Tag Archives: Sulfur

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!

What Makes A Product Noncomedogenic?

Noncomedogenic. N-O-N-C-O-M-E-D-O-G-E-N-I-C. Noncomedogenic. It sounds like the word that stumped the runner up in the fourth grade spelling bee. If you’ve been hearing this word used a lot lately in the cosmetic industry and thinking it sounds impressive, its meant to. But is it, really? Let’s break it down.

Woman squeezing pimple

A comedo is the mildest form of acne, otherwise known as a pimple, whitehead, or blackhead. So technically you could say, “Wow, that’s a rather large comedo on your face.” as a more polite way of saying, “Wow, that’s a really big zit you have.” Non, of course means without, hence, noncomedogenic, when applied to a skin cleanser essentially means the product does not clog pores and will break down excess oils on your skin without stripping necessary moisture.

What Does “Noncomedogenic” Mean?
Although the term “noncomedogenic” sounds scientific, the truth is that the effectiveness of noncomedogenic products has not been proven in clinical trials, nor has it been tested by the FDA. This is not, however, to say that such products are without merit; in fact, there is some evidence that non comedic products can reduce acne. There is, after all, proof that blocked pores can produce acne, and therefore, a product preventing occlusion of pores, may help prevent it. However, some forms of acne may be a result of other causes, such as a high presence of bacteria on the skin, and, in these cases, noncomedogenic goods would not have much effect.

In other instances, products are labelled noncomedogenic, but, in fact can cause skin rashes an irritation.

Woman cleaning face

Chemistry of Noncomedogenic Products
Noncomedogenic cleanser usually contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur or salicylic acid. Some have ingredients to treat acne, and others are simply formulated to not aggravate pimples and clog pores.

Benzoyl peroxyde kills bacteria which causes acne and does not produce oil on the skin. Salicylic acid does not kill bacteria, but does unclog pores without creating additional oil. It also dissolves oil in the hair follicles. Sulfur washes away dead skin cells and excess oil and is also believed to be able to break down blackheads and whiteheads.

Pros and Cons Of Noncomedogenic Cleansers
Noncomedogenic. How bad could it be, right? Anything purported not to clog pores, couldn’t be too bad, right? Well, you be the judge.

Benzoyl Peroxide
If you’ve ever used benzoyl peroxide to treat acne, you probably found it to be effective. However, you will need to use it for a few weeks before you see results, and, if you discontinue use, the acne will return. Also, while you can combat the drying effects of benzoyl peroxide on skin with moisturizer, other side effects are not so easy to deal with. Itching, rashes, burning, and swelling have all been associated with the use of benzoyl peroxide and are best handled professionally.

Woman checking skin

Salicylic Acid
Like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid requires continuous use to see results, as pores will clog up again when the skin is no longer receiving treatment. Although it can cause irritation and stinging, it is usually mild enough to work without causing serious side effects.

Sulfur
Sulfur has very few side effects, if any, and, although some may find the smell disagreeable, the odor is usually not detectable when mixed with other ingredients.

What do you think of noncomedogenic products? Does the term reassure you? Let us know!

Top Ingredients for Acne Prone Skin

Woman examining acne

It’s a common misconception that acne prone skin is synonymous with oily skin. While oily skin definitely is more prone to breakouts than dry or normal skin, not all people with oily skin experience acne. Similarly, it is entirely possible to have dry, sensitive skin that is prone to acne. Acne is something that nobody wants to experience and it can be difficult to get rid of due to the vast amount of factors that can be causes of acne. To help you heal your skin and boost your confidence, Vine Vera did a bit of digging and located the top three ingredients that those with acne prone skin should look for in skincare products.

Niacinamide.

Niacinamide
Niacinamide is a derivative of vitamin B3. Niacinamide is a cell-communicating ingredient that provides several skin benefits. Skin care experts state that “[a]ssuming skin is being protected from sun exposure, niacinamide can improve the skin’s elasticity, dramatically enhance its barrier function, help erase discolorations and revive skin’s healthy tone and texture.” Recently, niacinamide has begun to make a name for itself in the fight against acne. It increases fatty acid levels in your skin, stimulates micro-circulation in your skin and treats uneven, acne-ridden complexion due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Not only does niacinamide help fight acne, it can also reduce hyperpigmentation caused by acne and it also provides anti-aging benefits.

Sulfur
Sulfur can be super helpful for acne prone skin, but it is one of the more unpleasant ways to treat acne. The first drawback of sulfur is without a doubt the smell. If you have never smelled sulfur, just imagine rotten eggs and you’ve got the idea of what sulfur smells like. The second drawback is that it can be irritating to skin, though it depends entirely upon formulation and frequency of use. Sulfur is a mineral that decreases excess oil production by your glands and that fights inflammation while also exfoliating the skin. The good news is that many skin care products combine sulfur with other ingredients that help to lessen or mask the scent, making it far more pleasant to use. A spot treatment with sulfur is a an effective way to zap zits.

Salicylic acid.

Salicylic Acid
One of the most prevalent ingredient in skin care products designed for acne prone skin, salicylic acid is a form of beta hydroxy acid (BHA). The reason this is frequently used in the treatment of acne prone skin is that it effectively exfoliates your skin, removing dead skin cells and other debris that rests on the surface of your skin and inside your pores. Additionally, salicylic acid is available in large range of products, meaning that there are formulations for oily skin and skin that is dry. A 1 to 2% liquid or gel exfoliant is one of the best ways to deliver the acne fighting power of salicylic acid. While these are safe enough to use every day (and multiple times a day), it’s best to start slowly and increase a tolerance to avoid any unnecessary irritation.

Acne prone skin can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but using the right products helps reduce breakouts. Antioxidants are also important ingredients to look for in products for acne prone skin as they prevent further free radical damage and soothe skin. A regular skincare routine with high quality products and formulations can mitigate problems for those with acne prone skin.