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The Beauty of Fiber

You might be asking yourself “what IS fiber? And why do I need to eat foods high in fiber?” Too often an overlooked and misunderstood nutrient, fiber contains important health benefits that helps with weight management, regulating physical energy levels and so much more. Eating a diet full of both soluble and insoluble fiber is important for the body in many ways, one of which is having radiant skin and hair.

Before we get into the benefits, let’s learn a little more about fiber. It can be categorized into two kinds, soluble and insoluble. Insoluble doesn’t get absorbed by your body, and passes through, assisting in digestion along the way. Soluble fiber attracts water and slows down digestion, which aids in controlling blood sugar levels, amongst other things.

Fiber to the (Skin) Rescue

Clear it Up
Now you may be thinking, what else can fiber do for me? It’s a great tool for supporting healthy skin and can slow down the aging process. The digestive system is the controller of many things in our lives. One major thing being breakouts. If you have a poor digestive system, you’re bound to get breakouts because your body isn’t absorbing the right nutrients, or getting rid of bad toxins. By adding fiber-rich foods to your diet, your digestive system will thank you and reward you with clearer skin!

Glow, Glow, Glow
Your body has to work harder to get rid of these bad toxins, and it can take a toll on your hormones. As we know, hormonal imbalances can contribute to skin issues too. Fueling your body with fiber will aid in the digestive process and support the balance of hormones in the body. While your body is filtering out the bad toxins, it will also create a skin “glow” in turn. What more could we ask for?

Look Younger, Feel Younger
When it comes to aging, nobody wants it to happen. Lucky for us, there’s an easy and helpful source for this. Yup you guessed it, fiber! It works alongside antioxidants and collagen to help slow the process and give your body time to absorb every bit of collagen that it can. Collagen provides skin strength and elasticity, so giving your body the time to absorb a large amount will result in less wrinkles and younger-looking skin.

Help the Hair

Strength
We all want thick and luscious hair, and fiber can help us (try) to achieve this goal. If your hair is thinning or feeling weak, not having enough fiber in your diet could be the culprit. As we said before with the benefit of fiber and collagen working together, it becomes a similar story for fiber and other proteins. With more fiber, the absorption process is slowed down. This gives your body the time to fully absorb proteins, resulting in stronger hair follicles.

Color
In addition, fiber-rich food supports your body’s production of melanin. Melanin is the pigment in our bodies that provides the color to our hair, skin, and iris’. Meaning, the more melanin your body produces, the less gray hairs!

What’s Next? How To Eat More Fiber

Now that we’ve learned some of the benefits of fiber, it’s time to make sure we get more of it! There are easy ways to do this that don’t require taking supplements or seeing your doctor for help. By making a few small changes in your diet, you can bring major benefits to your life.

Adding more greens, fruits, and whole grains to your diet is a smart start. Make a conscious effort to grab an apple midday, and substitute a salad for sandwich at lunch. If you miss the fullness of carbs at lunch, look for bread with high fiber and nutrient content, such as Food For Life’s Ezekiel low sodium loaf.

Also opt for convenient snacks like popcorn rather than dessert after dinner. We recommend SkinnyPop’s healthy popcorn products which don’t use artificial sweeteners and go very light on natural sugars.

If you’re looking for other tasty foods high in fiber, look no further. Delicious yet beneficial foods include:

  • raspberries
  • pears
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • whole wheat spaghetti
  • beans
  • oatmeal
  • split peas



There’s an even more comprehensive list. If you’re looking for something that packs a nutrient and fiber punch, add chia seeds to your morning smoothie. There are plenty of ways to add fiber to your diet, and it doesn’t take a lot of digging to find out how! With all we know about fiber and what it can do for you, it’s worth adding a little extra to your daily routine.


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6 Shaving Tips & Hacks for Him and Her

The largest organ in the human body is our skin. We love to wash it, moisturize it, apply masks and makeup, and sometimes we like to shave the hair off of it. Shaving is a personal preference for men and women, but if you do choose to shave your face, legs, armpits, or bikini lines, here are some expert shaving tips to make sure you take care of your skin and your razors for a better shave.

1. Prepare Your Skin
Shaving in a warm shower or just after one is the best time to shave. The warm water and air help soften your hair for an easier shave. In the shower, exfoliate the skin you plan to shave. Exfoliating before you shave, especially if you live in a place that experiences cold seasons, will help keep your razor clear of dead skin cells that want to flake off. Don’t over-exfoliate in the winter and strip your skin of it’s natural oils, but right before a shave is a good time to make exfoliating a habit.

If you don’t have time for a shower, simply soak a clean washcloth in warm water (but not too hot!) and press it against your skin until the washcloth cools down to room temperature.

Bonus tip: After your done, rinse your freshly shaven skin with cold water to reduce any inflammation.

2. Prepare Your Hair
If your hair is long, use an electric razor to trim your hair first. Razors are meant for a close shave, not to cut long hair. For men, this is important for your beard hair since beard hair is often coarse. Trimming before shaving will help prevent irritation and ingrown hairs.

3. Use Shave Creams & Gels
Articles with shaving hacks often claim that using soap and body washes in place of shaving creams or gels will work just as well. However, soaps and body washes are meant to clean dirt and oils from your skin while shaving products are meant to moisturize and protect your skin from your razor while softening the hair. Be kind to your skin and use quality shaving creams and gels.

When you apply shaving cream, don’t start shaving immediately. Take your time lathering and then let the cream or gel sit for a few minutes before you pick up your razor. Waiting a few minutes allows the shaving products time to work properly by softening your hair and moisturizing your skin before a razor comes into contact.

4. Take Your Time
Rushing through shaving is when nicks and cuts happen. Take your time when you shave, use short strokes, and don’t press or twist the razor as you go. Pressing and twisting the razor will cause bumps and ingrown hairs to form. Using shorter strokes will give you a cleaner shave because you won’t miss as many spots.

5. Replace Your Razors Frequently
Most people try to get too many uses out of their disposable razors. According to Harry’s, a shaving brand that offers high-quality shaving products (that also can be delivered straight to your door through their subscription service), they recommend changing your razor blades every 6-8 shaves. Razors get dull of course, but they also get dirty. The bathroom is inherently a germ-ridden room, and bacteria can quickly grow on a dull, wet razor. Which brings us to our final point…

6. Store Your Razors Properly
Many people store their razor where they use it most – for many that’s in the shower or near the edge of your sink. To keep your razor clean from bacteria, rinse and dry your razor after each use and store it in where it won’t get wet until you’re ready to use it again.


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The Pros and Cons of DIY Face Masks

With so many online shopping outlets, the modern day beauty savant has access to more products and ingredients than ever before! Lots of people have started learning about potentially harmful ingredients that are often found in skin products and cosmetics. DIY skin care is a great way to take control over what goes into your products and onto your skin.

Whether you are customizing your skincare for a particularly stubborn skin type or you’re just plain crafty, do-it-yourself skincare can be awesome and easier than ever, but it can also have its drawbacks.

Thinking of whipping up some DIY face products? Check out these pros and cons before diving in.

Pros

1. It’s fun!
Researching skin care recipes, hunting down top-shelf ingredients, and turning your bathroom and/or kitchen into a skin care laboratory is its very own kind of adventure. Plus there is a satisfying if a not smug sense of accomplishment after a great DIY facial that leaves you glowing. Yeah. You did that!

2. You can customize to the max
Whether it’s all of the ingredients that you want, or all the ingredients you want to steer clear of, sometimes it just seems impossible to find the right product. When you make your own you have total control over what goes in and what gets left out. If you have sensitivity issues with certain ingredients or preservatives, or if you are in search of safe products for your kids, DIY skin care allows you to check every box you are looking for and adjust formulas as needed.

3. Skip the mall
If just the idea of going to the mall makes you break out in hives, then DIY is for you. Most, if not, all of the ingredients for DIY skincare can be ordered online or found at a local health food store. Breathe easy and shop the way you want to.

Cons


1. It is time consuming
Speaking of all those ingredients, between finding them, buying them at a store or ordering them online, and mixing up your products you are looking at a solid couple of hours at least before you’re putting anything on your skin. This may be more hassle than it’s worth.

With a charcoal mask cleanser for example, you may be better off quickly comparing reviews and buying a ready-to-use product that can be delivered to your door because the DIY set up can get messy and there may also be a learning curve filled with trial and error before getting it right. Many ready to use products also have extra ingredients included to help you get your skin to where you want it to be.

2. Ingredients take up more space
Even though the ingredients are likely small, they still take up space. You could end up with several packages of ingredients instead of one container of a premade solution.
Also, hand-made product doesn’t contain preservatives, which means that the active ingredients are not as stable and usable as long as the store-bought version so the raw ingredients usually have to be kept separate until it’s time to use them. Check the shelf life of any ingredients you buy and follow the instructions for storage.

3. It might not work quite the way you want it to
There are plenty of natural ingredients that pack a punch when it comes to skincare results. However, if you are looking for something more dramatic you will probably get better results with a clinically tested product.

In that case, you could try using a manufactured product for your heavy-duty treatments (like facial peels or acne treatments) and DIY for the day-to-day maintenance treatments (like cleansing and moisturizing).

The In Between: Price
All of those ingredients can add up pretty quickly!
Most of the ingredients you will use in homemade skin care products come in a size that has more than the amount you will actually use in a single batch.
Thankfully, sometimes you may already have some of the ingredients in your home (brown sugar, for example). In these cases, you could actually end up spending less on you DIY.

Final Word
Whether you go the DIY route, choose store-bought products, or use a combination of both, the most important thing is that your routine works for your unique skin.
Just because you want to try making some of your own products doesn’t mean you have to go cold turkey on the bottled stuff. Making your own products may introduce you to some stellar ingredients that give you great results.

Mix, match, and test different ingredients, making sure that you spot test anything new (DIY or store-bought) so that you don’t accidentally cause irritation. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with different products until you find the perfect balance!

Author Bio
Trysh Sutton is a wife, mother, strategic leader and teacher. She runs a website called Pure Path, which is a naturopathic wellness site that promotes healthy living and healing through the use of essential oils and sustainable living.

You can follow her on social media to learn more about the benefits of essential oils, and healthy living practices.

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Youtube | Google Plus


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9 Steps to Get Rid of Saggy Skin

Dry and saggy skin is the breeding ground for wrinkles. If you fail to give it enough attention, you’ll be looking 10 years older before you know it. Try these 9 steps to firm up your facial skin and keep it that way:

Step 1:
Get physical! Make walking and running your new habit. Get up to four days of aerobic exercise every week.  Pushing yourself to the limit causes nutrient-rich blood to be pumped to your brain, heart and other parts of your body. The blood rush unclogs blockages which may have formed over the years. Regularly pumping blood prevents fats from lining and clogging up your arteries.

Step 2:
Bring the benefits of exercising to your face. Learn facial calisthenics to give your facial muscles a nice, relaxing stretch and to tone up as well. Performing this step relaxes your face and improves microcirculation underneath your skin.

Step 3:
Eat a balanced diet. Incorporate plenty of leafy greens which are high in all kinds of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Add fatty fish high in Omega-3 at least three times a week to your diet.  Omega-3’s give your skin a healthy dose of fats and lipids that keep your skin soft, smooth, and supple.Get the full benefits of eating healthy by living an active lifestyle and try to avoid the habit of smoking and drinking. These habits affect your overall health, even smoking can cause hair loss as well.

Step 4:
Never expose your unprotected skin to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Make applying sunscreen a regular part of your routine. Keep all exposed areas of your skin protected throughout the day by reapplying often. UV radiation damages and destroys skin cells in ways you can’t imagine, and it does so very quickly. Though the damage happens in an instant, the effects pile up and show up harshly on your skin when they do.

Step 5:
Employ retinoids into your daily skincare routine. Nothing beats the wrinkle-preventing, wrinkle-reducing, and melanin-inhibiting effects of a regular application of retinoids. Vitamin A, including its derivatives, remains to be the gold standard when it comes to wrinkle care.

Step 6:
Load up on peptides. These short chains of amino acids provide the building blocks for the skin to produce new skin cells, repair damages in the skin matrix, and manufacture layer after layer of newer, younger, and healthier skin.  Products with peptides help speed up the rate of skin cell turnover so that you can enjoy a healthier, brighter complexion sooner.

Step 7:
Add Hyaluronic Acid to your aging skin care regimen. This important skin component is naturally produced by your body but then, it is produced in much lesser quantities as you get older.  Its main beneficial effect on your skin is in keeping moisture levels up and keeping it that way.  With its outstanding ability to hold high amounts of moisture, your skin becomes more elastic, better hydrated, and less prone to wrinkles.

Step 8:
Put on the collagen. As with hyaluronic acid, collagen is naturally produced by your body in diminishing amounts as you age. Make up for lost collagen by deriving it from your topical skin care products as well as from ingested ones, such as collagen drinks.With regular intake or application,collagen helps restore your skin’s firmness, elasticity and suppleness.

Step 9:
After a hard day’s work, give your body the unparalleled therapeutic gift of sleep. Establish your body’s biological clock by getting at least 8 hours of sleep every day.  Keeping to your bedtime trains your body to shift from the protective mode in the morning into a regenerative mode at night.  Your body, your skin included, has the ability to treat, regenerate and rejuvenate damaged and stressed skin.  The only standing order is for you to get sufficient sleep.  So, be wise and hit the sheets early!

Conclusion
Getting a firmer facial skin may sound like a lot of work but, once you employ these healthy skin care habits, you’ll realize that restoring your youthful looking skin was never really out of reach. In many ways, these 9 habits do not only hold advantages for your skin but also benefit the rest of your body.


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Clearer Skin Without the Chemicals


2017 has been the year of skincare! More and more people have been ditching extensive makeup routines and trading in their foundation for cleansers. As “the natural look” becomes more popular, there has been a drop in the mainstream chemical-filled beauty products and a demand for their all-natural counterparts.

That said, while topical treatments are important, it’s still far more important to watch what you’re eating if you really want great skin.

Water
When it comes to clear skin, hydration is key. I can’t stress enough how important water is for every organ of the human body.

If you suffer from dry skin or redness/irritation of some sort, make sure you’re drinking at least two litres of water a day. Dry skin will be reduced as long as your body is properly hydrated. It’s best to drink two cups of water before going to bed each night, because over the course of the night, your body naturally becomes dehydrated.

It’s also important to start your day off by drinking water as soon as you wake up to rehydrate yourself. H20 also helps flush toxins from the body, so you’ll have fewer breakouts and clearer skin.

Vitamin C
Do you suffer from dull skin? While exfoliating is important to remove dead skin cells and stimulate blood flow to the face, you won’t have the greatest results if you’re not getting enough vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that slows down the aging process by promoting collagen production and helps treat hyperpigmentation. While vitamin C is a common ingredient in many beauty products, applying it topically can only go so far.

You’ll get optimum results by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C. This way you can nourish from the inside and radiate from the outside. The quality of the vitamin C also will affect the results it has on your skin, for example, vitamin C supplements have not been proven to be an effective source and don’t provide very many health benefits. It’s important to get vitamin C through its natural food form, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, bell peppers and kale.

Don’t get me wrong, vitamin C is still great when topically applied. If you’re looking to achieve a more youthful glow to your complexion, you can mix up a simple exfoliator to help remove dead skin cells and nourish your skin. It’s easy and can be done with ingredients you can find in your kitchen.

Vitamin C Exfoliant
● 1 tablespoon brown sugar
● ¾ tablespoon coconut oil or castor oil
● ½ tsp lemon juice

All you need to do is mix the ingredients and gently rub onto damp, clean skin using circular motions and then rinse with warm water. The brown sugar will help scrub away dead skin cells, the oils will help your skin stay moisturized and the lemon juice will help give you a healthy glow, remove impurities and even out your skin tone. Use this scrub twice a week for smooth, clear, healthy looking skin.

Fats
Unfortunately, fats are a controversial topic when it comes to health. As with most things in life, moderation is key and there are definitely healthy and unhealthy fats.

When it comes down to unhealthy fats, steer clear of fried foods, processed foods and low quality oils. These can trigger inflammation in the body, meaning redness in the skin and breakouts, yikes!

Luckily, there are so many healthy fats you can incorporate into your diet for optimum health. Olive oil, salmon and avocado are all examples of healthy fats. Avocados in particular work wonders for your skin. Not only do they help hydrate your skin, but they also are high in carotenoids, an antioxidant that helps protect against aging! They are also high in vitamin C and E, which are essential for healthy skin. You can mix avocado into smoothies, spread it on toast or use it for a face mask. Keep in mind, even though they are good for you, moderation should still be exercised.

If you’re looking for a face mask to help soothe dry, flaky skin or redness/irritation, you can mix up a DIY face mask, yet again, using nothing but ingredients found in your kitchen! It doesn’t get more natural than this.

Avocado Face Mask
● ½ avocado, pitted and mashed
● 1 tbsp olive oil
● 1 tbsp lemon juice

Apply this mask onto clean skin and leave for 10 minutes, or until dry. Once it’s dry, gently rinse off with warm water to reveal glowing skin.

While these components certainly play a huge role in skin health, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and getting enough sleep if you want clear and healthy skin. Make sure you’re still cleansing your skin daily to prevent clogged pores and switch to natural skincare products when possible, but always be mindful of what you eat.

Author Bio:

Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.


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