Vitamins for the Perfect Skin

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The end of the semester is within view, but we still have a few weeks to go before we can throw our lectures notes in the fireplace and just kick back while listening to the embers crackle.  The last few weeks of every semester are always plagued with term papers, projects, and finals.  We try to avoid it, but the late nights spent studying are inevitable.  These sleepless nights are bound to take a huge toll on your skin.  Although your mind will be fried, here are some vitamins to keep your skin looking at its best.

Vitamin A is associated with fortifying bone cells, which are important for the health of your hair and skin.  Course, dry, blemished, and itchy skin can be traced back to low levels of vitamin A in the body.  The consumption of liver, carrots, and sweet potatoes, foods that are rich in vitamin A, can prevent these problems from developing.  Vitamin A is also found in topical forms, such as lotions and night creams.  It protects your skin from premature aging.  As college students, we don’t want to roll into class looking like we’re fifty.

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Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3, can hydrate your skin and reduce redness.  Inadequate amounts of B3 in the body can result in dry or scaly skin, possibly even dermatitis.  Vitamin B3 can be found in under the name “niacinamide” in lotions, creams, and serums and in foods, such as fish and peanuts.  The dry, winter air can really draw out the moisture from your face, so don’t be remiss about getting enough B3.

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Vitamin C is the master of aging prevention.  It plays a major role in collagen production.  Below the epidermis, collagen has the task of preventing the skin from sagging.  A vitamin C deficiency will produce coarse skin and will prolong the amount of time it takes for wounds to heal.  Many fruits, especially citrus fruits, are packed with vitamin C.  Having wrinkles when you’re in your twenties doesn’t sound appeal at all.

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The vitamin that is often associated with skin health is vitamin E.  This vitamin aids in evening out your skin tone and softening the texture of your skin.  Color discoloration is common for people, who aren’t getting enough vitamin E.  Many topicals designed for skin health contain vitamin E.  Seafood, nuts, and seeds are also full of it.  Vitamin E will keep your skin healthy and radiant.

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We all know that the end of the semester is a very stressful time, but your health should always come before your studies.  Taking your vitamins will take your skin to new heights, but don’t forget about the basics: getting sufficient amounts of sleep, eating well, and drinking water.  When the last week comes, you’ll be rolling into your finals with the freshest face.

Staying Healthy During Exams

As we near the end of another semester, its extremely important we all stay healthy to enjoy the Holiday Season that comes afterward. Final assignments, group projects, exams and the stress that comes with all of that on top of the freezing cold are all factors fighting against us this time of year. Here are three helpful reminders to make sure you’re keeping your body and mind as healthy as possible over the next two weeks.

  • Don’t make fun of the weather. We all know how cold it is, especially this last week and weekend, so going to class in running shorts or out to the bar in your tiniest dress with no coat isn’t accomplishing anything except a sore throat. Even though you may feel warm when you go out at night because of the alcohol, remember it’s just an illusion and your body is more susceptible to illness when it can’t maintain its normal temperature.
  • Minimize stress. While this may seem nearly impossible during exam time there are some things you can do to help your body and mind out. Try to get as much sleep as possible. This usually means not waiting until the last minute to do work. Don’t pull all-nighters on back-to-back nights. This wreaks havoc on your mind and your body. You won’t be able to think as clear and you sure won’t look as fresh.
  • Listen to your body. Our bodies have this amazing ability to tell us when something is wrong, i.e. your stomach growls when you’re hungry, your eyes get heavy when you’re sleepy, etc. Your body will tell you if it is getting sick, so be on the lookout for signs like sore throat, swollen glands and drowsiness. Be proactive by eating healthy and taking vitamins, too. Just because its exam time doesn’t mean you should stop your regimen of vitamins, healthy food and exercise. The more normal you keep your routine, the less likely you are to get sick.

Hope everyone stays happy and healthy, well at least healthy, for the duration of the semester. Enjoy your Holidays! Good luck!!

Flash Your (Bra) Color on Facebook

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A few nights ago, I flashed the entire internet world. Now, now. Before you assume that I leaked a peek-a-boo picture a la Vanessa Hudgens – don’t be so foolish! I revealed the color of my bra to the entire internet world. But again, before you assume I did so as a routine game with my boyfriend, think again. It was in the name of a good cause.

It started with a girl friend’s status as “Turquoise,” followed soon after with “pink” and a few beiges and blacks. Over the hours, the statuses kept pouring in and my curiousity and confusion only grew larger until a friend of a friend asked WHY girls were posting colors as their statuses. Was there a game TV show on that I was missing? Even males participated with writing “nothing.”

The point of the meme activity? To raise awareness of breast cancer. Though I’m sure it did more than just that. It started with a mass Facebook message that was sent to women, asking them to virtually flash the world to support medical research. The end of the e-mail message even read, “It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men will wonder why all the girls have a color on their status!”

I did it to have fun and go along with the cause, like every other girl out there. But perhaps instead of e-flashing the internet, a few dollars can be spent on Pink products or a few minutes can be spent AWAY from Facebook and on medical research websites to educate ourselves about risks of breast cancer. Go Pink! Or Beige, or Black.

Snack Happy!

Fall Trail Mix

Fall Trail Mix

K-scopers I have a confession…I am a snackaholic! So I am always on the lookout for healthy eats I can grab on the go. And now I have found my snack holy grail – trail mix. It is perfect for when it’s getting cold outside (which is NOW here in the Hill). Try out  my recipe for what I like to think of as fall inspired food. I eat it for morning snack, afternoon snack and sometimes dessert!

  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 cups granola
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • salt

Mix butter and honey in a saucepan at medium heat until bubbly. Then add all dry ingredients, stirring until coated. Finally, place trail mix on a baking sheet lined with foil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Break up and store in an air tight container or individual baggies. Makes about 5 cups.

Enjoy!

Airbrushing in Fashion

It’s a well known fact that the fashion industry uses technology like Photoshop and airbrushing to make models look, well, more beautiful in advertisements than they actually are in real life.  For women with a healthy amount of self-confidence, this usually isn’t a problem.  But there is a growing movement to ban this activity in the fashion industry because of the potential effect it can have on teen girls.  This push for more realistic representations of women is especially pronounced in Britain, where it is led by a well known Liberal Democrat politician named Jo Swinson.  MP Swinson states that the airbrushed images that we see on billboards, in magazines, and on TV are encouraging not only an unbelievablly idealistic view of beauty, but also fostering feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem in young girls today.  Airbrushing is commonly used to erase skin blemishes, lengthen legs, and flatten stomachs.  Dove has started their own campaign against this falsifying of images.  They’ve even created a video showing the transformation of an average girl who is airbrushed to perfection and placed on a roadside billboard. (Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2gD80jv5ZQ)

So, what do you think?  Does airbrushing distort women’s idea of beauty and lower their self confidence? Or do we need to thicken our skin and strive to find beauty within ourselves, not in society’s views of us?

Zeno Magic

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Being a stressed-out college student means we are all prone to breakouts, and in the winter our skin is at its driest. It can be hard to treat pimples with topical treatments, which tend to dry out skin even more. However, I invested in a Zeno and for $89, I feel like I have a mini dermatologist in the palm of my hand. The Zeno is a hand-held device with a tip that heats to a certain temperature. The heat decreases inflammation and safely destroys the bacteria inside the pimple. This device is costly, but after the recommended use of 2 times daily for 2 and a half minutes, you see results. The pimple is either drastically reduced in size or gone completely. I think it’s a safe way to quickly eliminate pimples without scarring and without drying out skin. I was originally intimidated by its scary beeping and heated tip, but the results made it worth it! After using it for several months now, I feel like I have much more control over my skin. This is a great investment for people who have mild to moderate acne (the kind with a raised white bump). The Zeno allows me to quickly and painlessly thwart pimples before they become worse. No more cover up sticks or messy creams for me!

What alternative ways do you use to treat breakouts?

Find a friend, save your life

A recent study performed at Chicago University has declared that it is even more important than anyone could have thought to have a strong friend base. Loneliness in women has now been proven to be linked to breast cancer. The study, which was performed on mice, was intended to identify “cancer-prone environments” to better understand what alterations to genes take place in pre-cancerous individuals. Although researchers have been trying to prove that stress leads to breast cancer, up until now, there was no scientific evidence for this idea. Dr. Suzanne Conzen, who led the study, described a “clear, measurable difference both in mammary gland tumor growth and accompanying behavior and stress hormone levels.” To put it simply, women who suffer from the stress of social isolation are more likely to develop breast cancer. The good news is that there is now an easy and entertaining way to reduce your risks: grab your girls and hit the town for some cancer-fighting fun!