Properly selcting mountain-bike specific clothing will enhance your riding experience greatly, reducing discomfort and adding to your overall enjoyment. In any sport, the proper selection of apparel can add greatly to your enjoyment and comfort; mountain biking is no exception. As the sport has grown, mountain bikes have become better designed, and the same is true for mountain biking apparel. There is a wide variety of outerwear available, and choosing it wisely will greatly add to your overall riding experience.
From the top down, you?ll need a helmet, a jersey, shorts, gloves, socks and shoes. We?ll discuss some common options for selecting each of these items.
Helmet: Since 1999, all bicycle helmets in the U.S. market must meet or exceed the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard; a helmet that carries this seal will provide the currently approved level of head protection. Helmets come in a variety of fit systems, styles and colors, and should be fit and adjusted by a competent professional. Some options you?ll find will be the size and number of vents in the helmet itself, the comfort and adjustability of the strap system, and the choice of a removable visor. All these options are up to personal preference, so you should test several models to find the one that suits you best. Jersey: Many people choose to mountain-bike in a simple cotton t-shirt, but this option is far inferior to some of the inexpensive and comfortable fabric choices currently available. Cotton becomes damp quickly, and does not dry well, which can result in you finding yourself cold and damp, even while exercising. Also, the fit of a cotton t-shirt can lead to chafing while exerting yourself on your bike. A better choice is a loose-fitting jersey made of a wicking material such as CoolMax. Such jerseys are light and comfortable, durable, and allow moisture to dry quickly, which keeps you cool. Numerous stylish choices exist, and long-sleeved versions are available for cooler autumn or early-spring rides. Shorts: Mountain biking requires freedom of movement on the bike, but rough patches in the trail mean that padded shorts are an excellent idea. Choose a pair of shorts that has a loose-fitting and durable outer shell (usually tough nylon), with a separate, padded inner liner, typically inside a Lycra inner short. These will prevent chafing and will cushion most riding impacts, while allowing you a good range of motion. Most shorts also feature cargo pockets for carrying snacks or repair tools, which are always a good idea to have with you. Gloves: Select a close-fitting and well-padded set of riding gloves. Gloves that are too loose will cause blisters, while an overly tight fit will be uncomfortable. Thick pads for the heel and palm will ease the effect of a bumpy trail, while a fingerless glove will let you maintain a good feel for the grips and brake levers. Socks and shoes: Choose a light, wicking sock to keep your feet cool; usually ankle-height is preferred. Shoes are a matter of individual preference and the pedal system on your bike. Pedals without specialized cleats allow a great range of choices; the most important features are stiff sole for efficient pedaling, and a good, aggressive tread for those times when you?re off the bike. A secure, firm fit is desirable, similar to a well-fit athletic shoe. If you have chosen clipless or cleated pedals, make certain you select a compatible shoe. Your local bike shop will be a good resource to assist you on your purchase.
With properly fitting, comfortable mountain-biking apparel, you will ensure that you?re well prepared to hit the trails, and that you?ll feel good doing it!
The benefits of retinol in eye creams and lip treatment products.
Let's face it-laugh lines are not that funny. Sure, they may be a reminder of the smiles and good times we've shared with friends and loved ones over the years, but they're also a wake-up call that we're not getting any younger. The good news is that innovative skin care products may help us hit the snooze bar on all those fine lines that are causing alarm. Amazing advances have been made in treating and preventing wrinkles, especially with products containing retinol. Retinol is a topical form of the antioxidant vitamin A, and it has proven to be one of the most effective ingredients to reduce the visible signs of aging.
How does retinol work? Retinol is one of few substances with a small enough molecular structure to penetrate into the lower layers of the skin. Once there, it repairs and stimulates collagen and elastin production to create firmer, smoother skin. Retinol also works to speed cell turnover and exfoliation by stimulating cell production. Sloughing off dead skin cells allows healthier cells to appear. The result is softer skin, smaller pores and diminishing signs of sun-damage like age spots and blotchiness.
Because of its promising results, cosmetic companies are now using retinol in all kinds of products, from face creams and hair serums to powder foundation and nail polish. But most of us see the first and most noticeable signs of aging around the eyes and lips. The skin around these areas is thinner, so it's more vulnerable to damage and the repeated effects of facial expressions like smiling or squinting. That's why many beauty experts advise making retinol eye creams and lip treatments part of your daily beauty routine.
Contrary to popular belief, eye creams and facial moisturizers are not one in the same. Facial moisturizers may contain active ingredients that are much too strong for the delicate eye area, causing stinging and burning. Eye creams, on the other hand, contain more moisturizing and emollient ingredients to specifically treat the thinner, drier skin around the eyes. While there are multitudes of eye creams on the market, retinol eye creams are powerful best bets to combat crow's feet, the fine lines and wrinkles that appear near the corners and under the eyes.
Retinol eye creams are available at drugstores, cosmetic retailers, upscale beauty counters and online skincare stores. They range in price from about $12 to $65 and up (just remember, a little eye cream goes a long way). Some retinol products to look for include: L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise RevitaLift Eye, RoC Retinol Actif Pure Eye Contour Cream, H20+ Line Defense Retinol Eye Complex, Lancome Re-Surface Eye, MD Forte Skin Rejuvenation Eye Cream and DDF Retinol Eye Renewal.
For more intensive treatment, look for Spa Sciences Collagen Retinol Eye Patch Therapy. These transdermal patches are placed under the eye for 30 to 40 minutes to deliver retinol in a high potency dose.
A number of products do double-duty by smoothing skin around the eyes and the lips. Estee Lauder's Diminish Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Treatment can be used as a spot treatment for crow's feet and laugh lines, as well as wrinkles and discolored spots anywhere on the face. Avon's Anew Line Eliminator Neo-Retinol Line Plumper SPF 15 comes in a convenient portable swivel stick that you can smooth around the mouth, under the eyes and other lined areas. It can be used before moisturizer in the morning and as a mid-day touch-up too.
In addition to preventing and smoothing lines, retinol's collagen boosting properties have also been used to create a number of lip-plumping products (think of the pout on Angelina Jolie). They're called lip enhancers, and they work to smooth and moisturize lips, as well as enhance their natural color and fullness. The most popular brands range in price from $20 to $45 (but you can't put a price on beauty). Favorites include Freeze 24-7 Plump Lips Lip Plumper, Physicians Complex Lip Enhancer and Poutrageous, a new sheer, shiny gloss from New York's trendy Bliss spa. All promise to give lips a fuller, more sensuous appearance in an instant.
For a more colorful mix of lip enhancers, look to Avon's Beyond Color cosmetics. This product line offers a Plumping Lip Conditioner, Plumping Lip Liner, Plumping Lipstick and Plumping Lip Gloss, all made with retinol. These anti-aging lip products boost fullness and resurface lips so color won't feather or settle into creases. They come in a variety of warm, cool and shimmering colors, and better yet, you can boost your beauty without breaking your budget-they cost about $7 to $8 each.
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