Tag Archives: Minerals

Would You Try These Innovative Skincare Ingredients

Americans have been accused of being vulnerable to the lure of the exotic. Of falsely attributing other cultures with possessing some ancient wisdom or magic that we, as Americans, are simply unable to harness. Like the belief in the the superiority of Asian skincare. Skeptics will argue that this is just another example of Americans being overly impressed by the foreign. However, if you consider that the Japanese published a “Capital Beauty and Style Manual” in 1813 that included directions for making an early sheet mask with kimono silk and flower water, it may seem that there is reason to think the Asians may know a thing or two about the subject.

If you are among those who are not entirely convinced that the Asian skincare routine is without merit, here are some of the more (and less) unusual ingredients topping the list of Asian beauty products you may want to get more familiar with.

Bee venom

Bee Venom
Bee venom is known to help skin produce collagen and elastin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Bees are reportedly not harmed in the process of extraction.

Vitamin A (Retinol)
One of the more common additions to our list, Vitamin A is an antioxidant that fights damage from free radicals and increases production of collagen to help protect against wrinkles, aging, and sun damage.

Vitamin B
(Niacinamide) B vitamins such as niacinamide, or B3, are known to possess skin brightening properties. They can be used to decrease redness from acne and even out skin tone.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C, including L-ascorbic acid, can improve skin tone as well as protect skin from UV rays. Store in an opaque container to prevent degradation due to light and heat.

Aloe Vera
This ancient plant has been used for centuries to soothe and hydrate. Apply it to sunburns for quick relief or as a soothing balm after shaving.

Pear on wheat

Arbutin
This hydroquinone derivative is found in wheat and pears. It is a safe and natural way of limiting the production of melanin and brightening skin.

Ferment
Use fermented products like yeast, rice or pitera to boost skin elasticity and prevent aging.

Green Tea
Another recommendation from the “Capital Beauty and Style Manual,” green tea has antioxidant properties which can decrease inflammation an fight the effects of carcinogens and age.

Honey and Royal Jelly
It’s back to the bee hive for some anti-inflammatory and and antiseptic properties to prevent acne and dryness.

Milk
Whether from cow’s or donkeys, milk is a great moisturizer and brightener.

Rice

Rice
Another,”I told you so” from the ancient Manual, rice as been used for centuries in Asian culture as a toner or scrub to even skin tone.

Snail
Asians swear by snail secretion filtrate as a moisturizing ingredient. It is associated with reducing redness acne and repairing skin damage.

Syn-ake
This is a synthetic snake venom said to be similar to botox in its ability to fight aging. It is known to firm skin and improve elasticity.

Yogurt
The lactic acid in yogurt can exfoliate the skin, while the zinc can reduce the production of oil and sebum, known to block pores.

Let us know if which of these ingredients you have tried, or would consider trying. We’d love to know!

Add Cabbage Juice To Your Healthy Drink List

Some may say that the popularity of home juicers and food processors have brought out a bit of the mad scientist in us. Increasingly, the question seems to be not what you can put into these new contraptions, but what you can’t. Indeed, something in these new kitchen innovations have awakened our inner eighth grader, leaving very little off limits. Among the more eyebrow-raising to meet their fates in the juicer: cereal grasses, cucumbers, celery, potatoes and now, a new addition to the list; cabbage.

Cabbage

Cabbages
Why cabbages, you might ask? They don’t seem to be too high on anyone’s favorite food list, and even smell a little funny, but it turns out, cabbages can do the body a surprising amount of good.

Cabbage is low in saturated fats and cholesterol and is also rich in vitamins such as B6, C, K, and folate. It also has a high fiber content and contains protein, calcium, phosphorous, and omega -6 fatty acids. However, it is not the nutritional content of cabbage that makes it so impressive, rather it is the health benefits.

Health Benefits of Cabbage

Fights Cancer
Cabbage juice contains isocyanate, known for its ability to prevent great, stomach, prostate, lung and colon cancer. It also contains sulforaphane, which blocks carcinogens. For these reasons, it is often prescribed to patients recovering from cancer.

Controls Ulcers
In addition to having cancer-fighting properties, cabbage juice is also effective in controlling peptic ulcers. The juice of the cruciferous veggie contains glutamine, which is a type of amino acid associated with the promotion of cellular growth it the stomach, and may aid in helping peptic ulcers to repair itself.

Cabbage juice

Weight Control
Because cabbage juice is beneficial to the digestive system, it is known to aid in weight loss, converting sugar and carbs into energy, rather than fat.

Heart Disease
Cabbage contains omega -6 fatty acids. Although once believed to block arteries, the American Heart Association has now found Omega-6s to be heart healthy and recommends that individuals get 5-10% go their daily calorie intake from these fatty acids.

Fights Anemia
Anemia is characterized by a decrease in red blood cells in the bloodstream, resulting in feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. The folic acid in cabbage juice has been shown to help generate new red blood cells vital to anemia sufferers. Cabbage is also rich in Vitamin C, which assists in the body’s absorption of iron.

Skin Care
Cabbages are rich in phytochemicals, like alpha and beta-carotene and contain the retinol equivalent of vitamin A. The antioxidant properties in these nutrients cam destroy free radicals that damage skin cells and age skin and are probably a better source of skincare than many products available on the market today.

Let us know if you’ve tried cabbage juice? What do you think? Is it the next must have smoothie ingredient?

The Benefits of Keratin for Hair and Nails

Portrait of woman

It is true that women will go to great lengths to achieve great lengths. There is little a woman won’t do in the pursuit of longer hair, nails, and lashes. She will glue, she will paint, she will invest, she will supplement, she will extend, she will photoshop. She will fight tooth and nail for nice teeth and strong nails, and she knows the value of a strong ally. Keratin is one of the toughest forms of biological mater. It gives the horse its hooves and the rhinoceros its horns. Why not use it to give you an extra edge?

What is Keratin?
Keratinocytes are living cells found in the skin that produce a protective layer that provides flexibility and strength and helps to keep water and other materials from getting to the skin. Keratin is the tough protein strand that provides these keratinocytes with their strength.

Keratin is found primarily in the skin, hair, tooth enamel and hair, and plays a role in protecting these body parts against harmful environmental factors. They allow hair and skin to be flexible and make nails, tooth enamel, and hooves of animals hard and strong.

Vegetables

Keratin Deficiency
Individuals with a keratin deficiency tend to experience slow hair growth, and the hair they already possess is usually weak and brittle. Lack of keratin may also cause weakness and discoloration of fingernails. While there are topical keratin treatments, the best sources for keratin, as is usually the case, are edible.

Fruits and Vegetables
Proteins from vegetable sources are absorbed in the body with the help of Vitamin C. This vitamin is also the basic building block of keratin. Peppers and Brussels sprouts are both rich in vitamin C, as are citrus fruits such as oranges and limes.
Biotin, or vitamin B7, is also a foundation for keratin building and plays a large role in the metabolism of proteins. Onions, cauliflower, and broccoli all have high concentrations of B7. Whole grains are another food source which encourages keratin generation.

Dairy

Meat and Dairy
Low fat dairy products contain amino acids that boost keratin production. Low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk, will give your body a boost of keratin, as will meat. Fish, poultry, lean meats, animal liver and kidney are all protein rich meats that help to produce keratin.

Other Sources
There are also certain vitamins and minerals that are important for generation of keratin. Because of the high concentration of the protein found in sulfur, sulfur rich foods such as eggs, dried beans, kale and soybeans can all play a significant role in keratin development, as can beans, almonds and walnuts. Gelatin is a another food associated with increased keratin production, and can be found in frosted cereal, fruits jams, molded fruit salads and certain yogurts.

What do you think of keratin? Do you use it to your benefit? Let us know!

Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato

Japanese sweet potatoes really do have amazing nutritional value. Sweet potatoes are a low-calorie food containing high levels of vitamin C and dietary fiber and is often touted as an excellent food to include in any weight loss regime. The Japanese sweet potato is usually a red or purple-skinned color on the outside with a yellow to white fleshy potato on the inside. They are usually approximately 5 inches long and weigh around 130 grams – all in all one potato contains just 113 calories. The potatoes are actually quite similar to American yams but possess a much sweeter taste. The biggest producers and consumers of Japanese sweet potatoes are Vietnam, China, Japan and India and additionally it is also commonly used as a thickener and flour substitute.

The potatoes are an excellent resource of vitamin A and one medium spud contains over 400% of your recommended daily allowance. Many individuals also include Japanese sweet potatoes in their diet for their high hyaluronic acid content which is known to help keep wrinkles at bay and keep the skin looking young.

Anti-Aging
Japanese sweet potatoes are notorious for their high levels of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid has a remarkable ability to help keep our skin and tissues moist and is very effective in treating dry skin and fine wrinkles. We all possess hyaluronic acid in our bodies but as we age, levels of the compound begin to diminish, much like collagen in our skin. Hyaluronic acid maintains the skin’s elasticity and some studies have highlighted how it can even speed up healing times for wounds and scar tissue. Therefore, consuming Japanese sweet potatoes regularly would essentially help sustain hyaluronic acid levels, thereby delaying the aging process and keeping your appearance youthful.

Tissue Health
Hyaluronic acid is also abundant in cushioning and lubricating various parts of our bodies such as the eyes, joints and even heart valves. In this way, consuming Japanese sweet potatoes is also an excellent way of ensuring these parts of your body stay healthy and continue to function optimally.

Dietary Fiber
Japanese sweet potatoes contain approximately 27 grams of carbohydrates with approximately 4 grams being dietary fiber. All in all, this provides 16% of your daily recommended intake for fiber and therefore adding these potatoes to your meals is an easy and efficient way of staying in tip top condition and will ensure your bowel movements are healthy and regular.

Vitamins and Minerals
Japanese sweet potatoes are a valuable source of numerous vitamins essential for normal bodily functioning such as vitamins A, C, and E as well as B-6. One serving of potatoes contains 202% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and one average sized sweet potato has 30% of your vitamin C. Alongside this, the potatoes are also high in minerals such as potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals act as vital antioxidants in the body and prevent cellular damage from harmful free-radicals.

Using Pumpkin for Beautiful Skin

It is officially fall and the arrival of all things pumpkin is upon us. Seasonal favorites, like the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte, are back in full force and the uses of for pumpkin seem endless. From carving a Halloween pumpkin to baking that amazing pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, there is a pumpkin product that suits your taste. If you still aren’t sold on how awesome pumpkin is, this post may change your mind. While the vast majority of pumpkin popularity revolves around the cozy pumpkin spice flavor or their appearances at Halloween, there are other reasons to get excited about this orange-hued multi-tasker. Pumpkin is actually super beneficial for your skin, and the benefits of pumpkin added to your skin care can be enjoyed all year long, rather than for a few brief months each year.

Woman holding a pumpkin during fall.

Why is Pumpkin Good for Skin?
Simply put, pumpkin is great for your skin because it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your skin needs.

Carotenoids – Carotenoids are responsible for the vivid orange hue pumpkins possess. Alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, in addition with other carotenoids not only make pumpkins aesthetically pleasing, they also provide excellent protective antioxidants that improve your skin. Carotenoids are absorbed very well by the skin and the the antioxidants found in carotenoids help reverse UV damage and smooth the texture of the skin.

Vitamin C – This antioxidant is vital to your skin and has a multitude of benefits. Vitamin C helps protect against free radical damage, reduces inflammation and irritation, boosts healthy collagen production and fades dark spots from aging, sun damage and even post-acne marks. The added collagen boost means less fine lines and wrinkles on your face while the protection against free radicals helps to prevent more signs of aging from forming.

B Vitamins – Pumpkin is an excellent source of several B vitamins including B6, niacin, riboflavin and folate. Studies have shown that niacinamide helps control the popular rosacea issues, flushing and blushing. It may also help lighten dark spots on the face. Niacinamide is also used in the treatment of acne. Folate is a great skin care ingredient because it improves circulation which helps speed up cell turnover and cell renewal.

Minerals – The minerals found in pumpkin are many, but some of the most important include copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and manganese. Zinc is a skincare superstar; it protects cell membranes, fights acne, promotes skin renewal and maintains collagen levels. Copper, zinc and potassium not only benefit your skin, but also your hair.

There are already a number of beauty products contains including scrubs, toners and masks. However, using fresh pumpkin to DIY skincare is super easy. You can use fresh or canned pumpkin to create an easy face mask. Grab ¼ cup of pumpkin and whisk together with one egg. If you have oily skin, consider adding some apple cider vinegar, and for dry skin add a bit of honey. Slather all over your face and leave for 15-20 minutes then rinse. No more wasted pumpkin after serious carving sessions, you can save it and use it to improve your skin.