Holiday Gift Guide For Everyone On Your List

The holidays are almost here and it’s time to shop! Save big on holiday sales and find awesome gifts for everyone on your list. Time seems to fly by faster every year, and finding the right gift can be difficult and time consuming. Check out some of the gifts we put on our wish list this year. You can either pick a category below or start scrolling to see our favorite finds:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

You don’t need to break the bank to find a nice present for someone. Here are some great gift ideas for friends, family and coworkers, all under $50!

 

Shop Google Chromecast

Google Chromecast – $35.00

This is a great present for any college student, young professional or friend. It is easy to use – just plug in the USB to your TV and download the Chromecast app to stream your favorite TV shows, movies and clips straight from your smartphone.

Shop Google Chromecast

 

Tile Mate Finder

Tile Mate (1 Pack) – $25

This handy-dandy gift is great for anyone who is constantly misplacing their cell-phone, keys, wallet, TV remote, badge or other commonly “lost” item. This clever gadget will ring any missing item (even if your phone is on silent). If you lose something while you’re out, when another Tile user enters the radius, you will be notified of the location it was found. Available in Tile Pro, Mate or Slim models.

Shop Tile Mate Finder

 

Shop Allegro Sheers

Allegro Sheer Compression Hosiery – $9.97+

Allegro Sheer Compression Hosiery is an affordable line of sheer knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose. Choose from our Italian, Premium and Essential Sheers in a variety of compression levels and colors.

Shop Allegro Sheers

 

Shop Huggable Sloth Pad

Huggable Sloth Cooling + Heating Pad – $29.00

This cute heating and cooling pad is sure to make any injury a little better. It is filled with natural buckwheat grains and lavender to help soothe sore spots. This pad is safe to microwave or freeze.

Shop Huggable Sloth Pad

 

Shop Star Wars Waffle Maker

Star Wars Death Star Waffle Maker – $34.99

This waffle maker is perfect for any Jedi. This cool Death Star waffle maker features a non-stick surface and the design appears on both sides of the waffle. If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy breakfast, it’s going to be hard to beat this!

Shop Star Wars Waffle Maker

 

Shop Random Illustrated Facts Book

Get A Fun Coffee Table Book – $12.29

The Random Illustrated Facts: A Collection of Curious, Weird, and Totally Not Boring Things to Know book is a fun conversation starter or a great way to kill some time waiting around. This illustrated paperback book is filled with fun facts and trivia.

Shop the Random Illustrated Facts Book

Shop Homemade Pasta Maker

Homemade Pasta Set – $39.99

Make ravioli, fettuccine, spaghetti, lasagna, linguine, angel hair and more, all right in your own kitchen with the Chefly Pasta Maker. The manual crank handle clamps onto your table or countertop. Made from stainless steel, this durable machine is also detachable to put in the dishwasher after use.

Shop Homemade Pasta Set

 

Shop Allegro Wool Socks

Allegro Italian Wool Compression Socks – $25.44

Allegro Italian Wool Compression Socks are great to wear hiking or out and about in any weather. Wool is naturally thermo-regulating to keep you cool in hot weather and warm in colder weather. These socks are also super soft and durable.

Shop Allegro Wool Socks

 

Shop Outdoor Popcorn Shake and Pop

Traditional Outdoor Popcorn Popper – $36.00

Roast some chestnuts on an open fire and pop some popcorn while you’re at it! Have fun making popcorn the old school way. All you need is an open flame from a fireplace, grill or firepit.

Shop Outdoor Popcorn Shake and Pop

 

Here are some fun, low-cost stocking stuffers everyone will love! These also work great as white elephant gifts for the office or holiday parties.

 

Shop Cheers Bottle Opener Sunglasses

Cheers Bottle Opener Sunglasses – $14.99+

Fashionable and functional! These bottle opener sunglasses are perfect for tailgating. Available in a variety of fun patterns and colors for men and women.

Shop Cheers Bottle Opener Sunglasses

 

Shop Multi Tool

Stainless Steel Credit Card Multi-Tool – $14.98

This handy dandy device features 10 tools in 1, including a bottle opener, screw driver, can opener, knife blade and more! This durable metal tool easily fits into your wallet for easy access wherever you go!

Shop Credit Card Multi Tool

 

Shop Juzo Laundry Bag

Juzo Laundry Bag – $2.99

This practical gift is great to keep anyone organized. This affordable laundry bag is great to safely wash your compression stockings and small garments in without them getting lost or snagged in the wash.

Shop Juzo Laundry Bag

 

Shop iTunes Gift Cards

You can never go wrong with the gift of entertainment! An Apple gift card is great for anyone to download music, movies, games or a book for their next trip. If you have someone on your list who is tough to find gifts for, this is a great option!

Shop iTunes Gift Cards

 

Shop Hosiery Mate Washing Solution

Hosiery Mate Washing Solution – $12.99

Keep your compression socks in the best shape possible with Hosiery Mate Revitalizing Washing Solution. The special formula bonds with the nylon fibers and strengthens them, which means less runs, snags, sagging, and static cling.

Shop Hosiery Mate Washing Solution

 

Stylish Passport Covers

Stylish Passport Covers – $10.99

Choose from a variety of stylish passport covers for men and women. These make great stocking stuffers for the wanderlust on your list.

Shop Passport Covers

 

Shop Water Filteration System

Mini Water Filtration System – $16.69

This is an excellent gift for hikers, outdoor lovers and campers. It removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli from the water. It can be used as a straw to drink directly from a river, screwed onto most disposable water bottles, or you can connect the straw to a pouch/hydration pack.

Shop Water Filtration System

 

Shop Star Wars Ice Mold

Star Wars Death Star Ice Mold (2 Pack) – $7.79

Fun for the whole family! This 4 pack molds your ice to look like the Death Star. If you want to get creative, this also works for ice cream cake balls.

Shop Star Wars Ice Mold

 

Shop Sigvaris Donning Gloves

Sigvaris Donning Gloves – $5.75

Sigvaris donning gloves are another useful gift to help get compression socks on fast and easy. These gloves help grip the stocking to take the struggle out of the donning process.

Shop Sigvaris Donning Gloves

 

 

Here are some awesome gifts for the wanderlust on your list, no matter what their travel style is!

 

Shop Cork Globe

Cork Globe – $48.00+

This is great for the explorer on your list to figure out their next trip or show off past adventures.This cork globe is available in a small or large size.

Shop Cork Globe

 

Shop Sleep Mask

Namastay In Bed Sleep Mask – $16.00

This cute sleep mask will help the lucky person on your list get an excellent night’s sleep, in style! Handmade from a satin fabric.

Shop Sleep Mask

 

Shop Sockwell Compression Socks

Sockwell Compression Socks  – $24.99

These stylish wool compression socks are made for men and women in a large variety of colors and patterns. These socks help to keep your legs fresh, energized and ache-free, while fighting fatigue, swelling and blood clots while you travel.

Shop Sockwell Compression Socks

 

Shop Coloring Book

Adult Animal Coloring Book – $4.99

Coloring books are a great way to relieve stress and keep yourself entertained on any trip. Adult coloring books are the new trend, and I can get behind it! Coloring can be a fun way to unwind and kill a few hours on a long car or plane ride.

Shop Coloring Book

 

Shop Beer Cap Map

USA Beer Cap Map – $34.95

For the beer and travel lover in your life, this USA map is the perfect challenge! This will hold 75 of any beer caps (domestic/international/craft).

Shop Beer Cap Map

 

Shop Hammock

Hammock – $22.94

This lightweight, easy to use hammock is great for camping or relaxing outdoors. It supports two people (up to 500 lbs) and is small enough to store in a backpack. Set up and hang out in about three minutes!

Shop Hammock

 

Shop Simon Donning and Doffing Aid

Sigvaris SIMON Donning and Doffing Aid – $69.90

Stop struggling to put your socks on when you’re not home. This donning and doffing aid is portable and small enough to fit in your luggage, so you can bring it with you on vacation.

Shop Simon Donning and Doffing Aid

 

Shop Stanley Growler

Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Growler – $28.72

This stainless steel growler is very durable and dishwasher safe. Skip the plastic and go for a BPA-free option like this growler. Easy to pour with one hand and will keep your drink cold all day long.

Shop Stanley Insulated Growler

 

Shop Travel Cord Roll

Travel Cord Roll – $20.00

This convenient roll will keep all of your chargers and cords easily organized and tangle-free. This is great for business or pleasure travel via plane or car. Available in aqua or black.

Shop Travel Cord Roll

 

Shop Lamzac Air Lounger

Lamzac Air Lounger – $64.50

This lounger is perfect for chilling on the go. Quickly inflate this comfy seat for 1-2 people during a hiking break, at a music festival, or on the lawn. Available in a variety of colors.

Shop Lamzac Air Lounger

 

 

The holidays can be super stressful. Give the gift of relaxation this year with these awesome gifts to help even the busiest person on your list slow down and take some time to themselves:

 

Shop Weighted Blanket

Weighted Blanket – $59.90+

If you know someone who has trouble sleeping or anxiety, a weighted blanket can make a huge difference in getting a better night’s sleep and fall asleep faster. This blanket is made for adults or children and is available in a variety of sizes and weights.

Shop Weighted Blanket

 

Shop Foot Spa

HoMedics Foot Spa with Heat Boost Power – $69.99

Sit back and relax with the HoMedics foot spa. Features shower massage jets to refresh tired feet, soothing bubbles and heat to treat those feet after a long day. This spa comes with three pedicure attachments.

Shop Foot Spa

 

Shop Medi Day Gel

Medi Day Gel – $10.46

Keep your legs moisturized with a gel that is safe to use with compression socks and has no greasy residue. Apply Medi Day Gel before donning your stockings to make it a bit easier and keep your skin in great condition. This gel is great for venous insufficiency as well. After you remove your socks for the night, try Medi Night Cream!

Shop Medi Day Gel

 

Shop LUSH Bath Bomb Sets

LUSH Bath Bomb Set $10.95+

LUSH bath bombs are a fantastic gift! They come in a ton of fun colors and scents in a variety of gift basket options. These make awesome white elephant gifts, presents for co-workers, or friends.

Shop Lush Bath Bomb Sets

 

Shop Himalayan Salt Lamp

Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt Lamp – $19.99

Legend has it, Himalayan salt lamps are said to increase energy, your mood, and can even help you sleep better. Many people swear that they make your home healthier by cleaning the air of dust and other allergens. Either way, these lamps create a relaxing atmosphere and help set the mood to kick back and relax.

Shop Himalayan Salt Lamp

 

Shop Bedrest Pillow

Bedrest Pillow – $39.99

This ergonomically designed pillow is great for reading or sitting comfortably in bed. Anyone from college students to the soon-to-be-mommy could appreciate this gift!

Shop Bedrest Pillow

 

Shop Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser – $20.99

Essential oils are all the rage these days. From stress-relief to soothing pains, these oils have many uses. This relaxing oil diffuser helps to soften and moisten dry skin, and helps you breathe better in the winter. Features 7 color mood lighting settings, 4 time setting modes and 2 mist settings so you can perfectly set the mood.

Shop Essential Oil Diffuser

 

Shop Core-Spun Socks

Therafirm Core-Spun Compression Socks – $15.16

These super soft, stretchy socks are perfect to kick back and relax. Available in 4 compression levels for men and women. Choose from a variety of fun patterns too! The Core-Spun collection offers sizes for large and petite legs.

Shop Core-Spun Socks

 

Shop Faux Fur Throw

L.L.Bean Faux Fur Throw – $69.00

This super soft and comfortable blanket is a great gift for anyone on your list. This faux fur throw has the look and feel of wolf fur and is safe to machine wash (and air dry). Really, how can you go wrong with a blanket like this?!

Shop Faux Fur Throw

 

It can be hard to shop for the woman in your life. Luckily we did the dirty work for you. Here are some great options for the lucky lady:

 

Shop Cityscape Ring

Cityscape Ring – $21.00

Etsy has tons of cute unique, handmade jewelry options for women, like these Cityscape rings! Choose her favorite city or hometown – you can even email the vendor for a custom city mock up.

Shop Cityscape Ring

 

Shop Sigvaris Opaque

Sigvaris Soft Opaque Compression Stockings – $35.96+

Sigvaris introduced 4 new colors to the Soft Opaque line for all knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg. These durable stockings are made from a microfiber fabric to keep you comfortable and dry. Available in even more colors and options!

Shop Sigvaris Soft Opaque

 

Shop Soji Crystal Water Bottle

Soji Crystal Elixir Water Bottle – $80.00

These stylish water bottles are made with various crystals, believed to having healing powers. Choose from a variety of crystals to help ease stress, shed negative energy, promote clarity, inner peace, creativity and more. Plus, a portion of each sale is donated to WATER is LIFE.

Shop Soji Crystal Water Bottle

 

Mermaid Tail Blanket

Mermaid Tail Blanket – $13.80

This adorable blanket is a great gift for mermaids of all ages. It is crocheted and comes with a cute mermaid necklace. It can even be machine washed and dried – just be careful to avoid washing with anything that can snag it! Available in a variety of colors and two universal sizes; for kids and adults.

Shop Mermaid Blanket

 

Shop Allegro Milk Sock

Allegro Milk Compression Socks – $23.49

Rock these socks on your next trip or while out running errands to keep your legs feeling amazing all day long. These compression socks are made from an unbelievably soft fabric and help to keep your legs energized and ache-free.

Shop Allegro Milk Sock

 

Shop Woven Hammock

Boho Woven Hammock – $70.00

Attention hippies! We have the perfect gift. This chic hammock is sure to light up any room. These hammocks come in a variety of sizes and colors, and are handmade from 100% cotton threads.

Shop Woven Hammock

 

Shop UGG Robe

UGG Lorie Short Cotton Robe – $88.00

If there’s ever a time to splurge, it’s on that new, comfy robe! Enjoy a great night in snuggled up in this cotton terry knit robe. Safe to machine wash and dry. This robe comes in a variety of sizes in three colors.

Shop UGG Robe

 

Last but not least, here are some awesome gift ideas for even the hardest to shop for guys. Whether you’re looking for a practical present or something funny to make him smile, we have you covered.

 

Shop Leather Wallet

Personalized Leather Wallet – $34.50

If you’re looking for a practical and personal gift, this is it! If the man on your list has a wallet that looks like George Costanza’s, it might be time for an upgrade. This wallet has lots of storage options and comes in a variety of options.

Shop Leather Wallet

 

Shop Moustache Mug

Moustache Guard Mug – $44.00

This clever mug is perfect for any guy who is always getting his moustache in places it shouldn’t be! This cup features a guard to protect your moustache from dipping in your drink. Sip with confidence and keep your moustache clean with this funny, but useful mug.

Shop Moustache Mug

 

Shop CEP Compression

CEP Compression Socks and Sleeves – $35.00+

CEP compression socks and leg sleeves are great for runners and athletes. 20-30 mmHg compression helps to boost athletic performance, and 15-20 mmHg helps to speed up muscle recovery after a long run or tough workout.

Shop CEP Compression

 

Shop Burger Press

Cuisinart 3-in-1 Stuffed Burger Press – $7.19

This creative burger press is perfect for your grill-master. The press features a non-stick surface and is safe to machine wash. Works great for making vegan burgers too!

Shop Burger Press

 

Shop Wacky Desktop Guy

Wacky Waving Inflatable Tube Desk Man – $12.95

Keep yourself and your co-workers entertained with the desktop wacky inflatable arm flailing tube man! This funny guy will keep you company and in good spirits from 9-5.

Shop Wacky Desktop Guy

 

Shop Allegro Mosaic Sock

Allegro Mosaic Compression Socks – $19.95

The new Allegro Mosaic Sock provides 20-30 mmHg compression and features subtle mosaic pattern. These affordable support socks are made in the USA with breathable cotton and come in two colors.

Shop Allegro Mosaic Sock

 

What are some of your favorite gift ideas this holiday season? Comment below to share.

 

 

Travel Comfortably: Choose the Best Compression Socks for Travel

Travel Compression Socks

A strong Dollar, compared to the British Pound and Euro, means now is a great time for Americans to travel to Europe.  And every trip to Europe needs a pair or two of compression stockings.  Frequent flyer miles are great, but you don’t want to arrive for your dream vacation with sore, swollen legs and feet. The reason your legs and feet get so achy when traveling is that your muscles are not being flexed or used enough, and blood pools in your leg veins. This lack of fresh oxygenated blood can cause soreness and cramping in your legs, and swelling in your ankles and feet. If you’re at higher risk for blood clots, are overweight, or you have notoriously poor circulation, this could lead to more serious problems like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

There are a number of ways to increase circulation when you’re on a long flight. First, and most important is to get up and move! Stand up, shake your legs, and walk the aisles when possible. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option if the seat-belt light is on. The easiest way to increase circulation is by wearing compression socks or stockings, often called “travel socks.”  Travel socks provide graduated compression from your ankles to your knee. This increases circulation naturally, coaxing the blood to flow back to your heart, instead of getting trapped in your legs and feet. Here are a few things to look for when shopping for compression socks to take on your trip:

  • Medical-grade compression socks will have a compression rating of 20-30 mmHg or 30-40 mmHg, but for traveling, it’s fine to wear socks that have a compression rating of 15-20 mmHg. (This is assuming you don’t suffer from other venous disease.) These ratings simply tell how tightly the compression socks will squeeze your leg (i.e. 15-20 mmHg is a lighter compression than 30-40 mmHg, which will feel much tighter on your legs and be more difficult to put on).
  • Find socks that have graduated compression. This means that the compression will be tighter at the ankle, and will gradually become looser as the sock extends up your leg. This will help return blood to your heart.
  • Pay attention to the material the socks are knit from. Travelers often prefer natural fibers like cotton, because they’re plush, absorb moisture, and are very comfortable.  Polyester, merino wool, and fabrics embedded with copper and silver are great for absorbing excess moisture on the skin, keeping your feet cool, and decreasing foot odor. No one wants stinky feet on a plane!
  • Socks don’t have to be labeled as “Travel Socks” to be used on a long trip. You only need to find socks with a stated compression of 15-20 mmHg, and at least knee high.  If you prefer thigh-highs or tights, they work just as well in the same compression level.

If you’re looking for the best quality compression socks at a great price, be sure to check out our full selection of Travel Socks.  If you think of compression socks as thick, flesh-colored tights your grandmother wears, you will be pleasantly surprised with these. No one will know you’re wearing compression!

Allegro Premium – Italian  Cotton Socks are a favorite among flight attendants – so you know they’re good!  They are priced at $19.09 per pair, and during the month of January, like all our Allegro stockings, they are part of our Buy-3-Get-1-Free Sale.  You can mix and match any Allegro items, so everyone in your travel group can get a pair or two.  Compression socks are great for everyday wear while traveling too.  They provide all day leg comfort while hiking, on city tours, and country walks.

If you’re someone who likes to roam the plane in only socks during flight – try Top & Derby’s Random Stripe, with 15-20 mmHg compression. These socks have a fun striped design you’ll want to show off and cost $24.09 a pair.

Finally, the Sockwell brand offers a wide variety of natural fiber blend socks that are a customer favorite.  We stock the full line, and there are colors and patterns available for every taste. Plus, they’re Sarah Michelle Geller’s travel socks of choice. If Buffy the Vampire Slayer wears them – you can too!

Don’t travel without compression…. And Bon Voyage!

BrightLife New Year’s Resolutions!

The end of every year is a time for reflection. As we look back, we set new goals for the next year of things we want to change or improve. This year, we asked the BrightLife family what their resolutions are. Take a look:

Resolution 1:

My resolution is to be able to take on leg day at the gym and actually be able to walk the next day…without limping or feeling like my legs are Jello. TheraSport Recovery Socks are the key to success here.

resolution

Resolution 2:

It’s time to stop kidding myself. My real resolution is to embrace the amount of time I spend on the internet. Sitting there for hours isn’t as bad if I’m wearing compression socks…right??

Resolution

Resolution 3:

My resolution is to wear jeans less often! Good thing I can stock up on Allegro sheers & stockings during the January Buy 3 Get 1 Free sale! 🙂

new year resolution joke

Resolution 4:

My resolution is to be more bold and outgoing this year. Check out these hot new colors! I’m really going to stand out at the gym wearing these Sigvaris Performance Calf Sleeves. The compression helps to enhance performance and speed up recovery, so I can lap all the other “Resolutioners” at the gym.

Sigvaris 412 Compression Calf Sleeves - BrightLife Direct

Resolution 5:

My resolution is to stop spending time sorting laundry by color, what’s machine washable vs. hand washable etc. and to start living life on the edge and just throw it all in. Good thing Juzo is machine washable!

New Years Resolution

Resolution 6:

LOSE WEIGHT. But seriously, just need the time/energy. I have the compression!

Calvin and Hobbs

Resolution 7:

Instead of dreading traveling, my resolution is to start looking forward to new adventures. Between the hassle of flying and the stress of driving in traffic, there’s a lot of time spent sitting around. It’s time to start traveling comfortably and in style. These Sockwell compression socks are a must have!

Sockwell On the Spot Compression Socks

Resolution 8:

This year, I’m going to take it upon myself to spend more time in the kitchen and really learn how to cook. Now, this could take all year, so there’s going to be a lot of standing involved. Compression socks anyone?

Funny New Year Resolution

What is your New Year’s resolution? How do you plan to stick to it?

Holiday Gift Guide 2015!

It’s that time of year again! With Christmas right around the corner, here are some ideas to start crossing people off of your list. Let’s start with the guys.

Holiday Gift Guide For Men!

If you’re drawing a blank on what to get your male friends and family members, think about useful and functional presents. Guys tend to like practical gifts, so look for something they can use often. H&M has a lot of great shirts and jackets at great prices right now. You could also look for a nice bag or wallet to keep his things organized. If your man tends to run on the late side, get him a watch as a funny way to help him keep track of the time.

Now that “No-Shave November” is over, it’s time to break out the razor! Celebrate by getting him a nice grooming set. You can find these at Target, Walmart or your local mall. Another great must-have item this season is a comfy, warm hat. They even make hats with speakers in them now!

Compression socks are great for any guy who travels, exercises or for someone who sits or stands for long periods of time. They help to reduce leg fatigue and blood clots, which is important to keep him happy and healthy. The socks shown above are made by Sockwell. This brand is great for casual wear. Compression socks are available in tons of styles, fabrics and colors for any occasion. Comfort is everything these days, so make sure he has a comfortable pair of boots during the winter months!

Get the look:

1. H&M Parka / 2. H&M Shirt / 3. H&M Button Down Shirt / 4. Target Gift Card / 5. Beats Headphones / 6. Slouchy Hat / 7. August Steiner Stainless Steel Watch / 8. Sockwell Men’s Circulator Stripe 15-20mmHg Compression Sock / 9. H&M Leather Messenger Bag / 10. H&M Boots / 11. Buxton Men’s Grooming Set

 

If the men on your shopping list love technology or STAR WARS, here are some of our favorite picks:

Gifts for the Techy

If you have friends or family who are anxiously awaiting the new Star Wars movie, get them a Darth Vader toaster, Death Star cutting board or an R2D2 USB Flash Drive. For the cold commute to work this winter, pick him up a pair of driving gloves or a scarf. You can’t go wrong with sunglasses – they are a necessity in any season. Compression socks are also a must to keep his legs energized all day long and eliminate the feeling of tired, achy legs. Those commutes can be pretty lengthy and let’s face it – nobody likes cramps!

For your man on the go, a portable charger is a great idea so he can charge his phone or any other USB-charging device from anywhere. You can also pick him up a briefcase or backpack to carry around his new gadgets! If you’re looking for some other technology gift ideas, try a nice camera for that vacation you’ve been hinting at, wireless bluetooth speakers or an fitness armband to hold his phone while working out.

Get the look:

 

Now for the ladies. If you are completely stumped on what to get the special woman in your life, try some spa-inspired gifts. Here are our favorite products to help her relax after a long day.

Gifts for Her

For your leading lady, pamper her with the beauty essentials – makeup, nail polish, body lotion, bubble bath and chapstick. These gifts are great for her friends too! A lot of stores offer gift baskets with different kinds of foods and small items that are tailored towards different interests. These are easy last minute gifts as well.

For a more sentimental gift, pick out a picture frame and put an image of your favorite memory with her in it. Or, you can fill the frame with a picture of a future trip to take together. You can even get her a passport case to go with it! You can also pick up a nicely scented candle and dinner for a relaxing evening at home.

Cold weather items like scarves, hats and gloves are nice generic but meaningful gifts. To me, a great gift is something people will actually use and not just shove to the back of their closet. For women who frequently work out, travel, or for those who sit or stand for long periods of time at work, compression socks are a must. The Sockwell Women’s Chevron Compression Socks shown above increase circulation to prevent varicose veins and spider veins. Plus, they make her legs feel amazing, even after a long day on her feet. Finally, Sockwell provides a fashionable and functional solution to the health and beauty dilemma.

Lastly – Remember, you can never go wrong with jewelry.

Get the look:

 

SHOP TRAVEL SOCKS

 

Beat the Heat with these Summer Health Tips

 

It is important to take care of your body, especially in the warmer months. Whether you’re heading to the pool, going camping or getting some exercise outside, we have tons of tips to keep you healthy and comfortable all summer long. Plus, check out some of the best skin care products and how to stay cool in the hottest weather.

The Basics

  1. Hydrate! The more water you drink, the easier it is for your body to regulate its temperature.
  2. Wear loose clothing to avoid overheating and to make you more comfortable.
  3. Avoid salty foods to prevent dehydration and swelling.
  4. Skin care is important! Make sure to moisturize your skin multiple times a day.
  5. Wear compression stockings while traveling and take frequent breaks on long trips to walk around.
  6. Stay in the shade as much as possible and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Skin Care

During the summer months, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun and moisturize frequently. If you have lymphedema, getting sunburn can damage your lymphatic system, resulting in overly sensitive skin. Make sure to apply sunscreen before heading out, but try to avoid applying it to areas covered by your compression garment. Suntan lotion can cause the material to deteriorate faster and can irritate the skin underneath the garment. You should also put on bug spray to avoid infections, cuts and discomfort. Try to use natural bug spray to eliminate unwanted chemicals such as DEET on your skin. If you do get bit, make sure to carefully wash and dry the area and apply a hydrocortisone cream.

“If you are going camping or hiking, be sure to take along a specialized first aid kit. The kit should include alcohol wipes to clean off any skin break, antibiotic cream for application on the skin, and bandages to protect the area.” – National Lymphatic Network

If you have dry or cracked skin, try using Remedy Skin Repair Cream. It is non-allergenic and great for those with diabetes or sensitive skin. If you are looking for a cream that won’t clog your pores, isn’t greasy and can be used with compression garments, try the Cutimed ACUTE Cream Mouse to moisturize your skin. It is perfect for people with diabetes, lymphedema or those with damaged skin. It is available in three different strengths, depending on what you need. For an everyday lotion that is also safe for compression garments, apply Medi Day Gel. This fast absorbing gel makes it easier to get your compression stockings on without the greasy residue.

Comfort is Key

During the summer, make sure to wear loose clothing to stay cool and to avoid restricting the flow of your lymphatic system. One of the most important things when you’re out in the sun is to wear comfortable shoes. Check out the new Dr. Comfort summer shoes for men and women. They are great for those with diabetes, plantar fasciitis or sensitive feet. They provide additional cushioning and shock absorption to keep you comfortably on your feet all day long. Nothing’s worse than tired feet halfway through the day!

Summer is one the best times for traveling, but it can also be the most uncomfortable. Whether you are flying, driving or traveling by train, make sure to wear your compression stockings! Sitting for long periods of time is bad for circulation and can lead to fatigue, swelling and more serious complications. If you are driving, make sure to use the air conditioning and stop as much as possible to get out and stretch. If you have lymphedema, try to keep your affected limb as elevated as possible. If you take a plane, the lower air pressure can aggravate lymphedema. If you have lower extremity lymphedema, try to get an aisle seat so you have more leg room and can get up to walk around more frequently without the difficulty. If you have lymphedema in your arms, make sure to carry a light carry-on or get a rolling suitcase to avoid heavy lifting. Again, make sure to stay hydrated while traveling!

How to Keep Your Cool in the Summer

If you have lymphedema, you know the importance of staying cool. When you start to feel overheated, try taking a cool shower and elevate the affected limb in an air conditioned place. You can also wrap the limb in a cold, wet towel and elevate it as well. To avoid getting your compression garment wet, the National Lymphatic Network suggests putting a plastic bag between the garment and the wet towel. This avoids skin irritation and damage to the garment. If you have upper extremity lymphedema, check out Lymphedivas. These fashionable compression armsleeves are made with moisture wicking fabric to keep your arm cool and dry. They are lightweight and are infused with aloe vera to soften and moisturize your skin. They are latex and silicone free, and made in America. To stay cool with compression socks, thigh highs or pantyhose, try an open toe stocking. This style is great to wear with sandals or other summer shoes.

It is also important to wash your compression garments daily, especially in the summer. Frequent washing is better for compression stockings because it helps to maintain its effectiveness and prolongs the garments lifespan. Regularly washing compression garments also helps to get rid of dirt and oils that can reduce the effectiveness of the garment and avoids bacteria that can cause skin irritation or other complications. Plus, lotions that aren’t safe for compression can cause the fabric to deteriorate faster.

Diet

Eating healthy is important for more reasons than getting the perfect “beach body.” During the summer, it is vital to avoid salty foods because they can lead to swelling, water retention and bloating. Instead of grabbing a soda and chips, snack on fruits, vegetables and nuts. Make sure to get lots of protein and to eat a big, balanced breakfast to keep your energy up all day long. Avoid foods with lots of carbohydrates and sugar to keep you from craving sweets and junk food. Eat 3-5 small meals throughout the day and make sure you’re not hungry. When you don’t eat enough, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs and can lead to fainting, dizziness, exhaustion and fatigue. Most importantly, drink lots of water to give your body the oxygen it needs. Dehydration can cause you to feel overheated, so stay cool with a nice, refreshing glass of water.

Exercise

The summertime is great for exercising and playing sports, but it is important to take it easy. Physical activities you do in the winter won’t affect you as much as they do in the summer because of the heat. Even though you typically run 5 miles in the winter, you may not be able to run as far in the summer. The heat can cause your lymphatic system to “overload”, which is why many people with lymphedema dread the summer months. However, the heat doesn’t have to prevent you from going outside and enjoying yourself, you just have to be more careful. Make sure to exercise for a shorter amount of time and to take a lot of breaks. If your arm or leg starts to ache, hurt or feel irritated in any way, go inside to cool down and elevate the affected limb. This is a sign that your lymphatic system is overloaded.

Swimming is recommended for those with lymphedema. Make sure to moisturize after swimming in the pool to avoid dry skin. Once you are out of the water, remember to put your compression garment or bandages back on as soon as possible. You can use an old garment if you want to swim with one on. Remember to rinse off after swimming and dry completely to avoid infection and skin irritation. If you have lower extremity lymphedema, make sure to wear shoes at the pool whenever you’re not in the water to avoid bacteria or getting cuts or scratches that could get infected. If you have a cut or open wound, it is best to avoid swimming until after it has healed.

Resources

Cool Tips For A Hot Summer – NLN

How to Wear Compression in the Summer – RejuvaHealth

4 Tips To Get Your Legs Ready For Summer

Protect Your Skin From the Sun – American Cancer Society

Diabetes and Summer Safety Tips

Sigvaris Hypoallergenic Skin & Foot Cream

7 Critical Precautions for Summer if You Have Diabetes

How to Prevent Skin Cancer – American Cancer Society

Are You At Risk For Varicose Veins?

Did you know that running and lifting weights can cause varicose veins? Things that you think are helping your body may not be benefiting it in the same way you would like.  It’s not just hereditary, things you do on a day to day basis can increase your chances of developing varicose and spider veins. Even standing for long periods of time can put you at risk.

Generally, varicose veins is most common in older people and pregnant women, and usually occur in the legs and thighs. Your family history, age, lifestyle and hormones can all play a factor in developing varicose veins. Obesity can also increase your risk. Additionally, women are more likely to develop this condition than men. Although in most cases this is not a life-threatening condition, it can still cause pain and discomfort, or turn into something more serious.

About Varicose Veins

First things first-what exactly are varicose veins? This condition develops when your blood is not circulating properly. In your veins, there are one-way valves that pump blood to your heart. When these valves become too damaged or weak to stop blood from flowing in the wrong direction, the blood remains in the vein, causing the veins to swell and twist near the surface of the skin. Both spider veins and varicose veins look somewhat similar in appearance, but the main difference is that spider veins do not usually cause pain or discomfort. Varicose veins can also be caused by inflammation in your veins and from blood clots.

Symptoms include burning, itching, aching, cramping, tiredness and swelling. They can cause blood clots and skin ulcers as well. If it gets worse, the skin may become inflamed and change color. Veins can appear blue and look like they’re going to pop out of your skin. Varicose veins can evolve into a more serious condition called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This can cause symptoms to intensify. According to the ACP Vein Center, 30-50% of adults are at risk of developing CVI. If a blood clot forms and blockage occurs, this can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). With all of that being said, you’re ready to hear about some preventative solutions right??

Prevention

To help prevent developing varicose veins, you want to improve circulation in the body. To do so, you want to focus on your calves. They pump blood from your legs back up to your heart, so you want to strengthen these muscles as much as possible. One easy way to improve circulation is by wearing compression socks. The graduated compression helps to reduce swelling and muscle fatigue to keep your legs energized and ache-free all day. You can find thigh highs, pantyhose and knee highs that all fight varicose veins in a variety of colors, fabrics, styles and compression levels. Not sure what level of compression you should use? Check out our Buyers Guide for more information.

Generally, 15-20mmHg is a good compression level for both the occasional and everyday wearer. Compression garments do more than improve circulation. They are great to wear traveling, to work, or when you are sitting or standing for long periods of time. Compression socks can also help athletes enhance performance, speed up recovery time and help to prevent injuries such as shin splints. It’s amazing how good your legs feel when you wear compression pantyhose or socks all day.

Listed below are some compression stockings that help with varicose veins. There are knee high, thigh high and pantyhose styles available by many different brands. Prices can vary anywhere from $12 to $60 or more depending on what compression level you need, the type of fabric and style you prefer. Sockwell has great products if you’re looking for something with style. Try our house brand, Allegro, if you are looking for a more affordable solution. Juzo compression stockings are perfect if you want something that is really comfortable. Wear Sigvaris or Jobst if you appreciate luxurious fabrics and a stylish look. Mediven offers a variety of products in many different styles, fabrics and compression levels for a great price.

For minor varicose veins, try a compression garment that provides 15-20mmHg of gradient compression. This level is perfect for traveling and relieves minor swelling, spider veins and helps to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The Sockwell Men’s Circulator Stripe 15-20mmHg

Juzo Attractive Sheer Thigh Highs 15-20mmHg

Sigvaris Soft Opaque Pantyhose 15-20mmHg

Use a compression garment that provides firm 20-30mmHg of gradient compression for moderate varicose veins. Wear this compression level to treat mild to moderate swelling, DVT and post-schlerotherapy.

Juzo Basic Ribbed Sock 20-30mmHg

Jobst Opaque Thigh Highs 20-30mmHg

Allegro Sheer Support Pantyhose 20-30mmHg

Wear compression stockings that provide 30-40mmHg of gradient compression under a doctor’s super vision. This compression level is best to wear during healing after surgical or sclerotherapy procedures to reduce swelling and chronic venous insufficiency.

Jobst Relief Knee Highs 30-40mmHg

Medi Assure Thigh high 30-40mmHg

Allegro Surgical Pantyhose 30-40mmHg

When you sit or stand for long periods of time, wearing compression socks improve blood flow. When you are sitting down, it’s harder for your veins to get the blood back up to your heart. Compression socks squeeze the leg to reduce how much pressure and blood is in your veins and helps to regulate and maintain a healthy blood flow. By improving circulation, recovery time for tired, achy legs decreases. It is also important to keep your legs flat on the floor instead of crossing them when you sit. Making sure you get up and walk around every half hour to an hour when you are sitting for a long time can also help.

Walking is a great exercise to keep your legs happy and healthy. You want to find activities that stretch the muscle and also strengthen it without going overboard. This is why running and lifting weights can cause so much damage to your body. Lifting weights and doing activities like Pilates and Yoga can strain your abdomen which results in less blood being able to reach the heart. Light, moderate exercise can help prevent varicose veins from getting worse. It is important to keep your body health and in the best shape possible. Losing weight and wearing loose clothing can also help prevent varicose veins from worsening.

Treatment

There are a couple of procedures to treat varicose veins. One option is to undergo sclerotherapy, which is where a solution is injected into your veins, which prevents blood from filling them. The veins are eventually absorbed by the body and fade as time passes. However, this isn’t for everyone. Pregnant women cannot use this treatment. People who have a history of blood clots may not be eligible either. Other treatments include vein stripping, where an incision is made to remove the vein, and may result in scarring, or a similar operation called ambulatory phlebectomy that results in minimal scarring. It is really important to wear compression socks after this procedure to reduce the pain. Another option is laser treatment. In this procedure, a tiny fiber is put in the vein that sends out laser energy to kill the part of the vein that is diseased. Read more about treatments at the Society for Vascular Surgery website.

Resources on Varicose Veins

Why Be Concerned About Varicose Veins? – Johns Hopkins

Frequently Asked Questions – Venefit

What Are Varicose Veins? – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Truths and Myths about Varicose Veins – Venefit

Difference between spider and varicose veins – American Academy of Dermatology

What you should know about varicose veins – American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

Treatment Resources

Varicose vein treatment – Radiologyinfo.org

Hear what people have to say about sclerotherapy – Realself.com

Varicose veins and exercise – La Jolla Light

Treatment Resources – Baptist Health Systems

Forums and Blogs

Varicose veins forum – American Venous Forum

Should I stop lifting due to varicose veins? – Bodybuilding Forum

Varicose veins and dieting obstacles forum

Varicose Vein Forum – Patient.co.uk

Varicose Vein Blogs – Smart Living Network

Community Forum – MedHelp.org

Support Groups

Varicose veins support group – DailyStrength.org

Varicose veins information and support group – Varistop.com

Q&A, blog and support group – Drugs.com

Varicose veins discussions and support group – People Helping People

Best Selling Products of 2014

As another year comes to a close, we tend to look back on the highlights of this past year. Here at BrightLife Direct, we are excited to share some of our major accomplishments of 2014: Our best sellers! Here is a list of all of your favorite products from this past year. Thank you for supporting us, we couldn’t have done it without you all. Happy New Year!!!

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Best Selling Sheer Compression

  1. Allegro Sheer Hosiery
  2. Jobst UltraSheer
  3. Medi Sheer & Soft

Best Selling Compression Sock

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock
  2. Allegro Ribbed Support Socks
  3. Therafirm Core-Spun Socks

Best Selling Compression Accessory

  1. It Stays – Body Adhesive
  2. Sigvaris Ridged Donning Gloves
  3. Hosiery Mate Revitalizing Washing Solution

Best Selling Diabetic Socks

  1. Jobst Sensifoot
  2. SmartKnit Seamless
  3. Allegro Pillow Soft Diabetic Socks

Best Selling Lymphedema Combined Armsleeves and Gauntlets

  1. Allegro Armsleeve/Gauntlet Combo
  2. Mediven Harmony Armsleeve & Gauntlet
  3. Sigvaris 912 Advance Armsleeve/Gauntlet Combo

Best Selling Athletic Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock
  2. Jobst Active Athletic Socks
  3. Allegro Athletic Copper Support Socks

Best Selling High Compression Socks (30-40 mmhg)

  1. Allegro Surgical Knee High
  2. Jobst Relief Knee Highs
  3. Allegro Men’s Super Support Sock

Pilot Approved Travel Socks

We’ve always been a fan of TravelSox travel compression socks for traveling by plane, train or automobile, but we think a review from a Boeing captain means more than our humble opinion! Check out what Captain Lorentz thinks about TravelSox below.


My name is Victor Lorentz. I am a Boeing 767 Captain and Check Airman for United Airlines, flying long haul international flights from the U.S. to various destinations in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa.

A number of years ago, one of our pilots who is a competitive athlete authored an article in our airline’s flight safety publication highlighting the health risks associated with the lengthy, sedentary “sits” during such flights.

Besides recommending frequent movement and lower limb exercises, he advocated that we wear over-the-calf graduated compression socks. That is how I learned about TravelSox.

I immediately purchased several pair and have worn TravelSox Soft compression socks on every flight since. My experience was so clearly beneficial that I purchased more for my wife and adult children to wear whenever they fly, regardless of the length of the journey.

All four of us report the same effects: Noticeably less fatigue, no foot or ankle swelling, and the reassurance that comes from lots of research concluding that we are mitigating the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Despite many, many cycles through the washer and dryer, my TravelSox Soft socks retain their elasticity and compression.

Serendipitously, these are the most comfortable socks that I have ever worn. After several years as a satisfied customer, I just ordered more.

Note: I personally pay for the purchase of the TravelSox Soft socks that my family and I wear. I have received no compensation from the manufacturer, importer, distributor, or vendor of these products.

Captain Victor Lorentz United Airlines

Find all of the different TravelSox product options on BrightLife Direct.
This review was originally posted on the TravelSox Facebook page.

Travel Socks a.k.a. Compression Stockings

The British love to travel, and they make it really easy.  Major airports have listings of last minute travel packages.  Just show up, pick a holiday, and off you go.  Supplemental travel and health insurance can be purchased inexpensively right at an airport kiosk.  And wearing compression socks on long haul flights is a must, not an afterthought.

The British newspaper, The Telegraph, ran a medical advice article just the other day about a woman who will be traveling from London to Tokyo and was concerned about developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and wanted to know what steps she could take to prevent it.  Dr. Richard Dawood, a travel health expert, recommended against aspirin because of the low, but definite risk of bleeding in the stomach.  His best and safest recommendation to prevent a DVT… wear compression stockings.  They speed up blood flow, and reduce discomfort caused by ankle and foot swelling.

Dr. Dawood consulted with his travel guru,  vascular surgeon, John Scurr, whose research studies have shown a significantly reduced rate of clot formation among air travellers using graduated compression stockings.  Dr. Scurr recommends a knee high stocking that is sized properly, and specifically mentions Mediven Travel Socks.  Both doctors also recommend standing, walking and stretching as much as you can, and keep hydrated with as little caffeine and alcohol as possible.

For high risk individuals, those who have a past history of blood clots, have had recent surgery, especially on their legs, have blood clotting disorders or are overweight, they recommend talking to their doctor before travel.   In addition to compression stockings, blood-thinning medication might also be considered.

This is probably the twentieth blog we have written with news about travel socks.  You know why?  They work!

By: Pete@BrightLife Direct
Google+

Travel Socks from the #1 Physician Recommended Brand

Jobst Travel Socks are back.  These were a customer favorite for many years, but due to production problems, were discontinued.  Jobst has just reintroduced this sock in the same great cotton blend fabric for men and women.  Features include:

  • All day comfort top-band, that keeps your stockings in place no matter how long the trip
  • Reinforced heel and toe for durability
  • Soft cotton/nylon/spandex blend fabric that feels great against the skin and keeps your feet dry and comfortable
  • Ribbed design in two colors: black and

    beige

Jobst Travel Socks

Travel socks have been proven to reduce the risk of developing a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or blood clot in the leg which can turn into a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.  They also prevent your legs and feet from swelling due to sitting in a confined space for an extended period of time.  If you have ever taken your shoes off at the beginning of a long-haul flight, you know how difficult it can be to put them back on when you land.  If you keep your shoes on, you’ve felt how tight they become. Compression travel socks will help prevent this problem.

The improved circulation also alleviates some of the aches and pains in your legs associated with sitting for a long time.

Jobst Travel Socks have a graduated compression of 15-20mmHg.  Graduated means the compression is higher at the ankle, and gradually decreases up the leg.  This is one of the ways the stocking helps your circulatory system push blood from the lower extremities back to your heart.  This level of compression is considered moderate and is the recommended level of compression for travel, assuming you don’t have any other venous issues.

If you prefer a fabric other than cotton, BrightLife Direct has a large selections of other fabrics and styles to choose from.  If your summer vacation plans include traveling for more than 3-4 hours, don’t forget to wear your travel socks.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
Google+

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