So you may have noticed exfoliating shampoos popping up on your Insta feed or when you’re shopping on Amazon. Are we really exfoliating our hair now too?
Washing your hair less than daily has become a trend in recent years. As such, so has the use of oil-absorbing products like dry shampoos. Add in color processing hair on a regular basis and your scalp begins to have needs that traditional shampoos just can’t touch.
Exfoliating shampoos aren’t meant to scrub the hair shaft. They work on the scalp at the “root” of the problem. Ingredients such as sea salt, sugar, charcoal, corn meal, baking soda and fruit acids can break down the buildup on your scalp. This can help trigger new skin cell growth, clear away dead skin, and clean your hair follicles. A healthy scalp needs oxygen, moisture, vitamins and other nutrients to remain healthy. An added bonus? Scalp stimulation (exfoliation and massage) can increase healthy hair growth.
Do you often have a tight, itchy scalp? Do you have flakiness on your scalp, but know you don’t have dandruff? Then you may want to jump on this trend. How often should you use an exfoliating treatment? Up to once a week if you are a heavy product user and are starting to see signs of scalp stress (flakies). Monthly if you wash your hair more regularly and don’t often use lots of hair products.
Here are some recipes to try. You can either add each blend to your shampoo, or use the treatment alone before you shampoo.
Clarifying: 1 T. cornmeal, 3 drops peppermint essential oil
Gentle Scrub: 1 T. brown sugar, 1 tsp. olive oil
Cleansing Scrub: 1 T. apple cider vinegar, 1T. fine sea salt
Rub into your scalp vigorously but gently (as if you were exfoliating your face), then fully rinse and follow with conditioner.
Water: we know we need to drink more of it, and we know it’s the healthiest drink around. Aside from keeping us hydrated, water aids in toxin removal, as well as regulating all of your major organs. It can also help benefit the biggest organ of the body: your skin. While water alone isn’t a treatment measure for skin disorders, getting enough of it on a regular basis can help keep your skin healthy overall. Consider the five major ways water is good for your skin.
1. Hydration to Prevent Skin Problems
Dehydration occurs when your body lacks the water it needs to function properly. According to the Mayo Clinic, your body is made up of about 60 percent of water. Still, you need to drink water in order to replenish lost fluids and to keep every part of your body hydrated. In fact, dehydration can also affect the skin by causing dryness, dullness, and even discoloration.
Coffee—although it contains water—has a diuretic effect which can lead to dehydration if you don’t drink enough plain water. Once you swap other fluids for water, you will likely start to see smoother, supple skin.
2. Increased Blood Flow for a Healthy Glow
In addition to hydrating your major organs, water can also help increase blood flow by removing toxins and helping to spread nutrients: this includes your skin. When you have better blood flow, your skin is more likely to exhibit that “healthy glow” everyone wishes for. In turn, this will also help aging skin look more youthful.
3. Reduced Thinness and Wrinkles
Dehydration coupled with decreased blood flow can also lead to a thin appearance of the skin. When your skin is less supple, it may be prone to more wrinkles. Furthermore, using water-based skincare products can absorb easily into the skin and make your skin look thicker.
4. Improved Skin Cell Turnover
Your skin is naturally evolving every day by shedding old cells and generating new ones. Unfortunately, this process isn’t always perfect. Oils can clog your pores and also trap old skin cells, leaving your skin with dry-looking patches. Drinking water can help improve skin cell turnover by promoting the right oil balance.
Improved skin cell turnover also leads to a correct moisture balance—overtime, you’ll experience softer, less oily skin overall.
5. May Alleviate Skin Discoloration
In most cases, skin discoloration is the result of either a disease of the skin or sun damage. While water can’t necessarily cure skin discoloration, the other benefits can lead to better skin tone. For example, consuming more water may decrease the prevalence of undereye circles and redness of the skin.
Bottom Line: Getting the Right Amount of Water
Drinking water can certainly offer many benefits to the skin, especially when compared with dehydrating beverages like sodas and sugary juices. However, the key to getting all of the benefits for your skin and other organs is to make sure you drink enough of it. The Mayo Clinic advises drinking a total of eight glasses of total fluids per day, at roughly 8 ounces each. You might need more than this on hot days or when you exercise. While other water-containing beverages can count towards your daily intake, swapping these with plain water will be the best plan for your skin.
You should also choose skincare products that contain water over synthetic substances. Water-based products are healthier for your skin, and they also tend to stay put without greasy side effects.
On the flipside, it’s also important that you don’t drink too much water. While the overconsumption of water is largely a rare occurrence, it tends to happen most often in athletes who drink too much water on a regular basis. As long as you are staying properly hydrated, drinking more than the recommended amount won’t do your body—or your skin—any good.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, September 5). Water: How much should you drink every day? Retrieved from MayoClinic.org
The benefits of drinking water for your skin. (2016). Retrieved from UW Health
Water the magic drink: Learn how it helps glow your skin. (n.d.). Retrieved from Disabled World
Kristeen Cherney is a freelance health and lifestyle writer who focuses on preventive measures for a better quality of life. Cherney holds a BA in Communication, and is currently finishing her MA in English.
I received a gift certificate to a local spa as a Christmas gift two years ago. I’m not in the habit of ‘making time for me’ but I was worried that this card had expired which wouldn’t be very considerate to the person who purchased it for me. So after reminding myself for about six months, I finally called the spa to inquire about their policy. “They don’t expire. Why don’t you make an appointment for one of our services?”
Okay now what? I’m not a fan of massages; I’ve got this weird thing about people who I don’t know touching me. Their manis and pedis were probably overpriced. Hmm. Maybe I could get a facial. I told the girl how old I was and asked her what she would recommend. “Our anti-aging facial would be best for you.” Ouch. I’m at THAT age. I stressed to the woman that my skin is very sensitive and she said they have gentle products and I shouldn’t have any problems.
I’ve been trying to lose a few pounds on my own now for about a month. I’ve been eating about 1400 calories a day and I’m pretty active. But the scale barely moves. I decided I needed professional help.
I met with the nutritionist at my doctor’s office. She is a young girl, slight of build, pretty. I can imagine how many women meet her for the first time and think “how is THIS skinny little thing going to understand my weight problem”.
I know I talked about this last year, but I’ve been doing the lemon water thing for several months now and I can honestly say I see benefits. I find that it aids in digestion, wakes me up in the morning and somehow encourages me to make healthier choices throughout my day. The proven health benefits are numerous. This is an article by Jim Dillan for Healthy Ambition which spells it all out.
The Many Health Benefits of Lemon Water 11/13/2013
Lemon water is a simple and surprisingly healthy internal cleanser to start your day with. I certainly noticed a difference myself when I first started having the juice of a whole lemon in water first thing in the morning. I really like the way the sharp taste wakes you up and gets you going.
Some resources say that it’s good to have it in warm or even hot water. I suppose in this way you could use it as a healthier replacement for your morning coffee, but I personally prefer it in room temperature filtered water. Continue reading “Lemon Water Really is THAT Good”
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