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Growing up I’ve been blessed with really unproblematic skin. I’m talking no spot, no blemish. And somehow as I got older and post childbirth, I have experienced quite the rollercoaster when it comes to my skin. Enter, hormonal acne and the subsequent dark spots. Smt. And how could I forget? The pandemic REALLY did a number on my skin (lack of sleep and sunlight really wasn't playing with me)


While I’ve always been really into skincare products (thanks to my mother for being an actual Avon lady), I quickly realized that a consistent skin care regimen is the main thing that would help me bring peace to my warzone of a face. Please note: a healthy diet, water intake and adequate rest all play a role in the condition of your skin.

I tweak my skin care regimen often and I will dedicate a post specifically to all the products I use that have been beneficial in my ongoing skincare journey. But today, the star of the show is niacinamide, an ingredient I recently learned about that has had a great impact on the appearance of my skin!





What is niacinamide?



Niacinamide, also called nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B-3, an essential nutrient. A B-3 deficiency can lead to disorders of the skin, kidneys, and brain. Taking niacinamide can help prevent B-3 deficiency.

And there’s much more to this nutrient, especially when it comes to general skin health. Although more research is needed, topical niacinamide may help treat certain skin conditions, including acne and eczema.

What are the benefits of niacinamide?

Overall, niacinamide can help build proteins in the skin and lock in moisture to prevent environmental damage.

Individual benefits include:

· Immunity. Niacinamide helps build keratin, a type of protein that keeps your skin firm and healthy.

· Lipid (fatty) barrier. Niacinamide can help your skin grow a lipid barrier, which can, in turn, helps retain moisture. This is beneficial for all skin types, especially if you have eczema or mature skin.

· Minimizes redness and blotchiness. Niacinamide reduces inflammation, which may help ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions.

· Minimizes pore appearance. Keeping skin smooth and moisturized may have a secondary benefit — a natural reduction in pore size over time.

· Regulates oil. The benefits of moisture retention aren’t just for those with dry skin types. Niacinamide can also help regulate the amount of oil the sebaceous glands produce and prevent your glands from going into overdrive.

· Protects against sun damage. Niacinamide can concurrently rebuild healthy skin cells while also protecting them from damage caused by ultraviolet rays.

· Treats hyperpigmentation. Some research has found 5 percent niacinamide concentrations can be helpful in lightening dark spots. Benefits were seen after four weeks, but not beyond two months. This benefit may be due to increased collagen production.

· Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles. Research has also found that the same concentration was helpful in reducing some signs of sun damage that come with aging. This includes fine lines and wrinkles.

· Protects against oxidative stress. Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins.

· Treats acne. Niacinamide may be helpful for severe acne. Over time, you may see fewer lesions and improved skin texture.

The brand I used consistently morning and night that gave me the results I enjoyed was from The Ordinary. It is empty now and I am testing a new brand so I will update on that when I am done with it.


Let me know, have you tried niacinamide and was it good to you?




There are many people who want to start investing money, but financial terminology can be confusing. Here at IQG, we would like to make it easier to digest by rolling out a series of terminology explanations for you. Understanding the terminology is a good first step when considering how best to save and invest your money, diversify your assets, and achieve specific financial goals. In this article, we will explore the fundamental differences between stocks and bonds.


Definitions

To begin, let us look at the term definitions that illustrate the main difference between them.


A stock is an equity instrument, which simply means that it is evidence of ownership rights in a company. If a company issues stock (also referred to as ‘shares’), it is essentially selling a portion of its ownership. For example, after three years of successful operations, ABC Bahamas Company wants to expand its business but is unable to do it because of a lack of financial resources. The company decides that it wants to raise funds through what is known as an initial public offering or IPO that entails selling a portion of its company to the public. If you decide to purchase ABC Bahamas Company’s stock, you would be considered a partial owner (shareholder) in the company, even if your purchase is very small.




On the other hand, bonds are debt instruments, which simply means that if you purchase bonds, the issuing entity owes you money. Both companies and governments use bonds to raise money. For example, the Bahamian government periodically issues Bahamas Registered Stock (BRS), which is the equivalent of government bonds. Persons who purchase BRS are essentially lending money to the government and are repaid interest and their principle (initial) amount. To learn more about BRS, check out our article on Government Bonds here.


Financial Returns and Benefits

Both stocks and bonds have financial advantages that can benefit an investor’s portfolio. It is important to consider both the upside and downside potential of your investments.


Stock returns are in the form of dividends, which are a portion of the company’s financial earnings that are distributed to shareholders. For example, ABC Bahamas Company made earnings of $1 million two years after the IPO and decides to pay a $5 dividend to shareholders. If you purchased three shares, you would receive $15. Dividends, in most cases, are not mandatory pay-outs and are not the same as interest payments.


Shareholders can also benefit from price appreciation of their shares. For example, if share price increases from $3 to $10, your overall investment of purchasing three shares would increase from $9 to $30. If you decide to sell at the price of $30, your overall profit would be $21. Remember that investing is a two-way street and prices can also decrease and that can negatively affect your investment.


Conversely, bond returns are in the form of interest payments, usually paid twice per year. For example, if the government promises a 5% annual return on bonds and you purchased $1,000 worth of bonds, you will receive $50 per year in interest payments. Interest payments on bonds are usually mandatory, which means your return would most likely be guaranteed. This does not necessarily make bonds safer investments than stocks.





Risk Elements to Consider

There are many risk elements to consider when deciding which stocks and bonds to add to your investment portfolio, here are a few:

  • Volatility – Bonds tend to be less volatile than stocks (this does not necessarily mean that they are safer investments). Volatility is measured by the rate at which prices move up and down; and stock prices tend to move more frequently than bond prices, which is an indicator of investment risk.

  • Time Horizon – This is the total length of time an investor expects to hold an investment instrument. Bonds have a maturity date, for example a bond may have a maturity date 10 years from now. At the maturity date, you will receive the initial amount you invested. Stocks do not have a specific maturity date. For example, if you bought shares in ABC Bahamas Company, you can hold them indefinitely. Time horizon is important to consider because it helps you to gauge financial goals. For example, if you are saving for a home in five years, you may want to choose investments with short time horizons that can be easily liquidated in time for your purchase.

  • Investment Return Guarantee – With any investment, there is the risk that you may lose some or all of the money you invested; both stocks and bonds have this risk. Take the time to research potential investments and weigh the pros and cons for your financial portfolio. Research may entail a simple Google search, reading through company information, or a conversation with a financial advisor.






Final Thoughts

Deciding what to invest in is a personal decision based on your specific goals. There is no right or wrong answer when choosing between stocks and bonds. Having both in your investment portfolio may prove beneficial for diversification purposes and the pros and cons of both may help with balancing the risk levels. If you are new to investing, take the time to review and research all potential options and do not be afraid to ask for guidance from a financial advisor to weigh your options.

Note: This article does not serve as official investment advice; it is simply an explanation of terms for new investors.




Today's edition of the #QuarantineChronicles series is so special to me, of course, not unlike the first two but especially because she is a medical professional facing the reality of this pandemic each day. Despite being quarantined twice and working a grueling schedule, Sade somehow finds time to practice her nail and hair skills. I tip my hat to our very own #doctorbae.


First name: 
Sade`

Occupation: Physician

Currently working at the hospital


Today I get up at 6:30am.

Breakfast sometimes can be very mythical, especially since the pandemic. So when I actually DO have breakfast on a weekday it’s a smoothie on the weekends tuna and grits or bacon and eggs. So today I had bacon and eggs. I skipped lunch due to my work schedule but tonight I had ribs, rice and butternut squash for dinner!


I actually experienced having to self-quarantine at the emergence of the first case in Nassau. I had just come back from away and it was a scary time. I isolated from everyone. My family left food by the door (as per my request) and spoke to me through text, used gloves to take my dishes away (also my doing).


You see, my parents are over 60, and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I thought for one moment I brought something to them.


The first few days were ok, I watched TV shows and followed the instructions of employee health, log your temps. Cool np. Then one day, I had a 99F temperature. No biggie right? WRONG! My brain went off! 99 axillary = 100 core. That’s pretty hot, but not truly febrile… or was it? With no other symptoms?! Does this mean something? Am I truly ill? It was like all of my medical knowledge was being used against me. So I hit the medical journals to pacify myself but there is so little knowledge, so few studies. We’re learning as we go along. Needless to say the fear had officially set in. I was terrified, waiting, with nothing but time on my hands thanks to quarantine. It was terrible, I really started to feel like I was losing my mind. Luckily I tested negative.



Then it was back to work, I was happy to be back, but constantly worried about bringing something home to my parents. Accidental exposures were all too common despite efforts to avoid it. We’re finding new ways for the virus to present all the time. Then, exposure really happened- once again tested negative. Praise Him! **inserts praying hands emoji** At least this I was prepared mentally for what was to come. More calm, knowledgeable, and best of all I was with my sister (who is also a physician). So I didn’t have to do it alone.

I’m so proud of my colleagues. Since becoming a physician, we've really experienced a lot that would dissuade even the best of us from giving our absolute best, but everyone stepped up in this scary time. I’m proud, we love our people and I pray this is over soon.

But overall, I feared most the idea of losing my loved ones. I haven’t seen my grandmother since March, my last living grandparent. She lost her husband Feb 1st 2020 and lost two friends to covid-19. This is particularly tough because we’re the type of family that met every weekend- playing cards, eating Sunday dinner. This is quite the unwelcomed change.






During self-isolation, I had to spend more time in prayer and it was something I had been neglecting. Spending so many days on call at work keeps me so busy, the time I spent home gave me time to sit and think about what I really wanted out of life, and I’m excited to get them started. I've also been perfecting my nails. Trying to break into doing acrylics.





When this is over I am seriously looking forward to:

1. THE END OF THESE MASKS!

2. Ok but seriously, I’m really looking forward to travelling.

3. Enjoying my family, hugging them, something I took for granted.

4. Socializing again, although (when not being quarantined) the time at home wasn’t bad at all.





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