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The Look

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2011 09:25PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

The Winter Skin You're In

The average high temperature for a December day in the Chesapeake Bay region is 47 degrees; the average low is 29. But we all know winter can get a lot colder than that: the lowest temp ever-recorded in Easton, Maryland, for instance, was 6 degrees below zero back in 1982.

Extreme Skin Care

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Those in search of skin improvement are finding strange items to use as skin care…and studies are confirming their effects. How far would you go for better skin? Check out these rather unusual products and concoctions: Heavy Metal You might want to check your medicine cabinet rather than your jewelry box for precious metals and stones. The latest trend in way upscale skin creams involve the use of gold, platinum, mother-of-pearl, and even diamonds. A Manhattan cosmetic surgeon recently said: “Metals are good. It’s a little too early to know their full effect, but a lot of metals (like magnesium, copper, and zinc) are working within our bodies already and get depleted with age. Most people use them for a certain luminosity.” That makes sense; who wouldn’t glow following a diamond-studded facial scrub? Pepto Bismol This over-the-counter tummy tonic contains salicylic acid, an ingredient found in many face washes used to treat acne. Applying the pink liquid directly to your face is said to make a good face peel as it washes away dead skin cells to reveal a brighter complexion. Because it has ingredients that coat the stomach, it also “coats” the face, making it friendly to sensitive skin. Milk of Magnesia While researching the benefits of Pepto, we found many references to individuals who swear by this laxative as a skincare solution. It contains the mineral magnesium hydroxide, which is an absorbent with antibacterial properties. It is used to fight dandruff, as a facial wash to absorb oil, and even as a makeup primer. Snake Venom You certainly wouldn’t let a snake bite you in the face, but a synthetic version of the venom is now packaged in some skin-care creams. The reason? The paralyzing effect some venom has on a snake’s prey can have the same effect on our skin, thus relaxing wrinkles, not unlike the effect of a Botox injection. Bullfrog Skin Researchers in South Korea claim that the skin of bullfrogs produces antioxidants that can help fight the effects of aging on our skin. The researchers isolated a peptide found in both the skin and the muscle of the frog, which, they believe, can eradicate the effects of free radicals on the skin. It is also water soluble, meaning it can be used in various products, including “beauty drinks.” Reports are not clear on the process for “harvesting” the peptide, however, but they do mention that many consider frogs to be pests. Animal rights activists may not concur. Donkey Milk A woman in Ecuador, who died in 2006 at the age of 116, attributed her long life and younger appearance to drinking donkey milk on a regular basis. The milk, according to researchers, contains high levels of protein, phospholipids, and ceramides, which have soothing and restructuring properties. Donkey milk is a natural moisturizer and is said to also be an effective anti-wrinkle treatment. Apparently, it is also good for your health: donkey milk contains 60 times the vitamin C of cow’s milk as well as vitamins A, D, and E, and is also a rich source of calcium and phosphorous. Concerned that you might feel asinine drinking donkey milk? You can by it in a skin cream instead. Nightingale Poop Japanese geishas have sworn by this off-putting facial ingredient for some time. However, it’s now making its way into other countries including the U.K. and the U.S. The bird droppings contain an amino acid called “guanine” that is said to heal the skin. Although they don’t go into details about how it is gathered, professionals from Japan, New York, and London all assure that the droppings are purified with UV light before being applied to the face, along with a white clay mask. A salon owner in West London who offers the facial says it is “an unbelievable success for treating tortured, dull, and sun-damaged skin.” Bekah Oester, editorial assistant at What’s Up?, is a Communications major at Bowie State University. In addition to all her other responsibilities, she is planning her June 2010 wedding. In spite of all this stress, her skin looks terrific. What’s Up? does not give medical advice. This material is simply a discussion of current information, trends, and practices. Please seek the advice of your physician before making any changes in your lifestyle or health routine.

Disinfecting Your Accessories

Yes, both women and men have become accomplished hand washers these days.

Shoes and Men's Foot Health

Can men’s dress shoes create problems for guys like heels do for the ladies?

High Blood Pressure Warning Signs

It was very difficult to write this article because I had to face an embarrassing, uncomfortable fact: my utter stupidity about my blood pressure.

Hands Only CPR: A New Way to Save a Life

During cardiac arrest, healthcare professionals have long used bag mask valves (big barrier masks with bags) to supply air to patients, instead of mouth-to-mouth, for obvious infection control reasons--but what do we do outside of hospitals? Watching CPR on television will not increase your chances of saving someone’s life, but reading this just might.

There's a Nap for That

The data is convincing. We are a sleep-deprived nation, over-stuffing our 24/7 schedules with too much work, too many activities, too much stress and too little rest.

Losing Weight is Only Half the Battle

Reality TV fan or not, you just had to be impressed with the season 8 finale in December of NBC’s Biggest Loser. Forty-year-old Danny Cahill went from 430 lbs. to 191 lbs.; 239 lbs. gone! That’s more than half his body weight. For heaven’s sake, Cahill lost an obese person! Major kudos to you, Danny.

Foot Facelifts

We all love to indulge in a relaxing pedicure. That ravishing red polish you can never seem to apply correctly yourself always looks so terrific when it’s put on professionally. And your once leathery feet feel silky soft. Our bare feet will soon be back on public display and regular pedicure appointments will once again be making an appearance in our Blackberries and day planners.

Sun-Sational Summer Strategies

  SPF, Too Much of a Good Thing?