Tag Archives: vine vera

vine vera banner Rescue Your Oily Skin

Rescue Your Oily Skin

The treatment of oily skin can be a delicate process. You’ve heard the old adage about oil and water not mixing, so you know rinsing your face with water is going to do nothing to mop up that excess sebum. Soap and alcohol may break down the oil, but they’re also going to dry your skin out, throw off your pH, and probably make you break out more.

When it comes to using acids for skin care, you could not be blamed for having suspicions. First, you’re told soap may be harsh, now you’re being told to put acid on your face? The acid of today is not the skin sloughing acid of yesteryear. It has a much lower concentration, is formulated to balance skin’s pH, and it may just help get rid go your acne. Here is a look at the kinder and gentler side of the active ingredients that may be the answer to your acne woes.

Hyaluronic Acid
If you’re slightly obsessive about your cleansing habits, hyaluronic acid may be the answer to your skin care prayers. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring hydrating compound that is already found in the body; the highest concentrations are in the connective tissues between the joints. If you like to practice the ritual double cleansing, or simply are in the habit of cleansing as a defense against excess oil, hyaluronic acid is one of the best options for replenishing the moisture levels in your skin to calm overactive oil glands.

Salicylic Acid
The best ways to avoid the trauma of over cleansing to your skin is to use a cleanser that can break down oil buildup without throwing off the natural balance of your skin. Salicylic acid is a natural anti inflammatory and exfoliant derived from the willow bark tree, which is also used to produce painkillers, such as aspirin. Salicylic acid has the ability to penetrate pores deeply, to rid them of dead skin cells, excess oil, and debris from makeup and skin products. A word to the wise: Make sure to apply a hefty layer of sunscreen when you’re using salicylic acid; it’s a tough exfoliator and can make skin more sensitive to the sun.

Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid occurs naturally in sugar but can also be produced artificially. Containing the tiniest molecules of all the alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic acid a potent cleanser and exfoliant that works without upsetting the skin’s natural balance. While glycolic acid is most commonly found as an ingredient in facial peels, it can also be beneficial in cleansers to combat hyper pigmentation and dullness.

Niacinamide
Known also as vitamin B and nicotinic acid, topical use of niacinamide helps to preserve the integrity of the skin’s barrier against environmental toxins. Niacinamide boosts collagen production, regulates pigments and intercepts the effects of harmful antioxidants for healthier and more radiant skin.

How do you feel about using these active ingredients on your acne? Let us know your experiences with acne control! We love to hear it!

vine vera banner Keratin Treatment For Your Lashes

Keratin Treatment For Your Lashes

From the time they see Minnie Mouse bat hers at Mickey, little girls learn the importance of long, curly eyelashes, and for decades, women have spent time and money in pursuit of the perfect set. While fake lashes provide an attractive option, many are the tales of misfortune as to how a not so well secured set ended up in a someone’s dinner or aperitif. Lash extensions, lash boosting mascaras, and tinting treatments have all been up batted around as options in the past, however, it seems that they have all fallen short in some way or another. Now, a new lash treatment is on the market. The keratin lash lift is the latest thing to take over social, and all other forms of media. Could this be the miracle we’ve been waiting for? Here’s a look at the keratin lash lift and how it works.

How It Works
Elysee Zhadikpur is the most popular name in Los Angeles behind these keratin lash lifts. The makeup artist is considered the “master trainer” for the five step method called Yumi Lashes, created by Swiss permanent makeup artist Sandra Viglino. Here’s a quick run down of how it works: Lashes are “lifted using a “special pigment infusion” which is according to those in the know, a “top secret” keratin formula. The hour long procedure begins with coenzyme Q 10 gel pads placed below the eyes which, according to the company, have anti aging properties. Next, a trained technician brushes the formula through each lash individually until lashes are long, dark, and curled.

Lashes must stay dry for 48 hours following the procedure, and the effects are said to last up to three months. It’s safe to apply mascara after the treatment if you need to, and the treatment will run you about $150.

Actress Kerrueche Tran, who received the lash lift says she believes the treatment is superior to eyelash extensions, which are rumored to be bad for the eyes. As Tran says, “Right now, eyelash extensions are really big, but I heard that … they pull your lashes out and I feel like they look unnatural. So I went with lifts, and ever since, I’ve been loving it.”

vine vera banner Keratin Treatment For Your Lashes

Safety
There is no doubt that keratin treatment yields great looking results, but how safe is it for you? According to Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic research in dermatology at Mount Sinai, “Similar to the way a keratin treatment can change the configuration of the hair on your head, keratin can be applied to lashes and enhances natural lashes without the use of false lashes or glue. When performed by a trained professional, with proper care to ensure no harm to the eye, the procedure should be safe. The only caution would be a potential allergic reaction, which would be difficult to predict. However, if you generally have sensitive skin or eczema, I would stick to mascara.”

DIY Lash Lifts
As often happens with many beauty trends, DIY versions of lash lifts have become popular. Tutorials can be seen on You Tube instructing women on how to use lash glue to stick silicone rods to the eyelids and lift the lashes onto the rods. Eyelash lifting kits can be found on Amazon, some containing perm lotion and other items allowing users to perform their DIY lash lifts. These are accompanied by a glowing review and before and after photos. Proceed with caution.

What do you think of this new innovation? Would you do the lash lift? Let us know how you weigh in on this latest trend.

Vine Vera - Five Treatments You Need To Detox Your Skin

Five Treatments You Need To Detox Your Skin

No matter how much care you may take of your skin, it is still going to be exposed to impurities and toxins, which is why skin detoxes are essential.

What exactly is a skin detox?

The methods vary, but, basically, it is a way to cleanse your skin of all of these harmful impurities, while stimulating a healthier environment in which your skin can thrive. With results ranging from a boost in collagen and elastin production, to an increase in cell turnover, a  skin detox is something that everybody should be doing on a regular basis.

1. Daily Dry Brushing

One of the easiest ways to detox your skin is by dry brushing it every day.

Wondering what dry brushing is?

It simply involves rubbing a dry, soft-bristled brush over your skin in a particular way, and has a number of different skin-boosting benefits.

To begin with…

Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for eliminating all of the waste that your cells produce. The lymphatic system is easily prone to congestion, and, when this happens, it means that toxins end up building up in your body, leading to everything from inflammation to illness.

Dry brushing also increases blood flow and circulation, leading to a healthier complexion and a boost of energy, while exfoliating the skin at the same time. 

For those who have cellulite, you may find that dry brushing is able to help reduce this. While there is not much hard scientific proof to back this up, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence out there showing that this may be yet another benefit that dry brushing has.

So, what kind of dry brush should you buy?

There are many choices out there, and you may even want to purchase a couple of different ones. While long-handled brushes are great for hard-to-reach areas, such as the middle of your back, brushes with a shorter handle will fit into your hand with more ease, making it quicker and easier to brush your skin.

Now that you have your dry brush, it is time to learn how to use it….

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Begin at your feet, brushing the bottoms of your feet and slowly moving up your legs. Use long, smooth strokes, and always brush towards your heart, because this is where the lymphatic system drains
  • Slowly move up your body, brushing each section about ten times
  • When it comes to your stomach and back, you can use circular motions instead of long strokes
  • Finish with a shower

Make sure that you do not brush too hard. Remember that dry brushing should never hurt.

Don’t forget…

Your dry brush will need to be washed every week or so, in order to cleanse it of the dead skin cells that will have accumulated in it. You will also need to replace your brush every six months, or even just each year, as the bristles will wear down over time.

Is there any reason you should not use a dry brush?

Sadly, yes. If you suffer from dry skin or eczema, dry brushing may only exacerbate your condition. 

2. Detox Baths

When you take a bath, your skin is exposed to all that is in the water for quite a bit of time, meaning that the ingredients that you put into your bath can actually have quite a big effect on your skin.

So, what exactly does a detox bath involve?

The most popular type is an Epsom salt bath.

Its name is a bit misleading, because Epsom salts are not actually a salt…

They are actually a naturally occurring mineral compound, known as magnesium sulfate. When this enters your body, it helps to regulate over 300 biochemical reactions, and also acts as a toxin repellent, flushing toxins out of your cells.

You may be wondering…

Can’t I just take a magnesium sulfate supplement instead?

You could, but it would not be as effective when it comes to your skin, as it would have to pass through your stomach acid, digestive enzymes, and liver, before it can even enter your bloodstream.

However, by being absorbed directly through the skin, it is able to bypass all of these obstacles, and make its way into the bloodstream much quicker.

Ready for a soak?

All you need to do is mix together one cup of Epsom salts with two cups of baking soda. Add this to a hot bath, while the water is still running, and mix it in well. Do not be alarmed if the water appears cloudy. For some extra fragrance, you could even add in around ten drops of an essential oil, many of which will have their own skin-boosting benefits.

Don’t have any Epsom salts to hand?

There are many other ingredients out there that you could also add to a bath to help detox your skin:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Ginger
  • Sea salt
  • Bentonite clay (see below)

When it comes to how long to soak for, try to limit yourself to around 15 minutes. While it may be tempting to soak in the warm water for longer, this will only have a drying effect on your skin, and may end up doing more harm than good.

3. Bentonite Clay

bentonite clay

Also known as monmorillonite, bentonite clay is formed after volcanic ash has weathered and aged, and consists of a number of different minerals, including:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium 
  • Silica

Bentonite clay has actually been used as a detoxification aid since ancient times, but modern science has now backed up its incredible abilities.

How does it work?

When bentonite clay is mixed with water, it creates a negative electrical charge. The toxins in your body, whether this may be chemicals or toxic metals, have a positive electrical charge, meaning that they are attracted to the clay. Working just like a sponge, the clay soaks up all of these toxins, and then eliminates them from the body.

In addition to detoxifying your skin, bentonite clay can also rebalance your skin’s pH level by providing it with the trace minerals that it may be missing.

So, how exactly do you use bentonite clay?

The easiest way is with a face mask. You can find face masks that contain the clay, as well as other ingredients, or you can simply use the clay on its own to create your own mask.

All you need to do is mix it with some water and then apply a thick layer to your face, giving it around 20 minutes to dry.

Then, simply rinse it off with warm water.

You can use this treatment weekly, either on your whole face, or as a spot treatment on certain areas of troubled skin.

Bentonite clay can also be used as a detox bath.

How?

Just mix a couple of cups of powdered clay into your bath, and then soak in this for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Did you know that you can also eat bentonite clay?

Just mix it with a bit of water and either drink it straight, or mix it in with a smoothie or another drink. This will help to detox your body from within, which your skin will also benefit from. However, make sure that you purchase a food grade bentonite clay if you want to do this, as you need one intended for human consumption.

4. Double Cleansing

Cleansing is something that everybody should be doing at the end of each day, as this is so important for removing all of the toxins and impurities that settle on the surface of your skin.

However, double cleansing takes this one step further…

It began as a trend in Asia, but, thanks to its quick effects, it is now a technique that is used by people all over the world.

So, what exactly is double cleansing?

It basically involves the use of an oil-based cleanser first, followed by a water-based cleanser.

You are probably wondering…

What’s the point of this?

Well, the oil-based cleanser melts down and removes any makeup and sunscreen remnants, as well as excess sebum. This allows the water-based cleanser to properly enter your pores, removing any sweat, pollution, dirt, or other toxins that may have settled within them.

Now that your pores have been properly cleansed, this means that any other skin care products you apply afterwards will be able to penetrate your skin’s layers so much more effectively.

One of the best parts of double cleansing is…

It can be used be people with all skin types. However, if you suffer from acne, you may need to use a specialized cleanser as part of the routine.

5. A Skin Detoxification Diet

Most people tend to only look at ways in which they can detox their skin externally, but a skin detoxification diet can have just as much of an impact as all of the methods listed above.

How long should you follow a detoxification diet for?

The minimum is two weeks, but the rest is completely up to you. The longer you follow the diet, the healthier your skin, and overall health, will be.

So, what exactly do you need to be eating?

Well, let’s begin with what you should not be eating

Refined sugar is the first thing, as this causes your insulin levels to spike, which then leads to inflammation. As you are already likely aware of, inflammation is a big no-no when it comes to your skin, as it can lead to everything from acne and blemishes to premature aging.

You should also stay away from soy, especially if you are prone to acne.

Why?

Because soy contains phytoestrogens, which can cause hormonal breakouts.

If you drink a lot of coffee, this is something else you may want to consider cutting back on. While coffee does contain a number of antioxidants, it can also have a dehydrating effect on your skin.

Now on to what you should be eating

Start your day with a glass of lemon water, as this will help your body and skin to detoxify first thing in the morning, and will also give your metabolism a boost, setting yourself up well for the rest of the day.

Healthy fats are also essential, and these can include:

    • Avocados 
    • Flax seeds
    • Walnuts
    • Chia seeds
    • Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring

healthy salmon salad

Of course, leafy greens are also a must, and you should be trying to add a portion of these to every meal. There are so many different leafy greens out there, so try to include a wide variety of them in your diet, from spinach, kale and lettuce to collard greens, mustard greens and chard.

Wondering how they help with detoxing your skin?

It is all down to their chlorophyll, which helps to rid the body of toxins, while purifying the blood and increasing oxygen content.

Other vegetables that are great for detoxing the skin include:

    • Garlic – unclogs any build-up in your arteries
    • Beets – purify the blood and cleanse the liver
    • Broccoli sprouts – contains phytochemicals that stimulate detoxification enzymes
    • Sea vegetables – contains alginic acid which draws out toxins from the digestive tract
    • Artichokes – aids in toxin removal while regenerating liver tissue, therefore strengthening the liver’s natural detoxification process

Herbs are also important, especially parsley and cilantro. The chemical compounds in these herbs actually bind to the toxins in your body, pulling them away from your blood, tissues and cells, and then eliminating them from your body. 

While following this diet, you need to also make sure that you are not using any harmful chemicals topically, as they will prevent the diet from working to its full effect.

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and can easily become clogged up with toxins. By following these skin detoxification treatments, you will be helping to cleanse your skin, as well as your body, of any waste, which will soon have your complexion looking better than ever.

vine vera Know When To See A Doctor For An Acne Rx

Know When To See A Doctor For An Acne Rx

If you have acne, it’s bad, and, chances are, no matter how long it takes to go away, it’s not fast enough. You probably want to seek prescription strength medication and customized advice ASAP, but, a consultation with doctor or dermatologist can be expensive and inconvenient, and not always necessary. Could there be such a thing as acne hypochondriacne? Are your zits really worthy of a doctor’s visit, or are you simply having an overly dramatic response to a common rite of passage? If your acne is turning to a source of preoccupation you the idea of seeking professional help has crossed your mind, here are some things to consider to help you make up your mind.

The OTC Gels and Creams No Longer Work
If you’re using drugstore medications containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, you can expect mild or moderate acne to go away within four to six weeks. If it takes longer than that, a doctor’s visit may be necessary. Illinois dermatologist Amy Derick says, “Oral therapies like antibiotics, birth control, or isotretinoin can also be described for deeper acne spots and hormonal breakouts (pimples which never come to a head).”

Another thing to consider is the fact that sometimes breakouts can occur from using the wrong drugstore products. As a general guideline, if you have oily skin, wash your face twice daily with a cleanser containing salicylic acid. For dry skin, a gentle foaming cleanser is recommended. Use a topical spot treatment with benzoyl peroxide to apply directly to blemishes. If you don’t see an improvement after six weeks, you may want to consider booking a dermatologist’s appointment.

vine vera Know When To See A Doctor For An Acne Rx

The Acne Is Affecting Your Self Esteem
It’s hard to suffer from acne without it taking a toll on your self-esteem. Skin disorders can lead to depression and anxiety disorders in teens as well as adults. In fact, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, acne sufferers experience psychological, emotional, and social problems mimicking those of individuals with health problems, such as arthritis, epilepsy, and diabetes.

If you find yourself avoiding social activities because of your breakouts, it may be time to schedule a visit with a dermatologist. He or she can help you deal with your acne in a timely, healthy way.

Pimples are Sore and Leave Scars
Cystic acne and nodules are the toughest types of acne to treat. Cystic acne refers to inflammation caused by damage to the follicle wall, while nodules are painful masses that coagulate under the skin. Dr. Derek sys, “If you suffer from more serious forms of acne-like cystic acne, over the counter treatments will never be enough, and waiting is just delaying the inevitable trip to the dermatologist.

Those with cystic acne and nodules should resist the urge to pop pimples, which can lead to permanent damage. Your dermatologist can administer a corticosteroid injection into the lesions, then he or she can prescribe a regimen appropriate to your skin type and severity of your condition.

Have you seen a professional for your acne? What tipped the scale for you? Let us know when you think acne warrants a Rx visit.

vine vera Back to School Skincare Tips For Tweens

Back to School Skincare Tips For Tweens

No matter how many times you do it, it’s always traumatic. Going back to school. Never mind the fact that the lazy summer is over and you’re going to have to deal with (pardon the phrase) homework- and (yuck) teachers, but you also have a whole host of other things to think about, like mean kids who are going to make fun of your hair/ outfit/acne. While the hair and the outfit may be your choice, it’s probably pretty safe to say your acne isn’t. So, for all you tweens going back to school this year, here’s a little advice on avoiding and treating acne.

Acne
If you’re a tween, it’s a pretty safe bet you know all about acne, but just in case you’re not sure, here’s the breakdown. Acne is a general term referring to a group of skin rashes that have different causes. In preteens, it’s usually an inflammatory condition of the skin. Acne lesions are usually called blemishes, pimples, spots, and zits, and if you’re a teen or a tween, you probably have them. About 80% of teens have acne, and acne is considered a normal part of puberty.

Causes
The three mean causes of acne are:

  • Overproduction of sebum ( the skin’s natural oil)
  •  Clogged pores from debris of dead skin cells
  •  Bacteria infections in the oil (sebaceous) glands

vine vera Back to School Skincare Tips For Tweens

What worsens acne?

  • Popping and scrubbing: Although it may be difficult, try and resist the urge to pop. Blemished skin does not respond well to rough treatment.
  •  Things that rub skin: Headbands, hats, and anything that rests on the forehead, bangs included, can clog pores and lead to forehead acne.
  • Cosmetics: Cosmetics, hair products, and creams containing oil can also congest pores and lead to acne.
  • Hormones: Hormones produced during puberty are the most common causes of acne. Girls experience a boost in hormone production before menstrual periods, making it common time for breakouts. For boys, increases in levels of testosterone can bring on an increased chance of acne.
  • Stress

Acne Treatments and Avoidance
Cleansing: Keeping skin clean is the most basic and important part of avoiding and treating acne. You can wash with plain old soap and water, but you may want to invest in a mild cleanser formulated for acne prone skin. Cleanse twice daily using gentle motions. Harsh scrubbing can worsen acne by irritating the pores.Exfoliating: Exfoliating removes the layer of dead skin cells, which can clog pores and make acne worse. Exfoliate after cleansing once or twice a week with an acne facial scrub.

Pick Cosmetics Carefully: When buying skin products, look for labels that say “noncomedogenic.” This means they won’t clog your pores. Use oil free cosmetics as often as possible, including an oil free sunscreen.

Medicines
Benzoyl Peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide is an acne medication that is available in most pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription. It kills acne bacteria, opens oil ducts, and help heal blemishes. Begin by using a 2.5% lotion or gel once a day, increasing use to twice daily if needed and tolerated by your skin. If the acne does not improve in 4 to 6 week, consider upping the dose to a benzoyl peroxide with a 5% or 10% concentration. If acne still does not go away, you may want to see a dermatologist who will prescribe a stronger medication.

Are you a tween headed back to school this year? Let us know how you’re addressing your acne problems!

vine vera banner presents Got Zinc In Your Sunscreen?

Got Zinc In Your Sunscreen?

Just when you thought it was safe to go out in the sun….. All summer you tried to be the sun protection poster girl. You applied sunscreen (SPF 30) half an hour before going out to let it sink in. You made sure you got the tops of your hands and the tips of your ears. You used a golf ball-sized application and reapplied every two hours. What more could you have done in the name of avoiding skin damage? How about not done any of it? Recent studies show that sunscreens contain a number of chemicals that can actually increase the risk of skin cancer. Read onto find out what some new evidence is revealing about the safety of certain sunscreens and why you might want to think twice about your sun protection.

Physical and Chemical Sunscreens
Sunscreens usually fall into one of two categories: physical and chemical. Chemical sunscreens are made in laboratories and contain chemicals such as PABA, oxybenzone, and cinnamates. They work by absorbing UV rays to reduce sun damage to the skin.

Physical sunscreens, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are made of natural elements from the earth. These work by scattering or blocking UV rays, preventing them from entering the skin at all. Physical sunscreens are considered safer than chemical sunscreens because they offer more broad spectrum protection. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, have been linked to hormone disruption. Research has shown that chemical sunscreens can mimic estrogen in the body, and throw natural hormones off balance and that the chemicals in the sunscreen can be absorbed into the body, leading to allergic reactions.

SPF
SPF is sun protection factor, which is a measurement of protection from UVB rays. UVA rays are considered to be more dangerous, because of their ability to penetrate more deeply into the skin, but SPF does not take sunscreen’s protection against UVA rays into account.

Another problem with SPF is that the numbers are misleading. An SPF number is the number you can multiply the time you can spend in the sun without burning unprotected, by to get the amount of time you can spend in the sun without burning with the protection of sunscreen. In other words, if a person normally burns in ten minutes without sunscreen, an SPF of 15 will multiply that number by 15, which means that individual can remain in the sun for 150 minutes without burning with sunscreen.

By this reasoning, it would seem that an SPF of 30 would allow individuals to remain in the sun for twice as long as they could by wearing an SPF of 15. In truth, the difference between the two is minimal. An SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks about 97% and an SPF of 50 blocks about 98%. So in essence, the increase in SPF stops making a difference after a certain point.

vine vera banner presents Got Zinc In Your Sunscreen?

Zinc Oxide
Zinc Oxide offers broad spectrum protection which can shield from both UVA and UVB rays. Additionally, zinc is an essential mineral that we need in our bodies and the only active ingredient in sunscreen approved by the FDA for infants under the age of six months.

The Best Formula
If you are considering investing in a physical sunscreen, here are some of the natural ingredients you may want to look for on the label:

Zinc Oxide: This is the safest option for sunscreens. It’s the only one the FDA has recommended for infants and offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Antioxidants: These protect skin from oxidative stress, to give skin extra defense against sun damage.

Natural Ingredients: Natural soothing ingredients like hemp seed oil and lavender naturally sooth skin keeping it cool and calm. Moisturizers can be effective against flaking and dryness caused by the sun.

Tell us what you think about chemical vs. physical moisturizers. Which do you prefer? Let us know!

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 Don't Use Face Moisturizers For Your Eyes

Don’t Use Face Moisturizers For Your Eyes

If you are a follower of the hot debates in the beauty world, you may be aware of the ongoing controversy over whether or not it is necessary to use an eye cream in addition to a moisturizer. While some swear by their eye creams, others insist they are simply glorified moisturizers designed to generate more sales for cosmetic companies. So which is it? Is CTM all we need, or is it necessary to bring in more players? The final answer may be somewhat divided, but it seems that at least some of us may benefit from a little attention around the eye area. Read on to find out how some experts weigh in on team cream vs. team moisturizer,

The Delicate Eye Area
The skin around our eyes is notoriously delicate. While our facial skin may be thinner than the skin on the rest of the body, the skin around our eyes can be as much ninety percent thinner than that. In addition, the area around the eye has fewer oil glands than the rest of the face, making it a prime target for dehydration and aging. The ocular area is a sensitive one, easily affected by environmental factors that can accelerate the breakdown of collagen, and facial expressions like squinting, winking, frowning, smiling and looks of surprise can all take a toll on the area. Combined with a lack of sleep, sun exposure, smoking and alcohol intake, these factors all contribute the wrinkles we commonly call crow’s feet.

Eye Cream Vs. Moisturizer
Eye creams and moisturizers both usually include two types of active ingredients: humectants and emollients. Emollients, such as paraffin, mineral oil, hyaluronic acid, and cocoa butter can soften and plump skin. Humectants, like urea, glycerin, and aloe vera gel, help skin maintain moisture levels. As the body ages production of collagen and elastin decreases along with a rate of skin turnover. Ingredients, such as vitamin A (retinol), peptides (ceramide) and antioxidants help with retaining collagen and elasticity.

Many women cite under eye darkness as a skin concern. Dilated blood vessels and thinning skin can heighten the appearance of under eye darkness. Lightning ingredients, like hydroquinone, vitamin K, and Kojic acid are useful for diminishing shadows under the eyes. Allergies and lack of sleep can lead to fluid buildup, causing bags under the eyes which require anti inflammatory ingredients such as caffeine, chamomile, and cucumber Polymers have tightening benefits to reduce puffiness and prevent wrinkles.

Product designed specifically for the eye area tend to be free of excess fragrance and are ophthalmologist tested for sensitivity issues. Eye cream used consistently can show results in as little as four to six weeks.

So, I Need An Eye Cream?
The answer is; not necessarily. While eye creams can bring great benefits for those with the especially fragile skin around the eyes, some of us are lucky enough to not have puffiness, dark circles, or lines, in which case the use of a good moisturizer may suffice. The choice depends on the individual needs and preferences.

How do you weigh in? Team cream or team moisturizer? Let us know which side of the debate you’re on!

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.

food sources of magnesium

Here’s Why Your Skin Needs Magnesium

As the fourth most prevalent mineral found in every cell within the body, it should come as no surprise that magnesium is required for so many different bodily functions. In fact, your body uses magnesium in over 300 different enzymatic reactions.

When it comes to your skin, magnesium serves a number of different purposes, from clearing stress-related acne breakouts to preventing wrinkles, making it essential that you are providing your body with the required amount of magnesium each and every day.

Magnesium Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are directly linked to the health of your skin.

How?

Each time you feel stressed, your body releases the stress hormone, known as cortisol, which basically puts people into fight or flight mode.

However, when the body experiences chronic stress, cortisol levels begin to really build up, which then triggers the sebaceous glands to produce more oil.

The result?

Clogged pores, inflammation, and, ultimately, acne.

In addition to causing acne, stress can exacerbate other skin conditions, such as eczema and rosacea, and can also accelerate the visible signs of aging.

You’re probably thinking…

What does this have to do with magnesium?

Well, one of the incredible properties of magnesium is that it is a relaxation mineral, and supports adrenal function. Whenever cortisol is released into your body, your kidneys release some magnesium, as the mineral has the ability to regulate and reduce the effects that cortisol has on the body. This then minimizes the detrimental effects that stress can have on your skin.

However, when chronic stress is experienced, it does not take long for magnesium levels to begin running low…

When this happens, your blood vessels tighten and your blood pressure is raised, both of which end up magnifying the effects of stress.

In addition to using magnesium to help lower stress, you should back this up with other stress-relieving methods too, whether this may be a workout or eating foods that lower the cortisol in your body. 

Magnesium Improves Sleep

Your skin needs quality sleep every night in order to thrive, with the time that your body is sleeping being when your skin really works to heal and regenerate itself.  

After all, it is referred to as beauty sleep for a reason…

Without sufficient sleep each night, here are a few of the skin issues that you may experience:

  • An increase in inflammation, which leads to the breakdown of collagen, the protein that gives your skin its structure and firmness
  • Poor water balance, leading to dryness and accelerated aging
  • Increases cortisol in body, meaning it has the same effects on your skin as stress does  
  • Exacerbation of existing skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis and acne

So, how can magnesium help?

In a number of ways…

To begin with, as mentioned above, magnesium helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which in itself is enough to really help many people finally experience some quality sleep.

Magnesium also helps the muscles in the body to relax, which, as you would imagine, makes quality sleep much easier.

Another one of magnesium’s roles is in the synthesis of serotonin, which is the precursor of melatonin.

What is melatonin?

A hormone that your brain produces, which controls your sleeping and waking cycles. Studies have shown that those who take magnesium supplements have higher levels of melatonin in their bodies than those who do not.

Magnesium is a Powerful Anti-Inflammatory

There are many ingredients out there that are touted as being anti-inflammatory, but what exactly does this mean?

Well, inflammation is the way in which your body naturally fights off attackers, whether this may be bacteria, chemicals or even foods. In the short run, this is a good thing, but chronic inflammation is becoming increasingly common, and this is where the problems begin. 

Here are a few of the skin issues that inflammation can cause:

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Premature aging, in the form of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin 

Magnesium has been proven to significantly reduce inflammation within the body, which would then help to reduce any skin issues that have been brought about by inflammation.

Magnesium also targets skin inflammation directly…

How?

Well, one of the ways it does this is by inhibiting e-selectin, which is a molecule that is responsible for inflammation within the skin. When your skin is damaged, it is e-selectin that sends inflammation to the site of damage, but, in the case of chronic damage, which can be caused by anything from sun exposure to smoking, e-selectin never stops working.

Magnesium can help with this, and therefore minimize and prevent the angry red lesions that e-selectin causes.

Magnesium Helps the Gut to Thrive

Many people do not realize that the health of their gut can have a direct impact on their skin…

Here are a few of the skin issues that poor gut health can cause:

  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Rosacea
  • Dry Skin
  • Psoriasis
  • Facial Redness

In addition to boosting immune function, mood and energy levels, improving the health of the gut has been scientifically proven to lead to clearer skin.

However, science has also proven that a magnesium deficiency will lead to noticeably lower concentrations of good bacteria in the gut.

There is an ideal balance required between good bacteria and bad bacteria in the gut, and, without the right amount of magnesium in your body, this gets completely thrown off.

bacteria in human gut

Are you wondering how magnesium actually affects the gut?

To begin with, magnesium is key when it comes to activating the enzymes responsible for breaking down the food that you have eaten, meaning that, without enough of it, poor digestion will be experienced.

Magnesium is also important when it comes to controlling the contraction and relaxation of the bowel. Without enough magnesium, your bowel will be slower at emptying, which will then cause even more problems for the good bacteria in your gut.

Magnesium Helps to Fight Insulin Resistance

Just like cortisol, insulin is a hormone that is good in small doses, but detrimental to your skin when around for longer periods of time.

What exactly does insulin do?

It basically controls your blood sugar levels, keeping this low. It takes any excess glucose in your blood and helps to convert it into energy, rather than allowing it to become toxic to the body.

However, modern-day diets often contain far too much sugar, resulting in the body producing way too much insulin…

This then results in your cells becoming resistant to excess glucose, meaning that it is no longer converted into energy. The long-term result of this is diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

When it comes to the skin, insulin resistance increases the amount of oil that your sebaceous glands produce, which quickly leads to clogged pores, acne and inflammation.

However, studies have shown that those who increase the amount of magnesium they are consuming are able to lower their metabolic markers for insulin resistance by an impressive 71%. There are many other studies on this subject out there, with another one showing that magnesium was able to significantly prevent type 2 diabetes from developing.

How Much Magnesium Do You Actually Need?

When it comes to the amount of magnesium that you actually need, recommendations vary quite a bit, with some professionals saying around 300-400mg per day, while others say 800-1000mg per day.

So where do you actually get magnesium from?

Well, historically, magnesium was found in high concentrations in the soil, which meant that it made its way into the food that people would eat.

However, the soil that is used to grow our food today has been severely over-farmed, and is seriously depleted of magnesium.

Of course, magnesium can still be found in small amounts in certain foods, such as:

  • Dark, leafy greens – the darker, the better
  • Oily fish – such as sardines and mackerel
  • Seaweed and kelp
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Dark chocolate

10 foods high in magnesium

However, keep in mind that today’s food really only contains magnesium in tiny amounts.

For example, in order to consume your daily requirement of magnesium, you would need to eat more than 33 cups of spinach every day, or over 22 cans of sardines.

This is where magnesium supplements come in…

Unfortunately, in today’s world, this is really the only way to ensure that your body is obtaining its required amount of magnesium each day.

Even if you do not take any other supplements, magnesium is one that you really should consider. As you will have read above, this is a mineral that is so vital when it comes to the various daily functions within the body.

While it is usually better to opt for whole foods that contain the nutrients that you need, this just is not possible when it comes to magnesium, making supplements essential.

Choosing a Magnesium Supplement

magnesium supplement

There are so many different types of magnesium supplements out there, and it can be really difficult knowing which one you actually need.

Magnesium supplements are not all created equally…

The biggest factor that they vary in is how bioavailable they are to the body.

Here are a few of the most common magnesium supplement types:

  • Magnesium Oxide – inexpensive but can have a laxative effect
  • Magnesium Citrate – budget-friendly and more bioavailable than magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium Sulfate – also known as Epsom salts, these also provide sulfur, which is great for soothing aching muscles
  • Magnesium Chloride – highly bioavailable
  • Magnesium Glycinate – optimum bioavailability

Wondering how much you need to take?

As mentioned above, the guidelines vary quite a bit. Some people experience great results with just 250mg a day, whereas others need about 700mg a day to notice a difference.

Your best bet is to start off with a low dose, and then gradually increase this. You cannot really go overboard with taking too much, and it would be really difficult to cause magnesium toxicity, but, as always, exercise common sense.

Topical Magnesium

In addition to consuming magnesium, you can also apply it to your skin topically.

There are many skin care products out there that are formulated with magnesium, or, alternatively, you could use a magnesium oil. Since this is quite a concentrated product, it should not be applied to the face. Instead, apply it to a part of your skin that encourages absorption, such as your inner arm, and then let it soak in.

Epsom salts are another great source of magnesium, and you can absorb this mineral through your skin.

How?

By taking a soak in an Epsom salt bath. Your skin will absorb just the right amount of magnesium that your body needs, and you will also be gaining the benefits of sulfur. Baths with Epsom salts have been proven to be an even better source of magnesium than consuming supplements, making this a method definitely worth trying.

How much should you be adding to your bath?

The recommended amount is around two cups for a well-filled bath, and you should soak in this for 10 to 15 minutes. While it may be tempting to indulge in the bath for a little longer, do not forget that leaving your skin to soak in hot water for so long will bring about its own detrimental effects. 

To boost the amount of magnesium that enters your skin during the bath, try giving your skin a dry brush beforehand.

Avoiding the Things That Inhibit Magnesium Absorption

While magnesium absorption is something that happens naturally, there are certain things that can inhibit this, and therefore leave you more magnesium-deficient than you would have thought.

Eating foods that have been laden with pesticides is one of these things, as is drinking water that contains fluoride.

Prescription drugs are also best avoided when possible, as is dairy, soda and sugar.

With around 80% of Americans being deficient in magnesium, this is a mineral that you need to take extremely seriously. The symptoms of a magnesium deficiency are so varied, so it is well worth trying out a magnesium supplement and seeing how this could not only benefit your skin, but also your overall health.