LOL! It’s good for your health

shutterstock_92466964“Laughter is the best medicine.” We’ve all heard this phrase before and it’s been repeated for generations for good reason! In fact, research has unveiled that laughter really does serve as a great medicine to help your mental and physical health.

Whether it’s a big belly laugh or an uncontrollable giggle, laughter can affect our bodies and our minds in a multitude of beneficial ways. When we laugh, we stretch muscles throughout the face and neck, and sometimes even our bodies. Additionally, the pulse and blood pressure go up briefly, increasing oxygen to our tissues. Indeed, the benefits of a good, hearty belly laugh are similar to a light workout…including burning calories.

Feeling a chuckle coming on? Here’s why you should allow it to grow into a full-blown, “laugh until it hurts” belly laugh:

Physical Benefits:

  • Improves your immune system. Laughter strengthens the immune system by increasing infection-fighting antibodies, according to studies at Loma Linda University.
  • Soothes tension in muscles. Laughter can stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, which helps reduce the physical symptoms of stress. Laughter also acts as a distraction, allowing a person to forget about physical pains.
  • Increases blood flow. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen, stimulating the heart, lungs and muscles. It increases blood flow, which may help protect against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Laughter can also trigger the release of endorphins, a feel-good chemical released by the brain creating a feeling of well-being and relieving stress and pain.

 Emotional Benefits:

  • Lowers stress. Laughter creates a relaxed feeling by heating up and then cooling down your stress response, which increases your heart rate and blood pressure. This reduces stress and improves your mood, leaving you feeling recharged and positive.
  • Boosts self confidence. Laughter can make coping with difficult situations much easier. When you’re able to laugh at yourself instead of getting upset or putting yourself down, you are increasing your personal satisfaction, confidence and ultimate well-being.

 Social Benefits:

  • Strengthens relationships. Studies have shown that laughter can actually make you more attractive to your friends, loved ones and the opposite sex.
  • Helps to defuse conflicts. In stressful conflicts, we often search for a right or wrong answer. Instead, try finding the humour in the situation, and you might realise that what you thought was a big issue was actually quite small in the grand scheme of things.

So here’s to digging out our best jokes and LOL!

Sources: Care2.com, Mayo Clinic, University of Kentucky

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Preventing “Sleeping Lines”: Wrinkles Caused by Sleeping Patterns

sleepDon’t we all want to hibernate in winter? Snuggling up in a cosy duvet and settling down to sleep always seems more appealing in the colder months. However, while you’re snoozing away, “sleep wrinkles” could be sneaking up on you! It may be one of the most often-overlooked causes of wrinkles but, if altered, the position in which you sleep can help to prevent wrinkles from forming.

Sleep Lines and Sleep Wrinkles are Not a Myth

The idea of “sleep wrinkles” is often considered to be a beauty myth, but sleep wrinkles are recognised as a dermatologic reality. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology supports the idea that sleeping in certain positions will increase and cause wrinkles.

Which Sleeping Positions Cause or Prevent Wrinkles and Why

Sleeping on your side or with your face down on your pillow can cause wrinkles to form, while sleeping on your back can prevent the formation of wrinkles. The reason for this has to do with two other causes of wrinkles: repetitive motion and gravity. Repetitive motions can ultimately lead to wrinkles over time; e.g. expression lines around your mouth and crow’s feet around your eyes. When you sleep on your side or with your face down into the pillow, you “push” your skin into positions in a way that is similar to repetitive facial motions.

Gravity also plays a role in the development of wrinkles. As skin loses its firming collagen and becomes looser, the life-long push of gravity downward leads to the appearance of wrinkles or sagging skin. When you sleep on your side, you allow gravity to push your face to one side or the other, causing the wrinkles on that side of your face to appear deeper.

When you sleep on your back, you don’t push your face into wrinkled positions and gravity pulls your skin back away from your face rather than towards the centre of it.

The Role of Collagen and Elastin in Sleep Wrinkles

While the repetitive motions of sleeping positions and the impact of gravity are the lifestyle causes of sleep wrinkles, it’s the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin as you age that really makes the lines appear. While you most likely have slept in the same position for most of your life, you’re unlikely to see the first appearance of sleep wrinkles until you are beginning to see the signs of ageing skin throughout your body. Why is that? It’s because while you sleep, wrinkles are forming throughout your life, they become defined and apparent as your collagen and elastin breakdown.

Elastin is the skin protein that makes skin smooth and allows it to “snap back” from positions. Collagen is the protein that’s responsible for supporting skin in order to make it appear firm and full. As you age, genetics, UV damage, environmental factors and the hormonal shift for women associated with menopause all work to deplete your collagen and elastin. When this happens, your skin becomes looser and wrinkles that have been forming over time become more visible.

SONY DSCRelated Product: Rapid Collagen Infusion

This is the first-ever product to penetrate the skin’s surface with pure collagen! After the age of 20, a person produces about one percent less collagen in the skin each year. This product combats the break down of collagen and keeps skin plump.

This product is available exclusively from QVC in January 2014. Tune into the show on Friday 17th January.

It will be available at www.murad.co.uk from February 2014.

Treating and Preventing Sleep Lines and Sleep Wrinkles

To treat and prevent sleep lines from forming, you should make both skincare and lifestyle changes. Of course, the best change is to learn to sleep on your back, but it’s actually quite uncommon that an individual is able to change their natural and habitual sleeping position! Adopting the practices of Inclusive Health®, Dr. Murad’s revolutionary youth-building lifestyle, can assist in preventing and minimising wrinkles and ageing skin. Here are the three prongs of his Inclusive Health® philosophy:

SONY DSCLook Better: Anti-ageing products are a vital part of any anti-wrinkle regime. Develop a personalised anti-ageing skincare regime that combines products that hydrate with those that support the production of collagen.

summer fruit

Live Better: Healthy skin begins on the inside, and the most effective form of youth-building is via diet and nutrition. Staying hydrated by eating your water daily in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as embracing a diet that’s rich in Essential Fatty Acids and antioxidants will improve not only the youthfulness of your skin, but also of your body.

laughing11Feel Better: Your stress levels and your sense of self have an overwhelming impact on the health of your body and your skin. Learning to control Cultural Stress® and taking time for you can improve the health of your body and its largest organ, the skin!

Blemish Treatment Fact: Don’t Stop Using Blemish Skincare When Your Skin is Clear!

acne-skin-toner-tipsSo you found the right blemish treatment regime and your skin is finally clear – congratulations! Murad knows that finding the right solution to get clear and stay clear can be an emotional, mental and physical challenge. Unfortunately, for many people, once they finally get clear skin, they stop using their blemish treatment products because they think that their blemish problem is solved. The truth of the matter is that, for most forms of blemishes, you’ll need to continue using your regime even after you get clear skin. If you don’t, you’ll probably see those pesky breakouts again.

Here’s why you need to stay on top of your blemish treatment even if there isn’t a breakout:

Blemish Treatment Products Treat the Symptoms of Breakouts: They Don’t “Cure” Blemishes

The first thing you need to know is that there’s really no cure for blemishes. You can create a skincare regime that gives you clear skin, but blemish-prone skin is biological and can’t be changed. The cause of breakouts – clogged pores – is typically due to a hormonal overproduction of skin cells and sebum (oil) being created. When you treat blemishes, you are working to unclog or prevent clogged pores, but your body is still “wired” to overproduce the oil and skin cells that clog the pores. When you achieve clear skin, you’ve effectively created a complexion where no pores are clogged. But if you stop working to keep your pores unclogged, they’ll simply get clogged again and you’ll end up with blackheads and inflamed blemishes. Pores never stop clogging and if you don’t maintain a regime that keeps them clear, your spots will return.

SONY DSCRecommended Product: Murad Clarifying Cleanser

One way to ensure that you’re still working to keep skin clear and pores unclogged even when your complexion appears clear is to use a clarifying facial cleanser that includes a topical spot-medication like Salicylic Acid.

Customer Review

“I was introduced to Murad by my cousin. She was in town visiting, and noticed that I had several breakouts in the short week that she visited. After explaining the success she had using the products, I tried it. It worked wonders for my combination skin, and also improved the dark-blotchy patches.” – Troya

 The Skin That You See Isn’t Your Only Skin

We’re sure you’re elated your complexion is clear, but keep in mind your skin is made up of several layers. The skin you see when you look in the mirror (the epidermis or top layer) is actually already dead skin that is flaking away every day. The skin that needs to be healthy and free of clogged pores is actually beneath that skin. If you don’t maintain a healthy blemish treatment regime that focuses on exfoliating away debris and dead skin that clogs hair follicles and pores beneath the surface, then eventually that skin will work its way towards the surface of the epidermis. When it does, you’ll once again experience blackheads and blemishes. Remember that in many ways it’s the skin you don’t see that you need to be treating!

SONY DSCRecommended Product: Murad Exfoliating Blemish Treatment Gel

Get beneath the surface of the skin to exfoliate away debris and dead skin cells that clog hair follicles and pores and lead to blemishes. This clear treatment gel contains Salicylic Acid to get beneath the surface of the skin and prevent the clogged pores that cause breakouts.

Customer Review

“I love all the Murad products, but this is the one I absolutely cannot live with out. I ran out and thought maybe my breakouts wouldn’t come back, but as soon as I stopped using this they came back. I will never run out again!” – Liz217

Your Spots May By Cyclical

If you have hormonal blemishes and are female, your breakouts may be “cyclical”: tied to natural rotations in your hormone cycles. If that’s the case, your clear complexion may be as much the result of a “down” point in the cycle as it is the result of great blemish treatment products. If you stop your regime, you may find that your skin breaks out again the next time that you have a hormonal surge. For women, it’s very common for breakouts to happen around the time of your menstrual cycle and reduce during the remainder of the month. If you take a break from your blemish treatment regime, you may not be combatting cyclical hormonal acne effectively.

Consistency is Key When It Comes to Treating Blemishes

Always remember that when you’re treating spots or any other skin concern, consistency is key. Making sure that you follow through with your daily and nightly regime is the only way to get clear, stay clear and create blemish-free skin that’s Better Every Day®.

DETOX WITH DR. MURAD: Jumpstart the New Year with Dr. Murad’s Detox Diary

To help you keep that 2014 New Year’s resolution to be healthier and happier, Dr. Murad shares his Detox Diary; a seven-day plan to help you look and feel your best in just seven days:

summer fruitDay One: Eat Your Water

Dr. Murad says: “Healthy, hydrated cells are the key to ageless skin and a healthy body.”

Try in 2014: Replacing at least one glass of water a day with one serving of raw fruits or vegetables. This way you’ll be able to stay hydrated significantly longer. Eating foods that are rich in structured water, especially raw fruits and vegetables, will not only help your body hold onto water longer, you’ll get the added boost of important antioxidants, fibre and other nutrients.

681_1345471883(1)Day Two: Take Supplements

Dr. Murad says: “Make additions, rather than deletions to your lifestyle.”

Try in 2014: Even if you eat a nutritional diet, you probably won’t be getting the optimal amount of nutrition to properly strengthen your cells and improve your health. That’s where supplements come in. Invest in Murad Firm & Tone Dietary Supplements for everything you need for younger-looking skin, increased energy, better sleep patterns and faster-growing hair and nails.

Picture1Day Three: Move More

Dr. Murad says: “Success comes when you try.”

Try in 2014: The secret to sticking to an exercise routine is to exercise for pleasure. You should be driven less by exercise’s health and body-sculpting rewards than by how working out makes you feel. Choose one physical activity you enjoy and do it!

Day Four: Daydream

Dr. Murad says: “Turn the rest of your life into the best of your life.”

Try in 2014: Take some time to focus on your dreams and goals. Answer these questions to help you get started:

1)      What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

2)      What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?

3)      If you had nothing to do at all today, what would you do?

4)      What in life is causing you anxiety and stress?

5)      What are you most proud of?

Picture4Day Five: Savour Sleep

Dr. Murad says: “Reduce internet isolation – sleep better.”

Try in 2014: Sleep is when all of the systems of our body repair and regenerate themselves. Our skin detoxifies itself overnight. Using an appropriate moisturiser at night before bed is really important. When we are sleeping our body is much more able to absorb and utilise the nutrients that we provide for it – try Murad Perfecting Night Cream which combines Vitamins A and E with Green Tea Extract and Borage Seed Oil to repair and rehydrate your skin. Also, why not try starting a sleep schedule. Think back in the past month, what days did you feel the most energetic? How many hours of sleep did you get the night before? Use that average to determine how many hours of sleep your body ideally needs then aim for that amount at least five days a week.

Day Six: Be a Big Kid!

Dr. Murad says: “Allow spontaneity in your life.”

Try in 2014: Remember how exciting the first day of a new school was? Break out of your normal routine today and try something you’ve been wanting to do for a while. Don’t know where to start? Think back to your childhood. What did you enjoy doing then? Maybe it was art, acting, playing an instrument or doing puzzles. Whatever it is, give yourself permission to act like a kid again!

relax meditationDay Seven: Rest

Dr. Murad says: “When you become the most important person to yourself, your accomplishments will amaze you.”

Try in 2014: Stress is an inevitable part of life. The key is how you handle it. Identify your stressors and do what you can to keep them at bay. Today, take a recess for some deep breathing and meditation to help you gain perspective and reclaim sanity.

Five Different Kinds of Blemish: Understand Your Breakouts

Acne-Scar-Cover1Before you can begin to banish your blemishes, you need to understand what type of blemishes you have. From the type of blemish to the cause of the breakout, different types mean different solutions. Some breakouts can be treated simply with lifestyle changes. Others require that you find a skincare regime or consult a dermatologist for advice. What’s the right answer for you?

Explore the five different types of breakout below and then determine the right treatment path for you.

Blemish Type Number One: Whiteheads
Whiteheads are the most under-treated form of blemish because people often don’t even realise they have them. However, any type of clogged pore is technically a form of blemish. Spots form when over-produced sebum (oil) and skin cells clog pores. In many cases this leads to a build-up of blemish-causing bacteria, but even without the bacteria, a clogged pore is never good for your complexion.

SONY DSCBest Treatment Solution: Use a blemish treatment with Salicylic Acid to penetrate beneath the skin’s surface oil to unclog pores. For mild whiteheads, a clarifying facial cleanser that includes Salicylic Acid is likely enough to keep skin clear.

Recommended Product: Murad Time Release Blemish Cleanser
Murad Time Release Blemish Cleanser is a refreshing daily cleanser with encapsulated Salicylic Acid that continues to release pore clearing medication even after you cleanse.

 Customer Review
“I had a lot of acne on the side of my face and I started using this cleanser and in less than a month, it all cleared up. These products really work and do wonders for my face!” – Alliecat8907

Blemish Type Number Two: Blackheads
Blackheads are one step up from whiteheads. The cause of the blemish is the same – dirt, oil and debris has clogged a pore – but the difference with a blackhead is that the clog is not covered by a layer of skinSONY DSC and is therefore exposed to the environment. When this happens, the oxygen interacts with the clog and the colour turns from white (or clear) to dark. You haven’t necessarily formed a “pimple”, but your clogged pore is dark and visible so you’ll want to get rid of it!

Best Treatment Solution: Look for products that contain Glycolic and Salicylic Acids to exfoliate away dead skin cells and clear blocked pores. Do not squeeze your blackheads; it will only make the problem worse!

Recommended Product: T-Zone Pore Refining Gel
Dissolve clogged pores while balancing oily and dry zones for a blackhead-free complexion.

Blemish Type Number Three: Papules
A papule is the first stage of an inflamed blemish; a small, raised red bump. Yes, it is a pimple, but what it doesn’t have that makes it different from the next level of blemish is that it’s not filled with pus. If you have red pimples that are irritated and visible but not full of liquid or pus, then you have papules.

Best Treatment Solution: Don’t squeeze! If you have on-going papules, you’ll want to adopt a daily regimen that includes Salicylic Acid to prevent future breakouts. However, for occasional papules, consider using a spot treatment to dry the minor and occasional blemishes out so that they flake away and are replaced by unmarked skin.

SONY DSCRecommended Product: Blemish Spot Treatment

Provides on-the-spot treatment anytime you feel a pimple developing. Sulphur helps control the blemish while Liquorice Extract reduces redness and inflammation.

Customer Review

“This product is awesome. I could not believe how fast it worked. I have tried so many products that promised they would work and they just did not deliver. This product certainly delivers and works fast. I highly recommend it to anyone with acne issues. : )” – DebR

 

Blemish Type Number Four: Pustules
These are the bad boys that nobody wants. Your classic spot that’s full of pus or fluid and appears with a hardened yellow or white centre. This is your body fighting back against the spot-causing bacteria that caused the infected and inflamed blemish. In addition to being unpleasant to look at, this type of spot can also be physically and emotionally painful.

Best Treatment Solution: You’ll need to step backwards and have a think about what the cause of your spots could be. In addition to making sure that you’re minimising stress and eating healthily, adopt a full anti-blemish regime based on a Salicylic Acid treatment. Stay away from solutions that are designed to “dry out” your spots. If you have on-going pustules, you’ll only damage your skin further by drying it out and most likely increase your chances of blemish scars or post-spot marks. Prepare for a blemish purge as you begin your comprehensive blemish treatment regime, but remember that you can only get clear skin once all of the impurities beneath have been purged away.

 

SONY DSCRecommended Product: Murad Exfoliating Blemish Treatment Gel
Unclog pores beneath the skin before blackheads, whiteheads or even inflamed blemishes form. This powerful blemish treatment gel uses Salicylic Acid to slough away dirt, debris and dead skin before pores become clogged.

Customer Review
“I have tried everything for my acne problem. I have tried all kinds of products (from Proactive to over the counter acne treatments), but nothing worked with my sensitive but acne prone skin. I decided to try one more time despite my frustrations and disappointments. I could not believe the difference that this EXFOLIATING ACNE TREATMENT GEL has made in my skin!!! The improvements are unbelievable!!! Thanks Murad. Sincerely, Sari” – Ramuzeyn

Blemish Type Number Five: Nodules and/or Cysts
When the follicle wall that is holding in the pore clogging materials and spot-causing bacteria ruptures, the entire fluid and debris leak into the skin. The body’s natural response to this is to fight back in the form of an inflammation. When the inflammation is hard and solid, making a powerful and large red bump near the surface, you have a nodule. When the inflammation is fluid and has a sack of pus or liquid beneath the skin, it’s a cyst. Either way, it’s a painful skin condition.

Best Treatment Solution: It’s time to visit a dermatologist. Even though a topical regime can minimise and reduce this type of blemish over time, you should seek the help of a medical professional to help identify the causes and be sure that you’re approaching treatment properly.

Of course, your blemish may also be caused by a Rosacea condition, by a reaction to skin care products or makeup or environmental and emotional factors. It’s also possible that a diet rich in refined carbohydrates is leading to breakouts. No matter what type of blemishes you have, it’s best to take a look at all of the possible causes and then determine what treatment solution to use.

How to diagnose and treat dark under-eye circles

shutterstock_128763254We’ve all been there. You wake up, take a look in the mirror and all you can see is those dark circles (technically called periorbital dark circles) looming out at you from underneath your eyes. Maybe you’re exhausted, or maybe this is more of a regular occurrence for you. Either way, one thing is certain: the mere sight of them makes you reach for your concealer to cover them up!

If you’re into skincare then you may be wondering if an eye cream can be the saviour to your dark under-eye circles. The answer might be yes, but the truth is it depends largely on the cause of your dark circles. Before you can find the right way to treat and minimise dark eye circles, you’ll need to identify the cause.

Here are the most common causes of dark circles and the best ways to treat them:

 

Genetics and Pigmentation Irregularities

If you’ve had dark circles underneath your eyes for your entire life, chances are it’s genetic. It could be that the skin around the eye area is thin and therefore reveals the veins beneath it. Or, it could be a pigmentation irregularity that makes that area of the skin darker. The latter is common in people from African American or Asian descent. Either way, if you think that you’re genetically prone, your best bet is to use an eye cream or concealer that brightens and lightens. Most treatments that will fade hyperpigmentation are too strong to be used in the sensitive skin area around the eyes.

HybridsEyeIlluminatorTip-HRRecommended Product: Eye Lift Illuminator

The neutralising violet formula instantly brightens the under-eye area while Murad’s unique Re-Luminate Complex lightens and minimises dark circles. It also features Murad’s Innovative 5x Firming Technology which is clinically proven to increase skin firmness by 50% in just 15 minutes! Murad’s Smart Moisture System de-puffs and keeps skin healthy.

Customer Review

“Great product, I don’t use anything else on my eyes now. The violet colour is quite unusual but it really brightens my eyes and makes me look awake, especially on the mornings when the last thing you want to do is get out of bed! 🙂 I used to use all sorts of concealers but now I just use this, so much better!” – Suzzy123

 

Sun Exposure

Sun damage is one of the fastest ways to age your skin, which is why wearing broad spectrum protection is vital. And when it comes to your eye area, protection is even more important than it is for the rest of your face. This is because the skin around your eyes is thinner and more sensitive and therefore more prone to damage.

Sun damage around the eye area will not only result in the potential long-term darkening of pigment, but also in the breakdown of collagen. This makes the skin even thinner and the veins beneath them even more visible. While there’s a limited amount that you can do about sun damage near the eyes after it happens, a simple SPF eye cream can prevent it from happening.

SONY DSCRecommended Product: Murad Essential-C Eye Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 | PA ++

This eye cream not only hydrates and provides antioxidants to build healthier skin; it also has broad spectrum SPF protection to prevent premature ageing around your eyes.

Customer Review

“I cannot say enough good things about this eye cream. Without a doubt, this is the only eye cream I have ever found that has completely eliminated the seemingly perpetual bags I have had under my eyes my entire life. Not only that, the product takes only minutes to start noticing results. I put it under my eyes right after waking up and it does the trick. Penny pincher that I am, I still recommend this purchase. The very little you need per use (a .5 oz bottle lasted me one year) coupled with its potency ensures that this is the best possible buy on the market for baggy eyes.” – SEPJ

 

Ageing

Wrinkles aren’t the only signs of ageing around your eyes. When the collagen and elastin begins to break down as a natural result of ageing, the thinner skin reveals the veins beneath it and eyes appear to have dark circles beneath them. One of the most effective ways to look younger is with an anti-wrinkle eye cream. Anti-wrinkle eye creams are designed to strengthen the collagen, and the end result is not only fewer wrinkles but also stronger skin that doesn’t reveal dark circles as much.

 

SONY DSCRecommended Product: Murad Renewing Eye Cream

A triple-threat eye cream that hydrates, firms and improves brightness around the eyes. Your eyes will look younger and fresher.

Customer Review

“This is really the first eye product that truly delivers on its promises. I have only been using this for 3 weeks, and already my eyes are brighter (dark circles almost gone), and the fine lines around my eyes have smoothed out. The skin around my eyes feels plump and moist, not puffy and greasy, believe me there is a huge difference between the two. Very nice texture also. Thanks for this stuff, it’s great.” – Nicereflection

 

Allergies or Nasal Congestion

Allergies or nasal congestion can dilate and darken the veins that drain from your eyes to your nose. Because the skin around the eyes is thinner than elsewhere on your face, these dilated and darkened veins can result in the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. Not to worry, the condition is temporary and when you clear up your allergies or get rid of the cold that’s causing your nasal congestion, your eyes will go back to their normal, bright selves.

Eczema and Dry Skin

Anything that makes you scratch and rub your eyes can cause dark circles to form under your eyes. The rubbing of the thin, weaker skin around your eyes can result in broken blood vessels beneath the surface that then appear as dark circles. Treat your dry skin by gently applying a hydrating eye cream and be sure to train yourself to avoid rubbing your eyes.

SONY DSCRecommended Product: Murad Hydro-Dynamic® Ultimate Moisture for Eyes

Gentle enough for sensitive skin, this is the most hydrating eye cream Murad makes. You’ll experience hydrated skin and long term relief from dryness.

Customer Review

“I have tried many different eye creams over the years but none of them have been as amazing as this one. The minute you apply it, your eyes feel instantly refreshed and moisturised. I’ve also noticed that the few lines I have around my eyes have become less noticeable to me over the weeks since I started using it. This might sound like a massive exaggeration but I have finally found the dream eye cream! I’ve already bought a second one…” – Gorgeous Girl 1

Lifestyle Choices and Exhaustion

Late nights, physical or emotional stress, smoking (which damages the skin in many ways) and alcohol (which dehydrates the skin) can all lead to dark under-eye circles. Basically, anything that you do that you know isn’t healthy for you can result in an impact on your skin! Live healthy. Your skin will thank you for it.

Liver Damage Can Cause Under-Eye Circles

Under-eye circles can also be a sign of liver damage. If you’ve ruled out all of the other possible causes of under-eye dark circles, you should consult a doctor to ensure that your liver is healthy and properly functioning.

Top Foods For Essential Fatty Acids

After the last post, we all know that Essential Fatty Acids are important for healthy, beautiful skin! They are the “good fats” that help to make our cell walls strong so that they can hold moisture in for firm, wrinkle-free, smooth skin. To help you on your way, here is a list of the top foods that can help you get enough Essential Fatty Acids for the best skin (and body) possible.

Get Nutty: Nuts and Seeds are high in Essential Fatty Acids

Here’s a rundown of our favourites:

sunflowerseedsSunflower seeds:  a 28g serving of sunflower seeds provides more than 9 grams of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid.

Pine nuts: sprinkle liberally on salads! They contain the same amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid as sunflower seeds.

brazil nutsBrazil nuts: a 28g serving provides about 6 grams of the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid.

Pecan nuts: a delicious addition to banana bread! They contain the same amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid as Brazil nuts.

walnuts2Walnuts: these not only contain the Omega-6 Fatty Acid Linoleic Acid but also provide approximately 2.6 grams of Alpha-Linolenic Acid per 28g serving.

Nuts also make a great healthy snack to keep you feeling full! So when you’re feeling peckish, instead of reaching for crisps or chocolate, try turning to nuts.

Nutritional findings taken from Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center

Flaxseed Oil: the go-to Essential Fatty Acid
A tablespoon of pure flaxseed oil provides a whopping 7.3 grams of Alpha-Linolenic Acid per and 100% of the daily recommended value for Alpha-Linolenic Acid (1.6 grams).

However, if you’re choosing between flaxseed oil and pure flaxseed, you may want to keep in mind that flaxseed oil doesn’t contain dietary fibre and Lingans which are key for healthy digestion. Flaxseed itself does.

Top tip: If you’re looking for pure flaxseed, opt for ground flaxseed. It’s easier for your body to absorb nutrients from ground seeds.

Nutritional findings taken from Mayo Clinic.

salmon-sushi-265x300Delicious Fish: opt for the fatty ones
Get out the grill, the pan or the baking dish and fall in love with fish. Not just any fish, though. Fatty fish types contain nutrients that you’ll need and want for what’s known as Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The Essential Fatty Acids that convert into these Long-Chain Omega-3 Acids can be found in fatty fish and shellfish.

We like herring, oysters, sardines, trout, crab, tuna and our favourite is salmon. If you aren’t a lover of fish when you were younger, try it again. Your body tends to crave what it needs for health, and as we age and need more Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids, our body learns to crave the taste of fish more.

Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Oil
Put down the butter and substitute with walnut, canola, soybean or mustard oil! Not only are these alternatives better for your overall health and, particularly, your cholesterol levels, but they provide 0.8 to 1.4 grams of Alpha-Linolenic Acid per serving.

You can also get Linolenic Acid from safflower oil (10.1 grams per serving), sunflower, soybean or corn oil (6.9-8.9 grams per serving) or sesame oil (5.6 grams per serving). There are many reasons to avoid saturated fats like butter, palm oil or coconut oil – healthy skin is just one of them!

While great skincare products give great results, truly healthy skin begins from the inside out. Make sure that your diet is rich in Essential Fatty Acids by incorporating some of the foods above into your diet. Not only will your skin look better, but you’ll also feel better.