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What constitutes a “natural” beauty product? There’s still no universally accepted standard, even though the market is growing at a rapid rate and the FDA is involved, making changes and will continue to set standards. The skin is the body’s largest organ and research proves it capable of absorbing up to 60% of the ingredients in the products we apply – that is a large number and we’ve become more aware of what ingredients are found in our products for this reason. There is a large majority of bath, body, hair, makeup and skincare products available today which contain commonly used synthetic ingredients such as Parabens, detergents, preservatives and SLS; these synthetic ingredients have been recognized to cause irritation in some people and may have damaging effects longer-term. Ultimately, brands are choosing their own classification and how they represent themselves.

The industry and consumers use the three words, clean, natural and organic loosely and interchangeable, when in reality they are all different.

Wikipedia’s definitions shed some light on the differences between natural and organic:

natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism—that is, found in nature.[2][3] In the broadest sense, natural products include any substance produced by life.[4][5]

An organic product is made from materials produced by organic agriculture. Most appropriately(,)organic beauty products can be explained as any products that is made or cultivated without the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GM), herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and more. In order to warrant if a product is organic, the USA uses USDA certification – NOP National Organic Program to define a cultivated product (or ingredient) as organic.

The term clean’ when used in the beauty and wellness industry loosely refers to being “free of something” i.e. an ingredient, filler or preservative. The word ‘clean’ may also be used to refer to the sustainability of packaging or ingredients. The use of the word ‘clean’ is not mandated and is interpreted, demonstrated and used freely by individuals and brands as they see fit to further describe benefits (so it’s important to read the labels!). Therefore, there are many definitions of what clean means.

As a brand we identify as a clean, naturally inspired brand which utilizes a combination of natural and organic ingredients.  We do not formulate with silicones, mineral oil, parabens, alcohol, SLS, and artificial/synthetic dyes and fragrances – all of which can lead to skin irritation. We adhere to and are compliant with the EU’s banned list of ingredients.  Many retailers are deferring to the EU’s list of roughly 1400 banned ingredients, which are known to or suspected of causing cancer, birth defects, and reproductive harm, as a standard of defining clean and natural. Join us in the clean beauty movement

Interested in what you can do to add to your clean movement? Check out our lean life swap tips:

  • Store your water in a stylish, yet totally functional (hello cold water all day) SWELL water bottle and feel good about eliminating plastic water bottles and going BPA free FOREVER.
  • The average reusable bag has a lifespan equal to that of more than 700 disposable plastic bags. One person using reusable bags over their lifetime would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment. Nuf said.
  • Join us in a global movement to eliminate plastic drinking straws from our landfills, our streams, our oceans, and our beaches. Swap for paper, stainless or even bamboo straws.
  • Give a hoot – don’t pollute and pick up! The ocean is not a garbage can and neither is the street or the side of the road.

 

Why does our skin lose elasticity as we age and what does this lead to visibly? 

Overall, the amount of new collagen that your skin produces declines with age, while the rate of its destruction increases. Environmental aggressors are one of the main causes of aging skin damage and cancer. Daily aggressors like the sun, the air, pollution, exhaust, smoking, second hand smoke, radiation, the ozone, unclean skincare products (ingredients ie: phalates, mineral oil), ingested food and water all contribute to the demise of our healthy skin cells. Environmental aggressors deliver free radicals to the skin, which in turn cause the breakdown of collagen, onset of wrinkles, cell mutation, aging, dark spots, dehydration, inflammation, immune function damage and in some instances cancer.

By 25 years of age human production of collagen starts to naturally decrease, this increase even more for women post menopause. Collagen is one of three structural proteins that our bodies produce. Elastin and Glycosaminoglycans are the other two, which we will get to. Collagen is responsible for providing tissue and organs strength. As we age collagen is produced less and tissue begins to disconnect thus creating wrinkles, dryness and sagging skin. Elastin also plays a big role in aging, although not as plentiful in the skin as collagen, it is still important. Elastin is responsible for stretching abilities and ‘snapping back’, think of the word ‘elastic’. Once elastin starts to diminish, skin will look saggy, sunken and limp. Glycosaminoglycans are responsible for keeping collagen and elastin supported in the cellular space. Starting early is beneficial but the good news is it is never too late to start an anti-aging regimen!

What are the most effective topical ingredients to seek in elasticity-promoting skincare ingredients?

  • Vitamin B3 is one of the most effective ingredients in reducing collagen breakdown while simultaneously increasing fibroblast production. Vitamin B appears in just two main forms: nicotinic acid (also known as niacin) and nicotinamide (also called niacinamide).
  • The ability of vitamin C to revitalize aging skin is largely due to its beneficial effects on collagen. Collagen is a tough, fibrous protein that is relatively inelastic and very strong. It supplies the basic framework that gives your skin its form, firmness, and strength, while elastin provides flexibility. Fortunately, topical vitamin C has been scientifically proven to help stimulate collagen synthesis. It also helps block the production of enzymes the break down collagen, making it one of nature’s most effective anti-aging nutrients.
  • Plant-based stem cells contain high levels of active proteins, which work topically to regulate the stem-cell division in our skin cells. They essentially act as a massive protective barrier for the skin to allow our cells to regenerate at a healthy speed without being compromised by external factors including pollution and UVA/UVB rays. They aid in the reduction of the appearance of wrinkle depth, the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, an even complexion, plumper appearing skin and the longevity of healthy human skin cells. Some of my favorites to formulate with (found in our proprietary PURFLORA complex) are Raspberry Leaf Extract, Comfrey Stem Cells, White Tea Leaf Extract, Garden Crest Sprouts and Birds of Paradise extract.
  • Retinol is a form of Vitamin A. Retinol can improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles and increases collagen production. Retinol delivers an overall tighter, firmer, plumper appearance to the skin.

What are some of the best types of food to eat for healthy skin, and what are the benefits of each?

Eating fried foods, processed foods and sugar can wreak havoc on your skin causing puffiness, redness, blemishes, blotchiness, and in all cases Glycation. The Glycation process is sugar (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin and speeding up the aging process – think premature wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Eating ‘superfoods’ will benefit the internal health as well as the external glow. 

Salmon: rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is none of the most beneficial due to its ability to greatly reduce inflammation and dryness and increase circulation – a key attribute to healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Fermented foods: Think kimchee, sauerkraut or pickled vegetables. These foods contain probiotics which help keep the gut healthy.  A healthy gut helps the digestive system and immune system. Probiotics have been shown to help with skin issues such as eczema, rosacea, acne and aging skin.

Foods rich in antioxidants:  Leafy green blueberries, blackberries, avocado, broccoli, nuts. These all contain high levels of antioxidants which are crucial for overall help and fighting off free radical damage.

Are there any other holistic treatments or lifestyle practices that can also promote elasticity outside of our skincare regimen? 

The Sun is the number one environmental damage for skin.  Both UVA/UVB rays are harmful. Protect yourself by wearing a hat and sunglasses. Shielding your skin, head and eyes can help with sun damage and pollution-based aging. Always wash you face to remove the residue and makeup from the day.

Eat a diet high in anti-oxidant rich foods such as leafy greens and berries and foods high in essential fatty acids (salmon and almonds). Stay away form foods that can encourage and cause Glycation. The Glycation process, which is basically, sugars (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin and therefore speeding up the aging process. Foods that feed Glycation and cause inflammation in the body and the skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol.

Exfoliation is a must! As you grow older, the rate of skin cell turnover slows down dramatically. Dead cells on your skin’s surface hang around much longer, a fact that tends to accentuate those fine lines and make your complexion look dull and lifeless. By removing these dead skin cells, exfoliation helps make up for the gradual slowing down of your natural skin renewal process, improving the tone and texture of your skin.

Are there any supplements that you would suggest incorporating into a regime to help boost the body’s overall ability to support overall skin health? 

am a big proponent of vitamins and recommend them to my patients, friends and family. Vitamin D, my personal favorite, more closely resembles a hormone than a vitamin. The active form of vitamin D, called calcitriol, is the most powerful hormone produced by the human body. It has the ability to activate over 2000 genes, many of which are involved in critical aspects of skin cell metabolism, growth, repair, and protection.  Vitamin D in addition to being a key factor in skin cell growth and replacement, vitamin D also plays a major role in skin repair and protection (and can be found in our Vital Boost product). When microorganisms attack the skin, they secrete certain extracts that stimulate your skin to produce vitamin D. This vitamin D signals your skin’s innate immune system to start manufacturing a substance called cathelicidin, a very powerful germicide. Cathelicidin disrupts the integrity of bacterial cell membranes, resulting in the death of the microbes. Cathelicidin also helps promote the development of blood vessels and encourages new cell growth, both of which are essential for proper wound healing.

Probiotics: Ingesting daily probiotics is one of the healthiest supplements. Probiotics keep the gut bacteria and yeast in balance while targeting inflammation, strengthening immune functions, allergies and urinary tract health. Probiotics are beneficial for certain skin issues as they can help decrease redness and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. Probiotics also aid in increasing elasticity of the skin and smoothness.

Glucosamine: Delivers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in promoting joint health, crucial as we age.

Curcumin: A powerful compound found in the Turmeric plant, Curcumin may help to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Curcumin delivers super high levels of  potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection.

LED lights, micro-current, regular exercise, and lymphatic drainage can all help to ward off and decrease the appearance of aging and sagging skin.

 

 

 

The dog days of summer are wrapping up—and coincides with when skin has decided it can no longer take the heat, grime and sweat it’s been enduring for the past few months, going haywire. Just some of what you might be seeing in the mirror? Photo-damaged skin, discoloration, dehydration, dull or lackluster complexion, congestion. “It’s the sun, sand, beach, warm/humid climate,” explains Dr. Goldfaden. “Added with the fact that consumers are putting on loads of sunscreen to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays, which can lead to skin congestion and breakouts.”

With Fall upon us and Winter not too far behind we asked Dr. G the must-dos for a healthy transition into the seasons.

AUTUMN

Why do we start to see the sins of summer fun in the Autumn?

Post summer damage starts to show in the form of photo-damaged skin, discoloration, dehydration, dull/ lackluster complexion and congestion. This is from the sun, sand, beach, warm/humid climate. Added with the fact that we are putting on loads of sunscreen to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays, which can lead to skin congestion and breakouts.

 How do we restore the damage? 

Subtle changes to your regimen can do wonders for your skin and give it what it really needs. One subtle change? Swapping out just your cleanser. Goldfaden MD has developed a new cleanser that foams, the Detox Clarifying Facial Wash. Currently the original cleanser in the line, Pure Start, is a gentle wash that helps realign the skin’s natural pH balance. Detox Wash—thanks to a hardworking combo of AHA acids—takes it a step further by fighting bacteria, clarifying pores clogged up by sunscreen, and really addressing congested skin. If your current cleanser works great—check by swiping a pad with micellar water after a wash to see there’s no grime or residue left behind—keep using it!

Polish and plump: this is the key. Exfoliation (either in the form of a physical exfoliator or enzyme/chemical)–ridding your complexion of dead, dry, dull cells and revealing brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin underneath is the beginning of revealing a more healthy-looking complexion followed by a corrective moisturizer/hydrating treatment, like oils and moisturizers.

We holistically believe that healthy-looking skin is a 360-degree approach to wellness.  “I recommend a diet rich in leafy greens, bright colored berries and  fatty acids (a “hydration punch”); think avocados, nuts and salmon, which will keep congestion and inflammation at bay while infusing nutrient rich vitamins and nutrients back into your system. I also encourage staying clear of alcohol, white carbs and refined sugar—all of which can trigger the inflammation (glycation) we’re trying to avoid.” Dermatologist, Dr. Gary Goldfaden MD

How can we protect ourselves as the seasons change and become colder?

When out in the elements (wind, freezing rain, snow, sun) always cover your face with a scarf as this will protect your skin. Eliminating dry sinuses, bloody nose, chapped lips, wind burn, sun burn and dry dehydrated skin.

Invest in a humidifier. Humidity levels drop during the winter months, thus drying out skin, eyes and hair.  Add in artificial heat and you’re doomed. By adding humidity back into the air, you can reverse some of the damage. Cool vapor is the best bet to not only feeling better but looking better too. We recommend leaving it on all the time so that your home maintains an even level of humidity. Sleeping with a small humidifier next to the bed will ensure hydrated skin and sinuses.

Take warm showers instead of steamy hot ones. If you’re thinking a hot shower will feel good after a brutally cold day, a good trick is to turn the shower on very hot and let the bathroom steam up, try adding a eucalyptus leaf to add a serene fragrance. Then step inside the bathroom and get warm. Then turn the shower back down to a warm temperature. Hot water will dry skin out. Post bath or shower; try moisturizing your skin while still damp. Try using a bod oil and a lotion. This allows the skin to capture and seal in moisture.

Staying hydrated from the inside out is also crucial. Make sure to increase your liquid ingestion during the winter. Think teas, juices, water and healthy soups.

Take a look at your cleansing regimen. If you’re an exfoliation junkie particularly with physical scrubs, decrease the frequency during the winter. Instead try a chemical exfoliator once a week, like Fresh-A-Peel. A Ph balanced cleanser is a good choice too.

Switch up your serum. Trade your Retinol products for a serum that is a little less aggressive. Our Brightening Elixir (loaded with Vitamin C, B, E and Ferulic acid) is perfect for seasonal transition. Look for cold pressed, pure oils, such as Baobob, Kalahari, Mongogo and Marula, which all contain Vitamin A, C, E and essential fatty acids and omegas. Our Fleuressence Native Botanical Oil offers all these and more. Winter is the optimal time to switch into more hydrating luxurious night cream treatment. Hydration is not the only benefit to look for. Anti-oxidants and ingredients that nourish and rejuvenate the skin are really what you want. Nourishing seaweed promotes collagen production and increased tightening and plumpness to the skin. Red Tea Extract or Rooibos is 50 times more potent that green tea (as an antioxidant) and contains vitamins A, C and E to resurface, protect and brighten skin.