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Improving The Look Of Discoloration

Improving The Look Of Discoloration

We live in a world in which our differences define us and make us beautiful. However, some of us are stronger than others. While a few brave souls can carry the flag for their differences, others may buckle under the weight, and feel the need to conform. Skin pigmentations are disorders that cause the skin to appear darker or lighter than normal, and even discolored and blotchy. While they are no indication of any deeper problem, they do affect a person’s outward appearance, and often self-esteem. Here is a little information about skin pigmentation disorders and treatment options.

Skin Pigmentation
Skin pigmentation disorders affect people of all races. They range from disorders such as albinism, which is very rare, to age spots, which are quite common. Melanin is the pigment in the body responsible for the color of our hair, skin, and eyes. It protects the body by absorbing ultraviolet light. Skin pigmentation disorders occur when the body produces too little or too much melanin.

Hypopigmentation occurs when the body does not produce enough melanin. Albinism is an example of lack of pigment which causes individuals to have very light skin, white or very pale hair, and gray or light blue eyes. Vitiligo is another form of hypo pigmentation which causes depigmentation white spots on the skin.

In hyper pigmentation, the body overproduces melanin. Melasma is a mask like discoloration which covers the bridge of the nose and the cheeks. Moles, freckles, birthmarks, and age spots are also an example of hyper pigmentation.

Causes
While in some cases, there is a clear cause of skin pigmentation disorders, in other cases, it is less clear. Albinism comes from an inherited recessive gene. The spots of hypo pigmentation associated with vitiligo can form as a result of the injury. The light patches from vitiligo do not contain melanocytes, the skin cells responsible for melanin creation. Some researchers believe vitiligo is caused by an autoimmune disorder, while others believe there to be a link between vitiligo and hyperthyroidism or Addison’s Disease, which affects the body’s adrenal gland.

Hyperpigmentation can result from many factors, including overexposure to the sun, poor nutrition, and reactions to drugs. Wounds and scars can lead to the development of dark patches. Melasma can be caused by pregnancy hormones, and usually, resolves itself after a woman gives birth. While moles, birthmarks, and aging spots are usually harmless, some moles can change in appearance or start bleeding, which may indicate skin cancer.

Treatment
Different forms of skin pigmentation disorders require different treatments. Albinos are advised to keep their skin covered, use sunscreens, and avoid excess sunlight. Individuals with albinism need to wear protective sunglasses and may need prescription corrective lenses or even surgery to correct visual impairments.

Vitiligo is usually treated with a combination of prescription photosensitive medications or ultraviolet light therapy used to darken white spots, If the depigmented patches cover over 50% of the body, doctors may use skin bleaching agents, such as monobenzone to lighten skin and even town. Cosmetic concealers and skin grafting are also options.

Hyperpigmentation disorders can be treated by skin lightening cream. Professionals advise avoiding the sun. A dietician may be able to help in cases go poor nutrition. A suspicious birthmark or mole can be surgically removed.

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Rescue Your Oily Skin

The treatment of oily skin can be a delicate process. You’ve heard the old adage about oil and water not mixing, so you know rinsing your face with water is going to do nothing to mop up that excess sebum. Soap and alcohol may break down the oil, but they’re also going to dry your skin out, throw off your pH, and probably make you break out more.

When it comes to using acids for skin care, you could not be blamed for having suspicions. First, you’re told soap may be harsh, now you’re being told to put acid on your face? The acid of today is not the skin sloughing acid of yesteryear. It has a much lower concentration, is formulated to balance skin’s pH, and it may just help get rid go your acne. Here is a look at the kinder and gentler side of the active ingredients that may be the answer to your acne woes.

Hyaluronic Acid
If you’re slightly obsessive about your cleansing habits, hyaluronic acid may be the answer to your skin care prayers. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring hydrating compound that is already found in the body; the highest concentrations are in the connective tissues between the joints. If you like to practice the ritual double cleansing, or simply are in the habit of cleansing as a defense against excess oil, hyaluronic acid is one of the best options for replenishing the moisture levels in your skin to calm overactive oil glands.

Salicylic Acid
The best ways to avoid the trauma of over cleansing to your skin is to use a cleanser that can break down oil buildup without throwing off the natural balance of your skin. Salicylic acid is a natural anti inflammatory and exfoliant derived from the willow bark tree, which is also used to produce painkillers, such as aspirin. Salicylic acid has the ability to penetrate pores deeply, to rid them of dead skin cells, excess oil, and debris from makeup and skin products. A word to the wise: Make sure to apply a hefty layer of sunscreen when you’re using salicylic acid; it’s a tough exfoliator and can make skin more sensitive to the sun.

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid occurs naturally in sugar but can also be produced artificially. Containing the tiniest molecules of all the alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid a potent cleanser and exfoliant that works without upsetting the skin’s natural balance. While glycolic acid is most commonly found as an ingredient in facial peels, it can also be beneficial in cleansers to combat hyper pigmentation and dullness.

Niacinamide
Known also as vitamin B and nicotinic acid, topical use of niacinamide helps to preserve the integrity of the skin’s barrier against environmental toxins. Niacinamide boosts collagen production, regulates pigments and intercepts the effects of harmful antioxidants for healthier and more radiant skin.

How do you feel about using these active ingredients on your acne? Let us know your experiences with acne control! We love to hear it!

vine vera banner presents Got Zinc In Your Sunscreen?

Got Zinc In Your Sunscreen?

Just when you thought it was safe to go out in the sun….. All summer you tried to be the sun protection poster girl. You applied sunscreen (SPF 30) half an hour before going out to let it sink in. You made sure you got the tops of your hands and the tips of your ears. You used a golf ball-sized application and reapplied every two hours. What more could you have done in the name of avoiding skin damage? How about not done any of it? Recent studies show that sunscreens contain a number of chemicals that can actually increase the risk of skin cancer. Read onto find out what some new evidence is revealing about the safety of certain sunscreens and why you might want to think twice about your sun protection.

Physical and Chemical Sunscreens
Sunscreens usually fall into one of two categories: physical and chemical. Chemical sunscreens are made in laboratories and contain chemicals such as PABA, oxybenzone, and cinnamates. They work by absorbing UV rays to reduce sun damage to the skin.

Physical sunscreens, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are made of natural elements from the earth. These work by scattering or blocking UV rays, preventing them from entering the skin at all. Physical sunscreens are considered safer than chemical sunscreens because they offer more broad spectrum protection. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, have been linked to hormone disruption. Research has shown that chemical sunscreens can mimic estrogen in the body, and throw natural hormones off balance and that the chemicals in the sunscreen can be absorbed into the body, leading to allergic reactions.

SPF
SPF is sun protection factor, which is a measurement of protection from UVB rays. UVA rays are considered to be more dangerous, because of their ability to penetrate more deeply into the skin, but SPF does not take sunscreen’s protection against UVA rays into account.

Another problem with SPF is that the numbers are misleading. An SPF number is the number you can multiply the time you can spend in the sun without burning unprotected, by to get the amount of time you can spend in the sun without burning with the protection of sunscreen. In other words, if a person normally burns in ten minutes without sunscreen, an SPF of 15 will multiply that number by 15, which means that individual can remain in the sun for 150 minutes without burning with sunscreen.

By this reasoning, it would seem that an SPF of 30 would allow individuals to remain in the sun for twice as long as they could by wearing an SPF of 15. In truth, the difference between the two is minimal. An SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks about 97% and an SPF of 50 blocks about 98%. So in essence, the increase in SPF stops making a difference after a certain point.

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Zinc Oxide
Zinc Oxide offers broad spectrum protection which can shield from both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, zinc is an essential mineral that we need in our bodies and the only active ingredient in sunscreen approved by the FDA for infants under the age of six months.

The Best Formula
If you are considering investing in a physical sunscreen, here are some of the natural ingredients you may want to look for on the label:

Zinc Oxide: This is the safest option for sunscreens. It’s the only one the FDA has recommended for infants and offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Antioxidants: These protect skin from oxidative stress, to give skin extra defense against sun damage.

Natural Ingredients: Natural soothing ingredients like hemp seed oil and lavender naturally sooth skin keeping it cool and calm. Moisturizers can be effective against flaking and dryness caused by the sun.

Tell us what you think about chemical vs. physical moisturizers. Which do you prefer? Let us know!

vine vera banner presents Quit Peanut Butter For Better Skin

Quit Peanut Butter For Better Skin

Sometimes, life is cruel. We grow up eating the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches mom packs for lunch, believing it is keeping us healthy. Then someone comes along and makes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and we believe we have discovered nirvana. A literal peanut butter explosion ensues. We begin to invent new places to put this delicious spread. Peanut butter shows up in ice cream, in pretzels, as fillings in donuts, in cereals, on the ends of celery and carrot sticks it’s a veritable peanut butter breakout; but could the peanut butter breakout be responsible for the breakouts on your skin? New evidence shows a link between peanut butter and acne. Read on if you can bear it.

Omega -6 Fatty Acids
Aren’t these supposed to be good for you? Here’s the breakdown. You may know from looking at the label that peanut butter has a high fat content. Two tablespoons pack a whopping 16 grams. While most of that fat is mono saturated, 31% of it is polyunsaturated, which means it can trigger acne.
Omega-6 fats can cause inflammation. That means that when you get a clogged poor, a sebaceous gland could burst, which will cause your immune system to respond to what it perceives as an internal wound. When your body has an overload of omega-6 it has difficulty fighting inflammation, and that can make for some pimples that can stick around for a while. Try balancing omega-6’s with omega-3s to keep acne problems from becoming chronic/

Peanut Agglutinin
While it may sound like what a person turns into after eating too many peanuts, peanut agglutinins are lectins found in peanuts that can cause digestive problems. After eating, peanut agglutinin enters the blood stream and may well increase intestinal permeability. This means, it opens holes in the intestinal wall to make it easy for food particles to pass into the bloodstream. This may contribute to food allergies, autoimmune conditions, and systemic inflammation, such as “leaky gut,” which makes it difficult for the body to clear clogged pores before they develop into pimples, or full blown acne.

vine vera banner presents Quit Peanut Butter For Better Skin

Aflatoxin
Anything with the root word “toxin” could not possibly be good. Aflatoxin is a toxin created by molds which contributes to kidney and liver cancer, malnutrition, and virtue defects. Peanut butter is one of the most common dietary sources of aflatoxin. Although there is some evidence that the peanut butter making process may reduce aflatoxin by 89%, further studies need to be done to confirm whether or not the aflatoxin in peanut butter is a health concern. However, if aflatoxins are the problems, you’re probably better off with a processed peanut butter than a natural one, as the aflatoxin level tends to go down with increased processing.

Peanut Butter Is Addictive
“No kidding,” you say, as you scrape the last bit out of the jar. Peanut butter is what some might classify as a domino food, which means it may be a challenge to stop eating it. Remember,there are a lot of calories in just two tablespoons, and there’s a lot of tablespoons in a jar.

Sugar and Gluten
Most peanut butter on the market is made with sugar and hydrogenated oils, neither of which are very food for acne. Natural peanut butter may be a better choice, but you may want to put it on top of a banana rather than bread, and you may want to leave off the jelly, which will increase the sugar content.

Peanut Butter Alternatives
If you’re looking to cut down on the PB intake, cashew and almond butter are healthy alternatives, although they have yet to appear in Reeses products.

What do you think of these findings? Are you ready to cut down on the peanut butter? Let us know what you think.

Lifting Skin Care Ingredients – Vine Vera Reviews

Woman reviews the best natural ingredients for her skin care.

When it comes to finding the perfect combination of ingredients to create the perfect skin care line, scientists have it all together. Nowadays, there are products available to treat nearly every skin malady known to women. There are products available to enhance, brighten, and even lift the skin. That’s what VineVera would like to talk about today in this article. Lifting skin care products have become increasingly popular due to their ability to give somewhat of a natural face-lift without going through the painful, expensive surgery. Many women find them to be an invigorating way to start the day, feeling as though their skin is given a tightened, lifted look. Vine Vera takes a look at some of the lifting skin care ingredients being found within your favorite skin care brands.

Closeup portrait of a woman bathing in milk

Alpha Hydroxy Acids
There are many different types of Alpha Hydroxy Acids available and included within lifting skin care products. They are naturally derived acids from plants and fruits which are harnessed for their skin firming powers. Different types of Alpha Hydroxy Acids include citric acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. Usually, they are incorporated into skin care products to help exfoliate the skin, which can also play an integral role in the lifting process. This occurs by helping your skin produce more collagen and elastin, which tighten, tone and firm the skin.

Peptides
Peptides are essentially a form of amino acids and proteins which are responsible for helping the skin learn to repair itself, and work off of muscle memory. This means they are able to help repair crows feet, fine lines, and wrinkles. Peptides are generally an important part of any anti-aging skin care product, as well as products intended to infuse moisture into the skin, such as moisture creams. They help to moisturize the skin through their ability to bind to cells and give a youthful appearance. Many women count on their effectiveness as an alternative to expensive, painful Botox injections.

Attractive woman applying emollient-rich skin cream

Emollients
Emollients help to trap moisture into the skin and help the skin retain the moisture necessary to hydrate the skin. This is crucial for women who are in their later years in life, who seek something which can offer an added moisture barrier for their dry skin, which is often times incapable of producing moisture itself. Emollients infuse the skin with moisture, while their opposite, humectants, take away moisture. This is generally not something older women would want to opt for. Good moisturizers tend to contain a good base of emollients to help the skin become well moisturized, and help give smooth, tightened skin.

These three components combined help to make for a fantastic skin lifting product. Of course, there are many other ingredients which are involved in crafting skin care products, and a lot of time and dedication which goes into the development process as well. With breakthroughs in technology forever on the forefront, we can expect great, new products to consistently emerge using the latest technological advances in skin care. Vine Vera hopes this breakdown list of ingredients has helped you to understand the ingredient base used within your favorite products, and why they are essential to helping you achieve lifted, toned and youthful skin.

Vine Vera Reports on the Best Skin Care Oils – VineVera Reviews

iStock_000014176380_Small You might have been using skin care oils for years and might already be hooked to them, but you aren’t getting the best benefits that these wonderful oils have to offer until you’re using the best ones for your skin type. This guide from Vine Vera helps you understand which oils are the best for your Vine Vera skin care routine and what benefits they actually have to offer.

 

Sunflower Oil (Helianthus Annus Seed Oil)

Helianthus Annus Seed Oil, also known as sunflower oil, is believed to be highly beneficial for your skin and your hair. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons why sunflower oils are so essential in terms of your skin care.

 

Ingredients

  • Vitamin A, C & E –Sunflower oils are rich in Vitamins A, C and E. Vitamin A is considered to be highly useful for anti-aging skin care and it is one of the best anti-agers around. The main role of Vitamin C is to offer your skin with antioxidant protection which helps to prevent free radical damage and stop your collagen and elastin proteins from getting destroyed. Finally, sunflower oil is also believed to be one of the best natural sources of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is vital for the day-to-day nutritional requirements and it helps with blood clotting as well.
  • Zinc –One of the main benefits of sunflower oil is that it contains zinc. The presence of zinc allows the oil to strengthen the immune system and also helps the body in avoiding cough and cold.
  • Omega-6 –Linoleic sunflower oil is full of polyunsaturated fats such as omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are usually involved with processes like healing your wounds and helping your hair to become stronger.

 

Main Benefits

  • Effective emollient. Sunflower oil is one of the most effective emollients which makes it an ideal ingredient for medicinal and skin care applications. Sunflower oil can prove to be a useful tool against skin issues like inflammation, eczema and acne and it also reduces skin irritation.
  • Reduces Overproduction of Oils. One of the main reasons why sunflower oil has been termed as an ideal solution for acne is that it reduces overproduction of oils (one of the causes of acne).
  • Anti-inflammatory. Sunflower Oil ranks as one of the best anti-inflammatory ingredients in the world. This helps it to soothe your skin and prevent issues like skin inflammation.
  • Prevents premature aging. The presence of all sorts of antioxidants allows sunflower oil to help out with premature aging as well. Sunflower oil is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, two antioxidants that prevent free radical damage and stop premature aging.

 

Soybean Oil (Glycine Soja Oil)

Glycine Soja Oil, also known as Soybean Oil, is another skin care oil that is highly useful in your everyday routines. Let’s examine some of the main ingredients and benefits that make soybean oil so popular in skin care routines around the world.

 

Ingredients

  • Vitamins B & C – Vitamin B boosts your skin hydration and also works wonders in preventing redness. Furthermore, Vitamin B helps to boost the production of fatty acids and ceramides, two components that are vital for the healthy functioning of the outermost layer of your skin. Vitamin C offers the skin with antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage, in turn protecting the skin from premature aging.
  • Genistein – Soybean oils are known to be one of the best sources of genistein, a compound that is known to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin and improve its overall elasticity.
  • Lenulic acid – Soybean Oil offers your skin with amazing quantities of lenulic acids. Lenulic acids are known to be highly useful for the skin, the hair and the glands.

 

Main Benefits

  1. Great moisturizer for combination skin. Soybean oil is particularly beneficial for those with combination skin. It is commonly termed a “Smart Moisturizer” because of its ability to reduce the oiliness from the oily areas of the skin and moisturize the dry areas of the skin.
  2. Reduces blemishes. Soybean oil has been found to be useful in reducing skin blemishes such as acne. Regular use of this wonderful skin care oil can also help you improve your overall skin tone.
  3. Promotes new cell growth. Finally, soybean oil also helps your skin to promote new cell growth and maintain the existing cells as well.

 

Avocado Oil (Persea Gratissima Oil)

Persea Gratissima Oil, also known as Avocado Oil, might not be as popular as Tea Tree Oil or Lavender Oil, but it certainly offers a lot of benefits to your skin. It is particularly useful for your skin care, healthy cooking, scalp treatments and medicinal purposes. Let’s examine some of the main benefits of adding avocado oil to your regular skin care.

 

Ingredients

  • Vitamins A, D and E – Avocado Oil is rich in Vitamins A, D and E and is known to be highly useful for sun-damaged skin. The presence of these antioxidants makes the skin suppler and this oil is a perfect fit for dry and aged skin.
  • Omega-3 – These oils are very rich in unsaturated fatty acids like Omega-3, the same fatty acid found in fish oil.
  • Sterolins – Avocado oils offer your skin with high quantities of a substance known as sterolins. Studies have shown that sterolins can help in facilitating the softening of your skin and reducing the appearance of age spots.

 

Main Benefits

  • May boost collagen production. Avocado Oil can help in increasing the production of your collagen proteins, which in turn decreases the effects of premature aging and plumps up the skin.
  • May reduce itching and inflammation. Avocado Oil can relieve itchy and dry skin, thereby making it an ideal moisturizing agent. It can also help to clear scaly skin, relieve itchy scalp symptoms and stimulate hair growth.
  • Soothes sunburn. Apart from offering your skin with the right amount of moisture, avocado oils are also rich in a number of antioxidants that allow it to soothe sunburned skin.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel plant and oil Witch Hazel, also known as Hamamelis Virginiana, is considered to be an excellent addition to skin care solutions, moisturizers and toners. Also known as winter bloom, Witch Hazel is particularly famous due to the fact that it is loaded with antioxidants and can help to treat a range of skin care issues such as dehydrated skin, oily skin, redness and complexion problems. The ingredient is derived from a deciduous shrub that is found in North America and is known to be used to soothe skin irritation for ages. Witch Hazel has particularly been noted for its astringent qualities, something that is produced from its bark and its leaves. It has had a long history with a range of uses such as healing swellings, burns, sores, hemorrhoids and bruises and helping out with tuberculosis, fever and cold. One of the greatest boons of using Witch Hazel is that it is full of “anti-abilities” – antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial are just a few of those abilities.

Witch Hazel burst onto the scene in the mid 19th century, when it became a staple ingredient in almost all medicine cabinets because of its soothing and healing properties. Women also began to use it to tone their complexion and men began to use Witch Hazel as an effective form of aftershave. The leaves and twigs of the shrub were also boiled to draw out natural oils and extracts. The ingredient has an ethanol content of 70 – 80% as well as a tannin content of 2 – 9%. The alcohol present in the ingredient and the tannin content can cause irritation in some people, particularly when they are used repeatedly on the skin. However, when used within the right doses, the ingredient can actually do wonders for your skin care routines.

Studies have also shown that Witch Hazel can easily be used for psoriasis, cracked skin, treating insect bites, eczema, poison ivy, healing sunburns and for locking in the moisture content of your skin. Today, the petals of Witch Hazel are used in a variety of skin care solutions because they are known to offer amazing benefits to the skin.

Now that you are aware of how Witch Hazel can benefit your skin, why not learn about the various ways in which it can be used for your skin care solutions?

Treatments dermatitis and inflammation and soothing your skin – According to a study published by the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, a 10% solution of distilled Witch Hazel helped to treat inflammation caused by UV-erythema. Another study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology showed that Witch Hazel was effectively used to reduce paw swelling among rats, thereby bringing about the hypothesis that it can actually be used to reduce the swelling on your skin.

Witch Hazel acts as an antioxidant and detoxifies your system from the inside – According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Witch Hazel is not the best antioxidant available in the market. That honor goes to green tea extracts. However, it is still considered to be an excellent option because it boasts of having the best free radical scavenger products against cytotoxicant peroxynitrite along with having antioxidant effects. By creating prooxidative challenges, it manages to cause an endogenous detoxifying reaction, thereby kick-starting the internal detoxifying system.

Witch Hazel can help you treat your cold sores – Studies have shown that Witch Hazel has anti-bacterial qualities that allow its usage in treatments for cold sores and diseases like herpes.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Allantoin     

Flowering comfrey plant aka Symphytum Officinale Allantoin is a chemical compound that is produced by a number of plants, bacteria and animals. It can be found in the urine of cows and certain other mammals. However, the ones used for human consumption are normally found in the roots of comfrey, a perennial herb that has thick and black colored roots. The compound is considered to be extremely safe and non-toxic and is known to be extremely beneficial for skin care and skin rejuvenation solutions. The comfrey plant has also been used as a form of herbal medicine since ages.

Allantoin is found in the form of an odorless white colored powder. It is generally used in skin care creams, lotions and moisturizers, lipsticks, sunscreens, hair gels, shampoos, baby powders and bath foams. Most products use anything between 0.5% – 2% of allantoin by it into an emulsion product during the cooling process. A proper mixing process is also required to ensure that the Allantoin disperses completely.

Allantoin has often been termed as the dream ingredient not only because of the wide range of skin care benefits that it offers, but because of the fact that it is completely safe to use. According to the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database, Allantoin has been classified as a low hazard cosmetic ingredient and it hasn’t been linked with any sort of health problems either. Furthermore, allantoin is highly unlikely to induce allergic reactions in the human body because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

The best way to use Allantoin is to use it topically in the form of skin care products. Orally ingested allantoin can be dangerous for your livers as it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, substances that are toxic for your livers.

Now that you are aware of what Allantoin is and how safe it is, why not read on to understand the kind of skin care benefits that it can offer?

Moisturize and soften your skin – Allantoin acts as a keratinolytic and helps in softening and moisturizing your skin. This is particularly important as the epidermis synthesizes numerous lipids and proteins in its outermost layers to protect the body. This process is known as keratinisation. There are times when keratinisation becomes unbalanced, i.e., more than normal amounts of keratin are produced by the epidermis, thereby compromising the barrier functions. Alllantoin helps in softening keratin which in turn allows the skin to hold onto its moisture content.

Skin Protectant and anti-irritant – Allantoin is considered to be a natural skin protectant and anti-irritant that works by increasing the moisture levels of the extracellular matrix which provides support to the cells.  This also helps in healing of wounds and burns and promoting cell replication.

Anti-inflammatory – Allantoin is anti-inflammatory in nature. As a result, it can help to soothe irritation and reduce the inflammation in your skin.

Skin Regeneration – Another major application of Allantoin is that it helps in skin rejuvenation, reduces flaking and redness as well.

Cancer treatments – Allantoin is used to treat radiation skin burns for patients undergoing radiation treatments because it helps in fastening the wound healing process by stimulating the growth of new skin cells.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

image of vitamin b2 Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, is an extremely important vitamin that can be found in a variety of animal based and plant based food items. It serves a range of purposes for the human body, such as helping enzymes to protect the human body from the damage caused by free radicals, ensuring the development and proper functioning of the skin, performing the functions of metabolism and maintaining the functioning of blood cells and the lining of the digestive tract. Vitamin B2 is also known to be a micronutrient that easily gets absorbed by the cells located in the human body. It is generally found in food items such as enriched flour, green vegetables, meat, nuts, milk and eggs. Other sources of Vitamin B2 include ready to eat foods like cereals and breads, yeast, yogurt and cheese.

The daily requirement for Vitamin B2 for the human body ranges from 1.1mg – 1.6mg. Moreover, Riboflavin has also been approved by the FDA and it is generally considered to be an extremely safe ingredient. The main reason for the apparent lack of danger of Vitamin B2 over dosage is that the human body simply excretes the excess Riboflavin by way of sweat or urine. Vitamin B2 is considered to be directly involved with the metabolic processes of the human body. As a result, it is extremely important in terms of normal cell functioning and energy production. Vitamin B2 also plays a crucial role in assisting other Vitamin Bs to become useful to the human body by undergoing a chemical change.

3D model of Riboflavin The lack of Vitamin B2 can lead to a deficiency known as Ariboflavinosis. This normally occurs of your Vitamin B2 intake becomes lesser than 0.5mg per day. The main symptoms of Vitamin B2 deficiency are soreness in your throat, weakness, cracking of the skin, anemia and dermatitis. Lesser known symptoms include fatigue, bloodshot eyes, itching, blurred vision and watering of the eyes. It is also said that alcoholics, elderly and the chronically ill are more susceptible to Vitamin B2 deficiency than others.

Now that the importance of Vitamin B2 for the human body is clear, why not understand how this vitamin can assist in your skin care treatments and processes?

Antioxidant protection – Vitamin B2 plays a major role in saving the human body from damage caused by free radicals.  This is because the vitamin serves as a major component of the glutathione reductase enzyme, which protects the human body from free radical damage.

young woman with healthy shiny hair Healthy Hair – Deficiency of Vitamin B2 along with deficiencies in Vitamin B1, B3 and B5 can lead to improperly nourished hair follicles that can ultimately cause stunted hair growth or brittle hair.

Healthy Nails – The nails require an extremely balanced diet in order to remain healthy. Vitamin B2 helps the human body to absorb mineral iron, a compound that is necessary for strong and healthy nails. Without access to this iron, the nails can become thin, brittle and white. Improper nail growth is also known to be a common side effect of Vitamin B2 deficiency.

Maintaining healthy skin and preventing acne breakouts – A sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals are essential for your skin care. Vitamin B Complex promotes healthy skin and speeds up your cell metabolisms. Moreover, research has also proved that Vitamin B can benefit the skin when consumed orally as well as when applied topically. Since Vitamin B2 is an important ingredient of the Vitamin B Complex, it plays a huge role in skin care as well.

2D rendering of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Vitamin E

Vitamin E, also known as Tocopheryl acetate, has been classified as a heterocyclic compound as well as an ester. One of its most important functions is that it is used as a major ingredient for skin conditioning and as an antioxidant. Vitamin E is typically found in products such as vegetable oils, vegetables like avocado and asparagus and whole grains. It features among the most popular antioxidants that are used in skin care formulas for a good reason – it is not only known to be one of the most effective antioxidants, it is also famous as an excellent hydrating agent. Furthermore, Vitamin E is considered to be one of the key ingredients for building your immunity, ensuring healthy eyes and protecting your cells from damage.

Where to Get Vitamin E
The best place to get your daily Vitamin E dosage is through food. There are a number of food items such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, vegetable oils and seeds that are known to be excellent sources of Vitamin E. However, the unprocessed food items are considered to be the best options. There are a number of Vitamin E supplements available in the markets as well.  Other ways of getting your daily dosage of Vitamin E include skin care creams and lotions that are applied topically. These lotions and creams can help you to reduce your wrinkles, remove facial lines and decrease the roughness of your skin. Furthermore, some studies have also shown that consuming Vitamin E can help you to ward off skin cancer.

How to make use of Vitamin E
Now that the importance of Vitamin E is clearer, you must be wondering on how to make use this all important ingredient.

  • Protecting your Skin – Vitamin E oil can be an excellent substitute for lotions that are full of harmful ingredients such as alcohol and chemicals. It not only provides your skin with the requisite moisture, but it also helps in facilitating the healing process for your body. However, you are advised to refrain from applying pure Vitamin E oil as it can be extremely sticky and thick. The best time to apply Vitamin E oil is just before going to sleep. The best way to apply the oil is to mix it in equal amounts with Olive Oil and then apply it on your skin just before going to sleep.
  • Anti-aging benefits – The production of collagen and the turnover of your skin cells is known to slow down as your skin begins to age. This can make the skin lose its elasticity and firmness. Unhealthy diets and habits, exposure to harmful chemicals and unwanted exposure to sunlight can also trigger the aging process and make your skin look saggy. Adding Vitamin E to your daily routine can help you to reverse the anti-aging process. It not only smooths out your wrinkles and fine lines, but it also reduces their chances of occurring in the future. Another factor which plays a huge role in aging your skin is the cross linking of proteins. Vitamin E is also known to prevent excessive cross-linking and protect your natural enzymes, thereby allowing the skin to look younger. Furthermore, your DNA degenerates as your body ages. This can result in a number of skin problems and premature aging. Studies have shown that topical applications of Vitamin E can prevent this process from occurring.
  • Removing your makeup –Why use those harmful chemical solutions to remove your makeup when you can easily use Vitamin E oil to do so. All you need to do is to dip a ball of cotton in Vitamin E oil and use it to wipe the makeup off your face. This is the healthiest way of removing your makeup.
  • Under-eye treatments – Vitamin E is suitable for application in the sensitive areas around your eyes. Make sure that you apply it on the skin around your eyes after a shower as it can help in preventing the formation of crow’s feet.
  • Cleansing Agent – Vitamin E is considered to be one of the best cleansing agents as it can be used by people with all types of skin. Things like grime, dead cells, dirt and debris accumulate on your skin over time  making it look tired and dull. Dipping a ball of cotton in Vitamin E oil and wiping your face with it can do wonders for your skin and bring back your glow. Ideally, you should cleanse your skin two times a day, once in the morning and once at night.
  • Treating Sunburns – Topical applications of Vitamin E can be used to treat minor sunburns as well. Once applied on the skin, the Vitamin E gets absorbed into the epidermis and begins to heal the unwanted damage caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun. If the sunburn is severe, apply Vitamin E oil twice a day on the affected area of your skin.
  • Treatment of Brown Spots – Brown spots crop up due to a number of factors such as liver issues, radical damage and aging. Using Vitamin E can help you repair and cure this damage. All you need to do is apply the Vitamin E oil on your brown spots and allow it to lubricate the cell membranes. Your cells should soon begin to regenerate and once this happens, the brown spots should begin to disappear.

Now that you’re aware of how beneficial Vitamin E can be for your skin, don’t you think you should give it some more attention. It’s not just something out of your school classes, it can actually do wonders for your looks as well.