of course the time issue – just not enough time in the day for shopping, preparation, and cooking. This means that busy people often eat ready-made meals, which are high in fat, salt and sugar content. Then there is the fact that very often, busy people will go to restaurants more often and eat out more often, especially at fast food establishments. This of course, means eating foods high in fat and calories and lacking in the nutrients the body needs.

It is possible, though, for very busy people to eat healthier. Eating healthy will actually make a person more productive at his work. So, healthy eating habits should be considered to part of a person's work schedule.

                   What are 5 ways that very busy people can eat healthier? 

  • Always have breakfast . This is often the most skipped meal in the day, but it is the most important meal. Skipping breakfast can lead to weight problems and diabetes .What constitutes a great, healthy breakfast? Foods rich in fiber. Fiber rich foods make the feeling for being full last much longer, therefore reducing the tendency to snack. Foods like whole oats oatmeal, whole grain cereal, fruits, and vegetables.

Protein from eggs is also a great way to nutrify the body in the morning.

Foods with high sugar content and low fiber (doughnuts and pastries) should be avoided.

  • Plan ahead. As a busy person, you will be used to planning in advance to get things done. You would never think about going into an important meeting without planning. Eating healthy requires the same planning. When should this be done? Of course, everyone's schedule is different, but it should be possible to use some time in the week to plan for meals.

Weekends could be good days to use some time to prepare and plan meals. Remember to also plan your snacks, and make sure that you have healthy options. For this, plastic containers are a must.

If possible, try to shop for groceries online and have them delivered to your home or workplace. This saves a lot of time shopping. Of course, any shopping has to take into consideration healthy foods. Choose whole grains, fresh produce, and lean fresh meats.

Even the busiest people can take advantage of the many markets that sell prepared baked chicken, to save cooking time and have a source of healthy protein on hand.

  • Keep hydrated. A healthy body requires fluid. Make sure that you have plenty of water with you if your place of work doesn't have a water cooler. Drink water frequently during the day. Don't overdo the coffee intake. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and remember that fruit juices are often high in sugars and low in fiber.
  • Always Make healthy choices at restaurants . When at restaurants choose the healthy options. Many menus now have the calorie total for each meal and this can be a good guide. If there are no calorie guides then stick to this rule of thumb: meats should be grilled, potatoes boiled or mashed and vegetables steamed. Soups are good for entrees and for deserts choose fruits.

Limit alcohol intake. Many use alcohol to wind down after work and it is tempting to join with work colleagues after work. While an occasional glass of wine won't do any harm (and some studies even show that there are health benefits), you need to remember that alcohol is just empty calories. The over consumption of alcohol can also have a negative impact on health in general.

Even though you have a very hectic and busy work schedule, it doesn't mean that your health has to suffer. The 5 top tips for a healthier lifestyle here are very easy to implement. It just takes a bit of forethought and planning. Taking care of your health will result in a more productive day's work and a longer life! And Beautiful Skin !
By Maxine Dean 30 Jul, 2016
Just as there are different types of people in the world the same is true for skin. Not everybody has the same skin type. Some have oily skin, some have dry skin, some have combination skin and the list goes on. Besides genetics which may give us a predisposition to a particular skin type there are other factors to consider as well. You have to take into consideration your state of health, your internal system and what
you eat and put into  your body. It is a fact that what goes on in the inside of us affects what we look like on the outside.

 Environmental conditions also affect our skin. Things like pollution, second hand smoke and the sun all affect our skins in adverse ways for the most part. It is up to us to keep as healthy as possible. Keeping healthy includes eating right and staying hydrated to help us fight those things which we cannot change in relation to our skin like environmental factors.

So “What is your skin type?" There are five categories that  describe the overall condition of skin, determining its type:

1 )Normal Skin is any skin that is neither too oily nor dry and looks for the most part healthy. When you touch skin that is considered normal there is a supple and elastic feel to it. It is neither to saggy or loose.  Of all the skin types Normal Skin is the least problematic.

2) Dry Skin  This is skin that looks dull with flakes, patches or crusty in appearance.  This is due to the skins oil glands not producing enough oil called “Sebum." What happens with dry skin is that the oil gland does not produce sufficient amounts of “Sebum” or oil to keep the skin naturally lubricated.  People with dry skin need to keep hydrated and to use moisturizing products to help counter the problem of dryness.

3) Oily Skin  the sebaceous glands produce too much oil. The skin as a result looks greasy or shiny and feels grimy from the over production of oil. When skin is oily the pores look large and they are usually clogged due to the oil build up in the pores. The texture is also slippery but course do to the enlarged pores. Because oil gets trapped under the skin and clogs the pores oily skin is prone to breakouts. People with oily skin have to use products that help clean out the pores and prevent the skin from clogging  such as physical scrubs and or salicylic and glycolic products. It is ironic though that oily skin does not wrinkle or age the same way as dry skin. Oily skin is less prone wrinkles due to the natural moisturizing factor of the production of sebum, so seek a balance in regulating oil production as opposed to drying out completely.

4) Sensitive Skin  This skin type can be oily, dry or even normal. Sensitive skin is more of a condition as opposed to a skin type. With this type of skin there is a tendency for sensitivity to different stimuli. It can be touch that aggravates it, as well as a product used or something eaten. Typical sensitive reactions are  blotchiness, redness, swelling, itching, burning and or chaffing. This kind of skin generally has to use  products that are soothing, calming , have no chemicals or dyes nor artificial scents or fragrances. Fortunately there are a variety of Sensitive skin” products on the market for people with this type of skin. Products labeled Hypo allergenic are usually  good for sensitive skin types. These  products are designed for people that have allergic sensitivity to certain ingredients that may be in in regular products.

5) Combination Skin  This skin type may be a combination of two or more of the above mentioned skin types. Dry in some spots, oily in others and normal or sensitive in others. People with this type have faces that are categorized as T Zone face. This is because usually the Forehead, nose and chin are generally  oily in a T formation.  While the cheeks, eyes and mouth are dry. This is a very common type of skin. In this case a person would use a combination of products to suit the different areas of the T Zone.

Philadelphia Skin Care And Beauty Blog | Best Skin Care Advice

By Maxine Dean 21 Jun, 2017
1.   Choose the  Perfect Cleanser !  Acne prone skin needs a face wash that's powerful enough to clear away oil, dirt and dead skin, but gentle enough not to irritate the skin any further.
A daily face wash containing micronized benzoyl peroxide (a form of benzoyl peroxide that is 10 times more effective than the regular benzoyl due to its smaller molecule) can make a world of difference, with blemishes starting to clear in a little as 5 days. Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide kills acne causing bacteria on the surface of the skin and deep within pores, while reducing oil production, inflammation AND redness.

Tip:  Massage the cleanser into the skin, focusing on pimples and leave on for 5 minutes before washing it off.
By Maxine Dean 20 Jun, 2017

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most tried and true acne treatments. BPO is an effective treatment for active breakouts and as a preventative treatment that has been used for over fifty years.

Benzoyl Peroxide has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It penetrates pores and kills p.acne, the strain of bacteria that causes breakouts. BPO even fights bacteria that is resistant to topical antibiotics. It's also a  keratolytic, which means that it'll help breakdown the buildup of dead skin, dirt and oil trapped inside pores. With continued use, BPO reduces sebum production which helps control oil.

Types of Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl Peroxide is easy to find and relatively inexpensive. It comes in a variety of forms including gels, creams, cleansers and body washes. And it's available in several concentrations, 2.5%, 5% and 10% being the most popular.

Look for Micronized Benzoyl Peroxide  - a finely milled version of traditional Benzoyl Peroxide.   Benzoyl peroxide is not very water soluble, traditional BPO molecules have the tendency to crystallize and form clusters that can be too large to effectively penetrate pores. Benzoyl Peroxide is micronized to produce smaller, more consistently sized particles that are able to penetrate pores easier and more efficiently.
By Maxine Dean 17 Jun, 2017
Dermatologists and skin care professionals diagnose acne type and severity with a grading scale. Acne grades are determined by the amount of blemishes, the type of blemishes, the location of the blemishes and the amount of inflammation present. Acne grades can help you and your doctor determine the best treatment plan for your skin.
By Maxine Dean 14 Jun, 2017
By Maxine Dean 13 Jun, 2017

MYTH: If you pop a pimple, it will be less noticeable and go away faster. 

TRUTH: Instead of speeding up the process of healing, popping pimples actually makes them stick around much longer!  Popping a whitehead causes the bacteria inside to be pushed deeper into the skin, allowing  more infection to grow. 

After popping a pimple, the area will get redder and more inflamed - typically more noticeable than if you had left it alone in the first place. Popping pimples leads to scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, both of which last much longer than a pimple. 

If you need to calm down a pimple right away, try covering an ice cube with a cloth or paper towel and gliding it gently over the affected area. Keep the ice moving and never hold it down on one spot of your skin.


By Maxine Dean 13 Jun, 2017

MYTH: Acne is caused by being dirty.

TRUTH: Having acne doesn't mean your skin is dirty or unhealthy! 

Acne is not caused by poor hygiene but by hormonal changes taking place within the body. Sometimes the sebaceous glands within the dermis become overrun with oil and block nearby follicles. This causes clogged pores, which turns into acne characterized by pimples, zits, pustules, and even cysts. 

It doesn’t matter how often you scrub your face or other areas affected by acne. In fact, a rigorous regimen of washing and scrubbing can actually irritate the skin and make the acne worse, not better.

Acne is not caused by poor hygiene. It doesn’t mean that hygiene isn’t important, but it's not the cause. Good hygiene in conjunction with acne treatment products can help. Rather than frequent, harsh washing, it is generally recommended that you wash your face twice a day with a cleanser formulated for your skin type and then pat it dry - never scrub your skin dry. Washing your face any more than twice a day can aggravate your skin and actually make acne worse.

By Maxine Dean 10 Jun, 2017
Acne is estimated to affect 650 million people worldwide, making it the most common skin condition. Although it's a very common problem for adolescents and teens, acne can affect anyone. Left untreated, acne can leave scars, lead to anxiety and negatively impact self esteem.  The more you know about your skin, the easier it is to manage your acne and uncover clear, beautiful skin. 

Acne vulgaris is a broad term for several different types of lesions found on the skin, these include blackheads, whitehead, papules, pustules and cysts. Acne occurs when pores become clogged with oil and dead skin. Acne is typically accompanied by oily skin, inflammation and scarring. Dead skin and sebum can become trapped inside pores or hair follicles to form a plug. These clogged pores are called a comdeones. If bacteria is present in the comedo, then the pore and surrounding cells may become inflamed becoming a blackhead, whitehead, papule, pustule or cyst. Hormones, diet, lifestyle and medication can aggravate acne.

 
There are a couple different types of acne lesions:
  • Blackheads are open comdeos. When a comedo is open and exposed to air the dead skin and oil that clogged the pore oxidizes, turning it black.  

  • Whiteheads are closed comedos. The opening of the pore is either very narrow or completely blocked by skin. Whiteheads are clogged pores just like a blackhead, only they have not been oxidized and remain white.

  • Papules and  Pustules form when a pore becomes so irritated the walls collapse, these are generally what we call pimples. The pore and surrounding cells are inflamed and can be painful. Papules are raised, solid bumps that are typically red and may be painful. Pustules occurs when a papule becomes infected, or “comes to a head” and fills with pus. Not all papules turn into pustules and may resolve on their own.  

  • Cysts are hard, pus filled lesions that rupture deep beneath the surface of the skin. Cysts are often large and quite painful. Cysts occur when the oil gland within a pore becomes engorged and hardened. Unable to push the excess oil and debris through the pore, it ruptures leaving behind a painful, swollen mass under the skin. Cysts are the most severe type of acne lesion. They can last anywhere from a couple of days to weeks, and usually leave a scar.

 Acne is classified into 4 grades. Each grade is characterized by the types, the severity, and the number of blemishes present. These breakdowns aid dermatologists and other professionals in determining the best treatment plan for your skin:
  • Grade 1 is mild acne consisting of a few blackheads and papules that are not deep or inflamed.
  • Grade 2 is moderate acne, with 10 or more blackheads, papules, milia, pustules with redness and inflammation.
  • Grade 3 is severe acne involving 12-20+ blackheads, papules, pustules, cysts and a lot of redness and inflammation. Acne generally spreads from the face down the neck, the chest, shoulders and the upper back.
  • Grade 4 is often called cystic or nodulcystic acne. severe acne involving 12-20+ blackheads, papules, pustules, multiple cysts and a lot of redness and inflammation. Infection is deep and widespread, affecting the face, chest, shoulders, the entire back and upper arms.

  Acne treatments at MaxAesthetics in Philadelphia are used to increase cell turnover, eliminate acne causing bacteria, reduce inflammations and help regulate oil production.   Acne is usually treated with topical products such as salicylic acid, retinoid, benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid or laser treatments.
By Maxine Dean 27 May, 2017
This delicious smoothie is packed full healthy foods to clear your skin and nourish your whole body!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Small Roasted Beet
  • 1 Cup Frozen or Fresh Strawberries
  • ½ a Fresh or Frozen Banana
  • 1 Kale Leaf (torn into small pieces)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp. Almond Butter
  • ½ Tbsp. Hemp Hearts
  • ½ cup Water
Directions: Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. 

Beets  are a wonderful source  of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, folic acid, Vitamin C, zinc, copper, and iron. Beets also contain the antioxidants  polyphenols and betalains. They are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that protects cells from environmental stress and reducing inflammation. Zinc and folic acid are known to help clear acne. 

Strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and Ellagic Acid. Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant known for strengthening your immune systems and anti-aging benefits.  Ellagic acid acts as an antibacterial and an antioxidant. Studies show that ellagic acid helps to negate skin damage caused by UV Radiation such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, the breakdown of collagen and inflammation. 

Kale contains many vitamins and nutrients that are good for skin and whole body, like beta carotene, vitamin k and lutein. Our bodies convert beta carotene into Vitamin A, an antioxidant that increases the rate cellular turnover which can help reduce clogged pores, acne, wrinkles, discoloration and dryness. Vitamin K improves circulation, helps to reduce dark under eye circles, and improves skin elasticity. Lutein, a carotenoid like beta carotene, can provide a bronzed glow to skin when consumed in large quantities. 

Hemp Hearts  are rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) that maintain healthy cells, keeping you skin looking hydrated, plump and youthful. These fatty acids strengthen the skin barrier function to protect the skin from free radical, and  can help soothe inflammation and dryness from a variety of skin concerns.  

Almond Butter is loaded with Vitamin E and fatty acids that help keep skin supple and hydrated. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, strengthens capillary walls, improves moisture, reduces inflammation and aids in the healing of skin. By reducing inflammation and speeding up skin regeneration, Vitamin E is a great help to resolving acne. Vitamin E also helps your body create stores of other vitamins, making them work better. 

By Maxine Dean 25 May, 2017

Quality of life means different things to different people. Happiness also takes a variety of forms. According to a Harris Poll conducted in 2013, only 33 percent or one in three Americans are very happy. However, quality of life and happiness share some common components, good health, financial security and a sense of well-being. While no one experiences a perfect life, it is possible to build a better one by bringing these three components into balance.

 

Health

Keep It Moving

In order to optimize your years and your health, include daily physical activity in your life. This does not necessarily require you to have a gym membership or a regular workout routine. It simply means you spend at least 30 minutes of your day doing some moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. You may choose to engage in dancing, a brisk 30-minute walk, gardening, play intramural sports and more. You can even break your activity into short increments throughout your day as long as it adds up to 30 minutes or more of activity.

When you choose your physical activity, focus on functional fitness. Choose activities which support daily movements, standing from sitting, walking, driving, using stairs, lifting 10 to 15 pounds and actions which require balance. Many accidents and physical restrictions in the elderly are tied to their level of functional fitness.

 

Eat Well

Along with functional fitness, good nutrition sets a strong foundation for good health and a better life. Follow a balanced and varied diet of nutritionally dense foods, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. These food choices give the body the materials it needs to build and maintain healthy cells.

 

Get Some Rest

Sleep deprivation affects approximately 30 million Americans. About 20 percent of Americans average 6 hours of sleep per night. Most people require seven to eight hours of sleep to be at their best physically and cognitively. Aside from causing deficits in attention and thinking capacity, sleep deprivation places people at higher risk for diabetes, accidental injury, high blood pressure and stroke.

Sleep is more important than many people realize. The brain and body do important maintenance work while we sleep. The brain consolidates the day’s learning while the body completes maintenance to its tissues and systems.

 

Pursue A Work-Life Balance To Suit Your Needs

Many people cite quality of life issues as one of the key reasons for their unhappiness. We all need to earn a living wage; how well we balance earning our wage, making time for relationships and pursuing recreational activities greatly impacts our perceived quality of life. The better the balance, the greater a person's perceived quality of life.


 Wealth

Build Your Financial Health

Wealth is more than money. Money is a tool to keep a person in the lifestyle they desire. It is not an end in itself. So, maybe the ultimate goal when it comes to money is not being "rich." Perhaps the goal is to live without exorbitant debt and with the ability to make emergency and "fun money" purchases without decimating your household budget.

Resources to assist people with little financial knowledge are widely available. Financial consultants and literature can guide you through managing and repairing your credit, making a major purchase like a car and creating savings for retirement and vacations. Financial health supports peace of mind.

 

Mood

Act Happy - Be Happy

When things get difficult, the quickest way to happiness is to act happy. Smile when you greet people and when you say goodbye. Go about your day as you would if you were in a good mood. Your actions will coax your head and heart into a happier state.

 

Practice Gratitude

Take a moment every day to note the things, people, circumstances and relationships for which you are grateful. Practicing gratitude allows you to acknowledge what is going well in your life and takes your focus off of the negative. Some people keep a daily gratitude list of five to ten things for which they are grateful. Other people keep an entire journal. A mental note, a list or a journal describing your sources of gratitude in detail--any of these approaches will serve--as long as they allow you to intentionally practice gratitude.

Practicing gratitude fosters a sense of abundance. It creates the expectation of more positive experiences and outcomes. The expectation of positive experiences cultivates actions which create more abundance--more sources of gratitude and a better life.

By Maxine Dean 25 May, 2017

Stress affects just about everyone’s daily lives. Unfortunately, stress is not a benign thing. It can affect your body in ways that canhave a long lasting impact on your health. Here are some ways stress can affect your health:

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Brain - Stress can cause you to lose your concentration and memory abilities. Whether this is psychological or physiological is not completely clear. When you are under stress, parts of your brain associated with memory, such as the hippocampus, do not work well and you cannot turn short-term memory into long-term memory. You can also fail to concentrate on things you hear or things you are reading. It isn’t clear whether this is a long-term effect or short-term effect; however, things like stress reduction techniques seem to be able to restore your ability to think.

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Gastrointestinal Tract - Stress triggers the body’s fight or flight response so that epinephrine and norepinephrine are released from your adrenal glands. This has multiple effects on the body. One thing this phenomenon does is shunt blood away from the gastrointestinal tract and toward the muscles of the body as a way of gearing up to “fight or flee” from a real or imagined opponent. This can lead to a decreased blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract, which translates into indigestion and poor uptake of nutrients. Fortunately, this can be short-lived unless you live under situations of chronic stress. Then the GI system will be more permanently affected.

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Cardiovascular System - Stress causes the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, which automatically raises your blood pressure and heart rate. This puts more stress on your heart and puts you at higher risk of suffering from hypertension-related diseases like heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. These kinds of things do not happen overnight but if you suffer from chronic stress, the long lasting implications of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, and stroke are real possibilities, especially if you do not eat well or have a strong family history of heart disease.  

  • The Effect Of Stress On Your Immune System - Excess stress also causes the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex. Cortisol has many effects on the body but one of the main ones is that it suppresses the immune system. High levels of cortisol mean that you are at greater risk of getting colds and the flu and have a harder time healing from open sores, cuts, or wounds. Cortisol can suppress several aspects of the immune system so you will find yourself sicker more often when under stress than you would be if you were under less stress.  

Things You Can Do To Reduce Stress

Because stress can wreak havoc on your body, you need to do what you can to lessen the stress on your life so you can remain healthy. Sometimes it is just a matter of reducing the things in your life that are major sources of stress. It might mean getting out of a stressful relationship, getting your finances in order or changing your job situation so you don’t go to work each day with stressful feelings.

If you can’t change your circumstances, you may want to practice stress-relieving techniques. These include things like meditation, Tai chi, yoga, and Qi gong.

These activities can be easily learned through attending classes at a local health club or buy purchasing a DVD that will teach you ways to reduce the amount of stress you perceive in your life so you can live a healthier life.  

Another great way to reduce stress is to take a vacation, or spend time in nature that naturally calms the mind, body, and spirit.





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