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health and wellbeing

Unless you grew up in the fictional world of a Steve Martin film, chances are your relationship with your family is more complicated than you'd like to admit.

The dynamics within the family unit can be hard to wrap your head around, and while we love them dearly (flaws and all), sometimes it's necessary to take a step back from all the drama.

Well, research from Michigan State University has revealed that close friends may actually bring us more health and happiness than family members.

Researchers conducted a study in which over 300,000 participants were asked how much they value their friendships. Results showed that those who put a higher value on relationships outside the family unit were happier and healthier overall. However, this only works if you actually get on with your mates.

Another study looked at almost 7,500 people ages over 50 and examined the correlation between their friendships and the state of their health and found that those with stressful friendships were at a higher risk of developing diseases like cancer and diabetes.

The author of the study, William Chopik told The Guardian: "With friends you are more likely to do activities – they provide an outlet. You can say things to friends and they are less judgmental. There is a distance there that provides a level of honesty."

The study also concluded that people with strong social bonds of any kind, increased their chances of living longer by an incredible 50 percent.

So, next time your friends tell you they're too busy to hang out, remind them that they're actually gaining precious hours by simply enjoying your company.

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We don’t need to be told to look after to our faces. This is where the vast majority of people at least cleanse. The rest of the body, however, is often neglected when it shouldn’t be. There are plenty of skin concerns that are more likely to appear on the rest of the body than on the face, such as keratosis pilaris (more commonly known as chicken skin), dry, scaly skin and cellulite.

If you want to see results when it comes to concerns of the body, you need to be using results-driven body products!

 

Chicken Skin aka Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris, KP, or chicken skin, is usually found on the back of the arms but it can actually be found anywhere on the body. It looks like very small reddish, pinkish or flesh-coloured dots and has a bumpy texture. It is incredibly common amongst Irish hoomans… In fact, it may be the reason we’re so fond of a cardigan.

KP is caused by an overproduction of keratin, a key skin protein, which means that there is a traffic jam within the pore, leading to the signature bumps. This isn’t a one-time issue – this is how your skin operates so it needs a helping hand to shift things out of the pore.

Taking vitamin A and omega supplements will help to ease your KP as well as cleansing the area with an exfoliating acid wash!

Dry, Scaly Body Skin

Dryness or a scaly appearance or texture to the skin is a sign that you’re lacking in essential fatty acids (omegas). Omegas boost your skin’s barrier function and hydrate from the inside out so if you’re prone to “elephant elbows”, make sure you’re getting them into you.

Cellulite

Cellulite happens to a majority, not a minority, of hoomans. It is incredibly common, especially in us women. You cannot completely banish cellulite per se but you can improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage through body brushing. I body brush on the daily and I see an improvement when I’m doing it versus when I’m not doing it.

Eating healthy food rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals doesn’t help with cellulite directly. However, nutrient-rich food assists our body in the creation of collagen and aids skin cells in protecting themselves which can have a knock on effect when it comes to the formation of cellulite. Think about how you’re fuelling your body!

Jennifer’s debut book, “The Skin Nerd: Your Straight-Talking Guide To Feeding, Protecting & Respecting Your Skin”, is out now, available from Eason and Dubray Books! For more information on how to look after the skin on your body, join the Nerd Network!

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