Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Beauty Talk: Nutraceuticals Enhance Beauty From Within

Beauty may be skin deep but to achieve it you need to do more than just layer creams on top of your skin. The fact is whatever you apply topically, to keep your skin young and healthy looking, will never work if you don’t provide your body with nutrients needed to build and sustain healthy beautiful skin. And that’s when nutraceuticals come into picture. The term nutraceutical was coined by Dr. Stephen DeFelice from 2 words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical”. It is used in reference to foods, extracts of foods or food ingredients that “provide medical or health benefits”.

Photo by KoAnLaScrivana at flickr.com

There is a big segment of the nutraceutical market focused specifically on beauty. It offers consumers ingestible products designed to meet skin, nails and hair care needs. Nutraceuticals targeting beauty come in various formats: capsules, tablets or powders. Recently you can come across such forms as drinks (water or juice), yoghurts, health foods etc. Nutraceuticals can contain Vitamins, Minerals, anti-oxidants, herbal extracts and oils etc.

So what can they actually do for our beauty? Except from a general promise of improving the appearance of skin or hair, you can hope to achieve some concrete goals such as treating cellulite, relieving dry skin, improving skin’s elasticity, protecting your skin from free radical damage, improving growth, thickness and appearance of hair etc. However don’t hold your breath waiting to see the results. Changes will be very gradual and will take a long time but they will also last longer than the results achieved with the help of topical products.

Photo by zebrapaperclip at flickr.com

Sounds wonderful, right? However, there are ongoing debates whether nutraceurticals always work. On the one hand, experts insist that a good diet can supply us with all the vitamins and minerals we need for healthy skin and beautiful hair. So if you have a balanced diet, your body will not utilize additional nutrients in a pill. In the end it will just excrete the excess and you will end up with investing into expensive urine. On the other hand, how many of us have perfect diets and lifestyles? If even a slight deficiency exists in certain vitamins and minerals, a supplement can make a big difference.

Currenlty nutraceuticals enjoy highest popularity in Japan and Europe. Consumers in the US have not yet embraced the trend of beauty from within. Some manufacturers were even forced to withdraw their nutraceutical products from the US market due to unsatisfactory sales.

Photo by RubyBlossom at flickr.com
The saying ”beauty comes from within” has a direct meaning when we speak about nutraceuticals

I personally love the idea of cultivating beauty from within. Which reminds me of a funny story that happened several years ago. Impressed by an article on benefits of beta carotene for the skin, I started to religously consume big volumes of carrot juice. As a result I turned bright yellow! That was a funny (and scary) sight :-) It was a lesson for me not to go to extremes and better rely on professional products and follow correct dosage! In the light of the information above and my personal curiousity, I thought it would be interesting to make an overview of some nutraceutical products available on the market at the moment. A little peek at what’s coming up in the next post: we’ll look at a supplement that promises to increase the skin’s elasticity, powders that promise to free you from cellulite, and drinks that stimulate collagen production!

Related Posts
Beauty Talk: Nutraceuticals Overview - Skin
Beauty Talk: Nutraceuticals Overview - Cellulite, Hair, Nails

Copyright: by Skin Care and Beauty Blog

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beauty Review: Guerlain's Exotic Paradise Palette

Last week I bought Guerlain’s Exotic Paradise eye shadow palette from spring 2009 collection. I have been trying it out this week and I am so happy to say I like it!

I bought this palette for the unusual selection of colors. I got so tired of browns or grays or pinks and wanted something different! The colors are great, they look good on my skin and go well with my green eye color. When I swatched these shadows at the counter I was worried that it's impossible to build up their intensity. But now I’m actually glad they are not very buildable. The intensity is just right and I feel that otherwise colors could look over the top and even vulgar. However I still would like it to have a bit more pigment!

Stay-on Power:
Maybe I haven't tested the stay-on power to the full yet. I wore these eye shadows only twice when I went out and when I come home I most often immediately take off my makeup. But I can say that colors stay nice and fresh for at least 3-4 hours!

It's silky and has some shimmer but not too much. It applies smoothly and blends into skin very nicely.

This palette comes with a little booklet that provides recommendations and tips on how to achieve three looks. Oliver Echaudemaison recommends to choose 2 complimentary colors for a subtle look: Highlighter + Velvet or Deign + Contour. To achieve a bolder look, choose the 2 contrasting tones arranged vertically: Highlighter + Design, Velvet + Contour. And for a sophisticated look Oliver Echaudemaison recommends to use all 4 colors.

Following some diagrams from this booklet I have done two simple looks based on these recommendations but with some slight adjustments.
Look 1: Highlighter + Velvet
In addition i applied just a touch of Contour along the upper outer corner of the eye and traced Highlighter along the lower lashline.

taken with a flash

Look 2: Highlighter + Design
I adjusted this look by tracing Contour along the lower lash ine.

Bottom Line:
Overall, I like this palette but I would still want to have more control over pigment intensity of the shadow so am not sure my next eye shadow will be from Guerlain.

Related Posts:
Beauty Buy: Exotic Paradise Eye Shadow Palette from Guerlains' Spring Collection
Beauty Buzz: Guerlain Makeup Collection 2009
Makeup Trends for Eyes - Spring/Summer 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Beauty Review: Immune Performance Elasticity Cream with Alasta

Product Tag Line:
...soothes and hydrates as it helps restore skin’s elasticity and firmness for the appearance of thicker, plumper skin.

Product Profile in short:
(as described on Sustainable Youth Website)
  • restores skin’s elasticity and firmness
  • conditions, moisturizes
  • soothes
  • invigorates the senses

    (as described on Sustainable Youth Website)

  • Clinically proven to improve skin elasticity and firmness up to 72 percent in 8 weeks of use.
  • Consumer case studies show signs of improvement in 2 weeks of use.
  • Consumers report benefits in as little as 1 week of use.

    What’s Inside:

    Alasta™, Organic Olive Oil, Natural Jojoba Oil, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Green and White Tea Extracts

    Close-up on active ingredients:
    Water, Caprylic/CapricTriglyceride, Alcohol, Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate,
    Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Steareth-2, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Potassium Palmitoyl
    Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil, Steareth-21, Butyrospermum Parkii
    (Shea Butter), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf
    Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium
    (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Palm Glycerides, Potassium Lauroyl
    Wheat Amino Acids, Sodium Chloride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Alasta™), Canola Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Picea Mariana Leaf Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Piper Nigrum (Pepper) Fruit Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Peucedanum Graveolens (Dill) Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Oil, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Silica, Xanthan Gum, Bentonite, Capryloyl Glycine, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Sodium Hydroxide

    Wow! So many extracts and oils! Let’s have a closer look at some of them. First of all, there are several moisturizing ingredients like Jojoba oil (one of the best natural moisturizers), Coconut oil (skin moisturizer and softener), Sweet Almond Oil (an effective emollient), Macadamia Seed Oil (skin-conditioner and occlusive).
    I also see a lot of skin soothing ingredients on the list such as Sweet Almond Oil, Linseed Seed Oil, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Peppermint Oil etc. See my post on Sensitive Skin Care Ingredients for more details on these.
    Some anti-aging ingredients that are on the list include Rosewood Oil (helps to regenerate and rejuvenate the skin), Lavender oil (tones, revitalizes, balances), Pepper Fruit Oil (stimulates, improves circulation), Fennel Oil (tones and regenerates). And of course Alasta... see more information about Alasta complex in my previous post.

    Texture: light but thicker than moisturizing fluid, doesn’t feel heavy
    Absorption: absorbs very quickly and doesn’t leave any oily film
    Smell: almost no smell, maybe just slight herbal notes

    I’m not a great fan of endless ingredient lists because the more ingredients there are, the more chances you will develop sensitivity to one of them. But in case with Sustainable Youth cream I am glad that 90% of ingredients are natural and many of them have soothing properties. Maybe due to this my skin tolerated it quite well. However I didn’t observe a soothing effect.

  • Upon application of Sustainable Youth cream my skin feels comfortably moisturized and soft to the touch. Morning application keeps the skin hydrated the whole day. I used this cream in combination with Sustainable Youth serum. It definitely improved the effects I was already getting from the serum alone. In 2 weeks of combined use my skin was looking smoother, as if polished and it had a better texture… maybe I could describe it as a denser and suppler texture.

    My favorite product in Sustainable Youth skin care line is still their serum (see my review). But for a maximum effect you may want to use Sustainable Youth Elasticity Cream in combination with Sustainable Youth Immune Performance Revitalizing Serum.

    Price Time: 80$

    Currently Sustainable Youth skin care products are available for purchase only from Sustainable Youth website.

    Related Posts:
  • Beauty Review: Sustainable Youth Immune Performance Revatilizing Serum With Alasta
  • Beauty Preview: Sustainable Youth Organic Skin Care and Nutriceuticals

    Copyright: by Skin Care and Beauty Blog
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Beauty Review: Immune Performance Revitalizing Serum with Alasta

    Product Tag Line:
    …absorbs instantly to rejuvenate skin’s radiance and glow as it helps improve skin’s elasticity and firmness for the appearance of younger-looking skin.

    Product Profile in Short:
    (as described on Sustainable Youth Website)

  • helps improve skin elasticity and firmness
  • helps rejuvenate the skin
  • invigorates the senses

    (as described on Sustainable Youth Website)

  • Clinically proven to improve skin elasticity and firmness up to 72 percent in 8 weeks of use.
  • Consumer case studies show signs of improvement in 2 weeks of use.
  • Consumers report benefits in as little as 1 week of use.

    What’s Inside:

    Alasta™, Rice Extract, Green, White and Rooibos Tea Extracts

    Close-up on Active Ingredients:

    Water, Alcohol
    Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Alasta™)
    Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil
    Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil
    Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil
    Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil
    Cymbopogon Martini Oil
    Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil
    Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil
    Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil
    Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil
    Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil
    Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract
    Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract
    Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract
    Xanthan Gum, Pectin, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl
    Glycol, Tropolone,
    Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract,
    Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract
    Citric Acid

    I’m impressed that 90% of the product consists of oils and extracts and is therefore natural.

    Texture: Even though it contains various oils, it’s not at all oily to the touch. It has a liquid gel consistency.
    Absorption: Soaks into skin with ease in a matter of seconds
    Smell: The serum has nice and herbal aroma. I do enjoy inhaling it deeply every time I use it.

    I always like to treat my skin to something special at mid-season to give it that extra kick to overcome the hardships of winter or summer. Usually my product of choice for quick and obvious results is a serum! This year it’s Sustainable Youth Serum with Alasta Complex. I’ve been using this serum for 2 weeks already. Maybe my skin is particularly responsive to this product but in as little as just 3 days it developed that healthy rested glow as if I were having 10 hours of sleep daily, a luxury not many of us can afford these days. Every day I would inspect my reflection in the mirror and would be happy to see a fresher smoother face looking back at me. Even my pores looked smaller which is an amazing improvement for my skin. But the best part is that my friends noticed the difference. Since I’ve started using this serum I've received some compliments on how fresh and pretty I looked, which hasn't happened in a long time! I would definitely recommend Sustainable Youth Revitalizing Serum for those with tired dull looking complexion and light fine lines for a boost of healthy glow, elasticity and smoothness.

    Price Time: 80$

    Related Posts:
    About Sustainable Youth Brand

    Copyright: by Skin Care and Beauty Blog
  • Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Beauty Preview: Cosmeceutical and Nutraceutical Products from Sustainable Youth

    Recently I have been testing an organic line of skin care, Sustainable Youth. This is an introduction to several reviews I will share with you in the following days.

    Sustainable Youth is an American brand with a philosophy that’s not just skin deep. If you want to preserve not only your beauty, but also your environment, Sustainable Youth is your type of a beauty range. As I read on the company’s website, they use all natural practices and ingredients and strictly follow environmental ethics and sustainability. For example: Sustainable Youth packaging is environmentally friendly and is created using sustainable materials. There are no animal derived ingredients and no animal testing was done during development of the products. Try as hard as you may, you will find no petrochemicals or parabens in their products, instead they are formulated with an innovative natural preservative. I do appreciate a company that not only offers a quality product but also makes an effort to preserve our environment!

    Photo: titanium22 at flickr.com

    At the heart of the line is an anti-aging active ingredient Alasta that comes from the rind of the Aloe Vera plant. We all know about numerous benefits of this plant. To mention just a few: it is skin-soothing, cell-protecting, regenerating, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial etc. Even Cleopatra was said to be a fan of Aloe Vera. She applied Aloe Vera gel on her skin to preserve its beauty and protect it from the sun. Sustainable Youth offers Aloe Vera extract with a difference! I was quite impressed by the fact that Aloe Vera leaves for Alasta extract are harvested by hand during the 2 hours of the day when the plant transports active ingredient into its leaves. More than 1000 Aloe Vera plants are required to produce 32 ounces of precious Alasta. According to the company, Alasta complex is a 100% organic certified ingredient and is exclusively used by Sustainable Youth.

    So how does it actually work? It is a known fact that inflammation in the body accelerates aging by causing collagen degradation. Break down of collagen results in decreased skin elasticity and firmness. Skin starts to sag, obtains dull color and lines appear. Such inflammation can be triggered by various factors: poor diet, lifestyle, oxidative stress etc. Alasta helps to reduce this inflammation and enhances performance of the immune cells. This reduces oxidative damage, improves elasticity, rejuvenates and protects the skin! Sounds impressing? You'll learn how their products worked for me in my next posts.

    Sustainable Youth offers the following products:
  • Immune Performance Elastifirm Supplements
  • Immune Performance™ Revitalizing Serum with Alasta™ - read my REVIEW
  • Immune Performance™ Elasticity Cream with Alasta™

    I tried out Revitalizing Serum and Elasticity Cream! Don’t miss my reviews!

  • Copyright: by Skin Care and Beauty Blog

    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Beauty Buy: Exotic Paradise Eye Shadow Palette from Guerlain's Spring Collection

    I made up my mind and yesterday got this gorgeous Exotic Paradise spring palette from Guerlain. I'm in paradise now :-)

    Isn't packaging beautiful? I also like the miniature suede case that keeps palette protected from scratching. (I wonder how quickly I will missplace it)

    What I liked most about the palette is the unsusual selection and combination of colors. Truly exotic shades!

    When I swatched the shadows at the counter, I was a bit disappointed by how sheer colors looked on the skin. It's impossible to build up intensity. Despite this I still love this palette! And I think the shades will look nice on the eyelids. I'll post photos when I try it out.

    Related Posts
    Chanel Makeup Collection Spring 2009
    Estee Lauder Makeup Collection Spring 2009
    Guerlain Makeup Collection Spring 2009
    Clinique Makeup Collection Spring 2009

    Makeup Trends Spring 2009 - Complexion
    Makeup Trends Spring 2009 - Lips
    Makeup Trends Spring 2009 - Eyes

    Copyright: by Skin Care and Beauty Blog

    Friday, March 20, 2009

    Beauty Buzz: Estee Lauder Collection Bronze Goddess, Summer 2009

    Bronze Goddess collection by Estee Lauder includes everything you may need to be a Goddess this summer. It is not limited to just makeup, Estee Lauder also offers a fragrance range, self-tanning and sun care products.
    I love bronze colors and I especially love wearing bronze colors in the sunny season! I think tanned skin, bronze eyelids and lips with a touch of gold shimmer look sexy. So needless to say I am impressed with Estee Lauder collection!
    Let’s start with makeup.
    Bronze Goddess SunBlush Illuminator (Limited Edition)

    Bronze Goddess Sand & Sea EyeShadow Palette (Limited Edition)

    Duo Tone Eye Pencil (Limited Edition)

    Bronze Goddess Luminous Liquid Bronzer (Limited Edition)

    Pure Color Lipstick in Golden Goddess (Limited Edition)

    High Gloss in Rose Goddess, Golden Goddess, Coral Goddess (Limited Edition)

    Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Golden Goddess (Limited Edition)

    Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer
    Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer

    Bronze Goddess Soft Duo Bronzer

    Pure Color Gloss Stick in Orange Poppy and Pop Pink

    Bronze Goddess Fragrance:
    Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche
    Bronze Goddess Body Oil
    Bronze Goddess Luminous Body Lotion

    Bronze Goddess Sun Care and Self-Tanners
    Sun Indulgence Lotion for Face SPF 30
    Golden Perfection Self-Tanning Lotion for Face
    Golden Perfection Self-Tanning Milk for Body
    Golden Perfection Tinted Self-Tanning Gelée for Body

    Related Posts
    Beauty Buzz: Estee Lauder Makeup Collection Vivid Garden, Summer 2009

    Copyright: by Skin Care and Beauty Blog

    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    Beauty News: Injectable Peptide Stimulates Growth of Fat Under Skin

    Fat is not always our enemy. We are better off without it on our hips but when it starts to disappear from our faces it causes additional age-related sagging and loss of fullness. In this situation, injectable fillers come to our rescue and help to fix those nasolabial folds and deep lines. However fillers have some downsides: they don’t last long and results can look very unnatural. Recent developments in peptides research give us hope for a better solution for age-related fat loss.

    Photo by Andreas Ruedaa at Flickr.com

    According to researchers from the Lawrence Berkely National Labaratory, an injectable peptide has been discovered that can help stimulate the growth of fat under the skin and plump it up.

    Here comes a bit of science – brace yourself! The peptide under discussion modulates behavior of the RHAMM protein (Receptor for Hyaluronan Madiated Motility). RHAMM in its turn can influence creation of lipocytes (fat cells) and this way may help replace those cells lost due to aging.(we are done now!)

    Currently scientists are in the process of testing this peptide and are trying to find a way to fully control its effects. At the same they are exploring alternative ways to deliver peptides into the skin, except from injections. It may also be available as a topical cream! But don’t expect these product to be on the market for at least 3-6 years from now.

    Related Posts:
    Beauty News: Appetite Suppressing Lip Gloss
    Beauty News: Tanning Drug

    Copyright: by Skin Care and Beauty Blog

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Beauty Find: At Home Laser Hair Removal Systems

    The closer the summer, the more concerned we become with the smoothness of our skin. Shaving, using depilatory creams, and electric epilators can help you get rid of unwanted hair but the results won’t last long. Long term results can be obtained from laser or electrolysis. But those involve huge money investment and frequent repeated sessions till you see any results. However it appears you can perform laser depilation in the privacy of your own home! About a year ago two laser hair removal systems have been approved for the use at home: Silk'n and Tria Laser Hair Removal Systems.


    How do the at home laser hair removal systems work? Both systems are portable hand held devices. They are based on the same idea as a professional laser treatment. Laser device releases quick burst of light energy which gets absorbed by the targeted hair and damages its follicle to prevent regrowth. The hair falls out in a week or two but not necessarily forever. It still can eventually grow back but will be much thinner and lighter.

    Auch, does it hurt? According to the reviews I read and watched on youtube both devices are not pain-free and will sting.

    But how effective are these at home devices as compared to professional treatments? The answer is they may be less effective but are much cheaper. Clinical trials showed that after 3 months Silk'n reduced body hair on average 55-65%. Silk’n hair removal system costs between 650$ and 800$.

    Remember, Silk’n and Tria Hair Removal Systems are not for everyone. You have to be light skinned and have dark hair to be able to benefit from these at-home laser devices.
    Get more information on these 2 devices and read how Silk’n compares to Tria.

    Watch this report and review on Silk’n and Tria by Becky Worley from "Good Morning America".

    Feel like shopping?
    You can buy Silk'n and Tria Hair Removal Systems online.

    Related Posts:
    Beauty Find: Beauty Products with Anti-Depressant Properties
    Beauty Find: Clarisonic - what's all the hype about??!

    Copyright: by Skin Care and Beauty Blog

    Friday, March 13, 2009

    Beauty Buzz: Estee Lauder Makeup Collection Vivid Garden, Summer 2009

    Estee Lauder created two not just one summer makeup collections: Vivid Garden and Bronze Goddess. Choose the look that appeals to you most... Be a sultry gold goddess or a flower fairy.

    Today I will have a look at the Vivid Garden collection. Just imagine yourself on a warm sunny day in a garden surrounded by bright flowers in full bloom and exotic butterflies… Nothing perks up your mood like bright summer colors! With Estee Lauder Vivid Garden collection you can enjoy beautiful shades of pink and lavender, blue and aqua, lychee and peach.
    Vivid Garden Illuminating Powder (Limited Edition)

    Duo-Tone Eye Pencil in Onyx Pearl (Limited Edition)

    Jasmine Garden Look
    Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Jasmine Garden (Limited Edition)

    Pure Color Illuminating Gloss in Lotus Blossom (Limited Edition)

    Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Sweet Lychee (Limited Edition)

    Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Lotus Blossom (Limited Edition)

    Another look called Orchid Garden is available exclusively at Nordstrom so I’m not sure about its availability in Europe.

    Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Orchid Garden (Limited Edition)

    Pure Color Illuminating Gloss in Peach Blossom (Limited Edition)

    Pure Color Crystal Lipstick in Crystal Coral

    Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Peach Blossom (Limited Edition)

    Related Posts:
    Makeup Trends Spring 2009 - Complexion
    Makeup Trends Spring 2009 - Lips
    Makeup Trends Spring 2009 - Eyes

    Copyright: by Skin Care and Beauty Blog
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