Is niacinamide the best cosmeceutical for anti-ageing?

What is niacinamide? If you’ve heard of niacinamide, it is likely you’ve heard of vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 is often referred to as niacin, however vitamin B3 is actually a group of vitamins consisting of three forms. Those being, niacin (nicotinic acid),  niacinamide (nicotinamide), and nicotinamide riboside. Whilst nicotinamide riboside is out of scope for this article, niacinamide and niacin are very relevant to the topic of cosmeceuticals. There are two potential forms of vitamin B3 that can be found in cosmeceuticals, those being niacin and niacinamide. As seen below, the two differ in structure slightly (highlighted in red). Despite their different structure,…

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The best way to get rid of clogged pores

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links. So you’ve noticed your skin’s looking a little congested as of late! Clogged pores are caused by a buildup of dead skin cells, oil or dirt. You might have already come across several ways to get rid of them, but which should you go with? We believe there is really only one winner when it comes to unclogging! Common ways (not recommended by us) to deal with clogged pores involve squeezing, physical exfoliants and pore strips. Squeezing can damage skin tissue and cause permanent scarring and pigmentation issues.…

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Is organic food really better for us?

Organic does not mean ‘chemical-free’ The soil association – a major organic accreditation body in the UK – asked consumers why they buy organic food and a resounding 95% of them said their top reason was to avoid pesticides. However, did you know that organic farming still uses pesticides? You might wonder then, how is organic farming any different to non-organic? It’s not the use of pesticides thats makes farming organic/non-organic, it’s the origin of the pesticides used. Organic farming uses organic pesticides Organic farming involves the use of organic pesticides – these are derived from natural sources such as…

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Benefits of curcumin

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links. What is curcumin? Curcumin is the primary bioactive substance in turmeric (see below). Turmeric is a spice commonly found in the culinary world. Benefits of curcumin Curcumin has been associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral and antibacterial properties (indicated by over 6,000 citations). Curcumin regulates biochemical molecular mechanisms by controlling transcription factors, cytokines, and enzymes. The effect of curcumin on these entities mean that this compound is reported to be effective for diseases related to chronic inflammation such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndromes, osteoarthritis, and other ageing…

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AHA vs BHA: Hydroxy acids in skincare

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links. Overview I’m sure many of you are aware of hydroxy acids such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) being used in skincare. Here we will delve into just exactly what hydroxy acids are and the difference between AHAs and BHAs and what might be best for you. Hydroxy acids (HAs) are organic acids which contain one or more hydroxyl groups attached to the carbon chain of these molecules. HAs are often found in nature (for example, in fruits), but can also be synthesized…

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Best OTC alternative to tretinoin

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links. What is tretinoin? Tretinoin aka all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) is a prescription retinoid with established improvement in skin thickness, acne and fine lines. It can, however, be terribly irritating. Therefore efforts to generate less harsh retinoids that produce the same effects have been made. How does retinoic acid (tretinoin) work? In order for retinoic acid to target fine lines and acne, as well as encourage cell renewal and collagen production, the molecule seeks to activate the three retinoic acid receptors (alpha, beta, gamma). Since it is a lipophilic molecule,…

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The happy hormone (serotonin) and how to boost it

What is serotonin? The happy hormone, serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] is known to play a role in keeping normal developmental, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and endocrine function. A large proportion of serotonin (in mammals) is found in the gut. However, the role of serotonin in specific brain regions is often what intrigues us – modulation of mood states, sex, sleep, emotion, anxiety, endocrine effects, aggression, appetite, mood, cognition, and memory are just some of the important roles that serotonin plays in normal brain function. Biosynthesis of serotonin In mammals serotonin is biosynthesised in a two-step process: Firstly, the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase catalyses the…

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The 3 Anti-Ageing Skincare Products You Need

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links. With many skincare products marketed as anti-ageing, what do we actually need in our routine? There are 3 staples we recommend for the ultimate anti-ageing skincare regime – retinol, vitamin C and hydroxy acids. Each tackles the 3 major signs of skin ageing. These 3 signs being fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone and dull skin. Keep reading for product recommendations and to learn how these skincare products do their thing. Retinoids for collagen loss (fine lines and wrinkles) Retinoid is used as an umbrella term…

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Vitamin C serum: what does it do?

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links. What is Vitamin C? We know we should be eating plenty of vitamin C, but what’s the deal with vitamin C serum? Free radicals are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons that are known to damage various cellular structural membranes, lipids, proteins, and DNA. It is one of the widely accepted mechanisms that lead to skin ageing. The body can be exposed to free radicals from environmental exposures (as well as intrinsic exposures), such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Consequently, the…

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Are face toners really necessary?

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links. Basics Toners, otherwise known as astringents, are quite the controversial skincare product. Partly due to the fact that earlier formulations were particularly drying (due to the presence of alcohols). These products were originally marketed as pH balancers which were necessary to remove the alkaline residue of cleansers and soaps. In the beginning, toners were designed for people with oily, acne-prone skin due to their drying nature (despite this approach often causing more breakouts). Since then, the formulation of toners have changed drastically, and with that, so has…

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