Can Skin Care Go Bad? How To Avoid Ruining Your Skin Care Products

We know it’s hard to say goodbye, but tossing your products when they’re past their prime is part of a healthy skin care routine. Just as you nourish your body with fruits and veggies at their peak freshness, the same goes for your skin care. Follow this guide for tips to keep your products fresh for longer and know when it’s time to toss them.

Can Skin Care Products Go Bad?

Sadly, your skin care products won’t stay fresh forever. Over time, exposure to air, light, moisture and bacteria breaks down products and causes them to degrade. While this won’t do serious harm to your skin, it doesn’t do it any favors. 

When a product is past its prime:

  • Bacteria and mold grow
  • Active ingredients lose their potency
  • Oils become rancid
  • Ingredients like retinol and Vitamin C oxidize
  • In some cases, expired products can cause skin irritation and breakouts. In most, it simply means the active ingredients that were tackling your skin concerns won’t be as effective. For your skin care routine to work its magic, it’s important to keep your products fresh.

    How To Keep Skin Care Products Fresh

    Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to keep your skin care products fresh for longer.

    Use Clean Hands

    Rule number one: Always use clean hands before handling your skin care products. Fingers carry plenty of dirt and grime, and the last thing you want is to transfer unwanted bacteria to your complexion. Eminence Organics makes this easy by including an easy-to-use spatula with many products. This handy item not only keeps your skin care clean but also scoops just the right amount of product for a perfect application. 

    Avoid Exposure To Water

    Certain products should be kept away from your steamy shower. Anything with a powder base - like our Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant and Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant - should be kept dry. When water mixes with a dry product, it can create a favorable environment for bacteria and mold - two things you want to keep far away from your skin care.

    Store Skin Care Products In A Dry, Dark Place

    The best place to store your products is in a dry, dark place. Direct sunlight and heat can accelerate the aging of a product and break down its active ingredients. Countertops and vanities that are away from a window are passable, but it’s usually best to store your skin care products in a cabinet or drawer where the sun’s rays can’t reach them.

    Ensure Your Products Are Properly Sealed

    Depending on the product, your skin care can dry out and harden when left open. Just think about what happens when you forget to put the top back on your toothpaste: Its smooth texture can develop a crust as soon as fresh air hits it. As a general rule, you should properly seal your products in order to maintain their consistency and protect them from air, water and unwanted germs. 

    Keep Products At A Consistent Temperature

    A surefire way to ruin your products is to flip flop between temperatures. One of the best things you can do to help them keep is avoid extremes - whether hot or cold. Maintaining a consistent temperature will help preserve the active ingredients in your products and keep them fresh for longer.

    That said, there’s no harm in storing a few of your favorites in the fridge. Eminence Organics Product Support Representative Alicia Hawthorne tells us: “Using a chilled eye cream can help with puffiness and encourage circulation.” Just remember that consistency is key - if you choose to keep your skin care products in the fridge, allow some buffer time before toting them on a tropical vacation.

    Avoid Stockpiling Your Skin Care Products

    While we love a good #shelfie, be sure you aren’t stockpiling old skin care products. It can be easy to hang onto products for too long, especially if they aren’t in regular rotation. More isn’t necessarily better and if you’re using a product just a few times a year, odds are it’s time to toss it. As for the products you apply regularly, it’s likely you’ll use them up before they have a chance to expire!

    When To Toss Your Skin Care Products

    Even natural and organic skin care products eventually lose their freshness. While products that are past their prime won’t necessarily harm your skin, they also won’t be doing it any favors. In general, Eminence Organics products are the most fresh in the first 12 to 15 months after the time of purchase. 

    Signs A Product Has Expired 

    Unsure your product has started to expire? Here are a few signs your skin care has gone off:

  • It has started to separate
  • It has a funky odor
  • Its texture has changed (it becomes lumpy, runny, etc.)
  • With natural and organic ingredients, it is common for there to be color, scent and texture variance from batch to batch. If you aren’t sure about the state of your skin care product, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help guide you!

    For more advice on how to keep your skin care fresh, chat with a licensed esthetician at an Eminence Organics partner spa near you!

    Here’s Why You Need To Exfoliate - Botani

    We hear from so many women who think exfoliating is an optional step in their skincare routine. It may seem like a ‘nice to do’ activity, a bit like a pedicure or a Brazilian wax (side note: can we please bring back the 70’s aversion to waxing? Brazilians are more trouble than they’re worth!) but in actual fact, exfoliating regularly will keep your skin looking gorgeous. Today, we want to step you through why you really need to exfoliate.

    Skin Regeneration

    Your skin is a collection of beautiful cells that do a whole lot of work behind the scenes, as nature intended. New skin cells are constantly forming but to let them through, you need to get rid of the older cells first. The very best way to do this is to exfoliate regularly.

    Removal of Excess Oil  

    When your pores become clogged with oil, they start to act like putty blocking new skin cells from surfacing. This leaves you with tired, acne-prone, oil-blocked skin. Oil glands are stimulated by hormones. Hormonal fluctuations can be triggered by stress, puberty, poor diet, disease and of course, your menstrual cycle.

    While exfoliating won’t treat excess oil production, it will unclog your pores and allow them to breathe.

    Treatment of Dry Skin

    If you suffer from dry skin, your best friend is obviously our Olive Repair Cream which works to hydrate your skin while healing dry, aging and damaged skin. But did you also know exfoliating will turbo-charge your moisture seeking efforts? Dry, flaky skin is an indication that your older skin is hindering your skin regeneration production.

    By removing the outer layer of dead skin through gentle exfoliation, you are allowing new skin cells to make their way up to the surface.

    Improve Absorption of Skincare

    If you’ve recently purchased gorgeous skincare, it goes without saying you want it to work! By regularly exfoliating you are removing the ‘defence’ layer aka dry, older skin cells. These serve no purpose and in fact, they stop active skincare products from reaching the layers that are still a work in progress. You want to treat these first and foremost to ensure each new layer of skin is performing at its best.

    Increase Blood Flow and Circulation

    Good blood circulation is imperative for good health. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to your skin and if working well, you’ll be glowing. Exfoliating works to promote blood flow and circulation which explains why your skin has a healthy shine to it post-exfoliation.

    How Often Should You Exfoliate?

    We suggest exfoliating 1 to 3 times per week to remove dry, flaky skin and let your new, radiant skin shine.  Any less, your skin regeneration efforts will be stalled. It may be tempting to exfoliate everyday but doing so will reveal new skin cells before they are properly formed.

    Our 2-in-1 Exfoliating Scrub and Mask is the perfect potion for all skin types. Made from Oat Bran, Rice Flour, Quandone, Jojoba Oil, Australian Bentonite and Olive Squalane it works to gently purify and brighten skin by removing dead skin cells.

    Best of all, it’s Vegan and 100% plant based. Also, it won the prestigious top gong at the 2018 Natural Health Beauty Awards. Developed by our Founder, Barbara Botani, it has been formulated to treat all skin types, naturally.  

    Twice a week with this pocket rocket of a product and you’ll be doing makeup free selfies on the daily!

    How To Exfoliate

    There is a right way to exfoliate and a wrong way to exfoliate. If you want a deep clean, all you need to do is:

  • Cleanse prior to exfoliating (we suggest our Purify or Olive Soothing Cleanser if you have sensitive skin)
  • Refresh the skin with our Soothing Facial Mist
  • Apply the exfoliator liberally by gently rubbing in circular motions and pressing into the skin.
  • Rinse off in the shower or with a gentle facial cloth.
  • If you have sensitive skin, our 2 in 1 Mask & Exfoliator should not be used as a mask. If you would like a deeper exfoliation, apply the exfoliator to your face (avoiding the eye area) and leave it on for 2 minutes. Finish with a soothing facial mist to refresh and hydrate your skin.

    To nourish and hydrate your skin, finish off with our Olive Skin Serum. This will leave skin looking plump, soften fine lines and give you a healthy glow.

    The truth is, you don’t need a million products to let your inner-beauty shine. We’re going to go against the grain and say every great skincare routine is made up of 5 high-quality, natural products. And a sensational exfoliator should be a must-have for everyone.  

    Shop Our Recommended Products

    3 Tips to Keep Your Manicure Chip-Free and Fabulous - Makeup and Beauty Blog

    Back in 2008, The New York Times tried to make chipped nails a thing.

    Yeah…I’m not about that life. I’m all for purposefully messy hair (fun buns 4 life!), but a messy mani gets a HARD PASS. I’ll take my manicures neat and tidy, thank you very much, with a side of “no chips on tips, please.”

    There are a couple things that make it easier to live a chip-free nail life, like 1) finding a base and top coat that can withstand everyday life (for me, those are currently the Smith & Cult Base Coat and Essie Gel Couture Topcoat) and 2) taking a few preventative measures to lessen the likelihood of chips at the tips of my nails, which is where I always get them first.

    Here are three things that help keep my nails looking freshly painted all week long:

    1. Don’t forget to tip

    First, before you paint a layer of polish, paint underneath the tips of your nails, and then run the brush along the tip (holding your nail horizontally, brush the polish on the vertical part of the tip).

    Wait about 30 seconds before applying your first legit coat.

    Why do this, you might ask? Well, because doing it this way covers your tips in an extra protective layer, so as your nails bang about throughout the week, your tips have an extra layer of armor on them.

    Taking this tiny extra step makes all the difference in the world for me. I see fewer chips when I paint my nails.

    2. Do a three-day refresh

    “Siri, remind me to do another layer of topcoat in three days.”

    I usually keep the same polish on my nails for a week, and three days is usually the perfect time to freshen up my manis with another topcoat layer.

    I mean, you could do one daily, or every other day (I have friends who do that), but if I do too many topcoat layers, it becomes counterproductive because my polish starts to get thick, and then I’m tempted to peel it off when I get out of the shower.

    Note: using a good quick-drying topcoat makes you more likely to actually sit down and do this! Sally Hansen has one called the Insta-Dri Top Coat that’s only five bucks and sets in a minute, but right now I’m really into Essie Gel Couture Top Coat overall. It’s super shiny, and it takes about 10 minutes to dry.

    3. Do the double-glove

    Before you put a pair of gloves on to do anything — wash dishes, garden, work with power tools — put on a pair of latex gloves first, and slip your real gloves on top.

    Yes, this is extra and totally next level, but it’ll help your manicure look great longer. Someone in the comments suggested it, and when I’m wearing gloves, I think it does make my polish last longer.

    Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

    Karen

    Common Cancers in Men

    For men, the top four cancers after prostate cancer are lung, colorectal, bladder, and melanoma, according to Houston oncologist Mamta Kalidas, MD, a medical editor for the American Cancer Society and a volunteer faculty member in hematology-oncology at Baylor College of Medicine. Here's what men need to know.

    Quit smoking. It causes at least four in five lung cancer deaths. Current and former smokers: If you're 55 to 74, ask your doctor about an annual screening.

    Finding lung cancer early could save your life. (Just being around cigarette smoke or someone who smokes -- even if you don't -- increases your risk.) The No. 1 cause among nonsmokers is radon, a radioactive chemical that can accumulate indoors. Inexpensive tests can alert you to dangerous levels in your home.

    Improve your lifestyle. Being overweight or obese, lack of exercise, smoking, and a diet heavy on red meat, processed meats, and moderate to heavy alcohol use all raise your risk of cancers that begin in the colon and rectum.

    Equally important: Get screened beginning at age 50, the CDC recommends. Early detection makes effective treatment much more likely. Review your own and your family's health history with your doctor to ID other potential red flags, like inflammatory bowel disease and polyps, benign growths that can become cancerous.

    Need another reason to quit tobacco? Smoking significantly boosts your odds of bladder cancer. Other risk factors include exposure to certain industrial chemicals. Some studies suggest that eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help protect you.

    Another potential preventive measure: Drink lots of water. "The thinking is that you will urinate out a lot of the toxins that may be in your bladder," says Kalidas. "Not just any fluids, but specifically water might be helpful."

    Why I ALWAYS Bake My Brows!

    In honor of National Brow Day, I wanted to share with you guys one of my ALL-TIME favorite makeup hacks… baking my brows – it’s my holy grail! Without baking my brows, they can be a sweaty mess by the time it hits 5 pm, whereas when I bake, they look flawless no matter what I’m doing. I also love that baking them makes them look a little more natural and softens your look – so it’s great if you like to fully fill your brows but don’t want it to look too harsh. Baking your brows can take one minute or you can let your bake set while you do your makeup, the end result is the same: soft, full brows that last ALL day long!

    How To Bake Your Brows

    Step 1: Once you’ve filled in and sculpted your brows, take a dense stiff brush like the Smoke & Smudge Brush, $18, and pack a loose setting powder onto your brows. You can apply it just at the front of that’s the area you want to soften, or if you tend to get oily brows, you can use it all over. Don’t worry that your brows look a bit crazy, they’ll look great when you brush away the powder.

    You can use a translucent or colored loose powder, I use our Easy Bake Setting Powder in Banana Bread, $34, as that’s what I use every day to brighten under my eyes.

    Step 2: Wait one minute or longer for the baking powder to work its magic.

    Step 3: Using a spooley, brush through your brows to remove the remaining powder. We like to brush our brows upwards at the front of the brows, then follow the shape from the arch to the tail.

    Et voila! Insta-ready brows that’ll stay in place all day long. For more brow tips, check out the brow shaping rule you need to know.

    New Hope Against a 'Dizzying' Form of Migraine

    By Steven Reinberg

    WEDNESDAY, Sept. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People who suffer bouts of vertigo and dizziness may be suffering from a type of migraine for which treatments rarely work.

    But a new, preliminary study of 18 such patients found that stimulating the vagus nerve in the neck can help relieve vertigo.

    "Vestibular migraine can occur with or without headache. It's an uncomfortable feeling, an abnormal sense of motion. A lot of people say that they feel like they're spinning," explained Dr. Deena Kuruvilla, an assistant professor of neurology at Yale University.

    Patients feel like they're off balance and may be nauseous. "It's an incredibly disabling disorder," said Kuruvilla, who was not involved in the study.

    It's a tricky condition to diagnose, she added. "Nine times out of 10, patients get misdiagnosed," so people are best off seeing a neurologist or a headache specialist, Kuruvilla said.

    However, the new treatment might help ease the condition, the authors of the new study said.

    "Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation that's approved for migraines and cluster headaches also relieves vertigo in patients with vestibular migraine," said lead researcher Dr. Shin Beh. He's an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas.

    Stimulating the vagus nerve appears to calm down centers in the brain that cause migraine and vertigo, he explained.

    Vestibular migraine is not curable, Beh said, "but this adds another possible treatment."

    The stimulation is delivered via a handheld device placed against the neck during a vestibular migraine attack. The device that delivers electrical impulses to the nerve is regularly used to treat typical migraines.

    Among the study participants, 14 patients were treated during a vestibular migraine attack, and four patients were treated for persistent dizziness between attacks.

    After the nerve stimulation, 13 of the 14 patients had an improvement in their vertigo. In this group, two had their vertigo disappear and five experienced a 50% reduction in symptoms, the researchers found.

    In addition, the five patients whose attack had an associated headache all reported less pain after the treatment.

    Adult acne: Understanding underlying causes and banishing breakouts - Harvard Health Blog

    “I’m not a teenager anymore, why do I still have acne?!” This is a question we hear from patients on a daily basis. The truth is, it is quite common to see acne persist into adulthood. Although acne is commonly thought of as a problem of adolescence, it can occur in people of all ages.

    Adult acne has many similarities to adolescent acne with regard to both causes and treatments. But there are some unique qualities to adult acne as well.

    What causes adult acne?

    Adult acne, or post-adolescent acne, is acne that occurs after age 25. For the most part, the same factors that cause acne in adolescents are at play in adult acne. The four factors that directly contribute to acne are: excess oil production, pores becoming clogged by “sticky” skin cells, bacteria, and inflammation.

    There are also some indirect factors that influence the aforementioned direct factors, including

    • hormones, stress, and the menstrual cycle in women, all of which can influence oil production
    • hair products, skin care products, and makeup, which can clog pores
    • diet, which can influence inflammation throughout the body.

    Some medications, including corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, and lithium, can also cause acne.

    Many skin disorders, including acne, can be a window into a systemic condition. For example, hair loss, excess hair growth, irregular menstrual cycles, or rapid weight gain or loss in addition to acne, or rapid onset of acne with no prior history of acne, can all be red flags of an underlying disease, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, or other endocrine disorders. Tell your doctor if you are experiencing additional symptoms; he or she may recommend further evaluation.

    How can I prevent breakouts?

    Like most things in life, acne is not always completely in one’s control. There are, however, some key tips we offer to help prevent breakouts:

    • Never go to bed with makeup on.
    • Check labels: when purchasing cosmetic and skincare products, always look for the terms “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free,” or “won’t clog pores.”
    • Avoid facial oils and hair products that contain oil.
    • Some acne spots are not actually acne but are post-inflammatory pigment changes from previous acne lesions or from picking at acne or pimples. Wear sunscreen with SPF 30+ daily, rain or shine, to prevent darkening of these spots.

    There is some evidence that specific dietary changes may help reduce the risk of acne. For example, one meta-analysis of 14 observational studies that included nearly 80,000 children, adolescents, and young adults showed a link between dairy products and increased risk of acne. And some studies have linked high-glycemic-index foods (those that cause blood sugar levels to rise more quickly) and acne.

    With that said, it’s important to be wary of misinformation about nutrition and skin. As physicians, we seek scientifically sound and data-driven information; the evidence on the relationship between diet and acne is just starting to bloom. In the future, the effect of diet on acne may be better understood.

    What are the most effective treatment options?

    The arsenal of treatment options for acne treatment is robust and depends on the type and severity of acne. Topical tretinoin, which works by turning over skin cells faster to prevent clogged pores, is a mainstay in any acne treatment regimen, and has the added bonus of treating fine wrinkles and evening and brightening skin tone. Isotretinoin (Accutane, other brands), taken by mouth, is the closest thing to a “cure” for acne that exists and is used to treat severe acne. Women who can become pregnant need to take special precautions when taking isotretinoin, as it can cause significant harm to the fetus.

    For women with hormonally driven acne that flares with the menstrual cycle, a medication called spironolactone, which keeps testosterone in check, can be prescribed. Oral birth control pills can also help regulate hormones that contribute to acne.

    In-office light-based treatments, such as photodynamic therapy, can sometimes help. Chemical peels, also done in-office, may help to treat acne and fade post-inflammatory pigment changes.

    Simple, non-irritating skin care products are important for anyone with acne. Choose products that are gentle and safe for skin with acne, and eliminate products that are harsh and can make matters worse. It’s also important not to squeeze or pick at acne lesions, as that can worsen discoloration and scarring.

    With proper evaluation by a board-certified dermatologist and commitment to a treatment regimen, almost all cases of acne can be successfully treated. After all, adulthood is stressful enough without breakouts!

    Follow us on Twitter @KristinaLiuMD and @JanelleNassim

    Related Information: Skin Care and Repair

    How To Do A Spa-Level Facial Massage At Home

    If you’ve ever admired your skin after a facial and thought, “That glow, though!”, we’re about to let you in on a little secret. One of the keys to a glowing, ageless complexion is a well-executed facial massage. Massaging the face not only relieves tension, it also boosts circulation, gives your skin an instant lift and even helps your products absorb better. If you can’t make it to the spa, read on to learn about the benefits of facial massage and how to give yourself one at home.

    What Is Facial Massage?

    With roots in China, Mexico, Hungary and Sweden, facial massage has evolved greatly over the years. Eminence Organics International Trainer Brian Goodwin says: “Therapeutic massage began approximately 4,500 years ago and has expanded into the discovery of facial lifting massage, lymphatic drainage, reflexology, Swedish-style and other techniques.” Facial massage takes the principles of body massage and applies them to the muscles of the face. This not only reduces facial tension (a contributor to fine lines and wrinkles) but also increases blood and lymph circulation to rejuvenate the skin.

    Benefits Of Facial Massage

    As Brian says, “The true benefits of massage lie in massaging what is beneath the skin.” He likens the structure of the skin to a house: It has a roof (epidermal tissue), framework (dermal tissue) and foundation (subcutaneous, adipose and muscle tissue). Skin concerns and conditions don’t just affect the roof; rather, they extend all the way down to the foundation. When we apply active and targeted pressure to the muscles of the face, we are able to treat conditions in the skin from the foundation up, leading to better and longer-lasting results. 

    Here is a closer look at the benefits of facial massage for the skin.

    Increases Blood Circulation

    A 2018 study revealed that stimulating the skin with a five-minute facial massage increases blood flow for as long as 10 minutes. With greater blood flow comes more oxygen and nutrients - both of which are essential for the skin to carry out key functions. 

    The short-term result of greater blood flow is an immediate glow; as blood rises to the surface, the skin is infused with radiance from the inside out. The long-term result is greater and more efficient collagen and elastin production; over time, this contributes to a stronger and more resilient complexion.  

    Activates The Lymphatic System

    The lymphatic system functions as the body’s garbage disposal: It helps remove waste and toxins from bodily tissues, including the skin. But, as Brian explains: “Our lifestyles tend to block the lymphatic system from doing its job because of the stagnant nature of our lives.” When it becomes sluggish, toxins build up and block our lymph nodes, causing the skin to look puffy.

    Lymphatic drainage is a gentle massage technique that encourages the movement of lymph fluids throughout the body. This type of massage targets the lymph nodes under the ears and on the neck, helping to drain toxins and remove excess waste. This, in turn, minimizes swelling and helps to “de-puff” the skin. 

    Lifts & Plumps Skin

    We hold plenty of tension in our faces, from furrowed brows to pursed lips and clenched jaws. When the muscles under our skin (close to 43, to be exact) are young and strong, they can bounce back quickly from facial tension. However, as Brian explains, “These muscles lose tone over time and the foundation begins to slip. When the foundation slips, we see jowls form, loosening of the tissue around the eyes and an overall drooped appearance for the entire face.” As these folds deepen, fine lines and wrinkles can also begin to develop (we’re looking at you, forehead lines).

    These muscles lose tone over time and the foundation begins to slip. When the foundation slips, we see jowls form, loosening of the tissue around the eyes and an overall drooped appearance for the entire face.

    Facial massage functions like a non-surgical face lift, helping to tone the muscles under the skin. Like the rest of the body, the more you exercise these muscles, the stronger they become. With time, facial massage (and even face yoga) can improve the skin’s strength and resilience, helping to smooth out wrinkles and keep it tight, firm and lifted. 

    Improves Product Absorption

    Massage also helps to increase the penetration of the active ingredients in your favorite skin care. The heat that is created through the warmth of your hands and the activation of facial muscles make the skin more amenable to product absorption. This increases the efficiency and effectiveness of key ingredients as they can more easily reach the deeper layers of the skin (the foundation) to target specific skin concerns and conditions.

    How To Do Facial Massage At Home

    Convinced but can’t make it to the spa? Follow these facial massage steps to give yourself a spa-level massage at home.

    1. Cleanse Hands & Face

    Always (always) start with a clean base. Prep your skin by cleansing and removing all makeup. And, ensure your hands are clean so you don’t transfer bacteria to your just-cleansed complexion. The last thing you want is to massage dirt and grime back into your skin.

    2. Warm Product In Hands

    The key to a successful facial massage is slip. You never want to feel as though you are pulling or dragging your skin. A small amount of serum, oil or concentrate helps your fingers move more smoothly across your face - and ensures the actives reach the deepest layers of your skin. Simply apply a small amount of product into your palms and rub the formula to evenly distribute it over your hands and fingertips. Our pick: Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil.

    3. Use Gentle But Firm Pressure

    You want to apply enough pressure that you can truly feel and move the muscles beneath the skin. Brian advises: “Work with muscle when it comes to massage, not just the surface of the skin, and use pressure with purpose.” That said, don’t go too hard on your skin. A facial massage is not a deep tissue massage: Use firm pressure, but keep it gentle.

    Work with muscle when it comes to massage, not just the surface of the skin, and use pressure with purpose.

    4. Start By Massaging The Lymph Area

    Begin by activating your lymphatic system. Using the tips of your fingers, massage the lymph nodes under your ears and along the sides of your neck. Use wide circles, sweeping from under your ears, down toward your throat and back up along your jawline. This will encourage the build-up that is causing you to feel puffy or swollen to keep moving. 

    5. Knead The Sides Of Your Face

    Next, target the sides of your face. Use circular motions to massage the perimeter of your face, along the sides of your jaw and up over your cheekbones. Remember to push your skin up and out - not down. This will help to lift sagging skin and prevent the skin from drooping further. Repeat for two to three minutes, concentrating on the areas where you hold the most tension (typically around the jaw).

    6. Smooth Forehead Lines

    Now for those pesky forehead lines. Press your fingers between your brows and slowly slide them up your forehead. Repeat this motion across your forehead, gently pulling the skin up and out. Massaging against the lines (rather than with them) will help to smooth them in the right direction.

    7. Take Extra Care Around The Eyes

    Next up is the eye area. As always, be extremely delicate with this area, where the skin is thinner and more fragile. Position your fingers on either side of your nose and gently run them upwards toward your temples. This action will help to combat puffiness, lift sagging skin and “wake up” the eye area.

    8. Finish With Your Neck & Decolletage

    Finally, target your neck and decolletage. Use light, vertical strokes to massage skin from your chest, up your neck and to your jawline. This will help to reactivate the lymphatic system and smooth out any fine lines that have collected in this oft-neglected area.

    9. Follow Up With A Contouring Mask

    Enhance the lifting, toning and de-puffing effects of your facial massage with a contouring mask. Eminence Organics Snow Mushroom & Reishi Masque is formulated with paracress extract, a stimulating active that minimizes the look of wrinkles and gives skin a tight and firm appearance. Pro tip: Use this creamy mask in place of your favorite oil or serum to add slip to your facial massage.

    Should I Use Massage Tools?

    You can certainly use devices like jade rollers and gua sha to perform your facial massage, but we’re partial to using the hands. This allows for greater control over pressure and the ability to use your fingers to zero in on areas that are particularly tense. The exception: Your eye area. A cool jade roller - or the stainless-steel rollerball of our Hibiscus Ultra Lift Eye Cream - can work wonders for puffy, tired eyes. Simply pop it in the fridge before application for a super-soothing eye treatment. 

    How To Add Massage To Your Skin Care Routine

    The secret to long-term results is to practice facial massage regularly. Beauty experts recommend adding a facial massage to your skin care routine two to three times per week. This can be beneficial in boosting circulation, softening tension and - over time - lifting and toning your complexion. Whether you choose your morning or night time routine is up to you. We suggest before bed to give your skin an extra boost (it does, after all, perform the majority of its key functions while you’re asleep).

    Are you ready to try facial massage? Amplify your results with a professional facial massage by a licensed esthetician. Use our Spa Locator to find an Eminence Organics partner spa near you!

    PrEP prevents HIV — so why aren’t more people taking it? - Harvard Health Blog

    Each year, 1.7 million people globally are newly infected with HIV — more than 38,000 in the United States alone. This year, President Trump announced a 10-year initiative aimed at reducing new HIV infections in the US, and ultimately ending an epidemic that has plagued this country, and the world, since HIV first emerged in the early 1980s. A key part of that plan is pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, a daily medication to help prevent HIV that is recommended for people at high risk. Recently, the FDA approved a new formulation of PrEP for many — but not all — of those at risk.

    What is PrEP and who should consider it?

    PrEP is a daily pill taken to lower a person’s risk for getting HIV. It works best as part of a program of preventive services that includes regular HIV testing.

    Global research during the past decade shows that a combination of two antiretroviral medicines is more than 90% effective at preventing HIV. These medicines, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, are known by the brand name Truvada. Along with other medicines, they are also used to treat HIV.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and many expert guidelines recommend PrEP for those at high risk for HIV, including

    • men who have sex with men
    • heterosexual men and women who have high-risk exposure (such as having a partner with known HIV infection, exchanging sex for drugs or money, or having sex with a person at high risk for HIV)
    • people who inject drugs
    • transgender women.

    Currently, 50% of new HIV cases in the US occur among Black and Latino gay and bisexual men. Slightly more than 15% occur among heterosexual women, roughly three-quarters of whom are women of color.

    The CDC estimates that 1.1 million people in the US would benefit from PrEP, including 175,000 women and 780,000 people of color. Yet prescriptions for PrEP are sluggish, particularly in populations at increased risk. Since 2012, only 135,000 PrEP prescriptions have been filled in the US. Almost all were for men — largely, white men in the Northeast and on the West Coast who have sex with men.

    The new formulation of PrEP

    In August, an FDA advisory panel voted 16 to 2 to recommend a new formulation of PrEP for men who have sex with men and transgender women, while voting 8 to 10 against approval in cisgender women. The panel was presented with data from a single study sponsored by Gilead, the manufacturer of the drug, which is a combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide (brand name Descovy). This new formulation is less likely to affect the kidneys and bones, yet is just as effective as Truvada in preventing HIV.

    The DISCOVER trial enrolled 5,387 participants across 92 study sites. Nearly all were cisgender men. Less than 10% of the study participants were Black. Only 74 transgender women were enrolled, and the study explicitly excluded cisgender women.

    The FDA panel members acknowledged these limitations. Dr. Lindsey Baden, an infectious disease physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, noted “we’ve failed women,” and Dr. Roblena Walker, a consumer representative on the panel, voted against approval, citing the poor representation of Black men in the study, calling this “a lost opportunity to provide substantial data reflective of the community that is impacted by HIV.”

    How else might the 10-year initiative help?

    Four key strategies are emphasized in the 10-year initiative and backed by the global research community:

    • Increase access to HIV testing, and ensure that all people living with HIV know their diagnosis.
    • Expand access to effective treatment to get people on medication and virally suppressed, which helps prevent HIV transmission.
    • Respond quickly to sites of potential HIV outbreaks and populations at increased risk.
    • Prevent those at risk for HIV from becoming infected.

    The bottom line

    The fact is that PrEP works. Studies in men, women, and people who inject drugs have repeatedly demonstrated substantial decreases in HIV incidence after PrEP programs are rolled out. So if you’re concerned about your risk for HIV, talk to your doctor about taking PrEP or find a provider near you. If you’ve tried PrEP, but had trouble taking it regularly, discuss those issues with your provider, too.

    Given the low numbers of PrEP prescriptions, we should encourage anyone who might benefit from PrEP to consider taking it. Globally, estimates suggest less than 350,000 people are on the medication, far short of the World Health Organization goal of three million PrEP users by 2020. We can lobby for additional investment in PrEP programs, innovative implementation projects, and clinical trials for new drug development. And we can insist that those investments reflect the nearly 800,000 new global infections in women and the racial disparities in HIV diagnoses that persist in the US.

    We can, and we must, push for broader access to PrEP and clinical trials that enroll all of those at risk for HIV. We cannot settle for the status quo that has seen continued spread of the virus. As individuals and as a community, we can, and we must, act now to truly end this epidemic.

    Related Information: Harvard Health Letter

    ‘Tutu Girls’ Linked by Cancer Reunite

    Sept. 23, 2019 -- Four small friends who met in the hospital while getting cancer treatment are back together for a fourth year of group photos. And the message on their shirts -- “Never EVER Give Up” -- carries an emotional new meaning.

    Chloe, Lauren, McKinley, and Ava -- now 5 to 6 years old -- enjoyed a day of hugs, laughs, and playtime earlier this month at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. That’s where they met in 2016. During their time there, they posed for a spur-of-the-moment group picture in tutus, and it’s become an annual tradition for them.

    Today, Chloe, McKinley, and Ava are in remission and doing well, a spokesperson for the hospital says. But Lauren’s cancer came back.

    This year the four friends spent their reunion in Lauren’s hospital room at All Children’s, where she returned for treatment.

    They wore matching shirts that Ava’s mother made, white tees glittering with a mantra inspired by the girls’ own words: “Never EVER Give Up.”

    “I heard all the girls start saying it around the time last year when we found out Lauren had relapsed,” says Lauren’s mother, Shawna Glynn. She and her three fellow moms talked and agreed the message was a perfect fit. “The girls have never given up on each other,” Glynn says.

    And their reunion this year lifted everyone’s spirits, she says: “Lauren was sitting on the bed when the girls walked in and she was just bouncing up and down because she was so excited to see them. I wanted to pause time and just live in that moment.”

    Lauren, a smart and strong-willed 6-year-old who loves to paint, has one of the most common types of childhood cancer: acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). It’s the same kind Ava and McKinley had. It affects the blood and bone marrow, and it often shows up between the ages of 2 and 4. It can bring on symptoms such as bone and joint pain, weakness, and unexplained weight loss. Doctors usually treat it with chemotherapy, and it can be cured. But for 15% to 20% of kids who get treatment for ALL, the cancer will come back.

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