BB cream: what is it?

BB CreamBB creams are also known as beauty balms or blemish balms.  One container of BB cream allegedly includes over six different varieties of other skincare treatments; consequently, one would presumably only need one container of BB cream for their daily make-up routine, versus the use of a combination of five or six containers of other products.  BB creams contain a concealer, foundation, and at minimum, a 30+ SPF sunscreen, which is the American Academy of Dermatology’s suggested amount to be used on a daily basis.  In addition, BB creams contain anti-aging components that include vitamins A, E, and C, significant moisturizers like glycerin, light reflecting mica that gives the skin a luminous glow, and some silicon based ingredients that help smooth out the skin, like a primer.  Moreover, some BB creams even include anti-acne ingredients.
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MicrodermabrasionWe all want to stall the aging process as much as possible. Short of turning ourselves into robots, the microdermabrasion approach is perhaps the most productive and accessible means to fore-go natural aging and enhance a youthful look for as long as possible. The technique is adverse and straightforward, but it has its fair share of detractors. Its benefits are well understood, and costs saving techniques are being deployed to make the process simpler than ever.

Battling Our Greatest Enemy: Aging

Aging cannot be beat – for now. Many men and women deploy various strategies to keep aging minimal. These may include botox on the more extreme end of things. Despite this, general advancements in technology and public acceptance are pushing this technique into more facilities. Chemical peels and facials are a bit more temporary, but substantially less effective because of it.

When these strategies are used, they are often battling the three major areas of aging in the face.

  • Acne/age spot scarring
  • Wrinkles
  • Face texture

The texture has a lot to do with the dips and marks in the face itself. These are separate from wrinkles, which are prolonged and arguably the hardest to deal with on a monthly basis. Some do not face age spots and acne scars, but the other two are generally unavoidable attributes of general aging.

Though chemical peels are effective in small doses and temporarily, they do not simultaneously detract all three of the above aging elements.

What is Microdermabrasion?

Fortunately, a new strategy is quickly taking over, and it has the means and the evidence to treat spotty skin texture, wrinkles, and age spots in one full swoop. This technique is, of course, microdermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion softens the face to smooth wrinkles as well as dissuade age spots and decrease the visibility of acne scars. This general softness will ward off the overall appearance of aging. The technique has been polarizing because so many resources state that they provide it, but they do it at a greatly inferior quality.

Microdermabrasion decreases pore size as well, which is one of the leading attributes to deter sweating and break outs. This makes it easier for skin care products to breach the skin and move into the deepest layers. Furthermore, collagen is allowed to build up at greater levels, establishing a more youthful look all around.

Understanding the Technology

Microdermabrasion is rather complex when one dissects the technology of the strategy. It removes the uppermost layer of dead skin cells from the face. It does not irritate the face because it is only removing dead cells that have no nerves attached. Other scrubbing technology can be abrasive because it is actually digging at the healthy skin itself.

It also implements crystal technology. It is made up of a vacuum that picks up the dead skin cells. Afterwards, a spray will go over the face (and other subsequent areas if applicable) which will soak and penetrate the skin.

Are There Side Effects or Health Concerns?

The side effects are almost universally attached to the individual doing the procedure. There have been cases where individuals faced spotted bleeding. This is because the user was too strong on the device itself, allowing it to penetrate the skin. Abrasive marks may also appear, even if the device was implemented rather softly. The technology is very subtle, and professionals should practice the technique for an extended period of time before diving right into the procedure on actual people.

Microdermabrasion should be absolutely avoided if a patient has especially sensitive skin. The procedure could actually create little scars on the face if done improperly. This is where a lot of the controversy and opinionated suggestions appear. A combination of sensitive skin and particularly aggressive usage could be disastrous. But this is only the case in extreme situations and incredible sensitive skin types. This may also include individuals with diabetes or vascular disorders.

Where do you get them?

Microdermabrasion can generally be obtained in a medical spa, and this is the most recommended area to receive this. Staff members are regulated with greater focus, and particularly trained to use the equipment. Hotel spas and day spas also offer it. Though they are still viable and trained, the overall standards of practice are not as focused on in these types of facilities. Medial spas are required to carry long trained estheticians. It is smart to research the facility in detail before opting for the procedure. Do they have a solid track record? Are they willing to answer questions openly and clearly?

So how do they compare, really?

Microdermabrasion ResultsMicrodermabrasion is a fascinating procedure because its functionality and practically is not speculated on. In skin care, few strategies are so inherently effective for just about everyone. Furthermore, they do not always include aging treatment on all fronts. Microdermabrasion usually consists of a series of treatments. The first is simply a test run. It acts as the barometer in which all others follow, and is conducted based on skin type and sensitivity. Medical spas will feel out the technology and the individual, and use this initial run as a sample of what is to come.

A single treatment may range from $100 to $150, and some will go up to $300 or more. Professional medial spas will often provide a total of six treatments over the course of a month or two. They break each one up in a notable and logical way to allow the skin to heal and to maximize efficiency without crunching everything in. It makes the process seamless and viable in the long term.

This is not a procedure that garners immediate results. It is an extensive and long term plan that will ward off aging for a long period of time. Many people live and breathe these treatments, and they have shaved off years because of their focus and determination to make it work. There are many temporary options, but few seem to have the lasting impact of microdermabrasion.

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Castor Oil

Castor OilFor an extremely long time now, castor seeds have been used all across the world for various purposes. They can be broken down into a liquid that is highly useful in various pursuits due to the high amount of carbon fatty acids that this oil contains. In this article, we will discuss a little bit about what castor oil is made up of, as well as various regimens that it can be used for. From workplaces, to personal health, to anything else—castor oil can be found in society almost anywhere.

The Glorious Juice—Ingredients

As we stated above, castor oil has been obtained and used for centuries. It can be obtained through compressing the seeds of a castor plant. Once they are pushed down far enough, heated up to a melting point, pressed, and reheated again, they can become a “glorious juice”. Well, not a juice really. As the name implies, castor oil is fairly thick, but it gets its nick name because of the wonderfully golden yellow tint that it possesses.

It does not contain any kind of distinct stench, or any other such smell for that matter. Also, if one tries to lick castor oil they will find that they don’t experience any kind of flavor. Castor oil boils at 595 degrees Fahrenheit (which is quite important and we will learn why later), and it is a triglyceride made up almost entirely of fatty acid chains.

Risky Endeavor

Castor Plant RicinNow, just so that one may know the dangers involved with obtaining castor oil, it is not an easy thing to get a hold of. Castor oil is loaded with ricin, which is a toxic protein that is very bad for any person to touch, smell, or taste, because it is capable of affecting the nerves in one’s body and causing severe damage that could become chronic. However, as we stated above, the boiling point of castor oil is 595 degree. Fahrenheit. Fortunately, once the oil reaches this point of extreme heat, the toxin no longer functions as, for all intensive purposes, it should, and the oil is no longer harmful.

Still, this poses a major problem for those workers who have to obtain these seeds from fields and such other places. After all, they are in contact with the product for a large majority of their day, and some of them have worked in this kind of business all of their lives. This is a big deal because the seeds have not been boiled, which means that the toxic protein is directly affecting those workers that are around the seeds.

Of course, as of yet, no substitute has been found that could maintain the amount of positive output that castor oil has been able to produce. As such, the hard, risky work goes on for the workers who farm for these small seeds. In fact, it is believed that almost 600-800 million pounds of castor oil are used each year. That is a mind-boggling amount!

What Can it Do for Me?

There are a number of ways that castor oil can be practically applied in one’s life. In this section, we hope to give one a few pointers about some of the ways that it can be effective. As we said before, it’s great in all different kinds of areas. We will just hit on a few of them here:

  • Preservation. The largest way that castor oil is used on a day-to-day basis is as a preserver in various products. Due to the elements that are embedded in the product, it is perfectly usable as a food preservative, as a product that can hinder mold growth, and as an agent to package various items together. It is also somewhat interesting to note that castor oil can be used in various foods as an extra flavor. Castor oil is widely used in eastern cultures to keep food stores of grain healthy and ready for use.
  • Medicine. The next biggest use that castor oil was made for was as a type of medicine. More specifically, castor oil is great to drink if one becomes somewhat irregular and constipated. If this person will take just a small amount of the oil at each of their meals, it should help to alleviate their symptoms. Many have claimed that castor oil, when rubbed onto the skin, can remove cancerous cells. However, as of now, this is only a wives’ tale and there is no scientific proofing to back this assumption.
  • Lubrication. Finally, the last main use for castor oil is as a lubricant product. Castor oil is one of the thickest, and the most greasy, of all oils that are available. Because of this, it is wonderful to use almost anywhere that there needs to be a little extra give. Examples of where castor oil is used include, but are not limited to, refrigerators, cars, door hinges, and other joint-based machines.


Clearly, castor oil has some very practical uses. It is not only effective in the food industry, car industry, and medical industry, but in almost every realm of life. That sounds like a very general statement, but it really is true. Castor oil is a massive part of everyday life for almost every kind of business that there is, especially if that business involves any kind of transportation of products.

It’s true, though, that castor oil is not a medical anomaly. The wives’ tales that have pervaded castor oil’s image that say it is able to, oddly, cure the sick and those with cancer…are simply not true. We hope that, as you have read this article, you have found many ways that you can, practically speaking, make castor oil a part of your daily life. We feel that it can be very beneficial in many respects, and, although it is not perfect, we believe that it is very effective for the products that it is used for. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, a reasonable substitute can be found for what castor oil does.

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Hibiscus Tea: The Blood Pressure Miracle “Drug”

Hibiscus TeaMany people enjoy their cup of daily tea or two, and it has become an integral part of their daily routines. Each morning, as one wakes up, the first thing that they do is begin to brew the tea (or coffee for those that crave the caffeine). There have been many different flavors of tea that have popped up over time, and each one suits the fancy of a certain kind of person.

Of course, with tea being in such great abundance, and because it is so cheap, many scams have been put together by the medical community to try and get people to invest in certain types of tea for supposed “Health Benefits.” In reality, most of these versions of tea are loaded with by-products and sugars that completely renounce any health benefit that may have ever been within. It is likely that many doctors get a cut of the profits for the different types of tea that they put their seal of approval behind.

Still, that’s just business these days. A prime example of this truth was the green tea craze of about five years ago. Back then, because of the antioxidants and other useful minerals that were in green tea, many people flocked in masse to super markets and local quality stores to get as much green tea as they could. They believed that simple tea could make them lose weight, lower their cholesterol, and a million other things. This was a highly promoted circumstance, and Lipton tea was the leading force behind it. However, if one took one look at the amount of sugar that a single 21 oz. bottle of Lipton contains, they would be absolutely shocked.

What’s the Catch?

So, why are we here and what is the purpose of this article? Well, first off, we don’t want anyone out there who is reading this article to believe any more lies about what a product can do (when it really can’t!). Instead, we want to show you the facts, present you with one type of tea, and prove to you that this type of tea can really make miracles happen in a person’s life.

Enter hibiscus tea. Hibiscus tea has been around for a very, very long time, but it was only recently that it became popularly known in the United States for the beneficial effect that it can have on one’s body. In specific, hibiscus tea has been scientifically proven to help lower one’s blood pressure quite significantly.

So, where does it come from? Well, the main ingredient in hibiscus tea, quite obviously, is hibiscus. Hibiscus is a type of plant that can be grown in most moderate climates, which means that it can be grown throughout almost the entirety of the United States. For a good while, hibiscus tea was widely used throughout Africa and parts of Asia to deal with blood pressure problems, but it took a good while for it to come to America.

Now, we won’t make any ridiculous promises about many myriads of things that hibiscus tea can do for a person. Why? Because it can only do one thing—lower blood pressure. However, it is not a farce, and it does that one job extremely well. In fact, it has been shown in clinical trials that hibiscus tea may be able to lower a person’s blood pressure as much as a general, regular-level BP medicine could. This is astounding!

The useful properties of hibiscus were thought to be real for quite a while. Like we stated above, the plant was used in brewing homemade medicines in the eastern world for a good while on the basis that hibiscus had special properties. It was only recently that the plant was put to the test. Scientists ran a number of studies wherein they gave animals a basic amount of hibiscus in their diet, and the blood pressure of those animals dropped a fair amount.

Furthermore, the plant’s properties were put to the true test shortly after 1996. It was in Iran that hibiscus tea was first tested on a large number of adults who were known to have hypertension. One control group was given black tea for twelve days, and another group was given hibiscus tea for twelve days. Out of the two groups, the group drinking hibiscus tea saw a much larger drop in blood pressure.

Now, with that said, hibiscus tea may not be a bad idea for a person with high blood pressure. Regardless, tea will not be the only answer to the problem. It is most important that a person in such a situation takes the proper measures to fix themselves—measures like exercise, eating right, and lowering the amount of stress that is normally present in their lives. Doing those things, along with the help of hibiscus tea, will likely create a large improvement in one’s BPI.

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The Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin CVitamin C is often referred to as “ascorbic acid.” It is not produced by the human body, so it must be obtained through foods or supplements containing the vitamin. Vitamin C is naturally-occurring in fresh fruits and vegetables, and can be synthetically produced in a laboratory.

Although Vitamin C can be obtained from supplements, most health care and medical professionals recommend getting it by including fruits and vegetables in the diet. Fresh fruits, such as citrus, or concentrates frozen from fresh citrus are most often recommended over ready-to-drink juices. Processing and age of the juice products dramatically reduces the beneficial vitamin C content. Historically, deficiencies in vitamin C contributed to scurvy. Sailors, who spent long periods of time on ships and whose diets lacked any significant amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, were particularly susceptible to scurvy.

Benefits of Vitamin C

Although the diets of most people have improved nutritionally since the times when scurvy was prevalent, vitamin C deficiency is still part of disease prevention and treatment. Vitamin C has been shown to be necessary for proper development and function of many parts of the body.

The most common use for Vitamin C now is preventing and treating the common cold. It has also been linked to treatment for a number of other diseases and maladies, such as:

  • Acne;
  • Certain stomach ulcers;
  • Tuberculosis;
  • Dysentery;
  • Depression;
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s; and,
  • Problems with absorption of iron from foods (anemia).

It is likely effective, although not comprehensively tested, for other problems, such as:

  • Skin aging and wrinkling;
  • Skin cancer;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Osteoarthritis;
  • Macular degeneration;
  • Lung infections;
  • Circulatory issues;
  • Kidney problems; and,
  • Geriatric loss of strength.

Negative Effects

Vitamin C is considered safe for most people when used in recommended doses or applied topically as directed. For a few people, vitamin C may cause unwanted side effects, such as headache, nausea, heartburn, or stomach cramps. Any dose greater than 2000mg per day is not recommended. Amounts greater than 1000mg per day may contribute to kidney stones.

Certain conditions warrant avoidance of Vitamin C or use only as directed by medical or health care professionals. Those include:

  • Surgical heart procedures;
  • Cancer;
  • Diabetes;
  • Blood disorders;
  • Kidney stones; and,
  • Sickle cell disease.

Ascorbic acid may have an interaction with certain drugs and medications. To avoid problems, use only as directed by medical or health care professionals. The substances include:

  • Aluminum (found in most antacids);
  • Estrogen;
  • Fluphenazine (Prolixin);
  • Cancer medications (Chemotherapy);
  • HIV/AIDS medications (Protease Inhibitors);
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers (Acetaminophen and aspirin);
  • Statins (for lowering cholesterol);
  • Niacin; and,
  • Wafarin (Coumadin to slow blood clotting).

Uses for Vitamin C

Vitamin C and ascorbic acid are generally recommended as part of a broader health condition treatment or preventative health care regime. Many over-the-counter daily vitamin and mineral tablets contain the recommended dose of Vitamin C to be used in conjunction with a health care program that includes regular exercise, balanced diet, weight management, balanced nutritional supplements of vitamins and minerals, stress management, and regular medical monitoring.


It evident that Vitamin C has been shown in numerous medical studies, treatments, and daily usage to be effective for certain purposes when it is used as directed and in the recommended doses.

Negative effects from Vitamin C use are not expected for most people; however, there are certain medical conditions that may be exacerbated by Vitamin C. If you are using Vitamin C as a supplement or as a topical treatment, be vigilant for changes that might signal an adverse reaction and seek medical attention, if necessary.

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