Thursday, April 26, 2007

Edelweiss Extract in the Fight against Aging

Edelweiss extract comes from Edelweiss flowers, which are short-lived perennials. Edelweiss is a German word which means noble and white. The Edelweiss flower is found at altitudes which range from 5,000 feet to 8,000 feet, generally in areas with light soil, good drainage and southern exposure.

In ancient times, the Edelweiss flower was sought after by men who wished to prove their bravery. Because the flower grew at such heights and was often on cliff sides and in dangerous areas, many people were known to have been injured or even killed in pursuit of this flower, which led many men to wear it in the lapel as sort of a badge of honor. Of course, the fact that the Edelweiss flower was the favorite of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, the Empress Elizabeth, also gave it prestige. The flower became so popular among hikers that the governments of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland took steps to protect it in certain parts of the Alps. Today Edelweiss is grown on many continents and is no longer in the danger it once was. It became even more popular however the 1960's when a song called "Edelweiss" in the popular stage play and film The Sound of Music sang its virtues and beauty.

For centuries Edelweiss extract has been believed to have positive health effects. Edelweiss teas have been popular, as well as the use of Edelweiss extract in hot milk, often sweetened with honey. Diarrhea and dysentery were two ailments that it was believed Edelweiss extract could cure. People also believed that it could help fight ailments such as diphtheria and tuberculosis. Today research by the pharmaceutical industry indicates that there was something to these ancient beliefs.

Edelweiss extract is an ancient folk lore remedy that modern science is making popular once again. They have also discovered that the ultra violet light-absorbing chemicals this plant has developed from high altitude growth makes it a good additive to sun blocks. Pharmaceutical researchers also are interested in the way some chemicals in the plant prevent amplification of oxides, which are tied to the aging process.

The future of research into Edelweiss extract looks as bright as the high Alpine sun, and the popularity of Edelweiss extract as an ingredient in high quality anti-aging and anti-wrinkle cosmetics means the plant will remain popular for many years to come.

For more information about Edelweiss extract and the 3 simple steps you can take to have younger-looking skin, click here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The 5 Causes of Acne

Acne is one of the most widespread medical conditions in the world. More than 90% of all adolescents, nearly 50% of all adult women, and 25% of all adults suffer from acne, but what causes acne? Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by what you eat, how often you wash your face, or work out. The five causes of acne all occur beneath the surface of your skin.

1) Hormones. You already knew this, right? For most people, acne begins at puberty when the body begins to produce hormones called androgens. These hormones cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge. This is a natural part of the body's development, but in acne sufferers the sebaceous glands are overstimulated by androgens, sometimes well into adulthood. Androgens are also responsible for acne flare-ups associated with the menstrual cycle and, sometimes, pregnancy.

2) Extra sebum. When the sebaceous gland is stimulated by androgens, it produces extra sebum. As the sebum moves up the follicle towards the skin's surface, it mixes with common skin bacteria and dead skin cells that have been shed from the lining of the follicle. While this process is normal, the presence of extra sebum in the follicle increases the chances of clogging, leading to acne.

3) Bacteria. Remember that common skin bacteria mentioned above? The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, (P. acnes for short) is part of the skin’s natural sebum maintenance system. However, once a follicle is plugged, P. acnes bacteria multiply rapidly, causing a chemical reaction we know as inflammation in the follicle and surrounding skin.

4) Inflammation. Speaking of inflammation, when your body encounters unwanted bacteria, it sends an army of white blood cells to attack the intruders. This process is called chemotaxis, or the inflammatory response. The inflammatory response is what causes pimples to become red, swollen and painful. Studies have shown that the inflammatory response is especially strong in adult women.

5) Follicle fallout. Normally, dead cells within the follicle shed gradually and are expelled onto the skin’s surface. However, in those people with overactive sebaceous glands, which includes nearly everyone during puberty, these cells are shed more rapidly. Mixed with a surplus of sebum, the dead skin cells form a plug in the follicle, preventing the skin from finishing its natural process of renewal.

The secret to managing acne is prevention and stopping this condition before pimples appear. Once you find an acne treatment that helps you accomplish this, it's important to stick with it. Even after pimples disappear, you may need to continue treatment to prevent new blemishes from appearing. It's also important to begin treatment as soon as the first signs of acne appear. The sooner you treat your acne, the less likely you are to experience permanent damage to your skin.

To find out about a clinically proven, step-by-step system for permanently curing your acne and achieving lasting clear skin faster than you ever thought possible, click here!