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Papaya Enzyme: The Secret to Lit-From-Within Skin

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Papaya enzyme is rich in vitamin A content rejuvenates the skin from the outside, while the enzyme papain can treat acne breakouts. Since it is rich in potassium, it hydrates the skin and prevents it from being dull-looking.

Due to the enzyme called papain, it works as a natural and effective exfoliator, brightens the skin, and removes dead skin cells which help the skin repair itself. It removes flaky patches and the inactive protein that’s sitting on the top layer of your skin. Papaya has a high number of healing enzymes that can also protect the skin against sun damage or treat existing sunburns.

Papaya Enzyme and Glowing Skin

Papaya enzyme works wonders, especially for dull skin. For starters, it contains vitamins A and C. These essential vitamins help improve skin elasticity. They boost the skin’s collagen production which slows down the aging process. This way, the skin can stretch and snap back to its original shape which contributes to a youthful complexion.

It is also an excellent ingredient that promotes brighter and lighter skin. Papaya enzyme helps lighten and fade blemishes and pigmentation. It contains phytochemicals that make the skin look fairer. Furthermore, it is chockful of alpha-hydroxy acids that help dissolve inactive proteins and dead skin. 

Furthermore, papaya enzymes help keep the skin clear and acne-free. The papain and chymopapain present in this skincare ingredient help decrease inflammation and remove dead skin cells that clog up the pores.

Meanwhile for aging skin, papaya enzymes work wonders by helping in the reduction of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidants like lycopene help nourish the skin, fight free radicals, and prevent oxidative damage to the skin cells. This helps your skin remain smooth and younger-looking.

Licorice Extract for the Skin

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What is Licorice Extract? 

Like the sweet treat, it all comes back to the licorice plant (scientific term: Glycyrrhiza glabra…we’ll just call it the licorice plant). The root of the plant has been used for medicinal purposes for years, and is where black licorice the candy comes from, but it’s also the source of licorice extract used topically for skin.

This extract is filled with a variety of beneficial compounds, which do everything from deliver antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to help fade dark spots. It’s this latter effect that makes it a choice ingredient in many skin-brightening products. 

It even acts in a similar manner to hydroquinone (more on that in a minute), considered to be the gold-standard brightening ingredient, though notorious for its unwanted side effects and even potential safety concerns.

Benefits of Licorice Extract For Skin 

  • Minimizes the production of tyrosinase to combat discoloration: The production of melanin (AKA pigment or color) is a complicated process, but at the heart of the matter is an enzyme known as tyrosinase. Licorice extract inhibits the production of tyrosinase, in turn inhibiting the production of dark spots.
  • Removes excess melanin: Licorice extract brightens the skin in another way, too. “It contains liquiritin, an active compound that helps to disperse and remove existing melanin in the skin,” explains Chwalek. In other words, not only can it help prevent new spots from forming, it can also fade existing ones.
  • Acts as a potent antioxidant: Like many other plant-based extracts, licorice contains a flavonoid, an antioxidant-rich component that decreases reactive oxygen species, which both age and discolor the skin, says Linkner.
  • Offers anti-inflammatory benefits: While the flavonoid is anti-inflammatory in and of itself, there’s yet another molecule, licochalcone A, which inhibits two inflammatory markers that trigger the inflammatory cascade, Chwalek says.
  • May help control oil production in the skin: Though this isn’t one of the more commonly agreed upon benefits, Chwalek says that there’s some evidence to suggest that that licochalcone A compound may have the added benefit of regulating oil production. It’s why licorice extract is often used in Ayurvedic medicine as a dandruff treatment.

Everything You Need to Know About Ferulic Acid

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What is Ferulic Acid?

Ferulic acid is an antioxidant found in the cell walls of plants such as rice and oats and the seeds of apples and oranges, where it plays a key role in the plants’ protection and self-preservation.

What is it used for?

When applied topically, ferulic acid acts like other antioxidants in that it helps to slow the aging process by reducing the effects of damaging free radicals on the skin. It is also thought to protect against sun damage, as well as assisting in skin regeneration functions to tackle skin that has already been over-exposed. In addition, it has the benefit of working well alongside other antioxidants, enhancing the stability and the efficacy of vitamins C and E.

What are the pros and cons of using it?

If the effects of aging are a concern for you then ferulic acid is a good way to slow the signs thanks to its ability to fight free radicals and slow down the aging process caused by oxidation. Because it stabilizes more problematic antioxidants such as the highly-oxidative vitamin C, it actually makes other skincare ingredients work even harder and last longer. If you have very sensitive skin you may have a negative reaction to ferulic acid, but overall it is a safe ingredient for most skin types.

5 Reasons to Love Neem Oil for Your Skin

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Neem is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years in India for traditional remedies. Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree, and has been used in medicine, skincare, hair care, and even pest control.

It contains powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal components, such as azadirachtin (natural insecticide), vitamins C and E,  carotenoids, linoleic acid, oleic acid, and nimbidin, which is known to have potent antihistamine and antiseptic properties.

Benefits of Neem Oil

  1. Great for dry skin. Because neem oil contains vitamin E and also rich in healthy fatty acids, it’s great for healing cracked dry skin by penetrating into the skin. It also locks in moisture to smooth out the skin texture.
  2. Clears out acne. Neem oil is naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, so it’s great for removing bacteria from your skin and combatting acne. It also soothes redness and known to reduce acne scars as well! I also love that it won’t dry out the skin like other products that target acne
  3. Combats wrinkles. Did you know that neem also promotes collagen production, which is amazing for anti-aging? It’s also rich in vitamin E, which reduces free radicals in the skin to reverse damages and keep your skin supple. Don’t mind me while I bathe myself in neem oil.
  4. Evens out skin tone. As someone who struggles with uneven skin pigmentation, I love this one! Hyperpigmentation of the skin can happen with the overproduction of melanin, and neem oil balances out the melanin secretion to lighten up dark spots. It’s especially great for spot treatment!
  5. Reduce inflammation for eczema. Neem has been known to reduce redness and inflammation for eczema and relieve dry itchy skin. It’s an effective emollient, which prevents loss of moisture and helps build a protective layer over the skin.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil: Your New Skin Saves

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Meadowfoam seed oil is a seed oil, extracted from the seeds of Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam). The seeds contain 20-30% oil. Meadowfoam seed oil is extraordinarily stable, primarily because it contains over 98% long-chain fatty acids.

Meadowfoam oil is most similar to rapeseed oil, with which it competes directly for the high-volume industrial oilseed applications. Meadowfoam oil is widely used in cosmetic and hair-care applications due to its stability, emollience, and smooth, soft skin feel. The oil in its unpurified form is not suitable for human consumption, primarily because of its erucic acid content.

Benefits of Meadowfoam Seed Oil

  • RETAINS MOISTURE. The unique, high-quality and long-chain fatty acids deep within the oil are ideal for providing moisture without leaving a greasy feeling. They are also the reason why the oil is not absorbed by the hair but instead forms a protective coating around it, in turn helping your hair retain its moisture.
  • MAKES HAIR SILKY AND SMOOTH. Meadowfoam repairs damaged tresses by sticking to hair shafts, and reduces frizz while providing a natural shine.
  • REJUVENATES THE SKIN. With its high vitamin E content, meadowfoam can rejuvenate skin by tackling degradation and allowing beneficial nutrients to enter deep into the epidermis.
  • PROTECTS THE SKIN. As an antioxidant, meadowfoam protects your skin against cellular damage. Myristic acid contained in the oil is anti-inflammatory and soothes irritated skin.
  • DOESN’T BLOCK PORES. Despite being rich in essential fatty acids, the oil is light and non-greasy. It resembles sebum, the oil secreted by skin, and balances the skin’s natural sebum production, meaning that it’s perfect for keeping your face in that sweet spot between too dry or excessively oily. This allows it to heal acne while being mild enough even for the most sensitive of skins.
  • PROTECTS YOUR HAIR FROM THE SUN. Need protection against the harsh rays of the sun? Meadowfoam oil will do the trick.
  • RESISTANT TO OXIDATION. By evading the corrosive actions of oxidation, meadowfoam seed oil will help your hair keep its color for longer. That’s some money you can save on hair coloring treatments!

A Quick Guide to Lactic Acid for Your Skin

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Lactic acid is a hydrating alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) commonly derived from milk. However, there are alternative vegan sources, like fermented corn starch, beets, and other sugar-rich foods. Synthetic forms of this ingredient are often found in peels and serums. 

How Does Lactic Acid Work

Lactic acid brightens, smooths, and evens skin, while also making it look firmer. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. 

It exfoliates by loosening the bonds between dead skin cells to reveal a more radiant complexion. 

How to Use Lactic Acid

It’s generally recommended for nighttime use and suggested frequency varies from product to product. Check the packaging for specific instructions. 

While it can be used with many other ingredients and products, sunscreen’s essential when lactic acid is a part of your routine. Another important step: cleansing the morning after you use lactic acid to sweep away dead skin cells. 

Don’t use it on days you use retinol since both are potent ingredients. Alternate between the two to avoid irritation. 

Benefits of Lactic Acid

  • Kills bacteria: Research around lactic acid’s efficacies as they relate to the skin are limited in the early to mid-1900s, but in 1985, a study found that lactic acid helped to kill skin infections in newborn infants. It tracks that it would do the same in adults, including the irritating, acne-causing kind.
  • Diminishes wrinkles: Later, in ’96, when different concentrations were tested (5% and 12%), researchers observed that a higher concentration actually penetrated both the dermis and epidermis (5% could only reach the epidermis) for firmer, thicker skin, resulting in fewer fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Reduces acne: It’s also been proven to reduce acne lesions.
  • Increases cell turnover: It works by increasing the rate of skin turnover, causing new and younger-looking skin to grow.
  • Helps skin hold moisture: With new skin cells on the surface, it can hold on to moisture better.

Tips for Using Lactic Acid

Start by following the instructions on the packaging—many advise using lactic acid every other night, or even once or twice a week. Slight tingling or redness is normal, but if you experience anything more intense, talk to your dermatologist. 

Don’t forget to layer on a moisturizer. This essential step nourishes and balances skin so it doesn’t overproduce oil. 

Say yes to SPF. Sun protection is a must when using lactic acid because sloughing off dead skin cells can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage.

Frankincense: Liquid Gold for the Skin

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Frankincense has a long history. It has been used for centuries to relieve respiratory and digestive ailments. Today, it is commonly used to soothe the mind, boost energy, and promote healing.

But did you know that the so-called “king of oils” can also do wonders for your skin? In this blog, we’ll be talking about why this essential oil is the gold standard for boosting your complexion. Let’s get started!

Frankincense Oil at a Glance

Frankincense oil is obtained from the dried and distilled resin of the Frankincense tree (boswellia). This plant is native to specific regions of Africa and the Middle East. The word frankincense comes from the term “franc encens,” which means quality incense in old French.

Also called olibanum, frankincense oil has a sweet, woody scent and is often used to ease stress. It contains Limonene, Pinene, Borneol, Farnesol, Phellandrene, Myrcene, and other constituents. These compounds have strong anti-inflammatory and protective properties

When used as an ingredient in skincare products, it is said to treat dry skin. Furthermore, it can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, scars, and stretch marks.

Frankincense oil has astringent and cytophylactic properties. This means that it can be applied topically to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and skin imperfections such as discoloration. It stimulates the growth of new cells, thus when used on cuts it promotes faster healing.

Benefits of Frankincense for the Skin

Frankincense oil has excellent wound healing properties. It may decrease the appearance of scars including dark spots from acne, stretch marks, and eczema. 

This oil can also strengthen the skin and improve its defense mechanism against bacteria. Moreover, it may also be beneficial for the fading of stretch marks, surgery scars, or marks associated with pregnancy. Furthermore, it can be useful for healing dry or cracked skin.

According to a review published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, frankincense oil reduces redness and skin irritation. According to the same study, it can also produce a more even skin tone. Studies suggest that it’s the pentacyclic triterpene (steroid-like) structure of frankincense oil that contributes to its soothing effect.

Since it is an essential oil, it should be mixed with a carrier oil or added to an emulsion.

Sweet Orange Essential Oil: A Skin-Clearing Botanical Extract

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Apart from its notably uplifting and refreshing scent, sweet orange essential oil is an excellent ingredient in skincare products. It is a powerful botanical extract that can strengthen, rejuvenate, and protect your skin.

In this blog, we’ll be talking about how sweet orange oil can help keep your skin clear, smooth, and supple. Let’s get started!

What is Sweet Orange Oil

Sweet orange oil is an essential oil produced within the rind of the citrus sinensis fruit. It is produced using a cold-pressing method. It has a sweet, fresh, and tangy smell and a yellow to orange hue. This essential oil has a light, almost watery consistency.

The oil is composed of 90 percent d-limonene. However, it also contains several hundred compounds including long-chain aliphatic hydrocarbon alcohols, aldehydes like 1-octanol and octanal; as well as A-pinene, citronellal, geranial, myrcene neral, and sibenene.

These compounds lend sweet orange essential oil powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Benefits of Sweet Orange Oil

Fights Acne

The strong antibacterial properties found in sweet orange essential oil helps keep propionibacterium from wreaking havoc in the skin. It prevents bacteria from spreading which prevents acne from developing. 

As a citrus oil, it can also help balance the skin’s sebum production for clearer skin.

Evens Out Skin Tone

Sweet orange essential oil has a remarkable ability to inhibit melanin production. This helps in slowing down skin damage caused by UV light exposure, pollution, and toxicity. This results in brighter and more even-toned skin.

It also contains vitamin C which helps lighten dark spots and corrects hyperpigmentation. 

Fights the Visible Signs of Aging

Since sweet orange essential oil is chock full of limonene, it can help fight free radicals that hasten the aging process. It can also promote collagen production for smooth and plump skin. 

Strengthens the Skin

The beneficial compounds found in sweet orange essential oil can protect the skin from harmful external factors. It strengthens the skin’s barrier function by promoting the formation of the skin’s stratus corneum which keeps the skin’s barrier function intact. 

Fight Hormonal Acne with Evening Primrose Oil

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Does your period come with angry red bumps on your chin and forehead? Then you might be experiencing hormonal acne. Unlike regular breakouts, this type of acne is caused by the fluctuations in your hormone levels.

In this blog, we’ll be talking about how you can fight those pesky breakouts that regularly plague your skin using evening primrose oil. Let’s get started!

What is Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil is a botanical extract obtained by cold-pressing the seeds of Oenothera biennis or evening primrose. It is traditionally called the “King’s Cure-All” alluding to its beneficial properties when applied medicinally.

It is believed that this botanical oil is an effective treatment for pimples, nodules, cystic acne, and blackheads due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It can also keep the skin from becoming overly dry by delivering skin-loving fatty acids that help the skin retain moisture while maintaining its lipid balance.

Skin Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

Today, evening primrose oil is lauded for its ability to keep the skin clear, supple, and elastic. This is because this botanical oil is rich in fatty acids such as Linoleic Acids (Omega-6), γ-Linolenic Acid (Omega-6), Oleic Acid (Omega-9), Palmitic Acid, and Stearic Acid.

Linoleic acids are best known for their ability to moisturize the skin, facilitate wound healing, reduce inflammation, and soothe acne while reducing the chances of future breakouts. It also helps promote moisture in the skin and hair while also sustaining the skin’s elasticity and softness.

Gamma-linolenic acids (GLA), meanwhile, are known for being an excellent anti-inflammatory. It soothes symptoms of irritation and allergies. Furthermore, its ability to deliver essential fatty acids to the skin can slow down the look of aging by keeping the skin looking soft and elastic. 

On the other hand, oleic acids help maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of the skin. It exhibits antioxidant properties which can reduce visible signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Finally, palmitic acid has emollient properties that can soften the skin without leaving a greasy or sticky residue. It is a great source of saturated fatty acid which helps the skin retain its lipid barrier effectively.

How Does Evening Primrose Oil Work

Evening primrose oil works by bringing the skin’s fatty acid at the right balance. The plant contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acid GLA. The body uses these fatty acids to create creates another ingredient called dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) which can reduce inflammation and heal acne.

Cholesterol: A Skincare Hero for Youthful Skin

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If the word cholesterol conjures up images of greasy food and trips to the doctor’s office then you’re not alone. But did you know that despite not having a heart-healthy reputation, it can actually do wonders for your skin?

In this blog, we’ll be talking about cholesterol and how it can keep your skin looking youthful. Let’s get started!

Understanding Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a lipid molecule produced by all animal cells that can also be isolated from plant sources. It is an essential component of animal cell membranes that helps maintain the structural integrity and fluidity of these membranes.

Furthermore, it is a precursor for the production of steroid hormones such as adrenal gland hormones cortisol and aldosterone, as well as the sex hormones progesterone, estrogens, and testosterone, and their derivatives. It is also necessary for the biosynthesis of bile acid, and even vitamin D.

When it comes to skin health, cholesterol is one of the most important lipids that can be found on the surface of the skin. Along with ceramides and fatty acids, it holds skin cells together and promotes a healthy skin barrier. 

It plays a vital role in keeping the skin hydrated which is why it can be found in skincare products. It serves as an emollient and stabilizer that helps condition the skin.

Sources of Cholesterol for Skincare Products

Skincare products contain plant-derived and animal-derived cholesterol. 

While some labels will simply mention cholesterol in the ingredient list, it is not uncommon to see this ingredient identified as wool extract or lanolin extract. 

It can also be derived from squalene, a botanical compound which serves as a precursor for the synthesis of cholesterol in plants.

The Role of Cholesterol in Healthy Skin as You Age

Primarily, cholesterol acts as a stabilizer and emulsifier which helps water-in-oil formulations from separating. It forms a monomolecular layer that keep droplets dispersed which produces a stable emulsion.

It is also a natural component of the skin’s outermost layer called stratum corneum. When applied topically, it strengthens the skin’s barrier function. This can keep allergens, bacteria, and other irritants from wreaking havoc and causing acne, rashes, itchiness, and even signs of aging.

It helps the skin retain proper moisture levels while regulating cell activity. It keeps the outer layer of the skin strong while helping keep water in. Moreover, it also helps repair skin that has been over-exfoliated or exposed to treatments that strip the skin of its natural lipids.

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