10 Foods To Eat For Healthier Hair

It’s easy to run to the nearest beauty salon when your locks look dull or feel lifeless – but there are actually some natural solutions you can work into your routine from your very own kitchen.

Overall hair health, including strength and appearance, has been linked to the foods you’re eating. The basis of healthy hair starts with each strand’s individual composition, which can directly be influenced by the nutrients you may (or may not) be consuming.

Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, told Health that nutrients naturally found in some foods can influence the state of your keratin levels, the protein that makes up the composition of your hair and nails.

The key to hair production is protein and blood flow – the American Academy of Dermatology breaks down how each strand of hair begins to grow in the follicle, and it all starts with the root of your hair, which is made up of cells from protein. Your blood flow circulates across your scalp, supporting the root of each hair follicle, helping each strand to grow out fully over time. In addition to a myriad of other health issues, a lack of protein and poor blood circulation could affect how your own hair grows.

It might be tempting to seek out a short-term solution, but the secret to truly healthy hair lies in foods loaded with protein and nutrients that help restore strength and thickness to your locks.

Here’s a list of hair-strengthening foods and a few great ways to work them into your daily menu:


These nuts are full of shorter-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics say are officially known as alpha-linolenic (ALA) acids. These omega-3 fatty acids help keep your hair sleek and hydrated as they reduce inflammation in your scalp and provide natural moisturizers in each follicle, Health reports.

Try this: Pan-Seared Salmon with Pear and Walnut Spinach Salad


Foods full of antioxidants and zinc, like oysters, can help restore the fullness to your hair as well as overall shine, according to Health. If you’re not a big fan of oysters, you might try increasing red meat consumption instead – but moderation is still key.

Try this: Roasted Oysters with Lemon-Anise Stuffing


Vitamin C is necessary for your body to maintain its protein levels, including the proteins used in the creation of your hair follicles. A cup of strawberries is only 49 calories and delivers 149 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Looking for other sources of vitamin C? Many citrus fruits will do the trick, as well as the equally powerful guava.

Try this: Strawberry-Chicken Salad with Pecans


There’s a reason why the American Heart Association recommends two servings of oily fish, like salmon, each week. Salmon is enriched with omega-3 fatty acids that help maintain your scalp’s oil levels by improving heart health and blood flow, which can directly affect the hydration of your hair. Unlike walnuts, the kind of omega-3s found in salmon are long-chain fatty acids known as eicosapetaenoic acids (EPA) and docosahexaeonic acids (DHA). If your hair is feeling particularly dull or lackluster, salmon is a wholesome ingredient to consider consuming on a more frequent basis.

Try this: Sautéed Salmon with Citrus Salsa

Whey Protein

Without sufficient protein in your system, Health says your hair can enter what’s known as a “resting phase” which can result in noticeable hair loss. If you’re feeling like your mane is thinner than usual, your protein consumption might be lacking. Try tossing some whey protein powder into your morning smoothie for an easy, no-cook way to boost your protein.

Try this: Berry Green Smoothie


Biotin is another important vitamin that can help your hair grow longer and stronger. The National Institute of Health recommends that adults seek out biotin vitamins attached to natural proteins and points to protein-rich items, including legumes such as chickpeas, black beans, and lentils.

Try this: Chickpea “Meatballs” with Crunchy Romaine Salad

Brown Rice and Quinoa

Other essential vitamins for Rapunzel-esque hair include niacin as well as vitamins B6 and B12, all found naturally in whole grains. The University of Maryland’s Medical Center points to niacin’s ability to improve circulation in the bloodstream, a must for the healthy growth of individual hair strands.

Try this: Quinoa Bowl with Avocado and Egg


Eggs pack a one-two punch of proteins and biotin – a hearty breakfast could be a great way to ensure your body is producing sufficient keratin.

Try this: Half-Moon Browned Omelet


A big cause of hair imperfections and even hair loss, according to the Mayo Clinic, is simple – stress. If you’re continually stressed out, there’s a good chance your hair will be the first to show it. To aid your body in fighting stress, the University of Kansas’ School of Medicine recommends seeking out foods that are high in magnesium, the element that makes up the structure of your teeth and bones and helps keep muscles relaxed and blood pressure low. The National Institute of Health shares that an ounce of almonds can provide you with up to 20 percent of your recommended daily value of magnesium – leafy greens and whole grains are also great sources.

Try This: Avocado and Almond Leafy Salad


Another cause of thin and weak hair is iron deficiency. Many people with low iron turn to supplements, but you can actually find iron naturally in red meat, says the National Institute of Health. Other sources of iron include leafy greens, beans, and iron-fortified cereals and breads.

Try this: Slow-Cooker Thai Beef Curry

When changing your diet isn’t enough, adding a conditioning treatment can help strengthen, soften, and smooth your hair—from the inside out. Here are four products we love.

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask

Deeply conditions with argan oil and anti-breakage ingredients that help improve strands’ flexibility. Can be used daily or weekly and works in less than five minutes. $15, amazon.com

The Ultimate One Repair Mask

This luxurious mask from hair genius Frédéric Fekkai helps deliver less breakage after just one use. It mends split ends and shields against environmental stressors—plus, it smells amazing. $42, fekkai.com

Oribe Gold Lust Pre-Shampoo Intensive Treatment

It may feel odd to add a treatment before you cleanse, but this product helps deeply hydrate, nixes frizz, and improves elasticity without weighing hair down. $68, oribe.com

Budget pick: Garnier Fructis Treat Hair Masks

This is a one-stop shop: Use it as a hair mask, conditioner, or even as a leave-in treatment. Available in five different “flavors,” each delivering specialized results. $4.50, amazon.com

Chapped Lips? Try One of These 6 Cult Favorite Lip Balms

Is your pout feeling the brunt of winter? Because lips are thin and lack oil glands, they’re more prone to dehydration from the icy and windy conditions outside, plus the dry heat inside.

To the rescue: Six cult favorite balms to give your pucker the extra TLC it needs just in time for spring.

Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15

The rosy hue enhances the natural color of your lips for a just-kissed finish, while infusing them with antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E to bolster moisture. ($23, sephora.com)

EOS Organic Lip Balm Smooth Spheres

Easy to apply—check! Packed with moisturizers—check! Bonus points for the cute egg shape. This soothing balm uses shea butter and jojoba oil to lock in moisture. ($3, ulta.com)

RELATED: The 7 Best Lip Colors for Spring

By Terry Baume de Rose Multi-Protecteur

This ultra-luxe pick is packed with essential oils so it glides onto lips, leaving them silky, not sticky. ($60, bloomingdales.com)

Burt’s Bees Squeezable Beeswax Lip Balm

Just one squeeze of this hard-hitting all star will instantly quench the most dehydrated lips. Its combo of beeswax and peppermint oil protects and repairs flaky skin. ($4, drugstore.com)

RELATED: 6 Makeup Tricks for Getting Fuller Lips

Clarins HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm

Infused with moisturizing ceramides—the natural lipids found in skin—and rice oil, it leaves lips looking radiant and plump. ($24, macys.com)

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek

A favorite of supermodel Miranda Kerr, this organic balm uses coconut oil to nourish lips and paints your pout with a subtle stain of lustrous color. Bonus: It can be used on cheeks for a natural-looking flush. ($36, rmsbeauty.com)

RELATED: 18 Skin Care Products That Erase Years

50 Ways to Cover Your Gray


If sneaky strands of gray or white refuse to submit to your styling attempts, we’ve got the goods, tips, and tricks to help you whip your hair into shape. Your new safe word will be “gorgeous.”



1. Double duty

Your morning rush got you down? Knock seconds off your get-ready time by spritzing in dry shampoo to zap greasy roots. Pick one with a subtle tint to cover gray.Batiste Dry Shampoo Hint of Color (in Light & Blonde, Medium & Brunette, or Dark & Deep Brown), $9; ulta.comÂ



2. How wow

The wide side of the brush is great for covering up your part; the smaller side is for detail-work like temples and sideburns.Color Wow Root Cover Up (in 6 shades), $35; ulta.com



3. Totally tubular

It’s easy to fill in ash-hued spots around the hairline with this lipstick-like applicator.Cover Your Gray Touch Up Stick, $4; amazon.com



4. Magic wand

Pick from eight shades of shampoo-out color delivered via a butterfinger-proof mascara wand (which promises no clumping!).Cover Your Gray Brush-In Wand, $6; coveryourgray.com



5. Silver threads

A soft-tip applicator gives lots of control, perfect for the sideburn area, in six shades of temporary camouflage.Cover Your Gray Root Touch-Up, $6; coveryourgray.com



6. Powder puff

Hair powders soak up excess oil (great for a non-shampoo day) and add a bit of body. “I love [Bumble and Bumble] because it also adds a hint of shine,” says celebrity stylist Jet Rhys. “It’s not dull and powdery-looking.” Her tip: To avoid getting any splotches on hair, skin, or clothes, spray the shampoo on a brush then brush the scalp, and spray before you’re dressed.Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder (in A Tint of Brown, A Bit Blondish, or Black), $36; sephora.com



7. Makeup makeover

Use a brow pencil in a color similar to your locks for an on-the-go cover-up. Do the same with eye shadow; though Rhys suggests picking one with a sponge tip brush, for easiest application.



8. Better red

If you’ve got striking scarlet locks, and can’t, in a pinch, find matching temporary color, Doug Macintosh, Colorist at Louise O’Connor Salon in New York City, says he has clients who brush on blush.



9. Foam party

From a product line developed by a doctor to address her hair issues, this daily application of foam aims to stimulate pigment-producing cells in hair.MD Hair Color Restoration, $49.99 for a 60-day supply; md-factor.com



10. Pop a pill?

This supplement contains catalase, an enzyme thought to stimulate melanin production, along with other nutrients meant to promote hair health.No Gray Hairs Catalase XP H202 Blocker, $50; gnc.com

RELATED: 10 Myths You Shouldn’t Believe About Hair Loss in Women



11. Sharpie image

Permanent marker to touch up roots is a “thing.” Before you try it, know that this can go madly astray, and probably only works if your hair is jet black, dark brown, or, um, neon yellow. Macintosh is not a fan. “I had someone come in who had used black magic marker on gray hair. It ended up this steely gray, and we could not get it out. We also had a hard time coloring over it.”



12. Lash bash

We’ve heard of people using mascara (the kind for your lashes) as a root touch-up. It sounds like a great idea, since you can find tubes in a variety of colors—from blonde to light brown to jet-black. Well, we’ve tried it—and not naming any brand names—the end result was a matted, clumpy hairline.



13. Make a mark

This temporary color will help hide pesky strands for 30-plus applications. Go for the marker when you’re running out the door and need quick big-picture coverage. The wand is for more precise application.TouchBack Marker (in five shades, from Soft Black to Natural Blonde), $30, ulta.com, and TouchBack Wand (in light, medium, and dark brown), $10; Walgreens stores



14. Famous fix

From Rita Hazan, celeb colorist to stars known for their gorgeous manes (think: Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez), this alcohol-free temporary spritz uses natural pigments (iron oxides, titanium dioxides, and mica) to do the job. With five shade choices, you’re sure to find a stellar match.Rita Hazan Root Concealer, $25; sephora.com



15. Pump…you up

Can’t commit? Root coverage that washes out in one shampoo—in 22 colors from your basic auburns, browns, and blondes to three shades of glitter. Or, just for brunettes, four thickening hues can fluff up your style.Salon Grafix High Beams Temporary Spray-On Color (Intense, in 22 colors, $7, amazon.com or Color Thickener in 4 colors, $7, amazon.com)




16. Filled out

Do double-duty by making hair look thicker while covering gray. Tiny keratin fibers bond with hair; they resist rain, wind, and sweat, but will shampoo out.Toppik Hair-Building Fibers in nine shades, $24.95; ulta.com




17. Getting buffed up

A hairspray-like delivery system for thinning hair doubles as cover-up.Fullmore Colored Hair Thickener in five shades, $15; amazon.com



18. Puff daddy

For brunettes only: A choice of two brown shades delivered via a targeted nozzle zooms in color where you need it.Marc Anthony True Professional Bye.Bye Gray Root Touch Up Spray (in Light to Medium Brown and Medium to Dark Brown/Black) $10; drugstore.com



19. Happy hideaway

There’s concealer for your dark circles; this one is for your roots.Style Edit Conceal Your Grays Root Concealer (available in blonde, black/dark brown, and medium/light brown), $13; amazon.com



20. Protect yourself

One key to using dye to cover gray is helping it last for as long as possible. So, after you’ve dyed your ‘do, use a shampoo designed to keep color from fading. This one is sulfate-free and uses baobab, an African miracle ingredient that’s packed with antioxidants.ColorProof Baobab Heal & Repair Shampoo, $50; colorproof.com for info

RELATED: 10 Foods for Stronger Nails and Thicker Hair



21. Apple a day

This alcohol-free thermal protection product with a concoction of botanicals and ingredients found in fancy skin serums (apple stem cell extract, for example) will help your hair hang onto color.Bosley Professional Strength Volumizing & Thickening Nourishing Leave-In, $10; amazon.com



22. Bright idea

Let your inner Katy Perry roar: Paint on an out-there hue to distract attention from roots, or anything (or anyone!) else. There’s a whole rainbow to choose from.Manic Panic High Voltage Classic Cream Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Electric Amethyst (one of 30 plus shades), $11; amazon.com



23. Do your part

We love this old-school go-to for gray distraction: parting your hair in a new way. “If you make a zigzag part, you won’t see the gray as much,” Macintosh says.



24. Dry idea

Another fool-the-eye try: Add lift to the hair at your crown and/or bangs with a volumizing product and a blow dryer. “Get dry shampoo, put it in your part, and rough it up a bit,” says Macintosh. “Hair will stick up a bit, and you won’t notice the gray as much.” Rhys suggests a little light teasing, or a few hot rollers at the crown for a similar effect.



25. Extend yourself

“Hair extensions and add-on pieces are a great option for those trying to camouflage their grays, while at the same time adding volume and style,” says celebrity stylist Tabatha Coffey, star of Bravo’s Tabatha Takes Over and creator of Secret Cover, a clip-in extension piece that pops onto the crown of your head, where grays are often most obvious.Secret Cover (in 13 colors), $39.99; getsecretcover.com



26. Beanies, baby

Don the Smurf-like, slouchy knit hat sported by hipsters from Wythe Avenue to Abbot Kinney Boulevard to your local mall.Patagonia Slopestyle Beanie Hat in Teal, $20; backcountry.com



27. With the band

Extra-wide sporty headbands keep your roots out of sight while you get a workout. (Too bad you can’t wear this alllll day…)Goody Athletique Premium Stretch Space Dye with Silicone headband, $6 for two; target.com



28. Turban time

Fashionistas are getting their Gloria Swanson on with this old-school headgear. Get wound up in the trend on Pinterest.Missoni Painterly Knit Turban, $210; saksfifthavenue.com



29. Going wild

A drape-y headband in a chic animal print helps you stand out from the herd on a drinks night out.Goody FashioNow Cheetah Fabric Headwrap, $2.23; walmart.com



30. Scarf it up

This retro pin-up look doubles as a roots cover. Tutorials for this vintage-y head wrap abound. Channel Rosie the Riveter, whose motto was “We can do it!”






RELATED: 21 Reasons Why You’re Losing Your Hair



31. Wig out

How about unabashedly faux party hair in vibrant orange? That’s definitely the new gray!Dutch Wig in Orange (also Hot Pink, Yellow, Black, Dark Green, Platinum Blonde, Dark Chestnut), $29.99; rickysnyc.com



32. Go faux

Or be (a bit) more reality-based, opting for a wig in a color found in nature (on people’s heads, that is) like on this cute, layered lob.Vivica A. Fox Collection Meliah Wig in 14 colors, $38.90; vivicafoxhair.com



33. On demand

The beauty of this applicator is that it mixes up color each time you use it, so you can do a little (just roots) or a lot (your entire head). Save the remainder for your next go-round. Take the online quiz at lorealparisusa.com for help finding the right color.L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Mousse Absolue, $14; target.com



34. Time saver

If you’ve got lots and lots of gray, a DIY dye can give monochromatic, flat color. We’re big fans of this permanent version with highlights and tone variations built in. Aimed at women 55+, it also contains nurturing, volumizing ingredients to counter age-related dryness and thinning. The best feature, though, may be the brushlet meant just for temples and sideburns.L’Oreal Paris Excellence Age Perfect (in 8 shades), $8; amazon.com



35. Root cause

This just-for-roots potion is engineered to match any DIY brand of color. The contoured brush helps you avoid slip-ups, and, all it takes is 10 minutes.Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Root Touch-up Permanent Hair color (in 21 shades), $7; amazon.com



36. The two-step

Color roots and the length of hair in separate steps, just like a pro colorist would with Vidal Sassoon Salonist, $12; amazon.com



37. Get personal

Fill out a brief questionnaire, send in a recent photo, and ask yourself, “Who needs a salon?” This custom-blended color is mixed to match just for you, and shipped directly to your home. “Gray hair can be a little harder to process. This color has extra pigment for better cover,” says Estelle Baumhauer, eSalon Color Director. “If your gray is especially resistant, you can leave the dye on five to 10 minutes longer.” Got questions? You can email or phone your designated colorist.eSalon hair color set (includes color, developer, shampoo, conditioner, stain guard, and stain remover), $19.95; esalon.com



38. Foiled again

Many women turn to a pro when silver strands multiply. If you go this route, you’ll probably want to include return salon visits to cover grow-out in your beauty budget. “Four to six weeks is the average time my clients go,” says Macintosh. To push the time between appointments to six or eight weeks, he sometimes tries this technique: “I weave out some of the gray around the face, and put in foils with color and conditioner between those pieces. Then you don’t have an obvious root line around the face as hair grows,” he says.



39. Shady lady

Flip the script on ombré hair! Usually, that trendy look is darker on top, then progressively lighter. “The darker the hair is, the more apparent the gray will look at the root line,” says Rhys. Our twist: Go lighter at the top, darkening toward the ends.



40. Silver streak

We’ve often heard the tip that going lighter and piling on the highlights will help downplay gray grow-in. We asked an expert: “If you’re naturally blonde and want to stay blonde, then highlights can help,” says Macintosh. “But if you’re a brunette and white starts growing in, highlights are not going to help hide it.”

RELATED: 16 Hair Myths You Need to Stop Believing



41. Go low

Not a fan of highlights? “You can have lowlights put in hair—tones close to your natural color. You paint them in like highlights, and that will camouflage the gray so you won’t have the huge root line,” Macintosh says.



42. Brush up

Balayage, or painting in color freehand, is another technique used to minimize obvious roots. “Have your colorist cover the gray at the root area,” says Rhys. Then, have him or her use balayage on selected strands of hair with a darker color. “This makes it look more natural, like you were born with it.”



43. Just the highlights

They don’t always have to be blonde. “Highlighting comes in all colors,” says Rhys. “If you have red hair, your colorist can add lighter strands of a red to add lightness which will soften and blend the gray. If you have brown hair, ask your colorist for soft caramel lights to do the same. Honey blond? Add some pale baby blonde to the hair.”



44. Precious metal

No one will see a few stray grays when your hair is an eye-catching platinum hue. Caveat: Going this route is high-maintenance and can be damaging to hair, so weigh the pros and cons.



45. Focus fix

If you have large streaks or a skunk stripe you want to lose, you could have your colorist cover just those sections, and leave the rest of your hair alone. The downside: It’s almost impossible to be so precise with hair dye, says Macintosh. And it could take longer (which is gonna cost you).



46. Strong like bull

Total gray coverage is guaranteed with new Redken Chromatics Ultra Rich color. The new oil-powered permanent dye packs protein particles into your follicles. The result: luminous color with a healthy shine and less breakage.Redken Chromatics Ultra Rich color; redken.com for salons



47. What the pluck?

If picking up tweezers seems like the easiest way to deal with the occasional stray gray, think again. “You have to realize that, over time, you’re going to get more and more,” says Michelle Blaisure, a trichologist and Bosley Professional Strength Expert. “If you continue to pull them out, you can damage the hair follicle. That can lead to the hair having less of an ability to grow in a healthy way; it will come in looking thinner and weaker.”



48. Arch friend

Why go bonkers covering your gray and then leave telltale pale eyebrow hairs telegraphing time’s passage? Pick a brow tint that resists sweat and weather.Blinc Fountain of Youthful Color Eyebrow Mousse (in nine colors—plus clear), $24; amazon.com



49. High brow

This flake-proof formulation in a universal tint will keep any stray grays away from brows.Ramy Cosmetics When Hairy Met Sealy Brow Gel in Tinted, $20; amazon.com



50. Multi-tasker

In colors like Mahogany, Auburn, and New Slate, this cream-gel formulation blends easily in brows and hair—and doesn’t look phony. It’s a two-fer!Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up, $24; sephora.com

RELATED: 10 Ways to Detox Your Hair


What Your Face Reveals About Your Health Risks, According to a New Study

By Dennis ThompsonHealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Every face tells a story, and that story apparently includes hints of how quickly a person is aging, a new study contends.

Facial features have proven even more reliable than blood tests in spotting those for whom time is taking a heavier toll, a Chinese research team reports in the March 31 issue of the journal Cell Research.

A computerized 3-D facial imaging process uncovered a number of “tells” that show if a person is aging more rapidly, including a widening mouth, bulging nose, sagging upper lip, shrinking gums and drooping eye corners, the researchers said.

“This suggests not only that youth is ‘skin deep,’ but also that health is ‘written’ on the face,” the study authors concluded, suggesting that facial scanning could more accurately assess a person’s general health than a routine physical exam.

This sort of facial imaging is part of a cutting-edge technology aimed at estimating life expectancy and assessing health risk factors simply by taking a scan of your face, said Jay Olshansky, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health and a board member of the American Federation for Aging Research.

“A lot of your risk factor for disease shows up in your face,” Olshansky said. “You can identify the precise places on the face where these risk factors show up.”

In fact, Olshansky predicts that insurance companies eventually could turn to such technology to improve underwriting of life insurance, predicting a person’s future health with a simple face scan rather than a complex panel of blood tests.

“All of that blood chemistry, all of the money spent on it, is mostly a waste of money and time,” he said. “You can get at these risks a much simpler way through a combination of facial analytics and asking the right questions.”

In the new study, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences collected 3-D facial images of 332 people of Chinese descent between the ages of 17 and 77.

Based on this data, the researchers constructed a model for predicting age, generating a map of the aging human face that recognized certain patterns of aging based on specific facial features.

They found that up to age 40, people of the same chronological age could differ by up to six years in facial age. Those older than 40 showed even wider variation in facial age.

“In aging science, we know people who look young for their age are aging more slowly,” Olshansky said. “They look younger because they probably are younger. One year of clock time is matched by something less than one year of biological time. It’s real. We can see it.”

The researchers compared the results of their facial scans to routine blood tests they took from the participants, and found that age estimates based on facial features were more accurate than blood screenings for cholesterol, uric acid or the blood protein albumin.

The findings track with what doctors already know about how age can affect a person’s face, said Dr. Anne Taylor, chairwoman of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Public Education Committee.

“Our lips are shrinking, and the distance between the nose and the mouth increases as we age,” Taylor said. “And there’s a reason for the saying, ‘Long in the tooth.’ Your gums are shrinking as you age, so more of your teeth are showing.”

Olshansky added that facial features also reveal evidence of behaviors that can affect your health.

Smokers tend to develop wrinkles around the mouth, caused by constant pursing of the lips to suck on a cigarette, he said. Drinkers develop a “W.C. Fields” nose, red and bulbous at the tip.

Researchers currently are exploring the ways in which diabetes, obesity, drug use and other detrimental personal behaviors affect the aging of the face, Olshansky noted.

Even though the Chinese findings jibe with what is known about facial aging, they need to be verified through follow-up research, said Dr. Stephen Park, president of the American Academy of Facial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Park argued that the new study could not show whether some people are physically aging faster than their years, because the researchers did not include a control group for comparison.

“It’s not fair to say some are physiologically aging faster or more slowly than their chronological age suggests, because they use the data from these participants to define what the age group should look like,” he said.

More information

Visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health for more on aging.

What Dr. Brandt Taught Me About Loving My Skin

Fredric Brandt, MD, the famed dermatologist to the stars, passed away on Sunday at 65. He was a dear friend to Health, and all of us in the beauty community are still mourning the loss of the skincare pioneer, “Baron of Botox,” and all-around kind person.

Of course, it made me think of some of the snippets of advice I’ve taken away from our interviews over the years. Dr. Brandt was the first dermatologist who taught me to never (and he meant never) go outside without sun protection. He even had me convinced that sun protective clothing could be chic. And when he told me that eating sugar could bring on wrinkles due to a process called glycation—which he made a hot topic a few years back—nothing could curb my sweet tooth faster.

But beyond any of that, his greatest gift was helping women feel confident in their own skin. I’ll never forget when a previous boss of mine returned from one of her appointments at Dr. Brandt’s office looking and feeling rested, rejuvenated, and 10 years younger—she had a new lease on life. His goal, he told the New York Times last year, was “to keep people…feeling vital and good about themselves.” That, too, is what we strive to do at Health.

Why You Should Maybe Think Twice About Using Eyeliner on Your Waterline

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Applying pencil eyeliner to the inner eyelid increases the risk that particles will get into the eye and cause vision problems, a new study warns.

Volunteers first applied glitter eyeliner outside the lash line and then on the inner lid closer to the eye. Within five minutes, 15 percent to 30 percent more eyeliner particles moved into the eye’s tear film — the thin coating protecting the eye — when eyeliner was applied to the inner eyelid, compared to outside the lash line.

Particles also moved more quickly into the eye itself when eyeliner was applied inside the lash line, according to study leader Alison Ng, of the Center for Contact Lens Research at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Eyeliner particles in the tear film may cause discomfort for people with sensitive or dry eyes, and can also adhere to contact lenses and accumulate if used for more than one day, Ng explained. That can lead to complications such as irritation and redness, the presence of harmful bacteria, and even eye infections or blurred vision.

The study was published recently in the journal Eye and Contact Lens Science and Clinical Practice.

Previous research has also shown that old eye makeup can harbor bacteria, Ng noted.

“If you thoroughly sharpen your pencil eyeliner before each application and get rid of the stuff that’s stuck to the end, you’ll have a fresh tip which can help prevent infection,” Ng said in a university news release.

“With twist-up eyeliner, cut some off the end before each use,” Ng added. “And always make sure to fully remove eye makeup before bed.”

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about cosmetics.

5 Beauty Tricks for Looking Well

You might think that late-night Netflix binge was worth every hour of missed sleep, but a zombie look just won’t cut in your morning meeting. To the rescue: Five pro tricks that will bring you back from The Walking Dead, fast.

Deflate puffy skin

Boost circulation and move out fluid like a pump with this technique from celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau: Let hot shower water hit your face and gently massage your skin. After the shower, apply a cold compress for five minutes.

RELATED: 18 Skin Care Products That Erase Years

Give your face a lift

“A tight, high ponytail or even a half-updo lifts the eye area and gives the entire face a more open, alive look,” says Los Angeles celebrity hairstylist Sunnie Brook Jones.

Disguise dark circles

Try New York City celebrity makeup artist Emily Kate Warren’s trick: Apply a yellow-tinted concealer directly to the darkest part of undereyes (typically the inner corners), let sit for a few seconds, then use a fluffy makeup brush to fade out the edges for a natural effect.

RELATED: 29 Expert Beauty Tips Every Woman Should Know

Open up your eyes

Los Angeles celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles applies a thin line of black eyeliner right against the lashline, smudging it slightly for a wide-awake effect. “Be sure to curl your lashes to and don’t be afraid to pile on the mascara,” she adds.

Go for a glow

“Two shades of blush can do wonders to revive your skin,” says Stiles. Apply your regular blush to the apples of cheeks, then add a brighter shade just at the tops of cheekbones for extra lift.

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Natural Ways to Pretty Up

From products made at farms to stem cell technology, there’s a bumper crop of innovations to help you look your best.

Vegan Treats

Photo: Lisa Shin

For those staunch about avoiding animal-derived products in their diet and lifestyle, vegan beauty buys are a logical choice, as they leave out common ingredients like honey and beeswax. (Also nice: They’re not tested on animals.)

But a growing number of meat eaters are also intrigued, now that vegan makeup, skin-care and hair-care items are popping up in mainstream drugstores and giants like Sephora. They tend to cost a bit more, though, so why try them? Vegan products typically contain fewer chemicals, so they’re good for those who are cautious about what they put on their skin.

Our picks: (1) The Gnarly Whale Sudsy Shampoo, $17; thegnarlywhale.com. (2) Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, $90; sephora.com.(3) Ella+Mila Nail Polish, $7 each; amazon.com.

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Photo: Lisa Shin

Perhaps you’ve been to one of those trendy restaurants touting farm-to-table dishes that are minimally treated and processed. That’s the concept behind some of the latest skin treatments and cosmetics made with good-for-you ingredients, like aloe vera and flower-based essential oils, that are usually organic. They’re whipped up in small batches (typically at local farms or indie labs), without the usual stabilizers or preservatives.

“Because these products are minimally processed, using only natural methods, they’re a great option for women with sensitive skin and those who are allergic to artificial fragrances and certain chemicals,” says Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angeles dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Buying these is also a way to support women-run businesses (as many farm-to-face companies are) and even do social good. The less-is-more approach of these treats does come with a caveat: Products made with fresh ingredients and no preservatives tend to spoil faster (on average, they last about half the time of others), so check the expiration date and keep an eye out for changes in color or scent—signs you should ditch ’em.

Our picks: (4) Farmaesthetics Herbal Hydration Complex Remedy Reserve Mask, $34; amazon.com. (5) Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Body Scrub, $38; indielee.com. (6) Tata Harper Beautifying Face Oil, $48; tataharperskincare.com. (7) Hurraw Balm, $4; hurrawbalm.com.

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Food-based beauty

Photo: Lisa Shin

Some of the most potent skin-care weapons these days can be found in the produce aisle. The fibrous orange flesh of pumpkins, for example, has enzymes that help disintegrate dulling dead skin and expose the glowing layer beneath; vitamin A, which speeds cell turnover for a soft and supple complexion; and vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps undo the damage done by free radicals. Pumpkin seed oil, which contains omega-6 fatty acids that pump up moisture, as well as zinc and iron, can be used to combat dandruff and even pimples. (And you thought pumpkins were just for carving!)

Apples are also being tapped for their beautifying benefits—credit the vitamin C and enzymes. Another edible that’s ripening up beauty products: tomatoes, which are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that can protect skin from environmental havoc (including damage from pollution and UV rays) and lighten age spots.

“The lycopene that exists in fruits and vegetables neutralizes free radicals from light when they’re growing, so it makes sense that it’s now being used to treat sun damage and excess pigmentation,” says Whitney Bowe, MD, a dermatologist in Briarcliff Manor, New York. Plus, lycopene has been shown to increase the production of collagen.

Our picks: (8) Burt’s Bees Renewal Refining Cleanser (which contains apple), $10; amazon.com. (9) MyChelle Pumpkin Renew Cream, $28; amazon.com. (10) Yes to Tomatoes Clear Concealer Stick, $10; target.com.

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Stem cell skin care

Photo: Lisa Shin

Stem cells have been making headlines for years, showing promise for a slew of medical treatments—from developing tissue for damaged organs to helping to cure drug-resistant diseases. Now a study published in the International Journal for Applied Science finds that stem cells in plant tissue may offer beauty benefits.

“Because these cells contain a concentration of antioxidants that’s much greater than that of other botanical extracts, they can accelerate collagen production and cell renewal in your skin to decrease the signs of aging,” says Karen Kim, MD, a dermatologist in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Look for grapeseed, raspberries and algae on labels, since they pack high doses of stem cells.

Our picks: (11) Naturopathica Plant Stem Cell BoosterSerum, $42; amazon.com. (12) EmerginC Scientific Organics Grape Stem Cell, White Tea + Seaweed Body Butter, $45; amazon.com. (13) Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Instant Eye Lift Algae Mask, $75; amazon.com.

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Here's What Self

Like the mood rings of the ’90s that changed colors depending on how you were feeling (er, your body temperature), the latest trend in beauty is similarly “magical”—products that promise to color-change based on your skin tone or skin chemistry.

We decided to put these gimmicky products to the test, starting with the e.l.f. Gotta Glow Lip Tint ($6, eyeslipsface.com). This balm is supposed to transform into a unique shade of pink when it comes in contact with the moisture and pH level of your lips, getting you a custom color that’s perfect for you. It’s a super cool idea, but does it really look different on different women?

We had four Health staffers try it out. Check out the before (left) and after (right) pictures below for our results (and the fun color names we got to make up).

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Fruit punch

Photo: Chelsea Burns

Watermelon rose

Photo: Chelsea Burns

Royal pink

Photo: Chelsea Burns

Very Berry

Photo: Chelsea Burns

As you can see, the cotton candy colored lipstick took on a completely different shade for each staffer only seconds after application. Not only do you get a custom lip color for $6, our testers also said that it leaves lips feeling silky smooth and hydrated. If you really love the color you can also apply it to your cheeks for a personalized flush. Verdict: more than a gimmick!

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Bubble Nails: The New Trend That's Taking Over the Internet

The latest nail trend is surprising to say the least. Women are going beyond experimenting with colors and designs to play with the actual shape of their nails with 3D “bubble nails.”

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So, what exactly do bubble nails look like? Somewhat similar to what your fingers might look like after getting jammed in a car door and swelling like crazy. Or, if you stuck your nails in crazy glue and then straight into a bowl full of gumballs.

While bubble nails are recently trending, they’re not exactly new. In 2009, NAILS magazine published a post about the possibility of it becoming a popular style. About six years later, the trend has finally caught on, with thousands of Instagram posts under the #bubblenails hashtag.

“It was prevalent five or six years ago, right at the beginning of nail art, but it never gained popularity,” celebrity nail artist Pattie Yankee told TODAY.com.

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According to Yankee, bubble nails are essentially acrylics with a much greater thickness than normal. To achieve the look, a nail technician places a ball (or multiple balls) of acrylic at the center of the nail and builds it out by adding layers.

While acrylics are typically applied as thinly as possible, this look is all about the bulk. But because the application creates such a heavy layer, Yankee warns the acrylic may be more prone to falling off.

“The point is to make it pop more,” said Yankee, who explained that she often had clients ask for an accentuation of their natural hump in the ’80s, but never this exaggerated.

Read the rest of this story on TODAY.com.

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