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3 Totally Weird Anti-Ageing Treatments (And Why They Work)

Did you know that Queen Elizabeth I often applied a face mask which included toxic white lead as an ingredient? Or that the Ancient Romans believed that gladiator sweat could create a glowing complexion?

Weird, right? Well you may be surprised to learn that the 21st century has some totally bizarre anti-ageing beauty treatments all of its own.

We look at 3 anti-ageing beauty treatments that might freak you out – but actually work!

Snail Cream
Yes, you heard right. Snail cream has been big in Korea for several years, but it’s taken the likes of celebrity Katie Holmes to get products infused with snail filtrate flying off the shelves in the West.

When we talk about snail cream, we’re talking about products made from snail filtrate or mucin. You know, the glittery trail your good friend the garden snail leaves behind. The creams also tend to be formulated with other skin-loving ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin E.

Rumour has it that snail filtrate’s efficacy was first discovered by Chinese snail farmers, who found that handling the snails made their skin heal quickly and minimised scarring.

Snail cream is marketed as a product that can fade scarring, fight acne, moisturise skin and even fight the signs of ageing. If you’re feeling brave, you can even opt for a snail facial!

How does it work?
Snail filtrate contains allatoin, which promotes tissue growth; glycolic acid, which breaks down dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores and dullness; hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin to maintain moisture and; collagen, which strengthens the skin and protects it from environmental toxins.

Interested? Try Tony Moly’s Intense Care Snail Cream Set.

SYN-ake Cream
Again with the creepy crawlies? Not quite. SYN-ake cream isn’t actually made from snakes, nor will it give you scaly skin (phew!). Instead, it contains a synthetic peptide that mimics the effects of a polypepetide found in the Malaysian Temple Viper’s venom.

While SYN-ake anti-aging cream is a fairly new skin care innovation, it already boasts celebrity fans such as Jennifer Lopez and has been hailed by users as ‘Botox in a bottle’.

Studies have found that ongoing usage can significantly decrease the appearance of crow’s feet and expression lines on the forehead without the dangers of more drastic treatments.

How does it work?
SYN-ake cream works in a similar fashion to Botox, by blocking nerve receptors to keep your facial muscles relaxed. When the SYN-ake peptide freezes the tissue beneath a wrinkle, the paralysed muscle allows the wrinkle to relax, creating a ‘smoothed out’ appearance.

Interested? Try Secret Key Syn-ake Wrinkle & Whitening Cream.

Sheep Placenta Facial
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, let’s talk about the bizarre Sheep Placenta Facial that’s rapidly gaining popularity. Victoria Beckham and music mogul Simon Cowell are converts to the treatment, which has been touted as a less drastic solution to a conventional face lift.

The treatment was devised by Harley Street doctor, Dr Roberto Viel and can cost around £600 ($1,000) for results that last up to 5 months.

The Sheep Placenta Facial, also known as Actistem, involves applying an anaesthetic cream to the patient’s face before rolling a dermaroller across the skin to stimulate blood flow. Then, sheep placenta (in a viscous liquid form) is massaged onto each area of the face. The process is repeated three times for each portion of the face.

Patients are then told to keep their skin dry for the following 12 hours and to expect a visible improvement in skin texture within 3 days.

How does it work?
Just like snail cream, the Sheep Placenta Facial aims to promote the body’s production of collagen to fight the signs of ageing. According to Dr. Viel, the placenta treatment achieves this by harnessing the restorative power of sheep stem cells. These stem cells (present in the proteins contained in the placenta) rebuild the patient’s skin cells and fibroblasts, which build up elastin and collagen to increase skin firmness and plump up its appearance.

Interested? Sheep placenta facials are still catching on in Australia. In the meantime, you can check out this cream option from Healthy Care.

It’s amazing what people will put on their faces to stave off old age. However, with preliminary research showing that these three anti-ageing beauty treatments get results, they make an excellent choice for people who are feeling their years but aren’t quite ready (or comfortable) to go under the knife.

Would you try a weird skin treatment like a snail facial?

Bethany Tyndall writes about beauty on her blog Beauty Junkie.

October 9, 2013

5 Superfoods For Healthy Hair

Last month, we looked at four foods that are damaging your hair, from sugar to sodium. Some readers expressed dismay over the hair sins they were committing without even realising.

If you’ve been unkind to your hair, relax. Just as unhealthy foods are bad for your hair, a balanced diet can do wonders for your locks.

Nutritionist and author of The Beauty Diet, Lisa Drayer, explains, “your hair reflects your nutritional status. Behind great hair is great nutrition. There are no hair products that can be applied on the outside that will make up for poor nutrition.”

Read on for five superfood groups that will kick start your hair recovery.

1. Omega 3-rich foods
As we uncovered in the four foods that are damaging your hair, deficiencies in your diet can be just as damaging as overindulgence. People who don’t consume enough foods that are rich in omega-3 may experience brittle hair and scalp conditions such as eczema.

Drayer warns, “Your body needs quality fats to grow hair, since about three percent of the shaft is made up of lipids.” Additionally, fats are used to build cell membranes in the scalp and to create the natural oil that keeps your hair from drying out.

Salmon is an excellent (and tasty) source of Omega 3. If salmon isn’t to your tastes, you can also boost your body’s essential fatty acid intake by eating other fish, such as mackerel or sardines. Other options include walnuts, pumpkin seeds and whole grains. Drayer also recommends flax or hemp seeds.

2. Iron-rich foods
An iron deficiency, sometimes seen in pregnant women or people with restricted diets (such as vegetarians or vegans), is a known contributor to hair loss and hair thinning.

Research by Wilma Bergfeld for the America Academy of Dermatology suggests that, even if anaemia is not the main cause of a person’s hair loss, having too little iron in the blood only makes matters worse.

A great iron-rich food is spinach. Spinach contains not only iron but also folate and Vitamin C, all of which encourage production of healthy scalp oils for hair growth.

If you don’t enjoy spinach, you can also find iron in other dark vegetables, such as kale, broccoli or bok choy.

We recommend oysters for pescetarians.

3. Vitamin C-rich foods

Drayer explains, “If you are not eating abundant amounts of vitamin C-rich foods every day, you may not have enough to take care of your lovely locks.”

Why is Vitamin C so important? Among other things, Vitamin C aids collagen product. Collagen isn’t only found under our skin, but it also surrounds your hair strands. As we age, the collagen breaks down. This process makes hair more prone to breakage.

Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious foods that can help you get your daily fill of vitamin C. Blueberries are a particularly rich source of vitamin C. Other options include oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit and red peppers.

Consuming 250mg of vitamin C daily won’t just help you get beautiful hair – the increased collagen production will also fight signs of ageing, like wrinkles, on your skin.

4. Zinc-rich foods

Zinc is another essential mineral for strong, healthy hair. Drayer notes that, while many people have a zinc deficiency, “taking zinc supplements can throw off your body’s natural balance between zinc and copper.”

Why resort to supplements when you can eat your way to healthy zinc levels?

Drayer’s top 10 beauty foods lists oysters and yoghurt as excellent sources of zinc. Other foods that can help your boost your zinc intake include seafood, beef, lamb, eggs and nuts.

5. High fibre foods

While we may not often associate fibre with lustrous locks, Drayer explains, “some skin-care experts believe toxins contribute to scalp and hair problems.” Additionally, making sure you get enough fibre in your diet will prevent undigested food from lingering in your intestines and robbing your body and hair of precious nutrients.

You should aim to eat at least 20 to 25mg of fibre per day. Good sources of fibre include foods made from whole-grains, such as brown rice or bread. Raw vegetables, such as carrots, are another easy way to get fibre into your diet. Carrots have the added benefit of increasing your body’s production of Vitamin A, which is vital for a healthy scalp.

By including some of these five superfoods in your diet, you can easily combat hair loss and eat your way to silkier, stronger and more manageable hair.

What are your best tips for healthy hair?

Bethany Tyndall writes about beauty on her blog Beauty Junkie.

October 4, 2013

3 Korean Beauty Secrets and Makeup Tips For Youthful Skin

So many of the beauty and makeup trends we see today are coming out of South Korea. Just think BB creams: they’ve taken the West by storm and left us wanting in on more Korean beauty secrets and makeup tips.

Naturally, Eastern and Western women share one major beauty and skincare goal: we all want to look younger and more radiant.

While many of us in the West make the mistake of thinking more makeup will hide our age and skin-related sins, South Koreans often embrace a less is more mantra that works like a charm.

Want to rejuvenate your look? Let’s explore 3 Korean beauty trends that you need to try now!

maxfactorcccream

1. CC cream

By the time the West embraced BB Cream, Korea had already moved onto CC cream. What is CC cream? We like to think of it as BB Cream’s trendy younger sister. If you haven’t met her yet, you’re missing out!

The ‘CC’ in CC cream usually stands for colour correction or colour control.  CC cream is a life-saver for the time poor, as it addresses multiple beauty concerns in a single application. Slept late and have to run out the door? Skip your primer and slap on some CC cream to correct and conceal redness and discolouration. Sunscreen? Many CC creams have got you covered and contain a generous amount of SPF.

What else is packed into this beauty super product? Oil control and brightening properties. Some CC creams even claim to address issues such as ageing over time.

CC cream isn’t just a great time-saver. It’s also an easy way to achieve a natural, youthful complexion. While heavy foundation may conceal the first signs of ageing, too much can lead to a cakey look and actually draw attention to fine lines. Meanwhile, CC creams’ weightless quality and bright finish blurs imperfections for a no-makeup finish.

Ready to try CC creams? We love Max Factor’s CC Colour Correcting Cream.

aegyosal

2. Aegyo Sal

Aegyo Sal, roughly translated, means “eye pouches” or “charming fat” (yes!). The expression refers to the pouch of fat beneath the eye. Aegyo sal is not to be confused with the eye bags you get after a couple of late nights and way too much sodium. Instead, think of the puffiness under the eyes that is common in children. That’s what the Korean trend seeks to emulate.

Some people are born with aegyo sal. For the rest of us, if you’re game to try, the look can be created with these easy makeup tips. Simply run a white or cream eye shadow just beneath your waterline to highlight your under-eye area. Then, using a matte brown shade, create a half-moon shape beneath your highlight colour to give the illusion of a shadow. Finally, blend away any harsh lines.

Confused? YouTube makeup guru Michelle Phan has a super easy aegyo sal tutorial.

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3. Gradient lips

Ever take makeup tips from Olivia Wilde or hair inspiration from Lady Gaga? In South Korea, pop idol groups and K-drama stars inspire beauty trends. Right now, gradient lips are popping up everywhere.

As with CC cream and aegyo sal, gradient lips aim to make the wearer appear more youthful. Gradient lips do this by creating a flush of colour on the lips that radiates outwards and gives you a ‘I’ve just been eating a popsicle’ look. By focusing colour on the centre of the lips, they appear smaller. Big lips are sensuous. In turn, small lips are associated with youth and innocence. Playing down the lips also makes your eyes appear larger and more doe-like.

Beauty blogger Sparkle Apple has a cute and easy-to-follow tutorial on gradient lips for you to try out.

Would you try any of these Korean beauty secrets?

Bethany Tyndall writes about beauty on her blog Beauty Junkie.

 

September 26, 2013

What Your Blood Type Says About Your Love Life

Have you ever looked up a partner’s star sign to see if it was compatible with yours? While some of us might be too embarrassed to admit it, most of us have checked our horoscopes, and many of us get our relationship advice from the stars, believing our star sign makes us compatible – or less so – with other signs.

In Japan, it’s not your astrological sign that gets people talking – it’s your blood type! Japan Today explains that “it is not uncommon for women…to even select a prospective husband based on his blood type.”

Next time you’re scoping out a potential date, don’t just ask him (or her) their sign. Find out their blood type.

What about your blood type? Read on to unlock the perfect lover for your blood type straight from Japanese culture.

Type A Blood 

People with Type A Blood are known for their fastidiousness. They are perfectionists to the core and put 100% into everything they do, whether it’s house work or academics. A Types have a strong sense of responsibility and weigh up all options before making important decisions.

As lovers, their kindness and patience will shine through and their trademark punctuality means you’ll never be left hanging on date night or have your SMS go unanswered.

A Types offer stability, but their need to be in control and lack of spontaneity may lead to tension, especially in relationships with Type Bs or other Type As.

The best partner for a Type A is a Type AB or a Type O– their reliability will put the A Type at ease and offer them some of the security and stability they crave.

Type B Blood

People with Type B Blood are like the Leos of blood types. By nature, they crave social interaction and are often described as the life of the party. They make friends easily and fall in and out of relationships often. B Types thrive on rule breaking and hate to be boxed in. They are often drawn to jobs that let them express their creativity.

As lovers, Type B are passionate and surprising, in and outside of the bedroom. However, they have a tendency to be selfish and act without considering the consequences. In Japan, Type Bs are known as heart-breakers.

Type Bs’ chaotic lifestyle is a deal-breaker for Type As and when two Type Bs get together, neither will remember to pay the bills on time.

The best partner for Type B is Type AB or Type O. AB Types can inspire Type B’s creativity with their own and inject some rationality into the relationship. That said, their tendency to be sensitive and easily hurt is at odds with Type B’s risk-taking behaviour.

O Types also counterbalance the irresponsibility that comes with dating a Type B. Their agreeableness and love of social interaction makes them a great partner in crime for a mischievous B Type.

Type AB Blood

People with Type AB Blood are determined to chase their dreams and often have a strong sense of morality. Despite their drive to realise their dreams, they don’t measure their success conventionally or monetarily and are the least greedy of all blood types. Like Type As, Type ABs enjoy the pursuit of knowledge and often have a string of different hobbies. They are known to be calm and rational with a sliver of artiness.

As partners, AB types can be very adaptable, making them easy to fall for, if you can ignore their highly critical nature. Their creativity makes them a good match for B types, but their sensitivity can make relationships with reckless Type B strained at times.

Type A and Type AB’s can co-exist easily, as both have a strong moral compass and a collection, calm persona. Despite a great respect for one another, they may quarrel if their core values differ.

Type AB and Type O make great friends and business partners. Lovers? Maybe, if there’s a strong spark.

Type O Blood

O Types are known for their romanticism, ambition and strength in the face of adversity. They make effective mentors and relish acting as caregivers for those younger or less experienced than themselves. People with Type O Blood are good with money and often dedicate a lot of time to their work.

As a lover, O Types are generous and playful. They lavish their partners with attention and affection and expect no less in return. But, if they think you’re straying, they won’t hesitate to check your phone when you’re in the bathroom!

O Types are easy going enough to make a relationship work with most blood types. However, they’re best suited to Type A. Both Type O and Type A blood types have a vigorous work ethic and O Types are typically willing to take the reins of the partner, which takes some of the stress off the notoriously tense A type.

Do you believe in blood type love compatibility? 

Bethany Tyndall writes about beauty on her blog Beauty Junkie.

September 25, 2013

4 Foods That Are Damaging Your Hair

Are you eating your way to bad hair?

Most of us spend a lot of time thinking about how food impacts upon our bodies – but have you ever stopped to consider what your diet might be doing to your hair? It’s all right to treat yourself from time to time, but a consistently poor diet is a serious no-no for healthy hair!

Read on to discover the four food groups that might be damaging your hair…

1. Sugary foods

Jessica Wu, dermatologist to the stars and author of Feed Your Face explains, “just like sugar is bad for the skin…foods that are sugary are bad for your hair and nails.”

Over-indulging in your favourite sweet treats encourages your body to produce more insulin and increases the levels of the male hormone androgen in your system. Androgen then causes the hair follicles to shrink, which leads to hair thinning and hair loss.

To back this up, Nancy Appleton, author of Lick the Sugar Habit, says that excess sugar consumption can actually interfere with the body’s production of Vitamin E, a vitamin which plays a huge part in growing and maintaining healthy hair.

If you’re suffering from thinning hair, try cutting down your sugar intake.

badfoodsforhair

2. Salty foods

Unfortunately for us salt addicts, research by the Mayo Clinic suggests that even the delicious bag of crisps hidden away in the cupboard could have a negative impact on your quest for healthy, manageable hair.

An occasional treat won’t hurt, but you should aim to keep your sodium intake below 2,300 mg a day (1,500 mg for those 50 and over) to achieve strong hair and maintain a healthy body. If you regularly consume more than 2,300mg of sodium per day, you may find that your hair is prone to weakness, breakage and shedding.

Be aware that sodium isn’t just found in junk food, but also in breakfast spreads such as Vegemite, condiments (like soy sauce) and even in cheese.

3. High-glycaemic foods

Foods with a high glycaemic index are quickly broken down into glucose by the body. As with sugary foods, this process causes the body to increase levels of the hormone androgen. In turn, this hormone causes hair loss by narrowing your hair follicles and making it more difficult for them to absorb nutrients.

High-glycaemic foods are generally foods that are high in starch and refined sugars, such as cakes, breads, white rice, potatoes and fruit juices.

Fortunately, research suggests that a low-glycaemic diet can have the reverse effect and combat hair loss. Low-glycaemic foods includes oats, beans, legumes, vegetables and whole grains.

4. Low-protein diets

As our hair is literally made of protein, diets that restrict protein intake may cause hair to become dull, weak and prone to breakage. Protein deficiencies can also be responsible for puffiness around the eyes and brittle nails.

Jessica Wu explains that vegetarians or those with eating disorders are most at risk. Although meat is a good source of protein, there are many protein alternatives available, such as tofu, spinach and lentils.

If you’re suffering from dull hair or experiencing hair loss, the cause might just be your diet. Try not to over indulge in these four food groups that can damage your hair and you may see an improvement in your hair health. You might lose a sneaky inch off of your waist too!

What are your best tips for strong, healthy hair?

Bethany Tyndall writes makeup blog Beauty Junkie.

September 2, 2013