Tag Archives: antioxidant

Hibiscus Extract For Your Skin

vine vera banner presents Hibiscus Extract For Your Skin

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

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

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

vine vera banner presents Hibiscus Extract For Your Skin

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

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

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

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

Antioxidant Packed Snacks and Lunches

Woman having lunch

Those of us that ate school lunches as children may have been scarred for life.  We may, to this day, have nightmares consisting of grey mystery meat sandwiched between a soggy bun, “pizza”  which is closer to congealed yellow cheese with red sauce on toast, canned vegetables and fruit cocktails consisting of vaguely identifiable fruit, as in, “Is that cube a pear or a pineapple?”  Well, with adulthood, the nightmare may be over, but with our busy schedules, we might find our food options are still somewhat limited, and you may even find yourself having a not so pleasant deja vu, unless your idea of gourmet food is the gas station food shop.

You may have heard a lot about antioxidants lately.  Antioxidants fight free radicals in your body and slow down the aging process.  Sound good?  Here are some ideas for  putting them in your snacks and lunches! They definitely beat the creepy hot lunches and are a lot more healthful no matter who you’re packing for.

Snacks
Trail mix nuts are a great source of antioxidants.  Studies find walnuts can be 2-15 times more powerful than vitamin D when it comes to anti-oxidizing properties.  Add in some dried cranberries and dark chocolate pieces for an added health and antioxidant bonus.

Dark Chocolate!
Who would have thought something so sinful could be so good for you!  Unprocessed, raw cocoa beans are one of the highest scoring foods ever tested on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC), the measure of antioxidant activity in food.

Fruit
There is no end to the nutritional benefits of fruit.  They are a delicious easy snack and are rich in antioxidants, with berries and red grapes leading the pack and so easy to add to the lunch bag.

Lunch
How about some broccoli and tomato pizzas? Yum!  Broccoli has antioxidants and Vitamin E and is very effective against breast cancer.  Tomatoes have lycopene which prevents tumor growth. Top with ricotta or mozzarella.  You choose!

Woman having wine at lunch

Grape and Cheese Salad
Red grapes contain the mother load of resveratrol, yes, that red wine ingredient.  Throw some walnuts on top for a crunchy way of getting melanin! And what would a salad be without the baby greens, packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A and beta carotene? Eat up!

Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Tomatoes and Zucchini
Here’s one for the exotic veggie lover.  The Vitamin A in the squash will fight off the effects of aging and the zucchini has lutein for healthy eyes.  Leave the skin on the zucchini- it has beta carotene.  Great substitute for a carb-rich pasta dish.

Avocado Bean Wrap
Have you died and gone to heaven?  You’ve got black beans and avocados and carrots which mean plenty of immune supporting compounds like betacarotene and vitamin E. Is your mouth watering?

Veggie Lasagna
Mangia!  Try a recipe with kale, the super-food with vitamin A and C.  Throw in cherry tomatoes and garlic, packed with disease-fighting antioxidants and your choice of cheeses.

Enjoy and stay young and keep the school lunch ghoulies away!

All About Goji Berry Extract

If the gorgeous Victoria’s Secret supermodel Miranda Kerr can’t stop talking about a beneficial super fruit, you should probably listen up. Celebrities such as Miranda Kerr and Madonna credit goji berries gush about these tiny, scrunched up bits of fruit and there is a good reason. Vine Vera decided to do some digging on goji berries to find out whether this fruit deserves the hype.

Goji berries in a wooden spoon.

What are Goji Berries?
The goji berry is a miniscule fruit that is roughly the size of the tip of your pinky finger in it’s raw form. Typically, raw goji berries are hard to find in the United States and instead are more common in Asian and European countries. Goji berries are interesting because they are considered to be both a fruit and a herb. Due to this, they a characterized by a slight sweetness though with the aftertaste of an herbal nature. They are consumed mainly either raw, dried or as a juice. However, the simplest way to enjoy goji berries is in a dry extract. So why eat goji berries? Because goji berries are packed with antioxidants such as:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1, B2 and B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • 21 minerals including calcium, iron and zinc

Goji Berries and Your Health
It is true that goji berries are full of essential vitamins and minerals, and increasing your intake of these items is beneficial to your body. However, be sure to proceed with caution when it comes to other health claims made regarding goji berries. Used in traditional Chinese medicine, the goji berry is sometimes credited as being an antioxidant that is capable of reducing the risk of cancer but there is no scientific research to back up this claim. Additionally, there are individuals who may actually find that adding goji berries to their diet is harmful rather than beneficial (those taking blood thinners or on medication for diabetes or blood pressure), so it best to consult with a doctor prior to going crazy with goji berries. Though not all of the claims made of goji berries are true, goji berries are a powerful antioxidant with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. There has been some general research saying that feelings of calm and well-being increase, sleep quality improves and that goji berries do help with weight loss.

Closeup of goji berries.

How to Add Goji Berries to Your Diet
As previously mentioned, goji berries can be eaten in its raw form, as dried berries, as juice or as a dry extract. The easiest way to add goji berries to your diet is using goji berry extract. Goji berry extract is available in supplement form and sometimes as an additive to herbal teas. When purchasing goji berry extract, or regular goji berries, be sure to comparison shop prior to purchasing because many suppliers significantly increase the price of these berries.

Goji berry, and the extract of goji berries, can be a healthy addition to your diet. However, if you already are taking prescription medications, it is best to consult with your doctor before adding goji berries. Try a supplement for a convenient, easy way to receive the health benefits of goji berries.

Why Resveratrol is Good for Men’s Skin – Vine Vera Reviews

Antioxidants are beneficial for all skin, male and female. One of the most potent antioxidants especially with regards to anti-aging is resveratrol. This compound has been the subject of much study and debate and continues to be to this day. Many praise resveratrol with the ability to positively benefit your health in several ways. Below, learn what resveratrol is and why it is beneficial to male skin.

Molecule of resveratrol.

What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant compound known as a polyphenol. This compound is produced naturally by plant when they undergo stress such as an attack from insects or too much sunlight. Resveratrol is found naturally in the skins of grapes, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and pomegranate. Perhaps most famously resveratrol is found in red wine, due to the skin of the grapes used and it is also found in some nuts such a peanuts.

Man pouring red wine into a glass.

What Does Resveratrol Do?
Resveratrol is widely studied for a variety of reasons, but two of the most frequent reasons resveratrol is being studied is for its ability to act in a caloric restrictive way which helps lead to a longer life. Research has already shown that calorie restriction is beneficial in prolonging life and health, and the fact that resveratrol activates the pathway associated with calorie restriction leads many research experts to believe that resveratrol may hold the key to longer lives. Additional research on resveratrol is and has been conducted on its ability to protect against heart disease and help stop the growth of cancer cells. Additional research is being conducted regarding resveratrol and it’s potential positive side effect concerning diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Resveratrol and Male Skin
When it comes to your skin, resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against damage by free radicals and the process of oxidation. Oxidative damage occurs as you age and is primarily caused by sun exposure. Free radicals decrease the levels of collagen in your skin as well as activate enzymes that actually break down the amount of collagen and elastin in your skin. Collagen and elastin are an important protein for your skin and help you maintain a youthful, healthy complexion.

Man examining a glass of wine.

How to Use Resveratrol
There are several ways that you can reap the positive benefits of resveratrol. The first is through your diet. Increase the amount of blueberries, blackberries and pomegranate in your diet or enjoy a glass of red wine after dinner. Secondly, check with your doctor to find out whether or not a resveratrol supplement would benefit you. Lastly, apply resveratrol topically by choosing product formulas with resveratrol as an ingredient. Experts state that when this ingredient is applied topically, it can help to improve collagen synthesis, protect against sun damage and reduces cell damage. Resveratrol is a potent and stable antioxidant that is worth finding in a skin care product.

Resveratrol is an excellent addition to male skin, and the overall health of males. Age gracefully by choosing products that decrease the amount of damage done to your skin while improving the skin cells natural functions.

Antioxidants to Boost Immunity – Vine Vera Reviews

Antioxidants are a highly popular topic when it comes to health and beauty and with good reason. These food and skin care ingredients really do help in a large variety of ways from protecting your immune health to helping you look younger. There are several ways to use antioxidants in order to boost your immunity. The most common way for people to get antioxidants to improve immune functioning is through their diet. A healthy, well-balanced diet often provides all the antioxidants you need for proper immune functioning. However, there are supplements designed to pack an extra punch with antioxidants. Following, we’ve compiled a brief list of the most recognized antioxidants to look for when it comes to boosting your immunity.

Broccoli on a wooden board.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C as an antioxidant fights free radicals that attack your body daily. According to a paper published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information, vitamin C deficiencies lead to reduced resistance against pathogens, while an increase in supply can enhance certain immune system parameters. The paper further states “With regard to the common cold different studies including meta-analyses underline that the prophylactic intake of vitamin C may slightly reduce the duration of the illness in healthy persons…”

Foods that are high in vitamin C include many citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges and kiwis. Other foods rich in the antioxidant vitamin C include:

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Red, yellow or green peppers

Sliced papaya on a plate.

Vitamin E
Another important antioxidant to help boost your immune system is vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential to immune functioning because it signals the germ/bacteria/virus killer cells to target foreign or harmful substances and destroy these cells. Additionally, vitamin E stimulates the production of B cells which create antibodies to fight diseases. Foods that are high in vitamin E include:

  • Broccoli
  • Leafy greens such as chard and spinach
  • Nuts
  • Red peppers
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Papaya

Lobster dish with seafood dressings.

Selenium
Selenium is an important antioxidant that increases natural killer cells and that enhances the results of vitamin E in the body. In addition, selenium is a powerful antioxidant in the fight against cancer because it mobilizes cancer-fighting cells and reduces damage due to chemical carcinogens and radiation. Selenium also boosts your immune response to infections and helps your body form blood clots. To get more selenium in your diet consider these foods:

  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Nuts
  • Chicken
  • Cheese
  • Whole grains

Closeup of a ripe peach.

Vitamin A
Carotenoids are also an important immune-boosting antioxidant. When your body requires vitamin A it converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, but otherwise allows carotenoids to be free to fight free radicals. Beta-carotene is  important to your immune system because it interferes with the oxidation of fat and cholesterol in your blood stream. When you want to increase your intake of beta-carotene, look for brightly colored foods such as:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe

Varying your diet helps provide your body with the nutrients it needs and including antioxidants helps to boost your immune system. Before beginning any new diet or taking supplements, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor first.

Ingredient Spotlight: Actium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract – Vine Vera Reviews

Burdock has origins in the eastern hemisphere, but now grows most commonly in North America, Europe and Asia. The Burdock plant is best identified by its purple flowers and broad leaves. Burdock is a prickly plant that has been used for centuries in traditional folk medicine. Burdock has also been found to provide benefits for both your skin and hair.

Burdock Roots in a white background.

Burdock Root Extract
Burdock roots are slender, appear to be gray in color and are typically around two feet long. The inside of a Burdock root actually resembles a cream or off-white color. Burdock root contains tanning agents, vitamin C and essential oils. One of the active compounds in Burdock root extract is sesquiterpene lactones. These are active plant chemicals known for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The antioxidants in Burdock root extract inhibit the growth of both bacteria and fungi which is useful for many skin and hair conditions.

The most important reasons that  Burdock roots are beneficial to both your skin and hair. This brief list contains the properties in Burdock root extract that provide the highest level skin and hair care benefits:

  • They have natural anti-bacterial properties
  • They are naturally anti-septic
  • They have natural anti-inflammatory properties
  • They contain antioxidants helpful to your skin

It is possible to infuse Burdock root into either oils or water using heat. However, this process is often complicated, messy and highly time consuming which leads many cosmetic and skin care producers to choose powdered Burdock roots for their formulations in items such as hair conditioner and acne treatments. Burdock root extract is water soluble, highly concentrated and is easy to add to products like lotions, creams, soaps and facial toners.

Woman looking at her skin in the mirror.

Benefits of Burdock Root Extract
We’ve mentioned that Burdock root extract has some pretty awesome properties naturally and it is these that provide such excellent skin care and hair care benefits.

Burdock root extract has anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties which make it an excellent choice for conditions of the skin such as psoriasis, eczema, dandruff and acne. Perhaps the most frequent use of Burdock root extract in skin care or cosmetics is to treat acne. In addition to being anti-bacterial, Burdock root also has anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce the redness, swelling and irritation of conditions such as acne and rosacea. Burdock root extract in lotions or creams may be useful in helping alleviating conditions such as bug bites, canker sores, poison oak and poison ivy rashes, general swelling of the skin and small wounds to the skin.

Burdock root extract is also thought to have numerous benefits to your health and one of the leading indications for Burdock root extract is as an aid in the fight against cancer. Natural medicine praises Burdock root extract for the potential benefits this substance has in the oncology field.

Burdock root extract is definitely something to be on the lookout for when scanning the ingredient list of your beauty products. It helps so many conditions in a gentle way thus preventing further skin upsets or irritation.

THE VITAMIN C QUESTION: Ascorbic Acid VS. Ascorbyl Palmitate

Ascorbic Acid is the water soluble version of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most powerful nutrients and antioxidants your body needs, particularly your skin. It has free radical fighting powers that help prevent the appearance of aging as well as fight the damage of toxins. Vitamin C is also the building block to helping your skin produce more collagen, or the main protein structure throughout the body that helps keep skin youthful. The benefits of this antioxidant are great, but there are two types of Vitamin C out there that react differently with your body: Ascorbic Acid and Ascorbyl palmitate. Vine Vera reviews which one is right for your skin?

The most important thing when looking at these two different forms of Vitamin C is to be aware of what kind of molecule each is and how your body processes them. When you understand these things, it’s easier to figure out what will be going on in the skincare product or supplement you choose. The key element you’re looking for is solubility, or rather water-soluble versus fat-soluble. Water-soluble molecules typically leave the body through urine, whereas fat-soluble versions tend to be stored in the liver for longer periods of time.

Ascorbic Acid, or the water-soluble form of Vitamin C, is often used in skincare products, as it is one of the most important foundations for building collagen. It has been the subject of different research studies since it was proven to reduce the effect of ultraviolet rays on the skin and fight photo damage, or “sun spots.” It acts as the first defense against free radicals penetrating the skin. Since it is water-based, this type of Vitamin C is better used for topical applications such as lotions and creams, since it will be able to absorb into skin quickly and can break down faster. This comes as a double-edged sword for skincare. Ascorbic Acid can absorb quickly into the body, but that means it can oxidize fast. If you’re looking at products with this version of Vitamin C, make sure the packaging is opaque and not exposed to excess air. The other difficultly with this water-soluble molecule is that it can’t reach parts of cells that are fat-soluble, making them susceptible to damage. The two main forms of Vitamin C are Ascorbic Acid and Ascorbyl Palmitate

Ascorbyl Palmitate is the fat-soluble form of Vitamin C. Although it does have elements of water solubility, the fact that it is mainly fat-soluble means that it is more moisturizing and tends to have a longer-lasting effect than Ascorbic Acid does. It is able to target the membranes deeper and be stored for longer in the body and doesn’t oxidize as quickly as its water-soluble counterpart. Ascorbyl Palmitate’s fat solubility is the reason why it is more commonly used in Vitamin C supplements as opposed to Ascorbic Acid. Another benefit is its partnership with other vitamins such as A and E to make sure that they’re able to fight free radicals together at full strength. Although you need this important nutrient in your diet and topical skincare applications, Ascorbyl Palmitate has concentrated power and is only good in small doses. If you use too much, it may hurt more than help your skin.

Since they each react differently in your body, both Ascorbic Acid and Ascorbyl Palmitate are required in maintaining healthier skin. There are many benefits to both of these versions of Vitamin C ranging from UV protection to free radical repair, so these two versions of it can work together to give you what you need. This antioxidant is something that the body doesn’t make naturally but needs in various topical creams and dietary supplements, so don’t hesitate to get these ingredients into your skincare routine.

What is your favorite Vitamin C product to help your skin? Abby, the author of “Twist Me Pretty” talks about her favorite products from the Vine Vera Vitamin C Collection here.

 

Sources:

Samuels, Lawrence MD. “Keys to Unlocking the Benefits of Vitamin C.” Skin Inc. November 29, 2012. Web. April 22, 2014

<http://www.skininc.com/skinscience/ingredients/Keys-to-Unlocking-the-Benefits-of-Vitamin-C-181434171.html>

 

“Asorbyl Palmitate.” Truth in Aging. n.p. n.d. Web. April 22, 2014

<http://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/ascorbyl-palmitate>

 

“Vitamin C.” Paula’s Choice Skincare. n.p. n.d. Web. April 22, 2014

<http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/anti-aging/_/vitamin-c>

 

 

Vine Vera: Orange Peel Extract on your Skin

Vitamin C Benefits for healthy skin

Vitamin C is one of the essential nutrients your skin needs.

Most of the time you probably just consider an orange peel the impossible force standing between you and a deliciously juicy fruit. However, oranges and other citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C and other essential nutrients. The benefits of eating oranges and other citrus fruits are well documented. The research behind the use of orange peels in skin care has only just begun, but there is already a growing list of benefits.

So far, citrus peel extract has been connected to helping weight loss and prevent insomnia, gastrointestinal problems and last but certainly not least, skin problems.  The principle component of orange peel and other citrus fruit extracts is d-limonene, which is used as a natural cleanser. How do you know if orange peel extract is present in your skin care products? It’s simple: The citrus scent is an automatic giveaway.

The extract can be taken as a supplement or added to skin care formulas as an essential oil. This essential oil plays two major defense positions when it comes to your skin’s health. One is that it is a powerful antioxidant to remove toxins from your skin. Second is that it can reduce acne.

Beneficial Antioxidants for the Skin

The praises of antioxidants cannot be sung loud enough. The food and skin care industries are rushing to find new sources of natural antioxidants and effectively incorporate them into their products.  It is well known that antioxidants can be found in a variety of fruits, including citrus.  But recent data from “Food and Chemical Toxicology” concludes that there are more antioxidant properties in the extracts of citrus fruit peels than in the fruit and the fruit juices themselves.

Combating Free Radicals

Free radicals attacking stable molecules

Free radicals stealing molecules’ electrons

In order to understand the significance of this for the skin care community, you first have to understand exactly what antioxidants do for the body. To do that, we need to first talk about free radicals. Free radicals come from a variety of sources: the body itself, ultraviolet light, pollution and cigarette smoke, among other things. Free radicals are atoms looking for additional electrons, and sometimes steal them from your regular cells’ outer shells, making them unstable. Small amounts of free radicals are necessary, but large quantities can quickly become a problem and will continue to replicate this pattern throughout the body.

Free radical damage can become so bad that it can actually alter DNA codes and cause oxidation. Think about what happens to a cut apple once it has been left out in the open air for a while. This is an example of oxidation and it is what happens in your body when free radicals are allowed to multiply unchecked.  And multiply is exactly what they do.

As you can see, things can get out of hand fairly quickly. Antioxidants found in orange peels can combat free radicals. Antioxidants are able to lose electrons without becoming unstable. This allows them to lend an electron to a free radical without becoming a free radical itself. And orange peel extract is filled with plenty of them.

Free radicals can cause the skin to age prematurely. To keep this from happening, stay away from free radical causing stimuli like ultraviolet light and cigarette smoke. You can also utilize Vine Vera products that are specially infused with citrus peel extracts, such as the Resveratrol Zinfandel Skin Tone Correcting Serum, and see the amazing results that come when skincare products contain this powerful extract.