Considering Switching to Decaf? Here’s What You Need To Know

Coffee is inarguably the world’s most beloved beverage, with as many as seven in 10 Americans drinking at least one cup a day. If you can relate to the average American, you drink as many as three cups per day, whether because you need a boost or out of sheer habit. While recent studies suggest that the more coffee you drink, the better, the truth is that many people can and do experience adverse side effects from too much caffeine intake. If you’re one such person, you may wonder, should you switch to decaf?

The Deal With Decaf

Unlike sugar, dairy and meat alternatives, decaf coffee really is just coffee sans the caffeine. To make decaf coffee, the manufacturers simply remove the caffeine from the beans by washing them in a solvent. Common solvents include organic solvents, water and carbon dioxide. Once the beans are virtually caffeine-free, the beans are then rinsed to wash away the solvent.

Once decaffeinated, you can roast and ground the beans as normal. Though the smell and taste may be milder than traditional coffee, the nutritional value should be similar to, if not the same as, regular coffee.

Decaf’s Nutritional Value

Speaking of nutritional value … Not only is coffee one of the world's most beloved beverages but also one of the healthiest. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and is, in fact, the single largest source of antioxidants in the Western diet. Among other benefits, antioxidants reduce oxidative damage throughout the body and help to prevent chronic illness, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many cancers.

Decaf offers more or less the same health benefits as regular coffee. It, too, is loaded with antioxidants, though studies suggest that decaf typically contains about 15% less than caffeinated joe. This is likely due to the decaffeination process in which several properties are lost. Despite the small loss, though, decaf is still a huge source of antioxidants and, therefore, a better alternative to just about any other beverage.

In addition to being antioxidant-rich, decaf also contains trace amounts of other necessary nutrients. For instance, a single cup of brew provides 4.8% of your recommended daily potassium intake, 2.4% of magnesium, 2.5% of niacin and small amounts of vitamin B3. Though these amounts may seem minimal, they quickly add up if you are a multiple-cup-a-day type person.

Possible Effects of Going Decaf

Decaf may be similar in composition to regular coffee, and it may offer more or less the same health benefits, but it does differ in the effects it has on the body. Below are a few changes you may experience after switching to the dark side:

  • You may feel more lethargic at first as your body gets used to life without caffeine once again.
  • You may experience the symptoms of withdrawal, especially if you were a heavy coffee drinker. Don’t worry though, these symptoms — which may include headache, nausea and fatigue — won’t last long.
  • You may notice a surge in appetite, as caffeine is an appetite suppressant.

However, switching to decaf is not all bad. After about a week or so of drinking strictly decaf, you may notice that you actually have more energy. Not only that, but your sleep quality may improve, your tummy issues may disappear and you may notice that you no longer feel anxiety for no discernible reason.

Decaf coffee is not for everyone. However, if you experience side effects after drinking regular coffee, or if you simply want to cut back on your caffeine intake, decaf could be a great alternative for you. You will still reap all the health benefits of the real deal but without any of the pesky side effects that come with caffeine overload.

4 Reasons Why I Prefer Tinted Sunscreen

To protect your skin, you should use sunscreen every time you go out. Unfortunately, messing around with makeup and sunscreen can also be a hassle, especially when you’re in a hurry to get out the door. The good news is that a relatively simple solution makes life easier and keeps skin safe simultaneously: tinted sunscreen.

What Is Tinted Sunscreen?

As the name suggests, an important part of tinted sunscreens are ingredients that help filter out sunlight. These minerals, mainly titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are the same ones found in traditional sunscreen. They help reflect harmful UV rays.

What makes tinted sunscreen different is the combination of pigments designed to match any skin tone. So whether you’re looking for a rosier or tanner complexion, it’s not hard to find the color you love.

Tinted Sunscreen Versus Beauty Creams and Color-Correction Products

Choosing between beauty creams with SPF-boosting ingredients, tinted sunscreen, foundation, color-correcting creams and other skincare products can be confusing. Each one excels in different areas.

Beauty creams generally provide better hydration and skin-repair ingredients but don’t offer the same UV protection. Ideally, you want an SPF of 30–50 for the face, but many beauty creams only reach SPF 15, which isn’t good enough for something your skin depends on every day.

Color-correcting creams offer maximum complexion control but little help against UV rays. On the other hand, tinted sunscreen provides good coverage and exceptional sun protection, but the tone results don’t quite compare to foundation.

How Safe and Effective Is Tinted Sunscreen?

Tinted sunscreens are just as safe as regular sunscreens. Unless you have an allergy to common ingredients in mascara, beauty products or sunscreen, you shouldn’t have to worry about a thing. Many health professionals and dermatologists, including the Harvard Medical School and the American Academy of Dermatology, recommend using sunscreen for UV protection. Tinted sunscreens are an effective option that can provide several benefits for people with sensitive skin.

Why Use Tinted Sunscreen?

Tinted sunscreens are accessible, convenient and helpful for protecting your skin against sun damage. Here are some of the ways they can help you:

  • Making it easier to wear sunscreen regularly: Applying sunscreen is one of the most important ways to prevent skin cancer. Sadly, it’s easy to overlook when you’re busy. Tinted sunscreens are a breeze to put on, so they may be easier to include in your daily routine.
  • Avoiding the white sheen associated with mineral sunscreens: Many people prefer mineral sunscreens instead of chemical ones, but traditional options leave your skin with a white tinge. Going with tinted sunscreen can give you the beautiful, balanced complexion you want.
  • Reducing dark spots: Unlike chemical sunscreens, tinted sunscreens that contain iron oxide can block visible light, including artificial light. This can help people with skin conditions involving hyperpigmentation, such as being prone to dark spots.
  • Camouflaging blemishes: There’s nothing wrong with wanting to cover blemishes, spots or other imperfections. However, tinted sunscreen products give you the best of both worlds — excellent UV protection and an even skin tone.

What should you look for when selecting brands? Go with something at least SPF 30. Iron oxides offer extra protection against visible light and dark spots. If possible, look for other nourishing skincare ingredients, including moisturizing hyaluronic acid and protective antioxidants like green tea.

Why Scent Compatibility Is So Important in a Partner

Anyone who's been on the dating scene for any length of time knows that compatibility is a major factor in romantic success. Compatible partners can find common ground in their interests and goals. Along with the initial attraction, compatibility also ensures a lasting loving relationship.

Compatibility also has a scientific component, particularly when it comes to scent. There are few things in the world better than the way a romantic partner smells, especially in those heady early days when you're still in the "honeymoon" phase. There's an underlying basis for this phenomenon when it comes to whom you're attracted to and why.

Is scent really the key to finding the perfect partner for you? Or are there other, more important factors at play when it comes to attraction? Here are a few things to consider while you're on your quest for love.

How Scent Influences Our Emotions

Imagine a scent you absolutely love, such as warm cookies right out of the oven or your grandmother's perfume from when you were a child. Now think about how that scent would make you feel if you smelled it right now. Most people experience a soothing, relaxed feeling upon smelling something enjoyable, just like off-putting smells elicit a feeling of disgust or alarm.

This response occurs because cells within the nose can send signals to your brain, specifically the areas used to regulate emotion. That's why people tend to feel hungry upon smelling something delicious, as the smell scent of food triggers a bodily response that prepares the digestive system for eating.

The same sort of response occurs when a person encounters a scent from a prospective romantic partner. The smell triggers an arousal response intended to increase the attraction to a person, which is why just smelling an item of clothing from someone you love can induce so many warm feelings.

Why Scent Compatibility Is More Complex Than You Think

Scent compatibility is not simply about smelling a pleasant aroma wafting from a prospective paramour, although that definitely plays a role. Your body is actually reacting to specific genes that exist within the immune system. Additionally, you're most attracted to genes with a design that differs from your own.

From a biological standpoint, it makes sense that you would be most attracted to genes that are dissimilar from your own. Our ancestors may have developed this ability to prevent them from breeding with other members of their family, which can have a wide range of poor consequences.

While that's not much of an issue these days, this biological reaction still remains. That means your nose may be aware of an attraction well before you admit it to yourself. It can also explain why you choose a particular romantic partner over another, even when both have much to offer.

How to Emphasize Your Natural Scent

There's a lot more to attraction than just scent, but there are steps you can take to enhance your compatibility with a partner when it comes to personal smell:

  • Use cologne and perfume sparingly, as they will mask your natural scent
  • Look for odorless personal care products, such as antiperspirants and lotions
  • Bathe at least once per day to ensure you maintain a pleasant natural aroma
  • Favor natural materials and fabrics over synthetic ones, as they can give off an artificial scent

At the end of the day, there are lots of components to attraction and relationships. While looks and scent definitely play a role, especially in the beginning stages, they're not the end-all, be-all of romantic relationships. If you're seeking a partner for the long haul, the person must also be kind, considerate, and willing to work to make your relationship a lasting success.

This Is the Year of Zucchini!

Zucchini isn’t exactly America’s favorite veggie, but there are plenty of things to love about it. This slender, tender variety of squash provides many healthy nutrients. It also packs lots of flavor and freshness — if you know how to use it in dishes the right way.

A Source of Amazing Vitamins and Nutrients

The list of vitamins and minerals in a cup of zucchini reads like the label on a multivitamin bottle:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Thiamine
  • Copper

Just one cup of zucchini can give you around 10–15% of your daily needs for these vitamins. That’s pretty impressive for a relatively inexpensive veggie!

Heaven for Your Gut

Zucchini has plenty of water, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which is excellent for gut health. Adding it to meals can make them easier for your body to digest. For some people, zucchini and other green veggies can alleviate the pain and inflammation of ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic digestive problems.

The Green (and Yellow) Antioxidant Powerhouse

Another reason to love zucchini’s nutrients is that many of them provide important antioxidants. For example, green and yellow zucchini are rich in carotenoids — the same family of antioxidants found in carrots. These compounds support and protect the body:

  • Eyes: Like carrots, zucchini are a great veggie for protecting your eyesight. This isn’t a myth. Beta-carotene and vitamin C can significantly reduce the risk of age-related vision loss and cataracts.
  • Bones: Vitamin K, magnesium and antioxidants in zucchini all work together to help you have stronger bones.
  • Prostate: While more research is needed, some studies suggest that zucchini seeds may help limit prostate enlargement.
  • Thyroid: Some scientists think that extracts from zucchini peels may support balanced thyroid hormones. If true, it could help your metabolism, energy levels and mood.
  • Cells: Some studies point to zucchini for helping prevent the growth of cancer or even destroying cancerous cells. A lot more research is needed to confirm this, but it’s a pretty impressive potential benefit for just adding colorful vegetables to your diet!

A Perfect Carb Replacer

Now for one of the biggest reasons why this is the year of the zucchini: low-carb lifestyles! Zucchini has a firm texture and smooth taste that work great as a substitute for traditional carb-heavy staples. Instead of pasta, you can spiralize zucchini in seconds for flavorful Italian dishes.

Easy Veggies From Your Garden

Growing zucchini is a breeze. Just plant some seeds in a sunny spot, give them at least two inches of water each week, and enjoy the fruits… er, veggies of your labor in about 45 days. A good harvest will give you plenty of zucchini to share with friends, too.

Awesome Ways To Use Zucchini

If you’ve never eaten zucchini raw in salads, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Here are other irresistible meal ideas:

  • Tomato and zucchini salad with olive oil vinaigrette
  • Zucchini, carrot and cabbage slaw
  • Grilled halibut with lemon zucchini noodles
  • Grilled zucchini slices with olive oil and basil (side dish)
  • Sauteed shrimp and zucchini stir fry
  • Spicy zucchini with turmeric-ginger chicken
  • No-noodle zucchini lasagna
  • Zucchini au gratin with garlic, parmesan and pecorino

A word of advice: Don’t overcook! Just toss the zucchini in at the last minute, like you would with herbs or green onions.

7 Surprising Spices That Support Healthy Hair

If you've been into natural beauty since you tinted your tresses with henna in middle school, you've probably tried everything from avocado masks to skin-smoothing shea butter. It's time to revitalize your easy, breezy routine by adding these seven spices to your hair care regimen.

Black Pepper

Pepper up your tresses by applying this go-to spice, which facilitates the flow of blood and nutrients to your scalp and hair follicles. You'll notice your hair remains healthy and strong even as it grows faster than expected. Just mix a tablespoon of black pepper with about 1/4 cup each black castor and coconut oils (organic if possible). Apply it to your scalp for about 20 minutes, then rinse completely before styling those gorgeous locks.

Chamomile

While you're making your next cup of tea, steep some for your hair to revitalize your roots, soothe itching, and moisturize the scalp and strands. You only need to boil a teaspoon of chamomile flower in 1 cup of water and use it to rinse your hair after your next shampoo and condition.

Cinnamon

You know about the sun's unwanted impact on your skin, but you should also be aware of environmental damage to your hair and scalp. In addition to wearing a hat whenever you have a pool day planned, you can use cinnamon to dial back dryness and damage caused by the sun. Because it increases cell turnover and circulation, it also encourages hair growth. To take advantage of this spicy tip, simply stir some cinnamon (a teaspoon or two) into your oatmeal, cereal or morning beverage of choice. You can also mix it with some olive oil and honey to make a salve that will soothe and exfoliate your scalp.

Cumin

In addition to cooking up an amazing curry, cumin can reduce symptoms of dry scalp, help moisturize your mane, and even prevent damage. To try this tip, slowly stir warm water into powdered cumin until you have a pasty texture. Spread the solution on clean hair and relax for 30 minutes, then wash it out, condition, and do your thing.

Gingko Biloba

Ginkgo makes a great rinse if you want to accelerate hair growth. According to research published in Neuroradiology, this herb works by stimulating blood flow to the scalp. Throw a few cups of dried ginkgo Biloba in a pot of boiling water and steep for a few minutes, then use the resulting mixture as a rinse whenever you wash your hair.

Rosemary

Essential oil made from this herb can help with hair growth. However, don't put the formula directly onto your scalp, which can cause irritation. Instead, add a few drops to your shampoo or mix with a gentle, moisturizing oil like sunflower, coconut and jojoba to make a hair mask. A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research even showed that the spice can shield against pattern baldness by rejuvenating nerves in the scalp.

Mustard

It's not just a sandwich spread - when massaged into your scalp, mustard oil boosts the health of your hair with fatty acids and antioxidants. It has been also used to help hair growth for generations in India since it's rich in nutritious zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, D and E. In addition, studies suggest mustard oil may help shield the scalp from the sun's damaging UV rays. Finally, you can even use this essential substance to treat minor scalp infections and deep condition your tresses.

Next time you feel like your locks are looking a little lackluster, raid your kitchen for any of these seven spices to restore your hair to its most glorious state without leaving your home.

3 Personal Trainer Characteristics That Signal It’s Time for a Change

In the United States, personal trainers make, on average, about $70,000 per year. Clients typically pay $40 to $70 per hour for an in-gym training session; rates can increase to $100 or more per hour for in-home sessions. With some clients seeing a trainer for three to four hours per week, the monthly expense can run between $480 to over $1,600 per month.

Clients willing to spend money on a trainer must research and compile expectations. You are paying for a service, and you deserve quality and respect. An excellent trainer will have certifications, compassion, and a passion for their field. Unfortunately, all trainers are not equal, and several warning signs signal it's time to switch instructors.

1. They Are Too Demanding or Controlling

The style of training that motivates you is likely different from your friends or family members. Some people prefer the tough love approach to the hand-holding style.

Regardless of the training style you prefer, no trainer should demand more than you are capable of or control every aspect of your life. Unfortunately, some trainers expect too much of their clients, risking injuries or burnout. Others expect clients to count every macro or micronutrient and track every physical movement they make.

Physical fitness is vital to healthy living, but you should find some joy in the activity. If your trainer is too controlling or demanding, find someone else.

2. They Do Not Incentivize or Motivate

Motivation is one of the main reasons people seek and pay for a personal trainer. Many excellent personal trainers attempt to incentivize clients, either through tangible rewards or recognition through client competitions. Other trainers merely motivate the individual with praise and personal acknowledgment.

If you are working with a trainer who offers little or no encouragement, reconsider your relationship. Offering inspiration helps propel people forward. Clients can push themselves past their reservations to meet fitness goals through motivation and support. The relationship between a client and trainer is a productive and positive one; if yours isn't, find a new trainer.

3. They Do Not Customize Your Training

Training is not a one-size-fits-all approach to physical fitness. Every client is different. Some people have disabilities or restricted movement; others are more or less advanced. A skilled and qualified trainer understands the differences in clients and creates a unique plan to suit individual needs.

Trainers who attempt to use the same regimen with every client are potentially lazy and unscrupulous. In their haste to build their reputation and client base, they forget the importance of customization.

A custom fitness program is paramount to individual safety and success. Attempting to use one plan for multiple clients is often ineffective and potentially hazardous for some.

If you want a one-size-fits-all approach, join a fitness class. If you want a custom training plan, hire a capable trainer.

People pay good money on personal trainers in the U.S. You deserve to get the service you pay for. While some dishonest characters are out there trying to make a quick buck as supposed fitness experts, do yourself a favor and check their qualifications. Also, if a trainer is unwilling to customize a plan and shows no interest in supporting or motivating you, find yourself a new instructor.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Randomly Reach Out to Friends

Everyone needs friendship and affection. Calling a friend can be exactly what you need to deal with stressful situations. But, if randomly reaching out makes you nervous, you may be surprised to learn that many friendship worries are just myths.

Myth #1: Your Friends Are Upset With You

Stress does weird things to the brain. It can make you invent imaginary scenarios and replay negative feelings constantly. Worries about friendship are one of the most common fears.

Cut through dark clouds by taking action. Remember that these worries are just a side effect of anxiety. They're not real.

Pick up the phone. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by how excited the person is to hear from you.

Myth #2: You Messed Up Texting

You know the drill: You were texting with a friend when your boss called, and you had to rush to the office. Or you wrote a message that sounded great in your head but came out all wrong.

This situation has happened to most people at some point. Your friends have probably done the same thing countless times!

You can still have a great conversation. You just need to break the ice again. Send a humorous or encouraging text message that reminds the person how much you appreciate them.

Myth #3: Friends Shouldn’t Argue Ever

Avoiding arguments with friends is a good goal, but the reality is that it will probably happen at some point. That doesn’t mean the friendship is over.

Real friends are like family members. Being perfect isn’t a realistic requirement.

When you haven’t slept in a week because your kids are sick, it’s understandable to be irritable. That being said, knowing how to apologize and forgive is crucial. Saying “I’m sorry” and sending a cute cat meme is often all that’s needed.

Myth #4: Your Friend Is Avoiding You

There could be a thousand reasons why your friend hasn’t responded, but many people immediately blame themselves. It’s more likely that the person has simply been busier, more distracted or more stressed than usual.

A friendly voice may be precisely what both of you need! Offer to buy a cup of coffee and talk at the park. That way neither has to worry about cleaning the house or getting dressed up for a restaurant.

Myth #5: Your Friend Was Rude to You

Be very careful how seriously you take text messages. Misunderstandings are extremely common.

Text messages are really bad at communicating emotions. Forgetting to include an emoji can make something funny sound sarcastic. Without hearing the other person’s voice, it’s easy to take words incorrectly.

When in doubt, opt for a quick phone call. Asking “How are you today?” can often clear up misunderstandings in seconds.

Myth #6: Too Much Time Has Passed

Time isn't the friendship killer you think it is. Happy memories don't just disappear. You can build on them with new moments.

Don't focus on the time that has passed. Focus on reconnecting.

Real people mature and change, but it only makes them more interesting. The core things that attracted you in the past are still there: good qualities.

The Benefits of Reaching Out

Spending time with friends has many physical and emotional benefits. It can alleviate stress, improve your self-esteem and encourage you to stay fit. Like anything of value, friends take time and effort, but they’re worth it.

5 Ways To Quickly Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite

Cellulite is as natural as gray hairs, crow’s feet and underarm “batwings.” And, like these three undeniable indicators of age, cellulite is less than welcome. If you are among the 85% of women who seem to develop just a bit more cellulite with each passing birthday, and if you’re tired of feeling a sense of dread every time you check out your bum, stomach or thighs in the mirror, rest assured in the knowledge that cellulite does not have to be forever. With a few easy tricks, you can reduce the appearance of cellulite and go out into the world with confidence once again.

1.    Drink Your Daily 8 Cups

Dehydration can cause even the most taut areas of your body to appear wrinkled and saggy, so it makes sense that, when dehydrated, areas of cellulite appear more pronounced. By starting each day with just half a liter of water and consuming up to three liters per day, you can drastically reduce the appearance of dimpled skin. Rumor has it that if you add two to three lemons to your first glass of water, or by swallowing a teaspoon of apple cider first thing in the morning, you can kickstart the benefits.

2.    Massage the Cellulite Away

Cellulite is often the result of fluid buildup in the lymph nodes in the areas around the dimpled skin. By massaging on and around the areas of cellulite, you can encourage lymphatic draining and, in the process, reduce the appearance of cellulite. Massage can also help stretch the skin and make it appear firmer.

3.    Maintain a Healthy Diet

Despite popular belief, weight and cellulite are not directly related. However, low metabolism and cellulite are. By eating a healthy diet that is rich in leafy greens, whole grains, fibrous foods and other nutritious substances — and by avoiding salt, sugary beverages and processed foods — you can speed up your metabolism and reduce the severity of dimpled skin.

As a bonus, a healthy diet can help you reduce your body fat and achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Though, as already stated, there is not a direct correlation between weight and cellulite, increased muscle tone can diminish the bumpy appearance of fat cells and make your skin look firm and smooth.

4.    Use a Homemade Coffee Scrub

Coffee contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. As such, research suggests that, when applied topically, it can help reduce low-grade inflammation and improve blood flow, two outcomes that can help diminish the appearance of cellulite. If you’re a coffee drinker, set aside your used grounds each morning in a jar or a plastic bag. The next time you shower, use a loofa, washcloth or old toothbrush, and massage the coffee grounds into the problem areas. Let them soak in and really get to work while you wash your face, lather your hair, etc. Then, rinse off as normal.

Another homemade scrub that has promise as a quick cellulite treatment is the coffee, raw honey and cucumber juice mixture. Mix these three ingredients until you form a thick paste, then apply to the problem areas a few minutes before you hop in the shower.

5.    Use Self-Tanner

Though not a permanent fix, tanning lotion can help hide fine lines, wrinkles and cellulite. If you’re only concerned about cellulite when you wear certain outfits, use self-tanners to blur its appearance for the day.

Cellulite is completely natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s always welcome. Whether you want to hide it for a day or get rid of it completely, give the above five tricks a try.

3 Ingredients To Combat Large Pores

Most people are familiar with the idea that warm water opens the pores and cold water closes them, but this is incorrect. Pores are not like doorways that can open and close on demand. Pores are openings in the skin that allow sebum to the surface and provide room for follicles to grow.

You can have narrow or wide pores because they dilate. The shrinking and enlarging results from many factors, none of which are water temperature. The primary causes of enlarged pores include:

  • Gender
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Sun damage
  • Oil
  • Impurities

Enlarged pores make the skin appear spotty and damaged. Thankfully, you can do many things to reduce the appearance of large pores. Three ingredients can help combat large pores and make your face appear clean and smooth.

Top 3 Skincare Ingredients To Combat Large Pores

1. Lactic Acid and Other Acids

Lactic acid is part of a group of acids known as alpha hydroxy acids. AHAs help to exfoliate the skin. Exfoliation is crucial to reducing pores size because enlarged pores result from congestion, buildup, and bacteria.

AHAs help remove dead cells from the skin and clean the pores, reducing the risk of future clogs when used daily. Lactic acid is one of the gentlest AHAs, meaning it is helpful to even the most sensitive skin types. It is also more hydrating than other acids. Lactic acid has many benefits for the user, including:

  • Brightened skin
  • Reduction of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Retention of moisture
  • Improved cell turnover
  • Gentle exfoliation

2. Extract From the Red Clover Flower

A member of the legume family, red clover is a wild plant. Medical researchers point to several health benefits of the plant, including the treatment of:

  • Whooping cough
  • Respiratory problems
  • Cancer
  • Skin inflammation

Researchers suggest the extract can clear acne spots and refine skin texture in 15 days, depending on the severity of the condition. The extract can also reduce sebum production and remove dead skin cells.

When paired with lactic acid, the natural ingredient can reduce the risks of clogs and prevent mechanical dilation of large pores. Also, red clover extract increases contraction, enabling pores to shrink.

3. Ribose From Corn Seeds

Ribose speeds up cell turnover and increases cellular energy. The ingredient encourages the synthesis of elastin and collagen proteins. These structural proteins improve elasticity and tighten the skin, allowing pores to constrict or shrink. Additionally, ribose returns energy to the cells, helping the skin appear brighter.

Adopt a Skincare Routine

You must adopt a routine to see results from using the above ingredients. Progress comes from the commitment to a product and process. A daily skincare routine can be as simple as:

  • Wash with warm water
  • Exfoliate
  • Rinse
  • Moisturize

You can and should speak with a dermatologist to learn more about specific products or prescriptions to help clear up your complexion. Schedule an appointment with a local dermatologist before using or starting a new skincare routine.

Large pores result from debris, excess oil, and clogs. Using skin care products with specific ingredients can reduce the size of pores and restore elasticity and smoothness to the face and skin.

Laundry Stripping: The Process and Its Effectiveness

Laundry stripping is the latest social media sensation. With videos raking in millions of views, social media "gurus" claim the aggressive cleaning and soaking method can revitalize dingy clothing.

According to advocates of the practice, stripping cleans fabric of buildup from detergent, fabric softener, and soil. As evidence, laundry strippers post videos of bathtubs filled with brown or discolored water after overnight soaks.

Despite positive reviews from proponents, fabric-care scientists explain that discolored water is a result of buildup and dyes and fibers. Stripping is a harsh process and is not suitable for all fabrics, especially delicate materials.

Effectiveness of Laundry Stripping

Despite its aggressiveness, laundry stripping is an effective process. What makes it effective is the chemical solution of washing soda, borax, powdered detergent, and hot water.

Because the process can also leech dyes and natural oils in fabrics, you must check laundry care tags. The tag should state whether a material can handle hot water soaking.

Laundry Stripping and Fabric Safety Concerns

Despite the hype, laundry stripping is not safe for many fabrics. Some items you should not put through the process include:

  • Wool
  • Workout clothes (spandex)
  • Cold-water clothing
  • Dark fabrics

Laundry stripping is most effective on light-colored sheets and towels. These items' thickness, size, and bulk make detergent buildup more likely.

How To Strip Laundry

Some washing machines allow for extended soaks, but that does not mean they can handle the stripping solution. Many appliance manufacturers like Maytag do not recommend laundry stripping in a washer. Manufacturers recommend trying traditional detergents and additives in a long, hot machine soak followed by a rinse cycle.

If you insist on trying the laundry stripping process, you will want to use a large bucket or your bathtub. The process has six steps:

  1. Fill your preferred reservoir with extremely hot water.
  2. Mix 1 cup powdered laundry detergent with 1/4 cup of borax and a 1/4 cup of washing soda.
  3. Submerge laundry in the solution and stir.
  4. Leave the laundry in the solution overnight, stirring occasionally.
  5. Drain the reservoir and rinse the laundry in the washing machine or by hand.
  6. Dry the laundry as usual.

Frequency of Stripping

While some people might want to use laundry stripping often, it is best to reserve the method to only a few times per year. Performing the process too often can damage your fabrics. Also, buildup does not occur fast enough to warrant the method over two to three times per year.

You can usually tell when materials need stripping. Fabrics can feel sticky, smell stale, or feel coarse. Towels might lose their absorbency, and color can become faded or dingy. You should only use stripping when clothing or materials show signs of buildup.

Avoiding Build-Up in the First Place

Laundry stripping is unnecessary if you take necessary precautions when doing laundry. Arguably, the best way to avoid stripping is to use the correct amount of detergent. Too many people use too much detergent. You can also try a few other techniques, including:

  • Not adding detergent and softener together
  • Adding softener during the rinse cycle only
  • Using an extra rinse cycle
  • Not loading the washer over 3/4 of the way
  • Reading detergent directions for measurements

Laundry stripping is effective for removing detergent and soil buildup. Unfortunately, the process can also strip dyes and natural oils, meaning it can harm some fabrics. It is better to use an extra rinse cycle and accurate detergent measurements to avoid buildup altogether.