Five natural ingredients I’m loving lately
I’m deep in my Organic Anti-Aging Skincare Formulation program and I’m learning a lot. The most interesting part for me has been researching an array of botanicals and learning about their bioactive compounds and skin benefits. All this research is taking me back to my days as a Master of Health Communications student. I’m even digging into many of the same peer-reviewed journals as I did almost a decade ago.
As my knowledge grows, so is my ingredient inventory. Here are five ingredients that I’m loving lately.
I’m adding sour cherries to my skincare routine because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. I've been replacing my bramble berry oils with sour cherry seed oil because I prefer the skin-feel and scent. Another bonus is that their compounds are similar to the ones found in berries, but in many cases these compounds are more active than those in blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Studied show that sour cherries are high in vitamins (A, E and K), minerals and beta-carotene which help protect the skin against environmental factors such as UV rays. This is my star ingredient!
I love plum oil because it’s dual purpose. It’s high in antioxidants which protects the skin from environmental stressors and prevents visible signs of aging. It’s also high in fatty acids which hydrate and replenish the skin’s barrier function. To top it off plum kernels are also high in vitamin A and E, making them a great choice for dry and mature skin. I also like how this deliciously scented oil absorbs well into the skin without leaving a greasy feel. Plums are making their way into many of my formulations!
There are over 140 species of evening primrose in North and South America. This flower is unique in that it blooms at night, starting at around 8:45 p.m. I appreciate the punctuality, but I also appreciate it for all the good things it does for the skin. Evening primrose oil is very high in linoleic acid and GLA. These are essential fatty acids (omega-6) that play a key role in maintaining a proper functioning skin barrier. When topically applied it prevents dry skin, inflammation and moisture loss. Evening primrose oil also contains amino acids, minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium) and vitamins (A,B,C and E).
Squalane is commonly referred to as the “liquid gold” of skincare because of how well it quenches the skin. Upon application, it is rapidly absorbed into the deeper layers of our skin to promote elasticity and suppleness. It’s a great addition to cosmetic products aimed at restoring skin and plumping through hydration.
Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10) is a powerful antioxidant that is naturally found in our skin, but diminishes with age and under environmental stress (UV rays, blue light and pollution). Topical application has been shown to increase the levels of this enzyme on the surface and in the deeper layers of the skin.
These high-performance ingredients have made their way into a couple of the formulations that I’m getting ready for market. More on this soon!