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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!

Skip These Ingredients

If you’re reasonably skin-savvy, you probably know that the foods you eat can definitely impact the quality of your skin. But even armed with this knowledge, it can be hard to navigate the world of nutrition effectively, as the do’s and don’ts can start to feel overwhelmingly complex. Thankfully, we’ve got your back, as we’re about to go through a simple, short and sweet, easy to remember list of food ingredients to avoid. Just take a quick look at the list, skin the ingredients list of any food you’re getting, and you’re golden!

Sugar

Sugar
This includes types of sugar that masquerade under a different name and aren’t required to be labeled as “sugar.” To be fair, there’s a legitimate reason for this; molecularly, they are not the same thing. In fact, sugars are a diverse type of molecule in the carbohydrate family that includes sucrose, glucose, maltose, and lactose, to name just a few. That said, all sugar ultimately gets processed by our bodies into glucose, so most sugars have the same effect on us regardless (with some exceptions). To avoid sugars in your foods, look for “sugar,” “high fructose corn syrup,” “corn syrup,” etc, and keep in mind that ingredients which contain sugar do not have to list this fact in many cases. Really, the nutrition facts panel is the most reliable here; just see how many grams, if any, of sugars are in your food.

Sugar is dehydrating, and too much of it can cause weight gain, both of which will show in your face, not to mention your general health. You do need a little of it in your diet, but you usually meet your requirement easily without adding any for no good reason.

Alcohol
Alcohol in moderation is okay. If you’re having a glass of wine once a night, that’s fine; what we’re talking about is what happens if you overdo it. Not only can over-consumption of alcohol be incredibly habit-forming, potentially leading to full blown alcoholism and destroying your liver (you kind of need that thing, by the way), but even just overdoing it a little can risk dehydrating yourself. This is dangerous to your overall health, and will also manifest on your skin in the form of dull, rough, scratchy skin.

Sodium

Sodium
Sodium is most commonly consumed through sodium chloride, aka table salt, but you can get it from other sources too, like soy sauce. A small amount of sodium is necessary for proper cardiovascular function, but too much can cause high blood pressure, in addition to promoting fluid retention, which can make your skin look puffy and unflattering. The flip-side is, if you cut back on sodium intake, you may notice you loose a lot of “water weight,” that was being retained in body salts.

Over-Processed Foods
This is a broad catch-all category that includes such things as pre-packaged foods, fast food, instant foods, etc, etc. Basically, if it comes in a box and requires little work to prepare, there’s a chance it’s over-processed.

Of course, this isn’t automatically a bad thing. It really depends. The effects of food additives in processed foods are still being studied, and we can’t say anything definitive yet. So you’re probably fine indulging now and then, but just don’t overdo it if you want to play it safe.

Alcohol is Bad for Skin Care – Myth or Not?

With the amount of misinformation available online, it is very easy to believe that alcohol based moisturizers don’t hurt your skin. Many formulas that contain ethanol often have a quick drying finish and this leaves behind a pleasant effect on your skin. Before we begin to discuss about the effects of alcohol in skin care, you need to understand that any product which lists alcohol as one of its main ingredients is bad for your skin. It is also important to realize that there are two types of alcohol being used in skin care products. Vine Vera believes that understanding the difference between the two can actually help you to select a product that is not harmful to your skin care routine.

Bottle of ethanol Ethyl Alcohol – Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol, is the regular alcohol that is commonly used in skin care and cosmetic products. It is the kind of alcohol that most people are familiar with and it is commonly used in beers, wines, facial toners, gels and hairsprays. However, the ethanol that is used in cosmetic and skin care products  is denaturated. This is what gives it its bitter taste. This type of alcohol is usually listed as SD Alcohol or Alcohol Denat on the ingredient list. Ethanol is mostly derived out of sugars and it is extremely volatile. Its volatility is one reason why it is so popular in hair styling products.

Alcohol splash on split coconut Fancy Alcohols – Fancy alcohols are another type of alcohol that are commonly used in skin care products. This alcohol is a fatty alcohol such as behenyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol or cetyl alcohol. All such alcohols are usually derived from palms and coconuts and are solid at room temperature. Some of their main applications come in hand and body lotions, conditioners and moisturizers.

It is common to misinterpret ingredients containing alcohol because of their fancy names. Moreover, when users see the name ethanol, a name they are the most familiar with, they end up believing it to be safe. On the other hand, when a fancy name such as cetyl alcohol comes up, most people end up believing that it is very harmful to their skin. Actually, fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol are not drying at all. Instead, they are extremely beneficial for the skin as they condition your hair and your skin.

But does this mean that ethanol is damaging? Well, if you look at ethanol used in hair spray products, it is not damaging because the amount of ethanol that you use or spray on your hair is minimal. This prevents it from causing any drying or permanent damage. However, if this is used in skin care products, it might be used in greater percentages, but even then, that would be under 10%. This debunks one of the most common skin care myths – alcohol is not always harmful to your skin. In fact, it can prove to be quite beneficial.

Surely, with so many skin care companies using alcohol in their products, you would believe that there is some science behind it right? As explained above, there are two main reasons for the use of alcohol in skin care – alcohol helps in creating a thick product weightless and it is highly useful in helping beneficial ingredients to penetrate your skin.