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Should You Worry about Blue Light Damaging Your Skin?

Should You Worry about Blue Light Damaging Your Skin?

Over the last several years, we've observed some new effects of our ever-increasing screen time as a society. One of them is exposure to blue light emitted from our smartphones and computers. You've probably heard that blue light can affect sleep and throw off your circadian rhythm (particularly at night)but can it also damage your skin?

We went straight to the experts on this one. In particular, Doctor Andrea Suarez (you might know her as "Dr. Dray" from her YouTube channel with more than a million subscribers.) Dr. Dray is a Board Certified Dermatologist. 

The answer is slightly nuanced. Yes, "visible light," (as opposed to UV rays which are not visible to the human eye) including blue light can contribute to hyper-pigmentation, particularly in darker skin tones. But even so, our devices are not the real problem.

According to Dr. Dray, the amount of blue light emitted by the sun is 1,000x greater than what we're exposed to through normal device use. She estimates it would take several days and nights of continuous exposure to our smartphones in order to obtain a dose of blue light that could potentially cause hyper-pigmentation. 

So in the battle of light vs. skin, UV rays are still the big enemy. UV rays emitted by the sun are a major source of premature skin aging and collagen damage. 

Instead of worrying about our smartphones, Dr. Dray recommends making protecting your skin from the sun a top priority, for both exposure to UV rays and visible light.

If you're prone to hyper-pigmentation, two of our favorite Dr. Dray approved sunscreens that include protection from both visible light and UV rays are EltaMD UV Elements and Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield

 

4 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

4 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

If you’re ready to start traveling again but not interested in catching a cold or feeling generally out of sorts, we’ve rounded up our top tips to keep you healthy, “regular,” and still feeling your best when you board the plane home.

 

#1—Make Hydration Easy

A hydrated body is a happy one. Bring a large refillable bottle so it’s fairly easy to track how much water you’ve had. Shoot for 80-100 ounces daily. We love bkr's sleek 1 Liter bottles.

 

#2—Bring Secret Weapons

Immunity-boosting supplements are a no-brainer. We bring Greens Ritual to shake up with tiny shot of water each morning for de-bloating and support for immunity and stress. (Even enjoyable travel can add stress to our bodies.) A high quality Vitamin D (if you need it) is another great add-on.

 

#3—Focus on Fiber

Fill your plate with vegetables whenever you can. Fiber is essential to staying “regular” and supporting overall gut health. Supplement as needed (we will sometimes add a scoop of Beauty Protein to almond milk or hotel smoothie to amp up our fiber.) We also love packing beauty muffins as a delicious fiber-filled travel snack.

 

#4—Make Sleep a Priority

Pull together a sleeping kit, which includes an eye mask (we love this organic one from Coyuchi) and ear plugs. Prioritize sleep as much as possible (ditch any idea of 5am workouts), and nap if you can.

 

And of course… Wash your hands, wipe down any common areas, and get in gentle movement that won’t further stress your body. Walking and Pilates are ideal.

Are you Making these Coffee Mistakes?

Are you Making these Coffee Mistakes?

At Skipwith, we love a good cup of really dark organic coffee. We also understand that it's essentially just a delicious vehicle for caffeine—which is a natural stimulant—and needs to be respected as such. Thankfully, it's also high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. As with most things, it's all about balance. We consulted Nutritionist Kelsie Anderson to get her tips and tricks for keeping our daily coffee habit as healthy as possible. 

According to Kelsie, "Coffee can have amazing benefits when done right. On the flipside, it can be the epitome of many symptoms including poor energy, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, thyroid disfunction, blood sugar dysregulation and more." 

So, how do we do it right? Here are our three tips for the healthiest way to drink coffee.

 

 

#1 Choose Organic (When Possible)

Coffee is one of the most chemically-treated plants out there, typically with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides. Avoid consuming these toxic chemicals by going organic whenever possible. Plus, USDA Organic practices are also better for the environment, too

 

#2 Don't Drink it on an Empty Stomach

According to Kelsie, "Never have your coffee alone and on an empty stomach. If the first and only thing you are putting into your body in the morning is caffeine, its stimulant effect is going to increase your cortisol as well as your blood glucose levels. When this happens, it sets you up for a rollercoaster of energy throughout the day." It can also wreak hormonal havoc. 

 

#3 Ditch the Junky Add-ins

Opt out of traditional sugary, low fat creamers. If you aren't a lover of black coffee or don't plan on eating with your coffee first thing, try adding some healthy fat. Kelsie's favorite add-ins are full fat organic milk, cinnamon and a little pure maple syrup. But she also recommends grass fed butter or coconut oil for a creamy, delicious treat that won't spike blood sugar.

 

As a final word, Kelsie cautions "coffee is not for everyone." She recommends breaking up "if you notice anxiety, jitters, headaches, etc. after coffee."

 

Find Kelsie on Instagram @bunsinbalance.

How to Debloat for Good

How to Debloat for Good

Bloating is the worst anytime, but especially in summer. If you regularly suffer from bloating, it's smart to start with what you're putting into your body. Are certain foods causing it? Are you eating too fast and not properly chewing? With a little patience and curiosity you can end the bloat battle for good.

 

Step 1: Assess Your Diet

A food journal can be a great tool for identifying specific foods that don't agree with you. Writing down everything you eat for a week and noting when you have bloating can provide clear clues. Another option is to simply take pictures of everything you eat for a week, and again, note when bloating occurs. Keep in mind, even healthy foods can produce some temporary bloat, and that's OK. Cruciferous vegetables like kale and cabbage contain raffinose — a sugar that remains undigested until bacteria in your gut ferments it, which can in turn produces gas. Beans are another likely source. 

 

Step 2: Remove Major Offenders

Carbonated beverages (including sparkling water and beer), chewing gum, and sugar alcohols are three easy offenders to remove immediately. Also, make it a habit to eat mindfully, chewing each bite thoroughly.

 

Step 3: Add in the Good Stuff

Our favorite delicious de-bloaters are avocados and bananas (they're rich in potassium) and hydrating vegetables like celery and cucumber.

It's also one of the major reasons we created Greens Ritual, which is meant to be a daily habit, each morning first thing upon waking.

It's packed with superstar de-bloaters: green tea, the digestive enzyme papain, pineapple, turmeric (contains curcumin, which has been studied extensively for its anti-inflammatory effects and may improve gut health and reduce symptoms of IBS, including gas, bloating, and constipation), and two powerhouse probiotics strains (Bifidobacterium Longum and Lactobacillus acidophilus).

Increasing your prebiotic fiber intake (slowly) is another great way to get your digestion humming and feed good bacteria, which can in turn reduce bloating. Real food sources like artichokes, asparagus, cabbage and wheat bran are a great place to start. Supplementing can also be an easy way to meet your goal of 30-35 grams per day.  

We've added 7 grams of prebiotic fiber (from wholefood sources organic psyllium husk powder and oat bran) to Beauty Protein so try starting your day with a Signature Beauty Smoothie

Regardless of which option you choose, for lasting results, it's critical to make permanent changes to your everyday routine that are upgrading your health. 

 

Does Plant-based Collagen Exist?

Does Plant-based Collagen Exist?

You may already be aware that collagen powder comes from animals, and is therefore not vegan. Collagen is sourced from the bones, skin, and connective tissue of cattle, pigs, horses, rabbits, or fish. But does plant-based collagen exist? And should you be supplementing with collagen powder?

 

WHAT IS COLLAGEN?

First, let's start with what collagen is and why we need it. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It's one of the major building blocks of our bones, skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It also helps with skin elasticity and that plump, youthful appearance. 

As we age, we naturally produce less collagen. After the age of 20, it's about one percent less each year. However, we can preserve the collagen we have by avoiding too much sugar or sunlight and not smoking.

 

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT?

We can also choose supplement our diet. Collagen powders have become an increasingly popular choice, but come with their own set of issues: they are not plant-based (and many are turned-off by the thought of consuming the leftovers from slaughterhouses), they are unregulated by the FDA, and the research is still early in deciding how effective they actually are

Collagen is not naturally occurring in plants, and although scientists have developed a plant-based collagen from genetically modified bacteria and yeast, it is not yet widely available.

Regardless, studies seem to agree that the safest alternative seems to be working to preserve your existing collagen and find ways to naturally boost your body's own ability to produce it.

 

HOW TO NATURALLY BOOST COLLAGEN

We love a good secret weapon. We created Beauty Protein because we wanted a plant-based alternative to collagen that was safer. It is USDA Certified Organic because we believe in third-party testing and validation. 

It packs a powerful combo of collagen-boosting ingredients (40% of your daily Vitamin C needs, mushroom-sourced Vitamin D, and superfood Organic Baobab) along with gut-healing ones (organic prebiotic fiber and two of the most well-researched strains of probiotics) so it truly covers all of your bases.

Beauty Protein is designed to boost collagen production, increase cell renewal, and protect against oxidative damage—which can lead to signs of premature aging. It's the perfect plant-based alternative to collagen.

 

Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

Intermittent fasting is a fancy term for a simple concept: eating less often. There are many methods, starting with a simple 12-hour overnight fast all the way up to entire days of fasting. 

In general, the research on intermittent fasting for overall health is promising. Intuitively it even makes sense that giving our digestion a break every once in a while would be a good thing. But what role does fasting play in weight loss? Is it helpful or harmful? Our answer may surprise you.

It depends. 

What it depends on is how you personally feel and think about fasting, and how your body responds to it.

For example, if you are someone who has always disliked eating first thing upon waking—then fasting through breakfast is going to be a no-brainer. It's going to feel like freedom to do what your body natural wants to do. The days will easily turn into weeks and months, and the weight may naturally slip off. 

On the other hand, if you wake up hungry and excited to eat breakfast every day, fasting might feel difficult and unnatural. You might spend your entire morning looking at the clock wondering when enough time has passed to eat. You may feel anxious. You may feel deprived. This might turn on your stress hormones, and actually impede weight loss efforts. Or, when it is finally time to eat, you may feel ravenous and end up overeating. 

Your thoughts about fasting matter. As do your motivations. 

As Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, so aptly put it: 

"If you're going to fast, ask yourself: am I being driven by self-hate, by fear of body fat, by self-judgment, by the stress of not weighing what I think I should weigh? Or am I being inspired to fast because I wish to be healthy, to better myself, to deepen my connection to myself?"

The simplest way to decide if fasting is for you is to ask yourself these questions and get extremely clear on your motivations. If they are coming from a loving, positive place—feel free to proceed. 

Give yourself permission to try fasting, and to tweak it if it doesn't work for you. Starting with a 12-14 hour overnight fast is a great first step. As always, if you have any special health concerns or needs, try working with a Registered Dietician first. 

Why Eating Your Water is the Secret to Looking and Feeling Younger

Why Eating Your Water is the Secret to Looking and Feeling Younger

You've heard it time and again—"you are what you eat." But how many times have you thought about the food you eat in relation to how hydrating it is? According to Dr. Murad (famed founder of the eponymous skincare line), the secret to maintaining an inner and outer youthful glow as we age lies in maintaining strong cells that can attract and keep water the way younger cells do (i.e. well-hydrated cells!)

As we age, the body moves toward dryness and coldness. As our cells lose their integrity, we become more vulnerable to the hallmarks aging—oxidative stress, inflammation, and disease.  

The answer, he proposes, is to eat your water. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain 85 to 98 percent water. He calls this The Water Secret. 

But why is water from a fruit or vegetable better than just drinking plain water?

According to Dr. Murad, "The water in fruit and vegetables is structured, meaning it's surrounded by molecules that help it get into cells easily and quickly...Fruits and vegetables are also rich in healing antioxidants your body needs. They also contain trace minerals and B Vitamins that your body uses to metabolize carbohydrates, fat, and protein." 

How can you put this into practice? 

1. Seek out hydrating foods. Juicy fruits and vegetables, like apples, berries, mango, leafy greens, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. 

2. Favor antioxidant-rich foods (the deeper and brighter the fruit, the more loaded with antioxidants it is!)

3. Enjoy several servings of healthy fats a day, which keep us hydrated, youthful and supple. 

Four Pink Fruits to Eat in Winter

Four Pink Fruits to Eat in Winter

Dull and dry skin, shorter days, increased indoor time—these are just some of the signs it's winter. Add vibrancy and energy to your morning by incorporating one of these pink-infused fruits that are packed with beauty-giving benefits and ideal for offsetting the winter doldrums. 

 

No. 1:  Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a superstar fruit. They are loaded with fiber, Vitamin C, and skin-saving antioxidants. Consumption of pomegranates has also been shown to help reduce inflammation, one of the drivers in many chronic diseases.

 

No. 2: Raspberries

Raspberries are filled with nutrients despite being low in calories. They're high in fiber, Vitamin C, and are contain significant levels of antioxidants. Because of their fiber content, they're unlikely to raise blood sugar levels. They may aid in weight loss and have anti-aging effects, too! Frozen raspberries, picked in peak season, are a great way to consume raspberries in winter. 

 

No. 3: Grapefruit

Grapefruit is another low calorie yet nutritionally dense pink fruit. It's packed with fiber and Vitamin C and may be beneficial to your immune system. Grapefruit is another weight-loss friendly food and is incredibly hydrating. 

 

No. 4: Dragon Fruit

You can find dragon fruit (or pitaya) frozen or freeze dried. It's high in fiber and  contains a significant amount of magnesium. It also contains gut-friendly prebiotics and is antioxidant-packed. 

 

Is Sugar Aging Your Skin? And What to Do

Is Sugar Aging Your Skin? And What to Do

Two of the biggest factors contributing to premature skin aging (wrinkles, sagging, and loss of radiance) are consuming sugar and UV rays. 

Sugar damages your skin through a natural process called glycation. The sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to produce harmful free radicals called advanced glycation end products (appropriately called AGEs). As AGEs accumulate (the more sugar you eat, the more susceptible you are) they damage the proteins around them, giving way to the "sugar sag" effect. 

The proteins in the skin most prone to glycation are the same ones that give your skin that youthful glow, collagen and elastin. When glycation occurs it shows up on your skin as wrinkles, sagging, and dullness.

The presence of AGEs also makes the skin more vulnerable to the aging effects of the sun. 

So, what can we do about it? First and foremost, do your best to avoid the big culprits on a regular basis: white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and simple carbohydrates. Favor whole grains, complex carbohydrates like starchy vegetables, fruit, and natural sweeteners like monkfruit and stevia instead.

And, as a bonus: consume green tea. Green tea has been proven to significantly interfere with the glycation process while also stimulating collagen production. Just one of the many reasons we love superstar ingredient Matcha.

Looking for ways to incorporate more green tea? It's a key ingredient in our Greens Ritual daily super powder. 

 

Featured Product: Greens Ritual

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