Category Archives: Vine Vera Blog

Two Products That Can Help You Fight Aging

Beautiful woman in the garden

With all the products out there, it may seem to you that your bathroom has become something closer to a chemistry lab than a bathroom. You are no longer simply the makeup artist, but the subject of a mad science experiment designed to determine what works best on your skin, regardless of negative side effects. Redness, breakouts, rashes, all in the name of the science of beauty. While many of us chalk up failed experimentation to trial and error, there are some things that no women’s cache of makeup should be without. Two of these products are serums and sunscreen.

What Are Serums?
All moisturizers, whether anti-aging or otherwise, should contain a blend of antioxidants, and ingredients for skin replenishment and restoration. Good serums are marked by a high concentration of these ingredients and also by the distinctive texture of the ingredients they contain. Serums should apply smoothly and have a lightweight feel despite their powerful contents.

Tips on Serums
Serums usually address a variety of issues, including wrinkles, environmental damage, loss of firmness, and uneven skin tone.

If you’re looking to safeguard your skin from visible effects of pollution, look for something with a high antioxidant concentration. Antioxidant superstars include retinol, vitamin C, and vitamin E. If you are sensitive to retinol, a vitamin C and peptide containing formula will work well.

Extra sensitive skin prone to redness will benefit from a redness relief formula with ingredients like ceramics and glycerin.

woman trying out products

For large pores, bumpy skin and signs of aging, look for something with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid which will smooth the surface of the skin without a greasy feel.

Serums should be applied twice a day and can be used with or without moisturizers, depending on your skincare needs.

Sunscreen
The first step in any serious anti-aging routine is an SPF rated 30 or higher, and lots of it. That means daily application whether or not the sun is out. And, remember, UVA rays can penetrate glass, so that means that even home, car and office do not provide cover from the damaging rays of the sun, so apply whether inside or out with due diligence.

Tips On Sunscreens
To maximize the benefits of sunscreen, you may want to consider the following:

  • You probably don’t want to apply a typical “beach” all- over body moisturizer to your face. A facial moisturizer with built-in sunscreen will give you the protection while also providing the hydration and anti-aging ingredients that your face requires.
  • Look for a facial moisturizer/sunscreen based on your skin type. Creams work best on dry skin, while fluids and gels are best for oily skin. Those with combination skin should look for a lotion of gel.
  • Antioxidants work well with sunscreen. Look for sunscreens with vitamins C and E, soy, grape, pomegranate am green tea.
  • Sunscreen should be the last skincare product you apply in your am routine. Applying products over sunscreen will make it less effective. If you are layering sunscreen, start with a facial moisturizer with SPF protection, followed by a primer containing sunscreen and topped off with a pressed powder with added protection from the sun.

What do you look for in your sunscreen and serums? Let us know what works best for you to combat aging issues.

Antioxidants and Skin Care

Woman eating orange

Are antioxidants the new religion? Since the superpowers of the oxidation fighters were revealed, we follow groundbreaking news about antioxidants on social media with the same rabid enthusiasm that we follow the Brangelina divorce or the newest celebrity posts on Instagram. Antioxidants are our lifeline against aging, judging from the amount of attention antioxidants are getting, this attribute may be more valuable than reservations at the Ivy. So for those of you for whom the latest skin care breakthrough headline is more enticing than the latest celebrity baby bump reveal, here is some eye opening information on antioxidants and skin care.

Vitamin C and E and Selenium
According to research, vitamins C, E, and selenium not only protect skin against sun damage and skin cancer, they may actually reverse wrinkles and discoloration associated with the aging process. Karen E.Burke, MD, PhD attributes these results to the ability of this trio to speed up the natural repair system of the skin and prevent further damage. The doctor recommends supplements containing 400 international units of vitamin E, 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 100 to 200 micrograms of selenium daily to reap the glorious benefits of this healthy triumvirate.

Woman at mirror

CoEnzyme Q10
CoEnzyme Q10 is an antioxidant which occurs naturally in the human body, promoting cell growth and protecting against cancer. Age-related decreases in the levels of CoQ-10 in the body are thought to be associated with aging, and a study published in the Biofactors Journal found proof that applying 0.3% concentration of the antioxidant may help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Applied topically, this antioxidant may be able to aid the skin in the prevention of sun damage. A study found subjects who applied a 3%-5% concentration of alpha-lipoic acid to their skin, starting at a rate of once every other day and gradually increasing to daily application, showed noticeable improvement in changes in the skin brought on by the sun.

Retinoic Acid
If you’ve been doing your homework, you already know that retinoic acid is the active form of vitamin Q in the skin, and is also typically referred to as the “gold standard” in skin care. Used topically, retinoic acids, often branded as Renova or Retin-A, effectively treat age spots, wrinkles, and rough skin caused by the sun’s rays. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science revealed findings that retinoic acid treatment reduces the appearance of wrinkles by restoring the elastic fibers responsible for keeping skin firm and tight. Although dermatologists once believed that use of this antioxidant increased skin’s sensitivity to the sun, they now believe that it actually protects the skin from further damage. However, because high concentrations of retinoic acid have been associated with peeling and redness, Burke recommends starting at a low concentration (0.01% in gels and 0.1% in creams) and applying it every two to three nights to introduce it slowly to the skin.

Asian woman with cup of tea

Flavonoids (Green Tea and Chocolate)
We saved the best for last. Research suggests that the flavonoids in green tea can protect from inflammation and cancer, and a German study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank cocoa with a high level of flavonoids had smoother, softer skin than those who drank a lower flavonoid version of the liquid chocolate. Although the results so far seem promising, Burke says more research needs to be done to prove the effectiveness of flavonoids and to determine the best dose, but, in the meantime, you are more than welcome to experiment.

Are you a believer in antioxidants? Let us know which ones you are most faithful to and why. We love to learn from you!

Improve Your Skin’s Surface With Lightweight Oils

vine vera cosmetics Improve Your Skin's Surface With Lightweight Oils

We all know that skin dries out as we age, so it may seem like a no-brainer to assume the best way to fight aging is to apply the oiliest, thickest moisturizers to our moisture starved faces. And indeed, we have all heard the tales of someone’s grandmother who religiously applied petroleum jelly to her face nightly and never looked a day over 35. In fact, the lovely Marilyn Monroe was said to have generously applied layers of the stuff, but then again, Marilyn never did make it see how effective it was as a wrinkle fighter when things got serious.

However, regardless of Marilyn’s experience, or lack thereof, it seems like many women find thick moisturizers somewhat smothering, especially in the heat. For those who prefer lightweight oils, here are some that you might be worth checking out.

Moringa Oil
Moringa oil is derived from Moringa seeds and is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Regular users will be rewarded with a glowing complexion without the greasy build-up of a heavier formula.

Tamanu Oil
Don’t let the thick consistency fool you. Tamanu oil penetrates the skin quickly and provides a full day of hydration when applied to damp skin. It also contains hydrating Omega fatty acid, known to promote the growth of healthy new cells, and its antioxidant properties can prevent wrinkles and sun damage.

Baobab Oil
Baobab oil traces its distinguished lineage to the baobab tree, responsible for producing fruit with the highest levels of antioxidants in the world. However, since the tree blooms but once a year, and only in the farthest reaches of Australia, Africa, and Madagascar, the oil tends to be on the pricey side. If you can get past the sticker shock, it may be well worth it. Baobab is similar to the oil our skin creates naturally and is rich in Vitamins A, D, E, and F and is known for keeping skin drying out without greasy build up.

vine vera cosmetics Improve Your Skin's Surface With Lightweight Oil

Jojoba Oil
You may know jojoba oil as being the closest oil to the oil our skin creates naturally, however, surprisingly, it is not an oil at all. According to aromatherapist and educator, Charlynn Avery, “Jojoba oil is not actually an oil, but a liquid wax, and it is considered universal in application. This means many different skin types can benefit.”

Argan Oil
Pure argan oil is often recommended for those with oily skin because of its high content of vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids. Sources at Dermatology Review report that the oils help to control the production of sebum and contains antioxidants which remove damaged skin cells while increasing elasticity. It should be noted that those with nut allergies should proceed with caution when using argan oil, as it is derived from nuts of the Argania Spinosa tree.

Rose Hip Oil
While Rose hip oil is slightly heavier than the other oils on the list, it has a high amount of linoleic acid, which acne sufferers often have too little of, which makes it very effective for fighting breakouts. That along with its essential fatty acids and antioxidants is enough to qualify for any list of recommended skin care products.

What do you think? Are lightweight oils the way to go? Let us know which lightweight oils are among your favorites.

Developing A Skin Care Routine Based On Your Skin’s Needs

Woman at mirror

When it comes to relationships, you know you need to consider the needs of your partners in order form a loving, solid, lasting relationship. But what about when it comes to your skin? Your skin has needs too. Are you listening to your skin? What is it trying to tell you? Are you giving it the attention it requires to perform at its peak and feel special and adored at all times? When it comes to developing a skin care routine, you need to take the needs of your skin into account in order to form a nurturing, healthy bond. Here are some tips for determining the right way to meet the needs of your skin for a more fulfilling relationship.

Simple Routine
An essential routine should be followed by everyone, regardless of skin type. A good general morning routine should consist of a cleanser, followed by and exfoliant, and topped off with a hydrating moisturizer with a built in SPF. An evening routine is basic repeat of the morning, only the SPF component of the moisturizer is not required. Daytime and nighttime moisturizers can be applied around the eyes as a substitute for eye cream, but if an additional eye cream is used, choose one with sunscreen for daytime application and one without sunscreen for the night, as with the moisturizer.

Woman using toner

Advanced Routine
If a specific skin issue needs to be addressed, such as signs of aging, uneven skin tones, large pores, and breakouts more advanced action may be called for. If this is the case, your routine may look something like this:

  • Cleanser
    A gentle cleanser should be applied first to remove debris and allow your skin to receive the maximum benefits from your other products.
  • Toner
    Toners contain replenishing ingredients to hydrate and refresh the surface of the skin after cleansing. They also smooth and calm skin, minimizing redness and the appearance of dry patches. Those will oily skin will notice tightening of the pores after repeated toner usage.
  • Exfoliant
    Exfoliants remove dead skin build up for noticeable skin renewal and elimination of dullness. Choose products with AHAs to exfoliate the skins surface, and BHAs which go deeper to penetrate oil that can clog pores and worsen the appearance of deep wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Acne Treatment (If Needed)
    If acne is an issue, a topical treatment with benzoyl peroxide is recommended to kill bacteria and prevent new blemishes from appearing. Use after exfoliation with AHAs and BHAs for maximum benefit.
  • Skin Lightening (If Needed)
    If dark spots and discoloration are a problem, skin lighteners with hydroquinone can fade spots within 8 to 12 weeks of use. Ongoing use will help to maintain results, as will the use of a broad spectrum sunscreen.
  • Serum
    Serums are packed with antioxidants and anti aging ingredients to help protect your skin from environmental damage. Apply twice daily to keep skin looking young and radiant.
  • Anti-aging Moisturizer (With Sunscreen For Daytime, Without For Night)
    Every skin type can benefit from a good moisturizer. When used daily, moisturizers, whether in cream, lotion, or gel form, work to hydrate skin keeping it plumped and noticeably younger.
  • Targeted Solutions
    Targeted solutions are optional products that can be used as an extra step to calm or hydrate skin, absorb an excess of oil, or address a certain issue, such as those related to aging. Examples of targeted solutions include facial masks, lip care, and mattifiers.

What do you do to make sure the needs of your skin are being met? Let us know! We love to hear from you!

What To Look For In Natural Cosmetics

Woman with flowers

Does it ever seem odd that we pointedly avoid buying foods with any vaguely chemical sounding ingredients, but we actively search for them in our cosmetic products? Breyer’s Ice Cream brags of containing only five simple ingredients, yet we persist in putting a veritable cocktail of synthetic chemicals on our faces. Although it is true that many of the manmade skincare ingredients have proven harmless and effective, there has to be a certain amount of wisdom in the belief that the best things for our bodies come from the same place as our bodies do: the earth. With that in mind, let’s talk natural cosmetics and take a look at what you can do to keep green while you look beautiful.

Scale Down
While there seems to be a myriad of products to address each skin issue individually, some of them really have very similar formulations. Eye creams, for example, vary very little in consistency from basic facial moisturizers. If you are trying to scale down on the number of chemicals you are putting on your face, limit the amounts of products you are putting on your face. Try to limit your skincare routine to the basic essentials: cleanser, moisturizer, toner, and broad spectrum sunscreen.

Organic beauty products

Choose Organic Beauty Products
Organic ingredients are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers which make them a healthier choice for both our planet and out bodies. Even better are botanicals grown employing biodynamic farming methods. These take the green mentality one step further by putting emphasis on the holistic relationship between plants, soil, and animals. The USDA National Organic Program has been certifying organic skincare products since 2003, and an increasing number of formulas are now bearing the organic seal. Biodynamically certified products feature the Demeter USA’s approval stamp.

Know What’s Really In “Natural” Products
Many companies market skincare by slapping the word “natural” on the label; however, the words “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated terms. To be sure, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database site. This will tell you the level of toxicity in popular cosmetics products on a scale from 0 to 10.

No Fragrance
Besides the use of the word “natural” on product labels, federal law also overlooks the need for companies to state the toxic chemicals in a product’s fragrance mixture. Artificial fragrances can contain phthalates, which can trigger health problems and allergic reactions. Beware of products with “parfum” or “fragrance” on the label, as this could indicate hidden toxicity.

Healthy diet plan

Keep Healthy
Of course, a great way to get a natural glow without chemicals is by making sure you maintain healthy diet and exercise habits. Make a point to get the occasional workout in to keep the blood flowing to your skin, and eat plenty of healthy fats, like flaxseed and omega-3 fish oils, protein, fruits and complex carbohydrates.

Are you going natural with your cosmetics? Let us know how you’re greening up your routine. We love to hear it.

Ten Little Known Uses For Toothpaste

Woman squeezing toothpaste

What do you look for in a toothpaste? You want something with fluoride and silica. Something that whitens teeth while strengthening enamel. Something with cavity fighting properties, something that cleans your sneakers. What? Cleans your sneakers? If you think that toothpaste is only good for cleaning teeth, you don’t know it that well. Your toothpaste is a product of many dimensions, enigmatic and constantly unpredictable. Here are some examples of what your toothpaste is capable of:

Takes Scuffs Off Shoes
Got a few scuffs on your leather boots? Just squirt some toothpaste on the affected area and rub it with a soft cloth. Wipe it clean with a damp cloth and your leather will be as soft and shiny as the day you bought them.

Hand at piano

Cleans Piano Keys
If they can clean your teeth, they should clean an elephant’s teeth as well, and that is essentially what piano keys are made of. If your ivories are looking less that ivory, clean them with toothpaste and a brush and wipe with a damp cloth. If you have a more modern piano with plastic covered keys, toothpaste’s got your back. Toothpaste can clean plastic just as well as ivory.

Cleans Diamond Rings
Diamonds are forever, but they may not stay clean that long. Put some toothpaste on an old rag and rub it on your rock to restore its natural sparkle. Wipe with a damp cloth when you’re done.

Deodorizes Baby Bottles
Got sour milk odor? Toothpaste will take care of that. Just put some on your bottle brush and scrub. The smell will magically disappear.

Prevent Foggy Goggles
Foggy goggles can defeat their purpose. You can keep your aquatic vision sharp by coating your goggles with toothpaste. Just be sure to wipe them off before your swim.

Little girl drawing on wall

Removes Crayons From Walls
Writing on walls seems to be a rite of passage for most kids. Send the little one for a time out and grab some non-gel toothpaste and rag or scrub brush. Rinse with water and hide the crayons.

Cleans Your Clothes Iron
No one likes it when they place their iron down on their wrinkled clothes and it comes away leaving a burnt in stain. Non-gel toothpaste contains a mild abrasive that is great for de-gunking the plate on the bottom of your clothing iron. Just apply the toothpaste to the iron when cool, scrub with a rag, and rinse.

Prevent Bathroom Mirrors From Fogging
So, you just got out of a hot steamy shower, and you want to blow dry your hair. The only problem is, you can’t see yourself in the fogged up mirror. Next time, try coating the mirror with some non-gel toothpaste and wipe it off before stepping into the shower. When you get out, the mirror will be magically clear.

Lipstick stain on collar

Removes Ink and Lipstick Stains From Fabric
Although cheating men should not be privy to this info, a non-gel toothpaste rubbed on a lipstick or ink stain may save your clothing. Apply paste and rub fabric vigorously and rinse with water. You will probably have to repeat this a few times, but if you notice the stain fading, it may be worth the elbow grease. Try it on coffee stains as well.

Acne
Out of Clearasil? No problem! Just put a bit of non-whitening, non-gel toothpaste on the spot before turning in for the night and it should be dried up in the morning. Toothpaste works on pimples to dehydrate them and absorb oil.

What innovative uses do you have for your everyday products? Let us know! We love to dish the dirt on keeping clean.

Dermatologist Recommendations For Storing Beauty Products

Woman with cosmetics storage

Are you a makeup hoarder? If you have eye shadows colors that only a teenager can get away with and you’re over the age of 30, the answer is probably “yes.” Whether it’s an attachment issue, or if you’re just sort of lazy, expert advice says, “Out with the old,” and it’s not just a backlash against hoarding. Apparently, there are certain guidelines when it comes to storing your cosmetics and, if your safety is a concern, you may want to know them.

Storing Cosmetics
Cosmetic products should remain safe for a reasonable amount go time, provided they are properly stored. That means makeup should be kept in a dry, cool place, without exposure to direct sunlight and the lids securely closed. Hands should be clean before putting fingers into products for application and sharing makeup is not advisable.

Product Deterioration
Once you open your makeup, it becomes exposed to dirt and microorganisms, such as yeasts, mold and bacteria found on applicators, brushes, and in the air. Although most cosmetics contain preservatives to kill the microorganisms, the efficacy of these additives can decrease with time and increased exposure to air. If contaminated, use of these products can cause irritation or infection of the skin. Products must be checked regularly to prevent this from occurring.

FDA Rules
There are no US laws requiring cosmetics to have expiration dates. The FDA considers the shelf life of cosmetics to be part of the responsibility of the manufacturer. Sunscreen and acne products, which are considered to be drugs under law, are subject to regulation and are required to have expiration dates on the label.

Cosmetics on dressing table

Shelf Life
So how long should you hold on to your product? In the UK, products with a shelf life of less than two and a half years a required to be labelled with a best before date, however dating is not common, due to the fact that most cosmetics have a shelf life exceeding two and a half years. However, eye area cosmetics usually have the shortest shelf lives in the cosmetic family and manufacturers tend to recommend discarding mascara two to four months after it is purchased because mascara is exposed to fungi and bacteria with ever usage, and becomes unsafe quickly.

How Do I Know If A Product Is No Longer Safe?
If you come across makeup that has not had a lid on it for a long period of time, you should probably toss it, regardless of the expiration date. Check products for suspicious smell, color, or texture. Lumpy discolored makeup may not do its job properly and could be risky to someone with preexisting skin conditions.

Useful Tips

  • Read instruction and warnings carefully.
  • Keep lids on products and use products within recommended time period.
  • Avoid storing cosmetics in direct sunlight or near heat sources. Choose cool, dry areas when possible.
  • Do not mix or dilute products with other products unless instructed.
  • Make sure all applicators or hands are clean before applying cosmetics. Wash applicators regularly with detergent, soap, or mild shampoo.
  • Make sure applicators dry completely before use.
  • Avoid sharing cosmetics.

How do you store your cosmetics? Do you still have your punk rock purple lipstick from the eighties? Let us know what shocking things you discovered weeding through your old makeup! We love to hear from you!

The Benefits Of Resveratrol

Wine and grapes

If you are a follower of Greek mythology, you may know that Greek gods were superior immortal exceptionally beautiful beings believed to have powers over controlling the world or some aspect of it. You probably also know that the Greek gods drank a lot of wine. Did anyone ever make a connection between the two? Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound found in red wine and grapes. It is said to promote longevity and offer a range of health benefits from promoting weight loss to combatting cancer. Could it help us achieve god-like status? You be the judge. Here are some of the benefits of resveratrol.

What Is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant produced by some plants as a natural defense against stresses of the environment and is theorized to be able to do the same for humans. Antioxidants are compounds which have been shown to neutralize free radicals which cause aging, cancer, and heart disease. Although Japanese knotweed tops the list of plants with the highest content of resveratrol, a large amount is found in the skin of grapes. Resveratrol protects the grapes against sun damage and fungi disease, making red wine, produced with the grapes, a source of the antioxidant, although in an albeit small amount.

Woman drinking wine

Resveratrol and the French
Resveratrol is thought to be the cause of low rates of heart disease in France. Even with the French habits of smoking, coffee drinking, and the consumption of a high-fat diet, the incidence of heart disease remains low in the French population. The theory is that the resveratrol in the red wine the French consume counteracts the effects of poor health habits, and also contribute to the longevity of the French people.

How Does It Work?
Resveratrol helps to protect cell DNA and reverses the damage caused by free radicals leading to cancer, and aging.

Woman pondering

Benefits

  • Skin Care
    Research indicate that resveratrol can fight skin damage caused by UV light. A study publishes in the FASEB found that when directly applied to skin, resveratrol can protect against the effects of aging caused by sun exposure.
  • Weight Loss
    Scientific finding show that resveratrol can stimulate the production of adiponectin, which is a hormone throughout to fight obesity and insulin resistance. Animal based and test tube studies show that the compound can help to speed metabolism and slow down the formation of fat cells.
  • Brain Health
    A study published in the journal Neurology in 2015 showed that individuals suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease demonstrated small improvements in their self maintenance abilities after taken resveratrol supplements daily for a year.
  • Cancer
    A report from the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences reveal a number of studies suggesting that resveratrol may have anti cancer properties. A study on cell cultures revealed that resveratrol helped to slow the progression of breast cancer in its early stages, and prevented estrogen from reacting to DNA molecules and forming compounds associated with the beginnings of cancer.

Have you taken resveratrol or used it in your skin care products? Let us know what you think. Is resveratrol the new miracle antioxidant?

Balancing Your Skin’s pH

Woman floating

If you’re trying to get this “science of skincare” down, you may feel like you are revisiting your high school chemistry class with a slightly more positive attitude. Maybe you can learn something useful about your skin while you’re keeping your brain cells from degenerating. Some of the concepts may even be starting to sound familiar. You vaguely recall the phrase PH being tossed about. Are you wondering what that has to do with your skin? Here’s a little rundown on how it all balances out.

pH Levels and Your Skin
In short, pH is a measure of the acidity of a substance. To provide perspective, on a scale of 1-14, battery acid clocks in at 0, while a level of 14 indicates the most alkaline, or basic substances. Your skin should come in at about 4.5-5.5. The measurement is a little more acidic than basic. The larger percent of acidity helps skin retain moisture and fight bacteria, allergens, wind, and pollutants. Environmental factors and UV light can throw off your skin’s pH resulting in all sorts of reactions, including inflammation, dry skin, and even eczema. To keep skin in its best shape, you should try to make sure you’re keeping that number as close to its recommended PH level as possible.

Soap on hands

Soap Cleansers
Most of us grew up putting our faith in soap. It kept us clean, our mothers were always telling us to use it. Since when did it become the bad guy? The thing about soap is that it has a pH of about 9-11 which is really much too basic for your skin. The most alkaline cleansers are used for heavy duty cleaning; drain pipe cleaners have a pH level of about 14. Look for cleansers that say “pH balanced or “soap free” to make sure your skin is maintaining a healthy level of acidity.

Don’t Over Peel
Most people are results oriented, and peeling products give quick results; however, there can be such a thing as too much of a good thing. Peeling is intended to slough off dead skin, but once the dead skin is gone, you’re removing more than that. If you’re breaking out, or experiencing redness and inflammation, you should probably take it as a sign to slow down. You’re breaking down your skin’s defences.

Woman eating salad

Eat Well
You’re always hearing about how you are what you eat, so it should come as no surprise that it is no different when it comes to your pH level. Since what you consume is filtered through your skin cells when you sweat; sweat has a lot of influence on your pH level. Processed foods tend to be acidic, so you need to make sure your diet has a lot of dark leafy green veggies to keep your skin balanced and protected against breakouts.

Product pH Levels
The good news is that you really don’t have to do much math to keep your pH balanced. It’s not a case of trying to neutralize a breakout caused by a high acid level by using alkaline products; you’re likely to go in the opposite direction. Most of the math has been done for you. Just look for products with the same pH level recommended for your skin, between 4.5 and 5.5. If you want to figure out how much pH is in a product, you an purchase pH testing kits from the drugstore.

We hope you enjoyed your chemistry lesson for today. Let us know what you’re doing to keep your pH in check, Let us hear your comments and suggestions.

5 Common Skin Care Ingredients That Can Cause Allergies

Woman checking face at mirror

Were you the kid in school who could never eat the cookies during snack time because you had a nut allergy? Life is rough for the allergy sensitive. Whenever there is something great that everyone seems to love, it makes you break out in hives or start sneezing uncontrollably. Like skin care products. Just when you find a skincare product that is really working for you, it turns on you, causing you to break out itching and scratching. While little can be done to stop your allergies, there are ways to save some heartache, by avoiding certain products, to begin with. Here are some ingredients to look out for when you’re buying products.

Salicylic Acid
Dendy Engelmen, MD, explains that salicylic acid is, “the same active ingredient in aspirin and three to five percent of the population is sensitive to aspirin too.” If your product contains salicylic acid, you’re probably using it to fight blemishes, but you should know that it’s likely to cause inflammation and hives as well. The allergy sensitive is better off using benzoyl peroxide.

Aluminum
Aluminum is usually found lurking in your antiperspirant or deodorant because it reduces sweating. However, because it is a salt, it can also cause itching, swelling, and redness. Engleman recommends using magnesium oil, which prevents sweating using ninasium chloride, or aluminum-free antiperspirants and deodorants.

Glycolic Acid
It seems that the things about glycolic acid that make it so good for your skin are the same things that make it so bad for your skin. David Bank, MD, explains, “This acid is so small that it’s very good at penetrating into the skin. On the efficacy side, it’s great. But that rapid entry can make it more irritating.” If you’re experiencing redness or drying from glycolic acid, you may want to replace it with lactic acid, which is, “physically larger so it releases more gradually over time.”

Sulfate
Bank clarifies that “When people use the word sulfates, they’re particularly referring to sodium lauryl sulfate. These detergents are found in cleansers and shampoos and can cause redness and dryness on sensitive eczema-prone skin.” For a milder treatment, look for products which are sulfate free or shampoos containing sodium laureth sulfate instead.

Retinol
It may be great for fighting aging, but it’s also pretty good at drying out skin. Bank says, “Retinol still remains the gold standard for anti-aging, reversing sun damage and stimulating collagen, The major drawback is that it can be on the drying and irritating side.” He does add, however, that the unpleasant side effects tend to be more uncomfortable than toxic.

Allergic? Let us know what skin care ingredients you think we should avoid. We love to hear it.