Tag Archives: Skin

vine vera banner presents Quit Peanut Butter For Better Skin

Quit Peanut Butter For Better Skin

Sometimes, life is cruel. We grow up eating the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches mom packs for lunch, believing it is keeping us healthy. Then someone comes along and makes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and we believe we have discovered nirvana. A literal peanut butter explosion ensues. We begin to invent new places to put this delicious spread. Peanut butter shows up in ice cream, in pretzels, as fillings in donuts, in cereals, on the ends of celery and carrot sticks it’s a veritable peanut butter breakout; but could the peanut butter breakout be responsible for the breakouts on your skin? New evidence shows a link between peanut butter and acne. Read on if you can bear it.

Omega -6 Fatty Acids
Aren’t these supposed to be good for you? Here’s the breakdown. You may know from looking at the label that peanut butter has a high fat content. Two tablespoons pack a whopping 16 grams. While most of that fat is mono saturated, 31% of it is polyunsaturated, which means it can trigger acne.
Omega-6 fats can cause inflammation. That means that when you get a clogged poor, a sebaceous gland could burst, which will cause your immune system to respond to what it perceives as an internal wound. When your body has an overload of omega-6 it has difficulty fighting inflammation, and that can make for some pimples that can stick around for a while. Try balancing omega-6’s with omega-3s to keep acne problems from becoming chronic/

Peanut Agglutinin
While it may sound like what a person turns into after eating too many peanuts, peanut agglutinins are lectins found in peanuts that can cause digestive problems. After eating, peanut agglutinin enters the blood stream and may well increase intestinal permeability. This means, it opens holes in the intestinal wall to make it easy for food particles to pass into the bloodstream. This may contribute to food allergies, autoimmune conditions, and systemic inflammation, such as “leaky gut,” which makes it difficult for the body to clear clogged pores before they develop into pimples, or full blown acne.

vine vera banner presents Quit Peanut Butter For Better Skin

Aflatoxin
Anything with the root word “toxin” could not possibly be good. Aflatoxin is a toxin created by molds which contributes to kidney and liver cancer, malnutrition, and virtue defects. Peanut butter is one of the most common dietary sources of aflatoxin. Although there is some evidence that the peanut butter making process may reduce aflatoxin by 89%, further studies need to be done to confirm whether or not the aflatoxin in peanut butter is a health concern. However, if aflatoxins are the problems, you’re probably better off with a processed peanut butter than a natural one, as the aflatoxin level tends to go down with increased processing.

Peanut Butter Is Addictive
“No kidding,” you say, as you scrape the last bit out of the jar. Peanut butter is what some might classify as a domino food, which means it may be a challenge to stop eating it. Remember,there are a lot of calories in just two tablespoons, and there’s a lot of tablespoons in a jar.

Sugar and Gluten
Most peanut butter on the market is made with sugar and hydrogenated oils, neither of which are very food for acne. Natural peanut butter may be a better choice, but you may want to put it on top of a banana rather than bread, and you may want to leave off the jelly, which will increase the sugar content.

Peanut Butter Alternatives
If you’re looking to cut down on the PB intake, cashew and almond butter are healthy alternatives, although they have yet to appear in Reeses products.

What do you think of these findings? Are you ready to cut down on the peanut butter? Let us know what you think.

vine vera banner presents This Is Why Your Skin Needs Magnesium

This Is Why Your Skin Needs Magnesium

When it comes to vitamins, you know the major players: Vitamin C, calcium, the B vitamins, the list goes on. Then there are the vitamins which we seem to hear about a lot less, like magnesium. We may get our daily dose of magnesium in multivitamins, but we never seem to go out of our way to make sure we’re getting it. Why is that? Is magnesium just a wingman? A back up to the real stars of the show? It may surprise you to know that magnesium does a great job on fighting almost all the underlying causes of acne all by itself, which should probably qualify it for some top billing. Here are some of the ways magnesium can benefit your skin.

Fights Stress and Anxiety
Acne does tend to explode in times of stress. Stress causes the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which help us to act quickly when we’re in danger, and may be good is the situation is temporary, but in states of chronic stress, the hormones don’t switch off, causing the build up of cortisol, leading to the production of more sebum, and clogging pores.

Magnesium is a relaxation mineral which supports your adrenal function, so when cortisol is released, magnesium dampens the effect of the hormones, therefore helping to manage acne.

Improves Sleep
You may know that the skin does most of its restorative work when we sleep, which is why it’s so important to the skin that we get our eight hours in. Too little time in the sack will increase stress, and cortisol levels, worsening insulin resistance, decreasing immune function, and making it difficult to fight acne bacteria. Magnesium helps muscles relax. It synthesizes serotonin, which is a precursor for melatonin, the sleep hormone. Studies of elderly patients taking 500 mg of magnesium daily for eight weeks all showed a boost in melatonin levels as compared to a placebo group. Plus, serotonin also boosts the immune function to help high P.acnes bacteria.

Helps The Gut
Gut imbalances have a negative impact on acne. Magnesium helps break down food, so a magnesium deficiency can lead to poor digestion. This makes bad bacteria thrive and good bacteria die out. Magnesium helps the parasympathetic nervous system function better which improves digestion and allow the gut and micro flora to function properly.

Fights Insulin Resistance
Insulin is good in small doses, but when our bodies produce too much of it, the cells become resistant to glucose, which can lead to metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and opens the body up to acne related problems. Sebum production increases and inflammation worsens. Magnesium has been proven in studies to lower insulin resistance. One such study showed that pre diabetic individuals were able to decrease their metabolic markers for insulin resistance by 71% by increasing the amount of magnesium in their diets.

Anti Inflammatory
One study of more than 3000 post menopausal women showed that increased magnesium intake reduced three biomarkers for inflammation. Magnesium is also a precursor to vitamin C, helping vitamin C express itself as an antioxidant in the skin to fight inflammation. It also assists in Vitamin D activation, also vital to your skin.

Magnesium is responsible for inhibiting e selection which directs inflammation to your skin to help the healing process. Although this is usually a good thing, when skin is chronically damaged e selection is never turned off and acne lesions result. Therefore, magnesium helps the body shut off inflammation to skin and decreases the outbreak of acne.

Have you tried magnesium for your acne problems? Has it worked for you? Let us know for experiences with magnesium.

Six Reasons To Use A Serum

woman examining herself in the mirror

CTM. Cleanser. Toner. Moisturizer. It’s all you need. The three basic steps. Everything else is just unnecessary, right? We’re all into compacting our skin routines, finding products that multitask and cutting out the extraneous, and these can be valuable time-savers. However, the serum may be a rare exception. It’s one of those products that is worth investing a few extra minutes a day for. In fact, if you’re already using a serum, you might even say it’s worth sacrificing a few minutes of sleep for. What is it about this wonder product that makes it such a great investment? Read on to find out.

They’re Powerful
According to Zoe Weisman, director of product development at Advanced Clinicals, it has a lot to do with content. “Serums tend to be more concentrated when it comes to the active ingredient.” That means that whatever the star ingredient in your serum, be it retinol, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid or another noted skin enhancer, a serum is likely to have a more potent dose that your average moisturizer with the same active ingredient. Weisman also advises looking for a product in an opaque bottle with an airtight lid to prevent oxidation. Smiling woman in white at mirror

There’s One For Everyone
If your skin tends to be on the dry side, Weisman suggests investing in a serum with hyaluronic acid to draw moisture to the skin, which will help to plump up lines and fill in depressions. If dark spots are your concern, vitamin C will prevent damage and hyper pigmentation, while vitamin A (retinol) will increase cell turnover and decrease wrinkles.

Layering
Another of benefit of serum is their light weight and easy absorption, which lend themselves to layering. That means you can combine serums to address different problems, or add one under your moisturizer, SPF, or foundation without creating a pile up.

Eye Serums are the New Eye Cream
If you’re looking to compartmentalize your beauty routine, while still incorporating a serum, you may want to give your sticky eye cream its walking papers. “The ideal,” says Weisman, “is a milky serum. You get the light texture and high potency of serum plus the milky aspect that makes it moisturizing.”

Happy woman applying eye serum at mirror

Benefits Go Below the Neck
If you love your serum, why stop at the jawline? There are serums designed for the neck and décolletage. “If you think about it, ” says Weisman, “this is a bad time for necks since we’re always hunched over our phones.” In fact, if you’re really serum happy there are full body serums to soften stretch marks, and smoothen cellulite, and hand serums to moisturize and treat age spots.

Penetration
Penetration. We’re always wondering whether it happens or not. With serums, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.” Serums’ lightweight formulas absorb better and penetrate more deeply into your skin than moisturizer, so you get better results with no residue.

Why do you love your serum? Let us know what your serum does for you!

Scar Treatment Options

woman checking skin in mirror

In movies, good guys scar in a fashionable attractive manner, usually in the form of a pale line strategically placed to make the character look rugged and cute at the same time. However, life is not a movie and we don’t all get so lucky. While some of us may have the good fortune of possessing the perfect scar, others of us spend our lives trying to visualize ourselves scar-free.

Although there is no method for scar removal as yet, there is hope; there are ways to lessen the appearances of scars, and you may even end up turning your less than perfect scar into something straight out of a movie. Here’s a look at scars, what they are and options for treatment.

What Is A Scar?
Scars are natural parts of the healing process of the body, usually resulting from wound repair in the skin and other tissues. Scars can be the results of diseases, accidents, surgeries, or skin conditions, such as acne.

How Do Scars Form?
Scars form when the dermis, a thick, deep layer of skin is damaged. The body forms new collagen fiber to mend the damage, but the new tissue is of a different texture and quality than the original. When the damage has healed, a scar forms.

Hypertrophic to Keloid scars
Although most scars are pale and flat, sometimes the body overproduces collagen and the scar is raised. These kinds of scars are most common in dark-skinned and younger people.

Pitted scars
Other scars have a sunken appearance. These scars result when underlying structures supporting the skin, such as fat and muscle, are lost. Pitted scars are communal the results of surgery or acne.

Stretched skin
Scars appearing as stretched skin occur when the skin stretches rapidly, as in during pregnancy or when skin is under tension while healing.

woman receiving dermabrasion treatment

Scar Treatment Options
While scars cannot be removed completely there are some ways of minimizing their appearance:

  • Topical Treatments
    Although many commercial skin care products such as vitamin E and cocoa butter cream claim to heal scars, they are not effective and should be avoided.
  • Surgery
    There is no specific surgery that can guarantee scar removal, but there are surgical procedures which can be used to change the shape of a scar, or diminish its appearance. In the cases of keloid or hypertrophy scarring, surgery is not recommended because there is a possibility of recurring scars, and even more severe scarring as a result of the surgery.
  • Steroid Injections
    Repeated steroid injections can help to flatten the scars appearance, thus softening the look of keloid or hypertrophic scars.
  • Radiotherapy
    Low dose radiotherapy can be used to prevent the recurrence of hypertrophic and keloid scarring, however, it is only recommended in extreme cases because of its association with long term side effects.

woman receiving dermabrasion treatment on legs

  • Dermabrasion
    Dermabrasion is the removal of the skin’s surface using special equipment. While it may be useful on a raised scar, it may not be as effective when the scar is sunken.
  • Laser Resurfacing
    Dermabrasion’s laser manipulating cousin, traditional dermabrasion involves removing surface layer of skin with the use of lasers. More modern types of lasers may be able to work on the collagen in the dermis without skin removal. This advancement would require less down time than the more conventional resurfacing methods.
  • Filler Injections
    Fillers can be used to raise sunken scars to match the level of the surrounding skin. However, it is to be noted, that the effects of fillers are temporary and may need to be repeated regularly.

What is your experience with scar treatment? Let us know what you recommend.

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!

Antioxidants and Skin Care

Woman eating orange

Are antioxidants the new religion? Since the superpowers of the oxidation fighters were revealed, we follow groundbreaking news about antioxidants on social media with the same rabid enthusiasm that we follow the Brangelina divorce or the newest celebrity posts on Instagram. Antioxidants are our lifeline against aging, judging from the amount of attention antioxidants are getting, this attribute may be more valuable than reservations at the Ivy. So for those of you for whom the latest skin care breakthrough headline is more enticing than the latest celebrity baby bump reveal, here is some eye opening information on antioxidants and skin care.

Vitamin C and E and Selenium
According to research, vitamins C, E, and selenium not only protect skin against sun damage and skin cancer, they may actually reverse wrinkles and discoloration associated with the aging process. Karen E.Burke, MD, PhD attributes these results to the ability of this trio to speed up the natural repair system of the skin and prevent further damage. The doctor recommends supplements containing 400 international units of vitamin E, 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 100 to 200 micrograms of selenium daily to reap the glorious benefits of this healthy triumvirate.

Woman at mirror

CoEnzyme Q10
CoEnzyme Q10 is an antioxidant which occurs naturally in the human body, promoting cell growth and protecting against cancer. Age-related decreases in the levels of CoQ-10 in the body are thought to be associated with aging, and a study published in the Biofactors Journal found proof that applying 0.3% concentration of the antioxidant may help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Applied topically, this antioxidant may be able to aid the skin in the prevention of sun damage. A study found subjects who applied a 3%-5% concentration of alpha-lipoic acid to their skin, starting at a rate of once every other day and gradually increasing to daily application, showed noticeable improvement in changes in the skin brought on by the sun.

Retinoic Acid
If you’ve been doing your homework, you already know that retinoic acid is the active form of vitamin Q in the skin, and is also typically referred to as the “gold standard” in skin care. Used topically, retinoic acids, often branded as Renova or Retin-A, effectively treat age spots, wrinkles, and rough skin caused by the sun’s rays. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science revealed findings that retinoic acid treatment reduces the appearance of wrinkles by restoring the elastic fibers responsible for keeping skin firm and tight. Although dermatologists once believed that use of this antioxidant increased skin’s sensitivity to the sun, they now believe that it actually protects the skin from further damage. However, because high concentrations of retinoic acid have been associated with peeling and redness, Burke recommends starting at a low concentration (0.01% in gels and 0.1% in creams) and applying it every two to three nights to introduce it slowly to the skin.

Asian woman with cup of tea

Flavonoids (Green Tea and Chocolate)
We saved the best for last. Research suggests that the flavonoids in green tea can protect from inflammation and cancer, and a German study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who drank cocoa with a high level of flavonoids had smoother, softer skin than those who drank a lower flavonoid version of the liquid chocolate. Although the results so far seem promising, Burke says more research needs to be done to prove the effectiveness of flavonoids and to determine the best dose, but, in the meantime, you are more than welcome to experiment.

Are you a believer in antioxidants? Let us know which ones you are most faithful to and why. We love to learn from you!

Developing A Skin Care Routine Based On Your Skin’s Needs

Woman at mirror

When it comes to relationships, you know you need to consider the needs of your partners in order form a loving, solid, lasting relationship. But what about when it comes to your skin? Your skin has needs too. Are you listening to your skin? What is it trying to tell you? Are you giving it the attention it requires to perform at its peak and feel special and adored at all times? When it comes to developing a skin care routine, you need to take the needs of your skin into account in order to form a nurturing, healthy bond. Here are some tips for determining the right way to meet the needs of your skin for a more fulfilling relationship.

Simple Routine
An essential routine should be followed by everyone, regardless of skin type. A good general morning routine should consist of a cleanser, followed by and exfoliant, and topped off with a hydrating moisturizer with a built in SPF. An evening routine is basic repeat of the morning, only the SPF component of the moisturizer is not required. Daytime and nighttime moisturizers can be applied around the eyes as a substitute for eye cream, but if an additional eye cream is used, choose one with sunscreen for daytime application and one without sunscreen for the night, as with the moisturizer.

Woman using toner

Advanced Routine
If a specific skin issue needs to be addressed, such as signs of aging, uneven skin tones, large pores, and breakouts more advanced action may be called for. If this is the case, your routine may look something like this:

  • Cleanser
    A gentle cleanser should be applied first to remove debris and allow your skin to receive the maximum benefits from your other products.
  • Toner
    Toners contain replenishing ingredients to hydrate and refresh the surface of the skin after cleansing. They also smooth and calm skin, minimizing redness and the appearance of dry patches. Those will oily skin will notice tightening of the pores after repeated toner usage.
  • Exfoliant
    Exfoliants remove dead skin build up for noticeable skin renewal and elimination of dullness. Choose products with AHAs to exfoliate the skins surface, and BHAs which go deeper to penetrate oil that can clog pores and worsen the appearance of deep wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Acne Treatment (If Needed)
    If acne is an issue, a topical treatment with benzoyl peroxide is recommended to kill bacteria and prevent new blemishes from appearing. Use after exfoliation with AHAs and BHAs for maximum benefit.
  • Skin Lightening (If Needed)
    If dark spots and discoloration are a problem, skin lighteners with hydroquinone can fade spots within 8 to 12 weeks of use. Ongoing use will help to maintain results, as will the use of a broad spectrum sunscreen.
  • Serum
    Serums are packed with antioxidants and anti aging ingredients to help protect your skin from environmental damage. Apply twice daily to keep skin looking young and radiant.
  • Anti-aging Moisturizer (With Sunscreen For Daytime, Without For Night)
    Every skin type can benefit from a good moisturizer. When used daily, moisturizers, whether in cream, lotion, or gel form, work to hydrate skin keeping it plumped and noticeably younger.
  • Targeted Solutions
    Targeted solutions are optional products that can be used as an extra step to calm or hydrate skin, absorb an excess of oil, or address a certain issue, such as those related to aging. Examples of targeted solutions include facial masks, lip care, and mattifiers.

What do you do to make sure the needs of your skin are being met? Let us know! We love to hear from you!

What To Look For In Natural Cosmetics

Woman with flowers

Does it ever seem odd that we pointedly avoid buying foods with any vaguely chemical sounding ingredients, but we actively search for them in our cosmetic products? Breyer’s Ice Cream brags of containing only five simple ingredients, yet we persist in putting a veritable cocktail of synthetic chemicals on our faces. Although it is true that many of the manmade skincare ingredients have proven harmless and effective, there has to be a certain amount of wisdom in the belief that the best things for our bodies come from the same place as our bodies do: the earth. With that in mind, let’s talk natural cosmetics and take a look at what you can do to keep green while you look beautiful.

Scale Down
While there seems to be a myriad of products to address each skin issue individually, some of them really have very similar formulations. Eye creams, for example, vary very little in consistency from basic facial moisturizers. If you are trying to scale down on the number of chemicals you are putting on your face, limit the amounts of products you are putting on your face. Try to limit your skincare routine to the basic essentials: cleanser, moisturizer, toner, and broad spectrum sunscreen.

Organic beauty products

Choose Organic Beauty Products
Organic ingredients are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers which make them a healthier choice for both our planet and out bodies. Even better are botanicals grown employing biodynamic farming methods. These take the green mentality one step further by putting emphasis on the holistic relationship between plants, soil, and animals. The USDA National Organic Program has been certifying organic skincare products since 2003, and an increasing number of formulas are now bearing the organic seal. Biodynamically certified products feature the Demeter USA’s approval stamp.

Know What’s Really In “Natural” Products
Many companies market skincare by slapping the word “natural” on the label; however, the words “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated terms. To be sure, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database site. This will tell you the level of toxicity in popular cosmetics products on a scale from 0 to 10.

No Fragrance
Besides the use of the word “natural” on product labels, federal law also overlooks the need for companies to state the toxic chemicals in a product’s fragrance mixture. Artificial fragrances can contain phthalates, which can trigger health problems and allergic reactions. Beware of products with “parfum” or “fragrance” on the label, as this could indicate hidden toxicity.

Healthy diet plan

Keep Healthy
Of course, a great way to get a natural glow without chemicals is by making sure you maintain healthy diet and exercise habits. Make a point to get the occasional workout in to keep the blood flowing to your skin, and eat plenty of healthy fats, like flaxseed and omega-3 fish oils, protein, fruits and complex carbohydrates.

Are you going natural with your cosmetics? Let us know how you’re greening up your routine. We love to hear it.

Balancing Your Skin’s pH

Woman floating

If you’re trying to get this “science of skincare” down, you may feel like you are revisiting your high school chemistry class with a slightly more positive attitude. Maybe you can learn something useful about your skin while you’re keeping your brain cells from degenerating. Some of the concepts may even be starting to sound familiar. You vaguely recall the phrase PH being tossed about. Are you wondering what that has to do with your skin? Here’s a little rundown on how it all balances out.

pH Levels and Your Skin
In short, pH is a measure of the acidity of a substance. To provide perspective, on a scale of 1-14, battery acid clocks in at 0, while a level of 14 indicates the most alkaline, or basic substances. Your skin should come in at about 4.5-5.5. The measurement is a little more acidic than basic. The larger percent of acidity helps skin retain moisture and fight bacteria, allergens, wind, and pollutants. Environmental factors and UV light can throw off your skin’s pH resulting in all sorts of reactions, including inflammation, dry skin, and even eczema. To keep skin in its best shape, you should try to make sure you’re keeping that number as close to its recommended PH level as possible.

Soap on hands

Soap Cleansers
Most of us grew up putting our faith in soap. It kept us clean, our mothers were always telling us to use it. Since when did it become the bad guy? The thing about soap is that it has a pH of about 9-11 which is really much too basic for your skin. The most alkaline cleansers are used for heavy duty cleaning; drain pipe cleaners have a pH level of about 14. Look for cleansers that say “pH balanced or “soap free” to make sure your skin is maintaining a healthy level of acidity.

Don’t Over Peel
Most people are results oriented, and peeling products give quick results; however, there can be such a thing as too much of a good thing. Peeling is intended to slough off dead skin, but once the dead skin is gone, you’re removing more than that. If you’re breaking out, or experiencing redness and inflammation, you should probably take it as a sign to slow down. You’re breaking down your skin’s defences.

Woman eating salad

Eat Well
You’re always hearing about how you are what you eat, so it should come as no surprise that it is no different when it comes to your pH level. Since what you consume is filtered through your skin cells when you sweat; sweat has a lot of influence on your pH level. Processed foods tend to be acidic, so you need to make sure your diet has a lot of dark leafy green veggies to keep your skin balanced and protected against breakouts.

Product pH Levels
The good news is that you really don’t have to do much math to keep your pH balanced. It’s not a case of trying to neutralize a breakout caused by a high acid level by using alkaline products; you’re likely to go in the opposite direction. Most of the math has been done for you. Just look for products with the same pH level recommended for your skin, between 4.5 and 5.5. If you want to figure out how much pH is in a product, you an purchase pH testing kits from the drugstore.

We hope you enjoyed your chemistry lesson for today. Let us know what you’re doing to keep your pH in check, Let us hear your comments and suggestions.

5 Common Skin Care Ingredients That Can Cause Allergies

Woman checking face at mirror

Were you the kid in school who could never eat the cookies during snack time because you had a nut allergy? Life is rough for the allergy sensitive. Whenever there is something great that everyone seems to love, it makes you break out in hives or start sneezing uncontrollably. Like skin care products. Just when you find a skincare product that is really working for you, it turns on you, causing you to break out itching and scratching. While little can be done to stop your allergies, there are ways to save some heartache, by avoiding certain products, to begin with. Here are some ingredients to look out for when you’re buying products.

Salicylic Acid
Dendy Engelmen, MD, explains that salicylic acid is, “the same active ingredient in aspirin and three to five percent of the population is sensitive to aspirin too.” If your product contains salicylic acid, you’re probably using it to fight blemishes, but you should know that it’s likely to cause inflammation and hives as well. The allergy sensitive is better off using benzoyl peroxide.

Aluminum
Aluminum is usually found lurking in your antiperspirant or deodorant because it reduces sweating. However, because it is a salt, it can also cause itching, swelling, and redness. Engleman recommends using magnesium oil, which prevents sweating using ninasium chloride, or aluminum-free antiperspirants and deodorants.

Glycolic Acid
It seems that the things about glycolic acid that make it so good for your skin are the same things that make it so bad for your skin. David Bank, MD, explains, “This acid is so small that it’s very good at penetrating into the skin. On the efficacy side, it’s great. But that rapid entry can make it more irritating.” If you’re experiencing redness or drying from glycolic acid, you may want to replace it with lactic acid, which is, “physically larger so it releases more gradually over time.”

Sulfate
Bank clarifies that “When people use the word sulfates, they’re particularly referring to sodium lauryl sulfate. These detergents are found in cleansers and shampoos and can cause redness and dryness on sensitive eczema-prone skin.” For a milder treatment, look for products which are sulfate free or shampoos containing sodium laureth sulfate instead.

Retinol
It may be great for fighting aging, but it’s also pretty good at drying out skin. Bank says, “Retinol still remains the gold standard for anti-aging, reversing sun damage and stimulating collagen, The major drawback is that it can be on the drying and irritating side.” He does add, however, that the unpleasant side effects tend to be more uncomfortable than toxic.

Allergic? Let us know what skin care ingredients you think we should avoid. We love to hear it.