Beauty resolutions Image by: Getty Images
The Canadian Living team shares some resolutions for 2017—all with a focus on beauty.
When it comes to making New Year's resolutions, it can seem like a waste. Either the resolution is too abstract ("be happier"), too daunting ("learn a new language") or too vague ("lose weight"). While putting big things on your bucket list is something we recommend (dream big!), we also know that the more achievable your resolution is, the more likely you are to keep it. Which is why this year, the Canadian Living team is looking to make small changes to our beauty routines that will have a positive (and in some cases immediate) impact on how we look and feel. Read on to find out what our staff is looking to achieve this year.
Alexandra Tanner, Contributing Art Director
“I would really like to remember to take my vitamins—beauty starts from the inside after all.”
Jennifer Danter, Acting Executive Food Editor
“I don’t usually wear makeup, but now that I’m back in an office setting where everyone looks so stylish I want to up my game. My beauty resolution is to learn how to wear makeup that looks natural—so I’m starting by looking into BB Creams and foundation.”
Estee Lauder DayWear Multi-Perfecting Beauty Benefit BB Crème SPF 35, $35, beautyboutique.ca.
Stacy Lee Kong, Senior Editor
“My 2017 beauty resolution is to make this the year I finally learn how to apply eyeliner without looking like a raccoon! (To be fair, this has been my beauty resolution since 2003… So I’ll let you know how it goes.)”
Linda Cotrina, Web Producer
“I’ve heard time and time again how important sunscreen is to one’s overall beauty regimen which is why I’ve made applying sunscreen everyday my ultimate beauty goal for 2017. First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer is my go-to product—it has all the benefits of sunscreen (UVA and UVB protection) while still keeping your skin moisturized. The added bonus? It’s vegan and cruelty-free!”
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer, $37, sephora.com.
Sandi Pilon, Senior Associate Art Director
“I’m in my 30’s and I often forget to moisturize my face at night, so my resolution is to get serious about a beauty regime. I’m going to be diligent about applying face and eye cream that is suited to my age.”
Julia McEwen, Fashion & Beauty Director
“Now that I’ve started to settle into my 30’s I’m ready to get serious about introducing anti-aging skin care into my daily routine. The hero ingredient of this category is retinol. It’s a vitamin A derivative that fights wrinkles, dullness and dark spots. One side effect it’s also known for is that it can be tricky to introduce and in some cases can cause irritation if you have highly reactive skin (which is what I have). That’s why I’m keen on trying this treatment from skin therapist to the stars, Kate Somerville. It combines oxygen with retinol, which means it’s super hydrating while still fighting off the signs of aging—the perfect retinol gateway product."
Kate Somerville Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Retinol, $130, sephora.com.
Sarah Gunn, Home & Garden Director
“I’m not one to make resolutions, but this year I do want to start taking better care of my skin. I plan on experimenting more with face masks and moisturizers.”
Alexandra Donaldson, Fashion & Beauty Contributor
"The past couple of years I've really upped my beauty game by settling into a skin-care regime, wearing sunscreen every day and paying attention to what my skin needs (usually moisture). This year, I'm hoping to focus in on products that work for me and to pay more attention to ingredient labels. Hopefully these two resolutions will let me streamline my skin-care products and only apply good-for-me ingredients to my complexion."
Renee Reardin, Interim Digital Direction
"I resolve to eat more superfoods to help me attain that glowing complexion we're all after. Eating a diet that's rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, healthy fats, amino acids and collagen can help skin look its best, so I'll be loading up on foods like avocados, blueberries and turmeric."
Eat these foods when you're under the weather. Image by: Getty Images
Eat these foods and drinks when you're sick with the flu to feel better faster.
No one wants to feel hangry or get hit with a midday crash—but that doesn't mean you have to visit the office vending machine. Instead, curb hunger pangs with these healthier, expert-approved alternatives.
1. Swap: Microwave popcorn for cauliflower popcorn
Even light microwave popcorn can be loaded with sodium, trans fats (which raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol) and artificial colours and flavours, says Kelowna, B.C.–based registered dietitian Tristaca Curley. Instead, cut a head of cauliflower into bite-size pieces, then roast in the oven with some olive or coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. This low-calorie, folate- and potassium-rich sub is a satisfying twist on that movie-night favourite.
Photography by Angus Fergusson
2. Swap: Store-bought gorp for DIY trail mix
Ready-made trail mixes can be full of sugar and salt, so create your own snack of walnuts (the nut with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids), unsalted sunflower seeds, dried apple bits and unsweetened shredded coconut. Add chocolate chips for an extra hit of sweetness. "For a tart superfood top-up, add golden berries, which resemble golden raisins," says Toronto-based registered nutritionist Joey Shulman. "They're lower in sugar versus other small berries, and they contain linoleic and oleic acids, which help with fat oxidation." Or add resveratrol-rich mulberries for their antioxidant punch.
3. Swap: Potato Chips for kale chips
"Regular chips contain trans fatty acids, the bad fat that can lead to heart disease and elevated cholesterol," says Shulman. "This superfood alternative is loaded with vitamins A, C and K." Tear kale leaves into bite-size pieces (discard thick stems), toss with olive oil and salt, then roast until crisp.
4. Swap: Salted pretzels for roasted chickpeas
Sure, pretzels may be low in fat, but they're loaded with salt and have no real nutritional value, says Curley. For a crunchy alternative, try oven-roasted chickpeas. These legumes are high in fibre, protein and iron, making them an ideal "fill me up" snack. Toss together chickpeas, olive oil, sea salt and your favourite spice (think smoked paprika, ground cumin, cayenne pepper or garlic powder), then roast until golden brown and crunchy.
5. Swap: Cheese crackers for a seaweed snack
Most crackers are processed carbs laden with artificial colours, preservatives and other additives. "In their place, top a sheet of nori with some canned tuna, smoked salmon or a meat alternative, like grilled tofu," says Curley. The seaweed is super satisfying and guilt-free: There are only five calories per sheet. Plus, sea vegetables are full of vitamins A and C, calcium, iodine (essential for metabolism) and iron.
6. Swap: Chocolate pudding for avocado and cocoa pudding
Chocolate puddings can be drowning in high-fructose corn syrup. For a healthier treat, mash an avocado, then stir in two tablespoons each of cocoa powder and hemp seeds and a quarter cup of honey, says Curley. This pudding is low in sugar and a great source of monounsaturated fats, vitamin C and fibre.
7. Swap: Granola bars for energy balls
Granola bars can contain as much sugar, fat and refined carbs as a chocolate bar. "Instead, stir together a cup of oatmeal with half a cup each of nut butter, hemp seeds and dried fruit," says Curley. Maple syrup or honey will help it stick together. This homemade option is high in fibre and protein, low in sugar and free of additives.
8. Swap: Chips and dip for hummus and carrot or zucchini coins
Processed foods like chips can raise blood sugar, triggering a release in insulin, which then lowers blood sugar. In the short term, these highs and lows actually increase cravings; in the long run, they can lead to weight gain. Try this clever swap from Curley. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice carrots or zucchini into coins. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then bake until golden brown and crisp. Serve with a side of hummus. (Brownie points if it's homemade!)
9. Swap: Banana chips for a loaded banana
This snack is often coated in sugar and deep-fried to give it crunch, so choose a fresh banana, which is glycemic index–friendly, suggests Curley. (Foods with a low-GI value are digested more slowly, so they won't cause a spike in blood sugar.) Top the banana with two tablespoons of your favourite nut butter, then roll it in hemp seeds. "You'll get a slow, steady rise in your blood sugar, so you'll feel full for longer," says Curley. Plus, this satisfying switch-up delivers potassium, protein, iron and omega-3s.
10. Swap: Chocolate-covered almonds for apple rings with nut butter
Almonds are a great snack, but when they're coated with chocolate, they turn into a treat. For a healthier option, slice a cored apple into rings. Top each slice with natural peanut, cashew or almond butter and sprinkle with hemp seeds, which are a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. "Apples are loaded with fibre and vitamin C," says Shulman. "Look for unprocessed nut butters; they're rich in good fats, which contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3s and monounsaturated fats."
Is the anti-aging ingredient retinol worth all the hype? You better believe it!
One of the most potent anti-agers on the market was discovered by accident. Twenty-five years ago, dermatologists noticed that retinol, an acne treatment, also reduced fine lines, refined large pores and reversed sun damage. But there was a catch: The vitamin-A derivative also irritated skin, causing dryness and redness. As a result, many women were reluctant to add it to their skin-care regimens.
Today, however, retinol comes in a variety of formulations and strengths, so you can get the benefits without the irritation, says Dr. Paul Cohen, a dermatologist at Rosedale Dermatology Centre in Toronto. "The industry has come a long way," he says. Here's how you can take advantage of modern retinol.
Retinoid: A vitamin-A derivative available only by prescription.
Retinol: An over-the-counter derivative of vitamin A, found in concentrations of up to one percent.
Microencapsulation: This delayed-release delivery can help prevent skin irritation.
"Skin has its own natural renewal process, but as we age, skin renews itself less often," explains Dr. Cohen. "This results in the early signs of aging," including fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Vitamin A, either in an over-the-counter retinol or a a prescription retinoid, works by "stimulating cell turnover to help skin repair itself," says Dr. Cohen. The result: diminished fine lines and wrinkles, a more even skin tone and a finer texture.
Finding your formulation
Retinol is available in cream, gel and serum form. Whichever you choose, consider the overall strength of the product. For over-the-counter retinol, one percent is the highest strength allowed by Health Canada, but stronger isn't always better. "You don't necessarily have to go to that one-percent level in order to reach the results you want," says Kirk Brierley of RoC Skincare. If you're concerned about sensitivity, consider a lower strength that will deliver retinol to the skin in a more gentle manner. You can also try microencapsulated retinol, which is gradually released into the skin.
The perfect application
The best time to apply retinol will depend on the product. Serums should be applied immediately after cleansing, and creams after serum. Dr. Cohen recommends using a pea-size amount of retinol every other night to start, and eventually upping application to every night. "If your face gets red and itchy, or if it peels or burns, skip retinol for a day or two," he says. You can also apply a layer of moisturizer before your retinol; it will act as a barrier, keeping skin hydrated and reducing the risk of irritation. Finally, despite what you may have heard, retinol won't sensitize your skin to sun exposure. UV rays do, however, destabilize retinol, rendering it ineffective. So as long as you wear sunscreen every day (which you should in any case), retinol is your anti-aging friend.
Retinol, along with peptides and civitamin C, helps promote tissue regeneration around the delicate eye area.
This rich cream smooths lines and wrinkles while providing serious moisture.
Time-released technology gradually delivers retinol to the skin, minimizing fine lines and discolouration with less irritation.
Formulated with fast-working sustained-action retinol and moisture-rich hyaluronic acid, this serum is quickly absorbed.
Containing vitamins C and E and slow-release microencapsulated retinol, this serum encourages skin renewal.
A combination of retinol and Nia-114 (a form of vitamin B3) strengthens the skin's moisture barrier while combating fine lines and brightening skin tone.