Creams have been the cornerstone of skincare since time and form by far the majority of skincare products. Over recent years there has been a significant and ongoing increase in the use and number of serum products.
Serums come in different forms – gels, oils, liquids and light lotions. They are generally regarded more as a treatment for the skin. They can address problems such as acne, rosacea, pigmentation, oily and ageing skin. Serums have the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin to deliver the active ingredients. They are usually highly concentrated and contain more ingredients than most creams. A good serum should contain ingredients such as peptides, collagen, vitamins and nutrients and I have to say I love serums.
So, does that mean serums instead of creams. No, there is certainly a place for both. There is nothing nicer than applying a beautiful cream to the skin. Good night creams can give the skin a radiance and a luxurious and nurturing feel.They will hold and maintain moisture and will leave a protective layer on the skin. Face creams nourish, soften and protect the skin. They treat the surface of the skin. And applying a beautiful cream represents ‘Me Time’.
So the answer is, there is a place for both.
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I am constantly being asked about antioxidants. What are they? What do they do and why do I like them so much in skin care?
Firstly, it is important to remember that the skin is the body’s largest organ. Antioxidants are chemicals that protect the skin cells from the inside by neutralising external forces (such as damage from the sun, pollution, wind, and temperature.
Antioxidants are necessary because they combat free radicals. Free radicals are by-products that are formed when oxygen is used by the body. They start a chain reaction under the skin’s surface, which begins a process of destruction. Without getting too technical, the aftermath of this reaction is that the structure of the skin is damaged and the cellular structure is weakened.
Antioxidants in skincare products can do a lot for the health and appearance of your skin, including reducing the signs of ageing. It is interesting to note that antioxidants work 25% better applied topically then taken internally for the skin.
To get the maximum benefit and best results from antioxidants in skincare, you need a range of different antioxidants. Green Tea for example has EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate) that protects the DNA in skin cells from sun damage, pomegranate has ellagic and punicic acid and these two antioxidants are outstanding free radical scavengers. Coenzyme Q10 is another, as is Vitamin A. And don’t forget the those super berries, Blueberry, Raspberry (high sun protection Cranberry, Blackcurrant all have different antioxidants that the skin needs to minimise age spots and reduce inflammation. Black raspberry is one of nature’s most potent antoxidants by virtue of the fact it contains up to 85% EFAs (essential fatty acids) and is high in linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids. They are all cell communicators.
So, when it comes to good skincare the old adage of strength in numbers is the way to go.
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I am constantly researching the latest developments in active ingredients from around the world. Many of the stellar ingredients I have found over the years sometimes take years to become mainstream and some never make it, primarily because of price. For me price has never been the primary driver. Most importantly for me, the ingredients I seek must have proven efficacy, they must be ethical and they must be sustainable. And from time to time I come across a stand out.
One such star is Baobab Oil (Adansonia Digitata).The Baobab is often referred to as The Tree of Life and with good reason for it provides shelter, clothing, food, and water for the animal and human inhabitants of the African Savannah regions. The cork-like bark and huge stem are fire resistant and are used for making cloth and rope. The leaves are used as condiments and medicines. The fruit, called “monkey bread”, is edible, and full of Vitamin C.
Although known to African societies for thousands of years for its medicinal benefits, and used by the woman of the Savannah to protect their skin from the harsh environment for centuries, it is only now being appreciated by a much broader market for its skincare credentials.
I really love this lightweight, fast absorbing oil that is extracted from the seed of the fruit. I much prefer it to the heavier Rosehip Oil and it has many additional benefits. It is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and F plus EFAs (essential fatty acids) Omega 3, 6 & 9. Vitamins A and F rejuvenates and renews cell membranes, the Vitamin E is a superior antioxidant that fights the ageing process and the EFAs add moisture, hydration and protection for the skin.
Apart from the moisturising and hydrating properties, Baobab oil also improves the tone and elasticity in the skin and is very soothing. Baobab oil does not clog the pores and is a wonderful ingredient for those with rosacea. It can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
I have included this vitamin rich oil in Ultra Day, Rise and Shine Coffee Elixir and Daily Male.
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Hyaluronic Acid (Sodium Hyaluronate)
Hyaluronic Acid was discovered by scientist Karl Meyer in the 1930s. It was first recognised in the vitreous humor in the eyes of cattle. Basically there are two methods of production of hyaluronic acid – one from rooster combs and the other is synthetically produced. CR Formulations does not use any ingredients derived from or tested on animals.
Hyaluronic Acid is a natural occurring glycosaminoglycan (large sugar molecule). It is the key component of several injectable wrinkle fillers. It is also present in human and animal connective tissues and makes up around 80% of the human eye. It acts like a shock absorber. Humans have a significant level of HA in our bodies when we are born but unfortunately it diminishes as we age. HA is a super anti-ageing ingredient and the results of studies have led it to be widely referred to as “the fountain of youth”.
So how does this wonderful ingredient work?
Hyaluronic Acid holds 1000 times its own weight in water. Topically Hyaluronic Acid penetrates the dermis and boosts the elasticity and hydration of the skin giving the skin a plumped effect. There are other good humectants on the market but the reason I love Hyaluronic Acid so much is that it adjusts to the skin’s need for moisture depending on the humidity and climate. It is a must have on a long flight. It will provide a protective coating, retain and hold moisture in the skin and maintain levels of collagen and elastin. A truly marvellous anti-ageing ingredient.
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