Our Favorite Health and Wellness Products Discovered During Quarantine
Staying home all the time has given us the chance to test a lot of health, wellness and beauty products, and these gems are making it a little more bearable.
Akalo Hangover Prevention Patches
Keep in mind that alcohol is NOT a healthy way to deal with stress, but if you are planning a wine and popcorn movie marathon, slap on one of these babies and you may feel less sluggish the next morning. (And then you can go for a jog, which IS a healthy stress buster!)
Unfortunately there's no scientifically proven cure for hangovers, but our testers reported less severe symptoms after use. The patch gives you a slow dose of vitamin B-1, which helps healthy liver and brain function.
FLO PMS Gummy Vitamins
Finally, PMS-relief supplements are beginning to become more common after so many years of few to no options available.
There is still no magic bullet, but these gummies by FLO include chaste berry, dong quai, vitamin B6 and lemon balm to help relieve symptoms.
Chaste berry may help the common complaint of breast tenderness, according to preliminary studies.
Dong quai has been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine to help women with menstruation, although there is not a lot of Western research on the efficacy of the plant. It's not recommended if you're trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding, according to The American Pregnancy Association, which notes it has a stimulating and relaxing effect on the uterus.
Valerian Nights Tea
If stress is keeping you awake at night, this sumptuous tea may help you fall asleep faster.
David's Tea has updated the ancient remedy with caramel and coconut. Add the concoction to a nighttime ritual that promotes relaxation: Prior to bed, take a break from screens, prepare and enjoy the tea, then indulge in a hot bath or shower before crawling in bed with plenty of time to fall asleep.
UTI Don't Think So
If you have recurring urinary tract infections, go to the doctor. This is not a substitute for a medical professional. A UTI can lead to a kidney infection, so be sure to get treatment if you have one.
But if you're not currently experiencing a UTI and want to prevent one, Love Wellness, Lo Bosworth's personal care brand, offers this supplement. Each capsule provides 36mg of PAC (proanthocyanidins), which is an antioxidant from cranberry fruit that has been shown to repel bacteria in the bladder.
“They may keep bacteria from adhering to the wall of the bladder, preventing UTIs, and they also may have a direct effect on killing the bacteria,” PEOPLE Health Squad OB/GYN Mary Jane Minkin says of cranberries. She recommends a cranberry supplement over cranberry juice to avoid the sugar.
ManiMe At-Home Manicures
While salons were closed, we tried many, many at-home manicure options with varying results.
If you struggle with polish, try these adorable custom-sized stick-on gels.
Send photos of your nails to ManiMe, and they will tailor the size and shape of your gels. They are easy to apply and remove, and look just like high-end nail art from a fancy salon.
PSO-Spine Back Massager
If the pandemic has caused you to cut back on trips to the massage therapist, you can get some relief from the PSO-Spine.
It's relatively simple and inexpensive compared with many massage tools — you don't need to plug it in, just lie on it. You can move the tool up and down your spine to hit different spots, and you can decide the amount of pressure with your body weight.
Our testers reported relief from back pain after a ten-minute session, and it works particularly well if you do some yoga first.
DxTerity COVID-19 Test
This FDA authorized at-home COVID-19 test is a good option for someone who is not able to leave home to get tested.
Simply spit into the tube and mail in the sample using the pre-paid mailer. DxTerity tests the samples using its own lab, allowing for a faster turnaround time of 24-72 hours. When ready, an email will alert you to log in to a secure portal to get your results.
While the price tag is high for a single test, it is FSA eligible and reimbursable by most major insurance carriers.
Brazen PMS Support
This herbal formula was developed by Kirsten Karchmer, an acupuncturist who has dedicated her career to helping women with PMS and PMDD.
Karchmer tells PEOPLE poor digestion is one of the common reasons women experience painful symptoms, and our tester (who has tried everything, previously with little success) had positive results. She noticed less bloating after trying the formula for two months.
Consult with your doctor if you are taking prescription medications. If you get the all-clear, Karchmer recommends taking two tablets a day starting 14 days before your period.
Konjac Sponge by Saffron & Sage
Magnesium+ by mindbodygreen
Doctors applaud magnesium as a natural sleep aid that can also help ease anxiety, protect metabolic health and safeguard the heart and bones.
You can't overdo it on magnesium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, nuts and whole grains, but you can overdose on magnesium supplements, according to the Mayo Clinic. Check your multivitamin and antacid medicines for magnesium so you don't overdo it. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults is 400-420 mg daily for men and 310-320 mg for women.
However, many Americans don't get enough magnesium, so it could be worth bringing up to your doctor.
White Maple Bourbon Candle by LAFCO
So many candles are a letdown -- they seem pretty in the store just to lose their magic once they're home.
We can NOT have that happen in 2021! We have been through enough.
So we tested and searched and found LAFCO's White Maple Bourbon candle, which does not disappoint. It's not a traditional holiday scent (so you can use it all year), but its festive aroma fills the room.
This serum works against inflammaging, or the constant presence of inflammation that ages our skin. Sunshine, pollution, poor diet and stress can all contribute to this chronic, low-grade inflammation.
HX-1, an ingredient found only in this serum, shields skin stem cells from inflammation and then boosts the protein production of those cells, according to the co-founders of Heraux, Amir Nobakht MD, MBA and Ben Van Handel PhD, a stem cell biologist at the University of Southern California.
Our tester saw improvement in skin texture after a few weeks.