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The Natural Mineral That’s Good For Your Skin

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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.

Know The Difference: Serums Vs. Lotions Vs. Creams

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Your friend tells you that you need to get a skin product that contains retinol, so you search for one on Amazon. You see a few products that fit the description, noticing that some are much cheaper than others. Seeing that they seem to have the same active ingredient, you naturally buy the cheaper one. Upon closer inspection, you see you have bought the cream or lotion formula, and that the more expensive one was a serum. Does it make a difference?

With the overwhelming selection of skincare on the market, it’s hard enough to choose a product with the right ingredients, and now it seems you have the added challenge of choosing the right formula. So, is there a difference between a cream, a lotion, and a serum? Apparently. And you should probably know what it is.

Lotions
Lotions are made of a mix of oil and water and are generally thin and free flowing. That means they can be easily applied to large body parts like legs and arms. Besides oil and water, lotions contain glycerin to keep in moisture, fragrances for an appealing odor, dyes to lend color, and preservatives to increase longevity. Lotions are generally preferred in the summer, because of their cooling sensation, and by eczema sufferers or those whose hairy bodies who call for a formula with a high spreadability factor.

Creams
Also a mix of oil and water, Creams are thicker than lotions, which means they don’t penetrate the skin as easily, although they are absorbed more quickly. This makes them better for applying to areas such as the skin around the eyes to prevent the fluid drip associated with lotions, and also makes them better for applying under clothes in the winter. Like lotions, creams contain glycerin to moisten the skin and also contain preservatives and fragrances. Some contain aloe, which reduces inflammation. Creams containing heavy oil bases are not recommended for facial use.

Lotions Vs. Creams

  • Both are a mix of oil and water that hydrate the skin.
  • Lotions can be more easily applied to larger body parts.
  • Lotions are best for hairy body parts. Creams are best for facial wrinkles and eye areas.
  • Creams are thicker than lotions.
  • Lotion penetrates the skin faster.

While lotions and creams both come under the category of moisturizers, one is not generally considered superior to another; preference is usually a matter of which is more tailored to your needs. Serums, on the other hand, are generally considered to be of a higher quality and tailored to address more specific needs.

Serums
Serums typically contain active ingredients that you want to penetrate deeply into your skin. This is why you’ll want to apply a serum to your skin immediately after cleansing and before moisturizing or applying sunscreen. They can be used morning and night and, while they will not replace your moisturizer, they may enhance its effects. Serums are made to address a variety of issues. Some contain skin brighteners, others prevent acne, while still others offer anti-aging properties. While they tend to bear a somewhat heftier price tag than creams and lotions, they are also more potent and a small quantity can go a long way. Bottom line: moisturizers are great for hydrating and preventing water loss, but when the going gets tough, it may be time to call in the serum.

What do you think? Does formula make a difference, or is it all about ingredients? Let us know!

Establishing A Skin Care Routine For A Teenager

 

vine vera banner presents Establishing A Skin Care Routine For A Teenager

If you suffered from acne as a teenager, you may have remembered dividing your life into three sections. Before acne, during acne, and after acne. Before acne was the pure blissful time when acne was just an odd cluster of blemishes on your older brother’s face. Then, there was acne, the time of such complete misery you could only focus on your life after acne, the time when you would once again begin to live a normal life without fear of the outside world. If you are in the after acne stage and have a teenager in the during acne stage, you want to give then all the support they can get. Helping them establish a skin care routine may be the nicest and most helpful thing for them right now. Here are some tips you can give to your teen to make sure his/ her skin routine is the best it can be.

CTM
One of the first things you need to teach your teen about skincare is the CTM routine, Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing is the best way to target clogged pores leading to breakouts.

Cleanse
Start by gently cleansing the skin of dirt and impurities that clog skin. A good quality face wash corresponding with your skin type is important. Cleanse once in the morning and again before bed.

Tone
Toning can free skin of the dirt and oil that get trapped there on a daily basis. Dab toner on for skin with a cotton ball to remove impurities.

Moisturize
Although teens tend to think that moisturizer is the worst thing for oily skin, it should be pointed out that unmoisturized skin will react by creating more oil to compensate, making skin even greasier. Moisturizer needs to be used by everyone.

Apply Sunscreen
Your teen should know how damaging the sun can be. and should always make it a point to apply SPF-30 sunscreen with broadband protection15 to 20 minutes before going outdoors. Sunscreens will protect your teen from UVA and UVB rays which can lead to fine lines, blemishes, and wrinkles.

vine vera banner presents Establishing A Skin Care Routine For A Teenager

Healthy Diet
Teenagers usually have their own definition of a healthy diet, and it’s probably not the one recommended by most nutritionists. The best skin comes from a balanced diet with regularly scheduled meals throughout the day consisting of protein, eggs, milk, fish, leafy veggies, and fruits.

Treating Acne
If the skin is acne-prone, look for cleansers containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, specially targeted for oily skin. Spot treatments and pads containing these ingredients can also be an effective addition to the skincare routine. If these don’t work, you may want to check with your doctor about prescription acne medications. Also, try to avoid picking pimples, which may exacerbate acne and lead to scars.

Clean Off MakeUp Before Bed
We all know adolescence is party time, but a teen should remove her makeup no matter when she gets in or in what condition. Unremoved makeup can clog facial pores leaving skin prone to rashes, acne, and dark spots.

Rest and Exercise
While these things are not the top priority for most teenagers, they are proven ways to improve skin conditions. Try to make sure your teen goes to sleep early, giving time for the skin to relax and destress. Drinking water and getting plenty of exercises will improve hydration and circulation and give skin a healthy glow, so get him or her started now on some healthy habits that will, hopefully, last a while.

What are you teaching your teen about skincare? Let us know what you think is the best advice to give acne prone adolescents?

3.4 Years and Counting

vine vera cosmetics banner presents 3.4 Years and Counting Ah, the ladies of the French movie screen. Isabelle Huppert, Catherine Deneuve, Brigit Bardot. What is it about them that makes them so alluring? Is it their cat eyes, voluptuous figures, their bee-stung lips, or it’s it just their Frenchness? After all, the French are known for their promiscuity. Is it the air of sexual openness coming through in the every move of these women which makes them so exotic, so mysterious, so compelling? Perhaps it’s their beauty routine. According to a study by Escentual.com, the average French women look 1.35 years younger than the average British woman per decade, that 3.4 years by the age of 40. How do they do it? Here are some proposed explanations.

The Proof
The evidence is incontrovertible. A survey by online retailer Escentual.com says French women look 1.35 years younger than British women per every ten years. In a study questioning women about how old they thought some of the best known French actresses were, 41-year-old Marion Cotillard was most often assumed to be 35. Vanessa Paradis was thought to be 37; she is actually 44. All in all, 86 percent of the ladies polled felt the French women were aging more gracefully.

Early Bloomers
One of the reasons the French may be doing so well at keeping the appearance of aging at bay is their tendency to start they beauty routine at a young age. According to Emma Leslie, Beauty Editor at Escentual, “The main reason is that they start their skincare regime younger and regularly use good quality products to prevent the effects of aging.” In fact, figures show that French women invest 1.9 billion pounds in anti-aging products yearly, doubling the amount shelled out by the Brits on similar products.

Life Of Leisure
Of course, we know the French value their downtime. Could it be their 30 hour work week that contributes to their ability to stay young? Leslie thinks so. Not only does she believe that the less stressful lifestyle helps to prevent premature aging, she also notes that French women have more time to spend on their skin care. Says she, “They are taught by their mothers from their early teens to always spend the time to care for their skin and to use good quality skincare products.”

Keep Your Routine to a Minimum
When it comes to French skincare, it’s all about CTM: Cleanse, tone, and moisturize. With the exception of a good serum, you shouldn’t need much more than that. Look for a good cleanser that leaves your face feeling smooth and hydrated. If your skin is oily, opt for a toner with exfoliating properties, and if your skin is dry, find something with moisturizing properties. When it comes to moisturizer, go for something lightweight, ideally with a built in SPF.

Invest In Serum
If you’re going to spend money on any product in your skincare regimen, it should probably be the serum. That’s because Serums penetrate deep into the skin, and that’s where the best ingredients are needed. Money spent on serums with antioxidants should pay off in the long run.

Don’t Ignore Your Decolletage
While the face is usually the main focus for anti-aging, a neglected décolletage can easily betray you. The skin around your neck is thinner than your facial skin, so make sure to use your creams and serums from the neck down, as well.

Why do you think the French did so much better on the aging survey? Is it their skincare, or is it something else? Let us know!

Counteract Weight Gain and Aging

women ageing happily

Think a moment about the recent sitcoms. “Seinfeld”, “King of Queens”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”: what do they have in common? Hot lady, not so hot guy. Gone are the days of “The Brady Bunch” and “I Dream of Jeannie” when every couple had a Barbie and a Ken. Nowadays it’s a little closer to “Beauty and the Beast.” Why this sudden disparity between partners? Is it a television’s way of showing us nice guys don’t always finish last, or is it simply a more realistic interpretation of life? Let’s have a look at what the experts say about this strange phenomenon.

Is She Really Going Out With Him?
According to LA-based dermatologist Dr. Jason Emer, “I have a significant portion of middle- aged men whose wives are taking care of themselves, but they’ve gained weight because they don’t have time to exercise and diet, and they have a lot of sun damage. They come in and they say they want to look as good as their wives.”

Why Do Men Let Themselves Go?
Dr. John Layke thinks that the extra edge men have over women when it comes to aging make them more lax about grooming. Male skin is about 25% thicker than female skin because it contains testosterone. However, after a certain age, it begins to taper off because of lifestyle and hormonal factors.

Says Lake, “Men age at a slower rate, but all of a sudden it hits at 50. After age 30, men lose 1 percent of testosterone per year you start to see it around age 50 (when the loss is) 20%.”
In addition, man loses muscle as they age which can slow metabolism and cause weight gain. The loss of testosterone also causes the skin to thin out and wrinkle more. Add to that the fact that half of the men have male pattern baldness by the age of 50, and the picture becomes clearer. “It’s all gradual,” says Lake, “but …by the time (men) figure this stuff out it’s too late.”

girl checking weight

Sun Damage
New York plastic surgeon Sachin Shridharani believes sun damage is partially responsible for the divide. She describes situations where couples “go on the same vacation, but he’s like, she was going stuff on her skin-why was no one telling me to put sunscreen on? Where was the sunblock for men?”

Shri Dhani acknowledges that men don’t always have the benefit of media messaging about staying in shape the women do. She says, “You see couples that age together, and you notice that the guy didn’t have the benefit of knowing what to do.”

Dad Bod
Then there’s the “Dad Bod.” According to registered dietician Tanya Zuckerbrot, 40% of her clients are men between the ages of 40 and 70, and nearly all of them are dealing with weight gain. “We assume that getting heavier is part of the natural aging process. And while it typically is, it doesn’t have to be.”

What Can We do
Most experts agree that, while a neat diet and exercise routine can help to counteract the aging process, the biggest obstacle is teaching men how to adapt to lifestyle changes. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Time will tell. But in the meantime, the ladies may just have to settle.

What do you think? Can men over 50 learn to keep themselves healthy and looking good? Tell us about your worse half. We want to know!

These Ingredients Have Neuroprotective Benefits

woman reading book

The central nervous system. That complex combination of the brain and the spinal chord, studied extensively, but understood only partially, constantly and mysteriously working to generate our movements, emotions, and desires. While a system so multifaceted can be so fascinating, it can also be extremely prone to malfunction. So many things can go wrong with a system so complicated, and unfortunately, our limited knowledge makes many of these difficult to treat. Neuropathic disorders and diseases continue to plague so many with so few solutions. That is why it is so important to protect ourselves against these disorders. Here are some ingredients with neuroprotective properties.

Glutamate Antagonists
Glutamate antagonists are the main treatment to used to control cell death in CNS disorders. Overexcitation of glutamate receptors causes calcium to increase, which has major consequences on the nerve. Glutamate antagonists inhibit the binding of glutamate to receptors and may help to avoid excitotoxicity. Some treatments with promising results include:

Estrogen
Estradiol helps to prevent excitotoxicity by inhibiting glutamate receptors, such as NMDA.

Ginsenoside Rd
Studies show that ginsenoside Rd may help to inhibit glutamate excitotoxicity, and has proven to be an effective and noninvasive treatment for ischemic stroke patients.

Progesterone
Progesterone has been shown to prevent secondary injuries in patients with stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Antioxidants
Antioxidants work to protect the body against oxidative stress, which is the main cause of neuron degradation. The effectiveness of antioxidants depends on the disease, gender, age, and ethnicity. Here are some of the most common antioxidants that have been shown to be beneficial in the reduction of oxidative stress in at least one neurodegenerative disease:

Fish Oil
Fish Oil contains n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that can prevent mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress. It has potential to be neuroprotective and is the subject of many studies on its effects on neurodegenerative diseases.

Resveratrol
Resveratrol can prevent oxidative stress in disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s disease and cerebral ischemia.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E has varying effects depending on the neurogenerative disease that is being treated. It is most effective On Alzheimer’s disease and may be somewhat beneficial in treating ALS, but it is ineffective in the treatment of Parkinson’s.

THC
THC can exert neuroprotective effects on ischemia of the brain by acting on glutamate receptors, cation channels, and other pathways,

Stimulants
Certain stimulants are neuroprotective in appropriate doses.

Nicotine
Nicotine has been shown to offset Parkinson’s disease in humans and monkeys. It is available in patch form.

Caffeine
Caffeine is protective against Parkinson’s disease and induces neuronal glutathione synthesis by promoting cysteine uptake.

Selegiline
This has been shown to delay early onset Parkinson’s disease by an average of nine months.

Are neuroprotective ingredients important to you? Which ones would you use? THC? Nicotine? Caffeine? Let us know what you think.

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.