I C You! Vitamin C Power in a powder for your skin? Yep!

ImageVitamin C  has been proven to be a powerful antioxidant for our bodies but did you know that you can add it to you favorite moisturizer for an extra boost to your daily skin regimen? It’s true and proves to be cost effective too. Yes those little powder packets you find on the health food isle can be mixed into your favorite night time moisturizer or homemade beauty scrub. The key is to mix it in well while the cream is warm and refrigerate overnight to allow it to infuse (in fact you can do this for a couple of days if you want to make sure it completely dissolves for a creamier texture). You may want to test this on a small patch of skin before use to make sure your skin is not too sensitive or to just tweek the formula. You may not need the entire packet to accomplish a nice boost of antioxidant power. Some packets contain caffeine that can tighten your skin and can work well in your daytime moisturizers.

 

Neoutogina Rapid Wrinkle Repair Review. What were they thinking when naming this?

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Wow! When I first set out to review this one I thought; there is nothing in the name of this product that I can possibly like. Plus, it sounds like something they sold to 1950’s housewives (not our modern Desperate Housewives that are anything but!). Ok so I got over the name and started focusing on the ingredients and for the price they are not bad. Remember the things that drive the price up are fancy packaging and bottles, advertising, and raw ingredients. At least you can read what the manufacturer allows you to know.

Here there are some great claims and I think for a product that is at a drug store price point it is very effective. You really can’t go wrong.

The ingredients include Retinol (Retinol SA they call Standard Action those are buzz words) and over continuous usage it has been proven to work as well as other formulas that are prescribed by Doctors it just takes a little more time and being consistent about application.   

More buzz words in the name of “Complex” that is another way of getting you to think this is a special formula, fine! Nothing bad in this or effective either.

Hyaluornic Acid- Now this is a big boy when it comes to skin appearance it plumps skin and helps bring hydration to the surface just like young skin does. This is a no brainer in any hydrating formula!

For around $20.00 in drug stores this one is a clear winner http://www.neutrogena.com/category/anti-aging/rapid+wrinkle+repair.do 

Don’t let the name fool you! Kattails up!

To Wash or Not To Wash (Your Hair) That is the Question!

ImageYour hair freshly washed is a great feeling no doubt but it can have disadvantages in the long run especially if it is color treated. Believe it or not the hair really doesn’t get that dirty in everyday ordinary life unless you do a job that is outdoors or causes you to sweat a lot. For most people it is not a necessity but has become a daily grooming habit. Hair product companies love this because they can sell more shampoo to you all.

I have always recommended to my clients that have color services to shampoo every other day or two instead of every day, this will help to maintain the color and allow your own natural oils from your scalp to keep your hair in top condition. You can never replace your own natural oils for keeping your hair healthy with a bottle of conditioner; however I do recommend using one after you shampoo. Ok, sounds like a no brainer right?

Let’s say that you go a day and feel your hair just isn’t as manageable so you feel you want to shampoo anyway why not consider a dry shampoo just at the scalp? Just spray only on your root area wait two minutes and brush out. It’s that simple. It absorbs excess oil, does not strip color and works on all hair types. I like to use a real bristle brush when brushing this out because it helps to distribute your natural oils down your hair shaft. Plastic brushes do not do this added step because they are very smooth and can’t bring those wonderful oils down the hair shaft. I understand if you are concerned with animal safety, know that there are humane ways of gaining bristles for a brush like this and so check with the manufacturer.

 My feeling about dry shampoos is that they are an accessory to your regime and have a place. I look for “Invisible” formula so there is no dry caked product left in your hair. Plus, they come in travel sizes that are TSA approved so no worries while traveling. http://www.freemanbeauty.com/product/dry-shampoo-pssssst-travel-size

So yes, this is the question to wash or not to wash? But sometimes dry might be a great alternative. It works for me! Kattails up!Image

Tanning Beds Are Not the Devil! (read first).

ImageI think tanning beds get a whole lot of bad press but I think they may have their place if you think about it, or better yet know about them.

It is true that tanning beds are linked to cancer just as the sun is linked to cancer since they both omit UVA and UVB rays (ultra violet rays that are unseen to the naked eye) that stimulate tanning in your skin. Really if you think about it all the skin when exposed tells your body Hey I’m getting irritated and burned over here, what are we going to do about it? So a tan is the result of the skin putting up a barrier of protection and this protection happens to look great!

I really do think that too much exposure to both rays UVA/UVB contributes to skin cancer and photo aging (yes wrinkles before your time, hate to see how Snooki will look in a few years!) but some researchers are pointing to the use (practical) of tanning beds. For one it is they type of bulbs that are inside the bed. Most use both UVA and UVB just like the sun. Some use only UVB (both rays have consequences, cancer or wrinkles and both) according to Rachel Nelson of http://www.livestrong.com/article/43123-uva-vs.-uvb-tanning-beds/ “There are trade -offs associated with each type”.

Ultimately, shade, shade and more shade seems to be your friend. Remember the sun can go through car windows and it is cumulative in the damage it can create (think of a crusty rubber band left in the sun doesn’t stretch too well after). So Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB is your best friend hands down!

I think there can be a use for UVB tanning beds when used properly, which would likely exclude tanning reasons. Many people work in offices or live in parts of the world where getting enough (therapy) levels of Vitamin D are an issue. Just because you live in a warm climate does not mean that your levels are in range. For this, your Doctor can run a simple blood test to find out. There are many long term illnesses and cancers researchers feel are directly corresponding with low Vitamin D levels. I will be honest, I was diagnosed with low D and I live in California. It happens!

ImageSupplements are widely available and there is nothing wrong with them; however some researchers are beginning to feel that a pure dose of UVB that penetrates the blood stream through ray exposure may be more effective than a supplement that you must ingest and digest to get the benefits from. I think this is all speculation but I see no problem with a small amount of controlled exposure to the sun or a tanning bed. When I say small I mean it! The feeling now is that you only need 3-5 minutes of UVB exposure to do the trick! Plus it encourages cell turnover and that is nature’s way of renewing your skin (just use a good body scrub that is gentle after).

So NO tanning beds are not “The Devil” if used wisely and you know what you are dealing with going in. I would still stick to “fake and bake” with a lot of sunscreen. Don’t forget to ask for a vitamin D screening when you talk to your Doctor you might be surprised with the outcome! Now, you know and you can make  a “Real” choice.- KatImage

Melanotan “The Tan To Die For”? Or Just A Shot in the Dark?! (Injection tanning).

ImageImageA nice tropic even tan to many is a sign of health and the sure mark of an incredible summer but what if you inject it yourself? No need to go outside or buy expensive tickets to a holiday destination just pick a spot (on your body) and within 10 days (10 injections or fewer they promise) you look like gold! Is it worth it? Many say yes because this is a trend that is growing alarmingly on the internet (jeez you would think it was porn!) mostly made popular in the UK and has many body builders utilizing this phenomenon. It is like a magic pill (or in this case shot or nasal spray) and you don’t have to be out in the sun so it’s great for the sure office tan.

I think there are obvious concerns here that we have to look at. For one when you decide to ingest or in this case inject a hormone into your body there are potential side effects, just look at the warning pamphlets and disclaimers you get with a simple prescription or over the counter drug. Here there are none because there are no clinical trials or anything to base the effectiveness on other than snake-oil sales people on the internet to trust and most are black market people who are good, at only sales and jacking your wallet!

My opinion aside let’s look at what Dermatologists fear because this product is trying to sell its self as a safe alternative to avoid skin cancer (what nerve I swear). That is because you are not then in the natural sunlight so there is less chance of skin cancer exposure. Now, let’s note that lack of vitamin D has been associated with autoimmune deficiency which in turn leaves a person open to disease and natural sunlight in moderation gives you this protective quality, this shot won’t do this. So they give false promises of preventing skin cancer so they” tweek “the truth.

 Dr. Brian Morton, President of AMA (NSW) and contributor of Heart Wise Journal has concerns “We don’t know if it will stimulate melanoma” because this is a melanocyte stimulator (means it revs up your natural defenses in your own skin thus creating a tan) a hormone that activates pigmentation and we don’t know long term effects of this type of stimulation. We have seen in people that have moles there is likely darkening which is often a warning sign for skin cancer. Remember a so called “Healthy Tan” is your bodies way of saying something is wrong and I need protection (too bad it looks so great). Plus there are chances of internal infections and problems at injection sites, no quality control; the list goes on and on!

People will try anything sometimes hence this is why so much “Snake Oil” that is on the internet. It used to be that people would eat a diet of only carrots to overload of Beta Carotene to look tan (yes, too many carrots will in fact turn you orange Bugs!) but too much will also shut your living organs down and kill you too. There are many alternatives that are FDA approved to at least try, lotions, sprays, airbrush etc. don’t fall victim to this craziness or take shots in tImagehe dark. If you are doing this please feel free to post how it works for you and I’d like to see the long term findings! Kattails Down! I’m the Scaredy Kat Here!!

Cleansing Conditioner (Wen) do we need it?

Cleansing Conditioner (in place of our usual shampoos) seems to be all the buzz lately giving us huge promises of gentle cleansing, healthier looking and feeling hair, does not strip color treated hair.  The list and the promises go on so long it sounds like magic in a little bottle. In many cases a very expensive little bottle if you do the math and purchase from infomercials or shopping networks. But are they worth all of the hype? You know me I’m about performance and looking at the fine print.

The first of this kind to make a big splash in the U.S. was from Stylist Chaz Dean with his hair care product called Wen Hair Care ($29.95 www.wenhaircare.com) . It was big on the television infomercial scene and you could see him present on QVC network shopping as well http://www.qvc.com .  The whole idea of this product is to sell you on the fact that it cleanses without surfactants (cleansing agents) and has basically set the trend to demonize them. When in truth not all cleansing agents are created alike and there is no need to not have them just be sure which type you are using in your shampoos. Again, get familiar with your ingredients list.

So what is in surfactant-free shampoos like Wen? Usually something we call “fatty alcohols” (cetyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol) and yes, they can be a bit gentler, do clean and can be more moisturizing but might not belong as a main cleansing ingredient in your shampoo depending on your hair type. If you think about it would you use your night cream to wash your face? Probably not! Because the purpose is best used somewhere else right?  These are not effective cleansers for hair that might have a lot of styling products or is just oily, sweaty and dirty! These products are kind of like 2+1 shampoo plus conditioners together and the result might not end up keeping all of the promises made .They might be fine for someone with truly over processed dry hair but you would almost have to be dealing with cotton candy hair for me to buy into it! This is an example of great marketing that will “Rip You Off!” and a lot of your money, as you see it go down the drain.

Don’t think I’m only picking on Wen; L’Oreal recently released a line called Ever Cream ($6.99 www.lorealparisusa.com ) with all of the same promises with a slightly smaller price tag and the same result overtime, flat, coated and not so clean hair. There are more on the market not mentioned but it all adds up Beauties!

There are plenty of surfactants on the market that are gentle and safe for your hair, even if it is color treated. The truth is that sunlight UV exposure (think surfer hair), hard water, heat styling all strip color faster than anything period! Most shampoos designed for color treated hair are safe for everyone.

Read your labels and look out for the sulfates that are the most drying (which many shampoo manufacturers are getting wise to avoid). Here is a few, sodium lauryl sulfate, TEA-lauryl sulfate ,sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate.

So, try not to buy into hype and demand your products to perform. Educate yourself as the consumer because it might be that Dove or Garnier Fructise shampoo is not be such a bad guy after all! Stop Getting Ripped Off!  Kattails Down!

Hair Color Chalking Fun Hot Trend and Easy To Do!

If you are “Hot and Cold” on chemically treating your hair you might opt for this.

If you have been following the recent celebrity hair trends (Katy Perry, Lauren Conrad to name a couple) you might have been seeing a technique called “Hair Chalking”. This is a fun and fairly safe way to experiment with alternative types of colors on your hair but it is temporary and doesn’t include harsh chemicals. It can look flirty and whimsical or bold and feisty. It just depends on how much you add into the hair (It is usually applied in coats with small sections of hair at a time) and how much your hair absorbs the color along with the choice of color you use.

You will need- Rubber gloves, a spray bottle of water, Curling Iron or Straightening Iron depending on the look you are going for I like for this look to use the Remington Wave Iron for “Beachy” looking waves (very on trend this summer),a drape of some kind or wear an old shirt you don’t mind getting color drippings on and most importantly, pastel color chalks from your local arts and crafts store (only about $5.00)

Start by sectioning out a strand of  dry hair that is about 1 inch in diameter, you don’t want to work with large pieces of hair for this because you want to keep good control on the selected strand you are working on, plus the look is more about scattered pieces, this is why it is so fun.

You the soak the strand with your spray bottle only to the length where you want your color to start. Then rub the pastels into your hair and you will see the color layer and become more intense each time you stroke. I recommend choosing about 3 different colors but not going with too many more because if you remember your  childhood water color experiments you might remember ending up with that “Puke” brown and a miss mashed soaking wet paper as your canvas, and we don’t want that on your head!

Now this is where you have to be patient because it is best to let this air dry before you try to style you don’t want to put heat on wet strands and risk burning your hair.

Once it feels dry enough follow with your heated appliance and the reason for this is it kind of seals the color in and you might get a couple days out of the style and color depending on how often you wash your hair.

Then brush or lightly use your fingers to style as usual. I think it looks kind of fun if it still is in waved strands.

Another thing to consider about this process is they type and color of hair you have to start with. This is more difficult to achieve on darker hair (sorry people with dark hair) I’m saying that “Color on top of color creates more color” so the deeper the color the harder it is to see so you may need to have some pre-lightened strands in your hair already that have been done professionally . The colors you choose can then be more visible. It works really well on blonder shades or those that have weaved, highlighted or frosted hair colors.  For dark hair you may enjoy just the subtle effect that you can see in the light, whatever your style it is fairly safe to do.

There are also products out there that might make the process a little easier to maneuver but the colors will cost you more so there will be an investment factor. You might want to try www.haircolorchalk.com (about $12.00 per color or $72.00 for “Royal Sweetie Kit of 7 colors”) and they have simple directions for application to follow.

This is great for a club look or even for Prom for our younger readers; this is a hot trend and it is really a lot of fun to experiment with it’s all about your own creativity and having fun!

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