What Vitamins are Good for Skin Problems?

vitamins for skin problemsThe basic vitamins for skin problems are A, C and E.  But before you start taking a supplement or buy a cream containing them, read this article.  The advice could keep you from making the problem worse.

The benefits of A and E for the skin’s health are not well understood.  The benefits of C are well known.  So, let’s start with that.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a necessary cofactor for the body to produce strong collagen fibers.  You may have heard of collagen.  It is one of the things responsible for the skin’s elasticity, firmness and color.

As we age, collagen production slows down naturally.  During our youth, our body may produce weak collagen fibers if there is not enough ascorbic acid in our diet.  In the worst case scenario, you could develop scurvy.  Scurvy is accompanied by bleeding gums, pale skin-tone and depression among other unpleasant symptoms.

Assuming you do not have scurvy, you need a minimum of 75-90mg per day.  Much higher doses can be taken without causing any toxic effect.

C is one of the vitamins for skin problems that have started to appear in anti-aging creams and similar products.  Although the vitamin does have antioxidant effects, which could help minimize some of the signs of aging, it is also a mild acid.  Applying any mild acids directly to the skin’s surface can cause burning, redness and irritation.  I suggest you take C by mouth and use creams that contain other antioxidant ingredients.

A is also known as retinol.  Your body can produce it, as long as you consume enough vegetables or take a supplement containing carotenoids.  Carotenoids are pre-cursors of retinol.  The body converts carotenoids to retinol.  It is not essential to consume retinol, itself.  Unlike C, A is one of the vitamins for skin problems that can be toxic.

High doses of retinol can cause death.  A synthetic form of the nutrient is sometimes prescribed for severe cases of acne.  Its use is reserved for the most severe cases, because it causes birth defects at any effective dose.

When applied to the skin’s surface, it causes the same symptoms as ascorbic acid.  The synthetic form is also acidic.

Synthetic retinol creams have often been recommended for wrinkles.  Research has shown that oils and extracts containing natural carotenoids may be just as effective, but do not cause the unwanted side effects.  Avocado extract and Shea butter are examples of ingredients that contain natural carotenoids.

We might not know why E is one of the most effective vitamins for skin problems, but when taken orally it seems to help with everything from acne to eczema and xeroderma; excessive dryness and flaking.

Creams and oils containing E have long been recommended for minimizing the effects of aging.  Researchers believe the benefits are due to the antioxidant activity of E.  Antioxidants neutralize and prevent free radical damage, which is one of the primary causes of an aged appearance.

A, C and E are only a few of the vitamins for skin problems.  Any nutritional deficiency will eventually show up as a symptom on the outside of your body.  A good multi-nutritional supplement and nourishing creams could be all that you need.

Topics: Holistic Skin Care, Natural Skin Care, Skin Care, Skin Care Ingredients, Skin Care Products, Skin Health, Skin Wrinkles | 1 Comment »

Do Wrinkle Creams Work Against UV Light?

do wrinkle creams workDo wrinkle creams work to protect against UV light?  That’s a new question.  Most people just want to know if a cream can really get rid of wrinkles.  Here’s why you should care about the protection of UV, even if all you thought you cared about were wrinkles.

UV rays are the invisible ones.  UVB causes sunburns.  You can usually tell when you have had too much of it, because your skin gets red and hot.

UVA causes hyperpigmentation, age spots, wrinkles and skin cancer.  You can’t always tell when you have had too much UVA.  We don’t even know how much is too much.

Many of the anti-aging lotions on the market have an SPF rating, which customers think show how beneficial they are in protecting against UV light.  The SPF rating has nothing to do with UVA, only UVB.  The letters stand for “sunburn protection factor”.

New research published just this month shows that many of the lotions do not provide protection against UVA.  Companies are not required to back up their claims for UVA protection, even if they decide to mention it.

So, do wrinkle creams work to protect against UV light?  They may provide some protection against UVB and burning, but they do not help reduce your risk of wrinkles or skin cancer.

When it comes to effectiveness, sunscreens do nothing to reverse wrinkles.  In many cases, the only active ingredients listed on those bottles are sunscreens.

We really need two products.  These are my suggestions for women.

To help prevent and reverse wrinkles, apply a daily moisturizer that contains coenzyme Q10, natural vitamin E, keratin and grape seed oil.

Wrinkle creams work to reverse wrinkling when those ingredients are included.

There is a good deal of convincing research concerning the effectiveness of those ingredients.  For example coenzyme Q10 has been shown to reverse sun damage and the premature skin aging caused by it.

Allow the cream to dry and then apply a foundation containing zinc oxide.  Bare Minerals is my favorite brand, but as long as zinc oxide is included, it will provide protection against UVA and UVB.

There is no clear lotion that provides adequate protection against UVA.  There are some products that contain a combination of chemicals that are supposed to work, but researchers are concerned that those ingredients may actually do more harm than good.

How about for men?  Do wrinkle creams work for them?

Men can use a good anti-aging cream that contains the ingredients mentioned above, along with vitamin B5. B5 provides some natural protection against sunburn, but it should not be relied on when you expect to spend hours outdoors.  Zinc oxide sun-blocking ointments can be purchased at the drugstore.  Use them when you need them.

Previous studies have looked at the question; do wrinkle creams work.  They have found that the typical cream provides no more than a 10% reduction in wrinkles.  Coenzyme Q10 has been shown to reduce wrinkles by 30% or more.  But you need to use it on a daily basis to see these benefits.

Topics: Anti Wrinkle Creams, Holistic Skin Care, Moisturizers, Sensitive Skin, Skin Care Ingredients, Skin Care Products, Skin Wrinkles, Sun Damage | 2 Comments »

How to Heal Damaged Skin Naturally

how to heal skin damageA great deal of research has been conducted about how to heal damaged skin.  To speed healing is a major goal, because damage to the skin, our natural barrier, can allow pathogens to enter the bloodstream and cause a widespread infection.  Here’s what we know about the subject.

There are many kinds of damage.  Cuts, nicks, abrasions and burns are among the most common.  Allergies or sensitivities can cause rashes to appear.  Damage can come from squeezing pimples or picking at them.  The skin’s dermis layer can become torn due to sudden weight gain or hormone use and leave behind visible stretch marks.

Those are just some of the types of damage that can occur.  Repeated overexposure to the sun can also cause long-term damage.  We call that sun damage.  It is a cause of premature skin-aging.

To protect against infection, to promote healing, to reduce stretch marks and to help reverse sun damage, I recommend two products; a good body lotion and a nourishing night cream.  The products should contain specific ingredients, some of which are covered in the remainder of this article.

Active Manuka Honey

The use of a cream or lotion containing active manuka honey is one way to heal damaged skin.  Active manuka honey has both antioxidant and anti-pathogenic activity.  Antioxidants help to reverse sun damage.  The anti-pathogenic activity naturally works against viruses, bacteria and other infectious agents.

A body lotion containing active manuka honey is a good alternative to the antibacterial cleansers and creams on the market. 

Research has shown that those antibacterial agents (especially triclosan) actually contribute to the formation of more resistant bacteria. 

They are ineffective against viruses, and they are damaging to the environment.  Look for active manuka instead.

Shea Butter

The use of a night cream containing Shea butter helps to heal damaged skin on the face.  There is no doubt in my mind about that.  The butter has a “healing quotient” due to all of the different nutrients it contains.  In many countries it is sold as a first-aid cream.  It can be used to soothe burns, treat acne and reduce rashes caused by allergic reactions.  It has anti-aging effects, because of the many antioxidants it contains.

The fatty acid composition is very close to that of the skin’s own sebum, which means it is readily absorbed without causing a greasy feeling.  That also makes it an effective moisturizing emollient.

Olive Oil, Vitamin E and Jojoba

The use of a body lotion containing these ingredients and manuka honey is the best way to heal damaged skin anywhere on the body.  I can say that with confidence.  I am aware of specific examples where old scars faded away and minor infections healed up practically overnight.

You need to be consistent about the use of these products and you need to be careful not to buy something that contains other hazardous compounds.  Take the time to learn more about the hazardous ingredients to avoid, now that you know something about how to heal damaged skin.

Topics: Natural Skin Care, Skin Care, Skin Care Ingredients, Skin Health, Sun Damage | 2 Comments »

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