Posts Tagged ‘Herbal Skin Care’

Organic Facial Cleanser: The Ultimate Anti-Acne Facial

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Do you suffer from acne, severely oily skin, breakouts?  Is your skin breaking out this summer.  Maybe you need to try Organic Apoteke’s new Prana Facial.

Ideal for clarifying and detoxifying, the Prana Facial actively clears the skin. Our highly effective products works directly with the body to correct sebum imbalances and calm inflammation. Our unique massage technique stimulates circulation for deep healing.

Before Prana Facial Treatment

Before Prana Facial Treatment

After Prana Facial Treatment

After Prana Facial Treatment


Do you suffer from clogged pores, blemishes, or inflamed skin?

Then this facial is for you. Click here for more information and before and after pictures.

Duration: 50 minutes

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Organic Face Cream : Hydration for Summer Skin

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Over the last few weeks we have had queries about the need to use an organic face cream or facial moisturiser during the summer.  While our skin tends to be less dry during the summer months, it is not advisable to forgo the use of a moisturiser during this period. You don’t want your skin to become dehydrated as this would just result in it producing more oil, thus affecting the overall sebum balance.

What you could do is use a lighter, gel like moisturiser that nourishes the skin and maintains its hydration without being too rich and greasy.

However for those with very dry skin, it is advisable to use a nourishing moisturiser, what you may do is only use your face cream once per day or morning only.

If you are extremely dry, what you may require over the summer is a hydrating face mist which you could spray onto the face throughout the day. Droseros is a certified organic facial spray which you can use under or over makeup. Infused with oxygen and rose wax it both nourishes and uplifts, exactly what you need to keep cool and hydrated during these long summer days.

Organic Moisturizer

Organic Moisturizer

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Organic Eye Cream : Treat dark under-eye circles

Friday, June 18th, 2010

What causes dark under-eye circles?

Dark under-eye circles begin with the capillaries around the eyes, these are the tiny blood vessels found in the delicate skin around the eyes. Capillaries are so small that red blood cells sometimes have to line up, single file, to get through. Anything that causes damage to the delicate wall of these capillaries will cause the red blood cells to enter the surrounding tissue. This isn’t a problem – it happens all the time – and your body has a mechanism to mop up these red blood cells. Enzymes in your body break down these red blood cells, including their hemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red color). This is all fantastic, except for one thing: when hemoglobin is broken down, its remaining components have a dark blue-black color. Just like a bruise. So your dark under-eye circles are actually caused by leaky capillaries.

Dark under-eye circles are like bruises

When something hits you, blood vessels are traumatized and sometimes broken. Blood leaks out into the surrounding skin. Your body begins the mopping-up process, and you see a dark, purplish or blue-black discoloration. Dark under-eye circles are very similar to bruises because the same mechanisms produce them.

Why are dark under-eye circles so visible?

Capillaries all over your body are leaking small amounts of blood all the time, but are not very noticeable. The reason dark under-eye circles are so apparent is the skin around the eyes is the thinnest, skin of your entire body. The capillaries are therefore much closer to the surface of the skin there. The skin around the eye is not only thinner but also more translucent both making dark circle more visible.

The combination of capillaries near the skin’s surface and translucent skin makes this discoloration much more apparent. And that’s why you have those dark under-eye circles staring back at you in the mirror.

What makes dark under-eye circles more obvious?

Any damage to the under eye capillaries can aggravate the appearance of dark under-eye circles.  Allergic reactions may also cause capillary damage. Also there may be an underlying medical condition that results in capillaries being easily damaged. Speak to your medical practitioner about this.

What can you do to reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles?

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Organic Face Cream : Ingredients to avoid – Read your organic skin care labels

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

With skin care ingredients not being very well regulated, we find so many harmful chemicals finding their way into products we use daily. Even products that claim to be natural or organic can sometimes contain these harmful toxic ingredients.

Although the list is long here are a few of the worst offenders that definitely need to be avoided especially of the product claims to be a natural or organic face cream.

Diazolidinyl Urea

Used as an antiseptic in cosmetics. It may release formaldehyde, known to be highly toxic.

*Found in: body powders, cleansers and soaps, lotions and moisturizers, make-up and make-up removers, shampoo, shaving products, sunscreen.

Imidazolidinyl Urea

The second most commonly used preservative in personal care products (parabens are first). The American Academy of Dermatology recognizes it as a cause of contact dermatitis. Formaldehyde release is a hazard of this chemical. The CIR Expert Panel is reassessing its safety.

*Found in: baby and other shampoos, bath and body oils body powders, colognes and other fragrances, lotions and moisturizers, makeup, permanent waves, and rinses.

Diethanolamine (DEA)

Extensively used for its emulsifying and foaming properties. Associated with allergic reactions and eye irritation. The combination of DEA and DEA-related ingredients is associated with cancer in lab animals. The FDA is currently investigating this link.

Triethanolamine(TEA)

Used as a detergent and dispersing agent. There is high sensitivity to its use. Prolonged contact is particularly irritating. Toxic to lab animals. The CIR Expert Panel recommends use only in small, concentrations, not to exceed over 5%. They also recommend limiting it to rinse off products, such as shampoo. However, some hand and body lotions include it. Combining TEA with nitrates results in cancer-causing nitrosamines.

*DEA and TEA are found in: bath powders, lotions, shaving creams, shampoos, and soaps.

Parabens: Ethyl, Butyl, Methyl, Propyl, and Parahydroxybenzoate

Parabens are the second most common ingredient in skin care products … water is first. The most widely used preservatives in the United States, they may cause skin rashes and other allergic reactions.

Studies show they possess mild estrogen-like qualities. Preliminary research uncovered parabens in human breast cancer tumors. This does not prove a causal relationship, however. Parabens are ubiquitous. They are an estimated 75-90% of all personal care products. Even many so called “natural” and some organic skin care products contain parabens (check labels!).

There is a gradual phase out of these preservatives occurring in the natural skin care industry. Preservatives are essential. However, there are all natural, nontoxic preservatives that are both safe and effective.

*Found in: baby preparations, cleansers, deodorants, eye-products, lotions and moisturizers, make-up, personal lubricants, nail products, shampoos and other hair products, and sunscreens.

Petrolatum

Also known as petroleum jelly. Purified petroleum is common to moisturizers and other cosmetic products. It forms an oily layer on the skin that prevents moisture evaporation. It purportedly smooths and moisturizers skin, but often has the opposite effect. It causes allergic reactions in some. Manufactures love petrolatum because it is very inexpensive (read: a cheap addition for manufacturers).

*Found in: baby creams, conditioners, creams and moisturizers, makeup, nail products, and wax depilatories.

Propylene Glycol

This is the most common moisture-carrying ingredient, excluding water itself, in personal care products. Extensively used in makeup. It is known to elicit allergic reactions, including hives, and is associated with eczema. Safer glycols are gradually replacing propylene glycol. The CIR Expert Panel maintains its safety in concentrations up to 50%.

*Found in: antiperspirants and deodorants, baby lotions, hair strengtheners, moisturizers, mouthwashes, shaving products, sunscreens, and stick perfumes.

PVP/VA Copolymer

Considered toxic. Some individuals develop thesaurosis, which is foreign bodies in the lung, due to inhalation of PVP in hairspray. Rats ingested intravenously with PVP developed tumors.

*Found largely in: bronzers, eye makeup, and hair products.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

A detergent, emulsifier, and wetting agent. It is drying and often irritating to skin. Associated with eczema. The Journal of the American College of Toxicology states this chemical has a “degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties” and that “high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration.” The CIR Expert Panel is reassessing it for safety.

*Found in: bubble baths, emollient creams, cream depilatories, hand lotions, permanent waves, shampoos, soaps, and toothpastes.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Acts as a water softener and a foaming and wetting agent. Often in products designed for mildness, such as baby shampoos. Yet it leads to eye and skin irritation in some. The CIR Panel is reexamining its position on this chemical also.

*Found in: shampoos, including baby shampoos.

Stearalkonium Chloride

The Fabric industry developed this as a fabric softener. It softens hair, allowing easier combing. Known to cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Considered toxic. CIR Expert Panel is reassessing for safety guidelines.

*Found in: hair conditioners and creams.

Synthetic colors

Unlike most ingredients used by the industry, synthetic colors are regulated by the FDA. Yet, most are derived from coal tar. Many people are allergic to coal tar. Of greater significance is the association of coal tar and cancer. Most all coal tars cause cancer when subcutaneously injected in lab mice. In fact, many formerly approved colors are now banned in the US because of recognized carcinogenic properties.

Used in a large variety of personal care products, most notably hair dyes. What color is that drugstore shampoo … neon green anyone? Nontoxic all natural skincare products, as opposed to traditional skin care, rely on botanical ingredients for subtle color. This is one of the reasons that Organic Apoteke products vary in color, we are dependent on the combined colors of the natural ingredients we use which vary due to weather conditions and the plants unique manufacturing facility.

Synthetic Fragrances

There may be up to 200 ingredients encompassed by the term “fragrance”. Furthermore, manufactures are not required to disclose actual ingredients in their formulas. They receive protection for such proprietary formulas. Reactions to fragrance in personal care include: coughing, dizziness, headaches, hyper-pigmentation, rash, skin irritation, and vomiting.

I can personally vouch for hyper-pigmentation. I have seen unsightly brown spots on necks of many patients which disappeared when they stopped applying perfume there.

*Synthetic fragrances lurk in the majority of traditional personal care products. Even many so called natural products use synthetic fragrance. To be safe, look for 100% “all natural skin care products.” Natural essential oils are the ideal fragrance.

Organic Apoteke products do not contain any of the above ingredients.

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Organic Face Cream : Rejuvenating Face Cream is back in stock

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Firstly, I would like to say a big thank you to our loyal customers for being so patient. The Rejuvenating Face Cream which was voted “best organic face cream” by Healthy magazine is now back in stock.  All those on the waiting list (and there are many of you)  please bear with us,  you should receive your organic face cream within the next few days.

For those waiting to place their orders, please do so as soon as possible. Our products are hand made in small batches to ensure freshness and efficacy. And although we plan ahead to reduce stock outs and shortages, we have been overwhelmed with the demand for this organic face cream. We are therefore limiting orders of the Rejuvenating Face Cream  to 3 units per customer.

We do apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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Organic Acne Treatment : Choosing the best organic face cream

Monday, June 7th, 2010

I met with a friend over the weekend  who has battled with acne for over a decade. He had always maintained that he was acne prone due to his oily skin and hence used harsh cleansing and alcohol laced moisturisers to help dry up the oil. I had believed his skin to be quite dry and therefore producing excess oil to counter the severe dehydration.

Over the years I met many people with a similar problem.  This only stressed the importance of using the correct organic moisturiser or face cream for your skin type.

How to know if your skin is dehydrated even though you have acne?

If your skin occasionally feels tight especially after cleansing. Your skin can also feel quite sensitive. Your skin also may feel tight after cleansing but have get oily and shiny after a few hours – this is the skins compensatory mechanism that aggravates the break outs.

What organic moisturiser should you use for dry skin that is acne prone?

Rejuvenating Face Cream

You need to use a nourishing organic moisturiser or organic face cream. Seems strange in  light of the acne. However when skins dehydrated the negative feedback system kicks in to produce oil. If you nourish and hydrate your skin efficiently, your skin rebalances itself and produces less oil, hence fewer clogged pores and breakouts.  Give a moisturiser like the Rejuvenating Face Cream a try.

Organic moisturiser or organic face cream for Oily Skin

If your skin is genuinely oily, you still  need to ensure that you do not use a product that dehydrates the skin, as this just encourages it to produce more oil. What you need is an alcohol free, gel like moisturiser as these have a high water content, which will keep skin well hydrated. The skin then does not have to produce excess oil to compensate. Stay away from alcohol and SLS based cleansers and moisturisers. Also use a moisturiser that contains ingredients like neem (Melia azadirachta leaf extract) which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Make sure that the product is designed to balance sebum production and contains sebum balancing ingredients such as arginine.

Active Face Hydrating Gel

Active Face Hydrating Gel

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Rejuvenating Starter Kit containing Organic Eye Cream on Sale at www.amazon.co.uk

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Organic Apoteke’s rejuvenating starter kit contains all you need to get your skin glowing. An organic cotton toiletry bag holds the following 6 products.

  • Buttermilk Cleanser 15ml
  • Balancing Rose Toner 15ml
  • Rejuvenating Face Cream 15ml
  • Rasayana Rejuvenating Serum 5ml
  • Organic Eye Cream 5ml
  • Organic Rejuvenating Face Mask 5ml
Rejuvenating Starter Kit

Rejuvenating Starter Kit

This great kit gives you Organic Apoteke’s complete rejuvenating regime. Whether you are new to Organic Apoteke and would like to try the products or are an ardent fan and need smaller sizes to take on holiday. This kit is perfect for you. The kit gives you enough product for about 3 weeks. Each of these products have wonderful anti-aging benefits. However when used in combination optimal results are seen.

www.amazon.co.uk is launching the Organic Apoteke range by offering the Rejuvenating Starter Kit at £19.95.  It normally retails at £29.95. Click here to benefit from this offer.

PS: This kit also makes a wonderful gift. Whether you are looking for fantastic stocking stuffer on the cheap or that perfect beach bag cosmetic kit, this is perfect.

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Natural Skin Care : The dangers of Phenoxyethanol

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Phenoxyethanol, glycol ether often derived from natural sources, is a popular antibacterial and preservative chemical, used by many so called natural and organic skin care brands. It  is also used in many vaccines and bug repellants.

A few beauty brands marketed as the greenest in the industry use phenoxyethanol as a preservative, suggesting that it is derived from grapefruit. Well, cocamide DEA is derived from coconut but this doesn’t make it any less toxic!

Chemically known as ethylene glycol phenyl ether or ethylene glycol monophenyl ether, phenoxyethanol is an ethoxylated compound that may be contaminated with carcinogenic toxin 1,4-Dioxane.

According to Journal of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, phenoxyethanol affected brain and nervous system in animals at moderate doses. In 1990 Journal of the American College of Toxicology reported that phenoxyethanol also acts as an endocrine disruptor that also caused damage to bladder and acute pulmonary edema in animals. Early 1980s studies also suggest that phenoxyethanol can cause DNA mutations – again, only in animals, as it was not tested on humans.

Phenoxyethanol is a scientifically proven irritant to human skin and eyes (Comparison of objective and sensory skin irritations of several cosmetic preservatives. Lee E, An S, Choi D, Moon S, Chang I. Contact Dermatitis. 2007 Mar;56(3):131-6.) and it is classified as irritant in European Union. Phenoxyethanol is also restricted for use in Japan.

No matter what the studies say, phenoxyethanol is deemed perfectly safe for use in cosmetics in the U.S. and UK in concentrations of up to 1 percent. This means, a 200 ml bottle of shampoo contains a teaspoon of phenoxyethanol!

The most surprising it that the Soil Association, the organic certification body in the UK permits the use of phenoxyethanol in products that it certifies organic. Please read the organic ingredients on products.

All Organic Apoteke products are free of phenoxyethanol and phenoxyethanol residues.

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Natural & Organic Skincare : Sunscreens exposed by the EWG

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Sunscreens prevent sunburns, but beyond that simple fact surprisingly little is known about the safety and efficacy of these ubiquitous creams and sprays. FDA’s failure to finalize its 1978 sunscreen safety standards both epitomizes and perpetuates this state of confusion. EWG’s review of the latest research unearthed troubling facts that might tempt you to give up on sunscreens altogether. That’s not the right answer – despite the unknowns about their efficacy, public health agencies still recommend using sunscreens, just not as your first line of defense against the sun. At EWG we use sunscreens, but we look for shade, wear protective clothing and avoid the noontime sun before we smear on the cream. Here are the surprising facts:

1. There’s no consensus on whether sunscreens prevent skin cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration’s 2007 draft sunscreen safety regulations say: “FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer” (FDA 2007). The International Agency for Research on Cancer agrees. IARC recommends clothing, hats and shade as primary barriers to UV radiation and writes that “sunscreens should not be the first choice for skin cancer prevention and should not be used as the sole agent for protection against the sun” (IARC 2001a). Read more.

2. There’s some evidence that sunscreens might increase the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer for some people.

Some researchers have detected an increased risk of melanoma among sunscreen users. No one knows the cause, but scientists speculate that sunscreen users stay out in the sun longer and absorb more radiation overall, or that free radicals released as sunscreen chemicals break down in sunlight may play a role. One other hunch: Inferior sunscreens with poor UVA protection that have dominated the market for 30 years may have led to this surprising outcome. All major public health agencies still advise using sunscreens, but they also stress the importance of shade, clothing and timing.

3. There are more high SPF products than ever before, but no proof that they’re better.

In 2007 the FDA published draft regulations that would prohibit companies from labeling sunscreens with an SPF (sun protection factor) higher than “SPF 50+.” The agency wrote that higher values were “inherently misleading,” given that “there is no assurance that the specific values themselves are in fact truthful…” (FDA 2007). Scientists are also worried that high-SPF products may tempt people to stay in the sun too long, suppressing sunburns (a late, key warning of overexposure) while upping the risks of other kinds of skin damage.

Flaunting FDA’s proposed regulation, companies substantially increased their high-SPF offerings in 2010. Nearly one in six products now lists SPF values higher than 50, compared to only one in eight the year before, according to EWG’s analysis of nearly 500 beach and sport sunscreens. Neutrogena, with six products labeled “SPF 100,” and Banana Boat, with four, stand out among the offenders.

4. Too little sun might be harmful, reducing the body’s vitamin D levels.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that sunshine serves a critical function in the body that sunscreen appears to inhibit — production of vitamin D. The main source of vitamin D in the body is sunshine, and the compound is enormously important to health – it strengthens bones and the immune system, reduces the risk of various cancers (including breast, colon, kidney, and ovarian cancers) and regulates at least 1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body. (Mead 2008) Over the last two decades, vitamin D levels in the U.S. population have been decreasing steadily, creating a “growing epidemic of vitamin D insufficiency” (Ginde 2009a). Seven of every 10 U.S. children now have low levels. Those most likely to be deficient include children who are obese or who spend more than four hours daily in front of the TV, computer or video games (Kumar 2009).

Experts disagree on the solution. The American Medical Association has recommended 10 minutes of direct sun (without sunscreen) several times a week (AMA 2008), while the American Academy of Dermatology holds that “there is no scientifically validated, safe threshold level of UV exposure from the sun that allows for maximal vitamin D synthesis without increasing skin cancer risk” (AAD 2009). Vitamin D supplements are the alternative, but there is debate over the proper amount. The Institute of Medicine has launched new research to reassess the current guidelines. In the meantime, your doctor can test your vitamin D levels and give advice on sunshine versus supplements.

5. The common sunscreen ingredient vitamin A may speed the development of cancer.

Recently available data from an FDA study indicate that a form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions (NTP 2009). This evidence is troubling because the sunscreen industry adds vitamin A to 41 percent of all sunscreens.

The industry puts vitamin A in its formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging. That may be true for lotions and night creams used indoors, but FDA recently conducted a study of vitamin A’s photocarcinogenic properties, the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight. Scientists have known for some time that vitamin A can spur excess skin growth (hyperplasia), and that in sunlight it can form free radicals that damage DNA (NTP 2000).

In FDA’s one-year study, tumors and lesions developed up to 21 percent sooner in lab animals coated in a vitamin A-laced cream (at a concentration of 0.5%) than animals treated with a vitamin-free cream. Both groups were exposed to the equivalent of just nine minutes of maximum intensity sunlight each day.

It’s an ironic twist for an industry already battling studies on whether their products protect against skin cancer. The FDA data are preliminary, but if they hold up in the final assessment, the sunscreen industry has a big problem. In the meantime, EWG recommends that consumers avoid sunscreens with vitamin A (look for “retinyl palmitate” or “retinol” on the label).

6. Free radicals and other skin-damaging byproducts of sunscreen.

Both UV radiation and many common sunscreen ingredients generate free radicals that damage DNA and skin cells, accelerate skin aging and cause skin cancer. An effective sunscreen prevents more damage than it causes, but sunscreens are far better at preventing sunburn than at limiting free radical damage. While typical SPF ratings for sunburn protection range from 15 to 50, equivalent “free radical protection factors” fall at only about 2. When consumers apply too little sunscreen or reapply it infrequently, behaviors that are more common than not, sunscreens can cause more free radical damage than UV rays on bare skin.

7. Pick your sunscreen: nanomaterials or potential hormone disruptors.

The ideal sunscreen would completely block the UV rays that cause sunburn, immune suppression and damaging free radicals. It would remain effective on the skin for several hours and not form harmful ingredients when degraded by UV light. It would smell and feel pleasant so that people use it in the right amount and frequency.

Unsurprisingly, there is currently no sunscreen that meets all of these criteria. The major choice in the U.S. is between “chemical” sunscreens, which have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s hormone systems, and “mineral” sunscreens (zinc and titanium), which often contain micronized- or nano-scale particles of those minerals.

After reviewing the evidence, EWG determined that mineral sunscreens have the best safety profile of today’s choices. They are stable in sunlight and do not appear to penetrate the skin. They offer UVA protection, which is sorely lacking in most of today’s sunscreen products. Mexoryl SX (ecamsule) is another good option, but it’s sold in very few formulations. Tinosorb S and M could be great solutions but are not yet available in the U.S. For consumers who don’t like mineral products, we recommend sunscreens with avobenzone (3 percent for the best UVA protection) and without the notorious hormone disruptors oxybenzone or 4-MBC. Scientists have called for parents to avoid using oxybenzone on children due to penetration and toxicity concerns.

8. Europe’s better sunscreens.

Sunscreen makers and users in Europe have more options than in the United States. In Europe, sunscreen makers can select from among 27 chemicals for their formulations, compared to 17 in the U.S. Companies selling in Europe can add any of seven UVA filters to their products, but have a choice of only three when they market in the U.S. European sunscreens could earn FDA’s proposed four-star top rating for UVA protection, while the best U.S. products would earn only three stars. Sunscreen chemicals approved in Europe but not by the FDA provide up to five times more UVA protection; U.S. companies have been waiting five years for FDA approval to use the same compounds. Last but not least, Europeans will find many sunscreens with strong (mandatory) UVA protection if proposed regulations in Europe are finalized. Under FDA’s current proposal, Americans will not.

9. The 33rd summer in a row without final U.S. sunscreen safety regulations.

In the United States, consumer protection has stalled because of the FDA’s 32-year effort to set enforceable guidelines for consumer protection. EWG has found a number of serious problems with existing products, including overstated claims about their perfomance and inadequate UVA protection. Many of these will be remedied when the FDA’s proposed sunscreen rule takes effect. But even after the rule is enacted, gaps will remain. FDA does not consider serious toxicity concerns such as hormone disruption when approving new sun filters, and the new rules would fail to measure sunscreen stability despite ample evidence that many products break down quickly in sunlight.

To read more, please link to EWG

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Herbal Skin Care : Flavonoids

Friday, May 28th, 2010

It is the constituents found in herbs or plants that give them their main actions and make herbal skin care effective. Here is a brief introduction to an important plan constituent, the flavonoids.

Flavonoids

This term refers to commonly occurring vitamin-like substances that are necessary for a wide range of functions in the body. They are present in many fruit and vegetable: lemons are a good source and give the fruit or vegetable their distinct flavor. Flavonoids are frequently found in remedies that help circulation.

Flavonoids are used in natural skincare to increase circulation for the same reasons given above. Some Flavonoids are also powerful anti-oxidants that reduce free radical damage in the skin cells.

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