Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s)
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) are naturally occurring molecules that originate from various sources such as sugar cane, apples and milk. The two most common AHA’s
are lactic acid and glycolic acid due to their ability to effectively penetrate the skin and their positive side effects in particular exfoliation. AHA’s also stimulate the growth of cells such as elastin and collagen assisting to give a youthful and fresh ‘glow’ to the skin. Essentially, the organic acidic properties actively exfoliate away the often sticky and adhesive old and dead skin cells that sit on the upper layer of the skin.
A very fine film that sits on the surface of human skin, the acid mantle, acts as an important protective skin barrier inhibiting the growth of certain harmful bacteria. Sitting at an average pH of 5.5 this level can vary between 4.5 – 6.5 depending on the skin’s chemistry and what is applied to it. Made up of oils, fatty acids, lactic acid and amino acid it also contains its own natural moisturizing factor. This mantle can be washed, scrubbed away or neutralized with certain alkaline soaps and washes ultimately increasing the chance of skin damage and infection. Heard of the term ‘squeaky clean
’? This can happen when you wash your skin too often or too thoroughly with the wrong products and is not always a good thing – sometimes less is more as we need to let our skin have its own level of natural operation and function.
Grown in Amazon rainforests and considered one of the top superfoods, Acai berry has become widely used and sought after due to it’s incredible antioxidant properties. A dark purple in colour, the berry is similar in appearance to that of a grape and contains just 10% fruit and pulp with a large seed. Acai has a high concentration of the following:
- Anthocyanin, an antioxidant particularly excellent for heart health
- Amino acids to aid muscle recovery, strengthen performance and promote endurance
- Fibre to aid digestion
- Essential fatty acids assisting to a healthy nervous system
- An abundance of Vitamins and minerals making it favoured as an almost “near perfect energizing fruit”.
It has been recognised as one of the world’s highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) foods, which is a grading system based on the measurement of how well antioxidants can neutralise free radicals.
The therapeutic use of plant-derived aromatic essential oils, Aromatherapy
operates as holistic treatment often combined with oil therapy or massage, or consumed through inhalation with the purpose of promoting both physical and psychological health and well-being. Popular essential oils often include Eucalyptus for it’s antiseptic properties, Lavender for it’s soothing and calming effect, and Peppermint for the revitalizing feeling it leaves on users.
A substance or compound that has or produces a biologically altering effect on a living tissue that it is exposed to.
A process that separates the fibre from the cells of the produce which hold all of the nutrients and live enzymes. There is no precooking of the nuts or seeds and while there is a low amount of heat produced from the friction of pressing the nuts and seeds, they are pressed without adding any heat or solvents to extract the oils. This is very important as Cold pressed oils retain all their flavour, aroma, and nutritional value, making these oils great for cooking and skin care requirements. They contain zero grams of trans fatty acids and are naturally cholesterol-free.
The most abundant protein in body it is the main component of connective tissues helps to promote firmness, suppleness and constant renewal of skin cells. On top of benefits to complexion
it also improves joint health and longevity with its reduced inflammation properties assisting in the integrity of cartilage.
With a name derived from the greek work ekhinos also meaning Hedgehog, Echineacea is a colourful flowering plant originating from native North America and used by various American Indian tribes. With its pink and purple petals, rich green stem, it’s spikey cone is the part that has given it a name resembling a hedgehog. Member of the daisy family, the coneflower is actually classified as a herb with the medicinal elements found in its flowers, leaves and roots. Prior to the introduction of antibiotics in modern science the health care industry looked to Echinacea in it’s revered medical status for it’s powerful effects on stimulating the immune system, anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to alleviate pain in a natural form.With 9 species of the plant, Echinacea Purpurea is specifically praised for the numerous benefits to skin health. It helps to combat acne-causing bacteria, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with its shrinking effect on skin cells and works as a topical disinfectant on wounds an skin lesions including psoriasis and eczema.
Proteins that help speed up and bring about biochemical reactions in the body. They affect every function from breathing to digestion of food and nutrient
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s)
Essential Fatty Acids or EFA’s are fatty acids that are made up of chains of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms and are not naturally manufactured within the body and therefore sourced through diet or supplementation. With two basic types, Omega 3 and Omega 6, both EFA’s differ in their molecular configuration but together and separately are vital components of cell membranes and affect how oil behaves on the skin. Together they also influence the inflammatory response of the skin ultimately affecting the appearance of the skins surface. EFA’s are effective when ingested
but also when applied externally in a topical
Omega 3’s are found in vegetables oils, nuts, leafy vegetables and grass-fed animal fat, and is particularly helpful when applied topically in reducing signs of skin aging, and inflammatory skin responses from damages such as UV radiation.Omega 6 mainly found in meat, poultry and eggs as well as nut and plant based oils and is a prime function in maintaining the structural integrity and strengthen of the barrier function of the skin.
An uncharged molecule or unstable atom that can damage cells
causing illness and ageing.
Also rich in chlorophyll, Alfalfa grass
has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can help boost the immune system and lower cholesterol
of chlorophyll and nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Has slightly high protein percentage than wheat grass and is from the young shoots of the barley plant
Genetically Modified Organism – any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques generally to achieve a desired trait or characteristic.
Rich source of chlorophyll and nutrients
including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Gluten free and from the young shoots of the wheat plant
Most of the time the word ‘Keratin’ is linked to hair. Although a natural protein, it is generally thought of a process that includes a conditioning treatment involving the replenishment and renewal of individual hair structures to provide a softer feel and shinier appearance. However, there is also a process of keratinization
of our skin cells that naturally takes place in order to protect penetration from harmful bacteria and germs. Along with the production of epithelial “glue”, Keratinization helps to bind hardened cells together which act to prevent penetration from environmental stressors such as UV radiation and pollution. This process even helps to repel water and other unwanted fluids from being absorbed deep into the skin. This process involves the thickening and hardening of our skin cell walls as they age, lose integrity and rise to the surface as almost ‘dead bags’ of skin cells.
Molecules that contain hydrocarbons that ultimately make the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells. Lipids are not soluble in water and generally come in the form of fats, oils, waxes and vitamins (A,D,E & K). Fatty acids
which are generally abundant in young and healthy skin help to maintain the skin’s lipid balance resulting in deeper hydration and a stronger barrier function.
Finely ground green tea powder
praised for its higher concentrated value of nutrients as one ingests the whole tea leaf and not just the brewed water.
Small, solid, manufactured plastic particles that are sometimes invisible to the eye or less than 5mm, and do not dissolve in water. They are generally added to skin-related products and are used for cleansing and exfoliating purposes.
Long chains of sugar molecules that are found throughout the body, often in mucus and in fluid around the joints.
Skincare product or cosmetic that is formulated specifically
to not clog or block pores resulting in less chance or overall risk for breakout and skin irritation
An imbalance between free radical activity
and antioxidants in the body resulting in a lack of cell rejuvenation at a healthy rate leading to ageing, sickness and/or disease.
Is a vegetable oil from the fruit of certain palms, especially the West African oil palm.
- Why is it considered bad?
The debate around palm oil lies within both its low nutritional value being high in saturated fatty acids and its devastating effect on the environment to produce. It’s popularity is due to its long shelf life and because it is inexpensive to produce and harvest. Oil palms produce more vegetable oil per hectare of land than other crops.
- Sustainably sourced
The main controversy concerning Palm oil is the environmental impact of its harvesting on the landscape. Palm oil plantations are concentrated in areas of Malaysia & Indonesia where crops thrive on the heat and tropical conditions, as well as the less regulated environmental circumstances for forest clearing to make room for crops. Resulting deforestation to grow the plants contributes to climate change and causes damage to animal populations, in particular Sumatran Orangutans.
- Organisations to look out for:
- The Orangutan Project & Orangutan Alliance
- WWF – Sustainable palm oil production, supply chain transformation & community
- RSPO – Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil – established in 2004 to promote the production and use of sustainable palm oil including laws for transparency with production and growers to mandatory labelling for products.
Pigment refers to any colour within the skin, and each skin type has different levels depending on complexion. Pigmentation or Hyperpigmentation
is an overproduction of melanin results in dark spots that may arise on surface of skin. Can be due to hormonal imbalance, acne scarring or intense UV exposure.
Second to oxygen in abundancy on planet earth, silica is a mineral found in all forms of life that helps to absorb and build the strength of internal structures such as supple skin and lustre and shine for hair. Silica minerals include Iron, Calcium, Potassium and Vitamins C,A,B,E. As we age, we lose the ability to absorb most nutrients from the foods we ingest, therefore silica supplements
become desired and/or useful.
Skin Layers (3 different layers of the skin):
There are three main layers that make up the skin. All have an important role individually but collectively work together to maintain the health and quality of the skin whilst being in tune with the rest of the body’s condition.
- Epidermal Layer (Epidermis)
The outermost layer of the skin which is visible to the eye and can come in different thicknesses and textures, thinner and more transparent in areas like the eyelids and more dense in areas like the bottom of your feet. It’s main responsibility is to protect and defend the body, create new skin cells and give the skin it’s pigment and overall colour.
- Dermal Layer (Dermis)
The middle layer is an active layer that is home to the body’s sweat glands, hair follicles and nerve endings which sends responses and signals to the brain to make you feel what you are touching and make a judgement. It is also produces oil and helps blood flow through the body through blood vessels.
- Hypodermal Layer (Hypodermis)
The bottom layer of the skin is also known as the subcutaneous fat layer and plays much larger role in connection to the rest of the body. It is in control of temperature, storing fat protecting the structure of the body, and is made up of connective tissue that attaches the Dermis layer to muscle and bone.
Squalene (found in Olivane)
An oil that naturally occurs in the body which is also found in the liver of certain sharks as well as plants like olives. With natural levels peaking in the human body in the twenties, the body uses squalene to keep skin and other tissues lubricated and hydrated. Squalene can be applied topically
to the skin’s surface protecting moisture loss and acting as a barrier to environmental elements and toxins. It’s benefits also spread to the rest of the body when ingested helping to boost the immune system and aid the digestive system. It can be found in dietary supplements such as Rice Bran Oil, Amaranth and Wheat Germ.
Nutritionally dense food considered to be especially beneficial to a person’s health and overall wellbeing as they usually contain large doses of antioxidants
, polyphenols, vitamins & minerals. Examples of such foods include: Salmon, Avocado, Kale, Acai and Blueberries
Oxford Dictionary: “Relating or applied directly to a part of the body”
Using or containing no animal products
or any product derived from an animal – generally a lifestyle adoption
Using or consuming no animal flesh (sometimes still consume dairy products & eggs) – generally a diet adoption