8 Fat Busting Super Foods



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We’ve all been there, a holiday such as the Easter break rolls around and suddenly we throw caution to the wind and join in with eating all the gorgeous food on offer! Let’s face it, nobody wants to be a party pooper or miss out on all the good food by saying no to everything on offer, right? Sadly, all those Easter eggs and delicious food have a way of sticking around for longer on our hips and everywhere else than we’d all like.

Luckily, help is on hand! Here is a list of eight super foods to help you on your way to a trimmer post-Easter break body.

Broccoli feel free to pile onto your plate as much of broccoli as you desire, because it’s very low on carbohydrates, but packed with fibre. It’ll fill you up for longer, without the added worry of piling on the pounds! It’s packed full of calcium, potassium and iron. Enjoy it steamed, sautéed or even raw.

Radishes admittedly not one of my favourite things to eat, but it’s a good snack option if you’re craving something savoury. It takes some getting used and is probably best paired with something else to take off the edge and spicy bite it’s known for!

Cucumber is very low on calories, given the fact it’s made mostly of water and fibre. It’s also packed full of vitamins, and can be enjoyed as a snack; cut into strips and dipped in houmous, salsa or guacamole. Cucumber also makes for a very refreshing drink sliced thinly and thrown in your water!

Eggs are some of my favourite food items, and I’m happy that they’ve made this list! Not only are they cheap; but are filling and packed full of protein, which is handy is regulating levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone, ahrelin. The good thing is that eggs are very versatile, and can be eaten poached, boiled and scrambled, among others.

Tomatoes are another favourite of mine! They’re full of powerful health-promoting properties such as the antioxidant lycopene and can be eaten alone as a quick snack, or tossed in to a salad.

Cottage Cheese is rich in calcium, vitamin D and protein, but low on fat. It makes for a very delicious alternative to full fat cheese, and what’s more, it derives its sleep-inducing properties from the chemical tryptophan, which also regulates hormones such as cortisol. Some people are able to make their own, but it’s readily available in stores, and comes in a variety of flavoursome versions, both savoury and sweet! Cottage cheese can be enjoyed on its own or paired with rice crackers for a low-fat snack.

Turkey is another one that’s packed full of sleep-inducing tryptophan, and helps keep your hormones balanced. Low in fat, turkey is rich in protein and will help in turning fat into muscles.

Lentils are a good vegetable-based protein alternative, and are packed full of fibre. They will keep you feeling fuller for longer, and also keep bloating at bay, helping you on your way to a flatter tummy. Lentils make a good addition to soups, stews and curries.

Picture Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/food-salad-healthy-vegetables-2215/



Alpha Hydroxy Acids

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What are alpha hydroxy acids?

I’m sure some of you, especially those who have a keen interest in beauty products, have heard of alpha hydroxy acids. But do you know exactly what they are?

Well, allow me to explain!

Some people are often alarmed to hear that AHAs are widely used in the formulation of beauty products, because they immediately think of strong industrial chemicals such as sulphuric acid! They couldn’t be further from the truth! Alpha hydroxy acids, often referred to as AHAs, are in fact a class of chemical compounds that occur naturally in foods such as milk, fruits and sugar cane. The most common of AHA’s are as follows:

  • Glycolic Acid- derived from sugar cane
  • Lactic Acid- derived mainly from sour milk
  • Citric Acid- derived from citrus fruit

*AHAs may be derived from their naturals sources or alternatively they may be synthetically made.

Why Choose Beauty Products That Contain AHAs? 

  • They function as pH adjusters; not too low or high pH meaning they won’t irritate your skin and cause further damage, if properly administered
  • They act as humectants, drawing moisture to the skin, thus sealing it in and keeping your skin moisturised 
  • They’re very good exfoliants; they slough away dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and in the process encourage rapid cell turnover
  • They soften skin and tackle uneven skin tone, giving way to more uniform and glowing skin
  • Reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
  • They are very good for problem skin, and regular use will help keep zits at bay by unclogging your pores
  • Support collagen production and may even help in speeding up collagen production, which in turn will slow down the formation of wrinkles while strengthening your skin

Bear In Mind

Not all AHAs are created equal! You’re best off sticking with naturally derived versions, as opposed to synthetically made ones. Ensure you read the packaging thoroughly and ask questions where you don’t understand.

Synthetically made AHAs can be too harsh on sensitive skin types, and may cause problems for all skin types.

As good as AHAs are, they make your skin sensitive to UV rays. So if you do use them, limit exposure to the sun, and make sure you always use high SPF sunscreen; SPF 30 and above should be fine. Some AHAs will contain small amounts of sunscreen, so I’d urge you to use a separate sunscreen on top just to be safe!

Picture Credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/woman-portrait-makeup-model-fruit-804068/

About Hydroquinone

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Hydroquinone is a skin-bleaching agent often used by people of colour to achieve lighter skin. It’s regarded by experts the world over as the ‘gold standard’ of skin brightening and bleaching. However, it has raised grave concerns in the beauty world, as recent reports point to it being linked to cancer. These claims are heavily contested, but are enough to cause concern.

The devastating effects of bleaching agents in many Asian and African countries where the tendency to bleach skin is popular, are all too evident. Back in the day, many women blindly used these products, without the full understanding of their effects and long-term implications. What made it worse for women in Africa, is the fact that the sun shines a lot brighter and hotter here than in most countries. A lot of these women were not enlightened enough to protect their skin against the harmful UV rays or even read up on the ingredients contained within the products they were using. There are claims that a lot of the products contained harmful ingredients such as mercury, that’s why they cause damage to the extent that they did. Either way, the claims about hydroquinone are hard to ignore.

Prolonged use of hydroquinone leads to skin thinning, and exposing the new, delicate skin to harsh UV rays inevitably leads to skin darkening and thus causing irreversible damage. Often women of colour who have fallen prey to the harsh after effects of hydroquinone have unsightly blue-black patches on their skin. Small wonder hydroquinone is banned in many countries across the world. Since studies revealed that hydroquinone could be linked to skin cancer, many countries will only allow the sale of products containing no more than 2% hydroquinone over the counter, and a maximum of 4% via prescription, and many of these countries are in Africa.

What Does Hydroquinone Do?

Its principal aim is to decrease the formation of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin the brown colour. From a medical standpoint, it’s used to even out skin tone, while people will often use it to acquire lighter skin. Sadly, this is especially the case in countries where beauty is measured by how light your skin is.

Common Side Effects

  • Mild stinging or burning
  • Severe redness
  • Severe cracking and bleeding of skin
  • Skin oozing, blistering
  • Severe dryness
  • Severe inflammation, which in turn can worsen the situation by leading to further darkening of the skin
  • Skin discolouration

It must be noted that this doesn’t always happen, and it won’t happen to every single person who used the product. It’s for this reason, that people are cautioned against use of hydroquinone without their doctor’s supervision. In all the above cases, you are advised to urgently alert your doctor.

If You Must use Hydroquinone

  • Consult a doctor/dermatologist, they’re best placed to guide you on what needs doing
  • Lather on sunscreen and limit exposure to the sun
  • Alternatively consider natural alternatives such as mulberry extract, licorice extract, arbutin, azelaic, L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbic acid and niacimide.

*These won’t give results as fast or as obvious as hydroquinone. But at least you’d be safe in the knowledge that the ingredients are natural and will not cause damage to your skin.

Picture credit: Micha Love

https://flic.kr/p/p66X2Z

Kinder Bueno Chocolate- A Review

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I like most people have a lot of love for chocolate. In all my life, I have never come across anyone who hates chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate to varying degrees. I however, have a clutch of different chocolates that I can’t get enough of and will very rarely deviate away from them. I know that to some people, chocolate is chocolate and they eat anything that’s available to them. Not me!

For instance, I really don’t like the taste of white chocolate. To me, it tastes like sugar coated with chocolate and little to no flavor whatsoever. I’d rather skip chocolate than eat white chocolate. I also don’t like dark, even as good for your health as it is. I don’t like the bitter after taste that often comes with it. But milk chocolate; oh, I love milk chocolate!

I have quite a few favourites, but Kinder Bueno is right up there with the best of them! It’s very light and doesn’t feel very heavy at all. I’d even go so far as to say that besides the Kit Kat, it’s the kind of chocolate that people who are mindful of their waistlines could do well to go with. Not surprisingly, Kinder Bueno is made by the same company that makes the decadent Ferrero Rocher chocolate that has proven a huge hit in many a household up and down the world.

Kinder Bueno comes in a few different types, but my personal favourite is the one that comes in pairs, with each individually wrapped within the package. I like that because I can have one and save the other ‘finger’ for another time, although sometimes resistance is futile; and I end up gobbling both fingers up in one sitting!

The chocolate is a thin, almost flimsy wafer filled with deliciously luxurious hazelnut cream. This is decadently coated in smooth chocolate over the top, and the result is what I like to call a bite of heaven in my mouth. The chocolate just melts in my mouth without much effort on my part, which is something that appeals to me. I like that because I can just savour it and feel it melting away without worrying about any bits in it. I also like that it very light and doesn’t leave me wracked with guilt.

Have you ever tasted this chocolate? Do you even like chocolate? –and what’s your favourite?

Picture taken by Evan-Amos

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29331390

Powder Sunscreen 2

A powder sunscreen I've used

A powder sunscreen I’ve used

I only wrote about powder sunscreen last week, and in as much as I love sunscreen, powder sunscreen for me is the ultimate beauty product that many women will really appreciate. This will apply especially to women who prefer to wear makeup, those who live in hotter countries and have found it a hassle to re-apply their sunscreen in the past. Because let’s face it, read the back of any sunscreen and all you hear is, re-apply through the day! I’m not sure how exactly you’re supposed to do this with full makeup on! But thank the beauty industry Gods, for coming up with the ingenious product called the powder sunscreen.

The one challenge I’ve come up against however, is that use of powder sunscreen hasn’t spread quiet as far as I would have thought! When I speak to other women, many have never even heard of it. I’m not sure if it also hasn’t caught on enough for more beauty brands to make it more readily available. I’ve personally only ever been able to buy it online, even in the UK. So now that I live in Botswana, it’s even harder to find. But it should be a lot easier for people in say America to get their hands on.

What’s To Love?

  • Easy to apply
  • Broad spectrum protection, SPF 30 and above
  • Contains no chemicals
  • Not messy
  • Doesn’t sting the eyes as is the case with chemical versions
  • Can easily be worn over or under makeup
  • Usually easy to carry and convenient packaging
  • Doesn’t cause breakouts
  • Mops up oily patches
  • Suits all skin tones
  • Because you can get it in translucent shade, also suitable for men.

Because it’s not exactly cheap, you can use it on the face, the neck and décolletage area to help it go further and last you longer. For the rest of the body, you may want to use a regular natural/zinc sunscreen. The good news is that natural sunscreen is now becoming easier and easier to find in stores, compared to say 2-3 years ago.

Ingredients To Look Out For

  • Zinc Oxide; the higher the content the better! *
  • Titanium Oxide, the higher the content the better! *
  • Mica
  • Iron Oxides *
  • Silica
  • Rice Starch

*All these are the main ingredients that do the work of blocking out harmful UV rays and protecting your skin. In fact, I’d be very happy with a powder sunscreen that contained only those three and little else. The less ingredients that any product contains, the better for your skin!

Picture Credit:

My own

Vick’s Vapor Rub: Amazing Benefits

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I’m willing to bet that most people around the world have heard of and used Vick’s Vaporub at one point or another. I’m also willing to bet that those same people are not aware of the full benefits of this little wonder product, and will no doubt be very surprised and maybe even impressed by what else it can do! I know I am.

So What is Vicks Vapor Rub?

Popularly known as Vicks, is a mentholated ointment that’s commonly used to suppress and take care of nasty coughs and blocked nasal passages. The formula was first made in 1894, so it’s been around for many, many years and still continues to take care of many a household’s ailments.

Vicks contains four active ingredients:

  • Camphor
  • Turpentine oil
  • Levomenthol
  • Eucalyptus oil

While it is commonly used for cold and flu, achy muscles and tendons and for headache relief, Vicks is so much more than that! Here are some of its lesser-known uses that may surprise you!

Treating Nail Fungus many adults are constantly at the mercy of this horrible infection. The toenails turn a nasty yellowish-greenish colour and become very dry and brittle. Gently massaging a little Vicks into the infected nails for about 2 weeks can rid you of this problem. The nails will get worse before getting better, though. Don’t be alarmed to see the nails turning blue-black, it’s just the Vicks working its magic. The healthy nails will then grow to the surface and your toenails will be as good as new.

 

As a Mosquito Repellent for those of you who are terrorized by mosquitos the world over, help is at hand! A cheap and easy to source solution that you would never have expected to work for this purpose is Vicks! Mosquitos appear to hate the smell of menthol, and will most likely stay away from you if you’re reeking of the stuff. If you still manage to get bitten, Vicks can also be rubbed into the bites to reduce the intensity of the itchiness!

Cat Repellent cats are known for their love of scratching just about any hard surface! To get them to stop doing that, select any areas you want to keep your ‘moggy’ away from, smear some Vicks on those areas and they’ll stay well clear. For whatever reason, cats can’t stand the smell of the stuff!

Deep Skin Moisturiser I would never have thought to use Vicks as a skin moisturizer, but if you look at all the active ingredients, it makes perfect sense! It’s especially ideal for very dry skin and even for eczma, as it offers relief from all the itching and the pain of the skin cracking. Vicks is also good for reducing the inflammation that comes with eczma.

Zip Zapper this will come as a piece of good news for those who suffer the devastating effects of acne, day in day out. Applying Vicks at different stages of the day will soothe and dry out spots within a short space of time! The camphor and eucalyptus work together to dry the spots out in record time. The beauty of this remedy is that Vicks is very cheap and a little goes a long way. 

Bringing on The Tear Taps I know nobody would go out of their way to make themselves cry, well unless they’re required to on stage or some sort of production! If you find you struggle to cry on command, Vicks is your go-to product! Dabbing a little Vicks just below your peepers will soon have you in floods of tears!

Chapped Lips If like me you suffer from consistently dry, chapped lips, you may want to give Vicks a try! It truly does a good job of moisturising and keeping lips moist and soft, ridding them of cracks and dry skin.

Picture credit: ficusdesk

https://www.flickr.com/photos/yto/4297543240

How To Extend the Shelf Life of Your Products

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‘Fess up ladies, we have all kept beauty products far beyond their expiry dates (yes, they do have a shelf life!) and not bothered to keep track of how long we’ve had them. But you could very well be using products well past their shelf life, thus putting yourself at risk of contaminating or even infecting your skin with all manner of germs. All these could lead to infections and your skin breaking out. The amount of germs that are said to be in our beauty bags is enough to fill me with a lot of dread!

There are ways in which you can store and ‘care for your priced items to get them working for you for longer and here’s how:

The Do’s

  • Store them in a drawer or even a dark, dry cupboard
  • In hot climes, you can store them in your fridge
  • Ensure lids are tightly closed after use
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before use, especially where the product’s contained within a jar, meaning you have to stick your hands into it each time you use it
  • If a product starts to cause problems such as eye infections from mascara and eyeliner, it’s time to chuck them out
  • Keep a sharp eye on the expiry dates because to use some products past their expiry date can cause more harm than good

The Don’ts

  • Don’t store your products in direct sunlight
  • Avoid sharing products with your friends
  • Don’t buy products with a broken seal
  • Don’t add water or saliva in a bid to thin out your products
  • Avoid beauty products in jars as much as possible
  • Try not to pump your mascara, and this one I’m a little guilty of!

Bear In Mind

Preservative free products- it’s all very well products not containing many chemicals, but preservative free products will spoil very quickly and make for a very ideal home for all manner of bacteria!

Water-based products tend to have a short shelf life, especially once they’ve been opened. If you think about it, bacteria thrive in damp environments, too.

Products containing wax and plant extracts and minimal water are also easily contaminated.

Products that tend to have a long shelf life are those that don’t contain a lot of water, such as powders.

When To Chuck Out Beauty Products

As a general guide, here are a few guidelines. However, if your product has a specific expiry date, that would supersede all other information.

  • Powder-based products- up to 3 years
  • Lipstick, lip gloss and lip pencils- up to 3 years
  • Mascara- 4-6 months, once it becomes gloopy or dry, it’s time to throw it away
  • Liquid and gel eyeliners- 4-6 months
  • Moisturisers, including serums- 6 months to 1 year
  • Liquid foundation- 6 months-1 year

Picture Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/fashion-girl-makeup-paint-3121

Powder Sunscreen

A powder sunscreen I've used

A powder sunscreen I’ve used

Anyone who knows me will tell you I treasure my sunscreen. It truly is the holy grail of my beauty skincare regime. I’d sooner give up a lot of items in my beauty stash before I gave up my sunscreen. I’m really about physical, zinc or natural sunscreen over chemical sunscreen, because it does a better job of protecting my skin, among other reasons. Physical sunscreen comes in two different types, powder and liquid, and I love both for different reasons.

So What Is Powder Sunscreen?

Quite simply, it’s sunscreen in powder form. They are made from highly refined minerals, the formulation of which offers very broad-spectrum protection from the much-publicized harmful effects of UV rays. The majority of powder sunscreens contain a high level of zinc, titanium dioxide and iron particles, which are widely used in regular sunscreens. All three ingredients work synergistically to block UV rays and keep your skin cool.

Powder sunscreen comes in both clear and tinted colours. I’m sure a lot of lady will agree that powder sunscreen is truly a God sent product, in that it enables us to touch up our sunscreen all through the day, without ever worrying about spoiling our makeup! What’s more, it’s fantastic because you can throw out those blotting papers and stick with the powder sunscreen, as it does a great job of mopping up those oily patches. I absolutely adore these sunscreens, but hate the fact that they can be hard to find and are understandably pricy.

What’s To Love?

Besides everything I’ve stated above, here’s why I love powder sunscreen. I’m sure everyone one else who’s unfamiliar with them, will love them just as much if not more!

  • Because of the particle size, powder sunscreen will blend in with your facial oils, adhere to the skin and form the perfect barrier against UV rays. Be sure to wait until your other products are fully absorbed into your skin before applying.
  • There’s no wait time between application and exposure to the sun, as soon as you’ve applied it, you’re good to go!
  • Very clean, not at all mess compared to other sunscreen
  • Can be applied as many times as you require through the day without messing up your makeup
  • Easy to carry around as it’s portable and can slip very nicely into you handbag.
  • Easy to apply as it usually comes with a neat brush applicator.

I just can’t get enough of powder sunscreen, and have already tried a few; Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 50, Eminence Organic Sun Defense SPF30, Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral SPF 30 and the Peter Thomas Roth Anti-aging Instant SPF 45; I can vouch for them all. I still apply liquid sunscreen at the start of the day and set it with the mineral version, re-applying through the day. I couldn’t tell you the last time I was sunburnt!

Picture Credit:

My Own

Lotions Or Creams

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We’ve all been there, ladies….walking into a store looking for a suitable product for your skin, can present a mammoth headache and I know I have experienced that in the past. What with all the beauty houses coming up with all the different options; oils, creams, lotions, serums and all that! Today more than ever before, women are spoilt for choice in terms of beauty products. How many times have you stood in front of many a beauty counter, scratching your head, asking yourself what does what?

Well today you’re in luck, as I’ve picked two of the most commonly used products, lotions and creams, to help you in distinguishing between the two and thus make it easier for you to decide which is best for you, based on your skin type. These potions are similar in that they are designed to soften and moisturise your skin, while some can even go one further and soothe and nourish. Besides the additives, they all differ when it comes to their oil liquid ratio.

So What’s What?

Creams are thicker and richer and are ideal for people with dry to very dry skin, or even combination skin types. They are a blend of oils and liquid, and contain a high proportion of oils, making them soft and easier to absorb than oils. Creams are made up of drops of water and a high percentage of oils. Overall, creams are recommended for the colder months.

Lotions just like creams are a blend of oils and liquids, except they are thinner and have a higher liquid content. Lotions use only droplets of oil, and are therefore very low on oil content. They also absorb very quickly into your skin, quicker than creams. Lotions are recommended for use in the hotter months.

Creams, compared to lotions, have moisturizing properties that last longer.

While lotions are not greasy and are ideal for people with oily skin, creams function in the opposite fashion. Because they are thicker and heavier, they are more suited to people with dry skin, like those who suffer the devastating effects of eczma.

Most lotions are made popular because of their cooling effect, making them ideal for use in the warmer months. Creams being heavier and more moisturising, are better used in the winter, as they’re good at creating a barrier against the elements, thus reducing damage to your skin.

Creams are harder to apply on dry skin, and are best applied straight after a shower or bath while skin is still damp. This will create a layer of oil, sealing in the moisture. When the water evaporates, it leaves your skin moisturized, soft and supple.

Having said that, choosing the right product can be very complex and will depend on the individual. It certainly can’t be summed up within the confines of a 500-word document, but I do hope this article goes some way in helping you choose the right product for you, whether it’s a cream or lotion.

Picture Credit:

https://pixabay.com/en/skin-care-luxury-cream-natural-spa-1050979r

Shiseido SPF 50+ Sun Protection Lotion Review

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Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love my sunscreen. I mean, I love all beauty products and cosmetics, but I just can’t seem to get over sunscreen, especially any that contains zinc. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for new ones and get excited if I see something new or any with a very high SPF.

I also love beauty products from the Far East, because they’re known to be very effective. What’s more, they’re usually so very nicely packaged, just right for a girlie-girl like me. I’m very easily enticed by dainty and pretty packaging! The discussions on a couple of the beauty discussion forums I’m a member of, got me searching for sunscreen from that neck of the woods. Many of my online friends say sunscreen from Asia tends to be a lot lighter and more luxurious. As I already like Shiseido skin care products, I decided that I’d take the plunge and give Shiseido SPF50+ a go. I fully expected to LOVE it, but sadly, I was sorely disappointed!

Shiseido Promises That With This Sunscreen:

  • You’ll receive full broad spectrum UV protection
  • Prevents skin dryness
  • Ideal for outdoor activities and sports in general
  • Comfortable and gentle on skin
  • Water resistant

My Verdict:

I really, really wanted to like this sunscreen, but I absolutely hated it! It doesn’t come cheap, so I didn’t expect it to not work for me. I know it sounds silly, but this is Shiseido we’re talking about, a brand that’s renowned in the beauty industry for pure decadent, luxurious and elegant beauty products. Here’s why I didn’t like this sunscreen:

  • Too greasy, better suited to dry skin as I have oily skin
  • Doesn’t rub in well
  • Leaves a distinctly obvious WHITE cast, effectively making me look like a ghost! Not quite the look I’m going for.
  • Has a subtle but weird smell I couldn’t get past
  • States it’s non-comedogenic, but broke me out

I’ve used other sunscreens, which left a white cast, but nowhere near as much as this sunscreen. No amount of rubbing worked to get it into my skin. Because of this, it just didn’t work well with makeup. I’m not sure at whom this sunscreen is geared, because I feel that people of all skin tones will have a problem with rubbing it in and the white cast.

Would I recommend it? No, I wouldn’t. The only thing I’ll say is that it does do a good job of protecting my skin against the harmful UV rays. I can’t use it on my face, so I’ve mixed it in with my body lotion. I also like the cute packaging. Other than that, I’d give it a 2 star rating out of 5.

Picture Credit:

Mine

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