Beauty High

You Have to See the Beauty Refreshers Hiding In Your Fridge

By Aly Walansky, Beauty High

If you need to freshen up your beauty routine, the answer may be waiting right in your kitchen. Many of the contents of our refrigerators are promising starts to a whole new skin care regime. Before you make your next fruit salad, take note of these skin refreshers!

Aloe vera
Aloe vera has long been used as a natural anti-inflammatory and to effectively reduce pain and peeling of sunburned skin. If you have aloe juice, add to a spray bottle and refresh you skin, says Rianna Loving, esthetician, natural skincare expert and founder of Orgo Beauty. Or add a piece of the plant to a bottle with filtered water and create you own infusion in a spray bottle.

Papaya
Papaya’s enzymes act as an exfoliant, by removing dead skin cells and breaking down inactive proteins, says Dr. Jennifer Lee, M.D., of REN Dermatology in Franklin, Tennessee. Papaya can also help even out skin discoloration. Use a mashed papaya as a mild peel. Hint: For an even more effective exfoliant, activate the enzymes with steam.

MORE: 50 Brilliant Beauty Uses for Common Household Items

Pomegranate
Pomegranate are helpful for oily skin and acne, while the seeds are great exfoliators when ground up and put in masques and scrubs. One pomegranate can supply 40 percent of our daily requirement of vitamin C. “Pomegranates contain acids that are great for preventing the breakdown of collagen fibers, while pomegranate seed oil speeds skin cell turnover and strengthens the skin,” says skin care expert Celeste Hilling of Skin Authority.

Bananas
Bananas contain vitamins A, B, C, and E, and also have minerals like potassium, zinc, iron, and manganese, making them a natural moisturizer for your skin. The vitamin C in bananas also contributes to a healthy and youthful glow of the skin, says Dr. Lee. Mix mashed-up bananas with honey and/or yogurt to make a mask that is perfect for post-sun skin care, or a tired and dull complexion.

Avocados
Avocados contain the good kind of fat, as well as more than 25 vital nutrients. Vitamins, such as the vitamin A found in avocados, cleanse the skin of dead skin cells and help protect against harmful environmental factors, Dr. Lee says. They also contain antioxidants that reduce toxins and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. For softer, younger-looking, more hydrated skin, try making a mask by mashing up avocado with honey and lemon.

MORE: 10 Crazy (But Effective!) Hot Weather Beauty Hacks Every Girl Needs

Pumpkin
Pumpkin is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as in zinc, which helps to exfoliate and soften your skin. The enzymes in the pulp can be used as a light peel.

Blueberries
Blueberries have high levels of vitamins C, B, A and E and are a superfood with the antioxidant anthocyanin, which help neutralize free radicals. With this powerful combination, blueberries are beneficial anti-aging ingredient for skin, says Loving. Add sliced berries to water or aloe juice and create a refresher spray or add to yogurt to create a calming mask.

Cucumbers
Naturally hydrating and moisturizing to the skin, making them a great home remedy for sunburn by cooling and reducing the itching and inflammation. Cucumbers are also powerful antioxidants that help build collagen and elastin, and protect skin cells from the damaging effects of the sun, says Loving. You can also create a hydrating mask by applying refrigerated, thinly sliced cucumbers to the entire face and eyes. Leave on for 10-15 minutes after the moisture is absorbed into the face.

MORE: 10 Weird Beauty Tricks That Really Work

Coffee
Caffeine is great for reducing cellulite and improving circulation, plus reducing swelling, says Loving. Add ground coffee as an eye treatment by creating a paste and apply it under eyes for three minutes and rinsing off. Or you can combine with sugar and coconut oil or olive oil to make an exfoliating body scrub. Apply this in your shower and rinse off.

Corn Starch or Baking Soda
Both of these items absorb oil and odor and can be used as a dry shampoo to refresh hair by sprinkling a tiny amount close to you scalp, turning head over, and fluffing the powder out.

Kefir yogurt
Probiotics are currently being studied for their affects on acne. The lactic acid also acts as a mild exfoliating agent and is calming to the skin. Add a squeeze of lemon for extra exfoliation similar to a mild peel, says Allison Santhouse of Manhattan Center for Dermatology.

Green tea
Brew fresh green tea leaves, soak washcloths in the brewed tea and place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Green tea has anti inflammatory affects and anti-aging affects to combat photo aging, says Santhouse.

Honey and egg whites
Mix sea salt, raw honey and egg whites for a soothing body scrub.

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Image via Getty

Gross Gym Habits That Are Ruining Your Skin

by Aly Walansky, Beauty High

Going to the gym is a great habit for your health and wellness. However, you just may be making some pretty gross skin care faux pas while you’re at it! If you’ve grown accustomed to any of the below bad habits, you may want to rethink things.

Dehydration
When you exercise, your skin loses water due to evaporation, leaving the skin dehydrated, says celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau. Dehydrated skin increases surface lines and causes skin cells to die prematurely, leading to premature aging as well as dead skin cell build up causing the pores to clog. Using a lightweight moisturizer will help to retain the water in the skin. If you are exercising outdoors, try to use a very light moisturizer with a sunscreen.

MORE: 5 Workout Philosophies That Do More Harm Than Good

Not pulling your hair back
Hair should always be pulled back from your face, not only because of sweat, but because of your hair products, too! If you are seeing breakouts on your forehead or hairline, mousses, gels, or other hair products could be to blame.

…but be careful HOW you pull it back
Headbands, hats, or bandanas across the forehead are not recommended as they can cause a backup of oil and perspiration in the pores, says Rouleau. This results in little clogged bumps or break outs. If your skin is not prone to breakouts, this may not be an issue for you. If you find that you’re getting clogged pores, try to keep your headband or bandana further back in your hairline, but not directly across the forehead.

Not wearing gloves while you work out
They protect your skin from getting injured by handles and barbells. But also, says Michael Lin, MD, a dermatologist and founder of Dr. Lin Skincare, they prevent the transmission of bacteria and viruses like warts and staphylococcus bacteria, which can cause impetigo. Impetigo is a common skin infection that can be easily transmitted at the gym and result in blisters and sores. If you choose not to wear gloves during a work-out, disinfect your equipment with a wipe or spray.

Touching your face…
Avoid touching your face during workouts especially if you are using cardio or weight machines, Rouleau says. The machines do breed bacteria, so it is best to keep your hands off of your skin. You don’t want to introduce bacteria to the skin, this can possibly result in new break outs, or the spreading of existing break outs. Always wash your hands after working out.

MORE: 10 Workout Motivation Tricks That Really Work

Not washing your face
You know this. But it’s actually more important to wash your skin after than before working out since oils, bacteria, and sweat have accumulated on the skin, says Rouleau. If you are wearing a heavy foundation it’s good to wash your skin with a mild, non-drying cleanser, followed by an alcohol-free toner and lightweight oil-free lotion.

Post-workout, always wash your face and moisturize. When you exercise, sweat combined with increased oil production can cause problems for the skin so it’s always recommended to wash immediately afterwards with a mild sulfate-free gel cleanser to remove dirt, oil and bacteria.

Not wearing flip flops in those gym showers
Obviously, you’ll want to shower after you work out, especially if you sweat a ton. No one wants smell you or workout on you! Also, if sweat builds up on your skin, it will clog your pores not allowing your skin to breathe. And, if you have a cut or skin abrasion, sweat can trapped in there and can cause an infection. Bathing after exercise is especially important for swimmers as chlorine can damage your skin and hair and should be immediately rinsed off in a warm shower.

Dangers exist in that shower, though. You won’t believe what circulates on the floor of public showers — it’s not only sweat, but there are also various strains of mold, algae and fungi that grow in moist environments and/or carried on the bottom of people’s feet. And, whether on purpose or not, some people do pee in the shower! “Consider that people come in from the street wearing their shoes right into the locker room and the locker room leads to the shower, bringing in the outdoor contaminants which eventually make their way onto the public shower floor. To avoid being exposed to these elements and therefore getting a foot fungus or viral plantar warts, it’s best to wear waterproof shoes while in a public shower After the shower, dry your feet thoroughly with a clean towel, even in between your toes,” says Dr. David Bank, a dermatologist, and author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age and Founder and Director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, New York. After you’ve cleaned and dried your feet, lay a clean towel on the floor to stand on while dressing so you you don’t defeat everything you have just done to keep your feet clean!

Not washing workout gear (clothing or towels) after working out in them
Bacteria and fungus love damp clothing so workout clothing that is not washed after each use (especially if you sweat excessively) is an ideal place for them. First, you should hang up your wet workout gear to hang dry as soon as possible. This not only helps to eliminate the odor, but it also helps reduce the risk of mildew, says Dr. Bank.

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5 Workout Philosophies That Do More Harm Than Good
10 Workout Motivation Tricks That Really Work
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Don’t Believe These 14 Myths About Sunscreen

by Aly Walansky, Beauty High

We have all accepted that sun protection is pretty important. That said, many of us are believing some pretty weird things about how and when we should be wearing the necessary product. Avoid ugly burns, peeling, blisters — or worse! — by scrapping these crazy sunscreen myths!

Sunscreen causes cancer. This is not true, but the myth has been around for a long while. It is generally believed that there is no systemic absorption (A.K.A. it is still unproven that sunscreen directly causes cancer in humans) but if you are concerned about the chemical blockers in sunscreens, it’s best to seek out sunscreens with the physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (try Environ® SPF 25; available at DermaConcepts.com), says dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Brauer.

If you don’t bask in the sun, you don’t need sunscreen. Even if you don’t lay in the sun tanning, you still need to apply SPF to exposed areas, says Gabriela Santana-Blackburn, Executive Director of Esthetics and Teacher Training at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture.  We are exposed to rays while driving in our car, walking around, gardening, biking, etc. and protecting our skin during these times is equally important as when we lay out.

MORE: Chemical Free Sunscreen: Our Top Picks for Protecting Your Skin

You are allergic to “all” sunscreen. Some people may be allergic to chemical sun screening agents. For those people, look for chemical-free sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to provide broad spectrum protection, says Brauer.

Sunscreen alone will protect you from the sun.  An article in Science World Report stated that researchers at the Neurosciences Institute, Joint Center of the University Miguel Hernández have found that even if you wear a sunscreen with a 50+ UPF (or Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating you won’t be fully protected from the sun because it only protects against immediate radiation effects, not long-term effects such as melanoma. Wear hats, suchWallaroo Hats, which are made to protect against 97.5% of the sun’s UV rays, or sun-protective clothing. “A standard white cotton t-shirt has a UPF of only 5 (roughly equivalent to a sunscreen with an SPF of 5), meaning that it allows approximately 20% of the sun’s harmful UV rays to pass through the fabric. A fabric’s UPF is affected by the thickness of the fabric, the tightness of the knit/weave, and the color, with darker colors providing more inherent sun-protection. For maximum protection, look for clothing and accessories that are labeled with a UPF rating of 50+, meaning that they block more than 98% of UV rays,” says Summer Kramer, melanoma survivor and founder of SummerSkin sun-protective clothing.

All sunscreen is the same. “It is imperative that you protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA are long UV rays that penetrate deep into the skin causing long lasting damage while UVB rays are shorter and usually cause sunburn and surface skin cancer,” says Brauer. Most products these days do protect against both, but you should make sure the product is labeled broad spectrum. Also, look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as these ingredients sit on top of your skin, forming an almost invisible physical barrier against UV rays.

MORE: Tinted Sunscreen: The Double-Duty Beauty Savior of Summer

You don’t need sunscreen if it’s in your makeup. Relying on SPF in makeup will not provide proper UV protection. It is recommended to apply a sunscreen under makeup every morning because it must adhere to skin in order to provide the best possible protection. It would require layers and layers of makeup to get enough UV protection, says Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, a clinical dermatologist.

Wearing sunscreen means you won’t tan. Sunscreen will help guard against harmful UVA and UVB rays, however it is still possible to get tan while wearing sunscreen. A tan is a actually inflammation in the skin and a way for the body to protect itself, says Thonfeldt. It’s important to reapply to get effective protection against radiation.

Water resistant SPF means it won’t wash off in the pool. There is no such thing as water-proof sunscreen, Thornfeldt says. Consumers want to look for an SPF that is very water resistant, which will last up to a certain amount of time in the water, which is noted on the packaging. The key is to reapply every couple of hours.

Dark skin doesn’t need protection. Although people with light skin are at the most risk to burning, everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, is subject to the damage caused by overexposure to the sun, says Brauer. Even when a sunburn is not visible after a day at the beach, it doesn’t mean that UV rays aren’t harming the skin. In order to maintain long-term skin protection, the proper Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of sunscreen needs to be applied frequently.

MORE: Sunscreen for Your Hair: The Easiest Way to Protect and Hydrate Your Scalp

Sunscreen blocks vitamin D. While some experts regard this statement as true, it only takes a small amount of sun exposure to get a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Most people get their recommended amount of vitamin D from the milk they drink, so this isn’t a legitimate excuse to skip the sunscreen.  People can also get adequate amount of vitamin D from their daily multi vitamins in addition to milk, says Brauer.

You can skip behind their ears and on back of necks. This is especially bad  if you have short hair or wear your hair up often. These areas are exposed and suffer serious sun damage because we forget about them, says Santana-Blackburn. Another often forgotten area is our scalp. Wear a protective hat or apply sunscreen on your part line or everywhere if you have sparse hair. Spray on sunscreen makes this application easier.

It’s okay to use last year’s sunscreen. This is ineffective for skin protection. It is important to look at the expiration date on the bottle — if it is expired, you need to throw it away. If you have left your sunscreen in direct sunlight or high heat it is also a good idea to purchase a new sunscreen. Once the chemicals in the sunscreen start to break down, so does the effectiveness of the sunscreen.

Higher SPF doesn’t actually offer greater protection. Brauer says while we know that sunscreen with a 30 SPF gives you 97% protection against harmful UVB rays, and some experts are still debating whether sunscreen with an SPF higher than 30 actually gives you any more UVB protection. With that said, we also must protect ourselves from UVA rays so it’s very important to make sure your sunscreen is a broad spectrum or UVA and UVB protective sunscreen.

Using the wrong dosage is never a great idea. Most people do not realize that you should apply one ounce of SPF for proper coverage on an average sized adult. So if you buy an 8oz bottle of sunscreen that should last only 8 applications. You also need to reapply sunscreen ever 1-2 hours especially if you are being active and perspiring or are in and out of water.

More From Beauty High:
From Heat Rash to Acne: How to Solve Your Summer Skin Issues
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From Body Scrubs to Hair Treatments: 5 DIY Recipes Using Coffee
by Samantha Freeman, Beauty High

We’ve been drinking coffee for years and always marvel at the way it kickstarts our day. So , why not add some coffee to our beauty products? Any cheap, easy DIY beauty recipe is golden in our eyes, and when you consider the beauty benefits of coffee — antioxidants! exfoliation! — it only makes sense to use the ingredient in a recipe. As a natural exfoliator, coffee helps to slough away dry, dead skin to reveal a real glow. It also can add an extra shine to dull, dried out hair. Most of the ingredients for the recipes below are already in your kitchen, so what are you waiting for?

Face Mask
Adding coffee into a morning face mask will rejuvenate and keep your skin glowing all day long. It’s loaded with antioxidants, which help to eliminate toxins from your skin.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee (or used grinds)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons whole milk,  heavy cream, or yogurt
1 tablespoon honey

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and apply a light coat to face. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Remove with warm wash cloth.

MORE: DIY Face Scrub: It’s Ridiculously Easy

Exfoliating Face Scrub
We all need a good exfoliator, so why not choose one with natural properties to buff all those pesky lines and dry skin? A coffee scrub will help to eliminate dead skin while working with your body’s natural renewal process to produce new skin cells, which creates the glowing effect everyone wants.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons coffee grounds (new, if possible)
1 tablespoon natural oil of your choice: Olive, grape seed, coconut, or almond
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions:
Mix all dry ingredients, then add oil. Based on the kind of scrub consistency you want, add more or less brown sugar. Massage onto your face in gentle, circular motions, then rinse with warm water.

Shiny Hair Treatment
This amazing coffee hair treatment will renew your hair and bring it to a shiny, healthy state. Additionally, the disease fighting antioxidants found in coffee can work for stronger hair follicles that help with hair growth.

Ingredients:
Coffee
Water

Directions:
Prepare strong coffee, then add a bit of water. Let it cool until the mixture is luke warm. Standing in the tub, pour the liquid onto your hair and scalp, then wrap hair with a plastic cap. Sit for 20 minutes. Wash out with warm water.

CelluliteEliminating  Body Scrub
It’s been tried and tested, and while it’s hard to completely eliminate cellulite, this body scrub works particularly well. The properties in coffee have been found to help diminish the look of cellulite and the added benefit of coconut oil in the recipe will keep your skin moisturized and silly smooth.

Ingredients:
1 cup coffee grounds
1/2 cup white or brown sugar
1 cup coconut oil

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. After you’ve washed your body, massage the scrub into wet skin for about 60 seconds per area, where you’re targeting cellulite, then rinse with warm water. Pro Tip: Use a tub stopper in your shower while using this scrub, as you’ll need to remove it from your shower and get rid of the waste in a regular garbage can as opposed to your shower drain, which can become clogged.

MORE: 5 DIY Body Scrub Recipes for Every Skin Care Need

Full Body Scrub
With only four natural ingredients, this full body scrub will make your skin look healthier after the first use. The caffeine in coffee helps to eliminate unwanted oils, making your skin look flawless. The rough texture of the coffee grounds will slough away dead skin, leaving you with amazing, smooth skin.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup ground coffee
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions: 
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. If your coconut oil is solid, gently heat it until it melts, but wait for it to go back to room temperature before adding the other ingredients. This is to make sure that your exfoliants don’t dissolve in the oil! Once mixed, store your scrub in an air-tight container. Use on your entire body for great exfoliation.

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Image via Getty Images

5 DIY Body Scrub Recipes For Every Skin Care Need

By Taylor Post, Beauty High

Salt and sand are great exfoliants, so to those who are spending every day at beach, kudos to you, because your skin is absolutely loving you. For the rest of us who aren’t constantly at the beach during the summer summer, we don’t get a ton of natural exfoliation from the environment, so we need a little extra help. Luckily, a little DIY exfoliating does the trick to getting our skin back to its ultimate smooth state.

The base to almost all natural scrubs is either sugar or salt, as their granular size is perfect for sloughing away dull skin. For extremely rough skin, the more salt the better, but if you’re going for a gentle scrub, try using brown sugar instead. Below, we’ve got 5 DIY body scrub recipes that are easy to make and will do wonders for your skin!

Orange Coconut Scrub  
Rejuvenate your skin with this collagen-boosting scrub. Oranges are rich in vitamin C which is an essential to boost collagen (or as we like to call it, the ingredient of youth). Vitamin C also helps prevent swelling and reduce the look of acne. Coconut oil will moisturize your skin and create a natural glow, so let’s put the two together, shall we?

What You’ll Need: 
1/2 Cup Sea Salt
1/3 Cup Raw Sugar
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
30 Drops of Orange
1 Tbsp. Essential Oil

What to Do:
Fill a jar with the sea salt, adding in the raw sugar on top. Pour in the coconut and essential oils, finishing with the 30 drops of orange juice. Mix together and you’ve got your scrub!

MORE: 5 Easy DIY Face Masks

Whipped Grapefruit Mint Scrub
When grapefruit is applied directly to the skin, the antioxidants fight off fine lines, blemishes, discoloration, and wrinkles, but it’s also great for revitalizing the rest of your body, too! Adding mint into the scrub makes for a natural astringent, leaving your skin feeling cool and refreshed.

What You’ll Need:  
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup White Sugar
Zest of 1 Grapefruit
1 Tbsp.Grapefruit Juice
10 Drops Peppermint Oil
25 Drops Grapefruit Oil
1/4 Tbsp. Beet Juice (Optional-for color)

What to Do:
Mix coconut oil and white sugar in an electric mixer until a thick paste is formed. Add in grapefruit zest, juice, oil, and peppermint, then beat together. Mix on low until the ingredients are blended together, then pour into a jar and store in the fridge.

Lemon Cider Scrub 
Lemon juice is loaded with citric acid and is known as a lightening agent, so if you’ve got dark spots on your body, this is the scrub for you. Plus, lemon removes impurities in your skin. Apple cider vinegar also works as an acne cleanser with it’s antiseptic properties, which is perfect for body acne. With both of these ingredients, your skin will surely be glowing and blemish-free.

What You’ll Need: 
2 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

What to Do:
Pour sugar into your jar or container, then mix in coconut oil and lemon juice. Add honey and apple cider vinegar and mix together for an amazingly fresh body scrub!

Almond and Vanilla Scrub 
Get baby soft skin with this body scrub. Both almond oil and vanilla essence penetrate your skin for long lasting moisture. This scrub will leave your skin healthy and hydrated, not to mention smelling great, too.

What You’ll Need: 
1/2 Cup of Muscovado Sugar
1/2 Cup Oats
1/2 Cup Almond Oil
2 Tsp. Vanilla Essence

What to Do:
Mix sugar and oats together in a jar and add in almond oil. Top off the mixture with vanilla essence, then mix together until thick for a yummy smelling scrub.

MORE: Simple DIY Hair Masks That Naturally Revive Dry Hair

Rose Petal Scrub 
Rose petals contain everything necessary for a good cleanser: they reduce the appearance of acne, release antioxidants, and tone skin. Mixed with moisturizing coconut and almond oil, your skin will look as beautiful as the rose that helped you get there.

What You’ll Need: 
1 Cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Rose Petals
1/2 Cup Raw Sugar
1/2 Cup Almond oil

What to Do:
Pour coconut oil into the jar, then set rose petals on top of the coconut oil and add in sugar. Top it off with almond oil, then let the oils soak into the petals. Next, mix it all together and use the scrub on your skin.


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