Tag Archives: Vitamins

Why You Need to Know About Ghee

You’ve probably seen ghee popping up everywhere as a healthy source of fat, but what is it?

Ghee

What is Ghee?
Ghee, very simply put, is clarified butter. Ghee is clarified butter that was produced using either cow or buffalo milk. So, what makes ghee different than butter? The clarification process makes all the difference. A majority of the clarified butters are made by removing milk solids in their early steps, while ghee differentiates itself by continuing to simmer with milk solids to give the final product a distinguished taste. As the butter melts, the milk solids contained within the butter separate and the result is a golden liquid that when cooled will be ghee.

How to Make Ghee
Perhaps the greatest thing about this amazing healthy source of fat is that you can make it in your own kitchen. Sure, many health foods promise that you can make a version in your kitchen (homemade almond milk) but then they end up requiring extensive time, tools and sometimes money. Ghee can be made using products and supplies you already have on hand and is done in less than 20 minutes. To make ghee all you will need is a stick of unsalted butter, a saucepan, a strainer, cheesecloth and a container where you can place the finished ghee. Give your health a boost by following these super simple steps for making ghee.

  • Place the unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Heat the unsalted butter over medium heat until it is completely melted.
  • When the butter is completely melted, reduce the heat to low and allow your melted butter to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. You will see foam or bubbles appear on the surface on the melted butter and at the end of the time, you’ll be able to actually see milk solids among the golden liquid.
  • Line your strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and place over the container that you planning on using for ghee and wait about two to three minutes before straining.
  • Strain the butter. You will see the solids that remain in the cheesecloth and the golden liquid in your container is your homemade ghee.

You can purchase ghee from some specialty or health food stores, but it is so easy to make at home that you might as well do it yourself. Plus, making ghee at home is way cheaper than buying it.

Why Eat Ghee?
So now you know what ghee is and how you can make it for yourself, but why would you? As a healthy source of fat, ghee has quite a few exciting health benefits. Some of the most awesome benefits are –

  • Aids Digestion – The components of ghee can actually improve your digestive functioning. Ghee contains butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, which your digestive tract uses for energy and to support a healthy intestinal wall. Additionally, this fatty acid helps reduce inflammation, which is an important part of healthy digestive function.
  • Weight Loss – Okay, so eating ghee by the spoonful will not help you lose weight. While ghee is a healthier option than butter, it is still butter and has a high saturated fat content. Consumed in moderation, however, ghee produced from the butter of grass-fed cows contains linolenic acid which can aid your weight loss efforts.
  • Vitamins – A one tablespoon serving of ghee contains approximately 15% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Ghee is also rich in other fat soluble vitamins like D, E and K.
  • No Casein – Those who have a lactose intolerance will be pleased to hear that ghee may be a great substitution. The proteins responsible for lactose intolerance, particularly casein, are found in the milk solids. Because ghee separates the solids from the rest of the butter, only healthy butter fats remain in the final product.
  • Enhances Flexibility – Flexibility is a huge asset when it comes to physical activity, especially if you love Pilates or yoga. Ghee has properties that lubricate your joints, which results in an increase in flexibility.

The benefits of ghee are so worth the 20 minutes that it takes to make your own. Not only does this healthy fat benefit your body, but it also keeps for a much longer time than regular butter. In fact, if you store ghee in an air-tight container, it can last for up to three months meaning you don’t have to constantly be melting and simmering your butter. Ghee also makes for a great cooking oil because it has a higher smoke point than regular butter or oils such as olive and coconut. Lastly, you should give ghee a try because it tastes great. Ghee often features a slightly nutty flavor, giving your food natural flavor. With all of these benefits, it’s not hard to see why ghee is making a huge name for itself as a healthy dietary source of fat.

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.

What Vitamin C Does for Skin – Vine Vera Reviews

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that the vitamin dissolves in water, so you need to be sure that you are receiving a continuous supply of vitamin C. We previously posted on foods that will help you achieve your daily recommended amount of vitamin C, but you can also get the benefits of vitamin C through topical application. Not sure why you would want to apply vitamin C to your skin? Check out the information below to learn what vitamin C can do for your skin.

Fruits rich in Vitamin C

Vitamin C
There are several forms of vitamin C that are used in skin care products. In any form vitamin C is highly beneficial providing a wide variety of benefits. Topical application of vitamin C can:

  • Minimize the appearance of brown spots and other aging marks such as spots from sun damage
  • Increase your body’s collagen production
  • Lessen the amount of inflammation and irritation in your skin
  • Decrease the appearance marks due to acne and breakout
  • Increases the skin’s natural healing response
  • Enhance sunscreen effectiveness and increase your natural UV protection

Chemical formula of ascorbic acid.

Types of Vitamin C
While some product packaging will proclaim that vitamin C is an ingredient, others may use different terms to refer to the various forms of vitamin c. The most frequently used form of vitamin C in skin care is ascorbic acid. This is because ascorbic acid is backed by proper research which states that any type of vitamin C can benefit for skin.

Ascorbic acid is also known as L-ascorbic acid and when properly formulated, the ingredient can help in creating firmer and younger skin, while removing post-acne marks and the signs of sun damage. This substance can be used either on its own or with other antioxidant ingredients. One of the greatest pairings in skin care is the combination of vitamins C and A.

Though ascorbic acid is the most commonly used ingredient in skin care, there are other types that you may want to look for on product labels. The other derivatives of vitamin C in skin care are:

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

All of these forms of vitamin C also provide protection against free-radical damage, though the above derivatives are more powerful when combined with other ingredients such as retinol (vitamin A) or niacinamide (vitamin B). A combination of other ingredients and antioxidants will benefit all forms of vitamin C and help them to be as beneficial as possible.

Vitamin C can be achieved through both diet and skin care products. Vitamin C is a superstar antioxidant that provides a multitude of benefits for your skin, helping it look younger, firmer and more even. A concentration as low as .06% vitamin C in a skin care product can provide excellent benefits, while a concentration of 15 to 25% results in maximum fading of sun damage, other signs of aging and post-acne marks. Be sure to incorporate a skin care product with vitamin C into your skin care routine to improve your healthy collagen levels, resulting in diminished signs of aging and healthier skin overall.

Ingredient Spotlight: Vitamin C – Vine Vera Reviews

Chemical Formula of Vitamin C.

You know that your body needs vitamins and minerals in order to function properly and you know that vitamin C is one of them. However, you may not know just how important vitamin C really is and why it is an important skin care ingredient. Vitamin C does so much more than improve and encourage healthy immune functioning, it benefits your skin as well.

What is Vitamin C and What Does it do?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, vitamin C is  a water-soluble vitamin which has is considered to be essential for proper growth and development. Since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it ends up dissolving in water. This means that all leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through urine. This is why it is essential to ensure a continuous supply of vitamin C in your diet.

One of the reasons that vitamin C is so crucial to your body is that it helps grow and repair tissues throughout your entire body. It helps your body to form scar tissue and your wounds to heal in addition to repairing and maintaining bones, teeth and cartilage. Vitamin C is required to create an important protein that is used to make tendons, skin, blood vessels and ligaments. So, vitamin C does quite a bit more than simply helping your immune system function properly.

Additionally, and most importantly regarding skin care, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. An antioxidant is a nutrient that fights and blocks damage done due to free radicals. Your body naturally creates free radicals as it breaks food down or when you are exposed to environmental dangers such as smoke. Free radicals are being researched for their role in conditions such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis. The buildup of free radicals is what is largely responsible for the aging process.

Why is Vitamin C an Important Ingredient in Skin Care?
Vitamin C offers excellent antioxidant protection by shielding the skin from the damage caused by free radicals, rogue molecules which lead to premature aging of the skin. Here is a list of what using a skin care ingredient containing vitamin C can do:

  • Boosting the skin’s defense against UV exposure
  • Reducing irritation and inflammation
  • Boosting healthy collagen production
  • Fading post-breakout red marks
  • Increasing the effectiveness of sunscreens
  • Reducing the presence of sun damage and brown spots

When you look for ingredients with vitamin C, it may be helpful to look for ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid. This is backed by proper research, and offers more benefits of the skin than any other form of the vitamin. For that reason, ascorbic acid is most used in well-formulated skin care products. Look for skin care products that use either 15 to 25 percent ascorbic acid to see the maximum benefit in reduction of age spots and other damage.

Vitamin C applied topically, as described above, is a great way to incorporate this ingredient into your healthy skin care routine. You can also receive benefits of vitamin C by incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. Fruits such as kiwis, oranges and grapefruits are high in vitamin C as are sweet potatoes and red and green peppers. Vitamin C is an important ingredient for both a healthy body and radiant looking skin.

Ingredients to Soothe Razor Bumps and Other Shaving Maladies – Vine Vera Reviews

You do everything that you can to prevent razor bumps or razor burn and other irritation due to shaving, but sometimes even taking precautions results in irritation. When you find yourself with unsightly and uncomfortable razor burn you still have options for soothing relief. Try one, or several, of these ingredients to help soothe razor bumps.

Closeup of an Aloe vera leaf

Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has long been used to treat irritated skin, particularly as an after-care sun skin soother. This is because aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to calm the skin down. Additionally, aloe vera is an antibacterial, which helps clean and clear up razor bumps. Aloe vera is also packed full or vitamins and minerals that help relieve razor bumps and other shaving issues.

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) formula

Niacinamides
Niacin and niacinamides are “forms of vitamin B3” according to the United States National Library of Medicine. Niacinamide is also known as nicotonic acid and it is a cell-communicating skin care ingredient. As the description implies, niacinamide communicates with your skin cells to improve the elasticity of your skin and return your skin to its natural tone and texture. In addition, when applied topically, niacinamide helps treat redness on the skin due to razor bumps and enhances the skin’s barrier function.

Honey in a jar

Honey
Honey is used in some skin care, but it can also stand alone as an ingredient that treats irritated razor bumps. Raw honey is a great antibacterial ingredient that cleanses the skin while also soothing razor bumps. It is also a humectant, which means that it not only provides moisture, but keeps it in the skin as well. Honey will also reduce the inflammation of razor bumps and any swelling that may occur.

Tea tree oil

Tree Tea Oil
This ingredient is a controversial one when it comes to razor bumps. Some claim that tea tree oil is wonderful for clearing razor bumps while others say that use of tea tree oil can aggravate irritated skin. In the event that you try tea tree oil, look at the entire list of ingredients to find other skin soothing compounds or, if using just as pure tea tree oil, be sure to dilute it with water prior to applying it to your skin. You can also add a drop of tea tree oil to your favorite moisturizer to help increase the soothing properties.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal
You could take an oatmeal bath to provide immediate relief of itching and burning or wash with a cleanser that contains collodial oatmeal, since most people don’t have the time to take a bath after shaving. Oatmeal is the most beneficial ingredients to deal with the pain or itching that sometimes comes with razor burn and other shaving issues.

These ingredients help to soothe skin that is affected by razor bumps, burns or other shaving irritations, but you still want to be sure that you do all you can to prevent these issues. Use a hydrating shaving cream or gel to reduce the amount of friction between your skin and your razor. Be sure that you are not using a dull razor, as dull blades increase shaving mishaps.

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.

Best Ingredients for Wrinkle Reduction – Vine Vera Reviews

Woman examining her wrinkles in the mirror.

If you, like most of us, want to look more youthful and radiant then the following post is for you. Of course you know that part of taking care of your skin and maintaining a youthful look is eating properly, limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol, avoiding smoking and of course having a skin care routine in place. A good skin scare routine generally consists of a mild, but effective, cleanser, possible a toner, sunscreen and a moisturizer. Chances are if you are super cautious about maintaining a youthful look you also include an eye cream or treatment and a lip treatment. It is great to have all of these products, but these skin care products could be far more beneficial if you look for certain skin care ingredients. The following skin care ingredients all target wrinkles to reduce their appearance and help you look younger.

Mother and daughter applying a cream on their skin.

Cell-Communicating Ingredients
As you age your skin is repeatedly subjected to harmful environmental agents, sun damage, loss of moisture and other skin problems. These issues cause your skin cells to become damaged and result in irregularly shaped, rough and mutated skin cells. One way to improve your skin cells is to include cell-communicating ingredients in your skin care products. Cell-communicating ingredients indicate to your skin cells that it is time to start generating healthier, younger skin cells. In doing so, you prevent significant wrinkles and reduce the appearance of existing wrinkles. Some of the most common cell-communicating ingredients to look for include:

  • Retinol and other variations
  • Niacinamide
  • Lecithin
  • Linolenic acid
  • Phospholipids
  • Carnitine
  • Adenosine
  • Most peptides
  • Cyclic phosphate

Dermatologist holding vitamins packed in the shape of a pill in her hand. Healthy Skin Concept.

Antioxidants
Topically applied antioxidants are absolutely essential for the skin and many skin care products contain at least one, if not many, antioxidants that benefit your skin. Forms of vitamins A, C and E are all antioxidants that show up in skin care ingredients frequently and that work excellently together. Other antioxidants to look for include green tea, soy extract, grape extract, pomegranate extract, beta carotene and selenium. Antioxidants are important because they help to reduce the daily damage done by free radicals. These ingredients also help your skin heal from damage and increase your skin’s production of healthy collagen. Collagen is important at reducing the appearance of wrinkles because it helps plump skin and give it a more full, youthful appearance.

Injection placed on a skin cream. Hyaluronic Acid Concept.

Moisturizing Ingredients
Of course you moisturize your skin but some ingredients go a bit farther when it comes to moisturizing your skin. One of the most commonly talked about moisturizing ingredients in beauty and skin care right now is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid provides intense moisture while also “filling in” and “plumping up” fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a more youthful appearance. In fact, hyaluronic acid is now the preferred filler for minor cosmetic procedures over Botox.

The skin care ingredients that will benefit your skin best may take some trial and error to discover. Always remember to wash your face at night and apply sunscreen each time you head out the door to protect your skin from damage and further wrinkles.

Ingredient Spotlight: Actium Lappa (Burdock) Root Extract – Vine Vera Reviews

Burdock has origins in the eastern hemisphere, but now grows most commonly in North America, Europe and Asia. The Burdock plant is best identified by its purple flowers and broad leaves. Burdock is a prickly plant that has been used for centuries in traditional folk medicine. Burdock has also been found to provide benefits for both your skin and hair.

Burdock Roots in a white background.

Burdock Root Extract
Burdock roots are slender, appear to be gray in color and are typically around two feet long. The inside of a Burdock root actually resembles a cream or off-white color. Burdock root contains tanning agents, vitamin C and essential oils. One of the active compounds in Burdock root extract is sesquiterpene lactones. These are active plant chemicals known for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The antioxidants in Burdock root extract inhibit the growth of both bacteria and fungi which is useful for many skin and hair conditions.

The most important reasons that  Burdock roots are beneficial to both your skin and hair. This brief list contains the properties in Burdock root extract that provide the highest level skin and hair care benefits:

  • They have natural anti-bacterial properties
  • They are naturally anti-septic
  • They have natural anti-inflammatory properties
  • They contain antioxidants helpful to your skin

It is possible to infuse Burdock root into either oils or water using heat. However, this process is often complicated, messy and highly time consuming which leads many cosmetic and skin care producers to choose powdered Burdock roots for their formulations in items such as hair conditioner and acne treatments. Burdock root extract is water soluble, highly concentrated and is easy to add to products like lotions, creams, soaps and facial toners.

Woman looking at her skin in the mirror.

Benefits of Burdock Root Extract
We’ve mentioned that Burdock root extract has some pretty awesome properties naturally and it is these that provide such excellent skin care and hair care benefits.

Burdock root extract has anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties which make it an excellent choice for conditions of the skin such as psoriasis, eczema, dandruff and acne. Perhaps the most frequent use of Burdock root extract in skin care or cosmetics is to treat acne. In addition to being anti-bacterial, Burdock root also has anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce the redness, swelling and irritation of conditions such as acne and rosacea. Burdock root extract in lotions or creams may be useful in helping alleviating conditions such as bug bites, canker sores, poison oak and poison ivy rashes, general swelling of the skin and small wounds to the skin.

Burdock root extract is also thought to have numerous benefits to your health and one of the leading indications for Burdock root extract is as an aid in the fight against cancer. Natural medicine praises Burdock root extract for the potential benefits this substance has in the oncology field.

Burdock root extract is definitely something to be on the lookout for when scanning the ingredient list of your beauty products. It helps so many conditions in a gentle way thus preventing further skin upsets or irritation.

Connection Between Vitamin B3 and Skin Cancer – Vine Vera Reviews

You know how to take care of your skin. Keep it clean, moisturize and every time you anticipate sun exposure you should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. What you might not know is that you may be able to reduce your risk of skin cancer with a vitamin.

Dermatologist examining a woman's skin for cancer.

The Study
An Australian study focused on the link between skin cancer and vitamin B3. The deadliest skin cancer is melanoma, and melanoma was not the focus of this study. Rather, this study focused on basal and squamous cell cancers which are two very common forms of skin cancer. Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are very rarely fatal, though they are persistent cancers that can continue to return time and again. The study involved 386 individuals who had suffered from at lest two skin cancer in the previous five years. The 386 people were split into two groups and one group was given 500 milligrams of vitamin B3 to take twice daily while the other group received placebo tablets to take twice daily.

The Results
Participants in this study had to continue vitamin use twice a day for an entire year. Until the very end of the research neither participant nor doctor knew who had been given vitamin B3 and who had been given the placebo. The findings suggest that taking vitamin B3 did reduce the rates of skin cancer. Additionally, vitamin B3 helped reduce the rate of pre-cancerous skin growths known as actinic keratoses.

Participants in the study were followed for an additional six months to see whether the vitamins provided a lasting effect once they were no longer being taken. The research indicated that the return rate of cancers was about equal in both the placebo and vitamin group indicating that in order for the vitamin to be a viable help, it must be taken continuously.

The Implications
Dr. Richard Schilsky of the American Society of Clinical Oncology stated that the study must be taken for what it is and that much more research will be needed. He also noted that Australians have higher rates of skin cancer than nearly anywhere else in the world. However, he did find it encouraging that the nicotinamide, the specific vitamin in B3, could be an alternative to the more costly procedures of removing skin cancers. Because basal and squamous cell skin cancers tend to reappear, the cost of surgery, freezing or radiation can become quite high.

The Australian researchers also warned that this study was not intended to make people with no previous history of basal and squamous cell skin cancers run out to begin taking vitamins. The only research conducted so far was among participants who already had skin cancers. The researchers theorize that nicotinamide is beneficial because it helps to repair the DNA of cells that have been damaged by sun exposure.

While the research is both interesting and hopeful, for the present doctors and skin care experts recommend that you practice safe and sensible skin care habits. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and be sure to reapply frequently. Taking good care of your skin is an important part of keeping your entire body healthy.