Thursday, April 21, 2011

Product Review: Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel kit

This is quite literally one of the best products I have when it comes to skincare. I've been using it for years and years, and as long as they keep selling it, it will never leave my skincare routine.

What it claims:

On their website, Olay says:
The Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel System combines the power of two treatments that actively work together to give you the benefits of microdermabrasion and a mini-peel treatment. Yet it’s gentle enough to use up to two times a week for continuous results.

Add it your skin care routine to:
• Visibly improve skin tone
• Diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles

What is microdermabrasion, and what's so cool about it?
Microdermabrasion, also known as micro resurfacing or mechanical exfoliation, is a popular skincare procedure that exfoliates your skin. Regular exfoliators pale in comparison to the results you will see and feel in your own skin. Using tiny micro crystals, it effectively removes the outermost layer of your skin. The size and the composition of these crystals are what makes the exfoliation so much better than typical manual exfoliators.
Having this more effective and better removal of dead skin helps to not only stimulate collagen production, it also helps to correct and even skin tone, decrease the appearance of shallow acne scars, as well as significantly improve fine lines & wrinkles.
A typical professional microdermabrasion session costs up to $120, with a recommended full treatment of 5-10 sessions. This can cost thousands of dollars, but for some, the results are worth it.
At-home kits cost significantly less- the Olay one we're discussing here is around $25. While the immediate results are less dramatic than a professional session, you should be getting the same ultimate results with a little more diligence and time.

What I say about it:
They recommend you use it two times a week, however, since I now use my
Clarisonic daily, I have cut down to using it once every week or two, as I haven't needed it quite as much.
Even with all the benefits I've seen and felt from using my Clarisonic, the effects are not quite as immediate and dramatic as this product. My skin feels so luscious and smooth after a treatment, and soaks in products so much better after using it. My makeup goes on so much smoother that I don't feel the need to use a primer beforehand. It's amazing!
I am not being paid for this review, I simply want to share my experience, as I am so pleased with the product, and am certain you will be too. It's most certainly money well spent.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oil Pulling for Detox!

There are a lot of crazy health fads out there, claiming to have all sorts of benefits for your body inside and out. Perhaps the one of the sillier sounding ones is called oil pulling, where you swish oil around in your mouth in order to literally detoxify your whole body. What?

Well, this may actually work. And you could chalk it all up to placebo effect if you want, as there are many people claiming to see all sorts of wonderful things as a result of this oil pulling. But let's look at the facts.

How does oil pulling work?
Here is a posting from a bio-chemist from

"Here are my thoughts, in a short form, of a biochemically trained brain.
Pretty much everyone here is familiar with the detoxing benefits of an adequate water intake.

Chemicals (molecules) come in two forms. Ionic and nonionic. Ionic chemicals are water soluble. When we detox our bodies, we drink lots of water to flush any unwanted toxins out of our body. WELL guess what? That's only half the picture. Nonionic molecules are soluble in body fat and cell membranes. *

By oil swishing, you are doing the same thing for your body as when you drink a sufficient amount of water daily. You are giving toxins a medium in which to dissolve, then by spitting the oil out, you are removing whatever toxins came in contact with and dissolved into the oil. Using OIL is beneficial because it dissolves a different chemical class of pollutant/toxin than water. This is why you see healing first in the mouth, then later in different parts of the body. The toxins must migrate to the mouth before they can be removed with this method.

This is also why switching to a different type of oil will create a new cycle of healing/detoxing. After you've oil-pulled long enough to "stabilize" your toxin level, you've removed as much toxin as you can with that particular oil. By using different oils with slightly different makeups, you will be able to dissolve slightly different toxins more effeciently. It is not a matter of your body getting "used" to anything -- it has to do with the chemical qualities of the oil itself.

With this knowledge, there are a few more things you can do to keep the good feeling going. One I'll endorse is to eat low on the food chain. Any time you eat fat from an animal, you're ingesting the fat-soluble pollutants that were stored in the animal's body. Guess who buys organic milk and butter?? Ha ha.

If you had an ample supply of appropriate oil, you could 1. coat your skin to excess, then remove after 15 minutes, or 2. use in an enema, preferably followed by a SWF to keep the toxins from migrating back into the bowel from any oil left after evacuating. These should have similar toxin-removing effects on your body, although they would be considerably more involved, messy, and costly due to the amount of oil required.

I hope this has helped some in the community understand the Science behind oil-pulling. It's not magic, and it's not even that wacky. It's a good, healthy, direct application of chemistry.

With this information in mind, you can see where oil-pulling for longer periods will give you a certain increase in benefits, but the daily wait in between cleansing is helpful to the process too. After all, the oil can not remove a toxin located in the bowel. The bloodstream and normal (slow) diffusion will have to carry it to the mouth before you can be rid of it. Think of your body as a sponge -- the oil can only clean one little spot of it at a time. Eventually the whole sponge gets clean... but it takes time and consistency.

Please excuse my spelling. It never was very good. ;)
Thoughts welcome.

* Membranes are made up of molecules with an ionic side (faces the water-rich world and the cell's interior) and a nonionic side (sandwiched together, creates a chemical barrier).

What does oil pulling DO?
Oil pulling is reported to cure: gum & mouth disease, stiff joints, acne, dark eye circles, allergies, asthma, high blood sugar, fine lines and crow's feet, constipation, migraines, bronchitis, eczema, grey hairs, heart disease, kidney disease, gum bleeding, gum sensitivity, lung disease, leukemia, arthritis, meningitis, menopause, hormonal issues, keratosis pilaris, cancer, AIDS, chronic infections, varicose veins, high blood pressure, diabetes, polio, cracked heels and rough skin.

Now some of those claims sound a bit outlandish to me, like the curing of cancer and AIDS. However, it IS common to find skin conditions, mouth and gum problems, joints, and certain other sensitivities to be improved or even diminished.

Here is a short blip from Bharat Savur's article on The Hindu Business Online

..."When Dr Karsch examined the gargled milk-white oil under a microscope with 600 magnification, he saw live organisms swimming in it. It's poisonous, so never swallow it, he warns. These poisons are bacteria-embryos, which, if not eliminated, cause diseases. Apparently, Dr Karsach cured his own chronic blood disease and 15-year-old arthritis.

The first sign of improvement is in the teeth-they become firm and white, he says. Other healing indications: fresh, relaxed feeling on waking up, disappearing dark pouches below the eyes, anew appetite and energy, better memory and deep sleep.

Dr Karsch swears by the mouth oil-wash for anything from organ-disorders, skin-diseases, menstrual problems, paralysis to every ache and it is in the human anatomy. You can gargle even when you have fever, he says, adding, it takes anything from two days to a year to cure a disease.

And if these claims sound exaggerated, he told a conference of Ukrainian cancer specialists, try out the process yourself.

Interestingly, Ayurveda advises oil gargling "to purify the taste-buds and the entire system", as explained by Dr Deepak Chopra in Perfect Health. According to this life science, the tongue is mapped by organ-locations -- that is, each section of the tongue is connected to the kidneys, lungs, spleen, liver, heart, pancreas, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine.

Thus, an oil-mouth-massage soothes and stimulates the key meridians where taste meets organ. Simultaneously, as in any skin-massage, the inner skin and lining of the mouth, palate and tongue become warm and supple and the lubrication prevents dryness (the vatic effect).

In modern dietetics too, dryness is discussed. For example, lack of Vitamin A (retinal) causes the outer lining of the eyeball to dry and wrinkle, and affects vision.

And as any dietician would tell you, all oils contain 960 micrograms of vitamin A per 10 gm (the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A per adult is 600 micrograms). So, it's possible that oil gargling helps in reaching the required retinal to the eyeballs and keeps them elastic and smooth.

Likewise, the Ayurvedic `purification of taste-buds' also has its equivalent in dietetics as `antioxidants'. Oxidation literally means `the putrefaction of body-tissues'.

And oil-soluble vitamins, A, C, D, and E are antioxidants that protect and prevent the decaying process and help maintain the integral functioning of cell membranes. That's why, many people are ingesting vitamin E pills to stem `aging' (oxidation)."

Click here to read the rest of this article.

How do I do it?
Best results have been found when the oil used is sunflower or sesame oils, although some claim to see positive results from olive oil and coconut oil as well. Optimally you want a cold pressed oil, but if not, it at least must be a refined oil.

First thing in the morning on an empty stomach, swish 1 tablespoon of your chosen oil in your mouth without swallowing it. Be sure you have brushed and cleaned your teeth ahead of time, as the oil could concentrate on pulling toxins from the surface of your teeth that you would be brushing off anyway (instead of other parts of the mouth that teeth brushing does not get).

Pull it through your teeth and around your mouth, as you would with mouthwash. Don't gargle it in your throat. The oil should become watery and liquidy as it mixes with your saliva- this is ok. It is also normal for the consistancy to get a little thicker towards the end of the process, as the mixture fills up with toxins.

If you have already eaten, wait 4 hours before oil pulling. If you had something to drink, wait 1 hour.

You want to swish the oil for about 20 minutes. You can go longer, but it is not necessary. The mixture will look bubbly and white or yellowish.

It is important to rinse out your mouth thoroughly afterwards, to ensure the mouth is completely rid of the toxic oil bits that could be left inside. You can use water, mouthwash, or hydrogen peroxide (at full strength or diluted with water).

What should I expect after oil pulling?
If you're willing to wait and keep up the process, you should see a multitude of benefits over time. Initially you will have a healthier mouth and whiter teeth- after only a couple sessions.

As does often occur with any detox, symptoms can worsen right before them improve. This is not only normal, this is a good thing. What it means is that the toxins are surfacing and releasing from the body, sometimes causing irritation. Be patient, and soon these symptoms will not only get better, they will go away altogether.