Categories
Healthy Living

Infused Water Recipes

By Holly Byerly

Gearing up for an active and eventful season — working out more or traveling the globe —it is vital that we keep hydrated with water. The recommended eight glasses a day (closer to nine 8 oz. glasses for women, thirteen glasses for men and even more for children) can sometimes leave us wanting something more. For variety, we often reach for sugary, artificial flavor-ridden alternatives. Below are some healthy hydrating alternatives (any of these infused waters easily keeps for 2 days; just add more filtered water as needed) that I keep stocked in my fridge all year long. Enjoy!

1) REFRESH!

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Sweet Basil & Strawberry Refresher

1 Full Pitcher of Filtered Water

3 Large Strawberries – Sliced

10 Large Basil Leaves – Torn in half

2) WAKE UP!

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Citrus Wakeup Water

1 Full Pitcher of Filtered Water

1 Lime – Sliced

1 Lemon – Sliced

1 Orange – Sliced

2-4 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary

3) COOL AS A…

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Cucumber-Ginger Cooler

1 Full Pitcher of Filtered Water

1 Small Cucumber – Sliced

10 Thin Slices of Fresh Ginger

4) CHILL

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Pear-Mint Hydrating Chill

1 Full Pitcher of Filtered Water

1 Crisp Pear – Sliced

4-5 Sprigs of Fresh Mint – Crushed in hand

Try it as a hot tea, too!

Note: Citruses, strawberries and mint can be allergenic (both as foods and on skin, which can manifest as acne, rashes or darkening around the mouth and chin). If you’re allergic to any of these ingredients, swap out for alternatives! The wonderful thing about these infused waters is how many ingredients work well with them, and how little fruit or vegetables you need to subtle, deliciously, flavor your water.

Got a recipe to share? Tell us about it below!

Categories
Allergen, Not An Allergen Skin

CHLORINE: Allergen or Not An Allergen?

Not an Allergen (sort of).

Chlorine

This is a little complicated. This common disinfectant is a strong irritant that is known to cause several skin problems, from rashes to acne, and is present in ingredients that are published allergens, such as chlorinated hydrocarbons like triclosan……but “chlorine” itself is not published in common allergen lists.

Chlorine is also known to be a photo-allergen (reacting with light to cause hyperpigmentations in skin). This is why some individuals who work in or around pools or who use household cleaning products with chlorine develop dark patches and blotches on the face and/or other areas of exposed skin (reactions can occur from direct contact or simply from airborne exposure). Ironically (considering that it does tend to discolor skin), chlorine is also frequently used as a bleach to whiten paper and fabrics. If you are sensitive to chlorine, look for un-bleached options in papers, clothing, and cleaning products. You may also need to lessen your exposure to pools disinfected with chlorine, and even apply a bit of a barrier before showering or bathing — like a barrier jelly or pure virgin coconut oil — if your city chlorinates its water supply.

Finally, if you are sensitive to chlorine, you may be sensitive to other halogens. too. Cut down on bromides, iodides, and other halogens in general in your foods, but also in vitamins, skin products, and drinks. Check out this handy halogen-free diet, and learn more about peri-oral dermatitis here.

If you have a history of sensitive skin, don’t guess: random trial and error can cause more damage. Ask your dermatologist about a patch test.

For more:

On the prevalence of skin allergies, see Skin Allergies Are More Common Than Ever and One In Four Is Allergic to Common Skin Care And Cosmetic Ingredients.

To learn more about the VH-Rating System and hypoallergenicity, click here.

References: 

Regularly published reports on the most common allergens by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (based on over 28,000 patch test results, combined), plus other studies. Remember, we are all individuals — just because an ingredient is not on the most common allergen lists does not mean you cannot be sensitive to it, or that it will not become an allergen. These references, being based on so many patch test results, are a good basis but it is always best to get a patch test yourself.

1. Warshaw, E.M., Maibach, H.I., Taylor, J.S., et al. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012. Dermatitis. 2015; 26: 49-59

2. W Uter et al. The European Baseline Series in 10 European Countries, 2005/2006–Results of the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA). Contact Dermatitis 61 (1), 31-38.7 2009

3. Wetter, DA et al. Results of patch testing to personal care product allergens in a standard series and a supplemental cosmetic series: An analysis of 945 patients from the Mayo Clinic Contact Dermatitis Group, 2000-2007. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Nov;63(5):789-98.

4. Verallo-Rowell VM. The validated hypoallergenic cosmetics rating system: its 30-year evolution and effect on the prevalence of cosmetic reactions. Dermatitis 2011 Apr; 22(2):80-97

5. Ruby Pawankar et al. World Health Organization. White Book on Allergy 2011-2012 Executive Summary.

6. Misery L et al. Sensitive skin in the American population: prevalence, clinical data, and role of the dermatologist. Int J Dermatol. 2011 Aug;50(8):961-7.

7. Warshaw EM1, Maibach HI, Taylor JS, Sasseville D, DeKoven JG, Zirwas MJ, Fransway AF, Mathias CG, Zug KA, DeLeo VA, Fowler JF Jr, Marks JG, Pratt MD, Storrs FJ, Belsito DV. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012.Dermatitis. 2015 Jan-Feb;26(1):49-59.

8. Warshaw, E et al. Allergic patch test reactions associated with cosmetics: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2001-2004. J AmAcadDermatol 2009;60:23-38. 

9. Foliaki S et al. Antibiotic use in infancy and symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children 6 and 7 years old: International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Phase III. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Nov;124(5):982-9.

10. Kei EF et al. Role of the gut microbiota in defining human health. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2010 Apr; 8(4): 435–454.

11. Thavagnanam S et al. A meta-analysis of the association between Caesarean section and childhood asthma. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008;38(4):629–633.

12. Marks JG, Belsito DV, DeLeo VA, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch-test results, 1998 to 2000. Am J Contact Dermat. 2003;14(2):59-62.

13. Warshaw EM, Belsito DV, Taylor JS, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch test results: 2009 to 2010. Dermatitis. 2013;24(2):50-99.

Categories
Featured Healthy Living Skin

Drink Lots Of Water: 30-Day Healthy Skin Challenge

Your body needs water. Your skin needs water. Drink water.

It really is that important. 

While water alone can’t keep skin healthy — enough sleep, good nutrition, plus a good skincare regimen that includes proper cleansing, a moisturizer to prevent water loss (you’re seeing how important it is to prevent water loss, yes?) and strengthen the barrier layer…plus a daily sunscreen are needed, too — adequate hydration is crucial for your entire body’s proper functioning.

Among many, many other things, water flushes out toxins, keeps the membranous areas of our bodies moist, and brings nutrients to our cells.

You constantly lose water by breathing, sweating, and in urine, and to replenish, you need more than you may think: women need to be drinking about nine 8 oz. cups (a little over 2 liters); and men about thirteen 8 oz. cups (about 3 liters) of water a day.

Our body weight is about 60% water. Water…not juice or milk (which the body treats as food). This vital fluid is so important for our cells and our overall health, so make sure you’re drinking enough of it every day.

TIP: Not sure if you’re drinking enough water? Measure your intake by carrying around a water bottle that has an ounce or liter fill specified on it. For example, if your water bottle says that it takes 18oz, you know you need to refill it (and drink all of it) about 4 times throughout the day. Down a bottle after working out or at breakfast. Down another at lunch. Down a third in the afternoon. And down another at dinner.