FACEfirst Makeup Brushes

We all know that a good set of makeup brushes can help us apply our makeup in a more natural looking and precise way. Yet, every time a brush touches our face, it comes into contact with bacteria. With regular use, our brushes can become overwhelmed with dirt and grime – causing irritation and even infection of our skin. Most high quality brushes are made from real animal hair, so cleaning a makeup brush is very similar to washing your hair. You should clean your brushes once a week, and more frequently if you have acne or an active infection in the area where you use the brush. Cleaning is simple: wet the brush in warm water; place anti-bacterial liquid dish or hand soap into the palm of your hand; lather the bristles of the brush in your palm; rinse thoroughly with warm water until the rinse water runs clear; squeeze gently and dry with a soft towel or a hair dryer on a low setting. If your bristles fall out with a washing, it’s time to replace your brush.

smashbox PENNYwiseP BB Cream

BB cream stands for Beauty Balm. It is a cosmetic product that originated in Asia, but most major US Brands now have a BB Cream too. These lightweight tinted products are designed to multi-task – and to shave a few steps off your morning routine. They are touted as a five-in-one facial product designed to replace a serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sunblock. Many products not contain whitening and brightening ingredients as well. BB Creams can cover skin imperfections, but the coverage is usually lighter than traditional foundation. Additionally, some contain a pearl particle or mica that gives a glow to the skin. Limitations of BB Creams include inability to treat acne and lack of deep moisturizing ingredients. An important part of BB Creams is their SPF factor and many, such as Smashbox’s camera ready BB cream SPF 35, meet the daily broad spectrum sun protection factor recommendation and are cruelty-free. Apply daily to clean skin with a clean brush. Smashbox products available in eight shades at ULTA.com. 1oz. $39.

planar footUNDERfoot Plantar Fasciitis

If you are an athlete – or even just wear high heels regularly – you may know of this painful foot disorder. Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It arises from inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bone to your toes – the plantar fascia. The pain usually occurs on the bottom of the heel when first walking in the morning and is often described as a stabbing pain. This painful condition is common in athletes – particularly runners – and also in women who wear high heels with poor arch support. The plantar fascia is a “shock-absorber” for our foot, and the pain arises from irritation and inflammation of the fascia as a result of small tears in the fascia. Diagnosis can be made by a medical professional’s physical exam, and usually no further testing is needed. Treatment includes rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and orthotics. Rarely, more invasive treatments are needed. If you think you might have this painful condition, consult your physician.

WheatPOUNDfoolish Gluten

Is gluten really bad for you? If you are confused by the gluten-free diet craze, you’re not alone. Gluten is a protein found in grain products. The chief offender is wheat, but gluten can be found in barley, rye and oats. Our gluten concerns and outright phobia has become a complex subject as we try to improve our health in an era when gluten and its derivatives are used in most all processed foods. A few things do seem quite clear: no one needs gluten; and a segment of the population that has a disease called “Celiac Sprue” cannot have any gluten. Celiac disease is an inflammatory condition of the colon – brought on by ingesting gluten – that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. When people who have been diagnosed with Celiac eat food containing gluten, it triggers unpleasant symptoms such as stomach pain and cramps, bloating, heartburn, joint pain, rashes, fatigue and insomnia. Some experts even think gluten can cause a “brain fog” that is reported to clear entirely when gluten is eliminated from the diet. For those of us who do not have gluten sensitivity but are searching for dietary improvement, it is important to remember that gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, so it is advised to seek the help of a nutritionist or dietician when making drastic changes to your diet.

About The Author: Dr Elizabeth VanderVeer MD