Dealing with Frizz and Dandruff in Winter with Ayurvedic Hair Care

ayurvedic hair careThere are many chemical laden shampoos and hair treatments available today that claim  get rid of dandruff and restore soft, shiny, flake-free hair in just one shampoo!  However, the truth is these toxic shampoos and treatments, containing synthetic and known harmful  ingredients not only damage your hair further, but they can also cause systemic toxicity if used for long periods of time.

Frizz and Dandruff can actually be related, bu the good news is that each can be successfully managed with the following list of nourishing and effective Ayurvedic hair care treatment options:

Frizz Control with Ayurvedic Hair Care

Two Major Reasons for Frizzy Hair: Dryness and Damage. Frizz can be the result of a a harsh, petrochemical hair care regimen,especially for people with curly hair or other natural texture that is frizz prone. Lack of moistured/hydration to the external hair cuticles, product build up, and lack of nourishment via natural oils can make your hair frizzy and lifeless.

Instead of spending tons of money on expensive salon treatments, here are some of the best botanicals for a frizz free hair the year round:

  1. Almond Oil – It is a natural hair emollient and conditioner that repairs damaged hair shafts.
  2. Avocado – The high Vitamin B and Vitamin E content in Avocado makes it an excellent anti-frizz remedy.

“Did you know? Vitamin E or Alpha-Tocopherol (in almond oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, sunflower oil, etc..) is rich in antioxidants and can bring life back to your dull, damaged and frizz prone hair. Vitamin E balances out oil production on the scalp and moisturizes the scalp. A Vitamin E enriched organic hair conditioner or natural hair serum reduces hair frizz and dryness, adjusts pH, improves circulation and makes your hair strong, smooth and shiny.”

  1. Jojoba Oil – Jojoba oil contains B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, copper, zinc and antioxidants. It imparts moisture to your hair follicles to prevent dryness, split ends and reduce hair breakage.
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar – With a pH of around 5, rinsing your hair with diluted apple cider can nicely shut down the cuticle of your hair shafts (which become lifted or raised via damage, causing tangling, dullness and dry appearing hair. It is also great for deep scalp cleansing, is anti-bacterial in nature and controls excess sebum, thus is a great remedy for dandruff.
ayurvedic hair care
The Best Ayurvedic Botanicals for Dandruff and Frizz Treatment

Dandruff Treatment with Ayurvedic Hair Care

Dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) is a scalp disorder wherein dead skin cells appear on the scalp in the form of white flakes. This flaky layer can be due to improper skin cell shedding or can be triggered by an infection or irritation on the scalp which can even stifle oxygen update to the hair follicles, resulting in damaging at the follicular level, making hair susceptible to hair loss. Dandruff can be aggravated due to frequent exposure to cold and hot weather, petroleum based hair styling products, as well as stress and pollution.

Before you start feeling self-conscious about dandruff  this winter, here are some of the best botanicals to treat dandruff naturally:

  1. Lemon – The acidity and high Vitamin C content of lemon helps maintain pH balance and control overgrowth of fungal infection on your scalp. It also helps shed dead skin cells, and it’s healing properties reduce irritation and itching.
  2. Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera gel is a wonderful remedy for treating dandruff. The high polysaccharide content of Aloe Vera provides analgesic and moisturizing benefits to your scalp, which in turn helps calming irritated skin. It also thoroughly deep cleanses the scalp to eliminate accumulated debris in the hair follicles and balance pH. This follicular refreshing effect as well as the enzymes in Aloe Vera stimulate hair growth, making it stronger and healthier.
  3. Coconut Oil – Coconut hair can treat dandruff and over-processed hair with its deep conditioning, and the ability inhibit the spread of the dandruff causing microbe Malassezia globose. It replenishes scalp health, detangles hair, reduces skin irritation and flaking due to it’s high vitamin E, K, proteins, lauric acid and capric acid content.
  4. Neem – Neem extract is reknowned for its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Neem in Ayurveda has proven to be very beneficial in treating dandruff due to its therapeutic active constituents such as nimbin, quercitin, terpenoids, tannic acid and other anti-oxidants.

The Ayurvedic Skin Care Solution for Fall & Winter

ayurvedic skin care“Winter is Coming”… With a nod towards Game of Thrones, for most of us, Winter is indeed coming, bringing with it lower temperatures outdoors, and drying indoor heat. Whether you are traveling to colder climates during the holidays or you live in a part of the country with extreme temperatures, the vata season can bring about dry, parched and even chapped skin for most of us – and unfortunately these conditions accelerate the process of premature skin aging!

Here we’ll discuss how to keep vata in sync while balancing  kapha and pitta  doshas.. Not familiar with Ayurvedic Skin Care?  No worries.. Take our Dosha Quiz  here.  But in simple terms Ayurveda is all about balance, since when we are in balance our health and beauty are optimized!

How the Fall brings about Skin Imbalance

‘Fall’ in Ayurveda is known as the Vata season (element – wind). Vata has the properties of being ‘cold’ and ‘dry’.  Thus the Ayurvedic approach is to counteract and balance Vata by introducing natural elements which are ‘warm’ and ‘moisture-rich’. Protecting your skin from harsh environments such as cold temperatures, alternating with dehydrating indoor heat means replenishing the protective natural oil barriers, which will nourish your skin, keep skin pH in balance and reduce the onset and appearance of aging skin.

Our pores also tend to close up in order to protect the skin from heat loss and extreme dryness. This natural phenomena, however, can have detrimental effects, by allowing build up of excess toxins, which can in turn exacerbate blemishes, acne and other skin issues.

Restoring Vata Balance with Ayurvedic Skin Care during winter season

Recommended Vata Skin care routine:

  • Cleansing – Remove environmental pollutants and grime by using a moisturizing cleanser without scrubbing particles (too harsh!). A cleanser rich in Aloe Vera and Organic oils is a good option.
  • Nourishing – A vata facial lift massage is the perfect way to let your skin stay hydrated and relaxed. Choose skin boosting elements such as avocado oil, sesame oil and coconut oil based serums for best results. You can also apply a natural face mask twice a week to augment your results.
  • Moisturizing – Choose a non-petroleum based moisturizer. Aloe Vera, Chamomile and Hyaluronic Acid are some of the effective moisturizers to help lock-in moisture for extended period of time.

How to do a Ayurvedic Facial lift massage in winters to rebalance Vata

Massaging your face during the morning and at the night time with vata balancing herbs + oil concoction will enable deep penetration of skin nutrients, stimulate circulation, remove toxins and give a hydrating & relaxing effect to your stressed skin.

ayurvedic skin care
Facial Lift Massage Technique to remove wrinkles and skin sag for vata skin

While applying plant based facial serum or oil, one must practice the facelift technique to activate marma (pressure points) to enable the free flow of energy, reduce stress and flush out  accumulated toxins in skin cells. While applying a suitable serum according to your dosha, work up in a bottom-up approach around the chin, followed by gentle strokes from center of your face in an up and out direction. Facial massage helps stimulate circulation, keeps your skin lubricated and enables lymphatic drainage, for a natural face lift including reduced wrinkles and fine lines.

Vata Botanical Essences for the Treatment of Dry Skin:

Certain ayurvedic skin care botanicals such as Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Sesame Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Hempseed Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil and Jojoba Oil are critical in helping restore skin moisture balance during vata season. Most of these oil sources are rich in Vitamin E, which protects your skin from oxidative stress and reverses the signs of premature aging.

ayurvedic skin care

Did you know? Hyaluronic Acid (HLA) has some exceptional skin hydrating properties that is accepted as the Gold Standard Industry Wide.  The ‘Glyco-Amino-Glycal’ structure is  the ultimate hydrator to retain water (by up to 1 litre per gram of HLA) and increase skin’s elasticity.  HLA helps repair cellular damages for a naturally radiant, age defying skin.

Herbal extracts of Fennel, Calendula, Neem, Chamomile and Sandalwood also aid in the repair of  skin cells, and help alleviate dry, flaky skin conditions without stickiness or dullness during the winter months.

Follow the best practices in vata season. With the right Ayurvedic skin care approach, you can ensure that your skin is at its best in every season!

The Matrixyl Effect – Why this Peptide is so Critical in Anti aging Skin Care

anti aging skin careIf you read last week’s Blog Post, you understand the Role of Peptides  and why they are indispensable in today’s contemporary anti aging skin care protocols.  Now we will outline the part that Matrixyl plays and why it is a major scientific breakthrough with it’s proven ability to regulate and improve cellular activity, including skin repair and renewal via Collagen Boosting.

Did you know? In a clinical research study conducted in 2013, it was found that MatrixylTM can nearly double the protein collagen activity in the skin’s dermal matrix, which is  essential in maintaining skin elasticity.

What is Matrixyl and How does it Work?

Chemically, MatrixylTM is Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 which closely mimicks collagen’s DNA  structure and can easily penetrate through the lipidic layers of the skin. Collagen is the very foundation of our skin’s matrix and is gradually lost as we age, causing our skin to thin, sag, wrinkle and hollow, losing the firmness and plumpness of youth. In a word: to Age.

MatrixylTM (a lipopeptide with 16-Carbon aliphatic chain) stimulates the production of new collagen (specifically, collagen type I, III & IV), elastin, glycosaminoglycan, fibronectin, as well as hyaluronic acid that aids in plumping/filling out wrinkles naturally. It also supports the extracellular matrix and accelerates wound healing.

When your skin is nourished daily with topical collagen in the form of MatrixylTM it signals the cell receptors to produce extra collagen, thus increasing dermal firmness.

Why Matrixyl is used as an Anti Aging Skin care ingredient

Anti wrinkle creams and serums with the proper concentration of MatrixylTM can greatly  reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and fine lines and prevent signs of premature aging . Here are the reasons  you should make MatrixylTM containing products part of your Anti Aging Skin Care Regimen:

anti aging skin care

  • Visible results within 2 weeks.
  • Boosts Collagen I (skin texture/turgor) by 212%, Collagen III (‘youth collagen’) by 104%, Collagen IV (anchors proteins in the deepest layers of skin) by 327% and HLA (responsible for water retention) by 267%.
  • Upon 6 months of usage (twice a day), increases skin thickness by up to 4% and decrease in fold depth by 17%, fold thickness by 37% and skin roughness by 17%.
  • Results similar to retinoic acid (Retin-A), but without the side effects of skin irritation and redness.
  • Imparts moisture retention (vital for dry skin/ vata dosha individuals) and enhances a healthy glow.
  • When combined with certain co-factors, can be an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation, dark spots, rosacea or eczema. These ingredients include kojic acid, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and Aloe Vera.. all of which reduce inflammation, skin sensitivity and brighten skin tone.

Pro Tip: Have we interested you in reenergizing your skin with a Matrixyl containing formula? @Puraveda Organics BioScience Peptide Complex contains multi-active peptides with 25% Matrixyl and 10% Argireline component in an Ayurvedic recipe of 50+ herbal extracts and essential oils is an all-in-one anti aging treatment protocol!. This anti aging skin care serum can help rid your skin of fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, puffy eyes and dark circles, hyperpigmentation, sun spots, dull skin, sagging skin and even other problems associated with oily skin, sensitive skin/combination and dry skin via the“adaptogenic” abilities of many of our ayurvedic herbs and other botanicals.

When should you start using Matrixyl products?

The first signs of aging generally begin in the early 30s and this is the optimal time to  start investing in quality anti-aging skin care.  The 30s and 40s bring with them crows feet, lines and sagging of the eyelids where the skin is the thinnest, as well as frown lines, marionette lines from nose to mouth and even lines around the lips in individuals with Vata type skin. The problem is exacerbated as collagen levels diminish into the 50’s, 60’s and beyond. You may believe there is no such thing as “Hope in a Jar” but as modern science progresses we know there are real solutions to help you reverse the process topically.  Our Bioscience Peptide Complex is in our opinion, the most advanced combination of Leading Edge Peptide Science, and the Age Old Wisdom of  Organic Ayurvedic Medicine.

‘Botox in a Jar’ – Why Argireline is One of the Best Peptides for Anti-Aging Skin Care

argireline in skincareBy now it’s undisputed that Peptides can provide amazing results when it comes to a more  wrinkle free skin. Argireline is one of the most clinically proven peptides in anti-aging skin care, and when used properly,  can save your time, money and aggravation. If you wish to stay young looking and would rather avoid or delay surgeries, you should consider investing in a regimen of serious peptide based anti-aging  skin care with Argireline and Matrixyl for natural, gradual and visible results in less than as six weeks.

What is Argireline and How does it Work?

Chemically, Argireline has a structure that is very similar to the composition of Botox, however, certain differences makes the former more reliable, effective and safe. Argireline, or Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, works directly on your facial muscles and nerves by controlling the production of neurotransmitters. This relaxes your facial muscles to ease  wrinkles and fine lines.

Argireline is one of the breakthrough ingredients in our BioScience Peptide Complex (with 10% Argireline and 25% Matrixyl composition) which works as a natural alternative to Botox.

Did you know? – In an independent research, it is proven that Argireline can reduce the depth of wrinkles by up to 17% in 15 days (with an Argireline concentration of at least 3 to 10% to be effective)!

Mechanism of action explained – Argireline has a structure that mimics the N-terminal end of the SNAP-25 protein. Since both these compounds have a similar structure, they compete with each other in the SNARE complex (vital for the neurotransmitter release of compounds and hormones like adrenaline, catecholamines and noradrenaline). Since SNAP-25 has minimal work to do in the presence of Argireline, it releases the tension from facial muscles which aids in smoothening wrinkles and deep expression lines within a few days of the treatment.

Why is Argireline better than Other Peptides and even Surgical Treatments?

Here are some of the reasons why Argireline in particular is better than other peptides and surgical skin treatments (such as Botox):

argireline in skincare
The Mechanism of Action – Botox vs. Argireline
  • While other peptides focus on boosting collagen synthesis, Argireline goes above and beyond by blocking facial neurotransmitters which leads to lesser facial muscle movement. As a result, you develop fewer wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Cost effective.
  • No surgical pain. A complete safe and topical treatment, to be applied twice daily.
  • Very little if any skin irritation, allergies, or other adverse immunological reactions.
  • Natural chemicals in Argireline relax facial muscles, limiting the development of new wrinkles or frown lines.
  • Unlike some surgical methods, topical application of Argireline does not cause laxity or sagging after you stop using the product.
  • Topically applied Argireline has similar results to that of Botox as both have the same mechanism of action. However, Argireline wears off much more slowly than Botox injections.
  • Long lasting results.
argireline peptide in skincare
Real results after regular application of BioScience Peptide Complex (Synergistic effect of Argireline, Matrixyl, HLA and 50+ Botanical extracts)

BOTTOM LINE: If you wish to avoid surgery, and it’s possible side-effects, but also wish to achieve noticeable wrinkle reduction results, Argireline based treatment serums are your new best friend! Caveat: A good Argireline based anti-aging skin serum should be formulated WITHOUT Retinol, alcohol, sulfates, mineral oils, artificial fragrances, parabens and other toxic chemicals.

For best results, use our BioScience Peptide Complex (Rejuvenation/Cell Regeneration) + Serum of Choice  (Rehydration) + SunProtect SPF 30+ (Protection) for fast and effective results. Choose your natural skin care solutions wisely by learning about your ayurvedic dosha here.

The Role of Natural Peptides in Skin Care

peptides in skin careResearch in the scientific community is ongoing, but to this point in time,  peptides are still the most promising ingredients when it comes to reversing signs of aging skin and repairing sun (UV) damage.

What are Peptides Anyway?

Technically, a peptide is a compound that is made up of two or more amino acids (building blocks of proteins) that are linked through chemical bonds, which perform a variety of biological functions.

Peptides are naturally present in our skin and assist as messengers of cell relay (by increasing cell to cell communication) as well as stimulating the activation of  enzymes, hormones and collagen synthesis. After the age of 30, especially if there has been a great deal of  exposure to severe environmental conditions such as mid-day UVs and pollution, peptide production slows dramatically resulting in the loss of elasticity and ‘turgor’ , leading to the production of fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet, as well as loss of hydration and development of brown spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation.

As is the case with our natural peptide booster BioScience Peptide Complex, topical peptides are powerful enough to give you results similar to cosmetic corrective procedures by mimicking your skin’s natural regenerative ability. When applied in the form of skin regenerating serums or creams, they act like natural peptides and responds as it did when we were younger by synthesizing lost collagen. Certain peptides are also proven to help heal wounds, and improve skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema and dermatitis.

‘Biomimetic Peptides’ for different Skin concerns

Lab synthesized ‘Designer peptides’ or Biomimetic Peptides activate youthful skin elements to promote  collagen synthesis while slowing down or reversing undesired skin conditions.

peptides in skin care

What to look for when choosing a peptide based anti-aging skin care serum.

1. Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 3 (or MatrixylTM) – This skin cell messenger chain-peptide regulates cellular activities by linking critical cellular checkpoints (signal cascading peptide). MatrixylTM penetrates easily into the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin fibroblasts and when delivered in effective concentrations works as effectively as retinols, without the irritation that prevents so many people from using them. It also repairs sun-damaged skin

Did you know? In independent in vitro analysis, it was found that MatrixylTM can increase Collagen I synthesis (critical in skin texture/turgor) by 212%, Collagen IV by 327% and Hyaluronic Acid by 267%. Further, in vivo studies demonstrated a  17% reduction in wrinkle depth , while surface area covering deep wrinkles were reduced by 67% with 6 months of continuous usage.

2. Acetyl Hexapeptide 3 (Argireline) – Also known as ‘Botox in a jar’, Argireline is a neurotransmitter inhibitor peptide that provides anti-aging and moisture retention effects. It also improves firmness and tone by inhibiting catecholamine secretion and destabilizing the SNARE complex which are responsible for limiting production and permeability of peptides at the cellular level. In a study it was seen that Argireline can decrease nearly 50% wrinkle depth, especially in the eye area, within 4 months of use.

 Supporting Ingredients

Peptides need a ‘cocktail of friends’ or synergistic elements in order to reap maximum benefit.  Certain natural ingredients (such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Polyphenols) are rich in antioxidants, and when combined properly, work in concert for hydrating, replenishing and healing results.  In short, these promising peptides have the power to address multiple signs of aging skin, providing faster, and even (dare we say)…Amazing results!

7 Botanical Ayurvedic Treatments to Manage Eczema

manage eczemaNatural therapies such as Ayurveda can manage existing skin conditions such as eczema for a great many people. Eczema is an extremely frustrating and painful condition, especially in children, and this guide will help you learn how to manage eczema by alleviating redness, as well as the itchy dry skin that accompanies it, while preventing the likelihood of recurrence.

Do you have eczema?

Eczema is actually a group of related conditions believed to affect ~30 million Americans every year. Some of the most common forms of eczema are atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, dyshidrotic dermatitis, hand eczema and neurodermatitis, each with its own range of specific symptoms. Here’s how you identify eczema in general:

  • Appearance of intensely itchy, raised bumps just under the skin which often have the appearance of tiny, fluid filled blisters.
  • A recurring rash causing frequent, intense itching.
  • Dry, cracked and scaly skin with skin redness.
  • Red, brown or gray patches.

What causes eczema?

Nutritional deficiencies, heredity and hypersensitivity are considered to be the primary causes of  eczema. While research is still ongoing, the most widely accepted causes of eczema are: genetically-induced dry & sensitive skin, immune system dysfunction, allergies to certain foods, cosmetics and beauty products, chronic stress and temperature changes.

Natural Treatments to Soothe and Manage Eczema

Here are some of the most effective and well-researched Ayurvedic Skincare Treatments to Manage Eczema:

Natural Remedies for Eczema at PuraVeda Organics are Child Safe, however, it’s always wise to consult your dermatologist/ doctor before using it on children.

manage eczema

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera provides a soothing, cooling effect on burning itchy skin. The  Anti-inflammatory, Anti-fungal, immune boosting and antioxidant  components of pure Aloe Vera, as well at the soothing effects of it’s natural Polysaccharides help repair the irritated and broken skin that accompanies eczema.

  1. Burdock Root

Burdock Root is rich in Vitamins and Minerals and is extremely beneficial for those suffering with skin conditions such as Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne and Rosacea. With it’s high mucilage and inulin (a natural humectant) content, it helps lock-in moisture to prevent the skin from cracking.

  1. Horsetail

Being rich in natural silicone and collagen, horsetail works as a ‘skin glue’ to repair the skin’s integrity and help regenerate healthy skin tissues. It also provides topical control over irritation and itching due to eczema, while improving circulation to tone down redness.

  1. Chamomile

Essential oil of Chamomile contains a primary component called Bisbolol with high levels of Panthenol concentration which stimulates the skin’s healing process. It also increases permeability or the penetrating power of other calming antioxidant ingredients.

  1. Chickweed

Rich in peptides, polysaccharides and flavonoids, Chickweed exhibits extreme anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity. This medicinal herb has been documented for centuries to help control intense itching, purify the blood and soothe skin conditions such as boils, psoriasis and eczema.

  1. Calendula

Calendula is an all-in-one powerhouse botanical extract that can do many amazing things, such as improve spider & varicose veins, calm eczema,  improve dry and aging skin, manage psoriasis and dermatitis, soothe sunburn and promote the healing of scars and insect bites. High levels of carotenoids (Vitamin A), flavonoids, mucilage, polysaccharides, saponins, glycosides, sterols and aromatic acids contribute to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

  1. Nettle

Nettle leaves are rich in Vitamin A, B, D, C, K, minerals, proteins, amino acids and tannins which help reduce the painful itchy symptoms caused by eczema. The ‘stinging nettle’ calms down over-active inflammatory responses in the body. It’s astringent properties are helpful in treating acne and dandruff.

Some others to add to this list are: Lavender, Comfrey, Goldenseal, Neem, Liquorice, Topical Vitamin B12, Olive Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil and Coconut Oil.

For managing sensitive skin conditions such as Eczema, follow PuraVeda Organics Sensitive Skincare Regimen, an authentic Ayurvedic protocol containing these botanicals, for fast results, without the side-effects of hormone disrupting steroids often prescribed in Allopathic medicine

comedogenic ingredients

Comedogenic Ingredients that you should Avoid in Skin Care (Part 1)

comedogenic ingredientsWe bet you didn’t know that there are more than 150 clinically validated as comedogenic ingredients (pore clogging agents) that are also designated as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA?  If your favorite skin care product labels read ‘Won’t Clog Pores’ or ‘Non-comedogenic’, be sure and double-check the formula!

Quantifying Comedogenic Ingredients

According to recent comedogenicity studies, pore clogging ingredients are rated on a scale of 0-5, where a lower rating (0-2) indicate that the ingredient is less likely to clog pores, whereas comedogenic rating above a 2 should be avoided if you are prone to whiteheads or blackheads.

Priority List – Toxic Comedogenic Ingredients to Quit Right Now

Here is a list of some of the most common ingredients in skin care products that can clog pores leading to acne, pimples, blackheads or whiteheads:

comedogenic ingredients

  1. Benzaldehyde

This chemical is frequently used in artificial ‘fragrance rich’ products. Benzaldehyde has a comedogenic rating of 3.5 and is one of the reasons why beautifully scented skin care and hair care products are also skin irritants that can clog pores.

  1. Isopropyl Palmitate

Palm Oil derivatives such as Isopropyl palmitate are often used in moisturizers (especially tinted moisturizers). They have a high comedogenic rating of 4.0. Other fatty acid derivatives such as Ethyhexyl Palmitate (used in cosmetics such as Bronzers), Retinyl Palmitate (used in Vitamin A enriched Anti-Aging skin care products), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester) and others are  skin irritants and pore clogging ingredients that should be avoided, particularly if you are prone to blackheads and whiteheads.

  1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

Commonly used in foaming facial cleansers and shampoos, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLES) has a comedogenic rating of 5.0, while Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) has a rating of 3.0. Always make sure you use SLS/SLES Free Cleansers to restore the pH balance of your skin and protect it from vulnerability to acne and irritation.

  1. Dimethicone

A common ingredient in most commercial sunscreens, as well as many hair care products, Dimethicone, while only having a Comedogenic rating of 1.0, can cause many problems for individuals with sensitive skin. Using a Chemical-Free, All Natural Mineral Sunscreen,  as well as avoiding Hair Care containing this ingredient, will  help sensitive (Pitta) individuals to moisturize their skin, stay protected from UV skin damage, as well as help prevent acne breakouts.

  1. Cetearyl Alcohol

Though Cetearyl Alcohol by itself has an comedogenic rating of 2.0, when combined with Ceteareth-20 in the same formula, it becomes 4.0, particularly when it’s listed higher in the ingredient list, ie; is in larger quantities.

  1. Acetylated Lanolin

Lanolin is a natural ingredient extracted from sheep’s wool, and is often used in moisturizers to help keep skin soft and supple.  Unfortunately lanolin also has a comedogenic rating of 4.0. It can also presents on ingredient labels in the form of acetylated lanolin alcohol, PEG 16 lanolin and  ethoxylated lanolin.

The Way Ahead

While we don’t believe there should be much of a debate regarding  whether one should use natural ingredients  in a skin care routine, it should also be understood that not all natural ingredients are  non-comedogenic. For instance, pure coconut oil has a comedogenic rating of 5.0, whereas capric acid in sunflower oil and Almond Oil has a comedogenic rating of 3.0 and 2.0, respectively. To reap the benefits from natural ingredients without clogging pores, it’s important to keep an eye on ingredient concentrations/ratios.

In our next week’s blog post, we’ll be discussing non-comedogenic natural botanical extracts, as well as organic ingredients that are not only acne fighting agents, as well as oil free, but will also help in ridding your skin of plugged pores and excess oil for clearer skin.

Vitamin A Treatment – A Powerhouse Anti-aging Ingredient

benefits of vitamin ADid you ever wonder why fruits like Papaya and Apricots are marketed as active skin ingredients in many natural skin care products?  In addition to the enzymes and topical nutritional factors, these botanicals also contain  high levels of bioavailable Vitamin A which is a powerhouse Anti-Aging   ingredient known to modern science (but utilized in Ayurveda for ages) since the 60’s, with the introduction of Retin-A.  As well as Retin-A works though, it’s a synthetic derivative, meaning devoid of co-factors that we increasingly know are very important for uptake and is also quiet harsh, to the point of many people not being able to use it at all.

If you’re getting discouraged about the increase of wrinkles, dark spots, or adult acne, Natural Vitamin A Treatment (not to be confused with lab synthesized Retinols) can truly be an effective addition to your skin care regimen.

Are All Vitamin A Derivatives/ Extracts Good for your Skin?

Knowing the benefits of Vitamin A, the skin care industry manufactures Vitamin A with a variety of synthetic derivatives such as retinyl palmate or acetate (esters), retinol (alcohol) and retinaldehyde. Depending upon their strength and chemical composition, all these forms ultimately get converted into ‘Retinoic Acid’ which is the only Natural form of Vitamin A that our body’s cell receptors recognizes and accepts to start over its function of DNA repair.

The downside is that Vitamin A is unstable and loses potency on interaction with sunlight. Therefore  frequent re-application is required for topical Vitamin A skin treatments,  but it’s also important to  choose a form of Vitamin A that quickly breaks down into the active retinoic acid form is critical for visible, quick results. Here is a brief explanation of which forms best suit our skincare needs.

  • Retinoids – Fast-acting treatment for wrinkles, crow’s feet, lines, hyperpigmentation and acne. However it cause redness, peeling and cracking of the skin and irritation for a great many people.
  • Retinol (Accutane/Tretinoin/Isotretinoin/Retin-A) – Often used in OTC topical creams and serums, it is derived as a two-step conversion process that may give delayed results compared to Retinoids as well as irritation.
  • Retinyl Palmate – The palmate derivative is a long process and by the time it breaks down, it completely loses efficacy! Cheap anti-aging solutions often uses this toxic form in high concentration which is not good for your skin (and health in the long run)..and it doesn’t even work!
  • Retinaldehyde – Closest to the chain, Retinaldehyde only requires a one-step conversion and causes very less irritation. It’s a highly priced ingredient and should be used at least in a concentration of 0.05-0.1% to see any real effects.

On the other hand, Pro-Vitamin A Carotenoids and Beta-Carotene (these two being converted by body mechanisms into Vitamin A) are not only non-toxic, even in large amounts, they can be directly obtained from botanical sources. When they enter into our body, they are naturally converted into retinol and glycoproteins. Some of  the best sources of Natural Vitamin A are carrots, apricots, papaya, sweet potato and spinach. Such naturally obtained Vitamin A is several times more effective and non-toxic in protecting the cells from harmful damage of free radicals and promoting growth and faster cellular turnover (a key component of younger looking skin).

benefits of vitamin A

What are the Benefits of Vitamin A for Skin?

Protection Against UV Damage – Beta Carotene and Provitamin A carotenoids in Vitamin A are potent anti-oxidants that destroy free radicals, which are responsible for breaking down the collagen net that supports your skin. Vitamin A provides protection from sun-induced photo-aging, redness and pigmentation (sun spots).

Caution: Use of synthetic products that include high doses of Vitamin A as this can actually increase UV sensitivity, ie; increase the possibility of sunburn. To boost the effects of Vitamin A in the sun, it should be combined  with  Vitamin C & E  in the product formula.

Smoothens Wrinkles, Fine Lines and Crow’s Feet – Upon entering the cell, Vitamin A switches on enzymes produced by younger skin, and aid in the synthesis of collagen and keratinocytes. Carotenoids are known to facilitate communication between cells and improve expression of genes that produce the proteins (called connexin)  that fill the gaps between cell membranes and allows exchange of molecules, a critical issue in keeping skin young looking!

Topical Natural Vitamin A enriched skin serums are dermatologically proven wrinkle fighters which boost collagen synthesis by up to 80% with regular application.

Evens Skin Tone and Fights Hyperpigmentation – Research shows that Vitamin A can block an enzyme critical for melanin synthesis. This inhibitory action helps maintain even toned skin and reduces age spots, sun spots, blemishes and skin tanning.

Protection Against Pathogens – Vitamin A is controls acne bacteria, such as Propionibacterium acnes. This reduces acne blemishes and breakouts and their attendant post acne redness and scarring.

Deals with Oily/ Combination Skin – Environmental stressors (such as UV rays, pollution and smoking) can cause oxidative stress which leads to increased production of sebum. This becomes a problem for people with already oily/ combination skin.  Vitamin A helps clear pores, controls sebum production and promotes collagen synthesis to promote clarity and smoothness without excessive oiliness.

Treatment of Dry Skin Conditions – Beta Carotenes (natural forms of  Vitamin A) conversely also improves and treats dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and even ulcers and age spots. The powerful anti-oxidant and growth and repair skin actives speed up the healing process, and when used in conjunction with Vitamin E, it helps your Vata skin receive intense moisturization.

Is Natural Vitamin A a part of your daily Anti-Aging Skin Care regimen? Start protecting your skin today by choosing only Organic, Wild-Crafted, Free-Trade, Sustainable and Balanced Vitamin A (Naturally Sourced) Skincare.


Natural Vitamin B2 – Optimizing Riboflavin Levels for Skin Repair & Hair Growth

natural vitamin B2Do you often wake up with tired-looking skin? Are your wrinkles progressing faster than your biological clock? This can be a result of low Riboflavin levels.  And that’s just the beginning! There are a myriad of other skin and hair problems that can be attributed to a Vitamin B2 deficiency, including hair thinning and hair loss.  Read on to understand why investing in  Natural Vitamin B2 infused products is such a smart move for  boosting skin radiance, preventing premature aging of the skin, and supporting hair growth.

What is Vitamin B2 and Why Your System Needs it?

Natural Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin, a water soluble vitamin, is crucial to energize cells and support the nerve centers (Majja Dhatu) of our body. It works to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates and fats and supports the production of Red Blood Corpuscles. In the absence of Vitamin B2, the ‘fuel’ for running various vital functions (including activation of other vitamins) in our body diminishes, which hinders cellular growth and repair. B2 increases the absorption of Zinc, which is a critical element in maintaining skin health and integrity (ie; skin’s purpose is to provide barrier protection to your internal organs).   Vitamin B2 deficiency renders your skin and hair susceptible to increased UV damage and can be the cause  of skin lesions and inflammation leading to conditions such as extremely dry skin, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.

Instability & Deficiency of Vitamin B2 can affect our skin and hair in the following ways:

  • Kapha Dosha – There is a slowdown of flow of prana (nerve impulses) which can result in an aberrant flow, causing overproduction of oil over skin and hair.
  • Pitta Dosha – Results in overheating, and an increase in inflammatory response. It can also degrade the skin’s protective mechanisms, such as the incredibly important Acid Mantle.
  • Vata Dosha Reactions can be dramatic, sudden onset, and can cause hyperactivity such as rosacea, eczema, skin redness and skin allergy. Long term negligence of Vitamin B2 deficiency may cause drying and thinning of tissues and permanent damage of the skin.

Today, the marketplace is over-loaded with synthetic grade Vitamins., which are man-made isolates without the co-factors found in nature, which in most cases are required for the vitamin to be absorbed and utilized by the body.  Natural extracts of Vitamin B2, complete with their very important co-factors, can work wonders for your skin and hair, and can be extracted utilizing organic methods from Nuts, Green Leafy Vegetables (such as Spinach and Fenugreek), Sesame seeds, Mushrooms and Soy Extract.

natural vitamin B2

The Powerful Benefits of Vitamin B2 for Skin and Hair

Benefits of  Natural Vitamin B2 Skin Treatment

  1. Maintains Collagen LevelsRiboflavin plays a key role in maintaining skin collagen levels and ensures healthy cell turnover to prevent wrinkles and fine lines. It maintains the elasticity of the skin, preventing premature signs of aging and protecting your skin from age spots.
  2. Calms InflammationAccording to research, Riboflavin is responsible for drastically reducing High Mobility Group Protein B1 (HMGB1), a factor that is responsible for inflammation. Thus, it helps calm skin conditions such as Rosacea and Eczema. Some of the best known botanical extracts that amplify the positive effects of Vitamin B2 are St. John’s Wort and Skullcap.
  3. Detoxes the Skin If old Red Blood Cells are not constantly recycled and replenished, this can lead to the development of ongoing disease processes. Natural Vitamin B2 is a key component of something called Glutathione Redox Cycle, that inhibits lipid peroxidation and reperfusion oxidative injury of the cells. Riboflavin plays an important role in production of new red blood cells and antibodies which boosts oxygenation and circulation that flushes out toxins and free radicals from the body.
  4. Clears Acne Vitamin B2 also supports our skin’s Acid Mantle, which can block/kill the bacteria on the skin’s surface that cause acne pimples and discourages such conditions as acne, whiteheads and blackheads. Vitamin B2 is popular solution to oily-skin (kapha) related acne.
  5. Intense HydrationConcentrated Vitamin B2 along with Vitamin E maintains the skin’s moisture balance, in fact a B2 deficiency can first show itself as cracking in the corners of the mouth.

The Best Vitamin B2 Skin Care Formulas:

Benefits of Natural Vitamin B2 Hair Treatment

Riboflavin, along with other Vitamins, helps prevent damage to hair follicles and can reverse hair loss. When taken along with Biotin (Vitamin B7) and Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), it becomes a popular hair growth solution.

The Best Vitamin B2 Hair Care Formulas:

Start protecting your skin and hair today by choosing only Organic, Naturally-Derived, Wild-Crafted, Free-Trade, Sustainable and Balanced Vitamin B2 Skincare & Haircare Formulations