Tricks to Help You Overcome the Daylight Savings Blues

We love that time of year when fall rolls around, but when the change in seasons brings with it a change in our clocks via Daylight Savings Time, we find ourselves less-than-enthused by the shorter, somewhat drearier days that come with setting our clocks back. Of course, like with most situations in life, overcoming the Daylight Savings blues can be as easy as changing your daily routines to make for mornings, afternoons, and evenings that feel more fulfilling and less like they’re getting lost in the (super) short days. Here, we give . you a few key ways to keep your mood in good shape post-Daylight Savings.

Make fitness a priority.

We get it – with the day getting shorter and the outdoors getting darker earlier, it can be tough to drag yourself to the gym after a long day at work. But research has shown that making time for working out – even something as simple as a brisk walk in the park – can instantly boost your mood (those endorphins, people).

Spend your evenings cooking dinner.

We’re all about spending your Sunday evenings meal prepping for the week ahead, but when the shorter days of fall and winter have you feeling a little down in the dumps, you might want to skip the Sunday prep and instead spend your weeknight evenings cooking up a storm. Why? Giving yourself something productive to do at night (especially when 7 p.m. feels and looks like 10 p.m. and a lack of anything to do might result in you calling it a night way too early) is a good way to keep yourself busy. That in turn will help you relax by showing you that you’re not really losing potential productivity hours (even if you lost hours on the clock).

Give yourself something positive to look forward to.

On a similar note, finding other fun ways to fill up your evenings can be a good way to make sure that . you don’t feel like Daylight Savings Time is making you miss out on all that much but shortening the days. Make some plans with friends to meet up after work for drinks, or plan a movie night with family to wind down on a Sunday night. The key is to focus on planning things that you can feasibly fit into your schedule without setting yourself up for having to change or bail on your plans.

Stay hydrated.

When fall rolls around, you no longer have the heat of summer to remind and motivate you to drink water throughout the day. That can be a major problem for your mood, since dehydration has often been linked to feelings of fatigue and agitation. Keep yourself from falling victim to the mood-sabotaging effects of dehydration by setting reminders on your phone to sip on some water throughout the day.

5 Things to Help You Fall Back Asleep When You Wake Up in the Middle of the Night

Waking up in the middle of the night can be frustrating to say the least. You feel tired, yet your body doesn’t seem to want to get back to snoozing. However, there are some easy things you can do to get back to sleep on those restless nights. There are some tips to follow when you wake up in the hours of the night that no one should be up for.

Stop checking the clock.

Constantly looking at your phone or alarm clock to see how long you’ve been up, how late it is, or how many hours left until you have to get up will only stress you out more than is needed. Try putting your phone far away where you can’t see the time so that you can focus on relaxing and getting back to sleep, and not about how many minutes are passing.

Jot it down.

If you wake up in the middle of the night, and your mind is racing, writing down your thoughts in a journal can help you to organize your thoughts. By getting these things down on paper, they won’t be floating around in your head as much, and you can get back to focusing on your sleep.

Focus on something comforting.

Channel your thoughts into positive things only. Try focusing on a fond memory, or your favorite people to hang out with. When your thoughts are not racing but are rather focused on thinking about positive things in your life, you should be able to drift off to sleep quickly.

Try lavender essential oils.

Try rubbing lavender oil on pressure points like your wrists and temples. The scent of lavender is soothing and reduces anxious feelings and can help you get back to sleep before you know it.

Get up.

Sometimes lying in bed and consciously trying to get your body back to sleep is counter productive. You want to get back to bed, yet you keep thinking about how you’re not sleeping which makes you more angry and therefore you cant get back to sleep. Getting up and sitting down somewhere else can end up making you feel tired again so that when you get back into bed you’re ready to snooze again.


Get Glowing Skin With These 7 Game-Changing Products

Glowing skin isn’t just for people too young to vote or the cheaters who drag the brightness slider to the right. The key to glowing skin is eating right, sleeping well, and of course, seven days’ worth of exactly the right skin care.


Rethink your cleanser.

A face wash that tingles may feel refreshing, but it’s probably not doing much for your skin’s dewiness. Switch to a creamy formula that contains a humectant, like glycerin (in Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser). If you’re in a rush, reach for a cotton pad soaked in micellar water; it’ll wipe away dirt without causing dryness. Try the formulas from Simple and Garnier.


Toss your grainy scrub.

“It may get rid of rough patches temporarily, but it’ll make your skin even drier and flakier in the long run,” says Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Instead, pick up a sugar-based version, such as Ole Henriksen Moment of Truth 2-in-1 Polishing Sugar Mask. It dissolves as you massage it in, making it a very gentle option. Also, consider an alpha hydroxy acid peel to clean out pores and stimulate the enzymes responsible for cell turnover. Lancôme’s new Visionnaire Crescendo Progressive Night Peel is a one-month peel system that revs up from gentle fruit acids to more intense glycolic acid. You can do it a couple of times a year for a refresh.


Face oils. Embrace them. As of today.

They plump skin with hydration, making it more radiant. Plus they’re, you know, oils, so they leave a little gleam of their own. And if you have naturally oily skin, face oils actually help regulate sebum production so you’re more glow-y than greasy. Layer one (like Lumene Sisu Urban Antidotes Recover & Protect Facial Oil) under your regular moisturizer. For extra credit, try makeup artist Tom Pecheux’s trick: Dip your foundation-covered brush in a few drops of oil before buffing it over the skin. “It won’t look like you have any makeup on,” he says.


Add retinol to your pre-bed operation.

If you’ve missed the praise we’ve heaped on this ingredient over the past, oh, 26 years, we’ll recap: Retinol increases collagen production, firms skin, and evens out tone and texture, which makes it basically the best, most glow-inducing thing ever. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream works like a prescription retinoid but is less likely to cause irritation.


Highlight — within reason.

“People make the mistake of putting illuminating powders or creams all over their face, but that will make you look like a disco ball,” says makeup artist Kate Lee. She presses a mildly shimmery formula (we like

) just along the cheekbones and jawline with her palms. While you’re dialing back, don’t rub a BB cream or tinted moisturizer all over the place, either. Focus on the temples, cheekbones, and bridge of the nose. If certain areas need extra coverage, use a damp sponge to dab them with concealer. And when you’re done with all that, treat yourself (and your skin) to a coffee (or three): A recent study in the International Journal of Dermatology found that women who drank an average of three cups of coffee a day had significantly fewer skin-dulling age spots than those who drank the least.


Now add a little color.

“To make your face look like it’s glowing from within, dab a peach cream blush across the apples of your cheeks, then blend it along your cheekbones and tap the excess from your fingers into the crease in your upper lids,” says makeup artist Hung Vanngo. Dullness may still creep in around 3 p.m. — but don’t double down on blush. Take a few deep breaths, inhaling for five counts and exhaling for seven. “You’ll get oxygen flowing to bring color to your skin,” says Ava Shamban, a dermatologist in Los Angeles.


Today, you can chill.

No, really. If you’re truly committed to the brightening cause, begin your days (starting with this one) by running an ice cube over your face (or at least splashing it with cold water). “The temperature change will release heat-shock proteins, a cellular response that repairs and restores skin cells,” says Shamban. A less masochistic alternative: The new Dr. Jart+ Lover Rubber Masks are derived from seaweed, which temporarily cools the skin while driving hydrating and brightening ingredients deeper into it.

A version of this article originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Allure. 

Now, treat your dry, winter skin with a tea tree oil mask:

MARCH 28, 2017

Science Says: Victoria’s Secret Perfume Is A Pretty Great Mosquito Repellent

When the hot, humid months of summer roll around, I usually skip using any flowery, sweet-smelling perfumes because I don’t like to be followed around by clouds of mosquitoes. But just because a scent is particularly odoriferous, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be more susceptible to bug bites, according to a study that studied a flowery fragrance from Victoria’s Secret along more traditional insect repellents.

A group of scientists at New Mexico State’s Molecular Vector Physiology Lab studying the most effective mosquito repellents tested 10 different formulas, including camping standbys like DEET, as well as a Victoria’s Secret perfume called Bombshell. They published their findings in the Journal of Insect Science.

Researchers put mosquitoes to the test by giving them two options: either leave a holding chamber in one part of a Y-shaped tube and head to a researcher’s bare hand, with no repellant on it, or wind up on a hand coated with one of the repellents.

When the mosquitoes were set loose, the researchers counted how many chose the hands with treatments on them, in order to measure how attracted they were. They also took measurements over time in order to see which repellents were most effective after a few hours.

DEET-based repellents were the most effective, while bare hands attracted 61% of the mosquitoes. But as it turns out, the Victoria’s Secret perfume worked almost as well as formulas with DEET: it attracted only 17% of mosquitoes and stayed effective for 120 minutes.

Researcher Stacy Rodriguez initially decided to test the perfume in the research to see if fragrant, sweet smells attract the pests or not..

“There was some previous literature that said fruity, floral scents attracted mosquitoes, and to not wear those,” she said in a statement. “It was interesting to see that the mosquitoes weren’t actually attracted to the person that was wearing the Victoria’s Secret perfume – they were repelled by it.”
Stow that one away for summer — we now return you to your regularly scheduled chilly weather gripes and grumbles.

Clear Skin Diet: Foods That Bring Acne Relief

Pimples, pustules and blackheads. What do you do if you have acne and want your skin to get clearer? You can slather on creams and take acne medication, but you may want to start by changing your diet.

About 17 million people in the U.S. have acne, according to the National Institutes of Health, and they’re not all teenagers dealing with the perils of puberty. Whether you’re helping a teen clear up his face or hoping to erase the imperfections that have popped up on yours, there are studies that link certain foods and nutrients to improvements in your skin.

Although genetics may play a factor in the appearance of your skin, watching what you eat may improve skin quality tremendously.

Here are some foods and nutrients you may want to consider:

Vitamin A is an active ingredient found in many skin treatment lotions and pills like Accutane. It’s used in synthetic form to help clear up severe acne and ease symptoms of psoriasis, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center . Too much vitamin A can cause toxic side effects, so talk to your doctor before taking supplements. Good sources include spinach, carrots, pumpkin, broccoli and eggs.

Zinc is a mineral that may prevent acne by making it difficult for the bacteria that causes acne to grow, reports WebMD . Some reports show that people who have acne have lower than normal levels of zinc. You can find zinc in turkey, nuts and wheat germ.

Whole grains are great for your overall health, and may be good for your face, too. A study in the American Journal of Nutrition suggests you might have fewer breakouts if you eat more whole grains.

Selenium is an essential mineral found in the body that fights damage from free radicals, including to the skin. One study found that selenium, paired with vitamin E, may improve acne. Sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, tuna, halibut and ham.

Omega-3 fatty acids help ease inflammation, which can sometimes lead to skin problems. You can find omega-3s in seafood, particularly fatty fish like salmon and sardines, as well as walnuts, flaxseed oil and almonds.

Antioxidants can help protect the skin against some of the damage you get from the sun and from aging. But smaller studies have shown that they may also ease breakouts. Find them in green tea and foods that have vitamin C (oranges, lemons, tomatoes) and vitamin E (sweet potatoes, avocadoes, spinach).

Probiotics are the good bacteria that help with digestive health. New research shows that they may also help with the skin. The American Academy of Dermatology notes that people prone to acne may find improvement with daily probiotic use. Get probiotics from yogurt labeled “live, active cultures.”

Other simple changes

You may have heard that one way to flush out toxins in your skin is to make sure you’re drinking enough water. There’s no definitive research that shows that toxins lead to breakouts, but in general, staying hydrated helps your skin stay healthy, so it’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water.

Some studies have shown a link between dairy — particularly skim milk — and acne breakouts. Although the connection is weak, it may have something to do with hormones and growth factors in milk, says the American Academy of Dermatology . If you consume a lot of dairy and have unclear skin, you may want to cut back on dairy and see if it makes a difference.

Foods that spike your blood sugar (called high-glycemic foods), such as white bread, pastries and soda cause your pancreas to make extra insulin in an attempt to regulate blood sugar levels. But insulin also signals the sebaceous glands to manufacture and secrete an oily substance called sebum, which in elevated amounts causes the bacterium P. acnes to proliferate and clog up the hair follicles. So again, go for whole grains instead of white breads, white rice, sugary snacks and junk food.

Fighting inflammation

Eat foods that don’t promote inflammation. Inflammation can manifest in many different ways from heart disease to unhealthy-looking skin. Foods like vegetable oils (especially cooked ones, which are prevalent in fast food) and refined grains are all high in omega-6 fatty acids.

Opt instead, as previously mentioned, for foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids . Although it may seem counter-intuitive to some people with bad skin that fatty foods can clear skin, cold-water oily fish like salmon have anti-inflammatory properties. Don’t like fish? No problem, there are other sources of omega-3-rich foods including walnuts, beans and flaxseed oil.

Squirting a teaspoon’s worth of cold-pressed seed oils like flaxseed in a low-sugar, high-protein smoothie may also help reduce inflammation.

And load up on the fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re packed with antioxidants which are great for your skin and overall health.

What to avoid

Not all vitamins may be good for your skin. New research suggests that high levels of vitamin B12 may change the bacteria that’s normally found on your skin, making it more prone to acne. The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine , doesn’t suggest that people should cut back on their vitamin B12 to avoid getting pimples. “I don’t think we have studied enough to suggest that,” study leader Huiying Li, assistant professor of molecular & medical pharmacology at the University of California, Los Angeles, told HealthDay.

Watch your alcohol intake. After all, alcohol is a sugar. As mentioned above, sugar can spike insulin levels which can cause inflammation, possibly leading to an acne-producing domino effect.

For overall health and wellness, including skin quality, eat a diet that is overwhelmingly comprised of all-natural and unprocessed foods. Your skin is your largest organ. Eating lots of junk food will ultimately lead to less than optimum health — and unclear skin.