Ways to Speed Up Cell Rejuvenation!

Each year more biological systems move into the slow lane. Jeans feel a little tighter as you naturally start burning fewer calories, and your skin may become sallow (or—eek!—saggy) when its metabolism turns sluggish. You see, the skin’s metabolic rate measures how fast your cells talk to one another, respond, and take action. When functioning efficiently, skin cells self-exfoliate, UV damage gets repaired, and collagen is produced, explains cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer. But with age and exposure to external aggressors (like smoke and sunlight), that system starts to break down, resulting in slower cell communication—and dullness, dark spots, and wrinkles. But the right habits, products, and lifestyle choices can keep your skin’s metabolism stoked, so you look younger.

1. Keep Cells Talking
When the connection between your skin cells fails, it’s as if they’re saying “Can you hear me now?” Smear on the right ingredients and you can start the conversation again.

In the morning: Glycans, sugar molecules found naturally in the body, play a key role in cellular communication, says Anthony Potin, a cosmetic engineer and assistant vice president of the skin-care and sun-care labs at L’Oreal Paris. If skin cells were doors, glycans would be the keys, unlocking the cells so they can receive messages to complete their basic functions. L’Oreal Paris discovered that both the quality and quantity of glycans diminish with age, but applying them topically can improve cell turnover and production. The result? Fewer lines, more radiance.

At night: “Retinoids stimulate circulation and increase cell growth, which speeds up the skin’s regeneration process and ultimately its metabolism,” says David Bank, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Skin will be smoother, firmer, and more even-toned. Before bed, rub on a pea-size amount.

2. Kick Your Butts
Know why smoking causes wrinkles and sallow, saggy skin? Lighting up damages your mitochondria, the workhorses of cells, and this has devastating effects on cellular chatter and metabolism. “Smoking inhibits communication that’s normal and good, and sends out signals to break down existing collagen, which causes wrinkles,” says Jeannette Graf, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Even the occasional smoke reduces blood flow to the skin, which is enough to slow its metabolism. The good news: Once you quit smoking, cells start the repair process immediately.

First up? “Blood circulation to skin improves and so does skin color,” says Graf.

3. Fight Free Radicals
These molecules from the sun and pollution are like kryptonite to your skin’s metabolism. “Free radicals damage DNA—and it’s our DNA that dictates how our cells function,” says Graf. She suggests using a triple threat: a sunscreen that contains SPF 30 and UVA absorbers (such as zinc oxide or avobenzone) to protect against free radicals; antioxidants (such as vitamin C or E) to neutralize the ones that get through; and DNA-repairing enzymes (derived from algae or plankton) to help fix existing cell damage, which helps skin cells do their jobs more efficiently.

4. Put Up a Front
Your skin’s outer barrier functions as a bouncer: Its job is to make sure the party inside (in this case, your skin’s metabolism) isn’t disrupted. To fortify yours, try five-minute showers. “Prolonged exposure to water wears away the skin’s lipid barrier to the point that your skin isn’t able to defend itself against damaging irritants and UV light,” says Graf. She also suggests sudsing up with gentle pH-balanced facial and body cleansers. Your skin’s barrier is strongest when it has a somewhat acidic pH of 5.4, says Graf. Harsh soaps with a high, more alkaline pH will raise the skin’s pH, leaving it dry and more vulnerable.

Fruit Juice Cleanse: Good or Bad?

 

Thinking of signing up for a fruit juice cleanse? You might first consider how your body reacts to a week with no protein or fat and fewer than 1,000 calories a day.

After the first sip
Your brain’s hunger signals are answered with a dump of pure fruit-juice sugar. And don’t get any ideas—veggie-based body cleanses aren’t any healthier.

The sweet stuff prompts the pancreas to squirt out insulin, which moves sugar—now in your blood in the form of glucose—into your cells.

After 30 minutes
As your cells suck up the glucose, your blood sugar level can start to plummet and you may feel dizzy.

Meanwhile, lacking enough calories, your body is operating off its supply of glycogen, a form of short-term energy stored in the liver and muscles.

After two days
With each shot of juice, your insulin levels skyrocket, then crash. Your glycogen stores are pretty much gone, leaving your tank on empty—and you feeling weak and listless.

Since you’re getting only about half the calories you need, your body draws on two long-term power sources: triglycerides, a type of energy stored in fat cells (woo-hoo!), and protein, taken straight from your muscles (oops). You begin to lose muscle mass, even if you’re still exercising every day.

After three days
Your brain is not happy. It enters into semi-starvation mode and gobbles ketones, fuel that comes from the breakdown of fat. Ketones work, but they’re like low-grade gasoline; as a result, you may feel unfocused or irritable. (Any “mental clarity” is likely due to a strong placebo effect.)

Sans a fresh protein infusion, your brain is also lacking amino acids, the raw materials that neurotransmitters need to maintain your mood. If you’re prone to depression, you may start feeling blue.

The proteins in your shrinking muscles break down into ammonia and uric acid, unwelcome chemicals that invade your bloodstream. Now your kidneys are busy detoxing your detox.

Stay near the bathroom: The juice’s high carbohydrate load causes a surfeit of water to enter the intestines. That extra H2O in your gut means you’re apt to get diarrhea.

After four days
With no food to digest, your small intestine feels ignored. Its villi—the rows of tiny fibers that move food elements into the blood—start to atrophy. Your diarrhea may get worse, leading to dehydration… and there goes your rosy glow.

On the eighth day
Solid food! But uh-oh—you’ve lost muscle. Even if you go back to your regular eating habits, you now have less muscle mass to burn those calories; instead, the calories are more likely to be turned into fat. (Hence, one reason yo-yo dieting makes it harder to lose weight: Your reduced muscle-to-fat ratio messes up your metabolism and makes calories much harder to work off.)

Sources: Eric Ravussin, Ph.D., Nutrition Obesity Research Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center; Timothy D. Brewerton, M.D., Medical University of South Carolina; Leslie P. Schilling, R.D., Schilling Nutrition Therapy; Lona Sandon, R.D., and Jo Ann S. Carson, Ph.D., R.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Clean Your Makeup Brushes Naturally!

Did you know that 65.8% of you never clean your makeup brushes? This is a statistic I found in my brain, where I make things up that sound authoritative. But I bet I’m not far off.

It’s okay. Until I discovered this method of brush-cleaning, I never cleaned mine either.

Why would you want to? You’re just going to get them dirty again right away. Right? (That’s how I look at my kitchen sometimes …)

You need to clean your makeup brushes in order to get rid of ALL of the dirt, dead skin cells, and bacteria that accumulate on them after regular use. This is especially important for those of you who have oily skin or acne. Keep those brushes clean, or suffer the pimply consequences.

Fortunately, it’s really, really easy to clean them – and it is taking you longer to read this post than it will take you to actually do it. So no excuses. What are you waiting for?

Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes Naturally – Step One

First, before you get started, you’ll want to gather everything you need.

  • Dirty makeup brushes
  • Olive oil (the real extra-virgin kind is best)
  • Liquid castille soap
  • Vinegar
  • Two very small bowls
  • A washcloth (or a paper towel)

The first thing you’re going to work with is the olive oil. Pour a tiny bit onto your washcloth (or paper towel) – no more than half a teaspoon should do it.

 

 

You’re doing this to “preclean” the brush, but also to condition the fibers on the bristles. This step isn’t quite as necessary if you use synthetic makeup brushes, but it’s still fun. So do it anyway!

All you do is just dab the bristles into the olive oil and then swipe the brush (pressing gently) on your towel several times – mainly until you feel like it’s mostly clean. (By the way, it is not. Not yet. No matter how clean it looks).

Throughout your makeup brush washing experience, try to avoid the “stem” where the bristles are attached to the brush handle. It’s not a huge deal if you get water up in there, but try to avoid it as much as possible, as too much exposure to the cleaners might loosen the bristles from the attachment, which is probably glue.

Step 2: Mix Together Warm Water and Castile Soap In a Small Bowl, and Wash Your Makeup Brush In It

Most other makeup brush cleaning tutorials suggest you use baby shampoo to wash your makeup brushes, but I’m going to guess very few of you actually have baby shampoo in your house. If you do, you can use it, but castille is far superior (mainly for it’s totally natural state).

Just pour about a teaspoon of liquid castille into a small bowl and add a bit of warm water.

 

 

Rub your fingers around in the bristles (remember, try to avoid the “stem”) while holding the brush in the soapy water. Squeeze it out and do this a few times.

Soon, your water will be full of somewhat icky color, which will teach you to think that using olive oil alone was enough to clean your brushes.

Once you feel like you’ve gotten all of the makeup out of your brush, you can move on to the next step.

Step 3: Dip Your Makeup Brush in Vinegar and Then Rinse Well With Hot Water

This vinegar step is optional, but I like to do it this way because it really makes sure all of the olive oil is out of your brush, as well as super cleaning, and super antibacterializing, the bristles.

If, for some reason, you don’t have distilled vinegar, you can skip that part and move straight on to rinsing.

 

 

As you dip it in the vinegar, squeeze it out a couple of times just to make sure all the makeup is out of the brush. You’ll be able to tell by the clarity of the vinegar in the bowl. Even if there’s a little left, it’s okay, because you’re about to rinse it in hot water.

Just hold the brush under the running water for a few seconds, squeeze, rinse again – and repeat if you enjoy what you’re doing. Otherwise, just turn off the faucet. No one will know.

Then dry it a bit on a clean towel and shape it back into the makeup brush shape of your choice.

Let that baby air dry for a while, and you have a fresh, clean makeup brush.

 

 

Now Be Honest …

… how often do YOU clean your makeup brushes?

If your answer is “often,” you get a fancy trophy that exists only in your imagination. But you should also share YOUR favorite technique for washing your makeup brushes.

How do you do it?

 

 

 

 

 

A bit about Make Up Brushes!

Goat Hair: This is very common in makeup brushes and usually distributes powder evenly. It is most effective to pick up powder and deposit it evenly and smoothly. It also brings lustre to your skin naturally and is perfect for buffing and blending. Can be a little coarse.

Pony Hair: is similar to goat hair. They do not come out to a point, which makes them great for cheeks, bronzer and blending. It is fine and soft.

Squirrel Hair: This is ideal for conical shaped brushes and usually is thicker in the middle of the brush, then comes to a point at the top. It is the softest, natural hair used in makeup brushes. They are usually more expensive but a great investment because of their durability. Best for heavy pigmented and blending eye shadows.

Sable Brushes: Hair is usually from mink (Russia & China). There are three types: Kolinsky (highest quality), Red Sable, and Sable. These brushes can last a lifetime as they are resilient, soft, durable and good for wet products. They have fine pointed tips and thick middles. Great for eye shadows.

If you are not into Natural Brushes and want to go faux, Synthetic Brushes are available. made from nylon or talon and less expensive. They still give you a smooth even application but has a harder time holding makeup in the brush because it lacks a cuticle. They are great for liquid foundation, concealer, cream shadows, cream eyeliners, and cream blush. The only disadvantage about going faux is that over time synthetic brushes become stiff and are less durable.

The brush you use can be the difference between the perfect smokey eye, or having a beauty disaster! So save yourself the trouble and make the choice that’s right for you and your wallet 🙂