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vine vera banner Antioxidant Foods For Glowing Skin

Antioxidant Foods For Glowing Skin

Your friends are dying to know why you’re glowing. They think it must be a new love, or maybe pregnancy, or a new skin treatment. Should you tell them? Should you tell them that antioxidants are the reason behind your glowing skin? Antioxidants are the cause of a lot of the latest buzz in the world of health and beauty. You may know about how beneficial they can be to your skin in creams and serums, but did you know they can also give your skin a boost from the inside out? Here are some of the best ways of getting the antioxidant glow from what you put on your plate.

Kale
Kale is full of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients absorb free radicals from UV light, including the ones that actually reach the skin. One cup gives you 134% of Vitamin C and 133% of Vitamin A, both skins firming wonders.

Green Tea
When it comes to healthy foods, green tea can do no wrong. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who drank a beverage containing green tea polyphenols showed increased skin elasticity and had one-quarter less sun damage after UV light exposure, compared to a control group. Green tea has catechins like EGCG to help stimulate oxygen and blood flow to the skin to keep your complexion radiant and healthy.

vine vera banner presents Antioxidant Foods For Glowing Skin

Olive Oil
Women in the Mediterranean have been known to slather olive oil directly on their skin for its antioxidant properties. One study in PLOS ONE analyzing diets of 1264 women, found that those who consumed over 8.4 grams of olive oil a day showed 31% fewer signs of aging than those who ate less than one teaspoon. Olive oil also topped the list of oils for its anti aging properties, deftly knocking out both sunflower and peanut. Researchers credit the 75% mono saturated fatty acid content with the anti aging properties, and say the antioxidant polyphenols in the oil could be responsible for quenching free radicals that cause skin damage.

Tomatoes
If you’re looking for a place to drizzle your olive oil, how about on some ripe tomatoes? A study found people who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste per day with a tablespoon of olive oil for a twelve week period, had 33% more sunburn protection than a control group who ate just olive oil. The antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes increases the natural SPF levels in the skin, however, it is not recommended that you abandon your sunscreen in favor of tomato paste just yet.

Dark Chocolate
Save the best for dessert! Dark chocolate is the newest sinful delight that is scoring high points for antioxidant levels. The treat is rich in antioxidant plant compounds called cocoa flavanols. Studies found women who drank a high flavanol cocoa powder beverage every day for three weeks showed less skin dryness and flakiness when compared to a control group. Unfortunately, though a dark chocolate binge is not recommended. Stick to one ounce, 150 calorie portion to get the good skin without the extra weight.

What are your favorite skin healthy foods? Let us know what you’re putting inside you to get that antioxidant glow on the outside.

vine vera banner presents Ingredients to Avoid In Your Skincare

Ingredients To Avoid In Your Skincare

Hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, peels, exfoliants, mud, clay, retinol, vitamins A-Z, ceramides, essential oils; sometimes it seems like there are too many skincare ingredients to fit in one product, much less on the human face. Add that to the new layering trend, and, it may even seem like companies are creating more room on the human face for even more products. If you’re confused about which ingredients to look for when you’re looking to buy your next skin care product, maybe you should focus on what not to use. The FDA has only so much say in what goes into and what stays out of your cosmetic products, so for optimal health, you may need to be the one who makes the decisions. Here are some ingredients to avoid in your products to help you narrow it down.

Aluminum
Aluminum is a chemical salt you don’t want to find in your skin care products. It is used for its disinfectant and absorbent properties and is most often found in deodorants and antiperspirants. Recent studies of breast cancer patients detected higher amounts of aluminum is the outer areas of the breast, where deodorant is normally applied. A study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health showed that the accumulation of aluminum in bodily tissues can lead to bone disease, tissue damage, impaired kidney function, and has also been found in the brains of those suffering Alzheimer’s disease. Opt for aluminum free natural deodorants and antiperspirants.

Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone is a compound commonly used for lightening of freckles, melanoma, age spots and discolorations which has been found to increase exposure to UV rays and cause mutations in laboratory studies. The chemical has been shown to cause contact dermatitis, and degeneration of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. Doctors warn pregnant women to avoid its use during pregnancy and nursing, and the Environmental Working Group has assigned a hazardous warning to the compound. Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid may be a better choice for skin brightening.

Fragrance
Fragrance can be intoxicating, in more ways than one. Apparently, fragrance can contain up to 200 undeclared ingredients, some of which may be hormone altering preservatives called phthalates, and you may have no way of knowing. Since companies don’t have to give a chemical breakdown of fragrances, it is difficult to tell the exact components of the scent. Problems such as coughing, vomiting, hyper pigmentation, allergies, skin rashes, and dizziness have all been known to occur from the use of synthetic fragrances. A word to the wise: avoid the word “fragrance” on the ingredient label unless it is derived from essential oils.

Parabens
Parabens can include propyl, butyl, methyl, and ethyl parabens. This group of preservatives extend shelf life of cosmetics, and are estimated to be contained in over 90% of all beauty products. A 2006 study of the urine sample of healthy adults showed evidence of parabens in over 90 percent of the participants.

Phthalates
You probably don’t want to find any chemicals used to make plastics in your cosmetic supplies. Phthalates are chemicals derived from oil, often found in product like perfume, hair spray, and nail polish and are often used to help the product cling to the skin, nails, and hair. The fear is that these products may be absorbed through the skin, fingernails, and lungs. Animal studies have shown an association between phthalates and kidney, liver, lung, and reproduction system damage. Human studies have shown abnormal development in male infants whose mothers show high levels of phthalates in their bodies. You may especially want to look out for dibutyl phthalate (DBP) di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and butylbenzylphthalate (BBP) on ingredient lists.

What ingredients are you looking to avoid on your beauty products? Let us know! It may be helpful!

vine vera banner Don't Believe These Beauty Myths

Don’t Believe These Beauty Myths

Some myths die hard, others, we’re pleased to let go of. The big reveal about pizza and chocolate not causing acne may have been a little easier for many to accept, the one about Santa Claus may have been a little more difficult. However, like it or not, eventually the truth will come out. Here are some of the latest “facts” about beauty that are turning out to be, not so factual. Hopefully, they won’t be too hard to part with.

Myth 1: Skincare Products Should Be Chosen According to Age
We often see skin regimens and care products targeted at certain age groups, however, it is important to make a distinction between age groups and skin types. While there are certain skin issues associated with aging, there is no guarantee that a woman in her 30’s does not face the same concerns as a woman in her 50’s. Clogged pores don’t automatically disappear when you reach 50, and wrinkles can occur on women in their 20’s. The bottom line is, fighting aging should begin as soon as possible. It is never too early to start on a healthy skin regimen.

Myth 2: Hypoallergenic Products Are Best For Sensitive Skin
Hypoallergenic is a term which means that a product is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, and is better for sensitive and allergy prone skin. However, there are no regulations for determining if a product can be labelled as hypoallergenic. Rather than looking for the word, “hypoallergenic” on the label, look at the ingredient label. Fragrance free, gentle ingredients are more friendly to sensitive skin.

vine vera banner Don't Believe These Beauty Myths

Myth 3: Age Spots Are A Part Of Getting Older
The term “age spot’ is something of a misnomer. The brown spots and discoloration come from years of exposure to the elements that lead to visible imperfections in the skin, and can show up at any age. The best skin brightening products are those that contain niacinamide and vitamin C. Plant extracts such as arbutin have also been shown to have skin brightening properties, but none of these ingredients will work without the application of a broad spectrum sun screen. If a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is not applied 365 days a year, the uneven skin tone and spots will not take a turn for the better.

Myth 4: You’ll Outgrow Acne
Unfortunately, acne is not only a rite of passage. Adults up to the age of 60 can get blemishes, and the products that treat them are the same for any age group. The causes of acne are not age related, and the conditions can be triggered at any time. Another common misconception: having clear skin as an adolescents does not exempt you from acne in later life.

Myth 5: Makeup Triggers Acne
There is no research showing a link between makeup and acne, but if you don’t remove makeup completely and correctly, you may run into problems. When you leave traces of makeup on your skin at night, the anti acne products you apply to your face cannot penetrate the pores, which means they are less effective if at all. It is not the makeup itself that triggers acne, but its likelihood to block pores which prevents the acne medication from absorption that pulls the trigger on blemishes.

What beauty myths shocked you? Let us know your favorite busted myth. We love to get your comments.

The Many Benefits Of Acupuncture

vine vera presents The Many Benefits Of Acupuncture

Cupping, feces face masks, microdermabrasion; with all the latest beauty and health procedures, one more bizarre than the next, it would seem that acupuncture has been relegated to the “Where Are They Now?” files along with the stars of most nineties sitcom stars. While the concept of poking needles in the skin as a way of treating various health issues may have seemed edgy a few decades ago, it now seems rather tame in comparison to some of the newer approaches. However, what comes around goes around, and if something old is discovered to have a new value, it may be worth reinvestigating. Recent studies show that ear acupuncture may help in weight loss. Shall we investigate?

Auricular Acupuncture
Auricular acupuncture, aka, acupuncture of the ear, was a discipline first used in France in 1956. When Dr. Paul Nogier began to notice that the pain of a backache could be relieved by burning the ear of the sufferer, he began mapping the ear to locate spots correlating to various bodily systems and organs. The doctor’s strategy entailed envisioning the ear as a curled fetus with the head pointing downward, and he delivered treatment by applying pressure to the spot corresponding to each organ.

The Study
In order to evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture treatments in weight loss, researchers compared the Korean standard five point acupuncture treatment with single point stimulation. A control group which received a fake treatment was also used.

The study included 91 Koreans, 75 women, and 16 men, all of whom had a body mass index of 23 or greater. None of them had received treatments for weight control in the past six months. The participants were divided into three groups, the first of which received the five point treatment, the second of which received the one point treatment, and the third of which received the fake treatment.

vine vera presents The Many Benefits Of Acupuncture

The Groups
The first group had needles positioned at five points in the ear corresponding to the Shen-men, stomach, spleen, hunger, and endocrine system, which would remain in place for a week, at which time, the needles would be inserted in the other ear, in a process that would be repeated over the eight week trial.The second group had the same treatment, but only one needle was inserted, at the hunger point.

The third group believed that were receiving the five point treatment, but the needles were actually removed right after insertion; however, the group was not notified of the removal and the surgical tape remained to prevent the participants from discovering the truth. All three groups were assigned restricted diets and asked not to exercise during the trial.

The Results
Of the participants who completed the study (24 dropped out) those who received the five point treatment showed a 6.1% reduction in BMI by the middle of the trial, the one point group showed a 5.7% reduction and the group that received fake treatment showed no change at all. The researchers conclude: “Both five needle acupuncture treatment generally used in Korean clinics and one-needle treatment at the hunger point appears to be effective in reducing body weight in the short term.”

Let us know what you think. Would you consider acupuncture as a way of achieving your weight loss goals?

Sometimes You Shouldn’t Feel the Burn

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“Ya burnt!” It’s one of the latest things milennials say when they think they’ve sassed you. You don’t want to get it from your teenage son, and you definitely don’t want to get it from your skin care products. Sure, we all like the tingling feeling that let’s us know our skin care products are doing their jobs, but we definitely don’t want the redness, peeling, and flaking that comes from applying harsh products daily, and sometimes its hard to tell the difference. How can we tell when ‘its working” turns into “ya burnt?” Here is a little insight from the pros.

The Burn
Lucille White, MD and Houston dermatologist says, “No pain, no gain is a terrible motto when dealing with your face, ” and Karyn Grossman, MD warns that daily stinging and flaking “are signs of chronic inflammation.” Grossman warns that this can lead to an array of other issues, such as tightness, dryness, and an increase in sensitivity.

However, here’s the confusion. Some proven care ingredients, such as retinoids and acids sting as they work. In these cases, a short period of stinging may be par for the course. So how can you tell when it’s gone too far?

Scrubs and Exfoliants
The word acid may be a clue as to whether or not the burning is a cause for concern. According to Dr. Grossman, any product with glycolic, lactic, alpha-hydroxy, or salicylic acid may cause some tingling. “The sensation could be because of their acidic pH or the concentration of the acid,” she says. She also warns that the feeling should be intermittent. Daily tingling could be problematic. Bottom line: if your peel stings, it’s probably ok, but your cleanser shouldn’t, and neither should most scrubs. Unless it has been formulated to be “energizing”, scrubs with microbeads and grains shouldn’t sting.

Face Cleansing Brushes
Using a face cleaning brush should not feel any rougher than using a washcloth. Grossman says, “The machine is doing all the work. All your hands should be doing is gently holding it to your skin. Don’t do that and scrub.” You should not be applying pressure on the brush, or work your hand in a scrubbing motion, simply hold it to your skin and let it do the work for you. Anything additional, and White says, “You’re scrubbing off too much of your skin.”

Using A Toner
Toners should not sting. Grossman says, “Alcohol evaporates quickly and feels so cooling.” While you may feel a tingling if your skin is inflamed from acne or other skin issues, you may feel a tingling, but otherwise, you may not feel anything at all. If you do feel some stinging, you may want to do a quick check of the ingredients, to see if the toner contains any acid. If that’s the case, the sensation may be completely normal.

Zit Zapping
When it comes to acne prevention, it usually comes down to one of two ingredients: salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. While salicylic acid might sting, especially if you apply it to a picked pimple, benzoyl peroxide should not. However, benzoyl peroxide may parch skin which can cause peeling over time. Using too many acne ingredients can always be a recipe for dry, tight, or flaky skin. If you experience such irritation from your acne fighting products, you may want to try using a more calming formula with anti microbial ingredients.

What do you think? Can you tell when the tingling sensation may be too much of a good thing? Let us know your experiences.

Your Guide To Making Summer Stains Disappear

vine vera banner Your Guide To Making Summer Stains Disappear

Quick! What do these things all have in common: ice cream, the beach, hiking, hot dogs, hamburgers, berries, and sweat? If you guessed all things to do with summer, you’re half right! What is the other half? All things likely to cause stains. Summer brings with it not only its own unique set of activities, but its own unique set of stains caused by those activities, and that could be bad news for your white crop top. But have no fear, for every stain, there is a solution. Here are some of the ways you can help keep your summer clothes stain free.

Ice Cream
What’s summer without ice cream, and what’s ice cream without a big chocolate stain on the front of your shirt? Don’t let run away scoop get in the way of your summertime pleasure. Rinse with cold water, apply a stain pretreatment, fill a sink with cool water, and a few drops of detergent, and let soak.

Berries
Ah, the berries of summer. A vast array of colorful fruits, all with a potential to do some heavy damage to your pastels. Don’t abandon your antioxidants! Use a spatula or knife to scrape off excess. Apply a formula of 1/2 teaspoon dish soap, and 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and rinse.

Ketchup
Ketchup is the world’s most popular condiment and most likely to end up on your shirt. Don’t let it dampen your barbecue fun. Pretreat with stain remover. If any of the stains remain, use a clean toothbrush or eye dropper to apply white vinegar to lighten it.

Dirt
With summer comes the opportunity to get out in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the great outdoors is full of dirt. Don’t let dirt keep you from getting your vitamin D! Wait for the stain to dry. Scrape off excess. Dilute a gentle detergent with water and rub it on to form a lather. Rinse. If the stain remains, apply a solution of one part vinegar, and one part water to lighten it.

vine vera banner Your Guide To Making Summer Stains Disappear

Underarm Yellowing
Nothing like a good workout in the summer to yellow the underarms of your favorite white shirt. Don’t let a sweat stain stop you from getting in your daily aerobics! For a fresh stain, apply some shampoo. If the stain is older, make a paste by mixing four digestive enzyme tablets with 1 tablespoon of water, and let sit for an hour.

Mustard
If you’re headed out to the ball game this summer, a hot dog may seem like a great idea until the mustard drips on the seat of your pants. Don’t let mustard stains keep you from rooting for your favorite team. Just flush the stain with some white vinegar, apply a dish soap solution using one tablespoon clear soap and ten ounces of water and let sit for fifteen minutes.

Wine
Summer and wine were meant to go together. Wine and your clothes, not really, If you’re carefree lifestyle is taking its toll on your clothes, never fear! For red: Coat the stain with salt, boil some water, and stretch the fabric over a bowl. Pour the boiled water onto the spot from a foot above. For white: Run cold water on the stain, spray with dish soap solution (one tablespoon clear soap, ten oz water), and dab with detergent.

Got summer stains? Let us know how you deal with them! We want to know!

Seven Oils That Belong In Your Beauty Routine

vine vera banner Seven Oils That Belong In Your Beauty Routine

Coming under the heading of mistaken song lyrics, is the meaning of “essential” in the term essential oil. We usually use the word “essential to mean: “absolutely necessary, indispensable.” However, in the term “essential oil” it refers to ” the essence of the plant,” or the “natural composition” of the plant itself. For instance, lavender essential oil means that the oil is made from the essence of lavender, it doesn’t mean the lavender is a necessary oil. If you’ve been thinking that “essential oils’ meant very important oils, however, you’re not really wrong, so we won’t disabuse of the notion. Here are some very essential oils.Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Carrot Seed Essential Oil
Carrot sends oil is best known for its rejuvenating properties. It boosts cells turnover and for this reason, it can help to fade scars and age spots. It’s also packed with antioxidants, which help it to quench wrinkle-causing free radicals and reduce inflammation.

Frankincense Essential Oil
Friendly to all skin types, frankincense oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which make it a great acne treatment. It also has natural toning properties to minimize the appearance of pores and even out skin tones, while encouraging the growth of new cells to tighten skin, reduce wrinkles, and lighten scars.

Geranium Essential Oil
Another great oil for reduction of oil, geranium is fantastic at controlling acne breakouts while boosting skin elasticity and making wrinkles less noticeable. Geranium oil is also known for promoting blood circulation, and as such may help to heal everything from cuts to bruises to broken capillaries and is even effective in treating skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm, and dermatitis.

vine vera banner Seven Oils That Belong In Your Beauty Routine

Lavender Essential Oils
This stuff smells so good, we would apply it even if it did nothing for our skin, but fortunately for us, that’s not the case. In addition to helping the body adapt to stress, lavender oil can help regenerate skin cells to prevents sun spots, and scarring.

Myrrh Essential Oil
With a biblical reference to its name, myrrh is the ancient essential oil and inflammatory that helps to improve skin’s firmness tome and elasticity, while healing sun damage, chapped skin, eczema, and rashes. Now we know why the Wise Men carried it around all the time.

Tea Essential Oil
If you’re familiar with acne, you should be familiar with tea tree oil. Tea tree essential oil is one of the better-known oils for treating acne. The antibacterial properties of the oil can help to eliminate acne-causing bacteria and heal wounds while limiting the incidence and severity of breakouts.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Another heavenly scented oil, yang has a lot more going for it than just a pretty smell. The floral oil is also able to control oil production to keep breakouts to a minimum and helps cells turnover, to smooth out fine lines and improve skin elasticity.

What do you think are the most essential of the essential oils? Let us know! We love to hear from you!

Ceramides: The Trending Skincare Ingredient You Should Know About

vine vera banner presents Ceramides: The Trending Skincare Ingredient You Should Know About

You take your beauty products seriously. You know there are heaps of products on the market, each claiming to have more advanced ingredients than the next, and new ingredients being touted as the next best thing in skin care almost every other day. To some, all this information may seem hard to keep track of; some have long stopped trying – but not you. You know the importance of finding a product that really works, and that means you need to be aware of what every ingredient does as soon as they hit the market. That’s why you need to know about ceramides. What are they? Do they work? Read on to find out about the latest trending ingredient you need to know about.

What Are Ceramides?
Ceramides are an oily wax that forms a waterproofing barrier in the upper layers of our skin, helping the skin retain water while repairing the skin’s natural barrier and regulating cells. As we age, out production of ceramides lessons, resulting in wrinkles, dry skin, and even dermatitis.

Topical Application Of Ceramides
While there is some evidence that ceramics have a positive effect on skin when ingested, topical application is the preferred and more common method.

Do Ceramides Retain Water?
Ceramides waterproof skin. They do this best when combined with other oily materials. When combined with cholesterol and free fatty acids in a certain ratio, they have been found to have moisture retaining qualities.

Do Ceramides Penetrate?
Ceramides are “skin identical.” This means it is naturally occurring in skin’s upper layers. This allows topically applied ceramics to move into the upper layer of skin easily, in a method known as “tape stripping.” This means that the ceramides stick to your skin, much like a piece of tape, analyze it and then “tear it off” enabling it to move into the next layer of skin, eventually penetrating quite deeply.

Is There Proof They Work?
Although not every study is dependable, due to control issues, here are a few findings from some pretty credible sources.

A study done on mice that ran in the J Clin Exp Dermatol showed that topical ceramides can not only keep the skin barrier intact, they can protect it from future damage.

According to a Japanese study, plant derived ceramides have more skin hydrating properties than placebos.
A study by the Kao Corporation showed that creams containing ceramide E increases water content in the skin, and reduces symptoms of atopic dermatitis.

The Textbook of Cosmetic Dermatology found that some combinations of ceramides work better than placebos at repairing the function of the skin barrier.

Picking the Right Ceramide
Not all ceramides were created equal. Some just provide an occlusive layer that locks in moisture, In this case, ceramides may work no better than petrolatum for skin care Others penetrate and moisturize from within, and have a longer lasting effect than other conventional treatments. The best formulas combine with fatty acids and cholesterols to imitate the natural moisture of the skin. While it is impossible to know the best lotion without seeing the formula, you can be pretty sure that price is a good indicator. Unfortunately, when it comes to ceramides, you usually get what you pay for. However, as you know, the savvy consumer always gets his or her money’s worth.

Have you used a ceramide? What do you think?Which do you find work best on your skin?

Vitamin B for Youthful, Radiant Skin

vine vera banner presents Vitamin B for Youthful, Radiant Skin

The vitamin B complex. It may be fair to say it’s the vitamin complex that puts the ‘B’ in beauty. Sure Vitamin A is the “gold standard” when it comes to aging, and vitamin C and E are both powerful antioxidants, but when it comes to strengthening skin, hair, and nails, you can’t really beat the B vitamins. Let’s have a look at this beautifying octet and see why B vitamins are so essential for youthful skin, healthy hair, and tough as nails.

Vitamin B
First thought to be one vitamin, later found to be eight, the B vitamins work together to keep our bodies working like the well-oiled machines they are. B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B8, B9 and B12 all perform slightly different functions that help provide nutrients to our bodies and prevent everything from memory loss to migraines. However, lately vitamin B has been coming into attention from the beauty world, with a large number of studies showing how vitamin B’s inclusion in face creams can be a key component in the prevention of aging.

Nicotinamide, a vitamin B-3 derivative, in particular, has been shown to help the upper layer of skin retain moisture, with less dryness, flakiness, and fine lines, and has demonstrated skin brightening properties when added to moisturizers.

B Vitamins For Skin
Dull and unhealthy skin and certain chronic skin issues have all been associated with a vitamin B deficiency. B-12 regulates pigment location and production which can prevent darkening of the skin on certain parts of the body related to hyperpigmentation. Vitamin B3 can be used to minimize the appearance and degree of severity in some skin conditions, and B5 can help with acne by breaking down oils.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, supplementing with B5 can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels to promote healthy skin indirectly, and can, more specifically help to prevent acne by breaking down the oils in these compounds. Vitamin B5 has also been linked with a fast healing of wounds, especially when combined with vitamin C.

B Vitamins For Hair
B vitamins metabolize food, which means nutrition goes to the whole body, hair follicles included. B1, B2, B3, and B5 deficiencies can all result in weak hair follicle cells, and lack of B9, or folic acid, can slow cell division in follicles, slowing down growth.

Vitamin B7 or biotin, otherwise know as the “beauty vitamin” can help maintain strength, tone, and texture of hair and can even prevent hair loss caused by poor thyroid health and biotin deficiencies. Biotin can also be used to treat cradle cap in infants.

B Vitamins For Nails
Strong nails require a number of B vitamins to stay healthy. Vitamin B12 or riboflavin helps with iron absorption necessary for nail health, too little of which results in white, thin, brittle nails, and even abnormal nail growth. B12 also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells, hence the prevention of anemia, one of the symptoms of which is unhealthy nails. Vitamin B9, or folate, helps with the development of new cells, which contributes to nail growth.

Sources
While the body usually produces its own vitamin B, food sources include fish, meat, and vegetables. Fish has the highest B content, with salmon, tuna, trout, and cod topping the list. Lamb, poultry, eggs meat, and dairy are also good sources of Vitamin B and certain fruits, vegetables and legumes also rank high on the list. Avocados, pomegranates, and berries are all high in Vitamin B, as are green leafy vegetables, potatoes, and squashes. Soybeans, lentils, and kidney beans also have high concentrations of the vitamin.

What do you think? Does Vitamin B complex put the “B” in beauty? Let us know!

Topical Nutrients That Boost Your Skin’s Glow

woman in blue with glowing skin

Topical or oral, that is the question to be decided. When it comes to skin care, is it best to apply our vitamins directly to the affected area, or is it better to ingest them?. On the one hand, our skin is an outward expression of what’s going on in our bodies, including aging. This being the case, we should take our vitamins orally; healthy body, healthy skin, right? However, do you ever wonder if the vitamins know where to go after they are consumed? Is there a vitamin whisperer in your body directing the vitamin E to your crows feet? Apparently not. Clinical Professor Mary Lupo says, “The body delivers only a certain percentage of vitamins to your skin no matter how much you ingest.” That means, if you want to confront the problem head on, you’re probably best with a topical approach. Here are topical nutrients to boost skin’s glow.

Vitamin A
Vitamin A (the derivatives are known as retinoids) is probably the best remedy for wrinkles, roughness and brown spots. Commonly found in night creams, OTC lotions, and prescription products, vitamin A is one of the strongest proven anti-agers on the market. According to Doris Day MD, “There are more than 700 published studies on retinoids. They’re tried and true ingredients. Anyone who wants younger skin should use one.”

As for application, retinoids are best applied at night, as sunlight renders vitamin An inactive. Prescription retinoids work fastest, but tend to be irritating; OTC products are better for beginners. To avoid irritation, begin by using the vitamin A treatment sparingly every two or three nights, gradually building to nightly use.

Vitamin B-3
If redness is an issue for you, its B-3 to the rescue. Often referred to as niacinamide on the labels of creams, lotions, and serums, B-3 known to increase skin’s fatty acid and ceramide production, strengthening the skin’s barrier. Leslie S. Baumann, MD, explains, “As that barrier is strengthened, skin is better able to keep moisture and irritants out if your complexion is dry or sensitive.” One study showed it to effectively reduce blushing and redness caused by rosacea.

B-3 can also minimize dark spots by inhibiting pigment transfer to skin cells. B3 can be applied morning and evening and can be used in conjunction with retinoids to reduce the retinoid irritation.

vine vera banner presents Topical Nutrients That Boost Your Skin's Glow

Vitamin C
When it comes to skin health, vitamin C o gets superstar status. However, don’t expect top billing for vitamin C. C should be listed near the middle of the panel of ingredients to ensure the concentration of 5% or higher needed to make an impact on skin.

Vitamin C quenches free radicals that lead to wrinkling, and sagging, and helps to firm and smooth skin while fading dark spot. One study showed women who used a vitamin C cream on their sun damaged skin for six months saw a noticeable improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is best applied in the morning right before sunscreen to protect from UV free radicals.

Vitamin E
Because vitamin E is known for its ability to hydrate and boost skin’s UV defense, it is commonly found in sunscreens or sun related skin products. It’s recommended 1 % concentration will usually place it near the middle of the ingredients label. Vitamin E eases dryness by helping skin to maintain its natural moisture and it is known for its powerful ability as a neutralizer of free radicals. One study showed vitamin E was actually able to reduce the number of unstable molecules caused by cigarette smoke. Others showed skin treated with vitamin E before UV exposure was less swollen red and dry.

While vitamin E’s protection from sun exposure makes it ideal for application before and after the sun soak, it should be noted that a strong single blast of UV light can destroy half of the skin’s natural supply of the vitamin, and it is best to use a sunscreen with both E and C to ensure effectiveness.

Let us know what vitamins you’re delivering straight to the spot.We love to hear what your favorite topical nutrients are.