Tag Archive for: natural ingredients

We all know that plant-based diets are essential to maintaining glowing and supple skin, so it’s no surprise that our skincare regimens include a botanical garden of ingredients that promote a flawless, younger-looking complexion. There is a new crop of Spring ingredients that pack a punch when it comes to the skincare benefits they have to offer. Here are five to look out for.

CQJ_8608Baobab Oil:

This cold-pressed oil, extracted from the seeds of the fruits of any of the 9 species of Adansonia on the planet. These trees have a thick trunk which is usually thickest in the middle. Of all the species, the Adansonia grandidieri trees look the most picturesque. These trees store water in their trunks and are able to survive years of drought. They also live upto thousands of years.

It is unique among plant oils for its high concentration of Vitamins A, C, E and F. The vitamin A found in Baobab Oil helps produce smoother, younger-looking skin through its ability to fight aging, boost cell regeneration, and promote collagen and elastin growth. Baobab Oil is also a very plentiful source of highly bioavailable vitamin C that fights age-causing free radicals and improves the structural support and resiliency of your skin. Additionally, Baobab Oil has a high content of unsaturated essential fatty acids, especially linoleic and linolenic. These are called “essential” because your body is not able to produce them naturally. They’re important to the nourishment and maintenance of healthy skin because of their capacity to help heal and speed up cell regeneration. Vitamin F is an antibacterial promoting vitamin that works to reduce any surface layers of bacteria. Baobab Oil is a non-irritating and an excellent tissue hydrator.


Various Algae and Seaweed Extracts  contain an extraordinary wealth of mineral elements that it draws from the sea which account for nearly 36% of its dry mass. These health-promoting minerals include sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur and phosphorus and the micronutrients include iodine, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, molybdenum, fluoride, manganese, boron, nickel and cobalt. Because of its high iodine and sulfur content, Algae and seaweed extracts have outstanding anti-inflammatory, and disinfectant properties, soothing and tightening benefits for the skin.


Organic Red Tea (Roobis)

The truth is that red tea is not actually a tea at all. Unlike green, black and white teas which come from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, red tea (or rooibos) is made from the oxidized and dried leaves of the Aspalathis linearis plant that only grows in one spot on Earth— a tiny, mountainous region of South Africa in Western Cape Province. For centuries this extraordinary herb has been used by the native South African tribes as a natural remedy to alleviate all kinds of ailments ranging from infantile colic and allergies to asthma and skin problems.

The most important therapeutic aspect of red tea is undoubtedly its powerful antioxidant capacity. Red tea contains some of the most potent natural antioxidants known for protecting your skin from the free radical damage that can cause aging. These include vitamins C, E and beta-carotene. Red tea is known to possess 50 times the antioxidant capacity of green tea due to a high concentration of a special enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD for short), a major scavenger of free radicals. The combination of these natural vitamins and enzymes found in red tea aids in promoting new skin health after the removal of dead and damaged cells, giving your skin a smoother, brighter, and healthier appearance. In addition, red tea also contains a number of powerful polyphenols and flavonoids that help heal and rejuvenate the skin.

Blackberries: A Restorer of Even Skin Tone

Besides being rich in antioxidants that assist in the repair and conditioning of your skin, blackberry extract also contains kojic acid and alpha arbutin. These unique plant compounds are natural skin lightening agents that have a proven ability to brighten skin tone and reduce the appearance of unwanted hyperpigmentation such as age spots and freckles caused by the sun. In cultures outside the Western world where the ideal of female beauty is very fair and even-toned skin, many women, particularly in the Philippines and the Far East, have long used kojic acid and alpha arbutin to give them fairer complexions.

Nicotinamide (also called niacinamide):

You’ll find excellent natural sources of vitamin B3 in many foods such as tuna, chicken, turkey, asparagus and romaine lettuce. As an ingredient in skin care formulas, however, vitamin B3 appears in just two main forms: nicotinic acid (also known as niacin) and nicotinamide (also called niacinamide). Both of these function very much alike as vitamins and, in fact, nicotinic acid must first be converted into nicotinamide by your body before it can be used. Nicotinamide is an essential element in the creation of two important enzymes (NADH and NADPH) that play a central role in both cellular energy production and the formation of skin lipids. It’s well known that certain lipids such as fatty acids and ceramide are critical for maintaining the structural and functional integrity of your stratum corneum which, in turn, directly affects your skin hydration, softness and suppleness.

Reading a skincare product label can be daunting and almost like trying to decipher a foreign language, leaving you confused and frustrated. Worse, you end up buying an ineffective or inappropriate product. We enlisted Dr. Goldfaden to help us navigate our way through determining what’s important to look for, how ingredients work and tips for us to understand reading labels.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 9.42.10 AMPhoto via You Beauty

How do percentages of skin-care products work? 

“Percentages are listed to explain the amount of active ingredients in a particular product. They will dictate how active or not active a product can be. For example a vitamin C serum can have 12% Vitamin C or a more aggressive serum maybe contain 17%. Not all customers can tolerate high percentages of aggressive ingredients, so there are choices in the marketplace.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden

Is there really such a thing as “the highest percentage/concentration available” or is that marketing hype?

“Yes, This is a real thing. This usually means exactly what it says. Some brands choose to use the highest and some use less. This usually dictates the quality of a product and the consumer can see this within the labeling order of the product. The first ingredients listed are the most active and they decrease as they move down the ingredient listing” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden

What makes “active ingredients” in a skin-care product different from the other ingredients?

“Active ingredients are in the product to deliver a results. Inactive ingredients help to deliver the active ingredients, they also help to stabilize, deliver hydration, fragrance, color etc. For example in a moisturizer Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid could be the active ingredients and the inactive could be emulsified wax or even glycerin.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden

Do you have any easy tips for a consumer to really understand how to read product labels to make sure they are getting effective ingredients/products?

“The largest concentration of ingredients is usually listed first on the label. It is also imperative to know what agrees and doesn’t agree with your skin, for example fragrances, mineral oil etc. Looking for products that contain very few ingredients is the best way to keep your skin and body healthy. A good rule of thumb is to stay clear of artificial fragrance, color, mineral oil, alcohols, sulfates and silicones.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden

How do natural ingredients work, as it relates to effectiveness and when compared to synthetic ingredients?

“Ultimately this becomes the consumer’s choice. In the world we live in, we cannot avoid all synthetic ingredients all the time. Choosing to use natural skincare products can reduce the risk of allergic reactions and other skin problems from developing. Since skincare products are not considered ‘drugs’, they are not absorbed onto the blood stream. However, after years of using synthetic products(hair, skin, makeup) some people may develop anything as treatable as an allergy to a form of immune disorders and certain cancers. This continues to be an ongoing debate in the medical and cosmeceutical world. “Synthetic” ingredients may start as a natural ingredient but they are then chemically modified on some level. “Natural” ingredients come from the earth and are not modified chemically when being formulated into products. A good example of this is the ingredient petroleum. Petroleum is a naturally occurring liquid extracted from rock. However when used in products it is chemically modified and cause more harm than good. Petroleum can clogs pores, slow down cellular regeneration and contain PAH which has been linked to cancer.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden

Do you have any skin-care tips for making your products work better—such as exfoliating, swapping them out?

“Exfoliation will always allow other skincare products ie serums, treatment and moisturizers to be absorbed more throughly.” Dermatologist Dr. Gary Goldfaden