Author Archives: Charlotte
Author Archives: Charlotte
It happens to most of us. You look in the mirror one day while you are getting ready for work and you notice something, well, different about your eyes. They don't look as firm and bright as you remember. As you lean in for a closer look, you see your worst nightmare has jumped onto your face: eye wrinkles!
For me, it happened when I was 25. I noticed some wrinkles right on the corners of my eyes. Of course, my mother thought I was fussing over nothing. But I know that the sooner you start to treat your wrinkles, the better you can slow down the process.
Before you spiral into a dark abyss of expensive creams and serums, you should start with this guide to getting rid of wrinkles under your eyes. This guide is helpful whether you are just noticing some sneaky crow's feet, or if you are just tired of seeing the years reflected in your eyes every time you look in the mirror.
The most important thing to remember is that all skin eventually wrinkles. Wrinkles are a sign that your skin is aging. As we don't have an anti-aging serum on the market just yet, all we can do to help slow the progression of aging and improve the appearance of skin.
They do, however, signal that your skin needs more attention than it once did.
You can add infusions to your water to make it more flavorful. Strawberry and Mint is my favorite water infusion.
You can choose one of these to try at a time, or use a combination if you prefer. When combining methods, alternate the days that you use each once to avoid irritating your eyes or skin (also follow this advice for step 3). Since everyone's skin is different, I recommend trying each solution in order for steps 2 and 3 to see which one works best for you
None of these solutions are overnight. Even the most expensive department store creams take weeks or months for you to see results. If you are consistent with a skincare regimen, you will see positive results over time. I recommend taking photos every week so that you can compare them after 6-8 weeks.
Step #1: Hydrate
Many people are surprised to find that they spend most of their days dehydrated. Water in your body is vital for all your cells to function, including those that control skin cell health. If you know you don't drink enough water, you should try this first and see the difference in your skin, including your eyes! A general rule of thumb is to take your weight, cut that number in half, and that is how many fluid ounces of water you need each day for proper body functioning.
When you wake up, the first thing you should do is drink a glass of water. Your body has been deprived of liquid for at least 6 hours when you wake up. This visual will help you find ways to make drinking more water enjoyable.
During busy work days, it can be hard to remember to drink your water. As a teacher by trade, I know all too well how hard it is to take care of my body when I'm in front of children for several hours at a time. I was so bad at drinking my water that I eventually assigned one of my students the job of holding my water bottle and reminding me to take a big drink every thirty minutes. The students loved their important job of helping take care of their teacher, and I got a chance to improve my water habits.
Of course, not all jobs come with tiny personal assistants, but there are tons of applications that can serve the same purpose. Many fitness trackers now come with water reminders along with their movement reminders. You can also set timers on your phone to go off and remind you to take a drink.
This Reader's Digest video discusses the importance of drinking enough water for your entire body.
Step #2: Moisturize
If you are just noticing the beginnings of wrinkles under your eyes, you may be surprised what adding a little extra moisture can do for your eyes. Instead of spending money on expensive creams, there are many home remedies that are proven to help moisturize the eye area and help smooth out wrinkles.
This solution has been around since what feels like the beginning of time. But this tried and true method is a go-to for anyone looking for natural skin solutions. A slice of cucumber chilled in the fridge for 30 minutes place under each eye will reduce any puffiness and add much needed moisture to the delicate skin under your eyes. For my visual learners, this tutorial shows you how to use cucumbers under your eyes.
Coconut oil is all over the internet as a popular DIY beauty product. This oil is full of healthy fats that help your skin look supple while delivering intense moisturization. You can simply take a small amount of virgin coconut oil and rub it on the skin under your eyes. You can leave it on until it is full absorbed into your skin. If you wear makeup or other products during the day, you may want to apply this at night before bed. If you prefer a cream, you can make your own coconut oil eye cream by following the steps in this video.
Honey and Ginger
Honey and ginger have long been praised as popular natural health staples. Most may assume these two ingredients just make a great tea, but the truth is you can use them as a 10-minute eye treatment a few times a week for great results. Simply take one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of ginger extract (you can also use mashed ginger if you prefer), mix them together and apply a small amount using your fingers under each eye. Rinse off completely after ten minutes and enjoy brighter eyes with each use! This video shows you how easy it is to use ginger and honey on your eye wrinkles.
Step #3: Tone and Tighten
Once moisture has been restored to your skin, you can begin toning and tightening the skin gently to help smooth out any remaining wrinkles and help prevent new ones from forming.
While you can use store-bought toners, rose water makes an excellent natural toner that will add a little moisture to your skin while toning and preventing the skin from loosening further. Simply dab the water with a cotton ball and pat onto the skin around your eyes. Within a few weeks of use, you will start to notice your skin lifting and tightening.
Egg whites are very effective for tightening skin due to the different proteins found in eggs. Take a fingertip of whipped, raw egg whites and smooth it over your eye area. Leave on for 30 minutes and then carefully wash with cool water. This video shows you how to use egg whites under your eyes. Be gentle when washing the solution off as the eggs can pull the skin pretty tight as they dry and the skin under your eyes is incredibly thin.
You won't want to accidentally get this into your eyes, but carefully applying a small amount of lemon juice to your skin will help remove dark circles while tightening and toning skin. Your eyes will look brighter and tighter with just a few weeks of use.
There are lots of combinations you can use with lemon described here if you love lemon based beauty solutions!
Store bought products
If you do choose to use store-bought products, there are a few steps to follow to make sure you are making the right decisions for your skin. These steps are inspired by this Elle magazine article.
If you like DIY and natural solutions like I do, you should check out this video on making your own wrinkle cream at home that you can use on your eyes. Homemade creams use a lot of the ingredients discussed above, and once you get comfortable, you can experiment with new combinations that you like.
Some women opt for more drastic measures to deal with their wrinkles. If this is something you are considering, it is worth a conversation with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. They can help you make your decision and prepare you for the procedure. This website is also a great source to start with to educate yourself before your appointment. Here are some of the most popular surgical treatments for wrinkles:
Final thoughts on getting rid of eye wrinkles
One of the most frustrating parts of aging is skin aging. The skin under our eyes is usually the first to weaken and start to wrinkle. Luckily, you can help slow this process and improve the look of your eyes by following the steps I have described for you above. These natural remedies are affordable and easy to add into your daily routine.
I have included several options for moisturizing and toning due to the subtle differences in everyone's skin and personal preferences. Feel free to try each one until you find the one you like the best. The key to a successful skincare routine is consistency. Making your skin a priority will help ensure that your eyes start to look better than ever sooner than you think.
So many people try to lose weight, and so many people fail. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The truth of the matter is that, when you do the right things, losing weight is fairly easy. Of course, it is going to take some work. You certainly won’t lose weight by sitting on the couch and eating the same old junk time and time again.
There are a number of steps which must be followed in order for you to rev up your metabolism and cut those pesky calories. It’s an absolute certainty: if you follow these steps, you will see weight loss results.
1. Reduce Your Carb Consumption
The first step to boosting your metabolism and burning more calories is reducing the amount of carbs you consume. While carbs are necessary, consuming too many carbs results in increased insulin levels, increasing the amount of fat storage hormone in your body.Carb-heavy foods such as white bread and refined grains are stuffed with unnecessary amounts of sugars and starches. If you cut out these sugars and starches, you will be forcing your body to use your fat stores as energy. This will help to burn off these fat storage areas, resulting in a faster metabolism, and assisting in the burning of calories.The recommended daily allowance of carbs for a person who consumes 2,000 calories a day is 130 grams. For weight loss purposes, it is recommended that between 40% and 45% of your total calories come from carbs. Try not to fall below this, as carbs are necessary for health brain and liver function.
2. Get Plenty of Protein
In addition to being necessary for muscle growth, protein has also been proven to increase the speed of your metabolism. Due to its thermic effect, around 25 to 30% of all calories from protein get burnt in the process of being digested. This means that, while it’s promoting muscle growth, protein is also promoting weight loss.Protein also helps to speed up your metabolism by reducing overall insulin levels. So, by cutting carbs, and adding protein, you will be working to reduce insulin levels in your body. This reduces the need for fat storage, making energy out of the fat that is already stored in your body.Protein is found in meats such as chicken breasts, steak, and a variety of other lean eats. It’s also found in dairy products such as milk and yogurt. Additional protein can be found in peanuts, fish, brussel sprouts, and a variety of other foods. It’s recommended that you consume between 0.60 grams and 1.2 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
3. Don’t Leave Out Vegetables
While you should be eating plenty of veggies anyways, if you’re looking to lose weight fast, increasing your vegetable intake can help. This is so for a number of different reasons. One of the reasons vegetables help you to lose weight is that they are extremely filling. Because they are rich in fiber and water, vegetables are great for giving you that feeling of fullness. The fiber in vegetables is also great for giving you a shot of energy when you so need it. When you’ve got energy, you’ll be less likely to eat. Instead of eating processed junk foods for snacks, have some broccoli or cauliflower instead. In addition to the numerous health benefits offered by vegetables, they will also help to speed up your metabolism and allow you to lose weight more quickly.
4. Drink Tons of Water
It is rare that you come across someone who consumes enough water. The truth of the matter is that the majority of human beings are perpetually dehydrated. But water is important for more than just hydration. It also helps to speed up your metabolism and burn calories.Studies have shown that drinking enough water alone can result in weight loss of around 4 pounds in one year. In addition to this, water also does a superb job of holding you over between meals. This prevents you from overindulging in empty calories.It’s recommended that you consume at least 2 liters of water a day. If you’re working out and sweating frequently, this total will have to be increased.
5. Count Your Calories
One thing that people often fail to do when trying to lose weight is count the amount of calories that they consume daily. In order to lose weight, you must burn off more calories than you take in. It’s important figure out your amount of maintenance calories in order to understand how many calories you need to stay at the same weight.In order to lose weight, you must eat less calories than your maintenance calorie level. You can figure out your maintenance level by using a calorie calculator. After you’ve figured your maintenance calorie level, it’s your responsibility to count your calories throughout the day to ensure that you stay under that level.
6. Utilize a Cheat Day
It’s important that you have a healthy and nutritious diet . . . most of the time. However, to spur on calorie burning, and to keep yourself mentally sane, you should indulge in a cheat day every once in awhile. I recommend taking a cheat day every other week.A cheat day involves eating essentially whatever you want for an entire day. This isn’t to say that you should go way overboard. But it’s a great time to have some cookies, pizza, cake, and other foods of those sorts. It will go a long way in keeping you sated, and motivating you to continue with your diet.It should also be noted that cheat days serve biological calorie-burning purposes. By eating more calories and intaking more carbs, you are telling your body that it’s alright to keep working at maximum capacity.
7. Don’t Miss Out on Sleep
You may not realize it, but sleep actually has a huge effect on your metabolism, and the amount of weight you can lose. This is true for two basic reasons.The first reason is that, when you’re tired, you tend to indulge in more unhealthy, calorie-ridden foods. This will clearly cause you to gain more weight. The other reason is that, when you’re sleeping, your body burns more calories than when you’re awake. Your metabolism truly kicks into overdrive when your body is resting.If you want to lose weight consistently, make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
8. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Now that we’ve got the diet and lifestyle steps out of the way, let’s talk about exercise. While exercise is the least important part of the fat burning process, it can still help you to make excellent weight loss progress.The best way to burn calories through exercise is by doing cardio. This involves running, walking at a fast pace, riding a bike, and other things of that nature. Personally, I recommend that you use HIIT, or high intensity interval training.This form of training has been proven to rev up your metabolism, and burn more calories than typical cardio. It involves periods of vigorous exercise, interspersed with periods of light exercise.
9. Try Weight Training
I understand that you might be a little intimidated by the idea of lifting weights. But the truth of the matter is that weight training, or resistance training can go a long way in helping to rev up your metabolism and burn extra calories.When you have more muscle, you burn more fat. That’s a simple fact of biology. Not to mention, the more that your muscles grow, the more that muscle will overtake spots where fat used to be.There are tons of great weight training routines all over the internet. Each different routine serves a different purpose and is appropriate for a different type of person. If you’re looking to get into weight training in order to spur on weight loss, you can start here.
10. Don’t Overtrain
While both cardio and weight training are important, it’s necessary to ensure that you don’t overtrain. Overtraining can sabotage your weight loss progress in a few key ways.One of these ways is due to burnout or injury. If you train every day, you make yourself susceptible to serious exhaustion or lingering injury. Being severely exhausted or nursing a lingering injury will prevent you from going to the gym consistently. Therefore, you won’t be able to burn as many calories and gain as much muscle.The other way that overtraining affects weight loss is biologically. When you overtrain, your brain tells your body that that it needs more calories to function. Because of this, your body will start storing excess calories for future use. These excess calories will be stored as fat, and your weight loss will plateau.I recommend that you train no more than two days consecutively, taking a full day off in between each set of 2 days. Extreme training more than 5 days a week will almost certainly result in weight loss plateaus
By following these 10 steps, you will undoubtedly rev up your metabolism, burn more calories, and lose weight. Do you agree with my 10 steps? Are there any steps you would add to assist in weight loss?I, myself, have seen excellent results from following all of these steps to a tee. It is my hope that, by following these 10 steps, you will see results that are similar to mine. Weight loss is not as difficult as you may think. It requires consistency, dedication, and knowledge. This list is specifically designed to put you on the track to supreme weight loss.
Apple cider vinegar is much more than just a flavorful ingredient in salad dressings and pickles. Folk medicine traditions have long maintained that a wide range of health conditions can be affected by drinking apple cider vinegar. Do these traditional uses for the fermented apple product hold any scientific weight?
A growing body of evidence suggests that they do. Here are 10 health uses for apple cider vinegar that you may not have been aware of. Most of these health benefits come from drinking apple cider vinegar, but a few of them have to do with topical uses.
Apple cider vinegar contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, and folic acid. Vitamin B1, writes Melodie Anne, is needed for metabolizing food. B1 is also known as thiamine. Thiamine also helps regulate the appetite, prevent you from overeating, build nerve cells, and keep the heart and nervous system functioning properly.
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is needed for the development and function of the blood cells, the lining of the digestive tract, and the skin. B6, also called pyridoxine, is required for building healthy red blood cells, nerves, and skin.
B6 deficiency can cause cracked, scaly lips, increased feelings of depression and confusion, and a lowered ability to fight off infections. Most people get enough B1 in their diets, but those who suffer from certain chronic conditions can experience fatigue, weakness, and eventually brain damage from the lack of sufficient B1. Americans typically get enough riboflavin in their diets as well, but without enough riboflavin, nervous system and liver damage can result.
Folic acid, another of the B vitamins, is essential for both metabolism and cell growth. Most Americans don’t get enough folic acids from their diets. For those who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, folic acid is important for reducing the potential for the serious birth defects anencephaly and spina bifida. The vitamin can also reduce the risks of premature labor and preeclampsia during pregnancy. People suffering from anemia must also be sure to get enough folic acid.
The pectin in the raw, unfiltered type of apple cider vinegar is a form of dietary fiber. Drinking vinegar with dietary fiber helps keep the digestive system from absorbing all of the cholesterol in foods. Evidence from animal studies show that the acetic acid found in vinegar can also lower total serum cholesterol and specifically LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. (Source)
In general, we want a high “good” cholesterol, or HDL, number because this is the substance that carries “bad” cholesterol in the food we eat to the liver, which then helps rid the body of it. A high level of LDL or “bad” cholesterol and a low level of HDL cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. We need some cholesterol in our bodies, since it is a building block of every kind of cell in the human body, but too much LDL cholesterol can build up in what are called “plaques” in the arteries. These plaques cause hardening of the arteries, and if they break off and enter the bloodstream then they can lead to blood clots, which in turn cause heart attacks and strokes by blocking off blood vessels and keeping blood from reaching the heart and the brain.
Not all apple cider vinegars are the same. According to Elizabeth Brown, apple cider vinegar is made by first fermenting apple juice, then adding a substance called “mother of vinegar.” This glue-like mass is a combination of probiotic yeasts and bacteria. The difference between filtered and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is that the unfiltered variety has some of the mother of vinegar left behind.
It’s perfectly safe to drink this vinegar, which gives the vinegar a cloudy or cobweb-like appearance. For those who prefer not to drink this probiotic substance, it can be strained out of the vinegar bottle with a coffee filter. However, many of the nutritional benefits of drinking apple cider vinegar are lost by drinking the clear, filtered variety. The “good” bacteria in mother of vinegar can help with digestive issues and boost the immune system as well as helping to lower cholesterol. Probiotics help the immune system by destroying some of the infection-causing microorganisms that live in the gut.
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is needed for bone and tissue growth and repair. It also plays a role in regulating blood pressure. Adults need 75 to 90 mg per day, except during pregnancy and breastfeeding, when the recommended daily allowance goes up to 80 to 120 mg per day. Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is needed for bone and tissue growth and repair. It also plays a role in regulating blood pressure. Adults need 75 to 90 mg per day, except during pregnancy and breastfeeding, when the recommended daily allowance goes up to 80 to 120 mg per day.
Taking more than the recommended amount of vitamin C is no longer thought to have any significant health benefits, but it is important to get enough vitamin C. Unfortunately, most Americans are not getting enough dietary vitamin C from eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and dietary vitamin C is thought to be better for the body than vitamin C in supplement form. Drinking apple cider vinegar is an easy way to get more dietary vitamin C.
Allan Bethea writes that a 2010 study in the health journal Diabetes Care reported men with type 2 diabetes who were given a placebo had 20% higher blood sugar levels than men in the same study who were given a solution of water and vinegar. Another study looked at two groups who drank vinegar, one with a high-sugar meal and the other group with a low-sugar meal. Both groups had reduced blood sugar levels compared to a control group that did not drink vinegar, but the blood sugar level reduction of the group that ate the high-sugar meal was more significant.
Apple cider vinegar may help reduce blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of starch into the bloodstream. It has little to no effect on meals that don’t contain starches. The strongest effect was seen in people who are pre-diabetic, which means they are at high risk for developing diabetes but do not yet have the disease. People who have diabetes or are concerned about high or low blood sugar should consult with a health care provider if planning to add an apple cider vinegar supplement to their diets. (Source)
Research into how apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss is still ongoing. Allan Bethea reports that some researchers speculate the acetic acid in the vinegar helps slow down the absorption of fat from meals eaten.
A 12-week study done in Japan gave one group apple cider vinegar every day; the control group was given water. The group that was given vinegar lost more weight than the group that was given water. Subjects who took vinegar every day also had lower triglycerides (a measure of the amount of fat in the bloodstream), less belly fat, a lower Body Mass Index (BMI), and small waist measurements compared to the group who drank only water. (Source)
Antioxidants called polyphenols are found in apple cider vinegar. Gianna Rose writes that polyphenols are being studied for their possible cancer-preventing effects, as well as potential effects on heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
The polyphenol ellagic acid, which is found in dark red berries, has been shown in laboratory studies to prevent bladder, breast, esophageal, lung, and skin cancers. Polyphenols found in garlic, grape juice, and green tea are also being investigated for their possible cancer prevention properties.
Researchers also think polyphenols reduce inflammation in the body, which is partly responsible for the positive health benefits of drinking red wine in moderation. Excessive inflammation in the body is associated with allergies, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, hardening of the arteries, and heart disease. These same substances may also help with reducing the buildup of fats in blood vessels and increasing the body’s HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Even if the evidence for weight loss related to drinking apple cider vinegar is still coming in, other evidence suggests it can at least help one maintain one’s current weight. For one thing, it has no calories. Apple cider vinegar can be added to any meal and drunk without adding any additional calories to one’s diet. Besides possible effects on helping individuals lose weight, apple cider vinegar also will not contribute to weight gain.
A 2005 study reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association suggested that vinegar can help people maintain their current weight by eating fewer calories. The study, conducted on female volunteers, showed that woman who drank apple cider vinegar with their morning meals ate less during the day than women who weren’t asked to drink vinegar, according to Elizabeth Brown.
Non-filtered, organic apple cider vinegar can be used as an ingredient in a sea salt facial scrub. Dolan combines an eighth of a cup of coarse sea salt (she notes that this is not the same as common table salt), a “drizzle” of apple cider vinegar, and two tablespoons of chopped fresh mint leaves to make a facial scrub that exfoliates dead skin, oils, and contaminants from the face. She writes that the vinegar acts as the astringent, which causes tissues to shrink, helping prevent excessive oils and sweating. Astringents also help relieve itching and inflammation of the skin and have a mild antiseptic (i.e. germ-killing) effect. It should be noted that Dolan is author of Naturally Skinsational: Rejuvenating Skin Care Recipes.(Source)
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that results from unusual activity in the immune system. Flare-ups take the form of clusters of skin cells that grow much faster than normal, appearing on the surface of the skin as areas of red skin with flaky, whitish or silverish patches. Flare-ups can range from mildly itchy to intensely painful and are liable to crack and bleed. Although there is no known cure for this condition, it can be treated topically.
When lesions appear on the scalp, psoriasis can be treated with apple cider vinegar. Those who suffer from this condition can either use full-strength apple cider vinegar or dilute it with water, then use it like a shampoo, massaging it into the scalp and hair. It’s important to rinse after doing so to avoid any possible irritation from the acidity in the vinegar if it stays on the head. However, this home remedy should be avoided if any patches on the scalp are cracked and/or bleeding, as this will cause a burning sensation. (Source)
Gargling with apple cider vinegar has long been used as a home remedy for a sore throat, and this is effective for some people. Because of its strong taste, the vinegar is often mixed with honey, diluted with water, or both. Heating it up slightly (not so hot that it could cause burns, of course) is especially soothing to some people. While evidence does not suggest that gargling with apple cider vinegar or drinking it will do anything to prevent, delay the onset of, or shorten the length of the common cold or other viral infection, it does temporarily relieve sore throat pain.(Source)
If you decide to drink apple cider vinegar as a health supplement, be aware that there are a few risks associated with this practice. The acidity of vinegar can be damaging to tooth enamel and can also be irritating to the stomach. It can also lower the level of potassium in the body, which can potentially cause problems if the level gets too low. For these reasons, people sometimes take their apple cider vinegar in a diluted solution, with one serving of apple cider vinegar (about an ounce) mixed into eight ounces or more of water.