Being Happy is more than just a feeling…

The Science behind Happiness!

Serotonin word cloud

It’s wonderful to feel happy, and there is something about the summer holidays that has “happy” written all over it. Have you ever wondered why the holidays make you feel so happy? After all, some of us enjoy our work, being productive and living with purpose. Sure, holidays are all about good feelings and very well earned downtime but the truth is that there is a science behind what actually makes us feel happy – there are a number of chemical compounds that affect our mood, dopamine being one of them. However, for the purposes of this article we shall focus on two particular hormones.

 

Happy Hormones

Two hormones that are responsible for making us feel happy:

 

Serotoninregulates your mood, prevents depression and makes you feel happy. Serotonin can be released by getting exposed to sunlight, by eating foods rich in carbohydrates and by exercising.

 

Endorphins – make you feel good by reducing your anxiety and your sensitivity to pain. Endorphins are released by exercising.

 

Summer holidays packed with sunshine, delicious food and time spent outdoors

Spending time with family and friends warms a person’s heart, now add some delicious food filled with carbohydrates, summer sunshine loaded with Vitamin D and a jam packed holiday schedule and you have the recipe for a gush of serotonin and endorphins. Your body feels healthy, happy and special holiday memories are made.

 

Celebrate the holidays with OPTIPHI®

Add some award-winning skincare products from OPTIPHI® and your skin will look and feel as happy as it should.  Just don’t forget to wear sunblock!

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Wondering what’s Trending this Summer when it comes to Fashion?

Compliment your gorgeous skin with these 10 fashion trends!

Young woman in straw hat in summer outdoors.

Having beautiful skin is simple with OPTIPHI®, all you need is the latest fashion to match. Here is OPTIPHI®‘s summer fashion guide to help you look as cutting-edge as your perfect complexion:

 

  1. Top summer colours

Pistachio green, very similar to mint, is all the rage this summer and so is yellow.  Any shade of yellow as long as it matches your complexion – be bold, there is a shade of yellow for everyone. For a subtler option, choose an all-white ensemble, black & white mix of interesting shapes or small checks. And last but not least, army green.

 

  1. Must-have styles

This season is all about shirtdresses, culottes (yes, you might have to apologize to your mother for trying to make her throw hers out in the past and now appeal to her to open her wardrobe to you), the same goes for ‘roomey denim’. Lightweight trench coats that look like a kimonos and one-shoulder cuts are also favorites.

 

  1. Summer hair

Hair trends this summer include crimping, the slick-back wet-look, middle partings and simpler hairstyles with minimal styling needed.

 

  1. Glitter roots

Grab your hair gel, some sparkly bits and bedazzle your roots. Not only does it add a unique touch for a night out, it also hides re-growth.

 

  1. Makeup

Smokey eyes, heavier, darker lids and eyeliner wings paired with nude lips. Add some subtle pastel eye shadow for a little extra colour.

 

  1. Sunnies

This summer it’s all about tricky geometric frames and large squoval lenses. Take a look at Dolce & Gabbana’s Mama Brocade limited edition sunglasses. The price tag can be hefty but they are worth a look.

 

  1. Flat out shoes

Girls the world over are pleased as punch that comfortable summer shoes are the order of the day – flat sandals, slip-ons and sneakers are all the rage.

 

  1. Nail glamour

Essie has summer covered with their range of awesome summer colours, including pistachio green.

 

  1. Handbag overhauling

The bucket bag and tote aren’t going anywhere and neither is the clutch, even for daytime.  Florals adorn bags of all shapes and sizes. New ways of holding bags from wristlets to hang straps, the possibilities are endless. And since this summer incorporates 70s style, the saddle bag is making a big comeback with new embellishments.

 

  1. Fashion must-haves

This summer brings with it cutting-edge colour, encourages you to wear the same items in a variety of different settings (change things up – take it from the beach to the office just by changing shoes and accessories) and gives firm favorites a new look. It’s all about wearing the latest fashion without compromising on comfort. Wear underwear that classes with your outfit.

 

Look your best with OPTIPHI®

OPTIPHI® is designed to suite your unique skin needs, and is the perfect solution to healthy, balanced, refined and radiant looking skin. Compliment your summer wardrobe with skincare products that will transform your skin.

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Five Christmas Gift Ideas from OPTIPHI®

Solve your gifting dilemmas…

Blue polka dots gift boxes with pink ribbons on wooden background

Wondering what to give your friends and family this holiday season? Look no further than OPTIPHI®‘s gift guide. While we at OPTIPHI® believe that the ultimate gift this year should be our new Body Lotion in a tantalizing Evergreen fragrance, here are some more ideas:

 

  1. For the budding Master Chef

Cooking is fast becoming a very popular hobby, it is a great opportunity to express creativity, experiment and at the same time a means to take charge of healthy eating as opposed to restrictive dieting. From simple daily cooking to lavish meals prepared for friends, cooking is very much part of our lives. YuppieChef.com has a wide range of Christmas gifts for the special cook in your life, from books to gadgets to decor – there are even voucher options. Our 2015 seasonal cookbook will be TWO, written by Seline and Leandri van der Wat – available at Exclusive Books Nationwide.

 

  1. Kindle, the gift that keeps on giving

E-readers like the Kindle are designed to be gentle on your eyes and offer hours of entertainment. While many people will argue that holding a book in your hands just doesn’t compare, and that is very true, just imagine being able to read almost any book you want without having to wade through the masses to make it into book store. That is the convenience of an e-reader!

 

  1. A new take on vouchers

Whether you are a lover or hater of vouchers, the variety of vouchers on offer is changing the way that people see them. Good old fashioned store vouchers are just one way to treat someone special. You can also buy iTunes or Google Play vouchers so that users can splurge on apps, music and movies of their choice. Then there are charity vouchers which are perfect for someone who has everything. Look for a cause that is close to their heart and make a donation on their behalf or buy a voucher directly from the charity.

 

  1. A gift that grows and grows

For the ladies, how about choosing sentimental gift that you can add to with each occasion. Like a Thomas Sabo Charm Bracelet that you can add charms to as memories are made. Choose charms to add to special occasions, token people dear to you and mark milestones.

 

  1. Heaven Scent

Knowing that you smell divine just feels good. Wondering which scent is the one to get these holidays? Visit My Perfume Shop to find your favorite fragrances at discounted prices.

 

Choose The Ultimate Gift

Add OPTIPHI®‘s ultimate skincare collection to your holiday gift list to achieve healthier skin. OPTIPHI®‘s new Body Lotion in a soft and gentle Evergreen fragrance, which is the perfect gift for both men and women.

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Take care of Your Skin these Holidays

Five tips for minimizing the effects of summer party fever!

Good morning? Frustrated young woman looking at her reflection in the mirror and holding hand in hair

When it comes to summer holiday fun, festive holiday occasions are a highlight in everyone’s diary. Whether it be the office year-end bash or spending time with family, late nights and a change in routine; it can leave your skin feeling as drained as your body. To make sure that you make the most of your holidays while keeping your healthy complexion, here are some tips from OPTIPHI®:

 

  1. Don’t compromise on your skincare routine

Late nights might make you feel tempted to skip your regular skincare routine which can cause breakouts and leave your skin feeling dry. Make sure that you don’t compromise on cleansing and moisturizing your skin, no matter what!

 

  1. Keep your skin hydrated

Alcohol, smoking and environmental elements easily dehydrate your skin. When we over indulge our skin suffers. Make sure that you replenish your skin with vital moisture, vitamins and minerals. This helps to restore skin density, support the structure of the skin, promote elasticity, activate collagen and replenish lost moisture.

 

  1. Make sure you get enough sleep

Lack of sleep causes our bodies to release the stress hormone cortisol, which breaks down collagen. A lack in collagen adds to the loss of skin firmness and elasticity. It may also makes your face look sallow and causes dark circles around the eyes. To target puffiness, dark circles and aging around the eyes try OPTIPHI® Eyesigns Activegel

 

  1. Ease redness and keep your complexion looking radiant

Skin stressors can leave your skin looking red and feeling uncomfortable. Frequent dips into a chlorinated pool can cause skin inflammation – but by all means cool off and enjoy the Summer weather just be sure to apply your OPTIPHI® Rejuvenating Revitaliser to replenish and revitalise your skin.

 

  1. Don’t forget to wear sunblock

Not only does the sun dehydrate the skin, it is one of the major causes of hyperpigmentation and premature aging. Even if you don’t plan to spend much time in the sun or will only be outdoors in the late afternoon, it’s very important to wear a sunscreen, such as the Protect the Canvas, daily & continuously re-apply every 2-3 hours.

 

Keep your skin looking and feeling as happy as you do

OPTIPHI® encourages you to enjoy your summer holidays without incurring unnecessary skin damage. Apply these summer skincare tips with OPTIPHI®‘s comprehensive range of products.

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OPTIPHI®: CrossFit for your Skin

Just like intensive exercise, OPTIPHI® gets results!

beautiful woman applying cosmetic cream

When it comes to the health and fitness of your skin, we at OPTIPHI® don’t mess around. Our proven active ingredients create Positive Homeostatic Influence (PHI) within your skin for optimum cellular performance. This is our secret to healthy, younger looking skin.

 

Whip your skin into shape with OPTIPHI® Infinity Serums

The potent range of OPTIPHI® Infinity Serums are formulated to improve and extend cellular longevity by targeting specific cellular mechanisms. This minimizes the formation of wrinkles, treats expression lines and actively targets your anti-aging concerns. Formulated to be used in conjunction with your regular skincare routine, they pack a punch to give your skin a vitality boost. Stop aging in its tracks with these two serums:

  1. The OPTIPHI® HA Infinity Serum is designed to re-plump, add volume and intensify skin hydration on a cellular level. It invigorates dehydrated, dry and structurally weak skin by increasing cellular longevity and boosting hydration.
  2. The OPTIPHI® Retinol Infinity Serum is an advanced anti-aging serum designed to promote cellular rejuvenation and significantly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

 

Why choose Crossfit for your body?

CrossFit is a program that aims to develop the broadest possible fitness in everyone. By doing constantly varied workouts comprised of functional movements (pushing, pulling, squatting, lifting, and throwing), participants improve their level of fitness. The workouts are applied at a high intensity, but you are guided to complete the workouts at an intensity that is suitable to your abilities. So CrossFit is for everyone – grandparents and athletes alike!

With the mix of body-weight exercises, weightlifting, kettle bells, running, rowing and skipping, the workouts are always changing and ever challenging so you never get bored. Through personal relationships, expert coaches guide you to your health and fitness goals. Yes, CrossFit is difficult, but it gets results. To find out more about CrossFit in South Africa and fund your local affiliate visit http://crossfitjozi.co.za/crossfit/

 

Compliment healthy skin with a healthy body

There is no better feeling than loving your body and skin! OPTIPHI® is designed to suit your unique skin needs, and is the perfect solution to healthy, balanced, refined and radiant looking skin.

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Exercise Benefits for your Skin

Compliment your skincare routine by exercising!

Young woman training in the gym

There are many reasons why people start exercising from losing weight, improving mental health to improving overall physical health and well being. Now you can add another reason why regular exercise should be part of your routine…

 

Exercise & your skin

Here are 5 reasons why exercise is so good for your skin:

  1. Increased blood flow to the skin

The red face we get when we exercise is caused by increased blood flow to the skin. More blood means a greater flow of oxygen and nutrients, which flushes free radicals (toxic waste from our daily lives) from skin cells and helps repair sun damage. Less free radicals results in brighter, healthier skin. Exercise also increases the production of fibroblasts which produce collagen. Collagen helps to improve the signs of aging by plumping and rejuvenating the skin.

 

  1. Sweat helps to flush pores

As your body temperature increases during exercise, your pores expand allowing the sweat to flush out acne and black head-causing irritants. It’s important to clean your face post workout to remove the dirt and oil from the open pores before they close and possibly become clogged.

 

  1. Reduces stress and inflammation

By lowering cortisol levels (the hormone the body produces when you are stressed), exercise aids in reducing inflammation. Cortisol is known to increase sebum production, causing skin conditions such as acne and eczema if it blocks pores. Cortisol also breaks down collagen. Therefore, stressing less has healthcare and skincare benefits.

 

  1. Improves sleep

Regular exercise helps to improve sleeping patterns allowing increased time for your mind and body to rest and recoup. This helps to reduce dark rings that form under our eyes when we are tired and gives our skin cells the opportunity to rejuvenate while we rest.

 

  1. Encourages a healthy lifestyle

The more exercise becomes part of your life, the more motivated you will feel to make healthier lifestyle choices. You’ll find yourself feeling more motivated to take care of your skin and less inclined to eat junk food.

 

Boost your skincare routine with exercise

OPTIPHI® encourages you to make exercise part of your day. This will support beautiful skin to go with your new, improved body and mind.  And don’t forget to wear sunblock!

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A healthy Body makes for Healthy Skin

Take a holistic approach to looking and feeling healthy with these 5 health ideas

Fitness accessories with sport shoes and clothing, drinking water and towel

At OPTIPHI® we are all about healthy, beautiful skin. Achieving this is so much easier when you combine our award winning products with a healthy lifestyle that includes keeping your body fit. Making healthier lifestyle choices and taking up physical activities are crucial to a successful skincare routine that produces results you want. To help you on your way, here are some ideas to get you moving and feeling fabulous:

 

  1. Why not take up golf?

Not only is golf a great form of exercise, it’s also really social. Gather some friends and visit one of the many picturesque golf courses South Africa has to offer. Enjoying the fresh air and open spaces is also great stress reliever.

 

  1. How about mountain biking (MTB) or triathlon?

MTB is fast becoming one of the leading sports of choice for many South Africans. Combine it with swimming and running and you have a triathlon. The great thing about MTB is that it’s the perfect sport for the whole family. Getting out and about as a family is excellent quality time and sets a good example for your children.

 

  1. Find a diet that works for you

Making smarter choices when it comes to your diet greatly contributes to achieving wellness goals – what you put in, is what you get out. With all the diet information out there it’s sometimes difficult to know which one will suit you best. A good rule of thumb is to opt for a diet that is balanced rather than one that is extreme. Extreme diets are hard to stick to and while it might seem like they are working wonders, many people resort to yoyo dieting because of the restriction. Remember discipline doesn’t have to be considered restrictive but rather as a clarity as to how you wish to live.

 

  1. Tools to help you on your way

When it comes to diet and fitness it really is mind over matter. With the advent of technology there are all kinds of apps available to help you set, track and achieve all your fitness goals. Forbes magazine has put together a list of the very best apps on offer to help you get your mind and body healthy.

 

  1. Phone a friend

Working with a partner to achieve fitness goals helps to keep both of you on track. Not only can you enjoy each other’s company when you are working out, you know that someone always has your back when it comes to keeping you motivated.

 

Compliment a healthy body with healthy skin

OPTIPHI® encourages you to find your fitness and diet groove this summer. OPTIPHI® has a wide range of products with options to suit every skin type and problem areas, invest in your health today.

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Why Movember?

November is all about moustaches and men’s health awareness

Funny kid with fake mustache holding banner blank

Last month was Breast Cancer Awareness month and we celebrated women’s health with gusto. Now it’s time to switch the focus to men’s health.

To mark Movember, OPTIPHI® is encouraging all men to grow a moustache to raise awareness about men’s health issues and encourage men to take better care of their bodies.

 

November – the Hairiest Month of the Year

From humble beginnings in Australia in 2003, the Movember movement is now supported by over 5 million people from around the world. Now Mo Bros and Mo Sistas from across the globe become a united voice every Movember, bringing vital funding and attention to the previously unspoken men’s health crisis.

 

Did you say men’s health crisis?

According to the Movember Foundation, gender is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of health and life expectancy. On average, across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women.

Moreover, poor mental health affects men more than women: three quarters of suicides are by men. The World Health Organisation estimates that 510,000 men die from suicide globally each year. That’s one every minute.

The impact of prostate and testicular cancer on lives is substantial, with prostate cancer being the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the number of cases expected to almost double to 1.7 million cases by 2030.

 

The Movember Foundation

The Movember Foundation is a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives. Since 2003, millions have joined the men’s health movement, raising R5.7 billion and funding over 1,000 programs focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, poor mental health and physical inactivity.

 

Having healthy skin and a healthy body starts with you and OPTIPHI®

OPTIPHI® encourages you to get the men in your life to grow a moustache this Movember & to go for regular checkups – remember early detection saves lives. To find out more about Movember 2015 and how you can get involved click here.

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5 Things you can do to Mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Feel good by Doing Good this October!

Healthy woman illustration design with pink ribbon hair for breast cancer awareness support campaign. EPS10 vector file.

To mark Breast Cancer Awareness month, we at OPTIPHI® would like to celebrate the amazing things that people can do to help others. If you are wondering what you and your company can do this October to contribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here is a list of exciting activities:

 

  1. Join Cuppa for Cancer

To mark Mandela Day OPTIPHI® joined forces with Mrs SA Finalist 2015, Anéle Jansen Van Rensburg’s Cuppa for Cancer held on Saturday 18 July. All proceeds from the event went to CANSA. Why not sponsor a Cuppa for Cancer event?

  1. Volunteer at your Local Hospice

Many affected by cancer have no friends or family to visit them. They would appreciate the company and maybe even a hand with some household chores or shopping. Why not brighten someone’s day by sparing some of your time?

  1. Donate your Hair for a Wig

Hair loss is a common side-effect of chemotherapy. CANSA makes and distributes over 2 000 wigs via wig banks each year – of those, 200 are donated to cancer survivors under the age of 18. Contact your closest CANSA Care Centre to find out how to donate your ponytail.

  1. Take a Table at Pink Drive’s Pink Mardi Bra Dinner

Enjoy an evening of glitz and glamour with Pink Drive. With the promise of helping you to forget about the year’s mayhem for a night while helping a good cause, why not book a table?

  1. Spar Women’s Race

The SPAR Women’s Races began in 1992 as a way to get women of all ages, shapes and sizes together to enjoy a safe 5km or 10km run and enjoy the day. Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether they run regularly or are just starting out. Enter a team, enjoy a fun filled day out and support some good causes.

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BRCA1 vs BRCA2

Understanding cancer risk and genetics

Digital illustration DNA structure in colour background

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we at OPTIPHI® believe that the best way to reduce the number of breast cancer sufferers is through educating and creating awareness about how to do regular self-checks. Armed with the correct information, women can save their lives through early detection, and where possible, prevention.

Getting to the heart of the problem

Scientists and doctors have been searching for links between many factors that may cause cancer from diet to carcinogenic materials in the hope of reducing the number of women diagnosed. While many things have been linked, it’s hard to say conclusively that there is one exact cause; one area that has sparked interest is the genetic link.

Angelina Jolie made world headlines after her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy after a simple blood test had revealed that she carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. This mutation meant that she had an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. This sparked much debate among women around the world. If you are one of them then here are the facts:

 

What are BRCA1 and BRCA2?

Most people who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease; however, if one has a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer then one’s genes could have played a role in the cancer’s development.

Most inherited cases of breast cancer are associated with two abnormal genes: BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene 1) or BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 2). Women who inherit a mutation in either of these genes have a higher risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. These mutations can be inherited from their mother or their father. Breast and ovarian cancers associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations tend to develop at younger ages than their nonhereditary counterparts.

What do the stats show?

According to the National Cancer Institute, women with an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have about a 60% risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes (compared to 12-13% for women overall). These women’s risk of ovarian cancer is also increased.

How are tests carried out?

Since mutations are quite rare, many doctors only suggest testing if there is a specific family history. To carry out the test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for DNA analysis.

Who should get tested?

Any women with family members with breast, ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer should be evaluated to see if their family history is associated with an increased risk of a harmful mutation in one of these genes.

What if you get a positive result?

According to Marisa Weiss, M.D., president and founder, Breastcancer.org: “Simply having a proven gene abnormality does not necessarily mean that a woman will develop breast cancer, or that her cancer will be any worse than cancer that does not stem from an inherited genetic flaw.”

 

Know the facts and discuss your concerns with your doctor

There is no substitute for regular breast self-exams and clinical breast exams are critical to minimize breast cancer risk. Visit www.cansa.org.za for more information or to find the nearest CANSA Care Centre.

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