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.
A new study from the CDC has found that cat-scratch disease, a potentially serious bacterial infection, is more common that previously thought.
Did you know? That cuddle session with Cleo could be making you sick. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that when left untreated, more people are suffering serious complications from cat-scratch disease. Here's what you need to know.
What is cat scratch disease (CSD)?
Cat-scratch disease (or fever) is a bacterial infection that can affect humans following a scratch or bite from an infected domestic or feral cat. It can also spread when an infected cat licks a person’s open wound. The bacterial infection is passed between cats by fleas and can spread to humans, making them ill.
How can you get cat-scratch disease?
Humans risk contracting the disease when they’re bitten, scratched—and even from nuzzling a cat. According to the CDC, most cat scratches do not result in cat-scratch disease, but though the disease is rare, the study found that the number of people who are infected and become seriously ill is on the rise.
What are the symptoms? Can there be more serious complications?
According to the CDC, the symptoms of cat-scratch fever include fever; enlarged, tender lymph nodes that develop one to three weeks after the initial scratch; and the infected area may appear swollen and red with round, raised lesion that can have pus. You may also have a headache, poor appetite and exhaustion.
How do you avoid CSD? How is it treated?
The CDC recommends washing your hands after playing with a cat—even if you haven’t been bitten. If you do get scratched, immediately clean the area with soap and water and watch for any symptoms. If these do develop, see your doctor immediately. In serious cases, treatment with antibiotics may be prescribed.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, always looks camera ready—whether she's hitting the red carpet or travelling the world.
Track Kate Middleton's style file—from her star-studded (and trend-starting) wedding to her latest looks in 2016.
Kate wore a green Dolce & Gabbana dress to visit the Kelowna University during their Royal Tour of Canada on September 27, 2016.
HRH wore this beautiful red dress by Preen by Thornton Bregazzi while attending a reception at Government House, on the Royal tour of Canada.
To brave the rain Kate revealed weather-appropriate knee-high boots paired with a collared shirt and blue sweater.
The Duchess wore Alexander McQueen for her second outfit of the Royal Tour of Canada.
Kate wore a blue Jenny Packham dress to kick off The Royal Tour of Canada.
Kate wore a blue, printed Altuzarra dress in September 2016, accessorizing with L. K. Bennett heels and clutch.
On a visit to mental health charity Young Minds UK, Kate wore a scarlett dress by L. K. Bennett.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a favourite, L. K. Bennett, from head to toe. We've even seen this dress on Kate before!
Kate wore this stunning dress by Alexander McQueen to take in Andy Murray's win at Wimbledon in 2016.
At the 2016 Wimbledon tournament, Kate chose a bright yellow dress—a piece she wore to an event in Australia in 2014.
Kate joined in on the shoulder-baring trend, wearing this gorgeous white dress at the Natural History Museum in London.
At the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, Kate wore a poppy on her elegant collared lace dress.
At the Royal Ascot horse racing event in England, Kate chose a crisp, white, lace Dolce and Gabbana number.
To celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday, the duchess wore a beautiful blue coat dress by Catherine Walker.
Kate stunned in this royal blue dress at a SportsAid event in June, 2016.
We love the outdoorsy feeling of Kate's appearance in British Vogue's 100 year anniversary issue.
Here she is in a simple striped top in British Vogue's Centennial issue.
The Duke and Duchess sat on 'Diana's bench' infront of the Taj Mahal, where Princess Diana posed for photos during a 1992 tour. Kate wore a simple frock from Naeem Khan's 2015 Resort collection.
Kate is wearing a traditional Bhutanese look to attend a welcome procession in Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, and to later try archery, the country's national sport. Her "skirt" is actually a half-kira that has been elegantly paired with a Paul and Joe wool cape.
Kate attended the Bihu Festival celebrations in an Anna Sui silk chiffon maxi dress from the designer's fall 2015 collection.
Kate is sporting olive biker trousers from Zara and a ruffled button-down by RM Williams at Kaziranga National Park.
Kate narrowly missed a Marilyn-moment with this white Emilia Wickstead dress.
Kate wore a gorgeous two-piece ensemble by Temperley London in black and white for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration in India.
Kate wore a prinited red maxi dress by Anita Dongre for the royal tour in India.
Kate wore this stunning green Temperley London dress as she continued the royal tour in India.
Kate kicked off the royal India tour with this red, printed number by Alexander McQueen.
Kate wore Indian designer Anita Dongre and tried her hand at cricket while wearing this gorgeous printed midi dress.
Kate kept it simple while she fed elephants at Kaziranga National Park in this Boho-chic Topshop dress. The dress is accented with black embroidery and tassel-tipped ties.
Kate wore one of her go-to designers, Jenny Packham, for her first formal, evening event in India.
This stunning royal blue dress with sheer detailing was a lovely look on the Duchess.
Kate wore an Alexander McQueen coat dress for the christening of Charlotte. The fit and flare style stayed true to Kate's preferred silhouette and the Jane Taylor hat completed the look.
Kate looked glamorous in Jenny Packham as she attended the London premiere of James Bond's Spectre.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore this lovely floral printed Erdem dress in late 2015.
The dress that launched a thousand lace-sleeved copy cats. Catherine married Prince William in a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown fit for a princess.
Photography by Lauren Hayes Credits: Photography by Lauren Hayes
You don't need a gym membership to build muscle. These strengthening exercises from trainer Samantha Montpetit-Huynh of Toronto's Core Expectations are easy to do at home. The payoff? You'll burn more calories, protect your joints and help your bones stay healthy. Here's how to do it.
1. Squat with shoulder press
Standing with feet a little more than hip-width apart and holding weights at shoulder level with arms bent and palms facing forward, inhale and slowly bend at the knees into a squat. Exhale and stand up, extending your arms straight overhead. Do eight to 12 reps.
Tip: This is a compound movement, which means you're working more than one muscle group at a time to maximize the rewards.
Works: Quads, hamstrings, glutes and shoulders
2. Reverse lunge with knee up
Standing with feet shoulder-width apart and holding weights at your sides, inhale and lift your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Then, swing that leg behind you and plant your toes on the floor, bending both knees until they form 90-degree angles. Exhale and push off your toes to bring your knee back up. Do eight to 12 reps with each leg.
Tip: Swinging your leg elevates this lunge to a dynamic movement, which helps get your heart rate up.
Works: Quads, hamstrings and glutes
3. Biceps curl one leg
Standing with feet together and holding weights at your sides with palms facing forward, bend your right knee, keeping both knees together, until your calf is parallel to the floor. Balancing on your left leg, exhale and bend your elbows to bring the weights toward your shoulders, keeping your wrists straight. Inhale as you release back down. Do eight to 12 reps on each leg.
Tip: Standing on one leg forces you to engage your core muscles for balance.
Works: Biceps and core
4. Triceps dip
Sitting on the edge of a chair with your hands on either side of the seat and your feet together on the floor, scoot forward a bit off the seat, supporting your weight with your arms. Inhale and bend your elbows to lower your body, keeping your knees directly above your ankles and your shoulders dropped, until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Exhale and straighten your arms, pushing yourself up. Do eight to 12 reps.
Tip: For an added challenge, rest your feet on a step or a chair instead of the floor and extend your legs.
Works: Triceps and shoulders
Do one of these plank positions and hold for 20 to 30 seconds, progressing to one minute once you get stronger. When you can do the easiest plank position for one minute, move on to the more advanced positions.
A. Easy: Hover plank
On your hands and knees, with your back flat, abs tight and arms straight with shoulders aligned directly over your wrists, lift your knees to hover about two inches off the floor.
B. Intermediate: Knee plank
Support your weight on your forearms and knees, with your feet crossed in the air behind you. Keep your shoulders directly above your elbows, your back flat and abs tight.
C. Advanced: Full plank
Support your weight on your forearms and toes, with legs extended. Keep your shoulders directly above your elbows, your back flat and abs tight.
Tip: If you're feeling the burn in your lower back, your hips are too low. Make sure your back is straight.
Works: Core muscles, including the transversus abdominis (the innermost
abdominal muscle that stabilizes the pelvis), obliques (muscles along the sides that allow you to bend sideways and twist) and rectus abdominis (the outer muscles—sometimes called the six-pack— which help you bend forward)
On your hands and knees, straighten your arms, keeping your shoulders aligned directly over your wrists, then scoot your knees back and lift your feet behind you, dropping your hips so your torso forms a straight line. With your neck straight and abs tight, inhale and slowly bend your arms to lower your chest toward the floor. Exhale and push yourself up. Do eight to 12 reps.
Tip: When you can do 12 to 15 knee pushups, you're ready for the regular pushup. Remember to keep your torso lengthened and straight.
Works: Chest, shoulders and triceps
Lying on your stomach with arms and legs extended, raise your left arm and right leg a few inches off the floor without rotating your spine and hold for two or three seconds. Return to start position, then repeat with your right arm and left leg. Alternate from side to side, exhaling as you lift your limbs and inhaling as you lower. Do four to six reps per side.
Tip: These movements are small but effective; don't try to lift too high or you'll risk injuring yourself.
Works: Erector spinae (the muscles that run along the spine, which bend and extend the back and let you move from side to side)
Lying on your back with arms relaxed at your sides, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, exhale and lift your hips, squeezing your glutes and keeping your back flat. Inhale as you lower your bum to the floor. Do eight to 12 reps.
Tip: For an added challenge, extend one leg as you lift and lower your hips.
Works: Hamstrings, glutes and lower back
Check out the full workout for these strength-boosting moves.