Mandelic Acid: An Essential and Gentle Skincare Ingredient

People use various over-the-counter skin care products to treat and combat dark spots, acne, wrinkles, dullness, and other skin care problems. While OTC products can include many ingredients, manufacturers use several core ingredients, including mandelic acid.

While experts agree that mandelic acid is beneficial, there is not much research supporting the specific advantages of this particular alpha hydroxy acid. Still, researchers tend to agree that the compound is gentle on the skin and is promising in treating skin texture, acne, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging.

Understanding the Origins of Mandelic Acid

Derived from almonds, specifically bitter almonds, mandelic acid is an AHA used primarily in treating acne. It differentiates itself from other AHAs by being gentle on the skin, limiting occurrences of irritation. As a gentler AHA, mandelic acid is an ideal ingredient for people with sensitive skin.

The acid is so gentle on the skin because it is among the most extensive AHA compounds. The size means mandelic acid has a slower penetration rate, resulting in less irritation.

Benefits of Mandelic Acid

Like other AHAs, mandelic acid is good for accelerated cellular turnover. The compound effectively exfoliates the skin, removing dead skin cells. By removing dead cells and exfoliating the skin, the compound helps speed up the body's natural turnover processes, meaning users end up with younger skin cells and a more youthful appearance.

Additionally, the helpful acid promotes collagen production. Collagen is the primary protein found in connective tissue and skin. The increase in collagen can help balance complexion and appearance; however, evidence of such changes is anecdotal.

Potential Uses of Mandelic Acid

While there are many potential uses for mandelic acid, it is primarily used for acne treatment. The AHA helps regulate sebum production, reduce inflammation, and unclog pores, all contributing factors to breakouts. In one study, researchers found that a chemical peel containing 45% mandelic acid was as effective as one using 30% salicylic acid. The study also found that mandelic acid had fewer side effects and was more effective in treating inflammatory acne.

For some, mandelic acid may also play a role in improving skin texture, reducing hyperpigmentation, and lessening fine lines and wrinkles. However, more conclusive research is needed in these particular areas.

Mandelic Acid Side Effects

Despite being gentle on the skin, mandelic acid can affect people in different ways. Many consumers using products containing mandelic acid will have no problems, but others might experience adverse side effects, such as:

  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Redness

Sometimes, the appearance of symptoms, especially after several days or weeks of use, results from overuse. Most side effects subside when you limit your use of the product. However, you should stop using the product and talk to your dermatologist if problems persist.

Mandelic acid is a promising and popular skincare ingredient. It is among the largest AHAs molecularly, slowing penetration and making it gentler on the skin. It is known to be effective in treating inflammatory acne and shows promise in treating hyperpigmentation, sun spots, and aging. While used in several OTC skincare treatments, consumers should consult their dermatologists before starting any new therapy.

The Necessity of Scalp Care

Most people concern themselves with hair care, finding the right shampoos, conditioners, and treatments, but scalp care often flies under their radar. The scalp is the foundation of healthy hair; however, more than that, the scalp is susceptible to problems, including:

  • Cysts
  • Irritation
  • Itchiness
  • Flakiness
  • Sun damage
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Pain

Scalp Hygiene, Hair Health, and Medical Conditions

The scalp and hair have a symbiotic relationship — if one is healthy, the other usually is. When the scalp is unhealthy, a person can experience different medical conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or seborrheic dermatitis. Both conditions can cause hair breakage, rough texture, hair loss, etc.

Atopic dermatitis is commonly known as eczema. The chronic condition causes itchy and red skin. While there are many potential causes of eczema, atopic dermatitis is often a reaction to hair care products like shampoos or dyes.

Seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff also causes redness and itchiness but can also be characterized by flakiness—dandruff results from dry skin buildup or oiliness.

Maintaining a healthy scalp is about knowing and adhering to proper scalp hygiene. If you experience scalp problems despite practicing good hygiene, consult with your primary care physician or a dermatologist.

Treating the Scalp and Common Conditions

While common, dandruff is a challenging condition to treat. Many over-the-counter products claim to treat the condition, but you must be careful about which items you choose. People are typically better served to consult their dermatologists or doctors for better and more practical remedies.

If you choose to go it alone and use OTC products, shampoos, or treatments, you will need to be selective. You will want to ensure the products have proper ingredients, including:

  • Selsun blue (selenium sulfide)
  • Salicylic acid
  • Dermazinc (pyrithione zinc)
  • Nizoral A-D (ketoconazole)
  • Tar

You do not need to use these products habitually. In fact, consumers should only use the items until the symptoms subside. Using certain products too often can nullify efficacy, meaning the items will not be as effective. Experts recommend alternating treatments every few months to avoid a loss of effectiveness.

If so, you can also try at-home remedies for treating the scalp. Some of the most effective treatments include:

  • Avoidance of styling products
  • Avoidance of products containing alcohol
  • Applying mineral oils to the scalp
  • Applying aloe vera to the scalp
  • Using tea tree oil in shampoo
  • Taking fish oil supplements

Promoting and Maintaining a Healthy Scalp

You may already have a healthy scalp, but that does not mean you are off the hook. Scalp health is an ongoing and ever-changing element. Adopting healthy practices is the only way to ensure or encourage continued health.

One of the best things you can do for your scalp is to avoid shampoos and conditioners with sulfates, alcohol, or fragrances. Certain ingredients in commercial beauty products can irritate the scalp, causing damage and promoting different conditions.

Additionally, do not overwash your hair. Most experts agree that you only need to wash your hair three to four times per week. Washing your hair more often can strip away natural oils, the same oils essential for a healthy scalp. Also, when shampooing your hair, massage the product into the hair, don't scrub. Massaging increases circulation and blood flow to the scalp.

A healthy scalp is vital to a healthy, full head of hair. Caring for your scalp can reduce the risks of specific conditions and improve hair feel, appearance, fullness, and thickness.

Lactic Acid: Definition and Advantages for Skin Care

With skincare, people are always in search of the next best thing. Consumers want dynamic and exciting new products to make them feel and look younger, the fountain of youth in a cream or shiny canister.

What many people do not realize is that the most effective skin care treatments and regimens have changed little in decades. One of the most effective cosmetic ingredients is lactic acid, and it has been helping to beautify skin since ancient Egyptian milk baths.

Defining Lactic Acid

An alpha hydroxy acid, lactic acid, contributes to the effectiveness of many over-the-counter skin care products and prescription and professional treatments. AHA is an effective tool in the removal of dead skin cells and the elimination or reduction of many skin imperfections, including:

  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Dark spots

Lactic acid occurs naturally in dairy products, and it is the compound that gives soured milk and yogurt its tang. While many people still indulge in traditional milk baths, the lactic acid found in most skin care products today is synthetic.

Advantages of Lactic Acid for the Skin

Lactic acid is vital to the exfoliation process. The AHA dissolves the bond between healthy skin cells and dull, old, or dead cells. The compound accelerates cellular turnover while stimulating cell renewal, helping to replace removed cells with healthier ones.

The exfoliation process helps brighten a person's complexion while producing a softer and smoother appearance. When people use lactic acid-based products regularly, they can experience fundamental changes without the harsh effects of other hydroxy acids.

Other AHAs can provide similar benefits to lactic acid, but they can also dehydrate the skin. However, lactic acid contains glycolic and mandelic acid, which help maintain and improve the skin's natural moisture factor. Other benefits of lactic acid include:

  • Reduced signs of aging
  • Reduction of sunspots
  • Reduced bumpiness

Potential Side Effects

While lactic acid sounds like the perfect skincare ingredient, it does come with some side effects. For example, users might experience sun sensitivity or mild skin irritation. When using products containing lactic acid, you want to watch for:

  • Dryness
  • Peeling
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Burning

Some users will experience mild redness, itching, and burning sensations after the initial use but do not experience them on later uses. If the adverse symptoms are moderate or severe, wash the product off immediately.

Dermatologists also recommend that people using lactic acid products use it in combination with sunscreen. You should use SPF 30 or better to protect against sunburn and damage. It is also essential to use sun protection on cloudy days. Failing to use an appropriate sunscreen can eliminate the benefits of lactic acid.

Should You Use Lactic Acid Products?

Whether you choose products containing lactic acid is up to you. Lactic acid is among the least volatile of all AHAs, but the ingredient will not work for all skin types. Before using any new skincare products, talk to your dermatologist or primary care physician.

Lactic acid is one of the oldest known skincare ingredients, but it is also one of the most effective. There is no need to reinvent the wheel of skincare products constantly. Sometimes, the tried-and-true ingredients are all you need.

7 steps to the perfect shade of lipstick

Switching up your lipstick shade can dramatically affect your overall aesthetic. With so many rainbow hues to choose from, however, it can be challenging to find the most flattering formula for your beautiful face. Try these tips to locate the lipstick that works best for your look.

Uncover your undertones

Does your skin have warm, cool or neutral undertones? The answer will inform your lipstick choice since you'll likely look better in reds and oranges with a warm complexion and purples and blues if your skin has a cooler tone.

To figure it out, check the veins in your wrist. You probably have cool undertones if they appear blue, while green means warm. If you still aren't sure, take a tour of your jewelry collection. If you usually reach for gold because it looks great against your skin, you probably have warm undertones, while a preference for silver usually spells cool undertones.

Talk about tones

In addition to your skin's undertone, you might also want to consider the tone of your complexion while choosing a lipstick. Most cosmetic companies categorize skin tone from darkest to lightest as deep, tan, medium, light and fair. If you have dark skin, you'll look fabulous in bright jewel tones - think caramel and claret for warm undertones or plums and blue-toned reds if your undertones are cool.

Tan tones look amazing in popping shades of hot pink for cool undertones and corals and true reds if you have warmer skin. Tomato reds look amazing with warm undertones for medium-toned complexions, while mauve and berry shades are best for cooler customers.

Shape your pout

The size and shape of your smile might also dictate your lipstick choice. To plump up thinner lips, go for creamy, glossy formulas of lighter lipstick. Choose a darker color if you want to draw attention to your perfect pout.

Consider your hair color

The tone of your tresses also plays a role in which lipstick colors look best. If you're a blonde with skin on the lighter side, try lighter pinks with lilac and brown undertones or brighter pinks and peaches when you have a tan. If your hair is dark brown or black and you have fair skin, consider hot pink, plum and cherry shades. With tan and dark hair, go for the gold with bronze and beige.

Brown-haired gals with medium-toned skin look amazing in deep coral and beige hues. If you're a redhead, natural or not, try warmer shades like salmon and terracotta.

Examine your eyes

You can highlight your eyes and create a look that pops by choosing a coordinating lip color. Neutral shades of plum and nude bring out the best in gray eyes, while pink and terracotta tones will flatter your green eyes. Scarlet and cherry colors create contrast with your baby blues, while brown-eyed girls tend to like the way they look in true pinks and reds.

Get high-tech

Want to see how you'll actually look in that shade before you spend your hard-earned cash? Brands like MAC have apps where you can upload your image and virtually "try on" lipstick hues until you find your ideal match.

Try out the trends

If you love to be on the cutting edge of style, you need to know which lipstick colors are trending for the upcoming season. For example, pastel peaches and pinks, bright bold reds, deep burgundy, and warm gold are all slated to be hot in summer 2022. A gloss finish is also the cutting-edge choice, although matte lips are always a classic look.

With these smart tips to choose your best lipstick shade, you'll be ready for the runway in a show-stopping new look.

Cream Versus Powdered Beauty Products: The Winner Is…

When you look at your makeup collection, you likely see a variety of products. Most people have creams and powders for different occasions, but is one better than the other?

Selecting the right makeup or beauty products for your routine depends on many factors, from staying power to skin type. However, in most cases, you can choose a preferred medium.

The Pros and Cons of Cream 

Cream beauty products can help keep the skin moisturized while creating a protective barrier for the skin. The makeup products also provide a somewhat glossy or glowing finished look. However, the makeup choice is not without its drawbacks.

Pros

The primary benefit of cream makeup is the blend-ability. Creams require little effort or skill to apply, so they are great for people who are not confident with makeup techniques and blending. Additionally, creams do not require tools to apply, like brushes, adding to their ease of use.

Wearers can also rejoice in using less of the product. Creams are highly pigmented, meaning only a tiny amount of the product is necessary for preferred looks.

Finally, creams are ideal for drier or more mature skin types. Powders tend to sit in fine lines and pores; creams do not, leaving the skin hydrated and glowing.

Cons

Unfortunately, creams do not last as long as powdered makeup. Additionally, creams are not ideal for oily skin types.

Cream makeups tend to crease around the eyes, possibly becoming shiny. The makeup can also move around depending on the application and environment.

Finally, cream products only work on top of other cream products, and colors do not blend easily. You cannot use a cream on top of a powder; it will ruin the entire look.

The Pros and Cons of Powder 

Powdered beauty products offer pathways for customization, personal style, and texture. While pros and cons still exist, powdered makeups are often more popular than cream options.

Pros

Powdered makeups are long-lasting, especially when used with a foundation. The velvety, matte finish provides an airbrush quality to the skin, which many people find appealing. Additionally, powder is the best option for oily skin types.

Powdered options can also blend easily and can be layered on top of other powders and creams. Most people prefer powdered makeup around the eyes because it does not crease easily.

Cons

Powder makeup can make the skin look dull and flat when too matte. Additionally, the makeup tends to settle into wrinkles and fine lines, potentially aging the wearer.

Powder also requires makeup application tools, like brushes. Because tools are necessary, powdered makeup takes a little more skill and technique than cream.

Finally, powder makeup can appear less natural because of how it sits on the skin. It can also cause the skin to feel dehydrated.

The Verdict 

For versatility alone, powdered makeup wins the challenge. However, the verdict does not discredit the use of creams. Powders win because they allow for easier customization and can work on top of creams. Still, creams provide a more natural appearance, and for the right skin type, they might be a superior choice for some users. Ultimately, you need to determine which makeup is best for your skin and preferences.

The 20 Worst Skincare Ingredients for Oily Skin

Knowing which skincare products to select isn't easy when you have oily skin. Here are five of the worst skincare ingredients for people with oily skin, plus what to choose instead.

1. Alcohol

Many cleansing products use different types of alcohol. When your skin feels oily, you may think that the solution is to strip away the oil with an alcohol-based toner. In reality, alcohol can make your skin produce more oil, not less.

It’s easy to confuse oil and moisture. They’re not the same thing. Alcohol-based cleansers mainly remove water from your skin, leaving it feeling fresh, but only for a moment. Afterward, pores shift oil production into high gear to compensate for the moisture removed.

A better solution is to choose a natural cleanser that gets rid of oil, makeup and dirt, not your skin’s moisture. Toners with aloe vera, salicylic acid, rose water, chamomile, witch hazel or alpha-hydroxy acid are excellent for people who are prone to acne.

Alcohols to avoid in skin products: SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol and ethanol.

2. Petroleum Jelly (Petrolatum)

Petroleum jelly gives moisturizers and creams a thicker, more luxurious feel. Unfortunately, for people with oily skin, these heavy skincare products can cause many problems:

  • Clogging pores
  • Trapping extra oil
  • Contributing to acne breakouts
  • Not allowing the skin to breathe properly

Other occlusives to avoid: Paraffin, beeswax and mineral oil.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains numerous vitamins and antioxidants that are healthy for the skin. Plus, who can resist that tropical smell when you’re pampering yourself?

If you have oily skin, though, heavier oils such as coconut oil tend to clog pores quickly. Avoid using it on your arms or face. Applying a little to elbows or hands may be OK during winter weather, though.

Lightweight oils are a better choice. They can hydrate your skin and add softness without overdoing it. Grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil, hemp seed oil, sweet almond oil and rosehip oil are all good choices.

Heavy oils to avoid: Argan, avocado, camellia, soybean, flaxseed and hazelnut oil, plus cocoa butter and shea butter.

4. Lanolin

Many women love moisturizers and hand creams that contain lanolin. It leaves skin feeling exceptionally soft. The downside is that, like petroleum jelly, it can clog pores and cause acne. People who have sensitive skin may want to avoid it as well because of the possibility of allergic reactions.

5. Silicon

Skincare experts are divided about ingredients such as dimethicone. On the one hand, this oil substitute can give lotions a silky texture and help smooth your skin. On the other hand, silicon forms a protective layer that can trap oil. With this ingredient, you may want to test it out and see the results for yourself.

Common Oily Skin Mistakes To Avoid

To look your best, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Being too rough: Oily skin isn’t invulnerable to damage. You still need to use sunscreen, avoid irritating chemicals and take off your makeup at night.
  • Over-exfoliating: Some exfoliation for getting rid of dead skin and oil is good. Doing it too often hurts your skin and triggers heavier oil production later.
  • Not hydrating: Oily skin still needs moisturizing. Just choose lightweight lotions instead of heavy creams.

There’s nothing wrong with having an oily skin type. With a little cleaning and care, you can rock a healthy glow that wows friends, coworkers and romantic interests.

This Is Why Your Moisturizer Stopped Working

Most women and men in the U.S. (75%) have problems with dry skin during winter. When you're trying so hard to protect your skin, why can it sometimes seem like moisturizer isn’t doing anything?

4 Signs Your Moisturizer Isn’t Working

Hydration is an essential part of skincare. These four red flags mean your moisturizer isn't working correctly.

Rough or Dry Skin

Healthy, hydrated skin should be three S's: soft, smooth and supple. If your hands feel closer to sandpaper than silk, it’s a sign your skin needs TLC urgently! Rough, dry or cracked skin has been stripped of its natural protective oils, and your moisturizing routine isn’t helping.

Peeling

Sunburns aren’t the only reason your skin can peel. Peeling means the epidermis — the top layer of skin — has been damaged. Dryness or irritation from harsh ingredients can be responsible. Hand sanitizer can cause both.

Bumps or Acne Breakouts

For some people, moisturizers cause a different problem: clogged pores. Hydrating your skin is still important, but it’s better to choose a lighter product with “oil-free” on the label. Honey, lactic acid and glycerin are great ingredients for avoiding breakouts.

Burning Sensation or Rashes

Moisturizers should never make your skin burn, tingle or itch. The effect should be completely the opposite — a calming, comfortable sensation you look forward to. If you notice irritation or red spots after applying a beauty product, it usually means you have a mild allergy to one of the ingredients. People with sensitive skin should opt for moisturizers that are non-allergenic and fragrance-free.

6 Reasons Moisturizer Doesn’t Always Work

Why aren’t your skincare products delivering the results they promise? These six reasons may be the cause:

  • Washing needs to go hand-in-hand with moisturizing: Every time you wash, you need to moisturize. Period.
  • Skipping nutrients doesn’t do your skin any favors: Eating too much fast food can leave your body low on essential vitamins for healthy skin.
  • Overdoing heavy creams can make skin dependent on moisturizer: Giving your skin too much of a good thing can make it stop producing natural oils. Don’t apply heavy creams every day.
  • Underestimating cold or dry weather hurts your skin: Applying moisturizer once a day in cold weather is almost the same as doing nothing. Your skin needs more.
  • Aging lowers your body’s natural hydration: As you age, you need to increase your moisturizing routine. Increase the quantity of skin-healthy vitamins you get as well.
  • Not protecting yourself from UV rays is worse than you think: UV rays can damage your skin even if you don’t get burnt. Put on sunscreen when you’re spending time outdoors.

6 Tips for Supple Skin All Year Long

Boost skin hydration with these six simple steps:

  • Feed your skin: Make sure you're getting sufficient vitamin E, protein and omega-3s in your diet.
  • Be a skin whisperer: Stick with moisturizers and ingredients that work for you, no matter what's trendy.
  • Cleanse and hydrate: Remove dirt, oil and makeup from the skin, and then apply moisturizer.
  • Apply when wet: Using skin lotion when you get out of the shower or while your hands are still wet locks in extra moisture.
  • Massage: Help moisture and nourishing ingredients penetrate better with a gentle massage.
  • Exfoliate more: Get rid of dry, dead skin cells that block lotions from absorbing correctly. Moisturize after exfoliating.

Great skincare ingredients don't have to be expensive. Glycerine, petrolatum and shea butter are among the best for hydration, and they're within reach of most people.

7 Tips That Work for Thinning Hair

Many women think that thinning hair is just something you have to accept. Forget that! You may not be able to change genetic factors, but you certainly can repair damaged hair, strengthen your strands and care for your scalp. Follow these seven tips.

1. Massage Your Scalp

A scalp massage feels amazing after a long day, especially in a warm shower with soothing essential oils (try diluted lavender oil for a heavenly experience). Massaging provides several benefits in addition to helping you relax. It increases blood flow to the scalp, boosting the nutrients available for healthy hair. It also helps shampoo ingredients penetrate more deeply.

Avoid the common mistake of massaging your hair, which can cause broken strands. Instead, give all the TLC to your scalp and let shampoo roll down your hair on its own.

2. Choose the Right Shampoo for Your Scalp

Make sure your shampoo meets your particular needs. Some shampoos help with volume, smoothness, root repair, hydration and strengthening.

Again, focus on your scalp, not your strands. Don’t choose a moisturizing shampoo for an oily scalp; pick one that helps with volumizing or strengthening.

What if you have a dry scalp and curly strands? Use a shampoo designed for hydration first. Take care of your curls with a second shampoo or conditioner.

3. Stress Less

Have you ever heard people say that a stressful situation is making their hair fall out? They’re not exaggerating.

The more stressed you feel, the more strands you lose. Stress hormones can alter your hair’s natural growth cycle.

Make time for rest and relaxation every week. Getting enough rest is good for your immune system and overall health, too.

It’s also important to avoid stressing too much about your hair. Seeing a bunch of strands in your hairbrush after bathing doesn’t necessarily mean your hair is thinning. It’s perfectly normal for women of any age to lose 50–100 hairs a day.

4. Take Time for Conditioner

Conditioner does for your strands what shampoo does for your scalp. Shampoo helps with cleansing and nourishing, while conditioner is designed to soften, detangle and protect your strands. That’s a big help in avoiding breakage.

5. Talk to Your Doc

Most women probably don’t think of thinning hair as something to discuss with a doctor, but your physician can be a huge help. Treating hair loss is easier when you know the underlying cause.

Sometimes, the issue is scalp inflammation, such as eczema. Hormone levels or nutrient deficiencies may be to blame. Even certain medications can trigger thinning hair.

6. Protect Your Hair

Treat your hair like it’s your favorite designer dress. Be gentle with it.

Limit washing to 2 or 3 times a week. Don’t be rough when toweling off. Forget about your blow dryer. Even if you’re in a hurry to get to work, your hair deserves a few minutes of your time.

7. Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Iron and Zinc

Your follicles need zinc and iron to produce healthy and strong hair. Most of the strands you lose are because of breakage, so these strengthening minerals can make a big difference. Other hair-healthy essentials include omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. Fish, avocadoes and nuts are excellent sources.

With these easy tips, you can get back your luxurious hair. You deserve to rock the vibrant hairstyle you love.

Shampoo as a Body Wash Alternative?

You are standing in the shower after a hard day's work, enjoying the warm water as it runs over your head and over your shoulders. After a few moments of basking in the warmth, you reach for your body wash only to realize you forgot to replace the empty bottle with the new one underneath your sink. 

You could get out of the shower, trudge over to the cabinet under the sink, and grab a new bottle, but that all sounds like so much work. As you are mulling the idea over, tiring yourself out with the thought of the longest short walk ever, you notice the sleek, shiny bottle of shampoo. You think to yourself, "why not?" 

Shampoo and Body Wash Are Essentially the Same, Right?

Shampoo is not the same thing as a body wash. While the products share some similarities, each has a designated use, hence the different names. Body washes typically contain milder ingredients and detergents than shampoos. Shampoos can use somewhat harsher ingredients because the hair is not as sensitive as the skin.  

Depending on the type of shampoo you purchase, the product might not feel good on the skin. Many low-cost shampoos can feel slimy, oily, or greasy on the skin, and they tend to dry out or irritate active skin cells. More expensive shampoos might not be as bad because they can contain aloes and other moisturizers. 

Body washes are designed for the skin. Therefore, most products, even low-cost options, have hydrating and moisturizing ingredients and effects. That said, you will probably notice some repeating ingredients across your shampoo and body wash bottles.

Will Shampoo Cause Problems if Used as a Body Wash?

You should use body wash for your body and shampoo for your hair. However, in a pinch, you can probably use shampoo. Shampoo is not an ideal body wash because it is meant to retain your hair's essential oils and minerals, which can result in a somewhat slimy or sticky body wash.  

Additionally, shampoos are more like detergents than body washes and have a higher acidic pH level. The higher pH can irritate, dry out, and even dull the skin if you use shampoo too often. You can even find some people recommending shampoos in place of dishwashing liquids and other detergents, which should indicate their incompatibility with skin. Still, the occasional use of shampoo as a body wash is likely Ok.

Is It Best To Stick To Body Wash?

Ultimately, shampoo is not a replacement for body wash long-term. Shampoo is meant for your hair, and even then, a conditioner is occasionally recommended to prevent damage.  

Body wash is specifically created to help cleanse and treat the skin. Most washes include hydrating and moisturizing ingredients to benefit the skin, keeping it smooth and healthy. Still, there is no shame in using shampoo once in a while, especially when the bathroom sink is so far away. 

How do you feel about using shampoo as a body wash? Have you ever had to make the substitution?

5 Easy Tricks To Fight Under-Eye Bags

Do you ever get startled when you look at your reflection in the mornings? Dark and heavy bags under your eyes can make you look more like a zombie than a living, breathing person. Fortunately, there are things you can do to fight under-eye circles and puffiness. Here are five easy tricks that work well for me. Hopefully, they’ll help you get your youthful under-eyes back as well!

1. Reduce Your Salt Intake

Sometimes, water retention can lead to inflammation in various parts of the body—including under the eyes. If you notice your under-eye bags seem to get more noticeable after eating high-salt meals, take steps to reduce your salt intake. I know, salt makes everything taste better and it’s hard to cut back on it. However, there are a lot of great substitutes for salt, including salt-free seasoning blends that pack in lots of flavor with the use of herbs and spices.

2. Try a Neti Pot

This tip may sound weird (what does your nose have to do with your eyes, right?) but it might be your secret solution to getting rid of your under-eye bags. A neti pot is a pretty simple (and ancient) remedy you can use to clear out your sinuses. Sometimes puffiness under the eyes can be a direct result of sinus inflammation from seasonal allergies, infections or colds.

Neti pots use saline water to rinse out your sinuses. Just follow the instructions that come with your pot to get started. Be careful not to use tap water, since this increases your risk of contaminating your sinuses with a dangerous amoeba. Instead, always use distilled water with your neti pot.

3. Supplement Your Diet With Collagen

Collagen is the protein that’s responsible for keeping our skin elastic and stretchy. It’s the most abundant protein found in the human body, but we start producing less of it as we age. Decreased collagen is one of the main causes of under-eye bags.

You can get more collagen in your diet or boost your body’s production of collagen by eating foods like chicken bone broth, leafy greens and wild-caught salmon. If you already eat these foods and still struggle with under-eye bags, it may be time to add a collagen supplement to your diet.

4. Try a Cold Compress

When you need to reduce under-eye puffiness right away, one of the best things to do is apply a cold compress to your eyes. I personally like to use cucumber slices because they contain antioxidants that can help fight the effects of aging. They also feel very soothing to the entire eye area. It may seem weird to put food on your face, but give it a try. You won’t regret it!

5. Remove Your Makeup at Night

My final tip for fighting under-eye bags is to remove makeup at night—without exceptions. It’s easy to fall straight into bed after a night of partying or a busy day running errands, but leaving all that stuff on your face can irritate your eyes. It only takes a few minutes to remove your makeup, so get into the habit today.

These tricks are all pretty simple, but they can become powerful tools for combatting under-eye puffiness. Give them a try today. Your eyes will thank you.