Mandelic Acid

Woman getting an exfoliation

Glycolic and lactic acid are often the first two acids that come to mind when you hear the words alpha-hydroxy acids, but there’s another one you should consider. Mandelic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that works as effectively as glycolic acid, yet produces less unwanted side effects like redness or skin peeling. Keep reading to find out more about mandelic acid and what skin benefits this ingredient has.

What is Mandelic Acid?
Mandelic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid that is naturally derived from bitter almonds and that has a variety of medical, pharmacological and skin benefits. Mandelic acid has anti-bacterial properties, and it structurally resembles common antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial infections. This alpha-hydroxy acid was originally studied in open clinical trials to determine whether it was an effective antibacterial treatment aid for those healing from laser resurfacing. Since then, mandelic acid has been studied extensively and has been found to have additional skin benefits. Mandelic acid is considered just as effective as other alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid, but it is more gentle on the skin and may be tolerated better among people who experience irritation with other alpha-hydroxy acids.

What Benefits Does Mandelic Acid Have?
Mandelic acid is considered just as effective as other alpha-hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid, but it is more gentle on the skin and may be tolerated better among people who experience irritation with other alpha-hydroxy acids. Additionally, according to a study published in the journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, mandelic acid performed just as well as other alpha-hydroxy acids and caused significantly less redness, skin irritation and skin flaking than different alpha-hydroxy acid options. Mandelic has several skin care benefits that include:

  • Treating Acne and Blemishes – Because mandelic acid has anti-bacterial properties, it is a perfect ingredient in the treatment of acne. Mandelic acid also increases cell turnover by sloughing off dead skin cells, which helps to keep pores clear. This alpha-hydroxy acid works in much the same fashion as salicylic acid, but it is not able to penetrate quite as deeply into the pore as salicylic acids, so some dermatologists use a combination of mandelic and salicylic acids as a superficial skin peel to treat acne. You can also combine the two acids at home at lower concentrations to fight acne and blemishes.
  • Diminishing Fine Lines and Wrinkles – Like other alpha-hydroxy acids, mandelic acid is an incredibly effective anti-aging skin care ingredient. Mandelic acid increases cell turnover by dissolving the bonds that hold skin cells together, which allows for the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin to be sloughed away more quickly. This reveals healthier, younger skin cells and thins the outermost layer, the stratum corneum, of the skin. A thinner stratum corneum makes skin appear younger by increasing smoothness and by reflecting light. Additionally, this exfoliation process lessens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps to boost collagen production in the dermis of the skin. Collagen is an essential protein that maintains skin firmness and that maintains the structural support of the skin. Mandelic acid does all of this anti-aging work with less irritation than other alpha-hydroxy acids.
  • Lightens Pigmentation – As you age, dark spots or hyperpigmentation become more prominent, and mandelic acid is able to help reduce these signs of aging. Mandelic acid lightens the appearance of brown spots, sun spots and can help to lighten large freckles.

Mandelic acid is a versatile anti-aging ingredient that is able to fight multiple signs of aging. Mandelic acid also is an effective acne treatment, especially when combined with salicylic acid. To combat acne and visible signs of aging, look for mandelic acid in toners, skin lighteners, eye creams, acne treatments, moisturizers and cleansers.

Top Anti-Aging Oils

Beauty oils have been a major skincare trend for several years and there is a reason that these products continue to be popular – they are effective, yet gentle. If you use the right oils, you can not only add moisture to your skin, you can also arm it against environmental damage, stimulate collagen production and decrease signs of aging like discoloration. With so many oils available, it can be difficult to know where to start looking. Below, find four of the absolute best oils you can use for anti-aging.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet Almond Oil
Dry skin is one of the most common frustrations when it comes to aging, and sweet almond oil is incredible at thoroughly hydrating your skin. Sweet almond oil contains significant amounts of vitamins E and K which helps your skin regenerate and maintain elasticity in addition to improving circulation. While sweet almond oil is not a substitute for sunscreen, it is a natural ultraviolet radiation blocker and it can increase the effectiveness of your sunscreens. Sweet almond oil is the perfect anti-aging oil for you if you aren’t fond of overly oily oils or pungent smells that can accompany other oils. This oil is nearly odorless and absorbs rather quickly into the skin.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil
Antioxidants are incredibly helpful in the fight against aging, and coconut oil is extremely high in the antioxidant vitamin E. This skin-softening antioxidant also helps protect your skin against environmental damage, including UV radiation, and fights wrinkle-causing free radicals. Coconut oil is also composed mainly of lauric acid – a medium chain fatty acid that provides skin benefits. Coconut oil can help with signs of aging all over the body and may help fade the appearance of not only wrinkles, but stretch marks as well. This oil has a pleasant, mild coconut smell and is in solid form until heated.

Argan Oil

Argan Oil
There is a reason that argan oil has become omnipresent in the world of beauty – it works. Argan oil is composed of about 80 percent fatty acids which are known to help erase visible signs of aging such as wrinkles. Argan oil is full of antioxidants that protect against environmental concerns like UV rays. One prominent sign of aging is hyperpigmentation, or sun spots, that indicate previous damage and argan oil can help fade these spots of discoloration for a more even complexion. Argan oil also encourages and increases the rate of regeneration of healthy skin cells, meaning that newer, healthier skin cells improve the appearance of your skin.

Apricot Kernel Oil

Apricot Kernel Oil
If you have dry and damaged skin, apricot kernel oil is perhaps the best anti-aging oil available for you. Apricot kernel oil contains the intensely hydrating omega-6 gamma-linoleic acid to nourish your skin, while vitamins A and E encourage regeneration of skin cells and promotes the production of collagen to fight wrinkles and keep skin smooth and even. You do not have to have dry or damaged skin to use apricot kernel oil for anti-aging, this oil is considered non-greasy and does not take too long to absorb into the skin.

When looking to anti-aging oils be sure to select those that are labeled as organic, unrefined and cold-pressed. These oils retain the most vitamins and nutrients and provide the maximum benefits to your skin. You can use the above oils on their own or as a carrier oil for blends of essential oils, such as tea tree for acne. If you are looking for great anti-aging benefits in your skincare products, check out one of these four incredible anti-aging oils.

Best Ingredients for More Youthful Skin

The ingredients you put onto your skin have a significant and direct impact on your appearance. If you’ve been looking in the mirror and seeing skin that appears dull, rough, dry or lackluster, it’s time to add some serious anti-aging ingredients into your skin care routine. However, there are so many products with even more ingredients and it can be a little daunting to know what ingredients really are the best when it comes to achieving more youthful looking skin. Read below to find out the top five best ingredients for more youthful skin and why they are the best.

Woman holding a vitamin capsule

Retinol
Retinol is the purest form of vitamin A and it is one of the most beneficial ingredients to keep your skin looking young. Retinol is a cell-communicating ingredient that essentially tells your skin cells to look and act younger. It stimulates collagen production, activates cellular metabolism for more rapid cell turnover, fades the appearance of sun or age spots and reduces fine lines. By communicating with your cells to perform all of these tasks, retinol gives your face a firmer, younger and more even appearance.

Green tea

Antioxidants
Free radical damage is one of the most significant causes of aging and unfortunately, there are types of free radical exposure that you can’t avoid such as the sun, oxygen or pollution. What you can do is to look for skin care products that contain an array of antioxidants to fight free radical damage. Look for ingredients like vitamin C, green tea extract and vitamin E. Vitamin C is a favorite among dermatologists because this antioxidant boosts your skin’s natural defenses against sun damage and also encourages collagen production.

Hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic Acid
Hydrated skin is an important part of a youthful appearance, and hyaluronic acid is one of the greatest skin care ingredients for adding moisture to your skin. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it is able to draw moisture from the air and hold that moisture into your skin, and hyaluronic acid is so powerful that it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Hyaluronic acid makes your fine lines and wrinkles become significantly less noticeable because as it holds water, it plumps the appearance of your skin.

Grapes in a vineyard

Resveratrol
Resveratrol is found in the skins of grapes, blueberries, cranberries and Goji berries and also in wine and some nuts. High-quality skin care products also harness the power of resveratrol to fight signs of aging. Resveratrol features a number of potent antioxidant properties and helps keep your skin looking young. It also helps protect against further environmental damage by fighting off free radicals.

Milk

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Exfoliation is a crucial step in maintaining youthful-looking skin and alpha-hydroxy acids are incredible for this purpose. Alpha-hydroxy acids are generally derived from fruit or milk sugars. Some common alpha-hydroxy acids are lactic acid and glycolic acid. These acids exfoliate your skin by gently dissolving the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. This allows for the dead skin cells to be sloughed away from the skin to reveal smoother, more even skin and can also help reduce the appearance of pores.

Not all skin care ingredients are created equal. Some, like the five above, are seriously powerful anti-aging ingredients that provide your skin with a more luminous and youthful appearance. When selecting skin care products, always check the ingredient list to see how high on the list these anti-aging superstars are. The closer to the beginning of the list, the higher the concentration of each ingredient in the product. Choosing well-formulate, quality skin care products that contain these five best ingredients for more youthful skin will keep your face looking young and radiant.

Why Retinol is so Important for Anti-Aging

Retinol, while not a new skincare ingredient, is everywhere and pops up in products from potent antioxidant serums to foundations. The reason that retinol is everywhere? Because it works. Retinol is an incredibly effective skincare ingredient that fights the signs of aging and encourages skin to act in a younger, healthier way. Find out just what retinol is and why it is so important for anti-aging below.

Vitamin A chemical formula

What is Retinol?
Retinol is just another name for vitamin A and it can be broken down into more potent compounds that are referred to as retinoids. “Retinol is an extremely effective cell-communicating ingredient, which means it can literally connect to almost any skin cell and tell it to behave like a healthy, younger skin cell,” explains skincare expert Paula Begoun. Retinol is somewhat of an umbrella term and the vitamin A molecule is broken down into many derivatives of vitamin A that are known as retinoids. In a paper published on PubMed Central, a service of the US National Library of Medicine, the authors state that “retinoids are very well known to influence a variety of cellular processes, such as cellular growth and differentiation, cell surface alterations and immune modulation.” It is the influence that retinol and retinol derivatives have at the cellular level that are responsible for the immense anti-aging benefits of these ingredients.

How Does Retinol Counteract Aging?
“Retinol is an antioxidant, and thus can help interrupt the free-radical damage process that cause skin to look and act older. This action helps prevent wrinkling and increases collagen production,” says Begoun. In order to actually influence cell behavior, retinol has to undergo a process of breakdown and conversion. “Before retinol can successfully go to work in skin, it must be converted into it’s active form – all-trans retinoic acid. Once retinol has been applied to skin, enzymes in the skin break it down into all-trans retinoic acid, which then goes on to help regulate cell function,” notes Begoun.

As you age, the effects of sun damage become more visible and apparent in the forms of discoloration or sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles and larger pores. Retinol, when converted to retinoic acid, is able to influence cells that fight against these signs of aging. Although retinol can’t reduce large pores caused by genetics, it is able to decrease pore size that occurs as a result of sun damage. In addition, retinol promotes an increase in substances that enhance and improve the skin’s structural elements, meaning your skin is strengthened, and retinol is also helpful at stimulating collagen production which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Retinol is available in a variety of forms and can be found in cosmetic products that are readily available. There are also prescription strength retinol products that are used both for acne and aging. Before beginning a retinol regime, it’s important to know that retinol can cause sensitivity and irritation and it often takes some time before your skin gets used to this ingredient. Consulting with a dermatologist or doctor is a great way to know what concentration of retinol would be most beneficial. While there is no single ingredient that magically solves aging concerns, when retinol is used with other quality ingredients and products, it is an incredibly effective ingredient that helps skin look and act younger.

Ingredient Spotlight: Centella Asiatica

Ancient Ayurvedic, African and Chinese medicine have all used centella asiatica for centuries to treat a wide range of health concerns including issues from skin conditions to infertility. This plant has been studied for years and some recent research indicates that centella asiatica can have some significantly positive effects on both your overall health and the health of your skin. Find out more about what centella asiatica is and what benefits this plant has for your health below.

Centella Asiatica leaf

What is Centella Asiatica?
Centella asiatica is also commonly referred to as gotu kola, Indian pennywort, brahmi or spade leaf and is a creeping annual plant with tiny reddish-pink flowers. This annual tends to grow in a spherical shape close to the soil and is frequently found in Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Iran, Papua New Guinea and northern Australia. Centella asiatica, or just centella, contains potent phytochemicals, vitamins A, B, C and D, flavonoids and amino acids, as well as minerals including zinc, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, selenium and sodium.

History of Centella Asiatica
For centuries, centella asiatica has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes including the treatment of skin conditions like minor burns, dermatitis and psoriasis. The leaves and stems of centella asiatica are used in traditional Chinese, African and Ayurvedic medicine. Centella asiatica has been referred to as the “elixir of life” and is mentioned in some folk legends for helping a sage live to more than 200 years. England usually refers to centella asiatica as pennywort and it was used as one of the earliest medicines for leprosy. France recognized centella as a pharmaceutical agent in the 1800s and used this plant to treat diarrhea, dysentery and female health problems like infertility.

Medicinal Benefits of Centella Asiatica
Taken internally, centella asiatica is considered to be an effective treatment for fever, dysentery and hepatitis. Recent research suggests that centella asiatica is also able to reduce or relieve depression and anxiety and can provide a mood boost. Additionally, by increasing blood flow to the brain, centella asiatic is thought to help improve memory function. Studies also indicate that centella asiatica may have a positive effect on Parkinson’s Disease, however the FDA has not yet recognized centella asiatica as a medicine.

Centella asiatica is frequently used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis because it contains antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Minor wounds and burns also benefit from centella asiatica because it increases blood flow to the affected area, raises the level of antioxidants in the wound and encourages collagen synthesis.

Skin Benefits of Centella Asiatica
Beyond being able to treat skin conditions, centella asiatica has some awesome skin benefits. When applied topically, centella asiatica has a tightening and toning effect on the skin and it is often found in anti-aging creams meant to keep skin firm. Because centella asiatica encourages collagen synthesis, it also helps fight fine lines and wrinkles. Another skin condition that centella asiatica provides positive benefits for is cellulite because in addition to increasing blood flow to the area it also delivers antioxidants to the area, minimizes inflammation and acts as a diuretic. These actions help to smooth and detoxify any areas of the body that are affected by cellulite.

Whether you call it brahmi, centella asiatica or pennywort, this annual plant has significant benefits to your internal health and to your skin. Look for this ingredient in lotions, creams or other products meant to tone and firm to see the anti-aging benefits mentioned above. You can also enjoy centella asiatica in supplement form, or as a tea infusion to achieve a greater level of health both inside and out.

Pine Cone Extract

The field of health is ever-evolving with new discoveries being made daily. Often, these discoveries involve new technology and groundbreaking ingredients that are the result of countless laboratory studies, but sometimes the research suggests new uses for natural ingredients. Natural remedies have a prominent place in the history of medicine and these ingredients can still have significant positive impacts on modern health. Pine cone extract is a natural ingredient that is currently being studied for a number of health and skin benefits, which you can learn about below.

Pine cones

History of Pine Cone Extract
Pine cone extract’s use in medicinal history dates all the way back to the Greek Physician Pedanius Dioscorides. Dioscorides was the first to document the health benefits of pine cone extract in his work De Materia Medica, which was one of the most influential books about herbal remedies in history. The use of pine cone extract is not limited to ancient history, modern day Japan uses pine cone extract frequently to boost the immune system.

Pine cone extract contains a number of bioactive phytochemicals that benefit the immune system. Polysaccharides, tannins, lignins and phenolic acids are all present in pine cone extract and have been clinically shown to stimulate cellular immune response and to increase your body’s production of antibodies.

Pine Cone Extract Health Benefits
Research on pine cone extract suggests that it:

  • inhibits the growth of HIV in human T cells
  • inhibits the growth of influenza
  • inhibits the growth of the herpes simplex virus
  • inhibits tumor activity
  • suppress lymphoma – cancer that involves cells of the immune system
    boosting the immune system

Pine Cone Extract Skin Benefits
A recent study indicates that impaired dermal lymphatic vessels causes an accumulation of subcutaneous (under the skin) fat. As subcutaneous fat accumulates, your skin responds by becoming saggy. Other causes of sagging skin include lowered elasticity and a reduction in the number of collagen fibers. A specific type of pine cone extract, Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) is now being identified as an anti-aging ingredient that can help remedy sagging skin. Scots pine extract is similar to the human peptide, apelin, which limits subcutaneous fat accumulation and improves lymphatic functioning. By strengthening and regularizing lymphatic vessels, Scots pine extract is able to help improve the appearance of sagging skin. The bottom line? Your facial lines and sagging neck may benefit from products formulated with Scots pine extract in the form of firmer, smoother skin.

While further research is required, pine cone extract appears to be a promising ingredient for your overall health and well-being as well as your skin. Choosing products containing pine cone extract from Scot’s pine can help you achieve firmer, younger looking skin. Innovative and complex skincare ingredients have made impressive advancements in skincare, but sometimes it’s nice to return to something more natural and pine cone extract is an ingredient that can help you have younger looking skin.

Best Ingredients to Deep Clean 2015 Away

Even the best of us can slip up and commit some serious skin sins and now is the time to get rid of those 2015 facial care mistakes, mishaps or neglect. If you haven’t already, begin a skin care routine that consists of a cleanser, toner (if necessary), sunscreen and moisturizer because this will go a long way in keeping your skin healthy. However, if you’ve got a little deep cleaning to do, the following skin care ingredients work wonders at really drawing out and ridding your skin of impurities, toxins, dead skin cells and other debris.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid
You may be familiar with salicylic acid because it is frequently used as a treatment for acne, but you can still benefit from this deep cleaning ingredient if you have a clear complexion. Salicylic acid exfoliates your skin by gently removing excess skin. When you topically apply salicylic acid, your uppermost layer of skin swells, then softens and finally peels and removes dead skin cells. Alpha-hydroxy acids work in a similar way, but salicylic (or beta-hydroxy acid) is able to penetrate your pores thus unclogging them.

Charcoal.

Charcoal
Charcoal may be one of the last things you would associate with skin care, but activated charcoal is becoming more and more popular as a deep cleansing ingredient. Activated charcoal has the ability to draw bacteria, poisons, dirt, chemicals and other micro-particles from the pores to the surface of the skin. Charcoal masks have been used for a long time to deep clean the skin because it is so effective at drawing out impurities. Activated charcoal can absorb thousands of times its mass in impurities and harmful substances. When you need a super deep clean, try an activated charcoal mask or use an activated charcoal cleanser a few times each week.

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is part of a group of acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids which are made from cane sugar. When it comes to deep cleaning pores, glycolic acid has the smallest molecules among alpha-hydroxy acids so it is easy to deeply penetrate the skin and treat blackheads, acne, oiliness, dull skin and fine lines. Glycolic acid reacts with the surface layer of your skin and breaks down the skin by dissolving sebum and other substances that work to hold the skin together. This acid is used frequently to treat acne, minimize pore size, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and increase cell turnover to reveal younger skin. Glycolic acid is suitable for long-term use and the longer you use it, the better the results will be.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is another skin care ingredient used in the treatment of acne because it is such an effective cleansing agent. Your pores become clogged in part due to excess oil production that becomes trapped which prevents dead skin cells from exfoliating and sloughing away from the skin and pores in a normal manner. Benzoyl peroxide is able to significantly decrease oil production, allowing your pores to unclog and clear.

These ingredients truly are remarkable when you need a deep clean, but it is important to keep in mind that some concentrations of these ingredients may irritate your skin initially. For instance, your skin will need time to acclimate to glycolic acid, but once it does the deep cleaning results will be impressive. Deep cleaning ingredients are useful can really take your regular cleansing routine to the next level and provide you with clearer, healthier skin.

Health and Skin Benefits of Cocoa

Cocoa beans

If you thought eating chocolate was detrimental to your health, think again. Studies have proven the effectiveness of cocoa in several areas including increased thinking skills, healthy skin and diabetes. Before you stock up on your favorite chocolate bars, it is important to note that the following benefits are provided by cocoa and not milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is cocoa that has been processed with sugar and milk and with such a low level of cocoa, these chocolates do not provide the benefits listed.

Heart Health
In a paper published by the American Heart Association, cocoa does contain heart-healthy polyphenols that can help manage blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. “After oral intake of cocoa, both the flavanol content and the total antioxidant capacity in plasma increases.” The authors go on to say that the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and activation of nitric oxide may have an impact on lipid levels, blood pressure and insulin resistance.

Brain Power
Italian researchers conducted a study using 90 people aged 65 to 81 who had a good memory for their age. The participants were split into three groups: one received low levels of cocoa flavanols, one that had a medium dose of cocoa flavanols and a third that had a high amount of cocoa flavanols. Each day, participants drank their special brew of cocoa flavanols and at the end of the eight-week study “…people who consumed medium and high amounts of cocoa flavanols made significant improvements on tests that measured attention, executive function and memory,” according to Harvard Health Publications. A similar study in 2012 included participants who did have thinking problems, and the results were that cocoa flavanols did improve thinking skills.

Skin Health
You’ve heard a million times that chocolate is bad for your skin, so why would we say that cocoa actually promotes healthy skin? Well, it turns out that cocoa is super beneficial for your skin, it’s the mass amounts of sugar found in chocolate candy that messes up you skin. Cocoa promotes skin health because “it’s packed with antioxidants that help repair skin cells and neutralize harmful free radicals,” says Ava Shamban, M.D., dermatologist.

Shrinks Obesity
Simply smelling chocolate can help you lose weight. “The powder has a rich, indulgent aroma, so you’ll often be satisfied simply by smelling it,” explains Alan Hirsch, M.D., founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation. If you know that you won’t be satisfied by a whiff of cocoa, there’s still a way that the scent can help you keep your weight in check. The neurotransmitters in the brain that are activated by eating chocolate, may be activated by smelling chocolate and if you do decide to eat some chocolate after inhaling the aroma, you will be more likely to consume less chocolate because your brain is already signaling that the desire and craving has been satiated.

Mood Booster
Cocoa contains several ingredients that will lift your mood and make you feel happier and more content. The flavanols in cocoa have been proven to have antidepressant-like effects on some physiological processes in your brain. These cocoa flavanols not only help enhance your mood, they lift depression and they also improve cognitive functioning during times of persistent mental exertion. Another chemical found in cocoa that benefits your mood is phenylethylamine, which gives you a great feeling of contentment and that serves as an aphrodisiac.

There are plenty of ways to increase your cocoa intake; sprinkle some on your morning oatmeal, add a scoop to your smoothie or dust some on freshly sliced bananas. While milk chocolate does not provide health benefits, chocolate containing 70 percent or more cacao content does offer health benefits, so you can still snack on a chocolate bar. You probably don’t need a reason other than you love chocolate to indulge, but if you are eating cocoa powder or intensely dark chocolate, your body will get some health benefits as you eat.

Skin Care/ Beauty Ingredients and Trends to Look for in 2016

It’s so exciting to see the innovations coming from skin care and beauty experts. New ingredients, new formulations and increasing the effectiveness of products are all things that the skin care and beauty industries are constantly working on. Each year there are ingredients and skin care/beauty trends that seem to be the only thing industry experts, leaders and influencers are talking about. Want to get a first look at the ingredients and skin care/ beauty trends that you should be looking for this year? Check out the top three items to watch when it comes to skin care and beauty.

Niacinamide.

Niacinamide
Niacinamide has been growing in popularity for several years, but it looks like 2016 will be the year that this amazing skin care ingredient really takes the spotlight. Niacinamide is also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid and is a serious multitasker in the world of skin care. Major uses for niacinamide include strengthening skin’s barrier function, improving elasticity, evening out your skin tone and decreasing pore size. This potent cell-communicating ingredient is also used in the treatment of acne, which makes niacinamide perfect for those who struggle with both fine lines and wrinkles and acne.

Woman applying foundation.

Makeup with Skin Care Benefits
Sunscreen in products like foundation has been around for quite some time, but you can expect beauty products in 2016 to have more healthy skin ingredients than ever before. Previously, cosmetics that included skin care ingredients did so in very small concentrations, but cosmetic companies today are formulating products with levels of anti-aging ingredients that can actually make a difference in your skin care. Experts believe that it might take some effort to sort out the good ones, but foundations, BB and CC creams, tinted moisturizers, and even some concealers formulated with meaningful amounts of anti-aging ingredients such as dark spot faders, antioxidants, and skin-repairing ingredients are stepping up the skincare-makeup hybrid category. One of the most exciting skin care additions is SPF in lip and eye products, which are frequently overlooked when it comes to sun protection.

Essence

Essences
Inspired by K-beauty, layering skin care products was wildly popular in 2015 and this craze is not going anywhere in 2016. Because the layering trend is sticking around, companies are offering products that are incredibly lightweight and water-like to treat skin concerns. Essences are not only important in complex skin care routines that require layering, they are also incredibly beneficial for those with oily and/or acne-prone skin because they deliver potent anti-aging formulas in super lightweight and non-greasy formulas.

Other skin care trends you can expect to see in 2016 include a surge in popularity of products with omega and fatty acids and boosters that supercharge your skin care products. The increased popularity and prevalence of facial masks in 2015 is going nowhere in 2016, so expect to see tons of new masks to address skin care concerns. When it comes to skin care and beauty, some ingredients and trends are just marketing hype, but our top three list are proven to be effective and beneficial to your skin, so you can have the healthiest skin in 2016.

Foods for Flawless Skin

Healthy, beautiful skin does not come solely as a result of the skincare and beauty products you purchase and use daily. What you put into your body is just as, if not more, important than what you put onto your body. A diet rich in the following 10 foods not only provides you with tons of variety when it comes to meals, but it also helps you achieve flawless skin.

salmon

Salmon
When it comes to fish that contain large amounts of essential fatty acids, salmon is king. Salmon contains a rich concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which provide several nourishing benefits to your skin: they reduce your body’s production of inflammatory substances, prevent fine lines and wrinkles and unclog your pores.

Papaya

Papaya
This juicy fruit is an excellent source of skin-important antioxidant vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that adds brightness to your skin and reduces the appearance of dark spots like sun damage or post-acne scars. Another vitamin found in abundance in papaya is vitamin A, which is an essential component to healthy skin turnover.

Sesame seeds.

Black Sesame Seeds
These little black seeds are totally easy to overlook because how much nutrition can they really contain? The answer is a lot. Although they look unassuming, black sesame seeds contain essential fats, oleic acid, amino acids, potassium and fiber, all of which are beneficial for your skin.

Sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a delicious way to add more beta-carotene into your diet. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that is responsible for many vegetables that contain yellow, orange or red pigments and it helps prevent skin damage due to sun exposure.

Peppers.

Peppers
Add a little spice to your diet by increasing your intake of chili peppers. This feisty food contains a good amount of vitamin C in addition to the amazing ingredient capsaicin. Capsaicin helps prevent signs of aging and reduces both inflammation and irritation.

Spinach.

Spinach
Consider this leafy green a skincare superfood and be sure to add plenty to your diet. Unprocessed spinach contains carotenoids, amino acids, potassium, iodine and vitamins A, C, K and B complex. Spinach helps clear your skin while also imparting a healthy glow.

Lemons

Lemons
If you’ve been with us for a while, you know how we advocate for starting your morning with a glass of hot water and the fresh juice from half of a lemon and we do so with good reason. This tip is practiced by beauty experts and models all over the world because lemons are so great at removing old hormones and fat-soluble toxins from your body. Lemon juice emulsifies fats in your body, which keeps your skin hydrated and clear.

Tomatoes.

Tomatoes
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a natural protection against UVA and UVB rays. Even though lycopene increases your UV protection, you’re still going to want to apply an SPF. Tomatoes are also great for adding life and luster back into the dull skin.

Nuts

Nuts
Nuts are an incredible snack for your skin and your body. Nuts contain high levels of vitamin E which protects your skin from environmental damage. Vitamin E is also helpful at reducing skin irritation and flare-ups, so your skin is not only protected from free radical damage, but it also stays clearer.

Dark chocolate

Dark Chocolate
Flavonols, the type of flavonoid found in dark chocolate, are intense antioxidants that fight damage from free radicals, increases blood flow to your skin and offers a bit of natural UV protection. Before you go stocking up on your favorite candy in dark chocolate versions, the dark chocolate that is beneficial to your skin is dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao content.

Eating your way to flawless skin is easy when you know what foods to add to your grocery list. A balanced diet not only benefits your skin, but your entire body and overall health. Put a few, or all, of these incredible skin foods on your next grocery list to begin your diet for flawless skin.