Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin: What’s the Difference (And How to Fix Yours)

Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin
As an esthetician, one of the most common questions I receive is, “What is the difference between hydration and moisture in the skin?” This, my skin care enthusiasts, is a very important question! Manufacturers of beauty products make claims on their labels about whether or not their products are hydrating or moisturizing. To ensure that […]

The following post Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin: What’s the Difference (And How to Fix Yours) was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

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Beautiful Voices: Samantha Schroth

Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Samantha Schroth. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty. I am nature lover, avid reader, fan of all animals and aspiring writer. If money was no object what would […]

The following post Beautiful Voices: Samantha Schroth was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

7 Skin Care Routine Changes for Fall

Your morning routine is always the same, wash, hydrate, moisturize but something is feeling a little bit different because within an hour or two your skin feels tight. You wonder if you forgot something. Did you hydrate? Honestly, you probably did your summertime routine perfectly. Remember that your skin is the barrier between the internal […]

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7 Quick and Easy Vegan Desserts

What’s more fun than a yummy dessert? How about a HEALTHY dessert? Most of these recipes are very quick to make, and some could be served as breakfast.

We’re getting the dessert ball rolling with 3 quick puddings, a 2 minute apple-sauce, then moving up to dried fruit balls, an exotic candy and ending your excursion into healthy, pretty quick to make desserts with ice cream.*

Puddings

Who doesn’t like pudding? So quick and easy to make with a heavy-duty blender
(either a Vita-mix or a K-tec/Blendtec)

Banana Papaya (or mango)  Orange Sunset Pudding

Approximate prep time: 5-7 minutes
Serves 1 or 2

Ingredients:

1 banana, peeled and cut in chunks
1 cup peeled seeded papaya

Directions:

Blend until smooth

Variations:
1. Serve with blueberries on top
2. Add 1 Tablespoon of almond butter, blend
3. Add 2 teaspoons tahini, blend

Bananafanna Pudding

Approximate prep time (once nuts are soaked, drained, rinsed, drained): 6 minutes
Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

1 cup cashews, soaked 10-12 hours
1/4-1/2 cup water
1 banana, peeled, cut up

Directions:

Soak cashews overnight, drain, rinse, drain. Place in blender with banana and enough water to make a pudding consistency.

Variation: Pour over 1 cup of fresh strawberries

Avonana Pudding

Approximate prep time:  5 minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana
1/2 ripe avocado
1/4 cup berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
(either fresh or frozen and thawed)

Directions:

Blend banana and 1/2 Avocado. Put in bowl and adorn with berries.

Best Applesauce Ever

If you haven’t tried raw applesauce you are in for a treat!

Approximate prep time: whole apples 5 minutes, peeled cored apples 10-12 minutes
Serves  1

Ingredients:

1-2 whole, organic apples, cut in chunks
Dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Core apples, if using organic, leave the skin on for good fiber and nutrition.
Peel if apple is not organic. Blend, using a small amount of water or apple juice if necessary to enable blender to do its job. A heavy duty blender is required for this recipe.

Note: If using organic apples, some people use the entire apple, except for the stem

Note: Not for young babies. For an infant, peel and core apple, just use the white fruit. Be sure to blend very well. To get a smooth baby-food consistency, strain after blending well.

Dried Fruit Balls Rounds

Approximate prep time: once nuts/fruits are soaked: 20-30 minutes, divided
Yields approximately 30 pieces

This recipe calls for a food processor.

Ingredients:

1 cup dried apricots, soaked 20 minutes
1 cup dates (preferably Medjool dates) soaked 20 minutes (reserve soak water)
1/2 dried figs, soaked 20 minutes
1 cup almonds, walnuts or pecans (see overnight soaking instructions)
1/2 cup shredded coconut

30 extra nuts (optional)

Directions:

Soak the nuts in water to cover, overnight or for 8-10 hours. Drain. Rinse. Drain.
In a food processor, process the nuts until fairly fine uniform bits. Gradually add the apricots, dates, figs and coconut until well-mixed.
Using 1-2 Tablespoons of the date soak water if necessary to create a dough-like consistency.
Place in bowl and refrigerate for several hours.
Roll into small balls and press a whole nut into the top of each one.
These balls will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Variation: For a rich chocolate type treat, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of carob or chocolate powder while processing, to taste.

Open Sesame Halvah

Halvah is a candy popular in the Middle-East, where it is usually made from ground sesame seeds. Tahini is a smooth version of ground up sesame seeds, it has a consistency much like peanut butter.

Approximate prep time: 15-25 minutes, divided
Yields 20-24 pieces

This recipe calls for a food processor.

Ingredients

1 1/2  cup almonds (not soaked)
1/2 cup raw tahini
3 Tablespoons honey**

1 teaspoon vanilla

optional: 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon carob or cocoa powder.

Directions:

In a food processor, process the almonds until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients, process thoroughly. On a plate or pan, spread mixture out until it is around 1/2″ thick (don’t worry about filling the dish or pan, just press the mixture out until it is the correct thickness). Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more, then cut into bite-size pieces and roll into balls.

Variation: For a two toned effect, (more work, longer prep time) before spreading mixture out, divide in half. Add carob/cocoa to one half. Mix well for uniform color. Pat the plain mixture in pan, to 1/4 inch thickness. Then pat the cocoa mixture in your hands until it is approximately the same 1/4″ thickness and shape as the plain one in the pan. Place the cocoa mixture on top of the plain mixture. Press together to form a 1/2″ thick, two-colored slab of halvah. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more, then cut into bite-size pieces and roll into balls.

Keep in refrigerator.

**honey works best in this recipe both for the authentic halvah flavor and because its stickiness holds it all together.

Banana Ice Cream

Traditionally, Banana ice cream is made in a juicer that has a blank screen (Champion, Tribest, Samson) this type of juicer has a ‘snout’. However, with the advent of powerful blenders, it’s possible to use the blender method. The bananas should be allowed to defrost for a few minutes with the blender method to avoid straining or breaking the blender.

Approximate prep time: not counting time to peel and freeze bananas, 1-2 minutes per bowl of ice cream
Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

1-2 bananas

Directions:

Freeze very ripe, peeled bananas. Use 1-2 bananas per serving. When frozen solid, push through the juicer with the Blank screen in place. Awesome just like this, but also super yummy if you add another frozen fruit such as blueberries, strawberries or mango. Alternate banana and other fruit so that each serving bowl has some of each. You may never crave dairy ice cream again! Great with hot fudge sauce on top too.

Hint: Always keep frozen peeled bananas and berries in the freezer for desserts and smoothies. Very ripe bananas means way more ripe than most people would eat them.

* all recipes adapted from The Raw Gourmet, Simple Recipes for Living Well, by Nomi Shannon ©Nomi  Shannon

Try these out and let us know which one you like the best in the comments below!

The following post 7 Quick and Easy Vegan Desserts was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

6 Reasons to Save Your Produce Peels

If you’ve been throwing away the peel from your produce, you’ll want to check out these tips from one of America’s leading healthy lifestyle experts, Danette May

Fruits and vegetables are an integral part of a healthy diet. But did you know when you throw away their peels you’re throwing out some of the value?

A lot of fresh produce store most of their best nutrients in their peels. Trust me, those peels have some amazing uses for your skin, home and health. Check it out, here are some of the benefits of using peels.

5 Reasons You Should Use the Peels

  1. They’re a natural skin cleansing and nourishing agent.
  2. Adds flavor to your recipes
  3. Full of nutrition
  4. Saves money, you can use some of these in place of expensive products.
  5. Lowers exposure to harmful household chemicals/cleaning agents.
  6. Natural air freshener for your home.

Here are a few peels and the best ways to use them

Lemon Peels

For skin

Lemon peels act like natural a cleanser. Use them on your face to decrease blemishes and help control oily skin. You can use it two ways on your face, rub the peels on your skin or use them as a face pack.

To use them as part of a face pack:

First, allow the peels to dry in the sun until they wrinkle then pulverize them in a blender. Place them on a  damp cloth and apply to help strengthen and tone your skin. The scent alone will refresh you!

At home

A combination of citrus peels and vinegar is an excellent anti-bacterial agent. Drop lemon or orange peels in a bottle of vinegar and leave them there for three days. Shake the container well before transferring into a squeeze bottle. Use in place of chemical cleaning agents in kitchen and countertops.

Onion Peels

For health

The onion peel and skin (the papery outer part) are high in antioxidants like quercetin, a well known flavonol with anti-inflammatory  properties when taken internally overtime.

Why toss out all those extra nutrients? The best way to get reap the benefits is to steep them. Just toss the whole onion in your stew, soup or broth. Once cooked, the nutrients will have steeped into the broth and you can remove the skin.

Be sure to avoid conventional onions. You’ll want to use organic or onions from your garden that contain the fewest pesticides.

Orange Peels

Eat Them Whole

Orange peels are rich in flavonoids, like hesperidin and other phytochemicals. These contribute to their health benefits. In some cases, the peels even contain higher amounts of certain nutrients than its flesh, for example 3.5 ounces of peel has 136 milligrams of vitamin C, while the flesh gives 71 mg.

The best way to enjoy orange peel is to use the orange zest in baked goods, soup, and wraps. To get the zest, cut or scrape the clean unwaxed skin of the orange fruit. For baking use a cup of grated zest with 2.5 cups of baking flour to make orange peel bread.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Be sure to wash your produce well.
  • A gentle scrub on the surface of produce helps rid them of toxins.
  • Buy organic whenever possible. This will keep you off pesticide residues.

These fruit peel uses are a sure game changer for your health. You’ll be dealing with fewer chemicals, preservatives, and mysterious ingredients while saving money and reducing waste. Try these ideas and let me know how you liked them.

Yours in health and happiness,

Danette

P.S. If you want more healthy lifestyle tips from Danette you should Click Here to subscribe to her YouTube channel. She’ll bring you new recipes, workouts and healthy hacks every single week!

Do you have a favorite way to use your peels? Tell us about it in the comments below!

The following post 6 Reasons to Save Your Produce Peels was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

Where’s Your Money? Why Choosing the Right Bank Matters

This article is contributed by our friend at well.org

It turns out that where your money sleeps at night is a big deal. Banks use our money to invest in derivatives and other financial vehicles. They pay little to no interest and, with blatant disregard, will place this money in whatever yields the most returns. This includes weapons, coal, oil, and companies with bad labor practices.

Upon learning this, I began searching for the most socially responsible banks in America. It isn’t easy to find them as the big banks crowd out all the SEO and buy their way up in search engines.

The good news is that sustainable banks are out there. There is likely an ethical bank within your state. Many are credit unions or local banks that reinvest in community initiatives and some new ones have recently emerged online. I found this to be the best option since I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t really go into a branch.

The Alternatives:

In looking at the options out there, I didn’t really want a bank alternative but an account that functioned just like a bank where I knew my money wasn’t supporting the demise of the planet. The best bank I found was actually also the best online bank in my opinion. It’s called Aspiration Bank. They are divested from oil and gas and they put MY MONEY in places I can feel good about. They also have other great benefits, including:

  1. An app that tracks the social and environmental impact of your spending habits
  2. A checking account that pays 1% (about 100x more than big banks)
  3. Worldwide reimbursed ATM fees
  4. No minimum balance, service fess or minimum deposit
  5. They also donate ten cents of every dollar to charities that help struggling Americans get off the ground (micro loans)

For my business banking, I’ve moved our money to the best business bank out there in the conscious space, called New Resource Bank. They have an amazing charter and only put money into things that align with their mission. Here’s a link to their charter (link).

Good banks are out there. There are more coming every year. You want them to invest green, practice renewable energy banking, and make socially responsible investments. You don’t want to fund the decline of civilization. I’ve moved my money and feel better about it. After all, as I learned in the Prosperity Movie, it’s not enough to eat organic and drive an electric car. Where we keep our money is a vote for the world we want to see.

Where do you keep your votes? Tell us about your favorite ecobank in the comments below.

The following post Where’s Your Money? Why Choosing the Right Bank Matters was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.

5 Foods to Eat—and 5 Not To Eat—to Reduce Acne Outbreaks

eatforacne

In 2010, researchers surprised some people when they reported that diet could indeed, affect acne outbreaks. That year, an article in the scientific journal Skin Therapy Letter reported the results of a 27-study analysis—21 observational studies and 6 clinical trials. Scientists found that cow’s milk intake increased acne prevalence and severity, and also found an association between a high-glycemic load diet and acne risk.

An earlier study published in 2007 showed similar results—Australian researchers found that young men between the ages of 15 and 25 with mild-to-moderate acne experienced dramatic improvement when they switched from eating the typical American diet (with white bread and highly processed breakfast cereals) to a healthier diet of whole grains, lean meat, and fruits and vegetables.

“The acne of the boys on the higher-protein, low-glycemic index diet improved dramatically,” said senior author Neil Mann, associate professor at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, “by more than 50 percent, which is more than what you see with topical acne solutions.”

Some people have long believed that diet affects acne, but only recently have researchers started to find evidence that this is true. If you’d like to try changing your eating habits to enjoy clearer skin, we’d encourage you to try it. You have nothing to lose!

What Not to Eat

Studies so far have focused mostly on the foods that make acne worse. Here are the five that come up most often as culprits in increasing breakouts. Avoid these for about a week, and see if you notice a difference.

    1. Cow’s milk: The 2010 study found an association between cow’s milk and acne. Scientists aren’t yet sure why this may be, but there are several theories. Cow’s milk spikes blood sugar, which can increase inflammation (leading to pimples). It also increases insulin levels, which encourage the production of skin oils (sebum). A lot of the commercial milk we buy comes from pregnant cows, and thus contains other hormones that can trigger the production of sebum. Milk also has growth hormones that can encourage the overgrowth of skin cells, potentially blocking pores. In 2005, researchers studied data from the famous Nurses Health Study II, and found that participants who drank more milk as teens had much higher rates of severe acne than those who had little or no milk as teens.
  1. Sugar: You may have already suspected that sugar is related to breakouts. Some studies now suggest that there may be a link. This doesn’t mean that if you eat a cookie you’re going to get a pimple. It comes down to how much sugar you’re eating in a day—particularly at any one time. If you consume a soda and a candy bar, for example, you’re likely spiking your blood sugar levels, and you could break out hours later. If you suspect sugar could be a culprit for you, try to cut back even by one sugary drink a day to notice a difference.
  2. High-glycemic foods: These are foods that break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. They trigger hormonal fluctuations and inflammation—both of which encourage acne. We’re talking foods like white bread, processed breakfast cereals, white rice, pretzels, potato chips, cookies and cakes, etc. Choose low glycemic-index foods instead, like vegetables, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and most fruits.
  3. Junk food: For the same reasons stated above (hormonal fluctuations, blood sugar levels), junk foods are on the list to avoid if you’re trying to clear up your skin.
  4. Fast food: Greasy fast food creates inflammation in the body. Studies have already linked fast food to conditions like childhood asthma, strictly because of its ability to raise overall inflammation in the body. Inflammation leads to pimples, so if you’re going to a fast-food restaurant, choose the salad or the yogurt.

What About Chocolate?

Long suspected to trigger acne, chocolate has received a pass until just recently. One small study from the Netherlands published in 2013 found a connection between chocolate and skin changes leading to acne. For the study, the scientists collected blood from seven healthy people before and after they ate 1.7 ounces of chocolate, each day, for four days.

Researchers then exposed the blood cells to bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes—which contribute to acne when they grow inside clogged pores—and to Staphylococcus aureus, another skin bacteria than can aggravate acne.

After eating the chocolate, the participants’ blood cells produced more interleukin-1b, which is a marker of inflammation, when exposed to Propionibacterium acnes. Eating chocolate also increased production of another immune system factor called interleukin 10 after exposure to Staphylococcus aureus. Interleukin 10 is thought to lower the body’s defenses against microorganisms, so higher levels could allow bacteria to infect pimples and worsen them.

This suggests that chocolate could increase inflammation and encourage bacterial infection, making acne worse. This was an extremely small study, however, and more research is needed. Dark chocolate has health-promoting antioxidants, so depending on how much you eat per day, you may want to wait for more evidence. In the meantime, to see if you may be sensitive to chocolate, try eliminating it for a week, by itself, and see if you notice a change in your skin.

What to Eat

Just cutting out the damaging foods listed above will likely lead to clearer skin—especially if you were regularly consuming them before. But what if you’re already eating healthy? Are there certain foods that could give you the edge against acne? Research is in its earliest stages, but we do have some knowledge of particular foods that may help. Here are five of them:

  1. Fish or flaxseed: The typical Western diet contains too many omega-6 fatty acids, which are tied to inflammation. Eating more omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and the like, can help tame inflammation and improve acne breakouts.
  2. Green tea: Green tea is filled the antioxidants that can protect from environmental stressors. Drink more green tea throughout the day.
  3. Oysters: Several studies have indicated that the mineral zinc may reduce the effects of acne. It’s best to get zinc from your food, however, as too much in supplements (more than 100 mg a day) can result in side effects. Eat more oysters, toasted wheat germ (sprinkled on salads and steamed veggies), veal liver, roast beef, roasted pumpkin and squash seeds, and dried watermelon seeds.
  4. Juicing: Eating more fruits and vegetables can naturally help clear up acne. Many contain beta-carotenes, which naturally help reduce skin oils, and all are naturally anti-inflammatory. Dark, leafy greens also help clear impurities from the body, which can encourage acne. Dark-colored berries contain phytonutrients good for skin when eaten.
  5. Probiotics: These have been found to reduce inflammation in the gut, which may help reduce acne. According to a 2011 study, intestinal microflora may affect inflammation throughout the body, which in turn, can affect acne breakouts. Since pre and probiotics can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, scientists believe they may help reduce acne breakouts. “There appears to be more than enough supportive evidence to suggest that gut microbes, and the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract itself, are contributing factors in the acne process,” the scientists wrote. To get more probiotics in your diet, try yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, dark chocolate, microalgae, miso soup, pickles, tempeh, kimchi, and kombucha tea.

Of course, there are many factors that contribute to acne, and diet is just one of them. Along with eating cleanly and avoiding acne triggers, there are many other factors that can contribute to your situation.

Have you cleared up your acne with dietary changes? Please share your story.

* * *

Sources
Ferdowsian Hr, Levin S, “Does diet really affect acne?” Skin Therapy Lett, 2010 Mar;15(3):1-2,5, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20361171.

Adebamowo CA, et al., “High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne,” J Am Acad Dermatol, 2005 Feb;52(2):207-14, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15692464.

Myung Im, et al., “Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Suppresses IGF-I-Induced Lipogenesis and Cytokine Expression in SZ95 Sebocytes,” Journal of Investigative Dermatology December 2012; 132:2700-2708, http://www.nature.com/jid/journal/v132/n12/full/jid2012202a.html.

Yoon JY, et al., “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate improves acne in humans by modulating intracellular molecular targets and inhibiting P. acnes,” J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Feb;133(2):429-40, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23096708?dopt=Abstract.

“Acne,” University of Maryland Medical Center, http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/acne.

Whitney P Bowe and Alan C Logan, “Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis—back to the future?” Gut Pathog, January 31, 2011; 3(1): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3038963/.

The following post 5 Foods to Eat—and 5 Not To Eat—to Reduce Acne Outbreaks was first published on Annmarie Skin Care.