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What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants in plants

Antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidation, thereby preventing and repairing damage to the body’s tissues [the damage that causes ageing]. Oxidation is the process that makes metal rust and occurs when free radicals start causing trouble.

But what are free radicals?

Free radicals are unstable molecules that start the oxidation process — the process that causes damage to body tissue and leads to cell dysfunction. They are a major contributor to all visible signs of ageing on the skin, from age spots and fine lines to sagging and wrinkles.

So why are antioxidants important?

Antioxidants help reduce signs of ageing and calm inflamed skin while tightening and toning the complexion. To improve the skin’s overall health, it is important to properly incorporate antioxidants into your diet and skincare routine.

Look for skincare ingredients Vitamins B3, E as well as Green Tea. These help fortify cells against damaging free radicals while encouraging cell and tissue growth for renewing and repairing the complexion. Vitamins B3 and E are best known for their ability to protect against sun damage and help boost existing sunblock while aiding in improving skin tone, texture, and discolouration. Flavonoids in Green Tea Extracts help improve skin tone and texture and prevent inflammation.

What antioxidants do for YOU:

  1. Anti-inflammatory properties help increase circulation and cell metabolism. Alpha Lipoic Acid, found in pine bark and green tea, is especially well-known for its ability to help even skin tone and keep acne and wrinkles at bay.
  2. By helping promote cell turnover, antioxidants are ideal for those suffering from hyperpigmentation [age or sun spots] and scarring and those who seek to improve overall skin tone and texture. Products featuring Snow Mushroom as an active ingredient are also highly recommended because they help even out and brighten the complexion for a more youthful, radiant glow [see The Essence, which includes Snow Mushroom as one of its key botanicals].
  3. Skin-firming abilities not only help slow visible signs of ageing like wrinkles and sagging but also improve the skin’s overall health.
  4. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles are reduced. Keep in mind that no product can “get rid” of wrinkles, but here’s where antioxidant-rich creams and serums come into play. Ingredients like Niacinamide [Vitamin B3] and E help restore hydration and therefore plump the skin, leaving the complexion lifted, toned, and more youthful-looking.
  5. Protecting against sun damage is what antioxidants are most well-known for. They help stimulate blood flow, thereby encouraging cell growth, and also work to boost your sun protection.

The Essence [Active Concentrate] contains Green Tea Extract and Snow Mushroom [in addition to host of other potent anti-ageing ingredients!]

 

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The Sanitiser
Active + Botanical Benefits
Actives

Ethanol
Ethanol is a proven aid to preventing transmission of infectious agents and widely accepted as one of the most important infection control measures to prevent infectious disease transmission. The antimicrobial activity of ethanol can be attributed to its ability to denature and coagulate proteins. The microorganism’s cells are then lysed, and their cellular metabolism is disrupted. The activity is broad and immediate. Ethanol [the most common alcohol sanitising ingredient], appears to be the most effective against viruses.

D-Panthenol
D-Panthenol is the provitamin—a precursor, or substance that the body can convert into a specific vitamin—for B5. When panthenol is applied topically, it’s quickly converted into vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid. B5 binds to and holds water effectively, moisturising the skin and helping it maintain softness and elasticity. Panthenol has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect and to boost skin barrier function.

Botanicals

Vegetable Glyerin
Glycerin is hygroscopic — meaning it can draw moisture from the air around us and help keep that moisture in skin, thus minimising trans epidermal water loss [due to evaporation]. Research has shown that glycerin mimics what’s known as skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF), which is why it’s compatible with all skin types, of all ages. Replenishing skin’s NMF is important because it becomes depleted as we age, are subject to environmental exposure, and use irritating ingredients.

Sandalwood
Sandalwood is very mild but still has a powerful effect on the skin. Due to its antiseptic properties it prevents rashes, heals itching and inflammation, cools and soothes skin and moisturises and tones the skin with mild astringent action. In aromatherapy, inhaling the aroma of sandalwood oil or absorbing it through the skin is thought to transmit messages to parts of the brain involved in controlling emotions, known as the limbic system. These messages are believed to affect both an emotional and physiological response.

Carrot Seed
The benefits of carrot seed oil include antifungal and antibacterial qualities, due to the bioflavonoids it contains. Rich in vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and various essential fatty acids, carrot seed is incredibly skin-repairing to dry and damaged skin. It also contains a large amount of vitamin E, which is great for adding and retaining moisture in the skin.

 

Patchouli Oil
Patchouli oil, which contains several mono- and sesquiterpenoids, alkaloids, and flavonoids, is thought to possess significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.In fact, it is reputed to impart antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects, and is also known to protect the skin barrier function. Studies have found that patchouli oil exerts significant antibacterial activity against staphylococcus bacteria. Patchouli is commonly used in aromatherapy for its ability to calm depression. It encourages the release of serotonin and dopamine; two hormones which ease feelings of anger and anxiety.

Lavender
Along with the other benefits commonly found in botanical ingredients [anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial], lavender is unique in its proven ability to boost blood circulation. This enables more brightening oxygen and nutrients to reach the skin’s surface. It can also protect and promote the skin’s natural barrier, plus balance its pH levels. Aromatically, this oil, rich in esters and alcohols, is useful for when fighting depression as well as anxiety and stress, helping to relax the mind, proving to be interesting in its application at a time of increased tension.

Clove Bud
Clove owes its medicinal benefits to its antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiviral and stimulating properties, and is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. Clove oil contains a chemical called eugenol that acts as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent. With the help of these properties it can treat cuts and wounds and fight against fungal infections. Clove bud essential oil is used in aromatherapy to stimulate circulation and arousal of the mind and body allowing you to achieve mental clarity.

Bergamot
Thanks to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, bergamot is a natural cleanser. It can help to tone the skin, soothe skin irritation, and heal cuts and scars. Bergamot is also rich in polyphenols that have strong antioxidant effects to help protect the skin from free radical damage. Aromatically, bergamot is one of the best oils to support the central nervous system — it’s known to be calming to the spirit.

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