Ingredient Guide

From A-Z (Under development!)

Acai Berry Extract:

Adenosine: Used primarily for its "skin-whitening" and anti-wrinkle effects, this chemical increases elastin and collagen production in skin.  Adenosine also increases blood flow to the other layers of your skin, resulting in a "puffier" appearance and less sagging.  

Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble only and commonly used in chemical peels and many skincare products (eye cream, moisturizers, toners, etc.).  For over the counter products, 10% is usually the highest concentration you can purchase.  Dermatological products can have concentrations as high as 20% for consumer purchase.  Dermatologists will use up to 70% to treat scars, wrinkles, melasma, and severely sun-damaged skin.  However, the higher the percentage results in increased skin sensitivity, redness, irritation, flaking, and sometimes, oozing.  A sunscreen must be used on a daily basis if AHAs are included in your skincare routine.  It is recommended that a SPF of at least 30 is used otherwise increased hyper-pigmentation may result from sun exposure. 

AHAs are found in many different forms, such as lactic acid or glycolic acid. Alpha hydroxy acids are better used on thickened, sun-damaged skin where breakouts are not a problem.  Alpha hydroxy acids work best in a concentration of 5% to 8% and at a pH of 3 to 4.  The efficacy of natural source AHAs from fruit extracts has been debated.  

Apricot Extract:

Arbutin: Used for removing discolourations, sunspots, freckles, and scars, arbutin is a skin-whitening ingredient popular in many Asian skincare products.  Arbutin is a derivative of hydroquinone, a chemical used for depigmenting skin cells.  Arbutin is deemed to be the safer alternative since it slowly releases hydroquinone into the skin through hydrolysis.  However, some clinical studies have found that arbutin, at concentrations of 7% or lower, can release up to 11.8% of hydroquinone into the skin, which is well above regulated levels.  Also, depending on the form of arbutin - alpha or beta - the stability and efficacy varies.  Alpha is typically more stable and effective than the beta derivative.

Astazanthin:  a pink/reddish pigment that belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids.  It is a naturally occurring substance found in certain types of algae and has several uses, including the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.  For skin, it can be used to protect it from sunburns and works as an antioxidant.  In short, astazanthin protects skin cells from oxidative stress and UVA/UVB damage.  

Beta Glucan: Beta-glucan helps to clear up scar tissue at the epidermal-dermal junction.  In turn, the skin is "remodeled" through increased cell communication between the epidermis and dermis.  In other words, the skin's ability to rejuvenate and heal increases, and the immune function of the skin is improved.

Beta-Hydroxy Acids: BHA works as an exfoliant on the skin, causing dead skin cells to slough off which provides room for the growth of newer skin.  This sloughing off can also help clear out clogger pores and prevent breakouts.  Aside from acne, BHAs can also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, skin texture, and pigmentation from sun exposure or scarring.  BHA found in skin-care products works best in a concentration of 1% to 2% and at a pH of 3 to 4.  It is also oil soluble, unlike AHAs, which makes BHA much better at penetrating the skin for effectiveness. There is also only one type of BHA - salicylic acid - unlike the many types of AHAs. It is recommended that a SPF of at least 30 is used otherwise increased hyper-pigmentation may result from sun exposure. 

Butylene Glycol: Butylene glycol is an organic molecule with two alcohol groups, used in cosmetics as a humectant to bind moisture and hold water to the skin. Alcohols are attracted to water; the smaller alcohols evaporate quickly, drawing water away from the skin, while larger organic alcohols do not evaporate as quickly and actually hold water to the skin.

Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract (green tea): What's great about green tea is its wonderful anti-oxidant properties, and skincare addicts love anti-oxidants!  They basically reduce oxidative stress on your skin by neutralizing free radicals.  If you haven't heard of free radicals, they're unstable atoms that attack our skin's collagen strands and cellular structure.  Therefore, benefits of green tea extract and thus, antioxidants, would be a reversal of sun damage from UV rays and also skin repairing effects.

Ceramides: These are a group of waxy lipid molecules containing fatty acids.  These natural lipids are contained in the skin's epidermis (outer layer) and they help to lock in moisture.  When ceramides become depleted, your skin becomes dryer and has a harder time retaining moisture effectively.

Fullerene: a Nobel prize winning ingredient that has the ability to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fullerene is a man-made nanoparticle.  According to several studies and articles, fullerene is a controversial ingredient that can become toxic when exposed to sunlight  and other environmental factors. I'm not a chemist myself, but the use of fullerenes in cosmetics is something many doctors and scientists are divided on.  According to Dr. Samuel Esptein of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, fullerenes should not be used in skincare at all since - as a carbon based nanoparticle - it cannot be degraded by the body and therefore, can accumulate to toxic levels that pose a carcinogenic and damaging risk to the body.

Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is an organic molecule with two alcohol groups and is used in cosmetics as a humectant. It is the most common moisture-carrying vehicle other than water itself and helps prevent moisture loss in products as well as binding to moisture and holding it to the skin. Being a large organic alcohol, propylene glycol provides excellent moisturizing properties to the skin

.Spring 2014 Collection

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