Tag Archives: skin health

Try The “Tissue Test” To Determine Your Skin Type

If you’re trying to choose the best skin care treatment for your skin, whether it be cleansing, moisturizing, or toning, the first step is always the same: determining your skin type. Which should be easy, right? How far off the mark can you be? But truthfully, we’re all a little unsure, and if you’re reluctant to admit confusion, you’re not alone.

You see, as it turns out, determining your skin type can be more difficult than you might think. That’s because skin type changes as you age. Acne-prone teens can grow into adults with dry sensitive skin and clear skinned twenty-somethings can develop breakouts later in life. Heaters, air conditioning, changes in weather and other external factors can also affect skin behavior. If you’re among the many who are not sure which skin type category your fall under, you may want to try the “tissue test” for an accurate read.

Woman smiling

The Tissue Test

  1. Cleanse your face. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face and pat dry. Remove all traces of makeup. This will clear away the daily accumulation of oil and dirt, leaving your skin in the best shape for the test. Be careful to avoid over washing.
  2. Wait an hour. This will give your skin time to return to its most natural state, restoring pH balance after cleansing. Try to avoid touching your face during this time.
  3. Dab your face with tissue.
  4. Pay most attention to your “T-zone,’ the area including the nose and forehead.

Results

Normal Skin
If you have normal skin, your skin will show no oil and no flaking skin, and feel smooth and supple. If you have this, congratulations, this is the most desirable type.

Oily Skin
A greasy tissue means greasy skin. Oily skin is also characterized by large pores and a shiny complexion.

Dry Skin
If your skin feels taut or shows dead skin flakes it means you have dry skin. It is also common for people with this skin types to have small pores. Moisturize, moisturize!

Combination
If your skin shows all three traits of the above type, join the crowd. Combination skin is the most common skin type. Usually, this means the skin in the T-zone is oily, while other parts are normals or dry.

Woman smiling

Skin Problems
In addition to having a “type,” there are two common “problem” categories that your skin can fall under.

Sensitive skin
If your skin reacts easily to regular facial products, developing redness, itchiness, or rashes, your skin is sensitive.

Acne-Prone
Teenager of not, if you see spots, you’ve got acne-prone skin. Look for a good product with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid on the market, or visit a dermatologist for advice.

Did you do the tissue test? Did it work for you? Let us know, and tell us what works best on your skin type.

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Four Causes of Hyperpigmentation

The bad news is, hyperpigmentation is very common. Hyperpigmentation is a skin disorder caused by an increase in melanin, the substance in our body that is responsible for the color of our skin, and can result in dark spots and discoloration. It can stem from exposure to sunlight, use of drugs and medication, or certain health conditions.

The good news is, hyperpigmentation is very common. This means that it is being acknowledged and addressed. Celebrities Brooke Burke and Kerry Washington have both openly acknowledged their experiences with the condition and have provided graceful and glamorous examples for those in similar situations. In addition, research, motivated by widespread concern, is revealing new findings and treatments with surprising frequency. Here are some types of the condition, and some of the newest treatment breakthroughs.

Woman checking face

Types of Pigmentation
Drug Induced Hyperpigmentation (DIH)
DIH is pigmentation caused by illness and reaction to drugs and certain medications. The resulting skin pattern is typically diffuse and characterized by specific hues.

Lentigines
Otherwise known as age spots, lentigines are spots with a well-defined edge and, while not directly caused by aging, tend to become more prevalent with age. Lentigines are a result of UV exposure and are found on 90% of light skinned people over 60.

Melasma
Melasma is a result of hormonal irregularities and is associated with pregnancy, thyroid dysfunction, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
PIH results from injuries, friction, acne, even certain skin treatments, such as chemical peels and extractions. It is generally the most treatable form of hyperpigmentation and usually resolves itself with skin regeneration.

Treatment
When it comes to choosing brightening treatments, the intensity of the exfoliation must align with the sensitivity of the subject’s skin. The mildest treatments include papaya and pumpkin enzyme, sugar cane and lactic acid, and are generally suited to all skin types.

Those with higher tolerance may want to use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or salicylic acid to increase cell turnover.

Woman in mirror

Brightening Treatments
There are several recommend brightening treatments for hyperpigmentation. Glucosamine is a commonly recommended brightening treatment which interrupts UV-triggered chemical signals that lead to production of melanin. Hydrolyzed pearl powder is a tyrosinase inhibitor and increases skin radiance. Licorice root extract is an antioxidant known to fight free radical damage. Niacinamide decreases color deposits and reduces inflammation and pigmentation. Vitamin C is another antioxidant known to prevent tyrosinase production.

Peptides
Peptides are the latest ground breaking found to be effective in the treatment of hyperpigmentation.

Azelaic Acid
This natural fatty acid developed for acne treatment has proven an effective ingredient in the treatment of hyperpigmentation, especially in the case of PIH caused by acne. Studies found azelaic acid to provide results similar to four percent hydroquinone without harmful side effects.

Kojic Acid
Another breakthrough option, kojic acid inhibits production of tyrosinase and can be used in combination with skin lighteners as a hydroquinone alternative. Drawbacks include the occurrence contact dermatitis in certain individuals.

Retinoids
Retinoids work as tyrosinase inhibitors and interrupters of the synthesis of melanin. Prescription tretinoin, while known to be effective in pigmentation reduction, may require up to 24 weeks of treatment before noticeable improvement occurs. Because pigmentation issues can take anywhere from two weeks to a year to resolve it is important that users have reasonable expectations and not expect “overnight results.”

How do you deal with hyperpigmentation? Let us know what works for you!

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Timeless Age Defying Beauty Tips

Charlize Theron

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Ah, Hollywood’s timeless age-defying beauties! The women who have seen it all, done it all, and lived to tell about it, five marriages and ten grandchildren later. The Christie Brinkleys who proudly pose with their grown daughters on the beach with barely a discernible age difference to be found! The Jane Fondas who can still wear the psychedelic space bikinis from their Barbarella days! The Heidi Klums who can still play a mean guitar in their underwear! How do they do it? While that info may be known only to the stars themselves, there are some tips you can follow for achieving your own timeless age-defying beauty.

Makeup

Base
A high-quality primer will camouflage fine lines and prevent makeup from creasing. Try one with an SPF for sun protection and added anti-aging benefits. When it comes to foundation, pick one tailored to mature skin and apply with your fingers, using a moist makeup sponge to avoid a caked-on appearance. If foundation is not your thing, try a light concealer to hide under eye circles and blemishes. Concealer with yellow tones are best for balancing redness and brightening.

If you have noticed the color in your cheeks decreasing as a result of age, you may want to add some blusher. Creams have to benefit of allowing you to gradually increase color, while powders last longer. Bronzers and highlighters can also help to create a youthful look, but try to avoid glittery formulas. Instead, look for finely milled products that build up to create a light sheen.

Jane Fonda

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Eyes and Brows
Eyebrows grow sparse over time, so fuller brows can create a younger appearance, but try to avoid overdoing it with the brow pencil, which can look harsh. You’re better off gently filling out brows with a matching powder and blush for a subtle touch.

Spidery lashes will also add years. When it comes to mascara application, apply just one coat and then wiggle the brush at the lash base to add definition and volume.

If reading glasses are among your daily accessories, be aware that they can magnify eye makeup imperfections. Avoid this by trading in your severe liquid liner for a more forgiving, softer kohl pencil. In addition, be wary of bright eyeshadows which can smudge and smear during the day. this can be avoided by using a primer formulated for the eyes. Use a q-tip moistened with makeup remover to mop up the excess.

Lips
While strong lipstick can bring color to your face, it also tends to bleed into the fine lines around your mouth. You can prevent this by using a good lipliner around the corners of the mouth and cupid’s bow.

Although matte lipsticks are popular, glossy finishes tend to be more flattering and create the illusion of fuller lips. The best way to achieve a natural look is the find a shade of pink that matches the color of the inside of your bottom lip; your perfect neutral.

Halle Berry

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Daily Advice

Beauty Sleep
No matter what new products and procedures come out, it seems that sleep is always number one on the list of anti-agers. Try and get 8-10 hours every night. Also, try to sleep on your back or side with a pillow propped under your ear, as sleeping with your face against the pillows can cause “sleep lines” with may evolve into wrinkles.

Fruits and Veggies
Antioxidant-rich diets are a known component in the prevention of disease and premature aging. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene, which fight free radicals that attack cell membranes. They also protect the nervous system, the immune system, and prevent the brain from oxidative damage leading to memory loss.

How do you achieve your timeless beauty? We want in on your secrets! Let us know!

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Skin Safety On The Hiking Trail

Girlfriend and boyfriend hiking

You think he might be a keeper.  Your nights of clubbing and endless bars may soon be over.  This guy has his stuff together.  Good job, good looks, no girlfriend (as far as you can see) and he has invited you to go…. camping?  You’re dying to be alone with this guy, but when you open your closet, there are platforms and sequins for as far as the eye can see.  What would Hiker Barbie do?  After checking out some options, you compromise on skintight skinny jeans rolled up to reveal hiking boots, a down jacket,  ski hat- oh, and a really cute backpack with all your nice undies in it for later that night.  All set?  Wrong?  You forgot to shop for your skin products.

Unfortunately, just being in nature does not guarantee, in fact, quite often, the opposite is true.  Mother Nature can be wicked. Make sure your skin is prepared!

Bug Repellent
Maybe the bugs you are used to are more of the cockroach variety, but nature does have quite a few different insects in her apartment and they are hungry for your blood. (Cue horror movie music.) You’re going to need bug repellent.  If the health of your skin is a main concern, you probably want to choose a natural repellent.  Your skin gets enough toxins on a daily basis.  You don’t need more in your bug repellent.

Stay Hydrated by Eating
While drinking water is a great way to keep hydrated, much of that H2O will come out in your sweat.  Fruits and vegetables are cellular structured to hydrate you for longer time periods and provide additional nutrients for your skin,  Remember to pack fruits and veggies if you are concerned about rehydrating your body and keeping your  skin healthy and glowing.

Sunblock and a Hat
Sunblock should be in the picture any time you’re spending an extended time outdoors, and if you are hiking, you are going to be doing just that.  Use water resistant sunblock which will stay on the skin for a longer time and will not be diluted by sweat.  The UV rays of the sun can break down collagen, creation age spots and sun spots.  Make sure you have some form  of sun protection lotion in your back pack and reapply every two hours.  A wide brimmed hat is also recommended.

Wash Your Face After Hiking
After coming back from a long hike, your skin is likely to be a melange of layers of sunblock and bug repellent, mixed with dirt, sweat and air pollution.  Make sure to clean up with a face wash and moisturizer.

If you are a regular hiker, you should be aware of how exposure to the environment can affect your skin.  You may want to check out serums and creams specialized to fight the effects of  radical damage and pollution.

Good luck on your hike and make sure you engage in safe skin practices!

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Vine Vera Explains How a Healthy Diet Can Lead to Great Skin

Young woman eating a healthy saladReports state that at least 1/3rd people suffering from skin blemishes or acne find a connection between the food they eat and the condition of their blemishes. Although there are no studies to prove the connection between certain food items and skin condition, dermatologists across the world believe that the diet definitely has a major effect on the skin. But, exactly how can a healthy diet lead to great skin?

Well, in most cases, skin blemishes occur because of problems with the turnover of your skin cells. This leads to things like retained cells, which cause your oil glands to block and ends up trapping the sebum under your skin. This sebum triggers skin conditions such as acne. There are a number of ways to improve your skin, one of which is to eat the right kind of food. Since the human body is constantly under construction, it requires the necessary nutrients and vitamins on a regular basis. However, despite its importance, a healthy diet accounts for just 25% when it comes to great skin. The other 75% depends on things like the environment, sun damage, stress, sleep patterns, skin care routines and hormonal changes.

Despite accounting for just 25% of the problem, regulating your diet can go a long way in preventing skin problems. The more you eat junk food and fatty food items, the less vitamins and nutrients your body has to play with. This leads to health and skin issues and causes infrequent breakdowns and skin issues. To keep the skin properly nourished and protected and to ensure that you look younger and healthier, you need to focus on offering your body with the following nutrients.

Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant that is extremely critical for the overall health of your skin, gets converted into Vitamin A and involves itself in the process of repairing and growing your body tissues. Beta-carotene can also go a long way in protecting the body from sun damage. Some of the best sources of beta-carotene include mangoes, carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, red bell peppers and cantaloupes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps your body to increase the protection of collagen which allows your skin to look healthy and beautiful. It also acts as an antioxidant and protects your body from free radical damage. According to studies, Vitamin C fortifies the food and gives the skin enhanced protection to fight oxidative damage. Therefore, offering the right amount of Vitamin C to your skin is extremely important. The best way of doing that is to eat things like oranges, broccoli, snow peas, bell peppers, mangoes, watermelons, strawberries and tomatoes.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is responsible for protecting the cell membranes and guarding the skin from the damage caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun. According to studies, Vitamin E works best when combined with Vitamin C when it comes to offering the body with anti-aging protection. The best way to obtain Vitamin E is by eating food items such as wheat germs, olive oil, spinach, nuts, whole-grain cereals and Swiss chard.

Selenium

Selenium is an antioxidant that protects the skin from the damage caused by the UV rays of the sun and maintains the elasticity and fairness of the skin. Selenium can even help the skin to protect itself from some types of skin cancers. Some of the best sources of selenium include crabs, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat bread, eggs, mushrooms, oysters, tuna, turkey, eggs and wheat germs.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids help your skin to maintain its cell membranes and build barriers to allow the water and nutrients to come into the skin, but keep the toxins out. Omega-3 fatty acids also help in reducing inflammation, reducing the number of skin breakouts and protecting the skin from sun damage. According to studies conducted for skin cancer, people who had diets that were rich in omega-3 fatty acids lowered their risks of getting squamous cell skin cancer by 29% compared to those who did not have adequate quantities of omega-3 fatty acids in their body. Some of the main sources of omega-3 fatty acids include soybeans, wild salmon, mackerel (except king mackerel), herrings, sardines, walnuts and anchovies.

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Reap Radiant Skin

Skin is the mirror of a healthy life style. Healthy skin comes mostly from good genes. Thankfully there are several other factors which we CAN influence that contribute to radiant skin. Things like exercising, eating right and the proper beauty regimen all have a hand in giving us healthy skin. It is often said that pregnant women have a “glow” about them. We would love to have that incandescent lit from within glow, but how do we get it sans pregnancy? Starting down the path of healthy eating as a simple first step. Read on to check out Vine Vera‘s list of the healthiest things to ingest for great looking skin.

Load up on lots of water for radiant skin

Keeping hydrated is important to skin health

Water

Keeping yourself hydrated is an essential component of glowing and radiant skin. Daily healthy activities like leading an active life style and exercising causes you to sweat. This is great because perspiration helps flush toxins from the body. Through this process not only do we lose toxins but we also lose a lot of water. Since our bodies are primarily made up of water it is essential that we refill. You need to drink at least 3 liters or 8 glasses of water every day. This process allows the body to keep the skin cells hydrated and rejuvenated. Once you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated so make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day before it feels like a necessity.

Fruits and vegetables

Produce is one of the main ingredients of healthy diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to keep your body healthy. Fruits and vegetables are very good for your skin helping to maintain radiant and glowing skin. They contain innumerable amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Produce like berries is an important part of a healthy diet

Berries are great sources of nutrients

While these days it’s easy to pop a pill in place of eating your way to health it is definitely a lot better for your health to eat your vitamins and minerals. Opt for getting benefits from whole foods including fresh or frozen vegetables. When you can go organic and choose produce that is in season. This way it is sure to be the most fresh and still retain the most beneficial properties.

Berries are one of the best picks for nutrient dense types of produce. Strawberries, blue berries and black berries are very rich in antioxidants which help to protect our skin from free radicals. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Anthocyanin and Ellagic Acid all offer skin powerful protection from environmental stressors and premature aging. Berries also have some anti-inflammatory qualities that prevents the appearance of acne, pimples and various other skin irritations.

Omega-3

Healthy skin also depends on the types of fat and oil you include in your diet. Saturated fat like margarine and fast foods are bad for the health of your body and skin. Acne is a common problem often caused by consumption of fatty, oily and fried food. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are very good for the skin. They are responsible for the health of cell membranes in the skin.Eating healthy fatty acids like Omega-3s is healthy The cell membrane is responsible for passing nutrients to cells and acting as a protective barrier that protects your skin from various toxins. You should eat foods that are rich in fatty acids like Omega 3 like salmon, walnut seeds and flax seeds.

Your skin works as a defense system of our body. Take care of it so it can take care of you. Eating healthy is one of the best ways to take excellent care of your skin. Stock up on water, produce and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids to eat your way to radiant skin. Which of those do you crave most?

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