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Posts

Summer Sun Safety (aka Use Quality Sunscreen Every Day)

No matter where you live, sun protection for your skin is essential year-round. But now that its time for bathing suits, scanter clothing, and spending time by the water, we must really spread the sunscreen.

Knowledge of FDA nomenclature Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is great, but there is a lot more to sun protection than the information that is typically shared. For example, consider these things that you may not know:

  • there is only a 1% increase in protection when going from SPF30(97%) to SPF50(98%)
  • Critical Wave Length is more important than just an SPF number as this is the key to protection from both harmful UVA and UVB rays
  • some products claiming very high SPF can be more harmful due to skin absorbtion of undesirable sun-filtering chemicals, all while delivering almost no more protection.

Sun Protection Science

Solar radiation travels in waves. The SPF system rates the level of Ultraviolet-B (UVB) or sunburn protection that a product provides. The system does not measure the dangers posed by UVA rays. These rays are responsible for premature aging and sun-induced skin cancer. Critical Wavelength (CW) is the most effective way to rate UVA protection. Solar radiation of 290nm (nanometers) to 400nm (the UVB-UVA range) is reproduced in a laboratory device designed to measure the amount of radiation absorbed by a sunscreen.

Starting at the beginning of the UVB range (290nm), progressively higher wavelengths of light are aimed at the sunscreen. A protective absorption curve or “umbrella” is produced. The Critical Wavelength® defines how far this umbrella (actually 90% of the umbrella) extends into the UVA range. So for a Critical Wavelength of 383nm, 90% of the sunscreen’s protective “umbrella” is between the beginning of the UVB range (290nm) to 383nm. The higher the number, the better. A sunscreen with a Critical Wavelength® over 370nm is considered Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

Check out our Coola Sunscreen products for a clean, sustainably-sourced, effective sun protection.

Freaky, Frightening Facts:

  • Each year, skin cancer affects more people than breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancers combined.
  •  
  • The number of skin cancer cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking.
  •  
  • About 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. annually. Melanoma accounted for more than 73,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015.
  •  

Source: www.skincancer.org

Safe Sun Practices:

  • Apply a generous amount of broad spectrum sunscreen to all skin that will be exposed 15-30 minutes before going outdoors.
  •  
  • Reapply immediately after swimming or sweating. The old traditional rule of thumb is that sun protection lasts for 1/10th of the SPF number, for example, an SPF 15 last 1.5 hours, SPF 30 lasts 3 hours, etc.  However, this methodology drops off after SPF30, and more importantly, we strongly recommend (as do most knowledgeable health professionals) that you reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours. Don’t forget to educate the little ones. Good habits start early.
  •  
  • The sun’s UV danger is strongest between 11am and 3pm. Seek shade between those hours. Is your left arm, hand, or side of your face more sun damaged e.g. dark spots? Our car windows act as magnifying glasses for damaging UV rays. This same factor is the basis of some studies that have shown pilots having an incidence of skin cancer far higher than that of the general population. Of course, if you drive in Britain, India, Australia, Turks & Caicos Islands, etc., the opposite rule applies for left-side driving! Use sun protection on a daily basis.
  •  
  • Topical Vitamin C offers a potent defense against hyperpigmentation, free radicals, and UV damage. By applying our AD. Vitamin C Serum 20% (a 20 percent concentration of topical vitamin C) prior to your sunscreen, the extra C boosts the immune defense of your skin cells against UV damage.
  •  
  • Take the time to examine your skin every month for changes in moles or drastic skin texture changes, and see a dermatologist annually. Your skin care professional also may notice something questionable, and in which case may recommend that you seek a dermatologist’s examination.
  •  
  • Replace your sunscreen after 12 months. The formulas are tested for three years stability on the shelf, but the active ingredients, apart from physical mineral barriers such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, are quite reactive, and tend to degrade more quickly.

Enjoy the warm months ahead and pass the sunscreen!

Harmful Cosmetic Ingredients?

March 20, 2019

“California Leads Ban on ‘Harmful’ Cosmetic Ingredients.

Marianna’s is Ahead of the Move!

Citing health concerns, California's legislature is considering a bill that would ban the sale of all cosmetics in the state containing certain ingredients.

The proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 495, would amend the state's Health and Safety Code. Building off of the existing Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law—which "prohibits the manufacture, sale, delivery, holding or offer for sale of adulterated cosmetics"—the new bill would go further and define adulterated cosmetics as those that contain asbestos, lead or the following ingredients:

  • Dibutyl phthalate;
  • Diethylhexyl phthalate;
  • Formaldehyde;
  • Formaldehyde releasers;
  • Mercury and related compounds;
  • Isobutyl­paraben;
  • Isopropy­lparaben;
  • Butylparaben;
  • Propylparaben;
  • Toluene;
  • Triclosan;
  • Carbon black; and
  • Per- and Polyfluo­roalkyl substances (PFAS).

The bill's authors, Assembly members Al Muratsuchi and Buffy Wicks, stated the following:

“Californians deserve to know whether the cosmetic products they purchase in the state are not harmful to their health. While cosmetic products sold in the U.S. are largely unregulated, other nations—and even retailers—have proactively banned or restricted the use of hundreds or thousands of cosmetic ingredients. AB 495 will protect consumers by banning the sale in California of cosmetics containing known carcinogens, reproductive toxins and endocrine disruptors that are harmful to human health," said Muratsuchi.

Wicks also commented: “Most of us, including me, use cosmetics on a daily basis. Some still contain chemicals that are harmful to our bodies. AB 495 will protect consumers so that we can continue to use our favorite products without worrying about what’s in our mascara.”

The bill was introduced on March 19, 2019, and is sponsored by the Environmental Working Group and CALPRIG. Read the full text here: Assembly Bill 495.

The Essential Steps of Skin Care - Step 6 Sun Protection

Hi everyone! This is the sixth installment of our six-part blog series highlighting each aspect of The Six Principal Skin Care Steps in an effective daily routine. The series features the following:

 

1. Facial Cleansers

2. Exfoliates & Masks

3. Toners

4. Special Serums & Gels

5. Moisturizers

 

 

 

6. Sun protection

 

Overexposure to the sun without proper sun protection is a leading cause of premature aging, sunspots, and 4 out of 5 leading skin cancers, according to the World Health Organization. Read on to educate yourself on the importance of sun protection and simple steps to take towards minimizing damage from UVA and UVB on your skin.

 

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Protective Benefits of Sun Protection:

Short-term:

Keep your skin looking youthful and hydrated by applying sunscreen as part of your daily skincare routine and prevent photoaging, premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV).  Exposure to the sun without protection puts you at risk not only for nasty sunburns, but also sunspots and skin irritation that may take years from which to recover . Sunscreen is short on application time, but long on its benefits to your skin and health.

Long-term:

Sun protection is as much based on lifestyle choices as it is on the environment. Prevent skin damage, hyperpigmentation, skin cancer, immune suppression, and cataracts through long-term (daily) use of sunscreen and avoidance of tanning beds. Additionally research shows 90% of wrinkles are caused by the sun’s UVA light, so proper sun protection will help slow down your natural aging process.

Educate yourself on the types of radiation:

·         UVA: Make-up 95% of UV radiation that reaches the Earth, causes premature aging and sun spots.

·         UVB: Affects the top layer of our skin and causes cancer and sunburns.

·         UVC: Most dangerous type of radiation, found in man-made sources including mercury lamps.

 

How to choose the right sun protection:

We recommend high-quality sunscreen (SPF 30) that is non-comedogenic (does not clog your pores) or allow chemicals to damage your skin. Look for products labeled "broad spectrum" to protect from both types of UV exposure. While SPF is imperative to protecting your skin from UVA rays, be careful not to damage your skin in the process by using sunscreens with harmful ingredients. Here at Marianna’s we carry COOLA, a quality, clean sunscreen product.  https://www.mariannaskincare.com/products/products-by-skin-care-step/step-6-sun-protection

 

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How to use:

  1.            Apply each morning*, even in the winter, even when it’s cloudy.
  2.           Take a small amount in clean hands and gently apply to the entire face, neck, ears and any other areas of exposed skin. Allow to set.
  3.           If facing prolonged sun exposure, high-altitude, intensive sweat, or in the water, apply 15-20 minutes before exposure and reapply every hour. Snow, sand and water reflect the sun’s rays more strongly onto the face.
  4. * At the end of your skin care routine, before putting on make-up.
  5. Also, keep in mind these additional ways to protect your skin from the sun:
  6.  Wear hats and sunglasses (that block UV rays).
  7.  Protect skin with clothing, specifically long shirts and long pants.

3.       Limit the amount of time you’re in the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. This is when the sun's rays are the most intense. Practice the shadow rule: if your shadow is shorter than you, the sun's rays are at their strongest, and you should find shade. (From https://www.cancer.net )

4.       Take caution with certain medications that may make you more sensitive to the sun, including but not limited to specific types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, antifungals, blood pressure medications, and chemotherapies.

5.       Take extra precautions at high-altitudes where the UVA and UVB rays are stronger. For more information on how to protect your skin from winter sun and wind damage, see our most recent post: [link post here]

Please contact us for more information at 303-415-0959 or info@mariannaskincare.com

The Essential Steps of Skin Care - Step 3 Toner

Hello! This is the third installment of our six-part blog series highlighting each aspect of The Six Principal Skin Care Steps in an affective daily routine.

The series features the following: 

1.       Facial Cleansers

2.       Exfoliants & Masks

3.       Toners

4.       Special Serums & Gels

5.       Moisturizers

6.    Sun Protection.

Toners, the third essential step in an effective skin care routine, are the topic of this discussion.

What does toner do? Usage of a toner is an integral part of your skin care routine. Toner completes the cleansing process, helps balance the skins pH, and helps reduce the appearance of pores. Additionally, some toners have qualities that help to hydrate your skin, and increase absorption of serums and moisturizers. Toners can also help regulate oily skin conditions as well.

Why add toner to your daily routine?

Our skin is acidic with a pH level, when healthy, between 5 and 6. Cleansing, although highly necessary, can disturb the pH balance of your skin due to the alkaline nature of cleansers, as well as varying qualities of your local water supply. Toners help to restore a healthy pH level to your skin, which in turn protects your skin from the surrounding environment. Over time, an altered pH can lead to dryness, premature aging, and inflammation.

How and when do I use toner?

After cleansing, thoroughly rinse and dry your face. Then, spray toner directly onto skin and massage in with your fingertips. After this, you can continue on with your skin care regiment.

How do you know which toner is right for your skin?

Most toners are water based, tailored to address the needs of different skin types, such as oil controlling, calming, soothing, brightening, and hydrating. Some toners may contain glycolic, salicylic, or lactic acid. Plant extracts and hyaluronic acid are favored in toners for their gentle, yet hydrating qualities. Avoid toners with alcohol, and high percentage of acids, as these will dry out skin. Coenzyme Q10 is also highly effective ingredient found in some toners, including our Age Defiance CoQ10 Toner. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that helps rejuvenate, plump, and protect your skin from the environment. It is especially critical for acne prone skin, to consistently use toner with hydrating properties, so that the skin does not dry out, and in return create more oils in an attempt to return to equilibrium. All skin types highly benefit from hydrating toners. Hydration keeps your skin moist, prevents dead skin cells from clogging your pores, eliminates fine lines, and aids in the absorption of potent skin serums. If you are not currently using a toner, get with the program, your skin will love you for it!

The Essential Steps of Skin Care - Step 4 Serums & Gels

Hello! This is the fourth installment of our six-part blog series highlighting each aspect of The Six Principal Skin Care Steps in an affective daily routine. The series features the following: 

1.       Facial Cleansers

2.       Exfoliants & Masks

3.       Toners

4.       Special Serums & Gels

5.       Moisturizers

6. Sun Protection.

 

What does serum do?

Usage of a serum is an integral part of your skin care routine.

Here are just a few of our favorite benefits:        

  • Super nourishing & hydrating         
  • Anti-aging      
  •  Cellular repair         
  • Collagen-promoting       
  •  Skin brightening        
  • Suitable for all skin types, especially mature skin

 Why add serum to your daily routine?

Serums are potent, and therefore very important for the well-being of your skin. They differ from creams because most serums are water-based, have a very high concentration of active ingredients, and are absorbed rapidly due to the small size of the molecular framework. Some serums function as anti-oxidants while others brighten, control oils, stimulating collagen growth, soothe and calm, protect, or are anti-aging. Consider serums as super boosters for your skin!

How do I use serum?

After using Toner, put 2-3 drops into the palm of your hand (mix gently with other serums) and then take you index finger and gently apply to your face. Let sit to absorb and then continue with skin care regimen.

How do you know which serum is right for your skin? 

Dry Skin Hydrating Serums

Balancing the moisture level of the skin is very important because a lack of moisture leads to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, dryness/scaliness, irritation (discomfort), and sensitivities.

Example: Pure Hyaluronic Essential Serum

  • Hyaluronic Acid is a super-hydrating, naturally occurring substance found in our bodies that stimulates cell growth through its capacity to hold 1,000 times its weight in water. As one of the two ingredients in our Hyaluronic Serum (the second being water), you can be sure that this serum is ultra-hydrating, working to revitalize your skin and delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Example: Botanical Dry Skin Serum

  • This 100% botanical serum is a quickly absorbing, intense treatment for dry skin, particularly in extreme climates. Its primary ingredient is squalene, an olive extract and derivative of squalene which is naturally synthesized in the human liver. It has been shown to have beneficial effects in the management of dry skin, premature aging and skin cancer.  

Dark Pigmentation Brightening Serums

Too much exposure to the sun, especially without proper sunscreen application, contributes to the intensive process of skin discoloration and dark pigment formation. Brightening serums work to break down the excess melanin, even skin tone and texture, visibly tighten, and protect from sun damage.

Example: Vitamin C Serum

  • Vitamin C is a powerful brightening agent because of its anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation properties. The sun is the greatest enemy of collagen, breaking it down when skin is exposed to UV light without proper sunscreen application. Oxidation causes dehydration, premature aging, sun damage and cancer, and thus is of the most importance to address in your skin care routine.

Example: Tri-Active Pigment Correction Serum

  • Composed of biomimetic peptides – the same found in human skin – without aggressive chemicals, Tri-Active gently evens pigment, reduces age spots and hyper-pigmentation, and helps prevent further development of pigmentation disorders caused by environmental factors and age. 

Oily Skin Oil-control Serums

Our skin produces many natural oils fundamental to keeping our skin plump with moisture, however too much oil can cause clogged pores, acne outbreaks, and more. Oil control can be achieved by using serums and gels that contain exfoliating and anti-inflammatory plant extracts and acids

Example: Oil Control Gel

  • Ideal for the treatment of oily and blemish-prone skin, this light yet potent gel containing Salicylic Acid helps heal blemishes as it dissolves oils, exfoliates clogged pores, and moisturized the skin.

Itchy/Red Skin Soothing and calming/anti-redness Serums

Itchy and red skin is often produced when the skin is lacking moisture and/or treated with unnatural acidic products. Plant extracts and naturally derived hyaluronic acid are ideal for soothing, calming, and balancing irritable skin.

Example: Physioderme Bioaromes (Serums)

  • Bioarmes can be added to moisturizers or used as a singular product. Maximum 3 serums at a time and no more than 5 drops each.)                                                                                                        
  • CN“Soothing” BioaromeMicro-encapsulated concentrated plant extracts and essential oils allow an efficient and direct effect on the concerned area, gently soothing and rebalancing the skin.
  • Anti-Redness FL Bioarome: Rich in natural essential oils and plant extracts this serum is ideal for moisturizing skin with redness, helping to recover an even complexion through reduction in red and dry outer skin layers.

Example: Pure Hyaluronic Essential Serum (see above)

Example: Botanical Dry Skin Serum (see above)

Aging Skin – Anti-aging Serums

Example: Swiss Apple Stem Cell Serum         

  • Stem cells are essential to healing and repair through a special regenerative process the skin cells. Using unique plant cell culture technology, this serum creates proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids to help repair fine lines and wrinkles, while restoring and maintaining firmness and elasticity in the skin.

Example: Multi-Peptide Youth Serum

  • Six of the most potent, naturally derived peptides and marine extracts work synergistically in this powerful anti-aging defense serum. Reduction of depth and appearance of lines and wrinkles may be visible within days.
Seven Skin Foods

Seven Skin Foods!

The cold weather is behind us (finally!), so it’s time to talk about exfoliation to shed rough skin, and to celebrate the rebirth of nature with fresh, glowing skin.

Please look for our article on exfoliates in the near future. Meanwhile let’s start with inside-out beauty (aka foods that are good for your skin). What you eat daily has a natural impact on your skin, which of course is our body’s largest organ. It only makes sense that we are what we eat.

“The right foods in your diet can help you put your best face forward–literally!” says registered dietitian and healthy living expert Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD. These eats can help your skin glow from the inside out. Ultimately, “the right combination of ‘beauty foods’ allows your skin to stay moisturized and supple, blemish free, and appear radiant for the summer months,” Dobbas adds.

Certain foods help eliminate damaging free radicals, promote collagen and elastin formation and protection, diminish blemishes, and reduce inflammation. They are loaded with important antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin E.

Here are a few of our favourites “Skin Foods”…And don’t forget to drink plenty of water.


 

1. Tomatoes, which are actually fruit, are packed with the antioxidant lycopene. Research shows that lycopene helps protect against skin-damaging UV rays. Lycopene also helps protect your vision. Beautiful tomatoes in salads are wonderful, but the body actually absorbs lycopene more readily from tomatoes in cooked form. So try a nice, cooked-and-chilled gazpacho soup!

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2. Blueberries are considered to be one of the highest food sources of antioxidants. They protect your skin from damage and disintegration, keeping you looking younger, longer. Add a ½ cup of blueberries to yogurt, cereal, smoothies or salads for skin-boosting nutrients.

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3. Wild salmon is one of the best sources of lean protein as well as inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Farmed salmon have a distinctly different flavour of fats. Important, healthy omega-3’s give your skin a radiant glow by keeping skin hydrated and supple.

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 4. Avocados are tree fruit that contain protective antioxidants as well as essential fatty acids, which help protect your skin from damage. They also help keep your skin smooth by replenishing the protective layer of fatty acids that surround skin cells, locking in moisture and preventing dehydration.

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5. Green tea is rich in antioxidant bioflavinoids, which protect cell membranes. The brew has shown to help reduce the damage of sunburns and overexposure to UV light. University of Maryland Medical Center research shows that the polyphenols in green tea act to reactivate dying skin cells. Try cooking with green tea, like poaching sea bass or other white fish in it.

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6. Pomegranate arils, the edible seeds of punica gratinum are loaded with fiber, folate, and antioxidant vitamin C and vitamin K. Originating in Persia this bush gives us one of the highest antioxidant concentrations available to our diets.

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7. Yogurt contains zinc, and probiotics, which can help in cleansing the digestive system, thus detoxifying your body and skin.  Include plain yogurt for diets related to skin blemish control. Greek-style yogurts, which contain double the amount of protein than regular yogurts will have double the impact on the production of collagen. Blend one cup of plain Greek-style yogurt with ½ cup of blue berries and a banana for a delicious, satisfying smoothie. Even a bit of pure cocoa will add a nice chocolate flavour while adding even more powerful antioxidants!

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Ask Marianna how to make yummy home-made Greek yogurt. Better yet, if enough of you are interested, I’ll publish directions on Facebook with a link - let me know.  Now, how about a delicious salad with grilled salmon over leafy greens with avocado, blueberries, pomegranate, and yogurt dressing?!!.  Happy Eating :)

Dermal Exfolation

Dermal Exfoliation

As autumn is upon us, and the leaves begin to turn color and drop, so too is it the season for deeper skin exfoliation and renewal. Exfoliation is essential to maintaining healthy, beautiful skin, not just for your face, but also for all over your body.

We all know that, on a daily basis, our body’s largest organ sheds thousands of skin cells. As we age, the natural exfoliation process needs extra help to keep skin fresh, supple, and youthful.

Did You Know?

In the era of the ancient Egyptians they exfoliated the skin using abrasive tapes made from alabaster, honey, and sour milk. They then further abraded the skin with finely ground sand to keep it silky smooth.

Exfoliation 2019

Today, we have three broad categories of skin exfoliation to utilize:  mechanical, chemical, and physical. Yup, chemistry class all over again.

Mechanical exfoliation may be done by electronic equipment, such as microdermabrasion machines, by resurfacing abrasive creams or lotions, or by ultrasonic cleansing brushes or other hand-held devices.

Microdermabrasion gained wide popularity in the 1990’s and to this day is an important part of seasonal skin health. There are many types of crystals and mechanical specifications, leading to varying degrees of comfort and effectiveness in removing dead cells.

Chemical exfoliants include enzymatic digestion products, gommages, and chemical peels. Our Age Defiance AD. Botanical Enzymatic Exfoliant is an excellent example of a product that combines enzymatic digestion (papain enzyme from papaya) along with manually exfoliating bamboo, which you rub off when tacky to the touch.

Non-medical chemical peels emerged in the 1990s with a safe version of glycolic acid, followed by several other AHAs, Jessner, and TCA peels. There are chemical peels to correct skin conditions ranging from acne scars to hyperpigmentation, and aging as well as for general skin refreshment.

Physical exfoliation can be performed by IPL/laser. Compared to medical lasers, our IPL (Intense pulse light) is relatively pain-free and affords you no down time en route to beautiful, new skin! Just look at these impressive before and after photos:

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Many thanks and feel free to reach out to us with interest or questions regarding these services or how to exfoliate,

 

Marianna

Four Fat Flushing Foods

Four Fat Flushing Foods

Well, we all know that Boulder is continually ranked the #1 healthiest, slimmest, and fittest city in the country, by numerous reports. However, as Thanksgiving approaches, most of us wish to shed a couple of pounds before we start indulging in holiday feasts (or getting a bikini-ready body for that winter vacation).

Here are four of our favourite fat burning foods and spices to include in your diet:

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Green Tea

Catechins in green tea are fat burning enzymes (lipases), so even if you are caffeine-intolerant, you will still gain benefit from drinking green tea...not to mention the antioxidant values that green tea is so high in. Of course caffeine has a thermogenic fat-burning benefit on its own.

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Hot Red Pepper

All hot peppers —jalapeño, habañero, Scotch bonnet, Serrano, etc.— are loaded with capsaicin, which is known to increase metabolism by influencing the activity of calcium channel proteins in the cell membrane. Capsaicin is known to be a natural appetite suppressant, too.

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Bitter Orange

You can find this as an oral supplement and in juice form. It is both a thermogenic metabolic stimulant and an appetite suppressant. By virtue of high concentrations of p-syneprine it increases lipolysis – the breakdown of fats.

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Seaweed

Rich in the carotenoid facoxanthin, seaweed increases metabolism and affects the satiety center of the brain, in so reducing appetite. Sushi, here I come!

 

There seems to be some correlation with ingredients that both boost metabolism and affect satiety. More to come…

Stress Can Do a Number on your Mind and Body

Take steps to relieve your stress.

Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors. Such threats are rare today, but that doesn't mean that life is free of stress.

On the contrary, you undoubtedly face multiple demands each day, such as shouldering a huge workload, making ends meet, and taking care of your family. Your body treats these so-called minor hassles as threats. As a result you may feel as if you're constantly under assault. Like a huge knot in your belly. But you can fight back. You don't have to let stress control your life.

Understanding the natural stress response - what causes stress?

When you encounter a perceived threat — a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.

When the natural stress response goes haywire

The body's stress-response system is usually self-limiting. Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.

But when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

  • Oily and acneic skin
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory and concentration impairment

That's why it's so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.

Summer Sun Safety

Living in Colorado's high altitude, sun protection is essential year-round. But now that its time for bathing suits, scanter clothing, and spending time by the water, we must really spread the sunscreen.

Knowledge of FDA nomenclature Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is great, but there is a lot more to sun protection than the information that is typically shared. For example, did you know that Critical Wave Length is more important than just an SPF number?

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Sun Protection Science

Solar radiation travels in waves. The SPF system rates the level of Ultraviolet-B (UVB) or sunburn protection that a product provides. The system does not measure the dangers posed by UVA rays. These rays are responsible for premature aging and sun-induced skin cancer. Critical Wavelength (CW) is the most effective way to rate UVA protection. Solar radiation of 290nm (nanometers) to 400nm (the UVB-UVA range) is reproduced in a laboratory device designed to measure the amount of radiation absorbed by a sunscreen.

Starting at the beginning of the UVB range (290nm), progressively higher wavelengths of light are aimed at the sunscreen. A protective absorption curve or “umbrella” is produced. The Critical Wavelength® defines how far this umbrella (actually 90% of the umbrella) extends into the UVA range. So for a Critical Wavelength of 383nm, 90% of the sunscreen’s protective “umbrella” is between the beginning of the UVB range (290nm) to 383nm.  The higher the number, the better. A sunscreen with a Critical Wavelength® over 370nm is considered Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection.

To that we recommend Coola Sunscreen, the brand we carry and one of the few on the market that is greaseless, light-weight, and entirely organic.

Freaky, Frightening Facts:

  • Each year, skin cancer affects more people than breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancers combined.
  • The number of skin cancer cases due to tanning is higher than the number of lung cancer cases due to smoking.
  • About 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. annually. Melanoma will account for more than 73,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015.

Source: www.skincancer.org

Safe Sun Practices:

  • Apply a generous amount of broad spectrum sunscreen to all skin that will be exposed 15 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Reapply immediately after swimming or sweating, and as a rule of thumb every hour or fraction of an hour for 1/10th of the SPF. For example, reapply an SPF 15 every hour and a half, an SPF 30 every 3 hours, etc.
  • Don't forget the little ones. Good habits start early.
  • The sun's UV danger is strongest between 11am and 3pm. Seek shade between those hours.
  • Is your left arm, hand, or side of your face more sun damaged i.e. dark spots? Our car windows act as magnifyng glasses for damaging UV rays. That's why pilots have an incidence of skin cancer than the general population. Use sun protection on a daily basis.
  • Topical Vitamin C offers a potent defense against hyperpigmentation, free radicals, and UV damage. We recommend our brand AD. Vitamin C Serum 20% .By applying a 20 percent concentration of topical vitamin C under your sunscreen, the extra C boosts the immune defense of your skin cells against UV damage.
  • Examine your skin every month for changes in moles or drastic skin texture changes, and see a dermatologist annually. We may notice something questionable, in which case we will recommend that you seek a dermatologist's examination.
  • Replace your sunscreen after 12 months. The formulas are tested for three years stability on the shelf but the active ingredients, apart from physical mineral barriers such as Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, are quite reactive, and tend to degrade more quickly.