Category Archives: Dry skin help

What to do about kids’ chapped lips this winter

My poor nearly-four-year-old looks like she has a third lip emerging under her bottom lip, and her top lip is dry and chapped and so sore-looking.

(And she had her first school photo the other day. – But beyond the superficial, it’s sore.)


She just can’t stop licking… I know it’s because the cold winter air that is making her poor lips feel dryer than dry.

But how can I help?

I have showed my child her third lip in the mirror so she has a visual concept of what she is doing when she repeatedly licks, and she didn’t like it but it seems to have made only a short-lasting impression. So, vanity’s out. I try to remind her (gently) not to lick her lips when I see her doing it but it has become a habit and it seems that the more I draw attention to it, the more she is reminded to do it.

There are however some practical things that you can do to help. Here’s what to do about kids’ chapped lips this winter:

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The benefits of exercise for your skin

My skin never looks better than when I am exercising regularly. Immediately after exercise, I am glowing, and even the next day, I have a rosy complexion and noticeably plumper, firmer skin. There does seem to be many benefits of exercise for your skin.

But there is a school of thought that exercise can cause premature wrinkles.

Back in the 1990s, the hit US series Ally McBeal (of ‘dancing-baby’ fame – you had to be there) featured a ‘face bra’, designed to prevent facial sagging caused by high-impact exercise such as running. It makes sense – I never exercise without a sports bra, but can still feel my cheeks bouncing!

Having said that, the increase in blood – and, therefore, nutrients – flowing to the skin is a definite benefit of exercise, as is the amount of extra water you consume during and after a workout. These factors largely account for both the immediate and the longer-lasting skin benefits that come with exercise.

If you are worried that high-impact exercise is having a detrimental effect on your skin, why not try swapping some of your workouts for low-impact alternatives such as swimming, cycle or yoga?

But remember that weight-bearing pursuits – where your feet pound the ground – are essential for building and maintaining bone and muscle mass, so don’t cut them out altogether.

Some people swear by facial exercises to stop gravity taking its toll. Given that the face is covered by so many muscles, it stands to reason that strengthening and toning these muscles will help to maintain the outward shape of the face.

Then again, making 50 extra smiley faces every day might bring on the crow’s feet faster than if you stayed stony-faced for the next 20 years!

On the whole, I believe the seemingly never-ending list of health benefits that exercise is proven to bring far outweighs any potential downsides. And even working alongside sports experts and fanatics and having several friends with an obsession for marathons, I have yet to meet anyone with exercise-induced wrinkles. Far from it, all the regular exercisers I know are pictures of health!


How to nourish your skin naturally

Do you spend lots of money and lots of time on buying and applying anti-aging lotions and potions, only to be disappointed time and time again? Do you wonder why some people show their age, while others seem to look great, year on year?

While much of it might be down to our genes – which we are powerless to change – what we do on a daily basis can also have a dramatic effect on our outward appearance. But, you can nourish your skin naturally….

Skin is not only affected by what it comes into contact with on the outside. What we eat and drink each day can also have a huge impact on the condition of our skin from the inside.

Many skin-care products talk about ‘nourishing’ and providing vitamins and minerals to your skin, and come with a hefty price tag to boot! But you can nourish your skin naturally and provide it with all the goodness it needs simply by eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your daily diet to ensure you get a broad range of vitamins and minerals you skin needs.

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New treatment of eczema?

Eczema is common in infants and children, and becomes less common as people grow out of the condition. It is believed to have a hereditary element, and can also be triggered or exacerbated by stress in some patients, making it difficult to treat or prevent.

In some cases, it can be triggered by coming into contact with certain substances or environmental triggers, or can occur alongside another illness.

Current  treatments focus on minimizing the symptoms of eczema, and include emollients to provide much-needed moisture and steroid creams to reduce the inflammation of the skin. Other treatments such as antihistamines may help alleviate itching, and antibiotics may also be helpful if skin becomes infected. However, none of these are able to target the underlying cause of the condition.

Scientists  have discovered a new target that could prove useful as a new treatment of eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis.

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The benefits of oatmeal for your skin

Oats have long been famed for their nutritional value. Oat bran is a particularly good source of B vitamins, vitamin E, protein, fat, and minerals, as well as being rich in beta-glucan, a heart-healthy form of soluble fibre.

Oatmeal has a documented ability decrease low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) and reduce coronary heart disease, as well as being associated with a reduction of insulin dosage in people with diabetes.

As a regulator of inflammation, it has been used for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, and may also have anticancer properties.

But did you know that oatmeal also has an excellent safety record and a long history in the treatment of dermatologic disorders?

With its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, colloidal oatmeal – that is, oatmeal that has been ground so finely that it will remain suspended in water to form an emollient-like solution – is available in various forms such as bath treatments, cleansing bars, body washes, shampoos, lotions, creams, and shaving gels.

You can also get the benefits of oatmeal by preparing an oatmeal bath. Sprinkle finely-ground oatmeal directly into the running water and soak in the bath for 15-20 min.

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