Posted in Beauty Tips, Health Watch, Milestone, Safety Anywhere, Summertime

Ageless Summer Beauty

Summer is about lightening your beauty routine: ditching your foundation and blush for a simple swipe of bronzer; letting your locks succumb to their natural waves. The flip side to warm weather’s unbuttoned ease is the number it can do on your looks.

“Harmful UV rays are the most obvious culprit in causing wrinkles and brown spots, but they can also make your skin and hair appear dry, so you look older than your years,” says dermatologist David H. McDaniel, M.D., director of the Anti-Aging Research Institute in Virginia Beach, Va.

Then there’s the havoc high humidity and heat can wreak on hair texture (hello, frizz!) and color (hello, brassy!). We talked to leading dermatologists and dug through a mountain of research and products to offer summer-friendly tips guaranteed to keep every part of you looking gorgeous and young all season long.

1. Try a sun protection pill

Aside from daily use of a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, boost your UV protection by taking an antioxidant supplement such as Heliocare ($63 for 60; heliocare.com) or SunPill ($20 for 30; sunpill.com). New research from the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that the fern extract in these pills significantly reduced UVA-related DNA damage that leads to wrinkling and brown spots. For best results, pop one each day starting a week before you plan on fun in the sun. “This allows the antioxidants to build up in your system for maximum protection,” says Leslie Baumann, M.D., director of the University of Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute.

2. Exfoliate the smart way

Alternate between daily use of chemical and mechanical exfoliation. This does a better job of removing the dead cells that build up more on the skin’s surface in the summer, which leaves a radiant glow, says Debra Jaliman, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Switch between using an AHA lotion and a Buf-Puf or scrubbing granules.

3. Layer lip balm with SPF

Slick on a formula with a built-in SPF of at least 15 underneath even an SPF-containing lipstick or gloss to further guard against thinning, dryness, and sun spots. “Lips lack a protective outer layer, so they’re incredibly sensitive to UV rays,” says Baumann.

Get the secrets to smoother skin and other beauty tips here with Prevention’s Age Beautifully Tool.

4. Use sunscreen to protect hair in a pinch

Before swimming, comb your regular sunscreen through your strands; this forms a barrier that prevents chlorine and salt water from stripping your color and drying out hair, explains Los Angeles hairstylist Jessica Galvan.

5. Try a caffeine-packed apres sun treatment

A topical jolt of caffeine significantly reduces UV-induced roughness and wrinkling in mice, according to one study. A more recent finding shows it might even help curb skin cancer by suppressing ATR, a protein that enables precancerous cells to survive and replicate. The research is preliminary, but applying a cream that contains about 1 percent caffeine after sun exposure couldn’t hurt. Try: Topix Replenix CF Anti-Photoaging Complex SPF 45 $35; skinstore.com).

6. Boost post-sun hydration

Reduce UV-induced dryness from sun exposure by slathering clean skin with moisturizer and cover ing with a warm, damp towel for 5 minutes. “The heat activates the lotion’s ingredients, which keeps skin supple,” says New Orleans dermatologist Mary P. Lupo, MD, professor of clinical dermatology at Tulane University.

7. Save your self-tan

Steer clear of exfoliating scrubs and creams that contain retinol and AHA for a few days after using your self-tanner. “These products slough the top layer of skin, removing color in the process,” says Natalie Cupid, senior technician and manager of Sundara Airbrush Tanning Salon in New York City.

8. Strengthen nails with a supplement

Take 2.5 mg of the B vitamin biotin daily. “This supplement helps prevent breakage from too much exposure to salt and chlorine,” says Jin Soon Choi, owner of Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spas. Research shows that a daily dose of the nutrient increases nail thickness by 25%, making nails less apt to split and tear.

9. Get a smoother shave

Wait at least three minutes after getting in the shower before you whip out your razor. “Warm water softens the hair shaft, allowing for a closer cut and longer-lasting smoothness without nicking skin,” says Diane Wood, master barber for King of Shaves.

10. Get younger hands with moisturizer

During the day, use a hand cream containing the lightener kojic acid to soften brown spots. Try Hollywood Hands Professional Anti-Aging Hand Treatment $16; drugstores). At night, apply a hand cream that contains skin-firming retinol, suggests Baumann. Try Sally Hansen Age Correct Retinol Hand Cream $6.50 drugstores). Be sure to wear a sunblock with an SPF of at least 15 as well; these ingredients make skin sensitive.

11. Wear sandals to keep soles soft

It’s tempting this time of year, but avoid walking barefoot—even in the house or on the beach. “The added pressure causes painful and unsightly calluses to build up,” explains Allison Tangorra, a nail artist at DePasquale the Spa in Morris Plains, N.J.

12. Spot treat pimples with a cotton swab

When applying benzoyl peroxide to blemishes, use the tip of a cotton swab to precisely dab it on. This prevents the medication from stripping your self-tanner, says Nicole Weigand, spa director at the Beverly Hills Hotel Spa by La Prairie.

13. Mop your hairline after wearing a hat

Increased oils can get trapped underneath hats and headbands, causing acne along your forehead, says Cheryl Karcher, M.D., clinical instructor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center. Run an antibacterial wipe along your forehead to prevent pimples.

14. Shampoo with baking soda to remove smog

Higher summertime pollution means more free radicals to zap the shine and color from hair. To remove dulling residue, add a pinch of baking soda to your regular shampoo instead of using a harsh clarifying cleanser. “It rinses out chemicals without stripping color,” says Galvan. Bonus: This trick helps prevent discoloration caused by chlorine and salt water, too.

15. Sleep on a silk pillowcase

“The satiny texture prevents friction from roughing up the cuticle and making hair vulnerable to warm weather-induced frizz,” says James Corbett, owner of James Corbett Studio in New York City. If you’re really ambitious, wrap your hair in a silk scarf before going to bed.

16. Self-tan from head to toe

To look longer and leaner, apply self-tanner everywhere, says Dera Enochson, creator of Xen-Tan, a company that makes self-tanners. “A uniform color helps elongate, but focusing just on your legs or arms can make you look shorter and stockier.”

17. Unclog pores with papaya

Mash up fresh papaya and apply to clean skin for three minutes. “This summertime fruit contains enzymes that slough pore-clogging dead cells, leaving skin soft and radiant,” says Karcher.

18. Choose metal-free hair bands

Avoid ponytail holders that are joined with a small metal bar: They can snag hair and cause split ends, especially when hair is wet and weaker after swimming, explains Rick Mahoney, senior stylist at Devachan Salon in New York City. Instead, look for ties covered entirely with snagproof fabric. Try Goody Ouchless Extra Thick Elastics ($3; drugstores).

19. Use a makeup brush to boost hair shine

Shine products help restore lost moisture and luminosity from increased sun exposure and hotter temps, but many contain heavy silicones that can weigh hair down. The solution? Spritz shine spray onto your blush brush and then sweep over hair. “The soft bristles help to apply precise, targeted shine without weighing down hair,” says Antoinette Beenders, vice president of global creative at Aveda.

20. Exfoliate heels in the shower

Maximize results for smooth, sexy feet by using a pumice stone on calluses and rough spots at the end of your shower. “The extra time in the water softens dead cells and makes them easier to remove,” says Choi.

21. Prep Your Razor

To extend the life of your razor a few days and ensure a smoother shave, drizzle some olive oil on the blade, suggests Cindy Barshop, owner of Completely Bare in New York City. “The oil prevents rust and product build-up, which can cause nicks.”

***

Simple ways to beat the sun and be safe.. 🙂

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Salt

Morton salt and a bowl of spinach

Use Salt to:

1. Make eggs or cream whip up faster and higher. Add a pinch of salt before beating.
2. De-ice sidewalks. In a pinch, it can be used as a substitute for rock salt.
3. Keep chicken or turkey moist. Rub salt in the cavity of the bird before cooking.
4. Prevent sautés made with eggplant or zucchini from getting watery. Sprinkle salt on these vegetables before cooking.
5. Eliminate sticky residue from an iron. Run the hot iron (no steam) over plain paper sprinkled with salt.
6. Clean drains. Pour a hot, strong solution (1/2 cup salt for every quart of water) down the drain.
7. Remove dirt from leafy vegetables, such as spinach. Wash the vegetables in a bath of salt water.
8. Prevent frost from accumulating inside car windows. Rub the glass with a solution of 2 teaspoons of salt in 1 gallon of hot water. Wipe dry.
9. Remove sangria and red-wine stains from your washables. Stretch the fabric over a bowl, cover the stain with salt, and carefully pour boiling water over it.
10. Keep shells from cracking when boiling eggs. Add a few pinches of salt to the water.
11. Chill a bottle of bubbly―fast. Place ice around its base in an ice bucket; sprinkle with a few tablespoons of salt. Layer salt and ice until they reach the neck. Fill with water. Wait 10 minutes; serve.

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Ziploc Bags

Woman kneading dough in a Ziploc bag

1. Knead dough. Place dough in a Ziploc bag so your fingers don’t get sticky. Or slip your hand into the bag and wear it like a glove.
2. Store panty hose. Nude, Tan, Nearly Naked―they look the same out of the package. Tear off the corner of the package listing the brand, size, and color, then slip it into a bag. Store each pair in its own bag to keep hose organized and prevent snags.
3. Remove chewing gum or candle wax from a tablecloth, a couch, or carpeting. Gently rub gum or wax with a Ziploc bag filled with ice cubes until the substance hardens. Shatter gum with a blunt object, then vacuum up the chips. Carefully peel off frozen wax with a plastic spatula.
4. Pipe frosting. Snip off a tiny corner to use a Ziploc as a pastry bag.
5. Store homemade soup. Fill up bags, then lay them flat in the freezer. When the bags of soup freeze flat, you’ll be able to pile them up like stacked books for easy, space-saving storage.
6. Protect precious cargo. No bubble wrap? Slip a straw into the top of a nearly closed Ziploc bag and inflate. Remove the straw and seal to make a cushion. (Heirlooms, however, should wait for that bubble wrap.)
7. Break up graham crackers or vanilla wafers to make a piecrust. Fill a bag with the cookies, then roll a rolling pin over it.
8. Prevent a handbag from turning into a snow globe. Store pressed powder and other compacts in Ziploc bags.
9. Gather herbs from the garden. Before winter frost sets in, wash, pat dry, and freeze the herbs in Ziploc bags.
10. Ice an injury. Fill a bag with ice cubes to create a cold compress.

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Baking Soda

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

1. Exfoliate skin. Wash your face, then apply a soft paste made of three parts baking soda and one part water. Massage gently with a circular motion, avoiding the eye area; rinse clean.
2. Erase crayon, pencil, ink, and furniture scuffs from painted surfaces. Sprinkle soda on a damp sponge, rub clean, and rinse.
3. Unclog a drain. Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar after it. Let sit for five minutes (covered, if possible). Follow with a gallon of boiling water.
4. Remove tough stains from enameled cast iron and stainless steel. Scrub enameled cast iron with a soft nylon brush and a thick paste of baking soda and water. Clean stainless steel with a soft cloth and 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of water. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
5. Scrub pans. Sprinkle soda on crusted casseroles and roasting pans and let sit for five minutes. Lightly scrub and rinse.
6. Brush teeth. Use a paste of baking soda and water.
7. Fight class-B fires (flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil, and grease). Baking soda can be used to smother only a small flame.
8. Deodorize. Dust baking soda under your arms to absorb body odor.
9. Clean up minor oil and grease spills on a garage floor or driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.
10. Settle a stomach during occasional indigestion. Stir 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into 1/2 cup of water and drink for a safe and effective antacid.

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Vinegar

Heinz White Vinegar and a teacup

Use White Vinegar to:

1. Pinch-hit for lemon in a savory recipe. Use 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar in place of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
2. Remove coffee or tea stains from the bottom of a cup. Swish 2 tablespoons of vinegar around in the cup, then wash as usual.
3. Treat oily hair. Vinegar is a good degreaser for oily hair because it helps adjust pH levels. Shampoo your hair as usual, rinse, then pour 1/4 cup over it and rinse again.
4. Wipe salt stains off boots. Dip a cloth or an old T-shirt into vinegar, then wipe away the white residue.
5. Make wool sweaters fluffier. Drop in a couple of capfuls of vinegar during the rinse cycle for an extra-soft feel.
6. Deodorize a garbage disposal. Make vinegar ice cubes and feed them down the disposal. After grinding, run cold water through the drain.
7. Clean a teakettle or a coffeemaker. Boil a mixture of water and vinegar in a teakettle, then wipe away the grime. Fill the reservoir of a coffeemaker with a mixture of vinegar and water and run it through a brewing cycle. Follow this with several cycles of water to rinse thoroughly.
8. Clean a dishwasher. Once a month, with the machine empty, run a cup of vinegar through an entire cycle to reduce soap buildup on the inner mechanisms and glassware.
9. Remove stubborn price tags or stickers. Paint them with several coats of vinegar, let the liquid soak in for five minutes, then wipe away the residue.
10. Kill weeds between cracks in paving stones and sidewalks. Fill a spray bottle with straight vinegar and spray multiple times. (Be careful not to get any on the surrounding grass, as it will kill that too.)