Are You #EyesUp?

The Stress of Modern Living is Hurting us More Than we Think

Every species evolves in response to its environment. Most of the time, these changes are subtle, and only pinpointed over millenia. This is not the case with modern humans. We’re changing and rapidly so. We’re not sprouting wings or developing new body parts, but we are adapting to a new norm where constant stress is pervasive. Unabated exposure to technology is altering who we are in profound ways.

With the ubiquitous use of smartphones, our evolution has begun. Future scholars may look back and recognize our generation as the first one where our natural eye position moved downward and eye contact with others decreased. We are able to see some of these changes easily around us—glance about at a restaurant. You might even recognize the symptoms in yourself like “tech neck,” blue light skin damage, and even depression. Science has shown that being constantly connected to technology has caused an increase in sleeplessness, sedentary lifestyles, isolation, depression and anxiety—all of which have significant implications for our skin, health and ultimately happiness.

As a dermatologist, I believe that healthy skin is a direct reflection of how you live your life. But today, nearly all of us are living in an increasingly stressful, always-on environment. This is what I refer to as Cultural Stress, or the stress of modern living.

In fact, this type of constant and pervasive stress has tremendous health consequences, which are particularly visible on the skin. Chronic stress, like that from Cultural Stress, has been shown to weaken immunity, increase inflammation, and accelerate aging[1].

That’s why today I am proud to launch EyesUp, my new initiative designed to educate people about the danger of digital-only relationships and the power of real-world human connection. I am encouraging people to pledge to go “EyesUp” and connect with one another in real life.

But what does it mean to go EyesUp?

Let me share a story. One of my friends told me about a recent boat ride she went on with some colleagues. Later, the friend realized she completely missed her co-worker’s boyfriend propose to her in the midst of a beautiful sunset. My friend was, like so many of us, focused on perfecting the perfect photo and engrossed in her social media feed. My friend missed the opportunity to connect with her colleagues because her eyes – quite literally – were down.

The truth is that there is beauty all around us: babies being born, friendships being made, and relationships to be nurtured. But so often, we miss these everyday milestones because we’re focused on things that are, ultimately, meaningless.

At the end of life, people often ask themselves, “Is there anything I wish I had done differently?” Most people say, “I wish I had spent more time with my children and the people I love.” But because of Cultural Stress and digital dependency, we’re spending more time alone and not seeing the beauty of what life is. That’s why I hope you’ll join me in starting this movement to disconnect with our devices and reconnect with the people who are important to us.

To living a happier, healthier life!

Dr. Howard Murad


Doctor Murad

 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

 

 

 


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Sleeping Tips for Sweet Dreams

Sleep plays a vital role in your health and well-being. Getting enough quality sleep can be a challenge and this can have a negative impact on your quality of life, mental health, physical health and your skin. The most noticeable tell tale signs are bags under the eyes (dark circles) but, you will also see dryness, acne breakouts, fine lines and thinner skin. Lack of sleep affects the moisture levels in your skin, decreasing them which is why your skin looks less youthful.

Sleeping Tips:

  1. Regular pattern Go to sleep as much as possible around the same time and get up around the same time, even on weekends. This helps to develop a solid sleep-wake rhythm and improves the quality of sleep.
  2. Sleep Environment Sleep in a calm, quiet, dark room. Also put all light emitting devices (eg.TV) out. No phones, or radio. If you’re a light sleeper-use ear plugs to block out noises from the neighbours.
  3. Light & Dark Open the curtains immediately when rising. Close the curtains before bedtime for subdued light. This helps set our biological clock. Use a sleep mask to block out unwanted light.
  4. Temperature Fresh air in the bedroom (temperature 16-18 ° C.) helps you get a good sleep. Use lavender oil, gels on the wrists and pulse
    points to help you relax.
  5. Mattress Ensure you have a good quality mattress and a pillow that properly supports the cervical spine. Use bed sheets in natural substances. Avoid tight clothing which constricts circulation.
  6. Keep Work life away from the bedroom! Try to keep your sleeping room a place of escape. Set the alarm clock out of sight if the sound
    bothers you or if you have a tendency to constantly look at the clock.
  7. Sofa Sleeps Feel sleepy? Go to Bed! Avoid catnaps on the sofa.
  8. Daytime activities strongly influence your sleep quality. Daily exercise in the morning or early afternoon improves sleep. Strenuous activities just before bedtime has the opposite effect-and should be avoided.
  9. Wind Down Time Take 30 minutes before you go to bed to unwind. Avoid TV, computer games, surfing the Internet, tweeting etc. just
    before bedtime. Enjoy a warm bath, listen to relaxing music, take an evening stroll … Relaxation exercises just before you go to bed can promote sleep.
  10. Eating a light snack before bedtime can encourage sleep, whereas both hunger and a full stomach can stop you sleeping. Avoid drinking
    large quantities of water before sleeping to avoid bathroom visits that can disturb your sleep.

Sweet Dreams

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Connected Beauty

True beauty, health and well-being starts with your daily habits. Adopt these healthy habits for your most beautiful, healthy-looking skin from the inside out.

 

Nourish Your Skin

 

By using efficacious skincare to help strengthen and protect skin, the first line of defense for every cell in the body

 

Always Wear SPF

Protecting yourself from daily sun exposure is the most effective way to help prevent premature signs of aging. Exposure to UVA rays can lead to age spots, wrinkles, and even skin cancer; so while you may think you are getting a healthy glow, you are actually doing long-term harm to your skin. The healthiest glow you can get comes from self-tanners and bronzers.

Try this antioxidant-rich SPF moisturizer:
Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30

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Don’t Sleep With Makeup On

No matter how tired you are, do not skip washing your face before bed. While you sleep, your body repairs itself and refreshes cells, making it the ideal time to maximize skincare. Cleansing helps remove dirt, oil and pollutants that have accumulated on the skin during the day, so you can wake up to more radiant, healthier-looking skin.

Try this ultra-moisturizing cleanser:
Renewing Cleansing Cream

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Exfoliate 2-3 Times Per Week

Skin is constantly turning over, generating new cells at the lower level (the dermis) and sending them up to replace dead skin cells on the upper layer (epidermis). As you age, the cell-turnover process slows down, and cells begin to gather unevenly on the skins surface, which can lead to dry patches and a lackluster appearance. By exfoliating a few times a week or using a weekly peel, you can help remove the dead skin cells to reveal the fresher, younger cells below and restore skins natural clarity and brightness.

Try this invigorating scrub:
Skin Smoothing Polish

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Moisturize No Matter What

Regardless of your skin type, once you reach adulthood, your skin becomes a little drier every day. How you respond to that loss of moisture will be an
important factor in determining how old you look. No matter when you begin to see signs of persistent dehydration, restoring lost water is a central
component in any anti-aging skincare program.

Try this hydrating moisturizer :
Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture

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Eat Your Water


By consuming a balanced diet centered on nutritious, water-rich fruits and vegetables to help cells lock in hydration.

Follow the 80/20 Rule

No matter what food choices you make, do not let food be one more source of stress and anxiety. Try to follow the simple guideline of 80% whole foods, with a special emphasis on colorful, water-rich fruits and vegetables, and 20% foods that you love, regardless of their inherent healthfulness. You will find that an occasional indulgence will make it even easier to stick to an overall healthy eating style.

Eat Your Sunscreen

Although daily SPF moisturizer is essential, it is helpful to double up on your sun protection through foods that improve your bodys natural environmental defenses and increase your cellular health. Eating foods like pomegranates, spinach and blueberries helps neutralize free radicals and minimize the damage they cause from penetrating your cells.

Antioxidant-Rich and Fermented Foods

Besides providing internal sun protection, eating antioxidant-rich foods helps prevent cell damage that may lead to skin aging, cancer and other ailments. Antioxidant-rich foods include goji berries, dark chocolate and kidney beans. Also, incorporate fermented foods, like kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut, into your diet to provide beneficial bacteria to your digestive system, which helps you absorb more of the nutrients from the food you eat.

Awaken Your Body

By participating in physical activities that bring you joy to bring muscles that hold optimal hydration.

Exercise Regularly

Whether it is running or yoga, physical activity releases stress-fighting endorphins in your brain. Dr. Murad calls this awakening your body and says that the best way to keep exercising is to practice an activity you enjoy. Think outside the box and explore new fitness classes or sports to discover your favorite way to stay active.

Take Your Workout Outside

Warm weather and sunshine are great motivators to get outside and exercise in the
fresh air. Go outside, breathe deeply and take a walk, preferably somewhere in nature.
Go for a hike with friends or take a yoga class at the beach. It doesnt matter what you
do, as long as it involves you connecting with nature and moving your body.

Get Up and Move at Work

Sometimes it is not easy to squeeze in a break during a crazy workday. Research shows
that only 1 in 5 people take a break for a mid-day meal. Most workers just eat at their desks, but it is so important for your health, sanity and work/life balance. Even if it is just 15-20 minutes, taking a break is a proven way to sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the day. If you are not able to leave your desk, try doing a series of stretches to refresh your body and mind.

Be Kind to Your Mind

By managing the stress of modern living and cultivating emotional self-awareness and resilience to help cells stay hydrated and resistant to damage.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

In our always-on world, getting enough sleep is one of the biggest challenges, but the replenishing effects of a good nights sleep are undeniable. The body is an amazing
factory, and when you go to sleep, the factory cleans up, repairs itself and files
everything away. It is critical that you allow your body to process each day, and the
only way to do this is by getting 7-9 hours of sleep daily.

Allow Yourself to Relax

Managing the stress of modern living, which Dr. Murad refers to as Cultural Stress.,
is crucial to feeling and looking your best. With the constant pressure to conquer a daily wave of text messages, emails and social media alerts, it is easy to get caught up and
forget to take time out for yourself. Schedule me time on your calendar and honor it as you would any other important appointment. You cannot excel in any aspect of your life
without caring for the most important person in your life: you.

Focus on the Good

Try to cultivate thankfulness with every breath you take. When you are dialed in to gratitude, you have the clarity to truly appreciate all the blessings in your life. This mindset will allow you to be more open to new opportunities, inspiration and creativity. Instead of magnifying the problems you face, minimize them with gratitude for everything that brings you joy.

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Murad Method to De-Stress

Before you even manage to start your day, the majority of us experience what Doctor Howard Murad calls, Cultural Stress – the stress of modern living. This is a type of stress we experience daily and is having huge implications on our health.

Here are some easy to follow steps to de-stress.

Be Kind To Your Mind – Breathe Deeply

Taking in oxygen helps us to think more clearly. When you feel stressed, take a deep breath, hold for 3 seconds and release. Repeat as needed.

Use Calming Visualization

This may be a place, color or feeling. Simply shut your eyes and focus on a calming visualization for ten seconds.

Turn Off Your Device

Simply leave your phone in another room or switch it off for an hour. You will be amazed at the freedom created by stepping away from your digital dependency.

Find Something To Be Passionate About

Not everybody has a passion or hobby but it is never too late to start. Try something new today and find something that uniquely fulfills you.


Doctor Murad

 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

 

 

 


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Whole-person approach to beauty

At Murad, we believe that healthy, beautiful skin is a reflection of how you live your life. Every aspect of your life directly affects cellular hydration—the health of every cell in your body. We believe there is a powerful, yet often overlooked, connection between the mind, body and skin, which we call Connected Beauty. This whole-person approach to beauty, health and wellbeing inspires you to take care of your skin not only with our efficacious products, but also proper nutrition, physical activity and stress management.

Because a connected life is a beautiful life.

    Connected Beauty is our unique, whole-person approach to beauty, health and well-being that inspires you to:

  • Nourish Your Skin by using efficacious skincare to help strengthen and protect skin, the first line of defense for every cell in the body.
  • Eat Your Water by consuming a balanced diet centered on nutritious, water-rich fruits and vegetables to help cells lock in hydration.
  • Awaken Your Body by participating in physical activities that bring you joy to build muscles that hold optimal hydration.
  • Be Kind to Your Mind by managing the stress of modern living and cultivating emotional self-awareness and resilience to help your cells stay hydrated and
    resistant to damage.

Doctor Murad

 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

 

 

 


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Wondering what causes oily skin in the first place?

The saying, “you are what you eat” could not be more accurate when it comes to healthy skin. Research shows that eating high-glycemic index foods such as cookies, soda, sugary cereals, potato chips and pizza directly correlates to oily skin. And no one wants that mid-day look with excess oil amplifying your pores to the world.

Wondering what causes oily skin in the first place? According to the Skin Pharmacology and Physiology Journal from the University of California, San Francisco, “Oily skin (seborrhea) is a common cosmetic problem that occurs when oversized sebaceous glands produce excessive amounts of sebum giving the appearance of shiny and greasy skin.”

These sebaceous glands are very responsive to foods high in glucose. The glucose can also pass quickly and unchanged from the circulation to the sebaceous cells. In addition to causing surface oiliness, these foods cause pore blockages, provide an environment for bacteria to live under the skin. Overactive sebaceous glands have also been associated with annoying acne-flare ups.

Alternatively, low-glycemic index foods like whole-grain bread, vegetables, air-popped popcorn and fruits like grapefruit, do a complexion good by not upsetting sebaceous glands.

Grapefruit is one of the best foods to eat to keep your skin oil free. The subtropical fruit, know for its tangy taste, has unique phytochemicals (a.k.a. bioflavanoids) that help promote skin health and general health. It is also the citrus fruit with the highest concentration of Vitamin C.

According to LiveStrong, the bioflavoids are biologically active members of plant-derived compounds known as flavonoids. The ones found in grapefruit are also found in fruits like oranges. These powerful compounds neutralize free radicals in the body and are packed with water, fiber, and antioxidants.

Eating a diet rich in fruits like grapefruit, will keep oil producing glands at bay, while our InstaMatte Oil-Control Mask will offer a deep-cleansing three-minute mask to help instantly control oil for a long-lasting matte complexion.


Doctor Murad

 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

 

 

 


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If you’re going to do one thing for a healthier 2017, choose one of these

Welcome to a new year filled with hopes for a healthy, happy 2017. The same resolutions are thrown around each year – lose weight, save money, and spend more time with family, for example.

Canadians from coast-to-coast may want to lead a healthier life, but don’t know where to get started. Global News asked leading health experts and organizations to pick the top priority they’d like Canadians to focus on for the year ahead.

Focus on your behaviours, not the numbers on the scale

Hide the scale. Losing weight and keeping it off is always a challenge. However, simply focusing on improving your diet, increasing your physical activity levels, getting enough sleep and feeling better about yourself can lead to important health improvements even with no – or very little – weight loss.

But remember, it is easier to achieve and sustain behavioural goals when they are specific, realistic, and measureable.

Also, it is better to focus on changing one behaviour at a time rather than trying to change everything at once.

– Arya Sharma, scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network

Get a pulse on your mental health and well-being

Mental health is key to well-being. It affects every single aspect of your daily life. Maintaining your mental health is a lot like staying physically fit: it requires a little effort, but the rewards are worth it.

Get into the habit of learning to recognize and express your emotions – without awareness it’s difficult to pinpoint why you are so stressed or having problems coping.

– Patrick Smith, national CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association

Break a sweat

A healthy lifestyle helps prevent 80 per cent of premature heart disease and stroke – leading killers of Canadians. The easiest way to reduce your risk is to get moving. Walk, dance, play a sport, take the stairs – make it fun! Even if you don’t have extra time, short rounds of exercise add up: 10 minutes is enough to get real cardiovascular benefits. Over time, you’ll work up to 30 minutes of daily physical activity at a moderate intensity. Repeat five days a week.

– Diego Marchese, CEO of Heart & Stroke

Think of the mental health of your loved ones

Operate on the statistically safe assumption that someone you know – a family member, friend, neighbour, fellow student, or coworker – is currently struggling with some form of mental illness. Take a moment to think about who that person is and then reflect on how you have responded to their experience of illness. Ask yourself if your response was different than it would have been if he or she had a broken leg or a cancer diagnosis. And if there is indeed a difference, then consider how you might support them differently.

The reality is that mental illness can be an isolating, even humiliating experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Connecting makes a difference and enriches a relationship – it can relieve the sense of being alone and provide comfort, help and reassurance.

– David S. Goldbloom, senior medical advisor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Plan your meals

Meal planning is a vital part of healthy eating and makes you happy as there will be less stress around weekday meals. It saves time by eliminating the deliberation when you’re trying to decide what’s for dinner. It will also save you money as you’ll only shop for ingredients you need on your plan. Finally, it saves calories.

When you arrive home from work, you’re less likely to mindlessly munch when you know what is planned for dinner. Keep menu planning simple – set aside 30 minutes before grocery shopping to survey the family. Bookmark favourite meals and reuse them weekly.

– Jaclyn Pritchard, registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic Canada in Toronto

Schedule quality time with your family

Spending time with the family is essential to the health and well-being of both children and adults. Focus on your children by playing their favourite games with them, encouraging conversation by asking about their day at school, and showing interest in their ideas and activities. Share mealtime as an important way to connect and unwind at the end of a busy day.

Even when family members are off in different directions with school, work and activities, be sure to come together at the table at least once a week.

Decide on specific times when everyone’s electronic devices will be turned off. When you’re unplugged, get active – play games like tag, go for a walk, or sled in park.

– Staff at the Canadian Paediatric Society

Reduce your alcohol consumption

Lower your long-term health risks by staying within average levels of alcohol consumption. For women, the recommended daily serving is less than 10 ounces. With today’s wine glasses, your pour should be less than a third of the glass. For men, if you like to try the latest craft beers, keep it to two tall cans.

Always have some non-drinking days each week to minimize tolerance and habit formation.

– Dr. Granger Avery, president of the Canadian Medical Association

Quit smoking for one week

Quit smoking for a week, and then a month, and then a year and beyond. But start with that first week. Setting that small goal can help you with your longer-term goals, and everytime you quit – even if you don’t succeed – you learn more about how to quit successfully. Research shows that if you can quit for one week, you are nine times more likely to quit for the long haul. In some provinces, it could even win you $500 from the Smokers’ Helpline’s First Week Challenge Contest.

Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your health. Within 10 years of quitting, an ex-smoker’s overall risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half.

– John Atkinson, director of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Smokers’ Helpline

Don’t fall for gimmicks

Rather than fall prey to this year’s crop of fad diets, or worrying about a particular probiotic, nutrient or scary sounding chemical, focus instead on the bigger picture. Set a goal of cooking more from fresh whole ingredients and eating them around a table free from distraction. Reduce your restaurant usage. Aim for better nights’ sleeps. Cultivate healthy relationships with your friends and family. Don’t drink alcohol to excess and reduce your consumption of all sources of liquid calories. Do those things well and avoid news about the latest fad diet.

– Yoni Freedhoff, medical director of the Bariatric Medical Institute

Feed your brain

Do more physical activity, not for your waistline but for your brain. It gets blood pumping which helps your brain to function as well as possible. The increased blood flow nourishes your brain’s cells with nutrients and oxygen. It also encourages the development of new cells, all factors in reducing your risk of stroke.

Your brain is like your heart. They’re both muscles that need to be given a workout to stay healthy. Challenge your mind with exercise training, learning a new language or joining a book club, as examples.

– Larry Chambers, scientific advisor for the Alzheimer Society of Canada

Take a small step, master it, then take on another

Many of us are familiar with the best intentions of starting off the year with lofty goals when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle – followed by the enthusiasm of resolutions declining a few weeks after.

Take a step back and think of something you can realistically and comfortably accomplish when it comes to exercise, your diet, weight management or stress – and you will be more likely to stick to it.

Try incorporating 15 minutes of physical activity to your routine just a few days a week, and as you progress, move to 30 minutes. When you’ve made that into a habit, remove sugar-sweetened beverages from your diet, for example.

– Joanne Lewis, director of healthy eating and nutrition programming at the Canadian Diabetes Association

Ease your mind and treat yourself

carmen-chai
By Carmen Chai
National Online Journalist, Health Global News

Pace yourself at work. Try not to check your work emails after hours, truly disconnect.

Just like the 12 days of Christmas, practice 12 days of self-care in 2017.

Go for a walk, ski or snowshoe in the woods, treat yourself to a latte, book a massage, take a yoga class or volunteer. Don’t forget that doing something for others not only makes them feel good, but can lift your spirits.

– The Mental Health Commission of Canada

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Stress, the Silent Killer

Historically, mammals have used stress to get out of potentially dangerous situations. When you face off with a predator in the middle of the jungle, that fight or flight instinct characterized by blood rushing to your muscles, hyper-awareness and an extreme adrenaline rush, was a method of ensuring the safety of our ancestors, which many animals in the wild still use for survival today. In our modern-day concrete jungle, however, it is not as necessary to utilize these momentary survival techniques. How is it, then, that we are so stressed out on a daily basis? Most of our lives revolve around the constant bombardment of stressors. This encompasses many situations we may experience daily: the rush hour traffic after a long day, or the incessant beeping of your cellphone. To understand how we can manage stress better, let’s differentiate the different types of stress.

In his book, “Conquering Cultural Stress: The Ultimate Guide to Anti-Aging and Happiness” Dr. Murad breaks down stress into three categories: acute stress, episodic acute stress and chronic stress.

Acute Stress:
This stress is the short-term, most common type of stress. It is experienced by most people several times a year. It can come from narrowly escaping a car crash, or preparing for an important interview. This stress is a direct link to the stress of survival we have faced as a species, which can help us survive today. However, when this stress is applied to our bodies on a regular basis, it can wear down our potential response to danger, rendering it ineffectual.

Episodic Acute Stress:
This stress happens to people who live in a chaotic environment. Have you ever had so much to do that you jump from task to task, but have nothing to show for it at the end of the day? This stress accompanies that type of lifestyle and is entirely self-afflicted, as we do not take enough time to focus on one thing at a time, leading to an extreme decrease in production.

Chronic Stress:
This stress is characterized by long-term problems, such as a dead-end job, a slowly sinking relationship or even our relationship with the scale! Sometimes we feel this stress keenly, but on other days it is at the back of our minds; still there, persisting on putting a damper on our happiest days, so that we cannot see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. People who suffer from this stress are almost always irritable, grumpy and generally have a very pessimistic outlook on life.

3 toddler-inspired techniques to combat stress:

  1. Breathe
  2. : All situations are temporary. Don’t over-stress yourself by worrying about the little things. Take the time you need to fix what you can, but then let go when it is out of your hands. Take deep breaths before you speak to avoid saying something you’ll regret!

  3. Eat:
  4. Enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals on a regular basis. Try new, delicious recipes with friends and family, and don’t forget to treat yourself with dessert! Eat 3-5 meals during the day to keep up your energy, and stay away from sodium-rich, empty snacks.

  5. Sleep:
  6. Turn off all electronics, block out any noise with earplugs, and truly relax. Your body needs the time during the night to restore its levels back to full capacity. Take at least 30 minutes before bedtime to unwind with a warm, scented bath or cuddle up with your cat for some therapeutic purring.

Blog post by Beauty Advisor – Dania

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The Happiness Test

Which of the following would make you happier?

  • Making more Money
  • Finding a soulmate
  • Losing ten pounds
  • Moving into a new house
  • Success
  • Better genes

Hard to answer? New science proves that happiness is a process, not a goal. And it’s not necessarily about having “fun”, either. Happiness is about 50 percent genetic, 40 percent intentional and 10 percent circumstantial. That 40 percent category- the intentional one- is the most important.

Circumstances can change or you can become accustomed to them (a new car, a bigger house, or a promotion, for example) such that they no longer make you “happy”. On the other hand, when you are engaged in a life’s purpose that has meaning to you, which can be anything from rearing children to doctoring the elderly in undeserved areas, happiness finds you in the way you live and look at the world.

In other words, happiness is more a choice than an outcome or a destination.
It’s an action, not a result.


 Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Healing power of cucumber

Studies indicate that cucumbers have numerous benefits internally, externally and even emotionally. Doctor Murad recently wrote a paper to share the findings on this incredible fruit (Cucumbers are not vegetables) and has given us a few takeaways for skin health and emotional care.

As a food, cucumbers offer superior hydration, as they are about 95% water. Cucumbers have long been associated with the spa world and topical skin treatments. When you think of cucumber slices placed gently over the eyes, they are doing far more than just having a cooling effect on the skin. Cucumber slices offer many benefits to both the eyes and surrounding tissues through their hydrating properties, which work to reduce dehydration by their high levels of vitamin K that help to reduce dark circles, and the lignans they contain reduce inflammation. Additionally, cucumbers have been uses to treat wrinkles, sunburns and have been used as a moisturizer and skin brightener. The benefits of cucumbers are not just relegated to topical treatment. In fact, abundant research has shown what can happen when the fruit is consumed.

Cucumbers are related to melons and are a relatively low-calorie food at just 15 calories per cup. They contain high levels of powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. With such a high level of water content and the added bonus of naturally occurring nutrients and trace minerals, cucumbers could be great supplements to drinking water or even serve as an alternative to consumer sports drinks. As I always say, the best way to replenish the body and quench thirst is to by consuming water through foods. Choosing foods with a high water content and offers the cells in our bodies, the much-needed hydration they require for basic everyday functioning as well as the vital nutrients to repair and strengthen the cell walls. Studies now suggest that cucumbers don’t solely hydrate, they provide added elements that your body needs to fortify and regenerate itself. Researchers also identified that cucumbers could act as free radical scavengers (which help against skin damage) and could also potentially act as a SPF (value of 0.2). Studies show that cucumber extract may decrease melanin and sebum, resulting in skin whitening and anti-acne effects. How exactly the cucumber does this, is not clearly understood, as yet but, the cucumber holds an exciting future in skincare.

Cucumbers also have benefits when it comes to emotional care. Stress is a threat that is commonly recognized to have devastating effects on our health and wellbeing. Chronic stress resulting from environmental sources or Cultural Stress (link to cultural stress articles) can lead to cell damage, one such example is inflammation. When you have damaged cells, you also have more dehydrated cells (which can result in significant aging and illness). Addressing water loss and inflammation with cucumber consumption could be an effective way to lower stress and fight against the aging process.

So next time you reach for that fridge snack or are writing your shopping list, make sure that cucumbers take top place.

It would also be impossible not to call out a few of Doctor Murad’s skincare products which contain cucumber:

Extracts were taken from “Evaluating the potential benefits of cucumbers for improved health and skin care” – H. Murad, M.A nyc

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