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Better Than Botox: Study Backs Up Benefits of Niacin for Better Skin February 7, 2017


Skincare products make up a staggering $20 billion dollar a year industry in America alone. It seems that there is always some new miracle lotion or cream on the market that promises drastic results. Scientists and doctors devote huge amounts of time to developing these products because they are so lucrative. Every so often an ingredient really does have an amazing effect on skin. Niacin and niacinamide (a form of the vitamin B3) is one such ingredient, with plenty of studies and research to back up the benefits.

What is Niacin?

You’ve probably heard of niacin before, but perhaps in a nutritional context. Niacin is found in milk, eggs, green leafy vegetables, beans, cereals, yeast, and in some types of fish. It’s required by the body in order to properly metabolize fats and sugars and in the maintenance of cells and a lack of niacin can lead to indigestion, fatigue, depression, and a serious deficiency called Pellagra. Though niacin is found in food, research has shown that to achieve increased benefits for the skin, it takes more than what we typically receive in our diets.

Benefits of Niacin on the Skin

For skincare, niacin is best used topically. When used in creams, lotions, or sprays directly on the skin, it leads to increased cell turnover, wrinkle reduction, boosts moisture, protects against certain forms of skin cancer, and treats a wide variety of other skin issues including:

  • Rosacea
  • Acne
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Flaking
  • Peeling
  • Inflammation

Risks or Side Effects

One thing to be aware of is the “Niacin Flush” when using products containing niacin. Tingling and redness is very common immediately upon application to the skin, often resulting in a deep red flush and warmth on the cheeks of some individuals who use it. Niacin is a vasodilator (it expands the vessels to bring blood and nutrients to the surface of the skin) so the flush is actually one indication that the vitamin is working its magic on you. The redness and tingling typically only last for a few minutes, but for this reason, many people may choose to apply niacin-based skincare products at night. Being sufficiently hydrated can also prevent or lessen the niacin flush. For many people, the tingling sensation and redness will lessen over extended weeks of use. Some individuals may find they never get the flush at all.

Where to Find Niacin

Because it is water-soluble and stable in the presence of heat and light, niacin works well for topical use in a variety of different types of skincare products. It is now being formulated in a variety of serums, creams, sprays and lotions, but unfortunately, like most products, a majority of the cost to the consumer is not for the ingredients themselves but for the marketing and packaging. Instead of spending a lot of money on pre-formulated products, niacin can be purchased in bulk online or from your local vitamin shop.

There are several DIY products you can make on your own to save quite a lot of money. See the video below for information about how to make a naicinamide face spray for incorporation into your beauty routine.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 7th, 2017
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Full Spectrum Health Gadget Gives Whole Picture of Your Well Being December 8, 2016

spire
Nearly 40 million people used wearable devices to track their fitness and movement this year. Devices like the fitbit make it easy to determine calories expended and help you maintain or reach your fitness goals. If you are one of those people who does not find the idea of tracking your every move paranoia inducing (and storing it in the cloud, no less!), you might want to consider Spire, a new product meant to address the mental side of your health.

The makers of Spire believe fitness is comprised of both mind and body and that being healthy is about more than exercising and eating well. True health, according to those at Spire, means having clarity, control, and inner peace.

What is Spire?

Spire is a wearable device (it clips onto your pants or bra) that offers the same movement features as other activity trackers on the market but with the addition of sensors that monitor how you react to stress. Our bodies are constantly giving physical cues that indicate our mental state, such as increased or shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, and perspiration. Spire picks up on these cues and alerts you in real time so that you can adjust your behavior and reduce the effects of stress.

For example, if you are in a meeting with your boss and things are not going well, you might feel a little vibration from your Spire. A notification on your phone (which synchs to Spire) will indicate that your heart rate is increasing and that you need to breathe deeply. It sounds almost too simple, but researchers say correcting the physical effects of stress allows us to better tackle the mental effects, even in the heat of the moment.

And this goes for situations that you don’t even know are stressful, like driving on highways or talking with certain people. The creators of Spire hope that by becoming aware of how our bodies are reacting at any given moment, we can create a positive feedback loop and get relief from stress. Breathing is literally the only automatic function in our bodies that we also have control over. How you breathe sets up how you feel, and vice versa.

How does it relieve stress?

The main way that Spire works, like other fitness wearables, is by tracking and accumulating information that we are too busy or unable to track ourselves. Sensors detect your breathing and respiratory movement, including the depth of each individual breath. Advanced algorithms allow the device to make sense of your breathing patterns based on multiple laboratory studies that show links between respiration patterns and emotional states. In addition, Spire is customizable and able to tweak and reinterpret the data it receives over time (“stressed” for you is different than “stressed” for someone else).

Because Spire is always tuned in to your behavior, it also serves as a monitor during times of calm and focus. Looking at your data and recalling moments of peace, contentment, and clarity can allow you to reproduce these results at a later time.

How much is it?

I was very surprised to see that Spire costs just $99, considerably less than many other wearable fitness trackers. Considering the fact that Spire still tracks steps and calories expended in addition to the other respiration tracking capabilities, it seems that people in the market for this type of device might benefit from having a look at Spire. It may not be an overnight cure-all for stress, but those interested in “body hacking” may find it’s a welcome tool for providing a more complete picture of the whole self.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 8th, 2016
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