Saturday, 14 July 2018

Anti-ageing miracle supplements

Image result for anti ageing supplements msnThe beauty industry is awash with anti-ageing beauty supplements but which key ingredients should you be looking out for? Could the secret to radiant skin be as simple as popping a pill? While most of us are happy to spend a small fortune on wrinkle-smoothing lotions and serums, many experts believe that caring for your skin from within is equally important, especially as we get older.

Your skin is a reflection of what's happening on the inside and the importance of a healthy diet cannot be emphasised enough. However as we age, the body is less effective at extracting key nutrients from what we eat. I f you add to that the fact that food quality may be low, and our need for a large quantity of amino acids from proteins for optimum skin care, here's where supplements can help with their high concentrations of key ingredients." So where to start? The beauty industry is awash with anti-ageing beauty supplements but which key ingredients should you be looking out for? So what are the top picks?

Image result for anti ageing supplements msnThis magic mineral, which is a form of sulphur, plays an essential part in the synthesis of collagen and keratin, which are key for maintaining healthy, youthful skin. Incorporating M S M supplements into your routine is one of the best decisions you can take to improve your skin health. MSM is vital for collagen production. It is also a fantastic anti-inflammatory, so it not only acts as a preventative measure against skin ageing but also
calms reactive or stressed skin.

The king of complexion boosters, this age-busting protein assists in keeping skin looking fabulous. Collagen is the main protein of the body. It helps keep skin elastic, firm and hydrated, thus minimising wrinkles. However, we produce less and less of it as we get older, which is why it's essential to up your intake. As we age, collagen decreases, so it's important to recommend boosting its presence with a supplement. I have previously written about collagen and its benefits in an earlier blog.  You can read it here: 

Produced by your body, this remarkable water-holding molecule is like the fountain of youth when it comes to skin maintenance. This substance is found within almost all o f the cells of the human body, most abundantly in the joints and the skin. A study in the International Journal of Dermatology, found that levels of hyaluronic acid in the skin decrease as we get older which could exacerbate wrinkles, so taking a daily supplement is a no-brainer.


One of the key nutrients when it comes to combating skin ageing, this essential vitamin is vital for a radiant and glowing complexion. Vitamin A is important for normal cell production and repair throughout the body. It influences the skin's immune and sun protection qualities and helps prevent collagen breakdown and maintain skin firmness.

Keep your complexion looking plump and radiant with this extract from the bark of the maritime pine tree, which helps to improve circulation to the skin. Blood supply to the skin is extremely important if it is to get all the oxygen and nutrients it needs. Pycnogenol can help with skin hydration and vitality, as well as reducing wrinkles by binding with collagen and elastin to protect from various harmful enzymes.
Image result for anti ageing supplements msn
Unfortunately, most people don't get enough of these super skin nutrients in their diet.

A water soluble active form of vitamin B3, this radiance-boosting vitamin helps to improve the ability of the epidermis, the upper-most layer of the skin, to retain moisture - leading to softer, smoother skin with less dryness and flakiness, and a reduction of fine lines. It is found in yeast, lean meats, fish and nuts or can be taken as an oral supplemen with evidence showing that it also has anti-inflammatory effects.

A wrinkle-fighting warrior, coenzyme QIO is one of a group of antioxidants (others include selenium and vitamins. A, C and E) that mop up toxic free radicals. Free radical damage causes collagen and elastin to break down, which leads to wrinkles and skin losing its firmness. Antioxidants such as coenzyme Q^l 0 can protect cells from the damaging effects of these toxic chemicals, promote effective skin repair and reduce the depth of fine lines and wrinkles.

Essential fatty acids help to keep skin looking and feeling supple and it's important to include these in your diet in some way. Omega 3 and 6 are important for skin integrity, a healthy lipid layer and a smooth, luminous complexion. Unfortunately, most people don't get enough of these super skin nutrients in their diet, so a supplement makes an effective internal skin booster.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Skincare Tips for Hands & feet

If you’re ready to get the royal treatment for your hands and feet, you’ll need to find a nail salon or body care spa that offers a great manicure and pedicure. Having your nails, fingers, wrists, toes, ankles, and the soles of your feet massaged, moisturised, and buffed to perfection by a professional beautician is a great stress reducer and confidence booster.

Manicure and Pedicure
Image result for moisturise hands and feetWhether you just want a simple manicure to touch up your nail polish or a complete hand and foot massage to moisturise, exfoliate, and restore your hands, there’s a manicure and pedicure service for you.

Most nail salons offer a wide range of colours and designs, as well as a variety of hand and foot care services. A total manicure and pedicure is about much more than just beautifying your nails. It involves soaking your hands and feet in warm water, followed by gentle massage, cuticle treatment, and exfoliation. Most pedicurists will clip or file away calluses and rough areas on your feet, restoring them to baby-soft smoothness.

A mani-pedi is a great choice if you want to treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment. It’s also a perfect option for a girls’ day out, spa birthday, or pre-wedding bridesmaid party.

Tips for a Long-Lasting Manicure and Pedicure
If you’re getting a professional manicure or pedicure, the last thing you want is to accidentally damage it or have the polish chip off quickly. To keep your nails pristine for as long as possible, try the following tricks:

  • Apply moisturiser to your hands and feet every night, or every couple of nights at least.
  • Exfoliate your hands once a week using an exfoliating skin care product. Or, try a homemade mixture of salt or sugar with olive oil, a natural moisturiser that nourishes the skin.
  • Before polishing, clean your nails with alcohol or nail polish remover. This will clear away any oils that might stop the polish from bonding properly to the nails.
  • Sealing the colour with a clear top coat will extend the longevity of your manicure or pedicure. Some salons will do this even if you don’t mention it; others have to be asked.

Whether you want to look your best for a wedding, reunion, or other event, or just need a relaxing break from the daily grind, you can find the perfect nail salon or day spa near you on our manicure and pedicure pages.

Image result for hands and feetTaking care of hands and feet during the winter months is a bigger challenge and requires more effort given the harsher environmental conditions and cold spells can be extreme especially on the hands. Jumping back and forth between your warm home to the bitter cold outdoors to the hot heat of your car and back again can take a toll on your skin after a very short amount of time. However, there are some relatively easy things you can do to prevent damage to your skin.

Turn Down the Heat
It can be very tempting in the winter to crank up the heat when you are taking a shower or washing your hands. While it may sound counterproductive, warm and hot water will dehydrate your skin rather than moisturise it. Your skin has natural oils that create a barrier to keep moisture in. Hot water breaks down this barrier, causing your skin to lose those naturally moisturising oils. Instead, opt for lukewarm water rather than hot water. The slightly cooler water will help preserve that precious moisture barrier.

Exfoliate your hands and feet to help prevent dry, cracked skin. Don’t exfoliate if your skin is already cracked, as this will only make the problem worse. An exfoliant is great if your face is suffering from dry skin.

Wear Gloves and Socks 
You wear gloves and socks outside in the cold to stay warm, so put them on while you are inside to stay moisturised! Before going to sleep, lather your hands and feet with a strong moisturiser. Drop cuticle oil or rub Vaseline on your nails and cuticles.  Next, put on a pair of knit or cotton gloves or mittens. Thick cotton socks work well for your feet and for your hands if you do not have a pair of gloves. When you wake up in the morning, you will have soft, moisturised skin!

Slough It Off
If you are a bit more committed to preventing dry skin all year round, cleansing brushes are a great way to exfoliate your skin quickly and easily on a regular basis. 

Consider a Humidifier
If you’ve got dry skin all over, consider moisturising not just your skin, but the air around you as well. Cold weather in the winter dries out the air in your home. A humidifier can help restore some of the moisture in the air. Just be sure to clean it regularly so that it doesn’t release bacteria or mold into the air.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Serums vs Oils - what's the difference?

Image result for centella skincare facial oil yaso shanWith the recent explosion of skin improving oils, there appears to be a lot of misconceptions about serums and oils which warrants some clarification. Many people believe that oils are serums, and many companies even lay claims to the fact that their oils “apply like serums”. While similar application and feel may be true in certain instances, there are very distinct differences between the two product types.

Serums vs. Oils
Both products (serums and oils) have amazing benefits for the skin.They are both a fabulous way to nourish your skin and achieve certain skincare goals, however, their formulations (and how they apply) are very distinct from one another. 

One may wonder, exactly what classifies a product as a “serum”.  A serum is essentially a water-based formula that delivers a potent (and typically powerful) blend of ingredients that will penetrate your skin. Generally speaking, serums tend to be lightweight as well. There are so many serum options out there, some that are general, and some that are targeted to fight a specific skincare concern. A useful tip if you are looking to treat acne; reach for a serum that contains ingredients such as salicylic acid and willow bark extract. If hyperpigmentation is an issue, try vitamin C, bearberry, mulberry, or licorice root extract-enhanced products. If you are going more for an anti-ageing effect, try a serum infused with peptides, glycolic acid, or ferulic acid. Whatever the concern, a serum is highly recommended in your daily regimen for faster, longer-lasting, more powerful results.

Image result for centella skin care beauty serum yaso shanAn oil on the other hand is essentially, oil! Many “oils” have extra added ingredients, which is fine (if those ingredients are beneficial, as opposed to additional fillers or fragrances which is best avoided). As [previously mentioned, many brands are marketing their oils to be “like serums”, and truth be told, it is incredibly hard to distinguish some products as either one or the other given their cross-over appeal. However, the oil base does make them naturally heavier, which means this property needs to be considered if it is to be applied along with other products. Since oils are emollients, they interfere with concentrated ingredients trying to reach the skin. Unlike serums which are water-based, thus delivering the concentrated ingredients directly into the skin.

So, when do you apply your serum and/or oil? The typical rule of thumb for product application is lighter products first. And by light, this means the actual formulation, not colour. Since serums are water-based, it is typically best to apply them directly after cleansing or better yet exfoliating. This allows for the best absorption of your serum, meaning faster results. Many people also apply their serum after they use a toner; this is perfectly acceptable.

Many people apply their oils last, and it really depends on the circumstances. On a typical day, many only utilise the facial oil in the evening. Some apply it following the serum application once it has dried and it may feel as though it helps to lock in all of the fabulous benefits of both. If using my oil during the day, choose a no-makeup day and go without the serum. Of course, this is very much a personal preference. However, it is important to wear SPF (sun protection factor) during the day. SPF is essential during the day so many therefore prefer to use the facial oil at night as adding the SPF can feel rather heavy on the skin. 

Serum vs Oil: Which is Better for your Skin Type?
The lines of skincare can easily become blurred, especially when new products are constantly being developed to fill unknown ‘gaps’ in your routine. Two products that often get confused and misused are serums and oils, so here is how to choose the best one for your skin and its needs. 

What does it do? A serum is a concentrated cocktail of actives housed within a water-based fluid that is lightweight and incredibly easy for the skin to absorb. This blend of active ingredients is designed to offer everything from intense hydration to depigmentation benefits where it really counts – within the lower layers.
Beauty Serum
How does it do this? Serums are able to penetrate down to the lower layers of the skin due to their small molecular size. This means that they sink in quickly, passing through the surface to the dermis where collagen production and skin correction can take place. Potent actives also tend to be water-soluble, so they can be delivered more effectively in a serum-like formulation than something heavier or thicker in texture such as a cream, which mainly sits on the surface of the skin.

How does it feel? Serums generally feel pretty weightless on the skin. Some may provide a slight sheen or initial greasiness when applied but this isn’t very common. Thicker serums will feel more gel like in consistency while lighter serums will feel more like water or be very runny so it is important that they are dispensed directly onto the face – don’t bother applying a serum to your hands first as they will absorb all the benefits before you even touch your face.

Who is it for? The beauty of serums is that they can work for everyone and all skin types can derive some sort of benefit from using them regularly, especially oily, dehydrated and sensitive skins. Serums are the best product to provide the skin with antioxidant protection and as they sit comfortably underneath creams and lotions, are easy to include in any routine.

What does it do? An oil is a nourishing, balancing and comforting blend of natural extracts, essential oils and botanicals designed to not only plump the skin but to also add a radiant glow and a softer texture that is hard to achieve with other topical formulas.

How does it do this? Facial oils are made up of natural oils extracted from plants and seeds often with the addition of a lipid-soluble active ingredient here and there such as Vitamins C and E. Due to their thicker texture and combination of molecular sizes, oils provide both surface and below surface benefits although many don’t travel as deeply into the skin as a serum.

How does it feel? As you would expect, an oil feels a little greasy at first but they tend to have a more luxurious texture than a serum so the skin will still feel the comforting effects many minutes after application. When pushed or pressed onto the face, the skin becomes supple and plump, which is a great way to both prep the skin for make-up and infuse it with nutrients before bedtime.

Who is it for? Again, there is a facial oil for everyone but mature, dry, ageing and unbalanced skin types tend to benefit the most from their richer and more plant-based formula. Oily complexions can derive many sebum-reducing benefits and those with dull or lacklustre skin will enjoy the serious radiance boost an oil gives. Oils can also be used more sporadically and still give results, so if daily application feels like too much, apply them every other day instead.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Benefits of Oats in Skincare

Image result for oatmeal in skin careOatmeal and winter go hand in hand. Whenever we jumpstart our mornings with a warm bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh figs, sesame seeds or chocolate, we feel more energetic and ready to take on the day. But did you know this breakfast superfood also boasts beauty benefits?

The use of oats in skincare has been documented as far back as 2000 BC but today colloidal oatmeal, a natural product produced from finely ground oat grains is boiled to produce an extract. It's full of vitamins, minerals and lipids that add moisture to benefit the condition of one's skin. Oatmeal contains both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and as such is ideal for sensitive skin and to treat a variety of skin disorders (i.e sunburns, eczema and poison ivy).

Our skin can certainly use the extra hydration and protection now that it's blistering cold outside. Here are five ways to reap the beauty benefits of oatmeal:

Bath soak: For a truly relaxing bath, pour a cup of plain oatmeal into your tub as it fills up with warm water. Then add a few drops of lavender oil or a pinch of dried lavender. Soak in this aromatherapy solution for 15 to 30 minutes. The oatmeal will cleanse your skin and lock in moisture, while the lavender produces a calming, soothing scent.

Itchy skin remedy: Itchy, dry skin often has a high pH level, but oatmeal can help normalise your skin's pH, which can relieve itchy, uncomfortable skin. Oatmeal baths also soften and moisturise your skin, which helps lock in moisture and protect skin from exterior irritants.

Image result for oatmeal in skin careFace wash: Oatmeal contains chemicals known as saponins that are characterised by their intense cleansing properties. Saponins are commonly added to shampoos and detergents for it's emulsifying and foaming abilities that create a rich lather. It is this propertythis makes oatmeal ideal to use as a face mask, cleanser or soap for every skin type, especially sensitive skin. For a simple homemade recipe, mix whole oatmeal with warm water into a paste and add a teaspoon of honey. Rub the cleanser onto your skin in circular motions to cleanse face. The antibacterial action of honey will also help to relieve inflamed skin and alleviate dryness.

Exfoliator treatment: If over-the-counter scrubs tend to leave your skin raw and red, try exfoliating with a do-it-yourself treatment with blended colloidal oatmeal, coconut oil, brown sugar and lukewarm water. You'll get the same cleansing and buffering properties without all the unnecessary harshness. Plus, the coconut oil will give your skin a healthy-looking glow.

Dry shampoo: Just as oatmeal works wonders at removing excess dirt and debris from the body, it can also help to reduce the appearance of dirty hair. Blondes can brush through a light dusting of finely ground oats throughout their strands to soak up excess oils. Your homemade oatmeal dry shampoo will also help to relieve an itchy scalp.

Believe it or not, oatmeal is a pretty amazing thing packed with some pretty important vitamins, minerals, and proteins, oatmeal! It’s great for the body both inside and out. One of the most profound ways that oatmeal can benefit your family is on the skin.  This amazing product works wonders for even the most delicate skin, and it can provide needed relief at times when the skin of your child or any of your family members needs it most.

Oatmeal just may be one of the best home remedies for itchy skin, and its gentle effects are a great alternative to many chemicals and over-the-counter itch treatments. From stopping itching to helping relieve insect bites and stings, from rashes to sunburns, oatmeal is a great resource for your whole family!

Its skin-soothing powers were known as early as 2000 BC, and to this day, it is widely cited as effective for relieving dryness and inflammation, including insect stings, rashes, and eczema. That's why finely powdered ("colloidal") oatmeal is sifted into soothing body soaks, moisturisers, and soaps.

In dermatologist practice, it is recommend that oatmeal is used for sensitive, allergy or eczema prone skin because it is an excellent moisturiser with skin healing, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and itch relieving benefits. 

Oats available in the market are called as Oatmeal. They are made by either rolling, grinding, steel cutting the oat grains. My research revealed that the steel cut oats are the best for both skin and health because they closest to the natural form of oats.

Oats available in the market are called as Oatmeal. They are made by either rolling, grinding, steel cutting the oat grains. My research revealed that the steel cut oats are the best for both skin and health because they closest to the natural form of oats.

So, what exactly are the 10 benefits of using oats or oatmeal for skin?

  1. Oats for washing face: Oats acts as a mild cleanser because of the saponin content. 
  2. Oats for Eczema: Oats help in the recovery of the eczematous skin by moisturising, restoring the skin barrier, reducing itching, and regulating inflammation. Colloidal oatmeal or grounded oats can be added to lukewarm water in the bathtub, to soothe irritated and itchy skin due to any cause. You can also use homemade cleanser for dry skin as a body wash for eczema prone skin; it is an excellent alternative to harsh surfactants, and I have seen good results in eczema patients with this recipe. See my previous post on this: 
  3. Oats as Scrub: The gritty nature of oats makes it an excellent scrub for sensitive skins that cannot tolerate the usual exfoliators.
  4. Oats as moisturiser: No wonders oats are part of many moisturisers available in the market. Thanks to its lipids and protein content that have humectant, occlusive and emollient properties. 
  5. Oats for Ageing skin: Due to antioxidant benefits, oats can help in reversing damage caused by UV rays, pollution, harsh chemicals, etc. on your skin. How about trying one of these researched and tested face packs for your skin this weekend?
  6. Oats for Sunburn: Oats can be used to soothe the sunburnt skin owing to soothing, anti-oxidant, healing and moisturising properties, check out the recipe in the article, 10 step guide to heal sunburn.
  7. Oats for Atopic Dermatitis: Several studies support the role of colloidal oatmeal both for cleansing and moisturising the eczematous skin of Atopic dermatitis. The use of oats might reduce the need for steroids as well! You can add oatmeal or grounded oats to lukewarm water in the bathtub, to soothe irritated and itchy skin of your kid. You can also use homemade cleanser for dry skin as a body wash for atopic eczema prone skin.
  8. Oats for Itchy skin: Colloidal oatmeal reduces itching in various skin diseases ranging from dermatitis to fungal infections when used for cleansing and bathing. How about dipping in oat bath to calm your itch?
  9. Oats for Psoriasis: Oats help in the healing of psoriasis lesion owing to its anti-inflammatory nature.
  10. Oats as dry shampoo: A mixture of grounded oats and soda bicarbonate can be used as a dry shampoo. Sprinkle the mixture on your hair, let it absorb oils and comb the mixture out.

Typical way of using oatmeal:

  1. Grind oatmeal and brown sugar into a fine powder using a coffee grinder or blender of your choice.
  2. Add the raw honey, jojoba oil and essential oils and stir well.
  3. Wet face with a little warm water.
  4. Apply a small amount of facial scrub to your skin and gently massage using small, circular motions for several minutes.

Are there any side effects of using oats on the skin?
Image result for colloidal oatmealOats are mostly safe to use on skin. However, few reports of sensitivity to oats have been reported mainly in those with eczema. Thus, you should avoid oats in all forms if you experience redness, irritation or worsening of eczema after using it. Reports of cross-sensitivity with wheat also exists. Thus, gluten sensitive patients might exercise caution while using oats.

In the end, I am sure you would incorporate oats into your skincare regime. However, make sure that you buy good quality ingredients for maximum benefit for both, skin and health.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

The anti-ageing benefits of retinol

When it comes to “anti-ageing creams” and treating lines & wrinkles, there is one ingredient that is head & shoulders above the rest. Despite all the technological advances in skin care, Retinol is STILL the gold standard in anti-ageing!

Retinol is fantastic for treating lines & wrinkles no matter what your skin type or secondary skin concerns. Lines & wrinkles aren’t the only thing this wonder-ingredient can treat though. Retinol has the ability to correct all sorts of skin conditions and concerns including acne, eczema, pigmentation, enlarged pores.

What is Retinol?
Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and part of a family of ingredients known as Retinoids. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant which has the ability to protect cells from free radical damage thus preventing collagen breakdown. It is also essential for cellular renewal and DNA repair.

Retinol acts like a hormone with the skin, normalising cell function. Therefore encouraging the skin to behave the way it did when it was younger.

Retinoid Skin Care Benefits
Aside from being an effective antioxidant, Vitamin A is essential for collagen synthesis and production. This is why it’s a fantastic ingredient to use when treating lines & wrinkles.

Retinol also normalises cellular turnover. As we age our cell turnover begins to slow down and become more sluggish. So by increasing it, it helps to give a more youthful complexion. By helping to normalise the way new cells are laid down forming the stratum corneum. Anyone who struggles with topical exfoliation should give Retinol a try. It has a similar exfoliating effect, but by stimulating the skins natural desquamation process.

For acne suffers where hyper-keratosis (excess of skin cells being produced) is an issue, Retinol helps to slow down cell production. In other words, helping to regulate or normalise cell turn over to a healthy rate.

Retinol also helps to normalise sebum production by reducing over-active sebaceous glands. So great for excessively oily skins. This regulation of oil production also helps to correct any secondary skin concerns such as acne or rosacea.

The Problem With Retinol
Whilst Retinol is a wonderful ingredient, it does have it’s drawbacks. There are good reasons why a lot of skin care brands do not use it in their formulations.

Firstly, it’s a highly unstable ingredient which deteriorates quickly when exposed to air and light. This is why it’s important to choose a product that uses encapsulated retinol and / or in airless packaging. This helps to ensure vulnerable ingredients are protected and thus remain active.

For example, imagine a product contains 0.5% pure Retinol. If the ingredient has not been protected, then the amount that is available to the skin will be much less. So therefore the results will be affected.

Secondly, it can be highly irritating and not easily tolerated by the skin. Using too much, too soon can cause irritation and over-stimulation. Which is why most over-the-counter skincare brands use such tiny concentrations so to avoid adverse reaction. However they also sacrifice the results from using retinoids.

It’s best to introduce Retinol slowly into your regime. This is another reason to choose a product that uses encapsulated Retinol, thus helping to deliver the Vitamin A to the deeper layers of skin without causing surface irritation.

Are All Retinoids Created Equal?
Vitamin A is such an effective ingredient because it’s recognised by the skin and has the ability to change the cell behaviour. Skin cells have receptor sites that recognise Vitamin A and can metabolise the ingredient. However it’s important to understand that in order for this to happen, Vitamin A has to be in a specific form known as Retinoic Acid. Therefore any retinoid that is applied topically to the skin goes through a conversion process before it can be utilised by the skin cell.

It is possible to apply Retinoic Acid topically in the form of a product called Retin-A (Isotretinoin). However this is a prescription drug and can only be prescribed by dermatologists. Whilst it’s the most effective form of Vitamin A, it’s also the most irritating and likely to cause irritation and over-stimulation.

The stages and order of Vitamin A conversion in the skin are;

  • Retinyl Esters (Sometimes shown as Retinyl Palmitate on ingredients)
  • Retinol
  • Retinaldehyde
  • Retinoic Acid

The further away from Retinoic Acid and the more conversion needed. The weaker the effect but also least irritating. The closer to Retinoic Acid and the less conversion needed. The stronger the effect but also the most irritating.

By this principle, in non-prescription skincare, then it’s best to choose a product that contains Retinol or Retinaldehyde (or a combination of the two).

Studies have shown that 0.5% Retinaldehyde is just as effective as 0.5% Retinoic Acid. Except Retinaldehyde is more easily tolerated by the skin and without the localised irritation of Retinoic Acid. [1]

How To Use Retinol Skincare
Choose a product that uses encapsulated Vitamin A and start off slowly. Introducing the product in small amounts with rest days until skin tolerance level is determined.

It’s completely normal to experience some initial dryness or flaking on the third day of using a Vitamin A product for the first time. This is because it takes 3 days for Retinol to be fully metabolise and converted to Retinoic Acid.

Due to the fact that Vitamin A is light sensitive, it’s best to use your Retinol products at night. This avoids the ingredient becoming unstable and therefore ineffective.

Always use a sunscreen whilst using Retinol products. This applies when using any stimulating ingredient on the skin that increases cell turnover and encourages desquamation.

Studies show by combining Retinol with AHA’s helps boost it’s effectiveness, particularly when treating sun damaged / photo damaged skin[2].

  1. Profilometric evaluation of photodamage after topical retinaldehyde and retinoic acid treatment. Creidi P, Vienne MP, Ochonisky S, Lauze C, Turlier V, Lagarde JM, Dupuy P, J Am Acad. Dermatol. 1998 Dec; 39(6):960-5.
  2. Pharmacology of RALGA, a mixture of retinaldehyde and glycolic acid. Tran C1, Kasraee B, Grand D, Carraux P, Didierjean L, Sorg O, Saurat JH. Dermatol. 2005; 210 Suppl 1:6-13.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil

Buying a bottle of coconut oil can be life changing for you. Not only is it good nourishment for your hair, it has various other beauty benefits too. Pretty soon, you won’t feel the need to buy a million different cosmetics to fulfil your needs, one bottle of coconut oil will do everything you need.You may have already made the switch to coconut oil in the kitchen, but did you know you can also swap out some of your beauty products for the wonder oil? This do-it-all ingredient can be used to moisturise skin and remove makeup, but that's just the beginning. Here are some of  the ways you can incorporate coconut oil into your beauty routine:

Hair Nourishment 
Be it as a hair oil or as a shampoo, coconut can do wonders to your hair. It can help you get rid of dandruff, hair fall, split ends and a lot more. Apply oil on your hair and soak for 20 minutes to make your hair shiny, massage warm coconut hair oil to stimulate blood circulation and promote hair growth. 

Makeup Remover
If your current makeup remover is leaving makeup behind, it is high time you switched to using coconut oil instead. You can use a blend of virgin coconut oil and rose water (floral water or hydrosol),  just dab your cotton ball in this mixture and use it like you would use your traditional cleanser to watch your makeup melt away the all-natural way.

Lip Balm 
The best way to tackle those stubborn dry lips in any season is coconut oil. This is especially true for the winters when your chapstick does not seem to be working no matter how many times you apply it. A little jar of coconut oil in your bag will go a long way to giving your supple and plump lips. The best part is in winters, the consistency of the product is much like lip balm too.

Itch Relief
If your average itch relief cream is causing you more harm than good, try to lather on some coconut oil for instant relief and quick results. You can use the oil on bug bites, burns, and even bruises. Again, a natural remedy is so much better than a chemically infused one. It’s the next best thing after aloe vera!

Leave-in Conditioner
Instead of getting confused between expensive oils or other hair care products for your hair, try coconut oil for a change. When your hair is wet, put a little coconut hair oil on your tresses and let it work its magic. It is pocket friendly and effective at the same time.

Fighting Stretch Marks
If you are an expecting mother or already have a child or two, in the process of losing weight or just noticing stretch marks on your body for no reason, your new best friend is a magical blend of coconut oil and castor oil. Regularly applying this mix on your problem areas will go a long way in solving it. And it works surprisingly fast, so that is a definite bonus.

Under Eye Cream
Eye creams, like a lot of the speciality cosmetics out there, are very expensive. For a small tube that may or may not work, you end up dishing out a fortune. Well, say goodbye to those days, because your new buddy is coconut oil. Gently (very gently) work the oil into the skin beneath your eyes are night before going to sleep every night and watch the difference it makes.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Is resveratrol the magic bullet against ageing?

The search for the mythical fountain of youth may have ended with Ponce de Leon, but millions of us hold out hope that science will discover the secret to beat ageing, the special formula that will keep our skin, and our insides, from displaying the wear and tear of our years. Found in red wine, red or purple grapes, some berries, and dark chocolate, resveratrol is a naturally-occurring polyphenol compound that has been touted as a potential remedy for a range of age-related conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

Said to contribute to the "French paradox"—the observation that people living in France tend to eat a lot of cheese, butter, and other fatty foods yet have a low incidence of heart disease—resveratrol consumption has been found to mimic a calorie-restricted diet (which studies have shown can play a role in longevity) and decrease chronic inflammation in the body.

The Benefits of Resveratrol: Can It Really Help?
Much of the research pointing to the benefits have been laboratory or animal-based studies. So far, research on resveratrol's effectiveness in humans has yielded mixed results. Here's a look at some key study findings:

Heart Health
For a review published in Clinical Nutrition in 2015, researchers analysed six previously published studies on the effects of resveratrol on blood pressure, and concluded that resveratrol didn't significantly reduce blood pressure. Higher doses of resveratrol (over 150 mg per day), however, were found to significantly decrease systolic blood pressure (the top number on a blood pressure reading). 

Another review, published in the International Journal of Cardiology in 2015, examined the effectiveness of resveratrol on cardiovascular risk factors. After analysing 10 previously published studies, researchers concluded that the analysis did not suggest any benefit of resveratrol supplementation on heart disease risk factors, including levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and C-reactive protein or CRP (a blood protein that is raised when there is inflammation, including in heart disease).

There's some evidence that resveratrol may not prolong life, according to research on people living in Tuscany who consume a diet rich in resveratrol from food sources like red wine. In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014, 783 men and women 65 years or older were followed from 1998 to 2009.

During that time, intake of red wine (as measured by urine levels of resveratrol metabolites), didn't change the likelihood of dying from any cause, the incidence of heart disease or cancer, or markers of inflammation.

A number of preliminary studies suggest that resveratrol may have anti-cancer effects. In a 2016 animal study, for instance, resveratrol suppressed ovarian tumor regrowth after chemotherapy. Published in Cancer, the study found that resveratrol inhibited the uptake of glucose by cancer cells (many cancer cells depend on glucose as their energy supply).

Despite these findings, the data from the limited human clinical trials have shown inconsistent outcomes and the American Cancer Society cautions that randomised clinical trials are needed to confirm the cancer-fighting effects of resveratrol. (There is also some concern that resveratrol may influence levels of oestrogen and other hormones.)

Sources of resveratrol
Trans-resveratrol is a form of resveratrol commonly found in supplements. Proponents often claim that trans-resveratrol is the most stable form of resveratrol.

In addition to food sources, resveratrol is also found in Japanese knotweed (Polypodium cuspidatum), grape seed extract, cissus quadrangularis, and white mulberry (Morus alba). Pterostilbene is a compound related to resveratrol.

Possible Side Effects
Little is known about the safety of long-term or high dose use of resveratrol. Since resveratrol may possess oestrogen-like properties, some medical experts recommend that people with hormone-sensitive cancers (including cancers of the breast, ovary, or uterus), pregnant women, and children avoid taking resveratrol.

In addition, resveratrol could interact with blood thinners like warfarin, aspirin, and ibuprofen, which may raise your risk of bleeding. According to one study, high-dose resveratrol supplementation was associated with fever, reduced blood cells, and decreased blood pressure.

There is some concern that high doses of resveratrol supplements could lead to kidney problems in some people. Supplements haven't been tested for safety and due to the fact that dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. You can get tips on using supplements here.

Since the compound was first described in 1992, resveratrol has been studied for its much-touted benefits on the brain, heart, and lifespan, but recent research casts doubt on the notion that resveratrol supplements can help you live longer or lower your risk of heart disease or cancer.

If you're wondering whether a daily glass of red wine or piece of dark chocolate will improve your health, some researchers note that consumption of red wine, dark chocolate, and some berries has been found to decrease inflammation and have heart-healthy benefits, and suggest that other compounds in these foods may contribute to these benefits.

It's impossible, however, to get anywhere near the doses used in studies from food sources. Many of the studies have used a dose of about 100 mg or more of resveratrol, while a 5-ounce glass of red wine only has about 1 mg of resveratrol.

It's important to note that increasing your intake of red wine comes with a trade-off. Consuming too much may raise your risk of high blood pressure, liver damage, obesity, and some forms of cancer.

To boost your intake without consuming alcohol, try eating foods like grapes, raspberries, plums, blueberries, cranberries, grape tomatoes, and pomegranate (all of which are rich in resveratrol and a range of antioxidants and nutrients).

If you're still considering using resveratrol supplements, talk to your healthcare provider before starting your supplement regimen to weigh the pros and cons and discuss whether it's appropriate for you.


  1. Liu Y, Ma W, Zhang P, He S, Huang D. Effect of resveratrol on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Nutr. 2015 Feb;34(1):27-34.
  2. Sahebkar A, Serban C, Ursoniu S, et al. Lack of efficacy of resveratrol on C-reactive protein and selected cardiovascular risk factors--Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Int J Cardiol. 2015;189:47-55.
  3. Semba RD, Ferrucci L, Bartali B, et al. Resveratrol levels and all-cause mortality in older community-dwelling adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Jul;174(7):1077-84.
  4. Tan L, Wang W, He G, et al. Resveratrol inhibits ovarian tumour growth in an in vivo mouse model. Cancer. 2016 Mar 1;122(5):722-9.