15 Cosmetic Ingredients Making Your Beauty Regimen More Disgusting Than Fear Factor

In an attempt to win a buttload of cash, contestants on the gloriously gross game show Fear Factor willingly ingest some seriously disgusting things on television.

You, on the other hand, actually pay to unknowingly ingest the same nasty stuff through the cosmetic ingredients in your beauty regimen on a daily basis.

Don’t panic; it’s all organic.

But if bugs, scales, animal grease, urine, feces, semen, lard, placenta, foreskin, and vomit aren’t the ingredients in your ideal beauty regimen recipe, prepare to gain a disturbing new perspective of the beauty industry and officially lose your appetite.

Here are 15 cosmetic ingredients that make your beauty regimen grosser than an episode of Fear Factor.


Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/cosmetic-ingredients-making-your-beauty-regimen-more-disgusting-than-fear-factor/

A ‘Queer Eye’ guide to glowing up your life

You can learn a lot if you watch 'Queer Eye' closely enough.
Image: Netflix

As anybody who watches Netflix’s new Queer Eyewill tell you, the Fab 5 are miracle workers.

Antoni (food and wine), Bobby (home), Jonathan (hair and grooming), Karamo (culture), and Tan (clothes) take people from all walks of life and glow 👏 up 👏 their 👏 whole 👏 damn 👏 existence. 👏

The question is: How do you re-create that experience for yourself?

Much has been said about how Netflix’s Queer Eye is not your typical makeover show. Writing for The Ringer, Alison Herman points out “This Fab Five wants to take on its projects’ inner lives as well as their outer presentation; in fact, Queer Eye now sees improvements to the latter as a means to improve the former, rather than as a goal in and of itself.” And as an Out interview with the new Fab 5 explained, “The goal isn’t to give subjects a makeover, but rather, as the gurus call it, a ‘make-better.’ It’s about tapping into the subjects’ insecurities, playing to their strengths, and establishing a genuine, enduring connection with them.”

All that is to say, Queer Eye sidesteps being a simple “user’s manual” and dives into a much deeper experience. And, if you watch closely enough, Netflix’s reboot is chock-full of practical advice that you, the viewer, can use to glow up your  own life.

Here’s every single tip, trick, and life hack offered on Netflix’s Queer Eye.*

Clothes and Style

  • “Wearing a blazer over [a shirt] will tone down the print. So you’re just getting a pop.” —Tan, on how to add a print to your wardrobe in a subtle way (Ep. 2)

  • “A lot of people think they can’t wear slim [jeans] because they’re not slim. That’s not what that means. Skinny jeans are designed in a way to give you a same look for the size that you are, but a narrow version of it. They’re giving you the room you need [at the waist] and they’re giving you the narrow leg you need down [at the bottom.]” —Tan, breaking the myth of what skinny jeans are (Ep. 3)

  • “When you come to a [suit store], really work with the tailor. Don’t just try it on. They’re there for you.” —Tan, on how to shop for a suit (Ep. 3)

  • “You don’t ever need to button the bottom button of your coat. Keep the top button closed, and when you’re about to sit, undo it, and you can sit comfortably.” —Tan, on how to wear a formal coat to an event (Ep. 3)

  • “I like this because it’s a print, you can wear it with a blue jean, a black jean, a khaki pant. It’s really easy to dress up.” —Tan, holding a white shirt with a light blue print, explaining the versatility of prints in a wardrobe (Ep. 6)

  • “Boots are a good bridge between a super casual shoe and a super formal shoe.” —Tan, on how to mix boots into your wardrobe (Ep. 6)

  • “Every man should have a pair of dark blue jeans, black jeans, and light wash jeans.” —Tan, explaining what should be in a man’s wardrobe (Ep. 7)

  • “Style is not fashion. Fashion is not trendy after a season. Honestly, I could give a shit about fashion. Style is dressing the way that [makes] you feel confident, and what’s appropriate for you, your age, you’re body type.” —Tan, dressing Joe (Ep. 7)

  • “The thing that’s going to be difficult for you is that you don’t hold any weight around your shoulders, but you do around your midriff. So you’re going to have to get a slightly bigger size, and roll up your sleeves, and it’s going to make it like the whole shirt fits you properly. And what you’ll find is, because it’s the right size, it’s now slimming you.” —Tan, explaining how to find a proper fit for a shirt (Ep. 7)

  • QE Hip Tip: “If you’ve got too much jelly in the belly, layer up, make that eye dance, and it’ll distract from your weak spot.” —Tan, explaining how layering your top can slim an outfit (Ep. 7)


  • “We have to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, because sun can cause inflammation and flare-ups in people’s lupus.” —Jonathan, on one way to treat lupus inflammation (Ep. 1)

  • “The thing with beards is that you want it nice and neat, but you don’t want to overdo it. You want it to mimic your face shape.” —Jonathan, on how to find the ideal shape for your beard (Ep. 1)

  • “Cold stuff removes puffiness, it invigorates the skin, and it takes inflammation down.” —Jonathan, explaining why you should wear a cold press face mask (Ep. 1)

  • “Put a little [green stick] on your nose. It tones the redness down. The rule with it is if you can see it, you did too much.” —Jonathan, on how to apply green stick to tone down redness in your skin (Ep. 1)

  • “Spray, Delay, Walk Away.” —Jonathan, channelling Kyan from the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, telling Neal how to put on cologne (Ep. 2)

  • “Gorgeous exfoliants are expensive, and you can easily make them. You just need a bit of coconut oil and sugar.” —Jonathan, on how to make a simple face scrub (Ep. 3)

  • QE Hip Tip: “Start off with half a cup of coconut, two tablespoons of brown sugar, a touch of honey, and any essential oil that tickles your fancy.” —Jonathan, on how to make a DIY Lip Scrub (Ep. 3)

  • “When it comes to edge work, for guys who are a little bit uncomfortable and haven’t really done it themselves, the most important thing to remember is… come in and work your way up to the [hairline]. And once you get close to it, let it go. [meaning, pull the clippers up from your head.] —Jonathan, teaching AJ how to shape up his hairline (Ep. 4)

  • “For the base of your beard, put your thumb on your Adam’s apple, and that’s where your beard line should start.” —Jonathan, teaching AJ how to trim his beard (Ep. 4)

  • “There is such a thing as a lash perm.” —Jonathan, explaining to Karamo that yes, your lashes can get a little boost (Ep. 4)

  • “When you’re buying shampoos, one thing you want to avoid is sulfates. It’s just very aggressive for our hair.” —Jonathan, on what to look for when buying hair products (Ep. 5)

  • “Dark colors make things look smaller.” —Jonathan, cutting Remy’s hair (Ep. 6 )

  • “When you have a stressful job, you have to create little pockets of join in your life to take care of yourself.” —Jonathan, explaining the benefit of a spa day (Ep. 8)

  • “Do you know the calming properties of essential oils? Tea tree is antimicrobial, antibacterial, so it promotes healthy skin, which is GORGEOUS. A couple drops will do ya.” —Jonathan, on the benefits of tea tree oil (Ep. 8)

  • “Peppermint oil is energizing. Rub it in your palm, bring your palms up to your face. Then take a really deep breath in through your nose, hold it, and exhale through your mouth.” —Jonathan, on how to use peppermint oil (Ep. 8)

  • “Face masks can be expensive, but you can make one on your own at home. The one we’re making today is egg white and peach. Blend into a gorgeous pudding consistency in the peach. The enzymes in the peach clarify the skin and also encourage your skin to detoxify.” —Jonathan, on how to make a face mask (Ep. 8)

  • “The rule when you put grooming cream on your hair is you always start in the back, and then work your way forward. Rub [the cream] in your hands so it’s evenly dispersed, start on the back, and work your way up.” —Jonathan, on how to apply grooming cream (Ep. 3)


  • “Leeks have a lot of sand in them so you have to really wash the hell out of them.” —Antoni, on how to prepare leaks (Ep. 2)

  • “If you’re cooking something that’s going to get really stinky, like fresh garlic, coconut oil gets rid of the smell.” —Antoni, on how to manage odors while cooking (Ep. 3)

  • “As long as you can press a little bit into [an avocado skin], it’s good to go.” —Antoni, on how to find a ripe avocado (Ep. 3)

  • “Hot dogs are always pre-cooked unless you’re getting a bratwurst or some kind of sausage. So it’s two minutes on each side, and you’re done. It’ couldn’t be easier.” —Antoni, on how to grill a hot dog (Ep. 8)

  • Antoni also teaches you how to supreme a grapefruit in Ep. 8, but that’s a visual explainer


  • “If you have a back problems, sleeping on a soft mattress is murder.” —Bobby, on finding a mattress that’s right for you (Ep. 1)

  • “A way to modernize [an old mirror] is just to frame it.” —Bobby, explaining how to up-cycle an old mirror (Ep. 2)

  • “Most people think that black walls make rooms feel smaller. It’s actually the opposite. (t adds depth to a room.” —Bobby, explaining the perk of a black accent wall (Ep. 2)

  • “Instead of ripping it out, just paint [old] grout black, and it modernizes it instantly.” —Bobby, explaining how he redecorated Neil’s wall (Ep. 2)

  • “The best way to [plant] zucchini and squash is to build a mound because they flower out. So [the mound] supports the plant.” —Bobby, on how to plant zucchini and squash (Ep. 5)

  • “Before painting repurposed furniture, sand it or the paint won’t stick because most furniture has a sheen on it.” —Bobby, on DIY furniture projects (Ep. 6)

  • “When you’re picking out new materials for a room, you always need a contrast to draw your eye around the room.” —Bobby, shopping for kitchen counter materials with Remy (Ep. 6)

  • “I want to do the whole back wall full of bookcases that are tall, that way it draws the eye up and makes the ceilings [look] taller than they are, because they are in a basement, so the ceilings are shorter than normal.” —Bobby, while shopping for a basement apartment (Ep. 7)

  • “I like using dark colors on walls because it controls the light. When you have white walls, the light bounces off everything and nothing looks good.” —Bobby, explaining the perks of dark walls (Ep. 8)

Other Nuggets of Wisdom

  • QE Hip Tip: Make a phone with your hand. Inhale through your right nostril, hold it. Exhale through left. Inhale through the left. Hold it. Exhale through the right. Repeat that same process for about a minute and watch your worries melt away for a gorgeous day.” —Jonathan, on a stress-release trick (Ep. 5)

  • QE Hip Tip: “Stand straight, shoulders back, and don’t forget, eye contact.” —Karamo on how to rock a confident smile (Ep. 6)

*if we missed your favorite tip, please let us know and we’ll add it. (We tried to avoid tips that were incomplete or extremely specific to the individual being made over.)

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/03/14/queer-advice-advice-tips/

Farm Girl Caf, Chelsea: We don’t stay for dessert, because we have suffered enough restaurant review | Jay Rayner

The food was so bad, says Jay Rayner, a nearby Yorkshire terrier started to look more appetising

Farm Girl Caf, 9 Park Walk, London SW10 0AJ (020 3674 7359). Meal for two, including drinks and service 110

The menu at the Farm Girl Caf features lots of initials. Theres V for Vegan. Theres GF for Gluten Free. Theres DF for Dairy Free. I think theyre missing a few. There should be TF for Taste Free and JF for Joy Free and AAHYWEH for Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here. If you examine the companys website, and I would only advise doing so if you have strong teeth that can cope with a good grinding, you will learn that the Farm Girl group offers: A holistic and healthy yet comfortingly simple approach to Australian Caf culture. Nope, me neither. Apparently, they like to use nutritionally nurturing ingredients, which sounds rather nice. I could have done with a bit of nurture, rather than the dishes that came our way.

I have nothing against eating healthily. I have only one body and I try to look after it. My mother used to say that she hoped to die aged 98, shot dead by a jealous lover. She didnt quite manage it, but its an ambition Im happy to inherit. The menu here is omnivorous with a heavy emphasis on non-meat cookery, which is a fine thing. I like vegetables, me. They can taste really nice. But this sort of cooking does have to be done with skill, grace and, ideally, an absence of malice.

The Farm Girl Caf, Chelsea, is the third in a group which until now has stuck to charcoal or matcha lattes, and light lunches involving an awful lot of almond butter, avocado and something called coconut bacon, which you just know isnt. This is the first to serve dinner, and it does indeed look like a proper restaurant in a very Chelsea sort of way. Theres a giant blue Welsh dresser behind the bar, faux wooden beams across the ceiling and banquettes in a field shade of green. Its like a cartoon version of a farmhouse as imagined by someone who hasnt been in one.

It fills quickly on a cold winters evening, with blonde-tressed Chelsea women just bubbling with intolerances. They are fizzing with them, these dairy- and gluten-fearing dietary warriors, seeking sanctuary from the terrifying world of modern food. With them are their pink-cheeked, anxious-looking boyfriends, who clearly fear they are just one more rugby club, traffic-cone-on-your-head piss-up away from being chucked. A woman arrives clutching her Yorkshire terrier. They are given a corner table. The dog is offered a bowl of water and a plate of food and disappears on to the floor for dinner. At least somebody gets to eat well.

The artichoke is just so much mushy leaf matter, and smells of a long Sunday afternoon in someones overheated suburban front room. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Observer

From the small plates we order the whole (completely out-of-season) globe artichoke, which apparently is gluten free. Its tough to see how it would be anything other. It has been prepared by someone who either hates globe artichokes or has never met one before: boiled until it is as soft and rank as Grandmas cabbage, only with none of the glamour. It is just so much mushy leaf matter, and smells of a long Sunday afternoon in someones overheated suburban front room. The damn thing could be disposed of without the aid of teeth or, better still, using a composter. That would remove the middle man, which in this case happens to be me.

Paolas Market Veggies arrive in a bowl, with a grainy, deathly carrot hummus thickly smeared up the side, like someone had an intimate accident and decided to close the loo door and run away. At the bottom is a cashew aioli, which is the kind of discharge you get when you torture nuts. It tastes of raw garlic and nothing else. There are sticks of celery and hunks of cauliflower to dredge through this, alongside seeded crisp bread which is neither of the last two words. It is dense and hard and tasteless, as you imagine cork floor tiling might be, if it had somehow been repurposed as food.

Finally, from the small plates, comes tostadas piled with jackfruit, the latest hip, unconvincing replacement for meat. It is a fibrous tangle that gets stuck in your teeth on top of a violent, acidic sludge of guacamole. The jackfruit is described as being barbecued. This means it has been smeared with a blunt barbecue sauce of the kind they serve at pubs with a flat roof. Each of these dishes costs about 8. After this vegan calamity, this extraordinary display of dismal cooking, I find myself eyeing the Yorkshire terrier, greedily. Just hand him over, give me access to the grill, and five minutes.

The turkey schnitzel has the texture of something Timpsons might one day think about using to re-sole my brogues. Photograph: Sophia Evans for the Observer

Perhaps the kitchen can do better with something that once had a pulse. Or perhaps not. The crispy turkey schnitzel sounds nice. Apparently, it is encased in lemon and thyme-infused breadcrumbs, but tastes of neither of those things. It barely tastes of anything at all. The meat is overcooked and has the texture of something Timpsons might one day think about using to re-sole my brogues. A heap of pickled cucumber and radish is piled on top helpfully, to ensure the breadcrumbs go soggy. A side dish of roasted cauliflower is so undercooked that the knife barely manages to go through it. The one edible dish is a glutinous, cloyingly sweet vegetable curry. It would be regarded as an utter, shameful travesty by many in south-east Asia, but its not actively unpleasant.

We do not stay for dessert, because we have suffered enough. In any case they are mostly a list of ice creams and sorbets including a spinach, kiwi and coconut oil gelato, which sounds terrifying. What weve ordered so far, plus the second-cheapest bottle of wine, has already run up a bill of just under 100. Its not just the dismal cooking that pains me here. Its the squandering of ingredients and of peoples time and the tiresome narrative of wellness with which its been flogged. I feel especially bad about our waiter. Tom is a good man. He is charming, on point and utterly wasted here; he should do something more socially useful, like fly tipping or nicking cars. I whip out my phone and discover there is a branch of Honest Burgers nearby. One of their finest, served medium rare, a big heap of rosemary and salt chips and a hefty tumbler of cheap and cheerful sauvignon blanc is exactly what we need to make all those BTGW (Bad Thoughts Go Away).

News bites

The elegant glass box that houses the caf at the Garden Museum, just south of Lambeth Bridge, gives equal billing to both meat and veg, but does so with grace and good taste. A recent menu started with winter tomatoes with tropea onions, or cockles with bacon, followed by gnocchi with wild garlic and almonds or oxtail and lentils. Stay for dessert (gardenmuseum.org.uk).

Theres nothing clever about stupid high prices for food items, but its always good to have something to gawp at. Recently, on a trip round the refurbished Harrods food hall, I spotted Wagyu Kobe fillet A5, imported from Japan, for 62.50 per 100g. Or 625 a kilo. The minimum order is 500g. You do the maths.

Restaurant no-shows have become a serious issue in the industry recently. Two weeks ago, Edinburgh chef Mark Greenaway introduced a deposit scheme after recording 450 no-shows in a month. Now the Casual Dining Group, which own brands such as Bella Italia and La Tasca, is considering introducing advance payments for large groups.

Email Jay at jay.rayner@observer.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @jayrayner1

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/11/farm-girl-cafe-chelsea-we-dont-stay-for-dessert-because-we-have-suffered-enough-restaurant-review

Curd your enthusiasm my adventures in vegan cheese

Vegan burgers are increasingly convincing, but can vegan cheese or cheeze or chease melt our hearts?

Vegan cheese has been suffering a bad case of Fomo fear of missing out on the vegan food revolution. Some of the new, plant-based products have been groundbreaking, such as the Impossible Burger, which not only tastes like cow, but also bleeds like one. Some, such as mock duck in gravy, are startlingly bad.

But with vegan cheese, quality versions have been so late to the party, you would be forgiven for not letting them in even if they brought a nice bottle of vegan wine. At last, 2017 was a big one for vegan cheese. Most supermarkets started stocking it. A vegan friend points me towards Sainsburys coconut-based vegan cheddar and a feta substitute that is getting close, although lately he is excited about a very realistic vegan parmesan from Ocado. Theres now a vegan camembert made with cashew nut milk and even Dominos has rolled out a vegan pizza in Australia and New Zealand.

Cheese, my friend says, is the thing he initially missed the most the meat quitters after-dinner fag but these recent developments have provided hope. Small grains of hope, but ones that can be harvested and turned into more vegan cheese. Because you can make vegan cheese from almost anything. Cauliflower, chickpeas, rice, nuts, seeds, quinoa, courgette, even carrageenan, a type of seaweed extract spelled by your cat walking across your keyboard, which is excellent for firm or wheel cheeses.

Vegan feta. Photograph: Evi Oravecz / Green Evi/Getty Images/Picture Press RM

Buoyed, I sampled a few. Tynes smoked paprika chease is a bestseller, but looks like a sponge and tastes predominantly of smoke. Vegans cheeze balls are essentially haunted by garlic. Tynes creamy classic cashew is nicer, while NVs parmesan substitute is fine.

Why its so hit and miss is anyones guess. Maybe its because cheese is pretty hard to make without dairy, or because we hold cheese in some sort of cultural reverence theres cheese and theres cheese, but now theres chease, cheeze and sheese. And thats the first sticking point the name. I am, however, fully on board with alternative names, such as Mozzarisella, mozzarella made from rice, which is way more fun than Tescos elliptical Free From version, made with coconut oil and soya. Its still not a patch on Vegustos No-Moo Piquant, though, whom I definitely saw play Glastonbury once.

This is not a screed about veganism. As a non-vegan who is too weak to divest herself from dairy, this cheese is not meant for me. Rather, I admire these small acts of bravery: some of them coming in French-looking boxes, others on a bed of straw like baby Jesus. And if some of them melt on pasta, then great. Its also true that whatever vegan cheese is made of, it couldnt possibly be weirder than the bodily fluids of animals mixed together and left to go mouldy.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/01/curd-your-enthusiasm-my-adventures-in-vegan-cheese

Lorde Has Words For People Who Think Dealing With Acne Is Easy

Lorde knows the struggles of acne all too well. 

The 21-year-old “Green Light” singer lamented how much “acne sucks” in an Instagram story over the weekend, talking as she used a light therapy device on her skin. And she’s not here for the unsolicited acne advice people give her, assuming she hasn’t tried everything already. 

 “You know what also sucks?” Lorde said into the camera. “When you’ve had acne for years and years and years, done all the drugs, tried all the things, and people are still like, ‘You know what worked for me, is moisturizing!’” 

She continued parodying the simplistic advice some people give her, and jokingly added: “Make a mask out of honey, greek yogurt and avocado. All you need to do is buy an apricot scrub! Coconut oil – the secret is coconut oil!”

It’s even more insulting when people ask seemingly dumb questions, as if the singer hasn’t thought of everything already. 

“Do you wash your face?” she joked. “It’s like, yes, I wash my face, I’m just genetically cursed.” 

Even though she’s done with bad advice and blemishes, Lorde ended her message to fans on a positive note. 

“For anyone out there who has bad skin — and actual bad skin, not the kind of bad skin you can just use a fancy cream for for a few days and it will get better — I feel your pain,” she said. “We’ll get there, we will. Promise.” 

Lorde has opened up about her struggles with her skin before, and shares it with her social media followers (even when it’s a no-makeup, acne cream-on selfie). 

A post shared by Lorde (@lordemusic) on

She’s even pointed out photos of herself that are digitally altered, so she can show fans that “flaws are ok.”

It’s always nice to see celebrities, who have so many resources at their fingertips, openly and honestly talk about problems like bad skin ― something that so many people deal with. 

Miley Cyrus and Bella Thorne regularly share pictures of themselves with acne cream on their faces, and Chrissy Teigen sometimes Snapchats videos of her skin during her period.  

Kendall Jenner, who struggled with acne as a teenager, shut down acne shamers on Twitter last month after a breakout before the Golden Globe Awards. 

“Never let that shit stop you!” Jenner tweeted. 

Steve Granitz via Getty Images

Like Lorde said, things will get better. 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lorde-has-words-for-people-who-think-dealing-with-acne-is-easy_us_5a8b965ee4b09fc01e02ae93

The Olympics’ oiliest man is returning to the Winter Olympics

Flag bearer Pita Taufatofua of Tonga leads his Olympic Team during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Image: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Buy your stock in coconut oil because Pita Taufatofua is returning to the Olympics.

The Tongan flag holder became a beloved meme during the opening ceremony at the 2016 Rio Olympics when he appeared in all his glistening glory. Well, now Taufatofua is officially heading to the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea in a sport he barely knows: cross-country skiing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Taufatofua officially qualified in Iceland on Saturday for the games. All this despite the fact that he comes from Tonga, a small Polynesian country that never sees snow.  

According to the Journal, Taufatofua had never skied before last year, but he was committed to going to the Winter Games, even crowdfunding his efforts to get there on Go Fund Me

“My goal is to motivate and inspire people to reach for the best within them and I do that through setting seemingly “impossible’ goals and then moving mountains to achieve them. And that is how a coconut from the Pacific found himself thousands of miles from home swimming around on cross-country skis in a constant state of hypothermia,” he wrote on the crowdfunding page. 

Taufatofua has raised $15,823 of his $30,000 goal at the time of writing. According to the page, 20 percent of all funds raised will be donated back to Royal Tonga Ski Federation.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2018/01/22/pita-taufatofua-winter-olympics-cross-country-skiing/

When It Comes To Trendy Face Oils, Expensive Isn’t Always Better

Over the past few years, facial oils have become staples in beauty cabinets everywhere. Celebrities love them. Models love them. Goop loves them. But they can be so expensive. 

For instance, cult favorite Vintner’s Daughter, a serum made of 22 different oils, retails for $185, while Kjaer Weis and Kypris both sell facial oils for $225. And those are just three of many brands selling facial oils that aren’t so wallet-friendly.

What is it about the ingredients that makes these products cost so much money? Do they really work? And are they worth your money? We talked to experts to find out.

Do They Even Work?

Before deciding whether spending money on an expensive product is worth it for your wallet, you might want to know if these products are actually helpful to your skin. 

Much has been written about the supposed benefits of using facial oils. In 2016, licensed skincare therapist Julia March told HuffPost, “Oils protect the skin’s acid mantle, rebuild and maintain skin’s lipid barrier due to external influences, like extreme temperatures, over-cleansing, low humidity, sickness and travel. They act as a carrier for other active ingredients to penetrate into lower levels of the epidermis.”

To some, it may seem like facial oils are too good to be true. They claim to make our skin look more plumpyounger and even downright perfect. We asked Dr. Samer Jaber at Washington Square Dermatology for a little more insight. 

Jaber explained that facial oils have natural antioxidants and fatty acids, which can indeed help with anti-aging and protecting the skin from free radicals. He also noted that face oils can be a good addition to our regular skincare routines, along with our sunscreen, serums and creams. 

“The nice thing about face oils is they’re natural, so that’s one of the reasons people like them,” he added.

The key to facial oils, Jaber said, is that “you want to make sure you have the right face oil for your skin.” 

For instance, if you have acne-prone skin, Jaber recommended using a lighter oil for your face, such as argan, jojoba, calendula, rose hip or marula, which are less likely to clog pores. For drier skin, he recommended something thicker with a higher level of saturated fat, like olive or coconut oil. (One thing he did say to keep in mind when choosing an olive oil is to look for something cold-pressed. Extra virgin olive oil is heated when it’s processed, which may cause the anti-oxidant levels to drop.) 

In terms of cost, though, Jaber said, “Just because a product is expensive doesn’t mean that it is better than a reasonably priced product.” 

So What’s Up With The High Prices?

As Ni’Kita Wilson, cosmetic chemist and founder of Skinects.com, explained to HuffPost, there are different grades and types of oil, which come at different prices. 

“You have your run-of-the-mill basic oils, like soybean oil, castor oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil,” she said. “Those are more common and even for those oils I just named, there’s a price range, with soybean being the cheapest and probably jojoba being the most expensive.” 

“Then you have a class of exotic oils,” Wilson said. “There are some that have vitamin A-like activity or retinol activity. There are some that just feel so soft and so smooth and they’re loaded with vitamin C. Those are not as common, and they’re much more expensive because you can’t just go get them anywhere.”

“These more specialized oils, they’ve gone through testing to show they have these other ingredients in them, like vitamin A or vitamin C, and it’s quantifiable,” Wilson said. “Then they take it a step further and they see if these oils actually have activity, and some of them do. Those are used as active oils, where they actually have activity to do something good for your skin, other than moisturize.”

Finally, aside from the oils themselves, there are oil-soluble extracts, which have proven active abilities. These are sometimes added to oils, as is the case with Kjaer Weis’ Beautiful Oil, to make the product even more active.

When it comes to the raw ingredients for these products, suppliers base their prices on a variety of factors, Wilson said.

For instance, if certain ingredients have been tested in clinical trials and have proven results, they would come at a premium price, driving up the retail price. Some ingredients can also only be found in certain areas, and if suppliers have partnerships with local people in that region to help support socioeconomic growth, that too would drive up the cost for consumers. 

“The more exotic it is, typically the more expensive it is,” Wilson said, adding that ingredients that are 100 percent organic would also come with a premium price. On top of that, many serums contain multiple oils (like Vintner’s Daughter), and when the ingredients are mixed together, the price goes up. 

Then, of course, you have to remember the markup. “The brand still has to make their margin,” Wilson noted. (According to MoneyTalksNews, the average markup on cosmetics is 78 percent.)

A post shared by Kjaer Weis (@kjaerweis) on

A Few Examples

We asked Wilson about Vintner’s Daughter and Kjaer Weis specifically to get a little more insight into the high retail prices. 

Vintner’s Daughter contains carrier oils such as grape seed and hazelnut oil, which Wilson said are more expensive than soybean oil but far less expensive than something like camellia oil. After looking at the rest of the ingredients, Wilson deduced the $185 price tag might be a little high for what you get, though she agreed that the organic ingredients in the serum could be partly responsible for the price.

Vintner’s Daughter’s website doesn’t state that all ingredients are organic, but it does say the serum is “100% organic or wildcrafted.” However, the brand’s founder, April Gargiulo, told HuffPost via email they “only use organic ingredients.”

The brand starts with whole plants, not extracts, freeze-dried plants or powders, Gargiulo said, and spends weeks formulating its products. “This process is as you can imagine far more expensive and time consuming, but the results speak for themselves.”

“At the end of the day, every consumer needs to decide her/his own comfort level, but we believe that one $185 product that actually delivers results and is made from the very finest ingredients is better than four $45 products made from low quality fillers and deliver minimal results,” she said.

The Kjaer Weis product contains a few oil-soluble extracts, including dioscorea batatas root extract, a wild yam extract containing a compound called diosgenin, and spilanthes acmella flower extract. These extracts have been studied for their anti-aging properties.

A Kjaer Weis spokeswoman said the brand’s oil was the first of its kind to utilize doscorea batatas. “The root is sourced from biodynamic fields in Germany that have been additive free for over 15 years,” she said. “Combined with a nourishing blend of certified organic rose hip oil, sweet almond seed oil, olive oil and jojoba seed oil, it absorbs quickly, optimizing skin for a youthful velvety finish.”

What To Look For

When you’re looking to buy products, your best bet is to do some research. 

“When picking a product, it’s important to look at the ingredients and see if there are clinical studies backing the product claims,” Jaber said. 

Unfortunately, Wilson told HuffPost, it’s not that easy to find out whether the ingredients in facial oils were tested for anti-aging activity and efficacy, as the claims made by skincare companies usually relate to the final product, not the individual ingredients. (But alas, the internet is a vast resource!)

Once you’ve done your research and discovered which ingredients have been tested to treat whatever it is you want your facial oil to treat, look for those on product labels.

Also remember that while it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that expensive products are better than your average drugstore buys, that’s not necessarily the case. Sure, an expensive oil may contain active ingredients, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than an oil that may contain a lower concentration of those same ingredients, or even different ingredients. 

You can go to Sephora and buy an oil that may have similar efficacy, but it may not carry the prestige you’re looking for,” Wilson said, noting that the choice becomes one based on personal preference. 

At the end of the day, Wilson said, there’s not a clear-cut way to tell if an expensive product is really worth the price, in terms of ingredients.

“So if you like it and it makes you feel beautiful, then it’s worth it to you,” Wilson said. “But you could [feel] just as beautiful if you try one that’s less expensive.”

This story has been updated with comments from Vintner’s Daughter and Kjaer Weis.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/facial-oils-expensive_us_5a662714e4b0e56300725429

Why stress makes you fat

Image copyright Getty Images

We all know what makes us fat: eating more in calories than we burn off in energy. But though this is true, it doesn’t answer the more interesting question – why do we overeat in the first place?

Why do I sometimes feel compelled to eat that bit of cake or bar of chocolate although I know I am going to regret it a few minutes later?

Is it just greed – or is something else going on?

Although self-control is important, there is mounting evidence that stress plays a significant part in weight gain.

Chronic stress disrupts our sleep and our blood sugar levels. This leads to increased hunger and comfort eating.

And that then leads to further disrupted sleep, even higher levels of stress and even more disrupted blood sugars. In time, this can lead not only to unhealthy levels of body fat, but also to type-2 diabetes.

To see what can happen, Dr Giles Yeo, a member of the Trust Me, I’m a Doctor team, decided, with the help of scientists from Leeds University, to put himself through a particularly stressful day.

The Leeds scientists started by asking Giles to do something called the Maastricht Stress Test.

They put him in front of a computer and made him rapidly subtract a number, 17, from another number, 2,043. He kept making mistakes, which for someone like Giles is particularly stressful.

Then they got him to put his hand in a bath of ice-cold water and hold it there. Before and after these tests, the Leeds team measured Giles’s blood sugar levels.

More from Trust Me I’m a Doctor:

Our blood sugar levels rise when we eat and, in a healthy person like Giles, they quickly return to normal.

But what the Leeds team found was that on the day when Giles was being deliberately stressed, his blood sugar levels took three hours to return to normal – some six times longer than on a previous, stress-free day.

The reason this happens is that when you are stressed, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode.

Your body thinks it is under attack and releases glucose into your blood to provide energy for your muscles.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Stress can disrupt sleep – and lead to comfort eating

But if you don’t need that energy to run away from danger, then your pancreas will pump out insulin to bring those blood sugar levels back down again.

These rising levels of insulin and falling blood sugars will make you hungry – which is why you crave sugary carbs when you are stressed.

The same sort of thing happens when you have a bad night’s sleep.

A recent study carried out by researchers at King’s College, London found that if you sleep-deprived people they would consume, on average, an extra 385kcal per day, which is equivalent to the calories in a large muffin.

Children also get the munchies when they haven’t had enough sleep.

In another recent study, researchers took a small group of three- and four-year-olds (all regular afternoon nappers) and not only deprived them of their afternoon nap, but also kept them up for about two hours past their normal bedtime

The following day, the children ate 20% more calories than usual, particularly more sugar and carbohydrates. They were then allowed to sleep as much as they wanted.

The day after that, they still consumed 14% more calories than normal.

So how can you reduce daily stress?

Breathing stress away

Here’s a breathing technique, recommended by NHS Choices, which I find effective. You will get the most benefit if you make it part of your daily routine.

You can do it standing, sitting or lying – whatever is the most relaxing.

  • Start by breathing in as deeply as you can, through your nose, without forcing it, to a count of five
  • Then, gently exhale, through your mouth, to a count of five
  • Keep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth – steadily
  • Keep doing this for three to five minutes

One of the first things I would strongly recommend is to try to get a good night’s sleep. This is easier said than done, but NHS Choices provides some useful tips.

You could also try some well established “stress-busting” techniques – such as exercising, gardening, mindfulness or yoga.

When I recently tested them, with the help of Prof Angela Clow, a stress expert from the University of Westminster, the mindfulness came out on top.

But a key finding of our study was you really only got benefit if you enjoyed it.

So do try different things and see which works best for you.

Trust Me I’m a Doctor is on BBC Two at 20:30 on Wednesday 24 January and will be available on iPlayer afterwards.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42788280

Hunky Tongan Flag-Bearer From Rio Qualifies For Winter Olympics

Better stock up on body oil, Pyeongchang.

Pita Taufatofua, the swooned-over shirtless Tongan flag-bearer from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, qualified for the Winter Olympics in cross-country skiing over the weekend.

“A miracle happened,” he wrote on his Instagram.

After failed bids in Poland and Armenia in the last few weeks, he barely beat Sunday’s deadline for qualifying, the Wall Street Journal reported. Taufatofua earned his Olympic berth at an event in Isafjordur, Iceland.

“I gave it absolutely everything,” he told the Journal. “I died at the end.”

Taufatofua was able to meet a five-race standard with the help of four roller-skiing events on dry land prior to his successful snow trial, the Journal noted. 

Taufatofua was a bigger hit in the opening and closing ceremonies in Rio than he was in his sport, taekwondo. He lost in the first round.

Given that his first skiing lesson was in January of last year, according to CNN, his presence will likely give the games more of a PR jolt than anything.

He told the Journal he is planning his games entrance, if he can round up the funding to get there. A parka won’t make quite the splash his coconut-oil-slathered torso did during the last go-round, so it’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with.

OLIVIER MORIN via Getty Images

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tongan-flag-bearer-rio-winter-olympics_us_5a6606cbe4b0e5630071e171

Boxing Champ Laila Alis Fight to Cook Healthy

Tell me about your food experiences as a kid. How did you first learn to cook? Growing up, when I lived with both of my parents before they got divorced, we had a cook! So that was my first experience, having really good home-cooked meals. But after they divorced, my mom didnt cook much and I had to start figuring out how to cook by myself, starting with things like scrambled eggs at about 9, then spaghetti and then more stuff as time went on.

You had a nearly 10-year, undefeated career as a professional fighter; did you discover your love for boxing or cooking first? Definitely cooking, definitely. Cooking Ive been doing since I was 9. Ive always enjoyed it. I didnt discover boxing until I was 18.

Did your father, Muhammad Ali, like to cook? I dont ever remember seeing my dad cook. He loved home-cooked meals, he loved soul food, he loved going to a good burger joint, but I dont know if he even knew how to cook.

Youve competed on Chopped, you host the FYI show Late Nite Chef Fight, and youve cooked on TV with everybody from Paula Deen to Steve Harvey, but the new Food for Life is your first cookbook. What made you decide to write one? Ive always wanted to put all my recipes down in one place. In fact, Id done it myself before, but I moved and lost the book! When I started sharing with the world that I loved to cook, people started saying why dont you do a cookbook? But I couldnt do it all myself. Thats why I teamed up with [Food for Life co-author] Leida Scheintaub to do the book. I thought, OK, this woman knows flavor. If it was just up to me, this book still wouldnt be done. As a cook, I dont really use recipes, and to put everything down, its really difficult. But the great thing about my recipes is that they dont have to be followed perfectly to come out right.

How was the actual cookbook-writing process for you? Did you have to do a ton of recipe development and testing? Oh, yeah. I literally took about 11 months and shut everything else down. There was no way I would be able to work on my passion project if I was doing four other things. Leida set up a timeline, and I came up with a list of recipes I wanted to work on together, along with some recipes Id been using myself for years. And then you have to try all the recipes and try them on different people and go through editing and changes. I had to learn that the way I season things isnt perfect for most people. I remember when we were testing the gumbo, I took some to my neighbors and they told me it was too salty! Im glad I partnered with someone whos got a lot of experience. 11 months is actually really fast for a cookbook. Writing all the headers and stories and stuff that goes along with the recipes? All that stuff takes time! Its my book. I was definitely involved in the process the whole way, and it was a lot of work.

Food for Life focuses equally on flavor and nutrition. How did your time as a pro boxer influence how you cook and eat? Well, as an athlete, thats where I really learned about the quality of the food you put in your body. That was the first time I had to focus on what I was putting in my body and look at calories and fat and all that kind of thing. And then as a parent, you have to go even deeper, looking at ingredients and GMOs and stuff like that. Were eating a lot of processed food thats not even really foodits food-likeand people dont understand why theyre getting sick. Healthy food doesnt have to be boring, it doesnt have to be hard, it doesnt have to be expensive. My book is not a diet. Its not about eating one style of food; its about eating whole foods, incorporating a lot of vegetables and natural foods into your lifestyle. And I do also have a chapter thats like the next-level stuff for people who want to take that next step into things like bone broth and making your own fermented foods to keep your gut healthy and things like that. Really trying to think of ways you can make your food more nutritious every time you eat.

The books recipes include ingredients and flavors from all over the world; do you have a personal favorite type of cuisine? The cuisine that comes from my Creole roots would be my favorite. The seafood gumbo, jambalaya, stewed chicken. People look at that and be like, oh, thats healthy? Theyre not only delicious and comforting, but Im also using ingredients that are better for you. When you use oil and flour to make a roux, for example, you can use coconut oil and whole-wheat flour. You definitely can have all those things, but maybe you just cant have them every single day.

You have two small children; any tips on cooking for kids? Keep it simple. Cater to what they like. Ive had to learn that the hard way because Ive made all these meals for my kids! So now I find myself going back to the foods they love and trying to add nutrition. Its really important to me as a mom: I cook five days a week. I might take some zucchini, and peel and puree it and add it to a dish along with the meat. I try that with riced cauliflower too, but my daughter can usually detect it. If Im making them spaghetti, which they love, Ill find a good, wholesome pastatheres this brown-rice pasta that works very welland Ill take some veggies and put them in the food processor to make a sauce and get them some extra veggies. I make them chocolate cake, I put zucchini in it and they dont even know its in there! If your kids like hamburgers, find a way to make it healthier and dont force them to eat things they dont want to. And, of course, I bribe them sometimesIll take 2 ounces of green juice and mix it with some apple juice and tell them theyre not getting any dessert unless they drink it.

How can someone whos not very good at cooking get better? Practice, starting with simple recipes. I would focus on the basics, like if youre a meat-eater, learn some basics about cooking a steak. Get a recipe thats a really basic oven recipe thats really easy and then keep it simple. Do a protein, a vegetable and maybe a starch, and put the whole thing in the oven and just be done with it. You definitely have to sit down and make a plan and figure out what you want to do. Also, stock your pantry and fridge: It gets overwhelming if you feel like you have to buy everything single item in the recipe. I have a list in my book of items everybody should buy.

Whats your single favorite recipe in the book, and why? Definitely my seafood gumbo. There are so many different takes on gumbo, but I feel like I could win a contest with mine. I remember calling my grandma and asking her how she makes her roux and learning that recipe over the phone. Its all one pot of magic and comes out great. Its from my Creole roots, I grew up eating it, and its really a crowd-pleaser. You make some, and next thing you know youve got a crowd looking to take some home.

Besides your own kitchen, where do you like to eat in your home of Los Angeles? I have to be honest: I dont get to go out as much as I like because of the kids. We usually eat out once a week on Fridays, but they like to stick to their favorite places. We live in the Valley, so there are lots of restaurants in LA that I dont get to go to. That said, Shibuya is a sushi place out here in Calabasas that has really fresh product. I love it. Lure Fish House in Westlake is really good. Of course I love Mastros Ocean Club in Malibu. Im a bit embarrassed to say it, but for a family-friendly place, were regulars at The Cheesecake Factory. The kids can get what they want, I can get a salad, and I love their crispy salmon rolls. My next book, Im gonna make my own version of those!

Whats next for you? I host a show called Home Made Simple on OWN, and Ill be doing that again next season Im sure. For me personally, Im also developing a nutrition line of products like protein, green powder, vitamins, a cleanse. Those are just a few of the items, and Im really excited about that. I have a couple ideas for names but I dont want to say anything yet.

Laila Alis cookbook Food for Life will be released Jan. 23. You can also listen to her weekly podcast, Laila Ali Lifestyle.

Interview has been condensed and edited.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/boxing-champ-laila-alis-fight-to-cook-healthy