Sunday, March 1, 2015

Winter Dry Skin Care

My skin gets sooo dry in the winter. Especially now that we live in a small apartment, everything dries up like you wouldn't believe it. It's convenient when drying laundry, but not when your skin starts itching!

I wear a lot of tights in winter, and nothing more horrifying than noticing white, powdery skin flakes on the tights after I take them off at the end of the day. Yuck!

I've gone back to using a variety of exfoliators in the shower: an exfoliating glove, St Ives Sea Salt body wash, St Ives Even and Bright Lemon and Mandarin body wash, Spa Bon Vital sugar scrub with pink grapefruit, Tasha & Co Organics scrub in red currant. I've also used moisturizing body washes in alternation with these scrubs: Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash, St Ives Oatmeal and Shea Butter Body wash, and more.

My latest cure-all for dry skin is mixing my St Ives Intensive Healing lotion with a dry oil like Philosophy Pure Grace satin finish body oil. I apply it while still damp from the shower. I didn't believe it made a difference until I was in a hurry one day and didn't do it. Itchy as all get out!

I try not to forget to put cuticle oil on my cuticles, so I bought a cuticle oil pen and keep it on my desk at work.

Another important tool in my cold and dry defense kit is a new hand cream I accidentally bought at Walgreens, the Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive Healing Hand Cream. It has a soft citrus smell, absorbs right up, and provides a lovely an soothing feeling for the remainder of the day without being greasy. It's perfect for my needs.

I've also upped my intake of water and tea vs. coffee and bought a small Satechi USB humidifier for work since I get winter nosebleeds.

I can't wait until winter is over, it's been a rough one this time around.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Seasonal Allergies and Dryness: Eyes

I suffer from some allergies and dryness due to seasonal changes. My eyes are the victims this year, some other years it's my skin, others it's my lips. From speaking with friends and co-workers this seems to be more common than I previously thought. Here are a few steps that I'm taking to help improve my symptoms.

What are my symptoms?

  • Incessant weeping eye corners (especially my left eye)
  • Stinging and burning
  • Sensation there's sand in my eyes
  • Swollen eyes
  • Dark circles

Old cosmetics

  • I've been going eye makeup free except for some Neutrogena mascara I just bought
  • cleaned out my makeup bag to make sure that it's fresh and clean
  • threw away all eyeliners and mascaras so only very recent eyeliner and mascara is included (1 month or less)
  • wiped my eyeshadows with a wipe soaked in alcohol (these are sold near electronics and cameras in shops; by the way, use a fresh wipe per shadow, else you're spreading germies and colors!)
  • soaked all my tweezers and cosmetic-dedicated pencil sharpeners in warm soapy water (dish detergent) then rinsed them and poured 91% alcohol over them, and let them air dry
  • washed all my face and eye makeup brushes in warm soapy water (face wash)
  • threw away my old eyelash curler and am looking to buy a replacement (I see you WalMart!)
  • washing my eyeglasses with dish soap and warm water on a weekly basis, in-between wiping with alcohol wipes. Washing all my microfiber eyeglass wipes to make sure they're fresh

Gentle skincare
As my skin gets drier and more sensitive this season (as always) I'm focusing on:

  • making sure I remove all makeup prior to going to bed
  • Washing my pillow sham often
  • exfoliating the dry flakes of skin using gentler products
  • no primer, no special treatment moisturizers, just a simple easy moisturizer
  • no special eye care except a gentle moisturizer
  • scheduling professional skin care appointments
  • using a dedicated face cloth to pat dry after washing

If my eye symptoms get worse, I'll schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to see if there is a micro-scratch or something that needs some steroidal eye drops or antibiotics (which I'll need a prescription for).

Keep in mind that some people think their sensitive eyes are natural and they apply a prescription and keep using their cosmetics as normal. Sometimes it's the cosmetics that aggravate a sensitive eye. It's a case of the egg or the chicken.

Make your decisions wisely,  tailored to your own needs. Keep your health and well being #1 over any fads or trends. And remember, you are beautiful because you are you. What society thinks of beauty is mostly airbrushed on a magazine page. Pie in the sky.

Additional resources and Info

Monday, October 20, 2014

Are you Running in the Right Shoe for You?

I finally built up the courage to go to a running store to get a full analysis done. Mind you, I'm still not a runner, I'm a walker.

I was curious to see whether the shoes I was buying off of Amazon - Altra Women's Lone Peak Running Shoe and, more recently, Altra Women's Intuition 1.5 Running Shoe - were the right ones for me. Somehow my shoe's toe box twisting to one side as soon as I put my shoes on, was a red flag indication my Altra's weren't working out for me anymore (or ever?).

I stepped into Roadrunner Sports' Killdeer, Illinois location on a Saturday afternoon and met Mel, a rep who would lead me through their patented Shoedog foot analysis program. I filled out a short set of questions both on paper and on the screen: what size and width, type of shoe, exercise (walk not run), and any body pains or injuries.

Then she proceeded to measure my foot using one of those usual metal foot measuring device (10 wide - I totally called it!).

Next I stepped on a mat which recorded the pressure my foot exerted on it while standing still, to find out what kind of arch I have (very, very high - big surprise to me but explains a lot).

I then got onto the treadmill at a comfortable pace (3.0 mph with zero incline) while a camera recorded  my foot fall and gait from behind. We found out I have horrible overpronation (ankles lean in and toes flap out to the side like a duck) that needs some stability support. The main stressors for me where: high arches, too much pressure on ball of big toe and too much pressure on heel.

The next step was to form the inner soles to my foot to help support the heel and arch. They do those on the spot in three to five minutes. Loved it and I feel it's well worth the $79.

We put two and two together after all these tests and measurements and got trying shoes on. Mel got me three pairs of shoes to try on with the special inner soles matching my foot exactly.

The Brooks model was firm and supportive, but a little tight over the top of my foot.

I forgot the brand of the second model, but it was soft and spongy like a cloud, but provided not as much stability and control of the heel and middle of the foot.

The Saucony was the best with supportive, spongy base and stability control but flexible top which allows me to tie all the laces properly.

Overall this was time very well spent (no more than 20 minutes) and I walked away knowing what my foot needs are not just for walking/running but overall. I will be paying much closer attention to the arch and stability control of any future shoes I purchase.

PS I also joined Roadrunner's VIP club which is a yearly fee program to allow you great discounts on purchases online or in store. Plus you get notice of sales and special events.

A very good experience overall and highly recommend Roadrunner (if you're in Killdeer, ask for Mel!).

:o) Happy walking y'all.