Choose Your Skin Lightening Products Wisely

In Asia, Africa and South America, the pervasiveness of fair-skinned beauties in the media, as well as the cultural preference towards lighter skin has fuelled public demand for skin lightening products. The tendency of pigmented skin to be more prone to developing hyperpigmentation has also contributed to this demand. In Asia alone, nearly 2 out of 5 women have admitted to using skin lightening creams. In this multi-million dollar industry, big brands such as Olay and L’oreal often find themselves competing with fly-by-night operators packaging their products in home ‘factories’. There are literally hundreds of whitening products flooding the market of these countries, and in most of them, regulation is either very lax or non-existent.

Many consumers in these countries have tried whitening products from international, high-end brands, chiefly because of their reputation for safety and quality, only to discover that they have effectively thrown their money away on products who’s active ingredients are so diluted, they do nearly nothing in terms of lightening the skin or alleviating hyperpigmentation problems. In the end, these consumers often resort to lesser-known and uncertified skin lightening products that promise fast results at very low prices.

There are indeed many cheap skin lightening products that produce fast results . However, consumers often find themselves paying a much higher price later, in the form of permanent skin damage, or worse, organ damage and skin cancer. This is because such products use dangerous chemicals like hydroquinone and mercury as their active ingredient. These ingredients are prevalent in cheap skin lightening products because of the low cost of the ingredients – hydroquinone in particular, is far cheaper compared to other safer melanin-inhibitors such as licorice extract and kojic acid.

Mercury or hydroquinone will initially cause the skin to lighten by inhibiting production of melanin. Without melanin formation, no brown pigmentation will be visible. This produces the much-vaunted “instant lightening” results. However, the long-term effects of these two chemicals are not so good. Mercury or hydroquinone has been known to cause blotchiness, uneven skin tone, easily sunburnt skin, peeling skin, increased hyperpigmentation, thickened skin, large pores, itchiness, redness, dark patches, light pink patches, and signs of premature aging such as lines and wrinkles.

That’s not the worst of it. Since both hydroquinone and mercury are carcinogenic ingredients, long-term use can cause skin cancer. Mercury in particular can cause liver and kidney failure, as well as damage to the nervous system. Mercury is also extremely toxic to unborn children, and pregnant mothers using mercury-containing creams risk giving birth to babies with brain damage and other deformations.

The use of mercury in skincare has been banned from most countries. Hydroquinone has been banned from the UK since 2001 and has been recently banned in Asian countries like Malaysia. In the US however, skincare products containing less than 2% of hydroquinone are still sold over the counter. The banning or restriction of these ingredients in many countries does not stop manufacturers from illegally importing these ingredients and using them in their products. Some crucial signs that a skincare product might contain these dangerous chemicals is the absence of ingredient listings for the product, or the absence of any certification from the local cosmetics regulation board.

So the next time you go out shopping for skin lightening or whitening products, make sure that the ingredients are printed on the product box or container. More importantly, ensure that the product has been certified by the cosmetics regulation board of the country of manufacture.

Meaning of Flowers at Your Wedding

If you are one of the brides who prefer to decorate their wedding with possessing articles that true meaning, this article is definitely for you.

Regardless of whether a particular flower is more beautiful than another, one of the variables that you can also take into account when choosing what flowers will use both for your bouquet, as arrangements for the Church and arrangements of flowers for your shower or reception, the significance is the fact that each flower contains, knowing this will give much more content and much more meaning to your decor.

Here are some meanings of the most famous flowers:

Yellow alhelí (faithfulness in adversity)

alhelí incarnate (lasting beauty)

Amaryllis (coquetry or beauty splendid)

Anturios (sexuality burning)

The azalea (romance)

Pink azalea (love)

Lily (innocence, purity)

White camellia (perfect beauty)

Carnation (distinction and nobility)

Red carnation (falling in love, pure love and live)

Chrysanthemum white (truth)

Chrysanthemum red (love)

Yellow dahlia (reciprocal union)

Ear of wheat (wealth)

Fleur-de-lis (beauty)

Sunflower (joy child)

Hydrangea (cold)

Lilac (first love)

Gardenia (joy)

Other meanings:

Flower vanilla (calm)

Leaves cinnamon (good choice)

Blue iris (pleasant news)

Jasmine (sensuality)

Yellow lily (unique beauty)

Lily-white (purity)

Mauve real (fertility)

Daisy (purity, innocence)

Mimosa (youthful joy, sensibility)

Nard (dangerous pleasures)

Orange (seduction)

Orchid (I put my love and my goods at your disposal, lust)

Red rose (I love you, love, passion)

Yellow rose closed (joy, gratitude, “think of my” friendship)

Pink white (innocence, purity)

Rose pink (spirituality)

Fuchsia pink (I like)

Red tulip (subtle declaration of love)

Yellow tulip (symbolize, desperate, love)

etc…

There are also different meanings depending on the colors of the flowers and white flowers will reflect the stability, peace and innocence, pink mean tenderness, kindness and noble sentiments, the yellow mean laughter or pleasure, orange signify joy and festive atmosphere.

The red expresses love, love and romance, the blue reflects loyalty, trust and harmony and green signify youth and balance.

Keep in mind that you can combine different types of flowers and make your own arrangement or decoration with the meanings that you want for your wedding.

Good luck!

How to Get Rid of Scarred Skin

If you’ve ever damaged your skin and got a permanent scar, you know the effects it can have on your self-esteem. Now matter how invisible it is to others, you know it’s there and for many people, this can be devastating. The good news is that there are ways to prevent scars from forming. Some of these suggestions may seem logical but when you know how scars form, and you injure your skin, you’ll also know how best to prevent the scar from staying or at the very least, how to make that scar as minimally visible as possible.

First, don’t damage your skin. We all know this isn’t possible all the time… accidents do happen. But, where it is possible, try to prevent the damage in the first place. Scars form to protect the skin from further injury. Take care when doing any activity that has the potential of skin injury. Wear protective equipment whenever possible.

If you do get a scar, allow your skin to heal well and completely. Care for the scar. Give it proper healing time so that the skin is healthy. If you’re out in the sun, wear sunscreen; this will help it heal better if there isn’t further damage to the skin from UV rays. When cleaning scarred skin, cleanse gently. Don’t be rough with it. Take care around the sensitive, scarred area so you don’t further damage already damaged skin. And, if you have a problem with acne, keep up with the fundamentals of skin care so that you don’t get further acne eruptions on top of a healing scar. If you get an acne flare up on an existing scar, it will prevent the skin from healing properly and give you a permanent acne scar.

Try Vitamin E oil. Wounds can heal faster if nourished and cared for. Give it a try. Get some Vitamin E oil capsules and break one open. Rub the oil on the skin and see if it doesn’t help. You may be surprised at the results.

Don’t pick at scabs. Scabs form to help skin heal. If you constantly are picking the scab, the skin isn’t given the time it needs to heal and a scar will form. This is the same idea if you have acne. If you constantly pick at your skin (your acne), how can you expect for your skin to heal? This is definitely how to NOT get acne scars.

Finally, eat well. Your body heals from the inside out. If you are putting preservatives and other non-nourishing foods into your body, you have an even greater chance of skin problems. And, drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins.

And, remember: a fresh scar always looks worse than one that has healed. Give it some time while it heals in addition to using the steps above and while you can’t prevent all scars from forming, you can give your skin a fighting chance to look healthy and at its best!

Satellite TV Programming Guide

With more than 256 channels to choose from, satellite TV programming offers far more TV listings and viewing options than cable or over-the-air TV.

Satellite TV also gives you access to music channels, pay-per-view movies, sports packages, adult channels, and international programming.

DISH Network Satellite TV Programming

DISH Network programming packages start at $31.99 per month.

They also offer pay-per-view movies and events, adult programming, and sports packages. International programming includes: African, Arabic, Armenian, Asian, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Israeli, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, South Asian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Urdu channels.

DISH Network has the biggest variety of movies and shows and the most HD (high definition) programming of the two satellite TV providers.

Here are DISH Network’s current satellite TV programming packages:

America’s Top 60 ($31.99 per month)

This package includes the following program channels, plus your local channels:

ABC Family, America’s Collectibles Network, Angel One, Arts & Entertainment (A&E), Auction TV, Beauty & Fashion Channel, Bingo TV, BYUTV, Cable News Network (CNN), Cartoon Network, Catalog TV, Classic Arts Showcase, CNBC, Colours TV, Comedy Central, Country Music Television, Court TV, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, Daystar, Discovery Channel, The Disney Channel (East), Disney Channel (West), E! Entertainment Television, Educating Everyone, ESPN, ESPN Alternate, ESPN2, ESPN2 Alternate, ESPNews, Eternal Word Television Network Family Net, Florida Education Channel, Food Network, Free Speech TV, Good Samaritan Network, Headline News Network, Health TV, Healthy Living Channel, The History Channel, HITN, Home & Garden Television, The Home Shopping Network, Horseracing TV, ISHOP, The Jewelry Channel, The Learning Channel, Lifetime, Men’s Channel, Music Television (MTV), Music Television 2 (MTV2), NASA, Nickelodeon/Nick At Nite (East), Nickelodeon/Nick At Nite (West), Northern Arizona University/University House, PBS You, QVC Shopping Network, Research Channel, RFDTV, The Sci-Fi Channel, Shop At Home, Shop NBC, Spike TV, Stuff TV, The Travel Channel, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Turner Broadcast System (TBS), Turner Network Television (TNT), TV Games Network, TV Guide Channel, TV Land, TV Outlet Mall University Of California, University Of Washington, USA Network, VH1 The Weather Channel, Worldlink TV.

America’s Top 120 ($42.99 per month)

This package includes all of the channels in the America’s Top 60 package, plus the following program channels and 32 Sirius music channels:

American Movie Classics, Animal Planet, BBC America, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Bravo, CNN Financial/CNN International, Comcast Sports Network, Discovery Health, Empire Sports, ESPN Classic, F/X, FOX News Channel, FOX Sports, FOX Sports West 2, Fuse, Galavison, Game Show Network, Independent Film Channel, Lifetime Movie Network, Madison Square Garden, MSNBC, New England Sports Network (NESN), Noggin, Pax TV, SiTV, The Speed Channel,, Sports Alternate 1, Sports Alternate 2, Sports Alternate 3, Sports Alternate 4, Sports Alternate 5, Sunshine Network, G4 Tech TV, Telefutura East, Telefutura West, Toon Disney, Turner Classic Movies, Turner South, Univision East, Univision West, WE: Women’s Entertainment, WGN Superstation.

America’s Top 180 ($52.99 per month)

This package includes all the channels in the America’s Top 120 package, plus the following program channels and 50 Sirius music channels:

Biography, Bloomberg Television, Boomerang, CNBC World, Discovery, Home & Leisure, Discovery Kids, Discovery Times Channel, Discovery Wings, Dish Music- 50’s & 60’s Hits, Dish Music- 70’s Hits, Dish Music- 80’s Hits, Dish Music- All That Jazz, Dish Music- Beach Party, Dish Music- Classic Soul, Dish Music- Country Music One, Dish Music- 4 Decades of Music, Dish Music- Expressions, Dish Music- Hitline, Dish Music- Hot FM, Dish Music- Italia, Dish Music- Love Songs, Dish Music- Moonscapes, Dish Music- New Orleans Jazz, Dish Music- Piano & Guitar, Dish Music- Road House, Dish Music- Tropical Breezes, Dish Music- Urban Adult, Do It Yourself Network, Encore (West), Encore, Action/Adventure, Encore Love Stories, Encore Mysteries, Encore True Stories, Encore Wam/America’s Kidz Network, Encore Westerns, FOX Movie Channel, FOX Sports, Net World, The Golf Channel, GOL TV, Great American Country, Hallmark Channel, History Channel International, The Movie Channel (West), National Geographic Channel, Nickelodeon Games & Sports, Nick toons, The Outdoor Channel, Outdoor Life Network, Reality TV, SoapNet, Style, The Science Channel, TMC Xtra West, VH1 Classic, Wisdom Television.

America’s Everything Pak ($86.99)

This package includes all the channels in the America’s Top 180 package, plus the following movie channels (31 movie channels in all):

Showtime Unlimited Package, Starz! Super Pak, HBO Package, Cinemax Package.

Note: For more programming information, ordering information, and the latest bonuses and free offers from DISH Network, click on the links below.

DIRECTV Satellite TV Programming

DIRECTV satellite TV programming starts at $41.99 per month.

They also offer pay-per-view movies and events, adult programming, and sports packages. International programming includes Chinese, Filipino, Italian, South Asian, Spanish, and Vietnamese channels.

DIRECTV has the most sports program packages of the two satellite TV providers, including the popular NFL Sunday Ticket.

Here are DIRECTV’s current satellite TV programming packages:

Total Choice ($41.99 per month)

This package includes the following program channels, plus your local channels and 31 music channels):

A&E Network, ABC Family, America’s Store, American Movie Classics (AMC), Animal Planet, BBC America, Black Entertainment Television(BET), Bloomberg Television, Bravo, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, Cartoon Network, The Church Channel, CNBC, CNBC World, CNN, CNNfn/CNN International, Comedy Central, Country Music Television (CMT), Court TV, Daystar, Discovery Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Disney Channel (East), Disney Channel (West), E! Entertainment Television, ESPN, ESPN CLASSIC, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, EWTN, Fine Living, Food Network, Fox Movie Channel, Fox News Channel, Fuse, FX, Galavisión, Game Show Network, Hallmark Channel, Headline News, The Health Network, The History Channel, Home & Garden Television, Home Shopping Network, Independent Film Channel, Inspirational Life, The Learning Channel (TLC), Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Link TV, MARIA+VISIÓN, MSNBC, MTV, MTV2, National Geographic Channel, Newsworld International, NFL Network, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite (East), Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite (West), Noggin/The N, Outdoor Life Network (OLN), Oxygen, PAX, PBS You, QVC, RFD TV, SCI FI Channel, Shop At Home, ShopNBC, Speed Channel, Spike TV, Superstation WGN, TBS Superstation, TechTV, TNT, Toon Disney, TRAVEL CHANNEL, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), TRIO, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner South, TV Land, Univision (East), USA Network, VH1, WE: Women’s Entertainment, The Weather Channel, Word Network, World Harvest Television.

Total Choice Plus ($45.99 per month)

This package includes all the Total Choice programs, plus the following channels:

The Biography Channel, Boomerang, Discovery Home & Leisure, Discovery Kids, Discovery Times Channel, Discovery Wings, DIY – Do It Yourself Network, Fuel, History International, PBS KIDS, The Science Channel, SOAPNet.

Total Choice Premier ($93.99 per month)

This package includes all the channels in the Total Choice Plus package, plus the following program channels:

Action, BLACK STARZ!, Cinemax (East), Cinemax (West), Comcast SportsNet (Mid-Atlantic), CSTV: College Sports Television, Empire Sports Network, Encore® (West), Encore® (East), FLIX, Fox Sports World, The Golf Channel, HBO, HBO (West), HBO Family, HBO Family (West), HBO HDTV, HBO Latino, HBO Signature, HBO2, HBO2 (West), Love Stories, Madison Square Garden (MSG), MoreMAX, The Movie Channel, The Movie Channel West, Mystery, NBA TV, New England Sports Network, The Outdoor Channel, SHOWTIME East, SHOWTIME Extreme, SHOWTIME HDTV, SHOWTIME Showcase, SHOWTIME TOO, SHOWTIME West, STARZ! (East), STARZ! (West), STARZ! Theater (East), Sundance Channel, Sunshine Network, True Stories, VH1 Classic, WAM!, Westerns, YES Network.

Note: For more programming information, ordering information, and the latest bonuses and free offers from DIRECTV, click on the links below.

Women’s Fashion Ponchos Get Sexy This Summer

Ponchos have come down from the high plains and back into high fashion on to the catwalks this season.

Women’s fashion ponchos featured strongly on the catwalks this season.

Gone are the heavy, horse-blanket style ponchos of yesteryear, replaced by delicate fabrics and sexy styles that complement every body. Fashion ponchos hide a multitude of sins.

Whether you choose silky, sheer and sexy, or embroidered ethnic style, the poncho can be adapted for all sizes and all occasions.

Your fashion poncho can be thrown over a pair of jeans for a chic, casual look, or dress it up with a glittery brooch over your favorite little black dress for night time style.

The hot fashion trend straight from the catwalk was the shabby-chic boho-style fashion poncho, ornamented with embroidery, beads and sparkles. Or the casually elegant cashmere poncho, perfect with your favorite jeans.

Ponchos also come short and long this season. The chic little shrug-style poncho clasped or tied on the shoulder in soft knits and delicate lace was featured by many European designers for spring/summer. Also featured were longer, asymmetrical fashion ponchos in a rainbow-bright display of colors and patterns.

Whatever your look for this summer, there is a women’s fashion poncho to suit.