As I started writing this post, I got a big ol’ zit: Red, inflamed, and obvious. Was it the change in the weather? My not-totally-wholesome diet? Whatever the cause, I had to get rid of it as quickly as possible. And, because I’m trying to be more conscious of keeping potentially nasty ingredients out of my beauty products (it is Earth Day, after all), I found a more natural (and perhaps strange-sounding) approach to help banish blemishes: Charcoal.
What It Is:
Think of the ashy-looking pieces left behind after burning logs over a fire – that’s charcoal. Most often, it’s the after-product of plant sources like trees, bamboo or coconut husks. And (quick chemistry lesson here) charcoal is a form of carbon, one of those “building blocks of life” that’s in every living thing. Hint: If you see “carbon” on an ingredient list, it’s code for charcoal. More
Hopefully, most of us will only ever have to imagine what it would be like to live through a major earthquake, tsunami, or multiple nuclear explosions, much less lose loved ones during these unfathomable events – unlike so many unlucky people in Japan. No matter how many natural and manmade disaster movies you see (Independence Day, The Day After, Armageddon, The Day After Tomorrow, The Towering Inferno, Cloverfield, The Blob, Volcano, Executive Decision, and on and on), the psychological ramifications of living through such a catastrophe are virtually impossible for us to comprehend unless we’ve experienced it ourselves. (And we’ll be talking more next week about these psychological effects as they relate to the tsunami in Japan.) Thing is, the physical after-effects may be even harder to accept. See, in the movies, those characters who don’t die usually end up perfectly healthy, physically speaking. Sure, they’re a little bruised, battered, and bloodied from having just saved the world from the impending natural or manmade disaster, but just throw a blanket over their shoulders and let the paramedics give them a cursory going-over, and they’ll be fine. Not so in real life, particularly when we’re talking about nuclear reactor fires, leaks, and explosions like the ones happening at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan. More
When I first moved to New York City at 22, I accidentally dated a man twice my age. I knew he was older than I was and had been married before, but I’d guessed he was in his thirties.
How wrong I was. Turns out, he was just a few years younger than my dad. When I discovered this, we already had our hands entwined in the back of a cab. I couldn’t pull away and say, “Never mind, now you’re too old for me.” So I acted very casually and shrugged, “Men age. Women rot.”
It was a saying I’d read at some point that didn’t mean much to me back then. But as I’ve grown older, wiser, and more, let’s say, creased, I’ve come to see its truth. Now I date men closer to my own age now, but none of them are worried about wrinkle cream for the face. Meanwhile, my women friends and I have begun the discussion: “Would you rather keep a youthful face or a youthful body?” More
If you didn’t read Frank Bruni’s article about David Murdock in yesterday’s New York Times, “The Billionaire Who Is Planning His 125th Birthday,” I highly recommend it. Murdock, who’s high on the list of richest Americans (his net worth is about $2.7 billion), is also aiming to top the list of oldest Americans; since his third wife died of cancer in 1985, he’s adopted a relentlessly healthy diet (high in vegetables, fruit, and fish; low in everything else), and poured billions of dollars into research. His goal — or pipe dream, depending on who you talk to — is to live to 125 years of age, and, with the help of scientists, prove that his lifestyle can stave off death and disease. Murdock’s quest for health and longevity is fascinating, but as someone who’s interested in health and wellness, it also pisses me off. More
This is author Therese Borchard’s second post for Blisstree; she’ll be blogging for us on a weekly basis about all kinds of mental health, depression, and therapy issues. Find her debut post here. Have a question for Therese? Leave it in our comments section, below.
Maybe it’s because I just turned 40 over the weekend, or maybe it’s because I was asked to be a “relationship expert” for a dating website a few days ago (LOL), or that TV writer Tracy McMillan’s recent HuffPo piece “Why You’re Not Married” got under my skin, but I can’t stop thinking about how I ended up married with two kids when I was the one labeled in college “most likely to become an old maid” because 1. I preferred a tiny closet of a room for me and only me over a roomy quad with three other classmates, and 2. I hated men.
Furthermore, I’m confused as to why two of my closest friends who did everything right on the family track are still single in their 40s. McMillan would say it’s one or more of the following six reasons:
They are bitches. More
This week, the CW network debuted Shedding for the Wedding, a reality weight-loss competition that has nine overweight couples competing against each other to drop some serious pounds in the hopes of winning their dream wedding. So where does SFW fall within the great pantheon of reality weight-loss TV programming? It may be a train wreck like Celebrity Fit Club or an inspiration like Heavy. To find out, check out our gallery of the best – and worst – of nine weight-loss reality TV shows, including two toss-ups, and let us know whether or not you agree: More
Remember the Epilady? One of my friends actually (and very recently) purchased this torture device from the 80s and reported that the pain from its use was comparable to her recent childbirth experience.
For many women, hair removal is, well, a hairy situation. Ask almost any woman who has ever worn a skirt or a bathing suit and she’ll most likely recite a litany of woes: The bloody knicks and stubbles from razors, the rotten-egg stench of depilatory creams, the blinding sting of waxing, or the slow and steady agony of tweezing.
As a dark-haired, fair-skinned maid, I could go on and on. But usually I don’t. I just take a break when winter arrives, embrace my inner gorilla, and then pray that some day I’ll get a book advance large enough to allow the luxury of regular laser treatments. More
If only Jennifer Aniston would develop a case of sticky fingers, or whatever it is LiLo currently suffers from, maybe she’d get some press coverage for something other than just her hair. But until she stops being a fairly stable and physically fit actress who ends up in rehab or jail, the world is stuck obsessing over her latest ‘do.
In January, Aniston called “The Rachel,” her signature Friends hairstyle “the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen” (no arguments here), instantly making my already-regrettable mid-’90s attempted recreation all the more embarrassing in retrospect. More
Los Angeles residents who tuned into their local CBS news after last Sunday’s Grammy Awards found themselves watching what appeared to be news correspondent Serene Branson having an on-air stroke. Seconds after picking up a live shot from the red carpet, Branson’s speech became garbled and slurred. Producers quickly cut away from the clearly scared and disoriented reporter to a pre-taped segment, leaving viewers to wonder – what the hell had just happened?
Yesterday, doctors announced that Branson had suffered a migraine aura, not a stroke. UCLA’s Dr. Andrew Charles told the Los Angeles Times that Branson showed signs of dysphasic language dysfunction – “[t]he victim knows what she or he wants to say, ‘but can’t come up with the words’” – as well as blurred vision and numbness of the face. More
Beginning in nursery school, I was always the girl in the back row of all boys in the class photo. I was sturdy, strong, and very tall — built much more like the active, rough males than my willowy, fragile female classmates.
At just a smidge under 5’11” — the short side for tall women — I’ve suffered plenty of discomfort and humiliation in life thus far. Pants are often too short on me, and one wrongful wash of a new shirt sends it to my pile of items to give to shorter female friends. Movie and airplane seats usually have next to no legroom for me, and I find myself persistently, though accidentally, kicking others underneath restaurant tables. Sometimes my dates have to reach up high to properly say goodnight.
I own just one pair of heels. They are simple, polished, shiny, and black. At two inches high, most women of normal stature wouldn’t even consider them to be heels. They stay in my closet unless by some unfortunate reason I need to wear a suit; then I put them on. The suit is often worn to a job interview or an important meeting and I make an excellent, capable impression by tottering — and one time tripping — in my rookie heels. This means that most of the time I just stay in flats that are as flat as possible. It’s safer for everyone. More
Pause Before You Pop Those Pills – The real health risks behind over-the-counter pain medications. (HealthKey)
Park It, Poochie – So, health-wise, is it safe to sleep with your pets or not? (The New York Times)
Aging Gracefully – 10 foods to put on your plate to promote longevity. (Whole Living) More
Sex-ibility – Lessons learned from yoga about sex, according to three yogis. (Well + Good NYC)
Cheesecake Factory – This year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue features more “athletic” and different body types, but is it still just soft porn? (Slate XX)
35 and losing it? (Your hair, we mean.) – Here are some answers that may explain the disturbing shedding. (The Globe and Mail) More
Hollywood celebs from Sofia Vergara to Brooke Burke and Kim K. (we’re not actually sure why the latter two are famous) have been touting the benefits of butt-toning sneakers, but lately there’s a new trend in town, the toning outfit. From Reebok’s toning tops to ShaToBu toning underwear (“The Workout You Wear”), the fitness-meets-fashion movement is getting a little out of hand. ShaToBu, for their part, claims that their undergarments are scientifically proven to help you burn 12% more calories while you wear them during daily activities, while Reebok uses built-in resistance bands in its toning tops, and Fila claims that the double-layered panels in its toning bottoms compress muscles for a 50% increase in muscle workout. More
Call us inspired. After discovering the benefits of having someone massage our face from the inside out, we’ve spent more time investigating what other incredible (and incredibly painful/strange/crazy) spa and beauty treatments are gaining popularity this year. But why the sudden turn to the extreme? It’s just a theory, but with the economic downturn hitting spas hard in the past few years , the only way to lure beauty junkies back into the fray is to take spa treatments to the next level. Of course, extreme beauty is nothing new. From binding feet to Botox, we’ve already seen it all. Or have we? Here are six suspect spa treatments you may want to skip (or try) in 2011: More