So You Want To Change Your Hair Color – Now What?

So You Want To Change Your Hair Color

We all need a change from time to time, a way to freshen up our hair and change our look just a bit to keep it updated and interesting. Not only does this involve changing up your haircut, but it can also easily involve changing up the entire color of your hair. Whether you are a natural blond, brunette, or have jet black hair naturally, there will undoubtedly come a time when you want to change up your hair color.

Below are some of the most common ways that women and men both want to change up their hair color to give themselves a whole new look, as well as the considerations you should take to heart prior to making these decisions.

How to Lighten your Hair

A lot of people associate lightening your hair with bleach, and bleach is associated with being bad for our hair. Bleach in itself is not bad for our hair; it’s the frequency and the potency in which it is used that causes damage to our hair. Bleach is not the enemy here, but you may be to your own hair.

If you have just had your hair dyed recently, as in within the past 8 weeks and you are unsatisfied with the color, you can perhaps have your hair dresser use a color reducer on your hair to help remove the color.

If your hair color is too dark and it was dyed over 8 weeks ago, there are still some options available to you. One would be to simply have lighter colored streaks placed in your hair to help lighten up your entire color. You may also opt to have a chemical treatment that will strip away the hair color, but this is extremely damaging to the hair and is not appropriate for all hair types.

If you dyed your hair with a semi-permanent hair color and want to lighten it up, the quickest and easiest way to do so is to continuously shampoo your hair over and over until you reach your desired shade. Your hair will feel a bit dried out, so make sure you use a deep conditioner and perhaps a hot oil treatment to try and help restore your hair’s moisture.

How to Darken your Hair

This is obviously far more easily achieved than trying to lighten your hair. Some ways on how you can darken your ‘do is:

Use a semi permanent hair color to help darken up your color. This is particularly great for anyone who wants their hair to gradually fade back to its lighter state. Women who prefer to have darker hair in the winter months and lighter hair in the summer months often use this method.

Red hair can be a real challenge. If you do have naturally red hair, or had permanently dyed your hair red before, then the color you apply may have a red tinge to it, regardless of what color you apply over top. The best thing to do is to go to a professional hair dresser to have your color changed.

If you are blonde and you want to dye your hair red, take particular are while dying it. Otherwise you may end up with a pink head of hair!
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Natural Beauty Tips

Whatever beauty aid you decide to make use of, stick to it and do it regularly to get a lasting benefit.

  1. Rub a rind of lemon over your face if you have an oily skin and this will lessen grease and whiten your complexion.
  2. Mix the juice of one lemon to two tablespoons of milk or cream. Apply this on your face and neck and massage for a few minutes. Then rinse off. Do this daily before going to bed. It helps to bleach your face and keep your hands soft and supple.
  3. Take a teaspoon of limejuice and stir in half a teaspoon of honey and a few drops of milk. Mix well and apply over your face and neck fifteen minutes before you take your bath. This lotion will have a mild bleaching effect on a greasy skin, which because of its excessive oil may be rather sallow.
  4. To one tablespoon of cucumber juice, stir in a few drops of limejuice and a dash of turmeric powder. Mix well and apply over your face and neck. Leave it on for half an hour and then remove it with ordinary tap water. This lotion makes an excellent whitener for all types of skin.
  5. Cut tomatoes in half and rub over the face. This is useful for toning up and whitening the skin and refining the pores.
  6. To cleanse the face, soak a piece of cotton wool in unboiled milk and rub the face with it gently from the chin upwards to the forehead.
  7. Mix a teaspoonful of turmeric powder with cream, sandal powder and bengal gram flour and make into a paste and apply once a day for about half an hour before a bath.
  8. This is an excellent beauty aid to keep the face fresh and soft.
  9. Grate and squeeze juice out of a small piece of watermelon. Apply it on your face and leave it on for about fifteen minutes. Then wash with hot water and splash on some cold water. This lotion not only freshens up the skin but also clears the skin of its blemishes.
  10. Grind a few cabbage leaves and extract the juice. Dissolve a little yeast in it and to this add a teaspoon of honey. Mix well and apply it thickly over your face and neck and leave it on for fifteen minutes. Then remove with cotton wool soaked in water. This is an excellent remedy for counter-acting dry skin
  11. To close pores that are open, rub ice wrapped in cotton wool gently on the face.
  12. Add a little carrot juice and orange juice to a cup of milk. Rub this mixture daily on a face scarred with smallpox marks and they may disappear gradually.
  13. To remove dead skin from the face, apply a mixture of glycerine, limejuice and sugar and rub gently.

Organic. All natural. Herbal. Any of these words on the label of our personal care products makes it more appealing. After all, all natural is 搃n� these days. What is not too appealing is the unnaturally high price you pay at the checkout. So, why not avoid the extra cost and make these beauty treatments at home? The result is store bought beauty without the store bought price.

Shampoo, for example, can really get expensive if you are looking for something extra for problem hair, or just to give your hair a little pizzazz. However, if you are on a budget, you may buy the cheaper brands, sacrificing the extra benefits the others provide.

A simple solution is following your usual shampoo with a homemade rinse. For shiny hair, rinse with cider vinegar, one half cup to every quart of water. If natural highlights are what you are looking for, use chamomile tea, or make your own rinse by steeping chamomile flowers in hot water, then strain. Remove build up caused by hair sprays and other products with a rinse of Witch Hazel. Whichever one you use, make sure you catch the liquid in a bowl if you want to rinse your hair more than once.

Another area that can get costly is skin care products. From toners to cleansers, the more they claim to do the more expensive they are. However, it is surprisingly simple to get wonderful results with things you may already have around the house. You might not know it, but an egg makes a good mask. To tone and tighten, use a beaten egg white. Apply to your face and then rinse it off after it dries. To remove excess oil, the egg yolk can be whipped and mixed with six tablespoons of honey to make a peel off mask.

A refreshing facial is as simple as pouring boiling water over chamomile flowers in a bowl. Just hold your face a few inches above the water and let the steam work its magic. (You can do this, and then later use the liquid for your hair.) If you need an astringent after your facial, Witch Hazel is an all-natural one that can still be bought for about one half of what the name brands cost.

For an all over beauty treatment, relax in a tub full of water with one half cup of powdered milk, which acts as a skin softener. To make your beauty bath do double duty, add a cheesecloth or muslin bag filled with your favorite herbs. Soothing herbs are chamomile flowers and rose flowers. For a stimulating bath, you can use basil, bay, rosemary, or thyme. Sage and strawberry leaves relieve aching muscles and joints. On the other hand, you can make a cleansing body scrub with a handful of oatmeal and two teaspoons of sea salt.

After trying a few of these beauty boosters, you will feel like you have had the spa treatment, without ever leaving home, and, without your money ever leaving your pocket.
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Skin Protection

Some ways of protecting your skin:

  1. Good Nutrition: a well balanced diet is vital for the health and appearance of the skin
  2. Intake of Vitamins & Minerals
    • Vitamins A, C, E and Minerals like zinc, copper and selenium act as antioxidants to trap free radical thereby delaying wrinkles.
    • Vitamin B5 helps in absorption and retention of moisture.
  3. Avoidance of internal threats like alcohol, caffeine, smoking, medications and stress.
  4. Combating external threats like:
    • extremes of climate – heat, cold, humidity
    • Sun exposure
    • Environmental pollution, i.e. smoke, chemicals etc.

Antioxidant nutrients and skin protection

Free radical damage is one of the principal mechanisms of aging. Free radicals are highly and indiscriminately reactive chemicals that can damage any structure in living cells. The most common source of free radicals is normal burning of fuel that occurs in every cell every minute of every day. (Generally, the more free radicals a species produces, the shorter its life span.) Skin suffers additional free radical damage from sunlight and pollutants.

Topical antioxidants provide some protection against environmental damage to the skin and may be somewhat effective in slowing down the skin aging. However, topical antioxidants are relatively unreliable. Their effect depends on skin permeability, other ingredients in the cream and many other factors. It appears that increasing oral intake of some antioxidants may additionally protect skin from free radicals. Keep in mind, however, that relatively little solid research has been done specifically on skin benefits of oral or topical antioxidants and much of the supporting evidence is indirect.

A very important chemical property for an oxidant is its solubility in water and fat (or oil). Basically, living organisms have two types of internal media, watery extra- and intracellular space and oily membranes that serve as partitions enclosing individual cells and various intracellular compartments. Water-soluble antioxidants are effective mainly in extra- and intracellular fluid, whereas fat-soluble antioxidants protect biological membranes. Both types of antioxidants are needed to create an effective shield against free radicals for the entire body, and skin in particular.

Solubility of antioxidants
Water soluble
Fat soluble
Water and fat soluble
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Vitamin A
Coenzyme Q10
Lipoic acid
Some polyphenols
Some flavonoids

Below we review some of the antioxidant nutrients and supplements which appear the most likely to produce skin benefits.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a principal fat soluble antioxidant vitamin in the body. It protects cellular membranes, lipoproteins and other "oily" structures. Skin is high in unsaturated fatty acids ("oily" molecules especially susceptible to free radical damage), and can benefit from vitamin E protection (both oral and topical).


Flavonoids are a diverse group of plant pigments with antioxidant properties. These substances are responsible for color in many fruits, vegetables and flowers. In addition to providing color that attracts insects or animals, these pigments protect plants from environmental stress. In addition to being potent antioxidants, some flavonoids have antiallergic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory activity. Over 4,000 flavonoids have been characterized and classified, but only a few have been researched. As far as skin benefits are concerned, two classes of flavonoids appear to be especially beneficial: proanthocyanins (found in grapes and pine bark) and polyphenols (found in green tea).

Coenzyme Q10, Lipoic acid, Cysteine, Methionine

Coenzyme Q10, lipoic acid, cysteine and methionine are potent antioxidants. But they also play other roles that are at least as important as their antioxidant activity. See also the article about conditionally essential nutrients in this section.

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Facial Skin Care

Facial skin care should be an integral part of your beauty routine. Your basic facial skin care should include cleansing, moisturizing, exfoliating, and treatment. Make sure to choose products that are easy to use and appropriate for your skin type. Everyday facial skin care needs they do the trick naturally and effectively. They key to knowing and selecting natural skin care products, lies in educating yourself on the ingredients and their benefits. On this page we will briefly touch on a few of the more popular ingredients.

Ingredients in Natural Skin Care Products

You cannot flip through a magazine without seeing products featuring vitamin C. Vitamin C does more than keep the colds at bay, it serves to clarify and brighten the skin tone. Grape extract is similar to Vitamin C, while white birch extract and carrot oil help to reduce the look of fine dry lines.

When it comes to supplying hydration nature does not disappoint. Glycerin, shea butter, and borage oil are commonly called 'moisture magnets'. They help attract and draw moisture from the air into the skin. Avocado oil, beeswax, and almond oil also offer deep hydration to the skin.

Wait what about those of us who suffer from an over abundance of oil and breakouts? Seaweed extract is a popular ingredient in oil free moisturizer and treatments. It helps to control excess oil production. Kaolin Clay is often used in masks and blemish products to dry out blemishes. If your skin is red and irritated you may want to try beauty products with licorice root or chamomile. Most of all we can't forget the natural skin care products biggest feature, anti-oxidants. Some of the biggest contenders are vitamin E and green tea extract; they help to protect skin against harmful environmental damage.
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High blood pressure- Decide What Is Best for You

High blood pressure when the heart pumps blood into the arteries, the blood flows with a force approaching against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure is the creation of the flow of blood times the resistance in the blood vessels. High blood pressure is also called hypertension.

So hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated or high. You have high blood pressure or at risk of developing high blood pressure? If so do not be discouraged, there are ways to control and reduce blood pressure without medication. Simple lifestyle habits are the most general and common causes for high blood pressure and easily helped.

Please note that sometimes, everything you try may not work. You can take the help of drugs along with their lifestyle. Talk to your doctor first. They will be able to help you with the best option for your lifestyle.

The first thing you can do is achieve a healthy weight if you are not already. Being overweight is a great risk of develop high blood pressure. You can avoid this by watching your diet and reach your healthy weight.

If you are unsure of your weight should be healthy, you should talk to your doctor. You can even find an online site that allows you to calculate you’re BMI (body mass index) and this will tell you that your weight is healthy.

The exercise should be a normal part of your lifestyle. Not everyone likes to exercise, and even if you're one of those people, you can still add it to your routine every day. Just thirty minutes a day of exercise will greatly reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

If you can not set aside thirty minutes to an hour to ten minutes to an hour. This is so effective and can reach thirty minutes in your day faster and easier than you thought. You can walk or run, or whatever you like to exercise.

Your diet plays an important role in your blood pressure too. A high intake of salt and sodium can greatly increase the risk. Try to limit over-consumption of salt and sodium and have your doctor advice you on the recommended amount according to your blood pressure levels.

Using herbs and spices instead of salt is a great way to reduce salt intake. When you go out to eat somewhere, suggest "no salt" or ask to add salt so you know whether you should or not. Many people consume tons more salt than they really should and not even know it.

Stress plays a big role in high blood pressure and unfortunately or unluckily many people suffer from stress. The best way to help your own is to find a relaxation technique that works best for you. Try meditation, or something you always relaxed before. Leave the stress of the day and let you enjoy your free time stress. Take your time to do so.

When you try to change their life habits, try to keep a record too. Grab a notebook or journal and write down what you did and check blood pressure frequently. Note: If you make a difference or remain the same.

If lifestyle changes do not help as much as you like, you might consider talking to your doctor about taking medication. Sometimes lifestyle changes alone are not as effective unless used with medication. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have and that can help you decide what is best for you.
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Headache basics – Causes and treatment

Pain in the head is known as a headache. The scientific name for the condition is cephalalgia. Headaches are one of the most frequently reported conditions. In fact, it is estimated that everyone experiences mild to severe headache at some point in his or her life. Pain during a headache is experienced in one or more parts of the head as well as the back of the neck. The pain may be experienced in the nerves extending over the scalp and specific nerves located in the face, mouth and throat. Besides, the muscles of the head and the blood vessels located on the surface and base of the brain too may become painful.

Types of headache

The International Headache Society lists more than 150 types of headaches. The majority of the headaches can be classified as either primary (not caused by an underlying condition) or secondary (caused by other factors such as injury or infection). Tension headaches, migraines and cluster headaches are among the most common types of primary headaches. While being painful and annoying, the majority of headaches subsides on their own or may be relieved by over-the-counter painkiller medicines and/or changes in lifestyle.

Causes of headache

Researchers are still not clear about the causes of headaches; however, they have identified a number of causes as well as potential causes. Some of the most commonly reported causes of headaches include stress and fatigue, tension, migraine, musculo-skeletal conditions, hyper-mastication, eyestrain, dehydration, low blood sugar, migraine, viral infection and sinusitis. In rare cases, headaches may be caused due to life-threatening conditions such as brain tumours, meningitis, encephalitis, cerebral aneurysms and extremely high blood pressure. Headaches may also occur because of head injury. Women may experience headaches and even migraines due to fluctuating estrogens level during menstrual years.

Headache treatment

In most cases, headaches subside on their own without any treatment. However, to get an early relief you can take help of massage or herbal remedies. If this does not help, you can take help of non-prescription painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen. Sufferers of chronic headaches may need to consult a doctor for stronger prescription medicines to get relief from headache. Apart from giving you medications, your doctor may suggest you to keep a headache diary wherein you would be asked to make a note of when the pain started and how long it lasted. You will also be required to note down any additional factors such as what you ate, drank, weather conditions, sleeping patterns and details about your periods if you are a woman. The diary will help you to identify your headache triggers. You can learn to avoid these triggers and thereby reduce the frequency of your headaches.

Those who suffer from headaches frequently can also take the help of advanced drug-free headache therapies such as Cefaly electrotherapy device. Cefaly is a medically proven device that emits electronic impulses to your nerves that cause pain and provide you with drug-free relief from headaches. A regular use of Cefaly can also help to reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches.

In addition, you can take the help of a detox foot spa such as BioEnergiser Classic Detox Foot Spa and BioEnergiser Professional Detox Foot Spa. These home use detox foot spas relieve your body of toxins that may cause you headaches and migraines. With regular use of the detox foot spa, you’ll notice a considerable reduction in the intensity and frequency of your headaches.
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10 Signs You Obsess Over Raw Foods

There's no doubt about it, a low fat raw food diet is definitely the healthiest out there. But what if you have become obsessed with your restrictive diet?

Here are 10 signs to help you find out if you are obsessing over raw foods:

Are You Obsessing Over Eating?

Answer true or false to the following statements to see if you are an obsessive eater:

#1: You worry about food all the time.

#2: You worry about your weight constantly.

#3: You measure every little bit of food before it goes into your mouth.

#4: You severely restrict your caloric intake.

#5: You refrain from participating in activities you love because of your diet.

#6: You feel superior to others because of your strict diet.

#7: You measure your own self-worth based on whether you stick with your diet or not.

#8: You have a really hard time sticking with your diet.

#9: You try to convince everyone that they should eat the way you do.

#10: Your diet makes you unhappy.

If you can relate to any one of these statements, then you should definitely take a step back and reanalyze

I threw in number two because most often food obsession can be traced back to an obsession over one's weight. Let's face it, people who don't fret about the number on the scale don't weigh their food at every meal or severely restrict their calories.

Number nine may seem strange, being that this is a site dedicated to convincing others to eat the way I do, but there is a difference. I don't go out into the world trying to convert anyone and everyone. I let those who are interested come to me.

If you think raw is the way for you, then you're in the right place. If not, that's fine. I won't waste my time or yours trying to convince you of something that doesn't interest you, even if taking my advice would be in your best interest health-wise.

Number ten may seem strange as well, but it is definitely not uncommon. In fact, I would say that most people are ultimately unhappy about sticking with their diet. For raw foodists, it comes down to the social aspect. Sure, the health benefits are great, but going to restaurants, visiting family, and the feelings of isolation can be tough.

You have to decide if being raw in a cooked food world works for you and makes you happy in the long run. You and ONLY YOU can make this decision.

Being Organized is NOT Obsessive

I do want to be clear that being prepared and organized when it comes to your food is NOT obsessive. There is nothing wrong with knowing the amount of calories that are in the foods you eat or exactly how much food you need to buy when you go shopping.

As I've said time and time again, preparing and being organized is what success is all about when it comes to going and staying low fat raw vegan.

Go raw and be fit,
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Sensitive Skin Care

Sensitive skin care is an important topic for many people. Why? Unfortunately, it is because sensitive skin is fairly common in today’s population.

Sensitive skin is a condition that can be quite vague. For example, some people do not care for their skin properly or use harsh products. Usually, this results in some sort of ailment, leading the individuals to think that they have sensitive skin.

However, the above example is not the type of problem that this page is concerned with. Instead, this page deals with individuals who have skin reactions with only minor exposure to some sort of irritant. In this situation, the skin condition is very frustrating because the individual may be following healthy skin care procedures, but yet still suffer problems.

So then, what is sensitive skin? This condition is difficult to define. Dermatologists view it one-way, scientists another, and affected individuals another way as well. However, in general terms, sensitive skin can be defined as skin that is easily irritated and the results can range from mild to severe.

How do you know you have sensitive skin and require sensitive skin care? This is another difficult question. In fact, dermatologists often have a difficult time diagnosing and treating this condition. Nevertheless, there are common signs or symptoms that lead one to conclude that they have sensitive skin.

Once it has been established that your skin is more sensitive than the average person, the next step is to deal with it. Unfortunately, many individuals get very frustrated with this problem. They don’t seek professional advice for sensitive skin care because this is a very difficult condition to cure or even manage.

First of all, a dermatologist or doctor should be consulted to determine if the sensitive skin is a result of a more serious underlying health problem. If no other problems are found, then it becomes a situation where a dermatologist may try different sensitive skin care treatments to ease the condition. However, many times this is not enough. Individuals need to note on their own what triggers a reaction. They need to keep a close account of skin products they use, what they eat, etc. and come armed with this information when visiting a specialist. Treatment also involves the individual managing their own condition by eliminating certain irritants or trying different products after consultation with a doctor.

There are various skin diseases (or conditions) that can be linked to sensitive skin. Examples of these are: urticaria, dermatographism, and rosacea. These conditions tend to be present in individuals with overly sensitive skin.

Manufacturers have taken notice of this problem. There are many sensitive skin care products available. Experimentation with a variety of these products is the best way to find what may or may not work for you.

Below are hypoallergenic dry sheets and an example of a senstive skin care product. These are a must for anyone with sensitive skin. In fact, even those without sensitive skin will get benefits from these sheets. You get all the benefits that dryer sheets provide without the many chemicals that are present in regular dryer sheets.
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Types of Urticaria

Urticaria describes a skin condition that is characterized by the development of various types of extremely itchy and swollen red bumps or patches on the skin. These patches or hives may appear suddenly as a result of the body’s adverse reaction to certain allergens. The skin on any part of the body including the face, lips, tongue, throat or ears is vulnerable to this condition. The hives that appear can vary in size and can last for only a few minutes or for several days.

There are several different types of urticaria. Although the different types are all related, they do produce varying symptoms. Sometimes an individual may have more than one type. Described below are descriptions for acute, chronic, drug-induced, and physical urticaria.


Acute urticaria usually becomes evident a few minutes after contact with the allergen. The reaction may last from a few hours to several weeks, but usually less than six weeks. Typically, the hives are evident only for a few days. Reactions as a result of food allergens typically cause the acute form of this skin problem, but for about half the cases the cause is usually not found. Common foods that act as triggers are: shell fish, nuts, eggs, fish, acid derivatives, and certain food dyes. Other allergens can be antibiotics, bee or wasp stings or skin contact with certain fragrances.

This type of urticaria can occur with anaphylaxis – a severe allergic response leading to difficulty in breathing and possible death.


Chronic urticaria is characterized by hives that appear daily or almost daily for at least six weeks or more. Visually, both acute and chronic forms of the disease are the same. The problem is that the chronic form can persist for a long time. More severe cases can last up to 20 or more years. An identifiable cause for the problem is rarely found.


Drugs that have caused allergic reactions manifesting as urticaria include: aspirin, penicillin, sulfonamides, anti-convulsants, and anti-diabetic drugs such as suphonylurea.


Dermatographism or Dermographism

Dermatographism is the appearance of wheals or welts on the skin as a result of rubbing, scratching, or firm stroking of the skin. It is the most common form of physical urticaria. The skin reaction usually appears soon after the rubbing and disappears within 30 minutes.

Pressure or Delayed Pressure

This type can occur immediately after a pressure stimulus or as a delayed response to sustained pressure being applied to the skin. In the delayed form, the hives only appear after about six hours from the initial application of pressure to the skin. Generally, these hives are not the same as those found with most urticarias. Instead, the swelling in the affected areas is typically more diffuse. The hives may last from about 8 hours to three days.

The source of the pressure on the skin can be from tight fitting clothing, belts, bra straps, walking, leaning against an object, standing, sitting on a hard surface, etc. The areas of the body commonly affected are the hands, feet, the trunk, the buttocks, legs, and the face.

Although this appears to be very similar to dermatographism, the main difference is that the raised skin areas do not appear quickly and tend to last much longer. This form of the disease is rare.

Cholinergic or Stress (Adrenergic)

This form is fairly common and occurs with exercise, sweating, or any activity that leads to a warming of the core body temperature such as warm or hot baths or showers. The hives that are produced are typically smaller than the classic hives. In severe cases, hundreds of tiny red itchy spots appear on the skin with exercising, when the individual is warm or when the individual is stressed. The red spots appear rather quickly and remain for about 60 to 90 minutes on average.


Cold hives are caused by exposure of the skin to cold temperatures. In particular, the hives appear on the skin areas that have been exposed to cold, damp, and windy conditions.


This rare form is triggered by the application of heat on the skin. Hives develop within 2 to 5 minutes on the area of the skin that was exposed to heat. The hives usually do not last more than an hour.


This is a rare form of the disease and is caused on areas of the skin that have been exposed to the sun. The skin condition becomes evident within minutes of the sun exposure. After the individual is no longer exposed to the sun, the condition starts to fade within a few minutes to a few hours and rarely lasts longer than 24 hours.


This type is very rare and occurs upon contact with water. The reaction is not temperature dependent and the skin appears similar to cholinergic form of the disease. The appearance of hives is within 1 to 15 minutes of contact with the water and can last from 10 minutes to two hours.
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Treatment for Oily Skin

Is it necessary to find a TREATMENT FOR OILY SKIN? After all, oily skin is not always a negative thing. For example, oily skin ages at a slower rate than other skin types such as dry skin. Over time, less wrinkles and fine lines develop in the skin. In addition, oil production decreases with age, so why worry about it now when eventually it likely won’t be a problem?

Despite some of the advantages of having oily skin, there are disadvantages as well. Skin with excess oil or sebum on it mixes with dead skin cells, dust, and dirt and then plugs skin pores. If bacteria are also present around the skin pores, they can get trapped in the pores and cause inflammation, redness, and swelling of the affected area. This results in acne – blackheads, whiteheads, and other skin blemishes and possible scarring of the skin. Therefore, it is recommended to take action now and pursue a treatment for oily skin instead of waiting for age to solve this skin care problem.

A suitable treatment for oily skin involves three major steps:

•properly cleansing the skin to remove the excess oil or sebum as well as dead skin cells and accumulated dirt
•disinfecting the skin and mopping up any remaining excess oil
•moisturizing the skin

Cleansing the Skin

In any treatment for oily skin, the most fundamental and key step is to properly cleanse the skin. Proper cleansing involves the removal of excess surface oil from the skin without removal of lipids or oils within the skin. These lipids are necessary for healthy skin and need to be retained. If too much oil is removed out of the skin, then this will simply make the oily skin problem worse because the sebaceous or oil glands get stimulated to overproduce oil. A good cleaning of the skin also prevents pores from getting clogged and kills acne-causing bacteria thus preventing acne blemishes from appearing.

To wash the skin, use a cleanser with a mild synthetic detergent (specially formulated for skin use) that is oil, wax, or lipid free. The cleanser should clean without drying the skin. Some suggest using mild soaps such as Ivory or a pure natural soap with no artificial additives to remove the surface oil on the skin. Whichever substance is used for cleaning, only wash the skin two to three times per day at the most. Too much washing will dry out the skin and stimulate overproduction or oil. Use warm water for washing. Water that is too hot will dry out the skin and cool or cold water is not effective in removing surface oil from the skin. Lightly massaging the cleanser or soap on the skin is best. Do not rub too hard.

Washing the skin with harsh soaps is not an effective treatment for oily skin. These harsh products will not only irritate the skin, but also definitely strip lipids from the skin and stimulate overproduction of oil. Avoid the use of heavy cleansing creams or greasy products as well in a treatment for oily skin.

Some cleansers use low concentrations of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as salicylic acid to remove dead skin cells and retard the production of sebum. Cleansers may also be lightly medicated or contain an antibacterial agent to kill bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide can often be found in these types of facial cleansers.

Exfoliation or the removal of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin is a key factor in the treatment of oily skin. This process prevents pore clogging, helps remove trapped oil within the sebaceous or oil ducts, and makes larger pores that are present with oily skin appear smaller. Exfoliation also acts to unclog pores, which is key in preventing skin problems such as acne. As part of the skin cleansing process, exfoliation should be performed two to three times a week or daily if it is done mildly. Exfoliants can be incorporated into the cleanser itself or can be performed using exfoliating pads such as glycolic pads.

Lathering cloths or pads for the face are becoming popular as a skin cleansing method and as a treatment for oily skin. These cloths can be formulated to meet the specific needs of different skin types and so there are cloths that are available for oily skin. These products provide excellent skin cleansing. They contain a low level of surfactants and therefore are mild for the skin. Often these cloths also contain conditioning agents for the skin to improve overall skin health. The availability of different cloth textures allows for exfoliation of the skin while cleansing. Use of lathering cloths can be very convenient as a treatment for oily skin because they combine many of the key elements necessary for skin cleansing all in one package.

Astringent or Toner

After cleansing, the next step in a successful treatment for oily skin is to use an astringent. An astringent or toner, as it is commonly referred to, is an important part of the cleansing process. The purpose of an astringent is to contract, firm or tighten the skin, strengthen the skin, and all these factors lead to the reduction of oil secretions from the skin. In addition, toners lower the pH of the skin after cleansing and can be used to provide extra cleansing by removing excess oil form the surface of the skin.

An astringent or toner can be used right after the cleansing step or can be used throughout the day (by using astringent pads) to quickly remove excess oil from the skin and help control the oily skin problem. It can be used over the whole facial area, but generally it is recommended that this substance be used on the most oily skin areas only.

Toners for the treatment of oily skin usually contain alcohol, but look for those that contain acetone as well. Rubbing alcohol can also be used, but it may be a little too harsh for individuals with more sensitive skin. Sensitive skin individuals can try witch hazel, which is less harsh on the skin. Alcohol can dry out the skin significantly. For individuals with very oily skin, this is not a problem. However, those people with less oily skin may experience significant dry skin if astringents or toners are used too often. If your skin is getting too dry, then reduce the number of times a toner is used.

Non-alcoholic astringents are not as effective as a treatment for oily skin, but better for individuals with sensitive skin.


The final step to properly finish off the treatment for oily skin is to use a mild oil-free, wax-free, and lipid-free moisturizer. This is necessary to combat the drying effect of the cleanser or toner. Frequency of use depends on the degree of skin oiliness. In general, very oily skin may not need extra moisturizing.

Use of Clay Masks

Another treatment for oily skin is to use a clay mask approximately one time per week. A clay mud mask can be an effective natural way of clearing away excess oil from the skin without excessively drying the skin as occurs with some chemical products. As the clay mask dries after it has been applied, it effectively absorbs the excess oil from the surface of the skin, along with dirt and dead skin cells. In addition, it tightens the skin pores and prevents them from getting blocked.

Some people claim that clay masks are very effective in drawing out impurities resting deep within the skin pores. However, many dermatologists claim that such masks do not extract contaminants and excess oil deep within the skin pores even though they do think that clay masks are a useful treatment for oily skin.

Darker clay or dark brown mud masks are more effective at absorbing oil from the skin. For people with sensitive skin, the white or rose-colored clay masks may be a better choice because they are gentler on the skin.

Other Tips for the Treatment of Oily Skin

Below are some additional tips that may be helpful in the treatment of oily skin.

•ensure that the skin care products used are oil-free (water based non-comedogenic) or chose cosmetic and facial care products that are specifically designed for oily skin
•experiment to find the right oil free skin care products for you because everyone’s skin is different
•makeup for oily skin is not a treatment for oily skin, but instead is designed to soak up excess oil so that makeup remains unaffected
•always remove make-up before going to bed as an essential part of any treatment for oily skin
•avoid rubbing or touching the oily skin when you are not cleaning it; otherwise, you may clog the skin pores and cause acne
•for those in need of them, dermatologists can prescribe stronger products for oily skin: vitamin A creams, retinoids, sulphur creams, etc.
•topical vitamin derivatives with tretinoin and isotretinoin can be prescribed by a dermatologist to tackle sensitive oily skin
•follow a proper diet as a treatment for oily skin: eat plenty of fresh fruits, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts in order to prevent a B2 and B5 deficiency that can cause oily skin
•stop smoking, since smoking enlarges skin pores and allows the secretion of more skin oil to the surface of the skin
•relax, exercise regularly and get enough sleep, because stress affects hormone levels which in turn stimulates the oil producing sebaceous glands
•where possible eliminate the causes of oily skin as a treatment for oily skin.
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Oily Face Causes

An oily face or oily skin in general is a skin care problem for many individuals from any age, race, or gender.

The face usually experiences this skin problem in the forehead region, along the nose, and along the chin. In these areas of the face, the oil glands are bigger and more active. The neck, chest, and back areas also have many active sebaceous glands and oily skin can be a problem in these areas as well.

Visit the link: oily face signs to help you determine your skin type and whether you have oily skin.

To properly care for oily skin, it is important to understand the reasons why oily skin occurs in the first place. In some cases, it is possible to avoid the causes of oily skin, whereas in others the individual may be stuck with this skin care problem for life.

An oily face or oily skin occurs when there is an overproduction of sebum. Sebum is an oily compound produced naturally by oil glands, known as sebaceous glands, in the skin. In the right amounts, this oil functions effectively to moisturize and protect the skin from the harsh environment we live in. However, in excess amounts, sebum will cause skin care problems. Most notable of the skin care problems are acne and acne related blemishes.

Let us take a closer look at why many people have an oily face or oily skin problem.


Our genetic make-up determines how much oil our sebaceous glands will produce. As a result, the skin of some individuals will naturally produce more oil than others. If oily skin is a common problem in the family, then the odds are that you will also have the same skin care problem. There is not much that can be done because this condition is pre-programmed into our bodies. Fortunately, as a person ages, the sebaceous glands produce less oil and an oily face or oily skin becomes less of a problem.

Hormones and Hormone Imbalances

Certain hormones act on the sebaceous glands and stimulate them to produce more than the normal amount of sebum. Every person is different and every person’s oil glands are likely to respond differently to hormones.

During adolescence, there is a rise in the amount of sex hormones called androgens. These hormones, in addition to being responsible for the development of secondary sex characteristics, also stimulate and enlarge the sebaceous glands. Therefore, the skin produces more sebum or oil and teenagers often have an oily face or oily skin. If the face or skin is not properly cleansed, then the excess oil will lead to acne, which of course is common in adolescents.

Pregnancy, menopause, and the use of birth control pills also create hormonal imbalances or changes in the levels of hormones in the body. Once again, this creates a situation where the oil glands get stimulated and produce more oil. The end result is an oily face or oily skin.


If a person has an oily face, then oil-based cosmetics should be avoided. Oil based cosmetic products will simply aggravate the oily skin problem. Choose cosmetics and skin care products that are specifically formulated for oily skin. In addition, avoid greasy cold creams and lotions, which will also increase the oiliness of the skin.

Soaps and Skin Cleaning

Soaps and especially harsh soaps or high alcohol containing skin care products are not recommended for individuals with an oily skin problem. These products will disturb the skin’s natural protective layer and aggravate the sebaceous glands. These oil glands will then be stimulated to produce more skin oil, resulting in the oily skin problem becoming worse.

Washing the face too frequently also removes the skin’s essential oils and stimulates the oil glands to overproduce oil.


Some believe that certain foods lead directly to oily skin. Examples are chocolate, soft drinks, and greasy fried foods. However, there are no valid studies that connect these foods specifically to oily skin.

Nevertheless, diet still does play a role in whether you have an oily face or not. The important factor to consider is that if you have a good diet your body will function better. If your body is functioning properly as a whole, then there is a greater chance that the oil glands will also function as they should and not overproduce oil.

There is also a possible link between a deficiency in vitamin B2 and vitamin B5 and oily skin. A deficiency in these vitamins could promote the formation of an oily skin problem. Whole grains, beans, and nuts are good sources of these vitamins.

Other Factors

In addition to the factors mentioned above, an oily face or oily skin may be caused by:

•some medications can lead to an increase in production of skin oil
•heat and humidity can also stimulate oil production from the glands and lead to an oily face
•the working conditions that an individual is exposed to on a daily basis can influence the amount of oil on the face
•smoking promotes the enlargement of skin pores and therefore the skin is able to excrete more oil to the surface of the skin
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Problem skin can be divided into various categories. Determining which skin type your skin matches is an important step in proper and healthy skin care. For example, you do not want to pursue a skin care regiment or use skin care products for oily skin if you have dry skin. In addition, if you have sensitive skin, then you need to pay closer attention to the type of products being used on your skin to avoid possible allergic skin reactions.

Skin has its own set of characteristics that are very useful in the identification of the actual skin type. However, before examining the characteristics of problem skin, it would be useful to examine the properties of normal skin.


The characteristics of an individual with a normal skin type are:

•skin texture is even, soft, smooth, and plump
•the skin is reasonably firm to the touch
•the skin has good elasticity
•no red or dark patches on the skin and the skin color is fairly even
•pores of the skin are small to medium in size
•blemishes are uncommon
•in general the skin neither feels too oily or too dry
•most quality skin care products do not irritate the skin
•overall the skin looks vibrant and healthy


The first type of problem skin is oily skin. An individual with oily skin may have the following skin features:

•shiny or slippery skin appearance, especially on the forehead, nose, and chin (the T-zone)
•skin is course, overly firm, and thicker, beyond that of normal skin
•pores are large and visible
•pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and other acne blemishes are present or frequently appear
•after washing, skin gets an oily build-up after only a couple of hours
•oily film on face is present after sleeping
•for women, make-up foundation only lasts a couple of hours
•flakiness around the nose area may exist due to dried excess oils
•oily skin is slow to develop discolorations such as freckles, fine lines, and wrinkles as the skin ages
•the skin tans easily
•hair is oily


Opposite to oily skin, dry skin is another common type of problem skin. The various signs given below identify dry skin:

•flaking of the skin is common
•skin feels tight (especially after washing), looks dull, and is rough
•the skin may have red patches
•in more severe cases, this skin problem will cause cracks in and bleeding of the skin
•fine lines and wrinkles are evident
•skin generally has fine pores
•few acne blemishes are present
•the skin is often itchy
•hair is dry

For more information on dry skin, please visit the following link: problem skin - dry skin care.


Combination skin is a term used to described skin that can be both oily and dry at the same time. It is perhaps the most common type of problematic skin and looking for the following characteristics can identify it:

•the forehead, chin, and nose are oily (the T-zone area), but the cheeks and skin around the eyes can range from normal to dry
•in another manifestation of combination skin, the skin may be oily along the chin, jaw line, and temples, but dry or normal elsewhere
•skin pores are medium in size
•overall the skin appears normal and healthy, not including those small affected areas that are too oily or dry


Sensitive skin is very troublesome for many individuals. People with this skin type experience the following:

•sensitivity to cosmetics (especially those that are heavily scented)
•rashes or red blotchy patches may develop on the skin with exposure to applied pressure, wind, sun, or temperature changes
•certain skin care products also trigger rashes
•broken blood vessels and capillaries are evident under the surface of the skin
•this problem skin type usually has a fine texture
•skin has fine pores

Another element of sensitive skin has to do with sensitivity to the sun. People with this type of problem skin are generally more susceptible to sunburns. However, susceptibility to sunburns is not exclusive to individuals that have problem skin. Features such as skin color, hair color, and eye color can determine sun sensitivity.

If a person has:

•white or pale/milky skin, freckles, blond or red hair, blue or green eyes

then the individual never tans and is more likely to be sunburned with the potential of painful swelling and skin blistering/peeling.

If a person has:

•white skin, blond hair, blue or green eyes

then the individual is likely to be sunburned, but sometimes may tan.

If a person has:

•white skin or light brown or olive toned skin, dark hair, brown eyes

then the individual is not usually sunburned, but instead usually tans.

If a person has:

•brown to dark skin, brown or black hair, brown eyes

then the individual always tans and rarely is sunburned.

Regardless of whether you have problem skin or heightened skin sensitivity, the use of an appropriate sunscreen is highly recommended when in the sun.
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Oily skin care is a difficult topic to address. On one hand you need a certain amount of oil on your skin to keep it healthy and young looking. Natural skin oils are necessary to prevent problems such as dry skin. Oily skin is also less susceptible to the development of fine lines and wrinkles, discolouration, and freckles.
On the other hand, skin that is oily attracts more dust and dirt to the skin surface and excessive oil build-up can clog pores leading to problems such as acne breakouts. Oily skin leads to the development of larger than normal skin pores (often mistaken as acne scars) that give the skin a rough appearance. Therefore, because oily skin has some advantages, but also disadvantages, proper skincare (especially on the face) is a challenge.

As skin ages, the tendency is for dry skin to be more of a problem. However, skin that is too oily can occur at any age, for any gender, or for any race group. It is a problem that cannot be ignored.

Before discussing skin care for oily skin, it is important to identify your skin type. Is it oily or is it just normal? This is necessary information to know in order to diagnose that you actually have an oily skin problem. You do not want to treat a condition that may not actually exist.

The next step is to examine the causes of oily skin. There are many reasons why skin becomes oily. It could be genetics or diet. Understanding the causes is essential before undertaking treatments, because simply avoiding some of the causes may actually be the only treatment necessary.

When treatments are required, please take note that remedies to restore skin to its natural oil balance can vary substantially. For example, oily skin can be managed by following a set of basic treatments for oily skin care such as proper washing and use of common products for skin that is oily. However, many people prefer all natural remedies in dealing with this problem. Finally, diet and nutrition (what you eat or don’t eat) can play a significant role in a treatment plan.

Proper care of oily skin involves diagnosing your skin type, focussing on the causes, and experimenting with a variety of treatments. Oily skin is generally not a serious problem that requires a visit to a dermatologist (unless more serious complications arise). However, this condition does require proper attention to ensure your skin remains beautiful and healthy
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Dry Skin Prevention Tips

Dry skin prevention is the one of the best treatments for dry skin. Dry skin cannot always be prevented because of the many causes, but where possible, why not take steps to prevent dry skin from occurring. Below are some dry skin prevention tips.


•take no more than one shower or bath daily
•avoid long bathing times (around 10 minutes is best)
•baths are kinder to the skin that showers, especially when mild unscented bath oils are used
•reduce the frequency of bathing/showering, especially in the winter months
•avoid hot water, use only warm water for proper dry skin prevention
•use a soap with a high fat content or contains glycerin or is a mild unscented moisturizing soap (e.g. Dove or Cetaphil)
•avoid the use of strong anti-bacterial and/or deodorant soaps or bubble baths
•some people will have to limit the use of any soap as much as possible because of extra skin sensitivity
•avoid scrubbing with pads, mitts, or face cloths and pat dry the skin instead of rubbing with a towel
•after shower apply moisturizer with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or glycerin or petrolatum while the skin is still wet because moisturizers work better on moist skin
•avoid scented moisturizers or lanolin containing ones

When Outdoors

•cover exposed skin when whether is cold and windy
•in very cold weather, if skin is not covered with clothing, petroleum jelly should be used for protection
•in hot months, use sunscreen with moisturizer to prevent dry skin

When Indoors

•in the cold dry winter months, use a humidifier to raise the relative humidity by a small amount
•high humidity in a house during the winter, although great for the skin and your plants is not recommended for your house (see the chart for recommended settings)
•keep your thermostat at a lower (but comfortable) temperature in the winter months to prevent exposure to a lot of dry heat
•avoid the use of electric blankets because they generate dry heat

Personal Hygiene

•perfumes and antiperspirants should not be overused
•apply a moisturizer (with alpha hydroxy acids or glycerine or petrolatum) to the skin during the day as a daily prevention of dry skin technique


•avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption since these have diuretic properties
•ensure you are taking in enough water (8 glasses of water per day is generally recommended for good health and preventing dry skin)
•increase omega-3 fatty acids by consuming more cold-water fish, walnuts, and flax seeds or flaxseed oil

In addition to the dry skin prevention tips mentioned above, visit the dry skin causes page for more tips and hints on what can be done to prevent dry skin.
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There are many dry skin causes, but what exactly happened to your skin for it to be in this dry, chapped, and unhealthy condition?

Skin contains oil glands (sebaceous glands) that release oil (sebum). There are also other oils or fats (lipids) at work in the skin to help prevent dry skin. The role of the sebum and these other oils is to keep skin moisture at its proper level (about 30%), so that the skin is supple, resilient, and not dry. Basically, the oils form an excellent barrier and prevent water from inside the skin cells from escaping. Water is not soluble in oil and therefore it has difficulty penetrating the fatty layer. An added benefit of these oils is that they create a barrier to external contaminants from entering the body.

Dry skin means that these essential oils and fats have been stripped away from the skin matrix, which means among other things moisture or water loss in the skin.

There are a number of reasons why skin becomes dry or dry skin causes. Sources of the problem can vary widely. Below is a list of dry skin causes.

Inherited or Genetic Factors as Dry Skin Causes

•some individuals are genetically predisposed to dry skin
•specifically they may not be able to produce enough oils as is necessary or their skin may simply be more sensitive to damage


•as a person gets older (especially over 40 years old) there is a natural decrease in the body’s ability to maintain the proper production of oils and fats and this is one of the main causes of dry skin
•there is a loss of sweat and oil glands
•the skin thins, making it more vulnerable to drying and damage
•babies don’t have properly developed oil glands and therefore they are also more vulnerable to dry skin

Work or Other Activities

•any occupation that requires frequent hand washing will dry out skin
•activities such as gardening are problematic because the soil is abrasive and can dry out the hands
•construction or agricultural work, and some types of office work promote dry skin
•constant frictional irritation will lead to the skin becoming dry
•excessive air-travel because the air in airplanes is very dry is a dry skin cause

Frequent Washing or Swimming

•excessive bathing especially in hot water with harsh soaps strips away natural skin oils and is one of the main causes for dry skin
•frequent swimming in chlorinated water also removes essential skin oils and results in dry skin

Repeated Contact with Chemicals

•harsh soaps or antibacterial soaps, detergents, household cleaning products, rubbing alcohol, and solvents are all good oil strippers from the skin and can promote skin dryness
•dry skin can also be due to the use of products containing fragrances (and certain cosmetics) and lauryl sulfates
•overuse of perfumes or antiperspirants

Poor Diet

•vitamin A and the B vitamins promote healthy skin; a deficiency in these vitamins will lead to skin dryness and other skin problems
•a zinc deficiency will reduce the metabolic breakdown of fatty acids and vitamin A which are essential for good skin health
•a fat deficiency (such as not enough omega-3 fatty acids) is a problem because this means that there is not enough fat content in the skin matrix to prevent water loss

•dehydration caused by diarrhea, vomiting, high fever, excessive sweating, or not enough daily water drinking can dehydrate the body and skin

Caffeine, Alcohol, and Drugs

•drugs such as diuretics, antispasmodics, and antihistamines can dry out the skin and be dry skin causes


•causes changes in the elasticity of the skin
•some studies have shown that the skin of smokers contains less water content


•cool windy weather with low humidity, too much sun exposure, or hot and dry climates all are dry skin causes that act quickly

Central Heating and Air Conditioning

•forced air furnaces, wood-burning stoves, and electric heaters all dry out the air and the skin
•poor household ventilation can also lead to dry skin

Thyroid Disorders as Dry Skin Causes

•can lead to reduce activity of sweat and oil glands

Skin Diseases

•allergic reactions of the skin, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, seborrhoea, and diabetes are conditions that manifest themselves partly as dry skin
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Dry skin care treatments must be used when necessary to prevent dryness from robbing skin of its natural beauty and in order to maintain skin in good health.

It is likely that most people have at one time experienced a dry skincare problem to some degree either on their hands, face, or other parts of their body. However, how common is this problem? Do we really have to be concerned about dry skin care?

Twenty percent of the population suffers from a dry skin problem. That is one in five people and so, yes, dry skin is quite common. Depending on which part of the world you are from, this percentage may even be greater. It is a non-specific condition, affecting people of all ages. It is not solely a problem associated with skin aging.

Most people tend to ignore or not realize they have dry skin and this leads to the worsening of the condition. How do you know you have dry skin? Well, generally the same symptoms occur in people and this makes it easy to diagnose. The signs are usually obvious. However, the level of severity can differ substantially.
For a look at symptoms of a dry skincare problem - click here.

If you suspect you have a dry skin care problem then the next logical question is how did this happen to my once healthy skin. There are a number of reasons why your skin has become dry and the causes of dry skin are discussed here.

Fortunately, dry skin (also known generally as xerosis) usually is not a serious problem and for the most part can be controlled simply by being aware and using proper dry skincare products.

Prevention is your first weapon. Tips for preventing a dry skincare problem can be found here. Following these dry skin care recommendations is a must if you want to keep you skin healthy, but as we all know, we do not live in an ideal world. Sometimes our day-to-day demands prevent us from practicing dry skin care prevention and next thing you know, your skin is dry.

For minor symptoms, there are many effective dry skin care treatments and dry skin products. These can be pursued without doctor’s advice.
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Dry Skin Treatments

Dry skin treatments are really composed of a four-pronged approach. First, you must avoid the dry skin causes or in other words avoid the factors that make the skin become dry.

Second, dry skin prevention is critical as well. Take the necessary steps to avoid dry skin from becoming your problem. Being aware of the causes of dry skin and practising dry skin prevention are important dry skin treatments even if you already have dry skin, because this condition can get much worse than it already is.

The third factor in the dry skin treatment is seeking the advice from your family doctor who may refer you to a dermatologist. When should you seek the advice of a dermatologist? It is always better to be safe than sorry, especially when symptoms seem to be more problematic than just minor irritation. If you are concerned, make an appointment to discuss your dry skin problem.

The fourth factor in dry skin treatments is the use of a moisturizer. The use of a proper moisturizer (in combination with causes/prevention awareness) is an important element in dry skin treatment.
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Dry skin symptoms in people are generally the same. Skin is often driest on the arms, lower legs, and the sides of the abdomen. Other areas were dry skin is commonly found are the hands, face, elbows, and heels of feet. However, not everybody suffers from these symptoms to the same degree.

Symptoms vary depending on variables such as:

•geographical location (cold and dry climates producing greater symptoms)
•time spent outdoors.


There are two categories of dry skin symptoms. Basic dry skin symptoms are due to environmental factors or normal skin aging.

Basic Dry Skin Symptoms

•skin has a rough and dry texture instead of smooth
•a loss of plumpness – skin appears shrunken or dehydrated
•skin is dull in appearance
•after showering, bathing, or swimming the skin feels and looks tight
•flaking, scaling, or peeling of the skin is quite common
•itchy feeling which is sometimes intense (so intense it may interfere with proper sleep)
•calloused (toughened) skin
•normal fine lines or wrinkles in the skin become much more visible
•severe redness, inflamed areas, or tenderness in the skin
•cracks in skin or deep cuts that may bleed which are signs of extremely dry skin.

The other category of dry skin symptoms is due to more serious conditions. These symptoms are more specific to the stated condition.

Ichthyosis vulgaris (fish scale disease or fish skin disease)

This is a condition when the skin does not shed as it normally should. Instead, skin cells accumulate on the skin surface. The disease can be inherited, but is usually not present at birth, but rather develops after a few years. It may disappear during the adult years, but tends to return as the individual gets older. Symptoms for this condition are:

•dry scales on skin surface which range in colour from white to brown
•commonly found on lower legs where scales are thick and dark
•may cause flaking of the scalp
•may also be present as deep cracks on the palm of the hands and soles of the feet.

Lamellar Ichthyosis

This is a condition that is present at birth and stays with the individual over his/her lifetime. Babies are born encased in a filmy membrane that sheds after 10 to 14 days. For individuals with this condition, it is a very disfiguring dry skin condition that causes a lot of distress. In addition to the characteristics stated above, other symptoms of this dry skin disease are:

•skin is covered in scales which are either fine and white or thick and dark
•more common on legs, but generally found all over body.

Asteatotic Eczema

Symptoms for this condition are:

•skin is dry, scaly, and with deep cracks (like a dry riverbed)
•skin in this condition can become inflamed, itchy and will bleed
•usually occurs on the shins and occasionally on the thighs, hands, and torso.


Symptoms for psoriasis are:

•red skin that has dry silver scales similar to dandruff
•severe cases have cracked, bleeding skin with pus-filled blisters
•psoriasis is a chronic condition that flares up periodically although an individual may go many years without symptoms
•can occur at any age, but usually between the years of 15 to 35
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50 Weight Loss Tips

1. Dietary control and exercise. It’s true what they say – all you need to do is watch what you eat, and expend more energy than you consume. It’s really that simple. You can quit reading this list now, you now know everything you need to know and didn’t need to fork over $500 for the privilege of me telling you the secret of losing weight. You don’t need to read a 4,000 page book, you don’t have to buy a tape series, you don’t need to stay up late at night to watch infomercials to understand this basic premise. It’s 100% true.

2. Change your lifestyle. If you’re calling this a “diet,” then you’re going to gain all the weight back (and more) within a few months of losing it. Diets do not work. Diets are temporary. When you change your dietary lifestyle, however, you’re changing your habits – and you’re putting yourself on track for long-term / continued success and weight maintenance. Don’t ever tell anybody you’re on a diet – ever. I’m speaking from experience, here – a reformed low-carber. Worked out well for a while, but ultimately failed because my entire lifestyle didn’t change (permanently).

3. Join an online support group. In my case, I created my own – FatBlasters. It’s essential that you not feel alone, and reaching out to friends (new or old) is typically a smart move. I just heard about PeetTrainer, but didn’t know about it when I began down the road to weight loss. You have to know that others are out there for moral support – they know things that you couldn’t possibly know, and they’ve probably been “in your shoes” at some point in the past (or present). Share stories, laughter, tears, successes, and failures – share them. There are thousands of communities out there, so keep looking until you find the one that fits you.

4. Take before and after photos. I know it sucks to see yourself as a chunky monkey (sorry, that’s what I called myself – if only to get myself motivated to meet my weight loss goal). However, there’s no easier way to illustrate your progress. The “after” photos are far more fun to capture and share, admittedly. Find yourself on Flickr! It’s good to see yourself how others see you. Do you like how you look? In many ways, Flickr helped me lose weight.

5. Hire a substitute teacher. Don’t reach for the brands you know and love immediately – or without thinking first. Eggs are “good” for you, but consider using egg substitutes instead (in fact, many restaurants will let you order lower calorie foods). There are countless “lower” alternatives for you to try. If something different doesn’t taste good, by all means – find a better substitute, or eat less of the original. In some cases, the substitute may be worse for you than the regular version of the product. The good news is, healthier choices are silently replacing their “normal” counterparts – and they taste just as nice.

6. Start reading labels. I know it sucks, but you have to do it – and there’s no way to avoid this tip. If you don’t know what you’re putting in your mouth, you’re flying blind. Don’t assume, either – triple-check the ingredients list and serving sizes. You must rely on yourself for this; nobody else is going to be able to lose the weight or do the math for you. It’s not that complicated a task, but it will require effort. If nothing else, just pay attention to the calorie count.

7. What’s so funny about bovines? If you like cheese, you must buy the Laughing Cow brand, and keep several of the suckers in stock at all times. The individually-wrapped wedges make for excellent snacks, and are wonderful when melted over just about anything edible. I’d be careful about straight-up American cheese, though – it’s oil, but not necessarily as good for you as (say) a slice of cheddar would be. I have yet to find something as calorie-light and filling as Laughing Cow (I don’t know how they do it).

8. Tell your family. You’re not going to lose the weight alone, even if you ARE alone in losing the weight. If you’ve got a family at home, talk to them about it – initially, not incessantly. Let them know what you’re going to do, and that you want (and need) their support. If you don’t let them know, you’re running the risk of them inadvertently sabotaging your efforts. You want them to help you get to your goal(s). You want them to share in your happiness when you’ve made it past a certain mark. Who knows? Maybe some of your new habits will rub off on them and they’ll become healthier people, too?

9. Go public. I didn’t want to admit that I had screwed up, but admitting the problem in public was the first step on the path to eventual success. I was now accountable for my actions, and all my friends knew what I was doing. There was no turning back, otherwise I’d be risk damaging my integrity. I didn’t want to disappoint the people who read me on a regular (or semi-regular) basis. Plus, it’s an easy way to find out which of your friends have gone through the process before – and glean tips from their own experiences. Then, other friends might become inspired to do the same thing you’re doing once they see that you’ve taken the first step.

10. Identify your exercise. No exercise was created equal. You might like running, so run. You might like jogging, so jog. You might like stationary bikes, so bike stationarily. Find the one that works best for you – that isn’t too much of a chore for you to do regularly throughout the week. Don’t pick a routine that you don’t like – or you won’t want to do it, and you certainly won’t stick with it for long. I also wouldn’t recommend buying into that whole “no pain, no gain” mantra. I’ve lost weight without hurting myself, and you probably can, too.

11. Become a Gazelle. You’ve probably seen Tony Little on TV, selling his Gazelle glider – a low impact exercise machine. I can tell you: it works. It’s easy on my legs, and really gives me a workout when I apply myself on it. Some people say it’s awkward to use, but I love mine – and would consider recommending no other home exercise equipment at this point. Then again, I’m a wimpy geek who only wants to burn calories.

12. Zone out. There’s a reason why people exercise to their favorite music – listening to external stimulus takes your mind off of the physical activity. That’s the secret to making “exercise time” fly. If you’re concentrating on what your body is doing, the session is going to drag on for what will seem like days. Buy a portable music player, or situate yourself in front of a television.

13. Never count on live programming. It’s important to stimulate your mind while your body is exerting itself in other ways. However, never rely on “what’s on TV or the radio” at the time. Instead of zoning out, you’ll find yourself flipping between channels – and that’s going to make the time drag as much as it would if you weren’t keeping your mind busy in the first place. “Live” is a very bad idea. Go with pre-recorded programming or go without.

14. Video games helped me lose weight. I can keep my balance on the Gazelle (which some might find difficult to do). As such, I plugged an Xbox 360 into the TV and started to play it while I was working out. Immediately, I found that I was sweating more than I was when I was only watching TV passively! The reason boils down to a single word: adrenalin. Now, the only way I’m able to work up a sweat is when I play a fast-paced game on the game console. Yes, even game genre is important; avoid any diversions that require long pauses between tasks. Racing games (like Burnout) have worked very well for me. The more mindless the game, the better your burn, the faster the exercise session will go.

15. Set realistic goals. You can lose 50 pounds in a week if you work out 12 hours a day and eat nothing but celery – but not if you’re human. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – literally. Make small goals on your way to the bigger goal(s). In the end, you’ll have achieved more (and more frequently, might I add).

16. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. I offer this suggestion for a few reasons. First, they’re not good for you anyway. Second, you’ll eliminate a lot of the “bad foods” outright – no questions asked. You’ll have to become more selective in what you eat by avoiding these two nasty ingredients – which are in more foods than you probably care to know.

17. Don’t always listen to your mate. I’ve already suggested that you tell your family – but sometimes members of your family will try to dissuade you from trying to lose weight. It’s simple: they might not want you to succeed where they may have already failed, whether consciously or inadvertently. Your loss is not always their gain. Watch out for statements like: “You’ve lost enough weight.” or “I like you just the way you are.” Fact of the matter is, if YOU don’t like the way that YOU are – then YOU are going to have to do something about it, no matter what anybody says. They still love you, though (in theory).

18. Don’t compare yourself to others. Every body is different. It stands to reason that everybody will lose weight differently. Even if you do the exact same things that I do, you won’t lose weight at the same rate. The key is in finding your triggers. Keep your goal in sight, and do whatever you have to do to meet that goal. When you start looking at someone else’s habits, you’re only going to become discouraged and quit without even realizing that it’s physically impossible to be anybody but yourself.

19. Women aren’t men. It’s been proven that men can lose weight more rapidly than women can, which is likely due to our physiological makeup (women are supposed to have more fat than men, because they’re the birthing gender). This isn’t a sexist statement to make – it’s pretty much the truth. As such, females should expect to set separate goals than males – especially if you’re working on losing weight together, side by side.

20. Take a magic pill. Nonsense! There is no such thing as a magic pill. Don’t fall victim to the hype of the latest fat-burning drug commercial. If you listen or read closely, you’ll see that every single one of these things is effective when combined with proper diet and exercise (which they even state in their advertisements). The side-effects for these drugs are usually worse than your additional weight, anyway.
21. Vitamins are good for you. If you’re going to take any pills, let them be natural supplements (like Essential Fatty Acids or multivitamins). Be careful about overdoing it, though – especially with herbal remedies. Too much of anything is a bad thing. You can consult a nutritionist, but always buy on your own – and keep these supplements to a minimum. Remember, too, that specific vitamins are no good without specific minerals.

22. Deck your desktop. In the beginning, some of my friends sent me complicated spreadsheets to help chart progress. Uh, no – not for me; I’m the kind of guy who likes taking the easy route. As such, I scoured the Web for the best desktop tool and remembered CalorieKing. You won’t find anything easier to use. Trust me, this is the one; I can keep track of everything I eat and expend (without hassle). While the statistic-addicts will love CalorieKing for its thoroughness, the utility was truly designed with non-geeks in mind. The CalorieKing Web site and service are fine on their own, but the downloadable client is what you really want to get. Pay the registration fee, man – how much is your health worth to you?

23. Identify your ideal weight. If you’re 5′5″ with a certain build, there’s an ideal weight that matches your body type. Find it – and make that your goal. And if you don’t know what that might be, try searching the Web for a calculator (though results and calculations will vary by a small margin). Now you have a weight goal to shoot for.

24. Consider the source. I’m going to make a gross generalization here, but… why would I trust an overweight doctor or nutritionist to give me proper advice on weight loss? “Do as I say and not as I do” is not a maxim I’m willing to accept from anybody who would be qualified to tell me how to do something. Talk to people who are doing it, or who have done it and been successful. You don’t have to mirror their regimen, but at least you’re getting help from someone who’s really been there. Or, as they said in the Christmas episode of “Two and a Half Men,” people who live in fat asses shouldn’t throw waffles.

25. Ignore Ronald McDonald. You don’t have to eliminate fast food completely, but you should avoid it at all costs. Most of it is nasty, bad stuff anyway – if you’d even go as far as to call it food. If you’re looking for convenience, find a more convenient meal source. Besides, most of what they serve would be considered “food product,” not food. There’s a gigantic difference as far as your body is concerned. Your bloodstream does not have taste buds, need I remind you?

26. Scale up. If your measurement tool sucks, upgrade it. If it’s analog, dump it. I’ve talked to many geeks about their choice in scales, and most of them (myself included) recommend something in the Tanita family. They’re high-quality, rugged, accurate devices. Make sure you set your scale on a hard surface, too (as carpet foundations do not make for accurate weight measurements).

27. Watch your weight. Some people say that you shouldn’t weigh yourself more than once a week. I’ve been much happier charting my progress every day. No matter what, you need to weigh in at the same time, every time. For me, that’s 10am every morning (or somewhere thereabout). If you decide to weigh yourself every single day, understand that your weight will fluctuate by one or two pounds – and that you should only keep a serious eye on the lengthier trends.

28. One pound a week. If you’re not losing at least one pound a week on your chosen weight loss regimen, you’re (a) stalled, or (b) finished. You might need to push yourself even harder, or (in some cases) let up a little bit while your body plays catch-up. If you lose more than one pound a week, then you’re doing better than average. Expecting to lose five pounds a week just isn’t realistic, though.

29. Maintain your priorities. Sure, your sandwich would taste amazing with an extra tablespoon of mayonnaise… but do you really need it? Rather, is it more important for you to reach your weight loss goal quicker – or have this sandwich taste marginally better? What’ll happen the next time you’re faced with this decision – will you cave again? It’s a slippery slope; don’t lose sight of what’s most important to you.

30. All weight is not equal. Muscle weighs more than fat, but the last thing you want to lose is muscle! For this reason alone, it’s important to have a regular exercise routine somewhere in your schedule. Without exercise, your body is going to burn through muscle first – and you’ll wind up more imbalanced than you were to begin with. You want your body to burn fat, not muscle. You want to lose weight, but you want to lose “fat” weight – not muscle mass.

31. Counteract the “Rainy Day” principle. If you decrease your calorie count without necessarily increasing your physical activity level, your body is going to crash. It’s going to say to itself: “Holy sh*t! I better store these calories as fat, because I’m not getting enough of them – and I don’t want to die.” When you exercise, you set your body’s process to “burn” instead of “save.”

32. Don’t overdo it. If you change something in your lifestyle, you’re probably going to see results – but there’s a law of diminishing returns at play. You can exercise for an extra hour a day for a week and still lose the same amount as you had when you were only exercising half as much. Give your body time to adjust – don’t push yourself too hard or you’re just going to spend your energy on something that’s not necessarily going to give you immediate and direct benefit. This, of course, only applies to those of you wanting to lose fat – not for those who are training for a triathlon.

33. Patterns are good. Once you’ve found your workout groove, do your best to stick with it. Exercise no less than three times a week for 40 – 60 minutes each time, but don’t feel the “need” to do it more than five times over a seven day period. Your body will likely appreciate a burn-off in the morning more, but if you need to relieve stress in the evening – don’t be afraid to adjust your workout schedule accordingly. Schedule making and keeping are important for other areas of your life as well.

34. Sleep it off. To be an efficient fat-burning machine, your body requires at least eight hours of sleep a night. If you think that you’re doing yourself a favor by sleeping less, you’re mistaken. Give your body time to rest itself, both mentally and physically. Sleep is very, very important (if only for mental alertness for the following day). If you feel tired, that’s likely your body’s way of saying: “Shut your eyes, stupid!”

35. Remember that the fork is not a shovel. I eat fast (I swear I can’t help it). Even if I’m not hungry, I want to shovel everything into my mouth in less than a minute. But my brain doesn’t know that my stomach is full until twenty minutes after it actually is. As such, I could stuff myself silly before realizing I didn’t need to consume as much as I did. Try eating half of what’s on your plate, wait ten minutes, then continue to eat if you’re still hungry. You never want to feel full – ever. That’s when you know you’ve eaten too much. If you want a real hunger-stopper, try an Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplement (EFAs) twenty minutes before a meal.

36. Become your own snack fairy. It’s okay to snack between meals, really. Small meals throughout the day are enough to keep you satisfied, as (much like the sensation of being full) you never want to feel hungry. Let your body know it’s going to get a regular regimen of calories. Plus, if you starve yourself for the regular meals, you’re probably going to eat more before your brain tells your mouth to stop. Think about it: breakfast, lunch, and dinner are social constructs at their very core.

37. Love the oil companies. Just like your car needs high-quality oil, so too does your body. Not all oils were created equal, though it’s hotly contested which ones are better for you than others. Personally, I love a good olive oil – it’s 100% natural and is rich with Omega 9 fatty acids. Enova is another one that we’ve found to work quite well in our lifestyle at home. Choose your oil wisely, though – your weight loss goal should be more than simply cosmetic. It’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to food: the more natural something is, the better it is for you.

38. Fat is where it’s at. If you think you can lose weight and keep it off by avoiding all fats, you’re sadly mistaken. In fact, if you think that low fat eating is the only way to go, you might as well just quit now. Your body (and your brain) needs fat to survive! This is why the scientists call “them” essential fatty acids – Omegas 3, 6, and 9. These fats have been stripped from many supermarket shelf items, and it’s your responsibility to put fat back into your dietary plan. Don’t avoid eating fat, embrace it – equally.

39. Bring balance to the force. If you eat the same foods over and over again, you’re going to get bored – unless they’re foods you really, really like. Feel free to change it up – keep your tongue happy. Balance carbs with proteins with fats, though. If you have more of one nutrient for one meal, try more of another nutrient for the next. And for heaven’s sake, don’t just shop in the “diet” section of the store. You can still (likely) eat the same things you’ve always eaten, just not so much of them at any one time.

40. Know your daily calorie limit. When I was in the process of losing weight, it was suggested that I stay under 1700 calories a day. Knowing that number was half the battle. I could eat anything I wanted throughout the day, so long as I would stay at or beneath that number. While I couldn’t track 100% of the items I ate, I was able to make intake estimates – and adjust my schedule and ration my remaining calories accordingly. In this sense, you’re given extreme freedom – so long as you stay at or beneath that suggested calorie level for your plan. If you don’t know how much you’re supposed to take in, how are you supposed to know how much you’re supposed to take in?! Sounds redundant, but it’s a situation that many “dieters” are in (which is why they fail)!

41. Fiber good. When you start to lose fat, you’re probably going to get constipated. Yeah, it happens more frequently than we care to admit (or share). You should have a good amount of fiber every day, anyway. Fiber is very important to your health (and your weight loss goals). Try the Metamucil snack wafers for a quick fiber infusion. Then, magnesium citrate for those… “stuck” moments, in which you’ll find yourself from time to time. Stick a bottle or two of that in your fridge for safe keeping, and don’t plan on going anywhere for 24 hours after taking a dose (trust me, trust me, trust me).

42. Walk the walk. You burn calories when you walk, did you know that? Certainly, you don’t expend as much energy as you do when you run, but you burn it nonetheless. Consider picking up a good pedometer, if only to gauge how many steps you take in the average day. According to others, the Omron HJ112 Premium Pedometer is the one to beat. If nothing else, knowing how many steps you take on the average day will give you a better idea as to your regular activity level – around the home and/or the office. Plus, you can count those steps as calorie deficits in certain programs (like CalorieKing).

43. Train wrecks will happen. One of these nights, you’re going to go out with friends and eat your weight in steak (likely blowing any kind of progress you had made for that day). Instead of repeating the overindulgence, just put yourself back on track the next day. You’re allowed to “mess up” every now and again, so long as you don’t make a habit out of consuming an excessive amount of food. Right the dining injustice immediately. You’ll be okay. You’ll be fine. Just don’t do it again. And again. And again. And again.

44. Satisfy cravings with extreme prejudice. If you’re hungry for something, eat it. Don’t deny yourself the simple pleasures. If it’s possible, eat only half of what you want. Is your craving satisfied, or are you addicted to the flavor? Losing weight shouldn’t be torture for anybody. You have to ask yourself: Is it more important for me to eat this entire case of fudgesicles, or to look good for my brother’s wedding? Only you have the answer to that question, and if you ignore logic, you’re going to hurt yourself in the long-run. Just take a nibble or two – I won’t tell a soul.

45. Water you waiting for? If you’re not drinking enough water, your body will let you know. Thirst is an amazing sensation – quench it. If you’re not hydrated, your body won’t be working at peak levels. Most of your body happens to be water, by the way. If you’re worried about “water weight,” remember that you’re likely to retain more water when you’re not giving your body enough of it in the first place. Besides, that’s what those workout sessions are supposed to help with every other morning. I’m not going to dictate how many glasses you should drink, though – as that’s going to vary from person to person.

46. Join the soda club. Like most people, I love carbonated beverages. However, unlike most people, I love unflavored carbonated beverages – and if your tongue is attune to sugary-sweet drinks, you’re also the kind of person who believes that club soda tastes salty (even when it contains no sodium). Make the move to an unflavored drink sooner rather than later. If you need help along the way, lemons and limes can be your best friends. If you’re going to drink something more than water, at least make sure it’s not going to hinder your progress. If you’re a sugary-soda drinker, dropping it from your daily routine altogether will help you drop ~5 or more pounds in a single week (WITHOUT doing anything else).

47. Sugar is evil that tastes good. You probably don’t want to hear this, but sugar is a bad thing. The more refined it comes, the more your body is going to react negatively to it. Sugar, sugar, sugar is in everything, everything, everything. If it’s sweet, it’s got sugar in it. There are all sorts of sugars out there, and all of them are ultimately metabolized by the body. It’s a good bet that the sugars in an apple are better for you than the sugars in a candy bar, though. If you’re addicted to sugar, this is going to be a horrible hurdle to overcome.

48. Sugar substitutes are just as evil as sugar itself. Do you really think your body knows how to handle something that was man-made? Seriously. These chemically-adjusted products do not occur in the wild; there are no Splenda trees in warmer climates, nor are there NutraSweet plants in the Arctic. In some instances, taking in sugar substitutes may actually increase your levels of hunger! Let’s not forget about all the health issues that might arise from these unnatural substances. If you’re given a choice, it’s almost better to go with something your body knows how to deal with (real, unprocessed sugar). No, it’s much safer (and healthier) to stay away from blue, pink, and yellow packets entirely. Do a Web search for “Artificial Sweeteners May Damage Diet Efforts.” Then sit there and tell me they’re okay? No way.

49. White bread can’t jump. Did you know that white bread isn’t good for you? Oh, it’s true – just ask any diabetic. Research has shown that people who eat more refined products (like white bread) are more likely to have belly fat. Why? It’s simple: your body isn’t getting what it needs. The food industry isn’t the health industry, okay? You can’t trust that they’ve got your best interests at heart (despite all their marketing efforts). If you want the flavor of white bread, please eat the whole grain white bread instead? Sara lee makes a wonderful loaf, as I can personally attest (even though I like rye more than white or wheat). Repeat after me: whole grain white bread, whole grain white bread.

50. Hasta la pasta, baby. Much like its cousin, white bread, refined pasta can damage your health and pinch your weight loss plans. I’m not saying you should quit pasta altogether, but I will suggest that you change your pasta pusher to Barilla. They have a new wheat pasta that’s a dead ringer for the ol’ crappy white stuff you used to eat. “Barilla PLUS” is absolutely fantastic, as well as a good source of fiber and protein. You’re usually going to be better off with a “wheat” option, although traditional wheat pasta has a texture that you might not like (even though I find it perfectly acceptable to my palate).

Now, once you’ve achieved your weight loss goals, what are you going to do to keep the fat at bay? The worst thing you can do is something I’ve done countless times over: get lazy. I’ve conveniently forgotten about all of the aforementioned rules a few times, and it’s put me back in the same situation I don’t want to be in – ever again. While I don’t have to be as careful as I was during the weight loss period, I’m still measuring myself and recording my daily activities. This may turn into a weekly weigh-in soon enough, as it’s easier to correct yourself at 5lbs than it is at 50lbs. Good luck!
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