Botox or No-Tox?

What started as an experiment for individuals suffering with crossed eyes in the 1950’s, is now widely used to alleviate deep wrinkles. Many willingly disregard the fact that this popular tool is a powerful bacterial toxin. We are talking about Botox.

In the 1990’s, pharmaceutical companies began to test Botox on people with movement disorders, such as cerebral palsy and excessive sweating. It was through this testing process that Botulinum was found to hide visible signs of aging. In 2002, Botox was passed by the FDA and has been popular ever since.

Although the treatment temporarily minimizes wrinkles, the skin returns to its original state or even a degraded state afterward. Think about a bodybuilder who stops working out. Indeed, there are some precautions that one might want to consider.

First, Botox is a relatively young treatment and scientists are still testing its effects—both short-term and long-term. According to natural holistic specialist, Claudia Louch, Botox is ahead of science.

“We don't know what happens in 10, 15 years’ time. But the toxin does accumulate inside you in some form,” says Louch.

Botulinum is referred to by chemists as a poison. One study done recently, observed regular Botox users over the course of 12 years. Scientists found that nearly half of the participants had adverse side effects including:

·         difficulty swallowing

·         drooping eyelids

·         neck weakness

·         nausea, vomiting

·         blurred vision

·         difficulty chewing

·         difficulty speaking

·         hoarseness

·         edema

·         heart palpitations.

Second, Botox isn’t holistic. According to pharmacist Ben Fuchs, although Botox does block the contracting of facial muscles, it doesn’t do anything for the breakdown of collagen fibers—the biochemical process that is a main cause of wrinkles. In a podcast, Fuchs reports that there “Ain’t nothing a prescription drug can do for that.” Indeed, Botox doesn’t stimulate collagen production like treatments and products that exercise the skin, such as the Wrinkle Lift Micro Channeling treatment and retinol serums. These help to produce collagen and prevent wrinkles—and without toxins, too. The question “Botox or No-tox,” is not a light one and should be considered with all its effects. We urge you to calculate the costs when considering how to treat your wrinkles. Botox may not be the best way to go.

Hale & Hush, A Guilt-Free Product Line

A forerunner company that pursues clean ingredients, science and nature, Hale & Hush is hard to beat! The company focuses on products for sensitive skin types but they truly are great for all skin types. Below, we’ve complied a list of some of the products carried by Hale & Hush: each product is listed, followed by it’s main ingredients and a toxicity rating from 1-10 (1 being low toxicity and 10 being high), as studied by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)—a non-profit group who researches and advocates against toxic chemicals and pollutants. This product line has really low ratings and is essentially guilt-free!

  1. Product: Brilliant Eye & Lip Serum






    • Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Rating—1

    • Melia Azadirachta, Rating—1

    • (Neem) Leaf Extract, Rating—1

    • Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Oil, Rating—1

  2. Product: Broad Spectrum SPF 30

    • ZINC OXIDE (13.5%), Rating—2-3

    • (L) ERGOTHIONEINE, Rating—1


    • MALIC ACID, Rating—3-4

  3. Product: Clear Future Toner

    • SALICYLIC ACID, Rating—4

    • NEUTRAZEN, Rating—No Rating





  4. Product: Eye Mousse



    • SODIUM HYALURONATE (L), Rating—1


  5. Product: Hush Hydrate Gel

    • ANTHOCYANINS, Rating—1

    • BIOCOLOUR BLEND, No Rating

  6. Product: Quiet Wash





  7. Product: Rare C Serum

    • 3-0-ETHYL ASCORBIC ACID, Rating—1



  8. Product: Rare Retinal Serum

    • ICONICA, No Rating


    • RESISTEM, No Rating

    • NIACINAMIDE, Rating—1

    • PERSIAN SILK TREE, No Rating


  9. Product: Relief Bio-Powder


    • BOSWELLIA SERRATA EXTRACT (Boswellia Serrata Plant Heart), Rating 1

    • WILLOW BARK EXTRACT (Salix Alba), Rating 1

    • TOTAROL, Rating 1

  10. Product: Saffron Meristem Cream



    • Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Rating 1

    • Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Rating 1

    • Sesamum Indicum (Sesame Seed) Oil, Rating 1

    • SPECIAL COMPLEX OF HONEY (anti-microbial), HYALURONIC ACID, Rating 1

    • PHOSPHOLIPIDS, Rating 1

    • SPHINGOLIPIDS, Rating 3

  11. Product: Soothe Essence Serum



  12. Product: Vital Lipid Lotion

    • Shea Butter

    • Jojoba Seed Oil, Rating 1

    • Macadamia Seed Oil, Rating 1

    • Phytosterols (plant “cholesterol” necessary to healthy skin), Rating 1

    • Sunflower Seed Oil, Rating 1

    • Squalene (both plant derived), Rating 1

    • Ceramides, Rating 1

    • Phosphatidylcholine (constituent of healthy cell membranes), Rating 1












Clean Ingredients Translate to Less Sensitivities

All ingredients AREN'T created equal! 

That’s why we carry Hale & Hush Skincare

Founder Kris Campbell is a pioneer in the treatment and nourishment of sensitive skin. In 2015 she founded Hale & Hush, the only professional skincare line to focus exclusively on sensitive skin. She is a researcher and Educator who previously worked for one of the most prestigious FDA labs in the country and currently formulates for Hale & Hush.

She teaches around the nation on subjects like:

  • How ingredients like Vitamin C can be extracted from many different sources for different results.

  • There are different sources for the same ingredient, and this matters for results

  • How cosmeceutical ingredients differ in each form to create different results

  • Why the FDA mandates that only "cosmeceutical" skincare companies must provide a full ingredient list, unlike "cosmetic" grade products

Pore Clogging Ingredients

Did You Know, Natural and Oil Free Can Clog?

  • Natural oils can be some of the worst offenders, like cocoa butter and coconut oil which are found in many “organic” skin care lines.

  • Other oils such as jojoba, olive, and lanolin are mildly comedogenic and can be a problem if formulated with other comedogenic ingredients.

  • Some prescription products like the cream form of Retin A have pore cloggers. Many over-the-counter acne medications also have pore clogging ingredients.

  • “Oil-free” products can be comedogenic.



This is a list of pore-clogging ingredients:

  1. Acetylated Lanolin

  2. Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol

  3. Algae Extract

  4. Algin

  5. Butyl Stearate

  6. Carrageenan

  7. Cetyl Acetate

  8. Cetearyl Alcohol + Ceteareth 20

  9. Chondrus Crispus (aka Irish Moss or Carageenan Moss)

  10. Chlorella

  11. Coal Tar

  12. Cocoa Butter

  13. Coconut Alkanes

  14. Coconut Butter

  15. Coconut Oil

  16. Colloidal Sulfur

  17. Cotton Awws Oil

  18. Cotton Seed Oil

  19. D & C Red # 17

  20. D & C Red # 21

  21. D & C Red # 3

  22. D & C Red # 30

  23. D & C Red # 36

  24. Decyl Oleate

  25. Dioctyl Succinate

  26. Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2- Sulfosuccinate

  27. Ethoxylated Lanolin

  28. Ethylhexyl Palmitate

  29. Glyceryl Stearate SE

  30. Glyceryl-3 Diisostearate

  31. Hexadecyl Alcohol

  32. Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

  33. Isocetyl Alcohol

  34. Isocetyl Stearate

  35. Isodecyl Oleate

  36. Isopropyl Isostearate

  37. Isopropyl Linolate

  38. Isopropyl Myristate

  39. Isopropyl Palmitate

  40. Isostearyl Isostearate

  41. Isostearyl Neopentanoate

  42. Kelp

  43. Laminaria Digitata Extract

  44. Laminaria Saccharina Extract (Laminaria Saccharine)

  45. Laureth-23

  46. Laureth-4

  47. Lauric Acid

  48. Mink Oil

  49. Myristic Acid

  50. Myristyl Lactate

  51. Myristyl Myristate

  52. Octyl Palmitate

  53. Octyl Stearate

  54. Oleth-3

  55. Oleyl Alcohol

  56. PEG 16 Lanolin

  57. PEG 200 Dilaurate

  58. PEG 8 Stearate

  59. PG Monostearate

  60. PPG 2 Myristyl Propionate

  61. Plankton

  62. Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate

  63. Potassium Chloride

  64. Propylene Glycol Monostearate

  65. Red Algae

  66. Seaweed

  67. Shark Liver Oil (Squalene)

  68. Shea Butter

  69. Sodium Laureth Sulfate

  70. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

  71. Solulan 16

  72. Sorbitan Oleate

  73. Soybean Oil

  74. Spirulina

  75. Steareth 10

  76. Stearic Acid Tea

  77. Stearyl Heptanoate

  78. Sulfated Castor Oil

  79. Sulfated Jojoba Oil

  80. Wheat Germ Glyceride

  81. Wheat Germ Oil

  82. Xylene

© 2012-2018 Face Reality Acne Clinic

Bumpy Forehead Could be A Hair Product Problem

Could the breakouts along your hairline be due to your hair products?

According to Face Reality Acne Company, anything that comes into contact with your face deserves a second look.

When we are looking for clues for why someone isn’t getting clear, we want to check everything including ingredients in your shampoo, conditioner, and any styling products. This could be the culprit for your continuous breakouts.

Definitely look at the leave-in products. These styling agents seep onto the forehead and get onto the pillowcase. Your skin will love all the care you take to make sure it has a fighting chance at being clear!

Pretty in Pumpkin

You have heard of being red faced but how about pumpkin faced?

You won’t regret having a pumpkin infused facial. Take a look at one author’s list of 104 ingredients. Be prepared to be wowed!

  1. Abscisic acid: A plant growth hormone that slows the cellular biological clock.

  2. L-Adenine: With a nucleic acid base, it attracts vitamin B to help repair UV damage, and improve cellular respiration by increasing the cell’s ability to intake nutrients and eliminate waste.

  3. D-Adenosine: An anti-inflammatory, it rebuilds subcutaneous fat in a smoother and more uniform structure.

  4. Alanine: A protein-building amino acid that suppresses crystall­ization of glucose around protein fibrils.

  5. Alpha-amino-adipic acid: A protein-building amino acid that greatly strengthens the Lysine (essential amino acid) subunits that make up collagen and elastin.

  6. Aminobutyric acid (alpha, beta and gamma): A potent inhibitory amino acid also found in the brain, its potent antioxidant properties help inhibit the production of free radicals in the skin by preventing disconnection with the skin’s natural spin traps.

  7. Arachidic acid: A moisturizing fatty acid also found in sunflowers.

  8. Arginine: A semi-essential amino acid responsible for securing and concentrating nitro­gen-based spin traps, inhibiting free-radical production. It works with Alanine to suppress crystall­ization of glucose in protein fibrils.

  9. L-Ascorbic acid: A vitamin C, it delivers a potent dose of antioxidants to the skin, stimulating the production of collagen and elastin.

  10. Aspartic acid: A protein-building amino acid responsible for DNA production, it supports tissue respiration.

  11. Boron: An elemental plant growth factor, it also serves as a catalyst for the benefits abscisic acid delivers to the skin.

  12. Caffeic acid: A cinnamic acid derivative that helps reduce the appearance of pigmentation.

  13. Calcium: Provides hydrating benefits, and stimulates cellular proliferation and tissue repair.

  14. Carboxy-phenylalanine: A moisturizing fatty acid form of the protein-building amino acid phenylal­anine.

  15. Beta-carotene (D): An antioxidant pro-vitamin that protects against UV damage, and serves as a precursor to vitamin A.

  16. Chromium: A mineral that improves RNA structure and function, and helps prevent AGEs.

  17. Citrulline: An amino acid that improves the communic­ations between the skin and the liver.

  18. Cobalt: An important bio element and co-enzyme component that supports the production of spin traps.

  19. Copper: An important bio element involved in transporting radical-free oxygen from the blood to the skin.

  20. Codecarb­oxylase: A vitamin B-type co-enzyme that removes carbon dioxide from sensitive tissue-respiratory mechanisms (preventing the age-related “smothering” effect).

  21. Crypto-xanthin: An escort carotenoid that improves the activity of beta-carotene.

  22. Cucurbic Acid: An amino acid with antibiotic effects, it is unique to the pumpkin family.

  23. Cucurbita-xanthin: A pumpkin carotene, it has a higher antioxidant content than beta-carotene.

  24. Cucurbitin: An amino acid found in curcurbita (pumpkin) seeds, it provides anti-cancer properties.

  25. Cucurbitol: A fatty alcohol that improves moisture retention in the skin.

  26. Cysteine: A protein-building amino acid containing natural sulfur, it improves the efficiency of oxida­tion-reduction reactions in the epidermis, and moderates melanin dispersal.

  27. Dehydroa­scorbic acid: An oxidized form of ascorbic acid with the same vitamin C activity, it supports the uptake of vitamin C.

  28. Edistine: A globular protein, it improves water circulation through cell walls in the skin.

  29. Alpha-ethyllat­hosterol: An amino acid sterol that has a conditioning effect on skin.

  30. Ethyl-alpha-cholestadien-beta-oil: A cholesterol derivative with a smoothing effect on subcutaneous fat.

  31. Ferulic acid: A derivative of caffeic acid, it enhances the effects of caffeic acid.

  32. Fibe: This ingredient has a cleansing and micro-filtration effect on the epidermis.

  33. Flavoxanthin: A carotenoid pigment with potent beta-carotene properties.

  34. Gibberellin: A plant growth hormone that promotes healthy epidermal cell differen­tiation.

  35. Glutamic acid: A protein-building amino acid that promotes the synthesis of NaPCA (sodium PCA), which hydrates and prevents water loss.

  36. Glutinol: A form of glutathione with potent free-radical neutralizing effects.

  37. Glycine: The simplest of all protein-building amino acids, it provides nitrogen from the production of the body’s natural spin traps.

  38. Glyoxalic acid: A glycine derivative, pro-allantoin compound, it is important for tissue respiration.

  39. Guanosine: A guanine-based sugar essential to healthy cell metabolism.

  40. Histidine: An essential protein-building amino acid that is the catalytic center of many enzymes, it improves the skin’s immune system.

  41. Hydroxy-brenztrauben acid: Pumpkin’s version of pyruvic acid, it is helpful in metabolizing age-induced sugar-crystals, stimulating collagen production and cross-linking collagen and elastin fibrils.

  42. Hydroxyb­utyric acid: A fatty acid that increases the solubility of the skin’s waste products, and improves the skin’s self-cleaning capabilities.

  43. Delta-hydroxylysine: An essential amino acid derivative, important for the uptake of skin’s immune cells originating in the bone.

  44. Iron: An essential bio element, it is a catalyst for the oxidation-reduction reactions responsible for communication between dermal and epidermal cells.

  45. Iso-Leucine: An essential amino acid that improves the activities of hydroxy-brenztrauben acid and hydroxyl-butyric acid.

  46. Iso-Rhamnetin-Rutinoside-Rhamnoside: Supports the skin’s immune system and capillary protection. It is also a powerful flavonoid antioxidant.

  47. Kaempferol: A plant flavonoid, it offers pro­tection from UV damage and is a powerful antioxidant.

  48. Alpha-Keto-Beta-Methyl-Butyric acid: Related to amino butyric acid and hydroxyb­utyric acid, it delivers combined effects.

  49. Alpha-Keto-Beta-Methyl-Valerianic acid: This anti-neoplastic fatty acid, is a valeric acid derivative, similar to valerian extract.

  50. Lauric acid: An emollient fatty acid, it provides antibacterial and antibiotic benefits.

  51. Lecithin: A phospholipid (phospha­tidylcholine), it is a basic constituent of biomembranes for lipid integrity.

  52. Leucine: (see 45 and 28) This ingredient improves utilization of edestine, and is essen­tial to the citric acid (Krebs) cycle for cellular energy production with low free-radical evolution.

  53. Linoleic acid: An essential fatty acid helpful in the implemen­tation of phosphol­ipids.

  54. Alpha-linolenic acid: An essential fatty acid that improves utilization of glycerop­hospholipids like lecithin.

  55. Lupeol: A sterol with surfactant properties that aid in the cleansing of skin.

  56. Lutein: A xanthophyll, it is a naturally occurring carotenoid offering powerful protection and antioxidant properties.

  57. Lysine: An essential protein-building amino acid and growth promoter.

  58. Magnesium: A bio-element that encourages the proliferation of keratino­cytes.

  59. Manganese: A bio-element that improves the integrity of cytoskeleton (the epidermal cell’s tubular scaffolding).

  60. Mannitol: A derivative of mannose sugar, the energy unit driving the mannopro­tein’s use by the skin’s immune system.

  61. Methionine: An essential protein-building amino acid containing sulfur derived from cysteine (see 26). It improves co-enzyme presence in utilizing activated or “methylated” collagen and elas­tin.

  62. Myristic acid: An emollient fatty acid.

  63. Neoxanthin: A xanthophyll (see 56) and carotene with antioxidant effects.

  64. Niacin: A vitamin B3 (also see 3, 20 and 61), it is vital for energy release in the tissue, and plays an essential role in the growth and maintenance of healthy skin.

  65. Oleic acid: The most widely distributed unsaturated fatty acid, it is a component of phospholipids and makes the skin more receptive to the benefits of other fatty acids.

  66. Ornithine: A catalyst in the Urea Cycle, this amino acid helps convert waste nitrogen into non-toxic, soluble urea. Topically, it tightens the communication links between the skin and liver.

  67. Oxalic acid: A carboxylic acid produced in the body by ascorbic acid metabolism. Applied topically, it helps condition the skin to be more receptive to alpha-hydroxy acid treatments.

  68. Oxycerotinic acid: A saturated fatty acid that supports healthy pigmentation.

  69. Palmitic acid: A fatty acid that supports skin barrier.

  70. Palmitoleic acid: An unsaturated fatty acid that enhances epidermal nutrient effects of topical phospho­­lipids, along with palmitic acid.

  71. Phenylalanine: An essential protein-building amino acid and precursor to melanin, it improves the skin’s mela­nization response time.

  72. Phospholipids: With relatively high amounts of linoleic acid, it plays an important role in ceramide synthesis.

  73. Phosphorus: A bio-element that improves photosyn­thetic conversion of provitamin D in the skin. It suppresses the number of errors in transcription of particular genes in the skin, thereby promoting healthier skin-renewal.

  74. Phytic acid: Known as “myoinos­itol,” this is a phosphoric acid compound that sharpens the skin’s cellular response to external stimuli such as hormones. It utilizes pumpkin wine’s calcium and magnesium content to achieve this.

  75. Phytosterols: Promote healthy enzyme levels in the epidermis, and are responsible for lipid replenishment and barrier repair in the stratum corneum.

  76. Potassium: A bio element, this plays an important role in the genesis and correction of imbalances of acid-base metabolism that result from chemical peels.

  77. Proline: A protein-building amino acid essential to collagen production.

  78. Protein: A unique sequence of amino acids characte­ristic of the pumpkin family (including squash and gourds), these combine well with the skin’s natural proteins.

  79. Quercetin: (see 46) A plant pigment that protects the dermal capillary bed and reduces the incidence of visible facial capillaries. It is also a potent flavone antioxidant.

  80. Rhamnazin rutinoside: see 46

  81. Riboflavin: Part of the B vitamin group, it is necessary to the proper development and function of the skin.

  82. Salicylic acid: A beta-hydroxy acid and natural spin trap, pumpkin has the highest natural concentration of salicylic acid of any plant.

  83. Selenium: A powerful physiological antioxidant comparable to glutathione in potency. Pumpkin-based selenium is particularly powerful, as it is blended with natural carotenoids.

  84. Serine: The precursor to several amino acids such as glycine and cysteine.

  85. Silicon: An essential trace element in human nutrition, this mineral is responsible for the linking of mucopoly­saccharides to protein in the skin (and throughout the body), con­cent­rating them where they are most needed.

  86. Beta-sitosterol: (see 75) This is the most potent of the phytosterols (plant steroids), and much safer than animal steroids.

  87. Sodium: (see 76) It delivers hydration to the skin and has a plumping effect.

  88. Alpha-spinasterol: A spinach-type steroid that strengthens the desmosome fibers connecting skin cells and provides an overall firming effect.

  89. Stearic acid: A fatty acid commonly used in skin care as a moisturizing vehicle.

  90. Alpha-Stigmastadien-Beta-oil: (similar to 88) This targets the granular layer of the epidermis, making the membrane coat more pliable.

  91. Stigmasterol: (similar 90) It imparts horizontal integrity to the filaments of the epidermal spinous layer.

  92. Stigmastenyl-glucoside: A “sweet” steroid from the plant steroid group, it has a lubricating effect on the keratohyalin, the protein matrix that supplies the scaffolding for epidermal keratin fibers.

  93. Sucrose: It suppresses the crystall­ization of glucose around collagen and elastin fibrils.

  94. Thiamin: (see 41) Vitamin B1, it maintains the stability of pyruvic acid compounds in supplying ATP (cellular) energy.

  95. Threonine: An essential protein-building amino acid that suppresses age-related cross-linking of colla­gen and elastin fibers.

  96. Alpha-Tocopherol: A vitamin E, it prevents the spontaneous oxidation of the skin’s lipid layer.

  97. Trigonelline: A metabolite of vitamin B2 complex, it has similar effects of riboflavin in that it supports the preservation of the skin around eyes, lips and nose.

  98. Tryptophan: An essential amino acid, and vitamin B-precursor that suppresses hyperpig­mentation along with associated hyperker­atosis and scaling.

  99. Tyrosine: A protein-building amino acid, and precursor of melanin, it improves communication between the skin and thyroid gland, which is essential in mediating any vitamin A effects in the skin (carot­enoids to retinoids).

  100. Valine: An essential protein-building amino acid, it boosts antibacterial pathways of skin.

  101. Viola-xanthin: An extremely important plant carotenoid and powerful antioxidant.

  102. Xanthophyll: The most stable of plant pigment carotenoids, it is a potent antioxidant and works to protect the skin from environmental damage.

  103. Zeaxanthin: A carotene-based plant pigment, it is an extremely potent antioxidant (part of the xanthophyll group).

  104. Zinc: An essential bio element and trace element mineral, it protects from cutaneous erosion, and soothes, heals and provides antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

List created by Shannon Esau who has owned skin care salons in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, has studied chemistry in skin care formulations and has been mentored by Rhonda Allison for decades. 

Korean Beauty

Korean Beauty, skincare as a way of life

Also referred to as K-Beauty, Korean skincare culture became a cool topic during the recent Olympics.

K-Beauty is known for umpteen daily cleansing steps and ingredients from natural sources. Think snail mucus and powdered bird droppings. Don't worry. We do our fair share here. Ever used lanolin, in other words sheep sebum?
In Korea, you might stop off for a mini facial at your neighborhood facialist or at a hospital. At Kwangdong Hospital of Traditional Korean Medicine, services include everything from MRIs to neurological exams to facials. --Dina Mishev, How I rebooted my beauty regimen in South Korea

They Korean facial strategy is to do mini facials bi-monthly or even weekly. Not a fancy treatment but effective in keeping skin hydrated and bright.

Never tried it? Now you can. Check out the Express Exfoliating or Hydrating treatment for an American version. This 30 minute treatment allows you to rest and get a focused treatment and spend less, $29.

Do you take awhile to unwind? I'd stick with the 90 minute Seasonal or 60 minute custom facial. 

Either way, your skin gets a beautifying treatment.

Change Your Food, Change Your Mood

Pure Dermal Care hosted Dr. Lisa Amerine, an area naturopath, to discuss health strategies. She’s provided an article that will give you ideas for mood enhancing and skin beautification is also the result! Enjoy!

Foods That Really Make You Happy

By Dr. Lisa Amerine, ND

Bad day? Fight the blues without blowing your diet by picking foods that boost happy brain chemicals while helping you stay slim.  When you're in a funk, your first instinct isn't to whip up a bowl of lentil soup or pour yourself a glass of milk. But compounds in these foods may help ward off depression, fight fatigue, and reduce anxiety by increasing levels of mood-boosting brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Traditional comfort foods, like those loaded with sugar, saturated fat, alcohol, and caffeine, on the other hand, can actually amplify edginess - not to mention blow your diet. To perk up without packing on the pounds, pick one of these nine healthy eats next time you're feeling down.


The mood booster: Tryptophan

We hear tryptophan and we immediately think turkey - and tired. Truth is, when the amino acid is consumed with carbohydrates instead of protein, it's more effective in aiding the body's production of serotonin, a tranquility-inducing brain chemical. A study published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia found that foods containing tryptophan, like mustard greens, pumpkin seeds and bananas, offer mood-elevating effects. Tryptophan levels are often low in people suffering from depression, although researchers are unclear as to whether the relationship is a cause or a consequence of the condition. The next time you feel down, try 3 cups of air-popped popcorn for 100 calories instead of gnawing on a drumstick.


The mood booster: Alpha-linolenic acid

While EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, and fish oil supplements, have been touted to help depression sufferers beat the blues, a new study of 55,000 women published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid in plant foods like walnuts, soybeans, and flaxseed, is the real star in alleviating depression symptoms. In the 10-year study, Harvard University researchers found that the risk of depression was lower among women who consumed more ALA, a compound previously thought to have few health benefits.

Sunflower Seeds

The mood booster: Selenium

A Nutritional Neuroscience review of five studies on selenium and depression linked deficiencies in the mineral to poorer mood. Another study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine suggests that selenium can help prevent postpartum depression. When 44 postpartum women received 100 mcg of selenium daily, they scored lower on a postnatal depression scale. While Brazil nuts offer the biggest dose of selenium - a half-ounce serving packs 272 mcg - sunflower seeds are a lower-calorie snack option. A quarter cup of roasted seeds in their shells has about 70 calories and delivers 30 percent of the daily recommended value of selenium, while a single Brazil nut packs around 30 calories.


The mood booster: Folate

Skip the mac and cheese and make a hearty bowl of soup your new favorite comfort food. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that of the 2,682 middle-age Finnish men in the study, those whose diets contained the least folate were 67 percent more likely to suffer from depression. Research suggests that low levels of the B vitamin impair the metabolism of neurotransmitters, leaving your brain short on serotonin and dopamine. Get your folate fix with a cup of lentils, which contains 230 calories and provides 70 percent of your daily folate and 63 percent of your daily fiber.


The mood booster: Oleic acid

Healthy fats, like those found in olive oil and avocados, don't just keep belly fat at bay. They can also ward off a bad mood. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, increases the feel-good chemical serotonin in the brain, keeping you calm. In a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers at the University of Nivarra in Spain found that people who consumed a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, nuts, fish and olive oil were 30 percent less likely to become depressed.

Citrus Fruit

The mood booster: Vitamin C

For only 60 calories a pop, it's easy to get nearly 100 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C in one place. Skip your orange and you might end up feeling bitter. In a study conducted by doctors at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal and published in the journal Nutrition, researchers found that when vitamin C-deficient hospital patients were supplemented with 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily for 1 week they experienced a 34 percent reduction in mood disturbance. Even the smell of citrus can put you in a better state of mind. When participants in an Ohio State University study smelled lemons, they reported greater improvements in mood and had higher levels of norepinephrine compared with when they sniffed lavender or unscented water.


The mood booster: Magnesium

This portable treat makes a great 100-calorie snack when you're craving something sweet. Bananas are a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps the brain deal with stress and may help boost mood, too. In a study of 5,700 adults published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, researchers linked higher levels of anxiety and depression to study participants with lower magnesium intake. Bananas are also packed with potassium, which helps boost alertness, tryptophan, an amino acid that aids the body in producing mood-boosting serotonin and mood-stabilizing vitamin B6.

Pimples, Pustules & Cysts

What are Pimples? Pustules? Cysts?



Put simply, a pimple is an inflamed acne lesion that has not come to head yet.  As oil and dead skin cells build up, they put pressure on the cells surrounding the pore. With enough pressure, the sides of the pore rupture and the contents of the pore leak into the surrounding skin. Because this sebaceous material contains a lot of P. acnes bacteria, the surrounding skin now becomes infected, creating a red bump that we know as a pimple.



A pustule is a pimple that has come to a head. It is different from a pimple only in that it contains white blood cells. When the immune system fights off the P. acnes infection, white blood cells, which are soldiers of the immune system — pile up, creating pus in the pore.



Acne cysts are soft, pus-filled and inflamed lesions that occur deep in the dermis. When a group of pustules cluster together under the skin, they form a cyst. An acne cyst can appear similar to a nodule, but is pus-filled, and can have a diameter of 5mm or more across. They are usually very painful and often scar. Cystic acne can affect anyone, but it is more common in teenage boys and young men.

Inflamed acne lesions like pimples, pustules and cysts tend to respond quickly to the right acne products. This along with the right lifestyle changes can dramatically clear up and get rid of inflamed acne.