How Stress Affects Skin and Hair Blog graphic

How Stress Affects Skin and Hair

There’s no doubt that stress has been a part of our existence over the past few years. A global pandemic, among other things, have challenged everyone to cope in different ways. In this blog post, we’ll be addressing how stress affects skin and hair, and what you can do to deal with these challenges.

How Stress Affects Skin

How does stress affect your skin? When we are stressed, our bodies undergo many changes that impact our skin. Psychodermatology studies the effects of our emotional states on our skin. Hormones like cortisol and adrenaline activate our “flight or fight” response. This can cause an increase in oil production, leading to increased acne. Excessive sweating, and decreased blood flow to the skin can provide the ideal environment for fungal infections and other skin conditions. Stress has been shown to trigger outbreaks of eczema and psoriasis.

Rosacea is another common skin condition that causes facial flushing and occasional blemishes. Its etiology is not really known, but there are many triggers that can bring on a rosacea flare-up, like alcohol, excessive heat or cold, or stressful situations. It also tends to run in families.

How Stress Affects Hair

How does stress affect our hair? While the hair shaft itself is not alive, it is attached to hair follicles, which are impacted by environmental and psychological stressors. Ever notice how our U.S. Presidents appear to turn gray almost overnight? Many have attributed this to the responsibilities inherent in their office. One Columbia University study demonstrated that, when stress was reduced, gray hair reverted back to its original color. Lifestyle factors like extreme dieting, malnutrition and sleep deprivation can also impact hair production and quality. Dehydration can affect both skin and hair, leaving it brittle and dull.

Improving Skin and Hair by Reducing Stress

While some sources of stress are beyond our control, we can find ways to mitigate the negative effects of stress on our bodies. This can help to improve skin and hair, as well as our overall health and wellbeing. Here are a few ideas;

  • Practice mindfulness – whether it’s journaling, yoga, or TM, it’s important to connect with your inner superpower to get through the challenging periods of your life.
  • Connect with your “Tribe” – no one can get through life alone, so find time to connect with the people (and/or animals) that mean something to you. Purge negative people from your life if you need to; they will only sap your energy.
  • Eat clean and healthy – Our diets can serve to mitigate the negative effects of stress. Proper hydration helps our bodies remove toxic by-products. Too much sugar can decrease immunity and stresses the skin. Ample antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, resveratrol and anthocyanins can neutralize harmful free radicals. Extreme dieting can exacerbate hair loss and leads to nutritional deficiencies. Incorporate lots of whole foods into your diet.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – The quality of our sleep is truly important in terms of our body’s ability to recover from stress. Things like avoiding blue screens late at night, comfort, a cool environment, progressive relaxation, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol will help you achieve deep, restorative sleep.
  • Keep moving – Our sedentary lifestyles don’t serve us well when it comes to stress. When our bodies move, we release endorphins (the “feel good” hormone”). Exercise can reduce blood pressure, improve circulation, and improve sleep. Whether it’s walking, yoga, or skateboarding, find a routine that you love and can maintain over time. That can include hobbies like gardening, cooking, painting or sewing. Working with our hands can be very therapeutic.
  • Find the self-care rituals that work for you – It’s important to find out what your skin responds to; when we’re living our best life, it often shows. For some it might be a massage or mani/pedi; for others, it’s lymphatic drainage or micro-needling. Or how about a bubble bath? Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it doesn’t stress out your skin and hair. Too much sun, bleaching and dermabrasion can leave skin and hair feeling dry and irritated.
  • Know what’s in your skincare and haircare products – More consumers are reading labels and that’s a good thing. It’s important to know what you’re using, in the event that you develop an allergic reaction, or if you have dry, sensitive or problem skin. Keep things simple and use one product at a time, if necessary, until you know how your skin and hair respond. Use products that include soothing ingredients like aloe, Vitamin E, castor oil, glycerin, allantoin and gentle oils and cleansers. If retinols are too harsh, try pro-retinol. Use a barrier sunscreen if you’re spending considerable time in the sun. Along with the previous steps, you’ll see (and feel) the difference during stressful times. To see our line of restorative skincare products, visit Our WEBA Naturals line.

Reference: https://www.insider.com/how-stress-hurts-your-skin-2019-5

Tips for Soft Healthy Lips Blog Post

Tips for Soft Healthy Lips

Tips for Soft Healthy Lips

In honor of National Lipstick Day, we’d like to provide some tips on maintaining soft, healthy, kissable lips. After all, they are a prominent form of expression and one of our erogenous zones. With a little extra care, they can remain softer, smoother and healthy for life. But first, let’s learn a little more about this important part of our anatomy.

Facts About Our Lips

The lips consist of three major components – the labius superium oris, the labius inferium oris, and the vermillion border (the outermost margins of the lips). The main muscle that moves the lips is the Obicularis oris muscle. The unique features of the lips include:

  • The skin is very thin compared with the rest of the body.
  • The lips do not have hair follicles or sweat glands. In this way they are similar to the soles of our feet and the palms of our hands.
  • The lips do not have oil glands, so they dry out more quickly than the rest of the body.
  • The lips are very sensitive to touch, warmth and cold.
  • Lips tend to have fewer malanocytes than the rest of the body, which allows blood vessels underneath to give them a pinkish hue.
  • Lips tend to get thinner as we age, due to the decreased production of collagen.
  • How To Care For Our Lips

    Because of these unique properties, it is important to protect our lips from the effects of the environment, harsh chemicals, and sunlight. The same environmental forces that can cause our skin to age is magnified on our lips. Hear are a few ways that you can keep your lips soft and healthy:

  • Moisturize regularly. Without oil glands, our lips are especially prone to drying and cracking. A moisturizing shea butter lip balm or other barrier balm can go a long way towards trapping moisture to prevent cracking.
  • Avoid products that can dry lips out, like alcohol, camphor, phenols, menthol, perfumes, salicylic acid and hyaluronic acid (which in low humidity can pull moisture from your lips).
  • Rethink using products that don’t actually moisturize like 100% petroleum jelly (which is highly refined and may contain other contaminants) and mineral oil. Choose moisturizing, penetrating oils like shea, olive and coconut oil instead with a natural wax like candelilla instead.
  • Exfoliate lips gently, especially during the winter months. The skin on the lips sheds, too, and regular exfoliation with a gentle scrub or a washcloth can help maintain a smooth appearance and helps lip care products absorb better.
  • Wear a sunscreen on your lips! Of course, it’s wise to wear sunscreen on all exposed areas when we’re outdoors, but the lips are especially vulnerable. A barrier sunscreen containing zinc or titanium oxide is best.
  • If you smoke, stop. After sun exposure, nothing ages skin more than smoking. It accelerates the breakdown of collagen and causes our skin to age prematurely. For the same reason, avoid excess sugar in the diet.
  • Use products that are proven to enhance collagen production. The jury is still out on whether or not supplements and powders can improve the skin. However, ingredients like antioxidants, peptides and ingredients like niacinamide have been shown to help with collagen production. For example, our Age-Defying Vitamin C Face Creme contains both antioxidants and niacinamide without the high price tag of other Vitamin C creams.
  • Stay hydrated. The same thing that can dry your skin also dries out your lips. If you suffer from chronically dry skin, lips, hair and nails, then it’s time to drink more water.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Foods rich in collagen precursors like glycine and proline include foods like fish, dark leafy greens, beans, cabbage, bananas and many other foods. Eating foods rich in these amino acids help the body maintain healthy skin, hair and yes, lips too.
  • Don’t lick your lips! It’s tempting to do when lips are cracked, but it only speeds dehydration.

    In addition to these tips, we also recommend that you read labels before applying any product to your lips. Many lipsticks, for example, contain synthetic dyes, lead, and other ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction or worse. After all, many of the products that we put on our lips can end up in our bodies. Let’s make certain that they are products that won’t do more harm than good. So pucker up and be smart about your lip health!

    References:
    Huffington Post article about lip facts
    Wikipedia article on lip anatomy

Is There A Real Fountain of Youth? WEBA Natural Products Blog

Is There A Real Fountain of Youth?

Is There A Real Fountain of Youth?

The legend of the “Fountain of Youth” has existed since the days of Herodotus in the 5th century B.C. Great. Many were believed to have set out in search for this elusive fountain whose restorative waters would turn back the clock.

This search persists to this day, although in different ways. For centuries, women used milk baths, herbs, skin whiteners, and coverings in order to stave off the effects of harsh sunlight and environmental conditions. They would pamper themselves and use natural colorants to adorn their skin and hair.
Today, men and women continue to seek out a “magic” solution to the aging process. The term “anti-aging” has come to refer to products and processes that arrest the hands of time, just like the mythical fountain of youth. The question is whether many of the products claiming to be anti-aging really do what they claim. Add to this the tendency in this country for society to worship youth and outward beauty, and you have heightened pressure for consumers to find the magic bullet.

Are Skincare products the New Fountain of Youth?

It is highly unlikely that any single skincare product can halt aging. The human body is a complex machine, and the skin is its largest organ. Scientific studies point to things like shortened telomeres, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors in an attempt to understand what causes aging in the first place.
As far as the skin is concerned, things like oxidative stress and too much sun exposure can cause the skin to lose elasticity. Loss of collagen can be caused by smoking and other factors, which can cause skin to sag. Cell turnover also decreases as we age.

In order to counteract some of these changes, there are a few topical ingredients that have shown results:

  • Products containing retinoids can help lighten age spots and increase cell turnover.
  • Scrubs and lotions containing alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids help eliminate dead skin cells. Examples are citric acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Alpha-hydroxy acids, which are water soluble, tend to be gentler than beta-hydroxy acids, which penetrate deeper and are oil-soluble.
  • Antioxidants like ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) and catechins and polyphenols (found in green tea) help with inflammation that can damage skin and other organs. Vitamins C, E, and H (Biotin) help maintain healthy skin and hair. These are found in many foods, but skincare products often add them, too. However, since it is unknown how much will be absorbed by the skin, it’s best to eat a variety of healthy foods or take a supplement if a deficiency is suspected.

Finding our Fountain of Youth

Just how much you feel you need to do in order to slow down the aging process depends on many factors, including lifestyle, diet, environmental toxins, cultural mores and heredity. Just how young do we want to be? We prefer to use the term “age-defying” to describe the steps we take to keep ourselves as healthy and vigorous as possible, while embracing age-related changes to our bodies. Our new Vitamin C Face Crème with Niacinamide is designed to gently renew the skin’s surface while smoothing without silicone. While some might welcome such procedures as Botox, dermabrasion and collagen smoothies, others might be happy with aging gracefully with such practices as yoga and meditation, gentle exfoliation, and a detoxifying diet. Whatever your preference, it’s important for us to balance self-care and self-acceptance. After all, being happy with ourselves may be the best beauty treatment of all.

References:
Medical News Today article about Biotin
Healthline article on AHA/BHA comparison
World Vitae article about catechins
Fitness Magazine article about natural ways to remain young

How to Eat and Drink Your Way to Healthy Skin

How To Eat and Drink Your Way to Healthy Skin

How To Eat And Drink Your Way To Healthy Skin

Skin is the body’s largest organ. As such, its integrity is essential to good health. When our skin’s health is impacted by environmental toxins, chemicals, malnutrition and other factors, it shows. Maintaining healthy, beautiful skin takes takes a little work, but it can reap real dividends.

So how can we eat and drink our way to healthy skin? Below is a list of foods that can go a long way towards maintaining supple, healthy skin.

Of course, it goes without saying that buying organic whenever possible will help minimize the accumulation of pesticides in the body. It’s great to know that you really can eat (and drink) your way to better skin.

References:
BBE article on eating your way to fabulous skin
Eat This article on foods for better health

Green Tea
Rich in polyphenols, green tea's antioxidants can help minimize environmental damage. Drink with some lemon for maximum efficacy.
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Olive Oil
Organic cold-pressed olive oil is a powerhouse, containing vitamins A and E and squalene, which makes it good for nourishing skin and hair. Polyunsaturated fat also helps lower bad cholesterol.
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Berries
Aside from their health benefits, berries are high in antioxidants like anthocyanins and vitamin C. They're also shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
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Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, protein and essential minerals like selenium, magnesium and zinc. Essential fatty acids like omega-3s help keep skin supple. They're a satisfying and versatile snack.
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Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits offer soluble fiber, vitamin C - a natural skin brightener - and antioxidants to minimize free radical cell damage.
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