Refinery 29 UK
While we make a list of things that we’re leaving behind in 2020 — our failed dalgona coffee attempts, presidential debates without the mute button, maskne — can we also add dry, ashy, cracked, and crusty lips to the mix? Chapped lips can happen to anyone, but with the right prep, they don’t have to be a winter inevitability.
The first step in fighting off a dry mouth is understanding why it happens in the first place. “The skin of the lips is thin and delicate,” says Hadley King, MD, a New York City dermatologist. “It does not contain oil glands like the rest of the skin, so this makes it particularly prone to drying out.”
This makes your lips a breeding ground for cracks and discomfort when it’s cold out. “Dryness is exacerbated during the winter because the humidity in the air decreases, so more moisture evaporates from the skin into the air,” Dr King says. “Exposure to wind makes this worse.”
Joshua Zeichner, MD, of Zeichner Dermatology in NYC says that other common causes of chapped lips include excessive lip licking, irritating lip products, and even spicy foods. “Chapped lips occur when the outer layer of the lips is disrupted, which leads to loss of hydration and inflammation,” he says. But even if you live in Chicago or put Sriracha on everything, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to chapped lips forever. According to experts, there are easy ways to hydrate and protect your lips, especially in colder climates. We’re breaking down their tips, ahead.
Don’t lick your lips.
It might feel like an instinctual thing to do, but your saliva will only make things worse. “Licking your lips may temporarily feel soothing, but it will only dry them out more,” Dr King explains. “The saliva evaporates quickly and leaves your lips drier than they were before.” Instead of using your saliva for temporary relief, pick up a hydrating lip balm.
Avoid drying ingredients.
Not all lip balms are created equal, and some may do more harm than good. That’s why Dr. King says to pay close attention to the ingredients list on your favourite lip products. “Make sure you are using a lip balm that contains emollients and occlusives,” she says. “Emollients, like ceramides, support the skin barrier. Occlusive ingredients, such as petrolatum, beeswax, and coconut oil, create a physical barrier to prevent moisture loss.”
Dr King recommends steering clear of balms with only humectants, which will ultimately make your lips more dry. “Lip balms that contain only humectants, such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, can make lips drier,” she explains. “They attract moisture, and if the air is low in humidity, then they can pull moisture out of the skin, and then the moisture evaporates away, therefore leaving your lips drier.” Dr Zeichner says irritating ingredients like menthol, alcohol, and hydroxy acids are also a no-no.
Use hydrating lip balms.
Instead, your lips will find greater relief when you layer on thick, nourishing balms with natural oils and clinical ingredients. Dr King recommends Vaseline Lip Therapy Sticks and Aquaphor Healing Ointment as no-fail methods for soft lips. “Aquaphor has petrolatum and lanolin, which lock in moisture and help protect the skin from the elements,” she explains. She also swears by Eos Lip Repair Extra Dry Lip Treatment, which has shea butter, cocoa seed butter, avocado oil, and olive oil, that’ll make your lips feel pillow-soft for hours. You can even leave a lip mask on for a few minutes if your skin needs some extra love.
Dr Zeichner recommends the Alpha-H Liquid Gold Perfect & Plump Lip Balm, which has zinc oxide to protect your skin from UV rays. If you want an option that hydrates and provides a flush of colour, he says Innbeauty Project’s Lip Oil Glaze is full of emollients and botanicals that deliver hydration and tint.
To kick things up a notch, Dr King says to add a humidifier to your home or bedroom to keep the air moist. And, if you must brave cold weather, keep your lips safe by keeping them covered with your face mask or a scarf. In severe cases where your lips are cracking or begin to bleed, Dr Zeichner says that you can mix over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointment into your favourite balm to nurse back your skin’s barrier.
“If the lips are not improving in up to two weeks, you should visit your dermatologist for evaluation,” he says. “A professional may be able to prescribe a prescription-strength lip treatment and even suggest getting tested for allergies.” However, the most important thing to remember is not picking or panicking if you’re struggling with dry, chapped lips. We promise — your lips will thank you.
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Pandemic-induced demand for more space pushing up cottage prices, real estate firm says – CBC.ca
Home prices are increasing in Canada’s cottage country as more buyers look to move there full-time, according to a report released Monday by Royal LePage.
Prices of single-family recreational homes rose 11.5 per cent to an aggregate of $453,046 in the first nine months of the year, the real estate brokerage said.
The data from Royal LePage comes amid an overall uptick in home prices this year, after COVID-19 lockdowns stymied the spring buying season.
A rush of demand and a limited supply as the economy reopened this summer and fall meant that home prices were up 15.2 per cent last month in Canada compared to a year ago, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Royal LePage chief executive Phil Soper says the number of cottages, cabins, chalets and farmhouses on the market have also dwindled amid the increased demand, at least through September.
“Inventory levels are the lowest I’ve seen in 15 years,” said Heather FitzGerald, a Royal LePage agent in Moncton, NB, in the report.
While local buyers have moved away from cities and closer to nature, FitzGerald also noted an increase in buyers from Ontario and Quebec.
Corey Huskilson, another Royal LePage agent quoted in the report and based in Halifax, said buyers from outside of the Maritimes, “who expect to be working remotely for the foreseeable future, are flocking to the area.”
Real estate agents in 54 per cent of regions told the brokerage that there was a significant increase in buyers looking to work remotely at a cottage as a primary residence.
Eric Leger, a Laurentians-based agent, said in the report that Quebec’s lockdown periods “sparked an urgent desire for many city dwellers, in need of more living space, to relocate to the suburbs and cottage country.”
Retirees a factor, too
Agents in other provinces noted similar trends, with one agent noting that Alberta-based buyers are competing with people across the country for properties in Canmore.
“Highway developments have reduced the drive from Saskatoon to 1.5 hours, which makes working remotely more possible for those who still have to go into the office a few days a week,” said broker Lou Doderai in the report.
The report says retirees have also bid up cottage prices, with agents in 68 per cent of regions saying more retirees are buying cottages this year compared to last year.
“Retiring baby boomers have been putting upward pressure on prices and reducing inventory for the last few years. Retirees are now finding themselves competing against remote workers,” said Bob Clarke, an agent in Ontario’s Muskoka region, in the report.
“The most common question used to be ‘is the property West-facing?’ Now my clients’ biggest concern is internet quality.”
Sponsored | Ask David: Improving your credit score, and more real estate news – TheRecord.com
We have a good income and are ready to buy our first home. We spoke to a mortgage advisor about pre-approval, but our credit score was low (it turns out my spouse has a delinquent $125 cell bill from university). How do we improve our credit score? – FRUSTRATED
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Credit scores are critical, as lenders use them to help gauge the creditworthiness of mortgage applicants. A high score can put an applicant on track for approval, while a low score can get them flagged as risky.
The definition of a “good” score can be a bit of a moving target. This past June, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) raised the credit score minimum for insured mortgages, so that at least one applicant now requires a minimum score of 680 (up from the low 600’s previously). This makes it more important than ever for buyers to maintain good credit and improve where they can.
The path to an improved credit score starts with finding out where you stand. I suggest pulling full credit reports from both TransUnion and Equifax, Canada’s two reporting agencies. Single reports are available online for about $25 to $30 each, and contrary to what you may have heard, requesting them will not affect your credit score. It’s important to order both reports, since lenders may not be submitting data to both agencies. Sign up only for what you need, be it a one-time report or a subscription you can monitor monthly to see if you are making progress.
Check your reports for errors, incomplete entries and delinquent balances. As you have discovered, past issues can come back to haunt you, and even keep you out of the housing market. That outstanding $125 cell bill on your spouse’s record needs to be paid off immediately, along with any other missed payments, no matter how minor. Paying these debts won’t erase them from your record, but it may improve your image with creditors.
Moving forward, pay your bills on time, or a few days in advance to allow for banking lag. If you can’t pay the balances in full, make the minimum payments at the very least.
Watch your credit card balances. Avoid using too much of the credit you have at your disposal, and make sure that your payments are clearing. Resist the temptation to apply for new credit cards at the checkout, as these can have a negative impact on your credit report and may make you seem irresponsible to lenders.
Finally, stay on top of things by checking your accounts online, rather than waiting for bills to arrive in the mail.
PRO TIP: Your imperfect credit history is not set in stone. Paying bills ahead of time and not charging cards to the limit can boost your score almost immediately. Keep in mind that a bit of credit score fluctuation will be inevitable as payments are made, limits are adjusted and your debt-to-credit ratio changes. #AskDavid #Advice
David Schooley is an award-winning real estate Broker with RE/MAX Twin City in Kitchener. Recently dubbed the Michael Jordan of Real Estate, his keen understanding of the nuanced local market is built on 30 years of entrepreneurial success in Waterloo Region. Fervently dedicated to client success and community support, his “Stuff the Hummer” family events have raised over 200,000 emergency meals (and counting) for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
Disclaimer This content was funded and approved by the advertiser.
Canada real estate: prices of recreational properties rise as pandemic-era buyers bug out to the country – The Georgia Straight
Royal LePage reports soaring demand for recreational properties in Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the ability to work at home, buyers are turning to rural areas to live, according to the real-estate company.
And this has driven up prices.
“On lake and on sea, upon soaring mountain tops and on expansive farmlands, many Canadians are embracing a bold, new work-from-home doctrine: ‘I can live anywhere in this huge land’,” Royal LePage president and CEP Phil Soper said in a media release.
The company’s release Monday (November 30) stated that demand for recreational properties increased during the first nine months of 2020 compared to the same period last year.
This was influenced by people’s ability to “work remotely”.
According to Royal LePage, the aggregate price of a single-family home in Canada’s recreational market increased 11.5 percent to $453,046.
Meanwhile, the aggregate price of a condominium in these recreational parkets rose 9.7 percent to $280,830.
Moreover, the aggregate price of a waterfront property increased 13.5 per cent to $498,111.
Royal LePage uses a weighted model to come up with an aggregate price.
“The pandemic has effected enormous economic and health challenges upon the nation; it has also opened a world of possibility for thousands of Canadians,” Soper said.
Soper noted that there has been a “new wave of pandemic-era buyers”.
Royal LePage also noted that recreational property markets likewise “saw an uptick in retiree buyers”.
While retirees are historically a significant buyer of recreational properties, the pandemic has “spurred demand as retirees advance their plans to improve their quality of life by moving to cottage country”.
Royal LePage forecasts that the price of a recreational property in 2021 will increase 8 percent year-over-year.
Last July, the Straight interviewed Richard Osborne, cofounder and president of LandQuest Realty Corporation, a New Westminster, B.C.-based company that specializes in rural properties.
According to Osborne, people are looking for properties outside urban areas because of uncertainties brought about by COVID-19.
“I’ve heard people say that. I’ve also heard people say that…having the cash in the bank is not a good idea in times like this, or in times of, you know, looking towards future recessions, depressions, hyperinflation, whatever is coming,” Osborne told the Straight by phone.
“I mean, people are worried,” Osborned continued. “It’s crazy, and there’s so much uncertainty. But they want a place to go.”
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