Quick Steps to New Year Beauty

Sue Chung Health Guide
  • The month of January tends to get a lot of people worrying. Worrying about their bodies, their health, or their bad habits. Even after making our resolutions, one slip-up can start a landslide of disappointment that deposits us right back into our old routines.

     

    On a personal level, making resolutions doesn't seem to work because it places so much pressure on succeeding and distracts me from the actual daily effort of improving my habits. So instead of resolutions, I choose to start the year by re-booting my system and just taking care of myself. Maybe we can't fix all our bad habits in two weeks, but we can remind ourselves that little things can make a big difference in how we look and feel.

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    Instead of focusing on the things we don't do right, we can take a more positive approach to beauty and health by emphasizing a few key aspects of looking and feeling great. The following five steps are easily achievable and you can implement them into your schedules for small but significant head-to-toe improvements.

     

    For Silky Hair:

     

    A few years ago, I discovered a miracle tub of a brown, goo-ish hair conditioner called Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment. The main ingredient is Ojon nut oil, which is native to and harvested in the Mosquitia region of the Central American rainforest. To apply Ojon as a simple hair mask, simply rub and comb the product through dry hair. Leave for thirty minutes and then shampoo and condition as usual. You can intensify the treatment by leaving it in overnight or you can use it as a frizz-tamer in small amounts. If you have nut allergies, however, avoid risking an adverse reaction and stick with a hot oil treatment.

     

    For a Brighter Face:

    Applying a face mask is one of the quickest ways to leave yourself feeling pampered. If you have skin that's not easily irritated, try Kiehl's Overnight Biological Peel. Its active ingredient, urea, both accelerates skin cell turnover as well as binding water to the surface of the skin. Some users even report that it helps fade signs of sun damage such as dark spots. For those with more sensitive skin, try Fresh Rose Face Mask. Rose water makes up half of this soothing product, which also utilizes cucumber and aloe to reduce inflammation.

     

    Another option for a quick home facial treatment is Neutrogena's Advanced Solutions At Home Microdermabrasion System. While it's pricey for a drugstore item, it's significantly cheaper than booking an exfoliating appointment at a spa. The replaceable sponge exerts gentle pressure as the crystallized cream exfoliates surface skin cells. Some users with more sensitive skin do report that the product may cause irritation. If you tend to react to skin care products, test the product on your wrist and wait 24 hours before applying to your face.

    For Smoother Skin:

     

    I will be the first to admit that I get lazy about moisturizing. Even in the dead of winter, I go for days without applying lotion and then have to deal with the consequences: Skin that's as dry and scaly as a desert floor. When skin is extremely parched, lactic acid is an effective ingredient to help retain moisture. In addition, it exfoliates dead skin cells that can prevent moisture from getting through into the healthy layers of skin. Amlactin is available behind the pharmacist's counter but does not require a prescription. This plain, no-frills lotion boasts a high concentration of lactic acid (12%) as well as an anti-itch ingredient. Redness and irritation may occur for a few days if you have very sensitive skin, but these effects often fade after a few applications.

Published On: January 29, 2008