Category Archives: Vine Vera SkinCare

Coconut Oil Can Be Your Skin Saviour

benefits of using coconut oil

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

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

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

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

benefits of using coconut oil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Counteract Weight Gain and Aging

women ageing happily

Think a moment about the recent sitcoms. “Seinfeld”, “King of Queens”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”: what do they have in common? Hot lady, not so hot guy. Gone are the days of “The Brady Bunch” and “I Dream of Jeannie” when every couple had a Barbie and a Ken. Nowadays it’s a little closer to “Beauty and the Beast.” Why this sudden disparity between partners? Is it a television’s way of showing us nice guys don’t always finish last, or is it simply a more realistic interpretation of life? Let’s have a look at what the experts say about this strange phenomenon.

Is She Really Going Out With Him?
According to LA-based dermatologist Dr. Jason Emer, “I have a significant portion of middle- aged men whose wives are taking care of themselves, but they’ve gained weight because they don’t have time to exercise and diet, and they have a lot of sun damage. They come in and they say they want to look as good as their wives.”

Why Do Men Let Themselves Go?
Dr. John Layke thinks that the extra edge men have over women when it comes to aging make them more lax about grooming. Male skin is about 25% thicker than female skin because it contains testosterone. However, after a certain age, it begins to taper off because of lifestyle and hormonal factors.

Says Lake, “Men age at a slower rate, but all of a sudden it hits at 50. After age 30, men lose 1 percent of testosterone per year you start to see it around age 50 (when the loss is) 20%.”
In addition, man loses muscle as they age which can slow metabolism and cause weight gain. The loss of testosterone also causes the skin to thin out and wrinkle more. Add to that the fact that half of the men have male pattern baldness by the age of 50, and the picture becomes clearer. “It’s all gradual,” says Lake, “but …by the time (men) figure this stuff out it’s too late.”

girl checking weight

Sun Damage
New York plastic surgeon Sachin Shridharani believes sun damage is partially responsible for the divide. She describes situations where couples “go on the same vacation, but he’s like, she was going stuff on her skin-why was no one telling me to put sunscreen on? Where was the sunblock for men?”

Shri Dhani acknowledges that men don’t always have the benefit of media messaging about staying in shape the women do. She says, “You see couples that age together, and you notice that the guy didn’t have the benefit of knowing what to do.”

Dad Bod
Then there’s the “Dad Bod.” According to registered dietician Tanya Zuckerbrot, 40% of her clients are men between the ages of 40 and 70, and nearly all of them are dealing with weight gain. “We assume that getting heavier is part of the natural aging process. And while it typically is, it doesn’t have to be.”

What Can We do
Most experts agree that, while a neat diet and exercise routine can help to counteract the aging process, the biggest obstacle is teaching men how to adapt to lifestyle changes. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Time will tell. But in the meantime, the ladies may just have to settle.

What do you think? Can men over 50 learn to keep themselves healthy and looking good? Tell us about your worse half. We want to know!

Hormonal Fluctuations Can Wreak Havoc On Your Skin

Vine vera cosmetics Hormonal Fluctuations Can Cause Havoc On Your Skin

Hormones, can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. When you’re a teen, they hit you like a mac truck, wreaking havoc on your formerly clear skin and relatively easy going parents. Then, just when you thought you’d got them under control, the 40’s hit, hormone levels go down and you’re wishing for just a smidgeon of the estrogen you had in high school. Hormones can be a tricky thing, and sometimes they can seem to have a lot more control over your skin than you do, but there is a way to make peace. Read on for a little insight on hormone fluctuations, what to expect, and how to deal with them.

The Teen Years
When girls hit the ages of around 12 or 13, the introduction of hormones begins. The female body starts to produce estrogens and androgens in high quantities and the skin is impacted. Estrogen is responsible for the “female aesthetic”, causing breasts to develop and giving the hips their curves. In the skin, estrogen decreases the size of pores, giving it a smooth surface and builds elastin and collagen to give skin elasticity and maintain moisture. However, it is the male hormones which lead to the oiliness. Androgens, including testosterone, stimulate hair growth, enlarging pores and boosting sebum, the oily substance in the skin. The result? Acne.

The 20’s and 30’s
The twenties and thirties are definitely the best it gets as far as hormones are concerned. Estrogen peaks and the testosterone boosts sebum, giving skin radiant glow. The hormones are in balance.

The 30’s and 40’s
Of course, nothing gold can stay. After the estrogen effect peaks at around the age of 25, it begins to drop, slightly in the 30’s and more noticeably in the 40’s. Production of collagen and elastin decrease and the skin begins to lose elasticity, affecting the aging skin in a far greater capacity than sun damage. By the late 40’s women enter perimenopause, the purgatory between ovulation and menopause. Hormones cycles change and women may notice a resurgence of acne, an increase in facial hair, and thinning hair on the scalp.

50’s and Up
Most women have reached menopause by the age of 50. Estrogen and testosterone production declines, and with it, the skin manufactures less collagen and elastin. In fact, according to a study in the Venus Week, collagen production declines 2.1% every year in the 15 years following menopause, leading to a 30% decrease in collagen between the ages of 50 and 65. Hot flashes may occur and the skin will get drier, thinner, and more wrinkled.

Vine Vera cosmetics Hormonal Fluctuations Can Cause Havoc On Your Skin healthy woman

Controlling Hormones
Because hormone fluctuations are often the result of excess weight and lack of exercise, a good dietary and exercise regimen is key in maintaining hormonal balance. However, underweight women are also at risk for hormonal imbalances. Experts advise aiming for a body mass index between 20 and 25.

Women in their 20s can control acne by using face cleanser including salicylic acid, while older women with decreased skin elasticity should use an exfoliant weekly and an antioxidant containing moisturizer. Retinoids can help with wrinkles, and all women should wear sunscreen, as sun damage can intensify unwanted changes in the skin.

The first step to finding treatment is diagnosing the problem. Says Rebecca Booth, MD, “Women must first understand the effects of their hormones on the skin and overall health to seek lifestyle changes to navigate these natural fluctuations. With the power of knowledge, they can seek solutions to achieve the maximum flow of hormonal balance all month long and all life long.”

Are your hormones wreaking havoc on your skin? Let us know how you’re coping. We love to hear from you!

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.

Vine Vera Replenish Your Skin's Essential Nutrients

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.

Vine vera Replenish Your Skin's Essential Nutrients skin oils

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.

Vine Vera cosmetics Ingredients That Improve Your Skin's Tone for men

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.

Vive Vera  cosmetics Ingredients That Improve Your Skin's Tone beautiful woman

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!

The Key To A Smooth Safe Shave

You’ve finally arrived. You are the consummate professional. You’ve got the power suit, the flawless makeup, the leather clutch, the Prada heels, and the silk stockings and under it all, you’ve got….nicks and cuts all over your legs.

Sure, you’ve got data analytics down to a science, but when it comes to shaving your legs, you’re clueless. If you’re a professional genius, but you still don’t know how to handle a razor, this articles may provide you with the facts you need, but were too embarrassed to ask.

Women shaving her legs by a swimming pool.

How To Shave

Step 1
A great shave should always start with a nice shower of bath. Soaking skin in warm water for a few minutes will make the hairs softer and guarantee a closer shave.

Step 2
While you’re in that bath or shower, make sure to apply a good shave gel. That will help keep your hair hydrated while making sure the razor will glide smoothly over your skin. This will lessen your chance of painful nicks and cuts and will also reduce the likelihood of shaving rash and razor bumps popping up.

Step 3
Now you’re ready for the razor. Always use a gentle touch with long strokes. The direction of the razor will differ with each body part:

  • Legs Shave; from ankles up
  • Underarms Shave; from all angles, as hair here may grow in different directions.
  • Bikini Area Shave; first in the direction of the hair growth, in an inward stroke, and then reverse directions for an extra close shave.
  • After shaving; rinse and air dry razor.

Step 4
Your hair removal process should end by applying your favorite moisturizer. This will keep your skin healthy, smooth, and hydrated.

Women shaving her leg in a bathtub.

Shaving Products

  • 5-Bladed Razor
    A five bladed razor will give you a close shave. Remember, the more blades, the more hairs get cut. Many products on the market feature a protective moisture ribbon that helps to give an easy glide and reduces the risk of nicks and cuts.
  • Built In Lather
    Recently, products have become available with moisture lathering bars. These soap up produce a refreshing scent when you shave, cutting out the need for an extra shave prep.
  • Refillable Razors
    If you don’t mind a little elbow grease, you can save money by using a refillable razor. This means you only have to replace the carts when they get dull and can reuse the handle.
  • Disposable Razors
    If you still prefer to use ’em and toss ’em, disposable razors are always an option. They’re great for travel or stashing in your gym bag for easy use.
  • Removing Facial Hair
    There’s nothing wrong with shaving fail hair, although most women prefer methods that allow for more control, especially around the eyebrows and upper lip. More popular methods are waxing and tweezing.
  • The Tough Spots
    For ladies who are looking for a shave in those tricky, curvy spots, look for a high-quality razor designed to fit those curves. Apply as much shave gel as your skin can soak up and be gentle for a smooth shave.

The Knee of Above
Survey says…totally up to you. Forget the myth about shaving making hair grow back darker and thicker, just do what feels right!

Got some shaving tips to share! Let us hear ’em! We love it when you weigh in!

The Skincare Products You Need To Manage Summer Breakouts

It’s summer and you’ve just had your first official breakout of the season. You calculate that with treatment, most of the pimples will go away in four to seven days, with at least another week for the scars to disappear. You figure that by that time, you most definitely will have broken out again, and that by the time it takes for the first set of scars to heal, you should probably have a whole new round to contend with, and by the time those goes away, summer will probably be over.

Acne can be a drag no matter what season it is, but the sweat and friction of summer sure doesn’t make it any easier to contend with. If you are determined to spend at least part of the season breakout free, here are some of the best skincare products for managing summer breakouts.

Woman checking skin

Accutane
Accutane is the only treatment for acne that results in long-term remission of acne symptoms. It was originally discovered in 1979 when patients treated with the drug reacted by showing significant to permanent clearing of acne symptoms. It was originally given only to people with severe acne, but has become more recently prescribed for less severe cases. It is controversial because it is known to cause lifelong side effects to the user.

How It Works
While how Accutane works on a cellular level is still much of a mystery, there are four known ways that it affects the development of acne:

  • It reduces the size of the skin’s oil glands by 35-58% and reduces the amount of oil produced by these glands by about 80%.
  • It decreases the amount of acne bacteria that lie in the oil of the skin.
  • It hinders the production of skin cells inside the pore, which prevents pores from becoming clogged.
  • It is an anti-inflammatory.

2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is second only to Accutane as an effective treatment for acne. It is the only medication capable of penetrating the skin and delivering oxygen. Because acne related bacteria cannot live with oxygen present, benzoyl peroxide can kill 99.9% of the bacteria almost immediately. Generous application is recommended.

Woman smiling

Oil Free Acne Wash
An oil free acne wash can be used as a regular cleanser for acne prone skin. Its active ingredient is salicylic acid which helps to get rid of existing acne, while preventing future breakouts from happening.. Acne washes are usually noncomedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores and many contain soothing ingredients to prevent over-drying and irritation.

Spot Acne Treatment
Spot acne treatment is the traditional acne treatment is used dry pimples without drying your whole face. It penetrates pores to kill acne bacteria and help to prevent new ones from forming. The active ingredient is spot treatment is benzoyl peroxide, which can irritate skin in large amounts. Look for treatments containing about 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide for minimal dryness and redness. Spot treatment is usually oil free and noncomedogenic.

Spot Eliminating Gel
This on the spot treatment can be used to clear breakouts and prevent emerging ones. Gels are a newer technology and alternative to cream treatment. They are generally preferred because of their clear color and, many claim, superior formula. The active ingredient is salicylic acid, and the gels often claim faster action than their lotion counterparts, which contain benzoyl peroxide. These gels are noncomedogenic as well.

If you’re suffering summer acne, we hope this has been helpful. Let us know how what you’re doing to manage your summer breakouts this year,

Prevent Wrinkles On Your Chest and Neck

In “Gravity,” a video installation Michael Haussman, the artist, asked his subjects were to jump on a trampoline while he shot a video. He edited in post-production, steadying the subjects in the frame so that they appeared to stay still while their fat and muscles remained in motion, The result suggests a time-lapse aging, in which the subject’s body seems to age about thirty years in 15 seconds. It shows us how the aging process alters perception, changing the flawless to the flawed sometimes in a matter of very little time.

Woman smiling

Gravity: it’s skin’s biggest downfall, and causes even the most taught bodies to sag and wrinkle. However, while we can’t fight the gravity, we can fight the effects. Here are some ways to prevent wrinkles on the neck and chest.

Types of Wrinkles
With the aging process, you may begin to notice loose crepey skin and wrinkles on your chest and neck areas. Although some of this can be attributed to loss of collagen, environmental factors are largely to blame. According to AgingSkin.Net, 90-95% of all lines, wrinkles and discolorations are due to sun exposure.

While chest and neck wrinkles usually appear with age, “necklace lines,” characterized by horizontal lines on your neck can start in your twenties, or even as early as childhood. Loose and saggy skin is more often associated with age.

Reasons
There are several hypotheses as to the cause of aging on the neck and chest. One theory, suggested by Skintour.com, is that chest wrinkles are a result of sleeping position. Impression lines caused by sheets and blankets that faded quickly when you were young, may become a little less temporary as you age, due to loss of elasticity.

Treatment
Laser treatments, chemical peels and botox injections are all options for treating skin on the chest and neck. A study conducted by the Brazilian Center for Studies in Dermatology found that injecting Poly-L-Lactic acid or PLLA into the neck and chest could also improve the appearance of wrinkles. Adjusting your sleep position from your side to your back may be another option, as are breast pads and pillows.

Product
It is important to realize that most skin products are not just for your face. When you cleanse your face, be sure to include your neck, as should be the case with toners, moisturizers, masks, and scrubs. Look especially for skin care products containing antioxidants to fight damaging free radicals.

Moisturize
Never underestimate the power of a good moisturizer. Note that your neck and chest have fewer oil glands than your face, and are more prone to dryness and irritation. Moisturizers help maintain elasticity and plumpness for ease of mobility and a smoother appearance.

Sun Exposure
Protecting exposed skin from the sun is important to everyone, regardless of skin condition, Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, with 5 to 10 % titanium and zinc on law exposed skin, neck and chest included.

What do you do to prevent wrinkles on your neck and chest? Let us know!

Add Apples To Your Overall Skin Care Routine

In language, history, folklore and mythology apple references abound. We routinely compare “apples to oranges,” we believe that ” an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and we’ve all heard of the garden incident that caused the downfall of mankind. William Tell shot an apple from his son’s head, and apples also have the distinguished honor of sharing a name with the first child of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Add Apples To Your Overall Skin Care Routine

Whether as a symbol of beauty and rebirth or temptation and sin, there is little doubt that the apple holds an important place in our history for many reasons. And now we can add a new one to the list: apples are great for the skin.

Apples for Skin Care
Apples are rich in nutrients known to benefit the skin. Copper maintains melanin production to keep the skin protected against the harmful rays of the sun. Vitamin C restores collagen levels, boosting elasticity and rebuilding collagen levels. Vitamin A rejuvenates damaged skin tissues and promotes skin cell growth.

Oily Skin Face Pack
If your skin, tends to be oily, combine a freshly squeezed teaspoon of lemon juice with a teaspoon of yogurt, and a teaspoon of grated apple. The lactic acid in the yogurt will absorb excess oil and brighten and moisturize skin. Apply the mixture to your face and let it sit for about 15 minutes, Rinse with lukewarm water, pat skin dry and apply moisturizer.

Apple mash

Sensitive Skin Face Pack
Got sensitive skin? There’s an app(le) for that. Boil a small apple until it’s tender and remove from hot water. Let it cool and peel it. Using a fork, mash the apple in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of ripe banana and a teaspoon of pure coconut cream. Mix to a smooth paste. Rub it into your skin and let it sit for twenty minutes. Use lukewarm water to rinse and pat dry.

Normal to Dry Skin
You can make a skin pack for normal to dry skin by combining a teaspoon of grated apple with a half teaspoon of organic honey. Mix to make a paste. Apply pack to your skin and allow to sit for about fifteen minutes. You can also use this recipe as a spot treatment for acne by applying the paste to the affected area and allowing to sit for twenty minutes.

Additional Benefits
Apples contain an exfoliating astringent that can help prevent acne and contains malic acid (AHA) for skin renewal. Apple cider vinegar can be used to relieve itching skin and scalp, regulate skin pH levels and exfoliate and soothe skin.

Apple cider vinegar

For Anti-Aging
A skin brightening, anti-aging mask can be made by combining a mashed apple with a teaspoon of orange, lemon, or grapefruit juice, one tablespoon of ground almond meal two crushed basil leaves and one tablespoon of cream, yogurt, or milk. Mash and apply to face. Leave on for 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry.

Are you using apples to maintain that glow? Let us know your apple skincare recipes. We love to share!

Vitamin A Derivatives That Improve Skin Texture, Tone, and Color

As is the case with many of the best discoveries, the use of vitamin A as a wrinkle control agent happened largely by accident. It all began in the laboratories of Dr. Albert Kligman in the 1960’s when the controversial dermatologist began to experiment on prisoners with a vitamin A derivative called tretinoin as an acne treatment. Imagine the delight of the incarcerated men to discover not only the disappearance of their acne, but a noticeable decrease in wrinkles and smoother skin tones!

Woman applying vitamin A on her skin

Vitamin A and its derivatives have often been referred to as the “gold standard of skin care,” a paragon of excellence against which all other skin care products can be measured. If you are thinking of incorporating some vitamin A into your routine, here are some things you may want to know.

Retinoids
Retinoids are also known as the generic term for tretinoin, retin-A, or differin, and are available only by prescription. They are absorbed directly into the skin cells which makes them highly effective against hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and acne.

The downside of this miracle cream is its likelihood to cause skin irritation. Retinoids are often associated with redness and peeling and require adjustment to the dosage to combat these side effects. The key with these products is keeping the applied amount to a minimum. A pea-sized amount should be enough for the whole face, and a larger quantity is unnecessary.

Retinol
Retinol is vitamin A in its pure form and is an over the counter alternative to harsher retinoids. While the conversion to retinoic acid will decrease the potency of the retinol, it should still be effective enough to bring noticeable results. Although retinol may trigger minor irritation, side effects should generally subside over time as the skin grows more accustomed to the treatment.

Retinyl Palmitate
This combination of retinol and palmitic acid is one of the less effective vitamin A derivatives. While it does convert to retinoic acid, the process often takes so long that by the time it is completed, the product has lost most of its ability to affect the DNA of the cell. As a result, you would need a very high concentration of retinal palmitate to have significant effect, and most cosmetic companies who use it as a source of vitamin A usually do not put enough of it in their serums and creams to make a difference.
The bottom line: If retinyl palmitate is not combined with other vitamin A derivatives, it is almost useless.

Retinaldehyde
Retinaldehyde is a potent over the counter form of vitamin A which is commonly perceived to be the closest to retinoic acid without the irritating side effects. However, it is important to take note of content in your product. In order to be effective, a retinaldehyde concentration of 0.05% to 0.1% needs to be present. This is the equivalent of a 0.025 tretinoin. The biggest side effect of retinaldehyde will be the lightening of your purse. Most skin care products containing substantial amounts of the ingredient will be on the high-end side in price, so be prepared to pay for quality.

Other Advice
Be aware that vitamin A is not stable and tends to lose potency when it interacts with sunlight. Creams and serums are therefore best applied at night. Do not use a cleanser with retinoids, as the retinoids depend on contact with skin to achieve full benefit and should not be washed away. When purchasing retinoids, look for packaging that minimizes exposure to air and light which can affect the stability of the vitamin.

Let us know your choice when it comes to choosing Vitamin A derivatives. Which ones work best for you?