Tag Archives: vitamin a

Why Retinol is Everywhere

Seriously you can’t shop for skincare products without seeing the word retinol plastered on nearly every package and ingredient list. What’s so great about retinol that it is everywhere in the skincare world? Well, we’re about to tell you. Below, find our five favorite reasons why retinol really is everywhere.

Retinol formula

What is Retinol?
Retinol, also known as vitamin A, is one of the most effective cell-communicating ingredients, which means it can literally connect to almost any skin cell and tell it to behave like a healthy, younger skin cell.

Why Retinol is Everywhere

  • Retinol Rejuvenates Your Skin – As you age, your natural levels of collagen drop and your production slows considerably. Retinol helps to promote new collagen production which results in a more plump and youthful appearance. “Retinol is an antioxidant, and thus can interrupt the free-radical damage process that causes skin to look and act older. This action helps prevent wrinkling and increases collagen production.” A 2007 study published in The Archives of Dermatology indicated that participants who applied a product with .4 percent retinol concentration to one arm for 24 weeks had dramatic improvements to their skin and biopsies revealed that the arm treated with retinol had more building blocks (such as collagen) that make skin more resilient and smooth than the untreated arm.
  • Retinol Stimulates Cell Turnover – Exfoliation is essential for healthy, radiant skin and retinol is a skin care ingredient that helps you skin cells turnover to reveal healthier skin. Improved skin cell turnover results in a smoother, more even complexion and it helps other skin care products work more effectively. With proper exfoliation, products are able to fully penetrate your skin, which enables them to provide maximum benefits.
  • Retinol Controls Acne – Acne can occur at any age and it can be more difficult to clear your adult acne than it was when you were younger. Part of why adult acne may be more stubborn is that your skin and the components that keep you skin smooth and clear begin to work differently as you age. One contributing factor to acne is the accumulation of dead skin cells and other debris is trapped in your pores. Because retinol is stimulates cell turnover and exfoliates your skin, dead skin cells and debris are removed from your skin and your pores are unclogged.
  • Retinol Can Reduce Pore Size – Okay, so before you fall in love with the idea of poreless skin, that’s not possible. Your skin will always have some pores and when it comes to pore size due to genetics, retinol will not be effective. However, if you have large pores as a result of sun damage or clogging, retinol can help to reduce their size with consistent use. Your pores stretch when follicular keratin, a part of the pore lining, builds up and retinol communicates with these cells to remind them to function properly which results in improved pore functioning. Over time, as your pores work properly, it’s entirely possible to see a reduction in pore size.
    Retinol Improves Overall Skin Appearance – Retinol is a skin care ingredient superstar because it not only functions as an anti-aging and anti-acne ingredient, it generally improves the all around appearance of your skin. Retinol can also address skin issues like eczema, decrease discoloration and sun spots, reduce fine lines and re-texturize the face for a smoother, more even complexion.

Retinol is, as we mentioned, widely available in skin care products and retinol products do not require a prescription. When selecting your retinol products, look for containers that are dark colored, because all forms of vitamin A deteriorate when exposed to light. If you are just introducing retinol into your skin care routine, note that it can be irritating to your skin so it’s best to start slowly. Begin by using your retinol product once every other day and monitor how your skin handles retinol. If you don’t experience irritation, go ahead and use your retinol products daily. Once you start making retinol a part of your skin care routine, you will completely understand why retinol is everywhere.

Skin Care Ingredients to be Thankful For

Clear, glowing, healthy skin is something that you should definitely give thanks for. Most of us are in constant pursuit of younger looking, healthier skin and there are some skin care ingredients that are superior to others. We’ve listed our four favorite skin care ingredients and why you should be thankful for them.

Hyaluronic Acid formula

Hyaluronic Acid
You can’t go to any skin care or beauty blog without reading something about hyaluronic acid. While some skin care ingredients are just hype, hyaluronic acid deserves every bit of praise that it gets. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in your body that is responsible for cell renewal and maintaining skin’s elasticity and moisture levels. When you apply hyaluronic acid topically, this amazing skin care ingredient creates a moisture barrier for your skin. In doing so, hyaluronic acid “traps” moisture into your skin, and the hyaluronic acid molecule can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. In addition to major moisture, hyaluronic acid makes your skin smoother and helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping the skin up.

Retinol
When it comes to anti-aging, retinol truly is one of the best skin care ingredients you can use. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that fights fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, dullness, sagging skin and can help with acne. This powerhouse works by increasing the rate of cell turnover while also gently exfoliating to get rid of any dry, dead cells on the surface of your skin. Retinol also stimulates cellular repair deep in your skin, which helps boost your levels of collagen and elastin. When using retinol, be sure to look for packaging that is airtight and opaque, or very dark because air and light can degrade retinol making it far less effective.

Red wine

Resveratrol
It’s not secret that we absolutely adore resveratrol as a skin care ingredient, but there are so many great reasons for our love affair with this potent antioxidant. Resveratrol’s antioxidant power fights against oxidative damage and helps repair old damage from free radicals. This protection against free radical damage is essential for young, healthy looking skin because free radicals actually damage collagen and they activate an enzyme that breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin. Resveratrol also has anti-inflammatory properties so your complexion looks even and radiant.

AHA/ BHA
Alpha-hydroxy acids are organic acids that are typically derived from sugar cane, milk and apples and pears. Sugar cane is responsible for glycolic acid, milk for lactic acid and apples and pears for malic acid. These acids work on the surface layer of your skin to gently exfoliate and brighten dead, dull skin. BHA refers to salicylic acid, which is derived from plant sources. Salicylic acid also is responsible for gentle exfoliation, but it penetrates far more deeply than AHAs do. BHA actually gets down into your pores to clear them of oil, dead skin cells and other debris. AHAs are most frequently used by those with drier skin while BHA is used commonly among those with oily or acne-prone skin.

Quality ingredients equal quality skin and these ingredients are truly skin care superstars. Using products that contain these amazing ingredients, like our Vine Vera Collection skin care, will help you to achieve the healthiest, most radiant skin possible and that’s something you should certainly give thanks for.

What are Carotenoids?

The food you eat does so much more than taste good. One of the most amazing ingredients you can add to your diet are carotenoids. These antioxidant promote eye and skin health as well as providing protection from certain cancers. Our comprehensive guide tells you just what carotenoids are, what they do for you and how you can add some to your diet.

Carrots on a wooden table

What are Carotenoids?
Carotenoids are plant pigments that your body converts into vitamin A. These plant pigments are responsible for the bright red, orange or yellow hue found in fruits and vegetables and are a class of plant pigments known as phytonutrients. Brightly colored red, orange and yellow are not the only fruits and vegetables that contain carotenoids. In fact, kale is one of the greatest sources of dietary vitamin A but the chlorophyll in the plant masks the signature red, orange or yellow color of the vegetable. Generally speaking for both bright vegetables and dark, leafy greens, the deeper in color the fruit or vegetable is, the higher the concentration of carotenoids is.

Carotenoids include:

  • Alpha-carotene
  • Beta-carotene
  • Gamma-carotene
  • Cyptoxanthin
  • Beta-zeacarotene
  • Lycopene
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Lutein
  • Capsanthin
  • Canthaxanith

Of these carotenoids, the highest concentration of vitamin A is beta-carotene but the others are just as important. Even those carotenoids that are not converted into vitamin A in the body like lycopene, lutein and capsanthin, are beneficial to your health in that they have incredible cancer-fighting powers. There is ample research to suggest that lycopene, while not a source of vitamin A, helps to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

What do Carotenoids do?
While some carotenoids are effective at fighting cancer, they are also a valuable preventive tool. Research regarding beta-carotene, the carotenoid with the greatest amount of vitamin A, shows that those who eat foods rich in beta-carotene have a lower risk of developing lung cancer, even among smokers. The study also indicated that the maximum benefits were seen when beta-carotene was provided in the form of plants and vegetables as opposed to taking a vitamin A supplement. In fact three research studies that involved 169,000 participants, of whom many were smokers, the beta-carotene supplement actually increased rates of lung cancer. However, lutein, lycopene and alpha-carotene showed significant protection against lung cancer.

Experts believe that the variation in carotenoid protection is dependent upon when you take carotenoids. For instance, if you take beta-carotene prior to cells undergoing any pre-cancerous changes, beta-carotene reduces the likelihood that mutations will take place due to the antioxidant actions this carotenoid provides. Conversely, taking a beta-carotene supplement after the mutation of cells suggests that beta-carotene may protect the mutated cells from being destroyed by your body.

In addition to fighting cancer, carotenoids that are converted into vitamin A provide your body with important health benefits. One of the most important uses for vitamin A is eye health. The old maxim that carrots are good for your eyes really is rooted in fact. Vitamin A is essential for eye health and preventing vision loss. Your heart also received health benefits from carotenoids, particularly when combined with vitamins E and C. The carotenoid beta-carotene has also been shown to protect the skin against environmental damage and toxins due to its antioxidant properties.

How do you get Carotenoids?
Now that you know why it is so important to get carotenoids into your body, you probably want to know how you can do that. Some of the very best dietary sources of carotenoids include:

  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Beef liver
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggs

Eating a diet rich in carotenoids is an excellent thing to do for your overall health and you can easily incorporate these foods into your diet. While experts recommend dietary carotenoid as the most beneficial for your body, there are certainly dietary supplements available if you are concerned you aren’t receiving enough from your food. Stock up on these fruits and veggies to keep your eyes, heart and cells healthy in addition to getting the healthiest skin of your life.

What is Vitamin A

Vitamin A Infographic

Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for your body to function properly and healthily. The benefits of vitamin A range from younger looking skin to better vision. Check out the comprehensive information on vitamin A that you need to know.

What is Vitamin A?
Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds that are responsible for the maintenance or regulation of various parts/and or functions of the human body. This fat-soluble vitamin is stored in your liver and there are two types of dietary vitamin A: preformed vitamin A and pro-vitamin A. Preformed vitamin A is available in seafood, meat, poultry and dairy food while pro-vitamin A is found in plant-based foods. The most common type of pro-vitamin A found in fruits and vegetables is beta-carotene. You may also get vitamin A from dietary supplements such as beta-carotene or retinyl palmitate.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine states “[v]itamin A helps form and maintain teeth, healthy skin, mucous membranes and skeletal and soft tissues. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye.”

Forms of Vitamin A
There are many forms of vitamin A and its derivatives, but the major forms of vitamin A are:

  • Retinol – The entire vitamin A molecule
  • Retinal – Form of vitamin A largely involved in eye health
  • Retinoic Acid – Vitamin A molecule broken down
  • Dehydroretinol – Vitamin A2
  • Carotenes – These include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and gamma-carotene

Skin Benefits of Vitamin A
Vitamin A is capable of a great many things and some of these relate to helping you achieve healthy, beautiful skin. There are several ways in which your skin benefits from vitamin A:

  • Supports Skin Health and Cellular Growth – Vitamin A is essential for your skin to heal itself and it increases the rate of wound healing. Additionally, vitamin A helps you to re-grow healthy skin cells and promotes a healthy cellular membrane. You are probably aware that vitamin A is frequently used for anti-aging purposes. Collagen is one of the greatest skin ingredients to reduce the visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles, and vitamin A increases your collagen production.
  • Anti-Inflammatory – Vitamin A is full of antioxidants that fight free radical damage and works to decrease any inflammation in your skin. Vitamin A also normalizes your blood flow to help reduce signs of rosacea.
  • Helps Prevent Cancer – There is evidence suggesting that vitamin A helps prevent several types of cancer including oral, lung, skin and breast cancers. A part of why vitamin A may be helpful in preventing skin cancer is that it helps your body eradicate any pre-cancerous skin lesions.

Foods Rich in Vitamin A
Your diet is one of the best sources of vitamin A. Orange and yellow vegetables have high amounts of vitamin A as do dark, leafy greens. You can also receive vitamin A from meat, fish, poultry and dairy sources. Some of the absolute best dietary sources of vitamin A are:

  • Carrots – 21384 IU/one cup serving
  • Sweet Potatoes – 18443 IU/one whole sweet potato
  • Beef Liver – 14363 IU/four ounce serving
  • Kale – 6693 IU/one cup serving
  • Spinach 2813/one cup serving

When it comes to healthy bodily maintenance and functioning, vitamin A is a superstar. Diet is an important aspect of meeting your daily recommended value of vitamin A, but there are also dietary supplements available. For the best skin benefits, there are tons of topical products ranging from cleansers to prescription treatments that help your skin look its absolute best. Next time you’re at your local market, be sure to stock up on some (or all) of the above foods to reap the benefits that vitamin A bestows on your body.

Why Your Skin Craves Vitamin A

Woman applying eye serum.

Vitamin A is an important ingredient if your want to have your skin looking healthy, radiant and clear. You may already be using products that contain vitamin A and you might not know it. Vitamin A is more commonly referred to as retinol when it comes to skin care. Below, check out what forms of vitamin A are available and why your skin craves this skin care ingredient.

Forms of Vitamin A
When it comes to vitamin A, there are three major derivatives and the terms are often used interchangeably. Although many use the terms to refer to vitamin A, there are subtle, but important differences.

Retinol – Retinol is the most widely recognized form of vitamin A and is readily available in cosmetic products. Retinol is the entire vitamin A molecule and as such, it can be broken down into a variety of potent compounds. Skin care experts explain, “[r]etinol is a cosmetic ingredient that any cosmetic company can include in its products. It does not require a prescription. Retinol is effective because when it gets absorbed in the skin, it gets broken down into retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is the compound which can affect your skin cells and their behavior.” Retinol is an excellent ingredient for helping your skin reduce signs of aging.

Retinoids – Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds that are derivatives of vitamin A or are closely related in chemical structure. Retinoids are primarily used in the treatment of acne and aging, but there are other skin conditions that benefit from the use of retinoids. Inflammatory skin disorders, psoriasis and photoaging are conditions that can benefit from the use of retinoids.

Tretinoin – Tretinoin is retinoic acid that is available in prescription form. The most frequent use for topical tretinoin prescriptions is acne control. This retinoic acid manages acne by promoting the peeling of skin to reveal newer, healthier skin. Additionally, tretinoin deep cleans and unclogs pores while also reducing sebum (oil) production. While tretinoin is usually used as an acne treatment, it is also the first retinoid approved by the FDA to treat wrinkles.

“All forms of retinol have similar, although not identical, functions and provide truly impressive results for skin, which explains their popularity in the world of skin care,” note experts.

How to Give Your Skin the Vitamin A it Craves
The first place to begin with making sure your skin is getting plenty of vitamin A is to include foods that are rich in vitamin A in your diet. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, romaine lettuce, dark, leafy greens such as kale and sweet red peppers are all foods that provide high amounts of vitamin A. Seafood like salmon, sturgeon, mackerel and oysters are also a great addition to your diet if you are looking to increase your vitamin A intake.

Next, using topical vitamin A products helps keep your skin looking and feeling happy. Many forms of vitamin A, retinol and its derivatives (retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde to name a few) are widely available in cosmetic products including face cleansers, toners, moisturizing creams, face masks and serums. For more serious skin problems, like severe acne, tretinoin and other retinoids are available in prescription form.

No single ingredient can magically cure all of your skin concerns, but vitamin A does provide many significant benefits. Vitamin A, in any form, gently exfoliates your skin, repairs the cellular structure of the epidermis and promotes healthy cellular membranes. It is important to note the while the benefits of vitamin A are undeniable, you should proceed with caution when beginning to use topical forms of vitamin A. Most people experience increased redness, flaking and irritated skin when first beginning a topical vitamin A regimen. Allow your skin to become used to the ingredient by using every other day at first and be sure that other products you’re putting on your face (cleanser, toners, etc…) are gentle on your skin to avoid increased irritation. Vitamin A is an important ingredient in a healthy skin care routine and is a widely available ingredient.

Skin Care Ingredients that Make Skin Happy

There are constant breakthroughs and improvements when it comes to skin care and it seems there’s always a hot new miracle ingredient. Some of these skin care ingredients are more of a fad than anything, but others are truly incredible ingredients. The three ingredients below have all been in the skin care spotlight for some time, and with good reasons. These skin care ingredients are staples for healthy, happy skin.

Hyaluronic acid chemical formula.

Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the body and it is responsible for the regulation of cell renewal and maintaining the moisture and elasticity of your skin. Skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid are beneficial to all skin types, but they may have the most profound effects on dry skin. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant and when applied topically, it not only adds moisture to the skin, but it creates a moisture barrier on the skin that keeps the moisture from leaving the skin. Because hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, it is incredible for keeping skin hydrated. Recently, hyaluronic acid has been making news as the hot new injectable. When used as an injectable, hyaluronic acid smooths out wrinkles. While hyaluronic acid applied topically does help to “plump” and soften the appearance of wrinkles, the molecule is too large to fully penetrate into your skin and eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.

Peptides
Peptides are a cell-communicating skincare ingredients. These segments of active proteins alert your skin to act in particular ways, one of which is to signal the skin to increase production of elastin. Elastin keeps your skin plump and gives it its ability to bounce back. Additionally, peptides are beneficial in helping skin heal itself after an injury or wound. Peptides are an important anti-aging ingredient that can help minimize the appearance of wrinkles because one of the things they can communicate to cells is the signal to relax facial muscles. They also are helpful in stimulating collagen production, helping to fight fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin A chemical formula.

Retinol
Retinol is an active form of the vitamin A molecule and it is one of the greatest skin care ingredients that you can use. This vitamin A derivative is a powerful exfoliant that encourages your skin to shed layers to turn over younger, healthier skin cells. The use of retinols as a skin care ingredient can improve skin firmness, reverse visible signs of sun and environmental damage, reduce hyperpigmentation and dark circles, treat acne and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to those amazing benefits, retinols also increase natural production of hyaluronic acid and collagen, which keeps skin smooth and supple. When buying products containing retinol, it’s important to pay attention to the packaging. Light and air can degrade retinols, so look for opaque packaging with a pump to preserve its integrity.

These skincare ingredients are beneficial to all skin types and they are most effective when used as part of a healthy skincare routine. Be sure to cleanse your face, tone (if necessary) and hydrate frequently. Drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet will also significantly improve your skin, making these skincare ingredients even more effective. Look for products that contain these ingredients to keep your skin radiant, glowing and happy.

Level Up Your Skin Care Ingredients

The various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your skin needs to be it’s healthiest come in a variety of forms. For instance, retinol (vitamin A) comes in many forms ranging from retinyl palmitate to tretinoin. Figuring out which form of a specific ingredient you need is tricky business, and ultimately will depend on your skin and it’s needs. However, we have a bit of a guide here that explains the different forms of ingredients and how they may, or may not, be what you want to look for in your skin care.

Chemical formula of Vitamin A on a blackboard

Vitamin A
Vitamin A, or retinol, has long been considered one of the most effective skin care ingredients in the fight against aging. Additionally, there are numerous acne treatments that harness the power of retinol. According to skin experts, retinol can be broken into certain potent compounds known as retinoids. Vitamin A, retinol and retinoids are terms that are usually used interchangeably, but each has its own regulations and distinctions. Retinol is labeled as a cosmetic ingredient and can be used in any formulations. The other forms of retinol that are rated as cosmetic-grade and can therefore be used in any formulation include retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate and retinaldehyde.

Which one is right for you? It depends on your skin and your needs. Basically, in order to be effective retinol must be broken down into retinoic acid to be most effective to your skin. Retinoids, then, must be broken down from retinyl acetate to retinol to retinoic acid. Retinoic acid in these forms are mostly used in over-the-counter skin products. For severe skin issues, consult a doctor or dermatologist about the use of prescrition retinoids such as adapalene, tazarotene and tretinoin.

Sliced oranges.

Vitamin C
Another vitamin with tons of skin benefits is vitamin C. The “best” form of vitamin C is ascorbic acid (or L-ascorbic acid). Perhaps because this form of vitamin C has the most research on skin benefits, this is the form of vitamin C that most frequently appears in well-formulated skin care products. Ascorbic acid helps produce new and younger looking skin and fades problems like sun damage or post-acne marks.

Other forms of vitamin C include ascorbyl palmitate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, retinyl ascorbate and magnesium ascorbyl phosphates. These are all derivatives of vitamin C that come with their own unique benefits, but largely include the repair and protection of free radical damage.

Chemical formula of vitamin B3.

Vitamin B
There are many types of vitamin B that are included in skin care and beauty products, many of which are used to treat specific skin care concerns. Vitamin B3 is also known as nicotinic acid and niacinamide and is a form of vitamin B to look into if you require skin care that focuses on anti-aging properties.

Vitamin B5 is another common ingredient in skin care and is also referred to as pantothenic acid. Pantothenic acid may help with acne issues and has been proven to provide hydration and healing properties to the skin. Panthenol is the alcohol form of pantothenic acid and is a frequent addition to beauty formulas for its humectant properties. It improves the barrier function of the skin and helps improve the cells responsible for creating collagen.

The cosmetic and beauty industry is an ever-changing business always featuring new technology and improved ingredients. Ultimately, the forms of ingredients that you desire will depend on the needs your skin has. However, with a little help from Vine Vera, you can get started on discerning what ingredient forms are best for you.

Top Ingredients for Your Skin Type

The major skin types that people have include normal, dry, oily and combination. Normal skin is the most rare while oily can be the most difficult to remedy through topically applied products. Using the proper skin care ingredients for your skin type helps give you the clear, beautiful skin you want.

Vine-Vera-Top-Ingredients-for-Your-Skin-Type-Normal-Skin

Normal
Normal skin is the exception rather than the rule, and many people who have normal skin deal with normal skin plus a concern or two. You most likely have normal skin if your skin is not oily or dry and if you do get small spots of oily or dry skin they are quick and easy to remedy. Normal skin has a fairly even skin tone with no major brown or red spots and your pores are neither invisible nor enlarged.

The best way to care for normal skin is to avoid products labeled for other skin types: oily skin care products will be too drying while dry skin care products will have too much moisture. Look for products with gentle, but effective ingredients. Antioxidants are important ingredients for all skin types, and normal skin benefits from vitamins A, C and E. Though normal skin is not oily, you still need to exfoliate normal skin regularly to remove any dead skin cells or other debris that may accumulate. The best exfoliant for normal skin is an alpha hydroxy acid, which is a gentle chemical exfoliant. An AHA exfoliant also reduces the appearance of wrinkles and increases collagen production.

Cosmetic cream and strawberries on a wooden table.

Dry
The common perception is that dry skin suffers from a lack of moisture, but this is not entirely true. Rather, dry skin has lost its ability to maintain normal levels of moisture as the skin’s barrier response has been weakened. To best take care of dry skin, it is important to look for ingredients that help the skin to retain a healthy water balance. Rid your skin care routine of anything that contains a rough scrub, use your fingers rather than a harsh cleansing brush and drying ingredients such as alcohol.

Dry skin requires some extra attention and delicate care. Many times those with dry skin can skip cleansing altogether as soaps, particularly in bar form, can be incredibly drying. Splash some warm water over your face and cleanse using a gentle AHA exfoliant. Look for moisturizers packed with antioxidants such as vitamin E and consider the use of intensive serums or plant oils. Plant oils such as jojoba and olive oils can be extremely helpful to dry skin.

Woman cleansing her face.

Oily
Oily skin is perhaps the hardest type of skin to deal with because it is caused by hormones which are genetically determined. The hormones responsible for oil production are androgens and while they are considered the “male hormone,” they are present in both males and females. You have oily skin if your face becomes shiny about two hours after cleansing and continues to become increasingly “greasy” throughout the day. Additionally, people with oily skin often have enlarged pores due to the increase in oil production.

While it may seem like a good idea to dry out oily skin, this can make your skin produce even more oil. Rather than using harsh ingredients like alcohol, look for gentle cleansers with ingredients such as salicylic acid. This helps combat oil, and any resulting acne, without being too drying on the skin. Use of a toner after cleansing can help oily skin and looking for one with antioxidants such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can provide great benefits. Be sure to exfoliate and again salicylic acid, or BHA exfoliant, is great for clearing away dead skin cells and unclogging pores.

Witch Hazel

Combination
Combination skin is difficult for people to deal with and recognize. Combination skin occurs when you face two or more skin types at one time. Often, some part of the skin is dry and flaky while other parts of the skin are oily. Generally, this manifests as an oily T-zone, where the forehead, nose and chin are oilier than the rest of the face.

Use a gentle cleanser and avoid bar soaps for combination skin. Again, look for a toner but be sure that it does not include any irritating ingredients such as citrus oils, alcohols or witch hazel. Salicylic acid is a great ingredient and can be used as a regular exfoliant to keep the T-zone clean and clear. If your skin is particularly dry, then you may want to skip the BHA (salicylic acid) toner and switch to an AHA exfoliant. Use heavy moisturizers or anti-acne medications as spot treatments rather than applying to the entire face.

Treating your unique skin type with the ingredients that it needs ensures you have the healthiest skin possible. Remember to use sunscreen daily no matter what type of skin you have as it provides necessary protection against harmful UV rays. A regular routine of cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing helps all skin types stay looking youthful and radiant.

Antioxidants to Boost Immunity – Vine Vera Reviews

Antioxidants are a highly popular topic when it comes to health and beauty and with good reason. These food and skin care ingredients really do help in a large variety of ways from protecting your immune health to helping you look younger. There are several ways to use antioxidants in order to boost your immunity. The most common way for people to get antioxidants to improve immune functioning is through their diet. A healthy, well-balanced diet often provides all the antioxidants you need for proper immune functioning. However, there are supplements designed to pack an extra punch with antioxidants. Following, we’ve compiled a brief list of the most recognized antioxidants to look for when it comes to boosting your immunity.

Broccoli on a wooden board.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C as an antioxidant fights free radicals that attack your body daily. According to a paper published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information, vitamin C deficiencies lead to reduced resistance against pathogens, while an increase in supply can enhance certain immune system parameters. The paper further states “With regard to the common cold different studies including meta-analyses underline that the prophylactic intake of vitamin C may slightly reduce the duration of the illness in healthy persons…”

Foods that are high in vitamin C include many citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges and kiwis. Other foods rich in the antioxidant vitamin C include:

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Red, yellow or green peppers

Sliced papaya on a plate.

Vitamin E
Another important antioxidant to help boost your immune system is vitamin E. Vitamin E is essential to immune functioning because it signals the germ/bacteria/virus killer cells to target foreign or harmful substances and destroy these cells. Additionally, vitamin E stimulates the production of B cells which create antibodies to fight diseases. Foods that are high in vitamin E include:

  • Broccoli
  • Leafy greens such as chard and spinach
  • Nuts
  • Red peppers
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Papaya

Lobster dish with seafood dressings.

Selenium
Selenium is an important antioxidant that increases natural killer cells and that enhances the results of vitamin E in the body. In addition, selenium is a powerful antioxidant in the fight against cancer because it mobilizes cancer-fighting cells and reduces damage due to chemical carcinogens and radiation. Selenium also boosts your immune response to infections and helps your body form blood clots. To get more selenium in your diet consider these foods:

  • Eggs
  • Tuna
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Nuts
  • Chicken
  • Cheese
  • Whole grains

Closeup of a ripe peach.

Vitamin A
Carotenoids are also an important immune-boosting antioxidant. When your body requires vitamin A it converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, but otherwise allows carotenoids to be free to fight free radicals. Beta-carotene is  important to your immune system because it interferes with the oxidation of fat and cholesterol in your blood stream. When you want to increase your intake of beta-carotene, look for brightly colored foods such as:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe

Varying your diet helps provide your body with the nutrients it needs and including antioxidants helps to boost your immune system. Before beginning any new diet or taking supplements, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor first.

Most Important Skin Care Ingredients – Vine Vera Reviews

You take care of your job, your kids, your significant other and tons of other obligations. With all that you do it can be incredibly difficult to find the time to take care of yourself and your skin. Some nights you may not even have enough energy to wash your face. Vine Vera believes that if you choose beauty and skin care products that contain certain ingredients, you can easily take care of your skin. These ingredients help you achieve maximum beauty benefits with minimal effort.

The formula of Vitamin B3 on a blackboard.

Niacinamide
Niacinamide has several names by which it is called. Most products use the word niacinamide on the label, though this ingredient is also known at vitamin B3 and nicotinic acid. Niacinamide is an important skin care ingredient that communicates with your cells. This beneficial skin care ingredient has multiple benefits for your skin. It can improve skin’s elasticity, revive your skin tone, even out your skin texture, lighten discoloration and increase the skin’s barrier function. Niacinamide increases the levels of ceramide and fatty acids in your skin, which helps your skin to retain water. In addition to all of these benefits from this one ingredient, current research is being conducted to test whether niacinamide can help lessen acne.

Woman looking at her bottle of sunscreen.

Titanium Dioxide
Chances are you now own at least one product that already contains titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is one of the most popular minerals used for sun protection. Before titanium dioxide goes into skin care products and cosmetics, it is purified to remove contaminants such as iron and lead. Often, you will find that titanium dioxide is present in mineral sunscreens along with zinc oxide. Sun protection factor (SPF) is an often skipped but crucial step in any beauty routine. You should use sunscreen, or products containing sunscreen such as your facial moisturizer, 365 days of the year. Ideally, you would apply products containing titanium dioxide on your body as well. It goes without saying that titanium dioxide is one of the best skin care ingredients as it protects your skin from UV damage, which can result in sun spots, premature aging and skin cancer.

Hand drawing the chemical formula of hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic Acid
We’ve already discussed this essential skin care ingredient but it bears repeating. Applied topically, hyaluronic acid smooths and softens your skin by creating a moisture barrier. Because hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in your body, it is less likely to be rejected as a foreign substance. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent ingredient in beauty products such as moisturizers and eye creams. This ingredient is also the top choice among dermatologists and plastic surgeons as a wrinkle filler. Hyaluronic acid is injected into the skin and plumps fine lines and wrinkles.

Woman enjoying a milk bath.

AHA/BHA
Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids are organic acids that work to exfoliate your skin. AHAs differ as skin ingredients. The most popular AHAs are glycolic acid, lactic acid and malic acids. BHA for beauty purposes refers exclusively to salicylic acid. Both of these organic acids work as gentle exfoliants on your skin. AHAs are water soluble, making it great for individuals with normal to dry skin while BHA is oil soluble which can help with oil production and acne.

Vitamin icons circulating around a woman's head

Retinol
Retinol is an active form of vitamin A. Retinol helps skin increase the production of both collagen and hyaluronic acid, both of which leave the skin supple and smooth feeling. Additionally, retinol encourages new, young skin cells to turnover and replace dead, unhealthy skin cells. Retinol also contains exfoliating properties. In addition to all of this, retinol also improves the firmness of your skin, treats acne, reverses damage from the sun and environment and decreases hyperpigmentation, dark under eye circles, fine lines and wrinkles.

The best thing about these skin care ingredients is that they are often combined in products. This means that with one face cream you will get all of the benefits of each ingredient, without having to slather on a ton of product or taking a long time to get ready in the morning.