5 Active Ingredients In Skincare That Really Work

One thing about ingredients that benefit the skin is they can sometimes be like pop stars. Latest sensations are often grabbing the headlines for their much-vaunted potential, but only a few precious ones are worthy of the acclaim while others simply vanish into obscurity.

Your thirst for novelty will never disappear, but you need to keep in mind that just because a snail slime or snake venom is the popular flavor of the month, it cannot just replace the age-old ingredients that you have in your arsenal.

Various skin experts feel that people assume whatever is new, is going to be better than what was already used. However, that is not the case. Of course, the older ingredients might not have sexy-sounding names; but it has the proven track record of nontoxicity, efficacy, and non-irritation. Plus, new formulations become more sophisticated and more of their astounding properties are researched. But there are still people sticking to the good old remedies and get better skin.


Active Ingredients


1) Niacinamide

The below infographic shows how Niacinamide is one of the most important vitamins that helps in making the skin softer and radiant.
14 Potent Vitamins for Younger and Healthier Skin

The relationship between skin and vitamin B3 was recognized right from the early 1900s. Especially after people found that the dietary deficiency of vitamins leads to various skin diseases and even skin irritation. Fast-forward to the current century, after numerous extensive studies, it has come to the conclusion that niacinamide which is a form of vitamin B3 is one of the best and unique anti-ager.


Initially, most of the cosmetic companies used the niacinamide for preparing moisturizers. But with the popularity of various clinical studies and their results, this vitamin is found in almost all beauty products as it has built-in enzymes which help in fundamental cell metabolism.


2) Vitamin C – The Key To Collagen

Similar to the health benefits that food rich in vitamin C gives, this particular ingredient can make your skin resilient against the harsh environmental entities and even aging. Furthermore, in the infographic 14 Potent Vitamins for Younger and Healthier Skin – Fix Your Skin, it clearly states on how vitamin C helps in fighting off the effects of the existing damages on the skin due to aging or UV rays.


Using vitamin C in ascorbic acid form, you can reduce the damages caused by the sun as well as the inflammation of the skin. Furthermore, you can increase the amount of collagen that provides the underlying support structure for the skin.


Various studies have displayed that with the proper and adequate usage of vitamin C, you can drastically improve skin wrinkling, especially when used for 12 weeks. Furthermore, several types of research show that with the 5 percent usage of vitamin C cream for 6 months, you can reduce deep furrows and get significant improvement compared to untreated skin. Similar to the vitamin A, vitamin C products are quite unstable. So, it needs to be packed in such a way that it reduces the exposure to air and light.


3) Beta And Alpha Hydroxy Acids

AHAs(Alpha Hydroxy Acids) helps in exfoliating the rough and dull outer layer of the skin and keeps your face fresh looking. Sometimes you might be new to the AHAs like glycolic acid. So, it is better if you start with a low percentage like 5%. Another advantage of the AHA is that it is an excellent sunscreen that protects your skin from the harmful UV rays.


Just like the alpha hydroxy acid, the beta hydroxy acid (BHA) exfoliates the skin. However, unlike the AHAs, the BHAs will penetrate deep into the pores of your skin. This makes them ideal for treating blemishes and blackheads.  Also, like the salicylic acid, the BHAs are gentler than AHAs and is the smart choice for treatment of sensitive skin.


(Alpha Hydroxy Acid)


4) Green Tea- Irreplaceable Antioxidant

A huge amount of polyphenols antioxidants is present in green tea leaves. The presence of EGCG which is one of the major polyphenols has shown that this plant is a real powerhouse which protects the skin from sun damage and suppresses the enzymes which breaks down the elastin and collagen. Plus, it helps in reducing inflammation, excessive sebum production, and bacterial growth present in the acne-prone skin.


(Green Tea For Skin)


Recently, various studies have shown that green tea has more far-reaching effects. Scientists found out that besides having the antioxidant portion of a molecule, it has something which works similar to a pro-oxidant. This tricks the skin cells into thinking that it is under oxidative stress. So, this switches the gene on and it regulates the antioxidant production of the cells, turning the cells into little factories, used for producing protective enzymes.


5) Hyaluronic Acid

It is common to think of exfoliation when you hear the word ‘acid’. However, concerning hyaluronic acid, it is different. It is a potential moisturizer having the unique property of holding more than thousand times of its own weight in water.


Now as the hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body, it has become the popular choice for cosmetic injectables. Also, there are studies which show that it can be a great ingredient for keeping the skin hydrated and plumped. You can even use it as a treatment for counteracting the effects of the radiation therapy among patients.


Final Verdict

The skincare treatment that you follow is incomplete without the presence of the active ingredients. These ingredients are the major forces that help in making your skin radiant and glowing. Also, as each people have different skin types, some ingredients might not give the required results or can backfire.


In such cases, it is better to play safe and consult a skin specialist before you start using cosmetic products filled with active ingredients.


Anti-oxidants – check out these top tips for healthy eating in our new video

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Blackberry and Basil Sauce
Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Blackberry and Basil Sauce
Now January is out of the way, many of us will be attempting to keep up our healthy eating but could be lacking inspiration.  Don’t simply stick to dull salads; how about making eating well that bit easier?  Try this tasty sweet potato soup with a blackberry twist that will be sure to warm you up this winter.

Nutritional Health Coach, Sunday Times best-selling author and creator of the Glow Guides App, Madeleine Shaw has teamed up with British Summer Fruits to launch the Eat Smart campaign.  The campaign aims to encourage people to cook from scratch using fresh, natural ingredients and educate them on the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables as shocking new stats from British Summer Fruits, reveal that one in ten Britons (11 percent) never eat the recommended daily amount.

So watch our video as she shows us how to whip up this super easy and healthy sweet potato soup with a blackberry and basil sauce, which is sure to give you that important energy boost during the weary winter months.

Not only is this recipe rich, creamy and full of flavour, but a handful of berries can also help to contribute to one of your five a day and are an important source of vitamins and minerals, as well as helpful anti-oxidants.

It’s the perfect recipe for anyone trying to be healthier this New Year, or for those who simply want to try something new.


Also follow some of Madeleine Shaw tops tips for healthy eating.


1) Don’t skip breakfast

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, adding a portion of fruit into the mix is the perfect way to supercharge your day ahead. A handful of yummy berries can naturally sweeten a bowl of porridge, or popping a cup of strawberries in the blender with almond milk can whip up a quick and easy smoothie. Fun fact: As little as 7 strawberries (80g) provides your recommended daily amount of vitamin C!


 2) Mid-morning Grazing

Keep a pot of raw fruit or chopped veggies on your desk, and munch on them when you feel tempted to reach for sugary snacks with your mid-morning cup of tea. Alternating between sugar snap peas, chopped carrots and a pot of mixed fruit will keep your energy levels up until lunchtime!


 3) Double up on vegetables for lunch

Your lunch probably contains some veggies already, whether it’s a nourishing soup or some lettuce leaves next to a juicy chicken breast. To maximise your recommended daily intake, double the quantity of vegetables you would usually put in and try to find new ways to incorporate leafy greens, whether it’s wilting some spinach into your soup or adding some tomato to your avocado on toast.


 4) Post workout raspberries

Planning the body’s recovery is just as important as your exercise plan. I like snacking on a punnet of raspberries or blending them into a shake, which is an ideal treat after a sweaty gym session. Phytochemicals in raspberries, which give them their ruby rich skin, guard against exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and can help speed up recovery. So grab a handful of these little gems, and you might not feel as stiff the next morning.


 5) Treat yourself

Everyone needs a sweet treat every now and again, but a fruit-based dessert can offer a light, refreshing and importantly naturally-sweet ending to dinner. Blueberries are bursting with nutrients – they’re packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, as well as being high in fibre. Add them to some yoghurt, or blend with some almond milk and chia seeds to make a blueberry flavoured chia pudding!


3-5 cups of coffee per day may reduce Cardiovascular Disease mortality risk by up to 21%

Coffee and Cardiovascular disease
Coffee and Cardiovascular disease

A recent report by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC), a not-for-profit organisation devoted to the study and disclosure of science related to coffee and health, highlights the potential role of coffee consumption in reducing Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) mortality risk.

The report concludes that, based on current research, moderate coffee consumption at approximately 3–5 cups per day may have a protective effect against CVD mortality risk. The finding is significant given that coronary heart disease and stroke remain the primary cause of death across Europe; responsible for 51% of all deaths in women and 42% of all deaths in men. Over four million people die from CVD annually in Europe and overall, CVD is estimated to cost the EU economy €196 billion every year.

Carlo La Vecchia, Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community, University of Milan, commented:  “It is important to acknowledge factors which might have a protective effect against CVD mortality. Moderate coffee consumption could play a significant role in reducing CVD mortality risk which would impact health outcomes and healthcare spending across Europe.”

Key report highlights:

  • The lowest CVD mortality risk is seen at an intake of approximately 3 cups of coffee per day, with a percentage risk reduction of up to 21%.1
  • Two 2014 meta-analyses suggest an association between coffee consumption and CVD risk, proposing a ‘U-shaped’ pattern whereby optimal protective effects were achieved with 3-5 cups of coffee per day.3,4
  • Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day is associated with an approximate 25% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to consuming none or less than 2 cups per day.1 People with diabetes typically have a higher CVD mortality risk, therefore this association may be linked to a decreased CVD risk.5
  • Half of CVD cases in women could be avoided by modifying lifestyle choices, as approximately 73% of CHD cases and 46% of clinical CVD are attributable to an unhealthy lifestyle.6

The mechanisms of action behind the associations are unclear, however areas of interest for future research include the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of coffee, and the known association between coffee consumption and type 2 diabetes risk reduction as CVD mortality is typically higher in this group.  It is important to note that results differ between varying populations; it is suggested that 2 cups of coffee per day may offer the greatest protection in a Japanese population, whilst 3 cups may provide the greatest protection in UK and US populations.

For more information on coffee and cardiovascular health, click here

What sort of fruit is this? Need your help again. Please

Dear Readers

Once again I need your help!

Can anyone tell me the name of the particular fruit please?

I ask because I have been told it is a great source of anti-oxidants and want to find out a bit more.

If you do know could you share knowledge in the comments boxes below

Thanks very much in advance!

Best wishes


What type of fruit is this?
What type of fruit is this?

Rosanna Pink Onions – are they the onion worlds answer to a superfood? How can they help raise money for cancer research?

Okay the title of the blog is a bit odd but I don’t really know how else to start.

Rosanna Pink Onion
Rosanna Pink Onion

Actually I think I do.

Yesterday I sent an email to my wife to discuss the upcoming online supermarket shop.  One of the things on my list was “onions – lots”.  A couple of hours later she returned my email saying that she has just bought some Rosanna Pink Onions.

Not just that she thought I should write a blog on the subject knowing my readers in food, diet and health.

So when the truck with the Rosanna Pink Onions arrived I decided to start my research after putting them in the vegetable rack.  One thing which hit me is that they are not that pink.  To be honest they look pretty much like normal onions but I’ve not had the opportunity to chop them so inside might be a different story. I have to say the blurb my wife sent me yesterday was pretty compelling.

On their web site (yes they have their own web site http://www.rosannaonions.com/#panel-2) they feel the onions have the following properties:-

a)      They may help fight cholesterol

b)      They have anti-oxidant properties c)

And they have anti-inflammatory properties. However it is a bit difficult to find any data which supports this.  If the growers or distributors read this blog and have any other information we would love to publish a guest blog from you.  Please write to us at patienttalkblog@gmail.com if you are interested.

That being said according to the web site they donate 2p to Race for Life a UK based cancer research charity for each pack sold.  So that alone, I think, makes them a worthwhile purchase.

So over to you.  Are there any products which you think are great for health?  Use the comments section of our blog to let us know. Thanks in advance.