Luxe Botanics

A botanic skincare line scientifically formulated to allow nature to nurture your skin.


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Ingredients With Purpose

Shea butter comes from the shea nut, and lavender essential oil comes from lavender flower. Obvious enough, right? But at Luxe Botanics, when we know there’s a more sustainable, natural or high-tech way to source ingredients—without compromising on performance—we get creative.

We formulate our skincare only with botanicals that boast scientific merit (never including something just because it smells or sounds nice). Each and every element must serve a beneficial purpose.

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Another important aspect of formulating our transformative skin care is the synergy: making sure our ingredients are balanced in precisely the right proportions to work in harmony with one another. This means we won’t accept ingredients that render another ineffective. Our natural based stabilizing, emollient and emulsifying ingredients in every tincture are designed to be as friendly to skin as the rest of the bottle.

Here are such 11 such groundbreaking ingredients included in Luxe Botanics elixirs which show the power at the intersection of science and nature:

 

Peptides

Peptides are protein fragments made up of amino acids. They’re essential for firm, smooth and bouncy skin. We include three kinds in our Kigelia formulas: Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, which are created from sustainable coconut and palm kernel oils. These peptides are synthesized in our lab at our urban farm in the US — and are just as effective as other man-made peptides.

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Ferulic acid

Ferulic acid is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radical damage, which is the top cause of premature ageing. This ingredient not only boosts the effectiveness of peptides, but it also enhances the stability of vitamins C and E within the same formula. Our ferulic acid is sourced from coffee and formulated with core botanical Camu camu berry.

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Cetyl alcohol

Don’t be scared of the word “alcohol.” Although there are types of alcohol that aren’t skin-friendly, cetyl alcohol is simply a fatty alcohol used to stabilize and thicken skincare formulas, while making them easier to blend. Ours is sustainably sourced from coconut extract. This ingredient makes your favourite Luxe Botanics product feel amazing on your skin (texture is an essential part of your skincare ritual, after all).

Citric acid

Citric acid is a natural substance found in citrus fruits, which serves to adjust the pH and boost the performance of other ingredients in skincare formulas. Ours is prepared fermentatively from a suitable sugar source and forms part of our Soil Association certified Kigelia africana fruit extract.Dollarphotoclub_60180822.jpg

Cocamide MIPA

Cocamide MIPA helps emulsify the formula while thickening it. The ingredient also helps stabilize the blend. Ours is sustainably sourced from coconut oil.

Glyceryl monostearate and Glyceryl stearate SE

Glyceryl monostearate helps thicken and disperse the formula, while Glyceryl stearate SE acts as an emollient that slows down moisture loss. Both of these are made from sustainably sourced coconut and are EcoCert-certified.

Lactobacillus ferment

Sounds like something you’d find in your probiotic pill, doesn’t it? Lactobacillus ferment is a natural preservative that also delivers antimicrobial benefits (through its production of bacteriocins, which are proteins produced by bacteria). Ours comes from corn—or more specifically, its sugars.

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Niacinamide

Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is truly a skincare superstar. It helps suppress melanin production to keep your skin even toned, protects skin from UV damage, helps decongest skin, minimizes fine lines and strengthens and restores compromised skin. Beets and legumes (like lentils and lima beans) are used to create our niacinamide, which can be found in abundance in our Kigelia.

Phospholipids

Phospholipids are made of fatty acids and are skin savers in their own right. They’re known to help offer antioxidant action and protect cell membranes, all while acting as an emollient and emulsifier in formulas. On top of that, it’s thought that phospholipids help other ingredients penetrate skin more efficiently. Phospholipids are normally made with virgin egg yolk, olive oil or hazelnut oil. Ours is made with soy beans and sunflower seeds.

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Sodium hyaluronate

You’ve likely heard of hyaluronic acid, the trendy skincare ingredient known to hydrate and plump up skin like no other (and the main ingredient in the cosmetic injection Restalyne used to smooth our wrinkles). Sodium hyaluronate is a derivative, but its smaller molecules enable penetration into the skin. Back in the day, it was sourced from rooster combs or soybeans and corn. Ours is created through a biofermentation process of yeast with glucose and inorganic salts.

 

Want to learn more about our ingredients? Just drop us a line hello@luxebotanics.com and we’d be happy to answer any questions.

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

  


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The Confusion of Skin Care Labels: What Does Organic Really Mean?

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There are armies of skin care brands and marketers determined to push their products by using words that make you believe they’re the most effective and the least harmful to their distinct advantage. But what do these terms really mean? We break it down so you can be an informed consumer. Take back your power!

 

Organic

The term “organic” should signify that an ingredient was grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or radiation. In other words, the plant or animal was grown as close as possible to its natural state, just as if it was in the wild. Take note of this, it’s an important one for later…

The food industry in the US regulates organic food products through the National Organic Program (NOP). Manufacturers and farmers must meet the standards set by the NOP in order to have the organic label placed on their products.

In skin care, the criteria are far less stringent. Some companies may skirt around the issue, finding loopholes that allow them to label a shampoo or moisturizer organic simply because one of its main ingredients is water. Water is, after all, natural and harmless (permitted it isn’t boiling hot). If you see a product with “organic” written on the package, know that no authority has deemed it so (unless it bears the certain certified labels, which we’ll get into below). It is possibly a marketing technique, or the manufacturer has figured out it can use the term because just one or two of its ingredients fits the bill. 

 

Certified Organic

Though “organic” on its own is a flimsy term, the “USDA Organic” logo has much more authority behind it—that’s because in order to display it, an ingredient or brand must be certified by the USDA. This certification is enough to give you peace of mind that almost all of the ingredients in the product have been grown and processed in regulated conditions that mandate cleanliness, and that it does not contain pesticides, synthetic preservatives, petrochemicals, GMOS or ionizing radiation.

USDA classifications are based on the percentage of organic ingredients in the product, ranging from 100% organic to 70% organic or less. A product containing 70% or less organic ingredients will not carry the seal, and may be simply labeled “made with organic ingredients.”

The Soil Association, a nonprofit organic certification body in the UK, is another logo available to guide customers. Our Kigelia products are all certified by The Soil Association.

Like “USDA Organic,” The Soil Association classifications look for ingredients grown without the use of GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and more. They review the end-to-end manufacturing process including sourcing of ingredients, formulation process and premises as well as packaging. They even require an environmental waste management plan. For a product to be called organic, 95% of all ingredients must be organic. A product containing  20% or less organic ingredients will be labelled “made with organic” products.

And then there’s EcoCert, a certifying body that focuses on the percentage of natural ingredients within a formulation. To obtain EcoCert, the ingredients must be “derived from renewable resources and manufactured by environmentally friendly processes.” Formulations cannot contain GMOs, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes and animal-derived ingredients (unless it’s naturally produced, such as milk and honey). On top of that, they check out whether or not the packaging is biodegradable or recyclable.

EcoCert has two labels: “natural and organic cosmetic” and “natural cosmetic.” To obtain the former, at least 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and at least 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming. For the “natural cosmetic” label, a minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.

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The Tricky Part

Your best bet is to look for the USDA, Soil Association or EcoCert seal if using an organic product is important to you. But here’s the tricky part: It can be challenging for poor rural communities to obtain an official organic certification often due to costs, time constraints, lack of resources and education barriers. Moreover, it can be supremely difficult—bordering on impossible—to certify a plant grown in the wild, like the Marula fruit. Wild crops are harvested in areas not under any sort of agricultural management. Therefore, the specific organic certification cannot be applied the way it can on a farm, where everything is heavily regulated and under constant manipulation by humans. Do note that many of these communities, for the same hurdles that impede their ability to nab certifications, cannot afford pesticides in the first place. What to do in this case?

 

Wild Harvested

Remember how we talked about organic simply meaning that a product is grown in a manner considered to be as close as would occur in the wild? This is where wild harvested comes in: the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or “wild” habitat, for food or medicinal purposes. It applies to uncultivated botanicals untainted by chemicals wherever they may be found in nature. Ethical and sustainability considerations are often involved, such as protecting endangered species and taking care to remove only a few flowers or branches at a time, so plenty remains to continue the supply.

It’s really up to individual brands to work in harmony with rural communities that practice wild harvesting to ensure the ingredients are grown in optimal conditions and processed using techniques that maximize benefits. For example, our Marula is extracted from the kernel (nut) of the Marula tree in the Kenyan bush and cold pressed by the Maasai. And our Camu camu comes from deep within the Amazon basin harvested from bushes that grow along the waterways, hand-picked and processed by the local community in Brazil.

 

This Is Where We Stand

Aside from the certified seals mentioned, labels don’t guarantee anything. They can tell the whole truth (and nothing but the truth) or they can tell you only a part of the story.

Ultimately, what matters is the integrity of the brand. It’s up to the skin care company to not only produce high-quality products that perform, but also offer clear-as-glass transparency—from where and how their ingredients are grown, how they’re processed, transported and tested and how they ended up in the bottle you hold in your hand.

At Luxe Botanics we use certified organic ingredients whenever possible, but we believe wild harvested is equally as beneficial and should be respected as such. Because of this choice, along with the high percentage of wild-harvested ingredients in our formulations, sometimes our end product doesn’t meet the minimum percentage required by USDA/EcoCert/Soil Association to be certified as an organic product by these bodies. To meet their expectations, we’d have to reduce the percentage of wild-harvested ingredients in our formulations and increase our percent of those that are certified organic.

The downside? We wouldn’t be supporting local communities and wild harvested areas. For us it’s all about balance, having a mindful skin care ritual that not only gives back to the environment, but supports communities and nurtures sustainable farming practices for the future.  

For more info on labelling take a look at our earlier blog on skin care buzzwords

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team


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Allure Says This Is “Superfood for Your Face” (We Agree)

This Skin-Brightening Fruit Contains More Vitamin C Than Acai and Oranges

 

We call it our “Brightening Powerhouse.”

Allure calls it “Superfood for Your Face.”

And it’s NOT acai.
We’re talking about Camu camu berry, a fruit that grows on trees deep within the Amazon basin. Its claim to fame? Camu camu explodes with vitamin C—more than oranges (a.k.a. the poster child for vitamin C) and more than the almighty acai berry. In fact, many experts believe that Camu camu boasts the highest natural concentration of vitamin C of all plant sources. (No big deal, right?)

Because of its extraordinary antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities, Camu camu berry has become quite the popular supplement, which is usually available in powder form. People consume the fruit to reinforce the immune system, keep chronic diseases and infections at bay, improve eye health and even improve cognition and mood.

And research shows this isn’t a fad. In a review published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the authors wrote, “Camu camu fruits are a major source of a range of bioactive compounds. These include many polyphenols (flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins, stilbenes, and lignans),” adding that the berry also contains “a range of amino acids, organic acids […] and fatty acids (predominantly stearic, linoleic, and oleic acid).”

Their conclusion? “The results of these studies point to a potentially substantial role for Camu camu in multimodal, integrative disease and wellness management, notably with regard to inflammatory conditions.

 

Why You Need Camu camu on Your Skin—STAT

As with many gems of nature, if something is that healthy to eat, chances are high it’s good for skin, too. Camu camu is the skin care sensation you’ve been waiting for.

Thanks to its unbelievably high vitamin C content, it delivers :

  • Visibly brighter, luminous skin: Vitamin C is the go-to nutrient for evening out skin tone and boosting that gorgeous, healthy glow
  • Reduced spots and scars: Estheticians and dermatologists have been obsessed with vitamin C for its ability to lighten or prevent hyperpigmentation and acne scars
  • Major preventative -aging power: Vitamin C is one of the most powerful (and proven) antioxidants, so applying it to your skin helps combat free radical damage, which is the top trigger of visible aging. This means firmer, smoother skin for longer
  • Anti-inflammatory action: Not only is vitamin C a natural anti-inflammatory, but Camu camu also contains other amino acids and nutrients that are highly anti-inflammatory
  • Clarified complexion: Although there’s currently no research on Camu camu’s effect on acne, the fruit has been shown to boast antibacterial and antimicrobial There’s also an abundance of anecdotal evidence that indicates topically applying camu camu can help keep breakouts at bay. Keep in mind, too, that Camu camu possesses highly anti-inflammatory powers (acne is an inflammation problem)

Explore our Camu Range through a mindful  three-step ritual  to keep your complexion bright, radiant, healthy and youthfully resilient all season long. Your skin will glow with joy!

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Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team


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Don’t Be a Greenwashing Victim: 6 Key Points to Remember

Pure. Natural. Organic. Green. Clean. Chemical-free. These words make us feel comfort. Chemicals. Non-natural. Synthetic. Man-made. These words make us squirm. But when it comes to choosing a skincare product, is it that easy to differentiate what’s truly safe and effective for you—by looking for these words claimed on a label?

The short answer is: not always. These days, too many consumers are “greenwashed,” believing a company is environmentally responsible or that its products are truly “all-natural,” which often happens when the company demonizes ingredients that were made in a lab or using scary terms like “chemicals.”

But don’t be fooled! In today’s post, we’ll share the key points to bear in mind in order to shop smart for skin care and bypass all the greenwashing we face today.

 

Performance Is As Important As Safety… And Sometimes That Requires Supporting Ingredients

For centuries, cultures around the world have harnessed natural resources from their part of the world to create effective beauty solutions. For example, local women in Africa rely on the oil of Marula to keep their skin youthful despite spending hours under the sun. There are no labs, no additives, no preservatives. Just the oil. Many people insist this is the only way to go… that mixtures are bound to contain harmful toxins.

But if you were to have the wherewithal to enhance your one miracle ingredient so your skincare is that much more effective, wouldn’t you? Many botanicals in nature are able to work in harmony to provide glow-boosting benefits, making them all the more powerful. This is why we complement our Marula oil with other botanicals like Jojoba, Carrot and Rosehip (three well-known, tried-and-true ingredients known to transform skin). The key here is synergy—and when a skincare product is synergistically formulated, it can make a world of difference for your complexion.

 

Using the Word “Natural” in Marketing Is NOT Regulated in the U.S.

That’s right—a company can add a few drops of low-quality botanical oil to an otherwise toxin-filled formula and call it natural. On top of that, personal-care products are not tested to see if the manufacturer has in fact included the ingredients they claim it contains. The FDA hardly regulates anything (as of now), so “natural” doesn’t mean anything. The good news is that if you lack confidence about where the ingredients are sourced or how safe they are, you can always switch to a brand that offers total, 100% transparency, and is willing to answer questions about how they craft their formulas.

 

“Natural” Doesn’t Always Mean It’s Good for You

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Although there are many benefits to going the natural route, it should also be noted that natural is not invariably better for everyone. There are natural ingredients out there that can be abrasive and harsh on sensitive skin. For example, some plant oils, like coriander, can cause allergic reactions in some people. Although the word natural undoubtedly comes with a positive connotation, it’s important to realize and remember that not all natural ingredients are created equal.

Also—though we’re stating the obvious here—keep in mind that nature is sometimes harmful. Poison oak, poison ivy and certain poisonous mushrooms are no doubt natural, but we wouldn’t want to go anywhere near them!

 

Ingredients Created by Humans Can Actually Be Good

There’s no evidence to suggest that certain manmade ingredients are harmful. Take certain forms of squalane, for example. Although it’s a moisturizing substance found in olives and sharks, it’s totally possible to recreate it—safely and sustainably—in a lab. And the results are just the same.

 

Sometimes, Natural and Synthetic Need to Work Together

Oftentimes, it’s necessary to combine both natural and synthetic ingredients in a skincare product to ensure the highest level of efficacy. Take sunblock as an example. Many sunblocks contain titanium dioxide, which is natural, but this ingredient is further helped along by sodium hyaluronate, which is synthetic. Sodium hyaluronate improves the texture of sunscreen, making it easier to apply and spread on the skin. Together, these two ingredients make for the most effective sunblock to keep you protected.

 

The Term “Chemical” Is Misleading

Many people have an immediate visceral reaction when confronted with the term, as “chemicals” are almost always considered toxic or poisonous. However, everything in nature is made of chemicals, even something as beneficial and crucial to humans as water. We just rarely think of water in terms of its chemical name, dihydrogen monoxide. Plus, plenty of natural ingredients have scientific names that are long, hard to spell, hard to pronounce and, therefore, quite intimidating. Yet they are no more harmful because of it.

To illustrate this point, James Kennedy, who teaches chemistry in Melbourne, Australia, made this in a post on Aeon.co:

“In reality, ‘natural’ products are usually more chemically complicated than anything we can create in the lab. To demonstrate, I broke down the components in an ordinary banana. (For brevity’s sake, I omitted the thousands of minority ingredients, including DNA.) Here is the result:

0b6fa5bc4047875a8fd36574ba1e21f9INGREDIENTS: WATER (75%), SUGARS (12%) (GLUCOSE (48%), FRUCTOSE (40%), SUCROSE (2%), MALTOSE (<1%)), STARCH (5%), FIBRE E460 (3%), AMINO ACIDS (<1%) (GLUTAMIC ACID (19%), ASPARTIC ACID (16%), HISTIDINE (11%), LEUCINE (7%), LYSINE (5%), PHENYLALANINE (4%), ARGININE (4%), VALINE (4%), ALANINE (4%), SERINE (4%), GLYCINE (3%), THREONINE (3%), ISOLEUCINE (3%), PROLINE (3%), TRYPTOPHAN (1%), CYSTINE (1%), TYROSINE (1%), METHIONINE (1%)), FATTY ACIDS (1%) (PALMITIC ACID (30%), OMEGA-6 FATTY ACID: LINOLEIC ACID (14%), OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID: LINOLENIC ACID (8%), OLEIC ACID (7%), PALMITOLEIC ACID (3%), STEARIC ACID (2%), LAURIC ACID (1%), MYRISTIC ACID (1%), CAPRIC ACID (<1%)), ASH (<1%), PHYTOSTEROLS, E515, OXALIC ACID, E300, E306 (TOCOPHEROL), PHYLLOQUINONE, THIAMIN, COLOURS (YELLOW-ORANGE E101 (RIBOFLAVIN), YELLOW-BROWN E160a), FLAVOURS (3-METHYLBUT-1-YL ETHANOATE, 2-METHYLBUTYL ETHANOATE, 2-METHYLPROPAN-1-OL, 3-METHYLBUTYL-1-OL, 2-HYDROXY-3-METHYLETHYL BUTANOATE, 3-METHYLBUTANAL, ETHYL HEXANOATE, ETHYL BUTANOATE, PENTYL ACETATE), 1510, NATURAL RIPENING AGENT (ETHENE GAS).”

So if you’re the type of person who shuns a product just because you “can’t pronounce” an ingredient, remember this!

 

Takeaway

There are unfortunately a bevy of products out there that tell you they are “chemical-free” and completely “natural” and “pure,” but many times it means something far different than what you imagine. And in terms of wording and marketing, we have a long ways to go. As Kennedy says, “‘Pure’ should refer to single-ingredient products only. ‘Natural’ products should be sold exactly as they occur in nature, and ‘natural’ should be forbidden as a marketing term for cosmetics and other products. Finally, the use of ‘chemical-free’ – a logical impossibility – on product labels needs to be stopped.”

The brighter side of all this? There are some amazing skincare companies out there (we think we’re one of them ;)) that not only mean what we say, but exist on the pillars of honesty and transparency in order to provide the most high-performing skincare with safe, nature-inspired and nature-derived gems.

So if you ever have a question, just ask!

hello@luxebotanics.com

 

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team


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Marula Oil: Healer of Skin, Souls and the Environment

At Luxe Botanics, we care about not only what we present on stage, but also what’s behind the curtain. What we mean is that we’ve chosen the most high-performing botanical ingredients to provide you with visibly effective solutions. Every bottle of skincare we deliver encapsulates our passion for beautiful skin. But what you’re not able to see are how our skincare is made. We ensure they’re all ethically sourced and benefit the women who harvest them for us. We believe in our own little “circle of life” —and it’s one of our most important tenets.

 

Today, we wanted to highlight our superstar, Marula oil. Marula oil is not only good for your skin—it’s also economically beneficial to the African women who gather it and environmentally sustainable.

 

Marula is a type of tree with the botanical name Sclerocarya birrea. It grows throughout many regions of Africa, including Kenya. The tree produces a fruit with two to three oil-rich kernels, or nuts, inside. These nuts are used to make Marula oil, a prized ingredient in natural skincare. The multitasking, overachieving Marula oil fights all the signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, leaving skin looking youthful and hydrated. In fact, it’s so good, we’ve made it one of our core botanicals.

 

African people have used Marula oil for thousands of years. It has been used for cooking, to preserve meat, to treat leather and as a natural cosmetic. African women use the oil to soothe and heal dry, cracked skin.[1] They also use it as a massage lotion for newborn babies!

 

Marula oil effectively fights the signs of aging skin. It does this by hydrating and moisturizing skin, increasing skin’s elasticity and combating skin damage. Here are few of the ways Marula oil achieves these remarkable results.

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Marula Oil’s Acids Are Incredibly Effective Moisturizers

The main reason Marula oil is so good for your skin is because it’s high in fatty acids. A clinical analysis done by the University of Technology in South Africa found that Marula oil is very high in oleic acid.[2] Oleic acid, also known as omega-9 fatty acid, is a healthy, monounsaturated fat that your body also naturally produces.

 

Marula oil has a higher concentration of oleic acid than olive oil, making it considerably more shelf-stable.[3] Marula oil also contains linoleic, or omega-6, acid. Your body doesn’t make this acid naturally, so it’s important you provide your skin with it. Both these types of acids work together to help to add youthful moisture to your skin.

 

Marula Oil Is a Fantastic Antioxidant

Antioxidants, which help prevent and neutralize free radical damage, are arguably one of the most important ingredients you can apply to your skin.

 

To give you a bit of a science lesson, free radicals are atoms that only have one of two of their electrons. The free radicals aim to “steal” electrons from other healthy atoms, causing a cascade of damage.[4] Some of the main triggers of this process are pollution, UV rays, poor nutrition, smoking, stress and simply the act of living.[5] As an antioxidant, Marula oil fights these free radicals by “donating” electrons to stop the torrent of “stealing.”

 

Some of Marula oil’s antioxidant properties come from a richness in ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C. A 2002 study showed the effectiveness of vitamin C in reducing sun damage, one of the major signs of aging.[6] On top of that, here’s what Phytotrade Africa 2012 had to say about Marula oil: “Marula oil has been shown to have free radical scavenging properties higher than most oils oil on the market… Tests included ‘skin hydration’, ‘transepidermal water loss’ and ‘increase in skin smoothness’ with Marula oil performing significantly well.”

 

How Maasai Women Benefit From Marula Oil

Photo 13-02-2010, 02 58 58Marula oil provides an important income for the women of the Maasai tribe in Kenya. We work with the Leaky Foundation, an organization that creates opportunities for rural African people to earn money. Most of the people who gather marula fruits are women. Previously, women were offered little opportunity to bring money into their households to feed and clothe their children. After working for the Leaky Foundation for just a few months, these women earn enough money for food and clothes for their children for one year.

 

Marula oil has a tremendous economic impact on the African communities where it is collected. People are now able to live a higher quality of life, invest in their local economy and give their children a brighter future.

 

When you buy from the Luxe Botanics Marula range, you’re not only buying a product that will make your skin look younger. You’re also helping create jobs for women living in rural Africa. And that’s not all: Luxe Botanics works with the Buy1Get1 (B1G1) organization to give back. Every purchase from Luxe Botanics helps to support African and South American communities.

 

How Marula Oil Benefits the Environment

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Before the Leaky Foundation helped women earn money by collecting marula kernels, Maasai women could earn a small amount of money by burning wood to make charcoal. This practice, along with agricultural encroachment, leads to deforestation. Burning or cutting down trees can mean the loss of homes for animals and many unique plants. It also means fewer trees are available to absorb greenhouse gasses, contributing to global warming. Giving marula trees an economic value can help save these valuable natural resources and help save our planet.

 

As you can see, Marula oil is amazing in so many ways. It hydrates and repairs damaged skin like no other. It also helps the environment and improves the lives of people living in rural Africa. And that’s something we can all feel (and look) good about.

 

Naturally yours,

 

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

References:

[1] http://phytotrade.com/download/general/Anti-oxidant_properties_of_marula_oil.pdf

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26528587

[3] http://phytotrade.com/download/general/Anti-oxidant_properties_of_marula_oil.pdf

[4] http://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html

[5] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/drp/2012/135206/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11896774

 

 


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Are Citrus Oils Safe for My Skin?

You may’ve heard that some essential oils—citrus oils in particular—have phototoxic properties. The rumor mill says you should avoid them altogether. But like many factoids you can find on the ‘net, the concept is both true and false. Let’s get educated.

 

“Phototoxic” sounds scary, especially if you don’t know what it means. “Photo” means having to do with the sun, while “toxic” means poisonous or harmful. Phototoxicity is the most common type of photosensitivity—an immune system reaction to sunlight.[1] This occurs when you take a medicine or use a topical treatment that causes your skin to react to the sun’s burning ultraviolet (UV) rays.

 

Symptoms of a phototoxicity reaction are similar to a bad sunburn, including hives and blisters. These symptoms can cause damage to skin cells, and can be severe in some cases.[2]

 

Does this mean you shouldn’t use citrus essential oils on your face?

 

Fortunately, NO. You can use citrus essential oils as part of your skincare routine—if you do it safely and approach it as a smart, well-informed consumer. The first step is to learn about phototoxicity and essential oils to help save your skin from unnecessary damage.

 

Citrus oils have many amazing skin benefits, so it makes sense to use them wisely as part of a healthy skincare regimen.

 

Phototoxicity and Essential Oils: What You Need to Know

Safety is of the utmost importance when using any type of essential oil on your skin. Some types of citrus essential oils can cause phototoxic reactions when they’re applied the skin without dilution. However, phototoxicity doesn’t occur when safe concentrations of citrus oils are used.

 

An analysis done by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review determined that citrus oils are safe in the small amounts found in cosmetic products.[3] The International Fragrance Association recommends using citrus oils in concentrations of no more than 4% in products meant for use on your face.[4] (Luxe Botanics uses essential oil concentrations of less than 0.4% in all our skincare products. This is well below the amount known to cause a phototoxic reaction—and more importantly, the astounding skincare benefits outweigh the costs (especially because there are no costs in this case!))

 

f9886ab0a770c83c88f33c3b026b65c8What Are Citrus Oils?

Citrus essential oils are made from the concentrated rinds, or peels, of citrus fruits. In cosmetic applications, citrus oils are usually made by cold-pressing, which is a method of mechanically extracting the oil from the rind. Some common examples of citrus oils include sweet orange, lemon, bergamot, lime, grapefruit, neroli and tangerine. These oils are both pleasant to smell and good for your skin when diluted.

 

Skin Benefits of Citrus Oils

Citrus oils have several amazing applications for skincare. It would be a shame to miss out on these benefits because of a fear of phototoxicity, especially since their use in our products is completely safe. Here are some of the skin benefits of citrus oils.

 

Citrus Oils Are Extraordinary Antioxidants

A study published in the European Journal of Medicinal Plants in 2011 found that citrus oils have antioxidant properties when used in skincare.[5] Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals—chemical particles that can damage your skin cells. Damaged skin cells occur naturally as you age, and they can also be caused by the sun, stress, your environment and your diet.[6] When free radicals damage your skin cells, you skin appears aged, stressed and lifeless. The study found that using citrus oils on your skin in safe concentrations helps fight skin damage, and could even make your skin look younger. Citrus oils effectively rejuvenate cells and brighten your skin.

 

Citrus Oils Are Anti-Inflammatory

Clinical trials have proven that citrus oils are strongly anti-inflammatory.[7] This means these oils reduce inflammation in your skin. Inflammation is an immune system reaction to a perceived problem in your skin cells. Inflammation can cause your skin to look red and irritated. Anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as citrus oils, help soothe skin and combat inflammation.

 

Citrus Oils Can Help Treat Acne

Acne is a major skin problem for people at all stages of life. Several studies have shown that citrus oils can help treat and prevent acne in test subjects.[8] The reason for this is because citrus oils are toxic to the bacteria that causes acne.[9]

 

Aromatherapy Benefits of Citrus Oils

Not only can citrus oils help you have younger-looking, clearer skin, they can also help enhance your mental well-being through aromatherapy. Smelling citrus oils as you use your daily skin care products can help you reduce stress and enhance your mood. A 2011 study of elementary school teachers in Taiwan found that smelling bergamot essential oil lead to reduced blood pressure and heart rate.[10] That’s awesome!

 

Citrus oils hold a host of benefits for your skin and even your mental health. If used correctly, such as in the small, strategic amounts in Luxe Botanics formulations, citrus oils are completely safe to use on skin. They can even help make your skin look young, bright and clear.

 

We’d love to know how citrus oils have benefited your body and mind. Share your stories with us on instagram or twitter @LuxeBotanics and #NatureToNuture!

 

The Luxe Botanics Team

[1] http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/skin-disorders/sunlight-and-skin-damage/photosensitivity-reactions

[2] http://www.skincancer.org/publications/photosensitivity-report/phototoxic-reactions-versus-photoallergic-reactions

[3] http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/cpeelo092014FR.pdf

[4] http://www.ifraorg.org/en-us/search/s/lemon_essential_oil#.WSREEoWcFMt

[5] http://www.journalrepository.org/media/journals/EJMP_13/2012/Dec/1354795022-Bertuzzi%20et%20al_312012EJMP1987.pdf

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3299230/

[7] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453014000056

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18838824, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23235794

[9] http://thescienceofacne.com/citrus/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3092730/

 


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The Biggest Lessons From Mom: Beauty and Giving

Our mothers teach us countless lessons, big and small, throughout our lifetimes that shape our beliefs and habits. And there are two in particular that usually stick with us for the rest of our lives: lessons in beauty and lessons in giving.

As young girls, many of us have watched them in awe as they powdered their faces and infused bright reds to their lips, and listened carefully as they taught us the importance of cleansing our faces every night and wearing sunscreen. And for many of us, generosity was a value adopted from our mothers simply by watching them give and give to others without expecting anything in return.

This Mother’s Day, we want to honor all moms, who were the first to teach us the concepts of beauty, self-care and helping others. And as we acknowledge the matriarchs all around the world, we thought it’d be a great time to highlight the ways in which our mothers’ inspirations have materialized at Luxe Botanics.

Every time any Luxe Botanics product is sold, you help another community, another family and another person. Through the Buy1Give1 (B1G1) nonprofit organization, which allows small businesses to simply incorporate giving activities in our everyday business operations, we support the communities that harvest and process our core botanicals, Marula, Camu Camu and Kigelia. We are proud to be a part of a global business community that’s collectively effecting positive change in our world through its philosophy of Buy1Give1.

Learn a little bit more about the impact you help make every time you treat your skin with Luxe Botanics. We believe small steps make a big difference!

When you purchase anything from the Marula range to firm and hydrate your skin, you help New Ways provide a decent education to a child in Kenya by covering the MARULA Kenya Educate A Childcosts for educational materials, such as books, uniforms and shoes. These resources help children become feel comfortable and more excited about attending school, and incentivize them to focus better during lessons. This means they’ll have a higher chance of succeeding, and ultimately help them prosper later in life.

When you purchase anything from the Camu Camu range to brighten your skin, you help New Ways provide a nutritious meal to an Ethiopian nursery-school child for CAMU Ethiopia Feed A Childone day. The first few years of a child’s life is one of the most critical, and proper nourishment is especially vital during these early stages in order for children to develop into a mentally and physically strong human beings.

 

When you purchase anything from the Kigelia range to clarify, soothe and uplift your skin, you help the Microloan Foundation Australia provide a one-day business KIGELIA Malawi Business Trainingtraining course to a disadvantaged entrepreneur in Malawi. The course helps women establish and sustain their businesses by teaching financial literacy skills, something many impoverished women lack in order to succeed in their businesses and ultimately provide for her family.

When you purchase a Discovery Kit, you help So They Can provide textbooks and exercise books to a child in Kenya. Reading is one of the most important ways to help a cDISC KIT Kenya Textbookshild grow and expand her horizons. By increasing the opportunities to read for these children, we help them to become well-educated and primed for a better future.

 

Thank you moms for all your wisdom. Happy Mother’s Day!

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www.b1g1.com