Luxe Botanics

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


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How Your Luxe Botanics Glow Empowers Rural Women All Over the World

There’s a “day” for everything, including National Donut Day, National Best Friends Day and even National Create A Vacuum Day (seriously, it’s on February 4). There are some we can support and others that just leave us stumped, but there’s definitely one we can get behind with full hearts and bona-fide excitement: International Day of Rural Women, which occurs on October 15.

Without rural women, the beautiful formulas we create to transform your skin would not be at all possible.

Established by the United Nations, International Day of Rural Women recognizes the essential role of women—with a special nod to those in developing countries—in agricultural and rural development.

According to the UN, rural women comprise about 43% of the agricultural labor force and “depend largely on natural resources and agriculture for their livelihood and the livelihood of others.” Part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is to uplift rural women’s access to productive agricultural resources as one strategy to decrease world hunger and poverty.

In that spirit, we wanted to share with you how we play a role, however small, in assisting the rural women of our world—and how you, by choosing Luxe Botanics as your skin savior—are helping to contribute to our circle of giving back.

And while we’re paying tribute this week to the rural women who play an imperative role in the creation of every bottle of Luxe Botanics, we dedicate each and every day to them by boosting economic empowerment while giving back to the Buy1Give1 (B1G1) program.

Here’s how each product range makes a direct impact—on your skin and for the rural women of the world:

 

Kigelia Range: Clear Skin, Enlightened Minds

Kigelia-Africana-SerengetiOur Kigelia africana is organically grown and hand-picked by the local community in Malawi. Certified Organic by the Soil Association UK, our Kigelia africana extract enables the managing organization to utilize profits to plant new Kigelia trees (or for other community enhancement projects).

Kigelia extract helps tackle blemishes, while calming and firming skin, thanks to the fruit’s extraordinary antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and reparative properties. The extract is an unparalleled alternative to harsh blemish treatments because of its gentle, yet powerful, clarifying effect.

Through the B1G1 program, every time you purchase a Kigelia product, you help the Microloan Foundation Australia provide a day of business training for one woman. The course offers relevant financial literacy skills and ultimately empowers her to support her family.

So far, we’ve sent 46 women to business training.

 

Camu Range: Brighter Skin, Nourished Bellies

Myrciaria_dubia_Camu_camu_004.jpegOur Camu Camu is organically grown and hand-picked by the local community in Brazil.

Camu Camu is best known for its antioxidant powers (it contains more Vitamin C than acai!). Its rich vitamin content makes the plant a godsend for dull, aging skin, as it helps lighten spots, even skin tone and impart a luminosity that radiates a youthful vibrancy.

Through the B1G1 program, every Camu Camu purchase helps New Ways to provide a nutritious meal to an Ethiopian nursery school child for one day.

To date, we’ve provided 164 meals to a nursery child in Ethiopia.

 

Marula Range: Youthful Skin, Enriched Minds

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Our Marula oil is wild-harvested and processed by the local Maasai women in Kenya. This provides these women with an independent source of income, which gives them the means for sustainable livelihood.

We call Marula oil our “overachiever” since it addresses practically everything, including  the visible signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, sagging and natural moisture.

Through the B1G1 program, purchasing a Marula product helps New Ways cover costs for all the necessary educational materials such as books, uniforms and shoes.

As of today, you’ve helped us provide 57 days of education to a child in Kenya.

 

We’re grateful for days like the International Day of Rural Women, which remind us to step back and acknowledge all the human beings that contribute to the beauty of our daily lives. By investing in healthy skin, you support the communities that provide us with the most nourishing elements of nature as well as the women, children and communities who need our help. Thank you for being a part of it.

KIGELIA Malawi Business Training

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

 

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What You Need to Know About the Most Popular Skincare Oils

Once upon a time, we’d shrink in terror by the mere thought of drenching our skin in oils. Nowadays we use oils as freely as ever like nobody’s business because science (and the radiant complexions among us) have demonstrated the undeniable benefits that botanical oils bestow upon our largest organ.

Derived from various parts of plants, including the seeds and nuts, botanical oils practically do everything: they moisturize, prevent water loss, decrease or prevent blemishes, protect against sun damage, stimulate skin renewal and minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Some oils even go so far as to control natural oil production on the skin by mimicking it.

Of the multitude of oils out there for skin transformation, there are a handful commonly used as “base” oils, which are often found in the highest percentages, as they act as the foundation in which to concoct the entire formula. Check out our breakdown of some of the most popular below.

 

Marula OilMarula

Marula oil is born from the kernels of the fruit that sprout on the Marula tree. It’s been used for years by the Tsonga people of South Africa and Mozambique as both a moisturizing and a massage oil. (Fun fact: these populations, despite spending hours under the sun, have remarkably luminous and healthy-looking skin well into old age.)

Marula is high in oleic acid, or omega-9, rendering it a thicker, richer oil. But despite its relatively heavier texture, it absorbs rapidly into the skin and is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores. In addition to its incredible moisturizing powers, Marula oil bursts with antioxidants that effectively fight free radical damage; these two qualities render Marula the perfect elixir to prevent and alleviate the visible signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and the loss of elasticity and firmness. That’s not all though: Marula oil also has antimicrobial properties, which means you can hydrate your skin to plumpness without causing breakouts. This oil can be used on both dry and acne-prone skin with exceptional results.

If you want to deep dive into the world of Marula (including why it’s so good for our Earth), read more about it here.

Argan OilARGAN

Derived from the fruit of the Argan tree native to Morocco, argan oil is one of the most popular facial oils on the market. Chances are you’ve seen it inside a huge variety of skincare products, either as part of a formula or as a standalone.

Argan oil is composed almost equally of oleic (46-48%) and linoleic acid (31-35%). This particular composition makes argan oil moisturizing and absorbent without leaving a greasy residue. Argan oil is rich in vitamin E, making it a great ally for ageing skin, as it fights free radicals in the body. Vitamin E is also known to encourage new skin cell growth and boost cell regeneration.

 

Avocado OilAVO

Like Marula and Argan oils, Avocado oil is also particularly great for mature skin, as it contains antioxidants and vitamin E. Those with acne-prone skin, however, may want to proceed with caution because it is a thicker oil more likely to clog pores. Yet when it comes to extremely dry and chapped skin, Avocado oil is a godsend. It’s known for being especially soothing with protective elements, with research indicating that it can also prevent sun damage.[1] Avocado oil is also high in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is known for encouraging cell production and stimulating the growth of fibroblasts, which are the cells that keep skin taut and prevent sagging.

 

Jojoba OilJOJOBA

Native to southern Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico, Jojoba oil comes from the seed of the Jojoba plant, a desert shrub. Jojoba oil is light and absorbs quickly and easily into the skin. It has also been shown to be effective as an acne treatment.[2] This may be due to the fact that jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory properties (ultimately, while oil and bacteria are also involved, inflammation is the root cause of acne).[3] Jojoba oil is also one of the oils closest in composition to the natural sebum produced by the skin which, in short, means it’s highly welcome by the epidermis. When it comes to acne, in fact, jojoba oil “tricks” the skin into thinking it’s already produced enough sebum, which in turn prevents it from producing any more. Thus, skin remains hydrated and perfectly balanced without getting too oily, keeping those pesky breakouts at bay. Jojoba oil is best for naturally oily and acne-prone skin, but can be used to hydrate dry skin as well.

 

Grape Seed OilGRAPESEED

Pressed from the seeds of grapes, typically after they’ve been used for wine production, grape seed oil continues to grow in popularity thanks to its incredible one-two punch when it comes to skincare: it’s both a potent moisturizer and has the ability to assuage pimples.

Grape seed oil contains almost 70% linoleic acid, the type of fatty acid particularly helpful for acne-prone skin. Linoleic acid results in lighter oils that don’t sit heavily on the skin and clog pores, leading to blemishes. As a lighter oil, it also absorbs more easily into the skin, providing hydration and a softer, smoother feel and appearance. Grape seed oil is also high in phenolic compounds like flavonoids, giving it a high antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants help fight ageing of the skin by demolishing the very free radicals that would attempt to damage cells and speed up the ageing process. Overall, grape seed oil is a well-rounded oil, as it can be used on dry, mature and acne-prone skin with great results.

 

Olive Oil9a6b844fdf5ce5f11359122dc7a019a3

Olive oil has been associated with Italian feasts for so long you might be hesitant to slather it on your face, but it’s actually very common in skin care. It is a hydrating powerhouse with ageing well benefits containing high amounts of squalane, a terrific emollient that hydrates dry skin. Squalane is also a potent antioxidant that can potentially minimize signs of ageing.

 

So Which Oil Reigns Supreme?

Although all these oils help hydrate and protect skin, Marula is significantly higher in antioxidants, particularly because it contains the ultimate brightener, Vitamin C. (In fact, Marula contains about 15%-20% more antioxidants than the famed Argan oil!) On top of that, Marula’s high concentration of omega-9 acids helps the oil penetrate the skin more deeply—where it can do real transformative work—all while offering antimicrobial properties. For this extraordinary versatility and effectiveness, Marula is one of our Core Botanicals—yes, it’s that good!

Another important note to keep in mind is that these oils, like in Luxe Botanics formulations, are not used alone—they are key ingredients of a larger recipe created to synergize into a skin-transforming treatment. So even if you have oily skin, for example, you don’t necessarily need to avoid a richer oil like Marula, as it’s part of a carefully crafted elixir with overall intents to create healthy skin.

 

Try it for yourself.

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263051/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585103

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15629254


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How to Balance Blemish Prone, Sensitive Skin (Without Making It Worse)

For those with both sensitive and blemish-prone skin, trust us, we know how difficult it can be to successfully remedy this. The trouble, for the most part, lies in the fact that sensitive skin is innately more fragile and requires special care, but common methods to eradicate acne often lead to dryness, further sensitization and, ultimately, even more breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to know how to break, annoyingly frustrating and quite frankly upsetting.

 

The Causes Of Sensitive, Blemish-Prone Skin

Sensitive skin is genetic and is characterized by a thin epidermis with generally lower amounts of pigment. (If we get technical, sensitive skin should not be confused with sensitized skin, which is caused by skincare habits and lifestyle. For the purposes of this article, we’ll reference both as sensitive skin.)

With sensitive skin, the protective lipid barrier (the outermost layer) experiences water loss and also allows more irritants, allergens and microbes to get through instead of shielding them out. When these penetrate into the skin, they can cause inflammation, flaking, itchiness and redness. The result is a more negative reaction to certain topical skincare treatments that are too aggressive, leading to even more redness and irritation.

Whether blemish-prone skin is caused by a multitude or combination of factors like excessive oiliness, hormones and stress. Diet can play a role, too: Some research shows that certain high-glycemic carbohydrates can be responsible for blemishes.[1] A pimple essentially forms when a pore becomes clogged with excess oil, or sebum, and dead skin cells. Then, bacteria comes in and inflames the clogged area, leading to a ripe, red pimple. Definitely not cool.

While they’re two separate conditions, sensitive skin and blemishes often come hand in hand. Because of its thinner lipid barrier, sensitive skin deals with more irritants passing through into skin, including bacteria, and the declining ability to heal itself. At the same time, conventional treatments, like chemical peels and harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, typically require further sensitizing of skin to tackle blemishes, which ultimately wreaks more havoc on skin. And so begins the vicious cycle of irritation and breakouts.

 

How To Treat Sensitive, Blemish-Prone Skin

Sensitive skin should be treated with kid gloves—but that doesn’t mean you’re only left with ineffective solutions.

Although this will be hard to do, prioritize the sensitivity first. Because zits are often considered more aesthetically unpleasing, people tend to focus on eliminating their bumps and breakouts without considering the compromised nature of skin. But here’s the thing: As long as your skin is frail and vulnerable, your pimples will likely return—with a vengeance. On the other hand, if your skin is strong, it’s able to get rid of and prevent the blemishes much more efficiently.

To relieve your sensitivity, first make sure your skincare techniques aren’t aggravating. Avoid over-cleansing (limit cleansing to once or twice a day) and use gentle chemical exfoliators instead of physical scrubs, which may have jagged granules that will cause small tears in your skin when rubbed all over.

Second, avoid harsh skincare products that include commonly irritating ingredients like preservatives and fragrances. Your best bet is to turn to natural ingredients while avoiding more traditional treatments like benzoyl peroxide or harsh acids which, as previously noted, can be very harsh and strip sensitive skin.

Plant sources, particularly nut oils like jojoba or marula oil, have been known to reduce skin’s natural oil production by promoting a healthier natural balance of oils, allowing for hydration without fear of blemishes springing up. Chamomile oil is another great one to help soothe and calm skin. The good news is that there are also natural treatments that are specifically effective against pimples without making the condition worse. Ingredients like tea tree oil, aloe vera and Kigelia africana are ideal because they get the job done without inflaming or otherwise irritating.

 

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a tried-and-true method known for its ability to destroy pimple-causing bacteria.[2] Many people find success dabbing a small amount onto the affected area, leaving it on overnight. When using any type of skincare treatment, always do a patch test first to make sure you won’t develop any adverse reactions, especially if your skin is sensitive. Tea tree oil is much gentler than benzoyl peroxide but can still lead to dryness if used excessively, so use it cautiously.

Tea Tree

Aloe Vera

The ultra-gentle aloe vera helps reduce the manifestation of pimples thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.[3] Moreover, it has moisturizing effects that are especially good for sensitive skin, which can lean toward dryness. Studies have even found that drinking aloe vera can lead to a decrease in the number of blemishes on the skin.[4]

Aloe Vera

Kigelia Africana

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our darling Kigelia africana extract. The plant has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and has been shown to have a firming effect as well. Studies have found that both the root and fruit of the plant have antibacterial and antifungal compounds.[5] The antibacterial property is key, as it is what will help fight the bacteria that causes pimples, reducing the amount of it residing on the surface of your skin. Another study found that in addition to antibacterial properties, Kigelia africana also has wound-healing abilities.[6] This “wound-healing” quality can potentially help accelerate the reduction of blemishes in both size and intensity.

As a bonus, the flavonoids (substances in plants that protect from UV damage) in Kigelia africana provide antioxidant protection, fighting off free radicals, which are unstable atoms that damage skin cells and accelerate ageing. Furthermore, Kigelia africana is soothing and moisturizing, ideal for sensitive skin that is easily irritated and prone to redness and dryness. Kigelia africana is gentle but powerful and effective, reducing pimples while keeping skin soft, nourished and calm.

Kigelia africana

 

Coming to Terms With Sensitive, Blemish-Prone Skin

Sensitive, blemish-prone skin can sometimes feel like a scourge, but it need not be! Knowing the right products and ingredients to use can make all the difference. Sure, it may require some more diligence than treating normal skin, but it’s not impossible as long as you know which ingredients to avoid and which to embrace. Just remember to respect your skin, and it will reward you by glowing with clarified radiance.

 

Curious to find out more on Kigelia africana? Read about the unsung hero of perfect skin in our earlier blog.

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

[1] http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/107.full

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17314442

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/

[4] http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ajcn.2014.29.34

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8792668

[6] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/aps/2013/692613/

 


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What Happens When You Double Cleanse

Ever served a lovely casserole to your guests and ended up with dirty dishes veiled with a solid layer of olive oil? You’ve probably ran them under some water before loading up the dishwasher — to remove any extra oil and bits and pieces of food. Just to ensure things end up squeaky clean. A similar concept exists for skin, and it’s called pre-cleansing.

Pre-cleansing is when you wash your face with an oil-based cleanser before using your regular cleanser. You need a pre-cleanser to truly deep-clean skin—without compromising the delicate skin barrier. Only an oil-based solution can gently yet powerfully penetrate skin and clean out the excess sebum produced by your skin, the waterproof ingredients and oils from your skincare and cosmetics products as well as the dirt, grime and pollution you’ve accumulated throughout the day. Oil is potent enough to melt away the makeup and impurities, which then paves the way for following products.

When you pre-cleanse, your regular cream cleanser not only works more efficiently by easily dissolving the remainder of the impurities but also by infusing their beneficial ingredients into skin more deeply.

 

When and How to Pre-Cleanse

For the most part, you only need to pre-cleanse in the evening for two reasons. First, you have the most bacteria, dirt and oil on your skin before you sleep. Second, your skin needs to be at its cleanest at night since it’s when it works the hardest to repair itself. In fact, as you’re drifting in Dreamland, your skin’s natural antioxidant levels are higher than normal to combat the damage—and this process is most efficient when your skin isn’t congested.

 

Our Simple 2-Step Cleansing Routine

Luxe Botanics offers two botanically rich, purifying cleansers to ensure your skin is thoroughly cleansed—and remains as balanced and fresh as possible.

 

Step 1: On dry skin, massage the ultra-silky and velvety oil-based Marula Hydrating Pre Cleanser in circular motions to thoroughly remove dirt, excess oil, makeup, pollution and other impurities. Marula, jojoba and rosehip oils gently dissolve pore-clogging particulates and detoxify skin without disrupting the skin’s delicate natural lipid barrier. Rinse with comfortably warm water using either clean hands or a konjac sponge for extra-confident cleansing.

Your skin is now breathing easier and a lot more absorbable. It’s balanced, strong and hydrated.

 

Step 2: On still-damp skin, massage in Camu Brightening Cleanser, a lightweight cream cleanser that removes dirt, excess oil and other impurities to refresh and purify skin. High levels of vitamin C-rich Camu camu brightens and evens out skin tone while coconut oil, chamomile, cucumber and green tea work to calm and refine skin. 

Your skin is now fully sparkling clean, ready to drink up your serums and moisturisers, and stronger and healthier for sleeptime rejuvenation!

Trust us — pre-cleansing before the cleansing will completely transform the way your skin looks and feels. Start today with one caveat: resist the temptation to touch your petal-soft face all day!

 

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team


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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.

corn.jpg

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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team