Category Archives: All About Ingredients

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7 Trending Skincare Ingredients and Your Skin

Aging, sagging skin? Dull, weary appearance? A face full of breakouts and dark spots? Skin damage from the sun?

Skincare ingredients are all about helping the modern woman (and man) target specific skin concerns. Good lifestyle habits help a lot with maintaining skin elasticity and healthy complexions, but with an ever faster pace of life and changing urban environments, good habits just can’t keep up.

This is why the skincare industry has turned to specific ingredients to target individual skin issues. Check out the top 7 most popular skincare ingredients that are trending right now.

Collagen supplements

A critical protein in the skin’s support network, collagen is the reason for your skin’s natural elasticity. This long chain of amino acids can be found in bones, connective tissue, skin, hair and nails. It provides a soft framework for ‘harder’ minerals like calcium phosphate. As the body ages, however, the loss in collagen also results in wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines.

It’s no wonder then that collagen has become a trending ingredient for anti-aging skincare. In order to turn back time and re-supply the skin with its elasticity, the skincare and health industry is now replete with various forms of collagen, most notably:

  • Collagen powder
  • Collagen pills 
  • Collagen drinks
  • Soluble or hydrolyzed collagen (found in skincare ingredients)
  • Collagen injections (found at your nearest dermatologist’s)

Do these really work? This double-blind study certainly thinks so. After 8 weeks of ingesting collagen hydrolysate (CH) composed of specific collagen peptides, it was found that there was a statistifcally significant improvement in skin elasticity in the CH dosage groups, compared to the placebo group. Yes, the elderly population can now regain their youth – or the appearance of it, at least.

You can find collagen powder, pills and drinks in drugstores, specialized online marketplaces, or your local GNC. From $10 a pop, collagen supplements are available to every man and woman, young and old.

Established skincare companies have also incorporated soluble collagen into their list of ingredients. Rated safe on the EWG Cosmetics Database, soluble collagen (also known as ‘hydrolyzed collagen’) is often paired with other ingredients that can more effectively penetrate the skin, in order to maximise the benefits of collagen (topical collagen, without ingredients to support it, will only work on the surface-most layer of the skin). 

Collagen injections are another popular method to re-supply the body and skin network with this protein. This form of collagen treatment is typically marketed to 35-60 year olds, and is used to reduce laugh and frown lines. It’s even possible to plump the lips with collagen injections. In effect, it’s like Botox, but without the bad rep and expressionless faces.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is by no means new to skincare. It has been and remains a relatively popular addition to moisturizers. As an ingredient, it provides a deeper moisturizing effect than many other ingredients thanks to its ability to store moisture.

That alone tends to do a lot for the skin. The extra boost to keeping the skin moisturized helps keep it resilient and healthy even in the face of sun damage. It further helps by ensuring that it is harder for the skin to dry out.

Keeping your skin properly moisturized like that means it will be less prone to other forms of damage as well. This helps you to be sure of maintaining a more even complexion as well as helping any damage already there to heal faster.

Want to know the best part?

All of this makes hyaluronic acid perfect for fighting the signs of aging.

Human skin dries out with age as it is unable to trap as much moisture. This in turn sensitizes it and makes it more susceptible to all forms of damage and irritation. Fighting back against the problem with this kind of moisturizing helps minimize the problem.

Admittedly, you’ll want to pair it with a friend.

VitaminA

Vitamin A supports your skin by encouraging its natural cell turnover rate. This helps to keep your skin looking and feeling healthier.

What you might not know is that it is in more products than you might think. A lot of talk has been devoted to retinol and retinoids in skincare lately. There are derived from a form of vitamin A.

These ingredients are also particularly promising when it comes to fighting the signs of aging. Encouraging the increased cell turnover rate helps to minimize buildup on the skin. This in turn reduces the rate at which wrinkles form.

It gets better:

The compounds within vitamin A are usable by your skin to help create collagen within your skin. Collagen is highly important due to it being your skin’s primary structural protein. It is, in fact, what fills your skin out and keeps it youthful looking.

Retinol and retinoids also provide a gentle exfoliating effect when applied. This is why most of the products have a light tingle or burn to them. Stay alert to this as using the product for too long could hurt your skin.

Hyaluronic acid and vitamin A derivatives are all wonderful ingredients, but there are others that are currently trending.

Kale-Spinach-Peppers

Natural skincare is an increasingly important topic for many of us. It isn’t even due to the fear of unknown chemicals these days. We’re all simply becoming more aware of the fact that our skin enjoys the complex nature of more natural options.

After all, our modern skincare products are based on compounds we found and refined from nature. They aren’t simply chemicals cooked up in a lab somewhere. It turns out our body and our skin likes the extras that come from the full ingredients from nature though.

The key element here is flavonoids or flavones, a polyphenolic compound that strengthens blood vessels and supports collagen and elastin. By ingesting bright, colorful peppers and dark, leafy greens, you’re adding a critical skincare ingredient to your beauty arsenal.

Here are the best greens rich in flavones:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Peppers

These and other options are being used to create modern skincare products that cultivate your skin’s health on multiple levels. The potential for these natural skincare products is making them highly popular. Don’t rely on products you make at home though.

Products made at home aren’t necessarily in the best proportions to make the most of the ingredients you use. Professionally produced versions offer safe, healthy concentrations of the ingredients to ensure your skin is helped rather than harmed.

Probiotics

We’ve all heard about using probiotics by this point. The basic idea seems sound. You ingest helpful bacteria in some way or eat things that support your own internal biome of bacteria.

This in turn bolsters their population and allows them to do their jobs that much better. It’s an important consideration to make given bacteria are responsible for some much of our health.

Let’s take a quick look at what they do:

  • Defend your body and skin from unknown bacteria
  • Help break down food
  • Play a part in your metabolism

That’s just a few things that bacteria do for you. The crazy part is that we all play host to colonies of friendly bacteria that are so dense that there are more of them than there are cells in our body. So giving them a helping hand is a good idea.

Some trending beauty ingredients favor this approach. The idea is to eat probiotic foods or supplements to help ensure your body is better able to regulate various functions. This helps reduce issues that can lead to unhealthy skin among other things.

Charcoal

Skin staining isn’t really a concern with most preparations of charcoal intended for the skin. These products use ground up versions of it combined with other ingredients. The charcoal is wonderful for helping to clean up the skin though.

Most people who use charcoal find that it provides a noticeable amount of oil control. Excessive oil can also lead to buildup that causes acne. It ends up trapping dirt close to the skin and creating an environment fit for unwelcome bacteria. Charcoal fixes that.

Here’s the deal:

There is evidence to suggest that charcoal is also good for helping to loosen the grime that builds up on your skin too. This allows it to fight both grime and oil buildup at the same time. Not only will this reduce your chances for acne, but it also helps avoid dull skin.

Minimizing these issues is particularly important as we age. Charcoal, like many of our other ingredient choices, is ultimately very good for helping maintaining one’s appearance as one ages. The right ingredients make all the difference.

Loving Your Skin

Taking good care of one’s skin involves watching for improved products more often than any of us would like to admit. After all, our skin always seems to have that one aspect in which it defies us. The right product makes all the difference.

Identifying good ingredients is what we’re all interested in ultimately. It doesn’t take that much effort to stay informed about what’s becoming popular. A little bit more effort will let you see if there is anything to it too.

Avoiding less than perfect skincare treatments helps by ensuring that our skin doesn’t take any extra damage from our own mistakes. Ultimately, the best way to do this involves more than just basic skincare. We need to eat right even if we opt to use natural products.

Eating right provides our skin and the rest of our organs with minerals and nutrients that they need. Skipping out on watching our diets will only serve to hurt our complexion in the long run. The good news is that it is never too late to start eating right for your skin.

Have we missed out on any of your favorite skincare ingredients? Be sure to comment and let us know!

 

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Solutions For Sparse Brows and Lashes

Times were, unruly brows were unacceptable. Indeed, one only need observe the silver screen starlets of the 1920’s to see a study in perfectly arched, stenciled on brows, and so help the lady with an errant hair on her face. How times have changed! With the 80’s came Brooke Shields, and with Brooke came dramatic eyebrows and lashes. These days, models are owning their unibrows, and celebrities are proudly speaking of their unibrow pasts, and pity the poor women whose brows and lashes are on the sparse side. However, if you find yourself follically in the eye area, there are a plethora of steps you can take to bring yourself into the hairy millennium. Here are some steps you can take you build up your sparse lashes and brows.

Longer Lashes
Nutrition: B vitamins, especially biotin, can help boost hair growth on your head and lashes. The best way to increase your biotin intake is by eating foods such as liver, yeast, bananas, carrots, and egg yolks.

The Right Mascara: If your lashes are sparse, you may want to pass on the waterproof mascaras. The ingredients that bind the mascara to your lashes can be too harsh for daily use, and the effort that it takes to remove the mascara can wreak havoc on your lashes. Double layer mascara to increase volume, use a lash serum to condition lashes, and a primer to increase the effects of the mascara.

False Lashes: Well manicured false eyelashes are available at a variety of price points. You can opt for whole strips, or you can choose separates, which allow a more precise application.

Eyelash Extensions: Eyelash extensions are the latest way to get long natural looking lashes. The process can take a few hours, but the results are beautiful, thick lashes that can last for weeks.

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Thicker Brows
Vaseline: Hair needs to be hydrated and nourished in order to grow. Vaseline creates a sealing barrier to lock in moisture and speeds up the skin’s recovery process. Clean and dry your brow area and apply vaseline over it three to four times a week.

Oil: Like Vaseline, oil creates a barrier to keep moisture in; however, it also increases circulation and stimulates cellular metabolism to promote hair growth. Coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, or castor oil are all brow thickening options. Just slather on before bed time, and wake up on the way to fuller brows.

With Eyebrow Growth Serum: As with eyelashes, serums are available to promote brow growth. Packed with vitamins, botanicals, and peptide complexes, these serums are formulated to support the hair’s natural renewal.

Makeup: Determine the best eyebrow shape for your face. Use a brow pencil to draw a line beneath your brow and to fill in sparse areas using hair like flicks. Next, take an angled brush and a similarly colored pressed powder to define brow shape. Avoid filling the inside corners too darkly, to making the end points harsh. End by brushing through with a spooler to pick up excess powder, and blend for a natural look. Apply a concealer under the arch for increased definition.

What are you doing to enhance the look of your brows and lashes? Let us know how you’re thickening and darkening for increased eye drama.

vine vera banner presents Big Fruit With Big Health Benefits

Big Fruit With Big Health Benefits

Part of the beauty of fruit is that most of it comes in the perfect serving size. One apple is equal to one serving of an apple, one banana is equal to one serving of a banana, and so on. These fruits require little preparation, it’s simply a case of peeling and eating. Moving along in the world of produce, however, the category of the “big fruit.” comes into play. This phenomenon is mostly intended for sharing or for being eaten in more than one serving, which means it requires a little more elbow grease, but the nutritional benefits may be worth the extra work. Here are some of the big rewards of the big fruits, which may make them worth the big deal of energy.

Papaya
There is a good reason that the papaya tree is known as “The Tree of Good Health” in Costa Rica and Mexico. The papaya is packed with nutrients that protect against cancer and enzymes that can aid in healthy digestion. The fruit packs more than three times the body’s daily requirements in vitamin C, and vitamins A, E, and K give it a powerful kick of antioxidants. With a resume like that, it’s little wonder that Christopher Columbus dubbed the papaya the ‘fruit of the angels.”

Jack Fruit
Although a number of calories in jackfruit may be high, the source of these calories makes it a better option than other highly caloric foods. Jackfruit contains no cholesterol and no saturated fats which make it a good source of energy, and also 25% of the daily requirement of the powerful B6 vitamin, which we love so much. Its high concentration of vitamin C makes it efficient in fighting free radicals and increasing the function of the immune system, and its fiber content makes it helpful in food digestion.

vine vera banner presents Big Fruit With Big Health Benefits

Watermelon
The name says a lot. Water melon is over 90 percent water, making this fruit an ideal summer hydration, and like its namesake, it also provides a plethora of health benefits. Watermelon is great for the skin because of its vitamin A content. Researchers believe that the content of the amino acid L-citrulline in water melon can improve muscle soreness, and its water and fiber content help to prevent constipation and promote digestive health.

Cantaloupe
Bursting with flavor, the cantaloupe is very low in calories and rich in health promoting polyphenolic derived compounds and vitamins for optimum health. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, a powerful antioxidant essential for healthy vision and the maintenance of healthy skin and mucosa. The zeaxanthin found in cantaloupe is an antioxidant capable filtering of UV light, protecting against macular degeneration, and the loupe’s high potassium concentration helps control blood pressure and heart rate.

What is your favorite big fruit with big benefits? Let us know!

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What Your Perfume Says About You

Can someone smell rich? It has been said that the sense of smell can be a very powerful force in attracting members of the opposite sex, and it is well known that money can be a strong aphrodisiac, so it would seem that combining the two would increase ones’ desirability exponentially, but can it be done? Does ‘rich’ have a smell, and if so, can it be bottled? Perfume can get pretty pricey, but is it worth the hefty price tag if the nose can’t tell the difference? Here’s a little information on what the nose knows about how much you paid for your fragrance, and what your sense of scents says about you.

The Nose Of the Beholder
Perfume maker and aromatherapist Tatiana Estevez, says, “There are no absolutes to recognizing and expensive perfume from a cheap one. So much of what we find appealing about smell is linked to buried memories and what we associate a smell with.” Thus it would seem that when it comes to scent preference, as with most things, some of us just have more expensive tastes than others. However, that’s not to say there is no difference between cheap and expensive scents.

The Sense of Scents
Estevez says cheaper perfumes usually smell sweeter. “This isn’t because sweet smelling ingredients are just cheaper than others, but because cheap perfume tends to be marketed for younger people ( who tend to have less money.)”

Another difference between the more and less affordable perfumes is that the more expensive perfumes give you more for your money. Although less expensive perfumes can often mimic the top notes (the scent of the perfume when it is freshly applied) of a pricier option, they lack the proper essential oils to provide lasting mid notes and bass notes.

Therefore, while a cheaper perfume may replicate the scent of a more expensive perfume in the first half hour after spraying, this may not be the case a few hours later. Estevez says, “See how both perfumes smell on your skin after two hours, four hours, and six hours. A cheaper perfume may smell bad or have no smell at all.”

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Getting The Most From Your Scent
If you want to make your perfume last a little longer, start with some unscented lotion. Because the lotion binds the perfume to your skin, rubbing a bit on the spot you’ll be perfuming will increase the longevity of the scent. According to fragrance founder Serrano-McClain, “Your skin is not necessarily the best clinger for perfume. Skin is kind of oily and doesn’t absorb.”

What Scents Say About You
While fragrances may not give you much of an indication about what’s in a person’s bank account, there are certain things a person’s choice of sending can tell you. According to the research of Alan R. Hirsch, MD, and founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, citrus lovers are natural leaders, while rose wearers tend to be introspective and cautious. Fans of lavender make loyal friends, and vanilla types are actually quite outgoing. High achievers wear sandalwood, fruity flavored scents indicate moodiness, and coconut lovers are fashion forward.

What do you think? Is it worth it to invest a little extra in the perfume you wear? Let us know!

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Ingredients To Avoid In Your Skincare

Hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, peels, exfoliants, mud, clay, retinol, vitamins A-Z, ceramides, essential oils; sometimes it seems like there are too many skincare ingredients to fit in one product, much less on the human face. Add that to the new layering trend, and, it may even seem like companies are creating more room on the human face for even more products. If you’re confused about which ingredients to look for when you’re looking to buy your next skin care product, maybe you should focus on what not to use. The FDA has only so much say in what goes into and what stays out of your cosmetic products, so for optimal health, you may need to be the one who makes the decisions. Here are some ingredients to avoid in your products to help you narrow it down.

Aluminum
Aluminum is a chemical salt you don’t want to find in your skin care products. It is used for its disinfectant and absorbent properties and is most often found in deodorants and antiperspirants. Recent studies of breast cancer patients detected higher amounts of aluminum is the outer areas of the breast, where deodorant is normally applied. A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health showed that the accumulation of aluminum in bodily tissues can lead to bone disease, tissue damage, impaired kidney function, and has also been found in the brains of those suffering Alzheimer’s disease. Opt for aluminum free natural deodorants and antiperspirants.

Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone is a compound commonly used for lightening of freckles, melanoma, age spots and discolorations which has been found to increase exposure to UV rays and cause mutations in laboratory studies. The chemical has been shown to cause contact dermatitis, and degeneration of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. Doctors warn pregnant women to avoid its use during pregnancy and nursing, and the Environmental Working Group has assigned a hazardous warning to the compound. Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid may be a better choice for skin brightening.

Fragrance
Fragrance can be intoxicating, in more ways than one. Apparently, fragrance can contain up to 200 undeclared ingredients, some of which may be hormone altering preservatives called phthalates, and you may have no way of knowing. Since companies don’t have to give a chemical breakdown of fragrances, it is difficult to tell the exact components of the scent. Problems such as coughing, vomiting, hyper pigmentation, allergies, skin rashes, and dizziness have all been known to occur from the use of synthetic fragrances. A word to the wise: avoid the word “fragrance” on the ingredient label unless it is derived from essential oils.

Parabens
Parabens can include propyl, butyl, methyl, and ethyl parabens. This group of preservatives extend shelf life of cosmetics, and are estimated to be contained in over 90% of all beauty products. A 2006 study of the urine sample of healthy adults showed evidence of parabens in over 90 percent of the participants.

Phthalates
You probably don’t want to find any chemicals used to make plastics in your cosmetic supplies. Phthalates are chemicals derived from oil, often found in product like perfume, hair spray, and nail polish and are often used to help the product cling to the skin, nails, and hair. The fear is that these products may be absorbed through the skin, fingernails, and lungs. Animal studies have shown an association between phthalates and kidney, liver, lung, and reproduction system damage. Human studies have shown abnormal development in male infants whose mothers show high levels of phthalates in their bodies. You may especially want to look out for dibutyl phthalate (DBP) di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and butylbenzylphthalate (BBP) on ingredient lists.

What ingredients are you looking to avoid on your beauty products? Let us know! It may be helpful!

vine vera banner Don't Believe These Beauty Myths

Don’t Believe These Beauty Myths

Some myths die hard, others, we’re pleased to let go of. The big reveal about pizza and chocolate not causing acne may have been a little easier for many to accept, the one about Santa Claus may have been a little more difficult. However, like it or not, eventually the truth will come out. Here are some of the latest “facts” about beauty that are turning out to be, not so factual. Hopefully, they won’t be too hard to part with.

Myth 1: Skincare Products Should Be Chosen According to Age
We often see skin regimens and care products targeted at certain age groups, however, it is important to make a distinction between age groups and skin types. While there are certain skin issues associated with aging, there is no guarantee that a woman in her 30’s does not face the same concerns as a woman in her 50’s. Clogged pores don’t automatically disappear when you reach 50, and wrinkles can occur on women in their 20’s. The bottom line is, fighting aging should begin as soon as possible. It is never too early to start on a healthy skin regimen.

Myth 2: Hypoallergenic Products Are Best For Sensitive Skin
Hypoallergenic is a term which means that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, and is better for sensitive and allergy prone skin. However, there are no regulations for determining if a product can be labelled as hypoallergenic. Rather than looking for the word, “hypoallergenic” on the label, look at the ingredient label. Fragrance free, gentle ingredients are more friendly to sensitive skin.

vine vera banner Don't Believe These Beauty Myths

Myth 3: Age Spots Are A Part Of Getting Older
The term “age spot’ is something of a misnomer. The brown spots and discoloration come from years of exposure to the elements that lead to visible imperfections in the skin, and can show up at any age. The best skin brightening products are those that contain niacinamide and vitamin C. Plant extracts such as arbutin have also been shown to have skin brightening properties, but none of these ingredients will work without the application of a broad spectrum sun screen. If a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is not applied 365 days a year, the uneven skin tone and spots will not take a turn for the better.

Myth 4: You’ll Outgrow Acne
Unfortunately, acne is not only a rite of passage. Adults up to the age of 60 can get blemishes, and the products that treat them are the same for any age group. The causes of acne are not age related, and the conditions can be triggered at any time. Another common misconception: having clear skin as an adolescents does not exempt you from acne in later life.

Myth 5: Makeup Triggers Acne
There is no research showing a link between makeup and acne, but if you don’t remove makeup completely and correctly, you may run into problems. When you leave traces of makeup on your skin at night, the anti acne products you apply to your face cannot penetrate the pores, which means they are less effective if at all. It is not the makeup itself that triggers acne, but its likelihood to block pores which prevents the acne medication from absorption that pulls the trigger on blemishes.

What beauty myths shocked you? Let us know your favorite busted myth. We love to get your comments.

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Raw Ingredients to Add to Your Skincare Toolbox

So you’ve decided to go raw. You’re breakfasting on green smoothies, snacking on stone sushi, and dining on a veritable feast of lettuce wraps and tomato cups. You’re getting your kids to develop a taste for green pudding, and even you’ve even got your dog on a raw food diet. But what about your skin? You may have got your food list down to the raw necessities, so why should there be separate standards for your skin and the rest of your body? There are more natural skin care products now than ever, and when you use raw ingredients regularly, you’re not only beautifying your skin, but you’re strengthening its UV resistance, helping it to absorb antioxidants, and even boosting your immune system. Here are some raw skin ingredients you may want to toss in your beauty shopping basket.

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a wide range of skin benefits. It strengthens epidermal tissue, removes dead skin, cells, protects against viruses, and helps to prevent sun damage. You can use this tropical oil on both your skin to take off makeup, moisturize, heal wounds quicker, and even prevent razor burn, and you can drink it too. Coconut oil has loads of healthy fat for gut health and increased immune function, and research shows it can even fight chronic skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis.

Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a great natural alternative to harsh acne treatments. It has been used for many years in Australia to reduce the occurrence of inflammation and redness on the skin. Its phytochemicals make it a powerful antioxidant, and its anti fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it one of the most valuable essential oils on the earth.

Apple Cider Vinegar
While you’re shopping for your raw ingredients, you might want to pick up some apple cider vinegar. Applied to the skin, this ingredient can help to clear the skin of problems caused by gut issues, help to cleanse the skin, and even kill acne causing bacteria. Even the “father of modern medicine” kept some apple cider vinegar in his homeopathic medicine cabinet. Apparently, Hippocrates used the anti fungal ingredient with raw honey to clean ulcerations and sores.

Raw Honey
Raw honey is chock full of enzymes, nutrients, vitamins, and acids all of which provide your skin with a plethora of benefits. Raw honey is credited with reducing breakouts, providing moisturizing benefits, killing germs, and encouraging the healing of wounds. Raw honey is not processed, like most of the honey available at the grocery stores, so all the nutrients remain intact. Antimicrobial honey can be used to dress wounds and burns, and can also be included in dandruff, diaper rash, and psoriasis treatment.

Sea Salt
Sea salt is naturally loaded with minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium that comes from evaporated sea water. Because these are the same minerals already in our skin cells and body, sea salt is ideal for protection, restoration, and balance of the skin. You can use it to make your own home made scrub to prevent clogged pores and promote healthy cell turnover for skin renewal.

Are you going for raw beauty? Let us know which skin care essentials you’re filling your basket with!

Vine vera Add These Superfruits To Your Shopping List

Add These Superfruits To Your Shopping List

When it comes to clothes shopping, you’re a black belt. No one has to help you find what you’re looking for. You know an investment piece when you see it and you can smell a bargain from a mile away. But when it comes to shopping for fruit, you’re clueless. Do you look for the fruit that will go with most of your clothing, or is it the one that matches your eyes? When it comes to buying produce, there is really no wrong choice, but there are a few selections that you may want to consider over others. Here are a few fruits that you might want to save the prime spot in your refrigerator for.

Plums
The inspiration for many fall lipstick shades, plums will make a great addition to your fruit basket. Plums are full on anthocyanins: heart healthy antioxidants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. In fact, according to a Harvard study, eating three or more servings of these babies week can lower a lady’s risk of heart attacks by 34 percent! Also, go for the darker colors, the black and red ones pack the biggest benefits.

Now that you’ve got em, want a great way to eat ’em? Try spreading some almond butter on the whole wheat toast, and top with a sliced plum, a teaspoon of honey, and a pinch of cinnamon for a yummy breakfast treat!

Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe is on trend this season. It’s a great source of potassium which means it’s good for keeping bones strong and fighting osteoporosis. Potassium also keeps your system from getting too acidic, which prevents acid neutralizing compounds from being robbed from bones and reducing their strength.

Here’s a great way to enjoy your melon: Cut the cantaloupe into cubes and toss with four ounces of mozzarella balls, a 1/4 cup of fresh basil, three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Serve as a side with some chicken or pork. Bon appetite!

Raspberries
Another great lipstick hue, raspberries are loaded with fiber to help control blood sugar and keep you full longer. In fact, a 64 calorie cup of the berries can contain twice as much fiber as a cup of cooked oatmeal, and one study showed that eating 30 grams of fiber per day can be just as effective for weight loss as cutting down on calories.

Start your raspberry centered diet by blending a cup of part skim ricotta with a cup of raspberries, two tablespoons powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon lemon zest to make a dip for whole grain crackers or sliced pears.

Mango
Great skin is always a great fashion accessory and mango is just what you need to rock it. A cup of mango will give you more than three-quarters of your daily serving of vitamin C, which will defend your skin from pollution and help to keep it producing the collagen you need to keep your skin plump, healthy, and smooth.

Quesadillas, anyone? Just spread 2 tablespoons of goat cheese on half of a whole wheat tortilla and top with a 1/2 cup sliced mango. Add 1 tablespoon sliced red onion and 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro. Fold the tortilla and cook in a skillet until crispy. Muy Bien!

What fruits are you shopping for this season? Let us know how you’re eating the rainbow!

Classic Home Remedies That Just Might Work

vine vera presents Classic Home Remedies That Just Might Work Probably the last thing a teenage girl wants from her mother is advice. Mom wears Mom jeans. Mom wouldn’t know the latest fashion if she saw it on the runway, and she would probably die if she knew about your eyebrow waxing appointment. However, as we get older we come to realize that there is some truth to the saying “Mother Knows Best,” and that may include some things beauty. While you may not find your Mom too eager to apply Punk Rock Purple lipstick or rock some aquarium style nail tips, she may have some, Michelle well, safer suggestions that actually might interest you. Here is some of the best old fashioned beauty advice that may make you the most trendy fashionista of all.

Fresh Cream For Skin
One teenager remembers the advice she got from her Grea-Michelle Duffy says that living on a farm gave her grandma’s sister access to the cream from the top of fresh milk. After 95 years of doing so, she still had “beautiful, soft skin, with barely a wrinkle,” says Duffy.

Rhubarb for Wrinkles and Redness
Some people owe their mothers their lives in more ways that one. After being diagnosed with a fatal case of childhood leukemia, Boldijarre Koransky, currently president of Eminence Organic Skincare, took the advice of his mother and grandmother and started eating the foods from their garden. “They fed me organically, biodynamic foods, believing that by providing me with the purest nutrition on earth, I would get better.”

And better he got. Years later, Koronczay is still a believer in the power of the plant. Rhubarb, he says, is “a good source of ascorbic acid and Vitamin C which makes it great for fighting wrinkles.” He also points out that when applied topically, rhubarb’s astringent and disinfecting properties can help to heal blemishes and wounds.

Witch Hazel
If rhubarb doesn’t do the trick, Witch Hazel surely will. It became Kelly Scarpelli’s “favorite astringent because it had natural oils that didn’t dry out her skin,’ and confesses, “After my mom told me Witch Hazel would unclog pores and get rid of blackheads, I used it every day.”

vine vera presents Classic Home Remedies That Just Might Work

Egg White Face Mask
Seeing was believing for Lindsay Troyer Shannon. She says, “My mom whisked one raw egg white and applied it to her face until it dried.” Troyer Shannon says that this application done weekly gave her mom, “the most amazing skin.”

Apple Cider Vinegar
When the greasy buildup from the continual use of shampoo became a problem for Mickey Duncan, her mom set her straight with some apple cider vinegar. “She taught me to use apple cider vinegar to give my hair a good cleaning. The use of apple cider vinegar is recommended once weekly to clear hair of shampoo buildup.

Cod Liver Oil
Dr. Peggy Fuller talks of her childhood cod liver associations. “We all lined up to take it. The taste was not bad to me, but oh, that smell.” Eventually, though, the immune supporting anti oxidants in the gel caps won Peggy over. ” I developed an affinity for it, and believe it lessened my childhood asthma.”

Coconut Oil
Casey Higgins grew up watching mom, Rita, use coconut oil to take off her makeup. When Casey decided to adopt a more holistic life style, she too took up the practice. She just rubs the oil into her skin wherever there is makeup and then wipes it off with a warm wet cloth to clean her face daily.

Shawna Steward learned to listen to her mama back when she was in summer camp. She recalls her mother having to pick her up from the pool, “because I woke up from a nap with throbbing red lobster legs.” When Shawna got home, she found herself sitting “in a tub with about two inches of lukewarm water, draped tea-soaked towels on my legs,” which she let “soak for twenty minutes until they stopped singing.”

Do you have any old fashioned remedies that your mom taught you? Let us know how cool you found out your Mom was when it came to beauty know how.

Sometimes You Shouldn’t Feel the Burn

vine vera banner presents Sometimes You Shouldn't Feel the Burn

“Ya burnt!” It’s one of the latest things milennials say when they think they’ve sassed you. You don’t want to get it from your teenage son, and you definitely don’t want to get it from your skin care products. Sure, we all like the tingling feeling that let’s us know our skin care products are doing their jobs, but we definitely don’t want the redness, peeling, and flaking that comes from applying harsh products daily, and sometimes its hard to tell the difference. How can we tell when ‘its working” turns into “ya burnt?” Here is a little insight from the pros.

The Burn
Lucille White, MD and Houston dermatologist says, “No pain, no gain is a terrible motto when dealing with your face, ” and Karyn Grossman, MD warns that daily stinging and flaking “are signs of chronic inflammation.” Grossman warns that this can lead to an array of other issues, such as tightness, dryness, and an increase in sensitivity.

However, here’s the confusion. Some proven care ingredients, such as retinoids and acids sting as they work. In these cases, a short period of stinging may be par for the course. So how can you tell when it’s gone too far?

Scrubs and Exfoliants
The word acid may be a clue as to whether or not the burning is a cause for concern. According to Dr. Grossman, any product with glycolic, lactic, alpha-hydroxy, or salicylic acid may cause some tingling. “The sensation could be because of their acidic pH or the concentration of the acid,” she says. She also warns that the feeling should be intermittent. Daily tingling could be problematic. Bottom line: if your peel stings, it’s probably ok, but your cleanser shouldn’t, and neither should most scrubs. Unless it has been formulated to be “energizing”, scrubs with microbeads and grains shouldn’t sting.

Face Cleansing Brushes
Using a face cleaning brush should not feel any rougher than using a washcloth. Grossman says, “The machine is doing all the work. All your hands should be doing is gently holding it to your skin. Don’t do that and scrub.” You should not be applying pressure on the brush, or work your hand in a scrubbing motion, simply hold it to your skin and let it do the work for you. Anything additional, and White says, “You’re scrubbing off too much of your skin.”

Using A Toner
Toners should not sting. Grossman says, “Alcohol evaporates quickly and feels so cooling.” While you may feel a tingling if your skin is inflamed from acne or other skin issues, you may feel a tingling, but otherwise, you may not feel anything at all. If you do feel some stinging, you may want to do a quick check of the ingredients, to see if the toner contains any acid. If that’s the case, the sensation may be completely normal.

Zit Zapping
When it comes to acne prevention, it usually comes down to one of two ingredients: salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. While salicylic acid might sting, especially if you apply it to a picked pimple, benzoyl peroxide should not. However, benzoyl peroxide may parch skin which can cause peeling over time. Using too many acne ingredients can always be a recipe for dry, tight, or flaky skin. If you experience such irritation from your acne fighting products, you may want to try using a more calming formula with anti microbial ingredients.

What do you think? Can you tell when the tingling sensation may be too much of a good thing? Let us know your experiences.