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Featured Healthy Living Skin

Skin & Food Allergies Are Not The Same Thing

If You Can’t Eat It, You Can Probably Still Use It In A Cream.

“I’m allergic to almonds…can I use a cream with an ingredient extracted from almonds?” “I can’t eat coconuts…that means I can’t use coconut oil, right?”

If you have prick tested positive to something, it is more likely than not that you can still use it on your skin.

The main reason is that, while complex, skin and other allergies involve such different cells, systems, and modalities.

Quick Breakdown

There are 4 types of reactions that we tend to have. Type 1 and Type 4 are most relevant to prick tests and patch tests.

Type 1: asthma, naso-bronchial allergies, pets, dust mites, pollen, and food

  • Is IgE-mediated and involves antibodies.
  • Is what a lot of us think of when we think about an allergic reaction (the trouble breathing (anaphylaxis), puffing up, urticaria, etc.
  • While there can be some delayed responses, always something happens quickly — within 60 minutes. This reaction is very straightforward because it is IgE mediated and IgE exists in the body.
  • Food is included here but is more complicated (see below)

Type 4: contact dermatitis

  • Is non-IgE mediated and does not involve antibodies.
  • It is T-cell mediated.
  • The response is not immediate as with Type 1. It is delayed because there is more of a process. There has to be a sensitization that then triggers a reaction to occur. This can take a week to many weeks.
  • Instead of being IgE-mediated, this is T-cell mediated.

Food Reactions Can Be More Complicated

Food reactions include…

  • IgE-mediated: e.g. strawberries, peanuts
  • Non IgE-mediated: food protein-induced enterocolitis, which is T cell-mediated, does not happen immediately, and is usually outgrown, such as when a baby is allergic to the protein found in cow’s milk.
  • Non-allergic reaction which is metabolic: such as when you don’t have the enzyme needed to break down sugar lactose, i.e., you’re lactose intolerant).
  • Food allergies can be difficult to isolate because there can be many substances at play in one food. This is especially true for drugs. Drugs are made up of so many compounds so it is very difficult to isolate the trigger. This is why drug IgE testing is rare and very hard to distinguish. On the other hand, an allergy to a drug with skin manifestations can be patch tested.
  • Other food reactions include:
    • Adverse reaction (non-immune mediated)
    • Toxic (puffer fish toxin)
    • Conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is not an allergy but has the same symptoms.

Where It Gets More Complex for Skin: Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a different type of allergy with many theories still being explored. Inheritance plays a factor. One theory is regarding the presence of over-reactors — in which case, an over-reaction to food may also occur. And contact dermatitis is frequently a factor.

There is also “atopic march”: if you had eczema as child, you could be more likely to have asthma and naso-bronchial allergies as an adult.

For more on atopic dermatitis (eczema), check out What Is Eczema.

What To Know If You Have Skin & Food Allergies:

1. A prick test is for IgE, involves antibodies, and can be more complicated. Even if you prick test positive to shellfish, for example, your allergist needs to correlate the findings with your history to determine if you really cannot eat shellfish.

2. A patch test is very straightforward: If you patch test positive to something, contact with it will be a problem.

3. If your prick test is positive for something — unless you ALSO patch test positive to it — you can probably use it on your skin because the modalities and systems are so different. For example, if you prick test positive for almonds, the chances are very high that you can use a product on your skin with an ingredient extracted from almonds.

3. If you patch test and prick test positive to something, you need to avoid it in food and in your skin. For example, if you patch and prick test positive to nickel, you’ll react to it when touching it and if it is in your food.

Which Test To Get, and From Which Doctor?

For a patch test, see a dermatologist. For a prick test, see an allergist.

Some allergists do patch testing, too. But if you have a long history of stubborn skin reactions, we’d suggest seeing a dermatologist who is a contact dermatitis specialist for your patch testing. They are…specialists! They would have more patch test tray options, can really help identify what you need to avoid, and can identify other possible skin conditions that may also need to be managed. If you also have non-skin allergies, your contact dermatitis specialist can work closely with your allergist.

How to find such a doctor?

  • In the USA: search contactderm.org. You can search by zip code and members of the American Contact Dermatitis Society also use CAMP (the Contact Allergen Management Program) to show you not just the ingredients and substances you need to avoid but brands and products that you can use (where you’ll see VMV Hypoallergenics a lot!)
  • In the Philippines: PM VMV Skin Research Centre + Clinics, where patch testing is a specialty.
  • In other countries: ask your official dermatological society about local contact dermatitis experts who offer patch testing.

How Else VMV Hypoallergenics Can Help?

Ask us to customize recommendations for you based on your patch test results and even possible cross reactants.

Otherwise, use the VH-Rating to shop safely for VMV products! Check out this helpful video on how it works.

At VMV, we make it easy to be guided by your patch test.

1) We practice allergen ommision

As our basis for what to omit, we refer to studies by independent groups of doctors who specialize in contact dermatitis, such as the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies. They regularly publish top contact allergens based on thousands of patch tests done in multiple countries.

2) We do our own patch testing…

…not just of the final formulation but also of each ingredient, raw material, and applicators (and we do allergen reviews of packaging, too).

3) Our VH-Rating System shows how many of the top contact allergens are NOT in a formulation.

If an allergen is included, the VH-Rating is lower and marked by an asterisk which corresponds to the ingredients list — you’ll see the allergen clearly marked with the asterisk and underlined, too. If they’re not allergens that you patch tested positive to, you can still use the product.

The VH-Rating System has been so effective that a clinical study published in a leading contact dermatitis journal showed less than 0.1% reactions reported in over 30 years.

4) We manufacture our own products.

We can ensure that our formulations are not mixed, stored, or handled in containers used for formulations with allergens, or otherwise contaminated by allergens..

PLEASE FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF YOUR OB-GYN AND PEDIATRICIAN.

Data regarding the effects (positive or negative) of topical skin treatments on fetal or infant development at this point may be inconclusive; but for anything taken orally, you should be conscientious and always consult your doctor beforehand. You’ll be seeing your gynecologist soon and regularly, then your child’s pediatrician. These visits, more than anything, will help you best monitor your baby’s healthy development. This information should not be considered medical advice. Particularly if you have a medical condition, before you change anything in your skincare or other practices related to pregnancy or nursing, ask your doctor.


Laura is our “dew”-good CEO at VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of VMV’s founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister CC and husband Juan Pablo (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about health, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness, and spreading goodness (like a great cream!)

Categories
Allergen, Not An Allergen Featured

VITAMIN C: Allergen or Not An Allergen?

Not An Allergen

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid (what exists in nature; sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate are more stable synthetic salts) does not appear on published lists on common contact allergens. This is reinforced by the fact that very few allergies have been reported (see de Groot in references below), despite vitamin C being found in so many products (from foods to cosmetics and supplements).

Some foods that we associate with vitamin C like lemons, limes, and oranges are top contact allergens, but it is the limonene, terpene, and other natural chemicals in the rinds, leaves and other parts of the plant that are allergenic, not the ascorbic acid itself.

Some dissolvable or chewable supplements with vitamin C may also contain common contact allergens like preservatives and dyes. Cosmetics with vitamin C may also contain other allergens such as fragrances, dyes, essential oils, parabens, or other preservatives.

Because vitamin C is notoriously unstable, making it extremely difficult to extract and keep in supplements (vitamin pills and drinks) and skincare formulations, it is still best to get your daily dose in foods like broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, kale, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes.

If you have a history of sensitive skin, don’t guess: random trial and error can cause more damage. Ask your dermatologist about a patch test.

To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com. Need help? Ask us in the comments section below, or for more privacy (such as when asking us to customize recommendations for you based on your patch test results) contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.

For more:

On the prevalence of skin allergies, see Skin Allergies Are More Common Than Ever and One In Four Is Allergic to Common Skin Care And Cosmetic Ingredients.

To learn more about the VH-Rating System and hypoallergenicity, click here.

Main References: 

Regularly published reports on the most common allergens by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (based on over 28,000 patch test results, combined), plus other studies. Remember, we are all individuals — just because an ingredient is not on the most common allergen lists does not mean you cannot be sensitive to it, or that it will not become an allergen. These references, being based on so many patch test results, are a good basis but it is always best to get a patch test yourself.

1. Warshaw, E.M., Maibach, H.I., Taylor, J.S., et al. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012. Dermatitis. 2015; 26: 49-59

2. W Uter et al. The European Baseline Series in 10 European Countries, 2005/2006–Results of the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA). Contact Dermatitis 61 (1), 31-38.7 2009

3. Wetter, DA et al. Results of patch testing to personal care product allergens in a standard series and a supplemental cosmetic series: An analysis of 945 patients from the Mayo Clinic Contact Dermatitis Group, 2000-2007. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Nov;63(5):789-98.

4. Verallo-Rowell VM. The validated hypoallergenic cosmetics rating system: its 30-year evolution and effect on the prevalence of cosmetic reactions. Dermatitis 2011 Apr; 22(2):80-97

5. Ruby Pawankar et al. World Health Organization. White Book on Allergy 2011-2012 Executive Summary.

6. Misery L et al. Sensitive skin in the American population: prevalence, clinical data, and role of the dermatologist. Int J Dermatol. 2011 Aug;50(8):961-7.

7. Warshaw EM1, Maibach HI, Taylor JS, Sasseville D, DeKoven JG, Zirwas MJ, Fransway AF, Mathias CG, Zug KA, DeLeo VA, Fowler JF Jr, Marks JG, Pratt MD, Storrs FJ, Belsito DV. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012.Dermatitis. 2015 Jan-Feb;26(1):49-59.

8. Warshaw, E et al. Allergic patch test reactions associated with cosmetics: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2001-2004. J AmAcadDermatol 2009;60:23-38. 

9. Foliaki S et al. Antibiotic use in infancy and symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children 6 and 7 years old: International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Phase III. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Nov;124(5):982-9.

10. Kei EF et al. Role of the gut microbiota in defining human health. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2010 Apr; 8(4): 435–454.

11. Thavagnanam S et al. A meta-analysis of the association between Caesarean section and childhood asthma. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008;38(4):629–633.

12. Marks JG, Belsito DV, DeLeo VA, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch-test results, 1998 to 2000. Am J Contact Dermat. 2003;14(2):59-62.

13. Warshaw EM, Belsito DV, Taylor JS, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch test results: 2009 to 2010. Dermatitis. 2013;24(2):50-99.

14. Wetter DA, Yiannias JA, Prakash AV, Davis MD, Farmer SA, el-Azhary RA, et al. Results of patch testing to personal care product allergens in a standard series and a supplemental cosmetic series: an analysis of 945 patients from the Mayo Clinic Contact Dermatitis Group, 2000-2007. J Am Acad Dermatologist 2010;63:789-798

15. Swinnen I, Goossens A. Allergic contact dermatitis caused by ascorbic tetraisopalmitate. Contact Dermatitis 2011;64:241-242

16. Belhadjali H, Giordano-Labadie F, Bazex J. Contact dermatitis from vitamin C in a cosmetic anti-aging cream. Contact Dermatitis 2001;45:317

17. de Groot, A. Monographs in Contact Allergy: Non-Fragrance Allergens in Cosmetics (Parts 1 and 2). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2018. 

Want more great information on contact dermatitis? Check out the American Contact Dermatitis SocietyDermnet New Zealand, and your country’s contact dermatitis association.


Laura is our “dew”-good CEO at VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of VMV’s founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister CC and husband Juan Pablo (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about health, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness, and spreading goodness (like a great cream!)

Categories
Healthy Living Uncategorized

Garden-To-Table: Sweet Potatoes & Herbs

Sweet Potatoes & Herbs

I’m no gardener and we don’t have a pretty garden. We’ve always liked the idea of growing our own food (and in the case of our organic virgin coconut oil, food and skincare 🙂 ) and have taken the same approach to it as we have our work — gleeful experimentation! Mango tree here, pomelo tree there…ooh why not try tomatoes…or corn! It’s more Jungle Book than Secret Garden but it’s so rewarding to get food from our back yard! Bonus: kid-popular non-digital play alternative. Those are my two creatures at “harvest.” Bonus-bonus: kids learn that food grows (it isn’t “born” in a box or bottle), that natural food isn’t supposed to be manicured-pretty, and they learn what food tastes like when it’s less or unprocessed.

MOB-GFB-HarvestSweetPotatoLookUp-LVB-sm-20151015

 

A recent triumph: SWEET POTATOES.

There are thousands of varieties that grow easily in different weather and soil conditions. They play well with others (the photo below shows our ripening sweet potatoes leaves next to lemongrass.)

SweetPotatoGarden-Lemongrass-LVB-sm-20151011

They work for so many recipes: from healthier (they are packed with antioxidants and fiber) french fries to mashes and sweet treats…and I just learned that the tops are fab in salads and soups! All this makes them perfect for most gardens. They’re not bad-looking plants either (corn is a…commitment).

Another super easy grow: HERBS.

Instagram-LVB-FreshHerbGarden-sm-20151015

 

We use fresh herbs in most of our cooking and salads now. And in something I’m particularly proud of — drinks!

CocktailOrangeBasilSunflowerGrass-LVB-sm-20151015

 

I can’t stress enough how important garnishes are to a cocktail. In the best gins (I come from a long line of gin lovers), different garnishes change the drink completely, bringing out wildly different notes. I’ve even discovered that lavender does lovely things to certain espressos!

Instagram-LVB-LavenderEspresso-sm-20151515

 

 

From an apartment windowsill, to a garden or local urban farm, getting food as close to the source as possible means a few pretty wonderful things:

  • Less preservatives: foods need preservation to survive long transport and days on shelves.
  • Less processing: most foods need some processing for consumption (even simple slicing or peeling is a type of processing). But the more processing (more chopping and dicing, heat, added chemicals), the more antioxidants, phytochemicals and other good stuff is lost. If it’s grown, picked, put in a canvas bag and brought home, that’s already a lot less than the processing that happens with truckloads of harvests and food preparation.
  • Healthier foods: see above…less processing equals better retention of the food’s inherent antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients. No hydrogenation is needed for longer preservation either (hydrogenation results in trans fats). And less additives — many of which are ingredients that our bodies cannot process or process well — in general, too.
  • Fun family activity: whether the kids are doing the actual gardening or just helping you shop at a local farm or market, the sights and smells are an adventure in themselves, and it’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about nature, food and health.

 

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Allergen, Not An Allergen Featured

CRAB (the shellfish): Allergen or Not An Allergen?

Not An Allergen

Crab

While a shellfish allergy is not uncommon, and contact urticaria to crabs has been reported (particularly in the food industry) as well as other skin reactions after eating crabs, these shellfish are not on published lists of common contact allergens based on patch tests.

Food allergies (type B cells are involved) and skin allergies (type T cells) operate differently. A prick or blood test tells you if you can eat crabs, and a skin patch test tells you if you can come into contact with crabs. It’s not always so straightforward: some studies report that epicutaneous patch tests can miss protein dermatitis, and prick tests can be imperfect. To be on the safe side: if your prick test shows that you are allergic to crabs, you should avoid both eating and handling them, unless your allergist specifically says otherwise.

A final note on salt: avoid it if you have a halogen sensitivity, which can manifest as acne, rashes, darkening, or dryness around the mouth, or on the chin or jawline (or in chronically dry, flaking lips). If you are sensitive to halogens, it’s best to cut down on salt and iodides in general in your foods, but also in vitamins, skin products, and drinks — check out this handy halogen-free diet, and learn more about peri-oral dermatitis here.

If you have a history of sensitive skin, don’t guess: random trial and error can cause more damage. Ask your dermatologist about a patch test.

To shop our selection of hypoallergenic products, visit vmvhypoallergenics.com. Need help? Ask us in the comments section below, or for more privacy (such as when asking us to customize recommendations for you based on your patch test results) contact us by email, or drop us a private message on Facebook.

For more:

On the prevalence of skin allergies, see Skin Allergies Are More Common Than Ever and One In Four Is Allergic to Common Skin Care And Cosmetic Ingredients.

To learn more about the VH-Rating System and hypoallergenicity, click here.

Main References: 

Regularly published reports on the most common allergens by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (based on over 28,000 patch test results, combined), plus other studies. Remember, we are all individuals — just because an ingredient is not on the most common allergen lists does not mean you cannot be sensitive to it, or that it will not become an allergen. These references, being based on so many patch test results, are a good basis but it is always best to get a patch test yourself.

1. Warshaw, E.M., Maibach, H.I., Taylor, J.S., et al. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012. Dermatitis. 2015; 26: 49-59

2. W Uter et al. The European Baseline Series in 10 European Countries, 2005/2006–Results of the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA). Contact Dermatitis 61 (1), 31-38.7 2009

3. Wetter, DA et al. Results of patch testing to personal care product allergens in a standard series and a supplemental cosmetic series: An analysis of 945 patients from the Mayo Clinic Contact Dermatitis Group, 2000-2007. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Nov;63(5):789-98.

4. Verallo-Rowell VM. The validated hypoallergenic cosmetics rating system: its 30-year evolution and effect on the prevalence of cosmetic reactions. Dermatitis 2011 Apr; 22(2):80-97

5. Ruby Pawankar et al. World Health Organization. White Book on Allergy 2011-2012 Executive Summary.

6. Misery L et al. Sensitive skin in the American population: prevalence, clinical data, and role of the dermatologist. Int J Dermatol. 2011 Aug;50(8):961-7.

7. Warshaw EM1, Maibach HI, Taylor JS, Sasseville D, DeKoven JG, Zirwas MJ, Fransway AF, Mathias CG, Zug KA, DeLeo VA, Fowler JF Jr, Marks JG, Pratt MD, Storrs FJ, Belsito DV. North American contact dermatitis group patch test results: 2011-2012.Dermatitis. 2015 Jan-Feb;26(1):49-59.

8. Warshaw, E et al. Allergic patch test reactions associated with cosmetics: Retrospective analysis of cross-sectional data from the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2001-2004. J AmAcadDermatol 2009;60:23-38. 

9. Foliaki S et al. Antibiotic use in infancy and symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, and eczema in children 6 and 7 years old: International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Phase III. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Nov;124(5):982-9.

10. Kei EF et al. Role of the gut microbiota in defining human health. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2010 Apr; 8(4): 435–454.

11. Thavagnanam S et al. A meta-analysis of the association between Caesarean section and childhood asthma. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008;38(4):629–633.

12. Marks JG, Belsito DV, DeLeo VA, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch-test results, 1998 to 2000. Am J Contact Dermat. 2003;14(2):59-62.

13. Warshaw EM, Belsito DV, Taylor JS, et al. North American Contact Dermatitis Group patch test results: 2009 to 2010. Dermatitis. 2013;24(2):50-99.

Want more great information on contact dermatitis? Check out the American Contact Dermatitis SocietyDermnet New Zealand, and your country’s contact dermatitis association.


Laura is our “dew”-good CEO at VMV Hypoallergenics and eldest daughter of VMV’s founding dermatologist-dermatopathologist. She has two children, Madison and Gavin, and works at VMV with her sister CC and husband Juan Pablo (Madison and Gavin frequently volunteer their “usage testing” services). In addition to saving the world’s skin, Laura is passionate about health, inclusion, cultural theory, human rights, happiness, and spreading goodness (like a great cream!)

Categories
Featured Healthy Living Skin

It’s “Oil” The Same, As Long As It’s Coconut…Right?

Like all food options, there are differences between coconut oils. Read on to learn what’s what, and what to splurge on.

What are the different coconut oils?

The most common for cooking and industrial use is RBD (Refined, Bleached, Deodorized). Then there is virgin coconut oil, extracted by heat, enzymes, centrifuge, or manually. You can read more about the differences between each in “Are All Coconut Oils The Same?” but it comes down to this: a) while less ideal, RBD coconut oil is still better than other oils for cooking; b) any virgin coconut oil is good to eat and for less sensitive needs, but c) splurge on organic, manually cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, particularly for your freshest salads (to get the most of the healthiest stuff), when caring for sensitive skin, and for oral care.

CoconutOils-BirdsEye-Canvas-LVB-IMG_1240-20151018

Why organic?

Unlike “natural,” the term “organic” is strictly regulated. Farms are inspected annually to ensure conditions as natural or “wild” as possible for the soil, trees and the coconuts, and that water and waste are managed in a manner that is safe and environmentally responsible. Organic certification includes how the oil is processed — no artificial additives can be used to extract the oil.

What is Know-It-Oil?

Know-It-Oil is a certified-organic cold-and-first-pressed virgin coconut oil. It is prepared within hours of optimum age (the longer a coconut stays out in the sun and heat, the more important antioxidants and phytochemicals are lost). It is pressed entirely manually, without centrifuge, heat or additives.

It is the oil we used for our randomized, double-blind clinical studies which have been published in peer-reviewed dermatological journals. What you may not know is this same oil is in any VMV Hypoallergenics product that contains virgin coconut oil, from moisturizers to baby careshaving creams, and makeup. It’s what we use in our facials and spa treatments, too!

Categories
Featured Healthy Living Tip of the Week

An Introduction To Juice!

Fruits and vegetables are awesome for you, period. But juices…well, that’s a whole different bag of bananas. Many of the juices we grew up on have been revealed to be little more than liquid sugar. Other bottles we get off the shelf are preserved to last longer in stores, dyed to look “healthier,” or “enriched” with various ingredients of debatable benefit (or harm). Still others that are “all natural” have been processed enough to remove many of the original nutrients or have added sugars.  We asked our friends at the very good, very wholesome Harvest Juicery — specialists at creating juices that aren’t only detoxifying and healthy but that “taste damn good, too” — to help us understand some of the basics about juice. 

Blog-InSKIN-Spring2015-HarvestJuicery-TopViewJuiceRM-10Feb2015-20150404

There’s so much juice out there, how do I know if it’s really good? (I know you talk about cold pressed a lot on your site!)

This would come down to the process (besides flavor of course). The two major players in the juicing world are Centrifugal/Centrifuge or Cold Pressed.

Centrifugal: This process is quick, uses a lot less product, heats the product while juicing, only saves about 50% of the nutrients and enzymes, and the benefits are lost if the juice is not consumed right away or within an hour. These juices are usually made to order.

Cold Pressed: This is a much longer process and uses about 2-3 pounds of vegetables per 16oz bottle. Due to the slower process it does not heat the product while juicing, saving about 95% of the nutrients and enzymes and making this process the closest to raw as possible. These juices have a 72-hour shelf life and are made and bottled for a grab-and-go purchase.

What’s the best way to select a juice? Is more vegetables (as opposed to fruit) always going to be healthier?

The best way to select a juice is to know what you are looking for and what your body is in need of, which will point you towards something that is more vegetable-based or fruit-based. Depending on other considerations like pre/post workout, afternoon pick-me-up, more protein, something a little sweeter…there should always be a recommendation by your juicer based on your specific needs at that time.

I’m a bit scared of “green” juice. Is it really good for you? What’s the best way to start trying it?

I believe that the person who is “scared of green juice” is hesitant because (at least in my experience) most green juices taste awful, but we still drink them because we know they are good for you. I am a strong believer in making healthy taste good. It is possible. It’s all about recipe balance — not just throwing a bunch of ingredients into one bottle that do not necessarily pair well with one another but if they are all “good for you,” it’s ok. What we do is ask our clients what their experience is with green juice. For example, “have you ever had a green juice,” “are you a green juice lover,” “is this new for you?” From there we base our recommendations on what you know and like, and guide you in a direction of not only taste but more familiar ingredients as well. Once you start there you, can move up to the stronger greens.

How do I incorporate juice into my diet?

Blog-InSKIN-Spring2015-HarvestJuicery-Bottles-10Feb2015-20150404

Any way that works for your lifestyle! Either for breakfast, pre/post workout, nighttime snack, lunch, afternoon pick-me-up, in rush hour to the airport…you can incorporate it into your lifestyle how you see fit and to address whatever needs you have.

What do you think of juice cleanses?

I am a believer in juice cleanses…when they are done properly. Our cleanse was consulted on and backed by an RD prior to launching. We also include a 48-hour notice to send you “pre/post” instructions on how to to ensure you receive the most benefits while on your cleanse. I saw that there was not a lot of material on what to do before and after a cleanse which is crucial, so that was important to me to include in our cleanse. Many people have a rockstar weekend and then think it is a great idea to cleanse on Monday. This is what we are trying to avoid and we’re trying help educate people on the reasons why.

We’ve heard it’s better to eat the fruit than to juice (since a lot of juice is basically sugar and water)…how can we juice to keep as much of the fiber and good stuff as possible?

Blog-InSKIN-Spring2015-HarvestJuicery-TopViewJuiceRM2-10Feb2015-20150404

When it comes to juicing you do lose most of the fiber as you are not actually biting into the skin of the fruit and vegetables, or having those be a component of the drink. However, drinking a bottle of raw, cold-pressed juice that packs 2-3 pounds of vegetables at a time is far more beneficial than an apple every other day. In regards to sugar and water, vegetables do contain water and fruit contains natural sugars…unfortunately this is confused with refined sugars and water used in products that are not exactly good for you.

 

Our take-home:

  1. Look for cold-pressed to retain as much of the nutrients as possible.
  2. Find a juicer who can help you select juices based on your needs, taste buds and lifestyle.
  3. If you juice cleanse, do so with supervision and not as a cure-all for weekend binges.
  4. Greener, less sweet juices are phenomenal for you but a good juicer can help you slowly work up to them.
  5. Drinking juices should not replace eating raw fruits and veggies (you still need to be doing this daily), but fresh juices are a great add-on to your overall fruit-veggie intake!

Skinside-Out Health Factor: Excellent!

Fruits and vegetables have almost too many benefits to count. In terms of skin, almost all are packed with antioxidants that help your skin fight off environmental stress and aging. Some new research is pointing to antioxidants not only boosting your protection against sun and light but possibly even helping to repair some damage. Fruits and vegetables won’t replace your skin care regimen (which is important for hygiene, active therapy and sun and light protection) but they are fundamental building blocks to your skin’s health (you need both). Aim for 50% of each meal being fruit or vegetable, the rawer the better. Err on the side of veggies if you’re concerned about your glycemic index or carbs…fruits are healthier than any other sugar or carbohydrate but most are high in both. If these are concerns for you, opt for berries! Low carb, low sugar and high in antioxidants. And feel free to add on throughout the day in the form of snack replacement (grilled sweet potato instead of chips) or fresh, cold-pressed juices!

 

All of the fruits and vegetables that go into Harvest Juicery products are organic or locally sourced, and they incorporate fresh herbs and spices. Learn more at HarvestJuicery.com or follow them on Instagram!

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