Why Selfcare Is Not Selfish: Understanding The Benefits For Your Mental Health

Often, in our fast-paced lives, we neglect our personal needs to tend to the needs of others. We prioritize our work, family, and friends before taking care of ourselves. However, we fail to recognize that self-care is not selfish, but it is essential for our physical and mental well-being. Making time for self-care helps us to re-energize, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves our overall mental health. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of self-care and how it can help in nurturing a positive relationship with ourselves. We will delve into the various ways of incorporating self-care techniques in our daily routine, which will ultimately lead to a more fulfilling and healthier lifestyle. If you have been struggling with finding ways to take care of yourself amidst the daily chaos, this blog post is for you. We will guide you on how to prioritize your self-care and understand the profound benefits it can have on your mental health. By the end of the post, we hope to help you recognize the importance of self-care and empower you to take action towards a more fulfilling life.

Taking care of yourself is often seen as a selfish act but that couldn't be further from the truth. Self-care is important in maintaining your mental health and well-being. It's important to treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion as you treat others. By taking care of yourself, you're able to better take care of those around you.

Self-care doesn't have to be some grand gesture either. It can be as simple as taking a few moments to meditate, enjoy a cup of tea, or practice gratitude. It's important to carve out time in your schedule for yourself, whether it's a weekly bath or an afternoon walk. Prioritizing self-care can help you feel more balanced, refreshed, and energized.

Allowing yourself to indulge in self-care isn't something that should make you feel guilty. Instead, it can be seen as an important investment in yourself. By taking care of yourself, you're better able to show up as your best self for those around you. Take a moment today to prioritize your well-being and engage in some self-care. It's not selfish, it's necessary.

Understanding the Benefits of Self-Care

Self-care is not selfish, it is necessary. Taking care of oneself can positively impact both our physical and mental health. It is not just about indulging in luxury bath products and spa treatments, but also about taking time to prioritize our needs and well-being. It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths or getting enough rest.

Self-care is vital for our mental health. When we prioritize our mental well-being, we are better equipped to handle the stress that comes with daily life. It helps us to be more self-aware, which allows us to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings. By taking the time to understand ourselves, we become better equipped to address any negative thoughts or emotions that may arise.

Self-care also has physical benefits. Taking care of our bodies can help us to feel more energized and focused. Getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly all contribute to our overall physical well-being. When we are feeling our best physically, we are better able to face the challenges that come our way.

The importance of self-care cannot be overstated. Taking the time to care for ourselves allows us to be the best version of ourselves, which benefits not only us but those around us as well. Whether it's taking a bubble bath or going for a walk, self-care should be an integral part of our daily routine. Remember, self-care is not selfish, it's necessary.

How Self-Care Helps Your Mental Health

Self-care is not a selfish act. Many people have this misconception that self-care is all about pampering oneself with luxuries like going to a spa, getting a manicure, or taking a fancy vacation. But in reality, self-care is all about taking responsibility for your own well-being whether that's physical or mental. It's about taking the time to do things that make you feel happy, relaxed, and fulfilled. And, when it comes to mental health, self-care is an essential tool for improving and maintaining one's emotional well-being.

Self-care can mean different things for different people. Some might find solace in meditation or yoga while others might prefer a hot bubble bath or a good book. Whatever that might be, the key is to prioritize one's needs and make self-care a regular part of daily life. When we take the time out to nourish our minds and bodies, we create a foundation for a healthier and happier life. It can help lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and depression, and promote overall mental and emotional well-being.

So, why is self-care so crucial for our mental health? Well, it all comes down to the fact that our bodies and minds are interconnected. When we neglect our physical needs, it can lead to feelings of exhaustion, lethargy, and fatigue. Similarly, when we neglect our mental needs, it can lead to emotional burnout, stress, and anxiety. We need to treat our bodies and minds as a whole and recognize that our mental health plays an essential role in our overall well-being.

The decision to take care of oneself is not selfish, but rather a necessity. When we prioritize our well-being, we create a foundation for optimal mental and physical health. Small things like taking a walk in nature, journaling, or practicing a hobby can go a long way in promoting mental and emotional well-being. So, take the time out to prioritize self-care and see the positive impact it can have on your life.

Practicing Self-Care on a Daily Basis

Taking care of yourself is not selfish but necessary for a healthy mind and body. Practicing self-care on a daily basis can help you feel more energized and focused during the day. Making some small changes to your day-to-day routine can make a big difference in how you feel mentally and physically. Here are a few simple ways to practice self-care daily:

1. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply and meditate in the morning.
2. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
3. Take 10-15 minutes break every hour to rest your eyes and stretch your legs.
4. Get enough sleep by sticking to a regular bedtime routine.

Self-care is not just about setting aside a little “me-time”, but also about taking care of yourself in all aspects of your life. Understanding the importance of self-care can help you become more productive in both your personal and professional life. Take time for yourself, it is not only necessary but also boosts your self-esteem.

Self-care is not a luxury but an essential part of maintaining a healthy mental and physical well-being. It's essential to set aside personal time every day to take care of yourself. The benefits of self-care are endless, including reducing stress and anxiety, increasing productivity, and improving overall health. Practicing self-care on a daily basis helps you rejuvenate your mind and replenish your body, making you ready for any challenges that come your way.

Self-care is imperative to maintaining a healthy mind and body. We should practice it every day of our lives. Small steps towards self-care can make a big difference. So, don't hesitate to take care of yourself. It's time to put yourself first!

Taking Action to Prioritize Your Self-Care

It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life and forget to take care of ourselves. However, prioritizing self-care is essential to maintaining good mental health. This includes taking time out for ourselves, doing things that make us happy and relaxed, and making sure we are taking care of our physical health.

One way to prioritize self-care is to create a self-care routine. This can include things like taking a bubble bath, going for a walk, or practicing yoga. Whatever activities help you recharge and feel calm, make sure to schedule them into your week. This can help make self-care a habit and ensure that you are regularly taking care of yourself.

It's important to remember that self-care is not selfish. In fact, it's essential to our overall well-being. When we take care of ourselves, we are better able to manage stress, improve our mood, and feel more energized. So, next time you feel guilty for taking time out for yourself, remember that it's not only okay but necessary for your mental health.

A commitment and effort are required to prioritize self-care, but the benefits are worth it. By taking action and making self-care a priority, you can improve your mental health and overall well-being. Remember to take care of yourself, you deserve it!


Taking care of yourself is one of the noblest things that you can do. Whether it is taking the day off to enjoy a relaxing picnic or treating yourself to your favorite foods, self-care is something that you definitely need. When you take good care of yourself, you are not only improving your physical health, but you're also doing wonders for your mental health. Self-care is something that everyone needs and should practice regularly.

Self-care is not selfish, and that is an established fact. It is essential to understand that when you take care of yourself, you become a more productive and happier person. While it may feel like you're being selfish to take time away from work or other obligations, it's not. You need to give yourself room to breathe and recharge in order to be your best self.

Nowadays, taking care of yourself has become more important than ever. With the fast pace of life, it is easy to forget about yourself and to focus on the things around you. However, it's important to remember that in order to be able to take care of the world around you, you need to take care of yourself first. So next time you make a plan, be sure to build in some time for yourself. Whether it be taking a long bubble bath or taking a walk in your local park, prioritizing self-care will work wonders for your mental health.


To wrap things up, it is important to remember that self-care is not selfish. It is an integral part of maintaining physical and mental health. Engaging in activities that help us feel nurtured and fulfilled can have a significant impact on our mental health and well-being in the long run. When we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to handle life's challenges and can be more present for others in our lives. So, let us all make self-care a priority and recognize that it is not a luxury but a necessity for our mental and physical health. Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup, and taking time for yourself is a beautiful act of self-love.

Overcoming Obstacles: How Mental Resilience Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Do you ever feel like the obstacles in your life are preventing you from achieving your goals? Whether it's a difficult task at work, a personal challenge, or even a global crisis, obstacles can leave us feeling defeated and hopeless. However, having mental resilience can help us overcome these obstacles and achieve success. Mental resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult circumstances and bounce back from adversity. It enables us to face challenges head-on, learn from our experiences, and emerge stronger and more confident. In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of mental resilience and how it can help you overcome obstacles in your life. We'll also provide practical strategies to help you boost your mental resilience and achieve your goals. In today's world, where unexpected challenges are becoming increasingly common, mental resilience is more important than ever. Whether you're a student, a working professional, or someone who just wants to improve their life, this post is for you. Implementing the strategies you'll learn here can help you navigate any obstacles that come your way, and achieve the success you deserve.

Have you ever faced a difficult challenge that seemed impossible to overcome? Whether it's in your personal or professional life, obstacles are an inevitable part of the journey towards achieving your goals. But the good news is that mental resilience can help you overcome these roadblocks and come out stronger on the other side.

So, what exactly is mental resilience? It's the ability to bounce back from difficult situations, adapt to change, and handle stress in a healthy way. This trait is not something you're born with, but rather something you can cultivate through practice and intentional mindset shifts. By building mental resilience, you'll be better equipped to face whatever challenges come your way.

One way to develop mental resilience is to reframe your mindset. Instead of dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions, focus on the positive aspects of the situation and how it can help you grow and learn. Practice self-compassion and remind yourself that everyone faces setbacks and failures. By adopting a growth mindset, you'll be more resilient in the face of adversity.

Another key component of mental resilience is building a strong support system. Surround yourself with positive people who uplift and encourage you. Seek out mentorship or counseling if needed. It's okay to lean on others for support when you're facing a difficult challenge.

Ultimately, mental resilience can play a key role in helping you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. By cultivating a growth mindset and building a strong support system, you'll be better prepared to handle any challenges that come your way. Remember, resilience is not about being perfect – it's about learning and growing from every bump in the road.

Identify the obstacles you are facing and recognize how they are impacting your goals

When setting goals, it's natural to focus on the end result. However, an important step we must take before we can start crushing our goals is to identify the obstacles that stand in our way. By recognizing these obstacles, we can create a plan to overcome them and develop mental resilience that will aid us in reaching our desired outcome.

Obstacles come in different shapes and sizes. They can be physical, emotional, or mental, and they can block our way or slow us down. By acknowledging the obstacles we face, we gain control over our journey. We can develop a realistic outlook on our goals and build a mindset that can handle both successes and setbacks.

Mental resilience is key to overcoming obstacles and achieving our goals. When we face challenges, having the resilience to bounce back and continue on our path is crucial. It's not uncommon for us to feel discouraged or stuck on our path to achievement. The good news is that mental resilience can be developed and strengthened over time with practice and the right mindset. By becoming more resilient, we can adapt to changing circumstances and push forward with confidence to achieve our goals.

As a result, overcoming obstacles is an essential element of achieving our goals. By identifying the barriers in our way and developing mental resilience, we can push through challenges and rise to new heights. Remember that it's not about avoiding obstacles altogether, but rather how we react to them. With the right attitude, we can face any obstacle and come out on top.

Develop strategies to boost your mental resilience to help you persevere

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that life is full of obstacles. Sometimes, it can be tough to keep going when it feels like everything is against us. But mental resilience can be a powerful tool to help us push through those hard times and come out the other side stronger.

So, what is mental resilience? It's the ability to bounce back from adversity, to adapt to change, and to handle stress in a healthy way. Developing this skill can help you stay focused on your goals, even when things get tough.

One way to boost your mental resilience is to practice positive self-talk. Instead of focusing on your mistakes or shortcomings, try to reframe your thoughts in a more positive light. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. This can help you cultivate a more optimistic outlook, which can in turn make it easier to persevere through challenges.

Another strategy is to build a support network. Having friends, family, or mentors who can offer encouragement and advice can be a valuable resource when you're facing obstacles. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask for help when you need it.

The process of developing mental resilience will take time and practice. But with the right strategies in place, you can build the skills you need to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. So, keep going, stay positive, and remember that you've got this!

Focus on positive action and don’t give up when faced with challenges

When life throws you curveballs, it can feel easy to give up on your goals. However, focusing on positive action can help you overcome obstacles and achieve success. Instead of dwelling on the challenges that you face, try to focus your energy on creating solutions and taking small steps towards your goal.

It's important to remember that challenges are a natural part of the journey towards success. Mental resilience is the ability to adapt to adversity and bounce back stronger than before. By developing this resilience, you can learn to navigate difficulties with ease and continue moving forward, no matter what obstacles you face.

One key strategy for building mental resilience is to practice self-compassion. Be kind and patient with yourself as you work towards your goals, and don't be too hard on yourself when you face setbacks. Remember that every hurdle is an opportunity to learn and grow stronger. With a positive mindset and a commitment to taking action, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve your dreams.

Surround yourself with people who will support you and provide encouragement

Having a supportive and encouraging group of people around us can make all the difference in achieving our goals. Whether it's a mentor, a friend, or a colleague, being surrounded by positive energy can help us stay motivated even during tough times. These people can provide us with emotional support and offer practical solutions when we face obstacles.

While we may not always have the luxury of being surrounded by supportive people, it's important to seek out such relationships. This can mean joining a group or community aligned with our goals, connecting with like-minded individuals on social media, or simply reaching out to others with whom we share a common interest. By creating a network of support, we are better equipped to handle any challenges that come our way.

Mental resilience is the key to overcoming obstacles and achieving our goals, but we don't have to do it alone. With a group of supportive people around us, we can face any challenge with confidence and assurance. So let's take the time to build these relationships with the people who believe in us and our dreams. Together, we can create a brighter future for ourselves and everyone around us.

Celebrate your victories and use your successes as motivation to reach your ultimate goal

Achieving your goals requires mental resilience. It's not always a smooth journey, and you're bound to have hurdles along the way. That's where celebrating your victories comes in. When you hit a milestone or accomplish something you set out to do, take a moment to acknowledge it. Celebrating every little success, even if it's something as small as completing one task, can give you the motivation to keep going.

Using your successes as motivation is another important step on the path to reaching your ultimate goal. When things get tough, it can be tempting to give up. But focusing on your past victories can help you push through and keep working towards what you want. It's worth remembering that progress doesn't always happen in a straight line. Sometimes you need to take one step back to take two forward.

Mental resilience is your ability to handle stress, setbacks, and challenges along the way. Resilience can be built through practice and experience. When you face a challenge, take a step back, take a deep breath, and remind yourself of the progress you've made so far. Remembering your past victories can help you feel more confident and capable of overcoming future obstacles. By keeping a positive attitude and not giving up, you can achieve your goals and fulfill your dreams.


The ability to remain mentally resilient while overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals is a crucial skill. It is a mindset that allows you to push through difficult times and emerge stronger on the other side of them. Without mental resilience, it can be challenging to succeed in today's fast-paced and competitive world. However, with this skill, you can rise to any challenge and experience success like never before. So, if you truly want to achieve your goals, focus on developing your mental resilience, and you'll be unstoppable. Remember that obstacles are merely stepping stones to greatness, and with the right attitude, you can surpass any challenge. Keep going, and your perseverance will be rewarded.

The Only 5 Stretches You Need To Loosen Your Full Body in Just About 5 Minutes

The Only 5 Stretches You Need To Loosen Your Full Body in Just About 5 Minutes

You know that feeling when you roll out your yoga mat with the best stretching intentions…  and suddenly forget every stretch you’ve ever learned? If this sounds familiar, you may benefit from an everyday stretch routine that you can memorize once—and feel the benefits throughout your lifetime. And luckily, Clara Baini, founder of Good Day Pilates, made you the perfect sequence.

On this week’s episode of Trainer of the Month Club, Baini dreamed up a five-move everyday yoga class that unwinds the muscles of your neck, side body, shoulders, hips, hamstrings—you name it. In total, this bite-sized class comes out to be about five minutes long—so it’s easy to slot into your morning ritual, lunch break, or pre-bed routine.

Pretty soon, you’ll know these stretches by heart. But for now, go ahead and grab your comfy clothes, queue up the video, and start moving.

Baini’s 5-move everyday stretch routine

1. Seated cat-cows

Come to sit on your shins (or on a block, if that’s more comfortable for you). Lift your arms up overhead. Interlock your fingers at the top of your neck and gently drop your head into this makeshift cradle, lifting the chest as you do. Look up at the ceiling and breathe. Slowly, come back to the center and tuck your chin towards your chest, curling your back like a cat as you do so. Move back and forth between opening and closing off your chest.

2. Seated side stretch

Staying seated, walk your left fingertips about a foot away from your hips. Reach your right arm up alongside your right ear, gently bending toward the left without letting your chest spiral toward the ground. Feel the stretch up your entire right side. Return to center and repeat on the other side.

3. Thread the needle

Come onto your hands and knees. Take a moment to double-check that your hips are directly above your knees and your shoulders are directly above your wrists. Reach your right arm up to the ceiling on your right side, allowing your gaze to follow. Then gently thread that right arm underneath the chest. Place your right cheek and right shoulder onto the mat. Spiral your right chest to the right side. Breathe. Come out of the pose slowly, and then switch sides.

4. Downward-facing dog

Come back to all fours. Tuck your toes and lift your hips up to the sky, keeping a generous bend in the knees. Do what feels good here: Shift your weight from side to side, bend the knees to touch the chest, or lift one leg at a time to open up the hips. You decide.

5. Standing forward fold

From your downward-facing dog, walk the hands back to meet the feet. Keep your knees bent enough that your chest drapes over them, and you feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Let your fingertips graze the floor or grab your elbows with each hand.

This content was originally published here.

These Are the 5 Best Strengthening Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, According to a Physical Therapist

These Are the 5 Best Strengthening Exercises for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, According to a Physical Therapist

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be an extremely limiting condition, with nagging pain that doesn’t seem to go away despite trying every possible wrist brace your local pharmacy offers. The good news is that, in addition to stretches that can help, there are some strengthening exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome that may help alleviate your symptoms and get you on the road to recovery.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition marked by discomfort and functional limitations in the wrist and hand due to excessive pressure on the median nerve, which runs down the inner arm through the center of the wrist to the hand.

“The pressure can happen anywhere along the route of the median nerve, but is commonly seen in the neck as a result of a herniated disc,” explains physical therapist and founder of Fit Club NY, Kellen Scantlebury, DPT.

That compression leads to numbness, tingling, and potentially weakness into the hands, wrist, and even elbow, which are all hallmark signs of carpal tunnel syndrome.

The median nerve innervates the thumb, index, and middle finger, along with the inner surface of the ring finger, so any or all of these fingers can be affected. “Typically someone with carpal tunnel syndrome will notice that these fingers get numb often during sleep, computer work, or other activities involving the hands,” shares Dr. Scantlebury.

How can strengthening exercises prevent and alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome?

According to Dr. Scantlebury, strengthening exercises can help reduce the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, and alleviate symptoms. “Exercises that strengthen the finger flexors and extensors as well as the wrist flexors and extensors are most effective,” he says.

However, there’s an important caveat: Carpal tunnel strengthening exercises (as well as general strength training exercises) must be done properly and with good form. “Many need to be performed with a neutral wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve,” says Dr. Scantlebury.

Dr. Scantlebury notes that one of the primary symptoms—weakness—can make general strength training difficult (“push-ups need to be avoided,” he says), but doing targeted strengthening exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome can help counteract this issue.

“Training your postural muscles is also important. Many times, posture habits are the main contributing factor leading to carpal tunnel syndrome,” he says.

Five easy exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome

Although seeing a physical therapist is usually the best approach for getting a rehab program tailored exactly to your needs, Dr. Scantlebury walked us through some basic carpal tunnel exercises you can try at home.

1. Towel or ball grips with wrist extension

Dr. Scantlebury says this is one of the best exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome because it improves your grip strength and the strength of your wrist extensors simultaneously.

“Both of these areas can be impacted with carpal tunnel syndrome,” he says. “These are especially important as we spend more time typing on a computer.”

To perform this exercise, grip a soft ball (like a stress ball) or a hand towel, squeezing your fist as tight as possible, while simultaneously extending your wrist, as though you’re putting your hand up to signal someone to stop—the back of your hand should come towards the hairy side of your arm.

2. Towel or ball grips with wrist flexion

This one addresses grip strength and wrist flexion, so it helps to prevent and alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome by strengthening and minimizing the muscles surrounding the median nerve.

For this one, perform the exact same tight-fisted ball or towel squeeze, but this time, flex your wrist by bringing your palm towards the inner arm.

3. Prone Ts

This exercise strengthens the trapezius muscles in the upper back, which support shoulder and neck postural muscles.

“Oftentimes, weakness of these muscles leads to bad posture that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome over time,” says Dr. Scantlebury. “This is a great exercise to increase their endurance.”

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie on your stomach with a small towel rolled up under your forehead for comfort.
  2. Bring your arms out to the side so that your body is in a giant letter “T.”
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to lift your arms up off the ground, as if trying to fly. Keep your elbows straight.
  4. Complete three sets of 20 to 30 reps, building up the number of reps you do.

Add small hand weights or hold water bottles to increase the difficulty.

4. Tendon glides

Dr. Scantlebury says that the muscles and tendons that control our fingers need to slide and glide easily on one another to produce efficient, painless movement.

“In our hands, we have a bunch of tendons that connect to the bones to help us move our fingers. If these tendons get stuck, we have difficulty accomplishing movement and fine motor tasks,” he explains. “Tendon glides help us improve this movement and can increase finger strength.”

There are four basic tendon glide exercises you can do to get started:

  1. Make a fist, squeeze, and relax.
  2. Bend just the fingers so that the fingers curl over and the pads touch the lower third of your fingers (claw hand position), and then straighten them again.
  3. Keep your fingers completely straight and bend your hand into an L, so that your fingers are at a 90-degree angle with your palm. Relax back.
  4. Fold your fingers all the way down to touch your palm and then open them back up.

Complete each exercise 20 to 30 times, as tolerated.

5. Finger taps

Dr. Scantlebury says this exercise increases the strength and endurance of the muscles in the hand, which can alleviate symptoms and prevent functional deficits.

To do it, tap the thumb to each finger in the hand (thumb to index finger, thumb to middle finger, thumb to ring finger, etc.). Complete 10 rounds per hand. You can increase the intensity by adding putty to your fingers; this forces you to pull away against resistance.

Remember the bigger picture

While strengthening can help prevent and alleviate symptoms, Dr. Scantlebury says that exercises should not be the only component of your prehab/rehab program.

“A balanced program consisting of strength training, mobility training for the wrist joint, and nerve lengthening are your best options,” he says. “If you suspect you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, get an evaluation performed by a doctor of physical therapy. If your treatment does not progress well, a recommendation can be made to an orthopedic surgeon.”

This content was originally published here.

The One Question a Dermatologist Wants You To Ask Yourself To Avoid Wasting Money on Skin Care

The One Question a Dermatologist Wants You To Ask Yourself To Avoid Wasting Money on Skin Care

We’re constantly told about the products we need to have for “better” skin. But beyond SPF, everything truly is optional depending on your needs. There are certainly tried-and-true ingredients that can help your complexion, like retinol and vitamin C, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily need them in your routine. Before hitting “add to cart” on any item, board-certified dermatologist Daniel Sugai, MD recommends asking yourself one question: What, exactly, are your goals for your skin?

“I would never buy a product without having a goal in mind,” says Dr. Sugai in a recent TikTok video. “I’m seeing so many patients who have way too many skin-care products. Teenagers who are using vitamin C serum when they have acne—vitamin C does not work on acne. So before spending your money on all these products, have a skin-care goal in mind.”

Hope this helps ?? #skincaremistakes #thingsiwouldneverdo #dermatologist #skincare #drsugaiskincare #fypシ ♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) – CKay

To help you narrow your search—and avoid wasting money on products—we rounded up the best ingredients for each specific skin-care “goal.” Keep scrolling to shop them for yourself.

To treat acne

1. Adapalene

Retinoids help with acne by tackling one of its main causes, abnormal keratinization, which happens when there’s an excess of “sticky” dead skin cells on the surface of your complexion that build up and clog your pores. Retinol stimulates cell turnover, bringing healthy new cells to the surface and getting rid of all the old ones. Dr. Sugai suggests chatting with a dermatologist to get a prescription version of the ingredient, but if you want something you can snag at the drugstore, opt for Differin Gel ($18). It’s made with adapalene, aka the strongest retinoid you can get over the counter.

2. Benzoyl peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is an ingredient that’s great at clearing away P. acnes, the bacteria responsible for ance. “P. Acne is a bacteria that lives on everybody’s skin, but it likes to grow in particular in acne lesions because it feeds on that oil,” says Elizabeth Kream, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. “There’s overgrowth and there’s a dysregulation of P. Acnes in acne lesions.” She recommends the Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask ($12), a benzoyl peroxide cleanser that you can use as a regular face wash or leave on for five minutes before rinsing as a deep-cleansing mask.

To soften/prevent wrinkles

1. Retinal

Retinoids also help to increase the skin’s production of collagen—the protein that keeps skin thick, firm, and bouncy—and retinal is starting to outshine retinol as the go-to OTC retinoid for smoothing fine lines. “What’s nice about retinal is that they’re a little bit more potent than your typical, traditional, over-the-counter retinol because they don’t require as much in terms of conversion to retinoic acid, but they’re a little bit more gentle than a prescription,” says Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. She loves the Medik8 Crystal Retinal ($53).

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C also helps to stimulate collagen production, but it’s best known for its protective attributes. As a potent antioxidant, vitamin C helps prevent free-radical damage. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that seek out healthy skin cells to latch on to their electrons, and thus, destabilize them. When our skin cells endure this damage, they’re less able to perform as normal, which leads to signs of aging like fine lines and discoloration coming on sooner than they should. Dr. Garshick is a huge fan of the Maelove The Glow Maker ($30) which blends vitamins C, E, ferulic acid, and hyaluronic acid.

To manage dryness

1. Ceramides

When managing dry skin, ceramides are one of your best defenses. They’re lipids that occur naturally in the skin to preserve the skin barrier and lock in moisture. They also function as emollients, a type of moisturizing ingredient that add oil to the skin to help soften and smooth the skin skin. The La Roche-Posay Double Repair Face Moisturizer ($20) is a great option that’s loaded with ceramides.

2. Hyaluronic acid

Quench your skin’s thirst with a dose of hyaluronic acid. The water-loving molecule helps your skin absorb and retain moisture to soothe and nourish dry skin. The new Selfmade Secure Attachment Comfort Serum+ ($36) has the perfect blend of hyaluronic acid, squalane, and algae to keep your skin nice and hydrated.

To brighten discoloration

1. Tranexamic acid

Topical tranexamic acid regulates melanin production in the skin, meaning it can help manage discoloration like acne scarring, photoaging, and melasma. Topicals Faded Serum ($18 to $38) blends tranexamic acid with two other skin-brightening ingredients—namely niacinamide and azelaic acid—to help fade discoloration.

2. Cysteamine

Cysteamine is a buzzy new ingredient that gives controversial hydroquinone a run for its money. Instead of bleaching your skin, the way hydroquinone does, it reduces your body’s melanin synthesis to bring your skin back to its baseline shade. You apply it to dry skin before you wash your face and let it work its magic for 15 minutes before rinsing off. The Urban Skin Rx Hypercorrect Intense Fading Cream ($48) heroes cysteamine and is a wonderful addition to your morning or evening routine.

To decrease oil

1. Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B that can help normalize your skin’s oil production. Meaning that with consistent application, you can see a decrease in oil production. “Niacinamide has calming and anti-inflammatory properties, which counteract the effects of stress hormones on the skin,” says Shirley Chi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Southern California. “Stress hormones increase oil production on the skin, so decreasing inflammation makes your skin less oily.” The Allies of Skin Prebiotics Niacinamide Pore Refining Booster ($73) is a great option.

2. Mandelic acid

While niacinamide does its job, you can get rid of your excess oil with the help of mandelic acid. “What’s nice about mandelic acid is that because it is a larger molecule, it’s generally a little bit easier to tolerate and less irritating than other alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid,” says Dr. Garshick. She really likes the Glow Recipe Strawberry Smooth BHA + AHA Salicylic Acid Serum ($40), which also includes mandelic acid.

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This content was originally published here.

For Better Sleep, RDs Recommend Making a Magnesium-Rich *Almond* Butter Board Before Bed

For Better Sleep, RDs Recommend Making a Magnesium-Rich *Almond* Butter Board Before Bed

Unless you live in a pineapple under the sea or are doing a much-needed social media cleanse, you’ve likely heard that butter boards are a THING. In what feels like overnight, hundreds of videos started popping up across all social media channels with different renditions of Joshua McFadden’s “herbed” butter with warm bread recipe from the cookbook .

Although RDs say that butter should not be demonized and that it can definitely have health benefits (when consumed in moderation, of course), we know that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea—especially not for vegans or anyone with a dairy allergy. That being said, we definitely didn’t want to miss out on a fun food trend that’s clearly the *next big thing* following the charcuterie board explosion of 2020. But how could we make a butter board that’s equal parts functional, plant-based, and exceedingly delicious? Enter *almond* butter boards.

Not only does this rendition of the butter board trend feature a base of nutty, nutrient-dense almond butter (which we adore), it’s packed with magnesium-rich ingredients that can help us get a better night’s rest. Plus, we spoke with a registered dietitian who shared her tips for making an almond butter board stacked with delicious toppings that help promote restful sleep.

Ready for the dreamiest bedtime snack? Read on.

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Why an almond butter board is what dreams are made of (literally), according to a registered dietitian

Let’s get the basics out of the way first: What is a butter board, exactly? Pretty much exactly like it sounds—creamy, golden butter spread across a board garnished with the toppings of your choice (like herbs, flaky sea salt, or drizzled honey) meant for dipping, spreading, an spooning over bread, crackers, fruit, and the like. While we’re 100 percent on board, we couldn’t wait for a vegan-friendly, plant-based version to get the spotlight, too.

According to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, CPT, a registered dietitian based in Charleston, there may be a better way to make before-bed butter boards, and it’s nuts (literally). “There is no doubt that putting butter on a crusty piece of bread or a crunchy cracker is the stuff that dreams are made of. But if you are in the habit of enjoying a snack board before bedtime, perhaps an almond butter board can be a better match for you,” Manaker says.

Almonds, says Manaker, actually have two essential minerals that can help you catch some Z’s. “Like most other nuts, almonds contain many nutrients that support healthy sleep, including magnesium and zinc. Zinc may play a role in sleep regulation, and magnesium may positively impact sleep quality,” she says. Plus, she adds that nuts, like almonds, also contain melatonin, aka the coveted sleep hormone.

So, how exactly do you make an almond butter board? Well, in a recent TikTok video by , all you need is a jar of your favorite almond butter (like Justin’s Classic Almond Butter), a good offset spatula like this one sold on Amazon, and a few of your favorite toppings. In this case, they use yummy fall flavors like apple butter, golden raisins, bee pollen, apple slices, and crackers. Using the spatula, you’ll spread the almond butter to create a base on the board (this part requires a little patience, but it’s equally as relaxing). Finally, get creative with toppings; feel free to follow their recipe or layer whatever suits your palette.

Heard Butter Boards were a thing…what about Almond Butter Boards? #butterboard #almondbutterboard #justins ♬ Good Vibes (Instrumental) – Ellen Once Again

What other sleep-promoting ingredients would an RD add to an almond butter board?

Of course, many other varieties of nuts also pack great benefits for making sleep-boosting butter boards. “Spreading nut butter on your bread, crackers, fruit, or veggie sticks—regardless of whether it is almond, walnut, pistachio, or another nut—can give your body a boost of key nutrients that may help support your sleep,” Manaker explains. If you need some extra inspo, here are 10 of our favorite high-protein nut butter options to choose from.

Now, on to our favorite part: the toppings. As we mentioned, nuts definitely have this RD’s stamp of approval. So, why not add them as a garnish, too? “Along with almond butter, including walnuts on your pre-bedtime board can give the body some satiating fiber and plant-based protein to help keep hunger at bay. Enjoying walnuts will also provide additional magnesium, zinc, and melatonin. Plus, since walnuts are the only tree nut that is an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid, enjoying these nuts will offer heart health and cognitive benefits as well,” Manaker says.

But what’s Manaker’s favorite sleep-inducing secret ingredient? Here’s a hint: It’s spudtastic. “Sweet potatoes pair surprisingly well with nut butters. Instead of a grain-based toast, using a sweet potato-based ‘toast’ for your board will offer sleep-supporting nutrients like vitamin B6, which can help your body make serotonin,” she says. According to her, the body uses serotonin to “make” melatonin—aka the perfect recipe for sweet dreams. She makes her own DIY sweet potato toast by drizzling thinly-sliced sweet potatoes with EVOO and baking until crispy.

And because any form of board isn’t complete without a little fruit, Manaker says kiwis are the way to go if you want major sleep-boosting (and eye-catching) benefits. “For some sweetness and color, kiwis can be a nice addition to your board. Not only are kiwis delish, but according to research, eating two kiwis one hour before bed results in falling asleep 42 percent more quickly compared to people who don’t eat kiwis before bedtime,” she says.

Since crunch is always the name of the game, Manaker likes to add some oats into the almond butter board mix, too. “Sprinkling low-sugar granola on your board can help you get some quality sleep as well. Oats contain nutrients like vitamin B6 (a nutrient that helps produce serotonin) and tryptophan (the ‘sleepy’ amino acid best known to be found in turkey). And the fiber in them helps make this food satisfying too,” she points out.

Although all of these foods *may* help get a better night’s rest, Manaker makes sure to note that “it’s important to understand that there is no magic food that will make people sleep.” However, she adds that pairing a healthy almond butter board along with the right lifestyle practices (like limiting screen time before bed and including movement throughout your day), these foods on the almond butter board may help you get that shut-eye that you might be craving.

So, how does an RD really feel about PB? Find out:

This content was originally published here.