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  • Vegan Diet: Skin-Saver or Complexion-Killer?

    Well, you really are what you eat (or don't eat).

    You already know that a healthy diet is synonymous with healthy skin. But what about vegan diets? Can you chalk up a youthful, glowing complexion to ditching chicken and ice cream? Whether you nix animal products for health reasons, ethical reasons or both, we got the lowdown from our experts on how this affects your pretty face.

    So what exactly does meat do to our skin?

    QUIZ: Is Your Diet Helping or Hurting Your Skin?

    For starters, it can be loaded with saturated fat, which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. Unhealthy arteries means your skin isn't getting the glow-inducing nutrients it needs to stay healthy. One study found red meat consumption in particular is positively associated with increased inflammation in the body, which worms its way into your skin to break down collagen and elastin (the building blocks of a youthful complexion).

    It may even contribute to breakouts, according to one study that concluded acne is linked, in part, to our western diet of

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  • Stay Fit—Without Ever Visiting a Gym

    Whether or not you feel like it, your daily activities really do add up.

    If heading to the gym fills you with dread-and any number of "not today" excuses-you don't necessarily have to suck it up and just do it. That's because a new study shows that everyday activities can be just as beneficial as hitting the treadmill or doing your circuit training routine-minus the cash, sweat and annoying machine hoggers.

    MORE: Strength Train at Home-No Equipment Required

    Researchers from Oregon State University evaluated a federal survey of more than 6,000 American adults and their physical activity levels. All participants wore accelerometers to track their movement throughout the day. Part of the group took part in structured gym workouts, while the others simply stayed active throughout the day by doing simple chores around the house and running errands. After four consecutive days of wearing the device for at least 10 hours a day, the results were surprising: Small bouts of activity-even just one- and two-minute increments totaling 30 minutes per day-were

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  • Powerful Products that Repair Hair Damage

    A little TLC will get your frazzled strands smooth and shining again.

    As with your complexion, the products you choose to cleanse and condition can make all the difference when it comes to good hair health. "Strands are just as sensitive as skin to the cumulative effects of UV rays, humidity, air conditioning systems and other external aggressors," says Melissa Harvey, a New York-based consulting trichologist (hair scientist) with hair growth company Bio Follicle.

    MORE: BB Creams Make the Jump to Hair Care

    Skincare Ingredients Turned Hair Care
    Hair care companies are infusing their shampoos, conditioners and masks with skin-worthy ingredients (from argan oil to sunscreen) to boost the overall appearance of your strands. The new L'Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare collection, for example, includes five shampoos and conditioners (ranging from moisturizing to color protecting) and seven treatments, each formulated with a patented amino acid-protein blend. The concentrated ingredients promise to strengthen hair follicles from root to tip and

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  • The Truth About Eggs and Cholesterol

    The verdict? Eat up!

    We Asked: Lisa Drayer, M.A., R.D., is a nutritionist and the author of "The Beauty Diet" and "Strong, Slim, and 30!"

    The Answer: Eggs have been slammed and praised, and slammed and praised again. But research suggests they won't raise your cholesterol-and in fact, might even boost your health.

    MORE: Where Does Cholesterol Come From?

    A landmark study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that healthy men and women who eat one egg every day are unlikely to have a substantial change in heart disease or stroke risk. Another study showed that when people with metabolic syndrome (a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease) ate three eggs a day as part of a weight-loss diet, their cholesterol levels improved.

    MORE: 10 Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol

    Cholesterol is found in the membrane of every cell in your body. The waxy, fat-like substance is necessary for the production of hormones and vitamin D, and it is vital for digestion. You often hear

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  • The Best Beauty Oils from Around the World

    Ever since African argan oil made its debut on the beauty scene, tons of companies have been scouring the globe for indigenous beauty oils in hopes of finding the next big thing.

    So what makes these worldly oils so desirable? Incorporating healthy nutrients and vitamins into your skincare regimen (just like you would in your diet) seems like a new and novel concept. But this is exactly what cultures around the world have been doing for centuries: using natural, plant-based oils in beautifying (and healing) rituals. It's only very recently that American women have finally started to explore the true beauty potential of adding them into their daily routines.

    Victoria Fantauzzi, founder of La Bella Figura, which touts its own beauty-enhancing oil, credits their recent emergence and acceptance to the fact that women are seeing the overwhelming results and they're becoming savvy enough in terms of beauty to lust after what's proven to solve their skin concerns. "And I think that

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  • How Exercise Could Be Making You Unhealthy

    Dread working out? Don't force it.

    If you dread your workouts, you may not be getting all of the benefits for which you're torturing yourself. A number of studies point toward an inverse relationship between exercise benefits and the psychological stress associated with being forced to exercise.

    MORE: How to Fall in Love With Fitness

    The studies, using rats, make a distinction between voluntary exercise and forced exercise. In voluntary exercise groups, the rats engage in "free wheel running." They have running wheels in their cages, and they can get on and off at will and run at whatever speeds suit them. They exercise when and how they want to. The forced exercise groups engage in "forced treadmill running." This training requires the rats to run when, how long and how fast the experimenters choose. They often have to be prodded using negative stimuli.

    The result? As you might expect, both groups burned calories and improved fitness levels. However, differences appear in psychological behavior

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  • Will Crossing Your Legs Cause Varicose Veins?

    Unfortunately, you don't have much control over pesky veins.

    We Asked: Ted King, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs of Vein Clinics of America and a practicing phlebologist in Oakbrook Terrace, IL.

    The Answer: Another old wives' tale put to rest! Crossing your legs absolutely does not cause varicose veins. They are hereditary-and that's that.

    MORE: The Best Treatments for Varicose Veins

    A significant portion of adults (some studies say 20 to 25 percent of men and women) get varicose veins-those twisted veins that seem to bulge out of your legs. If you're stuck with them, what's happened is that the walls of your veins have lost elasticity, so they aren't able to stretch and relax the way they're supposed to. Genetic damage also causes the veins to become stiffer, so once they're stretched out, they can't shrink back down.

    MORE: Olympian Summer Sanders Talks about Her Varicose Veins

    Another aspect is that the valves inside the veins that keep blood flowing in the right direction stop working. That means blood can no longer

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  • 10 Simple Ways to Get Glowing, Dewy Skin

    Dewy skin, without any of the oil.

    A matte finish has its place in the world of beauty: on lips, it's classic and gorgeous; on nails, it's an unusual yet not-too-bizarre choice. But when it comes to skin, doing the matte thing can read as flat, dull and (gasp) aging. On the flipside, the elusive dewy skin we read about and naturally, want more than just about anything, seems impossible to achieve past age 15 without looking like a teenage wannabe. The good news? We investigated and-thanks to breakthroughs in skincare, makeup and nutrition-the dewy look really isn't that hard to create. If your complexion wish list involves descriptions like glowing, luminous and fresh (yes!), here's how to get it.

    MORE: The Cure for Acne Might Lie in Your Yogurt

    1. Encourage Your Natural Glow
    Dennis Gross, M.D., a New York City dermatologist, suggests flooding skin with a steady supply of ingredients that hydrate and brighten. He's partial to radiance-boosting vitamins C and D (both are found in Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta

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  • Natural Remedies for Springtime Sniffles

    Put an end to the springtime sniffles for good.

    Spring is finally here.

    And with it comes the sniffles for over 35 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies.

    Personally, it's the pollen that gets my eyes itching and nose running. For others it may be the flowers, grass, trees and plants, or even dust and dust mites inside the house, along with mold, or pet dander as spring stirs things up. Regardless of what causes allergies, it certainly affects a bunch of us.

    MORE: 5 Unexpected Allergy Triggers

    Allergies come from a misplaced and often exaggerated response by our immune system. Instead of ignoring common substances in the environment-call them allergens-immune cells view them as threats and try to fight them off by creating an inflammatory response. This results in a flood of histamine and other inflammatory compounds that produce the watery eyes, sneezing, runny or itchy nose and a scratchy throat. Every time a person encounters a reactive substance, they will have some kind of an allergic response.

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  • Look Good in Unpredictable (Hello, April Showers!) Weather

    An animal-print trench goes great over any rainy day attire.An animal-print trench goes great over any rainy day attire.

    The Rain Coat
    Spring showers don't mean drowning yourself in baggy, shapeless rainwear. Look for a lightweight, belted, ultra figure-flattering trench in a stylish animal print instead. Animal prints are the new neutral-and something that can easily layer over any look. Or try a trench in a vibrant cobalt or emerald color to brighten up your next rainy day.

    Betsey Johnson Double-Breasted Animal Print Trench, $180, Macy's

    MORE: Jeans That Flatter Your Butt Shape

    The Blazer
    From drab to fab-a blazer transforms the plainest outfit (jeans and a tee) into a polished look. A bright color, such as coral-a major shade for spring-is chic and unexpected. And something with contrasting, color-blocked panels along the sides will help create an Hourglass figure, no matter what shape you are!

    Rag & Bone Jefferson Blazer, $535, Barney's

    For a more affordable option, try Nine & Co.'s Button-Notch Collar Jacket, $45, JC Penney

    MORE: Dress For Your Body Shape


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