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The Natural Mineral That’s Good For Your Skin

vine vera banner presents The Natural Mineral That's Good For Your Skin

Good skincare can be hard to come by. Quality ingredients can be costly, and some products don’t even contain a high enough percentage of the good stuff to be effective. But, what if you found out that there was a good skincare product that covered about 71% of the earth, and that there was no scarcity of it, in fact, there were oceans of it. The list of the benefits of salt water for your skin is becoming more and more widely acknowledged lately and might be worth investigating. Read on to find out why you might want to bring a jar the next time you’re at the beach.

Salt’s Effect On the Body
Ok, so let’s start with the basics. What is salt? Salt is a combination of chloride and sodium found in at least three percent of our oceans. When the water evaporates, the salt crystal is left behind, and it is in these natural salt crystals that vital nutrients are found. With a rich mineral content including key minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, salt has been known to boost weight loss, improve levels of blood sugar, reduce symptoms of asthma, and regulate cardiovascular health.

All salts are not created equal
Ok, so before you go rubbing table salt on your skin, you should be aware that table salt is bleached and highly processed and has probably been stripped of anything that could possibly be of benefit to your health. In fact, when doctors warn against salt, it is probably table salt to which they are referring. When it comes to skin care, you’re better off with the unprocessed salts.

Sea Salt
Natural sea salt is a good choice for skin care. It is made of many of the minerals naturally occurring in our bodies already, including calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which help in cell communication and healing. Sea salt will prevent mineral deficiencies which can result in dry, dull skin, blotchiness, and irritation, improving hydration and strengthening skin’s outer layer.

Pink Himalayan Salt
Only recently popularized in Western culture, people from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, have been reaping the benefits of pink Himalayan salt for over 2,000 years. Also unprocessed, it is full of the skin strengthening minerals that the body needs.

Benefits of Salt Water
So, you may be wondering how exactly this natural commodity works on your skin. Here are some of salt water’s reputed benefits:

Salt water can

  • Close open pores
  • Absorb excess oil
  • Kill bacteria that causes acne
  • Lessen the appearance of scars
  • Exfoliate dead skin
  • Restore skin’s pH levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase hydration
  • Speed the healing process

Drinking Salt Water
While you may have guessed that it is not advisable to drink anything you might find in the ocean, you’re the own brew of salt water may help to detoxify cells and improved digestion, in fact, there’s even a name for it. A warm glass of salt water, known as “Sole” is the new way to start the day and begin internal healing. A natural form of salt added to warm water will aid digestion, reduce inflammation, detoxify cells, and improve your sleep and bone health.

Foods That Naturally Increase Your Estrogen Levels

vine vera banner presenting Foods That Naturally Increase Your Estrogen Levels

Unless you were lying under a rock for the past few decades, you probably know that the sun is one of the primary causes of aging skin. What you may not know, however, is that there’s something that ages your skin far faster and more irrevocably than even some of the most hardcore sun exposure. Loss of estrogen is the reason behind some of the least desirable effects of aging skin, and even more distressing, there is not a whole lot you can do to stop it. While hormone replacement is possible, the side effects associated with it are enough to make it a non-option, and it is likely that, until corporations find a viable treatment, we are not likely to hear much about possible ways to avoid it, but there are, and you can find them in your foods.

What Is Estrogen?
Estrogen is the hormone responsible for women’s reproductive health. As Dr. Ritika Samaddar explains, “It has a significant role in tissue functioning- specifically of the uterus, pituitary gland, and breasts.” In addition to playing a vital role in the development of reproductive organs, estrogen also affects bone density metabolism and fetal maturation during pregnancy and is a crucial part of growth and development.

The compound phytoestrogen is a nutrient found in plants that have similar functions to estrogen found in the body, and its intake has been shown to increase the level of estrogen in humans.

Benefits Of Estrogen Rich Food

Relief of Menopausal Symptoms
A study published in the ‘Menopause’ journal showed a significant difference in women with diets high in phytoestrogen and those with a lower level of the nutrient in terms of menopausal symptoms. Results showed phytoestrogen was capable of relieving hot flashes and vaginal dryness in menopausal women.

Prevents Ovarian and Breast Cancer Risk
In addition to relieving symptoms of menopause, estrogen rich foods contain antioxidant- like properties that help to remove oxidizing agents from the body. A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives showed that phytoestrogens can stimulate protein synthesis and are, therefore “strong candidates for natural cancer-protective compounds.”

Good For Skin and Hair
Dr. Simran Saini says phytoestrogen can add natural radiance to skin and hair and fight premature aging.

Prevents Osteoporoses
Estrogen is crucial for bone development, combining with calcium, vitamin D and other hormones in the rebuilding of bones. Studies suggest that phytoestrogen may have similar properties. In addition, a study in Women’s Health Initiative revealed that phytoestrogen may provide “cardiovascular protective effects” that are lacking in Hormone Replacement Therapy and better strategies for preventing bone loss need to be taken.

Prevents Strokes and Improves Heart Health
Studies show strokes to be the third most common causes of death in middle-aged women. A Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide suggests these statistics can be lowered by incorporation a daily tablespoon of flaxseed oil into the diets of women over the age of 50, who are likely candidates for strokes.

Estrogen Rich Foods
If you are thinking of getting serious about boosting your phytoestrogen intake, here are some of the best foods to do it with:

Flaxseed
When it comes to foods that contain phytoestrogen flaxseeds are at the top of the list. They improve liver function, prevent brittle nails, and skin dryness associated with lack of estrogen.

Soy Products
Oh say can you soy? Soybeans are a great source of phytoestrogen and one of the best foods for women in general. Soy milk, wheat flour, yogurt and soy dairy can all make great estrogen additions to your diet. They are low in calories, have almost no cholesterol, and researchers often point them out for their effectiveness in the prevention of breast cancer.

Walnuts
Walnuts are another effective source of phytoestrogen. Add some to your salads or eat them alone for a phytoestrogen-rich snack.

Dairy Products
Got milk? Milk, tofu, and paneer are all dairy products with a healthy amount of phytoestrogen, so be sure to include them in your diet to reap the benefits.

Sesame Seeds and Chickpeas
Packing a heavy punch when it comes to phytoestrogen sources, sesame seeds and chickpeas are a great addition to any health conscious diet. Hummus (made from chick peas) contains a whopping 993 micrograms of the stuff per hundred grams, so eat up for that estrogen surge!

How are you upping your estrogen levels? Let us 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 Best Plant Extracts For Skin

Usually, when we think of the plights of ancient civilization, acne does not top our list. However, that does not mean skincare was not a problem for our forebears. After all, if there was a sun, was there not sun damage and, if there were pregnancies, were there not stretch marks? While we can pretty much assume our forefathers and mothers all battled with skin issues, there is a noticeable absence of the mention of benzoyl peroxide and hyaluronic acid in the history books. So what did our ancestors use to ensure skin health before the advent of “science-based skincare?” Plant extracts. And if they worked back then, shouldn’t they work now?

Let’s take a moment to investigate the best plant-based extracts for your skin that are still available.

Aloe vera

Aloe Vera
This extract has been around since time immemorial. Best known as a remedy for irritation and minor burns, this desert plant is known for its ability to fight bacteria, protect skin cells from damage, soften skin, and rebuild new tissue. Aloe is an ideal ingredient for mature skin and improves collagen levels when ingested or applied topically.

Tea Tree Oil
Ideal for moisturizing and cleansing, tea tree oils reduces sebum production in the sebaceous glands and reduces the amount of bacteria that cause blemishes to form. Its antiseptic properties make it an effective healer, it is known for its ability to safely remove dead cells from the skin and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.

Shea
Shea butter evens skin tone and protects and moisturizes the skin and scalp without clogging pores. Extracted from the nut of the West African karate tree, shea butter is naturally rich in vitamins A and E and helps restore elasticity to the skin and soothe irritation.

Shea butter

Olive Oil
Hailed as a skin care remedy by the ancient Egyptians, olive oil is still regarded as one of the most effective natural oils for skin care. It has been associated with everything from aiding in digestion to acne prevention and anti-aging. The words “Extra virgin” or “cold pressed” on the label should indicate that the olive oil contained within is the purest of all extract and have more nutritional components to improve skin appearance, but beware falsely labelled products!

Avocado
One of the finest extracts found in nature, the oil from the avocado is an extract long found in face masks, bath oils, and cleansing cream. Avocados are rich in vitamin A, which is effective at removing dead skin cells and contain amino acids which protect skin against environmental damage.

Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is known for the ability to reduce scars and is often recommended by surgeons to patients to reduce evidence of surgery incisions. It is credited with boosting collagen in the skin and reducing stretch marks and the appearance of wrinkles and frown lines. Cocoa butter is an active ingredient in most moisturizers and is useful in combatting rough skin where dryness is common.
Cocoa butter

Coconut Oil
Great for both hair and skin care, coconut oil is an effective moisturizer for dry skin and scalp. It can also delay the appearance of wrinkles and has been proven to be effective in the treatments of psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. The antioxidant properties of the coconut prevent premature aging and degenerative disease and it is available in a variety of skin care products, such as lotions, soaps, and creams.

Do you know of any plant extracts we haven’t mentioned that do wonders for your skin? Let us know your favorites. We’re all ears!

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Coconut Oil

Coconut leaves, fruit and oil Coconut oil is derived from the meat of the coconut and it is considered to have enormous health and skin care benefits. Coconut oil consists of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs can help in lowering cholesterol, improving energy, saturating fat and balancing HDL – LDL ratios. Coconut oil is also considered to be the richest natural source of lauric acid, an ingredient that is known for strong anti infective properties and is abundant in breast milk.

Coconut oil remains semi-solid at room temperature and helps to moisturize, cleanse and protect your skin and your hair. It reduces the loss of proteins and provides rich and creamy moisturizing properties. The fact that it is very rich in Vitamin E doesn’t do its reputation any harm either. Coconut oil has become extremely popular in the beauty, health and skin care industries of late. Like Shea Butter, Coconut Oil effortlessly combines with body butters and creams and leaves behind a silky and smooth finish. Furthermore, when ingested, coconut oils can help to speed up the metabolism rate. As a result, many people have resorted to cooking dishes in coconut oil as well. This ingredient is definitely great for healthy skin and body.

Now that you know what coconut oil consists of and how it affects your body, why not learn about the various skin care benefits that it offers?

Fixing frizzy hair – Dry frizzies and split ends are common hair care issue all over the world. Coconut oil can actually help you get over these issues and repair and improve your hair condition as well. All you need to do is apply some coconut oil to your scalp before going to sleep and then shampoo it off the next morning. Ideally, you should always apply some coconut oil the night before you plan to shampoo.

Lip Gel – Coconut oil can help in healing cracked lips. Moreover, it helps you to stay away from toxic chemicals that you would otherwise use to heal your cracked lips. The biggest advantage that coconut oil offers is that it acts quickly and even if it goes in your stomach, it helps in speeding up your metabolism rate, thereby giving you additional health benefits.

Heal your blemishes – Coconut oil is not only one of the best hydrating ingredients, it is also famous for its anti-bacterial properties. One of the best things that can be achieved with coconut oil is that you can use it to speed up the healing process and heal your blemishes.

Soften your skin – Coconut oil is one of the greatest skin softeners and a must use for people with dry and hard skin issues. All you need to do is rub some coconut oil on your face, hands and feet twice or thrice a week. This should help you boost the moisture content and also make your skin more supple and smooth.

Use it as a makeup remover or as a cleanser – Coconut oil is an extremely effective makeup remover. It allows you to seamlessly remove your makeup without damaging your skin. You can also use coconut oil as an extremely effective cleanser.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Olive Leaf Extract

Olive oil, branch and olives Olive Leaf Extract is a common name in the skin care, cosmetics and medical world because of its various healing properties. Olive oil, a natural ingredient, is commonly used in Mediterranean dishes because of the fact that it is extremely healthy and that it can help in reducing blood pressure and weight as well. Olive oil has always been popular throughout centuries as a medicinal herb and now it has also managed to take the center stage in beauty and skin care products.

The olive leaf is full of phytonutrients and antioxidants and it is used as a liquid concentrate, in a powdered form or as tea. Research has shown that having the right levels of Olive Leaf Extract can also help in the treatment of certain skin conditions. The Olive leaf is also a major source of luteolin and apigenin, both of which are quite useful when it comes to reducing inflammation and offering youthful and glowing skin, lower blood pressure and fight against cancer, particularly breast cancer.

The anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties of Olive Leaf Extract also makes it popular in ointments that help to prevent cold and flu. Finally, Olive Leaf Extract is known to be full large amounts of antioxidants that help the body to fight against viruses, protect the skin from damage from free radicals and prevent cancer and the Alzheimer’s disease.

Now that you’re aware of the benefits that Olive Leaf Extract has to offer, why not understand how exactly it can benefit your skin.

Reducing skin tumors – According to a study published by the International Journal of Cancer, Olive Leaf Extract helps in protecting the skin from skin tumors and skin cancer. This study was performed on mice where it was shown that Olive Leaf Extract helped in inhibiting cell reproduction and also inducing programmed cell death in tissues with cancerous cells.

Anti-aging – Anti-aging creams are considered to be the most popular skin care products today. Olive Leaf Extract is commonly used in anti-aging creams because of their compositions that allow them to improve longevity, immune system functions, blood circulation and eliminate toxin accumulations and diseases and infections.

Protecting your body from sun damage – Olive Leaf Extract helps you in protecting your skin from damage caused by exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun. According to a study published in the Phytotherapy Research Journal, Olive Leaf Extract constitutes of oleuropein, an ingredient that inhibited skin reactions to UV radiation. This ingredient also helped in lowering melanin production and inhibiting enzymes that break down skin tissue.

Antioxidants – Olive Leaf Extracts are known to be loaded with antioxidants that can help your skin fight the free radicals and protect your blood vessels from getting damaged.

A better alternative to Vitamin E – Olive Leaf Extract contains oleuropein which helps with dehydration, a better blood flow and reduced reddening. According to a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in the year 2008, oleuropein helps the skin in better ways than Vitamin E and also protects it from sun damage.