Let’s say sheet masks are a part of your skincare routine, but you want something that not only makes you look and feel great, but that also draws from the ultimate beauty icon: Mother Nature.
There are plenty of natural sheet masks on the market, but how can you know which ones are the best? (And which ones are the best for your wallet, too?)
When shopping for any kind of sheet mask, LuckyVitamin’s Senior Beauty Manager Nicole Rowinski says to avoid parabens and seek out a product that meets all of your solution-based needs. For instance, there are a variety of masks “designed for hydration, brightening, toning, tightening, anti-aging, moisturizing, and blemish-fighting,” she says.
Rowinski notes that many sheet masks (which should be used for roughly 20 minutes or longer during your regular skincare regimen) feature sought-after and helpful ingredients like vitamin c, aloe and coconut oil.
We consulted with Rowinski about which natural sheet masks have great results and fit every budget.
5 Best Sheet Masks Under $5
- Andalou Naturals Instant Lift & Firm Hydro Sheet Mask: Free of sulfates, gluten, and parabens (yay!), this single-use face mask hydrates, lifts, and firms skin, all while helping eliminate those pesky fine lines and dark spots. Not only will you look good, but you’ll also feel good for supporting a company that supports worldwide social responsibility.
- Acure Incredibly Clear Facial Sheet Mask: Hey, it’s right there in the name: incredibly clear. This one-time-use, 100 percent vegan mask gives users clearer skin thanks to ingredients like cucumber, white willow, licorice root, and charcoal-infused fiber.
- BioRepublic Skincare Soothing Fiber Face Sheet Mask Cucumber Breeze: You’ll be feeling cool as a cucumber when you apply this 100 percent cruelty-free, dermatologist tested, biodegradable mask. That’s because, in addition to soothing cucumber extract, you’ll also have the benefits of plant collagen and vitamin E.
- Miss Spa Facial Sheet Mask Brighten: Who needs a day at the spa when you can bring the spa to you? Free of parabens, artificial dyes, and fragrances, this natural, single-use mask works for all skin types and promises results in just 20 minutes.
- Pacifica Stress Rehab Coconut & Caffeine Natural Fiber Facial Sheet Mask: In addition to all of its other downsides, stress does some pretty unsavory things to our complexions. But when ingredients like green tea, coconut, and caffeine join forces, stress-induced redness and puffiness won’t be a worry anymore.
5 Best Sheet Masks Under $10
- Biomiracle 20 Minute Miracle Facial Sheet Mask (5 Count): This set of easy-to-apply masks helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles with a little help from some of nature’s most miraculous beauty consultants: flower extract, ginseng root extract, and, of course, water.
- Earth Therapeutics Soothing Aloe Vera Facial Sheet Mask (3 Count): Aloe vera really does it all, doesn’t it? It helps with sunburns, treats acne, and—in the case of these sheet masks (which are made of 100 percent percent biodegradable plant pulp)–cools, moisturizes, and hydrates skin. Give it up for aloe.
- floralpy Floral Therapy Facial Sheet Sweet Dreams Mask Yarrow Lavender: Lavender is known for its natural soothing and calming properties when it comes to all kinds of stress, including the kind that shows up in our skin. The essential essential oil is infused in this vegan, 100 percent coconut sheet mask, making it, well, the essential beauty sleep product.
- Symphony Beauty It’s All About Vitamin C Facial Sheet Mask (5 Sheets): Vitamin C isn’t just vital to your diet and overall well-being, it’s also a must for your skincare and beauty regimen. Vitamin C works its magic in these cruelty-free face masks, which hydrates dry skin, reduces wrinkles, and revives radiance.
- Karuna Clarifying Face Sheet Mask: This pore-cleansing mask has all of the good stuff (hello, 100 percent all-natural fiber cloth and oil-free hydration) and none of the bad stuff (so long, parabens and dyes). This single sheet does all the work of an awesome facial, at just a fraction of the cost.
5 Best Sheet Masks Over $10
- Earth Therapeutics Vitamin E Facial Sheet Mask (3 Count): Vitamin E is an antioxidant that naturally replenishes and moisturizes skin, so it makes sense to make it the main ingredient for a skincare product. In addition to vitamin E (which also helps with skin’s elasticity), these replenishing masks are free of parabens, oils, and artificial colors.
- Jean Pierre Micellar Facial Sheet Mask (5 Count): Nevermind the oh-so-cute packaging (though we admit, we do love it), because it’s what’s on the inside that counts. These cruelty-free sheet masks are made with vitamin A and vitamin E and help heal every skin type.
- JayJun Refine to Shine Facial Sheet Black Mask (10 Count): Arguably the best bang for your buck, this 10-pack of facial sheets will moisturize skin, fight wrinkles, and brighten your complexion. It’s truly the complete package of care when you combine with JayJun’s Real Water Shining Facial Cleansing Foam and Vita Snow Essence.
- Dr. Jart+ Clearing Solution Ultra Fine Microfiber Face Sheet Mask (5 Count): These hydrating microfiber sheet masks control blemishes and fix uneven skin tones courtesy of key ingredients glutathione, niacinamide, and bisabolol. Even better, they don’t include all-natural no-nos like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
- BioRepublic Skincare No More Years Eternal Radiance Face Sheet Mask: The fountain of youth is elusive, but the face mask of youth…well, that’s within your reach. This single-use, cruelty-free sheet—which is made especially for dry and/or sensitive skin—reverses the aging process with the aid of regenerating nutrients and Swiss Apple stem cell extract.
Let’s face it: Few things can crush your confidence faster than an outbreak of pimples.
Though it may not be very comforting, you and your zits have plenty of company. At some point in most people’s lives, acne makes an unwanted appearance on the face, neck, back, chest or shoulders. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually (1).
What Causes Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory condition that develops when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells (2). The blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected with bacteria and produce red, painful or raised bumps. Whiteheads or blackheads may also show up.
While acne can strike at any age, it is most common among teenagers. A boost in hormonal activity causes the sebaceous glands to grow and produce more sebum, an oily substance. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and certain birth control pills can also increase sebum, which can cause acne (3) .
“Although a variety of factors can potentiate the inflammatory cascade that leads to those dreadful breakouts (e.g., high stress, hormones, poor diet), at the end of the day, one of the primary drivers for waking up with a big old zit on the middle of your nose goes back to having an imbalance in the body,” says Genevieve Greco, a Wellness Consultant at LuckyVitamin and Certified Holistic Health Coach.
How to Treat Acne
The good news is, you can beat acne. One of the first things you should do is assess your skin-care routine, says Jordana Mattioli, a New York City-based aesthetician. Stop using products that clog pores or irritate your skin, which can trigger acne, she advises. “Stick with lightweight products to hydrate.”
Daily cleansing will wash away most acne-causing bacteria, while exfoliating every other day will remove damaged cells and excess oil before it gets stuck in pores, Mattioli says.
No matter the source of your inflammatory trigger, “taming the flame” is key to calming down skin disruptions like acne, Greco says. While there are a variety of acne products on the market, many of them only tackle the inflammation that is present on the outside of the body. “If you want to hunker down and support your body’s internal inflammatory processes, then you have to focus on what products help tame the ‘fire’ from within,” she recommends.
Adding anti-inflammatory supplements to your diet may help, Mattioli says. What you eat may also affect your skin, so it’s important to cut down on sugar and processed foods, she adds.
6 Natural Remedies for Acne
As you make changes to your skin-care routine, diet and lifestyle, here are six natural remedies for acne to consider, along with product recommendations:
Sometimes called the “skin vitamin,” due to its ability to support proper skin cell health and regeneration, vitamin A can help reduce blemishes when applied to the skin. It is important to note to be mindful when applying a topical vitamin A product, as it may cause redness in those with sensitive skin.
“Vitamin A in topical products is very effective for treating acne because it keeps oil flow regular and works as a powerful antioxidant,” Mattioli says. “This should be applied in the evenings on clean, exfoliated skin.”
What to Try:
- LuckyTru Retinol Vitamin A Facial Cream: Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is known for its anti-aging properties and its ability to help treat acne. LuckyTru’s facial cream also features soothing calendula, hydrating cucumber and lemon to help brighten your complexion.
- InstaNatural Retinol Cream Moisturizer: Retinol supports your skin’s natural exfoliation process, clearing away dead skin cells that can clog pores. Complete with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, nourishing oils and extracts, InstaNatural’s moisturizer can help smooth lines and wrinkles while reducing discoloration and blemishes.
- Symphony Beauty Refresh Makeup Cleansing Wipes Grapefruit & Retinol: Infused with grapefruit extract and retinol, these soft cleansing wipes from Symphony Beauty sweep away makeup, oil and impurities, leaving your skin clean and refreshed.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has natural antimicrobial properties, Greco says, which may help balance the ratios of beneficial versus acne-causing bacteria when applied topically. Look for lightweight lotions or gels that contain 5 percent tea tree oil, Mattioli suggests.
Avoid applying to sensitive skin, such as the skin under your eyes, as tea tree in large amounts can cause dryness. “Start (by using it) once a day, applying the product to clean skin,” Mattioli says. “After two weeks, you can increase to twice a day, only if needed.”
What to Try:
- DERMA-E Very Clear Acne Spot Treatment: DERMA-E’s concentrated spot blemish treatment targets specific flare-ups while helping reduce redness and irritation. With the help of willow bark, rosewood, lavender and chamomile, tea tree offers antibacterial and antiseptic properties to clear up your skin and prevent future blemishes.
- Skin by Ann Webb Tea Tree Breakout Blaster: Tea tree’s antibacterial and antiseptic properties come to the rescue again to reduce acne and inflamed skin. This serum from Ann Webb also contains witch hazel and vitamin E, refreshing your skin while strengthening its barrier function.
- Desert Essence Tea Tree Blemish Touch Stick: This blemish touch stick from Desert Essence packs nine natural extracts and essential oils to leave skin looking clear and radiant. Tea tree oil’s antiseptic properties help diminish skin imperfections, while rosemary, lavender, thyme, birch, petitgrain, chamomile and calendula soothe and nourish.
Since acne is an inflammatory condition, remedies that fight inflammation can be helpful. When applied topically, probiotics provide a protective shield, fight bugs that trigger inflammation and produce calming “signals” that stop skin cells from sending “attack” messages to the immune system, leading to outbreaks (4).
“A healthy gut is imperative for clear skin,” Mattioli says. “Probiotics in a topical product can be beneficial but we are in the very early phases of knowing which strains are most effective.”
You can also get your daily dose of probiotics in a supplement that contains Lactobacilli and/or Bifidobacterium or in yogurts containing live cultures (5).
“By supplementing with specific strains of bacteria, those of which have been studied to have beneficial effects on skin health, you will not only be able to benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects they have, but may also benefit from their ability to assist in the breakdown of the foods you eat and therefore better absorb skin-supportive nutrients,” Greco explains.
If you want to get the best of both worlds, supplementing with an oral probiotic in addition to a probiotic face cream or serum is your best bet, Greco says.
What to Try:
- MyChelle Dermaceuticals Clear Skin Pore Refiner: This serum from MyChelle promises to minimize surface shine, refine pores and tighten the skin. It combines the prebiotic Yogurtene with a probiotic to help detoxify your skin and prevent breakouts. Other key ingredients include dermasyr (an anti-inflammatory), plant stem cells and aloe.
- Life-Flo Probiotic Skin Cream: Life-Flo’s hydrating face and body cream features 5 percent Lactobacillus plantarum, which aids in digestion. Suitable for all skin types, it can help you maintain a healthy complexion.
- Andalou Naturals Brightening Probiotic + C Renewal Cream for Face: Fruit stem cell complex, vitamin C and skin-friendly probiotics come together in this face cream from Andalou Naturals to support dermal vitality and target over-exposed surface cells. The result is a lighter, tighter and brighter appearance and glowing complexion.
- Multidophilus 12 Powder Twelve-Strain Formula with Prebiotics 20 Billion CFU: For those looking to get their feet wet in the wonderful world of beneficial bacteria, Solaray’s powder not only includes an assortment of skin-supporting bacteria per serving, but also provides you with inulin, a type of prebiotic that acts as a food for the bacteria.
- Garden of Life Primal Defense: Featuring a specialized form of probiotic derived from soil, Garden of Life’s Primal Defense capsules are perfect for those who are on the go. Unlike many probiotics, it does not need to be refrigerated.
Dietary sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, such as wild-caught salmon, walnuts and chia seeds, are great to incorporate into your daily anti-inflammatory regimen, Greco says, but supplementing can also be beneficial. “A high quality omega-3 supplement can bring your body back into balance, alleviating some of the inflammation associated with acne and other skin disruptions,” she says.
Mattioli swears by fish oil. If you are vegan or pregnant, look for omega-3 supplements that use algae, she suggests.
What to Try:
- Nordic Naturals Omega 3: Nordic Naturals Omega 3 is free of any fillers and boasts a high ratio of EPA/DHA. It is also third-party tested and sustainably sourced.
- Whole Earth & Sea Algae-3: An ideal option for vegans or vegetarians, this brand of plant-based omega-3s sources its DHA and EPA from algae, the original source that fish obtain theirs from.
- Carlson Norwegian Cod Liver Oil: Not only an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, cod liver oil also boasts the skin-supporting nutrients vitamin A and vitamin E. Bonus points for its vitamin D content, which helps promote healthy hormone levels.
A potent antioxidant, green tea can be effective at fighting acne. It’s “helpful for calming the skin and great for the redness that comes with most acne,” Mattioli says.
In fact, a lotion of 2 percent green tea extract helped reduce acne in two studies of teenagers and young adults with acne (6).
What to Try:
Aloe vera may improve your skin’s appearance. Rich in antioxidants, it offers protective and healing benefits, an anti-redness enzyme to reduce redness and inflammation, and natural antibacterial properties, Mattioli says.
Aloe vera is “a great ingredient to see high up on the ingredient list in a product,” she says. If you decide to use aloe vera on its own, make sure the product does not contain color or added ingredients.
What to Try:
- Alba Botanica Fast Fix Sheet Mask Anti-Acne Papaya: This serum-soaked fiber mask from Alba Botanica features papaya and salicylic acid to help remove pimples and leave skin soft with a radiant glow. But the star ingredient here is aloe vera leaf juice, which offers anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
- Andalou Naturals Blemish Vanishing Gel Maximum Strength: The fruit stem cells, willow bark, salicylic acids and camphor extracts in Andalou Naturals’ clarifying skin-care solution help calm inflammation, combat blemishes and speed recovery. Meanwhile, the polysaccharides from aloe vera help soothe, oxygenate and replenish your skin.
- MyChelle Dermaceuticals Clear Skin Spot Treatment: Just like MyChelle’s clear skin pore refiner, this targeted spot treatment also contains the prebiotic Yogurtene and a probiotic, dermasyr, plant stem cells and aloe. Together, these ingredients help control oil, banish blemishes and provide ample hydration.
Whatever supplements or beauty products you choose, give your skin-care regimen a chance to work. It may take four to six weeks before you see an improvement in your skin, according to our experts.
As you age, it’s common to become a little more forgetful. “Changes in memory are thought to be caused by various factors including changes in brain function, physiological changes in both brain tissue and neurons, and decreased blood flow to the brain,” says Guru Ramanathan, chief innovation officer and SVP for GNC.
In addition, hormones can influence parts of the brain that support memory, so as we age and hormone levels change, “brain fog” can result, says Jenn LaVardera, a registered dietitian for Hamptons RD in Southampton, New York. Changes typically include forgetfulness and taking slightly longer than usual to complete various cognitive tasks, such as balancing your checkbook.
While these types of changes have very little impact on quality of life, “more serious ones can result in memory lapses, cause confusion, and can significantly impact quality of life,” Ramanathan says. Serious changes are scary, so he suggests consulting a physician if you are concerned.
But if “Where are my keys?” or “Has anyone seen my wallet?” have become a common refrain, take heart in the fact that certain supplements have been shown to help with supporting cognitive health and memory function in adults. But before you buy, read on for information on the best memory supplements as well as what to look for on the label.
5 of the Best Memory Supplements
A host of nutrients—from magnesium to choline—and vitamins, including A, C, D and B12, are essential for brain function. “Vitamin C plays an important role in neurotransmitter production and function,” says Ramanathan, who also cites gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA), choline, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as nutrients that play a major role in memory function. In addition, some studies suggest that botanicals including ginkgo biloba and huperzine A also help keep the brain in top form (though others contradict these findings).
While you can get some of these vitamins and nutrients from eating a healthy diet, certain supplements and vitamins available at your local pharmacy or health food store may specifically help support memory function associated with aging. While a lot of the research that’s out there in regard to the effectiveness of supplements is inconclusive or insufficient, here are a handful of supplements that have shown promise for curtailing memory loss:
Particular brain receptors important for learning and memory depend on this mineral for their regulation, which is why Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical doctor, naturopath, and medical advisory board member for the Nutritional Magnesium Association, says magnesium is “the first supplement to consider for memory problems as well as enhanced brain function.”
Dean cites a 2004 MIT study that describes magnesium as a critical component of the cerebrospinal fluid that keeps learning and memory receptors active (1). Dean warns that not all forms of magnesium are easily absorbed by the body, and that it’s difficult to get enough from diet alone due to mineral-depleted soils. She recommends 600 milligrams of magnesium citrate powder daily. When mixed with water, the powder dissolves and can be sipped throughout the day.
A small 2018 study conducted at the University of California – Los Angeles found that supplements of the substance found in turmeric, the spice that gives Indian curry its bright color, improved both memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss (2). In memory tests, the people taking 90 milligrams of curcumin twice daily improved by 28 percent over an 18-month period. The researchers plan to conduct a follow-up study with a larger number of people.
Vitamin E, an antioxidant, has been linked to improved cognitive performance. In large clinical trials, high doses of vitamin E have been shown to help people with moderate dementia, albeit modestly. Studies analyzed in a 2014 review published in the journal Nutrition confirmed that vitamin E supplementation (at a dose of 2000 IU/day for an average of two years) is safe and free of side effects in the elderly (3). Researchers confirmed vitamin E’s validity as a nutritional compound to promote healthy brain aging and delay functional decline.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research suggests that eating foods rich in omega-3’s, such as fish, plant and nut oils, and English walnuts, may lower your Alzheimer’s risk. “They help with communication between neurons,” explains LaVardera. But there’s insufficient research about the effectiveness of fish oil supplements, which come in two varieties, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA. One 2014 study suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplements have the potential to improve cognitive performance and functional brain activation, but more research is needed to better understand if supplements over a longer period of time might be helpful in terms of preventing thinking skills decline in people without memory loss (4). Taking 1 gram per day of combined DHA and EPA is generally recommended to maintain brain health.
This antioxidant found in the skin of purple and red fruits like grapes and blueberries has shown some promise in preventing the deterioration of the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with memory, according to a 2015 study (5). How much resveratrol do you need to boost brain function? One study on healthy older adults found that taking 200 milligrams per day for 26 weeks improved memory (6). (An occasional glass of red wine, which contains resveratrol, can’t hurt either!)
All of these supplements have demonstrated potential, but it bears repeating that more research is required as to their brain benefits.
How to Choose Supplements for Memory
When it comes to considering memory supplements, it’s important not to buy into the hype. Due to a legal loophole, dietary supplements do not have to pass the rigorous FDA process to ensure they are safe and effective. In other words, many products that claim to “support” or “help” memory may not. Also, look out for the word “natural” on the label. While the word sounds harmless, it’s one of those marketing buzzwords that raise red flags.
The lack of FDA oversight makes assessing their strength, purity and safety difficult. “In general, steer clear from questionable small-name brands, since larger brands tend to have strict safety protocols,” says LaVardera. “Also, look for the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) seal on the label.” In addition, a third-party certification from the USP (United States Pharmacopeia), NSF International or Consumer Lab shows that these products have undergone rigorous third-party certification to make sure their ingredients meet quality standards.
When it comes to magnesium, Dean suggests steering clear of two forms in particular: magnesium aspartate and glutamate. Both are components of aspartame, which should be avoided. “Aspartame is a neurotoxin,” she explains. Other harmful ingredients include trans fats, artificial colors and flavors, and fillers, which inhibit or slow absorption.
Another rule of thumb when it comes to choosing vitamins: Always opt for natural over synthetics. “If the brackets after a vitamin have a food listed, it’s natural,” says Dean. “If it has a chemical listed, it’s synthetic.” Some products contain both.
Precautions When Talking Brain Health Supplements
The side effects of the unregulated memory supplements market are not well documented. However, from what information is available, they range from mild (e.g., nausea from gingko biloba) to severe. In regard to vitamin E, for instance, a 2005 study (7) raised concerns about an increased risk of death in people who take high doses (> 400 IU/d).
In addition, many supplements interact with medications, often with dangerous results. Ginkgo biloba, for one, should never be paired with blood thinners, blood pressure medications or SSRI antidepressants. If you have an ongoing health condition, always consult a physician before beginning a supplement regimen. Similarly, if you’re pregnant, you’ll want to check with your health care provider because you have different nutrient needs when you’re expecting.
Once your doctor green lights supplementation, it’s important to stick with the dosages on the label because, as LaVardera points out, “it is possible to overdose on any supplement or vitamin.” What’s more, she cautions that supplementation is not a substitute for a poor diet. “Nutrients in isolation don’t always have the same effect as nutrients in food,” she says. “Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and other healthful foods to get the majority of your nutrients, and use supplements to help you meet the recommended amounts.
Acne is a skin problem often associated with teenage hormones and going through puberty. But over 80 percent of people ages 11 to 30 years old suffer from acne, and many of those people experience some form of acne scarring, according to a study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (1).
While popping the occasional zit is uncomfortable, painful and, well, gross, people with acne scarring also experience stigma and bias when it comes to their looks. Results from an online survey, which was published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy, revealed that people with acne scars were less likely to be considered attractive, happy and confident compared to those with clear skin (2).
The effectiveness of acne scar removal and acne scar treatment varies on a case-by-case basis, and not all treatments work the same way. Before embarking on a quest to get rid of acne scars, it’s important to understand what causes scarring and work closely with a dermatologist to identify the treatment and removal methods that are best suited for you and your skin.
What Causes Acne Scarring?
Acne scars usually result from inflammatory breakout, according to Dr. Kenneth Mark, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist. “Acne scars are caused typically by inflammatory acne lesions, which are usually cystic but can also be big red bumps or pustuled like inflammatory whiteheads,” he says. “The skin gets inflamed from the lesion and then when the lesion resolves, it typically leaves some form of an indented scar.”
When breakouts penetrate deep into the skin, tissue damage below the skin’s surface may occur. As the skin tries to heal itself and repair the damage, it produces collagen. An acne scar forms when the body produces too little or too much collagen during the repair process.
Touching, picking and popping zits can exacerbate acne scars, says Dr. Tess Mauricio, CEO of M Beauty Clinic in Beverly Hills and San Diego, because these activities cause inflammation.
“The likelihood that your pimples will cause acne scars depends on your genetics, your skin type, the severity of your acne and the inflammation that occurs while you have acne,” she adds.
Types of Acne Scars
Atrophic acne scars—characterized by pits and depressions in the skin—make up the majority of acne scars. These scars form when the skin does not produce enough collagen during the healing process.
There are three types of atrophic acne scars:
Icepick scars make up 60-70 percent of atrophic acne scars and are characterized by deep, narrow depressions in the skin. Because they are the deepest type of acne scar, ice pick scars are also the most difficult to treat.
Boxcar scars account for 20-30 percent of atrophic acne scars. They are shallower and wider than ice pick scars and usually have a round or oval shape. Effectiveness of treatment for boxcar acne scars will depend on how deep or shallow they are. Shallow boxcar scars respond better to skin resurfacing treatments than deep boxcar scars.
Rolling scars are the widest and smoothest type of acne scars and they make up approximately 15-25 percent of atrophic acne scars. These shallow acne scars are characterized by their wavy look and may seem to disappear if the skin is stretched.
Acne scars that are raised instead of depressed are called keloid, or hypertrophic, scars. These thick, bumpy scars result from the skin producing too much collagen during the healing process. Keloid scars are often discolored and are most often found on the chest and back area.
It’s important to keep in mind that acne scars are different than acne marks. “Acne marks are generally flatter and appear red or inflamed,” says Dr. Paul S. Nassif, a renowned facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Beverly Hills. “Marks are a result of hyperpigmentation from healed acne.”
Nassif explains that acne marks typically fade on their own, and the skin usually takes three to six months to heal itself. “Scars are more permanent, and take much longer to improve in appearance,” he says.
How to Fade Acne Scars and Marks
Acne scars are considered a medical problem, and Mauricio explains that it’s best to work with a professional dermatologist for treatment. Do-it-yourself topical solutions, she says, can actually exacerbate acne inflammation and cause more scarring.
If you’re dealing with active breakouts at home, Mauricio says that—if used regularly—products with glycolic acid, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and tretinoin can effectively help acne and prevent scarring. Spot treatments are also an option for addressing active acne. “Spot treating with benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid and salicylic acid decreases inflammation, dries out pimples and can accelerate resolution,” says Mauricio. But she warns that using spot treatments too often can overdry the skin and cause irritation.
Mark also recommends salicylic acid to his patients because it exfoliates and can help fade acne marks. “It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on oil glands,” he says. “This, therefore, treats—and, at the same time, prevents—new acne lesions.”
But if you suffer from acne scarring, professional dermatologic intervention is often necessary. Common professional treatments for acne scars include:
Dermabrasion: This is an intense procedure that uses a rotating tool to remove the outer layer of skin. It can be effective in treating acne scars because it stimulates new skin growth and softens scar edges. But dermabrasion requires anesthesia, and recovery from dermabrasion is a long, often painful, process. Recovery times may last up to one month. Dermabrasion is also not recommended for people with dark skin tones, because it can cause permanent discoloration. Because of the intensity of the treatment and the downtime involved, many dermatologists recommend microdermabrasion or laser treatments over traditional dermabrasion procedures.
Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is a procedure that abrades the skin with aluminum oxide crystals and removes the very top layer of skin through a vacuum tube. This procedure is much milder than traditional dermabrasion techniques and has proven effective at minimizing and fading acne scars. Multiple microdermabrasion sessions are often recommended. Patients who undergo microdermabrasion have virtually no downtime and can proceed with their usual activities following treatment—though sun protection is very important after microdermabrasion sessions.
Laser treatments: There are several different types of laser treatments available to help minimize and fade acne scars. But the majority of lasers for acne scar treatment fall into two categories: fractional ablative and fractional non-ablative. Both types of lasers help resurface the skin and stimulate collagen production. Fractional ablative lasers are stronger and tend to have better results than fractional non-ablative lasers. “For severe cases,” says Mark, “the most dramatic improvement can be achieved by an ablative laser, which heats up the skin to the point of causing peeling.” Patients treated with ablative lasers may experience redness and swelling around the treatment area and have more downtime following treatments.
Fractional non-ablative lasers are useful in treating mild and moderate acne scars, but the results from treatment are generally more gradual in nature. Patients often need at least three to five treatments with non-ablative lasers to see impactful results, but recovery time is faster compared to ablative laser treatments.
Subcision: Subcutaneous incisionless surgery, known as subcision, is a minor surgical procedure used to treat acne scars. During subcision, a needle is inserted into a puncture in the skin surface and moved back and forth in a fan-like motion. The procedure breaks up the fibrotic strands that attach the scar to the skin’s subcutaneous tissue. Breaking up the fibrotic strands allows dermatologists to “lift” the scar. Subcision also “stimulates the body to produce collagen at the site,” says Mark, who adds that when this method works, the correction is permanent. Patients may experience some swelling and bruising following this procedure and may be given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications and asked to ice the area following treatment.
Skin needling: Microneedling is a procedure where small, fine needles puncture acne-scarred skin. It is often done with a small, handheld device. Microneedling helps to stimulate collagen production and thicken the epidermis and dermis. These treatments require minimal recovery time and often show moderate but noticeable improvements in the overall appearance of acne scars.
Treating and fading acne scars and marks is an individualized process that may require a combination of treatment methods based on your skin and the types of scars you have. It’s important to work closely with a board-certified dermatologist to determine a treatment plan that fits your needs.
Preventing Acne Scars
Since the effective treatment of acne scars requires dermatologic intervention, preventing acne scars before they form is the most effective way to maintain smooth, clear skin.
Look for skincare products with glycolic acid, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Glycolic and salicylic acid exfoliate the skin and help unclog pores, while benzoyl peroxide is used to kill bacteria. Tretinoin is a topical medication that may be prescribed by your doctor to help manage acne. It stimulates skin growth, lightens pigmentation and reduces oiliness. If using tretinoin for acne, follow your doctor’s instructions and avoid using acid treatments and benzoyl peroxide with it unless instructed by your doctor to do so.
Avoid touching, popping or picking active breakouts. “This will only cause more inflammation and the more inflammation there is, the more likely you will be left with scars,” says Mauricio.
If you do have a particularly inflamed acne breakout, says Nassif, it’s important to act fast. Gently remove makeup and apply a sanitized cold compress or soaked cotton pad. “A spot treatment with honey can also help reduce inflammation and redness,” he adds.
For breakouts that do not respond to at-home treatments, a visit to the dermatologist for an anti-inflammatory injection with saline solution may be enough to effectively treat the acne and prevent scarring, says Mark.
Besides developing a solid skincare regimen, Mauricio explains that good skin often starts with a high-quality diet. “Eating healthy and avoiding lots of inflammatory foods high in sugar can help acne,” she says. “Taking probiotics can also help, as the skin’s microbiome is important to the pathogenesis of acne and acne treatments.”
Mauricio also recommends stress reduction as a key component in preventing breakouts and decreasing inflammation. “Finding ways to get better sleep and reduce stress with exercise will calm the immune system and the skin,” she says.
Grandmothers are known for their folksy fixes—some of which are more legitimate than others. Have a cold? Chicken soup may actually reduce inflammation, so go ahead and take her up on a nice big bowl. Have a fussy baby? Think twice before opening the “magic teething whiskey.” Have a bad hair day? Start taking notes, friend.
Yes, grandmothers are the original beauty hackers—from skincare shortcuts to blowout-saving secrets, they know a thing or two about looking good for less. Here are seven simple, straightforward and thrifty vintage beauty tricks the experts (and, likely, your grandma) still use today.
7 Beauty Tricks You Need to Know
Don’t tell your gloss, but shine-free lips are having a moment. The low-key matte look, which first surfaced on Instagram and runways, is now officially out in the wild. If you’re not quite ready to trade in your favorite cream shades, try the trend using this old-school trick from Elizabeth Johnson, co-owner of Delaware-based cosmetics boutique Houpette.
“After applying the lipstick, place a tissue over your lips and let it stick,” she says. “Then, brush setting powder on top of the tissue over your lips. It will mattify the lip color and make it more long-wearing.”
These days, a brow pencil is a beauty basic. But before beauty megastores and one-click shopping, a little repurposed eye shadow did the trick just fine. Despite the hundreds of options available in 2018, Johnson still finds herself subbing in shadow when she wants to perfectly match a client’s hair color.
“There are so many more shades available!” she says. “Take an angled brow brush and apply the eye shadow starting in the middle of the brow arch, working back toward the start of the brow and then, finally, through the brow to the ends.” (Eye shadow is messier than a pencil, so make sure to tap any excess pigment off the brush prior to applying.)
Have unruly brows? Skip the specialized brow gel and use Johnson’s quick fix: lip balm. Take a small amount on your fingertip, dab through your brows, then comb through gently with a clean spoolie brush.
Grease Be Gone
Dry shampoos are a great way to freshen up your hair between washes. But, as your grandmother would be obligated to point out, the main ingredient is usually some type of starch—which was used to extend expensive salon blowouts long before dry shampoo (and hand-held hair dryers) hit the market. Simply sprinkle some organic corn starch at the roots, comb through, and be on your way.
Dark circles have never been in style. Although there are endless illuminators (and, ahem, filters) on the market, take a cue from Old Hollywood makeup artists and try using red lipstick to brighten things up. Johnson recommends opting for a coral shade and dabbing a tiny bit under the eye where the purple undertones are prominent, keeping the application light and sheer. Then, top with your usual under-eye concealer and setting powder. “Voila—dark circles no more!” she says.
Something to Smile About
Before modern teeth whitening treatments, Hollywood stars turned to their kitchen cabinets for a brightening boost. Baking soda, which is still used in many whitening toothpastes, releases free radicals that break down stains on tooth enamel. Brush it on a couple times a week, rinse thoroughly, and smile often.
The Magic Eraser
Grandmom used petroleum jelly for everything—including removing her eye makeup. As strange as it sounds, petroleum jelly swipes off makeup like magic, and at a fraction of the cost of specialized makeup removers.
However, petroleum jelly can easily clog pores and lead to acne, depending on your skin type. And, as a byproduct of the oil refining industry, it’s an unsustainable resource with varying degrees of purity. For a gentler, more Earth-friendly alternative, try coconut oil, suggests Philadelphia-based makeup artist Deanna O’Hanna. Simply whip the coconut oil in your palms to get it to an almost liquid state, then gently rub onto your face, paying special attention to any areas that have more makeup (such as your eyes). Rinse with warm water, pat dry, and say goodbye to those wasteful makeup wipes.
A Freezing Facial
Legendary screen queen Joan Crawford was known for her high-maintenance beauty routine. While we wouldn’t recommend her “secret” to a sculpted jawline—chewing gum, constantly, to strengthen the muscles—her DIY facial stands up today. After removing her makeup, Crawford would splash her face with ice water 25 times to reduce puffiness and tighten skin. Model Kate Moss still swears by the trick and takes it one step further, filling a sink with ice cubes and submerging her face for a quick refresh.
As they say, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Case in point? Collagen.
When you’re young, this premium, does-it-all protein is abundant, binding cells and tissues together with ease and aplomb. Collagen—which is derived from the Greek word for “glue”—is essentially a tightly wound bundle of amino acids, and is responsible for everything from healthy joints to shiny hair to rosy cheeks. That fabled “youthful glow”? You’re admiring the handiwork of good old-fashioned collagen.
Unfortunately, nothing gold can stay, and your body produces less and less collagen as you age. In the past, weaker bones, achy joints, wrinkled skin and brittle hair due to lack of collagen was inevitable. But now, some studies show that supplements can boost your body’s levels of this highly-coveted protein.
If you’re thinking of adding a collagen supplement to your diet, there are some important factors to consider.
Why Supplement with Collagen?
Much of the research about collagen supplements is preliminary, but there is evidence that consuming collagen derived from animals can help the human body restore diminished levels.
Tara Nayak is a naturopathic doctor who practices in Philadelphia. Although she first attempts to support her patients’ natural production of collagen, she recommends supplementing when it matches an individual’s needs. “Collagen is recommended for those looking to improve skin elasticity, support joints and heal wounds,” she says. “There is also some evidence for its use in hair loss and cardiovascular disease.”
Hair and skin health are two of the most common reasons that people reach for supplements, and studies suggest that the benefits are significant. A double-blind 2014 study found that when women ingested collagen once daily for eight weeks, they experienced improved skin elasticity, moisture, and smoothness (1).
There’s also evidence to support supplemental collagen’s role in improving joint health. A study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences showed that patients suffering from osteoarthritis pain enjoyed more mobility and increased comfort after ingesting collagen (2).
Collagen Types and Sources
If you decide to use a collagen supplement, choosing one can be overwhelming. From pills to powders, broths to bars, protein shakes to gummy chews, there’s no shortage of options. To make matters more confusing, dozens of different types of collagen exist in nature, and many supplements make the distinction between what types they contain.
Most commonly, supplements contain type 1, type 2 or type 3 collagens. There is some research suggesting that different types provide different benefits—for example, types 1 and 3 are associated more closely with hair and skin, while type 2 is aligned with joint health. However, Nayak recommends not reading too much into this just yet. “There are some claims of the differences between these, but there is still much research to be done to differentiate which works best for what,” she says.
Instead, Nayak advises her patients to be more vigilant about the source of the collagen than the particular type. Collagen is derived from animals—primarily the bones of cows and chickens and the scales of fish—and there is, at the moment, no vegan alternative. “I would first make sure that your source of collagen is organic and grass-fed if beef, pasture-raised if chicken and wild-caught if fish,” she says. “Because these come from animal sources, we want to make sure the animal was raised in a clean, humane manner with minimal chemical additives.”
Other Collagen Considerations
Although collagen is generally considered to be safe, supplements can be problematic for those who suffer from conditions including allergies and kidney stones.
“Anyone with sensitivities to the animal source of the collagen should absolutely avoid a collagen supplement made from the animal,” says Nayak. “I would also hesitate to use these supplements in someone with a history of stone formation due to collagen’s tendency to raise calcium—increased calcium makes an easy breeding site for kidney stones.”
Regardless of your risk factors, it’s important to talk to your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.
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They say you can tell a lot about a person by their eyes. And these days, that worries me.
For starters, although I sometimes forget I’m not 25, my eyes don’t—they remember each and every one of their 33 years, and have some pesky fine lines to prove it. There’s a little extra damage thanks to a history of fake-bake tans (forgive me—I went to prom in 2002) and one Legitimate Wrinkle that I blame on a super-stressful “Game of Thrones” finale (I call him Jean-Luc—he’s actually kind of charming once you get to know him). As for the puffy dark circles, I suspect those have something to do with my 10-month-old daughter, who has endless amounts of energy despite napping once every other week.
I do what I can. I get the occasional facial, moisturize on the regular, mask on the weekends, and recently bought a very expensive “miracle broth” lotion from a very expensive-looking French woman. That said, there’s plenty of room for improvement—which is how I ended up with a jade roller.
What Is a Jade Roller?
The latest gadget to hit Instagram #selfcare vanities, jade rollers are hand-held facial massagers crafted from their namesake gemstones. Although the origin story is hazy, according to Internet beauty lore, women in China have been using them since ancient times to promote circulation, increase lymphatic drainage, and stimulate anti-inflammatory properties in the skin. More recently, celebrity makeup artists began name-dropping jade rollers a couple of years ago, citing the tiny tools as the secret behind bright, youthful eyes (see also: Botox). Fast-forward to 2018, and they’re on the beauty VIP list.
These days, you can buy a jade roller pretty much anywhere with a decent assortment of skincare products. Big-box stores sell versions for under $10, while higher-end department stores stock models that run close to $75; I chose a mid-priced $25 roller with impressive online reviews. Made from natural jade, it promised to “help reduce fine lines, minimize pores, and tighten the skin” as well as “assist the lymphatic system by helping drain lymphatic fluids and toxins.”
Putting the Jade Roller to the Test
I’ll try anything once—especially for $25—so I was excited to put it to the test. The instructions recommend using it in the morning and evening for up to 10 minutes per session, which is a little longer that I usually devote to skincare (as in, 9 minutes longer). But in the name of science—and Jean-Luc—I resolved to commit to the routine for a week.
First things first: I washed my face and applied my usual eye serum and moisturizer (some say jade rollers massage these in deeper so your skin soaks up the benefits). Then I got to rolling. Starting at my neck, I rolled upward and outward as recommended using gentle pressure. Allegedly, this motion best stimulates circulation and toxin removal, but toxins or no toxins, common sense dictates that you never want to pull down the skin on your face—especially in your mid-30s.
Although 10 minutes was a bit of a stretch, I immediately bonded with my new jade roller—as it turns out, my face has been begging for a massage. My skin didn’t look any different after one session, but my entire face felt refreshed and relaxed. Even my forehead and eyebrows—which are always conspiring to furrow—took it easy for the morning.
About halfway through the week, I began popping the roller in the fridge, as many advanced beauty buffs advise. The idea is that the cool stone will better treat puffiness, similar to how ice reduces swelling. While I can’t say that I noticed any immediate difference, it did feel amazing, especially in the morning, and my jade roller earned a permanent spot next to the orange juice.
By the end of the week, I had to admit what I had begun to suspect: the aesthetic difference was minimal. I did notice a slightly more even skin tone immediately after rolling, but that didn’t seem to last into the day. My eyes may have appeared a little less puffy, but an extra hour of sleep probably would have done a better job. Jean-Luc was not impressed.
To confirm, I asked my boyfriend the question that every man dreads: “Do you notice anything different about me?” He panicked, took a long scan of my face, and told me my hair looked great. Was it a bad answer? No. But it wasn’t a great endorsement for my jade roller, either.
Despite the time commitment, I enjoyed jade rolling—so much so that I only missed one session, which is more than I can say for every other step of my haphazard skincare routine!
Let’s face it (no pun intended), facial oils are all the rage—and for good reason! It used to be that the mere thought of putting oil on your face was enough to make your skin crawl. Now we know these plant-based oils are extremely helpful to wash away those long-held preconceptions by giving you a refreshing and radiant glow, naturally.
Face oil can play an important role in your everyday skincare routine. “The big fallacy for some who aren’t familiar with essential oils is that they’re heavy and greasy,” says Jessica Klingbaum, certified aromatherapy specialist. “But in actuality, since you only need a few drops, they won’t add that film of greasiness that some people are worried about.”
Don’t confuse face oils with moisturizers though. Face oils are also not substitutes to moisturizers. You should continue to use both or even use them together! “The main difference between face oils and moisturizers is really the actual therapeutic benefits you get from the oils you’re using, which you can customize,” Klingbaum says.
If you’re currently applying moisturizer exclusively and haven’t gotten on the face oil bandwagon, navigating the different varieties and brands of options can be a daunting task. And once you’ve chosen, how do you use it? How do you integrate it into your routine?
We sought advice from Klingbaum and other experts to help. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right oil for your face.
Face Oil Basics
If we think about the skin as a brick wall, the skin cells (also known as keratinocytes) are the bricks and mortar—the glue that holds the skin together, which is comprised of ceramides, lipids and cholesterol. “When the skin is void of oils, moisture leaks out of the skin and causes dryness,” says Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon based in New York City. “Oils help make the skin supple and pliable.” Because oils are quickly absorbed, they help to reinforce the skin barrier, making it stronger and less vulnerable.
“Oils are very hydrating and help penetrate into deeper layers of the skin because they have lower molecular weights than most lotions and creams,” Engelman adds.
Of course, not all oils are created equal. There are different qualities, properties, scents and benefits. “Every essential oil itself is made up of natural chemical components, and in turn, each of these components has specific therapeutic properties,” says Klingbaum, founder of BeHipandHealthy.com. That’s why you would use a specific oil for the purpose of its particular benefits.
Face Oil Decisions
Choosing the right oil for your skin is pretty similar to how you would choose moisturizer. Consider the following factors:
- Is your skin dry, oily or a combination?
- Is your skin sensitive?
- Is anti-aging a priority for you?
- Are you acne-prone?
- What is your desired result?
Once you’ve identified your specific needs, customize your skincare routine. Here are just some face oil options, depending on your specific skin type:
Oily Skin/Combo Skin: Jojoba Oil
If you suffer from oily skin, then jojoba oil is for you. It can help regulate oil production by mimicking sebum, the oil secreted by your sebaceous glands, helping to balance your skin’s oil production. Jojoba oil can also help heal acne and other blemishes, providing all the moisture and hydration the skin needs.
All Skin Types: Argan Oil
Known as “liquid gold,” argan oil is extracted from the kernels of the Moroccan argan tree. It’s rich in vitamin E, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Argan oil helps fight lines and wrinkles and minimize scars and stretch marks all while restoring moisture and tone.
Dry Skin: Rosehip Seed Oil
Rosehip oil is extracted from the seeds of Rosa canina and is rich in omega-6 essential fatty acids. This oil can be used to aid skin cell renewal, resulting in a replenished, healthy glow. Rosehip oil’s amazing scar-healing properties makes it perfect for damaged skin, too!
All-Over Moisture: Coconut Oil
Due to coconut oil’s propensity for clogging pores, we definitely don’t recommend this for your face. For the rest of your body, however, coconut oil is a must-have. It’s loaded with three fatty acids—capric, caprylic and lauric—that have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Plus, it’s easy on the wallet and can be used for a variety of skin ailments including everything from diaper rash to razor burn, cellulite and more.
Face Oil Application
Klingbaum recommends that you either mix the oil right into your moisturizer or apply a few drops directly to your skin right before your moisturizer.
Engelman adds, “Oils can easily be mixed into your current skincare products, serums included.” Engelman also suggests looking for products that already contain oils that match up with your desired results. “Apply directly first after cleansing for maximum penetration or add to a moisturizer or serum for a boost in hydration.”
And you don’t need a lot. Engelman cautions that three to five drops will do. “A little goes a long way,” she says.
Other Face Oil Considerations
If you’re acne-prone: Some face oils can actually help reduce inflammation. Reduce breakouts and minimize post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that can occur after acne flares with neem oil, says Engelman. “It’s a concentrated blend of antifungal, antihistamine, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,” she says. It will also reduce swelling and scarring.
If you don’t want to clog your pores: If an oil is comedogenic—like coconut or avocado oil—it can cause clogged pores. These oils are heavy and won’t allow your skin to breathe as it needs to. Argan oil, squalane oil and jojoba oil are your best bets if this is a concern. They’ll sink into your skin quickly, avoiding clogging.
If you are allergic to anything: “Since many oils are derivatives of food, make sure you are not allergic to that food and subsequently the oil that it’s derived from,” Engelman cautions. To be safe, do a patch test on your neck first before using the oil on your whole face.
Original post by Jessica Justh
When it comes to the health of your skin and bones, collagen is incredibly important. If you would like to maintain a fresh and vibrant appearance at all times, your body needs to continuously produce the correct amount of collagen. Sadly, factors like being out in the sun for too long or smoking cigarettes can have negative impacts on your body’s ability to produce the right level of this useful protein.
If you believe your skin could use a bit of a boost in regards to collagen production, now is a wonderful time to consider a few useful tips. Taking the right supplements and engaging in healthy daily practices can do wonders for enhancing your body’s natural ability to produce collagen. Consider these ideas and see what tactics might be the most useful for your goals.
Vitamin C is a vitamin with a lot to offer the body, assisting with the functions of the immune and digestive systems. On top of this, Vitamin C has also been shown to have a huge effect on repairing and restoring specific tissues. When your body does not seem to be producing collagen at the rate you require, then you might find it useful to consider Vitamin C supplements.
Not only does Vitamin C aid in the process of repairing sensitive skin tissue, it can also provide an improved level of protection against certain environmental elements. Sun damage is one of the larger concerns to stay mindful of when it comes to the health of your skin. Though you should always use sunblock to protect your skin from conditions like melanoma, taking Vitamin C supplements can be the extra line of defense your skin requires.
Most people understand how important sleep is to health and wellness. As you drift off into slumber, your body begins a restorative process to counteract the damage done throughout the day. When you do not get enough sleep, it dramatically decreases your body’s ability to tackle this goal. Those who do not get a full night’s rest of about eight hours are likely to see an increase in inflammation from increased stress hormone production. These hormones are produced when the body is struggling to stay awake and can stand in the way of your body generating or repairing collagen.
The answer here is clear: get consistent and appropriate sleep. Your body will produce collagen naturally but you definitely need to do some of the work yourself. While you might feel like you have too many obligations and responsibilities to hit the hay at a normal hour, you will find that it is far more beneficial to your health to make the time to get a full night’s rest.
This might seem a bit obvious but what you eat is also going to hold sway over your body’s ability to generate collagen. In order for you to see the glowing skin you desire, you are going to need to make sure that you are getting the right nutrients in your daily meals. Lycopene is an antioxidant that has been shown to counteract some of the damage done to the skin by environmental factors like pollution. Often, the skin takes on damage simply by being exposed to polluted air.
Eating foods rich in lycopene can help to keep your skin fresh, so be sure to stock your cart with tomatoes the next time you hit the grocery store. You can also explore lycopene supplements if you don’t think you’ll be able to swing extra fruit in your daily diet. It might also be a good idea to focus on foods containing Vitamin A. This vitamin is responsible for keeping organs functioning properly and your skin is considered the largest organ of your body. Sweet potatoes are a delicious and effective source of Vitamin A.
Article written by Joe Palinsky
Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.
Getting old is inevitable but you don’t have to feel or look old! That explains why anti-aging supplements and products are top-selling items across the country. Did you know that some foods can also help slow down the aging process? Let’s look at 7 foods that have anti-aging benefits.
Known for its anti-aging properties, resveratrol is found and extracted from the skin of grapes. Research suggests that resveratrol counters inflammation and several anti-aging supplements contain this powerful ingredient.
2. Collagen Protein
The most important and abundant protein in the body, collagen is responsible for keeping you healthy and young. Plus, marine collagen, with its high antioxidant content, has been used in beauty products in order to repair or prevent damage caused by environmental factors or aging process.
Known to delay aging and promoting longevity, blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, a compound credited for its anti-aging effects, limiting cellular damage caused by free radicals and preventing a large array of ailments.
Salmon contains high amounts of astaxanthin, a super antioxidant and carotenoid known for its unique anti-aging benefits. Studies have shown that astaxanthin inhibits oxidative damage to DNA by reducing C-reactive protein and strengthening the immune system.
Oats contain a natural plant chemical that helps prevent damage to skin cells and soothes skin irritation. Plus, oats are low-glycemic and good for you, unlike high-glycemic foods which are known to cause acne and wrinkles.
Nuts are loaded with both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and both compounds have been associated with reduced heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk. Because all vascular factors have been related to cognition, nuts have the potential to slow cognitive decline in older adults.
Citrus fruits are considered excellent anti-aging foods as these fruits are loaded with water which helps hydrate your skin and cells, and are high in vitamin C, which helps make collagen to keep your skin supple.
Want the best advice on skin, hair, and nails? Follow these simple tips from The American Academy of Dermatology, one of the largest organizations of dermatologists (over 18,000 dermatologists) in the world.
Best Tips for Your Hair
- Match frequency of shampooing to your hair type.
If your scalp is oily, wash it once a day. For chemically treated hair, wash it less frequently. As you get older, your scalp makes less oil so you may not need to shampoo as often.
- Concentrate shampoo on the scalp.
When washing your hair, concentrate on cleaning primarily the scalp, rather than washing the entire length of hair. Washing only your hair can create flyaway hair that is dull and coarse.
- Use conditioner after every shampoo.
Using a conditioner can significantly improve the look of damaged or weathered hair by increasing shine, decreasing static electricity, improving strength, and offering some protection from harmful UV rays.
- Choose a shampoo and conditioner formulated specifically for your hair type.
Best Tips for Your Skin
- Apply sunscreen when outdoors.
Use a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30 (or higher), and water resistance.
- Resist the urge to scrub your skin clean.
Never, ever, scrub your skin. It irritates your skin and can actually worsen any skin condition, including acne.
- Wash your face gently.
Wet your face with lukewarm water, apply a mild cleanser, and use a gentle, circular motion with your fingertips. Rinse and gently pat your face dry with a clean towel.
- Always wash your face when waking, before bed, and after sweating.
Best Tips for Your Nails
- Keep nails clean and dry.
- Cut nails straight across, then “round off.”
Use sharp nail scissors or clippers, then round the nails slightly at the tips for maximum strength.
- Keep nails shaped and free of snags by filing with an emery board.
- Do not remove the cuticle as it can damage your nails.
What to do when all else fails!
Tried everything, and nothing seems to work. You’re not alone. Fortunately, skin, hair, and nail researchers have identified a compound that’s been clinically proven to increase skin elasticity 89%, thicken and strengthen hair by 13%, and strengthen and clarify nails dramatically. The compound “choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid” (ch-OSA®) can be found in a product called BioSil® Hair, Skin, Nails from Natural Factors. BioSil is one of supermodel Christie Brinkley’s secrets to looking youthful, beautiful, and healthy!
Some of the biggest buzz words in science, as well as the wellness world right now, are anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Everyone is looking for ways to stay healthy and live longer. Enter Resveratrol. For years now, researchers have been studying resveratrol trying to find the exact mechanisms in which it may help promote a longer healthier life. Resveratrol belongs to a class of plant-derived chemicals known as polyphenols—which have been studied with growing interest due to their antioxidant and anti-aging properties. In plants, polyphenols are responsible for the vibrant colors and help to prevent against ultraviolet radiation, pathogens, oxidative damage and any harsh climate conditions.
Benefits of Resveratrol
- Strong antioxidant
- Promotes anti-aging effects on the body.
- Protects the cardiovascular system in the following ways:
- Improved health of blood vessels (endothelial lining)
- Improved circulatory system function
- Improved cholesterol/lipid profiles
- May protect heart muscle
- Improves nitric oxide availability
- Promotes anti-inflammatory mechanisms
- May protect the nerves against degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- May help offset effects of obesity and poor diet/lifestyle choices
- May have cancer-preventing benefits
- Can help improve blood flow to the brain
- May improve exercise endurance.
Where can you find resveratrol in foods?
- Peanuts, grapes, purple grape juice, red wine, Japanese knotweed and a variety of berries such as blueberries and cranberries are great sources of resveratrol.
How much resveratrol do you require?
- The standard dosage ranges from 250mg-500mg, but many researchers recommend anywhere between 100mg to 500mg per day. The best route to take is speaking with your health care provider to find the proper dosage for your body before starting any resveratrol supplements.
What’s in your supplements?
- When choosing a resveratrol supplement, it’s best to look for supplements that use whole grape skins. One of the best sources of resveratrol in nature and for supplementation are muscadine grapes, as they tend to have the highest concentration of resveratrol.
- Resveratrol comes in two forms, the cis form and the trans form, both of which refer to its chemical structure.
- The trans form is regarded as the more biologically active form. If possible look for supplements that list the percentage of trans resveratrol the label.
- The cis form is still active, but more research has been conducted on the trans form. As a result, we have not seen all of the benefits in the cis form that can be seen with the trans form.
- Many professionals believe that the purity level of trans-resveratrol should be around 98%.
- Look for products that explicitly say “resveratrol” on the label and not “red-wine complex” or proprietary formula. 300mg of resveratrol is not the same as 300mg of red wine complex.
- Try to avoid supplements with fillers and additives.
- Always read the ingredients label before purchasing any supplements!
Other Helpful Information
- Resveratrol may inhibit platelet aggregation, which means it may increase the risk of bleeding in individuals who are on anti-clotting medications.
- Although red wine is a good source of resveratrol, it is important to not drink large quantities as alcohol may have toxic effects on the body.
- It may be best to take your resveratrol supplements in the morning as they may be slightly more bioavailable vs. in the afternoon or evening.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should not take resveratrol as it has not been well studied as safe.
- Some supplements such as quercetin can work in conjunction with resveratrol and may boost its effectiveness.
New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that people with metabolic syndrome, a condition that’s often related to obesity, need significantly more vitamin E
This syndrome is defined by diagnosis of several conditions, including abdominal obesity, elevated lipids, high blood pressure, pro-inflammatory state, a pro-thrombotic state and insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance.
An estimated 92 percent of men and 96 percent of women in the United States fail to get an adequate daily intake of vitamin E in their diet and is no surprise that more than 30 percent of the American public are obese, and more than 25 percent of the adults in the United States meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome, putting them at significantly increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
Some good dietary sources of vitamin E include almonds, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, spinach, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, nuts and whole grains. However, vitamin E is one of the more difficult micronutrients to obtain by dietary means and supplements are still the best way to get higher quantities.
A powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant important for cell protection, vitamin E affects gene expression, immune function, aids in repair of wounds and the damage of atherosclerosis. Additionally, E is important for vision and neurologic function and can rejuvenate your health as well as beauty as it’s known to improve hair and skin. Vitamin E boosts the production of collagen that adds elasticity to your skin, and is helpful to minimize wrinkles, age spots and other signs of aging. Vitamin E has the power to reverse the damage done by harmful solar radiation and the free radicals in our environment.
The days of mixing masks and clogging sinks with mud are mercifully coming to an end. In the wake of their demise, peels made with plant essences, vitamins and nutrients are popping up all over the natural scene. Try our favorites below to get that glow, naturally.
Lost Baggage Eye Emergency Repair Masks
It’s time to say goodnight to under eye bags and dark circles. The skin under your eyes is very delicate so it’s important to use gentle and natural products that get the job done without causing any irritation. Lost Baggage repair masks contain a restorative infusion of peptides, elastin, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E and doesn’t contain any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and triclosan. Even better, it’s cruelty-free so you can feel good about getting results the humane way.
BioMiracle – 20 Minute Miracle Mask Coenzyme Q10 Collagen Essence
Do you have 20 minutes to spare to reduce wrinkles? If so, than we’ve got Twenty Minute Miracle Mask from Bio Miracle for you. It firms, rejuvenates and moisturizes which gives an instant lift effect after just one use. Defy the hands of time with this mask that fights free radical damage and smooths away fine lines and wrinkles by pumping your skin with collagen essence and CoQ10.
Andalou Naturals – Brightening Instant Brighten & Tighten Hydro Serum Facial Mask Vitamin C
Lighten, tighten and brighten with this mask from Andalou Naturals. The Instant Brighten & Tighten Hydro Serum Facial Mask targets UV sun damage by activating collagen for a smooth and silky complexion. This peel is great for targeting skin problems such as dark spots, uneven tone, texture and dryness, plus it’s totally sustainable, too! The mask’s ingredients are sourced from fiber grown in responsibly managed forests, which should make feel good inside and out.
Relaxus – Spa Bamboo Charcoal Facial Mask
Charcoal and tea tree oil are the main attractions in this mask from Relaxus. Both are tough on toxins leaving your skin feeling clean and refreshed after every application. Anyone who has ever tried a charcoal mask knows they can be quite messy to apply and clean off, but not this pre-moistened one, which easily unfolds for mess-free applications and removals. Simple, clean and easy!
Aging is an inevitable process but have you even wondered what actually happens with our skin as we age
The skin appearance deteriorates as we age and this process can be divided in two different types: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging.
Intrinsic aging refers to the natural aging process that, unfortunately, we cannot do much about. As we age, we get lines in our skin, particularly in our faces, and the skin tend to lose its youth, firmness and fullness. The skin is likely to become thinner and drier and isn’t as smooth or tight as it once was. Additionally, the skin gets more fragile and can bruise more easily due to loss of support around blood vessels walls, which normally happens as we age.
Extrinsic aging is the second type and this one we actually have some control over. This one refers to other factors that affect our skin such as the environment and lifestyle choices. By taking some preventive actions, we can slow the effects this type of aging has on our skin and possibly prevent our skin to age prematurely.
The sun plays a major role in prematurely aging our skin and sun protection is essential at all times. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages certain fibers in the skin called elastin. The breakdown of elastin fibers causes the skin to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to snap back after stretching, making you look older than you are.
In addition, healthy lifestyle habits are extremely important to maintain healthy skin. Drink plenty of water, avoid smoking and alcohol, and eat a well-balanced diet. Those are important tips to reduce the aging of the skin.
What else can you do? Washing your face at least twice a day, especially after sweating heavily as perspiration irritates the skin. Exercise frequently as it can improve circulation and boost the immune system. Apply a facial moisturizer every day, even better, before bed time as night cream products seem to provide the best results.