Monthly Archives: September 2016

stevia-leaves-sept-22-2016-blogSince Stevia is from a plant, you would think it can only be good for you, right? Let’s take a look at this sweetener.

It turns out that most of it isn’t natural. What? Yes, it’s true. We eat so much sugar that trying to find a replacement can be mind boggling, to say the least!

Stevia was banned in the U.S. in the 1990s. Then it was okay to sell as a supplement. Then, in the early 2000s, some big companies pressured the FDA to let them use it as a sweetener.

The word “natural” is unregulated. Arsenic is natural! So what happened is that the approval for Stevia wasn’t for the whole plant, only for the active ingredient (Reb A). While Stevia has been used for centuries, Reb A has not!!

Its long term effect on us in unknown. How safe is it? Nobody knows. Stevia goes through heavy processing. Chemicals are used, such as acetone, methanol, etc. Doesn’t sound like food, does it? This is what happens with Truvia. Two more chemicals are added to that, to make matters worse. The first is erythritol which is naturally occurring in fresh fruit, but they are not using this kind. They process it from GMO corn which is fermented to make pure erythritol and then they add natural flavors to cover the taste.

What about Stevia in the Raw? Look at the first ingredient on the label: it’s dextrose! It’s also in PureVia.

Is it possible to find a true Stevia? Look for “whole leaf stevia” on the label or grow your own and use it! You really have to be an investigator anymore if you want to put healthier ingredients into your body. All sweeteners aren’t great for you, so be aware of using in moderation.

You are worth it!

aloe-vera-in-spoonAloe Vera is known as a common ingredient in different natural beauty products. It has a lot of medicinal properties; therefore, it is called “plant of immortality” by ancient Egyptians. Today, aloe vera is widely and extensively used in the beauty industry. The gel extracted from the aloe vera leaves is packed with many essential minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that are great for the beauty and health. This herb is very safe, so you can use it both internally and externally.

Here are a few beauty benefits of aloe vera that you should know!

1. Moisturize the Skin

Aloe vera contains great moisturizing effects, so it is very beneficial for dry skin. The natural moisturizer helps to keep the skin hydrated and increases its elasticity. When you apply it topically, it will release essential vitamins and natural enzymes on your skin to give a deep moisturizing property and restore the pH balance. In addition, it provides oxygen to your skin, which aids in strengthening skin tissue and keeping your skin healthy.

In particular, it moisturizes your skin effectively without leaving any greasy feeling. Therefore, it is ideal for people who have oily skin. It’s also great to use on the face — especially for people who wear makeup regularly — because it cleanses and softens the skin.

  • Peel off the skin of an aloe leaf to reveal the gel.
  • Scoop out this gel and store it in a clean container.
  • Finally, gently massage this gel on your facial skin.

You can store the remaining gel in a refrigerator to lengthen its shelf life.

2. Prevent The Signs Of Premature Aging

Sagging skin, wrinkles, and fine lines appear with age; however, these aging signs can appear earlier. One of the best ways to prevent the signs of premature aging is to add aloe vera to your beauty regimen because of its high antioxidant properties.

The gel of aloe vera penetrates deep into your skin to moisturize it. As a high source of essential nutrients such as vitamins E, C, B, and A, it helps to nourish your skin well. In addition, the gel also contains polysaccharides that aid in stimulating the regeneration of new skin cells. According to a study in the Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine in 2013, fresh aloe vera gel helps to improve the viscoelasticity of the skin and contains hydrating properties, which play a crucial role in fighting premature skin aging signs. The study also highlights the anti-inflammatory, synergistic antioxidant, and ultraviolet protective effects of this plant.

To maintain youthful skin, it is important for you to exfoliate weekly. Follow the steps below to prepare an exfoliating mask:

  • Mix 1 tsp. of aloe vera gel, 1 tsp. of oatmeal, and 1/2 tsp. of olive oil well in a bowl.
  • Apply this mask to your face & neck and allow the mask to sit on for 30 minutes.
  • Next, gently scrub off this mask with your wet hands.
  • Finally, wash your face & neck using cold water.
  • Do this regime on a weekly basis.

3. Treat Acne

Aloe vera gel contains 2 hormones, Gibberellin and Auxin, which offer anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Thanks to these properties, it is very effective in reducing inflammation, itchiness, and blisters. Gibberellin works as a growth hormone that not only stimulates the growth of new cells, but also promotes the skin to heal fast, leaving minimal scars. Although it does not treat acne completely, it is beneficial in relieving the redness and inflammation of the skin. It may also be used to prevent the causing of acne and pimples.

You can apply the aloe vera juice or gel directly to the affected skin area to treat acne or you can make a face mask with aloe vera gel:

  • Boil some aloe vera leaves in clean water and then create a paste.
  • Next, mix the paste with several drops of raw honey and apply this mask to your face.
  • After that, allow it to stand on for 15 minutes.
  • Finally, rinse it off using clean water.

4. Cure Sunburns & Stretch Marks

As mentioned earlier, the anti-inflammatory & wound healing properties of aloe vera gel help to cure sunburns at the epithelial skin level (a layer of skin cells that cover the body). In addition, it also aids in reducing the inflammation and pain related to sunburns. It works well to replenish the natural moisture of your skin and acts as a protective layer to shield your skin from further deterioration. Plus, it also promotes fast healing of your skin thanks to its antioxidant properties and nutritional qualities. For this purpose, you just apply the gel of aloe vera to the sunburn and let it dry naturally.

Aloe vera also helps to reduce stretch marks thanks to its natural healing properties. It can be useful in restoring the skin elasticity and fix the skin damage. To treat this problem, follow these steps:

  • First, mix together equal parts of rose water and aloe vera gel.
  • Next, apply it to the stretch marks and then gently massage it in circular motions for several minutes.
  • Keep it on there for about 20 minutes.
  • Finally, wash it off using cool water.
  • Repeat this method for twice daily.

5. Remove Makeup

Store-bought makeup removal products may contain many harmful chemicals that damage your skin, so using aloe vera gel as a great natural makeup removal is a beauty benefit you should not skip. The naturally slippery feature of this gel can easily remove the residue of makeup and leave you with clean skin. It even gives the skin a radiant glow.

  • First, put pure aloe vera gel on a clean cotton ball.
  • Then swipe this cotton ball all around the face to eliminate your makeup residue.
  • Finally, wash your face using clean water, pat it dry, and then apply a mild moisturizer.

6. Promote Hair Growth

Another beauty benefit of aloe vera gel is to promote hair growth. It also eliminates the dead cells from the scalp that may clog the hair follicles and lead to dandruff. Moreover, aloe vera gel can aid in maintaining the pH balance of the scalp, which is essential for a healthy hair.

According to a study in the Journal of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Research in 2010, the enzyme content of this plant can prevent hair loss by protecting the scalp from various diseases.

  • First, mix aloe vera gel with castor oil at the ratio of 2:1.
  • Then, gently massage this mixture into your scalp and leave it on overnight.
  • In the early morning, rinse your hair using a mild shampoo.
  • Follow this method twice a week.

7. Treat Cracked Feet

You may feel embarrassed by your cracked feet. To get rid of this problem, you can rely on aloe vera gel’s antibacterial and moisturizing properties, which make it a great treatment for cracked heels. It also aids in getting rid of dead skin cells and regenerating the skin cells.

  • First, mix 4 tablespoons of this gel and 1/2 cup each of gram flour and oatmeal.
  • Next, rub the mixture on your cracked feet and gently massage them.
  • Allow it to stand for 10 minutes.
  • Finally, rinse it off using warm water.
  • Follow this mask regime 1 or 2 times per week to prevent and cure cracked feet quickly.

Guest Post by Hang Pham, a blogger with over 10 years of experience in searching the best solutions for problems related to beauty and health well being.

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