CLOSE
iStock
iStock

The Science Behind Your Craving for Lip Balm

iStock
iStock

It’s a paradoxical reaction: You use lip balm to soothe dry lips, but just a couple hours later, your mouth feels just as chapped as before, necessitating more of the stuff. Is it your imagination, or are skincare companies trying to foster an addiction?

According to Real Simple and New York-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, the answer is that not all lip balm is created equal. Some formulas, Zeichner says, contain ingredients that might irritate the lips of certain individuals, prompting dehydration and a desire to reapply. The second issue comes as a result of occlusive barriers—like petroleum jelly—being applied too frequently and prompting your skin to produce less natural moisture as a result.

The trick is to use balm when needed and not allow your skin to become dependent on it. And to avoid irritation, Zeichner recommends avoiding balms containing salicylic acid, menthol, or fragrance. Instead, opt for something with lanolin, which provides that occlusive barrier while still letting the skin breathe.

Even better: Get into some skin hydration habits like drinking plenty of water, incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet, and making sure the air in your bedroom isn’t too dry. Once you've covered those bases, remember: The less balm you apply, the less you'll feel like you need it.

[h/t Real Simple]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
REM-Fit
arrow
Live Smarter
Stop Your Snoring and Track Your Sleep With a Wi-Fi Smart Pillow
REM-Fit
REM-Fit

Everyone could use a better night's rest. The CDC says that only 66 percent of American adults get as much sleep as they should, so if you're spending plenty of time in bed but mostly tossing and turning (or trying to block out your partner's snores), it may be time to smarten up your sleep accessories. As TechCrunch reports, the ZEEQ Smart Pillow improves your sleeping schedule in a multitude of ways, whether you're looking to quiet your snores or need a soothing lullaby to rock you to sleep.

After a successful Kickstarter in 2016, the product is now on sale and ready to get you snoozing. If you're a snorer, the pillow has a microphone designed to listen to the sound of your snores and softly vibrate so that you shift positions to a quieter pose. Accelerometers in the pillow let the sleep tracker know how much you're moving around at night, allowing it to record your sleep stages. Then, you can hook the pillow up to your Amazon Echo or Google Home so that you can have your favorite smart assistant read out the pillow's analysis of your sleep quality and snoring levels the next morning.

The pillow is also equipped with eight different wireless speakers that turn it into an extra-personal musical experience. You can listen to soothing music while you fall asleep, either connecting the pillow to your Spotify or Apple Music account on your phone via Bluetooth or using the built-in relaxation programs. You can even use it to listen to podcasts without disturbing your partner. You can set a timer to turn the music off after a certain period so you don't wake up in the middle of the night still listening to Serial.

And when it's time to wake up, the pillow will analyze your movements to wake you during your lightest sleep stage, again keeping the noise of an alarm from disturbing your partner.

The downside? Suddenly your pillow is just another device with a battery that needs to charge. And forget about using it in a place without Wi-Fi.

The ZEEQ Smart Pillow currently costs $200.

[h/t TechCrunch]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Learn to Tie a Tie in Less Than 2 Minutes
iStock
iStock

For most men—and Avril Lavigne-imitators—learning to tie a tie is an essential sartorial skill. Digg spotted this video showing how you can tie one the simple way, with a tabletop method that works just as well if you’re going to wear the tie yourself or if you're tying it together for someone else who doesn't share your skills.

The whole technique is definitely easier to master while watching the video below, but here's a short rundown: As laid out by the lifehack YouTube channel DaveHax, the method requires you to lay the tie out on a table, folded in half as if you're about to loop it around your neck.

With the back of the tie facing up, you loop over each end, then twist the thinner of the two loops around itself so it ends up looking like a mini-tie knot itself. You'll end up nestling the two loops together and snaking the thin tail of the tie through the whole thing. Then, essentially all you have to do is pull, and you can adjust the tie as you otherwise would to put it over your head.

Unfortunately, this won't teach you how to master the art of more complicated neckwear styles like the fancier Balthus knot or even a bow tie, but it's a pretty good start for those who have yet to figure out even the simplest tie fashions.

[h/t Digg]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios