Skin Care While Travelling – Easy Tips

Here is a fact you know whether you have been racking up those frequent flyers miles or you only go for a quick jaunt now and then. As far as your skin is concerned, an airplane cabin is the exact opposite of the fountain of youth. No need for hours of applying movie prosthetics here. You board the airplane looking absolutely stunning and disembark looking like a 10 years older version of yourself. No ‘happy to see you’ snapshots, please!

These simple steps will help you (and your skin) arrive at your destination unfazed, looking enviably refreshed and gorgeous. I think it’s a great time for a selfie!

What Usually Happens

The extremely low humidity caused by the dry re-circulated air sucks your skin dry, causing it to become dehydrated (and possibly inflamed) very quickly. This, understandably, makes dry skin even drier.

What’s hard to believe is that it makes oily skin even worse. But that’s how your skin works – it skin care travellingcounteracts water loss with increased oil production. The dry air isn’t the only one to blame, since the mental stress of travelling also takes a disastrous toll on your skin, exacerbating problem skin conditions.

What Can You do About it

Bring the five essentials

First, be sure you are aware of the guidelines as to what is or isn’t allowed on the flight. Pack hydrating cleanser, moisturizer, lip balm, hand sanitizer and hand cream in a small, clear zip-lock bag. The FTA stipulates a maximum size of 3.4 ounces (that’s100 ml) per product.

Avoid having to grab overly expensive or less than ideal stuff on your way to the airport. Plan ahead and ensure you carry your favorite products to use during the flight.

Go bare (of makeup that is)

If the thought of going without makeup just does not compute with you, then you must at least be prepared to make compromises. You will need to strike foundation and powders off your list, as they will only aide the drying effect. A little mascara and lip gloss, however, should do just fine. Let’s say for a moment, that you need to board the flight in a fully made up face.

Maybe the person accompanying you to the airport just simply must not see you otherwise. If that’s the case, then a short trip to the powder room is in order once you board the flight. Use a moisturizing cleanser or makeup removing wipes to quickly cleanse your skin.

Keep your skin hydrated

Apply (and re-apply) your moisturizer as frequently as you deem necessary throughout the flight. Go for more frequent applications on longer flights. You will need to keep that little zip-lock bag of products close at hand. There is no way it should end up in the overhead bin.

Sunscreen is a must

Yes, even within the confines of an airplane you will still need to wear sunscreen. Why? Simple – airplane windows do not filter out harmful UV rays. On top of that, while flying you are closer to the sun’s harmful rays. To combat this, a moisturizer with SPF is ideal. Also, you should opt for an aisle seat instead of a window one and most definitely keep the shade closed.

Drink, drink, drink!

No, that’s not a beer chant.  That’s a reminder to keep your body hydrated during the flight by avoiding alcohol (complimentary or otherwise) and filling up on water instead. A good rule is one glass (or regular sized bottle) of water for each hour of airtime. Stay away from that soda!

This should go a long way in replacing fluids lost to the moisture seeking cabin air. If you’re not up to multiple trips to the bathroom (and we understand why), try to get as close to the recommended amount of water as possible. But you must stay away from those dehydrators.

Get some shut-eye

Getting some sleep is a good idea on longer flights. It will rejuvenate your body and mind, warding off that dreaded jetlag look and feeling. A neck pillow, no matter how ridiculous you think it makes you look, can go a long way in helping you get some restorative sleep. Remember to moisturizer again as soon as you’re awake!

Reward your skin

Once you get to your destination, it’s time to remove those dry skin cells and excess oils brought on by the flight. A gentle facial cleanser or scrub is a must, but for all over skin rejuvenation, go for head to toe moisturizing. Your skin has braved and overcome the ordeal of being bombarded by moisture hunger recycled airplane cabin air. It deserves a good treat!


So wherever you are off to, near or far, business or pleasure, take heart in the fact that the moisture-deprived-zombie-look doesn’t have to be the one you arrive with. You can help your skin stay hydrated and looking fresh during even the longest of flights. Happy travels!

Easy Skin Care Tips For Oily Skin

We all want the glow of healthy, youthful looking skin, and dermatologists agree that the oils naturally produced by the body are very helpful in this respect. This is because oily skin actually slows the rate of aging of the skin and helps us to have fewer wrinkles. For persons with oily skin(seborrhea), however, it is very much a catch 22 situation.

Why? – Because oily skin doesn’t do a simply glow. Instead, it streaks right past that to greasy and unsightly. Added to that, oily skin has a greater tendency to be blemish prone, due to the presence of larger more visible pores.  The challenge for someone with oily skin is how to keep skin moisturized and looking fresh without being greasy.

Causes Of Oily Skin

Knowledge is power, so before we move on to some tips on how to keep skin moisturized without the attendant oil slick, let’s look at the some causes of oily skin. Persons with oily skin are well aware of their T-zone (even if they don’t know it by name).

It is the part of the face comprising of the forehead, nose, inner cheeks, the area around the mouth and the chin. The T-zone is usually the area of greatest concern for oily skin combatants, because it has a higher concentration of oil glands. This means a more noticeable buildup of excess oils.

Oily skin is linked to a number of factors, chief among them being genetics. If oily skin runs in your family, then you are more likely to have larger sebaceous glands producing excess oil, and a predisposition to clogged pores and breakouts. Apart from genetics, a hormone called androgen is responsible for oil glands maturing when we hit puberty, so it’s no surprise that hormonal changes can cause ramped up oil production in the skin.oily skin care

These changes may be due to the use of hormonal birth control, hormone replacement medications, the regular up and down of hormone levels during a woman’s monthly cycle, and just plain being stressed.

Thirdly, we are all aware that hot and humid weather can cause an increase in the skin’s oil production levels. Even for those who do not normally suffer from oily skin, spring and summer are understandably trying times. But what about in the wintertime?

Oily skin suffers often can’t seem to get a break, as in the winter when dry air dehydrates the skin, it may overcompensate for this with excess oil production. As a matter of fact, anything that irritates or dries out the skin can be an oily skin causing culprit – think about when travelling!

So avoid overuse of skin care products, unnecessary skin care tools, sun tanning, astringents, harsh soaps, and alcohols.

Tips To Turn Down The Shine

Begin with the Right Cleanser

The right cleanser is the right first step to keeping your skin healthy, whether your skin is oily, dry or a combination of both. For oily skin, you are in search of a cleanser that is designed to slow sebum (skin oil) production and remove excess oil from the skin’s surface.

Cleanse the skin first thing in the morning and before going to bed at night. Temperature extremes tend to irritate the skin, so cleanse using warm (not hot) water.

What should you look for in a cleanser?

Go for natural ingredients like jojoba beads and Aloe Vera. These will help to smooth and polish the skin, and provide lightweight moisture, respectively.

Additionally, moisturizers with Jojoba oil are particularly good at regulating oil production in the skin. If your basic cleanser doesn’t seem to do enough at getting rid of the grease, you may opt for a cleanser with an acid such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or beta-hydroxy acid.

Be sure to test the product first with just a small amount, as these ingredients can be irritating. Foaming cleansers are generally good at removing excess oil, but, persons with dry skin type should steer well clear of them.

A Serum may be Your Best Bet

Serums are specially formulated with less of the lubricants and thickeners you would find in a cream or a lotion. They are water-based, contain a higher concentration of active ingredients, and are lighter.

Serums are absorbed faster and penetrate deeper into the skin’s outer layers. So, if you have oily skin, and cringe at the thought of heavy moisturizers on a warm sunny day, a serum may be just the thing you need.

Choose a Good Mattifying Primer

By definition a mattifyer makes the skin less oily and shiny. A good mattifying primer can do wonders to help oily skin suffers avoid that ‘her skin could probably glow in the dark’ look. It goes without saying that you’ll want one that’s oil free. Mattifying primers go beyond helping your makeup to go on smoothly and last all day long.

Since they contain oil absorbing ingredients, they are great at controlling oily skin. Nowadays, mattifying primers are developed with some really good-for-your-skin minerals. Check to see if the one you are going for has antioxidant vitamins to help fight against the effects of free radicals in the environment.

Good Old Sunscreen

We don’t need to tell you why sunscreen is important, but we can share with you, that persons with oily skin no longer need to see them as a necessary evil. Sunscreen products have been revolutionized. Many have eliminated that greasy, shiny after-feel by being less oily, more matte and with faster drying times.

So, don’t skip this vital step in your daily skin care routine. Sample a few of them, and find the one that works best for you. Remember to keep an eye out for the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.

Try Not to Overdo it

Applying too much of any product to your skin may irritate it and dry it out. The skin may then compensate (or over-compensate) for this by kicking oil production into top gear. The different areas of your face may absorb and react differently to products such as serums, and day and night creams. It may take a little practice for you to get a proper feel of how much product to apply where.

Here is one way to go. Use a dime size of the product applied as five tiny dots within the T-zone. That’s one dot each for forehead, nose, chin and cheeks, using a smooth upwards and outwards motion to blend them into the skin. After it’s dry, a quick check will tell you which areas (if any) need a little extra product.

A Do-it-Yourself Clay Mask

Applying a clay mask to the face once a week can help remove excess oil, ‘calm’ your face, and reduce the appearance of pore size. Kaolin clay (or China clay) contains kaolin which is great at absorbing oil and soothing the skin. It deep cleans the pores and boosts the renewal of cells in the skin.

Another good choice is Bentonite clay. It has wonderful absorbing and toning properties. Bentonite clay will clean and open clogged pores, preventing abscesses and skin blemishes.

Eat Right

Foods rich in Vitamin A have been shown to actually lower oil production in the skin. So reach for some sweet potatoes, carrots and dark leafy green vegetables. Add in some fish and tropical fruits, and your skin will get a great healthy boost.

Foods you should cut back on are cocktails (no more than one drink a night) and spicy foods (limit to once a week). They work against your skin, as they dilate the blood vessels and cause you to perspire.

Some More Good Ideas for Coping with Oily Skin

Don’t use too many products. Seek out products that combine the benefits you are looking for. For example use a moisturizer or serum that contains SPF so you won’t need to add sunscreen. Likewise, going for cosmetics that are mattifying may help you eliminate the primer step and still keep the shininess at bay.

Use a toner morning and evening to help balance out the skin. Just insure that that it is alcohol free, as this might lead to irritated, drying skin.

Blotting paper and powders are great as a quick and handy way to remove excess oil. Go lightly with the blotting paper, however. Some skin care professional feel they may cause you to press dirt and oil further into pores, doing more harm than good.

It is always good advice to talk to your dermatologist if you are having any unresolved concerns.

So, here’s to hoping you have many shine free days, filled instead with the confidence of healthy radiant skin.

Elliptical Machines – What’s The Big Deal?

Even though elliptical machines are largely considered to be a “new” type of home exercise machine, they have actually been around for a relatively long time. These machines have been a standard feature in virtually all gyms for quite a while now; however, home sales have been on the rise as of late. So what exactly is all the fuss about? Weight loss, burning calories, and low resistance.

Most gym equipment, such as weights and treadmills, provide a fairly good workout. However, what they also provide is a great deal of high impact stress on key areas of your body; such as your knees, elbows, hips, and ankles. This is why the elliptical trainer is extremely advantageous, not only does the natural motion provide a great workout, it also supplies a negligible level of impact on these same joints (ankles, knees, and hips).

This is known as “low impact exercise” and this is the main factor that contributes the elliptical machine being accessible to people of varying ability and age. Elliptical machines are even frequently recommended to individuals who are in physical therapy and/or recovering from injuries.

Even somewhat similar devices, like the exercise bike or treadmill, pale in comparison to the elliptical

elliptical machines

Schwinn Elliptical Trainer

machine. Why? Well, because it not only gives your lower body a proper low impact workout, it also caters to your upper body as well.

We’re just getting started. Those were just the introductory benefits, here are several more reasons why the elliptical machine is a weight loss champ.

You Get A Great Cardio Workout

If you want to compare the elliptical machine to any other machine in your local gym go right ahead. You’ll find that it can either give you an equal cardio workout or an even better one. While the treadmill might be better if you are a professional sprinter or marathon runner, the elliptical is better suited to cater to the needs of the average person and pro athletes can make use of higher quality models that have greater resistance levels.

You Can Adjust It To Match Your Fitness Level

When it comes to the intensity of the workout that you want, elliptical machines are high customizable. This is a workout machine that literally grows with you. As your fitness level increases you can subsequently increase the resistance level, the incline, and the stride length of your machine. This is also a great family workout machine: adults, teens, and even elders, can benefit from a great low impact cardio workout.


Your Upper Body Is Not Forgotten

Similar pieces of exercise equipment (such as the treadmill) only provide a lower body workout. While this lower body workout might be great, an elliptical machine provides both your lower and upper body with an exceptional workout. However, some elliptical machines have the option of static handlebars if you aren’t looking for an upper body workout.

The important thing is that you are getting options, more bang for your buck. By working out both your lower and upper body you are burning more calories and by extension spending less time exercising.


Longer Workout, Lower Perceived Exertion

What does this mean? This means that individuals who utilize elliptical machines don’t actually realize just how much their body is working. This lower perceived exertion means that they then workout for a longer period of time compared to other forms of exercising. Why is there a lower level of perceived exertion? It all comes back to the low impact workout that elliptical machines provide.


High-Tech Workout Equipment

Elliptical machines are constantly being updated just like other workout devices. Furthermore, because of the renewed rise in popularity of elliptical machines, developers are now focusing on them now more than ever. Models are now on the market that have built in fitness utilities, extraordinary interfaces, and innovative entertainment features, among other things. Have a look at for some great elliptical machine reviews, guides and information.


You Get A Machine That’s Easier On Your Body

Low impact workout means that you get a machine that is gentle on your joints and by extension your entire body. People who; are injured, have arthritis, stress fractures or just have joint and back pains, can enjoy a fulfilling cardio workout that won’t worsen their condition.


You Get A Versatile Piece Of Exercise Equipment

Just look back at everything that has been listed. There is no debating this, the elliptical machine is the most versatile piece of exercise equipment that you can possibly own. You get a full body workout that is so easy on your body that the elderly or injured can still make use of it.

This is why the rowing machine, the exercise bike, and even the great treadmill, are now being outsold by the humble elliptical. Don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself and let the results speak for themselves.

The 5 Stages of Sleep and Why it is Important

Whether we would like to admit it or not, sleep is a very important bodily process that should not, and cannot be overlooked – lest we run the risk of causing severe harm to our bodies. In fact, one of the most prevalent health problems faced by Americans is, interestingly enough, insomnia. It is estimated that as much as even a third or more of the American population experiences moderate to severe sleep related issues.

These sleep related issues can range from bouts of sleeplessness a couple days a week, to more serious instances of individuals who suffer through endless nights of tossing and turning without any relief in sight. Even if you are lucky enough to not be hounded by such detrimental problems, sleep is still an important part of our daily lives that cannot be overlooked, our health and very lives depend on it. For this reason, we have compiled a breakdown of the five (5) stages of sleep, as well as evident reasons why sleep is important to humans.

Sleep Comes in Five (5) Stages

In total there are five perceptible stages of sleep that we as humans undergo on a normal basis. These stages,often referred to as being “wave-like” typically manifest recurrently throughout periods of healthy sleep.sleep_stages_waves

The first stage of sleep or ‘stage one’, is more technically referred to as light sleep. This is where our bodies initially start to become relaxed and our breathing begins to slow down and become steady. For many individuals (especially those with sleep related issues), inadvertently straying in and out of this initial stage is not uncommon.

As we begin to drift deeper into sleep and enter stage two, our eye movements slow down and eventually stop. This is also accompanied by an overall slowing of our brain waves and nerve impulses. As we enter stage three of sleep or “deep sleep” we begin to experience delta brain waves. These delta brain waves increase in regularity as we progress through stage four of sleep.

While these aforementioned deep sleep stages are actually where vital physiological development, bodily processes and functional repairs mainly occur. In these deep sleep stages there is little to no body movement or eye movement and congruently it is difficult and disorienting to actually awaken an individual when they enter this state. The final and fourth stage of sleep is somewhat different in that it is more focused on the mind rather than the body; REM sleep leads into individuals returning to stage one and starting the cycle once more.

REM sleep is noted specifically for the rapid eye movements that occur throughout it –this is where it gets its name. Certain dynamics such as blood pressure and heart rate noticeably increase during REM sleep; however, unbalanced and shallow breathing is also experienced as well. It should also be noted that dreams occur during REM sleep as well. Dreaming is not as trivial as most of us believe, studies have shown that dreaming and subsequently REM sleep are directly linked to proper mental health. A lack of both has been directly linked to mental issues such as: anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. Approximately 90% of individuals that experience moderate to severe depression have been shown to have underlying sleep difficulties as well.

What all of this means is that since we only undergo REM sleep as a sleep cycle nears its end we might successively miss out on the benefits that it bestows if we only get a couple hours of rest at a time.

How Does A Lack of Sleep Affect Us?

Over the years numerous studies have revealed that insomnia alone can be responsible for a vast number of mental and physical health related issues. However, even if you are lucky enough to not be hounded by insomnia; here are a few adverse effects that can arise from even a moderate lack of sleep.

You Are More Accident Prone

Recent studies have shown that individuals who have issues sleeping are more prone to injuries and accidents as they go about their daily lives. Directly linked to this is an increased chance of traffic/vehicular related accidents as well. This means that if you neglect to get a good night’s rest and choose to drive or operate heavy machinery the next day you are not only putting your own life at risk, you are putting the lives of other individuals at risk as well.

This is not simply speculation, just recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approximated that every year over 90,000 vehicular accidents are caused by simple fatigue and lack of sleep. Not only is this true they also reported that on average,there are over 1,500 road death annually that are related to fatigue as well. Just as bad and avoidable as being intoxicated behind the wheel.

Your Mental Processes, Memory and Mind Are Affected

By getting little to no sleep for just one night you are severely impacting your ability to: properly concentrate; maintain your attention span; remain alert; and reliably solve problems as they arise. Furthermore, studies have revealed that mental development, reasoning and intelligence levels can be affected by as much as a comparative 40% by just missing one night’s sleep the previous day – this is especially true for younger people.

Sleep also has the added benefit of facilitating the organizing of our daily experiences, memories and things  we have learnt. This is done in an effort to make recollection of any relevant information much easier. For this reason, adequate sleep is an absolute necessity, especially for students who have to carry out a great deal of studying.

Less Sleep May Lead To Weight Gain

If on average an individual chooses to sleep for less than five to six hours, it has been shown that there is a corresponding and very noticeable increase in appetite and feelings of hunger. These hunger urges are, above all, for foods that are rich in carbs and consequently stimulate the secretion of insulin and body fat storage.

A scholarly study conducted in 2014 was able to show that individuals who had under six hours of sleep were actually at over 25% higher risk of obesity compared to individual who had anywhere between just seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. Strangely enough, this same study showed that once the nine hour threshold was passed the related benefits of sleep were actually negligible.

Higher Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease

In an academic study that was issued in the lauded European Heart Journal, it was stated that individuals who have trouble sleeping and fail to wake up rested are thrice as likely to develop cardiovascular problems over a 5 – 10 year stretch. In fact, issues such as heart attack and stroke are more prevalent insleep_health individuals suffering from insomnia. Diabetes is another health problem that has not only been scientifically linked to insomnia, it has also been linked to simple lack of sleep as well. The dynamic that is now being researched is if these sleep issues are a factor that causes diabetic conditions or if problems sleeping are caused by prediabetic disorders.

Sleep With Regard to Depression

As briefly stated before, depression and insomnia have been found to be directly linked after many extensive studies over the years. Research published in The Journal of Neuroscience showed that various telltale symptoms of depression were approximately five times more probable to occur in individuals who recurrently exhibited an incapability to sleep. While there is some dispute over what actually occurs first – the inability to sleep or the depression – adequate sleep has been cited hundreds of times as one of the simplest and most effective methods of treating depression and its symptoms.

Insomnia Makes You… Older?

While this statement might seem more than a little farfetched, it should not be taken quite as literal as it sounds. What this actually means is that by experiencing insomnia, moderate sleeplessness or fatigue over a long period of time; you are susceptible to negative physical aspects. The stress hormone, better known as Cortisol, is produced and used by the body whenever we are tired. When excessive levels of Cortisol are produced it eventually leads to wrinkles and fine lines because of broken down collagen. In addition to this, it is primarily during deep sleep stages that our bodies grow and perform vital repairs with the aid of human growth hormone.

How is Adequate Sleep Beneficial?

It has been proven that an individual that is adequately rested will, on average, always produce significantly less adrenaline and cortisol – two of the hormones that are largely responsible for stress. Also, if your body does unavoidably produce these hormones during the day, getting adequate sleep will gradually reduce their levels.

Once you awaken feeling sufficiently rested and revitalized you will be far more alert, have larger reserves of energy and think and focus more competently.

Not only is sleep useful for facilitating recovery from sicknesses and ailments insomnia has, in opposition, been observed to make afflicted individuals susceptible to health issues by suppressing their immune systems.

As each day goes by our bodies endure unavoidable wear and tear as we interact with our environment. It is during sleep that our bodies perform repairs and create new cells; this means that the longer you forgo proper sleep the less efficiently your body will perform on both a physical and mental level.

When we sleep our bodies try their best to regulate the various hormones in our bodies. This in turn facilitates digestion and weight loss by giving us greater control over our appetites, among other things. The balancing of these hormones also facilitates happier moods throughout the subsequent day, leading you further and further away from the clutches of depression.


So, just how much sleep should you be getting on a daily basis? Numerous experts agree that in order to have the best chance of avoiding all of the aforementioned negative effects and experience the outlined benefits; the average adult should aim to get at the very least seven hours and at most nine hours of sleep.