Sunday, July 24, 2016

7 Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

Although summer is time when we spend most of our days outside or at the beach, a day in the sun can be dangerous without the proper sun protection – especially for women fighting breast cancer. Sun safety is important for everyone, but for those women fighting certain conditions like breast cancer, there are some "do's" and "don'ts" for getting your vitamin D safely.

Here are 7 Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun
  1. Cover up! This doesn't just mean lathering up your skin with SPF: make sure you keep key areas of your body out of direct sunlight. Especially for those in post-chemotherapy or radiation stage, your skin will be extremely sensitive and keeping yourself covered will avoid sunburn. There are stylish options to stay safe that don't require hiding out, though! We love wearing stylish hats with wide brims to also cover shoulders, especially our Physician Endorsed hats with SPF, or wearing clothing with UV protection included – UV Skins makes fantastic (and stylish) shirts, pants and bathing suits perfect for the beach.
  2. Go organic – Organic is popular in the media right now, but it's an especially important trend for breast cancer fighters. When heading off to the beach, choose your sunscreen carefully and look at the ingredients. Organic sunscreens are a great option because they don't contain the toxic ingredients and chemicals that certain mainstream screens have. Some great options are Nurture My Body My Body sunscreen or CV SkinLabs - anything with minimal, all-natural ingredients. They're specifically tested to be safe for BC fighters and easy to throw into a beach bag!
  3. Stay hydrated – water, water, water! This is a rule no matter where you are, but especially important when you're in the sun. Lack of water can leave you dehydrated, causing faint or complications. Make sure you're packing water in your beach bag.
  4. Stay cool – especially for fighters, your body's changes can make it difficult for you to withstand heat like you once did. To keep cool, try positioning yourself under an umbrella or packing some cooling products like a fan or these really cool cooling beads. Combined with the nice breeze at the beach, you'll be set for a fun day!
  5. Hydrate the skin, too! Water keeps our bodies hydrated, but we need to keep the skin moisturized and hydrated for optimal health, too! Throw some organic, all-natural lotion in your beach bag and apply on your way home from the beach. The sun's rays can dry out our skin, and a little hydration once you're out of the sun will go a long way.
  6. Personal preparation is key – there's no problem seeking some rays a few days after surgery if you're up for it (one of our guardian divas hit the beach 10 days after her mastectomy!) but make sure you're waiting until you can handle the rays of the sun and you're keeping your safety #1. There are great sun sleeves and really cute cover ups (like these from CureDiva) that will help you stay covered while also covering up drains or other areas.
  7. Have fun!! Fighting breast cancer is an extremely brave and physically/emotionally draining experience, so once the summer hits, don't let your diagnosis keep you from summer fun activities you love! It's very possible to spend a day at the beach if you pack your bag with essentials that will keep you prepared and safe.  It's all about the preparation!
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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Chillin' Cherry Slider Sauce Recipe

Do you love to make homemade sliders? Sliders are super easy to make and they're a great way to control your portions when you eat hamburgers, cheeseburgers, veggie burgers and/or turkey burgers. With that said, sometimes you want to add some fun flavor to your grilled sliders to enhance your dining experience. The great folks over at Sparkling ICE sent over this slider sauce recipe for me to share with all of you. It looks delicious!

Chillin' Cherry Slider Sauce Recipe

1 bottle Cherry Limeade Sparkling Ice
2 cups cherries, pitted fresh or frozen (10 oz.)
2 medium shallots – chopped
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions: Add Cherry Limeade Sparkling Ice to medium saucepan. Bring to boil and reduce liquid by less half, about ¾ cup. Add cherries, shallots and spices. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and slow boil for 20 minutes until fruit is tender and liquid reduces further. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to blender. Blend until smooth. Top your favorite grilled sliders – try ground lamb, pork or chicken!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Watermelon Ginger Cherry Cooler Recipe

We are in the midst of summer heat around here in the northeast and sure has been steamy outside! After a long hard & hot day at work, I love to relax in the evenings with an ice cold cocktail. How about you? If you answered yes, you'll want to check out this delicious watermelon cocktail recipe from Sparkling ICE. 

It's super easy to make and tastes delicious! Sparkling ICE comes in all kinds of wonderful fruity flavors, so I bet you could easily substitute with a different fruit flavor if you wanted to. Anyway, here's the recipe!

Watermelon Ginger Cherry Cooler Recipe

2 bottles Sparkling Ice Black Cherry
1 cup ginger beer
Frozen watermelon chunks

Instructions: Mix Sparkling Ice Black Cherry and Ginger in highball glass - no ice. Put chunks of frozen watermelon in a blender and then add to soda. Garnish with fresh fruit. Serve beverage immediately or chill until you're ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

9 Ways to Get True Beauty Sleep

The quality and length of sleep you receive every night can have a profound impact on your skin’s overall health. When we sleep our bodies recharge. Not only do our bodies recharge, our skin does as well. Dr. Kaleroy Papantoniou is a board certified NYC dermatologist who explains that, “ During sleep we heal, restore and eliminate toxins from the skin. If sleep is compromised, so is the body’s ability to carry out these essential skin functions. During the first three hours of sleep your body will start producing the human growth hormone from the pituitary gland. As we age, this hormone is necessary for the maintenance of youthful and radiant skin. Without this hormone release, skin is not repaired from daily damage and thus induces the aging process.”

The middle two hours of sleep is when melatonin is increased. Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake patterns) but also acts as an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damaging free radicals.

The final three hours, or during the active REM sleep stage, levels of cortisol (aka the stress hormone) decrease. Dr. Papantoniou explains that, “The skin’s temperature also drops to its lowest point allowing muscles to relax and become immobile, giving skin its deepest recovery of the night.”

Dr. Papantoniou Provides 9 Ways To Get True Beauty Sleep

1. Supplement Your Sleep
As we age, our bodies naturally produce less melatonin, which affect our skin's ability to repair itself at night. If falling asleep is becoming more difficult, you may benefit from taking a melatonin supplement or using a topical product with melatonin to help combat decreased hormone levels. Melatonin works best if taken at night about 30 minutes before going to bed. This is when it serves its purpose, and helps to increase the depth and duration of restorative sleep. Restorative sleep, in turn helps accelerate and optimize the skin’s repair cycle, says Dr. Papantoniou.

2. Cleanse Twice
Have you ever washed your makeup off before bed, yet mysteriously woken up with liner smudged under your eyes? Turns out that's normal, especially if you used long-lasting makeup, which really does live up to its claim. Here's why: 12 to 24-hour foundations, mascaras, eyeliners, and eye shadows are all made with polymers that don't easily dissolve with soap and water, or water-based makeup remover.

Dr. Papantoniou says, “To really remove all traces of your makeup, take a cue from Korean skin care and wash your face twice using a method called "double cleansing." First, use an oil-based cleanser to remove your makeup (the oil breaks down the waxes and polymers way more effectively than soap and water). You can purchase an oil based make-up remover for this or even use coconut oil on a Q-tip to gently remove more stubborn makeup. Then, use a gentle non-soap cleanser to rid your skin of any leftover residue. An example of a gentle cleanser is Vanicream’s Gentle Cleanser or CeraVe Facial Cleanser”

3. Moisturize
While you sleep, your skin naturally repairs and restores itself, and cleaning it before bed maximizes this effect. Dr. Papanatoniou points out that, “During the day, your skin fights off all sorts of assaults, from UV rays to pollution; at night, there’s less damage control to do, so the beauty products that you apply may be more effective. Applying night creams to clean skin in the evening is the best time to soften your face; not to mention, it can feel soothing and relaxing as you prep for sleep.”

4. Put on a Sleep Mask
"Overnight masks are a great way to treat your skin and give it extra attention," says Dr. Papantoniou. The skin undergoes more cellular repair during sleep and can be more receptive to products at this time." She recommends using an overnight mask a few times a week in lieu of going through your usual nighttime regimen. Simply cleanse, slather on a layer of the mask, and go to sleep.

5. Keep Your Hair Off Your Face
Pull your hair back into a loose ponytail or wrap it in a scarf before going to bed. This will prevent the hair’s natural oils from rubbing off on your skin. This is especially important if your hair is unwashed or you are prone toward acne break outs.

6. Get The Right Pillowcases
It’s worth it to invest in some soft pillowcases, because friction from harsher cotton fibers can accelerate the development of permanent creases. Dr. Papantoniou suggests trying a smooth silk or satin pillowcase, which prevents trauma to the skin and reduces the probability of your skin forming lines and wrinkles while you sleep. Also remember to change and wash your pillowcases at least once a week.

7. Rejuvenate With a Retinoid
Choose an anti-age cream or serum that packs real power. These vitamin-a derivatives are key to youthful-looking skin. "But because exposure to sunlight can deactivate their potency, it's best to apply retinoids at night,” says Dr. Papantoniou. Start by using an OTC retinol-containing cream or serum every other night until skin becomes more tolerant to the side effects, which are often dryness and sensitivity.

8. Apply Eye Cream
If you are having problems with eye bags and puffiness after you wake up, applying eye cream before sleeping will solve this. Gently apply the cream around your eyes especially under it to replenish the skin surrounding your eyes. Make sure you stay hydrated during the day; this can help prevent water retention and will combat your sodium intake during the day.

9. Mind Your Sleeping Position
Train yourself not to sleep face down. This habit can cause premature wrinkles and creases. It’s better to position yourself properly while sleeping. This will also prevent your face from rubbing against pillowcases and sheets. If you are lucky and can sleep on you back, that is the best way to prevent wrinkles and creases from sleep habits.

About Dr. Papantoniou: Dr. Kally Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She specializes in Injectables, Lasers, Body Contouring, Surgical and Medical Dermatology. Dr. Papantoniou is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City. She applies expert techniques and the newest technologies to treat her patients. Dr. Papantoniou focuses on providing her patients with the highest level of care, with special interests in natural and healthy alternatives to treatments and disease prevention. Connect with Dr. Papantoniou via twitter @DrPderm or her website