4 Skin Care Products You Should Not Be Without

Confusion Marketing – How they get you to buy more skincare products

With new creams and ingredients being launched onto the market all the time, it can be confusing. Unless you’re in the position to spend hours on your skin care routine every day by using all of these different lotions, you’ll need to pick and choose which are right for you.

4 Skincare Products You Can’t Do Without

Here’s a ‘foundation’ minimum that we recommend you use:

· Sunscreen: You NEED this. It’s essential for preventing sun damage and lowering your risk of developing skin cancer. If you use only one product, sunscreen should be it. A lotion with SPF 15 moisturizes, protects with SPF, and smoothes skin AHAS and vitamin C.

· Eye cream: The skin under your eyes is more delicate and dry than the skin on the rest of your face. Purchase an eye cream which treats the eye area with more emollient moisturizers.

· Face Cream With Retinols: Worried about wrinkles and pigmentation spots? A face cream with retinol is order of the day. Use it in place of your regular moisturizer after washing your face in the evening.

· Body lotion: A lotion with AHAs is recommended for your whole body. For dry spots put on extra lotion before bed and let it soak in while you are sleeping.

A lot of people with sensitive skin have reverted to natural skin care solutions. Many people use natural skin care formulas to care for their skin at home.

Piano Exercises – Tips and Advice for Beginner Pianists

What are piano exercises and how can they help you develop strength and flexibility at the piano?

When you begin playing piano, simply the act of pressing down the keys and synchronizing your fingers is more than enough!

You will also be busy with:

  • Learning music theory
  • Learning how to read notes
  • Sitting with correct posture
  • Keeping you hand position right.

But after a while it is a good idea to start working with separate piano technique exercises to help you to build up flexibility, strength, awareness and security in your playing.

One more plus (of many) when working with special technical exercises is that you become more aware of the many different movement patterns used when playing the piano. To recognize a pattern of notes as a movement instead of a “bunch of notes” helps you to both read and perform music better, as well as to play more beautifully without unnecessary tension.

I know there are pianists and teachers who consider technical exercises unnecessary and that by studying lots of repertoire and making your own exercises from the “real” piano pieces, you will learn all you need. Even though I personally do not agree with this, I believe it is a great way of learning a piece to actually work on passages – called “passage work”- in the music itself and to make up your own exercises from it.

However, this rarely applies to beginner pianists, as you need to be a really good player to begin with, to be able to make such choices and know what you need to work on!

Piano technique is studied in different parts:

1. Finger exercises:

Exercises as opposed to Etudes, are technical exercises that introduce you to movement patterns for your hands, arms and whole body; not only finger drills, introducing one difficulty at a time. (Not really very pretty to listen to!). One of the most known examples of piano exercises is Charles-Louis Hanon, who wrote the famous “The Virtuoso Pianist. “

2. Scales, chords and arpeggios:

Scales, chords and arpeggios serve several purposes:

Firstly, they get you acquainted with the basic tools or elements that music is built from, which helps you understand music theory and also to read music better.

Secondly, they exercise common movement patterns you will meet as you play pieces, and it makes a huge difference when you learn a new piece to quickly know what fingering to use, since you by then will know what works with what scale or chord, etc.

3. Etudes:

Piano etudes are actually exercises, but more like real pieces. They involve a few different aspects of technical work, for example broken chords and scale work at the same time.

Some of these etudes are so lovely that they are used as performance repertoire, Chopin’s Etudes for example, and some are more…. boring. But the point with the etude is to practice technique in a more musical context, involving phrasing and musical thought, not just drills.

It is a good habit to try to work- if not every day- at least a few times a week with some form of technical exercises.

Happy playing!

A Coffee Diet-I’ve Heard It All Now

A coffee diet! I’ve heard the lot now. The next thing you know we’ll be having something like ‘loose 10 pounds in 7 days with tea and biscuits!’ I mean, who comes up with these fat blasting ideas? Or more importantly, who buys into them? You can just imagine it in the staffroom at your workplace. Everyone fighting to get their Cornish pasty in the microwave and there’s you quietly preparing your lunch with nothing but a kettle. Okay, ribbing aside, I guess we should look at this diet in a little more detail and see what method is behind this seeming madness.

The article, which was in a slimming magazine, caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First, because I’m a lover of java, and second, I could do with losing a few pounds myslef, so I couldn’t help but read it out of curiosity if nothing else. When I got to thinking about this, I remember my mother always telling to drink a cup of black coffee in the morning as it would curb my appetite until lunch time. And she was right.

Anyway, moving on a tad, the advocates of the coffee diet propose that anyone who wants to shed a bit of weight should do the same as my mother’s suggested, although they made no reference to her personally you understand!

However, this weird weight loss approach needs to be looked into a little deeper before we all jump onto the coffee diet bandwagon mouth first. I mean, there’s such an abundance of get-thin-quick plans floating around these days, it’s best to take a couple of steps back and consider the situation. This goes for any of the new found fads and not just the coffee diet

Before embarking on any new weight loss program, it’s always wise to pay a visit to your local doctor first. A complete physical never hurt anyone and your physician will have valuable insight into the coffee diet approach, but somehow I can’t see any responsible doc giving the thumbs up to a drinks for food diet. Take the coffee diet to an authorized nutritionist and I bet the response is the same. I could be wrong though and you may find through these two visits that a coffee diet is the probably the right thing for your weight loss needs.

You know, we’re always looking for the next lazy, or should I say easy, no, perhaps effortless weight loss program, but despite it all, the old fashion way still wins every time. Can you remember the original diet? It’s simply to put less in your mouth and get more exercise. That’s it! Okay, so there are a few whistles and bells to add like the right types of food and a sensible exercise regime, but you get the idea.

Another thing worth pointing out with the coffee diet is that it’s supposedly a quick fix and not a new way of eating (or starving), so perhaps if the dieter uses it as a jump start to a more sensible eating plan, it’s not such a bad thing. It also went on to say in the article that the coffee diet is not the foundation of the program. Now this probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, so I’ll try to explain. Advocates of the coffee diet strongly urge you to eat well throughout the day. By well, they mean adopt a healthy food diet consuming small portions as part of the regime.

The coffee diet simply allows the dieter a moderate intake of coffee throughout the day time, but the coffee has to be pure. Lattes and cappuccinos and all those other fandangled coffee cups are out. Hmm! it’s sounds ok, but at the end of the day, we’re still not eating properly because the coffee diet is removing our natural appetite and I’m not totally convinced that’s a good thing.

One final point that may give you food for thought is your insulin. Caffeine can make your blood sugar unstable. The insulin in your body will not be able to process it properly and it winds up stored in the body as fat. So, if you do decide to take on the coffee diet, make sure that you don’t drink too much.

What Makes A Good Pair Of Diabetic Socks?

One thing that may not be clear to many people with diabetes in the early stages are what are diabetics socks, what makes them so, and why are diabetic socks necessary. The simple fact of the matter is that socks designed specifically for diabetics are really no more than socks which are designed for people with sensitive feet. For the most part both socks are designed to accomplish the same goals of minimizing irritation and maximizing the foot’s ability to stay healthy.

A good diabetic sock is slightly more expensive than a standard socks for a couple reasons. First they are almost always seamless which is different than cheaper mass produced socks with sometimes bulk seams near the toes and heels. Seamless socks are a little more challenging to make but the extra effort is worth it because there are no pressure points created by the sock at the seams for diabetics to have to manage or live with.

Additionally these socks are also made of the highest quality fibers which are designed to lift moisture from and away from the feet. For most people a little foot sweat is no big deal but if you have sensitive feet and are prone to developing sores on your feet pulling the moisture away from them is very important.

Basically these are issues for diabetics for a couple different reasons. A newly diagnosed diabetic may not relate to these reasons because the disease has not yet reached advanced stages but staying on top of it and managing these concerns before they are a problem is a much better approach to long term care.

First of all type-2 diabetics are characterized by their bodies inability to effectively manage glucose levels in the blood stream. Insulin is secreted to help metabolize glucose but it progressively takes more insulin to get the job done as your condition worsens. Over time, many years for some people, the damage that high levels of circulating glucose and insulin in the blood takes on your body results in a couple of conditions which added together are greater than the two conditions separately.

One, the extremities begin receiving reduced blood flow which can make healing difficult. And two, the nerves in the outer extremities such as the feet slowly lose sensation making it easier to hurt you feet without realizing it.

A good pair of diabetic socks addresses both issues in that it makes it difficult for your feet to develop foot ulcers, sores, or cuts by limiting the irritation and pressure points socks can sometimes put on the foot. They will be sized appropriately and will be unlikely to bunch up in the shoe. These socks will keep moisture from staying near your foot which also helps to minimize irritation and helps keep sores or cuts that may exist already less prone to infection.

The cost on getting socks specifically designed for people with diabetes is an integral part of any diabetic management program. Obviously you need the right shoes, you need to watch what you eat, and get plenty of exercise but taking this extra step to ensure the health of your feet by wearing diabetic socks is worth the price.