aunaturale, autoimmune, depression, detox, diet, headache, insomnia, meditate, migraines, miss sixx, mz sixx, natural hair, peace, reflect, relax, skin care, skin disorder, womens health

Day 9: Younger Looking Skin plan

Reflect and Relax
By Amy Wechsler, MD

Reflect on Your Journey This is the final day of the Younger Looking Skin plan! Think about how the last 9 days have been for you. What’s gone well? Do you feel physically and emotionally different than you did last weekend? What helped you most? Was it getting more sleep, connecting with friends, having more sex, or learning to meditate?

Take Two Just for You Pick the stress buster that you’ve liked doing best — meditating, breathing, making love, having a worry session, whatever — and do it twice today.
And don’t forget to get your beauty sleep, be positive, foster friendships, move your body, eat clean, go green, relax, and simplify.

You’ve completed the 9-Day Mind-Beauty Makeover and tapped the power of The Mind-Beauty Connection to start reversing the effects of tension and time. You should be looking and feeling not only younger but also happier, healthier, and more whole; less stressed, more you.

By continuing even some of the new habits you’ve picked up in the last 9 days, you’ll keep looking and feeling terrific, not just for now, but for life. Use these tips to nurture the beauty in you:
Stick to your newly formed habits as best you can over the next several weeks as your body continues to adjust and respond.

Feel free to add and subtract things that worked especially well for you, or didn’t. The point is to discover what helps you, and that’s going to be as individual as you and your life are. Use Dr. Amy’s 7 Habits for Healthy Skin to stay on track.

Focus on making your daily activity something you look forward to. Get inspired with these videos.

Keep a handle on stress, don’t skimp on sleep or healthy eats, and don’t get lured in by the latest beauty products.

Tell someone else how the mind-beauty connection can reverse stress aging and bring out the best in her looks.

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

aunaturale, autoimmune, beauty, insomnia, lupie chick, lupus, mz sixx, natural hair, power nap, skin care, sleep, womens health

Day 8: Sleep more for younger looking skin

Get Enough Beauty Sleep
By Amy Wechsler, MD

Get More Beauty Sleep If you don’t have any early obligations today, sleep in as long as you like. If you have to get up early, take a nap later in the afternoon. The ideal time for a nap is about 8 hours after you get up — that’s when your body temperature naturally takes a little dip (a sleep inducer); it’s part of your normal biological rhythm. So give in, and experience the beauty benefits of a little power nap.

How to Power Nap
Take off your shoes, and get comfy on a reclining chair, couch, or bed.

Close the blinds, or turn away from any direct sunlight.

Set an alarm for 30 minutes. That gives you 10 to fall asleep and 20 for your actual nap.

Avoid napping after 3 p.m. — it can disrupt your nighttime sleep.

Here’s a great reason to get more sleep.
Keep focusing on your inner beauty, fostering friendships, moving your body, eating well, going green, relaxing, and simplifying.

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

aunaturale, autoimmune, beauty, gratitude, lupie chick, lupus, meditation, miss sixx, mz sixx, natural hair, stress, treatment, womens health

Day 7: Be positive for younger looking skin

Focus on Your Inner Beauty
By Amy Wechsler, MD

Today is all about inner beauty. Use these inside-out beauty tips to get the radiant glow that comes with inner peace:

Focus on the Positive Try this tonight: Make a gratitude list for the day. Write down three great things that happened during your day. They don’t have to be out of this world. They can be as simple as the fact that you ate well all day, or that you hit a big deadline at work, or that the sky at sunset was beautiful. Just three good things, simple as that.
See how being positive can keep your heart young and help you avoid these.

Meditate Stress Away Stress takes its toll on your skin, your hair, and your natural good looks, so make sure to keep stress well under control. Meditation is a great way to work through stress, calm your mind, and keep your brain functioning at its peak. In the hour before your bedtime tonight, try this simple meditation.

Continue to foster friendships, move your body, eat well, go green, relax, and simplify.

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

aunaturale, autoimmune, awareness, immune system, lupie chick, lupus, migraines, mz sixx, treatment, womens health

Day 6: Quality time for younger looking skin

Have Fun with Friends

Spend Quality Time with Friends or Family Spend time today with people you care about. If you love to cook, invite them over for a scrumptious meal. If you don’t want to cook, go out. The point is to get together with people who are meaningful in your life — who make you laugh or inspire you — and share stories and time. Put together the perfect dinner-party menu with healthy recipes from the RealAge Recipe Finder.

Extend the Evening for Extra Value If you and your dinner mates live close to one another, invite them back to your place for dessert or an after-dinner drink. If it’s winter, light up the fire; if it’s summer, sit outside in candlelight (for more vitamin G). Just make sure you’re not up past your bedtime. Keep moving your body, eating right, going green, relaxing, and simplifying.

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan

arthritis, aunaturale, autoimmune, awareness, depression, fitness, immune system, lupie chick, lupus, miss sixx, mz sixx, rheumatoid, treatment, womens health

Reap the Benefits of Physical Activity

Day 5: Be active for younger looking skin

By Amy Wechsler, MD

Get Moving for Better Skin, Better Sleep
Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity today, and schedule some time for a few more active half hours over the next few days. Whether it’s taking a class at your gym, going for a power walk with friends, taking a bike ride, or playing Frisbee in the park — there are lots of options for doing your body good. Choose something you enjoy.

There’s no point in being miserable.
Try one of these free workout videos — there’s something for everyone.
And get this: Exercise during the day helps you fall asleep at night and improves the quality of your beauty sleep. Just another one of the health benefits of physical activity.
Remember to eat well, go green, relax, and simplify.

Treat Yourself to Something Special
You’ve hit the halfway mark to better skin! Block out an hour today or tomorrow — 1 full hour — to do anything you’d like. Veg in front of the TV; go shopping for new makeup at a department store where you can get some TLC (check out Dr. Amy’s Most-Worth-It Beauty Splurges); get a manicure and pedicure or the massage you still haven’t had yet. Just make sure it’s fun and relaxing. This is quality you time.

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

aunaturale, autoimmune, awareness, lupie chick, lupus, Omegga fatty acids, skin disorder, vegatables, womens health

Eat Foods That Are Good for Your Skin

Day 4: Best foods for younger looking skin

By Amy Wechsler, MD
Avoid Food That’s Bad for Your Skin Focus on eating as cleanly as possible today. Avoid fast food, fried food, and anything processed. That includes refined sugar, soda (diet and regular), and processed meats and cheeses. Why? They keep your body and your skin off balance. Instead, eat foods that are good for your skin. Here’s a quick list of foods for healthy skin:
Oranges
Cantaloupe
Tomatoes
Leafy greens
Salmon
Tuna
Firm and Bright
You’re probably up to your eyebrows (Botoxed or not) with the mantra “eat more fruits and vegetables.” But if you’ve yet to take that advice to heart, maybe knowing that they prevent wrinkles will do the trick.

The skin doc’s three top picks: sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and cantaloupe.

What they do: Replenish your skin’s supply of antioxidants, so they’re ready to scarf up free radicals whenever they make an appearance. Free rads are highly reactive oxygen molecules that damage cells and contribute to just about everything that can go wrong with skin, from dryness to wrinkles.
Fresh and Juicy
Your body can’t store much wrinkle-fighting vitamin C, so you need to top up your supplies regularly. The easiest way: Have some citrus every day.
The skin doc’s four top picks: oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit.
Ounce for ounce, oranges are the top citrus source of C, but you can only eat so many, right? For variety, make lemonade; squeeze limes on melon; add grapefruit to salad; and, instead of drinking soda, fizz OJ with sparkling water. It all adds up.
What they do: Keep skin’s vitamin C levels high. While C is a nifty antioxidant, that’s not the key reason it’s here. It helps keep collagen — the supportive protein fibers that stop skin from sagging — strong and resilient. (Flimsy collagen means lines and wrinkles.) Since collagen breakdown really picks up in your mid-30s, eat citrus early and often to head off aging.
Smoothing and Soothing
There’s a particularly potent antioxidant known as EGCG that does all kinds of good things for skin. The best place to find it? True teas: black, green, or white (not herbal). Brew a full teapot every morning so that sipping 4 to 6 cups throughout the day is a no-brainer.
The skin doc’s #1 pick: green tea.
While all true teas contain EGCG (by the way, that stands for epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the various types of green tea have the most. Dr. Wechsler’s personal favorite is hojicha green tea (available at http://www.adagio.com). “The roasting process that turns this green tea a brownish color also lowers its caffeine content,” she says — handy if you’re caffeine sensitive or it’s one of those days when you don’t need another stimulant.
What it does: Gives your skin a healthy dose of EGCG, which is a great multitasker. EGCG puts a damper on inflammatory chemicals involved in acne and sun-related skin aging, it helps prevent skin cancer; and it has a lion-tamer effect on tumor cells. What’s more, green tea contains L-theanine, a de-tensing amino acid — and anything you can do to stanch the flow of the stress hormone cortisol helps keep collagen fibers intact.
Dark and Green
Certain dark green vegetables, whether they’re fresh, frozen, raw, or steamed, really deliver on vitamin A, one of the most skin-essential vitamins going.
The skin doc’s three top picks: spinach, turnip greens, and broccoli.

What they do: Deliver a hefty supply of vitamin A, which supports skin-cell turnover, the process that keeps cell growth and development humming along flawlessly. Without enough A, skin becomes dry, tough, and scaly.
Fish Faves
Several cold-water catches give your skin a double benefit: age-fighting omega-3 fatty acids and the restorative powers of protein.
The skin doc’s seven top picks: salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, Pacific herring, and most shellfish.

Just don’t, uh, go overboard. As good as omega-3s are for skin (and the rest of you, too), worries about the amount of mercury in many fish mean it’s smart to limit seafood or freshwater fish to two meals a week. That’s a must for young children and for women who are pregnant, who may become pregnant, or who are nursing. (Go here for the government’s fish guidelines.)

What they do: Omega-3s fight inflammation, now considered one of the top skin agers, and they also help protect against sunburn, enhancing the effects of your sunscreen’s SPF. Protein is required to build and repair skin cells and to make enzymes and hormones that help keep it glowing.
Fill your grocery cart with all of these foods and you won’t just look younger, you’ll be younger. Eating at least one serving of fish a week and getting the right amount of antioxidants through diet or supplements lowers your biological age.
Click here to find more food that is good for your skin
Curb Cravings
To curb cravings and make sure you’re eating only the best foods for your skin, drink water or (green)tea throughout the day. Mix it up with sparkling water, a splash of natural (no sugar added) cranberry juice (rich in antioxidants), or a wedge of lemon, lime, cucumber, or melon.

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.
aunaturale, autoimmune, beauty, blood pressure, cancer, green tea, lupie chick, lupus, mz sixx, skin disorder, womens health

Go Green for Great Skin-Day 3

Day 3: Green tips for younger looking skin

Green is beautiful. So today, start nurturing the green goddess in you with these green tips for naturally glowing skin:

Drink Green Tea
Green tea keeps you hydrated, as does water, but here’s the difference: Tea is brimming with good-for-you flavonoids. So fill a big thermos with green tea in the morning, and sip it all day — hot at first, over ice later, if you like. Start today, and continue drinking green tea every day for the rest of the week.

Green tea’s good for a lot more than your skin

1. Cut Your Cancer Risk Several polyphenols — the potent antioxidants that green tea is famous for — seem to help keep cancer cells from gaining a foothold in the body by discouraging growth and then suppressing the creation of new blood vessels that tumors need to thrive. Study after study has found that regularly drinking green tea reduces the risk of breast, stomach, esophagus, colon, and prostate cancer.

2. Soothe Your Skin Got a cut, scrape, or bite, and a little leftover green tea? Soak a cotton ball in it. The tea is a natural antiseptic that relieves itching and swelling. Try it on inflamed blemishes, sunburns, or puffy eyelids. But that’s not all. Green tea has been shown to help block sun-triggered skin cancer, whether you drink it or apply it directly to the skin — which is why you’re seeing green tea in more and more sunscreens and moisturizers.

3. Steady Your Blood Pressure Having healthy blood pressure — meaning below 120/80 — is one thing. Keeping it that way is quite another. But people who sip just half a cup of green tea a day are almost 50% less likely to wind up with hypertension than nondrinkers. Credit goes to the polyphenols again (especially one known as ECGC); they help keep blood vessels from contracting and raising blood pressure.

4. Protect Your — or Your Mom’s — MemoryGreen tea may also keep the brain from turning fuzzy. Getting-up-there adults who drink at least two cups a day are half as likely to develop cognitive problems as those who drink less. Why? It appears that the tea’s big dose of antioxidants fights the free-radical damage to brain nerves seen in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

5. Stay Young The younger and healthier your arteries are, the younger and healthier you are. So fight plaque buildup in your blood vessels; the sticky stuff increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, adds years to your RealAge, and saps your energy. How much green tea does this vital job take? About 10 ounces a day, which also deters your body from absorbing artery-clogging fat and cholesterol.

6. Lose Weight Oh yeah, one more thing. Turns out that green tea speeds up your body’s calorie-burning process. In the every-little-bit-counts department, that’s good news!

Go Outside, Take In Nature

Spend at least 20 minutes outside today — and over the next 6 days — soaking in some “vitamin G” (for green). Mother Nature can be extremely therapeutic, and the fresh air will do you — and your skin — a world of good. Walk this way to chase away stress.

And remember to keep doing the activities from Day 1 and Day 2 — relax and simplify.

Beauty Bonus: A Cleopatra Beauty Tip

Try a luxurious milk bath tonight as part of your unwind routine: Add 2 to 4 cups of whole milk to a warm bath, and soak for 20 minutes. Then, give your body a loofah or washcloth scrub. Follow that with a rinse, a gentle dry down, and an all-over moisturizer application. Ahhhh, that’s better

The information included on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

antioxidants, aunaturale, autoimmune, awareness, exercise, lupie chick, lupus, miss sixx, moisturizers, relief, skin disorder, stress, womens health

Day 2: Stress relief for younger looking skin

Soothe Stressed Skin-Day 2
by Dr. Amy Wechsler, MD

Relaxing never seems to make it onto the to-do list. But today, relaxing is your to-do list. Stressed skin looks stressed, so keep your psyche and your skin healthy, calm, and clear with these stress-relief tips:

Start Breathing
Try these three breathing exercises. Then, pick the one you like best, and do it at least twice a day for the next 8 days, preferably at around the same time each day. This will help establish a breathing routine that calms you, refocuses your energy, and changes your body chemistry to support well-being from the inside out. So long, stressed skin.

To experiment with these exercises, sit in a chair with your back comfortably upright, feet on the floor, shoulders down, chest open, and hands resting in your lap. Let your abdomen expand with each inhale and contract with every exhalation. You may want to close your eyes and really focus on your breaths.

Exercise #1 — Let it all out.
Take a deep breath through your nose, and let it out easily through your mouth. At the end of the exhalation, silently repeat “la-lala-la-laaah,” which effortlessly extends the exhalation, releasing more air from your lungs. Feel your abdomen inflate with the next inhale. Do 5 times.

Exercise #2 — Take a pause.
Inhale and exhale through your nose, mentally counting “in-two-three, out-two-three,” and then “pause-two-three.” During the pause, don’t breathe in or out; just rest comfortably. Do 5 times. Over time, increase the count to four (“in-two-three-four, out-two-three-four”), then to five, until you reach a number that’s comfortable to you.

Exercise #3 — Hold it.
This technique can help you dial down a stressful reaction to upsetting news and can help you fall asleep, too. It takes a little practice, but people who use the technique swear by it. It’s the four-seven-eight breath, a favorite of health guru Andrew Weil, MD.

Place the tip of your tongue just behind your upper front teeth; let it rest there gently for the entire exercise.

Exhale completely through your mouth, letting the air make a whooshing sound as it passes out.

Close your mouth, and inhale through your nose as you mentally count to four. Let the breath fill and expand your abdomen as you inhale, and then hold your breath for a count of seven.

Exhale through your mouth with a whoosh to a count of eight. That’s one complete four-seven-eight breath. Do four times. To keep stress in check, do at least one of these breathing exercises twice a day.

Relax and Unwind
Here are some ideas to help you destress:

Connect with friends. Pick up the phone and call someone who can make you laugh, take a load off your stress level, and help you put things into perspective. Later in the week, you’ll have dinner with friends, so maybe call someone you want to invite.

Book a massage. If you can get in for a spa treatment today, great! If not, you have something nice to look forward to.

Have sex. Yep, sex (with a partner or on your own) can help relax you and get your skin glowing again.

Continue to Simplify Wash your face morning and night using the tips from Day 1, and stick to your new beauty-sleep routine.

aunaturale, autoimmune, beauty, cleasner, depression, etsy, exfoliate, gentle, insomnia, lupie chick, lupus, moisturizers, ocm, routine, skin disorder, SPF

9 Days to Younger Looking Skin- Day 1

If you follow my natural hair care blog (Au’Naturale By Mz Sixx) then you know all too well about my skin issues. I once had BEAUTIFUL, BUTTERY, BROWN skin. Over the years my skin has become scarred, problematic, and sensitive. I’ve recently discovered that alot of my issues are Lupus related. I’ve already begun a “simple” beauty routine, to help clear my skin of the acne outbreaks, rashes, redness, and scarring. I ran across this article and thought I would share. I will be posting tips by Amy Wechsler, MD 9 days to skin renewal plan.

Day 1Simplify Your Beauty Routine
Pare Down Your Beauty Products- Over treating your skin with multiple products is one of the most common problems dermatologist Amy Wechsler sees, so narrow your collection down to a few select items. Dr. Amy’s must-haves:

One gentle everyday facial cleanser
Two good moisturizers — one with sunscreen for day, and another for night
An exfoliate to use two or three times a week ( I make a natural sugar scrub that’s gentle & moisturizing- I use it 3-4 times a week)

Simplify Your Skin Routine
In the morning, wash your face with your hands — they’re naturally thorough, but gentle. Apply your daytime moisturizer to still-damp skin; let it soak in before applying makeup.

Repeat at night, but spend a minute longer washing your face to be sure you remove all makeup, dirt, and residue from the day. Then, apply your nighttime moisturizer.
Recommended Skin Products
CLEANSERS
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
Dove Sensitive Skin Foaming Facial Cleanser
Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser

** I use Cetaphil Gentle skin Cleanser on the days when I wear makeup I do the OCM cleaning method**

For acne-prone skin, try one of these:
Clinique’s Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam
Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Cleanser
Topix Benzoyl Peroxide 5% Wash

DAYTIME MOISTURIZERS
Eucerin Extra Protective Moisture Lotion with SPF 30
Kinerase Cream SPF 30
Topix Replenix CF Anti-Photoaging Complex SPF 45
Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 30
Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion for the Face SPF 30
** I use Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 30 **

NIGHTTIME MOISTURIZERS
Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizing Cream
Topix Replenix Cream
Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
Revale Skin Night Cream (contains coffee berry)
Two that contain retinol:
Philosophy Help Me Retinol Night Treatment
Topix Replenix Retinol Smoothing Serum 2X, 3X, and 10X (also contains green tea polyphenols)
** I use Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion **

EXFOLIATING TONERS
Clinique’s Clarifying Lotions (or try their 7-Day Scrub Cream Rinse-Off Formula)
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner
Philosophy Microdelivery Peel Pads
Daily Microfoliant by Dermalogica
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toner
** I use Rose Water or Homemade Green Tea Toner**

For acne-prone skin, try this:
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toner Astringent Lotion

Get Ready for Beauty Sleep
Start by asking yourself: How many hours of sleep do I need to feel really refreshed? If the answer is 8, and you normally get up at 6 a.m., you should be in bed by 10 p.m. That means you need to call it a day by 9 p.m. to give yourself an hour to wind down and wash up. ** my doctor recommend this as well with help with insomnia**

Need extra inspiration?
Sometimes we jump into new routines without much thought, and then drift away from them after a few days. Keep that from happening this time by mentally stepping into your plan. Spend at least 15 minutes focusing on why you’re doing this and what you’re hoping to get out of it. Then, go for it. It’s only 9 days, after all.

aunaturale, autoimmune, awareness, baltimore, fundraising, lupie chick, lupus foundation, miss sixx, mz sixx, natural hair, support, walk, washington

I walked for Lupus


On September 24th, I joined 1,000 walkers for the 4th Annual Walk for Lupus at Druid Hill park in Baltimore. MD. The walk was sponsored by The Lupus Foundation ( DC/MD/VA Chapter).

The day was filled with excitement, fun , and hope. Pulling up and seeing the massive crowds of people warmed my heart. Most were there walking for someone, but there were alot of Lupic Chicks walking for themselves. There were lots of teams, church’s, businesses, and sororities & fraternities in attendance, along with a high school marching band that kicked off the walk.

I was informed about the walk, 2 weeks proior, therfore I wasnt afforded enough time to put together an official team. My family walked with me under the name ” The Lupie Chick”. I would like to extend and heartfelt thank you to them for walking with me- my husband, Anthony, my daughter, A’yianah, and my son, Amihr. Your support does not go unrecognized- I love you!

I would also like to thank my supporters for helping me go beyond my fundraising goal:

A’yianah Dugar
Amihr Dugar
Anthony Dugar
Angela Ellis
Crystal Fowler
Jarrell Fowler
Kayla Gant
Latosha Bell
Lisa Gant
Marquiz Fowler
Pamela Chase-Handon ( C.E.P.C)
Sharon Taylor
Women With Standard Social Club

This team below was one of the largest teams at the walk. They were walking for a loved one. They had team t-shirts, banners, pictures, and butterflies. They chanted as they walked and I noticed a few of them cried as they crossed the finish line.

The walk itself was 1.25 miles. The walk was more difficult that I imagined that it would be. It was a warm day, the sun was shinning, and I’m not in the best “shape”. Half way through the walk my ankles and knees began to ache, however I was determined to finish. I would go between walking and running through the last few laps. There was signs posted along the route that were encouraging-but one is specific put the fire in me to FINISH the walk!

The “warning” t-shirt was FUNNY- said exactly what I’d wanted to say for a minute now..lol..lol.. As I walked and read her shirt, I chuckled. I had to get a picture..

Words cannot explain the feeling of accomplishment I felt as I crossed the finish line, slightly behind my son and husband. My mini me ( advised me later) that she fell back so that she could snap a pic of me as I crossed. As I went through she yelled for me and said ” you did it” ( hence the smile on my face and arms up high victoriously).

Click Here to view additional pictures from the walk ( you’ll see a few shots of me and my family too..lol….lol..)
Click Here to view the 2nd gallery of pictures

Stay tuned for The Lupie Chick Foundation Walk planned for summer 2012.