Luxe Botanics

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


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Survival Skincare For The Holidays

The most festive time of the year can also be the most stressful—but your skin can glow brilliantly as the lights on your tree or the candles on your mantle. Between buying gifts and traveling, make sure your complexion stays alive and invigorated with these three simple skincare rituals.

Revitalize Thirsty Skin

In the thick of winter, anyone’s skin (even oily) can experience water loss causing patchiness, dullness and dehydration. One of the best ways to quench skin’s thirst is with our simple two-step ritual.

  1. Infuse skin with Marula Hydrating Serum for an instant rush of balanced, restorative hydration (the citrusy scent alone sends us to our happy place!), while soft, lightweight textures of nourishing oils give skin a huge boost of nutrition.
  2. Complete with a layer of Camu Brightening Moisturiser, containing super-plumping sodium hyaluronate (a natural substance that retains 1000 times its own weight in water) and vitamin C for skin that lights up every room!

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Combat Climate Change

Well, not exactly. But, if you’re going from one temperature to another another—whether it’s from indoor heating to a windy blizzard, or from an icy zone to the humid tropics—your skin may need to find its balance again. Care for skin by applying Kigelia Clarifying Serum which calms redness and re-centers skin taking it back to its optimal healthy state. Then layer with Marula Hydrating Serum to restore natural oils and strengthen the skin’s delicate lipid barrier easily damaged with fluctuations in temperature. Remember, a strong skin barrier is the key to more vibrant, luminous and happy skin!

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Stay Fresh En Route & In-Flight

As you jet-set to warmer destinations or visit family, the recycled in-flight cabin air can easily parch skin, causing it to wither or get gloomy. Exit the runway with picture perfect plumped-up skin by spritzing your face with Camu Brightening Mist, flooding skin with droplets of sodium hyaluronate and Damascus rose water for instant hydration and vitamin C-loaded Camu camu berry to boost radiance.

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Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

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The Power of Thankfulness (and Why It’s Healthy for You)

“Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level. We need to literally ‘count our blessings,’ give thanks for them, allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity we already have.” Shakti Gawain

 

With the holidays coming up, it’s natural to think of all that there is to be grateful for in life. Yet sometimes, it feels like we only stop to acknowledge our blessings one day out of the year – on Thanksgiving – despite the fact there are reasons all around us to be thankful all year long.

We can benefit physically and mentally from pausing, even for a few minutes each day to reflect on our lives and everything that makes living wonderful and worthwhile. No matter our personal circumstances, if we just give it a try, we realize that there are plenty of things to be thankful for, whether it be our health, our friends and family, our jobs, or even just the fact that we’ve been given another day to live and appreciate the world with all of its myriad wonders. Thankfulness and mindful, meditative moments are like little doses of medicine that can actually prolong life and improve well-being, and science backs it up! When we take the time to express gratitude, our body releases natural endorphins, boosting dopamine and serotonin. It is exactly what antidepressants do, but the difference is it’s 100% natural! It may take some practice, but it is possible to get into the habit of daily thankfulness and meditation, and both your body and mind (and skin!) will thank you.

Thankfulness Improves Physical Health

A 2012 study evaluating 1,000 Swiss adults found that cultivating a spirit of thankfulness resulted in fewer aches and pains and a greater overall feeling of health.[1] This was found to be in part because grateful people were more likely to take care of themselves by exercising and getting regular check-ups, and they were also more likely to seek help for their health when necessary.

Thankfulness Improves Psychological Health

Grateful people have been noted to be less prone to depression and anxiety, while also experiencing fewer feelings of resentment, jealousy, anger and regret. One study evaluating degrees of religiosity found that spiritually grateful people were far less likely to face problems associated with depression, generalized anxiety disorder, stress, phobias and addictions.[2] As a knock-on effect, improved psychological health can also improve physical health, as people who experience less stress in their lives are less likely to deal with pain and more likely to have a stronger immune system.

Thankfulness Helps You Sleep Better

A good night’s rest is essential to good health, while a lack of sleep is linked to increasing stress, weakening the immune system and upping the risk for certain diseases and illnesses. A 2009 study involving 401 participants, 40% of whom suffered from clinical sleep disorders, suggests that the most grateful participants had better overall sleep quality, were more likely to fall asleep faster and had less daytime fatigue after waking up.[3] The reason for this was because thankful people were more likely to have positive thoughts before falling asleep, such as counting their blessings. Meanwhile, people who had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep were more likely to suffer from negative thoughts that kept them up. A good night’s rest has many beauty benefits as well, improving overall complexion by regenerating skin cells and reducing breakouts thanks to the fact that while we sleep, our stress levels drop. They don’t call it Beauty Sleep for nothing!

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Meditation Reduces Risk of Heart Disease & Stroke

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world, and finding ways to prevent it is of utmost importance. Meditation has been proven to actually reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. A 2012 study involving over 200 high-risk participants asked individuals to take a class promoting better diet and exercise habits or take a Transcendental Meditation class. Over the next five years, researchers discovered that among the participants who took the meditation class, there was a 48% reduction in overall risk of heart disease, stroke and death. The results were associated with “lower blood pressure and psychosocial stress factors.”[4]

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Meditation Relieves Stress & Strengthens Immunity

Stress, especially chronic stress, can weaken immunity, making us susceptible to all kinds of illnesses. Stress can also have a very negative effect on the skin, causing acne, eczema and psoriasis, or exacerbating these problems. A Harvard Medical School study found that practicing meditation and meditative activities like yoga actually impacts mitochondrial energy production, consumption and resiliency, namely improving them.[5] This then improves immunity as well as reaction to stress. For skin, this has double benefits, as less stress will result in less breakouts and inflammation, while a stronger immune system will also allow your body to fight problems like acne from within.

It can be tempting to disregard the concepts of thankfulness and meditation as a bunch of nonsense, but science doesn’t lie. It’s clear that both thankfulness and meditation have research to back them up as legitimate approaches to staying healthy, active and at our best. And the best part is that you can practice thankfulness and meditation for free with just a little bit of work. Of course, if you’re prone to negative thoughts, it can be difficult to rewire your thinking process, but not impossible. Meanwhile, the benefits are certainly worth the undertaking.

 So, what are you grateful for this holiday season?

At Luxe Botanics, we are immensely thankful on a daily basis for our fair-trade partnerships with producers who respect nature and the land they tend by utilizing sustainable farming methods. Sustainability is increasingly crucial in a world where our natural resources are finite and becoming moreso with each passing year.

Of course, we are also massively thankful for you, our tribe of mindful living warriors, who understand and appreciate the importance of sustainability, practice it in their own lives and work to do their part to make sure our planet is healthy for many generations to come.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

[1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23139438

[2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12611831

[3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19073292

[4]http://healthland.time.com/2012/11/14/mind-over-matter-strongest-study-yet-shows-meditation-can-lower-risk-of-heart-attack-and-stroke/

[5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23650531


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The Science Behind Natural Skincare

Happy World Science Day! We’ve come a looong way as humans. From conquering the heights of space travel to curing illnesses. Science has allowed humanity to progress beyond the wildest dreams of our ancestors. But with all innovation, inevitably comes some scepticism. In skincare, one of the most persisting questions posed is the manufacture of synthetic ingredients: are they a good thing or are they harmful?

Einstein said, “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”

As you know, we’re Mother Nature’s biggest fan, but, we’re also a great believer in science and that remarkable things can happen at the intersection between both.

 

Are Natural Ingredients Better Than Their Synthetic Counterparts?

The truth is, even when a synthetic substance and its natural counterpart possess the exact same molecular structure, there can still be some differences between them. Despite the word “synthetic” having negative associations, synthetic doesn’t necessarily mean bad—as long as an ingredient is effective while produced and sourced in a responsible, safe and sustainable manner.

To understand, let’s take a closer look.

 

Synthetic Ingredients In Skincare

In the case of vitamins (like the powerhouse trio vitamin A, E and C), many used in skincare are synthetic. Manufacturers typically turn to these ingredients because they are often more cost-effective and easier to source. Some synthetic ingredients are also usually more stable, with longer shelf lives than natural ingredients.

If we take the example of Vitamin C, it has many beauty benefits: it can lighten dark spots, neutralize free radical damage and help fight wrinkles. This mighty vitamin is usually processed for use in skincare products.  The closest form to natural vitamin C is L-ascorbic acid and is made from corn starch, corn sugar or rice starch. Then there are natural extracts like our beloved Camu camu berry, which contains more vitamin C than acai and oranges.

But, when it comes to results, natural vitamin C seems to have an edge over L-ascorbic acid. In one study from 2001, researchers found that “delivery of topical L-ascorbic acid into the skin is critically dependent on formulation characteristics,” meaning it had to be formulated at a certain pH level to have any effect on the skin. [1] The same study also concluded that two types of synthetic vitamin C, didn’t even penetrate the skin in order to bring about any of the positive effects of vitamin C.

In this instance, nature wins if ingredients aren’t formulated correctly.

But remember, even though an ingredient is natural it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always more effective either.

Let’s take a look at another example: natural Vitamin B3, also called niacinamide, has similar results on the skin as synthetic Vitamin B3 which we derive from beets and legumes as a more plentiful source. There are also peptides – protein fragments made up of amino acids – most of which in skin care are artificial, that companies use to help stimulate collagen production to minimize wrinkles and plump up complexions. At Luxe Botanics, our peptides, are created using sustainably sourced natural palm kernel oil and coconut oil, which perform with equal efficacy as a natural peptide.

So you start to see in certain cases that synthetic Ingredients come up trumps, and to understand that not everything is black and white. It all comes down to doing your homework.

 

Natural Or Synthetic?

So. What to do? In the end, bear in mind that just because an ingredient wasn’t literally dug up or picked in nature doesn’t automatically spell unsafe or ineffective. Sure, there are plenty of skincare products out there with fillers and other synthetics that do more harm than good, but there are exceptions. What you should be looking at is the effectiveness of the ingredient (does it perform the job it’s supposed to? How does it formulate with other ingredients) and making sure the environment isn’t at risk due to its production.

Scientific advances today mean we have the tools to create high-tech natural beauty synthesised from natural and organic bases like never before; where delicate, botanical ingredients are not compromised but can be enhanced. It’s this pursuit of discovery which scientists thrive on.

At Luxe Botanics we select our core botanicals based on peer-reviewed data published in scientific journals. But even this is not enough if we don’t then look carefully at the ingredients we formulate with, each which must have an individual purpose. By taking time to understand the perfect synergy of ingredients, balanced in precisely the right proportions, this is the harmony we strike between science and nature.

For more info on high-tech, plant based ingredients in our skincare take a look at our earlier blog on ingredients with purpose.

 

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

 

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11207686


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Living a Life of Lagom

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There’s something about Scandinavian concepts of living. Clean lines with a minimalist approach. We’ve been buying into their beautifully simplistic interiors for decades, and with good reason why.

While Hygge, the Danish idea of cozy living, has been huge in the last year, now “lagom” has quietly elbowed its way into the spotlight as an ideology for life. Never heard of lagom? Well we’re here to enlighten you…

A Swedish word that means “just the right amount” or “not too much, not too little,” lagom is the latest lifestyle trend people have fallen in love with. And we have too! With its emphasis on moderation, it can be thought of as a more mindful way of living, for everything to be a balance and “just right.” It emphasizes frugality and sustainability, inviting people to live their lives with more consciousness of the world around them.

Lagom is a moment for pause, to look at all the items we use and why, asking us to really consider the importance, or lack thereof. By becoming more centred around what we genuinely value in life, this can bring about a sense of greater purpose and even help to de-stress. It can be massively beneficial to let a little bit more lagom seep into our busy, often overwhelming lives, and here are a few ways you can start living a life of lagom through your beauty routine:

 

Bare Necessities

If you stop to think about it, you really don’t need five different types of moisturizers and three different types of eye cream. Sometimes we find ourselves purchasing more and more without once stopping to ask why. We’re so used to consumption that it becomes second nature, and we find ourselves in a race to constantly buy new things. Retail therapy, after all, didn’t become a phrase without reason, but it’s an instant gratification that seldom lasts and has an insatiable appetite.

Get into a lagom state of mind by getting rid of beauty items that have long expired. Mascara older than three months can go, as can skincare products you’ve had for a year or more and never use. Starting with expired items is a good way to begin the de-cluttering process without feeling like you’re throwing your hard-earned money away – those moisturizers and serums didn’t come cheap, we know. But once these are gone, you may want to consider what you use on a daily basis, and what is simply taking up space on your shelves. Only you know what really works and what products deliver the best results. Stick to those and thoughtfully curate your beauty ritual to be the best it can be.

 

Back To Basics

Lagom preaches the belief of “just right,” which means goodbye to excess. This can relate to the ingredients in beauty products, putting emphasis on those that are simple yet powerful. The current trend of plant-based face oils fits right in with lagom, as does the rise in popularity of natural and organic beauty. Clean, nature-based ingredients like argan oil and shea butter provide effective results without any of the harshness of added preservatives and synthetic ingredients.

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The rule tends to go, the fewer number of ingredients in a product, the better. But that doesn’t mean these ingredients are any less potent. It’s all about finding the right combination and balance, ensuring each ingredient actually serves a beneficial purpose. Careful consideration of each ingredient and what it brings to the table is a core principle of lagom.

 

Sustainability

Our resources cannot last forever. This is one of the reasons why lagom emphasizes eco-friendliness. Practice lagom by using products with recyclable packaging as well as re-using the many jars and bottles that house your favourite beauty products. By scaling down your beauty regimen, you can also make sure you’re doing your part by using a product until the very last drop. This way you’ll ensure that you’re not being wasteful—and it’s easier to do if the product you’re using is wholly effective and one that you love. In the end, it all comes full circle.

 

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Sustainability can refer to ingredients as well. Ingredients that are sourced through wild harvesting or organic means ensure there is harmony between a finished product and its origins. Cultivating ingredients through fair-trade practices also respects the farmers who look after the land and who should stand to gain from their hard work just as you stand to gain from using a beautifully crafted product. It can be a win-win for all. Hurrah!

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Beauty that is rooted in sustainability also ensures that the planet will not be unduly harmed by harsh methods of cultivation that are ultimately unsustainable and cause pollution. By supporting eco-conscious brands that respect the planet and prize business methods that leave a small footprint, you can adopt many of the core ideals lagom.

 

Practice Makes Perfect

You don’t have to dive headfirst into lagom. Like any lifestyle change, it requires patience and understanding on your part. It will also take some time. It can be difficult to let go of old and comfortable habits, like hoarding every old beauty product and voraciously purchasing new ones, especially if you’re a self-professed beauty obsessive and love new things. Don’t we all? But if you’re serious about curbing old habits and embarking on a change that will ultimately benefit you and the planet, lagom can come easily to you. Start out small, taking tentative baby steps, and before you know it, you’ll be leading a lagom life.

 

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team

 


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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/