Monday, August 31, 2015

Layering Your Skin Care

If you take your skincare seriously (which you very likely do if you're reading this blog), you probably own a lot of high-quality skincare products, and you probably use multiple ones per day. If so, good on you for taking such meticulous care of your skin!

But wait...Vine Vera does have one question for you: how do you use your multiple products all at the same time? Do you know how to put all that stuff on your face in a way that reaps the most benefit out of every product, such that they all work together to keep your skin flawless? Or are you just haphazardly spreading it all on without thinking and ending up with a face full of different kinds of gunk that are inhibiting each others' effectiveness more than they're helping?

Layering is a tricky business, but it's an art that any good skincare enthusiast has to master. Maybe you don't even know where to start, or maybe you're a layering pro, but either way, an overview is always helpful. 

Vine Vera's here to show you how to layer your products to squeeze as much benefit out of them as you possibly can. Do remember to wait a good several minutes between each layer so it dries properly, or else you may end up with a lot of pilling.

Cleanse Before You Do Anything
You can't nourish your skin if it's covered in dirt, sweat, makeup, and other debris. Grab your favorite gentle cleanser and wipe it all away!

Start with Sunscreen (Maybe)
Why maybe? Because whether or not sunscreen needs to be your first step depends on whether you're using a physical sunblock or a chemical sunscreen. If you're using a chemical sunscreen (the majority of commonplace sunscreens you'll see on the market), it must go on your freshly washed skin. Confused about the difference between physical and chemical? We'll talk about it in a later step.

Serums Happen Now
If you're using any serums, rub the designated amount of each into your face now, one at a time if you're using more than one.

Time to Moisturize!
At the core of any good skincare routine is a fantastic moisturizer. We recommend any of our various moisture creams, found in Vine Vera's various collections. Whatever you're using, though, massage a liberal amount of it into your face.

Got any Skin Oil? Do it Now
Skin Oil” refers to oils that are safe to use on the skin and won't clog your pores. Oils can go on top of moisturizers and still penetrate pretty well, giving your skin some much-needed mosturization after having natural oils stripped away by cleanser.

We recommend Jojoba oil, but you can also use coconut, olive, or avocado oils, just test them first to make sure they don't cause pimples on your skin type.

Using a Physical Sunblock? You Can Put it On Now
Physical sunblocks are sun-protection products that use the active ingredient(s) zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Unlike most sunscreen, they can go on above other layers of skincare products and still do their job correctly, meaning your serums, moisturizer, and oils will penetrate and nourish your skin much more effectively. They're also less likely to irritate your skin, and if you forget to reapply, you'll probably be fine, because they don't degrade overtime (that said, we still recommend you reapply every couple hours just in case), so we highly recommend using a physical sunblock instead of a chemical sunscreen.

You're Done!
Let your skincare layers dry, and go ahead and start on makeup if you're using any!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Skin Care for Your Body

There's no denying that skin care is vitally important for your appearance, and plenty of people are aware of this. That said, it's sadly far too common that people focus almost exclusively on facial skin. It's understandable on a certain level; your face is probably the part of your body whose appearance you value most, and it's the part most people look at first and most frequently when interacting with you. 

So undoubtedly, facial skin care is very important, but it's not the only aspect of skin care that's important. It's often overlooked that the skin on the rest of your body can benefit from regular pampering and care too. Vine Vera knows this fact is commonly overlooked, so we want to make sure you don't fall into the trap of neglecting your body skin by providing a few useful tips to keep up healthy skin care habits all over.

Dead or damaged skin cells don't just accumulate on your face. Your body skin is a bit thicker and rougher than your facial skin, meaning it can tolerate this buildup for a bit longer, but it doesn't mean it's a good idea to forgo it altogether. Exfoliating your body skin once or twice a month is a good habit to get into. Believe us, you'll feel much better when you do.

A good way to keep up with exfoliation on your body is to use body scrubs. There are plenty out there, both store-bought and DIY, but we recommend sugar scrubs as a good standby. All you have to do is mix white or brown sugar with a skin safe oil like coconut, avocado, olive, or jojoba until you have a thick but slightly fluid-y paste. Rub it on and massage into your skin all over, then rinse it off in the shower.

Note: if you're exfoliating and shaving your legs on the same day, exfoliate first. Your skin is too prone to irritation after shaving to exfoliate then.

Moisturizing your body skin is just as important as doing so with your face, but since body skin is thicker and a little hardier, you can use products that would be too harsh or greasy for your face on your body. We recommend investing in a high-quality body lotion and applying liberally every night before bed. If you can only get yourself to apply a couple times a week, though, you'll still see a benefit.

You can also moisturize your body with skin-safe oils. Coconut, avocado, jojoba, and olive oils work especially well and can replace body lotion as your regular before-bed body moisturizer.

Don't Use Bar Soap
Bar soap tends to have a really nasty habit of stripping all the oil from your skin and leaving your body parched, dry, and ashy looking. Do your skin a favor and invest in a loofah and some non-drying, hydrating body wash.

Take Advantage of Bath Time
It's a good idea to bathe, at the very least, once or twice a month, in water that's been infused with bath oils. Chose a nourishing bath oil with a rich vitamin and mineral profile (look for vitamin E specifically) to refresh and recharge your skin.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Skin Care and Nutrition

It’s pretty well-known that good nutrition is important for general health and well-being, but would you believe us if we said that your nutrition has a huge impact on your skin, as well?

Well, believe it, because nutrition absolutely plays a big role in skin care. 

Granted, it’s important to always use high-quality creams, exfoliants, and other skin care essentials like you'll find within any of Vine Vera's numerous skin care collections, but if you can augment your skin care routine with good nutrition, the results will be even more stunning. If this sounds appealing (which, we dare say, it certainly should), keep reading, because we're about to share some juicy skin-care-meets-nutrition tips for your benefit.

Vitamins and Minerals for Radiance
Your body needs trace amounts of a variety of vitamins and minerals—substances it can't produce on its own—to function at peak efficiency and keep all your cells in good repair. You can take a multivitamin every day, or individual supplements for various needs, but it's best to get as much as possible from food. Fruits, vegetables, and especially leafy greens are essential for this. Below are a few to keep in mind.

Kale: This cabbage variant is chock-full of vitamin K and copper. Vitamin K will help tremendously when it comes to brightening dark circles, and copper will work together with sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.

Swiss Chard: This one tastes great in salads and juices, and it's full of biotin, which will help make your hair stronger and easier to grow out.

Collard Greens: This one's got a huge vitamin profile, with vitamins B, C, and K, all at a concentration such that one serving will give you your 100% DV for each. Combined, these vitamins are great for a glowing complexion.

Cucumber: leave the peels on! It can be tempting to peel cucumbers before eating, but the peels are full of caffeic acid, which can help sensitive skin respond better to irritants, and silica, which will boost collagen production. The whole fruit (yes, cucumber is technically a fruit) contains vitamin C, too, and you can never have too much of that.

Antioxidants for Healthy Skin
Antioxidants prevent free radicals—particles that, when left to their own devices, wreak havoc on cell structure and health—from forming, which results in healthier cells all over your body. On your skin, this shows as radiant, soft, supple skin that's more resistant to damage. You can find lots of antioxidants in red wine, dark chocolate (the darker the better), dark leafy greens like spinach, and dark fruits like pomegranate, blackberry, acai berry, and blueberry. Remember, too, that vitamin C (in addition to its myriad other benefits) is an antioxidant, so regular citrus fruit consumption is a great idea too.

Sulfur-Bearing Amino Acids for Strong Hair and Nails
Blend some hemp seed and spirulina into your next smoothie to simultaneously reap the benefits of sulfur-bearing amino acids that will give you stronger hair and nails, allowing you to grow them longer and stronger with less chance of breakage. Spirulina's rich amino acid profile also makes it an excellent source of of protein, and you can find it mixed into chocolates and other snacks at health food stores.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Resveratrol and Your Skin

Vine Vera pride ourselves on producing high-quality products that make your skin look and feel amazing. We employ a number of key ingredients and techniques to make this possible, and put nothing but the best into our products. A lot goes into Vine Vera's numerous skincare collections, but one thing pretty much every skincare item we make has in common is the special ingredient resveratrol.

There's a good many reasons why we use resveratrol in our products, and how it can benefit you and your skin greatly. Today, we thought it would be good to let you in on why we use resveratrol, and what makes it so great.

Resveratrol's Story
It's long been known that drinking red wine—a glass or two a day—is good for the health, can reduce risk of a wide variety of diseases, and helps one age very gracefully, keeping you looking youthful for ages. Additionally, as Vine Vera has mentioned before, red wine's goodness doesn't stop at general health benefits; drinking red wine can also greatly improve the look and feel of your skin, making it brighter, more radiant, more youthful, softer, and just overall healthier.

Well, it turns out that a good deal of red wine's healthfulness and skincare benefits can be traced to a molecule known as resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant which is present in high amounts in just about every red wine varietal (though concentrations do differ a bit from one red to the next). Given how beneficial red wine can be for the skin, and given that resveratrol is one of the main reasons it's so beneficial, it almost only makes sense to use resveratrol as a skincare ingredient.

What's an Antioxidant?
We've mentioned that resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant just one paragraph ago. You've probably heard the term “antioxidant” tossed around before without really knowing what it means, but even if you're already aware of what antioxidants are and how they work, a refresher never hurts.

An antioxidant is a molecule that reduces oxidative stress on cells by inhibiting the oxidation of various molecules, thereby preventing free radicals from forming. What, exactly, does this mean? Well, chemical reactions called “oxidation reactions” naturally take place inside and in between our body's cells. These reactions produce byproducts known as “free radicals,” particles that can do a great deal of damage to cell structure and even kill off cells entirely that were perfectly well-functioning before. The result of widespread oxidation reactions, if left unchecked, is widespread cell damage, which has a number of worrisome impacts on health, and on the skin level, results in things like the breakdown of collagen, ashy appearance of skin, wrinkles, etc.

So where do antioxidants come in? Well, as a matter of fact, strong antioxidants like resveratrol are able to prevent oxidation reactions from ever happening at all, meaning no free radicals are released, and cells aren't damaged. Your entire body is made up of cells, and while you have enough that losing some isn't a big deal and happens normally, preventing widespread damage and destruction of cells is generally a good thing, and it certainly shows on your skin.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Oils in Skin Care

Greasy skin that leaves oil on your fingers when you touch it is hardly attractive, and it's not good for overall skin-health either, what with the increased risk of acne and pimples and all. As such, it's common to think of oil in your skin as a bad thing, especially with the prevalence of product labels that proudly declare “non-greasy” or “oil-free” on their packaging. 

To be sure, you don't want too much oil in your skincare, and you especially don't want the wrong kind of oil. Besides that, while a bit of oil in some products, like moisturizers, might be okay, you definitely want oil-free cleansers, and ideally non-greasy makeup. But with all that said, is oil always a bad thing in skincare?

The answer to that question is a resounding and emphatic “no.” Oil is essential for skin, which is why our bodies naturally produce sebum, also known as skin oil, out of our pores. Way too much and it can be unattractive, gross, and cause pimples, but in the right amounts, oil in the skin does wonders. Sadly, things like showering tend to strip our bodies of some of the natural oils they need, and people with dry skin types may not even make enough oil for the ideal balance, which is why adding oil to your skin can actually be a good thing.. As such, vine Vera would like to take a moment to discuss four powerhouse oils for skincare, and what they can be useful for.

Coconut Oil
The oil pressed out of coconuts is useful for a number of applications. It makes great sugar scrubs when melted and mixed with some white or brown sugar, a great way to exfoliate the body in a really pleasant, even sensual treatment that smells good to boot. It also makes a fantastic hair deep-conditioner. Just melt some and work it into your scalp and all over your hair, then slip on a shower-cap and go to bed. Wash it out with Shampoo in the morning for silky-soft hair.

Olive Oil
It's not just for cooking! Olive oil is great for deep-conditioning of the body skin. You can use it on the face too, but we recommend using it for a home spa treatment by rubbing it all over your body and letting it sit for awhile to soak in. Even better: have a friend or partner give you a massage with olive oil to simultaneously work it into your skin and release tension in the muscles.

Avocado Oil
While coconut, olive, and avocado oils can all be used as effective cooking oil, avocado wins out approval for the healthiest and tastiest oil for cooking on this list. You can use it on your skin for sure, but we think avocado's greatest strength is that when used as a cooking oil or as half of a vinaigrette for salads, it provides a variety of healthy fats and other compounds that will help keep your complexion bright and radiant.

Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is noteworthy in that its makeup is so close to natural sebum, that the body will treat it as such and take it up easily as a result. For this reason, this is our top-recommended oil to use as a facial oil to restore a natural lipid layer and prevent or correct for dryness. Just layer on a few drops over your moisturizer, spread out over all your face.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Skin Care Hacks You Need to Know

Taking care of your skin isn’t easy. There’s a lot that you can do wrong without even realizing it, and sometimes that flawless, radiant complexion you seek might seem out of reach. Of course, that’s why Vine Vera makes high-quality, luxurious skincare products that can transform the appearance and feel of your skin through regular use. Even so, it can be incredibly helpful to know a few tricks and strategies to make skincare easier, especially when you can use them to take advantage of already stellar products and get even more benefit out of them.
Vine Vera understands this struggle, and we’d like to share a few skin care tricks and hacks that you probably haven’t thought of before, but you’ll be glad that we did.
Mix Up Foundation and Moisturizer
There are two ways to apply this hack: for maximum speed or for maximum benefit. For maximum speed when you slept through your alarm and are running late, but still want to look great, mix two parts moisturizer or moisture cream with three parts of your favorite shade of foundation, and apply it like you would foundation. This combines two steps, eliminating one and getting you out the door faster while still tending to your skin and appearance.
For maximum benefit, go ahead and apply your moisturizer normally, and then when it comes time for makeup, start with the foundation-moisturizer mix. This gives you even more nourishment from your moisturizer in addition to what you already got from initial application. This trick is especially useful for restoring damaged skin quickly.
Keep a Potted Aloe for Burns and Sunburns
Burns—whether from the sun, touching the oven while it’s still hot, or whatever else—are not only painful, but they can really damage your skin, and dealing with them quickly is important to mitigate this. It’s well known that aloe vera gel is great for soothing burns and sunburns, but what you might not know is that it’s most effective when used raw, straight form the plant. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep a potted aloe vera plant in your home or garden. They can be quite attractive-looking when well kept, and when needed, you can pull off a leaf, slice it straight down the middle, and spoon out some gel for your burn.
Use a Honey Mask for Acne
If you’ve got a persistent problem with acne and/or pimples, organic honey—interestingly enough—can help. Just spread it all over your clean face and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before wiping off with a cool, wet washcloth. Not only does the honey’s antimicrobial properties mitigate acne, but it’s quite hydrating too.
Use Face Oil for a Little Extra Boost
A good moisturizer is essential for facial skincare, and serums can be great for targeting specific issues, but if your skin is persistently dry and needs an extra moisturization kick, use some skin-safe oil, applied after your moisturizer, to help your face maintain a healthy lipid layer. Some good oils to use include coconut, olive, avocado, and jojoba.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Dealing With Common Eye Issues

Your eyes are one of the first things people see when they interact with you. Considering eye-contact is a quintessential facet of courteous interactions, it makes sense to want both the eyeballs themselves and the skin around them to look good. Besides that, it's important to take care of your eyes to ensure your vision remains intact and that you don't develop eye-related health problems.

On that note, Vine Vera would like to present to you a list of tips and tricks to deal with and prevent common eye-related issues, especially where it concerns skin care.

Eye Creams: Moisturizer for the Eyes
You might think that just spreading your regular facial moisturizer onto the under-eye area is good enough, but you'd be wrong. It's certainly better than nothing, but you're much, much better off if you can find a dedicated eye cream. See, you'll notice that the skin right under your eye, as well as your eyelid itself, is especially thin and tender. As such, it requires special care, and getting a specially formulated under-eye cream will be a huge boon to your eye-related skin care. Do make sure that you either apply your regular sunscreen under your eyes before using an eye cream, or that your eye cream contains broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher.

Use Eye Drops for Irritation
Got a job that makes you stare at a computer screen all day? Got allergies? Sleep deprivation? Sensitive eyes? If you frequently find your eyes getting bloodshot for any reason, the solution is usually pretty simple: to keep your eyes looking and feeling great, drip in a few drops of soothing over-the-counter eye drops. If the problem persists even with eye drops, talk to your optometrist or G.P. just in case it's indicative of a more serious issue.

Dark Circles? Easier to Fix than You Think
For concealing dark circles, use a yellow-tinted grease concealer and carefully rub it under your eye before using any powder makeups. This usually does a stellar job at neutralizing the dark skin and making it match your natural skin tone.

For a solution that takes a bit more time, but will help more in the long-term, slice two rounds off of a cucumber and peel them, then simply lie down with them over your eyes (eyes closed) for at least 15 minutes.

Finally, find products that contain Vitamin C for the most effective long-term dark spot lightening. Vine Vera has both a vitamin C collection and an eye collection, so you'll find lots to help you in our store.

Puffy Eye Hacks
Another common under-eye issue is puffiness. Eye creams like the ones you'll find in the Vine Vera eye collection are great for solving this long-term, but for quick fixes, we have a couple handy tricks.

Try getting two green or black teabags (make sure they're not decaf) wet under a trickle of cool water, then lie down and press them gently into the under-eye area, with your eyes closed. Don't touch them for at least 10 minutes, and when you get up, the caffeine from the tea should have stimulated the blood vessels under the eye and caused everything to pull in a bit, fighting puffiness.

An even quicker fix is to keep six spoons in the fridge at all times. If you need to rush out the door, grab a pair of spoons and hold them up to your under-eye area until they're not cold anymore, usually less than a minute, and repeat three times. Put them back in the fridge for next time.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


You've probably heard of exfoliation before, but do you really know what it is or how it works? Exfoliating is a vital part of skincare, and should be a regular part of everyone's routine. It keeps your skin looking vibrant, and if you want that sought-after youthful glow, you really can't do without it. In light of this, Vine Vera decided to give you a comprehensive guild to exfoliating, what it is, why you should do it, what you should know, and how to go about it.

What is Exfoliating?
You may already know the answer, but even if you do, keep reading; you might learn something new about it! Further, it's surprisingly possible to exfoliate regularly and yet not really know exactly what exfoliation entails.

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead, damaged, and old, rough skin cells from the epidermis (the top layer of your skin) so that the younger, softer, healthy skin cells underneath can be seen and felt more readily. This has the potential to make you appear more radiant and youthful, and

How Does it Work?
Exfoliation works by applying—and often vigorously rubbing in—an exfoliant to the surface of the skin. The exfoliant then releases old skin cells from your skin, and you wash everything off. There are two types of exfoliants, physical and chemical. Physical exfoliants use coarse grains or beads to physically rub off the rough and damaged skin cells. Anything marketed as a “facial scrub” that feels grainy or contains tiny little beads is probably a physical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants contain an ingredient like glycolic acid or lactic acid, which dissolve the binding agents between cells, causing a few layers of them to fall off and wash away with a quick rinse.

Most of Vine Vera's collections include an exfoliant of some kind, such as our various peeling gels, which will leave your face looking radiant and youthful with once-weekly applications.

How Often Should I Exfoliate?
This depends on your skin type, what exfoliant you're using, and how much exfoliation you need to look good, but a good rule of thumb is once every week. If you're unsure, start with once a week and adjust it, if necessary, to be slightly more or less frequent depending on how you react to it, according to your body's needs.

Do I Only Need to Exfoliate My Face?
Absolutely not! While the face is likely the area that can benefit most from regular exfoliation in terms of aesthetics, your whole body could use a good dose of exfoliation every now and then too. When exfoliating your body skin, you can use somewhat rougher methods than would be okay for your face, like sugar scrubs (which you can make for yourself at home by simply mixing brown or white sugar with a skin-safe oil like olive or coconut), and you also don't need to do it very often; once or twice a month should be fine. However, doing some kind of exfoliation at least once a month can help prevent body acne as well as give your whole body a softer, younger appearance.

As a side note, if you're exfoliating and shaving your legs on the same day, do the exfoliating first! It will actually make it easier to shave, and it will spare you the irritation of further agitating skin that's been made sensitive by having a razor dragged across it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Risks and Consequences of Dehydration

It’s pretty well known that water is essential for survival. In fact, we can survive for only a few days without water, while we can survive for 2-3 weeks without food. Water makes up a massive 65% of your body mass, and it’s used in a wide array of biochemical functions in our cells.

We need it to split and metabolize carbohydrates and other molecules, among a host of other things, and without it, our cells could not function at all, nor could our body as a whole. But not only is water essential for survival and general well-being, it’s essential for good skin, too! For that matter, a lack of water doesn’t have to be so bad that it’s potentially lethal to be bad for you. People can survive for ages with mild dehydration, having enough water to stay alive, but not enough to really thrive. Because of water’s inherent importance in skincare, Vine Vera wants to make sure you’re well-informed as to the risks and consequences of dehydration, and how best to avoid them.
Risks and Consequences
Dehydration carries with it some serious effects that are not to be taken lightly. A lack of sufficient water in your body can cause dizziness, weakness, and lethargy. It can make your mouth feel extremely dry and cause your tongue to swell, and of course, make you very thirsty. In terms of your skin, it can make it feel dry, itchy, and rough, giving you a dull, ashy appearance all over. This dull, unattractive appearance can linger for some time, so if you have this problem, get hydrating now to start the recovery process!
How to Stay Hydrated?
First of all, if you have a case of severe dehydration (which is rare), you need to seek medical help immediately, preferably in the emergency room. Symptoms of severe dehydration include confusion, fever (higher than 103 degrees F), chest pain, and fainting. Once you reach the point of being severely dehydrated, just drinking some water isn’t going to be enough, because it might not solve the problem fast enough. If untreated, severe dehydration is lethal, but thankfully, you generally don’t need to worry about it. while it’s common to get mildly dehydrated, most people certainly do go get something to drink when they get so thirsty they can’t stand it, so severe dehydration isn’t a common problem.

If you have a case of mild dehydration (which is very common), it’s really easy to fix: just drink some water! When dehydrated, it’s best to consume a large quantity of water in frequent but small sips. To prevent dehydration and keep your skin looking vibrant and youthful, keep a glass or bottle of water within arm’s reach all day long, and reach for it whenever you feel thirsty. If you’re not thirsty at all, you shouldn’t drink, because you’re probably well hydrated at that point and it can upset your electrolyte imbalance, but just keep the water nearby and don’t hesitate to sip or gulp it down whenever you feel thirsty. Combine drinking water to keep your body hydrated with regular use of moisturizer; just staying hydrated will help your skin a lot, but adding moisture and oil externally will help even more.