Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Are You Protected?

Hi folks...Penny's still alive...(don't know about kicking, but alive). 
Today I want to talk about something that's sort of a fairly new concept in hair products...thermal protection. Ever since flat irons went ceramic and ionic to diminish damage to the hair, I have been researching the growing number of styling products that can aid in preventing heat damage as well. Today some makers of flat irons, straightening irons, blow dryers, and curling irons, are also selling thermal protection sprays to work with those heat appliances (i.e. CHI, FHI and Sedu).

Heat damage can lead to split-ends, lack of body and noticeable signs of distress on the hair.  When you use a thermal protector before styling you can significantly protect your hair from over-heating, while adding shine and in many cases, locking in moisture. Heat styling often causes breakage, so be sure to protect your hair before using any heat appliance. Thermal protectors coat the follicle shaft with polymers (usually silicone) to provide topical thermal protection. Silicones are thermally stable and spread easily on hair, producing a protective film that helps prevent water loss. This is key to avoiding cuticle cracks and breaks and improves the appearance and feel of hair. Some products even offer added UV protection to save hair from sun damage.

In Penny's experience CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection (Target, $12.99) actually feels like its coating my hair. It adds shine but doesn't weigh my hair down and I love the light fresh scent too. I was hestitant at first because the spray is water-based and any moisture on my hair makes it curl up and would be counter productive to the straight style I'm trying to accomplish. But the spray works well and I don't feel like I'm cooking my hair with my hot tools. I also use CHI Straight Guard Smoothing Styling Cream (Target, $12.99)  for blow drying my hair. This product also helps to eliminate frizz, smooth my hair, and create shine. (Read full story...)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lip Service

Penny here...

Is it just me or is this horrible cold weather, and dry indoor heat wreaking havoc on your puckers too? (For mi familia in the warmer climates, the sun and other environmental factors can cause dry lips for you too; so this is for all). Penny is on the hunt the best lip balm or lip moisturizer out there. Like lipstick and other cosmetics, there are lots of options out there. Penny is most curious about the evolution of smooth (EOS) lip sphere.  It is 95% organic, 100% natural, contains she butter & vitamin e, and is petrolatum & paraben free. It also comes in summer fruit, honeysuckle honeydew, and sweet mint; and is available in a regular stick/tube as well. (The sphere may not be as cosmetic-bag-friendly as a regular tube of lip balm). It just looks and sounds cool. LOL! Check their website to find at a store near you. Penny is going to try Rite Aid.
(Read full story...)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cellulite - A Universal Pain in the A**

Alright Beauties...
Penny is about to talk about something many of us never want to discuss...Cellulite. It's a universal pain in the petunia because it affects so many of us regardless of our weight, shape and overall health. Cellulite commonly appears on the hips, buttocks and legs, in 90% of post-pubescent women, but is not caused by being overweight, as many believe. (Being overweight may exacerbate the problem however). Cellulite appears in the subcutaneous level of skin tissue. Fat cells are arranged in chambers surrounded by bands of connective tissue called septae. The result shows areas of the skin being held down while other sections bulge outward, resulting in the lumpy, 'cottage-cheese' or 'orange peel' appearance. The causes of cellulite are poorly understood, and may involve changes in metabolism and physiology such as gender specific dimorphic skin architecture, alteration of connective tissue structure, vascular changes and inflammatory processes.

The question many of us have is "how do we get rid of cellulite without surgery and special treatments  (i.e., Liposuction, Mesotherapy, Endermologie, etc)?" My research indicates that 'realistically there is no cure for cellulite.' Some say diet and exercise is the key, while others promote the use of topical products, laser treatments, and spa therapies. There are so many factors to consider when looking at the cause of cellulite...genetics, excess estrogen, smoking, poor blood circulation, poor lymphatic flow, stress, etc. Penny is confused by it all because I know active, healthy people that are fit but have cellulite, and I also know that my own cellulite got progressively worse the more weight I gained these past few years. I also have tried only a few anti-cellulite treatments* and found no improvement (*Nivea Good Bye Cellulite Cream/Patches, massage).

Cellulite has been around for centuries but we are no closer to finding a cause or a cure. One highly recommended book I came across is: The Cellulite Solution: A Doctor's Program for Losing Lumps, Bumps, Dimples and Stretch Marks, by Howard Murad, M.D. This program outlines simple nutritional and lifestyle modifications, combined with topical treatments (by Murad), which work together to provide the body with all the tools needed to repair uneven, lumpy skin.

It is a controversial topic to say the least. Some believe that no lotion or cream will help cure cellulite because ointments can't alter the connective tissue (septae). However, there are more and more beauty products on the market 'claiming' to reduce the appearance of cellulite each year. Penny advises you to "read between the lines" carefully...cellulite products often claim to diminish the appearance of cellulite...what they don't say is how temporary that result might be. So if you find a product that works for you cosmetically, be prepared to invest in it often for the 'maintenance' of the problem. Topical and spa treatments are also often expensive. (Read full story...)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Make-up for Sensitive Skin

Hello Good People! Penny's baaacck!!!
Many of you know that Penny has issues (no, not the mental ones...LOL!); skin sensitivity issues. So choosing make-up and skin care is not always easy.  While visiting friends last evening, and enjoying great conversation, Penny was asked what type of make-up would be recommended for someone with very sensitive skin. Initially I recommended Bobbi Brown at first because I focused on a 'natural look' for someone who I understood didn't wear a lot of make-up, and whom I thought was a natural beauty. But the question was focused more on the type of make-up that wouldn't irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction.

Before trying any make-up, Penny always advises that you first establish a good skin care regimen. A daily cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing regimen preps your skin for any make-up, no matter the skin type. I try to combat my eczema and dry skin with products specifically for those challenges. (Read full story...)


Wishing you a Healthy, Happy, Prosperous and Blessed New Year!

Don't do 'resolutions?' How about a few ideas of things we could all find some benefit from in 2010:
  1. Be honest with yourself and others always
  2. Be patient
  3. Say "I love you" more often; show appreciation more often
  4. Be open to hearing the truth
  5. Speak the truth
  6. Pay more attention to your health
  7. Help yourself and stop waiting for others to make things happen
  8. Give more hugs
  9. Spend more time doing the things that make you happy
  10. Get a hobby
  11. Be more productive
  12. Take responsibility for your words and actions
Be blessed. Be beautiful.