Leave the Cosmetics for Barbie

Pic for Blog- Leave the Cosmetics for BarbieIt is really hard these days to actually find a “natural” person. Almost every girl applies some sort of cosmetic product to their face before leaving the house or at least leaves the smudges on from the night before when they are in a rush. Make-up has become more of a “need” for women than water, which is a problem. Lately, people probably think that I am just lazy and don’t like to do anything with my face before I go to class. Wrong; I having been figuring out how great my skin feels without having to cake on the concealer before I leave the house.  After going six days with a fresh, clean face (yes, then I applied a little eyeliner before I met up with a long-time friend) I started wondering if make-up had side effects that I didn’t know about. This is what I have come to find:

~ Dermatologist Dr. Ijaz from the University Hospital in Karachi found that “all makeup comprises of artificial substances and a large number of chemicals which can harm the skin. These chemicals can seep into your bloodstream via skin absorption”.

~ Make-up is the root cause of acne and skin problems for over 30% of females.

~ Eye shadows are known to contain lead, a carcinogen and neurotoxin that can affect the nervous system adversely, leading to high blood-pressure, allergies, behavioral abnormalities and even decreased rates of fertility!

~ It has been found to be a cause of headaches in women due to the amount of weight it can put on the face causing the head to ache. Avoid wearing make-up for long periods of time to avoid this!

~ Wrinkles and other signs of aging quicken the earlier and more often you apply cosmetics to your face.

~ Lipstick contains aluminum, which may cause long term anemia and even glucose intolerance.

~ Mascara can cause blindness as it contains pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is a very harmful therapy bacteria.

Something important to know is that when a cosmetic product states “Herbal” or “Natural,” there is a good chance it might not be. Cosmetics do not have to be legally tested before placing these labels on the products. If you must wear make-up, making sure you know what products are better for your skin is important. A few ingredients to steer towards are Argon oil-based, plant-based, and fragrance free. Check this out to read about even more 25 Safer Alternatives.

There really is nothing better than being able to rub your eyes in class when you are getting groggy. Am I saying I will never wear make-up? No, but I won’t wear it unless it is a special occasion. If we all stop trying to look like something we are not, men will have to start loving the natural beauties that we actually are. One of my favorite quotes is “Be your own kind of beautiful” and I truly think you should. Don’t cake on the powder, thicken the liner, or plump up them lips without thinking twice. There is no better version of you than the natural one.

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: Harmful Effects of Cosmetics, The Cost of Beauty, Cosmetics, 25 Safer Alternatives.

Sick of Being Sick?

Pic for Blog- Sick of Being SickThe heart of flu season may be over, but that doesn’t mean that getting sick is out of the question. I find myself getting sick no matter what I try lately.

There are some common myths out there about how to prevent getting sick and how you get sick in the first place that I thought would be good to start off with.

Myth #1: Cold air gets you sick. It is actually not the cold air that gets you sick in the wintertime. It is being crammed indoors and all of the germs being crammed there with you.

Myth #2: Exercising in the cold weather is bad for you. False! Running in the cold isn’t bad for you one bit. The fresh air and getting some vitamin D is exactly what you need to keep your immune system up and running!

Myth #3: You lose most of your body heat through your head. Also false! You lose just as much heat through any exposed area of your body.

So what is it that you can do to prevent getting sick?

Drink enough water. Hydrating is a very important step to a healthy body. It keeps everything flowing the way your body should be and keeps your immune system in tiptop shape!

Get enough sleep. Getting your eight hours a day can do wonders for your body too.  Another vital step for your daily recovery and a healthy immune system happens to be those eight hours of sleep.  So try and stay away from your electronics during bedtime because they kill the melatonin that helps you sleep.  The same goes for alcohol.  Having alcohol in your system while you’re trying to sleep actually disrupts your sleep pattern and the sleep you get isn’t as good of quality as it should be.

Stay away from touching everything and sanitize! Things like handrails, door handles, water fountains, and other public areas are loaded with germs. Remember to wash your hands often, especially after touching public areas of high traffic.

Nail bitters. Nail bitters, you’re out of luck. Biting your nails is one of the easiest ways to get sick. The amount of germs underneath your nails is very high. Putting your germ-infested hands into your mouth is never a good idea when you want to be healthy. And how wants to be sick?  Not me! I quit biting my nails about 3 years ago now and I can honestly say that I feel healthier ever since!

Exercise! Exercising on a regular basis that makes you sweat can highly lower your chances of getting sick. By exercising, you put your immune system into over drive and stimulate your epinephrine production.

Green tea. Grab some green tea instead of coffee. Drinking tea gives you an ingredient called EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate, which stops influenza virus particles from entering your system and helps damage them if they have already.

Hopefully you learned a thing or two to help prevent you from getting sick. Be sure to sanitize whenever you touch public surfaces and keep those healthy lifestyles. Not only does being healthy make you feel great and look great, but it also helps you from getting sick. So what’s stopping you?

Yesterday you said tomorrow

-Eric Hess

Half Full Happiness

Pic for Blog- Half Full HappinessOkay you know the drill: there is a light at the end of the tunnel, positivity is power, the grass is greener, the glass is half full and all that jazz. I’m not here to be a motivational cassette tape in the form of a blog, because you’ve heard all of the clichés. Instead, I want to talk about the inevitable result of a positive mindset, and why we often subconsciously choose negativity.

In the midst of enduring a week of which at the time I could have been certain I was the most stressed person in the world, I received a text that made me sit up and think to myself, “Alena you dingus, it’s not the end of the world. Take a lap”. Even for someone who self-proclaims themselves to have optimism coming out of their ears, I sat there dumbfounded reading the text from one of my good friends in a group chat that simply said, “Guys, I decided I’m going to give up negativity.”

Not only did the concept of giving up negativity arrive via imessage at a perfect time, but it’s so wonderfully simple. Of course it’s easier said than done, but I’ve learned that the first step to minimizing negativity is to take the initiative to verbalize it. This was made clear to me when I wrapped up my appointment at UHCS for an untimely cold by being asked to participate in a small lifestyle questionnaire by the UHCS’s Health Educator. I learned a couple things about what simply verbalizing positive words can do.

  • Changing “I have to” to “I am going to” will make you more prone to fulfill a task, whether it be going to the gym, doing homework, cleaning, etc.
  • Eliminate your negative self-fulfilled prophesies. Above I mentioned using “I am going to” obviously doesn’t apply to negative outcomes. Saying “I am going to fail this exam” gives you a mindset that the fate of your exam is a lost cause and putting any extra effort in is useless.

“I’m not naïve and not negative I’ve come to the realization that people choose to verbalize their stress in order to portray the hard work they are putting in. The truth is, people who are positive are not floating through life. Rather, they are choosing the healthier route, which allows them to accomplish more. Everyone has stress in some shape or form, so don’t predict or compare other people’s work load based on how much they complain. That is just silly. Stop that.

“Don’t be a Negative Nancy” You may have heard this phrase before.  It may have been directed at you, or maybe you’ve even used it yourself. The thing about being a negative Nancy or a pessimistic Patty is that you’re not purposely trying to be the Eeyore amongst all of the Winnie the Poohs. Like I mentioned above, complaining is a natural way for us to make our hard work recognized. However, although venting is completely healthy, comparing your work load to other people’s work load is a parasitic relationship. You’re killing their vibe, man.

Simply setting yourself up for success through words and expressing what you can and will accomplish is an initiative that we naturally pass up. As the end of the semester is right around the corner and final exams are quicly approaching, I encourage you to use the infamous exam week as an experiment. Pitch positive self-fulfilling prophecies to your friends while cramming for an exam, put it on social media, and overall carry that healthy mindset with you and examine the outcome. Lastly, it is important to not only surround ourselves with positive people, but also to be that positive person. So keep your chin up and head high, because the glass can be half full if you want it to be.

“It’s a good day to have a good one.”

-Alena Purpero

Sweat, Baby Sweat

Pic for Blog- Sweat, Baby Sweat

Now that the weather is changing, our bodies begin to embrace the warm weather. Although, some people’s bodies embrace it more than others with a little thing called sweat. Personally, I am a hot box. I am always warm, uncomfortable, and 99% of the time I am sweating. My friends always laugh at me because my closet consists of every style of shirt you could imagine, in one color…. black. I am sure some of you can relate, sweat doesn’t show when you wear black!

Sweating was something that I always use to be embarrassed of. I purposely never use to raise my hand in class, wore tanks in the middle of winter, and even tried some of those deodorants that would help you “not” sweat. I forked over the money and bought a dose and thought it was great, until it was 2am and my armpits were on fire and nothing other than sleeping with cold washcloths in my armpits helped soothe the pain. So instead of continuing to torture myself, I decided to embrace it. Everyone sweats, so I decided to spread the word. Here is information, facts, and reasons why sweating is perfectly normal and nothing to be embarrassed of.

What is a pore? A pore is a small opening on the skin where sweat is released. We have millions of pores all over our body; even in areas we wouldn’t think we would. This is why we sweat in all areas of our body, not just under our arms. Pores can become clogged with dirt if you have poor hygiene, which can cause infections. Looking for another reason to take 2 showers a day? There it is! (What is a Sweat Pore?)

What is the purpose? When our body sweats, it means that it is heating up. By releasing sweat through your pores, the body is cooling down. The reason that some people’s sweat stinks is because it mixes with bacteria in the air.  After awhile, it creates that pungent body odor the kid next to you in the gym has (because you never smell, right?). You also might notice that your cheeks become rosy red whenever you start to perspire. This is because when sweat is moving towards the surface of the skin, blood is able to move closer to the skin, which is where the red appearance comes from (Health Benefits of Perspiration).

So after understanding the science of why it is good to sweat, now do you realize that it is a positive thing? Everyone has different reasons for sweating, whether it is exercise, stress, embarrassment, excitement, etc.

Here are some other great facts about sweating:

  • Sweating helps cleanse the body of toxins.
  • Yellow underarm stains are caused when proteins and fatty acids leave the body in your apocrine glands, which makes thick and milkier sweat.
  • Men sweat 40% more than women (except me!)
  • Cows sweat from their noses.
  • Hippos have red sweat.
  • During intense exercise in the heat, athletes have the ability to sweat off 2-6% of their body weight (it’s called water weight).
  • One of the most important: You don’t need to sweat in order to lose weight! (Raising your heart rate helps you lose weight and sometimes people just don’t ever sweat when they raise their heart rate!)

Sweat is a great thing, and if we all start to embrace it and not be embarrassed, life will be MUCH easier. So the next time you see someone with large dark circles under their armpits, don’t laugh at them. Walk over to that individual and give them a HUGE high-five because sweating is normal and I feel bad for those that don’t have water fountain underarm pores like me! (Maybe not)

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going.”

~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: What is a Sweat Pore?, Health Benefits of Perspiration, Cool Facts on Sweat, Sweats Facts