Acne May Not Be So Terrible After All

Vertical image of a girl moistening skin with cream

Photo Courtesy of facingacne.com

As girls most of us have probably had to deal with acne and getting breakouts, especially at the worst possible time. According to newly released research, the people that suffer from acne age more slowly. This study was recently published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. So if you are  annoyed and frustrated with your skin, just remember that chances are pretty good based on research that you will age slowly. If you want more information about what was talked about within the new study, head over to http://www.teenvogue.com/story/acne-benefits-younger-skin-study to read the full article. Here’s a great suggestion on a daily routine to help you deal with acne and breakouts:

Morning

  1. Cleanse with a soap-free water soluble formula designed to be gentle yet cleanse thoroughly. Adding a soft washcloth or soft- bristled cleansing brush can help make sure all makeup, debris, and oil are removed.
  2. Exfoliate and help unclog pores with a leave-on, completely non-abrasive 2% salicylic acid product designed for acne-prone skin. The trick is to find one that doesn’t contain ingredients like alcohol and menthol.
  3. Apply a benzoyl peroxide treatment to all breakout-prone areas. Benzoyl peroxide is the gold standard acne-fighting ingredient and is brilliant when combined with soothing, exfoliating salicylic acid. Some products come in multiple strengths of benzoyl peroxide so start using the lowest strength first.
  4. Protect skin every day with an oil-free, lightweight, broad spectrum sunscreen. If you wear foundation, it may already contain sunscreen so you wouldn’t need to apply more.

Evening
The evening routine is the same as the morning routine, minus the sunscreen. Some of these products can be kind of drying to the skin so using a moisturizer after using these products would probably be good.

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The “F” Word

Yes, the “F” word. That is what we are talking about today. That awful, dreadful word that leaves a bad taste in your mouth…FRENEMIES. Frenemies are people who seem to be your friends, but at the same time act in ways that are mean, controlling, and manipulative. These behaviors are forms of bullying, and they make frenemies difficult people to deal with. But before we talk about how to deal with the frenemies in your life, we must first talk about how to identify them.

There are many ways to spot frenemies. Here are a few big ones:

1) They never seem to be happy about your good fortune or achievements. If something good happens to you, frenemies tend to downplay it by not making it a big deal, sneering, or not wanting to hear about it at all. When you make efforts to improve yourself, such as studying harder or practicing a lot for a game or performance, these people may attempt to do things that will harm your progress.

2) They are masters of backhanded compliments. You know, the ones that seem like compliments, but are also rude or belittling. For example, frenemies may say things like, “I like your hair when you wash it. It’s so pretty!” In other words, they’re saying your hair is ugly when it isn’t washed. These “compliments” may seem authentic, but usually they’re not.

Regina does not think it’s really interesting. Just FYI.

3) They gossip about you. They spread rumors about you with other people, and when the rumors get back to you they try to deny them or blame others–frenemies love to stir up new drama in your life.

4) They always need to be on top. They cannot stand the fact that you may be better than them at something, and they want to make sure they are always seen as better than you, no matter what the circumstance.

So, now that we know some of the ways to spot frenemies, the next step is to take some actions.

1) Listen to your own instincts.

Pay attention to how you feel after interacting with your peers. If these people make you feel happy, encouraged, and good about yourself, they are probably true friends. But if they leave you feeling unsupported, sad, or manipulated, they are not being good friends. You deserve to be treated with care and respect, so trust these feelings and take them seriously.

2) Talk to an adult or trusted friend about how you’re feeling.

If you’re not sure if you’re dealing with a frenemy, talk to people you trust. Parents, teachers, mentors, school counselors, and close friends should be willing to listen to you, offer new perspectives, and provide encouragement. They can help you evaluate your relationship with the frenemy and make changes. It’s important that these people are trustworthy; you don’t want peers spreading rumors and creating drama.

television animated GIF

3) Talk with the frenemy kindly and directly.

Instead of continuing to endure rude remarks and behaviors, confront your frenemy. Make sure to do so in a way that is kind, respectful, and sticks to the facts. Focus on explaining how you feel, using “I” messages instead of “you” messages. For example, instead of saying, “You were so mean when you made fun of my outfit,” try saying, “I was hurt by your comments about my outfit. I know you were probably trying to be funny, but I felt like the comments were at my expense.”

4) Pay attention to the frenemy’s response.

Even if you are as respectful and considerate as possible, your frenemy may still be defensive, in denial, or unwilling to discuss the issue. If this is the case, it may be time to let go of this so-called friendship and focus on other friendships.

mad animated GIF

5) Examine your own thoughts and behaviors.

It is possible that hanging out with your frenemy has caused you to pick up on some of your frenemy’s habits. For example, do you use wit or humor to put down others and make yourself look better? If so, it’s important to be honest with yourself and do everything you can to change your attitudes and behaviors immediately.

6) If necessary, make the break.

If your frenemy is still unwilling to make changes, it is probably time to let go of the friendship. This is not rude or mean; you deserve to be treated with respect and care. Ending the friendship puts and end to many toxic interactions, and it’s good for both you and your frenemy.

bye animated GIF

7) Still be polite and kind.

Although creating distance is good and healthy, it is not good to stir up drama or put your frenemy down. Remember that your frenemy may also have been treated poorly by others at some time. Although this isn’t an excuse for your frenemy’s behavior, it may help you develop empathy and understand where your frenemy is coming from. Even when you end the friendship, it’s important to be respectful and considerate.

8) If you’re still being bullied, talk with a trustworthy adult.

The bottom line is you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. If your frenemy continues bullying you after your attempts to better the situation, tell and adult you trust.

~Natalie

Make Something BEAUTIFUL with Tissue Paper Art!

Isn’t it exciting when you find something that is so easy to construct, yet so BEAUTIFUL and extraordinary in result? Well, here’s another one of those gems.

This is what you will need: Craft tissue paper that is available at most crafts stores (NOTE that this is not just the normal kind of tissue paper though, it is a specific new art tissue paper that allows for colors to bleed through). Then, you need a canvas, or whatever you would like to have as the background, a foam brush, some scissors, and water.

Check, check, and check. Now here’s the very easy steps. Cut out shapes and such; use the foam brush to paint the canvas with water fairly evenly; layer the shapes randomly covering the wet canvas; let it dry; and then finally, remove the tissue pieces to reveal your masterpiece.

Untitled-4 copy

Some quick little tips though: If you would like a softer feel, use your paint brush and add more water to the top of the papers. This will create a more diluted result. Also, be aware that the ink will stay on your fingers most of the day, so if you would rather not have that happen, wear protected gloves!

But that’s it! It’s that simple! Get creative, and have fun with this!

~Jaynani

FUN in the SUN with friends!

Interested in finding some neat new activities to have a little summer fun with your friends? Well here’s a few I found that I know I definitely want to try!

First, I began thinking about the joy that a classic board game can bring friends. Well, how about doing one in the sun? And instead of just bringing a board out and plopping it on a table, what about THIS nifty idea? Yard Twister!

I also came across this idea earlier in the spring, but didn’t get a chance to try it. Who’s ever been a part of a paint war? Cause it looks SO fun! And here are tons of different ideas on how to do it!

You can put paint in squirt guns!

Or in water balloons!

Or you know what, you can just do it however you like! But one tip from me at least… Wear a plain white shirt. Make’s it so much more fun!

But if you just want to cool off from the sun, AND still get a little creative, try a paint Slip n’ Slide!

The last idea I found may very well bring you back to your childhood. I don’t know about you, but I LOVED (well, let’s be real, I STILL love) making a good fort with blankets and sheets. You’d stack up the chairs, hang the corners on book shelves or bed frames, and viola. Nothing tops that… Except maybe a fort OUTSIDE. Sure, it might take a bit more improvising, but maybe with a little string, some clothes lines, whatever you got… Just MAYBE, can you make something spectacular.

I hope these ideas help add a little more fun in the sun for you and your friends! If nothing else, I hope they encourage you to get creative, and find some joy. Cause honestly, I don’t think you’re ever too old to go play in the rays.

~Jaynani

Laughter… You’re actually becoming HEALTHIER!!!!

I don’t know about you, but there is not much laughter can’t fix… At least in the moment. I don’t mean the “ha ha, that was a corny pun, Daniel,” kind of laughter. I mean the deep-rooted, snorting-triggered, body-aching belly laugh. There is truly no moment for me that can’t be fixed by that kind of laughter.

But here’s the thing: This isn’t just a personal remedy, it has been PROVEN by research that laughter brings about tons of health benefits! So… Laugh a little more in your day, and become healthier? Now how on earth can that be true? Well, here’s 7 research based proven benefits to laughing.

  1. Laughing lowers blood pressure

Lowering your blood pressure, no matter what starting levels they may be at, helps reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks. That should be reason enough to laugh a little more!

  1. Laughter reduces stress hormone levels

The benefit of reducing stress hormone levels are infinite, but the obvious one includes making cuts to the anxiety and stress that impacts your body. On top of that, reduction of stress hormones in your body may result in higher immune system performance. In other words, laughing along with your buddy’s jokes at the end of a long day can not only help reduce some of the stress and anxiety you’ve built up, but also help keep you from getting sick! Sounds good to me.

  1. It’s a FUN ab workout!

Alright, everybody has to have felt this feeling at least ONCE in their life before, and screamed these words during a deep belly laugh… “Stop making me laugh! My belly hurts!” I think one of the coolest benefits of laughing (because keeping you from having a stroke or heart attack or building up your immune system is totally not as cool), would have to be that you are helping TONE YOUR ABS when you laugh! When you are laughing, the muscles in your stomach are expanding and contracting, similar to when you are intentionally exercising your abs. So… Laugh and look GOOD. That should be a bumper sticker.

  1. Laughing improves cardiac health

Laughing is also a great cardio workout, especially for those who are unable to do certain physical activities due to an injury or illness. Laughing gets your heart pumping, and burns calories. Again, how is this not reason enough?

  1. It BOOSTS T cells

Laughing boosts T cells, which are specialized immune system cells just waiting to be activated. When you laugh, you are basically giving permission for TAKE-OFF for those cells to immediately begin to help you fight off sickness.  So next time you feel like there’s a cold coming in, try adding in a few chuckles.

  1. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins

The job of an endorphin is this: To be the body’s natural pain killer. So when you laugh, you release endorphins that can help ease chronic pain. You know, like what the medicines that cost the big bucks do.

  1. Laughing all-around produces a general sense of well-being

Research has proven that laughter can help increase your overall sense of well-being. Doctors have found that people who have a more positive outlook on life tend to fight diseases better than people who tend to be more negative. So, when you smile and laugh, you can live longer? That has GOT to be enough reason why you should add more laughter in your day.

 

Yes, the deep-rooted belly laughs are great. But really, just a chuckle, or even a giggle can do so much for you. If I am being literally benefitted health wise by doing something that brings me joy, something that means I am having a good time, well then count me in. So think about this the next time you’re feeling stressed, anxious, like you’re getting sick, can’t be physically active, want to have a more positive outlook on life, or you just want to know you have given yourself a nice exercising touch to your day. Laughter can do the job! So, go ahead and get your giggle on!

 

 

~Jaynani

Feeling Stressed or Angry??? Be Careful!

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I don’t know about you gals, but the last few weeks have been super stressful for me. And the everyday gloom of a rainy winter isn’t helping. When I happened to come across this picture during one of my “I-have-so-much-I-could-be-doing-right-now-but-instead-I-am-going-to-spend-hours-on-pinterest” moments, it really got me thinking.

I think the message of this quote is extremely important. Especially while we are young and feel like we are on top of the world. The decisions we make now can and will effect us for THE REST OF OUR LIVES

As we get older, our responsibilities and decisions begin to pile up. And honestly, it gets hard.

But that doesn’t mean we should make excuses or stupid decision. Have you ever seen the Snickers candy bar commercials where there is a large, often angry and loud being in the midst of a group of friends? And then the friends tell the creature to eat a snickers because “you aren’t you when you are hungry”?

This is so true. When someone is hungry, they often become irritated and easily frustrated. As Snickers suggests, you can become a monster.

You also aren’t you when you are tired, angry, scared, or stressed. Here are some simple ideas of how to manage some of those stressful or angering moments.

Stress:

  • Get some sleep!!! With homework, school, sports, television, phones, friends, family, and all the other busy parts of a teens life, getting 7-8 hours of sleep seems nearly impossible. However, sleeping gives your body time to relax and reload itself, and is one of the most important stress relievers
  • Social Media  This may sound like I am asking you to give up your life, but trust me, taking some time and stepping away from the constant stream of Facebook status’, instagram posts, and tweets will drastically eliminate some of that stress. Just try it and you’ll see! Constantly being connected means that there is no time to just be you. And being you is the most important thing you can do!
  • Go outside! When you were a kid, did your parents ever tell you to get outside and get some fresh air? I know mine sure did…. But they were right.  The refreshing air and open space will do wonders for your stress level.
  • Exercise While enjoying the outdoors, try going for a walk, run, play some frisbee, play tag with your friends, go on a hike, climb a tree, or any other physical activity you enjoy. Not only has exercise been proven to reduce stress and clear the mind, but it is also good for your health! And you can eat that extra cookie without feeling so guilty! =D
  • Talk  If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t ever be afraid to talk to someone. Try a close friend, a teacher, parent, school counselor or anyone else you feel comfortable with. Also… don’t forget that the staff here at YO are always willing to talk to you too!!

Anger

  • SLEEP Just like with stress, getting plenty of sleep will reduce your irritability and therefore make you less likely to get angry.
  • Take time for yourself  At the end of the day, you are are what is most important. Make sure you respect yourself and your body by taking time away from distractions such as media, friends, and school, and your phone to just be you. You could try journaling, working out, doing crafts, or just sitting still and relaxing.
  • Admitting your anger is the first and most important step to getting over these emotions. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to be angry, it is a completely normal thing to feel.
  • Talk it out! Just as with feeling stressed, talking about your feelings is extremely important.

Hungry 

  • Eat Something! Chocolate is always a good choice!! =D

~Alyssa

Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful! <3

Everyone is different and unique. We all have our own special talents and skills, we all have our own weaknesses and struggles, too. But there is one thing we ALL have in common: we all want to feel beautiful, valued, and important. We, as humans, often strive to fit into the mold that society deems as “beautiful” rather than being beautiful in our own way.

Unfortunately, today’s “beauty” standards tend to be the exact opposite of what beauty really is.

Faces layered with make-up, scary small clothing sizes, bones showing, thigh gaps (just to name a few) are examples of the ridiculous expectations of girls in today’s world.  Just look through a magazine, or flip through some different channels on TV and you’ll have thousands of images thrown at you that create this image of what you “should” look like.

Most people don’t realize that these images are usually fake. They’re photoshopped so the models fit into society’s unrealistic expectations.

Just look at this before and after picture. Can you guess which one is real, and which one has been stretched, smoothed, tightened, air brushed, enhanced, brightened, and is almost completely fake?

don't ever be jealous of what you see in magazines!

Here’s a video about three women who participated in an experiment. They each did a  photoshoot and had their pictures professionally photoshopped, the same way models and celebs are photoshopped in magazines. Surprisingly, they didn’t really like what they saw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRlpIkH3b5I

Don’t ever believe what you see in the media.

Someone once told me that “comparison is the thief of joy.” I think this quote fits this situation perfectly. If you are always trying to be someone you’re not, how will you ever be truly happy? You are unique and special, and yes, BEAUTIFUL.

No one else can tell you otherwise.

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Just because you may not look like your best friend, or wear the newest styles in the smallest sizes, just because you don’t look like the girl on the magazine cover, doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful. To be truly beautiful is to be yourself. 

beau·ti·ful [byoo-tuh-fuhl]

adj.

1.having beauty; possessing qualities that give great  pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about,etc.;  delighting the senses or mind: a beautiful dress; a  beautiful speech.

2. excellent of its kind: a beautiful putt on the seventh  hole; The chef served us a beautiful roast of beef

3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.

 

Beauty is not about what is seen on the outside, but rather what is on the inside. Have you ever heard someone talk about inner beauty? That is what we should strive for.
~Alyssa

Fat Burning 7-Layer Dip

I love 7-layer dip… Actually, I love dips in general. Whenever chips and dip are around, I find myself eating and eating until I feel super guilty. Most dips are so packed with fats, carbs, starches, and all kinds of nasty stuff that just straight up isn’t good for you at all.

I discovered this “fat burning dip” on Pinterest and made it when I was watching the last Ducks game with some friends. All you do is substitute a couple of ingredients with healthier options… but you can’t even tell!! My friends at no idea that I tricked them and snuck in some Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and black beans instead of pinto, because it’s still just as delicious as regular 7-layer dip. With the Superbowl coming up in a couple weeks, you should try bringing this dip to your party! You won’t have to feel bad about eating too much, because it’s actually SUPER good for you!

Ingredients

4 cups shredded lettuce

3 medium ripe avocados mashed and mixed with 2 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2 cup Greek yogurt mixed with 1 package low-sodium taco seasoning mix

1 can black beans

3 medium diced tomatoes

2 cans sliced olives

8 oz 2% cheddar cheese

Directions

Starting with the lettuce on the bottom of a bowl, add each layer on top of the next, ending with sprinkling the cheese on top. Alternate one celery stick with each whole grain chip to cut your calories in half.

Enjoy!!

~Taren

What to do during Christmas break?

Hey ladies, it’s finally CHRISTMAS BREAK!!! School’s out and you get two whole weeks of freedom and relaxation. What are you going to do for so long?

This holiday season, try to remember what’s important to you. Spend some quality time with your family and friends. Don’t lock yourself in your room when your mom’s trying to get you to come out and hang with her. Plan a party with some of your girlfriends. Here are some ideas of what you can do with your friends and fam during break, instead of sitting around on your phone or watching TV!

  • Bake something! You can find tons of great Christmas-y recipes online… or if you’re not in the mood for peppermint and other holiday flavors, find something else you’ll enjoy! Be creative!
  • Have a movie night! Go get some popcorn, soda, candy and other snacks, and snuggle up on the couch and watch movies all night with your loved ones.
  • Have a gingerbread house making or cookie decorating party! It’s always fun to decorate, eat some sweets, and make fun of each other’s goofy looking houses and cookies.
  • Play in the snow! If you’re lucky enough to get snow where you live, go outside and enjoy it! Have a snowball fight and build an awesome snowman!
  • Eat dinner together! Sit down at the table and eat with your family. Don’t go out for every meal or eat in front of the TV. Enjoy quality time and good conversation with your family, especially if you’re usually too busy to sit down and eat together during school.
  • Meet a friend for coffee or lunch! Do you have a couple friends that you haven’t seen in a while, but you’ve been wanting to? Take advantage of all this time off and meet with them somewhere to catch up.
  • Go shopping! There’s usually tons of sales and good deals right after Christmas, so get a group together and hit up the mall!
  • Be active! Are you usually too swamped with homework to have time to exercise? Maybe this can be your chance to get a routine started! Go for a jog or do some pilates with your mom or friends.
  • Get your craft on! Do you always pin tons of cute crafty things on pinterest, but never have time to actually make any? Now’s your chance! Have a ladies craft night!
  • Read a book! Especially if you never seem to have time to read for fun anymore, go by the bookstore and buy that book you’ve been wanting to read.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

~Taren

Equal But Different

In our parents elementary schools, and our grandparents schools before them, they were allowed to believe that some cultures and races were better than others.  Our American society thought it was okay to think that you were right and better than someone else because of the color of your skin or the social status you or your parents have.  In order to change that, most kids in our generation were raised being told that everyone is the same.  The new girl in school who just moved to our country from Poland was the same as the rest of us.  And my friend who spoke spanish whose parents came from Mexico was the same as me.  Now, to the extent of equality that is absolutely true.  We are of the same value as individuals.  We all deserve respect and we all have equal potential to be really great people.  However, we are not the same. 

No one is the same and that really is okay.  We as human beings find it hard to be okay with things we don’t understand.  We want to know that there is a solution and clean definition for everything.  For all of time people have thought of other social groups as less than themselves simply because they were afraid of the fact that they couldn’t understand them; putting them in a box of judgement was easier than getting to know them.  But saying that we’re all the same is just as easy and also incorrect.  I am from Connecticut, which has a different culture from Oregon.  I have certain expectations and beliefs about how things should be that are based on what I was taught in Connecticut, which is different from the way people see things here.  I would be offended if you tried to tell me that I was the same as my friends who were born and raised in Newberg, because I’m not.  To say that we are the same would be to ignore a huge aspect of my life and who I am.  I am not defined by where I come from either.  I’m very different from people I know at home also, so you can’t put me in a Connecticut box and say I’m just like all of them either. 

So what do we do?  Talk about all of it.  My friends are super ready to tell you that I have a different out look because of where I’m from.  They don’t judge me for it, but we are aware that we are different.  It’s important because when I do something that is weird to them they often say “Oh Connecticut!” in an endearing voice and sometimes I have to say “Nope, that one was me.” I feel offended for a minute that they were generalizing because of where I’m from, but if they never said anything to begin with, I wouldn’t have been able to put the record straight and helped them to understand me better.  So if you have friends who are different from you, you have to be willing to be offended sometimes, and care enough about each other to talk about it and explain more about who you are.  In the end you can work together, not as the same, but just as you are.

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