10 WORST FOODS FOR YOUR SKIN – Telegraph

10 Worst foods for your skin that you should avoid

Care about your skin? Then you need to read about the foods that could be causing more harm to your skin than you realise. Most of us care about the way we look, and since our skin is our largest and most visible organ, it’s kinda important that we do what we can to look after it. Diet plays a crucial role in keeping us healthy but it also plays a starring role in how we look. Diet can strengthen or weaken hair and nails, and it can either give our skin a healthy glow – or it can age us super quick. There’s never been a truer saying, than “you are what you eat”. Let’s take a look at 10 unexpected foods that can be toxic for your skin.

Dairy

Dairy, of course, has its benefits. Eggs are stuffed with protein, while milk is a good source of calcium. But we all know that there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing, and this is as true of dairy as it is anything else. Basically, too much dairy can cause cystic breakouts. What are these? A cystic breakout is a tough, rather sore blemish under your skin that lasts a long time. They’re usually found on your neck, on your jaw line or on your chin. They’re not cool but if you consume too much dairy, your body works extra hard to eliminate toxins. And unfortunately, these cystic blemishes get pushed out at the same time, and they tend to stick around.

Shellfish

The likes of lobster and crab might be a bit of an expensive luxury in some parts of the world, but they’re so rich in iodine that they can cause acne. If you love fish, consider getting your fix from the likes of salmon and tuna instead.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of those foods which has pros and cons. For every article that tells you to drink it, there’s an article that tells you to avoid it. If you’re a coffee drinker, today is your unlucky day, as we’re here to tell you to cut down on it! The problem is that, while caffeine makes us more alert and focused, it also dehydrates us. And when this happens, our supply of collagen runs dry and our skins loses its elasticity. NOT COOL because what happens next is wrinkles start to form and our skin begins to sag. OH. If you’re a big coffee drinker, try to ween yourself off it and substitute cups of Joe for glasses of water, or simply limit your coffee intake for one cup a day.

Rice Cakes

Rice cakes really will be a surprise for some of you, because these are what super models used to eat all the time. They became well-known for being super SUPER low in calories, and anyone who ate them did so to lose weight. But here’s the thing: Why would supermodels eat something that’s bad for their skin!? Good question, and the answer is that they probably didn’t know that rice cakes were bad for their skin at the time! The science is this: Rice cakes cause a spike in our blood sugar levels, which in turn increases the likelihood of wrinkles.

Soy

This is bad news for vegans, but soy crops are heavily engineered. Moreover, soy is rich in compounds called phyto-oestrogens, which replicate the oestrogen found in our body. They can cause hormonal imbalance, which can trigger skin conditions.

Alcohol

Okay, so you know alcohol is pretty bad for your liver, but did you know that it’s also not exactly a friend of your skins? In fact, booze of any kind really hates your skin. It dehydrates you, which leaves your skin prone to fine lines and wrinkles, and it also messes with your hormones, which can cause acne. Worse, alcohol wrecks your immune system, which can create more skin issues. We’re not saying that you should cut alcohol out altogether, as clearly some folk drink wine and beer and still look good. But maybe cut back or just limit your drinking to the weekends.

Milk Chocolate

First, we took alcohol away and now we’re taking away milk chocolate! Okay, we’re not taking it away completely, but whereas dark chocolate’s health benefits are well document, milk chocolate combines two very bad worlds – sugar with dairy, which are two of the worst foods for your skin. Although it tastes good, it’s bad for your skin. If you have a chocolate craving, go for the dark stuff instead, as it’s much more beneficial.

Sushi

Sushi? Really?!

Unfortunately, yes. It might be a bit of a delicacy, it might be expensive and it might be a “treat” but sushi also hates your skin. Consider the roll itself. It contains salt, which is very bad for your skin. Then there’s rice which, as we mentioned earlier, causes spikes in your blood sugar levels. It can lead to dry skin and it can accelerate the ageing process. If you still want to eat sushi, we suggest drinking more water next time. Maybe do some facial exercise afterwards, too.

Fruit Juices

Okay, you can probably understand caffeine and booze being here but can you understand fruit juice being here or are you freaking out right now?! The thing with fruit juice is that, yes, it contains fruit and, yes, fruit is of course good for us! But whereas fruit contains fibre, fruit juice doesn’t. And this means that your skin is missing out on some pretty important nutrients, while getting floored with a load of sugar. The best thing to do is avoid fruit juices and instead either make your own smoothies at home using fruit and vegetables, or just eat whole fruits.

Cereals

There are a lot of cereals on the market that, though they’re promoted as being super healthy and natural, actually aren’t. Granola is a huge case in point. Take a look at the list of ingredients on cereals and you’ll soon realise that there’s a lot of stuff in there that irritates your skin, causing itchiness and even acne. Avoid.

Feel free to share what are those worst foods for your skin that you simply love eating?

Stay beautiful!

Cough Drops Made from Scratch with Natural Ingredients – Dr. Axe – Telegraph

If you’ve ever perused the astonishingly large (and depressingly unnatural) selection of cough drops and throat lozenges at your local drug store, you may have found yourself wishing for simple and wholesome cough drops, made without all the refined sugar (or artificial sweeteners) and the long list of odd, unpronounceable, and possibly problematic, additives.

Maybe, like me, you just aren’t fond of the overpowering flavor of menthol (I can’t suck on one for more than a minute or two without taking a break), which seems to be in almost every flavor. Or maybe you really want to use organic ingredients, specific herbs, and be totally sure the cough drops are safe for everyone in your family.


How to Make Homemade Cough Drops

Good News: If you have a little time and patience, making your own herbal honey cough drops or honey candy drops is reasonably easy.

Honey Herbal Cough Drops

Unlike the “honey” cough drops at the store, these drops are made from real honey with no other sweeteners. Plus, they’re flavored with real herbs.

Herbs for coughs

  • Basil
  • Cypress (helps calm coughs, clear congestion, and loosen phlegm)
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry juice
  • Eucalyptus (helps open nasal congestion)
  • Frankincense (especially good for phlegmy cough)
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Lemon peel
  • Oregano (shown to help fight upper respiratory infections)
  • Peppermint (shown to help calm coughs)
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

Herbs for Sore Throats

If your sore throat is part of an upper respiratory infection you may want to include some of those herbs listed above for coughs, as well as one or more of the following.

The herbs in this list are also useful for sore throats due to talking or singing too much.

  • Cayenne powder
  • Fenugreek
  • Juniper berry
  • Licorice root
  • Marshmallow root
  • Slippery elm bark (especially good for dry, irritated throats)

Method:

Pour 1 ½ cups of boiling water over the herbs of your choice. (I used 6 tea bags of a commercial throat-soothing herbal tea blend; you can use 6 tablespoons of the dried herbs of your choice or up to a cup of dried herbs if you want really strong cough drops).

Allow the herbs to steep for at least 20 minutes or until the water is cool. Squeeze the liquid out of the herbs and discard them. Strain the resulting tea.

Combine your herbal tea with the honey in a small, deep saucepan with a heavy bottom (tall sides help prevent boil-over; a heavy bottom helps prevent scorching).

Clip a candy thermometer to the side, with the tip in the liquid but not touching the bottom. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 300°F.

As the mixture thickens and condenses, you may need to tip the pan sideways to take an accurate reading. This will take somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 minutes — to help you plan — but you need to go by the thermometer, not the clock, to get good results.

Be careful! Boiling sugar syrup is hot and it will stick to your skin and cause a nasty burn if it spatters or spills on you. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, set a glass of ice water next to the stove and periodically drop a single drop of your boiling mixture into the water. At first, the drop will just disburse into the water. But as cooking proceeds the drop will first hold together in a soft ball you can flatten, then dent, with your fingers when you fish it out.

Finally, a drop of boiling syrup will get so hard you can’t even dent it between your fingers the instant it hits the water. This is the “hard drop stage,” which is your goal.

While the syrup is cooking down, prepare your pan. It’s also a good time to cut pieces of waxed paper or cellophane to package your drops. I use wax paper, cut into 3-inch-by-4-inch rectangles. When your syrup reaches 300°F, or the “hard drop stage,” immediately pour it into your prepared pan to cool, using a silicone scraper to get it all out of the saucepan.

Immediately fill the saucepan with hot water. Don’t use cold water because it will instantly turn the remainders rock hard, causing tedious cleanup.

Allow the mixture to cool until you can just handle it without burning your hands. This will take 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the temperature of your room. Lay out a clean silicone sheet or length of wax paper to work on and dust it with the anti-stick powder of your choice. I usually use tapioca flour, but I’ve also used a Mexican hot cocoa blend of cocoa powder, a little sugar, hot pepper powder, and ground cinnamon, which was dynamite!

When you can handle the mixture use a knife or scissors (dip into cold water between cuts to minimize sticking) to cut the hardening mixture into long strips and then drop-sized bits and place them on your powdered work surface.

You can shape them a little to round the corners as you go, but don’t dawdle, as the workable stage is fleeting. Once they are all shaped, toss them, a few at a time, into a jar with ¼ cup of your anti-stick powder, and give it a shake to cover all sides.

Tap off the excess and wrap each one securely. Then place the wrapped drops in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Honey drops are water magnets and if there is any humidity in the air the outsides of the drops will start to get tacky quite rapidly (a few hours at high humidity will create little puddles). You can still rescue them by shaking them in a jar with your anti-stick powder, but they will soak up more of it. You may be tempted to skip the wrapping step, but don’t: there is a reason commercial cough drops are wrapped. If honey-based drops, even those well-dusted with anti-stick powder, aren’t wrapped individually they will stick to each other and eventually become one large drop (in hot, humid weather this can happen in just a few hours).

Store your jar in a cool location and use your drops as needed to soothe your throat and calm coughs.


Other Homemade Cough Drop Recipes

Here are a few variations you may also want to try:

Pure Honey Cough Drops

Sometime you just want plain honey drops (yeah, they are pretty much honey candy — yum!). These are also an excellent choice if you are worried about using herbal cough drops while pregnant. Prepare as for Honey Herbal Cough Drops, but don’t add anything to the honey. Since you are not adding water, the cooking process will take much less time; just be sure to heat the honey and slowly at first, as it can scorch more easily than diluted honey will.

Honey Cough Drops with Essential Oils

Prepare as for Honey Cough Drops, but add a few drops of a pure essential oil, such as ginger, peppermint (especially good for coughs), lemon, lavender, oregano, juniper berry, eucalyptus and/or frankincense just before pouring the hot mixture onto the pan to cool.

Honey Cough Drops with Natural Fruit Flavor

Prepare as for Herbal Cough Drops, but replace the herbal tea with unsweetened fruit juice. Elderberry juice is an especially good choice as elderberry has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of the flu and colds. A friend of mine uses fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice for honey-lemon drops.

Cough Syrup

Sometimes a drop isn’t a good option (such as when you are falling asleep). If you need a soothing liquid cough syrup, try a spoonful of plain honey before bed, a remedy that has been shown to be more effective at reducing nighttime cough frequency than the over-the-counter drugs dextromethorphan (DM) and diphenhydramine. (1)

Or whip up a batch of our essential oil-enriched homemade cough syrup, either of which will give you relief without resorting to a syrup with potentially problematic ingredients. And be sure to give prescription syrups containing the narcotic codeine a pass. They just aren’t worth the risks.


Homemade Honey Herbal Cough Drops

Total Time: 2 hours

Serves: 4 dozen drops

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pure honey
  • 1 cup strong herbal tea
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, powdered slippery elm bark, vitamin C powder, or even unsweetened cocoa powder spiked with ground hot pepper and cinnamon
  • candy thermometer
  • heavy-bottomed saucepan
  • silicone cake pan, silicone cookie sheet or cookie sheet greased with coconut oil (or candy molds, which will save time later, but are completely optional)
  • wax paper or cellophane (for wrapping drops)

Directions:

  1. Pour 1 ½ cups of boiling water over the herbs of your choice.
  2. Allow the herbs to steep for at least 20 minutes or until the water is cool. Squeeze the liquid out of the herbs and discard them. Strain the resulting tea.
  3. Combine your herbal tea with the honey in a small, deep saucepan with a heavy bottom
  4. Clip a candy thermometer to the side, with the tip in the liquid but not touching the bottom. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches 300°F.
  5. As the mixture thickens and condenses, you may need to tip the pan sideways to take an accurate reading
  6. While the syrup is cooking down, prepare your pan. It's also a good time to cut pieces of waxed paper or cellophane to package your drops. I use wax paper, cut into 3-inch-by-4-inch rectangles.
  7. When your syrup reaches 300°F, or the "hard drop stage," immediately pour it into your prepared pan to cool, using a silicone scraper to get it all out of the saucepan.
  8. Immediately fill the saucepan with hot water.
  9. Allow the mixture to cool until you can just handle it without burning your hands. This will take 15 to 30 minutes
  10. Lay out a clean silicone sheet or length of wax paper to work on and dust it with the anti-stick powder of your choice.
  11. When you can handle the mixture use a knife or scissors (dip into cold water between cuts to minimize sticking) to cut the hardening mixture into long strips and then drop-sized bits and place them on your powdered work surface.
  12. You can shape them a little to round the corners as you go, but don’t dawdle, as the workable stage is fleeting.
  13. Once they are all shaped, toss them, a few at a time, into a jar with ¼ cup of your anti-stick powder, and give it a shake to cover all sides.
  14. Tap off the excess and wrap each one securely. Then place the wrapped drops in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  15. Store your jar in a cool location and use your drops as needed to soothe your throat and calm coughs.

Under Eye Concealer: DIY Recipe with Almond Oil & Aloe – Dr. Axe – Telegraph

Have you wondered how to cover dark circles under your eyes? Under eye concealer may very well be one of the top best kept secrets that women use as part of their makeup routine. So what is under eye concealer? It’s a form of makeup concealer that usually comes as a thick liquid or as a stick, and it’s used to help cover up blemishes and imperfections. It is a great way to cover those dark circles under the eyes and can even help hide acne.

Why does the area around the eyes look tired? There are a few things to know about the delicate skin around the eyes. The skin under and around the eyes is not only delicate, but usually thinner than other areas. And because there are veins just underneath the surface of this thin skin, it can appear blue or darker than the rest of the face.

Other factors can affect the appearance of the eye area as well:

So, how do you cover up bags under the eyes? Of course, getting more rest, maintaining a healthy diet and taking great care of your skin through natural skin care are all much-needed, but you can also make your own DIY concealer that can leave you looking fresh and ready to go in no time.


DIY Under Eye Concealer

Add the sweet almond oil, argan oil and shea butter to a double boiler filled with hot water or a heat-safe bowl placed in hot water. Blend together under melted. Remove from heat. Sweet almond oil is great for helping reduce dark circles under the eyes since it is a natural emollient, which is especially good for dry, dehydrated skin. Reducing puffiness is another reason that sweet almond oil is a great ingredient for homemade under eye concealer due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also keeps the skin healthy with plenty of vitamin A. (1)

Argan oil has long been known for its benefits for hair, but what about argan oil for skin? Argan oil is super-rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, linoleic acids and vitamin E, which helps moisturize and even reduce fine lines. Shea butter is always a great choice since it helps repair the skin and boost collagen.

Now let’s add the honey, aloe vera gel and zinc oxide. Manuka honey has many healing effects for the skin and is known to improve skin tone and texture. Aloe vera helps add just the right smoothness to your DIY under eye concealer while providing vitamins A, C and E — all of which are great for healthy skin. Zinc oxide is great, not only to shield the delicate skin from harmful UV rays that come from the sun, but it helps lock in the much-needed moisture your skin craves.

Once all of those ingredients have been blended, it’s time to add color. Start with a just a little bit of the cocoa or cacao powder. You can test it and add more until you reach the desired color. It is best to make sure it is just a bit lighter than your natural skin tone. I recommend cacao powder since it is a purer form, making it more nutrient-dense than cocoa powder. Once you’ve finished making your under eye concealer, transfer it into a clean container.


How to Use Under Eye Concealer

Before applying your under eye concealer, apply a gentle moisturizer such as my DIY Face Moisturizer with Shea Butter and Essential Oils or my Homemade Eye Cream. To use your under eye concealer, you will want to apply it from the inner corner of the eye outward. Simply dab small dots from the inner to the outer corners of the area underneath the eye. Allow the concealer to sit on your skin so that it softens. Then you can use your finger to gently pat and blend the concealer into the skin.


DIY Under Eye Concealer with Almond Oil & Aloe

Serves: Makes about 1 1/2 ounces

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil
  • 1 teaspoon argan oil
  • 1 teaspoon shea butter
  • 3 or 4 drops Manuka honey or raw honey (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon aloe gel
  • 1 tablespoon non-nano zinc oxide
  • ¼ teaspoon cocoa or cacao powder

Directions:

  1. Add the almond oil, argan oil and shea butter to a double boiler filled with hot water or a small heat-safe bowl placed in a large pot of hot water.
  2. Blend together under melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the honey, aloe vera gel and zinc oxide and blend well.
  4. Once all of those ingredients have been blended, it is time to add color.
  5. Start with a just a little bit of the cocoa or cacao powder. You can test it and add more until you reach the desired color.
  6. Transfer your finished under eye concealer into a clean container.

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