Posts tagged with "hygiene"

Women's Month illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Regaining Vaginal Balance with Flower Power

As women, we are always trying to find balance in our lives. We look to balance our time, money, and responsibilities as well as balance our mental, emotional, and physical health. Although, what about finding balance down there? Vaginal health is an important part of a woman’s overall health. When vaginal problems arise, they can affect self-confidence, fertility, sex drive, and put stress on a relationship. There are many factors that can impact vaginal health such as sex, infections or illness, hygiene, hormone levels, or vaginitis (vaginal inflammation). Typical symptoms that warrant a doctor visit include vaginal redness or itching; a change in odor, color, or amount of discharge; vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause; a mass or bulge in your vagina; or pain during intercourse.

To help maintain a healthy vagina, there are some helpful tips: do not scratch if it itches, wear cotton underwear, avoid thongs, use unscented tampons, do not leave tampons in for more than eight hours, practice safe sex, wipe from front to back after using the toilet, avoid products with a lot of fragrance like detergents and soaps, and avoid talc and powders. If you are concerned about symptoms of vaginal irritation or odor, there are over-the-counter products you can take including creams, gels, and vaginal suppositories.

About 30 percent of women struggle with vaginal odor, but that does not necessarily mean it is due to being unclean or unhygienic; it is just an imbalance. The vagina is an extraordinary self-cleaning organ but must be acidic to maintain its cleanliness and fight infection. When a woman’s pH levels are imbalanced, this can lead to vaginal issues like odor. What is pH, and why is it so important? The pH is the number that measures how alkaline (the opposite of acidic) something is. When the pH number is seven and under a substance is more acidic, and when the pH number is seven or more it is more alkaline. A healthy vagina has a pH of about four and a half or lower. A particular balance of healthy microbes in the vagina helps keep it acidic to protect against infection. Some of these healthy microbes, bacteria called Lactobacilli, keep the vagina acidic by producing lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. If the vagina becomes less acidic, then most likely there are not enough healthy microbes to protect it from infection. As estrogen and progesterone levels change, so do the levels of healthy bacteria and the pH of the vagina. Douching can also affect vaginal pH levels, but there are some over-the-counter products that can help bring your vaginal pH back to healthy levels.

Flower Power is a vegan vaginal suppository specially designed to help naturally restore a vagina’s self-cleansing powers. It contains boric acid, an oceanic mineral that has been used for hundreds of years for its acidic, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Boric acid has been recommended by gynecologists for over 100 years, and until now, it was only available with a prescription at a compounding pharmacy. At Flower Power, they believe a natural product like their suppositories should be available to all women from the comfort of home. Flower Power’s capsules are free of fillers, dyes, and flow agents and are cruelty-free and made in the USA. Flower Power co-founder Naomi Moore says, “Unfortunately, many things such as douching, sex, fabrics, exercise, sugar, even detergent can throw off the pH. And, once the vagina’s pH is off, the bad stuff thrives, and it’s difficult for it to rebalance things again.” She adds, “Flower Power helps rapidly bring the vagina’s pH back to its natural levels, so it can continue to be the remarkable germ-fighting machine that it’s designed to be!”

Flower Power vaginal suppositories are easy to use, incredibly fast-acting, and many women see a decrease in odor after one use. They can easily be used overnight by simply inserting the suppository capsule into the vagina before bedtime, and as it dissolves, it starts to work its magic in four to twelve hours. OB-GYN Dr. R. Mabborang says, “Boric acid suppositories, like Flower Power, help restore the vaginal mucosa to more acidic levels. This allows the vagina to help fight microorganisms that can cause itch and odor. Flower Power does it better—their products are made in the USA and utilize vegan capsules – something that is likely far safer for the vaginal flora.” Pharmacist Dr. Amy Asghar says, “We’ve compounded boric acid for patients for years. It’s proven to be safe and incredibly effective with vaginal burning, odor, and itch. Flower Power uses the highest quality ingredients in a vegan capsule, bringing pharmacy quality products to the comfort of home.”

Not only does Flower Power help numerous women balance their vaginal health, but they also take their business to the next step. With every Flower Power purchase, a portion of the profits will be donated to a women’s charity of your choice. Also, if you are not happy with your results, Flower Power offers an easy refund policy. Flower Power’s mission is to help women regain confidence with safe, natural solutions. They are incredibly confident in the remarkable products they make and believe that all women should be open and honest about their vaginas. Flower Power’s vaginal suppositories are incredibly potent and quickly eliminate embarrassing vaginal odor (and excess discharge) leaving you feeling clean and confident. The precise dose of pure boric acid works as a potent antifungal and targets the nasty Candida albicans and the more resistant Candida glabrata yeast strains. Their boric acid is also the finest, most comfortable powder around with absolutely no irritating granular fillers.

Women are raving about this amazing product. Flower Power is giving women the opportunity to take control of their vaginal health from home naturally and effectively. With so many women struggling with vaginal odor and other similar issues, it is reassuring to have a product that truly works and puts women first.

Tips on choosing a teeth whitening service that is guaranteed to deliver results

The perfect smile is just a teeth whitening service away. Whitening is great for removing any yellowing or stains on the exterior of your teeth. It sometimes isn’t as effective in getting rid of any deeper stains on the interior of your teeth, but whitening will still improve the appearance of your teeth. 

The two options

There are two options for teeth whitening, depending on personal preference. The process of teeth whitening should fit into your lifestyle, so if you’re always busy, then teeth whitening at home might be the option for you. However, if you’d rather get it done at the dentist, then you might prefer the in-house teeth whitening service. 

  1. Teeth whitening completed by your dentist

If you want instant results and to come out of the dentist appointment with sparkling white teeth then this is most likely the best route for you. Your dentist will be able to treat your teeth with stronger bleach than you can just buy off the shelves at your local drugstore. The thing with both teeth whitening options is that the results do depend on your teeth, some people’s teeth will whiten better than others, and others may need a couple of extra treatments. The price for this treatment does tend to vary, depending on a lot of factors, like the length of the appointment. Prices often start at £500 but can go all the way up to £2000. 

There is an advantage to opting for teeth whitening completed by your dentist, and this is that it’s extremely quick, from around an hour to ninety minutes long. Also, some people do experience sensitivity after whitening, but getting your teeth whitening by a professional slightly eliminates this risk as a dentist will only put the whitener on your teeth. If you choose to whiten your teeth yourself, there is the risk of the whitening liquid leaking onto your gums and causing irritation. 

In terms of disadvantages, sensitivity is a problem with any method of teeth whitening. But, because of the strength of bleach, a dentist may use, you may experience increased sensitivity if you opt for this method. It should only last around 24-48 hours long, and if it lasts any longer then a quick check-in with your dentist may be necessary. 

  1. Teeth whitening completed at home, while being supervised by your dentist

The second option is teeth whitening which is done by you, at home. The first step is for your dentist to create a retainer that fits exactly into your mouth. To do this, they will take a mould of your teeth. Then, to complete the whitening you will need to place the whitening gel in the retainer and wear it for however long your dentist recommends. Sometimes this can be for half an hour, or slightly longer. The key is to get as much contact between your teeth and the whitening gel as possible.

The most obvious advantage here is that this method of whitening completely fits into your lifestyle and routine. You can do the whitening at any time you wish. Also, this method of whitening does tend to be a more cost-effective option as you’re not paying for your dentist’s time and knowledge. It will whiten just as well, for a cheaper price, which is a win-win situation. The price tends to be significantly lower than option one, at around £200 to £400 – and that’s including your retainer, whitening gel and dentist appointments. 

For disadvantages, this option is definitely a slower process than just a one-time visit to your local dentist. Instead, it will take a few times of you putting in your whitening gel and retainer for you to see any noticeable difference. This is because the gel tends to be less powerful than the one done by your dentist. Also, this method is likely to cost you more time in the long run as you’ll have to take regular trips to the dentist to make sure that your retainer still fits properly. 

Choose the option which suits you best

There are many things you should consider before choosing the teeth whitening option for you. Think about what fits in with your lifestyle. Do you prefer a quicker method of teeth whitening? Or would you rather complete it yourself at home? Both methods of whitening are guaranteed to give you those pearly white teeth that you’re after, so now it’s down to you. 

Alex Bogdan illustration for cosmetics article for 360 MAGAZINE.

What to Consider When Buying Foundation

Buying the right foundation is essential if you want the ideal finish when it comes to your makeup. If you have the wrong foundation color or shade, it can make you look really unnatural, and this can end up ruining your appearance. This is why you need to ensure you do your research and find ways to identify the right foundation for your specific needs.

There are various factors you need to look at when choosing a foundation such as the condition of your skin and your skin tones, as this will help you to determine the best type and shade of foundation. You should bear in mind that there are lots of different types of foundation available these days in addition to different shades, so you can find one that is ideally suited to your skin. In this article, we will look at some of the things to consider when making your choice.

What You Need to Keep in Mind

There are a few key factors that you need to keep in mind when it comes to buying this type of makeup. Some of the main ones are:

The Type of Foundation

One of the things you need to do is to determine the best type of foundation for you based on the condition of your skin and the finish you want to achieve. For instance, if you want a light, natural finish, you may prefer a mousse foundation or if you want something that is heavier in terms of coverage, a cream foundation may be ideal. There are also mineral foundation powders that can provide great coverage and a smooth finish, so you need to decide which of these is best suited to your skin and your preferences. If you need some recommendations, check out skorbeauty.com/makeup/why-you-should-get-a-korean-cushion-compact-in-2021.

Your Skin Tone

Another thing you need to look at is your skin tone and undertone, as this will determine the best shade of foundation for you. As mentioned earlier, choosing the wrong shade can be disastrous, so it is important that you take your tone into consideration before you make your decision. If you can, it is worth trying a sample of the foundation shade to be on the safe side.

Reviews of the Product

Some foundations are far better than others in terms of the coverage they provide, how long they last when applies, and the finish they give. One of the best ways to learn more about the foundation you are considering buying is to look at reviews from other people. You can look at consumer reviews online, and you can even find videos on YouTube from beauty bloggers who try out the foundation and provide you with a first-hand opinion.

Pricing

One additional thing to look at is the pricing of the foundation, and this can vary widely from one product to another. While the cost is very important, make sure you also consider the quality, effectiveness, and suitability of the foundation before you make your decision.

These are some of the main things to look at when buying foundation. 

illustration by Symara Wilson for use by 360 Magazine

Airports During a Pandemic

By: Carly Cohen

At last, it’s time to start traveling again. But safely!

We created a list of the top 10 safest airports to travel into during a pandemic.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is particularly considered one of the safest because it offers different baggage drop locations and provides many options for social distancing to protect yourself and others.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

JFK located in New York City is surprisingly another safe and great option for traveling. Using the word “surprisingly” because New York City is a very populated area but there are countless contactless options and offer rapid test areas. Restaurants, spa services, and lounges are all officially starting to open back up for an enjoyable travel experience.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the best and safest option while traveling in and out of Texas, and is also the first “Carbon neutral airport in North America.”

Los Angeles International Airport

Like JFK, LAX is a very populated area but is considered one of the safest options while traveling in and out of California. They offer fast-track security to make a speedy and safe visit.

O’Hare International Airport

O’Hare International Airport located in Chicago has the second-highest score worldwide in safety. They strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols.

Newark Liberty International Airport

Newark and JFK go hand in hand. Offering rapid test areas along with contact tracing, fast security, multiple contactless options for an enjoyable experience.

Boston Logan International Airport

Another safe and effective way to travel is through Boston Logan International Airport. Giving options for free on-site testing. They have also been given “ACI Airport Health Accreditation.”

Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport

This airport in Atlanta, Georgia, is known for being one of the busiest airports. However, they have made it a safe and healthy environment to travel to during the pandemic. They became the first airport to provide “hygiene-tracking technology from GP Pro” to allow the best travel experience and reputation.

Philadelphia International Airport

Philadelphia International Airport has prioritized sanitizing and disinfecting boarding areas, gates, restaurants, waiting areas, bathrooms, and everything to make it safe.

San Francisco International Airport

SFO has taken and is still taking precautions in their airport to make things as safe as possible. Constantly disinfecting and always requiring the use of masks on and off planes.

Safe travels!

Body ache illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

7 Ways to Stay Positive When You Have a Difficult Health Condition

When you’re living with a chronic illness, a setback or interruption can be incredibly frustrating. It can be hard to focus on the good when you have a flare-up, you’re too tired to do your daily activities, or you feel like you’re back to square one. You’re allowed to feel frustrated, but it’s essential that you get right back on that horse and keep staying positive with these tips.

1. Count Your Blessings

When you have a difficult to manage health condition, it can be hard to see the positives. However, people with chronic illnesses are more able to cherish the small things in life, are typically more motivated to achieve their goals, and are more understanding people. Plus, people with chronic illnesses tend to make better friends that really care about your well-being.

2. You’re a Superhero, If You Really Think About It

Whether you have a chronic illness with prominent flare-ups or you have an embarrassing health condition that causes excessive sweating, you’re managing your illness despite it. For example, people with hyperhidrosis are still looking out for the best deodorants for excessive sweating, and Fibromyalgia patients are still staying active despite their pain. Your resilience is admirable.

While you may not feel like a superhero at your worst, most people could handle what you’re going through at your best. You’re strong, so give yourself some credit for your hard work!

3. Remember: You’re Not Failing

Sometimes an unexpected flare-up of your complex health condition will cause you to take a step back, cancel plans, or take time off school. It can be challenging to take a break while you’re trying to reach your goals, and you may become self-critical when you have to. However, setbacks do not equal failure. You’re human, and sometimes humans just need to survive the day.

4. Find Something The Makes you Happy

It’s important to find something you enjoy that can keep you busy while you wait out the flare-up. Sometimes, there isn’t anything you can do at this moment, but waiting around for the difficult time to stop won’t make it any easier. So instead, start up that hobby that you always wanted to try, but couldn’t, or put your frustration and anger into music, exercising, or creating art.

If you’re in pain or your illness prevents you from doing the thing you love, try something else. This blog post that centers on helping people with chronic illnesses find hobbies can help.

5. Do Something Small for a Loved One or Stranger

When we feel down, it can help to give to someone that needs our help to put our own pain into perspective. That doesn’t mean you should go to a volunteer shelter and compare yourself to someone else because that won’t make you feel any better. However, simply helping a person who needs you can help you feel more positive and give you the strength to tackle tomorrow.

6. Break Down Tasks Into Manageable Steps

After a setback, you may start to get overwhelmed by tasks that now feel out of your grasp, even if they were perfectly manageable in the past. Don’t beat yourself up for this change because you can adjust how you tackle these tasks. While you’re recovering, you don’t have to keep the same busy pace as you used to, but that doesn’t always mean you can’t do anything.

Break your to-do list down into smaller steps and take frequent breaks to maintain your pace. It’s a lot easier to cross off “wash the dishes, wipe the counters” than “clean the house.”

7. Know That the Best is Yet to Come

When managing a chronic illness, it can be hard to see what’s on the other side of a flare-up, but just like the last time this happened, you were able to recover. Even if you didn’t recover fully, you still were able to make your situation more manageable. Keep on believing you can conquer your worst moments because you can, and you will. After this, better moments await you.

vegetables by Nicole salazar for 360 magazine

INSPIRING THE BEST YOU

Wellness Thought Leader/Podcaster of “Living Your Life Without Limits, Shannon Jackson, Reveals Tops Tips To Stay Well In 2021                       

2020 brought in a year of unprecedented loss and grief. The COVID-19 pandemic is not only epidemiological crisis, but also a psychological one that has provoked anxiety, stress, sadness, and pain. Although grief is a normal human emotion, it should be transitory– according to Los Angeles wellness thought leader, RN, philanthropist, and podcaster, Shannon Jackson. “2021 is the year for a turnaround. Maybe you are struggling to envision what your new season of good  fortune can look like. You’ve been stuck in your present circumstances for so long that it’s hard to imagine life being any different, but I believe there is hope,” says Jackson. 

Here are the entrepreneur’s top tips to help prepare for hope and a new chapter in 2021:

  • Take time for spiritual renewal and mental clarity: Take time daily for moments of solitude and mental clarity so you can focus on what’s important: your vision of a more fulfilling life. Step away from mental chaos when possible by finding a quiet place to collect your thoughts and eliminate emotional clutter. Sometimes you have to steal these moments for yourself, but TAKE them—these moments can set the stage for true growth.
  • Embrace change: Do a soul-searching assessment of your life. If you see circumstances holding you back from growth or productivity, embrace the idea of making necessary changes. Relationships, jobs, and even environments may be holding you from your true potential. If you recognize an area of your life that’s keeping you confined, be honest enough with yourself to move on.
  • Think outside the box: Step outside of pre-established boundaries, try a new approach, and consider how to approach old challenges from a new direction. Problems sometime look much smaller from a new perspective or direction. For example, if you struggle to overcome self-doubt, taking on a totally new project or learning a new skill may help.
  • Recognize and eliminate personal negativity: Replace fear, insecurities, and self-doubt with positive encouragement instead. You can be your own stumbling block if you’re not careful. Listen to your inner voice, recognize what damaging things that voice may be saying, and replace those sentiments with positives. For example, instead of telling yourself, “you’re too weak,” tell yourself instead, “you are incredibly strong.”
  • Stay Persistent: One of the definitions of the word persistent states, “continuing firmly or obstinately in a course of action, in spite of difficulty or opposition.” My definition of persistence is stubbornness with a purpose. That’s right, you heard it here from me. Despite the challenges and obstacles you may face or maybe facing in life, you must be determined and steadfast in pursuing your goals. So here are a few tips to make sure you stay on course:
  • Keep your attention on the long-term plan: Give your vision, your goals, and your priorities unwavering attention. Avoid focusing on what’s in the past and don’t get sidetracked by current challenges. It’s much easier to get where you want to be when you have a clear view of where you’re going at all times. If something in your life has no place in your long-term vision, let it go.
  • Drop irrelevant emotional weight and adjust your focus: Avoid focusing on resentment, worry, fear, or anger as you transition into your new life and focus on your goals. Learn how to recognize the emotional weight that is holding you back. When you’ve pinpointed this baggage, pulling it out of your everyday life makes all the difference.
  • Prioritize your day according to what’s most important: Prioritize your everyday tasks by making the important things most worth your time and energy your priority, and eliminating distractions in the way. Weave small steps into your daily plans that will eventually help you align with your vision. For example, if you want to see yourself become more healthy and capable, choose healthier actions and accomplish something new today. Remember, good days become good weeks, good months, and great years.
  • Reinforce spiritual foundations: Achieving optimism, positivity, and self-esteem with a strong spiritual foundation is key to emotional clarity and peace of mind. Do what it takes to feed your spiritual soul–whether that is meditating, praying, or reading divinely inspired text. Nurture your own spirituality to ensure it delivers stable ground for you to live your best life.
  • Most importantly, practice self-affirmation daily: Affirm your worthiness, your value, and your power every day with the power of your own tongue. Remind yourself of your importance to the world, your career, your family, and yourself. Remember, no one sees the true value in you unless you see it in yourself first.

In addition to practicing ways to stay healthy during these challenging times, the wellness coach created a “Living Your Life Without Limits” (LYLWL) wellness box to help those affected by COVID. After answering the call of duty as an essential worker in Los Angeles, she completed a two-month tour-of-duty as a Covid nurse in New York. Here, she witnessed first-hand the pandemic’s effect on people from all walks of life. She especially noticed how the outbreak has challenged people’s mental wellness, and was inspired to create the Wellness Box

Her professional and natural response was to put together her new LYLWL Wellness Box, serving as a specialty health-and-wellness support kit to share with your loved ones who wish to keep their wellness in check year round.   

“We are elated to give people what they need most in 2021” states Jackson. “My Wellness Box is designed to give the individuals we love the tools they need to help keep their own physical health and emotional well-being in check, particularly during these stressful times.”

With a unique combined background as a certified life coach and a registered nurse, Jackson understands how intrinsic staying healthy is to quality of life. “Staying healthy is a foundational necessity for living your best life possible, without limits. One must be armed with physical well-being to overcome challenges, both emotional and physical in nature.  The Wellness Box is full of important items–hand-picked and curated by me–to deliver the optimum essentials of what people need to monitor their wellness.” 

The beautifully packaged floral patterned LYLWL Wellness Box is filled with items all individuals need to keep their health a central focus in their everyday life. For $49.97, customers benefit from this gift that is ideal for themselves, their family and friends. This special gift of wellness contains Jackson’s carefully sourced tools ideal for today’s health-focused climate, including:

  • Meditation Music: The ideal emotional fix, this meditation music is selected to encourage positive love, calm the mood, inspire positive feelings.
  • Scented Candle: Take a time-out for self-love to achieve mental clarity and allow the dancing flame and soothing fragrance of this candle to calm one’s thoughts, re-center, and re-focus.
  • A First Aid Kit: The ideal kit to help treat minor scrapes, cuts, and burns with all the necessities for this process.  
  • Thermometer: Keep tabs on body temperature with this handy thermometer, which can signal many changes in one’s health.
  • Keep the Heart Beat Up | Blood Pressure Wristband and Magnet: Keep blood pressure levels in check with this convenient blood pressure wristband and companion magnet as daily reminders in case one feels especially stressed or winded.
  • LYLWL Wellness Journal and Ink Pen: Another Jackson inspired product, her LYLWL Wellness Journal is a mini self-help workshop in journal form helping to support and recognize self-awareness, gratitude for special moments, and staying on track for reaching personal goals.

Through Jackson’s weekly podcast, life-coaching skills, numerous hosted speaking appearances, and naturally inspiring energy, she has helped thousands of individuals to find clarity and reach their own levels of mastery in life.  The LYLWL Wellness Box is another way for Jackson to extend her feel-good help into the lives of people who need her.  Know anyone who could use some wellness, love, and “me time”?  The LYLWL Wellness Box is available for purchase here.

Next to her new Wellness Box, Jackson also has her signature Feel-Good Shop offering message-inspired items for added shopping value.

For more information, visit Jackson’s website, which provides her podcast announcements, guidance for forward-thinking individuals, and valuable free resources.

Disenfectant article illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE

4 things you must know before spraying that disinfectant

Photos of empty store shelves flooded Facebook and Instagram throughout the pandemic as consumers, desperate to protect themselves and their families, grabbed for any disinfectant in sight.

COVID-19 most commonly spreads person-to-person via respiratory droplets. These same droplets land on surfaces and survive for relatively long periods of time. We, in-turn touch these surfaces, and place personal items such as cell phones, toys, books, and bags on them. One of our greatest weapons in the fight against COVID and other infectious diseases is surface disinfectants.  

Most multi-million and multi-billion-dollar chemical companies drive revenue by creating a plethora of cleaning, disinfecting, and air freshening products that are packaged and shipped to the end user.

Regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as antimicrobial pesticides, disinfectants are often thought to be wholly beneficial and relatively harmless. There is, however, a dirty little secret in disinfection: it’s rarely done properly. Proper use instructions vary widely and guidance from regulatory agencies surrounding their use is often contradictory.  

So the question must be asked, are these products and the way we use them causing more harm than good?

Rayne Guest, founder and CEO of R-Water and a staunch advocate for safe cleaning protocols, shares four important things we need to know about the disinfecting products commonly found under our sinks. Through education, we can collectively adopt safer cleaning and disinfecting practices and avoid potentially life altering health issues from harmful common household disinfectants.

Pretty labels distract from the fine print. Ever notice streaks after cleaning or an allergy season that never seems to end? Consumers are urged to look beyond the pretty packaging and take a deeper dive into the Safety Data Sheet of the products you are reaching for. You will soon learn of ominous warnings you won’t want to ignore, including those related to your skin and lungs. The product Safety Data Sheets often requires that users don personal protective equipment which can include facemasks, gloves, and even “hooded chemical-resistant clothing.”  However, slick EPA approved marketing lingo often includes phrases such as “smell the clean,” “controls allergens,” and “for a fresher home.”

Scents do not freshen the product. To give your disinfecting and cleaning products color, suds, and fragrances, companies add a sometimes-toxic slew of chemicals that frequently “fight” with the active ingredients that do the work. These fragrances can be dangerous for the user and have been linked to skin and eye irritations, headaches, and neurologic symptoms.

Spray and wipe is a myth. All disinfectants have a minimum contact time for achieving their claimed efficacy, and for the majority of them, it is 10 minutes – a task that is easier said than done.  Most people simply spray and wipe, not realizing that they are not achieving proper disinfection. By not heeding the stated contact time, consumers are spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on disinfecting products every year to improperly disinfect and clean.

Cleaning is often not completed in one simple step. There is a right way, and a wrong way to use disinfectants. After an advised pre-clean step and required wet time, surfaces like kitchen counters and children’s toys generally need to be rinsed thoroughly with water to remove the harmful residues left behind.

Throughout the pandemic, disinfection has received attention like never before. However, extended exposure and incorrect use of common household disinfectants can result in dangerous health risks including eye irritation, headaches, neurologic symptoms, skin problems, and respiratory issues. Tragically, respiratory issues make a person more vulnerable to COVID-19.

As we continue to use disinfectants at a ferocious rate, we need to also focus on their proper use. Doing so ensures that we don’t turn one of the greatest weapons we have against infections disease against ourselves.

Rayne Guest was raised in the mountains of Idaho. She attended five universities while studying various fields including business, marine biology, and nutrition. She has spent time in Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Africa, among many others and is driven to do good by doing good in the world. As founder and CEO of R-Water, Rayne is developing patented cleaning and disinfecting technologies to further this cause, while unapologetically shaking up archaic industries.

vegetables by Nicole salazar for 360 magazine

Show your heart some love on more than just Valentine’s Day 

By Nutrition Myth Buster Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS

Experts aren’t sure why people are more likely to have a heart attack during the winter than any other time of year. If Valentine’s Day and Heart Health Month are inspiring you to take better care of your ticker, here’s big news. 

A 12-month human clinical study involving 577 participants conducted in Malaysia reveals we aren’t doing our hearts any favors by eating a high-carb diet. Researchers looked at different patterns of eating, from high-fat to low-fat, high-carb to low-carb, and measured the effect each way of eating had on the risk for heart disease. Turns out, fat intake didn’t move the risk needle one way or the other. The higher carb diets, on the other hand, were associated with greater cardiovascular ris. 

I wasn’t the least surprised by this study’s findings! I’ve been saying for years that fat has been wrongly demonized. If anything, it’s sugar – not fat – that’s causing us to go off the metabolic rails. In this study, low-carb diets performed considerably better than high-carb diets.

The study found that healthy adults who ate higher proportions of carbohydrates (compared with the amount of proteins or fat they consumed) tended to develop several elevated risk factors for cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure and more plaque-promoting small LDL cholesterol particles. Higher proportions of dietary fat intake were not associated with elevating these risk factors.

A hormone called insulin – and a condition called insulin resistance – are at the core of pre-diabetes, and are turning out to be early warning signs for heart disease. And the results of this study showed that insulin measures were considerably better when people ate diets with a lower amount of carbs, and that was true regardless of the amount of fat consumed. 

It’s insulin resistance, not cholesterol, that is the root cause of heart disease and, according to other research, probably many other chronic underlying conditions plaguing our world. 

The good news is that insulin resistance is treatable, preventable and mostly reversible by diet alone. It’s time we get off the toxic diets that are causing this condition in the first place! It’s time we understand that saturated fat and cholesterol are not the problems. When you remove that outdated thinking, the current dietary guidelines collapse like a house of cards. 

What’s good for the heart is good for the brain, and vice versa. I haven’t found one exception to that case. The right diet for the heart looks exactly like the right diet for the brain. And sadly, the  diet we SHOULD be eating is exactly the opposite of the diet we’ve been told is heart-healthy. 

Easy, no-fail heart-healthy eating changes

Most attempts to eat healthier fail quickly because the changes are too big and unmanageable. Instead of trying to completely overhaul your diet, start by making a few small changes. Here are a few simple suggestions that may have a healthy impact on your heart: 

First, remove these items from your kitchen: 

  • Corn oil and canola oil. These seed oils are filled with omega-6 which is very pro-inflammatory. 
  • Sugar. Let’s be realistic. I know you’re probably not going to give up your favorite sweets entirely. But be kind to your heart by restricting those goodies to just a few days a month.
  • Canned soups, salad dressings and pasta sauces. These are often loaded with hidden sugars and a ton of sodium. Instead of relying on these cooking shortcuts, do an internet search for simple recipes you can make from scratch.  
  • White flour and white rice. These are heavily processed and raise your blood sugar almost as much as pure sugar. And – don’t shoot the messenger – products made with ‘whole grains” don’t do much better. Whole grains still raise blood sugar, and still contain gluten, so they may not be the solution for everyone. 

Then, add these items to your fridge and pantry: 

  • Palm oil. You can find this online and in specialty markets. Millions of people around the world use it as their everyday cooking oil. Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil is rich in nutrients such as brain- and heart-healthy vitamin E tocotrienols. 
  • Butter. This was never bad to begin with! It was banished from our tables because of our ill-advised fear of saturated fats. So we replaced it with something much worse!
  • Stevia and monk fruit. These are natural sweeteners that have no effect on your blood sugar.” 
  • Nuts: People who eat more nuts have lower BMIs. Their diets are higher in magnesium, higher in fiber, higher in poly- and monounsaturated fats, all of which can have a profound effect on your health. But nuts are also easy to overeat and contribute to weight gain, so just be careful about the amount you consume.
  • Egg yolks: What a relief that you don’t have to suffer through one more tasteless egg white omelet! The advice to eat egg white omelets is way past its expiration date! 
  • Dark chocolate (minimum 60% cocoa on the label): Chocolate contains cocoa flavanols; beneficial plant-based phytonutrients that support cardiovascular health.
  • Grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and less inflammatory omega-6s. It’s also free of hormones, a very big plus indeed. If you follow this suggestion, you’ll never have to worry about how much marbling is in your steak, or if your hamburger is 70/30 instead of 90/10 or 80/20. It won’t matter. 
  • Dark meat poultry: The USDA data shows that there are mere milligrams of differences in the nutritional content of white and dark meat. 

Here’s more advice: Stick with the basics. I’ve always said that the only rule you really need to follow in nutrition is to eat real food, food your great-grandmother would have recognized as food. Eat from what I call the “Jonny Bowden Four Food Groups”: food you could hunt, fish, gather or pluck. Stay away from overly processed and get back to basics. 

That doesn’t mean you can never snack. Get organic (non-GMO) popcorn with minimal chemical processing. Get away from that chemical soup called “butter flavoring” and look for a microwave popcorn that contains palm oil, because palm oil doesn’t burn easily so your popcorn will taste better.  

This year, you can finally make commitments to a heart-healthy diet that are easy to achieve. These tips will help you take better care of your heart throughout the winter and may become heart-healthy habits you’ll want to follow all year long.  

Biography: Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, (aka “The Nutrition Myth Buster”) is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health, and the best-selling author of 15 books on health. Dr. Jonny — a former professional pianist and conductor — earned six certifications in personal training and fitness, has a Master’s degree in psychology, a PhD in holistic nutrition and is board certified by the American College of Nutrition. He has written, contributed to or consulted on hundreds of articles in publications as diverse as the New York Times, People, Us, O the Oprah Magazine, In Style, Vanity Fair Online, People, GQ, Forbes Online, Clean Eating, the Huffington Post and countless others.

He is the best-selling author of 15 books, including “Living Low Carb”, “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” and his latest, the revised and expanded version of “The Great Cholesterol Myth” (2020). 

Plastic Surgery illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Plastic Surgeon × Breast Reconstruction

Specialist Dr. Constance Chen Offers Practical Tips on Putting a New Nipple on a Reconstructed Breast

Reconstructing the nipple-areola complex completes the sense of restoration that helps some women put cancer behind them.

More and more women who have lost a breast to mastectomy now choose breast reconstruction. Reconstruction can be performed either at the time of the mastectomy, called “immediate reconstruction,” or later, called “delayed reconstruction.” Breast reconstruction can also be performed either via breast implants or with a woman’s own natural tissue. Using her own tissue to fashion a new breast, a procedure known as “autologous reconstruction,” results in a soft, warm, natural breast that is sometimes difficult to distinguish from a woman’s original breast, especially when a woman has had a nipple-sparing mastectomy. For women who cannot undergo nipple-sparing mastectomy, it is possible to reconstruct the nipple-areola complex. “Having a new breast with a nipple is important to many women,” says plastic surgeon and breast specialist Dr. Constance M. Chen. Reconstructing the nipple-areola complex completes the sense of restoration that helps some women put cancer behind them.”

Women who are considering a mastectomy that preserves the nipple-areola complex must be evaluated to ensure that there is no tumor tissue near the nipple and no symptoms such as discharge that might indicate the presence of disease in the nipple itself. Those who are not candidates for nipple-preserving surgery can consider nipple reconstruction, which folds and sutures a flap of skin from the surrounding breast tissue to form a mound in the shape of a nipple. Nipple reconstruction typically also requires tattooing several months after surgery to add color to the healed reconstructed nipples.

For women who would like to bypass surgical nipple reconstruction, there are also tattoo artists who specialize in tattooing the nipple-areola complex directly on the breast mound. This less invasive procedure has become increasingly popular as the techniques have become increasingly sophisticated, even creating a realistic three-dimensional effect. 3-D tattooing may be performed in the surgeon’s office or by a trained tattoo artist in a shop or specialized medical center. It is generally performed several months after breast reconstruction surgery when surgical scars are completely healed.

“While a nipple tattoo cannot create an actual projection, a high-quality, detailed tattoo, designed for each woman, can appear to have dimension as well as the shading, shadows, and coloration of a natural nipple,” Dr. Chen says. The practitioner consults with each patient to determine how to best match the nipple to her skin tone and to create the appearance she wants. The inks used are mixed to create the best color for each woman. When the tattoo is to be applied to only one breast, it can be designed to match the appearance of her natural breast.

Depending on how much sensation a woman has in her reconstructed breast, the tattooing procedure may be completely painless or may be performed with a local anesthetic. Healing takes a week to ten days.

Finally, a prosthetic nipple can be used to place an extremely realistic nipple-areola complex on the breast. Usually made of silicone, the prosthetic nipple-areola complexes come in many different colors and projections, and are glued onto the breast mound. Women can swim and take showers with the prosthetic nipple on their breast, and then take them off to wash them with soap and water if they start attracting lint. They can then be reglued to the breast mound.

“The results achieved with prosthetic nipples can be truly impressive,” says Dr. Chen. “For women who aren’t candidates for a nipple-preserving mastectomy or who want to avoid the additional surgery of nipple reconstruction, a prosthetic nipple is a straightforward, non-invasive procedure that completes the breast reconstruction that restores a woman’s self-image as she moves confidently forward.”

Constance M. Chen, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon with special expertise in the use of innovative natural techniques to optimize medical and cosmetic outcomes for women undergoing breast reconstruction. She is Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) at Weill Cornell Medical College and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) at Tulane University School of Medicine. 

Design and cleanliness story illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 magazine

COVID GUIDANCE: The importance of TOP-DOWN CLEANING

Robin Wilson launched Robin Wilson Home in 2000 and created a conglomerate that covers eco-design, licensed products, interior design, and real estate development. Her brand has generated over $82 million in wholesale revenue from sales of cabinetry and textiles. She became the first Black woman with a line of hypoallergenic textiles sold nationwide at Bed Bath & Beyond (now in Wal-Mart), among other retailers. Her book, CLEAN DESIGN: Wellness for your Lifestyle was #1 on Amazon and focused on eco-friendly designs and hypoallergenic products for consumers.

Recently, the lifestyle expert introduced the practical aspect of Top-Down Cleaning. In this era of quarantines and lock downs, the last thing anyone wants to do is add to our work load – and a few simple tips will help you maintain a clean and healthier living space!

The Statistics

Sixty million Americans – that is one in five of us – have asthma and allergies. We sneeze, sniffle, and itch. Expose us to a whiff of dust, a gust of pollen, a sniff of perfume, or an encounter with an inquisitive dog or cat, and before we know it, our airways start to close up, and we begin to cough, wheeze or struggle to breathe.

With COVID in the air, the last thing we need is an inflammatory response. So cleaning your space has never been more important. Remember that asthma and allergies cannot be cured, but they can be managed. We can reduce symptoms by avoiding the allergens that trigger them. Unfortunately, the average home is full of allergy and asthma triggers, which means the place that should be your sanctuary can be a major source of allergenic triggers.

What is Top-Down Cleaning?

Most people create twice the cleaning work by first cleaning the floor, softa, tabletop or countertop and then cleaning the lights, ceiling fan or cabinets – only to see dust drift downward.

Solution: Clean from the top-to-bottom. In fact, if you have a second level, start upstairs and then work your way downstairs. Start at the highest point and make sure you have the following tools: paper towels, microstatic dust mitt/cloth, microstatic duster/floor sweeper, HEPA vacuum and a non-toxic cleaning solution. Cleaning solutions should include: baking soda, vinegar, toothpaste and Coca Cola.

Starting at the Top

We forget that walls are one of the largest surfaces in our spaces. Use a microstatic duster cloth/mitt to rub gently along the walls starting at the ceiling line and let the dust fall. As well, make sure to swipe over light receptables, ceiling fans or chandeliers.

Surfaces

Then clean the surfaces, starting with the highest-level lamp, bookcase, window treatments, cabinet or closet shelf. Allow dust/dirt to fall. As you work you way down, you will find that you need to vacuum or wipe down surfaces.

As mentioned earlier, there are a few tricks that involve cleaning solutions that are non-toxic.

1.       Toilet Ring Solution: Pour Coca Cola into your toilet overnight, and use toilet brush in the morning and the stubborn ring will disappear (may have to be repeated dependent on the level of stain) by morning.

2.       Crayon Marks: Use toothpaste. Smear on the mark and let sit for about 20 minutes. Using light brush strokes, and the crayon should be removed, or at least diminished.

3.       Stained Baking Sheets: to make them look new, use vinegar and baking soda. Coat pan with baking soda. Pour a layer of white vinegar on top. You may see slight bubbling. Let sit for 4 hours. Use gloves and a brush in circular motion. Watch the surface start to look new.

Finish at the Floor

The last thing that you need to do in your space is clean the floor.

1.       Make sure to invest in a HEPA filter vacuum as the dust and dirt is stored in a chamber (unlike older vacuum units that sometimes-added dust back into the space), and the canister can be emptied outside.

2.       Before you clean, you might want to make sure that you remove rugs and shake them outside.

3.       Run a microstatic dust cloth over the floor before you vacuum so that you can ensure that minimal dust flies around.

One tech solution that many working from home families are investing is an electronic robot vacuum that can be programmed to work during the day in various rooms. Some floor robot vacuums have HEPA filters, and can be a great option if you have a pet and want to make sure to limit buildup of dander and hair on your floor.

[SIDE BAR] For a space that follows CLEAN DESIGN protocols, it is important to replace a few items:

1.       Change your older model vacuum to a HEPA vacuum to effectively limit dust in the space. Especially important if your home is near any location that had recent fires.

2.       Change your vinyl shower liner to a nylon shower liner to minimize mold.

3.       Review the window treatments and find options that can be laundered and are not ‘dust catchers’ or which can be easily vacuumed.

4.       Replace your pillow after 3 years if it has not been washed frequently or covered with a zippered liner.

5.       Think about using your window screens so that you can open your windows for 5 minutes daily.

SIDEBAR

Leading triggers include:

  • Dust mites in beds and pillows
  • Dander from pets
  • Mold growth in walls, bathrooms and basements
  • Pollen from outdoor trees and grasses in your hair that infiltrates your sleep space or living room sofa
  • Fumes from cooking and chemical cleaners
  • Toxic or environmentally unfriendly building materials that permeate indoor air

Remember, you can change that by using the strategies in the book, Clean Design: Wellness for your Lifestyle (Greenleaf, 2015). Create a healthy home environment that manages indoor air quality and protect your family from dust, mold, pollen, fumes, odors, airborne toxins, chemicals and other substances. Create a home environment that nurtures good health.

According to the American Lung Association, “poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections, lung cancer…headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, and fatigue” in anyone, not just those who suffer from asthma and allergies. We can all benefit from living in a more pure home environment.

More physicians are convinced that there is a link between environmental toxins, indoor air quality and allergies. Chemicals we are exposed to in our homes and offices have the power to make us sick, and we can improve our health and wellness using Clean Design principles.

Shopping for Hypoallergenic Options

The pandemic made both me and my clients realize that the CLEAN DESIGN HOME which sells our retail products is more important than ever – and that we should find non-toxic cleaning options and information for day-to-day living, especially since so many of us are working from home. I have pivoted to focus on building out the product line, and have just licensed our brand. So much information involves simple non-toxic options– the ideas are rooted in my bestselling book, Clean Design: Wellness for your Lifestyle.

About Robin Wilson

Her design projects including the White House Fellows office, a part of President Clinton’s Harlem office, and the rustic beach cottage of Robert DeNiro – each project had a very quick turnaround and exacting standards. She was named to the Top 100 Female Founders List in 2020 by INC magazine. Her eponymous licensed brands of textiles is sold at retail and hospitality. She is also in the process of creating Design+Build projects. She is author of two award-winning books: Clean Design She is the first woman with a branded line of custom cabinetry that was sold by over 400 independent kitchen dealers nationwide (2009-2018). First featured in Oprah’s magazines and extensive media coverage since 2005. In May 2013, her furniture line, Nest Home by Robin Wilson, premiered at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York. In 2014, she partnered with consumer products giant Panasonic to promote their latest line of cutting edge products for the home.She is an ambassador to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, and previously served on the board of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.