The Best Minerals & Vitamins for Acne

The Best Minerals & Vitamins for Acne

nbbAcne can strike at any age. Although it’s more common among teenagers, and sometimes in women going through menopause, acne affects 17 million people in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Acne surfaces during times of hormonal imbalance. When glands produce more oil than normal, skin pores get clogged, allowing bacteria (and pimples) to grow.

Pimples come in many different forms and depths, including blackheads whiteheads, cysts, and nodules. To banish these troublemakers, research has long pointed to topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics like tetracycline, and oral drugs that contain vitamin A, such as isotretinoin (Accutane) which is for moderate to severe acne. Alternatively, some seek more natural treatments such oral vitamin and mineral supplements. Do natural remedies also work? And if so, which ones?

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a possible remedy for acne, but you need to make sure you’re getting it the right way.

Vitamin A oral supplements don’t work the same as topical vitamin A, according to clinicians at the University of Michigan. In fact, they caution

Malic Acid Skin Care in a Wine Glass

Malic Acid Skin Care in a Wine Glass

vdaDespite its sinister-sounding name, malic acid is far from malicious. In fact, movement would be very difficult without it. Your body produces malic acid naturally when converting carbohydrates into energy.

It’s also what gives foods like jam, candy, sherbet, wine, and other fruits and vegetables a tart, sour taste.

Find out about the conditions that honey can treat »

Malic acid can serve a cosmetic purpose too. It’s part of a family of fruit acids (called alpha-hydroxy acids) that appear in shampoos, facial moisturizers, nail treatments, and acne and anti-aging products.

Cleanses and Rejuvenates the Skin

Malic acid is celebrated for its ability to brighten the skin and smoothen its texture. That’s why it’s a common ingredient in anti-aging creams. Its benefits don’t stop at the surface — they’re literally skin-deep.

Collagen is a protein that helps build and repair cells. It gives the skin and other body tissues strength and flexibility. Collagen production slows down as you age, which is why skin loses its elasticity and firmness the older you get. “Malic acid at higher concentrations can also penetrate into lower levels of

Sunscreen at Every Age

Sunscreen at Every Age

csAs the weather becomes hot, it becomes important to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of sun rays. This is true in case of children too. Whether your children are toddlers or teens, it is crucial that they use sunscreen on their skin to protect them from burns and sun damage.

How can you choose the right sunscreen for your child? And, just as importantly, how can you encourage kids who are old enough to apply it themselves? Keeping your kids safe from the sun is an important part of protecting their health. You won’t just be saving your kids from sunburns – you’ll be helping to prevent long-term sun damage, and even reducing their risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

Keep Age in Mind
Children have different sun protection needs depending on their age. It is recommended that babies younger than six months be kept out of direct sunlight. For example, it is a good practice to keep a baby covered with a sunhat, long pants, and long sleeves, and shade them under a stroller canopy or umbrella.

When babies under six months can’t

Diet Health and Beauty News Why Weight Matters Obesity and Your Health

Diet Health and Beauty News Why Weight Matters Obesity and Your Health

We are a growing nation. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, more than sixty percent of Americans aged twenty years and older are overweight, and one-quarter of American adults are also obese.

What does this mean for the health of our nation? Nothing good. Obesity-related diseases are “implicated” in more than a quarter million deaths every year. Below, Dr Robert Kushner, Director of the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, discusses the grave consequences of our growing sizes.

How serious is the problem of obesity?
ROBERT KUSHNER, MD: It’s the most serious problem we are facing today. Next to cigarette smoking, overweight is the second leading cause of preventable death in this country. It’s estimated that 300,000 deaths per year is attributable to our diet, physical inactivity and resulting obesity.

What are the current statistics on overweight and obesity?
One in four is obese, and about one in three is considered overweight. Combined,

How To Have Younger Looking Hands

How To Have Younger Looking Hands

If I only knew what I know now when I was younger,  I could have stopped or slow downed some of the present damage to my hands, especially the awful dark spots.

Young women – This is a reminder to all young women – start taking care of your hands now!

Older women – It is never too late to stop the damage and make your hands look younger.

A lot of us take care of our faces, but forget about our aging hands. Next to your face, your hands are probably the most visible parts of your body. The earliest signs of aging will show on your hands. The skin on the back of your hands is extremely delicate. This skin is very, very thin, as there is almost no fat under it at all, which is why the veins are so visible. As we grow older, any fat that is there lessens and the skin becomes dry and loose, exposing the veins even more. As if that’s not enough, we begin to develop ugly age spots and sunspots (also known as liver spots). Your hands

Water The Fountain of Youth

Water The Fountain of Youth

For thousands of years, people of all countries have been seeking a mythical fountain of youth. If I told you that there is something that will give you beautiful glowing skin, diminish those fine lines and wrinkles, increase your energy level, and help your overall health, I bet you would listen and be interested. All the time, this fountain of youth has been right here in our everyday life. Yes, the fountain of youth is water!

I’m sure you have heard it many times “Drink more water, it’s good for you!” If, up to now, you have never taken this seriously, please start now! You do not need fancy and expensive mineral waters or bottled waters, as good clear clean water is what your body needs. Although water contain no nutrients, it is essential to life and for the growth and maintenance of our bodies. So, forget soft drinks, coffees, teas, sport drinks, elixirs, or cappuccinos, as drinking water is the key to being healthier and living longer.

Your blood is 83% water, muscles are 75% water, your brain is 74% water, and your bone are 22% water. Also 2/3 of our body weight is water. All of this water is

How To Understand Cosmetic Labeling

How To Understand Cosmetic Labeling

How can you be sure your shampoo that claims to have all natural ingredients does not also contain some synthetic chemicals? Or that your hand lotion actually does contain the vitamin it claims? The logical response should be, “Read the ingredient label on the back of the product.” Logical, if you happen to be a chemist or a cosmetic scientist. Perplexing, if you are the average cosmetic consumer.

What are Cosmetics?

The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) defines cosmetics by their intended use, as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)]. Among the products included in this definition are skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, toothpastes, and deodorants, as well as any material intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product.

Federal regulations require ingredients to be listed on product labels in descending order by quantity. Consumers can check the ingredient listing to identify ingredients they wish to avoid. Based on the

The Best Minerals & Vitamins for Acne

The Best Minerals & Vitamins for Acne

Acne can strike at any age. Although it’s more common among teenagers, and sometimes in women going through menopause, acne affects 17 million people in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Acne surfaces during times of hormonal imbalance. When glands produce more oil than normal, skin pores get clogged, allowing bacteria (and pimples) to grow.

Pimples come in many different forms and depths, including blackheads whiteheads, cysts, and nodules. To banish these troublemakers, research has long pointed to topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics like tetracycline, and oral drugs that contain vitamin A, such as isotretinoin (Accutane) which is for moderate to severe acne. Alternatively, some seek more natural treatments such oral vitamin and mineral supplements. Do natural remedies also work? And if so, which ones?

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a possible remedy for acne, but you need to make sure you’re getting it the right way.

Vitamin A oral supplements don’t work the same as topical vitamin A, according to clinicians at the University of Michigan. In fact, they caution against the supplement, as it can do more harm than good. Because the vitamin is fat-soluble,

Acne Treatment Types, Side Effects, and More

Acne Treatment Types, Side Effects, and More

What Is Acne?

Almost everyone experiences acne at one time or another. It’s most common in the teenage years, but even adults can suffer a breakout now and then, especially during pregnancy.

Simply put, acne results from plugged hair follicles. Oil, dirt, and dead skin cells on the surface of your skin clog your pores and create pimples or small, localized infections. Acne treatments work to clear away bacteria and dry up the oils that cause skin problems.

What Type of Acne Treatment Do I Need?

There are many different types of treatments for acne, including medication, medical procedures, alternative medicine, and lifestyle remedies. The type of treatment that’s right for you will depend on your individual condition.

Just like there are different treatment options, there are several types of acne. People with mild-to-moderate acne may have pimples that appear white or black in color (whiteheads and blackheads). These are relatively easy to treat. Cystic acne, however, is more challenging. Cystic acne consists of large red cysts under the surface of the skin that can be very painful. Cystic acne is sometimes also called inflammatory acne.

Your primary care doctor or dermatologist

Treatment Options for Acne Scars and Age Spots

Treatment Options for Acne Scars and Age Spots

Face Care: Treating Acne Scars and Age Spots

Birthmarks, freckles, and moles are things that make us unique. While some freckles across our cheeks might be lovely, a crop of age spots or acne scars can be bothersome. Of course, you tend to be more aware of your own irregularities than other people are. You may be convinced that someone is staring at the birthmark on your cheek but chances are that they aren’t.

People may become so self-conscious about perceived physical flaws that they perform poorly in job interviews and feel insecure in social situations. If you’re one of them, take stock of your options.

Treatment Options

There are multiple options for dealing with facial scars or acne marks, both surgical and nonsurgical. Depending on your situation, one might be better for you than another. If you are considering any of the options, talk with your doctor or dermatologist.

Makeup

If flat, pigmented birthmarks bother you, you can use makeup to cover them. Use a makeup brush and invest in foundation and concealer that works well with your skin tone. This is an easy and accessible way to cover any marks

Blackheads

Blackheads

What are Blackheads?

Blackheads are small bumps that appear on your skin due to clogged hair follicles. These bumps are called “blackheads” because the surface looks dark or black. Blackheads are a mild type of acne that usually form on the face, but they can also appear on the back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders. Acne affects 40 to 50 million Americans and is the most common skin disorder in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

What Causes Blackheads?

Blackheads form when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin. Each follicle contains one hair and a sebaceous gland that produces oil, called sebum, which helps keep your skin soft. Dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, producing a bump called a comedone. If the skin over the bump stays closed, the bump is called a whitehead. When the skin over the bump opens, exposure to the air causes it to look black and a blackhead forms.

Some factors can increase your chances of developing acne and blackheads, including:

  • producing too much body oil
  • buildup of the

How to Make Homemade Hair Conditioner

How to Make Homemade Hair Conditioner

Silky, luxurious hair comes at a cost. Whether you’re shelling out cash at the salon for a brand name product or buying a discount bottle at the drug store, it isn’t cheap, and may contain a long list of unpronounceable ingredients.

After watching a documentary on the use of potentially harmful chemicals used in health and beauty products, Christina Anthis of The Hippy Homemaker was motivated to make her own. Why not DIY to save money and be confident that the products you use contain safe ingredients?

“On a small budget, I know I couldn’t afford to buy all new (and safer) products, so I decided to try my hand at making my first recipe — laundry soap,” says Anthis. That was her first foray into DIY recipes, and it led to so many requests on social media that she decided to start a blog.

When it comes to hair conditioner, Anthis has tried many. Some have been successful. And some, not so much.

Explaining one DIY disaster, she says: “Banana chunks combined with molasses and melded with my hair. I couldn’t even comb it out, let alone rinse it out. It was almost

How to Make Homemade Deodorant

How to Make Homemade Deodorant

When sweat gets caught in your armpits, it encourages the growth of bacteria that give off a decidedly, well, human smell. That’s why deodorants are used to cover up or absorb odors, while antiperspirants prevent the release of sweat altogether. Although these store-bought solutions may be effective in masking your natural smell, it takes some strong ingredients to block sweat glands.

Antiperspirants often contain ingredients such as aluminum and parabens, which may affect the amount of estrogen in your body. This has caused some rumors that antiperspirants could be linked to breast cancer, but although several studies have been conducted, according to the American Cancer Society, no connection has been made. A less common ingredient in antiperspirants is triclosan. Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters the hormones of animals, but human tests don’t indicate that. Triclosan, which stops some bacterial growth, is also a common ingredient in deodorants.

It’s hard to avoid these chemicals when buying deodorants or antiperspirants off the rack. Luckily, you can make your own deodorant from ingredients you might already have at home!

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 tbs. beeswax pellets
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup

Caprylic Acid Coconut Oil’s Secret

Caprylic Acid Coconut Oil’s Secret

Coconut oil is well known for its health benefits. It’s thought to be good for your skin and may help reduce wrinkles, age spots, and cellulite. Some say it can even help balance your blood sugar, improve digestion, balance your hormones, and keep your heart healthy, but these claims are not substantiated by good research.

One probable explanation for this is the fact that it’s a major source of medium-chain fatty acids like lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid.

The latter especially has been linked to many alternative and holistic medical uses. Also found in palm oils, caprylic acid is used by holistic practitioners to treat yeast infections, as well as to restore healthy pH levels in the body, says Erin Stokes, a nutritionist for supplement maker MegaFood.

While it’s available in pill and capsule form, certified nutrition specialist Josh Axe notes that there isn’t much research available that caprylic acid is effective as a nutritional supplement.

Learn about the affect vitamin E oil has on scars »

Relief for Epilepsy?

There is some evidence that medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), like caprylic acid, can help to treat children with epilepsy. In one

The 4 Best Vitamins for Your Skin

The 4 Best Vitamins for Your Skin

Taking care of your skin should be an essential part of your health regimen. It is, after all, your body’s largest organ.

Walking through your local supermarket, you’ll find aisles dedicated to skin care and beauty, from wrinkle creams to hydrating lotions. The first thing most health professionals will tell you to do in order to keep your skin healthy is to limit your exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and wear protective sunscreen when you’re exposed to sunlight.

But the sun isn’t all bad. Just 10-15 minutes of daily exposure helps manufacture vitamin D throughout the skin. Vitamin D is one of the best vitamins for your skin, along with vitamins C, E, and K.

Part 2 of 6: Vitamin D

Vitamin D

The most major benefit of vitamin D is related to calcium absorption, but its positive effects aren’t just limited to bone health. Vitamin D has been found to help treat psoriasis. Calcitriol is a man-made version of vitamin D3, which is the kind of vitamin D that humans produce. Calcitriol is a topical cream that has been effective in treating patients with cases of psoriasis. In a

10 Foods for Healthy Skin

10 Foods for Healthy Skin

Foods to Improve Your Skin

As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Skin is the body’s largest—and most visible—organ, so it’s important to keep it as healthy as possible. Here are some foods that do a superior job of protecting skin from the damaging and aging effects of the sun, while promoting a healthy glow.

Green Tea

Loaded with the unique polyphenol antioxidant EGCG, green tea provides protection from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Whether you apply it directly to the skin or enjoy it as a beverage, green tea’s antioxidants work to prevent DNA damage and help repair existing damage. Drinking tea also ensures adequate hydration, another key to youthful skin.

Yogurt

Low-fat dairy—especially low-fat yogurt—is a great food source for vitamin A, a vital nutrient for maintaining vibrant skin. Vitamin A helps the body produce collagen, an important protein that’s partly responsible for skin’s youthful elasticity. It also helps protect against collagen deterioration.

Salmon

Fish is an excellent source of lean protein. Cold water fish species like tuna, swordfish, or salmon are superb sources of natural omega-3 fatty acids. These essential nutrients work to quell inflammation and

Choosing a Healthy Sunscreen

Choosing a Healthy Sunscreen

Healthy Sunscreen Reviews

Sunscreens work by preventing the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. There are two types of UV radiation to worry about—UVA and UVB. Both types damage the skin and can increase your risk of skin cancer; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the sun causes 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanoma.

SPF Basics

The first step to choosing the right sunscreen is to understand SPF, or “Sun Protection Factor,” which is a rating system used to measure how much UVB rays the sunscreen can block. Contrary to popular belief, SPF 30 is not twice as strong as SPF 15. To get a sense of what the numbers really mean, check out these stats: SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays and SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. Higher SPF ratings offer only a slight improvement; SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of UVB rays, and any number higher than 50 doesn’t really mean much.

The New FDA Regulations

In June of 2011, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced new regulations stating that only sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher can claim to lower

Can I Use Vitamin E Oil for Scars

Can I Use Vitamin E Oil for Scars

The popular belief is that rubbing vitamin E oil onto your acne scars can help them heal quickly, and reduce their visibility. Ointments and creams that contain vitamin E and claim to clear scars — from acne, wounds, and surgery — can be found on store shelves across America.

Unfortunately, evidence that vitamin E has this effect is mostly anecdotal. There’s little clinical evidence to support any of these claims.

Healing Scars

A 1999 study found that vitamin E and Aquaphor ointments had no difference on healing 90 percent of scars in people who had recently had patches of skin cancer removed. In addition, one- third of study participants who used vitamin E developed contact dermatitis, which is a red, itchy rash.

However, a 2010 study found that children with surgical scars who used vitamin E three times a day didn’t develop keloids, or extra scar tissue over the wound.

“Topical vitamin E before and after surgery improved surgical wound healing and improved cosmetic results,” researchers concluded.

Research on whether or not vitamin E can treat acne — as well as heal its scars — is also inconclusive.

However, while there’s little proof that vitamin E oil can help heal scars, it’s possible that ingesting it through

Can I Use Coconut Oil for Hair Growth

Can I Use Coconut Oil for Hair Growth

Coconut offers the aroma of paradise. The fruit of the coconut palm is a delicious ingredient of macaroons and piña coladas. Coconut oil is produced when the coconut meat is removed from the outer hard shell and pressed. Lately, coconut oil is being touted as a panacea for all sorts of ailments, from indigestion to asthma to autism. Now, some are suggesting a link between coconut oil and hair growth, but is there any truth to these claims?

The Myth About Hair Growth

Can taking coconut oil stimulate new hair growth? The short answer is: no. At this time, there are no studies from any credible sources that prove that coconut oil can restore your hair.

“A lot of people put coconut oil on their skin for tanning,” says Dr. David Belk, an internist practicing in Alameda, California.

“People have hair follicles all over their bodies,” he explains. “If coconut oil really did promote hair growth, I could only imagine that more than a few of them would complain of hirsutism (excessive body hair) if they spread coconut oil on their bodies. This is what happens to people who put minoxidil (Rogaine) on their

Can I Use Vitamins for Hair Growth

Can I Use Vitamins for Hair Growth

Vitamin B and Hair Growth

Health experts agree that eating a well-balanced diet that contains the 13 essential vitamins can help maintain the health of your hair. Essential vitamins include A, D, E, K, C, and the B-complex group: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotic, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folate.

Much has been written about the benefits of vitamins D and B for hair growth. We’ve evaluated the claims, so read on for more.

B complex vitamins are important for regulating metabolism and maintaining the central nervous system. But they’re also essential for healthy skin and hair, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Some dietitians claim that the more popular B vitamins — such as B-12 (also called cobalamin), biotin, and niacin — can help strengthen and condition hair.

You should always try to get your vitamins from food first. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published its daily recommended intake (DRI) for the B vitamins.

You can find the B-vitamin complex in whole grains, cauliflower, carrots, dark-leafy greens, beef liver, poultry, eggs, soybeans, nuts, avocados, and legumes.

Vitamin B-12 is found in animal-sourced foods such as meat and dairy.