Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate Review

Concentrated Youth in a Bottle?

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Are you still on the hunt for the perfect firming moisturizer?

It’s tough to find a product that doesn’t leave a residue but still leaves your face feeling smooth.

Add wrinkle-fighting capabilities to your moisturizer-wish list and it can take you years to find a product that you like but have you considered a serum instead of a cream?

Of course not. Serums aren’t moisturizers, right?

That’s not what Lancome says. Lancome’s Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate may just be the product that you’ve been looking for, at least if it lives up to their claims. By the end of this article, you’re going to know what Lamcome claims, what’s in the product and what actual users are saying about it.

What Does Lancome Claim About Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate?

The claims are pretty straightforward, but they’re also big. Lancome claims that every woman will see visibly younger-looking skin in just 1 week. They say that your skin will look radiant and feel cushiony and soft. Your tone and texture will be dramatically improved as well. It does all of this by hydrating and promoting natural exfoliation. Let’s take a look at what’s in it to see if it can actually do that.

What’s In Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate

Taking a look at the list, my guess would be that the serum smells citrusy because it has limonene and citronellol, two citrusy perfuming agents. Scent aside, there’s also hyaluronic acid in it. If you’ve read our article about the top anti-aging ingredients, you know that it’s an awesome humectant that can hold several thousand times its weight it water.

Another good ingredient is adenosine, an ingredient that’s suspected to play a role in cellular rejuvenation and activity. Finally, there’s an ingredient, salycyloyl phytosphingosine, that I’ve never heard of. A little bit of research shows that it’s a combination of salicylic acid and phytosphingosine, which is a skin soothing agent. Salicylic acid, aka aspirin, is used as an exfoliating agent and acne treatment, so that part of the claim is supported.

The rest of the ingredients are mostly just stabilizers, preserving agents and emollients. The ingredients look OK, though there are couple of PEG’s in it that many of you consider no-no’s. But now you know. Let’s take a look at what other users are saying.

What Are Users Saying About Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate?

Users love this product. People with acne report clear skin and a common comment among all users is that skin is soft and glows after you use it. Improvement in fine lines and wrinkles is reported by many people and it’s light, non-greasy and smells good. Finally, it absorbs well and even though it’s pricey, some users report that it lasts a long time (one person said nearly a year) because it only takes a couple of drops to cover your whole face.

Final Word

This serum is pricey but it seems like it works. There are some good ingredients in it though I don’t like some of the chemicals that are in there. Users overwhelmingly love it and people with oily or acne-prone skin report that it works great.

If you need a good serum to help keep your skin bright and acne-free while helping it maintain moisture then this may just be the product for you. Click here to find the best possible deal on Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Serum.

If you’ve used this, please let us know what you think of it in the comments section below!


Avoiding Alzheimer’s: Diet and Lifestyle Tips to Stay Sharp Forever

Six Ways to Maintain a Healthy Brain

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If someone told you that you could avoid Alzheimer’s by tweaking your lifestyle a bit, would you do it?

Of course you would, right? But that’s silly. Nobody knows what causes Alzheimer’s, so how can you avoid it? Oh contraire. New breakthroughs in research indicate that you can drastically reduce (or possibly even eliminate) your odds of developing that dreaded disease.

What the new research found, in a nutshell, is that Alzheimer’s is a metabolic disorder related to insulin and insulin growth factor resistance or deficiency, oxidative stress, DNA damage and mitochondrial dysfunction. In plain English, Alzheimer’s is now justifiably being called Type-3 diabetes, or brain diabetes.

What this means in practical terms is that there are now ways that you can drastically reduce, or even avoid Alzheimer’s altogether. Since it’s a metabolic disorder, diet and exercise are the main keys, but coping appropriately with stress is important, too.

Ditch the Junkfood

Since the link between insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s has been made, avoiding a diet that causes chronically high blood glucose levels is imperative to maintaining brain health. This doesn’t mean that you can never have another donut or French fry but it does mean that you need to be sensible.

This is no longer guesswork, either. The link between insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s has now been researched thoroughly and the evidence is so strong that Alzheimer’s is actually being referred to in official circles as Type-3 diabetes. It’s no joke and it’s not supposition; a chronically bad diet doesn’t just make you fat and sick, it can give you Alzheimer’s, too. Check out our article here to learn more about this.

Eat your Fruits and Veggies

Not only do fruits and vegetables fill you up and provide essential nutrients, they’re also packed with anti-oxidants that neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress and cell damage that can lead to Alzheimers. Your diet should consist of a wide variety of colors because each hue offers different vitamins and antioxidants. Remember that fruit is high in sugar so eating the raw fruit is better for blood sugar levels than drinking the juice because the fiber slows absorption.

Eating 4-6 small, fiber-rich meals per day helps maintain stable blood glucose levels better than eating 2 or 3 larger meals.

Eat Your Omega-3’s

We simply can’t say this enough – omega-3 fatty acids are called “essential” for a reason. Research shows that omega-3’s, particularly DHA, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in mice. Other research indicates that they may actually help prevent it altogether by lowering levels of beta-amyloid protein, the protein that replaces normal brain cells in Alzheimer’s patients. DHA is a huge component of your brain and has been strongly linked to memory, reasoning and other cognitive functions. Just eat it!

Your best sources are cold water, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel but you can also successfully supplement with it. Go for the ones that are enterically coated to avoid the fishy aftertaste. Also, get the kind that’s been purified in order to avoid the mercury inherent to many fish. Here’s a good link to affordable, effective omega-3 supplements that supply DHA.

Exercise Regularly

Participating in daily physical exercise can decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 50% according to the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation. Shoot for at least 3 sessions per week of cardio and strength training and do your best to get out and get active on days that you’re not scheduling “exercise”. Even walking the dog or gardening count and the bonus for outdoor activities is that you’re getting your brain-healthy vitamin D, too.

De-Stress and Get Plenty of Sleep

Stress and anxiety, even good types of stress, cause your body to release chemicals and hormones that can do all kinds of damage to your brain over the years. In stressful situations, your blood glucose raises in order to create energy and that can lead to insulin resistance if your stress is chronic. Whether you like to meditate, do yoga, garden or read a book, find ways to unwind and relieve stress.

Get Plenty of Quality Sleep

Sleep is when your body heals and recharges. If you’re not getting enough sleep then you’re increasing your odds of developing age-related dementia or Alzheimer’s in several ways. If your body isn’t getting enough rest, your blood glucose levels aren’t going to be stable and your stress responses are going to be out of whack. Also, levels of amyloid protein, the one that’s directly linked to the plaque in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, increases when you’re awake and decreases when you sleep.

Exercise Your Brain

Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs to be used to stay healthy. Studies prove that people who do puzzles, have active social lives, take continuing education courses, read and Google cool facts have a much lower risk of developing age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s than people who don’t.

The bottom line is that as we learn more about how our brains and our bodies work, the more we understand just how vital proper nutrition, exercise, sleep and relaxation are to health. Now that there’s a positive link between insulin levels and one of the most feared diseases on the planet, Alzheimer’s, diet is even more important. Put down the donut and pick up a bowl of oatmeal before you head to the gym or to play golf. Your brain will thank you for it in a few decades!

If you have anything that you’d like to add, please feel free to do so in the comments section below!


Alzheimer’s Disease Dubbed Type-3 Diabetes

Can You Avoid Alheimer’s with Lifestyle Changes?

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What if I were to tell you that you could avoid Alzheimer’s just by changing the way that you eat?

Would you be willing to trade French fries now for mental clarity in your golden years?

If so, you may be in luck – recent research indicates that Alzheimer’s disease is primarily a metabolic disease. That means that biggest part of the Alzheimer’s puzzle – the cause – may finally be answered.

For decades, Alheimer’s disease has been a runaway train that nobody knew how to stop, or even how to avoid because we didn’t know what caused it. In fact, the only way that you can be 100% positively diagnosed is via your autopsy!

It’s the 6th ranked cause of death and is ranked 2nd as the disease that people fear the most – right behind cancer. It’s no wonder, either. The disease completely debilitates you, robbing your of your dignity, your identity and eventually, after a long, agonizing process, your life. Nobody wants to live that way, or die that way.

Up until now, we’ve suspected that heart disease and other circulatory issues could increase your risk because of the restriction of blood and oxygen to the brain but there’s never been any definitive “how’ or “why”. That’s why this new research is so profound – it offers an explanation as to what causes the disease as well as a near-definitive way to avoid it.

What is Diabetes?

Before we get into the Alzheimer’s research, you need to have a general idea of what diabetes actually is from a medical perspective. Most of us know that it has to do with insulin regulation and sugar uptake in the body, but the mechanics may not be clear. Let’s jump to biology 101 for a minute, then we’ll get back on track.

Your body uses glucose, which it gets from all sorts of carbohydrates, for energy. Typically, your brain detects glucose in your blood and tells your pancreas to make the hormone insulin, which then tells your cells to absorb the glucose. This is all well and good as long as your levels of glucose are relatively normal.

If you chronically have high amounts of glucose in your blood, your brain will signal for your cells to ignore the insulin and you’ll become insulin resistant. Then two bad things happen. First, glucose accumulates in your blood and wreaks all kinds of havoc. It causes plaque buildup throughout your body, including in your brain.

The second result of insulin resistance is that now your cells aren’t absorbing glucose even when it’s needed. They will literally starve from lack of energy and start to deteriorate, causing memory loss and confusion. Do you see where this is leading?

It occurred to researchers that if your body responded like that to insulin resistance, then your brain just might, too. After all, it does function primarily on glucose. Insulin tells your neurons to uptake glucose for energy so that they can function. As we know, neurons are basically the body’s motherboard so it’s fairly obvious what low insulin levels (as seen with Type-1 diabetes) could do to brain function. But can your brain cells develop insulin resistance like it does with Type-2 diabetes, the one that’s most equated with poor diet and exercise?

What Does the New Research Indicate, Exactly?

There are three things that caught the attention of researchers. First, Alois Alzheimer noticed more than a century ago that a weird form of protein was taking the place of some brain cells but he had no idea why. These amyloid plaques are now being linked to insulin resistance or low insulin.

The next major advance came when Suzanne de la Monte, a neuropathologist who was trying to figure out the plaque situation, tried blocking insulin from reaching rats’ brains. The result was that they started showing signs of physical disorientation and organic signs of Alzheimers. Aha.

Before we move onto the third and final (for now) piece of the Alzheimer’s puzzle, let’s touch on a few facts. We know that diets rich in processed grains, trans fats and refined sugars (aka the Western diet) lead to obesity, heart disease, digestive disorders, Type-2 diabetes and other preventable diseases that will maim or kill you. But here’s an interesting find: people with diabetes are 50%-70% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than non-diabetics. Hmm.

Now for the final click. It may seem that perhaps diabetes increases your chance of developing dementia, so researchers took a look. What they found was that while Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes shared some common denominators with Alzheimer’s disease, they weren’t the cause, even though the amyloid plaque was found on the brains of many diabetics. The big discovery was that insulin resistance can be targeted; that is, it can be found in one or two organs but not in others. In other words, it’s possible to have insulin resistance in your brain cells but not in the rest of your body.

And that explains how people without diabetes develop Alzheimer’s and why Alzheimer’s is now being called Type-3 diabetes. At least, sort of. There are still many questions that aren’t answered, with one of the biggest ones being why obese diabetics have about 3x the risk of developing the disease than non-diabetics while non-obese diabetics only have about twice the risk. There’s still an unexplained link between Alzheimer’s and obesity that researchers are working hard to figure out.

This is absolutely astounding news because Alzheimer’s disease is no longer random. There’s now a known cause and a way to drastically reduce your chances of developing it.

Until these breakthroughs, you already knew that eating a healthy diet and exercising could help you avoid obesity, heart disease and a host of other ailments. Now we know that a healthy lifestyle can drastically reduce your odds of getting Alzheimer’s. If that isn’t incentive to trade your fries and cheesecake for chicken and bananas, then I don’t know what is!

If you’d like to chime in on this topic, please let us know what you’re thinking in the comments section below.


Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Night Cream Review

Finally, A Night Cream That Really Makes You Look Younger?

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If you’re like most of us, you’ve been through a dozen different creams and probably wasted hundreds of dollars in your search for an effective lifting and firming night cream.

Most of us don’t mind paying for results but the problem in the beauty industry is that cost doesn’t necessarily equate to quality. Just because you pay top dollar for a product doesn’t mean that you’re getting anything better than you can pick up at the drugstore.

On the flip side, there are some top names that are costly because their products really work, and Lancome is one of them. We’re going to take a look at their Renergie Lift Multi-Action Night Cream to see if it’s at the top of the line or just another flop.

What Do They Claim?

Lancome has some pretty lofty claims for this product but they also suggest that it works best in conjunction with their eye cream, day cream and foundation. Not surprising, but the ingredients in the products are similar, or work in conjunction with one another, so they may be doing more than just trying to sell you more stuff.

Like the other products in the line, Lancome claims that the night cream uses their Multi-Tension technology to achieve results though nobody really says what that means. They claim that the benefits are as follows:

  • It’s non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic and dermatologist tested
  • The cream is great for all skin types, even sensitive or dry skin

  • Reduces wrinkles and smoothes your skin in 4 weeks
  • Makes your skin look denser, firmer, and replenished
  • Works at night when your skin is in peak repair mode

Just from the claims, I’m expecting this cream to have hyaluronic acid, squalane, and at least some collagen-stimulating peptides in it. Let’s take a look.

What’s In It?

One of the first ingredients listed after water is apricot seed oil, which is rich in the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. It’s been used in Chinese medicine to sooth irritated and inflamed skin. Cool. Great start, but what else is in it?

Capric Triglyceride, an excellent humectant and derivative of coconut oil, forms a barrier over your skin so that you don’t lose moisture while the shea butter, among other ingredients, moisturizes. As suspected, there are two major collagen-growth stimulators: adenosine (which is also an anti-inflammatory) and acetyl tetrapeptide-9.

The list of cool ingredients is rounded out by the same two antioxidants that are present in the other products in this line: linseed oil and black tea ferment.

Well, the ingredients list looks pretty decent. There aren’t a ton of parabens or other gunk and comparatively speaking, the functional ingredients such as stabilizers, fragrances, and preservatives in Renergie Lift Multi-Action Night Cream are safe and kept to a minimum. I like it, but let’s see what users are saying about it.

What Are Users Saying?

Users seem to like this product but there really weren’t many chiming in with serious wrinkles. The biggest deal about this cream seems to be how moisturizing it is. Even people with sensitive or oily skin tones report that this is great to use at night because it’s not oily, goes on well and doesn’t break them out even though it’s pretty thick.

Another plus that people noticed was improved skin texture and luminosity. People just seem to like it in general and other that one person who said that it was “OK”, all of the reviews are positive so far.

Final Word

This night cream, and in fact the entire line, uses adenosine, antioxidants and peptides in place of traditional wrinkle-fighting ingredients such as retinol but there’s something to be said for keeping up with science. The adenosine is getting some good reviews from the researchers and isn’t light sensitive like retinol is.

My advice is that if you can afford this cream and are just looking for a great moisturizer that helps out with early signs of aging without breaking you out, give this night cream a shot. Since it’s a bit expensive, I’ve taken the time to find you some better deals than you’ll get at a department store. Click here to find Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Night Cream.

If you’ve tried this night cream, let us know about your experience in the comments section below.


Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Cream Review

Gentle Face Moisture or More Breakouts and Sunburns?

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Are you looking for a day moisturizer that protects you from the damaging effects of the sun while it fights your wrinkles?

If so, Lancome may have just the day cream that you’re looking for. Their Renergie line has long been a popular line but the line’s been updated.

We’re going to take a look at the Renergie Lift Multi-Action Cream today, and there’s also a night cream and an eye cream. The day cream is also available in a dry skin formula.

What Do They Claim?

Lancome recommends (not surprisingly) that you use all 3 of their products together for best results. That being said, the day cream supposedly makes your skin fell denser and firmer in just one week, and in a month, every zone of your face will be visibly tightened and will look younger. Wow, that’s some big talk. Let’s take a look at the ingredients to see if it can really do what it says.

What’s In It?

The active ingredients listed in the the Renergie Lift Multi-Action Cream are avobenzone, octisalate and octocrylene. They’re all chemical sunscreens. Well, that’s a good start. Beeswax is pretty close to the top so that concerns me a bit; the cream may feel waxy on your skin. The black tea ferment and the linseed oil both act as antioxidants to fight damaging free radicals. Our favorite humectant, hyaluronic acid, is in the first half of the ingredients, too.

Adenosine is an anti-inflammatory that takes the puffiness out of your skin and helps with collagen stimulation and the acetyl tetrapeptide-9 is one of my favorite peptides. It also helps stimulate the growth of new collagen fibers so that your skin’s structure becomes firmer and more sound. Collagen loss is one of the primary contributors to looking older so it’s important that you preserve it for as long as you can.

Chlorphenesin, a muscle relaxant, is also a prominent ingredient that can help to smooth your skin. That’s basically what Botox and other neuromodulators do, so it’s not particularly concerning.

All of the rest of the ingredients are just emulsifiers, purfumes, preservatives and other “stuff” that the cream needs to hold its form and make your skin feel great.

What Are Users Saying?

The first thing that many users say is that it’s a bit thick and there’s a significant scent. Once you get used to the texture, you’re most likely going to enjoy the texture of this cream; most people did. A little bit goes a long way and users say that their skin feels soft and hydrated without feeling greasy.

People notice exactly the results that Lancome claims and most seem glad to pay the price for it because they believe that it works.

One person reported a breakout after using the cream but I have to wonder if it was actually caused by the Renergie because she said she still had it 3 weeks later. Typically, an allergic reaction wouldn’t last more than just a few days.

Final Words

If you’re looking for a day cream that’s going to moderately protect your skin from sun damage with an SPF 15, then you can check that off of your list. There are some decent moisturizers in the product and I like the fact that it addresses collagen synthesis. The problem there, like with any topical treatment, is that it may not be able to penetrate your skin to actually work. It’s kind of a risk that you’ll have to take.

All in all, when you consider how good the reviews and ingredients are in this product, it may just be worth a try. It is a bit pricey though, so I’ve found some great deals for you. Click here to save money on Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Lifting and Firming Cream.

If you’re already using this product, please tell us about your experience in the comments section below!


Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Eye Cream Review

Can This Eye Cream Really Make Your Eyes Look Younger?

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Lancome claims to have a product that does what we all dream of: lift, firm and tighten our entire eye area, but can it really do what it says?

As usual, we’re going to take a look at what’s in Lancome’s Renergie Lift Multi-Action Eye Cream to see if it has what it takes to make you look younger, or if it’s just another promise that falls short.

Let’s start by checking out what Lancome claims, then we’ll take a peek at the ingredients list and see what actual users have to say about it.

What Do They Claim?

According to Lancome, this eye cream lifts, firms and tightens using their lifting skincare enriched Multi-Tension technology. They recommend that you use the eye cream in conjunction with the Renergie Day Cream and Renergie Lift Makeup. We’ll take a look at both of those products in other reviews.

Benefits of the eye cream specifically include:

  • Lifting and firming around your eyes
  • Smoothing your eye contour
  • Smoothing wrinkles
  • Fading dark circles
  • Gets rid of bags under your eyes
  • Non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic and dermatologist-tested for safety

It would be just grand if this eye cream actually did all of this stuff, so let’s take a look at the ingredients list and hope for the best!

What’s In It?

The ingredients list for this product is as long as your arm and consists of the standard silicones, glycerine, waxes and preservatives. There are also some really good anti-aging and skin conditioning agents in it, too. The first that you’ll notice is squalane. It’s a derivative of olives and is great for helping your skin hold moisture. Speaking of moisture retention, hyaluronic acid is in there, too.

There are several fatty acids and fatty alcohols that act as emulsifiers and skin conditioners. Black tea ferment and linseed oil are some of the antioxidants that protect your skin from free radicals and adenosine and chlorhexidine digluconate act as anti-inflammatories. An odd ingredient, but one that kinda makes sense if you want smooth skin, is chlorphenesin. It’s a muscle relaxant as well as an antifungal.

Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9 plumps and firms your skin while stimulating new collagen synthesis. Finally, caffeine helps reduce the bags under your eyes.

The ingredients for moisturization, skin tightening and skin smoothing are in there but there aren’t a ton of typical anti-aging ingredients. The ones that are in there are the good ones though. Let’s see what users have to say about it.

What Are Users Saying?

Users like this cream and say that it really does tighten and smooth skin. Another interesting, useful comment is that the cream doesn’t migrate into your eyes overnight. The eye cream offers both instant tightening and plumping effects as well as reduction of fine lines.

People with sensitive skin are using it without problem, with the exception of a couple of users who reported swelling and/or a rash immediately after use. One of the most important points is that a ittle bit of the cream goes a long way. That’s good because the cream’s a bit pricey, especially if you buy it in a department store.

I’ve taken some time to find the best deals for you so that you can order it from the convenience of your home. Click here to find the best deals on Lancome Renergie Lift Multi-Action Eye Cream.

If you’ve tried this eye cream, let us know how it worked for you in the comments section below.


Neutrogena Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration Night Review

Is This Night Cream Truly Essential?

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There are about a million night creams on the shelf at your local drugstore and most of them aren’t worth the box that they come in.

There are, however, a few companies that pretty consistently deliver decent products. Neutrogena is one of those companies but you still need to keep an eye on what you’re buying to make sure that they have at least some of the good stuff and as little of the bad stuff as possible.

Today we’re going to take a look at their Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration Night Cream.

What Do They Claim?

According to Neutrogena, this product will work all night to leave your skin soft and help replenish moisture that keeps your skin soft, smooth and nourished. It also contains glycerin, which helps your skin re-establish its own ability to hold moisture.

It’s non-comedogenic, non-greasy, and dermatologist-tested. The moisturizer is supposedly time-released. From what I’m seeing already, I’m expecting to see some moisturizer boosters. Let’s take a look.

What’s In It?

As claimed, glycerin’s the second ingredient. There’s dimethicone, which lends the lotion a nice, smooth feeling and a quick glance through the rest of the list reveals several skin moisturizers and conditioning agents including shea butter, bisabolol (a chamomile component), and trisiloxane. Finally, vitamin E and feverfew extract may soothe your skin and reduce redness.

There are also several different parabens and alcohols in the night cream, so if you’re sensitive to those products or just don’t like to use them, then now you know. Also, there aren’t any real wrinkle-reducing ingredients in it.

What Are Users Saying?

Everybody seems to agree that Neutrogena’s Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration Night Moisturizer makes skin feel soft and really helps with dry skin, even if it’s so dry that it’s chapped. Users also report that it smells good and doesn’t clog pores or cause irritation or breakouts.

One user reported that she used it along with her retin-A to help with the irritation and that it worked well for that. Pretty cool idea and a great way to save money on moisturizers!

A couple of people reported awaking with slightly greasy skin but they were definitely in the minority. The overwhelming majority of people felt hydrated and moisturized but not oily.

Final Word

Though this cream isn’t loaded with anti-aging ingredients, it seems like it may be a great product if you’re just looking for a good, dependable moisturizer to bring hydration back to your skin. Since Neutrogena’s products are generally affordable, you can even use the cream on your neck, chest and hands if you’d like.

I’ve found the best deals on the net for you, so click here to find Neutrogena’s Ageless Essentials Continuous Hydration Night Moisturizer now.

If you’ve used this product, please tell us about your experience in the comments section below!


Coffee and Tea: True Brain Foods?

Is Caffeine a Good Tool for Memory Improvement?

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People around the globe regularly greet the new day with a cup of steaming, freshly brewed coffee or tea, but is it possible that your morning pick-me-up is actually a brain food that can decrease your chances of dementia and other forms of cognitive decline?

Science is starting to indicate so. Over the last few decades, researchers have studied the effects of coffee and tea on several different types of illnesses, including Alzheimer’s and memory improvement, and the results are surprising.

Unfortunately, they’re also conflicting and depending upon what you’re reading, coffee and tea will either cure you or kill you. We took a look at the actual research to separate the blather from the facts, so read on!

Caffeine: Is It Really Brain Food?

The key ingredient here seems to be caffeine. Studies indicate that people who drink coffee or tea regularly may actually have a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline and memory loss, so they started examining the common ingredient, caffeine, a little closer.

Though researchers aren’t sure why, many suspect that caffeine’s effect on cognitive decline has something to do with the fact that caffeine may help preserve the blood/brain barrier that keeps potentially harmful chemicals from passing out of your blood and into your central nervous system.

The University of North Dakota conducted a test with rabbits that were fed a high-cholesterol diet. One group got a dose of caffeine equivalent to one cup of coffee and the other group didn’t receive anything. The group that was administered the caffeine showed significantly more intact blood/brain barriers than the group who did not.

Another interesting connection here is that cholesterol weakens the blood/brain barrier and people with Alzheimer’s and dementia tend to have higher levels of cholesterol as well as weak blood/brain barriers. ”Leaky” blood/brain barriers are also often noted in stroke victims, so that may just be one more reason to drink up.

Caffeine Boosts Mood

This one’s kind of tricky because it truly is an example of the fact that you can have too much of a good thing. Caffeine actually blocks your brain’s adrenal receptors, thus stimulating the release of dopamine, as well as other “feel good” and “go fast” chemicals. In small doses, this is obviously a good; some studies indicate that people who regularly drink moderate amounts of coffee are less prone to depression, but what about people who drink large amounts of coffee?

Great question. Caffeine also stimulates your brain’s activity and makes your neurons fire faster. This causes your pituitary gland to release hormones that tell your adrenal glands to start making the stress hormone adrenaline (as well as cortisol and norepinephrine), which is what gives you the energy rush associated with coffee. This is where it can start to go south on you, though.

When Caffeine Goes from Brain Food to Brain Drain

When your adrenal glands are continually stimulated to release cortisol, norepinephrine and adrenaline, they can actually become overworked and your daily rhythms of cortisol release can be disrupted or cortisol levels can start to build up. If this cycle is repeated chronically (aka, you drink a ton of coffee on a daily basis), you may begin experiencing the same symptoms that you would if you had chronic stress: nervousness, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and decreased immune response.

So How Much Caffeine Is Good For You?

The magic number for improved brain health and protection from cognitive decline seems to be between one and three cups of coffee per day. Anything more than that may actually be harmful to certain people, especially those prone to heart disease or Parkinson’s disease.

Studies are in their infancy but some are indicating that people who drink 3 cups of tea per day can actually delay the onset of Parkinson’s by up to 8 years. Strangely enough, 3 cups of coffee to the same group actually sped up onset by nearly 5 years, so it may be that caffeine isn’t the factor here but rather another ingredient in black tea. Regardless, if you’re at risk for Parkinson’s, avoiding coffee and drinking black tea instead may not be a bad idea.

A final warning about coffee: if you’re going to drink it (and research suggests that maybe you should, moderately) then make sure that it’s filtered. The ingredient caféstrol found in unfiltered coffee actually increases cholesterol levels so even though that percolated or French-pressed coffee is delicious, unfiltered coffee may be adding to your health woes.

Conclusion

The key to using coffee and tea as brain foods is moderation. Drinking one to three cups per day can actually help you protect your brain from Alzheimer’s, dementia, memory loss and cognitive decline but drinking too much can lead to addiction and even an increased risk of heart disease in some people.

As an aside, if you’re trying to get away from caffeine but are worried about withdrawal symptoms such as headache, brain fog and fatigue, try L-Tyrosine. It’s a non-essential amino acid that naturally influences synthesis of dopamine and norepinephrine.

The cool thing about it is that it doesn’t affect release of the chemicals under normal circumstances when everything is functioning slowly and optimally; they only affect release when your firing rates are increased by stress. Many people find that it’s useful to help get through caffeine withdrawal easily and painlessly. You can find a good deal on L-tyrosine here if you’re interested.

If you’d like to chime in about whether or not caffeine is a brain food or a brain drain, please feel free to do so in the comments section below.


10 Unusual Brain Foods that Prevent Memory Loss

Eat Your Way to a Younger Brain

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The more that we learn about the correlation between diet and brain health, the more glaringly apparent it is that a healthy diet is essential to maintaining memory and preventing cognitive decline.

The problem, though, is that there seems to be a new food fad being touted every 10 minutes, so which advice should you follow? Sure, everybody knows that blueberries, broccoli, spinach and salmon are great for your brain, but who wants to live on fish and greens? Let’s find some other alternatives!

We’ve taken a closer look at the research behind all of the hype to determine what it is about exactly qualifies a food as a brain food, and have made a list based upon proven nutrients. Read on!

Beans

Your brain’s primary fuel is glucose and because beans are so high in dietary fiber, they actually help to stabilize your blood sugar even if you eat high-glycemic foods. In other words, they help your brain have a steady supply of energy without dips and spikes. Beans are also rich in folate, a form of vitamin B required for your body to produce methionine which prevents a buildup of homocysteine, a risk factor for dementia, memory loss and heart disease.

Finally, folate plays a role in blood oxygenation and can actually help lower your blood pressure, which reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke. In short, beans are good for you!

Clams

Another vitamin required to prevent homocysteine buildup is B-12 and clams have plenty of it! It actually works with folate to keep your blood flowing properly and promote methionine production. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause memory loss, dementia and disorientation. Altzheimer’s patients typically have low B-12 levels.

Walnuts

The fact that these nuts look like brains should have been our first clue! Seriously though, walnuts are super brain foods even among some of their other brain-healthy nut brothers. They’re packed with free radical-fighting polyphenols as well as omega-3’s. Elderly mice were fed nuts and it was found that even if the nuts only made up 2% of the diet, signs of aging (including decreased brain function) were reversed.

In 2010 at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease, a report was presented in which mice with Alzheimer’s showed improved brain function including learning, memory and motor coordination after being fed walnuts.

Ginger

This delicious spice is well-known for its contributions to digestive health but its anti-inflammatory properties may offer significant benefits for your brain, too. Alzheimer’s patients typically have increased inflammatory markers in their brains and the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger may reduce risk of Alzheimer’s and slow the progression of brain cell dealth. Plus, it tastes great!

Capers

Capers aren’t just good for adding zing to your pasta. They’re a good source of quercetin, a polyphenol known to protect your brain from inflammation and damage caused by free radicals. It’s also been shown to help induce brain cell reproduction. Make a delicious, heart-and-brain-healthy sauce with omega-rich olive oil and folate-laden basil and you’ve created a super sauce for your veggie pasta!

Peanut Butter

Peanuts and peanut butter, often mistaken for nuts, are actually lentils. Peanut butter is filling and rich in brain-healthy vitamin E, folate, zinc, magnesium and copper. In addition to being healthy for your brain, peanut butter is loaded with good fats, fiber and protein that help keep you full longer without promoting weight gain or brain-damaging obesity. Finally, they’re linked to decreased inflammation which lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, cancer and heart disease.

Pumpkin Seeds

We all know how good pumpkin is, and the holidays just wouldn’t be the same without it, but the real brain food is the part that most of us throw out! Pumpkin seeds contain a ton of nutrients including vitamins A and E, zinc and omega 3’s. They’re an excellent tool to boost memory, protect your brain from free radical damage, and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Oatmeal

This delicious, filling breakfast food does more than help you keep your digestive tract running smoothly. The soluble fiber in it helps reduce the bad cholesterol that damages your blood/brain barrier. Fat can also build up in your blood vessels and arteries and cause brain damage or stroke. Toss in some blueberries and walnuts to create a big bowl of brain food!

Popcorn

Not the microwave stuff, though! Everybody knows that plain, fresh-popped popcorn is an excellent low-calorie snack but now scientists are finding that it’s packed with more antioxidants – aka polyphenols – than many fruits and vegetables. As a matter of fact, a single serving has 160mg of free radical-fighting antioxidants which is roughly twice as much as any fruit, and the highest concentration is in the hulls.

Now you have an entire list of delicious everyday brain foods that you can incorporate into your diet. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s a leafy green, bean, nut, seed, or whole grain, it’s probably good for your brain. Incorporate them into your diet on a regular basis and your brain will thank you by working beautifully for decades to come!

If you’ve got a favorite brain food that you’d like to share with us, please feel free to do so in the comments section below!


Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Review

A Good, Wrinkle-Fighting Retinoid at Last?

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Are you looking for a no-frills, effective retinol product created by a trusted name in the cosmetics industry?

If so, then Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion PM may be exactly what you’re looking for. Their products typically live up to their claims, and I’m hoping that this one’s no different.

As usual, we’re going to take a look past the efficient-looking packaging to see what’s in this night time serum.

We’ll also check out what real users are saying about it to see if the ingredients and the claims equate to real-world results. After all, it doesn’t matter how good the ingredients are if they don’t work together to achieve maximum results!

What Does Peter Thomas Roth Claim about Retinol Fusion PM?

The claims for this product are pretty much what you’d expect for a retinol serum, as long as you know what retinol can do. It supposedly provides maximum results with minimal irritation. Those results include skin renewal, texture improvement, increased moisture and visible reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.

In a nutshell, your skin will look renewed, restored, refreshed and younger.

They also claim that the serum is oil-free and fragrance-free. It works by using retinol and a special moisturizing formula that included vitamins C and E.

What’s In Retinol Fusion PM?

As is typical with PTR’s products, the list is fairly short. As a matter of fact, there are only 11 ingredients total and each one of them serves a purpose. As promised, there are no fragrances or oils.

The first ingredient, cyclopentasiloxane, is a silicone that’s often used as a delivery agent and conditioner. It gives a nice, slick texture to products and, in some cases, works with other ingredients to help them work better.

Next we have squalane, a more stable form of squalene. It comes from either sharks or olives and is a rapidly-absorbing moisturizer, antibacterial and antioxidant. Then comes a 1.5% concentration of every aging face’s superhero: Retinol. This is one of the highest concentrations that I’ve ever seen in an over-the-counter serum and its location as 3rd on the list is impressive.

Next up is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C that works well with the cyclopentasiloxane, then there’s tocopherol, a fat-soluble compound with vitamin E activity. The last few ingredients are water and humectants, though the inclusion of bisabolol deserves a mention as well. It’s an extract of chamomile that’s believed to have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

I’m really impressed with this ingredients list and can’t wait to see what people are saying about the serum.

What Are Users Saying About Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM?

Users really like this product and most say that it’s worth every penny. They report that it’s moisturizing, absorbs well and is non-greasy. Also, even though it’s got 1.5% retinol, it isn’t irritating. That may be attributed to the soothing ingredients found in it.

People noticed a reduction in fine lines, wrinkles and rough skin, and even those who didn’t notice improvement while they were using it noted that after the stopped use, their skin appeared rougher with more noticeable lines.

The only real complaint that I could find about this product was the consistency and the container. Apparently, it’s quite runny and difficult to apply with the dropper though most found a way to work around that since just a small amount is all that you need to use.

Final Word

This serum has some really great reviews and ingredients. The first thing that you need to understand is that unless you’re using a prescription retinoid, you’re not going to see overnight results. It’s going to take at least a month of steady use, and possibly a few months, before you see significant results but if the product is good, you WILL see results from retinol.

That being said, people who are using this product and understand how retinol works love it. The ingredients are simple yet effective and it’s not stuffed full of garbage. Though the price is a bit steep, it lasts a while because a small amount covers your face. I’d recommend using it on your neck, too, but that’s just me.

This product gets a hearty thumbs up and earns a spot on my vanity. I did some shopping around in order to save money, so click here to find the best deal on Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM.

If you’ve tried this product, please share your results with us in the comments section below. If you don’t mind, tell us about your skin’s tone and condition as well so that we can compare notes!