Welcome to today’s mini science lesson! Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? It absorbs everything that comes into contact with your body: hand soap, shampoo, body wash, sunscreen, hairspray, lotion, etc. That should make you reconsider the products that you are using, especially if they contain harmful ingredients.
Here are the top 4 ingredients to look for in your beauty products, along with a short science discussion!
Ingredient #1: Essential oils
If you live in the United States, I’m assuming that you’ve heard of essential oils since they’ve been a trend for the past few years. For our international friends, here’s the scoop on essential oils.
An entire plant goes through a distillation process using steam (or water). The aromatic oils are released and result in a concentrated liquid form. This process can be done with most plants, fruits and herbs.
Why include essential oils in beauty products? They are all-natural, cleansing, restorative and antimicrobial! Common essential oils include peppermint, lavender, lemon, or tea tree. Here’s their benefits:
- Peppermint: antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, calms skin, evens out skin tone, rehydrates skin post-sunburn, naturally repels bugs
- Lavender: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, reverses signs of aging, calms skin, reduces acne, heals acne scars or age spots
- Lemon: anti-aging, antioxidant, antimicrobial, reduces acne, rehydrates dry skin, reduces free radicals that cause cell tissue damage, protects against pathogens, purifies and detoxes the skin, cleaning agent
- Tea tree: antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, reduces acne, soothes skin, calms sunburned skin
Wow, can you imagine applying those nourishing, powerful oils to your skin? It will leave you looking radiant!
Ingredient #2: Peptides
Are you ready for mini science lesson number 2? Just like your body’s largest organ is your skin, the largest element of your skin is protein. And protein is composed of amino acid chains called peptides. (Note: peptides are unrelated to pepto bismol or the ocean’s tides.)
Peptides and protein provide your skin with amazing properties:
- Stronger, firmer, smoother skin
- Hydrated skin
- Elasticity (not in the form of wrinkles)
Peptides are the perfect anti-aging ingredient in your beauty products!
- Matrixyl Synthe ‘6 is a good one for diminishing the appearance of wrinkles.
- Syn-Tacks works best at firming and toning your skin.
- Regu-age will help reduce dark circles or puffiness, especially around your eyes.
- Syn-Eyn helps eliminate discoloration and fine wrinkles.
Ingredient #3: Antioxidants
Like essential oils, antioxidants have been a trendy thing the past few years, especially among foodies. This science lesson takes place in the kitchen and involves food.
Antioxidants are like mini warriors. They are naturally occurring minerals and vitamins that battle against free radicals. In particular, they protect your skin from sun damage or pollution.
Where can you find antioxidants in beauty products? Look for these ingredients on the label:
- Green tea
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Pick out beauty products that include those ingredients. You’ll be left with soothed, bright skin that is ready to face the reality of aging.
Ingredient #4: Botanicals
We’re heading from the kitchen to the garden for our last science lessons. But first, an interruption from history class. Did you know that Cleopatra improved her complexion with cumin seeds? Or that village healers utilized the power of calendula to heal skin wounds? Others “doctors” used herbs to aid in childbirth or heal a sickness.
What does history have to do with science? Throughout the ages, people have used botanicals as healing agents. Botanicals are a relative to essential oils because they are extracts from roots, flowers, seeds, nuts, herbs and berries. They help with redness, uneven skin tone, pigmentation, and general skin aging. And people have been using them in skincare for years and years.
What types of botanicals should you look for in beauty products?
- Sea kelp exfoliates skin
- Madonna lily brightens skin
- Echinacea clears up acne and reduces inflammation
- Evening primrose works wonders at rehydrating dry skin
- Rose or Hawthorne will smooth and firm up your skin
- Witch hazel cleanses, tightens and tones your skin
How to harness the power of those 4 ingredients
Here’s how to get the most out of your skin care.
- First, exfoliate. This primes your skin to absorb the ingredients of your products. I recommend our DIY All-Natural Gentle Face Scrub.
- Then cleanse to remove any dirt or excess oil.
- Next use a toner to pull debris from the depths of your pores, plus to soften, calm, and prime your skin. Here’s the best DIY All-Natural Face Toner.
- Then use a moisturizer to retain all of the life-giving qualities of your skin.
- Finally, use all-natural beauty products to enhance your already radiant skin.