4 Important Vitamins for Healthy Skin

Proper skin care takes much more than just swathing your face with expensive cosmetics. Beauty comes from within. You have to provide you skin with the nutrition it needs to fend off environmental hazards like dust, pollution and sunlight. Your skin quality also reflects your overall health. Any accumulation of toxins, hormonal upset and improper body function will be exhibited as skin blemishes. The following are the top five vitamins that can help you buildup immunity, detoxify your system and achieve skin perfection.

Vitamin C

Environmental hazards are unavoidable and they cause serious skin damage. Increased exposure to pollen, dust and polluted air directly causes premature aging. UV rays break down your collagen and worsen the appearance of age spots. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that keeps your skin cells safe from these harmful stress factors. Adequate intake of vitamin C can effectively deter the aging process, prevent skin discoloration and brighten your skin tone. Having 3 to 5 servings of fresh fruits like oranges, strawberries and grapes everyday is the best way to keep you well-stocked with vitamin C.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the most powerful bioactive antioxidant among all vitamins. Vitamin E can immediately catch and remove any free radicals that come near your cells. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, and so it gives you much longer-lasting protection than vitamin C.Supplying your skin with enough vitamin E can drastically reduce the appearance of skin blemishes like acne and age spots. Common dietary sources for this vitamin are asparagus, avocados, nuts and seeds, eggs and dairy products.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps your skin by reducing the amount of homocysteines in your blood. Homocysteines affect both your circulation system and endocrine system. Elevated levels of this compound cause cholesterol to form plaque, which impairs your blood flow. High homocysteines levels also trigger stress response, which can cause acne breakouts and hives. Increasing your vitamin B6 encourages better oxygenation of your skin cells and reduces its exposure to stress damage. Vitamin B6 is rich in foods like meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Folate

Folate has the same stress reducing function as vitamin B6 and can also promote better oxygenation for your cells. Folate heightens your red blood cell production. Higher concentration of red blood cells means more oxygen can be delivered to your skin and other tissue. Abundance of oxygen encourages faster skin regeneration. Eating a variety of dark leafy vegetables, beans and legumes, citrus fruits and fortified cereals is the easiest way to get the folate you need for a look of rejuvenation.

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid is extremely important in prevention of acne, dermatitis and skin allergies. This vitamin helps your body break down fat and prevents surplus oil secretion from your sebaceous glands. Increased intake of pantothenic acid can reduce your pore size and improve your skin tone, making it a common ingredient in many skin care products. The best dietary sources for pantothenic acid include fish, red meat, wheat bran and yeast. You can also get an extra boost of pantothenic acid by taking a royal jelly supplement.

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Teenager Acne Issues & Skin Care Tips

Are you a parent with an acne prone teenager? If your answer is yes, you may want to show them this blog. Teens usually do not listen to their parents when it comes to their skin. Maybe after reading this, they’ll get a little better about skin care. Teenagers from ages 12 to 17 are affected, at least occasionally, by acne.  It is by far the most common skin complaint in this age group.

Acne at any level should be taken very seriously, especially by teenagers. Moderate to severe scarring can become a problem in teenagers with untreated acne. (Scarring comes from picking and spreading the bacteria of the pimples causing more breakouts and damaging the skin.) In turn, the scars left behind can cause emotional pain and discomfort in social situations. My clients that are parents of acne prone teenagers often tell me how embarrassed their teen is of their skin; most of the time it’s because they didn’t get the acne treated in time.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body.  It protects and covers the body, is waterproof, bacteria proof, and it self-repairs when it is injured. Your skin, hair and nails are a reflection of your state of health.  Skin is repairable, but is not replaceable, so take care of the skin you’re in.teensmiles

Diet also plays a major role in how skin behaves.  You must eat a balanced diet in order for your body to function properly.  The old saying “you are what you eat” is true in my opinion. So avoid fast food, junk food, fried, & fatty foods. You breakout areas will definitely show of you are eating these kinds of foods. (The cheek area is usually where digestive breakouts occur)

Our bodies must process everything we eat.  All waste is not eliminated in the same manner and many things are eliminated through our skin. Take garlic for example.  If you eat a meal that is full of garlic, the next day the scent of garlic can often be smelled on your skin.  Brewers Yeast is another example.  Brewers Yeast is a rich source of the B-complex vitamins, which tend to have a very strong scent. Many doctors and pharmacists recommend taking this product in high quantities during summer to avoid mosquito bites.  B-vitamins are water soluble, so anything your body does not use will be eliminated through your skin or in your urine. Even though you will not be able to detect the scent on your skin, mosquitoes have a keen sense of smell and they will stay off you because it. These two items are perfect examples of our body eliminating through our skin. In the same manner, many other foods can affect our bodies in the same way.

Drinking plenty of fluids is extremely important for healthy skin.  Water is most important because it aids in the digestion and absorption of food.  Water is also responsible for carrying nutrients to the skin and waste away from the cells, as well as regulating body temperature.

Eating a low-fat diet is recommended for healthy skin.  A diet high in fruits and vegetables is best since they are loaded with antioxidants which help to keep the skin supple and nourished. Include regular exercise along with diet to increase blood flow to the skin.  Increased blood flow to the surface of the skin not only gives you the appearance of a healthy glow, it also helps clean and repair the skin tissues.

Another major culprit responsible for acne flare-ups is airborne grease.  Working in a fast food restaurant can be harder on your skin than eating at one.  If you work at a fast food establishment there are steps you can take to help keep your skin clean and clear: If possible, wash your face a couple of times a day with a mild cleanser and warm water (not hot) to remove surface oils and dead skin cells. Never scrub your skin hard, especially with an abrasive cleanser.  One cause of acne is oily buildup, not dirt, so scrubbing hard won’t help and can actually irritate the skin and further inflame your acne. If you do not have access to a sink, but still want to clean the oil from your face, there are several different face-cleansing cloths available on the market that you can use.teenskin

Shampoo your hair regularly. Keep in mind to avoid oily shampoos, hair gels, and conditioners, as these products can transfer from your hair to your face during the day or at night while you sleep and cause problems with your skin.

Stop touching your face!  Many people touch their face continually during the day for many reasons.  If you are studying, do not rest your hands on your face while you look down at your books. Every time you touch your face you transfer all sorts of germs and bacteria from all the doorknobs, money, etc. that you have touched during the day.

Here is something a lot of people do not think of very often.  If you use a phone a lot, keep the receiver off your face. The dirt and germs that build up on the phone, along with the constant friction against your face, can cause breakouts in key areas such as the chin.  If being on the phone all day “is” your job, see if your boss will spring for an inexpensive headset to help the problem.

For the girls:  Never use oil-based makeup or other products.  Check the labels of everything you use and if oil is an ingredient, throw it away!  Look for products with non-comedogenic, water-based, and oil -free on the label. If you have oily skin and you use a pressed powder, be sure to look for one with oil control… and be sure to wash your powder pad often.

teenboyFor the boys:  If you have started to shave your face, always use a sharp razor. Old razors with dull blades will drag across your skin and cause rashes and irritation.

Do not think that just because you have oily skin you do not need to use a moisturizer.  Your skin can be oil rich, but moisture dry, so find a light moisturizer that works for you.  You need to balance out the moisture levels in your skin.  If it has enough moisture, the oil glands will not produce as much.

If you spend a lot of time in the sun, be sure to wear an oil-free sunscreen, such as a gel or light lotion.  Gel and light lotion sunscreens will not aggravate your acne and will help you avoid skin cancer in your adult years.  If you are currently seeing a dermatologist, some skin treatments can increase your skin’s sun sensitivity, so be sure to wear your sunscreen if you are outside.  Talk to your doctor if you have questions about the treatment you are receiving and how it relates to sun exposure.  Something else to keep in mind regarding the sun and how it affects your skin:  sunburn is your skins way of saying it has been injured, but so is a tan.  When your skin browns or reddens, is using its defense mechanism by producing melanin. Melanin acts as a protective biological shield against ultraviolet radiation.  By doing this, your skin is trying to prevent sunburn damage that could lead to melanoma later in life.  So be careful if you are a sun worshiper, you will regret it later in life when the wrinkles caused by sun damage start to appear.

And most importantly: If you do have a pimple, do not squeeze it or pick at it.  Picking or squeezing pimples only irritates the tissue more and increases your chance of getting scars.  Only qualified skin professionals (dermatologists or estheticians) can safely remove pimples without causing more harm.

If you would like to help you teen’s acne issue, feel free to contact me for more information, or better yet schedule a facial for them.

Teen Facial-$45

Beauty Vitamins

Folic Acid

Folic acid is one of the key vitamins that helps to keep your hair shiny and thick.

• It prevents greys from appearing so that you look younger and so that you can refrain from dying your gorgeous locks for a little longer (unless you feel like it that is).

• Finally, folic acid lends a lot of moisture to your hair so that it’s less likely to break. After all, who wants dry and damaged looking hair?

Vitamin B Complex

There are many different types of vitamin B, including B6, B1, B12 and Biotin. Taking vitamin B complex is like taking every one of them as well as folic acid all at once.

• It helps to prevent wrinkles and more importantly skin cancer by fighting free radicals.

• It also promotes cell reproduction so that your skin looks and feels healthier.

• Should you ever suffer from the effects of getting a nail fungus, vitamin B complex helps to speed up the healing process.

• Not only does it make your locks appear to be shinier but it slows down the greying so that you look younger while saving money.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is infamous for being good for your skin. But did you know that it’s also good for your hair and nails?

• Helps to repair severely dry skin so that you always feel smooth.

• Helps to soothe sun damaged skin and prevents skin cancer.

• Contains antioxidants that help it fight free radicals so that you see fewer fine lines and wrinkles.

• Promotes the growth of soft hair while reducing frizz, breakage, split ends and hair loss.

• It helps you grow stronger, longer nails.

Vitamin C

Often times vitamin C brings on thoughts of drinking orange juice in order to fight a cold. However, this super vitamin can do a whole lot more than that.

• Great for repairing sun damaged skin.

• Improves the tone and texture of your skin by making it firmer so that you have fewer wrinkles.

• Packed with collagen building antioxidants which improves your skin, hair and nails.

• Fights free radicals that cause premature aging and hair loss.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is often times forgotten, but is just as important as the other vitamins on this list.

• It helps to reduce dark under eye circles which is great if you’re up with the baby all night or if you’re a party animal.

• It helps to reduce the appearance of bruises on the skin so that you can keep going to those kickboxing classes that you love.

• Fight free radicals for more youthful looking skin.

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SPA RECIPE: Baked Spa Tomatoes

2 medium/large tomatoes
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt or seasoned salt
4 teaspoons olive oil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tomatoes in half. Scoop out seeds. Place on a lightly greased baking dish or glass pie plate. Bake tomatoes 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine bread crumbs, chopped parsley, garlic and salt. Remove tomatoes from oven and pour off liquid. Top each tomato half with 1/4 of the bread crumb mixture. Drizzle 1 teaspoon oil of over each tomato half and return to oven and bake about 15 minutes or until tomatoes are tender. Can be served warm, but they are best if served at room temperature.

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SPA RECIPE: Banana, Green Tea, & Blueberry Smoothie

3 tbsp water
1 green tea bag
2 tsp honey
1 1/2 C frozen blueberries
1/2 med banana
3/4 C calcium fortified light vanilla soy milk
DIRECTIONS
In small glass measuring cup or bowl, microwave water on high until steaming hot. Add tea bag and allow to brew 3 minutes. Remove tea bag. Stir honey into tea until it dissolves.
In blender with ice crushing ability, combine berries, banana, and milk.
Add tea to blender. Blend ingredients on ice crush or highest setting until smooth. (Some blenders may require additional water to process the mixture.) Pour smoothie into tall glass and serve.

Puffy Eyes: Causes, Treatments, & Home Remedies

Puffy eye issues? Common causes of Puffy eyes can include fluid retention, stress, allergies, and hormone changes, along with other. If eyes swell due to an episode of crying this is due to how the body reacts to emotions and causes extra blood to flow around the eye sockets which results in swelling. If the production of tears is extreme it can put a strain on the eyes. Tiredness is another regular cause for puffy eyes. This can happen because there is too much sodium in a diet causing water retention.

If you tend on treating your puffy eyes at home then you have to be certain of why they have occurred. Tired exhausted eyes by all means have ago at treating, but if it be something more serious you need to leave well alone. The eyes are delicate organs and you cannot afford to practice with solutions/remedies you are unfamiliar with, or more importantly an unfamiliar condition if you haven`t had the problem determined by your doctor.

Puffy Eyes Treatments and Home Remedies

Before endorsing any new fresh methods for treating your eye puffiness get a second opinion from your doctor. If we are looking to treat puffy eyes that you are “sure” are not caused by other eye conditions, then you can consider trying the options below to rid eye puffiness. The treatments given are successfully treating patients and their eye issues, however what may work for one person may not for the other.

Cold Splash: Having puffy eyes can be nothing more than a problematic fluid circulation in your face. An easy and cool way to bring back your eyes to their normal appearance is to splash cold water directly on your eye area and the rest of your face. The cold temperature of the water is all you need to jumpstart the fluid circulation in your face.

Tea Bag Patch: Try using teabags. Two teabags moistened by cold water and patched on your puffy eyes for five to ten minutes can reinvigorate your eyes and hold off the puffiness. Again, the coldness of the teabags can help to increase circulation in your face. But more than that, tea has tannin that can also help in tightening the skin in your eye area; thereby, effectively decreasing the bulge in your eyes.

Take Medication:  Sometimes, eye puffiness can be caused by factors other than fluid circulation in the face. For instance, if you are having your menstruation, your body may retain more fluids at the onset of your period; hence, our eyes may become puffy. If this is the case, take over-the-counter diuretic medications to help flush out excess fluids in your system.

Limit your intake of sodium

Drink plenty of water to flush out your system

Place cool cucumber slices over the eyes or cold wet teabags

Use a soothing eye cream with aloe and Vitamin E.

Avoid bending the head down for long periods of time.

Avoid staying up late of a night.

You can also treat your eyes with creams for a more lasting solution to eye puffiness.

If your eye puffiness is due to an allergic reaction, over-the-counter antihistamine medicines can help flatten the puffiness.

Reduce Puffy Eyes

Cool the swollen skin around your eyes to reduce puffiness at every possible convenience

Chill eye and face creams

Wrap an ice cube in cloth and gently dab the eyes

Cool two spoons and place over the eyes

Chilled strips of potato settled over the eyes is effective for soothing

Cold has great healing qualities in helping to reduce puffiness and irritation, and can be used as often as is comfortable to get rid of puffy eyes.

Avoid hot water; this we use for getting rid of dirt and grime, and this is not the issue here.

Gentle patting or dabbing should be the motion used at all times. The skin around your eyes is extremely sensitive, and repeated touching of the skin enveloping the eyes can worsen allergies, making them more irritable, red and itchy thus leading to puffy eyes. If you wear contact lenses then remove them before going to bed to avoid irritation and eye dryness.

Increase your intake of water throughout the day to help get rid of puffy eyes. When the human body becomes dehydrated (maybe caused by alcohol or sickness) it stores water as a defense mechanism. This built-up water can encourage baggy or puffy eyes. 8-10 glasses of water daily are the suggested amount to drink that will reduce water build-up and improve baggy eyes.

Cut down on salt because too much can cause water retention in your body.

Prevent puffy eyes:

Sleep with the head raised.

Don’t drink too much water/fluids before bed.
Don`t use wrinkle remover cream near the eyes as it hydrates the skin and puffiness is the result. My favorite is Nuskin’s trueface ideal eyes.

Avoid oil-based cosmetics. Oil can cause the skin below the eyes to swell and become inflamed. Water-based is more ideal.

Remove makeup every night because it can fill the pores causing swelling.

If you are unlucky and suffer from puffy eyes a lot due to whatever reasons and looking for ways to lessen the look then you can try concealing your problem tired eyes with the help of cosmetics.

Another great way to help with puffiness is getting a spa eye treatment. The Collagen Eye Treatment is a really popular add- on to the facial treatments I give at my Lil Spa Room.  http://lilsparoom.com/add-onsother-services/

Spa Omelet Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon olive oil spray
1/4 cup diced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup small diced tomatoes
1/4 cup packed spinach
1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese
3 egg whites , lightly whipped
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the broiler. Heat a sauté pan with a flameproof handle over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the vegetables and sauté them until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Pour the egg whites over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the bottom is done and the sides are firm, about 4 minutes. Spread the cream cheese on top of the omelet.

Place the pan under the broiler for about 2 minutes to finish cooking the top of the omelet. Remove from heat. Fold over half the omelet and serve.

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2040_10200133690965479_1403608009_nApril M. Monterrosa is the Owner of  The Lil Spa Room , PCA Skin Certified, a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor, Founder of  Wonderfully Wise Women, & a Writer for SAXtreme Magazine. Just a simple &  Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Marine Corps wife, Mama of a Dachshund, & a licensed Cosmetologist of 17+ years, blogging about things I love most…Beauty, Love, Life, Spa, Wine, and everything else in between! Check out my other Blog at: wonderfullywisewomen.me