Time for another iHerb Haul!
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Now Foods | B-50 100 veg caps
I visited my Kinesiologist for a check-up last year and she recommended me to take a multi-vitamin supplement for hair and nails or to take b-vitamins and zinc separately. I took a mult-vitamin at first that she had handed me. However, for a month use, it was quite expensive. So when I finished it up, I decided to try taking the important nutrients separately. She, of course, didn’t recommend I take this particular brand, but I couldn’t see the point in buying the expensive ones she offered. The Now Foods B-50 had rave reviews and had very similar amounts in the content to the other one that she had in her office.
There are 100 caps, so quite a lot for your money. B-vitamins are usually recommended for good hormonal health. However, taking these didn’t make me feel a lot of a difference. Then there was this incident with severe anxiety. I can’t be 100% sure it’s the B-vitamins, but I couldn’t find any other explanation for my sudden panic attacks and worry. It was a challenging time for me but luckily, I stopped taking them and after 1-2 weeks I started feeling normal again. After a month I introduced them back in, but I never dared to take them every day. As well, I managed to track that the anxiety usually would happen before my period, so something was giving me PMS and these supplements were the only thing I had changed during that time.
Though excess B-vitamins are usually flushed down with the urine, they can also become accumulative, in the sense that you’re topping off your daily need. I mean, in food, B-vitamins are usually found in smaller amounts than what you’d get from supplements. With the exception of B12, there’s the complexity of throwing off one b-vitamin when taking too much of the other. That’s why it’s better to take a b-complex, but it’s not guaranteed things will stay balanced. Not to mention that I might’ve gotten plenty through diet. There’s no true test to take, and Kinesiologists go very much by intuition. The anxiety wasn’t something that happened overnight but took about 2 months into my supplementation before my mood suddenly switched.
Anyhow, I got really put off by taking a B-complex, no matter how much people seem to hype it as a must. I could only find one article of a doctor who noticed anxiety rise in his patients from taking certain B-vitamins. But overall, b-vitamins are usually used for calming and as an anti-depressant. But just be aware.
Now Foods | L-OptiZinc, 30 mg 100 veg caps
So with the recommendation, I also went and picked up this zinc supplement. L-OptiZinc is supposed to be highly bioavailable. I also liked that it has copper, which is very important as these two compete with each other. However, it might have slightly too low copper considering the high amount of zinc.
And, yes, 30mg, is a bit much zinc, to be honest. I do my best to get as much from food as possible, so 8-15mg would’ve been more than enough.
I ruled out zinc as being the culprit to my anxiety as I seriously couldn’t find anything but positives on zinc and depression. Zinc, also, isn’t as metabolic or affects our energy levels as B-vitamins do.
I didn’t see any improvement in my skin while taking these, and I actually suffered some breakouts during that time. I don’t think it was due to the zinc supplement or b-vitamins, but nor did they reduce the problem either.
Garden of Life | Primal Defense, HSO Probiotic Formula
Since my very first Probiotic cure, the one that helped me majorly reduce my acne, I haven’t noticed any huge difference between taking probiotics versus when I’m not taking it. But I like to try different brands, and though I don’t find them to do anything nowadays when I’m more balanced, I do think it’s good to take them annually. Last year I went with the Garden of Life Primal Defence that uses soil-based probiotics. Again, didn’t feel anything, so can’t tell you how effective they are. My only issue was that these were some big-ass tablets, and were really hard to swallow. So I won’t be buying these again.
Deva | Vegan Premium Evening Primrose Oil
My acne was popping back during spring and summer last year even though I kept taking vitamin E. After hearing several taking evening primrose oil for their skin I thought I’d give it a go.
I can’t tell for sure that these helped my skin, but I felt my skin becoming clearer after adding these to my supplements. I take half the dose and alternate between these and Vitamin E.
Sunwarrior | Warrior Blend Plant-Based Organic Protein, Berry
I’ve been anti-protein powder for a while. Or let me correct myself… I think its importance is being too hyped up. The body needs all micronutrients. Period.
My reason for wanting to try protein powder stems mostly from a lowered calorie intake and to test an experiment for my hair and skin. I may be more active than the average person, but I’ve never had any problem with recovery or even building muscle and becoming stronger on an intake of around 55g a day. But as I’ve cut down on my calories as well as starting eating more fats, I suddenly found myself having trouble to fit protein in somewhere without upping my calories (read: eat more). Protein powders are a convenient way of upping your protein intake without adding too much on calories.
We went with the berry taste as our smoothie usually includes blueberries and raspberries, and thought the taste would be masked. It’s not a bad tasting protein powder and luckily didn’t ruin our smoothie too much. but the berry taste was just a bit too synthetic. We’ve since then tried their Classic PLUS vanilla flavor, which blends really nicely and adds great taste to our smoothie.
As for any benefits, I have not seen or felt any. But we’ve continued to buy protein powders as we’ve grown to like the taste in our smoothie.
ALSO GOT: Blender Bottle 20oz (review here)
Andalou Naturals | Instant Luminous, Turmeric & Gold Clay Face Mask
A little something you throw in to get cheaper shipping. This one was talked about in the green beauty sphere at the time of my purchase. I took it with me on my trip to Crete and used it there.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t as amazed by it as some. It’s a clay-based mask that contains some vitamin C (MAP), turmeric and tea extracts, but it also has cacao butter which has a high comedogenic rating. Nonetheless, I thought it was okay but nothing special.
InstaNatural | Day & Night Skin Duo, Age Defying Serum Kit
InstaNatural is like The Ordinary of the green skincare. I was on the lookout to try a vitamin C serum and saw this value set. I wanted to avoid citrus oils in my vitamin C serum, but seeing as it’s hard to avoid when it comes to natural beauty I went with it anyway. Note that the serums in this kit have a slightly different ingredient list than when bought separately.
InstaNatural uses sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) which isn’t the most effective form of vitamin C but has shown to be the best form for acne prone skin.
The serums are packed with gentle and beneficial ingredients. The vitamin C serum includes witch hazel, which I was a bit worried about as my skin hasn’t gotten along with it in the past. But this serum doesn’t seem to have been a problem. Besides vitamin C it also contains, licorice, green tea extract, ginko bilboa leaf extract, argan oil, algea extract and a bunch of nourishing ingredients.
The retinol serum is basically a vitamin C serum with retinol as the ingredient list doesn’t differ much from the vitamin C serum. However, this one includes things like niacinamide, meadowfoam seed oil (which is close to our natural sebum), sodium hyaluronate, Q10, astaxanthin, and natural salicylic acid from willow bark extract. How much retinol is used is hard to say. I contacted InstaNaturals, but they didn’t want to say. I did find one comment on Amazon saying an older version said on the packaging 2%. However, at 2% it would have quite a drastic effect on your skin, so I would say it’s somewhere under 1% as I haven’t experienced any common issues that retinol can cause.
Both serums smelled of something burnt, almost like BBQ. I wish they didn’t include citrus oils in these serums, but overall I found them, especially the Retinol, to work great on my skin and could definitely see myself repurchase in the future. They kept my skin bright and even reduced my breakouts. My only issue is that both had an orange hue to the liquid, which makes it difficult to see or even know if they have started to oxidize. But a general rule of thumb is to use them within 3 months.
Cosrx | Acne Pimple Master Patch
To be honest, I don’t think that these work as magically as people make it sound. Nevertheless, I don’t want to be without them.
While I found them to not work at all at sucking up the white gunk from my whiteheads, they were the perfect plaster to put after I’ve (properly) squeezed a pimple to let the wound heal and avoid getting a scar. Note: when I talk about acne scars, I refer to an indent of any sort, not the redness which is more of a pigment than a scar.
This patch speeds up the healing time and makes the wound heal invisibly. It was lucky to have them around when I one morning accidentally hit myself with my nail right below my eye (don’t ask me how). That area is super sensitive and scars easily; I have several scars from being a bit too close to my cat in my youth hehe… I put one of these patches on the wound and switched to a new one daily for three days. The wound healed completely and left only microscopical scars that don’t bother me. All I can think of is that I wish I had these when my cat decided to scratch my eye out 20 years ago!
PS iHerb’s K-Beauty department has grown a lot, and you’ll now find popular brands like Klairs, COSRX, Banila Co, Huxley and many more! iHerb offers 10% on K-Beauty quite frequently, however, they seem to have trouble keeping stock, so always hurry if you see something you want!
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Favorite B12 supplement: Garden of Life MyKind Organics B-12 Organic Spray
Favorite vegan D3 Supplement: MRM Vegan Vitamin D3 5,000 IU
Favorite vegan Vitamin E: Solgar Vitamin E 400 IU with Mixed Tocopherols
Favorite Green Powder: MRM Global Greens
Favorite food add-on: Bell Plantation PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter