October 27, 2008

The Benefits of Exercise on Skin and Hair

Hi everyone. I apologize for the lack of posts this month. I've been rapidly preparing for a move from New York to Chicago (happening this weekend), and my mind has been OCD-fixated on the presidential race. I've developed a need to refresh CNN.com every 15 minutes and Gallup.com every few hours, even though they only update their polls once a day....

But for 30 min this past weekend, I re-commenced beauty research. Specifically: the benefit of exercise on skin. We know that aerobic exercise reduces stress and flushes toxins from the body. But I was fascinated to learn in this article from WebMD that exercise can also:

• declog oil from pores
• regulate the production of DHEA and DHT, the male-associated hormones that cause acne and hair loss
• increase collagen production in the skin—leading to a plumper, more youthful visage (in addition to giving that rosy flush, of course)

Now my experience: I'd been so busy with the Chicago move and having goodbye meet-ups with friends that, completely pooped, I had traded in my twice-weekly evening jogs for half-awake Netflix movies. By the end of last week, I was blah and sluggish, and my skin was looking too sallow for comfort. I forced myself to fit in a 25-minute run on Thursday and Sunday. And crazy enough, my complexion has looked much healthier, and I swear I've lost less hair in the shower.

So hurray for exercise: free, multi-beneficial,
and without a carbon footprint!

October 1, 2008

The Best Natural Acne Treatment

I've tried an impressive number of skin care products for this blog over the past year. But few have done more for my complexion than Quixtar/Amway's clear.nowAcne Treatment Lotion. Since using it a few weeks ago, my oily skin (which has become more finicky since living in gritty NYC) has been uncommonly and consistently clear and even-toned.

Beauty buffs migh know Quixtar/Amway as the Avon-like (but-bigger) company behind Artistry® cosmetics (which recently announced Sandra Bullock as its spokesperson). A friend who sells the line enticed me first to the company's best-selling Nutrilite® Women's Supplements. They're packed with high-quality ingredients from organic farms in California, Washington, Mexico, and Brazil, and the fish oil in their omega-3 capsules is mercury-free. But back to the lotion.

Pretty factor: Toss the Proactiv in the recycling bin! Clear.now contains an ingredient called sodium chlorite—whose particle size is 200,000 times smaller than benzoyl peroxide's, allowing it to thoroughly penetrate pores and kill bacteria. While it's debacterializing, .7% salicylic acid breaks down pore-clogging oil and a bevy of botanicals—aloe, lavender, willowherb to name a few—heal, moisturize, and calm redness. The skin is left clear and decongested without the slightest dryness or ruddiness.

Eco factor: No petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance or colors, T.E.A., D.E.A., propylene glycol, silicones, PEGS, animal ingredients

To buy: $18. To get a 10% discount, e-mail me at ecopretty at gmail dot com, and I'll send you the contact info of my friend who sells the line.