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Guys, would you wear makeup? What if it was so normal your friends did it?

The male grooming industry is up to $47 billion now. That’s enough to give everyone in the world a skin mask treatment. And men’s makeup is just getting started.

Let’s see what the next wave of male grooming looks like, and what it can do for you.

In 2019, Men can talk about the glow

A lot of men’s makeup is centred around giving the face a nice, even finish with the healthiest colour for your skin tone. Turmeric is looking like the next big thing, which gives a little of that keratin bronze you get from the perfect amount of sunlight and Vitamin A rich foods.

We’re not just bottling the glow, we’re letting the skin soak it up with natural ingredients. And if it’s popular enough to bolster an eleven-digit industry, bros will want to share tips. Chances are we’ll see some major grooming taboos come falling down soon. When they do, you and your skin can enjoy the benefits. Start conversations!

Naturally clear skin will be more common

If men are grooming their skin more, they’re cleansing more. One of the best things you can do right now is gently clean your face before and after sleeping. When your friends catch on to that, you can expect the standard of male skin to rise.

It doesn’t mean there’s pressure on you. Things could actually get easier. If we’re in the habit of washing our faces as a society, soon you’ll be doing it without even thinking about it. Because that’s how things are.

If you really want to make this work, buy a face wash or an after-cleanse solution like SkinB5 Moisturiser.

Sounds counter intuitive, but the easiest way to have lasting clear skin with a natural glow is to consume the right nutrients, which is exactly the SkinB5 vitamins are designed to deliver.

Men will learn some dirty secrets

Concealer is makeup that you dab on red spots to hide them. Yes, the women in your life use it. And men are about to catch on. It’s not as effective as cold water over time (drinking a bunch and splashing some on the area), or avoiding inflammatory drinks, but sometimes you’re in a hurry.

You have about 30 shades of foundation for the whole gamut of skin tones. When you regularly see someone in makeup, what you think is their natural skin tone is actually their foundation and a range of other products.

And so many people gel their eyebrows. After they brush off the stray foundation.

When we say to someone, “You look better without makeup,” chances are we totally missed a dozen products including eyebrow pencil and mascara. The au naturale look has been fooling us for generations.

Makeup is everywhere. It may seem daunting and risky, but men everywhere are already into beauty. This isn’t a new thing. The women around you can share solid methods that have been chipped at for thousands of years.

And what if your favourite celebs did it?

Well, they kind of already are.

In the long-past year of 2018, we blogged that celebrities were snapping themselves wearing Korean sheet masks. It’s not makeup, but a face mask on a guy might be even edgier than guyliner and primer.

What does this mean for acne?

You can work around it. We have a clever new recipe for foundation with the matte subtlety that suits a man. It also protects the skin. The Make Up Room’s co-founder Jyue Huey came up with this skincare hack.

If you’re feeling brave and have started using foundation, all you need is a bit of SkinB5 Skin Purifying Mask. Add one part Mask to two parts of your favourite liquid foundation, then apply.

Sure, it looks natural. It’s turning your makeup into a balm that repairs your skin through the day. But the bit I really enjoy is the glow. The Mask masks excess redness, which can really makes the skin look like it’s thriving, and it naturally suppresses pimple-causing bacteria on your skin preventing breakout even you are wearing makeup.

That’s the thing about makeup. It’s creative expression, and your canvas is your face — where expression happens.

In the face we see a person’s nature, feelings, heritage and the way they treat themselves. And it’s becoming socially acceptable for men to play with that.

Even if 2019 is the year of men’s makeup, there’s plenty of time for you to get in while it’s still new. Experiment, see what you enjoy, get chatting with a makeup addicted friend. Get onto YouTubers’s male makeup geniuses like Arabia Felix, the burly Jordan Liberty or Patrick Starr (okay, I like this one because his name is a Spongebob reference). It’s easy to get into this world.

Peter Matthews is a freelance writer living in Melbourne. His favourite glow enhancer is turmeric, except when it gets on his clothes.

Sources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKsHpXW_xS4

https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/gallery/men-wearing-make-up-the-taboo-that-needs-to-be-lifted

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It seems like no matter how much you drink, you get thirsty again right after. And life gets harder when you’re dehydrated. Everything wears you down easier. The weather is disorienting. Whether or not people can see you sweating, your confidence cuts out like the NBN on a hot Sunday.

That’s when the breakouts begin. Heat, stress and sweat are a breeding ground for acne. That’s why we’re going to catch it early and explore four crucial tips for hydration — inside and out.

1) You’re meant to be drinking double.

When it’s forecast to be a hot one, you might have an extra glass of water or spend a little more time at the workplace watering hole. And you’re on the right track. That’s when you pat yourself on the back for outsmarting the heat. We all do it. I do it.

And an hour later, you’re stumbling through an urban desert, begging for water. This shouldn’t be happening, right? You just drank.

It’s because the recommended amount on a hot day is two glasses every time you usually crave one. It should average out to roughly a glass per hour — everyone’s body is different. If you drink bottled water, buy a big one and be proud that you’re adulting well. If you don’t want to be seen with a big bottle, fine, buy two. It’s all about comfort. But tap water in Australia has a nice trove of minerals like calcium and magnesium. It’s so easy to take a glass, fill it twice and stay fresh. Everyone’s doing it.

2) You’ll need a water bottle.

A normal day is full of travel, even if you work from home. There are places to be, deals to make, people who depend on you (even if it’s your friends wanting company). Maybe it’s a walk in the evening. In any case, humans need to travel.

You won’t find a kitchen sink on the train to work, but you will find sweaty people. So get ahead of them and take your water with you.

There’s one great advantage: You can mix things into the water and release it slowly through your trip, or the day even. Try some electrolytes. Try the Clear Skin Superfood Booster. When I cut weight I’m a fan of psyllium, which suppresses the appetite and dissolves in water. But that’s just fibre. Nothing beats the appetite like nutrient rich hemp protein powder and superfruits, marine collagen hydrates the body from the inside.

Taking a bottle with you is an easy habit to form. When you’re checking for your keys and phone, check for a bottle too so you can stay smooth and confident. Then take a sip, or just keep on appreciating yourself for being healthy and strong. Habits form when you feel good about them.

3) Your love affair with caffeine is manageable.

Caffeine can prove right away that what goes in the body affects the skin. An hour after the second or third coffee you can feel the grease starting to form, your patience is down, it’s harder to move. And your skin has gotten rougher. All these things have one little cause.

Dehydration.

You can wean yourself onto a smaller amount of caffeine and still be satisfied. You can drink even more water, if you don’t mind installing an office in the restroom (please don’t). But there’s a more fun way: Replace the drink.

The Clear Skin Superfood Booster is packed with energising nutrients, giving you a caffeine free buzz.

Fruit, herbal tea, iced tea. Get a headstart on caffeine with a long black instead of a cappuccino. Make flavoured ice blocks or cubes. Put some lemon or cucumber in your water. Feel good.

4) You could use some hydration from outside.

A little sun is good, but there’s more than radiation hitting you. Heat dries the skin and removes your hydration with sweat, which is the foundation for Acne City.

You can protect yourself with products. A moisturiser like the SkinB5 Moisturiser keeps hydration sealed in the dermis. If you want to really glow, which isn’t hard on a hot day if you’re well moisturised, a serum or mask like the SkinB5 Five Minute Skin Purifying Mask refills your cells with vitamins and minerals. A sunscreen is especially important, since it won’t let sunlight burn those cells you want looking good. There are things you can avoid too.

Aftershave and perfume have alcohol in them, which dries the skin. Stick with a non-drying cleanser like SkinB5’s global hit the blemish control Cleansing Mousse.

It’s simple to keep hydrated, you just have to know how it’s done right. Half the battle is doubling your water. Stay satiated, my friends.

Peter Matthews is a freelance writer living in Melbourne. He likes tea and coffee, exercise in the sun, travelling, pretty much only things that require a water bottle.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1495189/

https://familydoctor.org/hydration-why-its-so-important/

http://www.australianbeverages.org/for-consumers/tips-on-staying-hydrated/

https://swirlster.ndtv.com/beauty/6-easy-ways-to-keep-your-skin-hydrated-during-summer-1856377

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Chronic stress is something that affects so many people. Between work hassles, lack of sleep, relationship pressures and other curveballs that life throws us, it’s no wonder that so many of us are tired and emotional.

Our bodies might respond to this state of constant stress with a lowered immune response to common colds and infections, increased blood pressure, digestive issues or skin problems such as dermatitis or acne. One of the other unwanted effects of stress is the havoc it can play with our hormones.

Adrenal Fatigue

Your adrenal glands are tiny little powerhouses which sit above the kidneys. When your brain sends down the message that you’re stressed, they release cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream.

It’s a lifesaving system which goes back to our ancestors who had to either fight or run from predators. The problem is that in our modern world, predators are more likely to be work and relationships, neither of which running or fighting can solve. As a result, we live in a constant cycle of cortisol and adrenaline production, otherwise known as “fight or flight”.

“Running on adrenaline” is great for short spurts (like running from a big, grizzly bear), but long-term it can elevate your blood pressure and heart rate even when you’re not meant to be running. Cortisol increases your blood sugar levels so you have energy to run, but it also suppresses your digestive and reproductive systems – because nobody has time to digest a meal when they’re running from a big, grizzly bear.

When someone has been in “fight or flight” for an extended period of time, they may experience adrenal fatigue; the  term applied to a series of breakdowns and malfunctions which result from driving at high speed for too long. Adrenal fatigue is a naturopathic theory that a combination of symptoms such as fatigue, digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances and insomnia are the result of a long-term physical reaction to stress.

Acne and Adrenal Fatigue

Skin contains receptors for stress-hormones, and will often respond to stress with breakouts or conditions such as dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis. Of course, the sudden aggravation of acne can increase stress levels even more, leading to an uncomfortable cycle.

At the same time, every person will respond differently to the hormonal hurricane resulting from the constant production of cortisol. The release of this hormone can have a domino effect on insulin, the thyroid gland, reproductive hormones and mental health.

For those who are prone to blood sugar imbalances, the result might look like diabetes or insulin resistance. Others might experience polycystic ovaries, weight gain, depression, anxiety or simply awful premenstrual syndrome.

Nutrition and Herbs

There are several gentle, effective ways to manage stress and protect the skin and body from adrenal fatigue.

A balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is essential, as it provides vitamins and minerals to support both the skin and stress mechanisms. B vitamins are particularly useful, along with magnesium and vitamin C – all found naturally in our superfood powder.

Vitamin B5 helps with adrenal function, making it especially helpful during times of stress. B5 for adrenal support is best taken internally, but if you have stress-related acne, it can also be used topically. Vitamin B5 can be found in all of our topical skincare range, as well as a potent dose in our Acne Control vitamins.

Adaptogenic herbs can help the body to respond to stress with less of a fight-or-flight scenario and more of a zen approach. Ashwaganda and Siberian Ginseng are renowned for their ability to assist with chronic stress and adrenal fatigue, and are used by many herbalists for that purpose.

It’s important to deal with the mental health aspects of stress as well, and meditation, gentle exercise and counselling are all wonderful ways to support yourself back towards healthy skin and a happier mind.

Mem Davis is a naturopath, writer, and food lover. She loves feeling healthy and strong, and is a proud vegan nutrition advocate. In her spare time she goes hiking, attends live music events and hangs out with her cuddly cat.

Sources:

Mayo Clinic. (2016). Chronic stress puts your health at risk. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037 [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

Et al, K. (2007). Corticotropin-releasing hormone skin signaling is receptor-mediated and is predominant in the sebaceous glands. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17326013 [Accessed 17 Nov. 2018].

Mattson Porth, C. (2005). Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash

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Heat is the harsh centrepiece of our culture. Everything we do for fun happens because it’s hot.

How do we relax with friends on an easy Sunday? Head for the beach, laze around a pub with a jug of something cool, hunt each other using assault rifles filled with water. Most days we just get under an air conditioner and take it easy.

And what the body wants, the skin wants. When the heat rises, so does your risk of a few different issues:

Oiliness

On hot days, the amount of sebum (skin oil) on your skin doubles. This is the root of many skin problems. When sebum gets into your pores, it usually turns into pimples.

Too much sebum can crank up any acne problem you already have. And it’s a squeamish feeling. Deep down, we seem to know that oily skin means the bacteria are eating well.

It’s best not to think of oiliness too much. The amount you produce comes largely from genes, and stress causes your sebaceous glands to make too much oil. So let go of the issue and trust yourself to take care of your skin.

One easy way is cleansing, which can be as easy as washing your face or as intricate as a full treatment with serum, moisturiser, a SkinB5 Five Minute Skin Purifying Mask and non-comedogenic makeup. Sunscreen helps and so does Vitamin A, so hit up the sweet potato and see if you can learn to love liver paté.

Sweat

Sweat and sebum are housemates. Where we create oil to keep the skin healthy, sweat comes out the pores to regulate your temperature so that you can keep up important movements over a long time.

Humans are designed to sweat so we can spend all day chasing wild animals, but now we use it to sustain fun things like exercise and long walks. But it breeds bacteria if you don’t regularly cleanse. So if you want to stay clear, wash off the sweat with something cool.

Clingy clothes

You may know that tight garments are more likely to rub against you and create acne than loose ones. This is double true for buttne. When the sun’s out and we’re getting physical, it tends to be with tight things like fancy activewear, bike helmets or backpacks. And you’ll notice how quick these areas get sweaty.

The good news is that medium fitting clothes are always in style, so if your activewear looks perfect on you, it’s not as acne-risky as lycra. And baggy clothes never look stupid when you’re active, they actually give you an air of authority. Personal trainers go baggy.

If you need to wear something tight, you’ve probably noticed a pattern in our advice here. Cleanse regularly. Have showers, take a dip in saltwater, try some SkinB5 Acne Control Moisturiser on the irritated area.

Keeping your cool

There are obvious ways to cool down, and most of them fit really neat into a cleanse. But there’s one thing that takes practise and will improve every area of your life:

Keep calm.

Summer is the perfect time to get mad. Everyone’s out blocking your path. The sun and the double dose of water your body needs are straight up disorienting. If you have skin problems, you have to gear up your hygiene like never before. If you’ve been hitting the gym you have extra testosterone to fuel all that fire.

And stress causes breakouts.

It’s not about never being mad. I love pragmatic anger. But if you lose control of that mood, you lose control of the cortisol that ends up (via sebum overproduction) as acne.

The Internet is full of ways to keep cool emotionally, but here are some favourites:

  • Check yourself when you get emotional. Notice it happening. This will help control your mood.
  • Breathe deeper and slower, comfortably.
  • Be happy about something happening right now. There’s always something.
  • If you’re self conscious, remember no one cares how you look. They’re too busy being self conscious.

And for skincare’s sake, here are some simple ways to keep from overheating:

  • Cleanse with chilled or frozen watermelon skin. Just rub the white side on your face.
  • Cleanse with cucumber, or aloe vera.
  • Use ice blocks in your water bottle.
  • Always use sunscreen, even with a big breezy hat.
  • Choose hang-out spots with shade.

It’s all about keeping your cool.

Peter Matthews is a freelance writer living in Melbourne. He keeps cool by meditating every day, which is also great for regulating the skin’s hormones.

Sources:

https://stylecaster.com/beauty/acne-in-summer/

https://www.dermadoctor.com/blog/oily-skin/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-vitamin-a

https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/home-remedies-for-acne.aspx

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/stress-and-acne#1

https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/508695?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Photo by Lauren Ferstl on Unsplash

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The year is new, the weather is hot and you still have plenty of party in you. If you’re a student (or a teacher), people are probably still asking you to come drink.

But what does that do to your skin?

The way you drink alcohol makes a huge difference to skin and acne. You can have a painful week of breakouts, or a nice time with the clear skin you’ve worked hard to achieve.

Try not to mix drinks

I know, it’s tricky to pick one. When you’re having a good time with gin, your friend wants you to try a craft beer. When you’re sampling beers, suddenly you’re pulled into a round of shots. And that’s an easy way to get drunk, which is the aim for a lot of people.

Just one problem: Getting tanked inflames and dehydrates you, then it reverses the amazing inner skincare that your body is doing every minute.

If you drunkenly forget to cleanse and replace any makeup with something like SkinB5 Acne Control Moisturiser at night, you’re extra prone to breakouts. It’ll drain your Vitamin A too, which is an antioxidant that helps you make collagen. Basically, binge drinking can age your skin fast.

Stick to your favourite type of alcohol. Then have a moderate amount. Then hang out with people, do crazy things, make memories. That’s the fun part of going out.

But sometimes you need to let go and do whatever. That’s when it helps to know what different kinds of alcohol are doing. Here are the main types of booze, from best to worst:

Spirits

Good news if you’re into vodka or gin. Clear liquors don’t have congeners, the chemicals that make your hangover nasty. Tequila and rum are handy since they’re so light on the other big hangover baddie: Sugar.

Shots or liquor on ice are the best option, but keep track of how many you’ve had. You can rack those drinks up fast without noticing. If you drink these liquors without getting drunk, your skin will likely be fine.

Wine

This one’s controversial.

One glass puts a nice flush of colour in their skin. It relaxes the muscles and has a few antioxidants, which will help you with aging.

But too much wine kills your glow — and your antioxidants. Alcohol relaxes your veins too, which can cause spider veins if you’re a regular binger. The histamines that cause a little colour after one glass will give you major breakouts after a binge. This is why some people say red wine is good and some say it’s bad.

But it’s easy to go slow with wine. Flex with a nice bottle. It’s an interesting drink, designed to be sipped.

Meanwhile, white wine’s sugar content will make you double hung over.

Beer

It may be everyone’s favourite, but beer can mess up your skincare journey. It’s the most fattening and bloating item on this list, at around 200 calories of simple carbs per bottle.

In moderation, beer can be pretty refreshing.

Cider

One glass has a powdered doughnut worth of sugar. It will inflame your acne. I’m so sorry.

Mixed drinks

Most premixes and cocktails will mess you up from the first drink. Milk and sugar are both inflammatory, but sugar has a special way of giving you acne and aging your skin with insulin spikes. Sugar makes your eyes extra bloodshot, too. Avoid sweet drinks if you want to rock those photos of your nights out. There are always photos.

Great skin-friendly drinks

To make up for losing white wine and cider, here are some special summer brews that aren’t too bad on the skin:

Vodka, lime and soda

Negroni (gin, vermouth, Campari and orange)

Tequila sunrise (tequila, orange juice and cranberry juice)

Martini (gin, vermouth and an olive)

Gin and tonic (try with juice frozen in ice blocks, but be careful — tonic is surprisingly sugary)

Mint julips (liquor, mint and xylitol)

Vodka, lemon and lavender

Harvey Wallbanger (Vodka, Galliano, orange juice and bitters)

Pimm’s punch (Pimm’s, lemon, fruit, mint and cucumber)

Espresso Martini (Vodka, espresso, egg white, cacao and xylitol — drink plenty of water!)

The changes from your new smart drinking plan will take about a month to see, but you’ll instantly look smoother in all those party photos. It’s all about feeling good and enjoying yourself.

Peter Matthews is a freelance writer living in Melbourne. He has just discovered a love of gin, which tastes like bedtime tea made by demons.

Sources:

https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/alcohol-effects-on-skin

https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/appearance/how-alcohol-affects-your-appearance/

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/beauty-hair/g10350399/alcohol-effects-on-skin/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zgfvvcw

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/alcohol-skin_n_4146391

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/gin-cocktails

https://www.marieclaire.com/food-cocktails/g3282/vodka-cocktails/

Photo by Walter Lee Olivares de la Cruz on Unsplash

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Once a nutritious food source for the Aztecs, spirulina is a blue-green algae which is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Known for its ability to boost energy and immunity, this colourful powerhouse is also great for the skin.

What is spirulina?

Spirulina is a mass of algae which grows in the water of tropical and subtropical regions. It’s usually found floating in clumps on the surface of the water, and is otherwise known as pond scum.

Don’t let that scare you off though – it’s an excellent source of iron, chlorophyll and fatty acids. It even contains up to 70% protein – quite a lot for such a microscopic food source!

Spirulina is also packed with beta carotene, vitamin K, choline and folate, and is a good source of calcium, magnesium and potassium. It’s so nutrient-rich that many organisations are studying it for use in treating malnutrition, with encouraging results so far.

This little cyanobacteria (which translates to blue-coloured bacteria) is distinctive for its colour, which comes mainly from the antioxidant known as phycocyanin. This little powerhouse can help to fight free radicals and prevent inflammation. Some small studies show promise for its use in hayfever, high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.

Spirulina is also incredibly environmentally friendly. It’s easily grown without the use of pesticides and is mostly dried into tablets or powders for easy supplementation.

 Spirulina for the skin

The skin is a reflection of your internal health, and what happens on the inside is highly dependent on your diet and lifestyle.

Spirulina might be small, but the high density of nutrients means it can help out where your salad is lacking. And let’s face it, some days it’s easier to swallow a teaspoon of green powder than it is to consume a family-sized bowl of fresh greens (although we recommend you eat both).

Its function as an anti-inflammatory is also hugely useful, especially for inflammatory skin conditions like acne. The GLA fatty acids found in spirulina are known to reduce inflammation and help maintain the skin barrier, keeping us comfortably water-resistant.

 The plant nutrients in spirulina include beta-carotene, which is converted by the body to vitamin A. This vitamin helps to promote healthy skin and repair damaged skin. It also acts as an antioxidant which protects the skin from wrinkles. Yay for Vitamin A!

Other antioxidants in spirulina include zeaxanthin and phycocyanin. These are responsible for protecting the skin from damage by pollution and those bothersome free radicals which cause wrinkles and ageing. Phycocyanin especially seems to help with cell regeneration, which is quite useful when our skin is continually sloughing off old layers and replacing them.

In a world where pollution and toxic substances are unavoidable, something like spirulina is super-useful for protecting our skin and organs. It not only keeps us healthy on the inside but helps our skin to remain clear, healthy and glowing with good nutrition.

Who’d have thought that a little bit of algae could be so good for you?

Mem Davis is a naturopath, writer, and food lover. She loves feeling healthy and strong and is a proud vegan nutrition advocate. In her spare time, she goes hiking, attends live music events and hangs out with her cuddly cat.

Sources:

Cox, L. (2018). Spirulina: Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits. [online] Live Science. Available at: https://www.livescience.com/48853-spirulina-supplement-facts.html [Accessed 24 Nov. 2018].

 Nutritiondata.self.com. (2018). Seaweed, spirulina, dried Nutrition Facts & Calories. [online] Available at: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2765/2 [Accessed 24 Nov. 2018].

 Cyanotech.com. (2018). Publications – Spirulina – Cyanotech. [online] Available at: https://www.cyanotech.com/publications-spirulina/ [Accessed 24 Nov. 2018].

Romay, C., Gonzalez, R., Ledon, N., Remirez, D. and Rimbau, V. (2003). C-Phycocyanin: A Biliprotein with Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory and Neuroprotective Effects. [online] Cyanotech.com. Available at: https://www.cyanotech.com/pdfs/spirulina/sptl28.pdf [Accessed 24 Nov. 2018].

 Deng, R. and Chow, T. (2010). Hypolipidemic, Antioxidant and Antiinflammatory Activities of Microalgae Spirulina. [online] NCBI. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907180/ [Accessed 24 Nov. 2018].

 Asghari, A., Fazilati, M., Latifi, A., Salavati, H. and Choopani, A. (2016). Antioxidant Properties of Spirulina. [online] Journal of Applied Biotechnology Reports. Available at: https://journals.bmsu.ac.ir/jabr/index.php/jabr/article/view/97 [Accessed 24 Nov. 2018].

 

Braun, L. and Cohen, M. (2005). Herbs & Natural Supplements: An evidence based guide. 1st ed. Marrickville, Australia: Elsevier Mosby.

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The skin is a living, breathing organ – the largest one in your body. It works to regulate body temperature, fight off pathogens, and keeps all your internal muscle and organs well protected.

What many people don’t know is that your gut health can directly affect your skin, and the colonies of bacteria which live deep inside your intestines can actually have a huge impact on your skin health.

Process of Elimination

One of the minor roles of skin is the elimination of toxins[1]. The liver and kidneys are primarily in charge of processing drugs, hormones and other waste, and the bowels are responsible for transporting that waste out of the body.

When there’s a backlog of waste, it increases pressure on all of these organs to perform. Think of it as a traffic jam: if the cars at the exit refuse to leave, then the roads remain full and the level of exhaust fumes increases. It’s the same for our bodies. When parts of the digestive system aren’t working optimally, everything else starts to suffer, and backup support gets called in. In many instances, it’s the skin.

Probiotics

Everyone has a balance of bacteria in their gut, some helpful and some less so. With a healthy diet, the good bacteria should outnumber the others, helping to maintain an effective digestive system and a top quality immune system.

With an unhealthy diet, the “bad” bacteria begin to multiply, leaving your gut a little more like that dodgy end of town you try to avoid. While the “good” bacteria help to reduce inflammation, the “bad” colonies can actually increase it, and invite their friends along to the party. This can result in inflamed, acne-prone skin.

Probiotics are literally pro-(good) bacteria. They’re living bacteria and yeasts which help to keep the “bad” bacteria at bay and help out those that benefit our bodies the most.

Probiotics come from fermented foods such as miso or sauerkraut, but they’re also readily available in supplement form for an extra dose of support.

There are many studies[2] showing the beneficial effects of probiotics on our skin, meaning that even if you’re still upgrading your diet to a healthier one, probiotics can help to reduce acne and improve your glow.

Prebiotics

 Really just a fancy term for soluble fibre, prebiotics are the healthy soil and fertiliser that help the good bacteria in your gut to flourish. They’re the undigestible parts of plant foods which feed and fuel the probiotics so they multiply and thrive. They’re common in bananas, artichoke, apples, beans and legumes, and can also be isolated into a supplement form.

Prebiotics act as nourishment for those desirable probiotics, as well as helping the intestines to process waste. In this way, they encourage healthy skin and take the pressure off all organs to eliminate the dregs that our bodies kick out.

When fat and waste builds up in our system, it can clog our cells and block skin from functioning properly. Instead of the skin pushing out hairs, sweat and minerals with ease, it gets congested on things the bowels really should have taken out to the garbage last week, and can build up a festering of acne in place of clear, healthy skin.

Prebiotics help to move that waste along, taking the pressure off the skin and other organs, and feeding the probiotics so they can clean up properly.

Catch the Bug

It seems like such a simple process, but with so much evidence linking gut health to skin health, it’s one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Our gut bacterium has a huge impact on our skin, so it’s a good idea to ensure you consume plenty of pre and probiotics.

Mem Davis is a naturopath, writer, and food lover. She loves feeling healthy and strong, and is a proud vegan nutrition advocate. In her spare time she goes hiking, attends live music events and hangs out with her cuddly cat.

[1] Tortora, G. and Reynolds Grabowski, S. (2003). Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 10th ed. USA: John Wiley & Sons.

[2] Kober, M. and Bowe, W. (2015). The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, 1(2), pp.85-89.

Nierenberg, C. (2014). Probiotics Hold Promise for 4 Skin Conditions. [online] Live Science. Available at: https://www.livescience.com/46502-probiotics-hold-promise-skin-conditions.html [Accessed 14 Nov. 2018].

Bowe, W. and Logan, A. (2011). Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future?. Gut Pathogens, [online] 3(1), p.1. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3038963/ [Accessed 14 Nov. 2018].

Salem, I., Ramser, A., Isham, N. and Ghannoum, M. (2018). The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Frontiers in Microbiology, [online] 9. Available at: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Gut-Microbiome-as-a-Major-Regulator-of-the-Axis-Salem-Ramser/79fa884fd9ef00ee1fb916b82c0a28778a9903db [Accessed 14 Nov. 2018].

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When summer comes around, we get pumped for the beach and park, the backyard parties, the road trips. But it’s easy to forget one summer skincare goodie that will probably save your life.

The sun is serious. Before we turn 70, two-thirds of us will be diagnosed with skin cancer. Luckily most cases are easy to remove, but you need to keep your cells under control with a good sunscreen.

A strong tan alone can cramp your skincare gains. When you start to tan, your skin is reacting to the sun like a piece of toast. You brown because things are burning.

If you forget your sunscreen, or if you stay in the sun too long, the strength and elasticity are being seared out of your skin. That’s why so many bronzed people look wrinkled, and people who spend all their time unprotected in the sun can age prematurely.

Don’t worry, though. It’s possible to enjoy the sun and take care of yourself.

Summer is the time to get excited and feel healthy. You’ve worked on your skin, or maybe you’re putting in effort now and change is brewing. There are plenty of ways to get your skin out of danger and have fun doing it.

What’s the deal with sunscreen?

It’s a cream that blocks UV rays, the part of sunlight that burns the skin and can eventually radiate your skin cells into tumours. Sunscreen has differing levels of Sun Protection Factor (SPF), which makes you a bit more resistant to the sun for a certain amount of time. That time is different for everyone, and lighter skin needs stronger sunscreen more often. A higher SPF is better. That’s why it’s handy to have an SPF 50+ sunscreen, which blocks about 98% of UV rays. All good sunscreen should block at least 90%, but every little bit helps on a hot day.

Just remember to use a lot.

Most people use half or a quarter of what they need. Somewhere like Australia, that’s nuts. Here the beaches are tempting and the UV rays hit hard. We should learn from childhood experience what amount of sunscreen we need in Summer, like we learn not to touch the seatbelt buckle or exist in the same place as magpies. Always use more.

Won’t all this sunscreen block my pores?

Sure, if you do it wrong you can end up with a breakout. But with a few tricks, you can make your skin even clearer using sunscreen.

1) Use a non-comedogenic sunscreen.

This means it won’t irritate any acne and won’t clog your pores. If you’re worried about whether the oil in your sunscreen will start a breakout, this should help.

Some brands might even give you a rash. Just get out of the sun, wait until the rash goes away and try a new brand. You can get an allergen test to find what sunscreen ingredients are flaring you up, then read the back of the bottle to check for it.

A lot of non-comedogenic sunscreens are made with skincare in mind. They tend to come with vitamins and other goodness that keeps you healthy.

2) Hydrate the skin.

Now that you’ve taken a good amount of that non-comedogenic sunscreen and lathered it in good, add another kind of protection: Moisturiser. This will get you ready for the sun’s other effects, like drying out everything it touches. If you really want to be sun ready, use a vitamin-enriched product like SkinB5 moisturiser that will stock you up with the essential vitamins and minerals that get your skin glowing.

3) Take some shade.

One way to really protect the moisture and structure of your skin is to get out of direct sunlight. Keeping in the shadow of a cover or a nice tree will bring your UV exposure right down. You can take the shade with you if you have a big hat or some long, breezy clothes. Even darker clothes let in less UV than lighter tones.

Besides, nothing feels better than the shade on a hot, breezy day.

Bonus tip: Bring friends.

Did you forget your sunscreen? A hat? Water? Your friend probably has one, and if they forgot something, you can help them out. That’s how you have a good time staying safe.

Peter Matthews is a freelance writer living in Melbourne. He enjoys hot days and beaches that have a bar nearby.

Sources:

http://blog.skinb5.com/clear-skin-lifestyle/sunscreen-oily-acne/

https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/skin-cancer.html

https://www.badgerbalm.com/s-30-what-is-spf-sunscreen-sun-protection-factor.aspx

https://www.healthline.com/health/sunscreen-allergy#prevention

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“Antioxidant” is a buzz word in the skin and beauty industry, but what exactly is an antioxidant and what does it do?

Far from being a gimmicky addition to various lotions, potions and pills, antioxidants play a vital role in the health of our skin, immune system and almost every cell in your body.

What is an antioxidant?

Normal chemical reactions in the body create a byproduct known as a “free radical”. Some of these free radicals are helpful, such as those that help white blood cells to kill microbes. Others are less desirable and can cause damage to cells, proteins, or DNA structure.

They’re caused by oxygen molecules being split up, making them unstable and potentially damaging. When the level of free radicals is more than cells can deal with, the body is said to be in a state of “oxidative stress” – too many broken oxygen molecules running riot. Oxidative stress plays a role in many conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, inflammatory issues and cancer.

An antioxidant is a substance which acts against this process – it’s anti-oxidative damage. Antioxidants stabilise the free radicals and prevent them from causing further damage. Most of these helpful substances can be found in fruits and vegetables, in the form of vitamins, minerals and other colourful chemical compounds.

Different antioxidants have different functions within the body. Some protect fats from going rancid, some protect other nutrients within the body or help to remove toxins and heavy metals, and all of them prevent the damage free radicals can cause to various cells and cell mechanisms.

As there’s such a huge variety of antioxidants, there’s also a lot of truth to the recommendation that we “eat the rainbow”. Each coloured fruit or vegetable comes with its own free-radical-fighting benefits, and so consuming a range of purple, red, orange, yellow, green and white/brown plant foods ensures you’re getting a little bit of everything that’s good.

Antioxidants and Skin Care

Because free-radicals attack our DNA and cells, they are blamed for at least part of the cause of ageing. The jury is currently out on whether antioxidants can actually extend life, but there are many studies which support their use for protecting against oxidative stress and its many associated diseases.

Antioxidants protect against inflammation and so any kind of inflammatory skin condition can benefit from them, both orally and topically. They can also help to reduce the appearance of scars over time and improve the integrity and elasticity of skin. No wonder they’re in so many anti-ageing and acne products!

While a lot of sun damage is caused by dehydration, antioxidants can also help repair the oxidative damage created by sun-baking that little too long. They provide the same protection and repair services to cells affected by pollution, drugs, radiation and many other unwelcome substances – of which there are many in this day and age.

There’s a lot to be said for avoiding the triggers which cause ageing, such as smoking, processed foods and excess sunshine. It’s impossible to avoid everything though, such is the nature of the modern world we live in.

Antioxidants taken from a broad range of fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and algae can be of huge benefit in reducing the effects of free radicals, and as a result, help with protecting and healing the skin.

Mem Davis is a naturopath, writer, and food lover. She loves feeling healthy and strong, and is a proud vegan nutrition advocate. In her spare time she goes hiking, attends live music events and hangs out with her cuddly cat.

Sources:

Mattson Porth, C. (2005). Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Lobo V.,et al. (2010). Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. [online] NCBI: US National Library of Medicine. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].

Szalay, J. (2016). What Are Free Radicals?. [online] Live Science. Available at: https://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html [Accessed 16 Nov. 2018].

Vadim N. Gladyshev. 2014. The Free Radical Theory of Aging Is Dead. Long Live the Damage Theory!. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901353/. [Accessed 16 November 2018].

Flavia Alvim Sant’anna Addor. 2017. Antioxidants in Dermatology. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514576/. [Accessed 16 November 2018].

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Hemp is nature’s superpower. You have to see the nutrition in this stuff. Soon SkinB5 is bringing you a thrilling natural supplement powder, Clear Skin Superfood Booster with Organic Australian Hemp and Marine Collagen. With all this buzz about hemp and the other new sativa-based health products coming in, it seems like we’ve just stumbled on a whole world of ancient benefits. Most people don’t know even a portion of what this plant can do for you. So let’s find out about the newest yet oldest member of the supplement family.

Firstly, hemp is packed with vitamin E and many of the minerals you’ll find in SkinB5 products such as zinc and potassium.

It has a nice blend of the fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6, in just the right ratio for human health. The almighty Omegas are easy to get if you know which foods to eat, but you need to know (Lifehack: Most things in a trendy cafe’s brunch menu).

Because of those nice fatty acids, hemp oil does a good job treating eczema, and with edible hemp they’re going right into your digestive system.

Steak has between 20 and 30 grams of protein per 100g. Hemp? 33.

Hemp manages to do all this without containing any of the THC that got the sativa plant banned in the first place (although, yes, ancient sages used to throw its buds onto hot coals believing it could help them speak to gods). The only effect hemp has on the person who takes it is great health.

Maybe you’ve seen one of the old-fashioned Popeye cartoons, when the sailor Popeye needs strength so he cracks open a can of spinach, swallows it and then beats up some bad guys. This happened because of a typo in a famous study, which made people believe spinach had 10 times the protein it did.

This was hard to learn since I love spinach, but now I’m finding out the answer all along was hemp. It’s steak that grows on shrubs.

Hemp is a huge deal if you’re into fitness and vegetarian, keto or just prefer plant protein, which tends to use peas. While it does the trick, pea protein doesn’t have quite the same punch as animal protein. But, as you know, hemp got you. It’s more digestible than most high-protein plants too.

That brings us to what else you should know about this superpowered plant:

About those amino acids …

The difference between the protein in most plants and a ‘whole’ protein like steak is an amino acid called lysine. It’s a basic ingredient in your body’s protein and even treats cold sores. Hemp’s got it.

As for hemp’s other amino acids, glutamic acid powers your nervous system, methonine makes your metabolism go and cysteine flushes toxic stuff out of your body.

The amino acid arginine in hemp can reduce your risk of heart disease by giving your body nitric oxide. It’ll even settle down an inflammation marker known as C-reactive protein. If you’ve had a heart attack, it helps recovery.

Stearidonic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (a form of Omega-6) have the benefits of fish. SDA can reduce inflammation. Gamma linolenic acid may turn out to help with eczema and arthritis, and probably treats nerve damage from diabetes.

We may be 85% water but we’re also made of meat, and the most important difference between your meat and a plant is amino acids. So it makes sense that if you’re exercising regularly, or enjoying the hormone miracle that is lifting weights, you want a protein that will replace the fatty and amino acids in the muscles you just tore up. Hemp got you.

So that’s all blow-your-top exciting, but it gets better. Hemp uses very little water. And sativa, the plant that drops all those hemp seeds? It’s one of the fastest growing in nature.

So that’s the health side. Now we really have to get into the protein of this info, the most important question …

Does it taste okay?

Like so much good food these days, it’s delicious. Hemp has an earthy, starchy taste. Think about the satisfying flavour of nuts high in protein and good fats, like almonds or walnuts. Also, hemp seeds are technically nuts.

This gives us nothing but potential. Savoury meals are totally possible, but with a staple that people have been using for at least 10,000 years, we must have all different flavours of hemp, right? Exactly. Last time I had hemp seeds was in chocolate. It had a toasted flavour, everything good about coffee without the bad stuff. It had the charm of puffed wild rice and was easy on the teeth. But I may be biased. I was in Amsterdam.

The point is, hemp can do anything, and the steak of the trees is here at last.

Peter Matthews is a freelance writer living in Melbourne. He regularly lifts weights for health and has been using whey protein all this time like some basic Bob. His favourite fish is blue grenadier.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-health-benefits-of-hemp-seeds

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10681-004-4811-6

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-237/lysine

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/L-glutamic_acid#section=Top

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-42/methionine

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/L-cysteine

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/070114p18.shtml

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-805/gamma-linolenic-acid

http://www.herbmuseum.ca/content/scythians-cannabis

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