Your Dream Home: The Ultimate Guide for Barn Conversions

If you have the potential to buy a barn, then you may be interested in converting it. The main thing that you have to remember is that there’s only one rule that you need to be following- and that is to stay true to the building. If you ignore this rule then you will be losing out on personality and you may even find that your home isn’t as natural as it could be as well.

Repair the Walls

It doesn’t matter whether you have timber, brick or stone walls because you need to make sure that you repair them where possible. If you want to have a seamless blend between the original wall and the repair work then you may need to repoint the wall, as this will make it look much more stable. Adding new walls can also be an option. You do however need to make sure that they match in with the original materials. If you are unable to do this for any reason, then it’s better to go for something completely different. When you can then create a nice contrast between old and new.

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Insulation

You will need to insulate your barn conversion if you want it to meet all of the right regulations. Leaving some brick exposed can be a very nice touch, but if you do then you may find that you let way more cold into your home than required. One way for you to get around this would be for you to add some cladding or even a fake brick surface. When you do, you can easily get the brick look you want without having to worry about losing what looks like an original feature.

Repairing the Roof

The roof will quite possibly be one of the most predominant features of the barn. Most of the time, you will need to remove the roof entirely so that you can repair or alter whatever’s required. You may also need to add a membrane and some weatherproofing as this will help you to really get the best result. Insulation can be applied beneath the rafters but if you have rafters which look especially interesting then it may be worth keeping them exposed so that they can then become an internal feature. Remember that the irregularity of the roof can be a good thing, even if the timbers have twisted or bowed over time.

Windows

Dormer windows are usually not very appropriate so any new window openings will have to be rooflights as this means that they will sit flush with the roof. If you have too many rooflights then this won’t look good at all so you need to keep them at the right elevation.  If you have some additional land outside your barn, you may want to have your windows overlooking this, with the possibility of having some field shelters installed if you want to keep animals. This is a great way for you to make your land more profitable and you would be surprised at how much it can make a difference to your home.

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Four Easy Cash Saving Tips For Small Businesses To Use In The New Year

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When you’re running a start-up business, every penny counts. Budgets tend to be limited, and you quickly become a master of bootstrap resourcing tips and guerilla marketing techniques. Any profits are quickly absorbed back into the business, and balancing the books is a struggle that most small business leaders are familiar with. Disaster can easily strike for a rookie entrepreneur. However, while most small businesses focus on increasing their sales, there is another way to fatten up your bottom line – making efficiencies and cutting costs. A lot of these activities are intensely practical and can be implemented quickly – so if you’re thinking of a profit fix in the New Year, you could try looking at these ideas to shift your cost base and increase revenue quickly.

Implement A Smart Thermostat

Keeping your buildings heated or air conditioned aren’t expenses that you can completely avoid but even small changes to the general operating temperature can make big savings. Introduce a programmable smart thermostat and you could find the balance between controlling costs and maintaining a comfortable working environment. Work to a customised schedule – generally that means increasing the heating or air conditioning during the morning and then gradually dialling it back for the afternoon. Smart thermostat technology is available, and it quickly learns about climate control preferences, the energy profile of your building and then makes automatic adjustments to maintain the optimum temperature as efficiently as it can.

Set Up Telecommuting

There are tremendous benefits to both employer and employee if you set yourself up for telecommuting. Studies from the US indicate that 80-90 per cent of workers want to be able to work remotely at least some of the time, and it’s a rising trend that can even give a small business looking to attract the best talent without the deepest pockets an edge over larger rivals. Flexible working has a positive impact on staff morale and job satisfaction – which both heavily influence productivity. It can also make a saving for your business through reducing utility costs such as water and electricity, reducing the amount of permanent desk space needed, and winning back time that can be lost to traffic and commuting schedules. Depending on what you do, it can be fairly easy to implement with a few collaborative working tools such as Trello which allow remote collaboration.

Create A Fleet Management System

If your business involves drivers and vehicles then you can really make some cost savings by introducing fleet management systems to give you real-time data on company mileage. Having access to this can help you respond to emerging situations faster, reduce callbacks and optimise productivity, which has a big impact on your bottom line. You work smarter when you can stay on schedule and make quick changes, improving your service and reputation for delivery along the way.

Pool Resources With Other SMEs

Trade associations and local business networks can be goldmines for collaborative working contacts that can help increase your buying power and help you save money by going in together on fixed costs. You could create a buying group that helps to negotiate better terms and prices for members in return for a bulk buy, or create a resource library where you can borrow things like tools as and when they are needed without paying extortionate hire fees or having to buy on your own.

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The Top 5 Restaurants for Mother’s Day in Miami

Your mom has spent the entirety of your life cooking for you, cleaning for you, folding your laundry, helping with homework, lending you money, teaching you the ways of the world, and  even loving you through those difficult teenage years. This Mother’s Day, it’s time to show your mom just how much you appreciate all the sacrifices she’s made for you over the years. And while presents are nice, if your mom’s a foodie, Miami is replete with top-tier restaurants with menus guaranteed to wow her. If you’re headed out in the Magic City this Mother’s Day, look no further than these epic eateries:

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink | 130 NE 40th Street

If your mom loves elevated American fare, head to Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in the Design District. The brand’s flagship restaurant opened its doors in 2007 and has since become an icon of the Miami culinary scene. This Mother’s Day, treat your mom to delicious fare like yellowfin tuna crudo, kimchi eggs benedict, or breakfast pizza, and end the meal with a sweet treat like Mexican spice French toast, chia pudding, churros with dulce de leche, or mini donuts with chocolate custard.

Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Company | 90 NE 39th Street

Treat your mother to a seasonal (and scrumptious) meal this Mother’s Day at Sweet Liberty. Start with an order of tuna poke, have their famous Bangin’ Brunch Burrito, made from braised pork butt, scrambled free-range eggs, queso fresco, and roasted green chiles, and sip some delicious and creative cocktails along with your meal, like the peach and almond bellini or a chamomile margarita.

Swan | 90 NE 39th Street

Does your mom enjoy a decadent meal? If so, she’ll go wild for the fare at Swan. This stylish eatery’s menu is full of over-the-top dishes, like French toast with pecans, candied oranges, and amaretto whipped  cream, bourbon caramel cinnamon rolls with sea salt, wagyu pastrami hash, and ham and truffle omelets. Swan also serves some of the city’s most delicious cocktails, like the Flowers, a combination of prosecco, St. Germain, rose, and lavender, or the Mon Chérie, a mixture of cherry-infused buffalo trace bourbon, vanilla, angostura bitters, and white chocolate.

Blue Collar | 6730 Biscayne Boulevard

In search of a stick-to-your-ribs meal for mom this Mother’s Day? Blue Collar has got you covered. Whether she orders the pork and beans with fried eggs and toast, the brioche French toast with bananas foster sauce, the duck confit muffin, or the four-cheese mac and cheese, she’s sure to leave just as delighted by the meal itself as she is by your company.

Bagatelle Miami | 220 21st Street

Elegant, intimate, and home to some of Miami’s most creative French Mediterranean fare, Bagatelle is the perfect place to treat the mom who deserves a little something special this Mother’s Day. Start with the acai parfait with coconut, agave, banana, chia, and granola, enjoy a black truffle flatbread pizza for your main course, and have a few mimosas, bellinis, or a carafe of sangria along with your meal for good measure.

Whether she’s in the mood for cocktails, crudo, or kimchi, there’s a restaurant in Miami guaranteed to wow your mom this Mother’s Day, so make this one special and book those reservations before someone else scoops them up. 

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The Top 5 Beaches You Can’t-Miss to Surf in California This Spring Break

With winter’s icy chill in the rearview and the long, hot days of summer on the horizon, there’s no time like the present to shed the confines of that luxury condo or corner office and enjoy the great outdoors. People from New York City to Texas are flocking to California to enjoy the sun and beautiful beaches. And for those who love surfing, there’s no better place to do it than one of the beautiful beaches in California. So, where should avid surfers head to ride the curl? We’ve rounded up the best beaches for you and your board:

The Wedge, Newport Beach: While Orange County’s Newport Beach is largely known for its tony real estate and annual boat races, it’s also home to some of the best surfing you’ll find anywhere in the state. The Wedge is perhaps the area’s most famous waterfront hangout, and with good reason: this Balboa Peninsula surf spot is home to some truly spectacular boarding conditions. It’s the area’s western rock jetty that helps to create these perfect-to-ride waves, which are often so tall that huge crowds gather to watch them swell and break on the beach.

Huntington, Huntington Beach: While you’ll find its beachfront packed during most summer days, the temperatures are mild enough in Huntington Beach that dedicated surfers will hit the water year-round. And rightly so: prime surfing conditions tend to crop up in the winter time, which just so happens to be when the beaches are less crowded, meaning you won’t find yourself crashing into anyone else when you ride your board.

Rincon Point, Santa Barbara: Eager to enjoy a stunning surf spot that’s not overcrowded with tourists? Then head to Rincon Point in Santa Barbara for prime beach conditions. Just off Highway 101, this beach doesn’t draw the vacation crowds you’ll find in places like The Wedge, but the waves are no less remarkable. And luckily, there are three spots with very different surf conditions to enjoy: The Cove, with gentle, medium-sized waves, The River Mouth, perfect for newer surfers getting in some practice, and The Indicator, where you’ll find the biggest waves and the most challenging conditions.

Laguna Beach: Laguna Beach is famous for more than just the reality show bearing its name. This beautiful beach is also home to some of southern California’s best surfing conditions, with crystal clear water, massive waves, and fewer crowds than you’ll find at beaches closer to Los Angeles.

Cardiff Reef, San Diego: Go a little bit further down the California coast and you’ll find some truly amazing surfing conditions in San Diego. At Cardiff Reef State Beach off Highway 101, you’ll find four distinct beaches: San Elijo, Pipes, Cardiff Reef, and George’s, each with ideal conditions for beginners and experienced surfers alike, with petite waves and massive swells, as well as plenty of placid beachfront to relax on after you’re done on the water.

Whether you’re just getting your sea legs or have been boarding for years, the California currents are sure to present a fun and exciting challenge to you yet. If you’re eager to get outside, enjoy some fresh air, get some exercise, and connect with nature, any one of these California beaches has more than got you covered.

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How to Clean your Teeth Properly?

 

When it comes to your oral health, you can never be too careful. This is because your dental health status not only affects your smile, but it can also have a direct impact on your physical health and wellbeing. Therefore, it is essential that you should know how to clean your teeth properly. The American Dental Association offers the following recommendations for keeping your teeth clean and healthy. If you think you may have gum disease please book an appointment with a dentist

  1. Brushing your Teeth, the Right Way

Most of us know that we should at least brush our teeth twice every day. However, many people are not aware of the correct method of brushing teeth. Therefore, many patients complain about their dentists of having cavities and gum problems even though they brush their teeth regularly. The National Institutes for Health (NIH) offers information on how to brush your teeth correctly:

  • Choosing the Right Armamentarium – always choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. If you use a hard toothbrush, it can physically erode your teeth and cause gum recession. You may also want an electric toothbrush since a few studies have shown that the powered toothbrushes provide better teeth cleaning in comparison to the conventional ones. Also, you should use a toothpaste that contains the seal of approval of the American Dental Association (ADA), and preferably one which contains fluoride.
  • Take your Time – the American Dental Association recommends that you should brush your teeth at least for two minutes. Failing to do say can result in improper cleaning of your teeth and can result in gum inflammation and teeth cavities. It may be useful to use a timer to make sure that your brushing time is more than two minutes.
  • Using the Correct Technique – while brushing your teeth, use small circular motions and perform short back and forth brushing strokes while holding your brush at an angle of 45̊. Make sure that you also brush through the gumline; doing this will help in massaging the gums, and in removing the plaque and tartar deposits from gums. Another important think to do while brushing is to clean your tongue with the toothbrush.
  1. Replacing your Old Toothbrush

No matter how expensive or high-quality toothbrushes you buy, they have a limited lifetime. The American Dental Association recommends that you should replace your toothbrush after every three or four months of use. You may replace it earlier if you feel that the bristles have become frayed. If you continue using a worn-out toothbrush, it will be unable to clean your properly, and making them vulnerable to the development of cavities and gum inflammation.

  1. Make a Habit of Flossing

Even if you brush your teeth regularly, it may not be enough. This is because the bristles of a toothbrush may not be able to penetrate tight spaces between the teeth. This is where a floss becomes useful. Dental floss is a thread which can enter the area between two teeth and remove food and bacterial debris, thereby minimizing the chances of teeth cavities.

  • The Correct Method to Use a Dental Floss – take 12-18 inches of floss or dental tap and grasp it in such a way that there are a couple of inches left between your hands. Now, slide the floss between your teeth and clean all the surfaces of the teeth and gums. Use 8-10 strokes of up and down flossing to dislodge the adherent plaque and tartar deposits in the interdental spaces.
  1. Using a Mouthwash

Using a fluoride containing mouthwash can go a long way in preventing teeth cavities and gum problems. However, you should make sure that you should not use a mouthwash immediately after brushing your teeth, as it can result in loss of the concentrated layer of protective fluoride which has adhered to your teeth.

Your mouth is the gateway to your body. If it is not clean or healthy, how can you expect to enjoy a healthy and active life? So, make sure you take good care of your teeth and gums through strict oral hygiene maintenance and regular dental check-up visits!

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Quality Designer Church Dresses for Women at Low Prices

Looking good at church – and indeed anywhere – is something that we do as a matter of respect. The weekly church service is still, in many communities, the social event at which everyone gathers, and you want to make a good impression. What most women look for in a church dress is style and understated glamour, with elegance and quality in there too. Some women go full formal in their church attire, others may keep it smart but casual, but all want to look the part, and looking good also makes you feel good!

So, let’s say you want to go shopping for a new church dress – plus all the accessories you might want to go with it. Where do you start? The obvious choice is to take a trip to your nearest town, where you will find many ladieswear shops on the high street. There will be plenty of choice, and you’ll be sure to find something you like.

The downside to this option is that it will take up a lot of time, and you have to pay for travel costs and parking the car. Is there an easier option? We have found a great supplier of church dresses online – it’s a shop called Designer Church Suits – and you get the benefit not only of a huge choice of dresses and accessories, but also the lower prices you tend to find when you shop online.

Great Choice and Easy Shopping

Many people are wary of shopping online, and for various reasons. The main one is that people fear it is not secure, and that putting their debit or credit card details out there is dangerous. Online shops such as Designer Church Suits ensure that their payment portals are safe and secure, so you have no worries on that front.

Another reason for not shopping online is that some people like to be able to try dresses on before they buy them. The advantage of using this online shop is that the selection of church dresses for women available is simply amazing, and they have a very fair returns policy so if you don’t like what you have bought, you can contact them and send the item back.

Not Just For Women

We should say that Designer Church Suits does not solely provide for women, for there is an impressive range of suits for men, also complete with a wide choice  of accessories. This, and all the women’s garments, is easy to browse using the comprehensive online catalog, which includes full details and pictures of every item.

For women, this is the best place to go for church dresses, and for a number of reasons. The choice of styles, size and colours is unbeatable, and the prices will certainly be to your satisfaction. Why not have a good look at the Designer Church Suits website now, and see how you can have a new wardrobe of top quality clothes at simply superb prices.

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Being Fashionable in a Casino

Why Does it Matter?

Many social events have a dress code, that means an accepted way of dressing and presenting yourself in that particular environment. Whether you are going to the opera or just a random party event, there is a specific way in what people have to dress. The idea is to blend in with the crowd, without drawing attention to yourself.

Visiting a casino for the first time can be a bit intimidating, You may find yourself in a situation where you may feel out of place and uncomfortable but that does not need to be the case. By dong a bit of research beforehand, you can be sure to find the right attire, fit for being in a casino environment.

Some Tips

Before choosing an attire, make sure to familiarize yourself with the particular casino that you chose to visit. There are casinos which are very strict regarding their dress code but there are other which have no code whatsoever, therefore almost anybody can enter without the need to worry about dressing elegantly.

Dressing accordingly for a casino, even if it does not have a dress code is a sign of respect and politefulness for yourself and for the people around you. Some examples of women’s attire that could work in many casino environments are pencil skirts combined with a colorful turtleneck blouse, or if you are planning to to keep a low profile you can always choose a grey or dark blouse with a few accessories to complement the final look.

If you are planning to visit a less grandiose casino, you can take a more casual approach regarding your clothes. However, this does not mean wearing anything, or next to nothing. Dressing casually can also be stylish, you can either go with a pair of blue jeans or khakis for the bottom part while choosing a plain t-shirt or a casual button blouse for the top. The attire choice also depends on what you are planning to do in the casino. Either playing poker, roulette or having a go at some slots, the proper attire can make difference to your enjoyment and the way you play.

A game of poker for example requires you to sit for prolonged periods of time, so it is essential to have clothes in which you feel comfortable in order to be able to pay attention to other players at the table.. On the opposite side, you have a game of roulette which requires long periods of standing so it’s probably a good idea to avoid high heels, no matter how good they look. For women who don’t want to bother with the social aspects of casinos, there is the choice for visiting the online ones, where even your pijamas can be considered a proper attire.

Final Word

Regardless, it’s not every day that you get to visit a casino, so dressing appropriately should be taken seriously, even if it’s a low profile establishment. The way in which you present yourself will have a huge impact on your mood and the people around you. Not having the right attire can be viewed as disrespectful and in extreme cases, offensive.

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4 Disasters Entrepreneurs Never See Coming

As soon as a company is up and running, it’s your job to keep it alive and expand into the market. Unfortunately, 80% of startups fail at some point and it’s not because of an inhospitable environment. In reality, a company’s shutdown is often due to an internal or external misfortune or a piece of bad luck. Disasters are everywhere and SMEs aren’t exempt from their impacts. The key to stopping them from hurting your business is to spot them coming and put defences in place. However, it’s tough when you don’t know what form they will take.

Here are four common disasters bosses never see coming for your information.

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Personal Injury Lawsuits

Although they happen to other business, personal injury accidents are something you may not anticipate. Sure, they will be basic rules in place, but they are only to comply with the HSE’s rules and regulations. But, a court of law will see almost every accident as the fault of the employer even if there are safeguards in place. And, that could cost you millions of pounds if the lawsuit escalates. Investment in equipment is essential as personal protective equipment reduces workplace injuries. Also, training employees is important too as it gives them the tools to avoid potential risks.

Intellectual Property Lawsuits

IP claims are nowhere near as common as trips and falls and accidents in the workplace. The only time you’ve experienced one is when you read about two massive firms going back and forth in court. For SMEs, they don’t apply… until they do and cost the business a fortune. It’s important to realise that intellectual property takes many forms from videos, images and brand names. So, if you use a picture without permission, you may end up in court. Be safe and always clear material before including it within your company’s strategy.

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Fraud

Customers, client, and employees are liable to steal if they get the opportunity. It’s worth noting 99% are honest, yet there’s 1% that will get a mile if you give them an inch. Fraud, serious or not, takes many forms and costs businesses thousands of pounds in damages. For example, a worker with control of the accounts may skim off the top and damage the firm’s cash flow. Or, a customer may claim their package never arrived and order a second when it did. Not to sound cynical, but you can’t trust anyone which is why secure checks need to be put in place, such as an accountant.

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Natural Disasters

Mother Nature is a cruel mistress and She can put your business to the test. From floods to fires and gale force winds, the exterior and interior of the property may take a battering. When it does, the result can be thousands of pounds’ worth of damage that you need to repair before reopening. Floods and fires are the two main culprits. You can never trust the weather, so it’s worth taking action by storing data offsite and investing in a comprehensive insurance policy.

To ensure you’re never caught off guard, you need to plan for every possible scenario.

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Next Day Prep: Help Yourself Have A Great Day In The Office

One of the main keys to having a more efficient and productive day in the office is to prepare well for it. This is important advice for any entrepreneur, whether you are in charge of a large corporation or you just run your own company from home. Good preparations the evening before will help the next day run as smoothly as possible.

Here are some of the best next-day prep tips that can get you ready for a very busy day at work.

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Write A To-Do List

Once you have finished all of your tasks for the day, it’s a good idea to take a look at what needs doing when you are back in the office again. Once you have an idea of everything that needs doing, it’s worth writing yourself a to-do list. This will remind you of what needs doing once you return to the office. You should also find that working your way through a list can keep you more focused on the tasks in hand.

Leave The Office As You Want To Find It

If things have been a bit hectic, you might find that the office gets very messy. No one will be too bothered about cleaning while they are busy with their other responsibilities. However, it’s important that you do clean up before you leave for the day. That way, the office won’t be such a tip once you return the next day. If you are really pushed for time, you could always hire ServiceMaster Mercia or another cleaning company to come and take care of your office for you. Then when you arrive the next day, you can get straight on with your work and won’t be distracted by any cleaning or chores.

Make Lunch

If you don’t already, it’s a really good idea to start making your lunch in advance. You can make up a packed lunch for yourself in the evenings. This can be as simple as a sandwich with a piece of fruit. Once you start taking your lunch with you, you will find that you waste hardly any time nipping out the office to buy something. Not only that, though, but homemade lunches are often a lot healthier than buying one out.

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Lay Out Your Clothes

One tip that many busy people use is laying out their clothes the evening before. They then don’t need to waste any time in the mornings trying to decide what to wear for work. It will save them a lot of time and can greatly cut down their morning routine.

Double Check Your Diary

Take one last look at your diary for the next day in the evening. You can then remind yourself about any important appointments or meetings. This also gives you the chance to get mentally ready overnight for any potentially difficult pitches or meetings you need to take part in.

There are lots of ways you can prepare for the next day. Once you do, you’ll find that your working days go without any hitches!

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How To Improve Your Skin With Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the nutrients that are very good for your health and well-being. One of its main benefits is that it can improve the health of your skin. Let’s see how you can use Vitamin C to make your skin look younger and feel livelier.

Powerful Antioxidant

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. This is why it is very important for the skin collagen synthesis. As you probably know already, collagen is one of the main compounds that are naturally occurring in our skin. This substance is responsible for making our skin elastic and firm. As we age, the natural collagen production of the body decreases. The result is that our skin loses its firmness and its elasticity and we start developing wrinkles. This vitamin is effective in all its forms. You can take it orally to improve your immunity and to help supporting the vital functions of body. You can opt for topical applications to ameliorate various skin conditions such as acne, sunburn, and excessive dryness. For best results, you can use it in multiple forms at the same time. The only thing you need to be careful about is not to exceed the daily recommended dose of Vitamin C.

Anti-Aging Properties

The good news is that we can delay the onset of these aging signs by using a Vitamin C based serum. Applied regularly, this serum can help us maintain the elasticity and the health of our skin for longer. Its antioxidant agents will neutralize the free radicals, enabling our skin to maintain its healthy collagen levels. Vitamin C will penetrate the superior layers of the skin, wiping off fine lines and wrinkles and nourishing the epithelial cells. The other effect of Vitamin C is that it can make the age spots become less obvious, making the skin look smoother and more uniform.

Moisturizing And Skin Protection

A Vitamin C based moisturizing serum can also help maintaining the proper hydration of the skin. Since we all need to use a good moisturizer, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t choose a Vitamin C serum for this purpose and enjoy its other benefits, as well. Furthermore, this type of product is good for persons with dry or sensitive skin, as it help preventing irritations.

Apparently, Vitamin C serums can also be effective in alleviating acne. Although this solution may not heal the condition that causes acne in the first place, it can help sufferers prevent severe flare-ups. In case of severe acne, you should consider discussion with your doctor the intention of using a Vitamin C based serum on your affected skin. It’s always a good idea to have a healthcare professional watching over you whenever you try something new. Although there aren’t any known cases of adverse reactions or side effects, a bit of caution can take you a long way.

Whatever purpose you want to use a Vitamin C serum for, make sure you apply it daily for at least a couple of weeks. This is a long-term remedy against the effects of aging, so you can’t expect instant results.

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