Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Beta-carotene and lycopene are the most frequently used carotenoids in anti-aging cosmetics. Though they have protective and antioxidant properties, when exposed to light and air, most lose their stability and immediately oxidize. They may also stain the skin due to its natural pungent colors (E.g. Orange in carrots, red in tomatoes). Israeli Biotechnology Research is now offering colorless carotenoids, which are not just stable, but also have the ability to stabilize and enhance other active ingredients such as vitamin C, Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Dioxide (found in most sunscreens). These colorless carotenoids are derived from algae or tomatoes – the latter is extracted before it ripens and turns the carotene precursors into rich color. It is used in Nu Skin’s Moisture Restore Day Protective Lotion SPF 15. More information is available on Cosmetics Design Europe.com

Monday, June 2, 2008

Eat it, Use it.

Avocado oil contains more than 20% essential unsaturated fatty acids and is high in unsaponifiables (plant steroids), which are known to be helpful in reducing age spots, moisturizing the epidermis (upper layer of skin) and healing scars. This anti-bacterial oil is made from the pulp of the avocado fruit. To ensure that the nutrients are not damaged, quality avocado oil is cold pressed in a heat controlled environment kept below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A 1991 study at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology found that avocado oil considerably increases the water soluble collagen content in the skin. Collagen, which is the body’s major structural protein (mesh-like structure that binds cells together), makes up 70% of the dermis (lower layer of skin) and is what gives the skin its plump and smooth appearance. Another forte of this natural oil is that it penetrates the skin deeper than most plant oils, which makes it an ideal carrier for other ingredients.

More information is available at The Grove.

A great facial serum containing avocado oil is sold at Essential Wholesale. The sample size contains enough for a month supply.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Unbalanced pH

Many physicians believe that acid-producing diet may hasten aging by preventing cells from protecting themselves. As Dr. Jeanette Graf, the author of Stop Aging, Start Living (Crown) describes in an article published last month, unbalanced pH may induce dull skin tone, bumps and wrinkles on your skin. High acidity intake may also lead to internal problems, such as thinner bones and low muscle mass. Dr. Graf states that only one quarter of your diet should be acid-producing foods, such as meat, most dairy, processed food or refined sugar. The rest should be alkaline-forming, such as fruits, nuts or vegetables.

Highly alkalinizing foods are asparagus, strawberries, sweet potatoes, kiwi and celery -- I've definitely noticed a great change in the tone and firmness of my skin after adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to my diet. I also have very few blemishes now. An immediate change shouldn't be expected -- as with many great things, your skin or health won't improve overnight. Though I've always stuck on a nutritious diet, I made drastic changes to it four months ago after realizing that I wasn't eating enough to get the results I wanted! It is important to remember to eat healthy food -- in a weight obsessed world, we tend to eliminate, eliminate, eliminate and forget to consume what the body seriously needs. As for example, I eat acid-forming yoghurt for the digestive benefits -- you can't achieve a balanced diet by completely disregarding any food group.

More information is available at the website of Experience Life Magazine.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Healthier, not less Tastier..

With no gluten, MSG or trans fat, Chef Bruce Aidells Chicken & Apple Sausages taste juicy and wholesome -- definitely not like substitutions to pork. The main ingredients are truly chicken and dried apples -- it is a rare occurrence when the name of the product matches the first two ingredients. The rest of the contents are just fruit juice concentrate, spices and salt. These sausages and fresh ground turkey meat have helped me stop craving for red meat. The secret to cooking moist and full-flavored white turkey meat is to add Thai fish sauce while sauteing it with fresh vegetables.

The most recommended fish sauce by foodies and professionals seems to be either Golden Boy or Tra Chang -- both are fermented slowly and do not contain artificial coloring or hydrolysed vegetable protein(which hastens fermentation). Good sauce has a strong flavor, so you don't have to worry about the high salt content(1 tbsp= 1400gms of salt). I only use half a teaspoon for each serving. Fish sauce is not just for Asian dishes -- it deepens the taste of pretty much any cuisine.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Flying Back Home

Simply can't wait to sleep on my own mattress again!

On the American Academy of Dermatology website, I found an article on the latest laser treatments -- fractional, plasma and Erbium:YAG.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Saunas utilizing far infrared waves are becoming popular in spas and homes worldwide. As the rays heat the body directly, the surfaces of the sauna do not heat up and the air stays “breathable”. It does not just activate the sweat glands, but penetrate deeper into the human tissues.

sunlightsaunas.com proclaims that: --

Detox from a far infrared sauna is seven to ten times greater than that of a traditional sauna because it functions at temperatures 60 to 80 degrees lower.

In a far infrared sauna, an average person can sweat out 20% toxins compared to 3% toxins in a conventional unit.

A 30 minute infrared sauna session may help you burn 200 to 600 calories.

A Japanese clinical study showed that seven out of seven cases of rheumatoid arthritis was treated successfully with whole body far infrared therapy.

Just don’t forget the contraindications – Make sure to drink electrolyte replacement water before and after use. Not only chronic conditions, but also medication or implants may induce adverse effects. To be on the safe side, make sure to talk with your MD before enjoying any type of sauna.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Paraben Free, Sulfate Free.

If you’re keen to use green products, I am sure you’ve read paraben or sulfate free on the cosmetic labels before. You know these ingredients are unhealthy, perhaps even harmful, but do you actually know what they are and what they may cause? Butyl, ethyl, methyl and propyl-paraben are chemical preservatives used in cosmetics. They have been associated with the disorders of estrogenic activity and have also been found in cancerous breast tissues. They are often used for its cost effectiveness and dependability.

Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are harsh surfactants that reduce the surface tension of the oils and dirt on the skin’s surface. This action helps to lift unwanted residues off the skin, but also irritates it by removing the natural protective barrier and needed hydration. It also may allow toxic ingredients to permeate further into the body. Sulfates are often used in shampoos, body wash and cleansers and the "over cleansing" may cause oil gland disorders such as dryness or acne on the scalp. I highly recommend Giovanni’s products for this reason -- this company does not use laureth or lauryl sulfate in their shampoos and as long as you buy their products online, they are inexpensive. Their Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo is great during summer, especially for dandruff or oily scalp. The product is vegan and the main ingredients are essential oils, which is also an added bonus.