Tag Archives: vitamin c

What’s Great About the Kitavan Diet

Let’s take a moment to travel to a timeless, magical place; a place where the water is crystal clear and telecommunication is non-existent. A remote idyllic tropical island, of coral reefs, of Skull Caves, Orchid Gardens, and smiling faces. Welcome to Kitava Island, off the coast of Papua, New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean. While many find the quaintness of the island its most charming attraction, others may argue that Kitava is way ahead of its time. You see, Kitava, New Guinea may not be a leader in technology, but they do have something far superior and way ahead of the times as compared to most other places in the world. It has the Kitavan Diet.

Kitavan diet

Kitavan Diet
Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the Kitavans is what they don’t have; there is practically no diabetes, acne, cardiovascular disease, dementia, or blood pressure difficulty. What they do have, however, is an abundance of food. But, despite this abundance, they do not suffer from obesity, and they all have low diastolic blood pressure.

Research finds that the good health in Kitava is due to the local foods. Fresh fruit, tubers, coconut, and fish make up a good percentage of the Kitavan diet, with an extremely low consumption of Western food. The diet is also virtually absent of dairy products, coffee, tea, and alcohol, and contains very little margarine, oils, sugars, grain, and cereals. The most commonly eaten tubers are yam, sweet potato, cassava and taro, while banana, papaya, guava, pineapple, watermelon, and mango top the list of fruits. The fat intake is low, and most of the fat that is consumed is saturated fat or omega-3 fat from seafood.

Foods with Low GI
Another thing common to the foods found in the Kitavan diet is their low rating on the glycemic index, a measure of the ability of food with carbohydrates to raise glucose, or blood sugar, levels. A diet rich in high GI foods can tax the body, leading to excess body weight, heart disease, increase of diabetic symptoms, high cholesterol levels, and lack of energy. Tubers, which play a large part in the Kitavan diet, are among the islander’s primary source of carbohydrates and have a relatively low GI rating.

Sweet potato

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C and beta carotene, both known to be powerful antioxidants which protect against aging and cancer. They are also known to increase levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone which offers health benefits to diabetics and pre -diabetics and may also protect against atherogenesis, the abnormal formation of fat deposits within the arteries; this would explain the low incidence of heart disease and diabetes on the island.

Coconuts
Besides having anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, the triglycerides in coconut may promote weight loss. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic disorders found that coconuts increased calorie burn and decreased storage of fat in overweight men. Another study found that the fat consumed in coconut oil could increase the metabolism of fat and calorie expenditure in women.

Coconut

The Kitavan Diet and Acne
In 1990, Swedish general practitioner, Steffan Lindeberg, performed health examinations on more than a thousand Kitavans, age 10 years and older, with 25% of the subjects age 15 to 25 and found not a single case of acne. This is likely attributable to lifestyle and diet, rather than genetic factors, since Pacific Islanders with similar ethnic backgrounds living in more westernized societies were found to have a higher prevalence of acne.

What do you think about the Kitavan diet? Have we got something here? Weigh in with your opinions. We value them highly.

Transform Dull Pasty Skin

If you’re looking a little more zombie-like than you would prefer, here are some ways you can transform your dull and pasty skin into something a bit more life affirming.

Smiling woman 1. Exfoliate
When you exfoliate, your skin reflects more light. If you’re younger than 20, your skin cells rejuvenate ever 28 days, but by the time you hit for 20’s, turnover slows to between 30 and 40 days. According to Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, “Dead skin cells pile up, diffusing the light and making skin dull. ” Exfoliate at night rather than in the morning for best results and to remove all the dirt and grime buildup from the day.

2. Use a Highlighter
Makeup artist Mally Roncal says a champagne highlighter, “looks good on anyone.” For normal to dry skin, Roncal advises using your fingers for application. “Tap up and down your cheekbones and dab whatever’s leftover on your brow bones, the center of your chin, and the tip of your nose.” If your complexion is on the oily side, you may want to dust some powder formula over those areas with a fluffy brush.

3. Allover Body Glow
To get an all over body radiance, try botanical oils instead of lotion. The lipids found in botanical oils are the same ones that are in your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson recommends coconut oil. “It’s rich in fatty acids, so it gets absorbed really quickly and leaves behind a glow instead of a shine-it looks more like your skin is lit up than lotioned up.”
Roncal weighs in on the importance of an full body shine, saying, “if your face is radiant and your body is ashy, it can look jarring. Your glow will be much more believable if you highlight your body too. However, when it comes to your body, a tinted highlighter is preferable to an untinted, which is easier to blend, while still providing a healthy glow.

Woman exfoliating skin
4. Optimal Skin Care Tips
In addition to exfoliation, there are certain ingredients you should look for to give your skin that extra brilliance.

Ceramides
Although your skin has natural enzymes to slough off dead skin cells, they don’t work as well when your skin is dry. Moisturizers with ceramides can reinforce the natural barrier of your skin and help it to rejuvenate.

Retinoids
Frederic Brandt, dermatologist says, “Your skin reflects light even better when its firm.” He suggests an over the counter or prescription strength retinoid to boost production of collagen.

Vitamin C
Use this antioxidant to brighten skin and help fade dulling sun spots.

Best Exfoliators for Your Skin

For Fair, Dry, and Sensitive Skin
If your skin comes under one of these categories, you should probably go easy on the exfoliation. Your skin type is the type most likely to become irritated and prone to dryness and age spots. Dr. Brandt recommends a lactic peel once a week. Lactic acid is made of fairly large molecules, which doesn’t penetrate as deeply as harsher acids.

For Oily and Combination Skin
If you’ve got combination or oily skin, you require deeper exfoliation than other skin types. Brandt says a cleanser with salicylic acid used daily and a scrub with microbeads used once a weel are the ways to go. “The scrub sweeps aways dead cells so the salicylic acid can clean clogged pores,” he says.

For Normal Skin
Brandt says you should use a glycolic acid peel one a week if you’ve got normal skin. Says he, “it’s one of the most effective exfoliators because it penetrates deeply.”

What do you do when your glow is low? We want to know!

Best Ingredients For Face Masks

It has been said, ” Behind every mask, there is a face, and behind that a story.” What story is your face telling? Is it the story of dryness, or of oiliness, or is it is a combination of both. Do you want to change that story? It all revolves around finding the right mask. When it comes to choosing the right mask for your skin type, it’s all about the ingredients. You need to know what is in your mask and what that means for you. Here are some of the best ingredients to look for in a mask and what they do.

Honey
Honey
Not for nothing did Cleopatra spend her days applying this golden delight to her skin. Honey has loads of antioxidants to fight damage caused by free radicals that lead to skin cancer and aging. It also has antiseptic properties to fight acne. Oily or dry, your good to go!

Oats
What better to go with honey than oats? It is with good reason that oats are a commonly found ingredient in all skin products. They cleanse pores to unclog dirt and bacteria making for great exfoliation, and also can be soothing to skin affected by sunburn or other inflammatory conditions.

Aloe Vera
There’s very little this miracle plant can’t do. It is a great ingredient to look for in facial masks because of its ability to soothe sunburn and combat effects of aging. In addition, aloe vera is a known moisturizer and acne reducer.

Avocados Avocado
Great for you inside and on the surface, avocado is loaded with healthy fats to hydrate skin. It offers the antioxidant power of vitamin C needed for the creation of elastin and collagen for structure and firmness and carotenoids to improve skin’s density and tone.

Mint
The antiseptic properties of mint are what makes it so beneficial in face masks. It unclogs pores to leave skin cleansed and tingling and is also effective in preventing breakouts.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E plays a vital role in the production of healthy collagen and elastin in the skin, preventing sagging and wrinkling, Additionally, it offers skin protection against free radical damage caused by the oxidation of fats in skin cells which causes skin to age.

Clay or Mud
Clay and mud are known for their ability to pull impurities from skin, which is great for all skin types. It can also be an effective way of reducing breakout and adding moisture.

We hope that the story of your face is a happy one. We’d love to hear all about your favorite facial ingredients and why you love them!

Vitamins in Skin Care Products

Woman buying beauty products

In 1933, a statement was released involving the “study of vitamins” and the “constant development of new and novel methods for their administration.”  The statement went on, “One of these is the application of ointments or creams rich in vitamin containing substances directly to the skin.” It followed that this practice would help to correct, “mild skin morbidities, large pores, lines, wrinkles, sallowness, etc.” Twenty years later, Helena Rubenstein’s released her Lanolin Vitamin Formula with vitamin A.  It would set you back $1.50 for a one month supply and $2.50 for a two month supply. We’ve come a long way since then! Well, whatever your “skin concerns” may look like, there’s probably vitamin for that today.

According to Mary Lupo, MD and professor of dermatology at Tulane University, “the body only delivers only a certain percentage of vitamins to your skin, no matter how much you ingest.” Our bodies do their best, but in order to guarantee that we’re hitting the target, we need to make sure that we help out by putting these vitamins there ourselves.  One of the best ways of doing so is by looking out for certain vitamins in your skin care products.

Vitamin E
Otherwise known as tocopheryl, vitamin E works in several ways to provide antioxidant benefits to the skin.  Although both natural and synthetic forms of the vitamin are beneficial, the natural form is more potent and longer lasting.  Vitamin E helps to protect skin from environmental pollutants and is found often in sunscreen because of its ability to defend skin against UV light.  Pair it with Vitamin C for a one-two punch against aging.

Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3 is best for reducing redness and boosting hydration. Also known as niacinamide, vitamin B3 increases productions of fatty acids and ceramides, which are both play major roles in the skin’s protective barrier. Says Leslie S. Baumann, MD and director of the University of Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute, “As that barrier is strengthened, skin is better able to keep moisture in and irritants out.”  The results of one study showed that moisturizers containing B3 tempered the redness caused by rosacea.  In addition, the wonder vitamin interferes with the transfer of pigment to cells in the skin, decreasing the appearance of dark spots.

vitamin c

Vitamin C
Also listed as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a superstar for diminishing  the look of dullness, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and fine lines. Vitamin C is a proven preservative of skin’s resiliency and helps to smooth and firm skin, while evening out skin tone, increasing hydration  and making it visibly more radiant. Hema Sundaram, MD, advises looking for moisturizers with this vitamin in the list of ingredients and see the benefits for yourself.

Retinol
Retinol, or Vitamin A, more commonly, is probably the gold standard of ingredients for skin, providing benefits to combat everything from bumps, rough texture, wrinkles, and fine lines  According to Doris Day, MD and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at University Langone Medical center, “There are more than 700 published studies on retinoids.  They’re tried and true ingredients.  Anyone who wants younger looking skin should use one.”

Vitamin K
If you want younger, brighter looking eyes,  you may want vitamin K. One study concluded that daily use of vitamin K in an eye cream over four months lightened under eye circles significantly, but because of the retinol content in the cream, it was unclear which vitamin was responsible. However, Dr. Berman says the retinol may ease Vitamin K’s ability to be absorbed by skin and prevent darkness.

Let us know what vitamins your skin has been taking and how they’re working for you.  We love to get your comments and suggestions.

Nutrients You Might Be Missing from Your Vegan Diet

woman with salad
No matter what your take on veganism is, you have to give vegans credit. They gave up cheese for this. That means they can’t walk into the Cheesecake Factory and order a slice of White Chocolate Mousse. They can’t walk into a Pizza Hut and order the stuffed crust. They can’t munch on cheese doodles while watching the game, they can’t get a cheeseburger at MacDonald’s and they can’t eat those cheese doodles stuffed with more cheese. So good for them, you may say. Who needs to put all that junk in their bodies? Well, while it’s safe to say most of us could live safely, and probably for a much longer time, without ever eating the aforementioned for the rest of their lives, there is some proof that a vegan diet may be lacking in certain nutrients and not just cheese. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you get what you need while maintaining the lifestyle you choose.

Vitamin B 12
Known as the energy vitamin, your body needs B 12 for blood formation, energy production, reproductive health and DNA synthesis. Signs of Vitamin B12 deficiencies include fatigue, impaired function of the brain and megaloblastic anemia. It has also been associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders like an Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
If you are a hardcore vegan, Nori Seaweed and tempeh both contain small amounts of vitamin B12. If you do not eat these foods regularly, you should take a B-12 supplement to make sure you’re getting all the energy you need.

Woman with vitamin D3
Vitamin D3
You may have heard of Vitamin D3 as the steroid hormone you get from sun exposure. However, what you may not know is that it’s also involved in the machinery of all the cells and tissues in your body and is crucial for disease prevention Although sun exposure is the best way of getting Vitamin D, researchers are now finding that some foods contain some pretty meaningful amounts of it. It is estimated that the average adult in the central United States gets about 1,500 – 2,000 IUs of Vitamin D from food; specifically meat, egg yolk and fatty fish. However, even if you do eat these foods, most of your vitamin D does come from sunlight and, if you are not a fan of the sun, without a Vitamin D supplement, deficiency is all but guaranteed. So if sun is not your thing,make sure to stock up on the D supplements.

Animal-Based Omega-3 DHA
Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega 3 fat found in animals like krill and fish necessary for heart health and brain function. In addition, pregnant women with DHA deficiencies put their children at risk for developmental problems. Although plant based omega-3 fats can be found, it takes a combination of them to get a sufficient amount of DHA. If you’re determined to get your DHA from plants, try combining hemp and flax with krill oil, an animal based omega-3 with an antioxidant 48 percent more potent than fish oil. It is also sustainable and eco- friendly.

Heme Iron
Although iron is found in plant and animal foods, heme iron is found only in meat, usually red meat. The iron found in plants is not absorbed well by the body, which can increase the risk of anemia for vegetarians and vegans. If you need to supplement with heme iron, a safe form is carbonyl iron, as opposed to the often toxic ferrous sulfate.

Sulfur
Meat and fish are the only ways to get the amino acids you need to produce protein. Without animal protein, you increase your risk of sulfur deficiency. Sulfur is vital for the activity of enzymes and proteins. If you don’t have a sufficient amount, it can affect joints, bones, metabolic processes and connective tissue. A 2012 study showed that low intake of sulfur by vegans and vegetarians can result in increased risk of heart attack and cardiovascular diseases. If you are a staunch adversary of meat, seek your sulfur in coconut and olive oil. If you are looking to supplement, Methylsufonylmethane or MSM is the organic form of sulfur, naturally found in plants.

If veganism is part of your way of life, let us know about it. Do you miss cheese? We want to hear your struggle.

Keeping Your Skin Hydrated and Radiant

Woman with glowing skin

It is so important to keep your skin healthy. Your makeup will look better, and your skin will stay looking youthful if you work to prevent damage. Follow these skin health tips to keep your skin looking hydrated and radiant this summer!

Exfoliate a Few Times a Week
Getting rid of dull, dead skin will boost radiance and help your serums and moisturizers sink deeper into the skin. Using a cleansing brush, like a Clarisonic, can be great for daily use, but a gritty exfoliator once or twice can really make a difference in your skin’s texture. Chemical exfoliators also work great if you find traditional methods too abrasive. They can be purchased as a peel-off mask to use weekly, or in toners for daily use. Don’t forget to also exfoliate your body with a body scrub!

Woman drinking water

Drink Water
This tip is obvious, but is so important, so we’re including it anyway. Nothing will give you dull, tired looking skin like being dehydrated. This is especially important in the summer because you can get dehydrated faster. Make sure you bring your water bottle to work with you so you don’t forget to drink before lunch- getting dehydrated in the morning can zap your energy as well as your skin. Coffee in the morning will only dehydrate you! Making a conscious effort to drink water throughout the day can do a lot for your skin.

Try Out Some Vitamin C
There are so many products on the market right now in every price range that are formulated with vitamin C. Because it is an antioxidant, these products can prevent skin damage on a cellular level, and promote radiance and health! Vitamin C products also normally have a great citrus smell that can perk you up in the morning!

Use a Hyaluronic Acid Mask
There is no better way to keep skin hydrated and maintain its elasticity! Using an overnight hyaluronic mask will make your skin look smooth, plump, and healthy!

Woman applying sunscreen

Get Serious About Your Sun Protection
Wearing sunscreen on your face every day is the best way to prevent skin damage. Sun damage can make your skin dry and uneven, plus it causes premature aging, so commit to using a moisturizer with SPF 30 every day. Top it with a foundation with SPF for even more protection. If you want a little color this summer, stick with bronzing primers and glowy powders!

Pack on the Glow!
Now that strobing is popular, there are tons of products out there that will give you a glowing, radiant look. We recommend starting with a nourishing moisturizer (bonus points if it has sun protection). Then, using a brightening eye cream will help cancel out any dull blue circles that can pull your face down. Using a radiance boosting primer will help your glowing look last all day. Keep the glow coming with a light, dewy BB cream and a cream bronzer to give you a sun-kissed Finally, top everything off with a subtle wash of a shimmery bronzer across your cheeks and the bridge of your nose. You’ll be left with a radiant, healthy look that’s perfect for summer!

Using Pumpkin for Beautiful Skin

It is officially fall and the arrival of all things pumpkin is upon us. Seasonal favorites, like the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte, are back in full force and the uses of for pumpkin seem endless. From carving a Halloween pumpkin to baking that amazing pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, there is a pumpkin product that suits your taste. If you still aren’t sold on how awesome pumpkin is, this post may change your mind. While the vast majority of pumpkin popularity revolves around the cozy pumpkin spice flavor or their appearances at Halloween, there are other reasons to get excited about this orange-hued multi-tasker. Pumpkin is actually super beneficial for your skin, and the benefits of pumpkin added to your skin care can be enjoyed all year long, rather than for a few brief months each year.

Woman holding a pumpkin during fall.

Why is Pumpkin Good for Skin?
Simply put, pumpkin is great for your skin because it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your skin needs.

Carotenoids – Carotenoids are responsible for the vivid orange hue pumpkins possess. Alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, in addition with other carotenoids not only make pumpkins aesthetically pleasing, they also provide excellent protective antioxidants that improve your skin. Carotenoids are absorbed very well by the skin and the the antioxidants found in carotenoids help reverse UV damage and smooth the texture of the skin.

Vitamin C – This antioxidant is vital to your skin and has a multitude of benefits. Vitamin C helps protect against free radical damage, reduces inflammation and irritation, boosts healthy collagen production and fades dark spots from aging, sun damage and even post-acne marks. The added collagen boost means less fine lines and wrinkles on your face while the protection against free radicals helps to prevent more signs of aging from forming.

B Vitamins – Pumpkin is an excellent source of several B vitamins including B6, niacin, riboflavin and folate. Studies have shown that niacinamide helps control the popular rosacea issues, flushing and blushing. It may also help lighten dark spots on the face. Niacinamide is also used in the treatment of acne. Folate is a great skin care ingredient because it improves circulation which helps speed up cell turnover and cell renewal.

Minerals – The minerals found in pumpkin are many, but some of the most important include copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and manganese. Zinc is a skincare superstar; it protects cell membranes, fights acne, promotes skin renewal and maintains collagen levels. Copper, zinc and potassium not only benefit your skin, but also your hair.

There are already a number of beauty products contains including scrubs, toners and masks. However, using fresh pumpkin to DIY skincare is super easy. You can use fresh or canned pumpkin to create an easy face mask. Grab ¼ cup of pumpkin and whisk together with one egg. If you have oily skin, consider adding some apple cider vinegar, and for dry skin add a bit of honey. Slather all over your face and leave for 15-20 minutes then rinse. No more wasted pumpkin after serious carving sessions, you can save it and use it to improve your skin.

 

Ingredients to Detox Your Skin

The skin is your body’s largest organ. Some people feel that using skincare products to soothe, repair and heal your skin is merely vanity. However, this is really untrue. Your skin is a reflection of how you treat your body, not just a reflection of the products you choose. A healthy diet in conjunction with proper skin care can dramatically change the appearance of your skin. Just as you need to detox your inner organs every now and then, you need to detox your skin as well. Drinking detox water, eating foods that help remove toxins like cucumbers or lemon will definitely play a large role in the detox of your skin. To achieve maximum results, look for products with the following ingredients.

Salicylic acid chemical formula.

Salicylic Acid
This popular exfoliant and acne treatment is one that you may want to look for when you are trying to detoxify your skin and restore it to health. Salicylic acid goes beyond cleaning the surface of your skin, it penetrates the pores. Once inside the pore, salicylic acid clears away accumulated dead skin cells, dirt and any other debris. You can find salicylic acid in facial and body cleansers, toners and astringents, moisturizers and other treatment products.

Citrus fruits.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that contains tons of skin benefits. Damaged skin needs extra attention and ascorbic acid, the most commonly used form of vitamin C in skincare and beauty products, helps repair your skin. Vitamin C is an essential part of your body’s collagen production process. Collagen is what gives your skin its elasticity and firmness. In addition to collagen production, vitamin C helps your skin to naturally heal itself, which damaged skin requiring a detox, needs.

Chamomile flowers and tea.

Chamomile Extract
Chamomile is a common staple for soothing your body whether you drink chamomile tea for a sore throat or use a skincare product that contains chamomile extract to soothe your skin. Chamomile contains flavanoids, plant derivatives that have antioxidant properties, and with other ingredients, and increases blood flow to the skin. Additionally, chamomile acts as an anti-inflammatory providing relief to irritated, damaged skin.

Green tea.

Green Tea
There are tons of skincare products available that make use of the amazing antioxidant power of green tea. Not only can you use green tea contained in products, you can also brew your own green tea and use it directly on the skin. The tannic acid in green tea is antibacterial and when applied topically it helps to draw impurities from your skin.

Just as a body detox clears out toxins, so does a skin detox. The use of these ingredients helps to deeply cleanse your face and repair any damage that has been done. You don’t have to detox your skin all the time, but an easy way to do so is by using a detoxifying mask once a week. For even better skin detox results, pair your skin detox with a body detox. Mix a pitcher of your favorite detox water to clear toxins from the inside out.

Spotlight on VItamin C

There is no doubt that you know vitamin C. It’s an essential vitamin for your body, providing multiple benefits, perhaps most famously immune support. If you have been paying attention to skin care for the past few years, you know that vitamin C is an increasingly popular ingredient among skin care lines from your drugstore to the highest luxury brands. While some skin care ingredients are trendy and popular for a few seasons or years, vitamin C is a stellar ingredient that remains a constant staple in many products.

Closeup of an orange

Why Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a potent, naturally occurring antioxidant. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development. Vitamin C provides benefits to your body by:

  • Forming a protein required to make skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels
  • Helping wounds heal and forming scar tissue
  • Repairing and maintaining healthy bones, teeth and cartilage

While these are all critical to your health, vitamin C also has dermatological properties. Some of the amazing benefits from using products with vitamin C include:

  • Reduction in photo-ageing (brown spots and sun damage spots)
  • Reduction in inflammation and irritation
  • Providing a boost in collagen production
  • Fighting damage from free radical oxidation
  • Fading red marks that occur post-acne

What Type of Vitamin C Should I Use?
The usual form of vitamin C as it relates to skin care is ascorbic acid, also referred to as L-ascorbic acid. Perhaps the main reason that this form of vitamin C is the most prevalent in skin care is that it has the most research and scientific study of all forms of vitamin C for skin care. If the ascorbic acid is formulated properly, it provides every skin care benefit listed above. For more stubborn pigmentation and post-acne marks, you can use a product containing a higher (15% or higher) concentration of ascorbic acid.

Though ascorbic acid is the most frequently used in skin care, it is not the only form of vitamin C that finds its way into skin care products. Other forms of vitamin C that are believed to be effective for dermatological care are:

  • Retinyl ascorbate
  • Ascorbyl palmitate
  • Tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
  • Sodium ascorbyl phosphate
  • Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate

All of these are derivatives of vitamin C that provide benefits such as protection from free radicals to repairing skin to increasing collagen production, though there is not as much research on these forms.

Woman applying moisturizer

How to Use Vitamin C
Using vitamin C topically is pretty straightforward; you purchase a product that provides benefits your skin needs and you apply the product as directed. However, there are some things you should take into consideration when purchasing skin care that includes vitamin C. First, while vitamin C is helpful on its own, it works even better when combined with other antioxidants, so look for product formulations that include vitamin C as well as other antioxidants, such as green tea. Next, it is important to consider the packaging of the product. Sure, you like nice looking products displayed in your bathroom, but sacrifice beauty for function if necessary. Vitamin C, along with every other antioxidant, has the tendency to destabilize when exposed to light or air. Look for a container that is air-tight or that uses a pump that can close and that is opaque so the light cannot penetrate the product.

Vitamin C is truly a necessity for your body, especially for your skin. Ascorbic acid, and other forms of vitamin C, provide a large range of benefits that help you to get the best skin possible.

Product Pairs to Avoid

At Vine Vera, we’ve discussed multiple times what skin care ingredients are beneficial to your skin. In our last post, we talked about quality skin care ingredients that work better together; some pairs are just meant to be. Not all skin care ingredients play nice with each other though. You probably have a counter or drawer full of products. It can be so tempting to keep buying the newest, most advanced skin care in hopes of attaining a flawless face. The problem with this is that every product will have its own list of ingredients and they may not work effectively on your skin when paired with another product and set of ingredients. Trying to figure out exactly which ingredients work together and those that don’t can be an overwhelming and exhausting task. That’s why we’ve put together lists of the best combinations and the worst. The following ingredient pairings are ones that you want to steer clear of to see maximum results from your skin care products.

Orange and milk

Vitamin C + Alpha Hydroxy Acids
The combination of these ingredients won’t cause adverse effects or counteract the effectiveness of the other, but it is still a combination skin care experts advise against. Vitamin C is found in the majority of anti-aging skin care products and rightly so. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that enhances skin tone, approve the appearance of spots caused by sun damage, reduce and prevent marks due to acne and it stimulates collagen production, which leads to decreased wrinkles and fine lines. Truly, vitamin C is a powerhouse when it comes to skin care ingredients. Alpha hydroxy acids, typically citric, glycolic or lactic acid, are also a very beneficial treatment against wrinkles, though in a different way. AHAs are generally used in an exfoliating way to soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The problem with combining the two is that both of these ingredients is that both of them are acidic ingredients. Vitamin C is incredibly pH sensitive and AHAs can alter the pH levels of vitamin C, thus reducing or eliminating any antioxidant benefits from vitamin C. In addition, because these two are acidic, used together they can be incredibly irritating to sensitive skin.

Resorcinol + Hydroquinone
Though both of these ingredients are designed to decrease and treat hyperpigmentation, they don’t tend to work well together. Hydroquinone has been used as a skin care ingredient, particularly in the United States, for decades. Hydroquinone inhibits two skin enzymes: tyrosinase and homogentisic acid oxidase. Resorcinol is a newer ingredients in skin lightening products and also inhibits the above enzymes. Based on that, you would think that they would do double duty and work perfectly together, but they don’t. Pigment accumulates in the skin when homogentisic acid oxidase is inhibited. In dark-skinned individuals, the combination of these has been shown to actually permanently darken the skin rather than lighten it. It is important to note that this is a rare occurrence and is not a necessary cause for concern in people with lighter complexions, but it’s best to play it safe and pick one or the other.

Niacinamides and Sirtuins.

Niacinamides + Sirtuins
Some skin care pairings are shrouded in questions as to whether or not they are true. The combination of niacinamides and sirtuins has empirical research proving that these ingredients should not be mixed. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 and has multiple skin benefits. This ingredient helps to hydrate and soften your skin while also reducing the appearance, or preventing further, fine lines and wrinkles. Additionally, niacinamide helps to prevent and treat age spots on your skin. Sirtuins turn off unnecessary gene expression, thereby conserving energy within your skin cells. A 2005 study by Johns Hopkins University found that niacinamide inhibits the sirtuins activity. In a way, it makes a lot of sense: niacinamides want to increase your cell metabolism while sirtuins want to decrease the metabolism. If you wanted to use both ingredients on your skin, make sure that you use them on alternating days or only one at night and the other during the day as using them at the same time will negate the effectiveness of the individual ingredients.

Of course, you want to achieve the best results possible with each and every one of your skin care products. Unfortunately, not all ingredients get along with each other and they can work against your skin. Though each is beneficial for your skin in its own way, sometimes, there can be too much a good thing.