5 Steps for Easier Periods

Dysmenorrhea, which is what menstrual cramps or ‘period pain’ is called, is the pain felt in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation. It is classified into two types. Primary dysmenorrhea occurs a couple of day before the actual cycle begins, while secondary dysmenorrhea happens during the cycle and could be related to medical causes.

A girl missing school and college due to this pain is a rising concern in the Middle East. While a study revealed that about 68% of the girls suffered from PMS in Saudi Arabia and 59% of them were unable to attend school because of it, another study revealed that dysmenorrhea was prevalent in 93% of the girls in Egypt, followed by 65% who reported PMS.

However, with a little knowledge you can have easier periods.

How to Reduce Such Cramps

While most women opt for pain killers straight away, there are better ways to counter this problem:

  • Have a Balanced Diet: Shift to a low-fat diet and increase the quantity of fruits and vegetables you consume. Add products such as fish, which is high in protein and healthy fats. Increasing your magnesium and calcium intake has been known to help menstrual pain too. Magnesium improves muscle and nerve functioning and the recommended dosage is around 320 mg per day. The amount of calcium that should be consumed is 1,200 mg daily.
  • Herbal Tea Can Help: Studies have proven that herbal tea brings relief to menstrual pain. It keeps you fresh and also fights against bacteria. The glycine in the tea relaxes the muscles, reducing the frequency of cramps.
  • Exercise: Sometimes the best way to take out a cramp is by stretching your body. Involve yourself in simple exercises, such as yoga and morning walks. Stretch your body and try to hold your posture for a few minutes while doing yoga. It keeps you fit and gives you the much-needed energy to start the day. Having said that, don’t put too much pressure on the body or get involved in strenuous activities.
  • Get Enough Sleep: This is the universal answer to all your problems. The importance of getting good sleep each night increases exponentially during the periods. Make sure you sleep well at night and try to squeeze in a nap during the day time as well.
  • Use Protection: The last and one of the most effective methods is using the right sanitary napkin or pad. This will keep you dry and comfortable, as well as protect against infections. Remember to change the pad every 4-8 hours, depending on the flow.

What is Acne? Causes and Treatment

Medically known as Acne Vulgaris, acne is a skin infection that involves the oil glands at the base of the hair follicles. It usually occurs during puberty, when the sebaceous glands come to life.

Acne begins to develop when greasy secretions from the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands plug the tiny openings for hair follicles, leading to plugged pores.

According to Dr. Iyad Hijjawi, Regional Business Consultant for Mena and Turkey at Euromonitor International, the Middle East and Africa have surpassed Latin America in terms of the fastest growing skin care market!

If you’re living in a Middle Eastern country, there are greater chances that you have to deal with pimples, given the hot and dusty climate that fosters the clogging of pores. The hot weather produces oil in the body due to which zits can appear on your face.

But before jumping to acne treatment, it is important to understand why the problem occurs.

Why Does Acne Develop?

  • Hormonal changes – As we approach puberty, our reproductive hormones kick into action. Both boys and girls produce high levels of androgens, the male sex hormone that also includes testosterone, during puberty. Testosterone signals the body to make more sebum, the oil produced in the skin’s oil glands. In women, the hormonal changes due to the menstrual cycle may cause a flare-up of pimples.
  • Bacteria – Excess sebum clogs the openings to the hair follicles, especially those on the face, back, chest and neck. Bacteria grow in these clogged follicles. This leads to blackheads or whiteheads on the skin’s surface.

Treatment Options

  • Benzoyl Peroxide – Benzoyl peroxide is a white crystalline peroxide used in bleaching, which also acts as a peeling agent. It kills bacteria and slows down the production of oil.
  • Sulfur – Sulfur is a yellow crystalline solid that helps remove whiteheads and blackheads. It has been used for centuries and scientists have confirmed that it is an effective acne treatment.
  • Salicylic Acid – Salicylic Acid is a white crystalline substance that is effective agent in eliminating whiteheads and blackheads. It is also helps with inflammation and swelling.
  • Retin-A – Retin-A contains Tretinoin, which is an acid form of Vitamin A. It helps reduce pimples and is also used in the treatment of acute leukemia.
  • Azelaic Acid – Azelaic Acid strengthens cells that line the follicles, prevents oil eruptions, decreases bacterial growth, reduces inflammation, etc. It is found naturally in wheat, rye and barley. It is really useful for people with darker skin.

Having acne is absolutely normal and not at all a serious health issue. However, if not treated at the right time, it can get aggravated and also lead to long term scarring. Therefore, if you are facing a skin problem, make sure to consult an experienced professional for the best treatment.

6 Things Everyone Should Know About Laser Hair Removal

In the UAE, the ideal of beauty goes much beyond just being slim. In fact, according to market research by Gulf Consulting Group, more and more women are opting for cosmetic procedures, from liposuction, which stands at #1 to laser hair removal. The report says, “. Beauty ideals portrayed in the media are often considered the inspiration for women in the Arab world, so that good looks are high on the agenda as an important source of pride.”

And getting rid of unwanted body hair has become an essential part of the grooming routine. If you live in the UAE and are looking for permanent removal of unwanted body hair, make sure you get the treatment done between October and December, since it is advisable to avoid sun exposure after laser treatment and the rest of the year does see a very hot sun beating down on the region. But before you go in for treatment, here are some things that you should know.

Things to Consider Before Hair Removal Treatment

  • Make a Firm Decision

Prior to opting for the treatment, it is imperative that you are fully aware of all aspects of the treatment. This means that you should be prepared for some amount of pain, some precautions that need to be taken before, during and after the procedure and the fact that while it is called permanent, the effects usually last for about 6 months, after which you might need to repeat the procedure. The best course of action is to talk to an experienced professional to gain as much information as possible,

  • Conduct a Stringent Background Check

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that requires solid experience and expertise. So, before you actually assign the task to a professional, make sure you are aware of the specialist’s credentials. Make sure to check for customer reviews and feedback for the clinic and track record of success with previous cases similar to your own.

  • Get Prepared for Some Side-Effects

Just like any medical procedure, this form of therapy also entails some side-effects. According to experts, some of the common side-effects include skin irritation, itching, redness and swelling around the treated area. However, the good news is that these are only temporary and not severe. They will disappear within two or three days post treatment.

  • Avoid Exposure to Sunlight

Exposure to UV rays before and after the treatment can cause severe reactions to not only your skin, but also your overall health. So limit your sun exposure 2-3 weeks prior to going in for treatment. And yes, tanning is not allowed a month before and after the treatment!

  • Best Results Require Time and Patience

To get the best results, it is crucial that you attend multiple sessions, as per your doctor’s guidance. In most cases, you will start feeling the difference after three months. Patience is the key!

  • Avoid Perfumes, Deodorants and Hot Showers

Perfumes, deodorants and hot showers are not allowed for 24 – 48 hours after the session. These precautionary measures are a must if you want the best out of your treatment.

Out, damn (chocolate) spot!

Chocolate can leave behind tell-tale signs. Here’s how you clean it out of your clothes.

Ah, the sweet caress of chocolate against the tongue! There is nothing more pleasurable than a bar of chocolate on a cold winter’s night, or a square of it after a tiring day at work. Nobody should feel guilty about eating a little chocolate every day – after all, it is a mood enhancer and it is also good for the body!

But if there’s one thing that absolutely annoys you about chocolate, it is that it leaves the most terrible stains on your clothes. You will have noticed this by now – chocolate dropped on the clothes leaves a permanent brownish or yellowish mark. This problem is most common with children’s clothes, because our precious tiny humans tend to wipe their sticky, chocolatey hands on their clothes! Washing the clothes at once does not erase the marks completely.

So do you raise a white flag in surrender to chocolate stains? Or is there a way to rid your clothes of chocolate stains forever? There is, and we outline it below:

Get the chocolate out by hand. If chocolate has been spilled on the clothes, get a spoon and scrape off the excess without rubbing the chocolate into the fabric. If the chocolate has been spilled some time ago and has now dried up, apply some liquid detergent to the area and let it set for a while so that it may break up the dried chocolate without spreading it. Scrape off gently with a knife.

Rinse out the clothing. Turn the clothing inside out and flush with running water so that the chocolate stain does not set through the cloth’s fibres.

Soak the garment. Fill half a bucket with warm water (not hot) and add a scoop of stain removing powder to the water. Mix well and soak the stained garment in it for minimum one hour. The stain removing powder gets to work on the chocolate residue and stain left behind on the garment.

Wash as usual. Now take the soaked garment and wash it in the washing machine. To make sure that all of the stain is gone, you can add a scoop of stain removing powder to the clothing load. Once this step is done, you will have pristine clothes without the trace of a chocolate stain.

You may be out of doors when a chocolate accident takes place with your clothes. The first thing to do when you spill chocolate on yourself is to blot out the chocolate using a clean tissue paper or a white cloth. Do not rub the cloth, simply blot the chocolate out. You can then follow the steps outlined above to clean out the chocolate stain.

Investing in the Middle East: Key essentials

Setting the correct benchmarks to maximise your investment in the Middle East can be supplemented by the right advisory inputs for high gains.

The Middle East has been one of the best investment destinations for investors around the world, for several years. Though the region has primarily buoyed the economy with crude oil and petroleum deposits, other profitable sectors have sprung up in recent years.

With a proliferation of the Internet and the rise of young, upwardly mobile populations in the Middle East, it is obvious that infrastructure and housing have emerged as the key investment destinations. Close on their heels are Internet-based businesses and new media fuelled by a rise in the use of smartphones. Plus, there is a burgeoning start-up culture in the Middle East, with many younger age groups starting several enterprises spanning different industries.

However, the right technical and financial inputs are required before an investor can make an informed decision about investing in the region. These are necessary especially when foreign investors look to gain broad exposure in the Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) markets in the Middle East, or individual country ETFs. The investment solutions they choose must be backed by expert analysis from experienced financial advisors in the region.

Investments with the right team of experts

This is where reputed financial advisory firms in the Middle East come in – they provide the latest market analysis and tailor their recommendations for new investment solutions to suit their clients. These recommendations are based on continuous research and tapping trends as they emerge in the Middle East. They have links with the top players in the markets, from local businesses to international entities. Thus, their investment solutions are customised to suit every individual investor based on a variety of factors.

These investment advisory companies in the Middle East take into account the investor’s risk appetite, strategic and financial goals and the monies they wish to spend every quarter. The solutions are prepared basis the investor type (Private, Privilege and Corporate), their specific needs and the markets/countries they wish to explore. Then, the portfolio is prepared in close consultation with the investor(s) to arrive at investment solutions that maximise the investor’s funds.

Thus, premier investment advisory services are able to optimise investment potential across a spectrum of industries and sectors with up-to-the-minute market information backed by resources and expertise of the most experienced financial advisors. Investors are able to gain entry into new markets and territories without having to guess at the fate of the investment – they can forge ahead with their financial goals with the security of knowledge and experience backing their many forays in the Middle East.

Dubai Offers Luxurious Yet Environmental-Friendly Accommodation

The UK referendum, or ‘Brexit’ as it is known, was estimated to have a huge impact on the residential and property market all across the globe. With British nationals accounting for one-third of its population, Dubai was expected to face a huge setback too. However, if there was a city in the world that could have taken that blow and still stood firm, it was Dubai. Residential properties in Dubai saw a minor decline of 10% in the first month after the Brexit but was quick to recover.

According to the ValuStart Price Index (VPI), monthly uplifts of 0.8% to 2.8% were recorded for mid-range, high-yielding properties in the country. It was just 0.6% down when compared to the period in 2015. Having survived strong headwinds, there will be no looking back for the city and the housing market is expected to reach new heights in the coming days.

What is on Offer?

  • Solar Panels: While other countries of the world are still dependent on non-renewable resources for electricity and their residents have to pay huge electricity bills, residential properties in Dubai have installed solar panels, which means you don’t have to worry about utility bills anymore. Solar energy can be used to cook food, heat water and more.
  • Greywater Treatment: Often referred to as waste-water, greywater can actually be used for tasks like laundry and toilet flushing. It is a part of the water conservation and sustainable treatment efforts of the city. Residential properties like Shapoorji Pallonji Properties have installed greywater treatment plants for the benefits of their residents.
  • Water Purifiers: Clean drinking water is a big issue across the world and most areas in Dubai have installed water purifiers to make sure that you get clean drinking water and stay fit.
  • LPG Connections: Although the electric cooking range is the new thing in the market, it can put a big hole in your pocket and a dent your monthly living budget. This is where residential properties in Dubai make your life a little more affordable by installing LPG connections in all their apartments.

Why it is a good idea to live here?

  • From relaxation at the beaches to partying in the clubs, Dubai offers to you the perfect lifestyle.
  • The economy of the country is strong and gives you great opportunities to make a good living.
  • It is one of the safest cities in the world, where you can go out at any time.
  • The weather is amazing, especially if you dislike heavy rainfall.
  • The quality of education in the country is outstanding.

8 Points that Define your Personal Finance Goals

We present eight ways in which you can create a sound financial plan for yourself and your loved ones.

Life has a way of throwing unexpected twists and turns in your path. But instead of fretting over the future, it helps to be financially prepared for life’s unpredictability. Consider the following ways to plan your financial future:

1 Set goals and act on them wisely. No dream is ever accomplished without a goal, and the same is true of personal finance as well. If you want to have an extra Dh 10,000 every year, you must proactively save money every month and follow that plan diligently. Create a financial roadmap for the year that includes all the major financial milestones you wish to achieve and act on it.

2 Explore your bank’s personal finance products. Your bank has many useful personal finance products for your use. Your personal banker may also advise you of new products and services from time to time. Sign up for products that help you further your financial aims.

3 Save to invest. Merely saving money is not enough – it must be invested in the right instruments to create wealth for the future. Visit your bank to get more information about the best investment avenues for your age, risk appetite, income and lifestyle. Creating the right investments helps augment your money for the future.

4 Spend within your means. This is an important habit that every person must inculcate: spend only what you have. This applies especially to credit card spending, in which people tend to spend beyond their means. Use debit cards instead of credit cards, and set a spending limit for yourself every month.

5 Settle all bills within due date. Not only does settling bills on time give you brownie points with your utility service providers, it also gives you a good credit score. Be sure to settle all payments on time so that your finances remain in check and you do not need to pay late payment penalties. Settling credit card bills on time is most important.

6 Buy insurance for the future. Taking an insurance policy that covers you and your loved ones is an important personal finance decision. Not only does it provide life coverage, it also ensures your family’s financial safety in case you are absent from their lives.

7 Insist on the family following good financial practices. Not just you, your partner and children must also be careful about spending money. Discourage all wasteful spending habits and teach your children how to save money. Children are quick to emulate their parents, so it is never too soon to impart lessons in personal finance.

8 Plan your retirement. This is a crucial step in your financial journey. While you pay for your family’s dreams and make sure each of your loved ones is well cared for, you must also ensure that you have a comfortable sum of money laid away for your retirement years. Your retirement planning must include having a home for yourself and your partner, as well as monies from investment and pension plans to take care of your expenses.