Can Cornflower Soothe my Sensitive Skin?

CornflowerQuestion:  I have sensitive skin.  This holiday, a friend gave me  some products with cornflower, saying it was  helpful for my skin problems. I am so touched by her gift, but I am frankly scared to try anything new.  Should I go ahead  and  use  them?

Answer:  While I  don’t  know  which products were in your gift basket, I can tell you there is good science behind  cornflower  skin care benefits.  A common wildflower in Europe, cornflower is known to have strong  anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.  These blue beauties are packed with Vitamin C, biotin, folic acid and mineral salts.  But wait, there’s more.  Cornflowers contain  anthrocyanins and flavinoids, two super powerful antioxidants.

Cornflower teas and extracts have been used successfully to care for skin ulcers, nail infections, eczema and dandruff.  It is especially  gentle around the … Continue Reading…

Back to Biotin

This past winter my nails became very soft and started  to peel and break. They were so fragile that there was nothing to file.  I started to take biotin and within a few  weeks   my nails did a big turn around.  They became  hard and strong and I  no longer looked like I bit my nails down to the nub.  ( Not a confident  look).  It wasn’t that I wanted to sport a set of talons, but   the fingertips would become painful as the  weak nails  tore   off below the tip.  

I stopped taking biotin out of sheer laziness and all was fine until last month when   I saw the tell tales signs appear again.First  the tip of the nail would start to flake off.  Then  they became  so soft  and … Continue Reading…

Are Salads still healthy?

In recent days it has been hard  to pick up a newspaper or read online headlines without  another troubling story about deadly  food poisoning in Europe. Each day the experts identify another possible culprit. One day its killer cucumbers. The next day  fingers were pointed at tomatoes.  For a few days, they were sure it was  bean sprouts.  Now conventional wisdom is pointing at salads  in general and some officials in Europe are recommending to stay away from tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers. That’s not good news.  Fresh fruits and vegetables  are just what studies like the NHANES have shown  to be linked to younger skin and fewer wrinkles. 

But the current outbreak is troubling for two key reasons–1) Its caused by a genetic recombination of two different types of … Continue Reading…

Do Vegetarians Have More Wrinkles?

March is National Nutrition Month and I have vowed to eat at least 5 servings of  fruits and vegetables a day.  Its the minimum that most dietary  guidelines recommend and I can certainly see why.  Fruits and veggies are the source for anti-oxidants vitamin A, vitamin C, and then there is their all important fiber content. I was then stunned to  read  new study which found that vegetarians  had more wrinkles than  peple who ate everything. ???

How could that be?  The NHANES study showed that higher vitamin C levels and lower fat intake was associated with firmer, younger looking skin.   Vegetarians  usually eat lots of nuts which are rich in linoleic acid and linoleic acid  was also a key  factor  in fewer wrinkles. Drilling deeper into the topic, … Continue Reading…

A Biotin Success Story

During the fall my once boringly normal nails became soft and peeled off.  At first it was  just an annoying cosmetic problem — but then the peeling problem took my nails below the fingertip.  It didn’t look good and felt worse

Surfing the web  for solutions, I read that biotin, a form of B vitamin, had been linked  to soft peeling nails  and biotin supplements  could help.  if,  But and its a big  but,  biotin deficiencies are considered very, very rare.  Best sources of biotin are commonly found foods includinng eggs, fish, beans, yeast  and potatoes.  Here was  my first clue. 

After the  BP oil spill in May, I decided to stay away from fish.  In June the wide spread  Salmonella outbreak in eggs, had me crossing off eggs from my shopping list. Add to that that I don’t like beans, avoid carb rich potatoes  and  who actually eats yeast … Continue Reading…

Biotin for Beauty

Biotin is a type of vitamin ( actually vitamin B7) that is found in many different foods including liver, cauliflower, salmon, carrots, bananas, and yeast.  Eggs, soy flour, and nuts are especially  high in biotin.

True biotin deficiencies are very rare, occuring  in people with epilepsy, smokers, burn victims,  and elite athletes.  ( no, no, no and definately not me).   However  diabetics  may have an increased need for biotin– and I do have type 2 diabetes. 

However biotin is not easily absorbed  and even if the  daily intake is adequate, your body may not be getting what it needs.  Neither the US  nor Canada have issued nutritional guidelines for biotin.  Accordingly  they have estimated daily requirements at 30-100 micrograms.

I made a field trip to   my neighborhood vitamin store.  When … Continue Reading…

Biotin for Broken Nails

I’ve never had any problem with my nails– until now that is.  In the past six weeks my nails have gone from strong and shiny  to soft and brittle.  I’ve tried two different nail hardeners with no luck.  Doing a little online research, I learned that  low levels of  Biotin are linked to broken nails.  This is not a rumour or an urban  nutrition myth,  but a link backed up  by  well designed peer reviewed studies.

Best sources of Biotin are eggs, soy beans and nuts.  Ah a clue!  I try to avoid soy products,  limit  nuts ( calories) and since the summer salmonella outbreak, avoided all eggs.  Since my nail problems started six weeks ago and it takes several months for nutritional deficiencies  to show, the … Continue Reading…