Luxe Botanics

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


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New Year, New Complexion: Your Skin Purging Questions, Answered!

No matter how trite New Year’s Resolutions may seem, you can’t deny that January inspires a desire to start anew with a clean slate. Perhaps it’s all the extra dessert and alcohol during holiday parties or the additional time we take to step back and reflect on the bigger picture. Whatever the reason, there’s no better time than now to make positive changes—your skin, included.

Many people start the new year with a detox—a promise to focus on healthy foods and more exercise. As we all know, the impact of these changes aren’t seen overnight. A new dedicated workout routine or whole-foods diet takes time for your body to acclimatize and manifest positive changes. Similarly, a clean, naturally oriented skincare routine involves time, patience, and yes, purging!

Over time, toxins and unhealthy substances accumulate in your body. Although your body is naturally equipped to detox itself with various organs like the liver and, yes, the skin, modern lifestyle has increased the rate of toxin stockpiling through factors such as pesticides in food and unnecessary chemicals in skin care. This means the natural detox process occurs more slowly than the toxin buildup process.

The good news is—just as your body can begin to heal after consuming organic greens on the regular, your skin can restore itself when you nourish it with clean, nature-derived ingredients.

Rather than switching everything all at once, swap out your beauty products one by one, to give your skin time to adjust as well as avoiding waste. The transition doesn’t always look pretty at first, but it’s worth the wait and effort. Definitely experiment to find what really works for you and which products delivers the best results. Beauty boxes are  great way to sample a range of natural skincare to carefully curate a beauty ritual that’s perfect for you.

Got more questions about a natural skin detox? Here are the top ones we get asked so you can rest assure your skin will restore back to its healthiest, happiest state.

 

Does my skin really purge by breaking out after using a new detoxifying skincare product? 

Not always, but yes! We know it can be discouraging to see pimples pop up when you begin using a new skincare treatment that embraces wholesome, natural ingredients, but it can actually be a sign that the product is working—and working well. Products like those in our Kigelia Range, may cause what many people refer to as a “skin purge” because of its powerful clarifying properties.

When you use a purifying skincare treatment it essentially speeds up the blemish-formation process, unveiling the breakouts “hiding” under your skin in the form of clogged pores. Your skin purges toxins, and since there’s quite a bit happening all at once, the blemishes manifest at the same time. But, the great news is that this is not acne (a more long-term condition and a separate issue altogether) and your blemishes will go eventually away.

With consistent use, natural skincare can keep your skin blemish-free and beautiful.

 

How long does it take for skin to detox?

It generally takes two to three weeks for skin cells to completely renew and get rid of the pore-clogging particulates. It’s a pain, but totally worth the wait once you see newly clear and glowing skin.

 

What do I do (and not do) when skin is detoxing?

Most importantly, resist the temptation to quick fix the purging breakouts by touching, picking or using an exfoliator. This will only exacerbate the problem. Simply stick to your cleansing, misting, serum and moisturising routine.

Once your skin is acclimated, make sure you exfoliate gently with either a mild chemical peel containing naturally derived alpha hydroxy acids like lactic acid (which is derived from milk) or a soothing physical exfoliator with spherical agents (like jojoba beads) that won’t cause microlacerations in skin. This is important so you can get rid of dead skin cells and other impurities to pave the way for following treatments.

 

What do I do if my skin is irritated? 

If you notice a rash, itchiness, redness, stinging or any other uncomfortable responses, this could be a sign of an allergic reaction—not purging. An allergic reaction is most often experienced within the first 1-2 days of using a new product, but can also occur with repeated exposure. Discontinue using the product if you suspect it’s more than a skin purge.

 

What else can I do support my skin during its detox?

  • A switch to a diet filled with vegetables and whole foods will transform your energy levels and mood, and it will revitalize your skin too! Focus on healing, anti-inflammatory foods rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, including essential fatty acids. There’s plenty of research showing foods high in vitamins A, C, D and E in particular can improve the state of your skin (don’t get overwhelmed—just think colors of the rainbow, like carrots, green, leafy vegetables, bell peppers and blueberries!).

  • Be sure to check the EWG shoppers guide on the dirty dozen and clean fifteen to ensure you’re avoiding unnecessary pesticides.
  • Make sure you consume gut-friendly foods or probiotic supplements, as research is showing more and more that a healthy gut is linked to healthy skin. Eat foods rich in probiotics such as coconut water or milk kefir, sauerkraut and fermented vegetables like kimchi.
  • Drink plenty of water and hydrating herbal tea to flush out toxins and get skin ready for rest of the year.

A good night’s rest improves 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!

Want to learn more about our skin detox rituals? Drop us a line at hello@luxebotanics.com and we can tailor one just for you.

Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

Naturally yours,

 

The Luxe Botanics Team

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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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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


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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