Tag Archives: caffeine

A Cautionary Tale of Caffeine

Woman drinking coffee

Everyone seems to have their “mother’s little helper.”  Their little vice that perks them up on those days when their ordinary emotional hygiene practices are just not working.  For some its alcohol, for others prescription drugs,  maybe  marijuana, for some stronger drugs.  Considering all that is available, it would seem that caffeine sort of pales in comparison. It’s legal, requires no prescription and in fact, it is available all over the place and its accessibility is growing.  We can’t walk five blocks without passing a Starbucks, or some other similar gormandizer, and if we don’t, we can always find some Red Bull or Rock Star at the convenience or grocery store. Indeed the ways we get out caffeine are getting more creative by the day; there is talk of a caffeine patch, caffeine gum and caffeine mixed with alcohol.  In the midst of all this madness, it becomes almost impossible for us to imagine that a product with so much hype may also be bad for us, but listen to this:

How Does Caffeine Work?
Caffeine usually begins to take affect 15-45 minutes after ingestion and peaks after 30-60 minutes.  The immediate effects are increased heartbeat, respiration, metabolic rate, production of stomach acid and urine.  It also relaxes muscles, especially the bronchial muscle.  This brings about a “lift”  which causes the user to feel awake and confident mentally and physically.

When Caffeine Turns Dark
After consuming caffeine for a while, users develop a tolerance which means they will need higher doses to get the same effect.  If they do not receive the higher dose, they may experience caffeine withdrawal.  They may develop a throbbing headache, drowsiness, irritability, nervousness to depression.

The Caffeine Overdose
If someone drinks about 7 cups of coffee (250-750 mgs of caffeine) they may become restless, nauseous, experience irregular heart beat, and sleep disturbances.  Anything over that can cause symptoms similar to an anxiety attack, with delirium, ringing ears and diarrhea.  Long-term drinking of coffee can result in heartburn, ulcers, heart problems and fibrocystic breast disease.

A Scary Story
Since caffeine is known to increase metabolism, act as a diuretic, and suppress hunger, it is often  found in weight loss supplements.  Much of the time, caffeine will not be listed as an ingredient in the supplement, instead, it will appear under the guise of an herbal dietary substance, such as guarana.   A 38- year old woman was taking a dietary supplement known as Zantrax 3 a “power packed pill”  featuring niacin, caffeine, and various herbs.  After taking the pill for three months, the woman began to experience blurry vision and suffered a seizure. The MRI showed a possible atrophy in the right frontal lobe of her brain.  After discontinuing Zantrex-3, the patient experienced no more seizures.

Note that reactions to caffeine can vary, and many people swear by it, but it is important that we are aware of when we are consuming it and the variety of foods and pharmaceuticals that contain it.

Caffeine and Skin Care

Wondering why your cosmetic and skin care products are suddenly listing caffeine as an ingredient? Caffeine is derived from plants and has a natural antioxidant content, making it a beneficial ingredient. “Caffeine has potent antioxidant properties. It helps protect cells against UV radiation and slows down the process of photoaging of the skin. Moreover, caffeine contained in cosmetics increases the microcirculation of blood in the skin and also stimulates the growth of hair…” according to a paper published by the National Center for Biomedical Information. In a study done using animals as subjects, researchers were able to show that the antioxidant properties of caffeine protected skin cells from cancer caused by UV radiation. With all of these benefits, it’s no surprise that caffeine is being increasingly used in skincare and cosmetic products.

Coffee beans

Topical Caffeine
Caffeine is perhaps most commonly found in eye creams that are designed to fight dark undereye circles and to firm the skin. New York City dermatologist Cheryl Karcher, M.D. says that “[c]affeine has been shown to restrict blood vessels.” Eye creams that contain caffeine help to fight against dark undereye circles, puffiness and sagging by shrinking the blood vessels under the skin and making them appear less visible.

Eye creams are not the only skincare product that contains caffeine, more and more frequently facial creams are including caffeine on their ingredient lists. For the same reason that caffeine helps improve your undereye circles, it is also beneficial to your face. If you are prone to redness, caffeine helps to minimize your redness by shrinking the blood vessels, and as an added bonus, the caffeine will help to keep your skin naturally firm.

Because caffeine in skin creams can help firm sagging or loose skin, it is also a common ingredient in lotions or creams that are meant to target and treat cellulite. One of the warnings regarding caffeine is that it can dehydrate you, but when you are looking to fight cellulite, this is a good thing. Caffeine draws excess fluids from fat cells to diminish them and the result is firmer, tighter skin.

Caffeine can be an incredibly beneficial ingredient in your skincare and cosmetic products. It is important to note that the firming effects of caffeine are temporary and are only a short-term solution. Any improvements you notice in your skin will disappear when you discontinue use of a product containing caffeine. Even with the effects of caffeine being temporary, there is no denying that these benefits are available when you select skincare and cosmetic products that contain this antioxidant packed ingredient.

Top Summer Skin Care Ingredients – Vine Vera Reviews

Summer is seriously just around the corner and it is time to start re-evaluating your skin care routine. Sure, you may need some of the same products you use year-round, but summer skin does have a certain set of needs to be aware of. Here are a few of the most beneficial summer skin care ingredients to be on the lookout for.

Woman applying sunscreen.

Sun Protection
You knew we were going to say something about sun protection and sunscreen. And, you also know that you should be applying sun protection to both your face and body no matter what season it is. However, if you don’t follow the rule of year-round sun care, it is especially important to look for ingredients aimed at sun protection during the summer. The sun is out more frequently, the days last longer and you have more skin exposed in warmer weather, all of which add up to the fact that sun protection is an absolute necessity. Two of the most common skin care ingredients to watch for include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

Oranges rolling out of a medicine bottle. Vitamin C Concept.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another skin care ingredient that is majorly beneficial during the entire year, but especially so during the summer. Vitamin C, when applied topically, aids in collagen formation and growth which helps keep your skin supple and radiant. Additionally, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a study online that states vitamin C also helps prevent the formation of sunburn cells. Still, these are not the only benefits in using a skin care formulation that includes vitamin C: other benefits include improved skin elasticity, reduction of fine lines and visible improvements against photo-damaged skin (discolored skin).

Hot coffee in a cup with coffee beans scattered on the table. q

Caffeine
You may have noticed that caffeine is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient when it comes to skin care. There are a few reasons for this and the most relevant reason with regards to summer skin care includes the fact that caffeine has a sunscreen effect when applied topically. While caffeine mimics sunscreen and provide a bit of added protection, it is not a substitute for traditional sun protection. In addition, recent studies have found that when used on cells that had UV damage, caffeine was able to destroy the damaged cells without any harm to the surrounding healthy cells.

BHA representation.

Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHAs)
Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids are beneficial chemical exfoliants, but when summer rolls around it is usually advised to stick with a beta hydroxy acid exfoliant than AHAs. This is because many AHAs, such as glycolic or lactic acids, increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun and BHAs do not. Using a BHA is helpful during summer because the warmer weather tends to lead to increased sebum (oil) production and a BHA exfoliant helps to clear pores of sebum and other debris such as dead skin cells.

Another important thing to remember during summer when it comes to skin care is to drink plenty of liquids. Not only does water help prevent your body from becoming dehydrated, it also helps keep your skin hydrated as well.

Beauty Ingredients That Make you Look More Awake – Vine Vera Reviews

Whether you are a new mom or just a night owl, you do not want to hear “are you feeling okay today” constantly because you didn’t have time for your beauty routine in the morning. For long nights and mornings that come way too quickly, VineVera highlights a few beauty ingredients will help you look more awake and refreshed.

Hot coffee with coffee beans.

Caffeine
Coffee is not your only friend in the morning containing caffeine, there are tons of beauty products that contain caffeine to help wake up your skin. Caffeine in skin care ingredients gives you several beauty benefits. First, caffeine restricts blood vessels which reduces redness in your skin, a perfect solution for someone with irritated skin or rosacea. Secondly, caffeine reduces puffiness making it an ideal ingredient in your eye cream. Lastly, caffeine helps skin appear firmer and can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Choose skin care or beauty products with ingredients such as green or black tea and coffee to help wake up tired skin.

The word "Hyaluronic Acid" written on a tablet.

Hyaluronic Acid
Beauty bloggers, magazines and experts have been raving for some time about hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate that your body normally produces. Unfortunately, the older you get the less hyaluronic acid your body produces. The reason that hyaluronic acid is great for when you’re looking extra tired is that it hydrates the skin while acting as a skin plumper, filler and firming agent. When you are tired and your skin is looking less than bright, a skin care product with hyaluronic acid can provide the dewiness and suppleness you want.

Woman enjoying a milk bath at a spa.

Exfoliants
There are tons of exfoliants in the world of beauty from gels to scrubs. One of the easy ways to add life to your tired looking skin is to use an exfoliator. A mask with a scrub is great, but when you don’t have the time to pamper your skin, look for gentle chemical exfoliants. Two effective and easy exfoliants are Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) such as lactic acid. As a general rule, AHAs are for you if your skin is on the dry side while BHAs are perfect for you if your skin tends to be a bit oilier.

Wine being poured in a wine glass.

Antioxidants
Antioxidants are not only great for your helping your body function at it’s best, they also are super beneficial in skin care as well. Antioxidants occur both synthetically and naturally and they protect your skin against damage from free radicals and your environment. These skin care ingredients not only help you look more refreshed and awake, they also provide protection against things such as further sun damage. The reason that antioxidants are great for when you’re looking (and feeling) less than energized is they help reduce inflammation in the skin. So if you’re pulled an all-nighter, antioxidants in your skin or beauty products help take down inflammation and the puffy look that tired skin often has. The also can reduce redness, soften your skin and add much needed moisture.

Just because you look less than your best when you wake up doesn’t mean you need to spend time you don’t have to carefully make your entire face look perfect with cosmetics. Having a few well chosen skin and beauty products that contain the above ingredients (bonus if the products include more than one ingredient in the list) to help wake up your skin is all it takes for a perfectly refreshed complexion.

Caffeine: A Natural Ingredient

vine vera

You more than likely know caffeine as the stimulant found naturally in chocolate, coffee, and tea. You probably also know that it is added to various substances such as medication and soda. In small amounts, caffeine can give you the jump start you need in the morning or throughout the day. In large amounts, caffeine can be bad for the body, causing headaches and shakiness.

However the latest buzz regarding caffeine is not for your insides, but for your outsides. This stimulant can be added to your skin care products for a resoundingly positive effect on your skin, ranging reducing problems from redness to puffiness. With its many attributes that make it an anti-aging agent, dermatologists are researching the best ways to utilize this exciting ingredient.

If you want to get technical, caffeine is a white crystalline xanthine alkaloid found in various leaves, seeds and fruit.  For plants, caffeine is a naturally-occurring pesticide as well as a reward for desirable pollinators. For humans, caffeine is a stimulant commonly extracted from tea leaves and coffee beans for consumption.  There are many pharmaceutical uses for caffeine, as well as many newly researched dermatological uses. It is not only a powerful antioxidant, but has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties as well, all of which are extremely beneficial to the skin.

vine vera Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Caffeine

Inflammation is actually a response to outside stimuli such as irritants, damaged cells or pathogens.  It is a physical manifestation of the body’s attempt to rid itself of these harmful entities and to then begin the process of healing.

Many people believe that inflammation and infection are the same thing. In actuality, infection is the cause of inflammation. If an infection is present, the body’s defense mechanism is to try and flush it out, which causes the corresponding inflammation. There are five classic symptoms: swelling, heat, pain, redness and loss of function.

Although inflammation most of the time is a sign of your body working properly, inflammation can be painful and irritating. If your face becomes easily flushed and irritated, you will want an anti-inflammatory on hand to decrease your symptoms. Since caffeine has natural anti-inflammatory properties, many luxury skin care lines such as Vine Vera incorporate caffeine into its products, like the Resveratrol Eye Collection Dark Circle Eye Cream.

Anti-Aging Properties

Caffeine also has a direct anti-aging effect on your skin. The caffeine in topical skin care products constrict the blood vessels, essentially tightening your skin and reducing the signs of aging. After using a caffeine-rich skin care product, you will see a noticeable difference in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Caffeine will also help in reducing puffiness and those dark circles under your eyes.

With caffeine’s anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, it is easy to see why the skin care community is so excited about this ingredient, not to mention why this natural ingredient is in Vine Vera skin care products. Learn about more of the natural ingredients found in Vine Vera skin care products and see how we can help beautify your skin the right way.