DIY Seaweed Facial Mask

DIY Seaweed Facial MaskSeaweed is great to eat, and it is also wonderful for your skin because it is packed full of rich vitamins and minerals. The essential vitamins and antioxidants in seaweed include:
A1, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, E, K, pantothenic acid, folic acid, ascorbic acid, niacin, and beta-carotene.

Seaweed is also known to help repair damaged skin cells, helps protect the skin from free radical damage, fight skin inflammation and irritation. Because of its nutritional properties,
and the 54 trace elements found in seaweed, this amazing ocean wonder has been said to
help slow down the aging process of the skin. Seaweed also protects the skin from harsh everyday elements. The minerals in seaweed help release toxins from the skin, making it great for detoxifying, or as a natural exfoliant. I am sure that you would love using rich seaweed on your skin
to rejuvenate, prevent wrinkles, hydrate, and brighten your skin. I am sharing with you a simple rejuvenating facial mask recipe, I hope that you will give it a try.

DIY Seaweed Facial Mask

1 Tablespoons of Sea Kelp Powder
2 Tablespoon of Warm Water
1 Tablespoon of Aloe Vera Gel
A Few Drops of Honey
5 Drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

Place the seaweed into a small bowl, add warm water and mix. Add aloe vera gel, honey and stir until well mixed. Mix in about 5 drops of Rosemary essential oil to cover up the fishy smell. Feel free to add more water or clay, if needed, to reach your desired consistency.
Apply the seaweed mask to your face, leave on for up to 20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and soft cloth. Use this seaweed mask up to twice a month as part of your typical skin care routine.

My face feels SO soft and refreshed after I use this mask.
Beware, that you kind of look like a swamp monster with this mask on your face.

Benefits of Body Wraps?

Benefits of Body Wraps?Body wraps are all the rage at spas these days -- you might have even seen billboards or TV commercials touting the miraculous slimming benefits of these treatments. Women arrive at the spa in the morning and leave an hour later, suddenly three dress sizes smaller and completely free of cellulite!

The "slimming" wrap treatment is only the tip of the body-wrap iceberg. They're suggested to improve arthritis, skin ailments and cellulite. "Detox" wraps claim to draw toxins out of your body, and during a "power wrap," you work out on an elliptical machine while wrapped in bandages soaked in an electrolyte solution (yes, that is for real).

For a garden-variety body wrap, you lie on a massage table and get rubbed down with an exfoliating scrub, in whatever variety you picked from the menu (most spas offer a few options). After you rinse off in a shower, the therapist applies the wrap ingredients (maybe seaweed, mud, clay or an herbal or fruit product) to your body, covering it with a layer of plastic wrap. When you're all wrapped up, you might be further covered with sheets, towels and thermal blankets. And then you'll be left alone to relax -- and sweat -- for about 30 minutes.

So, those are the facts -- but the unwrapping point is where fantasy (and advertisements) start to separate from reality. The spas want you to believe that you'll be emerging from your wrap as if from a cocoon -- a completely relaxed, moisturized, detoxified, cellulite-free and noticeably slimmer butterfly. But if you're familiar with the phrase "too good to be true" -- I we think you are -- you probably won't be surprised to learn that the results probably won't be so dramatic. Experts warn especially not to expect medical results for conditions like arthritis.

As long as you're not expecting to permanently lose 10 pounds and 3 inches off your waist, there are some benefits to body wraps. No one will argue that it feels pretty cozy to be wrapped up and left to relax in a dimly lit room for a half-hour or so. Your skin will most likely feel soft and supple after being slathered in moisturizers. And you could lose some water weight and see improvement in your cellulite -- but just be prepared for the results to diminish after a couple of days.

Beauty Kitchen - Chocolate Body Scrub

Beauty Kitchen - Chocolate Body ScrubWhether you’re sick of the sight of chocolate or can’t get enough of the stuff, there’s no escaping it this month

Instead of overdoing it, why not try your hand at our simple mint chocolate chip body scrub? Packed full of natural ingredients, this quick and easy recipe is a feast for the senses that’s kind to your skin and your waistline – now that’s some tasty science.

Ingredients 1 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sea salt) 1/2 cup almond oil 2 teaspoons cocoa powder 1 teaspoon vanilla essential oil A few drops of peppermint oil

Simply mix together all the ingredients and scrub your way to healthy looking (and sweet-smelling) skin. The Science Every good scrub needs an exfoliating component, and what better ingredients to include than nature's finest? If you’ve got more sensitive skin, we recommend sticking to the original recipe, but those of you looking to really scrub up can substitute half of the sugar quantity for larger and more abrasive sea salt granules, which will really slough off any stubborn dead skin cells. If you’ve never used almond oil for cosmetic purposes before, we recommend that you stock up now. Its composition is approximately the same as the natural oil found in the stratum corneum (outer layer of the epidermis) of babies’ skin, making it readily absorbed and suitable for use on all skin types. As well as its moisturising properties, almond oil also helps to remove impurities and dead skin cells lifted from the surface of the epidermis by the exfoliating action of the sugar in this recipe.

Crammed with essentials like vitamin E, almond oil also offers protective properties for the skin. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant to target free radicals generated by UV radiation, counteracting their ageing effects on the skin and helping to prevent even more harmful free radical-induced damage to cells that can increase skin cancer risk. Apart from giving us the all-important chocolate hit in this product, cocoa powder also has a high caffeine content (around 12mg/tablespoon), making its properties very different to the more commonly-used cosmetic ingredient of cocoa butter, which acts as a moisturising agent in many products. When applied topically, caffeine is known to have skin-firming properties, helping to tighten skin, prevent puffiness and even help with the battle against cellulite. Not only this, but scientific studies have also suggested that caffeine itself can act as an antioxidant, again helping to protect skin from harmful free radicals. We knew chocolate wasn’t all bad! Putting the ‘mint’ in mint chocolate chip, peppermint oil isn’t just for sensual indulgence. Peppermint oil (known as Mentha x piperita in the scientific world) has been scientifically shown to act as an antibacterial agent in in vitro studies, inhibiting the growth of a range of bacteria. Further research then confirmed antifungal properties for this ingredient, suggesting that it can also play a role in protection of skin from such microbes.


Perfecting Your Posture

Perfecting Your PostureIn the fitness industry, posture has become a priority in recent years. Good posture can hugely improve your appearance and often makes you look slimmer. However, the ramifications of poor alignment and the importance and methods of correcting posture are often misunderstood. Let’s start with some of the basics. There are many definitions of posture. Two of the best are these: ‘Posture Is the position from which all movement begins and ends’ (Paul Chek); and ‘The position from which the musculoskeletal system functions most efficiently (Moshe Feldenkrais). So that’s what we mean by posture.

Further to that, when assessing someone's posture there are two main categories: static and dynamic. Fitness guru Paul Chek defines static posture as ‘the position of the body at rest, sitting, standing or lying’. In general, if you have poor posture before you move, you are more likely to have poor posture whilst moving. Chek defines dynamic posture as ‘the ability to maintain an optimal instantaneous axis of rotation in any combination of movement planes at any time in space’. As a simple analogy, you can think of your spine as an axis of rotation (like a crankshaft) and your arms or legs as a means by which motion at the axis is expressed (like the crank itself). If your spinal axis is faulty and expresses the exaggerated curvatures that go hand in hand with poor posture, your capacity to rotate efficiently will be significantly reduced. Think how this could affect your swing in golf for example – if your spinal axis is well aligned, you are far more efficient and are likely to move and perform to your full potential.

Optimal posture is maintained when muscles surrounding a joint are in balance. Good muscle balance simply means that the muscles are at their optimal or normal length and tension. A muscle imbalance occurs when a muscle on one side of a joint becomes tight whilst its opposing muscle (antagonist) is long and potentially weak. This can happen for any number of reasons, but usually muscles get tight and shorten as a result of over-activation due to overuse. For example, sitting at a desk with poor posture for a number of years can cause a shortening of certain muscles and a lengthening of others. This can cause a joint to lose its optimal axis of rotation, leading to excessive wear and tear on the joint and its surrounding tissues and consequently increased likelihood of injury during sport. The body is like a bicycle wheel. The spokes are like the core muscles and the rim is the spine. Imbalances in the muscles around the spine lead to abnormal stress on the spine. If the wheel is out of alignment, you need to tighten the loose spokes and loosen the tight ones. The same is true with the body. You need to tighten (strengthen) the loose muscles and loosen (stretch) the tight muscles.

The gravitational pull that is exerted on the body acts through the body in a straight line towards the Earth's centre. In a standing position neutral alignment occurs when landmarks such as the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and ears are in line with the pull of gravity. The body also requires balance from front to back and side to side, allowing it to maintain its position against gravity with minimal effort. The more the body is out of alignment, the more energy it uses to resist the gravitational pull. For most athletes, poor posture could not only cause injury, but also waste vital energy and could make the difference between winning and losing. In neutral alignment, the pelvis is in a neutral position. In this position, if the pelvis were a bowl of water, no water would spill out. With an anterior pelvic tilt the water would pour out the front, while a posterior pelvic tilt would cause the water to pour out the back. Both positions cause muscle imbalance and misalignment of the spine. Poor postural control and alignment affects both your quality of movement and the safety and effectiveness of any exercise. Prior to beginning a 'Base Conditioning' phase of any exercise programme, posture must be evaluated and corrective measures taken as required to restore optimal alignment (particularly of the spine). In conclusion, muscle imbalances cause poor static and/or dynamic posture which in turn causes further muscle imbalance, non-optimal alignment of joints and abnormal forces exerted on the spine and the skeletal system. This faulty loading of joints leads to increased wear and tear and consequently a less efficient movement pattern and potentially pain. Eventually this results in destruction of joints and a shortening of athletic, occupational or recreational careers. At Bodyguards we offer detailed postural assessments using apparatus that quantifies your static and dynamic alignment. We also assess your muscles’ length and tension and then prescribe personalised exercise programmes to address and correct any imbalance or misalignment you may have.

Be Body Confident

Be Body ConfidentWhether you've got weeks or months before your holiday, there's plenty you can do to get yourself beach-ready...

As Soon As Possible

Sort Cellulite Cellulite affects 90 percent of all women to some degree. The result of bulging fat cells and weak skin elasticity and to some extent, your genes. Too much caffeine, poor circulation and a lack of exercise can also contribute to the unsightly lumps and bumps which are not easy to get rid of once they are formed. Most research points to the effectiveness of a three pronged attack; body brushing, massage and a topical serum or cream to stimulate blood flow.

Dry body brushing on a daily basis using firm strokes towards the heart will help boost circulation, eliminate nasty toxins and improve the appearance of the skin. Choose a good brush with firm bristles for maximum effect and a head-to-toe glow. Follow with a specially formulated anti-cellulite cream such as Biotherm’s Celluli Laser Precision Gel, £33 or Clarins' Body Lift Cellulite Control, £36 which contain dimple-smoothing ingredients. Endermologie is a safe and effective way of helping improve the appearance of cellulite where a special massage roller is worked over affected areas to aid lymphatic drainage. A course of 10 treatments will see a marked improvement in the appearance of cellulite and a maintenance course helps to keep you looking good.

Tackle Feet

Feet spend most of the winter wrapped in socks and heavy boots, snug and warm and in a great bacteria-breeding environment. Check feet and toe nails for any sign of fungal infection and if in doubt get it checked out. Thickened and discoloured toe nails are not to go on show and should be treated by a podiatrist. The Dow Clinic, Heaton remains a hot favourite of ours where their unique laser treatment will kill any infection stone dead in one simple treatment. If your only problem is dry skin or untidy toe nails then a pedicure should do the trick. Opt for a spa pedicure and treat your feet to a scrub and restorative mask to help them recover from the woes of winter.

Blast Your Body

Focus on your fitness and you will not only look better in your bikini but feel better about yourself too. Any form of exercise is beneficial. For those looking to drop a few pounds pre poolside posing, cut out sugar and alcohol and increase your intake of fish oils. By adding more Omega-3 oil you will see an improvement in your skin and it will also aid weight loss. Research shows that taking just 3g of fish oil a day over three months can lead to a two to four kg loss of body fat. Those with a fear of fish can substitute the real thing for a supplement such as Perricone MD Omega 3, £32 for 90 days.

One Month To Go - Sort Out Arms 

Many of us have raised red bumps on the back of our arms; the result of a build up of keratin in the hair follicle. Regular exfoliation can help – use a pair of exfoliating mitts when you shower – or even a topical peel such as Kiehl's Overnight Biological Peel, £39.50 to improve the appearance of the skin.

Deal With Dry Patches

Don't delay: If you want a nice, even tan then you need to ensure skin is suitably hydrated well in advance of your holiday. Deal with any dry skin patches with your exfoliating mitts and a good body oil before bed. Attack elbows and knees with mitts and a nourishing body cream. Don't be afraid to apply more than one type of moisturiser if your skin is in need of some tlc; a serum followed by a nourishing body cream is a great treat for dehydrated skin. We love The Body Shop Polynesia Monoi Miracle Oil, £10 and Liz Earle's Superskin Body Cream, £29.50 packed with plant oils, Vitamin E and shea butter.

The Week Before

Book your waxing appointment in advance and try to leave at least 24 hours before you expose newly waxed or de-fuzzed skin to the sun to prevent any reaction. A spray tan can do wonders for your body confidence, especially if you seek out a salon where it is applied by hand for added flattering contouring. If the fuss of a fake tan doesn't appeal try a gradual tan such as James Read's Gradual Tan, £24.50 with hyaluronic acid and Q10 where you stay in control of the colour. A fake tan will also help improve the appearance of cellulite, giving the illusion of more toned skin. Make sure hands and feet look fabulous with a last minute treat. Bio Sculpture gel nails, available at salons regionwide, mean your nail colour will last for weeks without wearing or chipping and should see you all set for holiday heaven.



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