Tag Archives: Beauty Tips

Benefits of Topical Vitamin E

Vitamins

With the recent inundation of skin products on the market, some of the more natural options are sometimes overlooked. Vitamin E is a necessary part of the skin’s antioxidant defense. It is remarkably safe and can be taken in quantities as high as 3200 IU per day, more than 100 times the US RDA. Vitamin E is a necessary part of the skin’s antioxidant defenses.  It has been shown to have an oxygen sparing effect on the heart, break sown blood clots and prevent more from forming  and promote healing of skin with less scar tissues and protect against UV rays and free radical damage.

It should be mentioned that Vitamin e in its most natural form is called D-alpha with mixed natural tocopherols.  There  are synthetic versions that are cheaper and less effective so if you want the real thing, look for D-alpha tocopherol on the label.

Uses of Topical Vitamin E

On Burns
You can drip Vitamin E on burnt skin by applying oil directly  or splitting the Vitamin capsule open.  Vitamin E is capable of healing even 3rd-degree burns.  Twice daily applications are recommended and skin should be dry before applying.  The burn should heal with less scarring and inflammation.

For sunburns, you can mix some 400 IU capsules with olive oil.  Not only will your burn fade painlessly, but it will minimize peeling.  Individuals also credit Vitamin E with hemorrhoid relief.

As A Night cream
Dab a little vitamin E oil under your eyes after you remove your makeup. Your under eye skin will be super strong.  It also reduces the chance of cheek wrinkle, which is a large fold that appears when you move the cheek toward the eye. Vitamin E also  safeguards the eyes from dark circles.

As An Anti-Aging Product
The anti-aging effects of natural products are generally slow, so persistence will pay off in the use of vitamin E as an anti-aging product.  In the form of gamma tocotrienol , Vitamin E can reverse damage from UVB radiation and free radicals, causing reduction of brown spots.

Apply After A Shower
Absorbs in minutes for skin like a baby! Vitamin E oil usually contains coconut oil, making a dynamite duo for dry skin, but as an added bonus Vitamin E also helps your skin to produce its own oil.  Vitamin E regulates the function of oil releasing glands, making it a perfect moisturizer.

Heals Any Scars
Vitamin E is known for its ability to heal injured skin tissues, You can apply it on pigmentation scars,  acne scars or scars made by cuts, wounds or surgery.

Gets Rid of Dry and Dull Skin
Take the ‘gets rid of’ part literally,  not only can it reduce dryness and flakiness,  after regular application Vitamin E concentration may actually reach a point in which it will keep working after discontinuing use.

Smooths Tangle Free Hair No more ouch!  Your days of yanking and pulling are over. Add vitamin E to a regular shampoo makes hair texture silky and smooth. In addition, Vitamin E nourishes the scalp keeping it healthy and moisturized, preventing dandruff.

There is no denying that there are some great products out there, but sometimes the best solution is the simplest.   Vitamin E is  harmless and  easily accessible at pharmacies.

Best Bets: Acrylic, Gel or Shellac

Woman applying nail polish

Gel, shellac or acrylic? In this day and age, with so many nail trends emerging, and updated technologies on nail care, that question may be becoming as commonplace as ‘paper or plastic?’ But the answer may not be so easy to come by. To find the nail option that’s right for you, it may be a good idea to explore our choices.

A gel manicure is a type of nail treatment where a nail technician uses a gel to bind synthetic fingernails to natural ones. The gel can also be applied over natural nails like regular polish. Though relatively new, this form of manicure is becoming more and more popular. It is seen as a cure for chipping nail polish with super shiny results that last 2-3 weeks and usually costs around $35. However, there are also downsides to the gel manicure.

Gels can be bad for nail health. Manicures in general can weaken your nails. “The manicure process itself can lead to dehydration and thinning of the nail,” says Dr. Chris Adigun, a Chapel Hill based dermatologist. This can be particularly detrimental in the gel manicure process where you won’t be able to see your nail beds for 2-3 weeks at a time, to properly assess nail health.

The removal process in gel manicures can also be dangerous not to mention time consuming, difficult and costly. If you opt to remove the gels at home, this must be done with a 100% acetone remover which can be harsh on nails. A less abrasive choice is a gel remover which tends to be more expensive. It is then necessary to affix a remover soaked cotton to nails with a foil wrap and then a hand towel. This process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Wearers are also warned to not peel polish as this can take off layers of the nail and also cause water to seep in the nail, which can lead to an infection.

Acrylic nails, or artificial nails, are another choice. Donne Geer, co- founder of Hey Nice Nails explains, “Acrylics are applied using a liquid monomer and a powder polymer to create a hard protective layer over your natural nails. Acrylics only harden when exposed to air”. Polish is added later. Like gel polish, acrylics are also a long lasting option for fashion lovers. If done correctly, acrylics can last up to 4 weeks, outlasting a gel manicure. The cost can range from $35 to $50.

Like gel nail polish, the removal process is time consuming and can be damaging to nail health. You must use a similar process of soaking and wrapping your nails in an acetone remover which can also wear down your nail beds and leave them vulnerable to infection. Acrylic nails are also cited as being difficult to get used to and many say they look unnatural.

Shellac nail polish is a brand name for a new patent pending nail product created by CND. It is a hybrid meaning half nail polish, half gel. Shellac and gel are very similar but Lunchtime Beauty Q &A writer Christina Han sites some differences including the shellac polish being slightly less goopy than the gel. Also, CND sell their own acetone wraps which isolate the remover to the nail bed area saving your fingers slightly as acetone dries out nails and skin. Also, the removal is a quicker process but is only available at salons.

So which option will you choose? With so many different factors involved, the choice is not an easy one.   We can only hope that we made the decision making process just a bit easier.

Facial Sprays & Misting Water

Woman using a facial spray

Ok, so you’re at your favorite makeup store and you’re loading up the little basket you have just gotten from the door attendant who has a pierced lip, black hair and what looks like a pack of ammo around her waist, although, on closer inspection, it seems to be makeup tools.  After you are assured that no violence is about to erupt, you hit the aisles.  You load up your little basket with about $100 worth of merchandise, the whole of which takes up no more than a fraction of your purse.  Then, as you approach the counter, you see it: a bottle of facial spray. Sure, you think you don’t need a $20 bottle of water after you’ve blown your money on everything else.  But think again. With essential oils, herbal extracts and antioxidants, that little addition may be the most valuable thing in your basket.

“But what can this product do for me?” you ask.  Well, more than you might think. Facial sprays can be used in combination with your moisturizer to help lock in hydration and prevent evaporation.  Skin get dry on airplanes?  Just pack your misting spray in your carry on and rejuvenate!  However, if you are using the mists and sprays to retain moisture,  make sure to use a moisturizing face spray with botanical extracts, saccharides or hyaluronic acid, all of which aid in moisture retention. If you  chose to use one  without these ingredients, it may end up having the opposite effect. According to Amanda Matcham, Skin Therapist at the International Dermal Institute, “Don’t let it (facial product without above-mentioned ingredients) dry on your face.  As the water dries on the skin, it evaporates and draws some of the skin’s existing moisture out with it.”

And who among us hasn’t been here?  You  go to the restroom in the middle of your day only to find you have just attended a meeting with your boss or had  a hot date with lipstick on your teeth or mascara under your eyes.  Well, assuming that is not your desired effect, it  can be avoided with just a little spritz of facial spray.  It will help to set your makeup and make sure you look relaxed, fresh and confident. For this, a regular water spray is best, according to Eddie Malter, official L’Oreal Paris makeup artist. It will help to set your makeup and make sure you look relaxed, fresh and confident all day.

So, what else should you know about facial sprays? A thermal water spray, rich in calcium and antioxidants, is the best for anti-irritation and sensitive skin.  Distilled water is good for basic hydration,  but those that contain botanical extracts and essential oils like aloe and lavender will do a better job.  Hydrosal, a.k.a. herbal water, is best for softening skin and will make you smell yummy too!  For mature skin, fruit based mists are best.  Look for products infused with orange and apple slices.

So, the takeaway?  Next time you’re in your makeup store, splurge.  That little bottle may be the best investment you make. And maybe you should smile at the door attendant on the way out.

Healing Your Skin With Soybean Oil

soybeans with a bottle of soybean oil

With all the strange chemicals that can be found in skin care products, it’s nice to know that there are some natural components that can also be beneficial. Within the past 10 years, soybean oil has become more and more popular in its use in skin care products and its abilities to keep skin looking beautiful. Find out how to use soybean oil to your advantage and see what it can do for your skin.

Soybean oil is made up of small molecular structures that allow it to penetrate the top most layer of skin, the epidermis. From there, it nestles into your skin’s cellular structure, stimulating the synthesis of elastin, collagen and other proteins. This is key in cell growth, regeneration and the reversal of abnormal cell functions.

Soy is rich in essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, lecithin and antioxidants all of which can nourish your skin when applied topically.

  • Through its antioxidant properties, Vitamin E promotes regeneration and healing. It is useful for moisturizing skin, keeping it smooth and healthy.
  • Essential fatty acids help moisturize the collagen below the skin surface while lecithin maintains the elasticity of the skin, smoothing fine lines and preventing premature aging.
  • Soybean oil has an overall effect of correcting pigmentation brought about by hormonal changes and the damage caused by sun exposure. It can be effective at removing skin blemishes caused by acne.
  • The antioxidant properties in soy oil are great for improving skin as they protect skin cells from free radical damage, reducing aging effects and wrinkling.

Studies have proven the effectiveness of soybean oil on skin. A placebo controlled trial studied 65 women with moderate facial photodamage. At the end of a 12 week period, the results showed these women to have reduced blotchiness, dullness, and fine lines, and an improvement in overall skin tone, texture and appearance.

The oral administration of soybean oil may also be beneficial to the skin. A study was conducted involving 80 postmenopausal women who were given a placebo or two tablets containing soy extract as well as other beneficial extracts including those from grape seed, tomato, white tea, vitamins C and E, chamomile and zinc. The active group had significantly greater facial improvement, including a reduction of wrinkles, sagging, under eye circles, and mottled pigmentation, after a 3 and 6 months of treatment. Of course, the setback here is the inability to be able to single out soy as the specific contributor to these benefits as opposed to the other extracts.

The overall conclusion of the studies is that use of soy and soy extracts when applied topically seem to have scientific support. Preliminary studies on the impact of dietary soy and skin health show that there is justification for continued research in this area.

Soy should be used as a facial moisturizer only in its pure or organic form. It is mild and does not cause skin irritations. Although it contains estrogens, these are not the type that will go into your blood stream, it will simply help cells rejuvenate.

Have you used soybean oil for skin health? Are you happy with the results you’re getting? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Protecting Your Lips

woman applying lip balm

When we think of health care and beauty, many of us overlook our lips. In fact, 70% of beach goers who slather on sunscreen products will overlook their lips. However, in a study conducted at the University Of Texas Medical Branch Department Of Dermatology, researchers evaluated the knowledge of ultraviolet light as a risk for lip cancer and found that many beach goers were unaware of these risks. Read on to find out what sun damage can do to your lips and how you can keep your lips moist and healthy.

When it comes to skin cancer, ultraviolet rays are the most pertinent risk factor. Because lips don’t have melanin, they are highly vulnerable to sun damage caused by exposure to UV. The Mayo Clinic warns that the sun’s UV rays can affect the production of collagen on your lips leading to the formation of wrinkles on or around the mouth as an early aging sign.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying an SPF lip balm every day, even on cloudy days, and reapply every two hours. Drinking water often will also help in protecting lips from sun damage as well as keeping them soft, smooth and hydrated. Here are some other tips for you in finding a lip balm product that will protect your lips:

  • Stay away from shiny lipsticks that have high gloss with little or no color as they will attract UV rays. You’re better off with a matte product.
  • Buy lip products that have a base of paraffin, petroleum jelly or beeswax. Beeswax. These will stay on your lips longer and seal moisture longer than thinner glosses and balms.
  • If your lips become dry and start to peel, use sugar and olive oil to exfoliate lips and remove accumulated dead skin cells.

Here are some other tips on how to keep lips looking healthy:

  • Stop Licking Your Lips: Robert Brodell, M.D., a dermatologist from Warren, OH, warns that licking your lips can damage the protective barrier and dry out the lips. The saliva’s digestive enzymes break down this barrier. Opt for a lip balm instead.
  • Use A Humidifier: It can replace moisture in dry indoor air and keep lips and skin hydrated.
  • Limit Your Use of Matte Lipsticks: They can dry your lips extremely, which is why they should be used sparingly when lips are chapped. Try alternating them with hydrating lipsticks or add a moisturizing lip balm layer underneath.

Here is a guide to treating common problems associated with your lips:

  • Cut in the Corner of the Mouth: Keep lips hydrated and apply hydrocortisone cream to affected area.
  • Wrinkles Around Lips: Apply creams with anti-aging ingredients like retinol. Chemical peels can be helpful as well.
  • Thin lips: The best option for thin lips is a collagen injection, which costs about $300 and can last up to six months. Consumers should be aware of possible side effects including excessive swelling and temporary redness of the lips.

What do you do to keep your lips looking luscious? Let us know in the comments section below.