Category Archives: Natural Ingredients

Seven Oils That Belong In Your Beauty Routine

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Coming under the heading of mistaken song lyrics, is the meaning of “essential” in the term essential oil. We usually use the word “essential to mean: “absolutely necessary, indispensable.” However, in the term “essential oil” it refers to ” the essence of the plant,” or the “natural composition” of the plant itself. For instance, lavender essential oil means that the oil is made from the essence of lavender, it doesn’t mean the lavender is a necessary oil. If you’ve been thinking that “essential oils’ meant very important oils, however, you’re not really wrong, so we won’t disabuse of the notion. Here are some very essential oils.Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Carrot sends oil is best known for its rejuvenating properties. It boosts cells turnover and for this reason, it can help to fade scars and age spots. It’s also packed with antioxidants, which help it to quench wrinkle-causing free radicals and reduce inflammation.

Frankincense Essential Oil
Friendly to all skin types, frankincense oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which make it a great acne treatment. It also has natural toning properties to minimize the appearance of pores and even out skin tones, while encouraging the growth of new cells to tighten skin, reduce wrinkles, and lighten scars.

Geranium Essential Oil
Another great oil for reduction of oil, geranium is fantastic at controlling acne breakouts while boosting skin elasticity and making wrinkles less noticeable. Geranium oil is also known for promoting blood circulation, and as such may help to heal everything from cuts to bruises to broken capillaries and is even effective in treating skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm, and dermatitis.

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Lavender Essential Oils
This stuff smells so good, we would apply it even if it did nothing for our skin, but fortunately for us, that’s not the case. In addition to helping the body adapt to stress, lavender oil can help regenerate skin cells to prevents sun spots, and scarring.

Myrrh Essential Oil
With a biblical reference to its name, myrrh is the ancient essential oil and inflammatory that helps to improve skin’s firmness tome and elasticity, while healing sun damage, chapped skin, eczema, and rashes. Now we know why the Wise Men carried it around all the time.

Tea Essential Oil
If you’re familiar with acne, you should be familiar with tea tree oil. Tea tree essential oil is one of the better-known oils for treating acne. The antibacterial properties of the oil can help to eliminate acne-causing bacteria and heal wounds while limiting the incidence and severity of breakouts.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Another heavenly scented oil, yang has a lot more going for it than just a pretty smell. The floral oil is also able to control oil production to keep breakouts to a minimum and helps cells turnover, to smooth out fine lines and improve skin elasticity.

What do you think are the most essential of the essential oils? Let us know! We love to hear from you!

Ceramides: The Trending Skincare Ingredient You Should Know About

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You take your beauty products seriously. You know there are heaps of products on the market, each claiming to have more advanced ingredients than the next, and new ingredients being touted as the next best thing in skin care almost every other day. To some, all this information may seem hard to keep track of; some have long stopped trying – but not you. You know the importance of finding a product that really works, and that means you need to be aware of what every ingredient does as soon as they hit the market. That’s why you need to know about ceramides. What are they? Do they work? Read on to find out about the latest trending ingredient you need to know about.

What Are Ceramides?
Ceramides are an oily wax that forms a waterproofing barrier in the upper layers of our skin, helping the skin retain water while repairing the skin’s natural barrier and regulating cells. As we age, out production of ceramides lessons, resulting in wrinkles, dry skin, and even dermatitis.

Topical Application Of Ceramides
While there is some evidence that ceramics have a positive effect on skin when ingested, topical application is the preferred and more common method.

Do Ceramides Retain Water?
Ceramides waterproof skin. They do this best when combined with other oily materials. When combined with cholesterol and free fatty acids in a certain ratio, they have been found to have moisture retaining qualities.

Do Ceramides Penetrate?
Ceramides are “skin identical.” This means it is naturally occurring in skin’s upper layers. This allows topically applied ceramics to move into the upper layer of skin easily, in a method known as “tape stripping.” This means that the ceramides stick to your skin, much like a piece of tape, analyze it and then “tear it off” enabling it to move into the next layer of skin, eventually penetrating quite deeply.

Is There Proof They Work?
Although not every study is dependable, due to control issues, here are a few findings from some pretty credible sources.

A study done on mice that ran in the J Clin Exp Dermatol showed that topical ceramides can not only keep the skin barrier intact, they can protect it from future damage.

According to a Japanese study, plant derived ceramides have more skin hydrating properties than placebos.
A study by the Kao Corporation showed that creams containing ceramide E increases water content in the skin, and reduces symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

The Textbook of Cosmetic Dermatology found that some combinations of ceramides work better than placebos at repairing the function of the skin barrier.

Picking the Right Ceramide
Not all ceramides were created equal. Some just provide an occlusive layer that locks in moisture, In this case, ceramides may work no better than petrolatum for skin care Others penetrate and moisturize from within, and have a longer lasting effect than other conventional treatments. The best formulas combine with fatty acids and cholesterols to imitate the natural moisture of the skin. While it is impossible to know the best lotion without seeing the formula, you can be pretty sure that price is a good indicator. Unfortunately, when it comes to ceramides, you usually get what you pay for. However, as you know, the savvy consumer always gets his or her money’s worth.

Have you used a ceramide? What do you think?Which do you find work best on your skin?

Foods That Reduce Inflammation and Fight Aging

vine vera banner presents Foods That Reduce Inflammation and Fight Aging The human body is a weird and wonderful thing, and it usually has our backs, pun intended. However, every once in a while, a false alarm goes off and our bodies go to war even though there’s no enemy at the front. The human body ends up fighting itself and its normally protective defenses end up inflicting damage on its own system. That’s when inflammation can become dangerous. Normally defensive immune responses become offensive attacks. Otherwise, healthy tissue becomes infected, resulting in swelling, redness, fatigue, and even loss of joint control. That’s where nutrition steps in.

While food can’t prevent our systems from turning against themselves, some of it can be pretty effective when it comes to damage control. Here are some of the best culinary protectors against the more detrimental effects of inflammation.

Beets
Want to beet inflammation? Beets are a potent inflammatory, which also contains antioxidant properties, plus they’re great for boosting energy while lowering blood pressure. Studies show that a single serving of beetroot juice can reduce blood pressure by 10.4/8mm. Also high in nitrates, beets have been shown to boost athletic performance by one to three percent.

Broccoli
You can bet that broccoli is going to show up on any list of foods with health benefits. It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients like kaempferol, which is shown to lessen the impact of allergy-inducing substances on the body, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties.

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Green Tea
Another recurring character on the list of healthy foods, green tea has a large supply of anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Studies show that the leading catechin in green tea is a powerful anti-inflammatory with healing potential. The antioxidant properties in green tea are also quite impressive. Studies show that regular drinkers showed a 22 percent decrease in risk of breast cancer, a 48 percent reduced risk for prostate cancer, and a whopping 57 percent lower colorectal cancer risk.

Garlic
One whiff of garlic and you know you’re dealing with a pretty formidable contender. A Washington State University study found garlic to contain 100 times the potency of two antibiotics used to fight the causes of intestinal illness.

Ginger
Ginger can reduce inflammation and keep blood sugar under control. The National Library of Medicine compared ginger extract to common painkillers and found ginger to be a potent pain reliever.

Onions
Another pretty powerful ingredient, onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant which helps the body fight inflammation. Onions stimulate the respiratory tract and help to get rid of phlegm. The vegetables are also proven antioxidants and may be effective in the treatment of certain cancers.

Spinach
Another overachieving veggie, spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods. The high unique combination of phytonutrients in spinach makes for a high level of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components which can be helpful in protection from cellular damage.

How do you cope with inflammation? What foods do you think are best for protecting and preventing the condition? Let us know!

Hibiscus Extract For Your Skin

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Botox. When its good its very good. It seems hard to contest the fact that, when done properly, botulism injections can solve a lot of aging problems. We’ve all seen those middle-aged women whose Botox injections have spared them from a lot of the common age-related complaints, and it seems like they’ve uncovered the Fountain of Youth. Then, we think of the expense, the horror stories, the looks of permanent surprise, and think it may be better to stay slightly more mature looking. But, what if you found out there was such a thing as the “Botox Flower.” Could it be possible that there was a natural substitute for something so, well, unnatural? Let’s take a look at Hibiscus extract and what it can do for the skin.

The Botox Plant
Not only is the hibiscus beautiful, it is also useful.The hibiscus earns its nickname from its reputation for increasing skin elasticity. The extracts from the stunning plant inhibit the activity of the enzyme elastase, responsible for breaking down skin’s elastin, which mimics the effects of Botox in its ability to firm and lift skin.

Evens Skin Tone
Hyperpigmentation refers to the appearance of discoloration or age spots that form on the skin as it ages, usually due to a number of variables, including genetics, exposure to ultraviolet rays, and excess production of melanin. The hibiscus contains organic acids, including malic and citric acid, which is responsible for the plant’s exfoliating properties, helping to boost turnover of cells for a more even skin tone.

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Antioxidant Loaded
The word antioxidant has become common jargon in the beauty and health world lately. Antioxidants are the powerful naturally occurring ingredients with the astonishing power to fight free radicals and spare skin from the damaging effects of pollution and ultraviolet radiation. The Hibiscus is rich in anthocyanosis, which function as antioxidants as well as astringents. Not only do anthocyanosis prevent oxidation, they minimize the appearance of large pores, and have an anti-inflammatory effect, offering soothing relief for irritation, making hibiscus ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Purifies the Complexion
In addition to reducing the appearance of age spots, the exfoliating malic and citric acids in the skin can make for a fresher, smoother, younger looking complexion. By sloughing off dead skin cells, and promoting the growth of new ones, the acids can decrease the look of aging while decongesting pores to keep acne blemishes to a minimum. Also, because the acids in hibiscus extract are organic, they won’t strip skin of its natural oils like synthetic forms of the acids are likely to do, resulting in a supple, glowing complexion.

Moisture Boost
Of course, no “botox plant” worth its salt would be complete without some moisturizing properties. Hibiscus is high in mucilage content, which is a sticky plant produces the substance that aids in the storage of food and water, and also makes a fantastic natural skin moisturizer. The mucilage in the hibiscus helps skin to retain moisture, staying hydrated longer and keeping skin from excessive dryness and flaking.

What do you think? Have you tried hibiscus extract? Is hibiscus the “Botox Plant?” Let us know!

Topical Nutrients That Boost Your Skin’s Glow

woman in blue with glowing skin

Topical or oral, that is the question to be decided. When it comes to skin care, is it best to apply our vitamins directly to the affected area, or is it better to ingest them?. On the one hand, our skin is an outward expression of what’s going on in our bodies, including aging. This being the case, we should take our vitamins orally; healthy body, healthy skin, right? However, do you ever wonder if the vitamins know where to go after they are consumed? Is there a vitamin whisperer in your body directing the vitamin E to your crows feet? Apparently not. Clinical Professor Mary Lupo says, “The body delivers only a certain percentage of vitamins to your skin no matter how much you ingest.” That means, if you want to confront the problem head on, you’re probably best with a topical approach. Here are topical nutrients to boost skin’s glow.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A (the derivatives are known as retinoids) is probably the best remedy for wrinkles, roughness and brown spots. Commonly found in night creams, OTC lotions, and prescription products, vitamin A is one of the strongest proven anti-agers on the market. According to Doris Day MD, “There are more than 700 published studies on retinoids. They’re tried and true ingredients. Anyone who wants younger skin should use one.”

As for application, retinoids are best applied at night, as sunlight renders vitamin An inactive. Prescription retinoids work fastest, but tend to be irritating; OTC products are better for beginners. To avoid irritation, begin by using the vitamin A treatment sparingly every two or three nights, gradually building to nightly use.

Vitamin B-3
If redness is an issue for you, its B-3 to the rescue. Often referred to as niacinamide on the labels of creams, lotions, and serums, B-3 known to increase skin’s fatty acid and ceramide production, strengthening the skin’s barrier. Leslie S. Baumann, MD, explains, “As that barrier is strengthened, skin is better able to keep moisture and irritants out if your complexion is dry or sensitive.” One study showed it to effectively reduce blushing and redness caused by rosacea.

B-3 can also minimize dark spots by inhibiting pigment transfer to skin cells. B3 can be applied morning and evening and can be used in conjunction with retinoids to reduce the retinoid irritation.

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Vitamin C
When it comes to skin health, vitamin C o gets superstar status. However, don’t expect top billing for vitamin C. C should be listed near the middle of the panel of ingredients to ensure the concentration of 5% or higher needed to make an impact on skin.

Vitamin C quenches free radicals that lead to wrinkling, and sagging, and helps to firm and smooth skin while fading dark spot. One study showed women who used a vitamin C cream on their sun damaged skin for six months saw a noticeable improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is best applied in the morning right before sunscreen to protect from UV free radicals.

Vitamin E
Because vitamin E is known for its ability to hydrate and boost skin’s UV defense, it is commonly found in sunscreens or sun related skin products. It’s recommended 1 % concentration will usually place it near the middle of the ingredients label. Vitamin E eases dryness by helping skin to maintain its natural moisture and it is known for its powerful ability as a neutralizer of free radicals. One study showed vitamin E was actually able to reduce the number of unstable molecules caused by cigarette smoke. Others showed skin treated with vitamin E before UV exposure was less swollen red and dry.

While vitamin E’s protection from sun exposure makes it ideal for application before and after the sun soak, it should be noted that a strong single blast of UV light can destroy half of the skin’s natural supply of the vitamin, and it is best to use a sunscreen with both E and C to ensure effectiveness.

Let us know what vitamins you’re delivering straight to the spot.We love to hear what your favorite topical nutrients are.

Enjoy A Polyphenol-Packed Refresher

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It seems that most people believe there is no crisis that cannot be handled with a coffee. Indeed, judging from the human dependency on coffee, it would appear that most humans don’t believe themselves capable of addressing most of the daily challenges of life without some kind of caffeinated beverage on hand to lessen pain, speed thinking, and quicken reaction time. While the growing news about the health benefits of coffee seems to make it more and more attractive, coffee does have its downsides: namely the tendency to produce jitters, difficulty sleeping and the lows that result as a reaction to the caffeine-generated energy boost. What if you discovered that there has recently emerged a beverage that provides all the positive effects of coffee, with little of the negatives? Matcha tea, anyone?

What Is Matcha Tea?
Matcha tea is the age old newest thing to hit the market. It originated more than 1,000 years ago in Japan when Japanese monks discovered its ability to make them feel “calm, yet alert” during endless hours of meditation.

The reason that the tea is so strong is that the leaves are not steeped in bags, but dissolved in water, leaving all the antioxidant powers of the leaf intact. As a result, you get antioxidant levels 6.2 times that of goji berries, 17 times that of blueberries, 7 times that of dark chocolate, anti-carcinogenic and 60.5 times that of spinach.

Cancer Prevention
Green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants which knock out free radicals in the body. The most potent catechin in green tea is EGCG, which is anti-carcinogenic properties. A 2003 study done at the University of Colorado found that one cup of matcha has 137 times the EGCG or regular green tea.

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Anti-Aging
Some of the oldest living people in the world live in Okinawa, Japan. The longevity of these people has been partially attributed to matcha green tea consumption. Although the tea is most popular in Japan, it is becoming widely recognized throughout the world for its ability to fight inflammation, aging, and oxidation.

Lowers Bad Cholesterol
According to a 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition green tea beverages can significantly lower serum total and LDL cholesterol concentration.

Weight Loss
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted in 1999 revealed that catechins found in green tea extract have thermogenic properties capable of promoting fat oxidation beyond that explained by tea’s caffeine content. The study showed that consuming green tea increases the body’s thermogenesis, or rate of calorie burn, by 8-10% to 35-43% of energy expenditure daily. Yet another study showed that exercise done immediately after consuming matcha green tea resulted in a fat burning increase of 25%.

Mood Booster
Matcha tea can contain up to 5 times more L-theanine than most tea. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive abilities which induce alpha wave activity in the brain. Stress is associated with the brain’s beta wave activity. Alpha wave activity combats this, relieving stress, promoting relaxation, and lowering blood pressure, counterbalancing the jittery effects of caffeine. Thus, matcha tea promotes clarity of the mind without the nervous energy related to coffee.

What do you think? Are you ready to trade in your daily java for some matcha? 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!

These Ingredients Have Neuroprotective Benefits

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The central nervous system. That complex combination of the brain and the spinal chord, studied extensively, but understood only partially, constantly and mysteriously working to generate our movements, emotions, and desires. While a system so multifaceted can be so fascinating, it can also be extremely prone to malfunction. So many things can go wrong with a system so complicated, and unfortunately, our limited knowledge makes many of these difficult to treat. Neuropathic disorders and diseases continue to plague so many with so few solutions. That is why it is so important to protect ourselves against these disorders. Here are some ingredients with neuroprotective properties.

Glutamate Antagonists
Glutamate antagonists are the main treatment to used to control cell death in CNS disorders. Overexcitation of glutamate receptors causes calcium to increase, which has major consequences on the nerve. Glutamate antagonists inhibit the binding of glutamate to receptors and may help to avoid excitotoxicity. Some treatments with promising results include:

Estrogen
Estradiol helps to prevent excitotoxicity by inhibiting glutamate receptors, such as NMDA.

Ginsenoside Rd
Studies show that ginsenoside Rd may help to inhibit glutamate excitotoxicity, and has proven to be an effective and noninvasive treatment for ischemic stroke patients.

Progesterone
Progesterone has been shown to prevent secondary injuries in patients with stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Antioxidants
Antioxidants work to protect the body against oxidative stress, which is the main cause of neuron degradation. The effectiveness of antioxidants depends on the disease, gender, age, and ethnicity. Here are some of the most common antioxidants that have been shown to be beneficial in the reduction of oxidative stress in at least one neurodegenerative disease:

Fish Oil
Fish Oil contains n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that can prevent mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. It has potential to be neuroprotective and is the subject of many studies on its effects on neurodegenerative diseases.

Resveratrol
Resveratrol can prevent oxidative stress in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral ischemia.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E has varying effects depending on the neurogenerative disease that is being treated. It is most effective On Alzheimer’s disease and may be somewhat beneficial in treating ALS, but it is ineffective in the treatment of Parkinson’s.

THC
THC can exert neuroprotective effects on ischemia of the brain by acting on glutamate receptors, cation channels, and other pathways,

Stimulants
Certain stimulants are neuroprotective in appropriate doses.

Nicotine
Nicotine has been shown to offset Parkinson’s disease in humans and monkeys. It is available in patch form.

Caffeine
Caffeine is protective against Parkinson’s disease and induces neuronal glutathione synthesis by promoting cysteine uptake.

Selegiline
This has been shown to delay early onset Parkinson’s disease by an average of nine months.

Are neuroprotective ingredients important to you? Which ones would you use? THC? Nicotine? Caffeine? Let us know what you think.

Replenish Your Skin’s Essential Nutrients

Vine Vera cosmetics Replenish Your Skin's Essential Nutrients

It seems like the expression “natural beauty” is being used with less and less certainty these days. Everything from human bodies to what we put in them seems to have been enhanced with some chemical or a surgery; nothing is beyond suspicion. It has gotten so that one cannot even declare an apple naturally lovely with complete confidence. However, despite the seeming invasion of the unnatural, there are still some earthly ingredients which may still rival the synthetic. Here are some natural ways of replenishing your skin’s nutrients through the foods you eat.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and as such, it can help lower cancer risk and reduce oxidative stress. Vitamin C is also involved in the production of collagen, the protein responsible for maintaining the skin’s elasticity. Fruits and veggies are great C sources, so be sure to look for the vitamin in kale, Brussels sprouts, guava, grapefruit, strawberries, bell peppers, and beet greens.

Selenium
Another antioxidant, selenium is a trace mineral which helps to keep the skin firm and supple, prevents acne, and aids in the prevention of skin cancer. Selenium also assists with vitamin E absorption, enhancing the antioxidant properties of the vitamin, resulting in radiant skin and lower deterioration of collagen. Food sources of selenium include walnuts, brazil nuts, herring, onion, brown rice, seafood, and poultry.

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Vitamin E
Much hailed for as a key component in skin health, vitamin E is very effective, particularly in combination with vitamin A, for prevention of skin cancer. Vitamin E ‘s antioxidant properties help to fight free radicals which are catalysts to aging skin. You can get your vitamin E in eggs, avocados, walnuts, spinach, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and olives.

Omega 3
Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are known for their healing benefits in managing inflammatory skin conditions like eczema while controlling overexposure of cortisol levels which help to keep skin supple and reduce wrinkles. They are also responsible for moisture content and flexibility. Because the human body doesn’t produce Omega-3s on its own, they must be obtained through food sources such as salmon, walnuts, sardines, mackerel, and flax and chia seeds, or by taking a fish oil supplement.

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Beta Carotene and Vitamin A
If you’ve got dry or flaky skin, you may be suffering from a deficiency in Vitamin A. Beta carotene is an antioxidant found in brightly colored food, and is the precursor to vitamin A, helping to reduce free radical damage from the sun. Beta-carotene and Vitamin A are found in collard greens, peaches, asparagus, beet green sweet potato, cantaloupe, and red peppers.

Zinc
Zinc is a trace mineral that can heal wounds and help repair tissue damage while protecting skin from ultraviolet rays. It has also been linked to acne prevention, and it is suspected that breakouts may occur as a result of a zinc deficiency. Foods rich in zinc include pecans, oysters, poultry, ginger, pumpkin seeds, legumes, mushrooms, and whole grains.

What are your natural beauty secrets? Let us know in comments and suggestions! We love to hear it!

 

Ingredients That Improve Your Skin’s Tone

Vine Vera cosmetics Ingredients That Improve Your Skin's Tone

Turmeric, arsenic, honey, lemon, tiger grass, burning face masks, glow tonics, tomatoes, and cucumbers. It seems apparent that a whole lot of time has been invested in the quest to even out skin tones, and little wonder. Dark spots, acne scars, sunspots can not only look Mar perfect complexions, but they also can also contribute to signs of aging and, if history is anything to go by, most of us will try almost anything to avoid that. Although the vast array of snake oils may seem overwhelming, there are a few key ingredients experts say are worth looking out for. Read on to find out which ones they say are most effective.

Uneven Skin Tone
The major causes of uneven skin tone are hyper-pigmentation, hormones, sunspots, and discoloration due to scarring from acne. Sun exposure can lead to an excess of melanin or pigment production in the skin which can create freckles and dark spots. Contraceptive pills and hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can also cause discoloration, as can exposure to pollution and environmental factors.

Treatment
While there are numerous professional brightening treatments available many of them are quite risky. According to Kristine Colman, dermal therapist, “You risk hypopigmentation, which leaves you with a loss of pigment.” While it may be tempting to use Intense pulsed light (IPL) photo facials, chemical peels, and cryotherapy, which yield fast results, it may be best to consult a dermatologist before going these routes.

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Ingredients To Look For

Soy
If you’re still bearing the evidence of your latest breakouts, you may want to try something which contains soy proteins, which help eliminate blotchiness and redness. A word to the wise: look for ones containing an SPF, as sun exposure can turn red marks into more permanent ones.

Enzymes
Melanozyme is a mushroom-derived enzyme that breaks down melanin responsible for producing dark pigments in your skin. However, beware of products with retinoids and hydroquinone which can create redness, burning, and dryness. Colman says, “Hexylresorcinol concentration at 0.5% has proven to be just as effective as 2 % concentration of hydroquinone.”

Botanicals
If you want to keep things in the flora and fauna family, a number of plants, such as angelic root and yomogi have been known to speed cell turnover and break down melanin to fade dark spots and acne marks. Colman recommends licorice for skin lightening and arnica flower extract, a known anti-inflammatory, for brightening.

Acid
Hydroxy, Glycolic, Kojic, and salicylic acid all act to remove dead skin cells, smooth out fine lines, and even out skin tone. The most effective products combine these with skin brightening ingredients.

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Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most commonly used skin brightening ingredients. Its antioxidant properties lighten hyperpigmentation and prevent further spots from developing.

Make Up
If these ingredients don’t do the trick, You can always try light diffusing makeup. Keep in mind that the key to the even looking skin is the way the light reflects off it. Pigmented, rough skin does not reflect light in the same way that young healthy skin does. Translucent finishers and iridescent powders will boost skin tone while covering imperfections.

What do you think works best on evening your skin tone? Let us know! We love hearing your voice!