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Meadowfoam Seed Oil: Your New Skin Saves

Anby

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

Anby

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

Anby

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

Anby

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

Anby

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

Anby

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.

Azelaic Acid: A Gentle Acne Solution

Anby

In the world of acne treatments, things like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and benzoyl peroxide reign supreme. But not all skin types can tolerate these ingredients. If you have sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts, this could be a problem.

But don’t fret because there’s way to control your acne without disrupting your skin and it’s been flying under the radar for a long time. In this blog, we’ll be talking about azelaic acid and its many skin benefits. Let’s get started!

Understanding Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is a dicarboxylic acid that can be derived from a number of sources including our own skin and grains and cereals.  It is a mild exfoliant that prevents comedones, exfoliates deep within the pores, decreases keratin, provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to the skin.

This multifunctional ingredient works by decreasing the swelling and redness of the skin which is great for skin conditions like rosacea. It also kills bacteria and decreases the production of keratin which helps treat and prevent acne.

It is available in prescription concentrations of 15% and 20%. However, you can also find over-the-counter products containing 10% concentration of this ingredient. Azelaic acid is often found in leave-on treatments like gels, foams, and creams.

Benefits of Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid offers. Any benefits to the skin. Primarily, it exfoliates deeply yet gently. It seeps deep into the pores to remove dead skin cells clog pores and make the skin look dull. It dissolves old and flaky skin cells to reveal younger and brighter skin cells. Unlike topical retinoids, however, it won’t irritate the skin as much.

It also acts as a tyrosinase inhibitor which means it can even out your skin tone. Azelaic acid is great for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne breakouts. Research suggests that it is also suitable for melasma.

Along with its pore-decongesting properties, its antibacterial nature makes sit useful for keeping acne breakouts at bay. 

Furthermore, it can soothe irritation and redness caused by inflammation. It can reduce the appearance of red bumps on sensitive skin and it can also address some of the secondary infections caused by rosacea.

Since it is such a gentle ingredient, azelaic acid is safe for use on all skin types. Even people with sensitive skin have shown that they can tolerate it.

How to Use It

Regardless if you’re using an OTC formula or you’ve got a prescription from your dermatologist, you need to practice proper application for this ingredient to effectively work its magic.

Apply a thin layer to clean and dry skin once in the morning and again at night. But if you have particularly sensitive skin, it’s best to use to once every other day.

To improve its absorption into the skin, it can also help if you apply an AHA, a BHA, or a retinol product first. Follow this up with a hydrating moisturizer and a sunscreen with SPF 30 during the day.

One of the key things to know about azelaic acid is that it is slow acting. You’ll be able to see its effects if you use it consistently over the course of a few months.

Activated Charcoal: A Natural Pore Purifier

Anby

Pores: whether you love them or hate them, these tiny openings on the surface of our skin still play a crucial role in our skin’s overall health. First, they let out sweat and regulate body temperature. Second, they supply the skin with natural oils to keep it lubricated, supple, and moisturized. 

However, your pores can get clogged with dirt, excess sebum, and dead skin cells. Often, this leads to blackheads, whiteheads, and acne.

To keep your skin clear and bright, you need to make sure that your pores are free from debris. In today’s blog, we’ll be talking about a natural pore purifier you can find in many skin care products today. Let’s get started!

Understanding Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is a fine black powder made from a variety of sources including bone char, coconut shells, and peat. It is processed at very high temperatures which change its internal structures and reduce the size of its pores. This increases the surface area of the resulting carbon and makes it more porous than regular charcoal.

It is a highly absorbent material with a negative electrical that can trap toxins, chemicals, and other substances. Because of these properties, activated charcoal has long been used as first aid for people afflicted with poisoning. 

These days, however, it is also noted for its usefulness in skin care products. It is often found in formulations that are designed to absorb excess sebum and decongest the pores. You can find facial washes, face masks, and exfoliators that contain this ingredient.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal for the Skin

  • Refines Your Pores

Central to its skincare benefit is its ability to absorb impurities from the skin. Activated charcoal can attract excess oil, dirt buildup, and dead skin cells so your pores stay clear.

When your pores are not filled to the brim with all that gunk, they will appear smaller and less visible. This gives your complexion a more refined and smoother look.

  • Balances Oil Production

If you have oily skin, you’ll love having products with activated charcoal around. This highly absorbent ingredient draws out excess sebum and helps balance oil production. This way, your skin remains glowing without the unwanted shine.

  • Cleans Your Skin Deeply

Activated charcoal is an excellent skin cleanser. It attracts deep-seated dirt, grime, and oil giving your skin a fresher and healthier appearance with each use. It can unclog your pores, eliminate dead skin cells, and leave your skin looking buffed and polished.

  • Soothes and Heals Minor Skin Irritations

Activated charcoal is useful when dealing with insect bites, stings, cuts, scrapes, and minor infections. It can absorb unwanted toxins and reduce inflammation and pain.

  • Useful for Scalp Conditions

If you have an oily and dandruff-ridden scalp, activated charcoal can be your new best friend. It can pull out toxins from your scalp while absorbing excess oil. With continued use, it can help reduce dandruff and flakes from your scalp while relieving itchiness.

A Reminder About Activated Charcoal

Since activated charcoal can be highly absorbent, you should not overuse products that contain this as an ingredient. You might be tempted to use it every day to keep your skin matte but you may run the risk of over-drying your skin. 

Use products with activated charcoal up to two times a week only to avoid stripping your skin of its natural oils which can trigger further skin issues. 

Carnauba: A Natural Wax for Vegan Skincare

Anby

Natural waxes like carnauba are a staple in many cosmetic and skincare products especially those that fall under the organic category. These lipids composed of hydrocarbons and fatty esters are versatile ingredients that serve a wide variety of functions in formulations.

What is Carnauba Wax?

Carnauba is a wax obtained from the leaves of the palm called Copernicia Prunifera. It is extracted by beating the leaves of the palm which loosens the wax. It then goes through a refining process. 

The palm species that carnauba wax is derived from flourishes naturally in Brazil. This is not the same species that palm oil is pressed from and is a tree that grows wildly in native forests. Once a year the leaves are pruned by hand from trees found growing naturally in the forest. 

This harvesting practice allows the trees to continue with their natural growth cycles. To the knowledge of our harvesters, there has never been an instance where this tree was considered threatened or a threat to the environment.

It is available from very dark intensive yellow to light beige color and is offered as flakes, pellets, or powder.

Uses for Carnauba Wax

It is primarily used as a thickening agent. It imparts hardness and reduces the stickiness of color cosmetics. In styling products, carnauba wax imparts hold. Meanwhile, in emulsions, it is often used as a stabilizer and as a viscosity modifier.

In modern formulations, carnauba wax is applied as a nanocarrier to disperse inorganic UV filters in aqueous solutions.

Both carnauba and candelilla wax are applied in barrier repair and therapeutic treatments to reduce transepidermal water loss and promote the barrier function of the skin.

Carnauba wax is a wonderful ingredient to use in natural cosmetics. It is extremely durable and dries to a glossy finish. Commonly found in lipsticks and lip balms, it may also be used in salves, balms, and in any recipe where beeswax is called for. It is a great alternative to beeswax, and a crucial ingredient in the vegan cosmetics industry.

The Skin Conditioning Benefits of Butylene Glycol

Anby

Butylene glycol is one of the most common ingredients in self-care and beauty products. You can find it in items like shampoos, conditioners, lotions, serums, sheet masks, sunscreens, and various other cosmetics. But why? In this blog, we’ll be talking about the role of this skincare ingredient in the products you find in your vanity shelf. Let’s get started!

What is Butylene Glycol?

Butylene glycol is a type of alcohol often made from petroleum. It acts as a solvent that keeps ingredients, dyes, and pigments in formulations from forming clumps. 

However, unlike other types of alcohol that can dry and irritate the skin, it adds moisture to and conditions both the skin and hair. It is used as an alternative to propylene glycol and is considered to be safer for daily use.

It serves many functions in cosmetics such as decreasing the viscosity of formulations. Butylene makes other ingredients less likely to stick together which allows for even consistency.

Butylene glycol also acts as a conditioning agent that softens and improves the texture of the skin. It coats the surface of cells which helps retain moisture.

It is also a popular ingredient for gel-based products as well as in makeup that’s intended to glide smoothly on the face.

Skin Benefits of Butylene Glycol

Butylene glycol serves as a multifunctional ingredient in many skin care and personal care products. For starters, it acts as a humectant. It attracts water from the environment, binds with it, and helps the skin hold on to moisture giving it a more supple and hydrated appearance.

This ingredient also improves the penetrability of ingredients in a formula. It breaks down hart-to-dissolve active ingredients so the skin can absorb them more efficiently. In turn, products are able to perform their job more effectively with the help of this alcohol.

Furthermore, butylene glycol also serves as an emollient. It creates a barrier on the skin which prevents transdermal water loss. This keeps the skin soft and conditioned.

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