More Than Just Makeup, Thoughts of the Day

Vitamin C Key?

What do these have in common:

Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, chili peppers and kale.   RIGHT! Vitamin C.

I learned that as a kid. However, I somehow thought that oranges had the most Vitamin C… now I find out there are other foods with more.  Who knew?

A half-cup of chopped or diced chili peppers delivers 107.8 mg of vitamin C. Plus, researchers from the University of Buffalo found that capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers hot, may help relieve joint and muscle pain, according the ABC News.   Wow! An added bonus!

One of the things I’ve found time to do in my new world of ____ “retirement”? ____ has been to read more about the things I find curious or have just taken for granted. Google is a marvelous tool.  I could stay busy for hours!

So, I spent a little time today looking up the benefits of vitamin C in skincare.  There’s tons of information available and since I’m not a scientist or vitamin C authority, I had to do a lot of reading.

Why did my interest peek? 

Because it’s the time of year in Texas that the skin fights a real battle. The sun, the wind, the chlorine, the sun. Have you ever experienced the Texas sun?  Scorching, bright and beaming. Cooking an egg out on the sidewalk is a reality. Being at that age, my skin is a little more delicate than I think it was back in my sun-thirsty days.  So, I’m out to define my summer routine to make the best of enjoying my beloved Texas sun.

Here’s what I found:

Oregon State University provides information through their Micronutrient Information Center on a variety of topics. I found this one on Vitamin C.

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C

While there are tons of facts in the article, many that I don’t understand at the first reading, below are the ones that grabbed my attention:

Human studies often assess skin health by changes in depth or number of wrinkles and by the individual’s perception of skin health. Two observational studies found that higher intakes of vitamin C from the diet were associated with better skin appearance, with notable decreases in skin wrinkling (51, 52). The use of vitamin C (3-10%) in topical applications for at least 12 weeks has been shown to decrease wrinkling (21, 23, 25, 27), reduce protein fiber damage (25), decrease apparent roughness of skin (21), and increase production of collagen (26, 27). Topical vitamin C has also been shown to reverse some of the age-related structural changes in the interface between the dermis and the epidermis (22). However, the effects of topical vitamin C are not apparent in all individuals, and interestingly, one study found that individuals with high dietary intakes of vitamin C showed no or little effect of a topical administration (26).

Human studies with subjects using topically applied solutions of 0.6%-10.0% vitamin C or its synthetic derivatives have not reported adverse effects (14, 19-27).

 Topical application of vitamin C, alone or in combination with other compounds, may result in greater photoprotection than oral supplementation because of the more direct route of administration.

For years, I’ve known about the Vitamin C serum, but I had lots of products that I enjoyed and didn’t see the benefit of adding yet another. While I like the taste of fruit and veggies, I would not claim to have a high intake of Vit C.  As time moves on, I realize the collagen appears to be fading away and my smile lines are turning to somewhat finer tuned lines.  Maybe the time has come to consider the Vit C angle of skin care.

I looked at a few products that claim 20% pure… the above article and others I read stated 0.6%-10% had “not reported adverse effects”.  The price varies from $19 to $199.  I have trusted ANEW products for many years, so naturally that’s where I turned first. At a retail price of $30, it’s in the lower price range and as we all know, Avon (who features the ANEW brand) has sales on a regular basis, so I can probably catch it for less.

Here’s what Anew writes:

Vitamin C Brightening Serum is a patented formula that contains a high concentration of 10% pure Vitamin C, which protects skin from sun, pollution and other aggressors. 1 fl. oz.

https://www.youravon.com/lil
ANEW Vitamin C Serum… for Texas summer skin protection.

BENEFITS
• Skin looks smoother and clearer and even toned
• Enhances skin clarity
• Fights overall photodamage
• Improves skin tone and resiliency
• Visibly improves skin’s imperfections
• Contains vitamins C and E
• Oil-free
• Dermatologist tested
• Non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and non-acnegenic
• In 2 weeks, skin looks brighter, smoother, clearer and more even-toned*

TO USE
• Use AM and PM after cleansing as your treatment before moisturizing. Gently smooth over cleansed skin in an upward and outward motion, avoiding the eye area.

*Based on a consumer-perception study

 

It states that in 2 weeks a difference might be noticed. The University article states 12 weeks of use in their study showed results.  However, I also read that two vitamins could work together to provide more benefits and the Anew Vitamin C also contains Vitamin E.  Also, I’ll note that skin that is fresh, and exfoliated properly will receive the product better and results should be faster.

I think I’m in.  I’ll make the twelve-week commitment. Remember, the benefits can be that the skins appearance could be improved.  That sun damage I’ve experienced needs a little work. I think it’s worth the effort. Twelve weeks should protect me through the bulk of the summer. I use day cream that contains SPF (very responsible, you think?). And I’ll continue with my night time routine.  What are the steps you’ll take this summer to protect your face?

Summer is a great time in Texas. Lot’s of outdoor activities, sun and more sun. With big floppy hats, SPF protection, chili peppers and vitamin C, I’m in the mood for the summer sun and, of course, in my new world, that’s all about living better!

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Follow the Routine

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Skin care is all about the routine

I’ve spent a good amount of years working in the cosmetic industry as a consultant, representative, employee and customer.  (this post includes affiliate links) The routine is always the same. The products may differ, but the routine is what’s important.

 

Photo by Frank Vex on Unsplash

Science teaches us that the skin responds to our efforts, environments and consistency.

When we drink plenty of fluids, exercise, protect it… we live better.

Here’s the basic facial skin care routine, my two cents are listed in red.

  1. Cleanse twice daily.   Use a cleanser (not soap) that meets your skin’s needs. Moisture in everything… plus oatmeal or lavender if your skin is easily irritated. Exfoliation “beads” (if you work outdoors or are in a dirty environment) – there are cleansers for every skin type! Be sure to PAT dry… don’t rub your sweet skin!
  2. Exfoliate.  When you exfoliate a couple of times each week, you open up your skin to the benefits of moisture and any other treatment you provide.  Without removing the dead cells, the treatments and rich moisture applied will just sit on top… wasted.  There are all types of exfoliants. Every company has their top seller and the price ranges are unbelievable. Shop wisely. Here are my two favorite exfoliate products:  Anew product line has several and it just depends on your preference.  I really like the Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid.  It’s a product to gently exfoliate and retexturize at the same time!  And, I love the Bamboo Polish Facial Exfoliant from Luminess, as a daily gentle scrub. It smells like banana’s! One tip: don’t use dipilitories or products containing alcohol immediately after exfoliation unless you want to enjoy an uncomfortable stinging sensation and possible redness afterward. 
  3. MOISTURIZE, girl!  After showers, while your pores are warm and cozy and OPEN, take advantage of  opportunity to give your all-over skin a break! Even better, if you can add it IN THE SHOWER!   Then don’t forget to cool your body down before leaving the shower. 
  4. SUNSCREEN EVERYDAYWithout doubt, we know that the sun can damage our skin in a very short period of time! Fifteen minutes and WHAM! got ya!  Everyday, whether it’s in the Day Cream or the Sunscreen Lotion, there must be SPF15 or more! Personally, a daily SPF15 and foundation which contains SPF are part of my routine. 
  5. DOUBLE CHECK.  While you are adding that excellent moisture, notice if there are changes in your skin appearance or texture. If there are…treat them and if needed, go to the Doc! 
  6. TREAT.  If we are lucky and determined, we live longer.  We may choose to, as my friend said, “look great for my age”.  I agree with her that looking too young is unrealistic and stressful. Looking healthy and not older, is a much better option.  Exfoliation regularly, applying sunscreen every single day and using retinol laced products help us to achieve our best look.  MOISTURE is most important, but applying it to clean, new skin is required.  Choose treatments wisely, from eye creams to dark circle removers and skin tightening products… all require the above 4 steps before benefits can be noticed. 

 

That’s the routine. Simple and straight-forward. Do it and benefit. Skip it and try to make up time later.  Like I said… skin has some self-healing properties.  It can rejuvenate with your attention to the details.  I encourage you to make it part of your effort to live better!