An Intro To Basic Skincare

By Reagan Partridge, Staff Writer / 11/06/2019

cosmetologist applying skincare treatments at cosmetology schoolWhether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, taking just a little time every morning and night to care for your skin should be a crucial part of your day. Skincare doesn’t only help your skin to be healthy and look its best; the process of taking that little bit of time in the morning or that extra 10 minutes at night is good for your mental health.

Consider following the steps to recognize the unique aspects of your skin to build a skincare routine that makes your skin feel good and you feel good.

Analyze Your Skin

Before one can start the process of analyzing their skin, there are a few terms to get acquainted with:

Combination – Combination skin refers to skin that has both large sections of oily skin and dry skin. This can be the most difficult kind of skin to develop a routine for as the skin may have conflicting needs in separate areas.

Dry – Dry skin is skin that is usually a bit rough to the touch and tends to have spots of severe flaky, possibly white patches.

Oily – Oily skin is skin that overproduces natural oils such as sebum, giving it a shiny look.

Acne-Prone – Acne-Prone skin is skin that tends to get pimples easier or currently has a lot of acne.

Now that we are equipped with some skincare language, it’s time to start accessing the skin.

Developing a skin routine personalized to you can be difficult when you have a hard time recognizing the needs of your skin. The first step in good skincare is recognizing features about your skin. Is it oily? Dry? Combination? Where on the face are there spots of oiliness or dryness? Is it prone to acne or relatively clear? Is the skin more wrinkly? Is it firm or a little looser?

All of this may feel like an interrogation, but recognizing the unique aspects of the skin will help determine its needs in the skincare department. As put so eloquently by Hyram, “We all need help, Sweetie.” 

Pick Out Some Products

There are some basic products everyone should have in their skincare routine:

Cleanser – A good face cleanser is a face wash that leaves the skin feeling clean, but not imagesdry.

Exfoliator – An exfoliator (chemical or physical) cleans off dry patches and gets some of the gunk out of pores.

Toner – Toners are able to cut through dirt, oil, and makeup left on the skin. Toners can help with acne.

Moisturizer –  Moisturizers add hydration to the skin; they are important whether the skin is oily, dry, or combination.

Each product in one’s skincare routine does not have to be used every day or every time the skincare routine is performed.

Cleansers should be utilized at least twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. Cleansing at the beginning of the day helps to get rid of the oils produced overnight, and cleansing at the end of the day rids the face of dirt and oil obtained over the course of the day. Toners and moisturizers can be used twice a day, but no more than that.

On the other hand, exfoliators should only be used 3-4 times a week. Exfoliators, although effective, are too harsh to be used every day, twice a day. Exfoliators can cause microtears in the skin if they are used too often or are too harsh. Avoid exfoliators made with walnuts or any other harsh materials. Just because a product is natural does not make it good for the skin. 

Although every basic routine needs these products,  it is still important to cater your selection of skincare products to your skin type.

Oily skin requires a hardy, foaming cleanser to trap the dirt and oil on the foam, a strong toner to cut through the access oil and dirt left after cleansing, and a non-oil-based moisturizer. Neutrogena has an entire oil-free line of skincare products (including makeup removers) that work fantastically for oily skin.

Dry skin requires products that avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils. Combination skin is a little more complicated as it is quite unique to the individual, but having a combination of dry skin-friendly and oily skin-friendly products within the same routine is a good start.

Remain Consistent

images (1)When one establishes a skin routine, it must be maintained. The consistency is good or the skin as it is able to get adjusted and remain adjusted to the products being used. Consistency also keeps the skin clean and happy. When the same products aren’t used every day, twice a day, the skin can start breaking out because it is no longer adjusted to the products. 

It can be scary to jump into a new skincare routine without being equipped with the knowledge to build a routine for one’s self, but it’s not impossible. Just break it down into steps: analyze your skin type, determine what your skin needs are, pick out products, and maintain your established routine.

Taking care of one’s skin will not only improve the quality of their skin but also their mental health.

As a disclaimer, the author of this article is not a professional esthetician but has mastered their own personal skincare routine. Hyram (a licensed esthetician in Hawaii) on Youtube ( has been an excellent source for research as well as general questions about skincare.

The Effects of Caffeine on Teenagers

By Gabriella Adams, Staff Writer / 10/31/2019

1024px-A_small_cup_of_coffee.JPGWe’ve all experienced it: one sluggish teenager walks into a classroom with a fresh cup of Dunkin’ from across the street, or a can of Monster, only to be told they need to throw it away. Coffee is something Hermon High is widely concerned with, but why? 

Caffeine is the most widespread psychoactive drug, but scientists are still unsure what the effects of it are on developing teenage brains. As far as health professionals know, the effects of the buzz can vary from person to person. For some, nothing bad will ever come from a Redbull. But others find it anxiety-inducing and even life-threatening. 

America may run on Dunkin’, but a good portion of America includes teenagers. The Dunkin’ Donuts official blog has even marketed towards teens and young people by using finals week as a reason to consume coffee. The article “5 Finals Week Must-Haves” opens with the first necessity being coffee. “I promise your sanity will remain intact as long as you keep a cup in your left hand and a pencil in your right,” the blog claims, “Seriously though, no library outing is complete for me without it, and right now, that cup is full of some Cookie Dough Iced Coffee.” 

The Cookie Dough flavor mentioned in this blog may be marketed towards young people. Brands often use sweet flavors to entice children and teenagers to purchase their products. Dunkin’ sells every flavor from french vanilla to butter pecan, tempting teens to consume more and more caffeine. 

In a survey conducted at Hermon High School, 41.7% of teenagers reported that they consume 1-2 cups of coffee a day, where 8.3% say they drink more than 5 cups. Energy drinks, however, are seemingly becoming depopularized at Hermon, with 83.3% of students saying that they consume zero cans a day. 

There’s no doubt that teenagers drink caffeine, but why do they do so? The most common reasons chosen by 50% of students: to stay awake at school, to improve focus, and simply not getting enough sleep. 

Hermon’s busiest students are involved in college classes, have jobs outside of school, participate in internships, and take part in extracurricular activities. Sleep can seem nearly impossible to these students, so they feel as though they must resort to artificial energy. In fact, the vast majority of students report that they consume caffeine during the school week rather than on weekends. 

We know that teenagers love caffeine, but we often turn a blind eye on the negative effects they may experience. It is a well-known fact that caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia, irritable digestive system, and rapid heart rate. The drug can affect each person differently, but a shocking majority of Hermon students reported they feel at least one of these, the most popular being anxiety. 

The reason caffeine is such bad news for people already diagnosed with anxiety is because the jitters caffeine gives a person is similar to the fight-or-flight response anxiety sufferers already experience. This can heighten anxiety that already exists and trigger anxiety attacks. 

coffee-health01-lgIn some cases, caffeine can even be deadly to young people. According to the University of Michigan Health Blog, South Carolina teen, Davis Allen Cripe, suffered a fatal collapse after consuming a latte, a Mountain Dew, and an energy drink within the span of two hours. Depending on the person, caffeine can reach the point in which poison control should get involved. When that does not happen, it can result in death. 

The death of  Cripe should serve as an eye-opener for teens everywhere. Occasional caffeine is less likely to have a negative effect than a few cups an hour, but overall it may be healthier to avoid the buzz. There are several dietary and lifestyle changes that will naturally raise energy levels without the negative side effects, such as eating greens, consuming protein, adding exercise to your daily life, and of course, getting the right amount of sleep for your body and mind. 

So, next time a teacher asks you to throw out your Dunkin’, don’t get too angry. They may be doing you a favor. 


Travel Tips with Ethan

By Ethan Bailey, Staff Writer / 10/21/2019

Did you know about 1 in every 4 people in America travel a year, that means at least 100 million people in the US alone travel in one year according to Newsroom.AAA. The holiday season is also one of the busiest travel times. Who knows, maybe you might be next!travel-4022443_960_720

Being one of these many people who travel quite often, I would say that I have plenty of experience, and I want to use that experience to make your traveling season as smooth as possible. So here are some of my travel tips that I find to be very useful.

Some of my convenient tips for traveling start with the packing and preparing process. For starters: 

  • Try to pack up the night before you leave so you are not rushing to get ready and pack at the same time. You will only need a reasonable time before you leave to get ready if you are already packed so you can leave on time. 
  • Be at the airport 2-3 hours earlier than your flight’s departure time so you can find your gate and get through TSA without being rushed.
  • Make a list of what you want to bring and things you might need when you are there. Keep the list on your phone or somewhere where you won’t lose it so at the end of your trip you can come back to it and make sure you have everything you came with. 
  • For packing your carry on, pack only what you need. It’s a good idea to pack one pair of extra clothes and a toothbrush with a travel size toothpaste, just in case your luggage gets lost, you will have the essentials. Also, try to pack a small blanket as it might get cold on the airplane if not you can bunch it up into a pillow. Also carry on your valuables like if you have one laptop, if you have one tablet, portable battery, charging cords. And don’t forget some snacks. If you do it right, it should all fit into a small backpack. 
  • Bring an empty reusable water bottle (you can fill it up when you get past TSA!)
  • Pack all things metal (portable batteries, cords, headphones, etc.) into a plastic sandwich bag so you can easily pull it out at TSA and be all ready to move through the line.
  •  Remember not to fill your suitcase or carry on all the way when you leave for your trip as you will most likely get souvenirs you will want to bring home. You are going to need space to put them. 
  • Bring something to entertain yourself on the flight, as waiting in the airport and the flight can be very long and you don’t want to be bored. Bring something like a movie or a game you can play.
  • For longer flights or drives it will be very helpful to get a lot of convenient snacks as you might get hungry on the way there and back and won’t want to stop or pay for food at rest stops or airports.

When you’re in the airport like getting your plane ticket or at TSA, you might want to remember:

  • Make sure you have your passport if travelling out of the country or if you don’t have Maine’s Real ID. Beginning in October 2020, you will need a passport or Real ID to travel inside the country. Always remember you can’t use a driver’s license if you’re traveling over seas.
  • Have the ticket you purchased and boarding passes ready on your phone or in paper copy. 
  • While waiting in line for TSA take your belt, shoes, necklace, watch, or glasses off before getting to the counter so that you are all ready to place them in the bins when you get to TSA. You won’t feel as rushed and it will make the stressful process smoother. 
  • After TSA, make sure you have remembered the most important things like your phone, wallet, and passport. Put them back in a safe place.

I know there aren’t many tips while you are at TSA but the biggest thing is don’t feel rushed as this can make you lose things. You don’t want that to happen while travelling. 

The only tips for while you are on the airplane are pretty simple but very important. The biggest tip is to:

  • Know the unspoken “rule” of the airplane seats. If the row is 3 seats wide, the aisle seat gets one arm rest and extra leg room, the middle seat (the worst seat) gets 2 armrests (the ones between the aisle and window), and the window seat gets one arm rest and a place to rest their head, also a view! If you don’t follow this, then go home. 
  • Another tip is to put your carry on under the seat in front of you so you won’t have to get up during the flight to get something. 
  • If you’re not hungry, still take the airplane food because they may not come back around with more snacks when you are hungry. Trust me you will be and you will wish you had taken

These are the tips I have for your traveling needs. Some of them are more important than others, but if you try a few of these you will understand how useful they really are! Try not to forget anything, relax, and have fun on your trip!

Fall Fashion of Hermon High School

By Gabriella Adams, Staff Writer / 10/15/2019

Although high school students aren’t often seen rocking capes and blazers like the New York Fashion Week enthusiasts shown in Marie Claire, they still have an interesting style. The fall fashion trends at Hermon High can be seen if you take a quick walk through the halls: freshmen often rock scrunchies and Crocs, while seniors tend to go for a more simplistic look. 

But why are some of these styles unique to Hermon students? 

The dress code was updated last year after an incident in 2017 in which students stood in protest against a rule that involved ripped jeans. The protest was so extreme that WGME and other news stations came to interview students that participated in the protest. 

In 2018 the dress code was adapted due to strong concern from students. “Non-transparent clothes must be worn in a way such that genitals, buttocks, nipples, and midriff… are covered… Clothing that reveals underwear is prohibited.” 

With the dress code’s recent change, students, particularly female presenting ones, feel extremely liberated in their self expression with fashion. “I’m glad I can wear whatever jeans I want [now].” Senior, Noelle Thibodeau, exclaims. The transition between dress codes is something juniors and seniors remember rejoicing. fall fashion

The fact that students have few limitations on their clothing greatly impacts our fall fashion.


Almost every teenage girl throughout the halls can be seen with scrunchies in her hair or on her wrist. This nineties comeback started relatively recently, seemingly being a way to spice up any look. Wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants? Throw on a patterned scrunchie and your look is complete. 

“My favorite fashion trends are Vans and scrunchies,” Thibodeau explains. She is often seen with a scrunchie on her wrist, and her collection is reaching the point of addiction. 

Scrunchies can be found anywhere from Walmart to Saks Fifth Avenue. In fact, the quirky hair accessory is sold for $150 at Versace, and Balenciaga boasts a $225 scrunchie made of lambskin and embezzled with gold detailing. And, let’s face it, if you slap those logos on anything, the price goes up at least $50. 

Mom Jeans 

Hermon High School’s edgiest students are often seen sporting mom jeans, often times ripped. The style of mom jeans is taken straight out of the eighties, proving that fashion trends always repeat themselves. Freshman, Alaina Adams, often scurries through Hollister looking for this specific type of high rise denim. She pairs it with her favorite belt, bought at Target for just $13.

Mom jeans have caused a rise in overall denim purchases, according to Today. It has been shown that before the comeback of these denim beauties, girls tended to reach for leggings or yoga pants, a simple and comfy addition to any look. 

Freshmen vs. Seniors 

Freshmen and seniors often sport quite different looks. “Something a lot of freshmen wear are puka shell necklaces,” Thibodeau speculates. “I don’t think as many seniors are wearing those, probably because of the VSCO Girl trend.” 

A high school fashion article would not be complete without discussing the controversial “VSCO Girl” style. Buzzfeed News defines a VSCO Girl as somebody that is seen sporting “… a Hydro Flask water bottle… a scrunchie around her wrist… [an] oversized tee, handmade friendship bracelets, puka shell necklaces, and Birkenstocks or Crocs.” 

VSCO girls were popularized through the famous lip syncing app Tiktok. But why is this new trend popular mostly with underclassmen? Alaina Adams says that she disagrees with this stereotype. 

“I think there’s an equal amount of VSCO girls in other grades,” Adams explains, “people just like to put it on freshmen.” 

Freshmen, whether they are VSCO girls or not, sometimes feel as though dressing in clothing that defines them in a certain niche will allow them to find new friends in a big, scary place like high school. This is the same reason people wear band tees: finding people that like similar things can automatically guarantee a friendship, because you will automatically have something to bond over. 

Feel free to take risks

No matter the body shape, race, gender, or class, high school is a place where many people feel like they can be free to express themselves. Certain clothing items can make one feel more confident in their appearance, something that is critical in insecure high school years. It doesn’t matter if wearing that vintage pair of shorts might make people question your fashion choices. Taking risks in fashion is important, so do not be afraid to do just that. 

Don’t Wait for the Weight Room

By Dawson Brown, Staff Writer / 10/15/2019

The weight room isn’t exactly for everyone but as the great Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, What we face may look insurmountable but, what I learned is that we are stronger than we know.”

All of us have seen, models, athletes, actors, or actresses bodies and wish that we had the definition or the size they have. You can have that dream body you want if you work for it. But, before you jump into the fire you need a plan. Knowing what you’re doing is crucial to your success. Whether you’re experienced or going for the first time, you’re going to want to follow these tips to make your time in the gym as best it could be for you and not the worst for your body. 

Pace Yourself

 When you start training, pacing yourself is the highest of importance in the weight room. This tip  involves technique and, if followed, prevents most injuries. Without technique, no matter the weight, you wont get any results, but you can cause long term injuries. Also, take small steps in the weight room and don’t try to do too much.  What I recommend is doing maxes a different day which is how much you can lift for one repetition, versus doing an endurance based workout which is more reps and sets which should be done on different days. Do what’s best for yourself but everyone should start slow as it’s the means for getting the best results in the smallest amount of time. weightroom

Don’t Work Through Injuries

Injuries aren’t the end of the world and you can always get back to where you were, but if you feel soreness, don’t panic, that is common when you train. You tear muscles when you train, which causes soreness.  Important muscles like a ligament, ACL or MCL are the muscles you need to be worrying about when feeling soreness. You tear muscles which’ll rebuild over time with a diet of heavy protein and Vitamin C, D and B12, as well as iron. Injuries can cause you to have to wait longer before returning to the weight room, so wait out the injury a recurring injury to avoid the injury in its entirety. 

Get a Workout Partner

If you find it hard to stay motivated, then get a workout partner, they will help keep you motivated and give you more time to rest. I’ve found that working long term with a partner will actually help you mentally and benefit you much more physically. What most people don’t recognize is that there is a mental aspect of training.  You won’t gain as much from training if your not confident or not focused in any way.

Don’t Start Big

Don’t start big, and I mean big as in when you start with training don’t look at the more experienced guy lifting 30 pounds like its nothing start low to grow which if you don’t you can cause injuries, and depending on your goal, won’t get you anywhere. Don’t be afraid to be judged. Even the strongest of bodybuilders started somewhere. I myself am returning to the weight room and starting to work all over again. It’s all about time and willingness to put in the time. What you do and your goals are your own, me for example, I want to get stronger and bigger or maybe you want to get the more defined body versus getting bigger entirely.

Basically, don’t go too fast, don’t work through injuries.get a buddy, start small. There is one another tip that doesn’t necessarily fit the criteria  for when you’re in the gym. That is to keep a healthy diet maintaining high protein and vitamins. Don’t be reliant on energy drinks or coffee. The best kind of energy is natural.

 A Reliable Resource Whether in the Weight Room or During School

 Mr. Marseille who consistently uses the weight room here at HHS has advice for any newcomers to the weight room:

“We all start somewhere so don’t be afraid to be judged and without the proper technique you won’t get the results you’re looking for and don’t be afraid to ask your fellow peers any questions as they started somewhere too”

As Mr. Marseille will be in the weight room, I will be too and I’m willing to answer any questions you may have. The weight room is all about achieving your goals and everyone and anyone can respect that. The weight room may not be for everyone, but you can’t say that if you don’t try. Bradley Martyn, a fitness youtuber known for his workout content on YouTube and instagram, has been one of the most motivational youtubers in the fitness community and had this to say about training: 

No matter the obstacle that you go through there is one thing you can be sure of.. It is designed to make you better……”

Self Worth Affects Student Performance 

By Alicia King, Staff Writer / 10/15/2019

Do you think you are capable of great things? If not, then why even bother trying? For many students with low self- esteem that’s the case, and in today’s society it’s very common.

Students have such a hard time realizing their own worth, that it’s even started to show in their schooling. It’s affecting the students schooling because their work is only going to be as good as their opinion on themselves. 

Have you ever seen a student do poorly on something, then soon hear “I didn’t even try on this.” According to Lillian Barry, a school guidance counselor at Hermon High School, this is a defense mechanism, it’s a lot less embarrassing to not succeed at something when you don’t try.  This is where the effort piece comes into play, the amount of effort students put into their work would increase immensely if the students had a sense of confidence for succeeding in the first place.

When asked whether or not a student’s learning is affected by their self worth, Leslie Smith, Director of Guidance at Hermon High School, says “Yes! Student’s self worth affects their daily learning… what they could normally do well, they wouldn’t have the confidence to continue to do.” This means that if a student could typically accomplish said task, then they felt like their own self worth decreased their ability to accomplish that task would also decrease.

Furthermore, if they feel like they can’t even accomplish the tasks that they used to easily accomplish, it’s unlikely that they will push themselves to take risks which in turn will take away their ability to reach their full potential. 

In order to truly be the most successful person you are capable of being, you must achieve the five tiers in Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs. Maslow’s triangle consists of psychological needs (food, water, etc), safety needs (security), belonging and love needs (friends, intimacy), esteem needs (feeling of accomplishment), and self actualization (achieving full potential). MHN

In order to complete the hierarchy of needs, you have to work from the bottom up, accomplishing each step at a time. So, in order to be as successful as possible then you need to attain a good sense of self esteem, and that includes in school. No matter how well any of the other needs are being met, if students don’t notice their own self worth, they will never be able to reach their full potentials in schooling and more. 

In the article “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” it is believed that, “…growth needs do not stem from a lack of something but from a desire to grow as a person.”  If the students truly wants to continue to gain knowledge and continue to gain as a person, they are very capable, although it may be very uncomfortable. 

According to Holly Cough, a health teacher at Hermon High School, you can’t be afraid to make mistakes, learning is going to be a struggle. You need to take risks, and push yourself to succeed, the more you experience the feeling of success the better you feel and the more inclined you are to work. 

Barry also believes that this can be changed, “Self worth is something that can be fostered through a strong support system,” she stated. So, although it may be uncomfortable and it may take time, with the right people and desire to succeed, it’s possible.

In the end, you will only ever be as successful as you think you are. Why limit yourself to low standards, when you can keep growing and accept yourself for who you are.