Category Archives: INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT

Foods That Naturally Increase Your Estrogen Levels

vine vera banner presenting Foods That Naturally Increase Your Estrogen Levels

Unless you were lying under a rock for the past few decades, you probably know that the sun is one of the primary causes of aging skin. What you may not know, however, is that there’s something that ages your skin far faster and more irrevocably than even some of the most hardcore sun exposure. Loss of estrogen is the reason behind some of the least desirable effects of aging skin, and even more distressing, there is not a whole lot you can do to stop it. While hormone replacement is possible, the side effects associated with it are enough to make it a non-option, and it is likely that, until corporations find a viable treatment, we are not likely to hear much about possible ways to avoid it, but there are, and you can find them in your foods.

What Is Estrogen?
Estrogen is the hormone responsible for women’s reproductive health. As Dr. Ritika Samaddar explains, “It has a significant role in tissue functioning- specifically of the uterus, pituitary gland, and breasts.” In addition to playing a vital role in the development of reproductive organs, estrogen also affects bone density metabolism and fetal maturation during pregnancy and is a crucial part of growth and development.

The compound phytoestrogen is a nutrient found in plants that have similar functions to estrogen found in the body, and its intake has been shown to increase the level of estrogen in humans.

Benefits Of Estrogen Rich Food

Relief of Menopausal Symptoms
A study published in the ‘Menopause’ journal showed a significant difference in women with diets high in phytoestrogen and those with a lower level of the nutrient in terms of menopausal symptoms. Results showed phytoestrogen was capable of relieving hot flashes and vaginal dryness in menopausal women.

Prevents Ovarian and Breast Cancer Risk
In addition to relieving symptoms of menopause, estrogen rich foods contain antioxidant- like properties that help to remove oxidizing agents from the body. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives showed that phytoestrogens can stimulate protein synthesis and are, therefore “strong candidates for natural cancer-protective compounds.”

Good For Skin and Hair
Dr. Simran Saini says phytoestrogen can add natural radiance to skin and hair and fight premature aging.

Prevents Osteoporoses
Estrogen is crucial for bone development, combining with calcium, vitamin D and other hormones in the rebuilding of bones. Studies suggest that phytoestrogen may have similar properties. In addition, a study in Women’s Health Initiative revealed that phytoestrogen may provide “cardiovascular protective effects” that are lacking in Hormone Replacement Therapy and better strategies for preventing bone loss need to be taken.

Prevents Strokes and Improves Heart Health
Studies show strokes to be the third most common causes of death in middle-aged women. A Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide suggests these statistics can be lowered by incorporation a daily tablespoon of flaxseed oil into the diets of women over the age of 50, who are likely candidates for strokes.

Estrogen Rich Foods
If you are thinking of getting serious about boosting your phytoestrogen intake, here are some of the best foods to do it with:

Flaxseed
When it comes to foods that contain phytoestrogen flaxseeds are at the top of the list. They improve liver function, prevent brittle nails, and skin dryness associated with lack of estrogen.

Soy Products
Oh say can you soy? Soybeans are a great source of phytoestrogen and one of the best foods for women in general. Soy milk, wheat flour, yogurt and soy dairy can all make great estrogen additions to your diet. They are low in calories, have almost no cholesterol, and researchers often point them out for their effectiveness in the prevention of breast cancer.

Walnuts
Walnuts are another effective source of phytoestrogen. Add some to your salads or eat them alone for a phytoestrogen-rich snack.

Dairy Products
Got milk? Milk, tofu, and paneer are all dairy products with a healthy amount of phytoestrogen, so be sure to include them in your diet to reap the benefits.

Sesame Seeds and Chickpeas
Packing a heavy punch when it comes to phytoestrogen sources, sesame seeds and chickpeas are a great addition to any health conscious diet. Hummus (made from chick peas) contains a whopping 993 micrograms of the stuff per hundred grams, so eat up for that estrogen surge!

How are you upping your estrogen levels? Let us know!

Coconut Oil Can Be Your Skin Saviour

benefits of using coconut oil

What is your oil d’jour? it seems that these days everyone’s skin routine needs to include some thick rich, usually edible natural oil in addition to the usual cast of serums, toners, and moisturizers. Some of you may have already made your choice, but, for those who are still open to suggestion, have you considered coconut oil? After all, it is summer; tiki torches, hula skirts, coconuts? Coconut oil is a great, natural choice for summer skincare, and it may be the closest to a tropical island you get this summer. Here are some other reasons you may want to try coconut oil.

Saturated Fats
Coconut oil keeps skin soft because of its medium chain fats, otherwise known as triglycerides. These fats retain the moisture content of the skin by eliminating the loss of moisture through the skin’s pores. When consumed regularly, the coconut oil deposits the fat under the skin. The result is healthy, Laurie smooth skin with an even tone.

Caprylic/ Capric/ Lauric acid
These work similarly to the triglycerides, but they also have disinfectant properties which protect skin from infections that can penetrate open wounds and pores. These benefits can be attained by taking the oil internally, or by applying it topically.

In addition to their antimicrobial properties, caprylic, capric lauric acids can provide a big energy boost before a workout. Because they are easily broken down; they are converted to usable energy quickly and efficiently, which is why they are often associated with weight loss. Losing weight also improves skin quality by reducing fat, stretch marks, and folds in the skin and ensuring that the body maintains a close grip around bones and muscles.

benefits of using coconut oil

Vitamin E
Vitamin E has been synonymous with skin care for years. it is needed for skin repair and growth and protects against aging and cracking. 100 grams of coconut oil contains about 0.1 mg of vitamin E, adding to its list of skin nourishing properties.

Proteins
The protein in coconut oil contributes to tissue repair and cellular health, guaranteeing the replacement of damaged cells on or near the skin. Research shows that individuals with low protein diets heal more slowly and develop more noticeable scars due to the longer healing time.

Uses
Lip Gel: Coconut oil provides a natural (edible) alternative to chemical lip gels. It works wonders and you don’t have to worry about it ending up in your belly.

Skin Softener: Coconut oil can be a great solution to hard and dry skin conditions on the face, hands, and feet and also has exfoliating properties. Combining coconut oil with exfoliating materials, such as salt and sugar, will improve the efficiency, sloughing off dead skin cells without irritation.

Skin Disorders: Coconut oil may also prove useful in battling skin disorders including eczema, acne, and psoriasis. Studies are ongoing as to whether or not the protein content in coconut oil is capable of replacing sick and dying cells related to these conditions.

Makeup Remover: Coconut oil takes off makeup quickly and thoroughly without harsh chemicals.

Is coconut oil your oil d’jour? If not what is? What do you use coconut oil for? Let us know!

Add Avocado To Your Beauty Routine

Flower made of Avocado How often has this happened to you? You’re on a date or in a meeting and you go to the restroom. Check your look in the mirror, and there is, the inevitable food on the face. How long has it been there? Is it that noticeable? What is it? Where is it? On your nose? In your eyebrow? Most of us don’t want to be caught wearing our meals in public, yet, at home, it can be somewhat more acceptable, in fact, even desirable. Avocados can be great in your meals and also on your face, and hair. Here are some ways of incorporating the green wonder into your beauty routine.

Anti-Aging
One thing avocados, a.k.a. alligator pears are great for is anti-aging. Not only can you use the mashed avocado for a mask, but eating it helps to fight aging as well. The antioxidants in the avocado detoxify the body, reducing wrinkles and making skin soft and supple.

Drink the Juice for Skin Health
These days it seems as if no fruit or vegetable is beyond liquefaction, and avocados are no exception. Just mix one with a cup of milk in the blender and – voila- a drink full of nutrients and vitamins. Your skin will thank you for it. Add honey if you like it sweet.

Revitalizes the Scalp
Avocado is also a great treatment for your crowning glory. The fruit can be used to treat dry hair or a dry itchy scalp. Just mash some up and massage it into your scalp and let the proteins and amino acids work their magic. You should find a more comfortable, less flaky scalp, and improved overall hair condition.

fresh Avocado smoothie

Defrizz Hair
Got frizz? Put half a mashed up avocado in the blender, add two tablespoons of avocado oil, and work it into your hair and scalp. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and shampoo. You should find hair immediately less frizzy and easier to control.

Natural Sunscreen
If you’re looking for a chemical free way of guarding againstUVA and UVB exposure, avocado oil works as a natural sunscreen and also soothes sunburnt skin. The high antioxidant content of the avocado protects against free radical damage and can restore the effects caused by overexposure to the sun.

Treats Skin Conditions
The healthy fats and oils in contained in the avocado are a close match for the natural oils in the skin and make great natural moisturizers with calming properties to reduce inflammation. Just mash one up and put it right on your face and neck, and wash it off after 5 or 10 minutes and reap the effects of radiant, beautiful skin.

Bad Breath
Some stuff a stick of gum in their mouths before an up close encounter, others drink avocado juice. Bad breath comes from your stomach, not your mouth. Avocado juice cleanses both mouth and intestines, removing the microbes that cause bad breath.

What is your beauty go to’s? What food do you wear? What do you do with your avocados? Let us know! We love to hear it!

What Makes Argan Oil So Beneficial for Your Skin?

Argan oil is one of the most sought after culinary and cosmetic oils in the world. Here are some of the ingredients that make this oil so desirable and some of the ways you can take advantage of its benefits.

Argan Oil
Argan oil has been used as a healing oil throughout the centuries to treat skin conditions. The oil owes its healing properties to its high content of vitamin E and A and its wealth of antioxidants, such as omega -6 fatty acid and linoleic acid. Applied topically, the tocopherol from the vitamin E can boost cell production, promoting healthy skin and hair. Here are some of the top cosmetic uses for argan oil.

Argan oil

Night Time Moisturizer
After your nightly cleanser, pour a drop of argan oil in your palm to warm. Massage it into face and neck using a circular motion. Next, apply a drop to your face from the bridge of your nose to your temple using a tapping motion. Continue to use this gentle tapping to place a drop beneath your eyes. You will find the oil absorbs quickly without leaving a residue and that the A and E vitamins will help to reduce fine lines.

Skin Toner
To reap the benefits of argan oil in your toner, add two to four drops of the oil to eight ounces of toner or, follow this recipe to make your own chemical- free version:

Pour a cup of boiling water over a green tea bag and allow to steep for seven to ten minutes. Remove the bag and allow the tea to come to room temperature. Add a drop or two of an essential oil of your choice, add two to four drops of the argan oil and seal in a jar. Use twice daily after cleansing and before moisturizing.

face serum

Improving Acne-Prone Skin
Another benefit of argan oil is its ability to reduce sebum levels and fight acne. The high linoleic acid content can reduce inflammation due to acne while healing damaged skin cells. Simply apply a drop into problem areas, or fight whiteheads by making the skin toner (see above) using a few drops of tea tree oil. The tree tea oil will complement the argan oil with its supply of antioxidants, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Healing Stretch Marks
Argan oil helps restore elasticity to the skin lost to stretching. Warm two to three drops of the oil in your palms and rub on problem areas. The vitamin A and E will prevent stretch marks from forming. If you have already existing stretch marks, massage argan oil and brown sugar to the affected area before bathing. Rinse and reapply the oil to the area before dressing.

Caring for Your Nails
The non-greasy moisturizing agents in this oil make it ideal for treating nails and cuticles. Remove all traces of nail polish from hands and toes and dot a tiny drop into each nail, rubbing into cuticle and nail bed. Allow nails to absorb the oil, then rinse and apply polish as usual. Regular treatment should help your nails grow strong and beautiful, while preventing the formation of painful hangnails.

Have you used argan oil? Are the goats on to something? Their hair is fabulous and their hooves are really strong.

Ingredient Spotlight: Coconut Milk

The incredible taste and texture of coconut milk certainly make it seem like coconut milk would be bad for you. Plus, many people are aware that coconut milk has saturated fats and contains quite a few calories. However, the saturated fats found in coconut milk are actually highly beneficial to your health and can help fight chronic diseases and prevent cardiovascular disease. Keep reading to find out exactly what coconut milk is and three major health benefits that ingesting coconut milk provides.

Coconut milk

What is Coconut Milk?
The name coconut milk is a bit misleading, but it isn’t actually a “milk” at all in the sense that the word milk is generally used. Coconut milk is a liquid found naturally in the coconut “meat” inside of mature coconuts. Coconut milk has a mild coconut flavor and can be used in many recipes as a dairy substitute. Coconut milk is not to be confused with the liquid that first leaks out when you crack open a coconut – that is coconut water. Coconut water has more sugar and electrolytes, but coconut milk is higher in saturated fatty acids from coconut oil.

One of the fats that coconut milk provides is the medium-chain fatty acid, lauric acid. Lauric acid is absorbed easily by the body and is used as a source of energy. Although coconut milk does contain many saturated fats, it is not a threat to your cholesterol levels or to your heart. In fact, experts say that coconut milk can help you lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, because it is high in calories, it is best to consume coconut milk in moderation.

Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
Coconut milk has multiple benefits to your health, some of which include:

  • Heart Health – As mentioned above, coconut milk does contain saturated fats, but 50 percent of the fats found in coconut milk is lauric acid. This protective fatty acid has been linked to a decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. Coconut milk also helps lower your blood pressure and keeps your blood vessels flexible and free from heart disease-causing plaque.
  • Builds Muscle – The medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut milk increase your energy expenditure and provide enhanced physical performance. Those benefits help you to build muscle and because the fats in coconut milk are good fats, they fill you up and can help curb your cravings for snacks and prevent overeating.
  • Prevents Joint Inflammation – Inflammation is one of your body’s main enemies because it plays a role in so many diseases and uncomfortable conditions, one of which is arthritis. Inflammation also decreases your body’s immune function, but coconut milk can help to reduce inflammation. The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut milk decrease inflammation, and when used in place of refined sugar, can decrease inflammation even more because refined sugar is pro-inflammatory.

Coconut milk, like its relatives coconut water and coconut oil, is considered to be one of the world’s healthiest foods. Enjoy coconut milk in place of dairy milk, use it to make curries or use it in your morning smoothies for an added boost of healthy fats.

Ingredient Spotlight: Biotin

Biotin is a vitamin that gets a lot of buzz in the beauty industry, but what is it and what does it do? Biotin is a B vitamin that is essential to multiple bodily functions and that does play a role in keeping a healthy and youthful appearance. If you’ve ever been curious about what biotin is and how you can benefit from biotin, keep reading. Learn what biotin is, what the benefits of biotin are and how you can get biotin for your body.

Vitamin B7

What is Biotin?
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is a water-soluble vitamin that is one of the complex B vitamins. “B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly,” according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. These key nutrients are responsible for your digestive, cardiovascular, nervous and metabolic functions.

Perhaps more popularly, biotin is a nutrient that plays a role in maintaining the health of your hair, skin and nails. Vitamin B7 is a frequent addition to beauty products aimed at skin and hair care, but there is little research to support the claim that these formulations containing biotin have a significant impact on hair, skin and nails. Some experts believe that biotin is not well absorbed through the skin, so the benefits of topical application may be quite small. Ingesting biotin is recommended, and there are many food sources you can enjoy to get your daily recommended value of biotin.

Benefits of Biotin
Biotin has several important health benefits including:

  • Healthy Metabolism – B7 and other B vitamins are required to convert the food you eat into energy. “All B vitamins help the body to convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and proteins,” writes the University of Maryland Medical Center.
  • Blood Sugar – The link between biotin and diabetes continues to be studied, but research shows that biotin, particularly when combined with chromium, lowers blood sugar in people with diabetes. Biotin helps too with blood glucose levels because it facilitates the activity of insulin, which is the hormone responsible for balancing blood sugar.
  • Hair, Skin and Nails – High doses of biotin have been shown to treat weak and brittle hair or nails. It is also thought that biotin helps protect your skin from acne, dryness, cracking, rashes and fungal infections.

How to Get Biotin
Because biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, your body does not store it and so you need a constant supply of biotin. Foods that are biotin-rich include:

  • Liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Salmon
  • Cheese
  • Avocados
  • Raspberries
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Cauliflower

You can also take biotin in supplement forms in a wide range of doses.

Biotin, B7, is an important vitamin that not only strengthens your hair, nails and skin, but that also contributes to the proper functioning of several body systems. While you need a constant supply of biotin, it is rare for people that consume adequate calories each day to be deficient in biotin. Additionally, it is rare that biotin levels become so high that they are toxic. Eating biotin-rich foods benefits your body and your beauty.

Ingredient Spotlight: Honey

When most people think of honey, they think of a natural alternative to processed sugar, not their skin. Honey is definitely an ingredient to look for when you select your skin care products. “Raw honey is incredible for your skin thanks to its antibacterial properties and hefty serving of skin-saving antioxidants,” says beauty expert and blogger, Kim Wallace. The use of honey in skin care is well-documented and dates back to the most ancient civilizations. Ayurvedic medicine continues to use honey for multiple skin uses from treating acne to healing wounds and reducing scars. And, honey is not just ancient history, it continues to be used for a variety of dermatological and medicinal purposes today. “Honey is published widely in medical literature for its use on wounds and diabetic sores,” says dermatologist Dr. Doris Day. To find out how you can benefit from skin care products containing honey, keep reading.

Honey

Cleanse
There are around 180 compounds found in honey and enzymes in raw honey can be used to cleanse your skin. These enzymes clean deep into your pores to keep them clear and clean. Additionally, the antibacterial properties of honey are especially beneficial in cleansers formulated for acne-prone skin. Using a cleanser that includes honey for acne-prone or sensitive skin is helpful because you receive the amazing levels of clean, while still retaining your skin’s moisture and without aggravating your skin at all.

Exfoliate
As you age, your skin’s natural exfoliation slows down and it becomes increasingly important to exfoliate your skin. Dead skin cells accumulate and build up on the surface of your skin leading to a dry, rough and dull complexion. The enzymes and acids, like gluconic acid, in honey gently break apart dead skin cells and remove them from the surface of your skin. With the dead skin cells no longer sitting on top of your skin and clogging up the surface, new and healthy skin cells can be revealed for a healthy, even and radiant appearance.

Moisturize
Honey is a natural humectant, which means that it is able to draw moisture from the surrounding air and bring it into the skin. Humectants ensure that moisture reaches the appropriate layers of skin and that this moisture is then retained in the skin for long-lasting hydration. Look for a moisturizer or face mask that contains honey to seriously increase the moisture levels in your skin. Don’t forget to treat your lips and choose a lip balm that contains honey to keep your lips hydrated for hours.

Treat
Perhaps the most famous uses for honey are those that use honey as a treatment. One of the most popular dermatological applications for honey is in the treatment of acne. Due to the antibacterial properties of honey, it is able to reduce pimple-causing bacteria and it does so without further irritating the skin. Honey also has anti-fungal properties that are beneficial for acne-prone skin and its high antioxidant content means that it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, reducing redness and swelling caused by breakouts.

Honey has a long history of use, both for cosmetics and as a medical treatment, and the reason for this history is that honey is a serious multi-tasking skin care ingredient. If you suffer from dry spots, rough and dull skin or breakouts, skin care products containing honey can help solve your skin problems. You don’t have to have dry or troublesome skin to benefit from this incredible ingredient, the antioxidant properties of honey make it an excellent addition to any skin care routine.

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.

Ingredient Spotlight: Licorice Root Extract

Black licorice candy is pretty polarizing, you either love it or your hate it and the idea of slathering licorice all over your face may be incredibly unappealing to you. Before you discard licorice root extract, you should know that the candy contains very little actual licorice and that this plant extract is a highly beneficial skincare ingredient. Find out what licorice root extract is, what the skin benefits are and how you can use it as a part of your healthy skin routine.

Licorice Root Extract

What is Licorice Root Extract?
Licorice root extract is derived from the roots of the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra, which is a legume that is related to beans and peas. This plant is grown mostly in Greece, Turkey and Asia and was widely used in ancient Chinese medicine for its impressive health benefits. Although this is a flowering plant, it is the root that is harvested for its health benefits, which includes benefits to your skin.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health notes that peeled licorice is available in powdered or dried forms. Licorice root is available as capsules, tablets and liquid extracts. The root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant produces a syrupy liquid that contains beneficial plant sterols, which benefit your skin by promoting elasticity while also fighting inflammation and new wrinkles from forming.

In addition to being used for skin care, licorice is also used in the form of traditional remedies for issues such as bronchitis, stomach ulcers and sore throats, as well as several infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis.

Skin Benefits of Licorice Root Extract
Licorice root extract is used to treat a variety of skin conditions. The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology states that licorice root extract is effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis, rosacea, drug-induced eruptions and psoriasis. Researchers believe that it is the anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root extract that enables it to help with these conditions. Inflammation is a way for your body to protect itself by trying drive irritants and infections out. As this happens, you experience symptoms like redness, itching and swelling. Because licorice root extract fights inflammation, it soothes your skin and reduces redness and swelling.

The other primary use for licorice root extract is the lightening of skin and skin problems. Products designed to lighten skin and lessen the appearance of things like sun spots and post-acne scars generally contain hydroquinone, which is a harsh chemical. The ingredient responsible for licorice root extracts skin lightening ability is the active compound glabridin. “Glabridin is an active ingredient containing five flavonoids that act to depigment, or lighten, skin while blocking an enzyme that causes damaged skin to darken,” according to the LiveStrong Foundation.

Licorice root extract also contains antioxidants that fight free radical damage. Another ingredient in licorice root extract, licochalcone, is helpful in regulating your skin’s oil production, so oily and acne-prone skin (some acne is due to overactive oil glands) may benefit from the use of this ingredient.

Licorice root extract is a versatile skin care ingredient that can help with acne, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. Quality formulation is key when you want to incorporate this ingredient into your skin care routine. You can find licorice root extract in cosmetics as well as cleansers, toners and moisturizers. You can find licorice root extract in our Vine Vera Vitamin C Cleanser along with other amazing antioxidants and ingredients.

Ingredient Spotlight: Palmitoyl Tripeptide – 1

The fight against anti-aging is endless and the ingredients used are constantly evolving. One of the most buzzed-about ingredients of late has been peptides. These molecules are found naturally in the body, but can also be produced synthetically. Vine Vera investigated just what peptides really are and why palmitoyl tripeptide – 1  is such a powerful anti-aging ingredient.

Skin care serum

What are Peptides?
Peptides have the same chemical structure as proteins, but the chains of amino acids that comprise peptides are shorter in length than other proteins. These chains of amino acids can be either found naturally or manufactured synthetically. According to skin-care experts, most peptides used in cosmetics are synthetic in nature because engineering gives chemists greater control over stability and effectiveness when it comes to skin care.

Why Your Skin Needs Peptides
During the aging process, your body slows the production of collagen which results in saggy skin, fine lines and wrinkles and damaged or weakened skin. Peptides are a cell-communicating ingredient that send the signal to your skin that damage has occurred. When your skin receives this message, collagen production is stimulated so that there will be collagen to heal your skin. This is a naturally occurring process, but as stated above, synthetic peptides are able to send these signals to your skin as well. When you apply a skin-care product featuring a peptide, your skin believes it has suffered a loss of collagen and must make more to heal itself. Peptides also act as a moisture-binding skin-care ingredient, which is part of why topically applied peptides help your skin appear more supple.

Palmitoyl Tripeptide – 1
The various forms of peptides act upon the forms of collagen found in your body and your skin. The most abundant form of collagen in your body is collagen I, the collagen primarily responsible for repairing your skin. Collagen III is found alongside collagen I and works much in the same way, though it is not as tough as collagen I. Palmitoyl tripeptide – 1 mimics the relationship between the growth factors involved in the skin’s healing process and the production of collagen. Essentially, palmitoyl tripeptide tricks your skin into producing more collagen to repair your skin, improve elasticity and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Palmitoyl tripeptide – 1 is an incredible skin-care ingredient to combat aging, but like most skin-care ingredients it works more effectively when used in combination with other anti-aging ingredients. Research on exactly how peptides work and how to maximize their potency is still being conducted, but the potential power of peptides is promising. When used as part of a good skin-care routine, palmitoyl tripeptide – 1 can help your skin repair damage by stimulating collagen production. The results is younger, smoother and stronger skin.