Do you know what’s IN the products you use daily or even those you use occasionally? Do you know why they are in there? Is it even important? Should you even care? In my personal opinion, YES! One of the things that I’m passionate about as a formulator, hand producer and retailer of natural bath & body care products is that I also educate when I can about ingredients, especially those in the products I make and sell. It makes little sense to me to buy anything without knowing at least a little about the what and why. But that is just me and my way of thinking. While this may not be popular with many who prefer to jump into the glittery sales pitch pool head first, I feel it is wisdom and can save you in more ways than one.
That leads me to this article. Let’s take a look at 5 skin benefical ingredients that are always in the Neos Creations production pantry and go into practically every product we make. Look at this list shown in common name, INCI name (required by the FDA to be listed on all cosmetic ingredients labels), and their attributes to see what they are and to help you understand why we use them.
Green Tea Extract (camellia sinensis leaf extract) - Extracted from the leaves for green tea. You know how good drinking green tea is for your internal body but did you know it is extremely rich in antioxidants and offers anti-aging qualities for topical use? Free radicals (also known as cell ravagers) are everywhere and we are exposed to them daily. They age our body and our skin prematurely by causing cell oxidation. Think of oxidation like rust on metal, breaking down the strength and structure of it, making is erode, little by little. Topically applied, antioxidants help by clearing and repairing cell damage to the skin caused by free radicals which can turn to wrinkles, blemishes and other skin distress. The anti-aging qualities found in green tea extract can actually help undo the damage caused by sun exposure, a form of UV radiation, which causes the skin to become looser with oxidation moving in between the cells. Over time, the skin’s immune system begins slowing and breaking down, resulting in wrinkles and thinner skin. When used topically, green tea acts as a barrier of sorts as it protects, reduces and even erases this damage. Now let’s make this very clear! This isn’t to say it does the work of or can be used as a sunscreen. You should always use adequate sunscreen protection with a 30+ SPF. It does however, boost the cells natural free radical fighting abilities so they become stronger and skin structure becomes tighter, which results in more resilience and a more youthful appearance. Green tea extract is said to also reduce or even eliminate skin problems such as warts, psoriasis, rocesea and acne.
Borage Seed Oil (borago officinalis seed oil) - Extracted from the seeds of the borage plant. It’s a natural source of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an Omega-6 fatty acid which is required for healthy skin cell membranes. Without sufficient GLA, cells can’t retain enough moisture, resulting in dry skin, other chronic skin problems and ultimately, unhealthy skin. Think of a GLA deficient skin cell as if it were a fabric bag or basket. No matter how much water you put in it, it is not going to hold the water. It will leak out. Borage oil penetrates deeply, delivering GLA and it’s benefits directly to the cells, helping them to absorb and retain/hold moisture and ultimately results in healthier skin.
Pumpkin Seed Oil (cucurbita pepo seed oil) - extracted from pumpkin seeds. High in the gamma tocopherol form of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that protects cell structure, improves overall cell health and neutralizes free radicals. Vitamin E is known to reduce scarring and diminish the appearance of stretch marks. It has also been shown to decrease the effects of psoriasis and reduce the redness associated with erythema, one of the symptoms of rosacea. Pumpkin seed oil is 98% palmatic, stearic, linoleic and oleic acids. These essential fatty acids works to promote the production and regeneration of skin’s natural oils (an absolute necessity for healthy skin), assists the skin cells in retaining proper moisture balance, and helps maintain normal cell structure. They also repair flaky, itchy skin and are stepping stones to the skin’s production of prostaglandins, which decrease inflammation.
Tamanu Oil (calaphyllum inophyllum oil) - extracted from the fruit of the tamanu tree. Sometimes called a true miracle for the skin or “green gold”, it is a universal, all around skin healer. It’s a remarkable topical healing agent, with skin healing anti-neuralgic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antibiotic and antioxidant properties. Proven in anti-bacterial and anti-fungal tests, it naturally contains bactericide and fungicide agents that defeat human and animal pathogens, killing bacteria and fungus on contact. It works in harmony with skin, helping it to rejuvenate and regenerate itself, producing new skin. It also improves smoothness, elasticity, firmness and helps erase wrinkles. Absorbs quickly without that oily, greasy look or feel. It has a pleasant, non-invasive, nutty fragrance. Conditions that are reported to often benefit from tamanu oil: soothes sunburn, burns, blisters, age spots, relieves dry skin, itching, athlete’s foot, helps with scar tissue, insect bites, reduces swelling and inflammation, abrasions, fades stretch marks, suppresses the growth of bacteria and yeast and combats body odor. It’s also reported to very effectively reduces acne and other skin ailments such as eczema, rashes, skin allergy symptoms, neuralgia, shingles and is effective on gout and ringworm. Excellent for little ones too as it helps relieve cradle cap/nappy rash, diaper rash and baby acne. I use tamanu oil undiluted, straight on skin abrasions, cuts and other problems instead of anti-bacterial ointments or commercial products. The first time I tested it this way, I applied it to a mild abrasion wound on my leg that actually had a hole the size of a thick pencil lead right in the center of it. the results astounded even me. Overnight, the hole closed and the wound virtually disappeared.
Hydrolized Soy Protein - high quality vegetable sourced protein derived from soybeans. Provides a moisture retentive, protective and sealing film. Most often used in hair care products because it adds shine, body and managebility. It increases the ability of skin and hair to bind moisture and specifically improves the tensile strength of hair. It mitigates the damage incurred due to bleaching, perming and heat styling. Soy protein is substantive to hair and skin, helping to minimize roughness and chapping of skin caused by dry climates. Soy is an awesome source of isoflavones. The role of isoflavones is widely appreciated and is currently the subject of intense research. Isoflavone appear to protect the skin against hormone related aging, such as in menopause. Isoflavones can have estrogenic activity. For instance, if during menopause, the body’s natural levels of estrogen drops, isoflavones can compensate by binding to the same receptor sites. As we age, our hormone levels drop and our skin, the body’s biggest organ and first defense, shows the results. Hydrolized soy protein helps to strengthen the individual skin cell and collectively bring back a youthful radiance to skin. It is suitable for any hydrous or emulsified product or application.
This is just a few of the absolute ”MUST HAVES” in the Neos production pantry. They not only offer fantastic benefits, they add such indulgent luxury to formulations, and are just some of the reasons we are confident when we say Neos is Better by Design, Luxurious by Nature.
Are you surprised by any of these ingredients and what they can do? I was when I first learned about them, but quickly decided that my customers absolutely must have them in the Neos products. What are some of your body and skin care must haves?
Are there ingredients you would like to know about? I’m offering an ongoing series, “Ingredients 101, A Comprehensive Look”, FREE to all Neos Newsletter subscribers. We’ve already sent out several issues over the past few months. Just subscribe to our monthly newsletter and let me know by email (email@example.com) that you are a new subscriber and would like to have the back issues that have already gone out.
Do you have a question you want to ask about bath & body care, skin care, something related to the cosmetic industry or any of the handcrafted items from Neos? Neos Creations has weekly Q & A sessions, at the Neos Creations Facebook community, every Tuesday, 11am – 1pm and 7pm – 9pm. Interested? Come join us for this and more.