#OHA101: ASTAXANTHIN

NATURE’S SUN PROTECTANTblog3_astaxanthin_powder

Astaxanthin, pronounced asta-zan-thin, is the ultimate antioxidant!

Astaxanthin is the naturally occurring red pigment found in algae, lobster, and salmon that gives them their vibrant red color. Aside from the red pigment, astaxanthin acts as a natural sunscreen. Think of astaxanthin like armor for these animals — shielding against free radicals and other stresses like harmful UV rays.

blog3_astaxanthin_cellsOverexposure to UV light damages your skin, causing wrinkles, age spots, and even skin cancer. Astaxanthin protects your skin by rejuvenating it both internally and topically, helping cells overcome inflammation and DNA damage. The most effective method of natural sun protection is using a topical sunscreen in addition to taking astaxanthin internally.

According to Huffington Post’s Suzy Cohen, R.Ph., astaxanthin has been shown to protect your skin. When taken internally, it accumulates in and penetrates the skin cells, reducing UV damage. The skin’s sensitivity to UV light gradually decreases due to this accumulation. In addition, this helps reduce fine lines and maintain your skin’s moisture levels and smoothness.

The best dietary sources include sockeye salmon, shrimp, crab, and red trout. Supplements are also a great way to ingest it. Incorporate astaxanthin into your daily routine: the recommended dosage is 4-12 mg/day.

– Karen Khuu – Contributing Writer

#OHA101: Red Raspberry Seed Oil

April 3, 2015 – Karen Khuu (Contributing Writer)Fresh raspberry

Mother Nature’s Sun Protectant

Red Raspberry Seed Oil – Raspberries mean summer and sun to most of us. Did you know that the seeds from this little red fruit offer your skin a truly natural alternative for sun protection?

With summer around the corner, it’s important to make sure you’re protecting your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Red raspberry seed oil is an especially potent ingredient that has been proven to naturally protect your skin from UV damage and reduce dark spots.

This special natural oil is exceptionally packed with nutrients and provides natural SPF. According to B. Dave Oomah:

 “Red Raspberry Seed Oil may act as a broad-spectrum UV-A and UV-B shield. It has shown an SPF of between 28 and 50 and thus is a valuable ingredient in natural sunblocks and sunscreens.” (Oomah, et al 2000)

Red raspberry seed oil not only revitalizes your skin but also protects it from UVA and UVB damages, also known as Broad Spectrum Protection. It offers the same amount of sun protection as Titanium Dioxide. Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) is a mineral pigment, sunscreen, and thickener commonly found in a majority of physical sunscreens. Red raspberry seed oil offers people an alternative to Titanium Dioxide and chemical exposure coming from substances like Oxybenzone. This oil will also enhance the protection offered by your normal sunscreen plus fight hyperpigmentation and provide moisture—something the everyday chemical sunscreens don’t offer.

Red raspberry seed oil is cold-pressed and extracted from its seeds. It is rich in essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6), Vitamin A, and Vitamin E (alpha and gamma tocopherols). These vital nutrients play an important role in rejuvenating and protecting your skin from environmental damages.

As the season changes, our skin changes with it. Sun or no sun, it is important to think about what we trust to protect our skin.

Nearly all of OHA’s products contain red raspberry seed oil. Advanced Treatment Serum, Intensive Nutrient Complex, and the CoQ10 & Argan Face Cream have the highest concentration of the oil, offering natural UVA and UVB protection. Learn more about these products here.

What Vitamin E Can Do For You

Almost every product Martha formulates contains tocotrienol and/or tocopherol, both highly concentrated Vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E goes in and out of vogue but it remains one of the most effective topical treatment for scars, burns and collagen damage.

When you consider what quality skin care products ought to be doing for your skin, you think of wrinkle prevention and healing. What those boil down to are protection from UV damage and anything that may compromise the lipid barrier. Both of these needs are met by vitamin E. According to a 2009 article in Skin Inc called Vitamin E : A Skin Care Ally, by Doctor Pugliese, Vitamin E has two major functions: 1) protect the skin from ultraviolet rays and 2) maintain the skin’s protective barrier.

The body naturally creates alpha tocopherol but it gets depleted with any exposure to UV rays, causing temporary imbalances that can cause serious skin damage. When skin is exposed to harmful UV rays, it creates free radicals and skin goes through oxidative stress. Applying and ingesting vitamin E are essential to keeping the skin protected from sometimes unavoidable exposure to UV rays. Having an ample supply of vitamin E on the skin protects against this damage and prevents the skin from losing water. This is why vitamin E should be a staple ingredient in all sunscreens.

Besides using the full OHA system on your skin, another way to get Vitamin E in your life is to eat foods that have naturally occurring vitamin E, like, wheatgerm, sunflower and olive oils and nut oils, like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and peanuts. According to Skin Inc, “Using both oral and topical vitamin E can help prevent, or markedly reduce, damage from free radicals”.

Dear Sun, I’m Ready for Vitamin D Now, XOXO, Skin

The sun’s starting to peek through the winter haze and spring will be at our doorsteps in no time. I say this as a shaky optimist in the midst of a Chicago winter, hoping to rise like a phoenix from the freakish cold.  Whatever the weather decides to do is not up to me or you or the news reporter, so all we can do is prepare for the changing seasons.

I'm Crossing My Fingers and Toes for This Weather

I did some thinking a while back about what is required of your skin to adjust to colder temperatures.  It all felt very dreary.  That’s why I’m happy to report that I’ve recently started thinking about what it takes for your skin to adjust to warmer temperatures and spring time sunlight.  I ran across a scientific study about how the winter sunlight provides our skin with virtually no vitamin D, whereas the sunlight during other seasons has a healthy amount.  That means, those of us who don’t take vitamin D supplements during winter will feel a big boost as we round the corner of this season and step into the next.  Who’s excited? (This gal!)

Just remember that you’ve got to balance the benefits of the sun with the risks of sun damage.  According to a different, but equally scientific, study, there’s no “optimal” amount of sun one should get every day.  What’s lovely about this advice, is you probably don’t need to change a thing.  Just use OHA’s naturally sun-filtering Intensive Nutrient Complex and Lip Line Treatment on those days when you’ll be getting glimpses of sunshine and consider using supplementary sun protection if you’re staying in the sun a while.  Now your skin’s ready for Spring.