Luxe Botanics

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


Leave a comment

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/

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

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!

BUSINESS_FOR_GOOD_black

 

www.b1g1.com

 


Leave a comment

Kigelia africana Fruit Extract: The Unsung Hero of Perfect Skin

Kigelia 22Whether it’s fine lines and clogged pores or dark circles and brown spots, we all have more than one skin issue we want to address in order to reveal the most radiant version of ourselves. But oftentimes, skincare treatments only target a single concern, making you improve in one area and not another. This is what makes the ultra-versatile Kigelia africana fruit extract all the more extraordinary — and one of our precious Core Botanicals.

 

The Triple-Threat Ingredient: Kigelia’s Astounding Skin Benefits

As a central focus in our Clarifying formulas, Kigelia extract works in synergy with other gems of nature to clarify skin, reducing and preventing blemishes, congestion and excess oil production. It also firms and tightens skin, making it a wonder to combat premature aging, like fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. Last but not least, the extract is extremely calming for skin (which means you can avoid the irritating side effects of typical anti-blemish or anti-aging formulas), instead soothing and strengthening skin so it appears at its healthiest.

That’s right, with this single ingredient, you can fight aging, acne (or the occasional blemish) and sensitivity!

FRESH-CUT-KIGELIA 2Kigelia extract is sourced from the sausage-shaped fruit of the Kigelia africana tree, which is common to West, Central and South Africa. Due to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of Kigelia, local healers have traditionally used the fruit to remedy skin-related conditions, such as fungal infections, acne, eczema and psoriasis. The extract has even been studied to aid in the treatment of skin cancer since it also has DNA-repairing powers.

Kigelia boasts a number of powerful skin-friendly compounds, including flavonoids, fatty acids, steroids and saponins. Flavanoids are polyphenols known mostly for their potent antioxidant benefits, which are crucial in fighting free radical damage to minimize the signs of aging. Free radicals cause a negative cascade in molecules, triggering wrinkles and other unwelcome outcomes (the worst is cancer). Steroids are well known to soothe skin conditions including eczema.  Steroidal saponins are known to create uplifted, taut skin, while fatty acids are popular for moisturizing and plumping the appearance of skin.

 

Our Favorite Way to Use Kigelia

Many of our Luxe Tribe members love keeping a bottle of Kigelia Clarifying Serum handy for days when skin gets stressed out! Although it’s excellent for those with chronic breakouts, the multi-action serum keeps skin smooth, clear and luminous when hormones, stress, weather changes, lifestyle or diet trigger blemishes on occasion. If we’re using another serum, we also love mixing in the Kigelia Clarifying Serum every other day as a preventative measure.

FullSizeRender 35

How has Kigelia changed your skin? Share with us on Instagram @luxebotanics

The Luxe Botanics Team


Leave a comment

Facial Oils: Are You Using the Correct Percentage of Oleic and Linoleic Acids?

 

If your skin is dry, sensitive or doesn’t seem as lifted and smooth as it once was, there’s a good chance it’s lacking some essential components it needs to function at its best. The first thing people do is slather on a facial oil in hopes of re-attaining moisturized, youthfully resilient skin. But for true, lasting effectiveness that can be felt and touched, you must pay attention to the structural composition of the oil you use.

There are two unsung heroes when it comes to reviving and revitalizing dry, aging skin: oleic acid and linoleic acid. The two fatty acids, which are found in Marula oil, are extraordinary elements for mature and sensitive skin, but the secret to healing is in their percentages—and this is why not all oils are equal.

Let’s explore first the difference between the two:

 

OLEIC ACID

 You may’ve heard of omega-9 fatty acids and not oleic acid, but the two are the same thing: a fat that your body produces. (In fact, it’s even found in human sebum.) Olive oil is probably the most popular oil abundant in oleic acid, but there’s another oil that contains even more—and that’s marula.

Marula oil contains up to 78% oleic acid… but why does that matter when it comes to skin care?

Locks in Intense, Rich Moisture

Oleic acid is a godsend for dry, aging skin since it penetrates easily and deeply into the skin’s surface, replenishing lost moisture that naturally comes with age. It also helps the moisture from evaporating. Remember: Without oil, your skin becomes dry, meaning it becomes that much more vulnerable to fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and losing its bounciness. Oleic acid can restore this oil—without clogging pores.

Boasts Antioxidant Powers to Fight Off Wrinkles

Oleic acid comprises antioxidant compounds that help fight free radical damage caused by environmental aggressors like UV rays, the top trigger of premature aging.  By minimizing free radicals in skin, so too is the manifestation of wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, sagging and other unwanted features.

Promotes Healing and Repairing

As an anti-inflammatory substance that simulates wound healing, oleic acid can also help calm, balance and help repair skin, even those with damaged conditions like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. Oleic acid also contains compounds that reinforce the integrity of cell membranes.

 

LINOLEIC ACID

 Linoleic acid, also known as omega-6, is not produced by our own bodies, but it plays also plays a role in healthy skin. It’s a fat that helps promote healthy cell activity.

Marula oil contains between 4-7% linoleic acid, sometimes even more. Like oleic acid, linoleic acid is anti-inflammatory and helps stimulate cell regeneration—but the major difference when it comes skin care? It’s not quite as penetrating and moisturizing as oleic acid.

 

WHAT’S THE PERFECT PERCENTAGE?

Together, oleic and linoleic acids deliver and lock in intense moisture into the layers of skin that need it most, while soothing, healing and protecting skin from harsh elements that expedite aging. But as with marula oil, oleic acid should be abundant in the oil you choose since it is richer (while being noncomedogenic) and works in harmony with the compromised structure of dry, aging skin.

On the flip side, if you use an oil with less oleic acid and more linoleic acid, it wouldn’t be able to penetrate and moisturize into deeper layers, which is vital for dry skin. Higher linoleic acid is often recommended for oilier skin types.

This is precisely why marula is the best facial oil for dry, sensitive or aging skin—and the heart of our Marula Hydrating Serum and Marula Hydrating Pre Cleanser.

What’s your experience with Marula oil? Show us on Instagram @luxebotanics

The Luxe Botanics Team

IMG_0140

Fresh Marula fruit from Kenya

 


Leave a comment

Luxe Botanics Discovery Kits are for sale!

Buy Luxe Botanics Discovery Kit

Each kit contains a 10ml jar of each of our 7 unique products which harness the potency of three key active botanicals chosen for their unique therapeutic benefits.

Organically grown, the natural benefits of each core botanical are enhanced by being scientifically formulated with botanic and natural ingredients, making Luxe Botanics one of the few authentically organic skin care lines in the industry.

Hydrating Marula Oil from Kenya: Serum and Pre Cleanser
Brightening Camu camu from Brazil: Serum, Moisturiser and Cleanser
Clarifying Kigelia africana from Malawi: Serum and Moisturiser

 USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong only

Buy Luxe Botanics Discovery Kit


Leave a comment

Holistic Recovery

“In order to have skin that glows and looks healthy and actually is healthy, you need to look at the whole picture and have a holistic approach to it. A lot of it is exercising regularly, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and keeping stress down.” – Allison Williams

 

I’ve always considered myself a very healthy woman with a sound knowledge of health and wellness. However, as you may have seen in my last post, even when you think you’re doing well things can change almost overnight and for seemingly no reason.

When I had my first moderate to severe contact dermatitis reaction it was a big wake up call for me – as you age, change climates, and even make minute changes in your daily routine this all adds up to a cumulative effect that often comes through in your skin as a first sign of bodily distress. The biggest thing for me in this list is age – yes I am not that old! – but we love to think we will be young forever. But things change and its best to be aware and respect your body as you age. I initially tried to heal myself with natural topical treatments, however after 2 weeks at home with very little improvement I turned to prescription medications. Of course, when you take oral steroids this seems to fix everything and your skin looks wonderful again, but when the reaction keeps coming back you have to expand your thinking to a more holistic view.

VegetablesI started keeping a diary of everything I used on my face, hair, body, what I washed my hands with, what I used in the kitchen, what I ate, what exercise I did… This became a very long exhausting list and I began to feel lost in all this data. To help me understand this experience I was going through, I met with everyone I knew who worked in the holistic health industry – from lifestyle consultants to nutritionists to doctors to dermatologists – and the conclusion was always the same: You will have to drastically eliminate things from your diet and lifestyle to find out the cause and then slowly build back up again. So I decided to make my own way and began a dairy free, gluten free, low carb clean living diet along with healthy skin loving smoothies every day followed by at least 30 minutes of exercise. For my skin I cut back to only using my Luxe Botanics products coupled with a homemade argan and rosehip oil serum and organic hair care products.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 9.41.11 AM2 months on, I will honestly say it has been hard but my skin has improved dramatically! I didn’t 100% stick to my plan the whole time, let’s face it I am human after all, so I did notice when things started to go backwards. The most important things I discovered was that I have very definite triggers: Carbohydrates and an overload of dairy make me bloat which in turn causes inflammation internally and externally; and anything with phenoxyethanol definitely triggers the dermatitis (even handwash!). Dietary things that helped to resolve this were obviously sticking to my clean eating, green smoothies with natural oils and a daily dose of cider vinegar calmed my gut and my skin. Skin care wise, marula oil became my saviour when my skin flared – it was literally like my skin was drinking it. When my skin had healed I kept up an alternating nightly regimen of marula or argan & rosehip oil. If I thought there was too much redness and inflammation a dab of kigelia calmed it down and made sure it didn’t become infected when it was peeling.

Feet walkingTo any of you out there who have gone through this or are going through this now, my only advice is to listen to your body. Try, test and learn (within reason). See what works and what doesn’t. Talk to people in the wellness community – they are a fantastic resource. And don’t be afraid to seek medical intervention if necessary. In my case it was very hard to be the face of a skin care brand when my skin was in such a dreadful state. Remember that you do change with time, climate and age, don’t get complacent.

My journey has just begun…

 

Jene