Collagen and Degradation

Collagen is the protein in our bodies that connects and holds our body structure together. It is found in bones, muscles, tendons to provide strength and keeps our tissues from stretching. Collagen works closely with elastin, a highly elastic protein that helps the skin in order for it to return to its original position when pinched or poked. They work together providing the needed support for the skin’s structure making it flexible and elastic.

But collagen can be degraded due to certain causes :

(1)       Deficiency in Vitamin C. According to LiveStrong.com, this particular vitamin is essential to the stability of collagen molecules. Therefore, it is crucial to have a diet rich in Vitamin C.

(2)       UV Radiation. Exposure to UV causes the collagen and elastin to break down and wrinkles then show up on our skin. Use sunscreen and stay away from tanning booths. The intense UVA light penetrates into our skin even more than natural sunlight!

(3)       Smoking affects the collagen synthesis in the skin and will cause the skin to sag.

(4)       Aging. This is a natural body process where collagen production gets reduced from around the age of 40 and is not preventable. However, it is possible to slow down the process. Some skincare products claim to have the ability to stimulate collagen production especially for mature skin.

One of the questions asked is : can I boost collagen by taking supplements and that would make my skin firmer? The jury’s still out on that so DO approach all supplementation with some care.

Fortunately, one can boost his collagen level by taking in foods which naturally build collagen leaving the skin youthful and glowing. Some of these foods include bone broth (which is like eating cooked collagen), vegetables (like kale, spinach, red pepper, beets, tomatoes), fish and lean grass-fed meat, berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries), and garlic.

One can also make use of skin care products to achieve a youthful glow and do away with wrinkles. I personally have found that topical application of good skin care products go a long way in getting that firmed and beautiful skin we all want.

Do you have an experience of your own? Would you care to share it in the Comments section? That would be awesome!

Water & Acne

I have to admit I’m not a big fan of water per se. I mean, there are so many better tasting drinks than just plain ol’ water! There’s my coffee in my morning ritual, there’s iced tea I could have over lunch, more coffee at tea break et cetera. :D

BUT we all know how important water is to our bodies and we rarely take it in sufficient quantities. Recently, I’ve been in contact with good friends who are battling acne breakouts and I wonder if water plays a role in perhaps not curing acne but helping in its management.

So much of our body needs fluids. These fluids bring nutrients and vitamins to parts of the body that needs them and it flushes away toxins and waste products. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and when it does not receive enough water, bacteria and toxin can get trapped in its layers and acne can appear.

By taking enough water, we are also less tempted to reach for sweet drinks which could be aggravators for acne.

I’ve mentioned earlier that water may not cure acne for some; the skin might be producing more oil (leading to acne) and treatment in other forms will be necessary. However, water can really contribute towards the whole treatment process. There are testimonials of how water has helped (not cure) sufferer’s acne problems, for example faded acne scarring, skin appeared smoother, avoided huge breakouts.

Water is just one factor of the whole management of acne. We also need to consider (1) the amount of sleep we get each night (2) amount of exercise we do (exercising improves blood circulation), (3) tweaking our diets (eg refrain from foods that cause our blood sugar levels to rise quickly).

It is also important to note that water should be sipped and not guzzled. Pace your consumption evenly throughout the day. Our bodies can only take in so much water each time. Too much would be peed out before it can reach your organs.

Yes, there is hope in good ol’ plain water!

Go Vegetarian?

Whether we are considering a vegetarian diet because we see celebrities endorse it or because we want to lose weight or have better skin, it makes sense to find out more about it before we decide that being a vegetarian or vegan is automatically preferable to being an omnivore.

Firstly, why would people go meat-less? Some might say, “it’s less cruel” or “it reduces chronic illnesses”, “it might help with my skin problems”, or “I really want to lose weight!” (which I can TOTALLY identify with).

There seems to be some evidence that being a vegetarian might lower the risk of cardiac problems and certain cancers as well. But DO DO research properly what a good vegetarian diet should have.

According to Chris Kresser who has been studying and practicing alternative medicine for more than a decade, vegetarians (and vegans as well) have a greater propensity to suffer from a deficiency in certain vitamins and nutrients, for example Vitamin B12, calcium, EPA and DHA and iron and zinc. Do take a read at http://chriskresser.com/why-you-should-think-twice-about-vegetarian-and-vegan-diets/.

Does going vegetarian give you better skin? Well, we know vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins and antioxidants which can help you achieve better skin, nails and hair. And I do believe that what you choose to eat does get manifested outwardly. So does that mean we should go vegetarian?

Here's the perspective of an esthetician, Renee Rouleau :

“From working with skin hands-on as an esthetician and skin care expert for over twenty years, I have to say that I most definitely have seen similarities in the skin of people who have a vegan diet versus those who are not. What I have noticed is a dull, tired, sallow look to the skin, similar to that of a heavy smoker’s skin, as well as a premature loss of skin tone. Because a vegan diet consists of mainly fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains, those that follow it may have trouble getting enough protein—the building blocks for skin. Protein is an essential component that makes up cells in the epidermis, including collagen and elastin fibers to keep skin firm and smooth.”

So where does that leave us? Should we head down the vegetarian path or stay an omnivore? Or how about going vegetarian part time? Whatever we choose to do, consider and weigh the facts, understand the pros and possible cons too. Look at ourselves as a whole – not just in terms of good skin, good figure but definitely good health all around.

Neck Mask is Essential!

谢谢朋友的好介绍!~ Leo

Awesome Rose Mask!

"The Rose mask rehydrated my skin, giving it a slow and glowing shine after use. The mild rose scent gives a calming and relaxing feeling on the skin.

This contains so much essence, it's simply awesome!" ~ Waene S.

Oil Control Mask Works!

"I have combination skin but I've tried many facial foams, masks or cream and it didn't work out as well for me. It'll end up either too dry or too oily immediately. Ever since i started using the L'Herboflore Four Kernels Oil-Control mask, the amount of oil on my face has minimised. Usually, my face will start to feel oily after 30 minutes from using oil control products, however, this brand of oil control mask lasts up to 2 to 3 hours before the oiliness starts to rise. After 3 days, I tried on the same brand of Rose Water Refining Hydromask, and this time it took 4 hours before it felt oily again. I 've tried on another set of this 2 masks and I can see that my face condition on its oiliness improved a lot!" ~ Annie L.