FREE UV index app: protect yourself better / Бесплатное приложение Уровень УФ: защити свою кожу от опасного излучения

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русская версия ниже

Everybody knows that even during the winter our skin is exposed to UV radiation. It’s a component of the sunlight that makes our skin tanned. UVA, UVB and UVC rays are different wavelengths of the UV radiation. UVA is the longest and UVC is the shortest. In fact, because the latter is short, most of the UVC rays are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach Earth surface.

Only UVA and UVB rays can penetrate the atmosphere and contribute to increased risk of skin aging, eye damage and skin cancer. When the skin is exposed to these wavelengths, the UV radiation induces free radical damage to the skin cells. The damage of the skin’s cellular DNA can produce genetic mutations, which in turn can lead to skin cancer.

DSC_0334Suntan lotions can screen up to 98% of the UV radiation, but no sunscreen can block all the UV rays. Sunscreens differ by efficacy: from 2 to 100 SPF. SPF is Sun Protection Factor, the higher its value the higher is the protection. However, this relation is non-linear, i.e. sunscreen with SPF 15 blocks 93% UVB rays, with SPF 30 blocks 97% UVB rays, and with SPF 50 – 98% that is not so different from the sunscreen with SPF 30.

To protect your skin properly it is recommended to use the DSC_0335-001sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher. It also should contain not only UVB- but also UVA-protective ingredients (e.g., avobenzone, ecamsule, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide). Look for the labels that say multi spectrum, broad spectrum or UVA/UVB protection.

Free App EPA’s SunWise UV Index (available for iOS and Android) will help you to find out UV index in any place, just enter your zip code (USA only). It also gives you hourly forecast and tips on how to reduce UV radiation damage. Especially important for those who live in sunny states.

Все знают, что даже зимой наша кожа подвергается ультра-фиолетовому (УФ) облучению. Именно эта часть солнечного излучения позволяет нашей коже проибретать бронзовый загар. Ультра-фиолетовое излучение делят на три категории в зависимости от длины волны: UVA, UVB и UVC. UVA – самая длинная, а UVC – самая короткая длина волны. Являясь самыми короткими, UVC волны практически полностью поглощаются озоновым слоем и не достигают поверхности земли.

Сквозь атмосферу могут проходить только UVA и UVB волны, которые увеличивают вероятность старения кожи, повреждений сетчатки глаза и появления рака кожи. Когда наша кожа подвергается УФ облучению, образуется большее количество свободных радикалов, способных наносить повреждения в структуре клеток кожи. Повреждение ДНК клетки кожи вызывает генетические мутации, которые, в свою очередь, могут привести к возникновению рака кожи.

Специальные крема и лосьоны могут блокировать до 98% УФ излучения, и пока нет ни одного костметического средства, которое бы полностью могло защитить наше тело от УФ излучения. Крема могут иметь различную степень защиты: от 2 до 100 SPF. SPF расшифровывается как Sun Protection Factor, в переводе на русский – солнцезащитный фактор. Чем выше его значение, тем больше защита от УФ излучения. Стоит учесть, что эта зависимость не линейная, т. е. если крем с SPF 15 блокирует 93% UVB-лучей, то с SPF 30 блокирует 97% UVB излучения, а с SPF 50 – 98%, что не так уж отличается от крема с SPF 30.

Чтобы лучше защитить свою кожу, необходимо пользоваться лосьонами с SPF фактором 15 и выше. Он также должен содержать не только UVB- но и UVA-защитные ингредиенты (например, авобензон, экамсул, оксибензон, диоксид титана, оксид цинка). Ищите этикетки с надписью UVA/UVB защита, multi spectrum, broad spectrum.

Бесплатное приложение EPA’s SunWise UV Index (доступно для iOS и Android) поможет вам узнать уровень УФ радиации в данный момент в любом месте (пока только в США). Кроме того, можно проверить какое время суток сегодня самое опасное для нахождения на солнце, а так же получить рекомендации, как же защитить себя от негативного излучения, и какой SPF-крем вам лучше всего для этого подойдёт.

Used literature / Использованная литература

1. J. Crowe, T. Bradshaw. Chemistry for the Biosciences: The essential concepts. OUP, 2014. ISBN 978-0-19-966288-3. Chapter 12, p.387.

2. Understanding UVA and UVB –


What to pack for a roadtrip with a baby

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Here is a precise list of what you need to think before going on a trip with a baby.
First and foremost, think of food. It should be convenient for you as well for a baby. My go-to snacks are puffs and squeeze-packs with baby puree. Also, don’t forget the sippy cup with water.
Second, bring as much entertainment as possible. Better take some new books in the library along with the favorite books from home. He will be entertained longer. Toys, especially something interactive, so he can play by himself for some time. Nice to have some finger-puppets.
Think of sunshades for the car, so it won’t be shining directly into his eyes. Or better get Breathable Car Seat Cover. It would perfectly cover baby from the sun. It made from breathable and stretchable material: 95% rayon, 5% spandex. I also like that it comes with a free laundry bag. I’ve got mine at a discount here in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own:

Have a good trip!

What is Retinol? Review: RoC RETINOL CORREXION Eye Cream and RoC MULTI CORREXION 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream

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In a daily hectic we sometimes forget that our routines mirror on our face skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are common signs of aging, however, constant stress, lack of sleep, pollution, and many other factors can accelerate this process. Actually, high levels of stress hormone cortisol lead to premature aging.

Low levels of cortisol are beneficial, allowing the skin to regenerate and protect itself. However, upon high stress and lack of sleep, the levels of this hormone rise up, contributing to the breakdown of collagen and elastic tissues. Collagen is the key protein that promotes young and fresh look of the skin. So when collagen prematurely stiffens we observe unexpected fine lines and wrinkles.

What can we do to keep the younger look? First of all, make sure you have a good night’s sleep, which is at least 8 hours a night. While we sleep, the cortisol levels naturally decrease, letting our skin to rest and regenerate. During this restorative process new, fresh cells are produced and yesterday’s damage is fixed.

Secondly, protect your skin with retinol containing products, like RoC RETINOL CORREXION Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer and RoC RETINOL CORREXION Eye Cream. (Read below more info on retinol)

And finally, invest in a good anti-aging night cream, so the skin can absorb it while repairing itself during your ‘beauty’ sleep. Try RoC MULTI CORREXION 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream.


If you are still not convinced, check this video out about fighting skin-aging.

video source

What is retinol?

Retinol is one of the animal forms of vitamin A. It can do different jobs for our skin. First of all, it stimulates healthy collagen production to reduce fine lines and deep wrinkles. Secondly, retinol evens out discolorations and smooths the skin. Also, it helps to unclog pores and to reduce the appearance of pore size. So it’s not a surprise that retinol is the #1 dermatologist recommended nonprescription cosmetic anti-aging ingredient. Watch the video below to learn how exactly retinol works:

As mentioned in the video above, Retinol containing products should be packaged correctly. RoC RETINOL products are packaged in a special aluminum tubes that protect retinol from exposure to light and air to keep it stable.

DSC_0007-001I tested RoC RETINOL CORREXION Eye Cream and I saw the results in just three days! I had small crow’s feet and wrinkles under the eyes. After using the cream the corners of the eyes smoothed out, leaving my eyes rejuvenated. The skin became smooth, elastic, and toned! There were fewer visible fine lines. With longer use (about a week or so) I started to notice that my eyes became less puffy in the morning when I applied the cream the evening before.

The cream itself has a very pleasant smooth texture. It is more liquid than I expected, however, I see only benefits with this. It distributes easily, absorbs very quickly, doesn’t leave greasy feeling, and moisturizes the skin effectively. It is gentle enough for the delicate skin around eyes. The cream is unscented, which I really like. For one time use you need really small amount so the package can last literally forever! The only information I didn’t find on a package is the recommendation on how long can the cream be stored since opened, neither the expiration date.

Application: apply in small dots around the eye area and gently pat until absorbed completely. I usually apply it in the evening before bed, however, if you would like you can apply it additionally in the morning alone or under makeup.

008 RoC-001

I really eager to see the results in the long run, as the benefits of RoC RETINOL don’t plateau, which means that retinol actually becomes more effective when used continuously.

Suitable for all skin types. Hypoallergenic.

Tube volume 0.5 fl oz/15 mL

MSRP $22.99 (which I think is a pretty reasonable price)

Made in France

DSC_0019-001Another product from RoC brand that I had a chance to try is the RoC MULTI CORREXION 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream. This anti-aging cream utilizes Multi-action HEXINOL Technology. The ingredient Hexylresorcinol plays the role of local anesthetic and antiseptic. In other words, it helps to protect collagen and elastin (protein that keeps skin flexible) by slowing skin’s inflammatory response. Other key ingredients are glycerin, dimethicone, and shea butter, which function as moisturizers.

I really liked this product. The cream is white, has pudding consistency and powdery-floral scent. It perfectly moisturizes the skin and when applied in the evening I could feel the effect next morning. When I woke up the skin felt velvety soft and smooth. The cream is very gentle for the face and neck skin and suitable for every day use.

Application: apply to face and neck area and gently smooth until thoroughly absorbed.

008 RoC1

Again, I couldn’t find information on how long can I store the opened cream.

Net weight 1.7 oz/48 g

MSRP $28.99

Overall opinion. I really enjoyed both creams. The moisturizing RoC MULTI CORREXION 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream showed great hydrating abilities, however, I think it should be used consistently to see improvement they claim. Over the period of one week the usual redness and dullness of my face didn’t disappear.

RoC RETINOL CORREXION Eye Cream worked perfectly on my eyes area! I didn’t feel any burning sensations, any redness or unusual dryness. I saw improvement in 3 days and I’m really satisfied with the results I achieved in one week. The skin around eyes became firmer, smoother, fine lines became less visible. I hope for further improvement with longer use.


If you would like to try these products, I would recommend first to prepare your face before applying the creams. Take some time in the evening (preferable before going to bed) and wash the face with mild scrub in order to exfoliate dead cells from the skin. Then use toner to minimize the appearance of the pore size and to tone the skin. Afterwards, apply RoC RETINOL CORREXION Eye Cream around the eye area and gently pat until absorbed. Finish the evening ritual by applying RoC MULTI CORREXION 5-in-1 Restoring Night Cream on the face and neck area, smooth with massaging movements until absorbed.

I received free products for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

How to Effectively Fight Cellulite

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Cellulite is one of the concerns most women face at some point in their lives. I noticed the first signs when I was 25. I cried. All day. There are plenty of reasons why we are getting it: unhealthy diet, low quality water (drinking and showering), body dehydration, sedentary way of life with little of physical activity, ecology, etc. But still nobody can tell 100% what is the main reason of cellulite appearance. One thing I can tell for sure: once you get it – you will always fight it from now on.

There are different creams, methods, sports, etc. against cellulite. In this post I would like to summarize all that I’ve learned about the most effective ways to fight Cellulite.

  1. Maintain (or reduce) your weight. Because cellulite is a fat deposit beneath the skin, gaining more weight can add to your cellulite by increasing the amount of fat cells. Losing weight can reduce the look of cellulite, but won’t eliminate it. However, if you are already at a healthy weight, dropping a few pounds can lead to skin be more loose, which in turn makes cellulite even more noticeable.
  2. Eat fish at least twice a week. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and other fatty fish, can help in repairing and strengthening of skin tissues and fibers. Fish is also rich in Vitamin B6, which restores and fortifies connective tissue. All these result in reducing cellulite appearance.
  3. Choose green tea over coffee. Green tea contains Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which speeds up metabolism and increases fat burn. This in turn slows down the expansion of fat cells causing cellulite. Small amounts of caffeine, found in tea, are also beneficial as they minimize the amount of fat cells near the skin surface. However, too much of caffeine can dehydrate the whole body, which is one of the leading causes of cellulite buildup. Which leads to the next point.
  4. Stay hydrated. Drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.
  5. Massage problem areas. To make the massage more effective, apply the massage oil containing Rosemary essential oil, which improves blood circulation.
  6. Lead active lifestyle. It’s not a secret that exercises help to burn fat. However, you can enhance your workout with the cellulite-busting yoga poses (see the pictures below). Aim for doing this 20-minute bundle 3 days a week, plus include 30 minutes of vigorous cardio 4 times a week — and you will see the results in just six weeks.

  7. Use Cellulite Creams. There are two well-researched ingredients that can effectively reduce cellulite: Caffeine and Retinol. Caffeine has the ability to break down fat cells, make skin smoother and less lumpy, while Retinol boosts the amount of collagen in the skin, giving it thickness and elasticity, and making cellulite less visible. (Read more about Retinol in my article here). Still you should remember that the Cellulite creams should be used regularly and for a long period of time to make the affect visible.


Insta Natural Cellulite Cream is one of the examples of Retinol- and Caffeine-containing creams. The key feature of this cream is REGU®-SLIM – blend of Guarana Seed Extract and Caffeine, which is specifically designed to minimize the appearance of cellulite.


The cream itself has very smooth texture. Despite the fact that it’s on a thick side, the cream absorbs instantly. Actually, it absorbs so quickly that I can’t massage my problem areas with it. So definitely use oil for massage purposes and use this cream to target your problem zones. Moreover, the cream makes skin very gentle and soft and moisturizes enough for a day, so you can save on your regular moisturizer. The product is economical as well as you don’t need too much of cream for a single application. While absorbing the cream doesn’t leave any sticky feeling on the skin. I also like the floral scent, which is not strong and very pleasant.


I hope to see the results on the long run, so stay tuned and follow me on my 6-week Cellulite Challenge, where I would be creating my cellulite fighting routine.


  1. Can You Beat Cellulite?
  2. 10 Powerhouse Foods That Fight Cellulite
  3. Secret Weapons to Fight Cellulite
  4. Fight Cellulite Fast With Yoga
  5. Insta Natural Cellulite Cream

I received a free Insta Natural Cellulite Cream for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Best 3 authentic Belgian foods to enjoy

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Several years ago I had a wonderful chance to visit Brussels, Belgium. Usually, when I travel, local cuisine is a must. So this trip was no exception.

First and foremost to try is the Belgian waffles! You can find them in any corner of the capital of Belgium. And what is the most exciting: there are thousands different toppings – from sweet to ones that make a whole meal out of it.


When you get tired after the long day of walking in the city, sit at the cozy patio and order Mussels in white wine sauce and les frites (french fries). By the way, Belgium is the birthplace of french fries, not France no matter what the name says.


When you think about what to bring home, Belgian chocolate is the choice number one! Indeed, Belgian chocolates are one of the best quality in the world. If you don’t think you will go to Belgium any time soon, don’t worry: you can find a piece of Europe here in USA. Bouchard premium chocolate which originates in Ghent, Belgium, can be found at your local Costco (currently only in Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Las Vegas, and San Diego)!


This dark chocolate is made from high quality ingredients. The individually wrapped Napolitains have rich and bold flavor, and what is most important this chocolate doesn’t leave bitter aftertaste, which some low quality dark chocolates do. Bouchard dark chocolate has good balance of bitterness and sweetness and it’s not too much sweet, which I personally love in chocolate products. The Napolitains are not very soft and are a little bit on the crunchy side. The chocolate pieces do not melt in hands, which is a sign of a high quality. Overall, it’s a high quality brand that transfers you in the heart of Belgium.


I received a free product for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Remedy for the dry skin: DERMA E Hydrating collection.

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DERMA E is a time-proved brand that dates back to 1984. Originated in California, this skin care manufacturer honors eco-ethical standards and committed not only to the health and well-being of its customers, but also to the environment. Moreover, all the purchases support global communities and nature.

The brand carries full variety of collections: Hydrating, Anti-Wrinkle, Firming, Sun Care, Sensitive Skin, and other. However, all DERMA E products have something in common: they are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Their formulas don’t contain parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colors, gluten, soy or GMOs.

Starting September 2016 DERMA E re-launches their packaging design without changing the formulation of their products. Innovative new packaging reflects brand’s eco-ethical values and environmental sustainability. The lotus flower on the package symbolizes Beauty and Efficacy.

I had a chance to give a try to their best-selling Hydrating products: DERMA E Hydrating Day Creme and DERMA E Hydrating Night Cream. First thing that I noticed is the consistency of the creams. Unlike competitor moisturizers, DERMA E Hydrating creams are very thick, not lightweight, as I get used to. This makes the application process a bit challenging as the cream is hard to distribute evenly throughout the skin and it gives the feeling as you apply sour cream to your face. On the good side is that both creams absorbs within minutes, giving softness to the skin. It seems that they diffuse into the skin no matter how thick is the layer applied. These creams leave neither sticky feeling, nor the film on the face; and the skin is super-gentle to the touch. I felt that my face and neck areas were effectively hydrated with moisture locked inside the tissues.

new vs. old packaging

I applied DERMA E Hydrating Night Cream just right before going to bed. In the morning I was quite disappointed as my face was very oily. It seemed that I just put on fish oil all over my face. I have combination oily/dry skin, so I feel that the cream isn’t suitable for this type of skin. Probably it would suit better for the people with very dry skin type. The night cream have neutral scent that almost invisible, which I really liked. Overall impression is not very positive. I guess it’s just not for my skin type.

DERMA E Hydrating Day Cream hydrates the skin perfectly and doesn’t need to be reapplied during the day. In the evening I still felt that my skin was moisturized enough (but a bit oily forehead). Another pro is that this cream has nice bubblegum scent. So not looking at the thick consistency of the day cream and complicated application, overall it left good impression. The DERMA E Hydrating Day Cream really gives hydration to the skin for at least 12 hours.

ha-groupSo if you are having a dry skin, the Hydrating product line from DERMA E is the right choice for you. The whole collection consists of nine high-quality products that will help your skin to look moisturized and rejuvenated.

You can find DERMA E products at the variety of retail stores, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Ulta Beauty, Target, Walgreens, CVS, and others.

I received a free product for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

Recipe: Affogato – Ice Cream with Cold-Brewed Coffee. Review: Häagen-Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle

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No kidding, but my favorite brand of Ice Cream is Häagen-Dazs. The more I was excited when I was chosen for the tasting campaign at Crowdtap. I love this brand as it really reminds me gelato from Germany. I miss that in USA. So rarely I can find ice cream that is not too much sweet, doesn’t have too much fat, but still creamy. I love Häagen-Dazs for their velvety texture and moderate sweetness. Indulgence in every spoon.

I think I have tasted almost all varieties in my supermarket, so I was happy to see new flavors coming up. I chose Häagen-Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle for the tasting. It’s a white chocolate ice cream with raspberry jam and pieces of chocolaty fudge truffles. I’ve chosen this flavor as it is so interesting combination and I love the ice cream with chocolate pieces. Usually, I don’t like chocolate varieties, however, I was in love with this white chocolate ice cream!!!

The Häagen-Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream has light, airy, but still creamy texture. And what is the most important, it doesn’t give the feeling that you are consuming a lot of fat. It is not too sweet as well (as the majority of ice cream on the shelves of my supermarket), which I really like. The little notes of sourness from raspberry compliment rich chocolate taste of the ice cream. The crunchy chocolate bites has pleasant taste and seem to be of good quality chocolate. And believe me, there are plenty of chunks there.

The ice cream itself has very light and pleasant fruity aroma. And creamy delightful aftertaste creates incredible indulgent experience.

Affogato is a coffee-based dessert. Usually it’s in the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped with a shot of hot espresso. In my recipe I suggest to make a twist on this well-known dessert: I used Häagen-Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream and topped it with cold-brewed chocolate flavored coffee, then sprinkled with pistachios and cinnamon – and the perfect dessert was ready. Аффогато – это дессерт на основе кофе. В классическом варианте он готовится из ванильного мороженого, которое заливается порцией горячего эспрессо. В приведённом рецепте вместо ванильного мороженого я взяла мороженое из белого шоколада с малиной и кусочками шоколадных трюфелей, а эспрессо заменила холодным кофе со вкусом шоколада. Фисташки и корица дополняют этот изысканный дессерт.


Ingredients Ингредиенты
Serves 4
Cook time 5 min plus overnight
На 4 порции
Время приготовления 5 минут плюс ночь
You will need: Вам понадобятся:
  • 14 oz Häagen-Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream
  • dash cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp chocolate flavored ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 400 г мороженого (из белого шоколада с малиной и кусочками шоколадных трюфелей)
  • корица
  • 4 ст. л. молотый кофе со вкусом шоколада
  • 25 г измельчённых обжаренных фисташек


Directions Инструкции
1. Prepare cold-brewed coffee as follows: place 4 Tbsp of ground coffee in a Steel Coffee Filter (see picture above), put it in a cup. Pour cold water over, cover and let the coffee steep overnight.
1. Приготовить кофе следующим образом. Засыпать 4 ст. л. молотого кофе в металлический фильтр (см. фото выше). Поместить фильтр в чашку и залить холодной водой. Накрыть и оставить завариваться на ночь.
2. Make Affogato by scooping the ice cream into 4 glasses, sprinkling with cinnamon, and pouring 2 Tbsp. of cold-brewed coffee over each portion. Top with pistachios, dividing evenly, and serve. 2. Разделить мороженое на 4 порции и поместить в стаканы. Посыпать корицей и залить каждую порцию двумя столовыми ложками холодного кофе. Посыпать фисташками и подавать.

I received a free product for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.