Ingredient Intel

Oil, Water or Both?

Whether it’s an oil-based cleanser, a treatment serum, or a moisturizer, face oils are the new basics of skincare.read more

Bacteria Hack:
Pre- and Probiotics in Skincare

As I was prepping for this August’s Ayuna Beauty Discovery a few months ago, I settled in for what I knew would be an enlightening meeting with Isabel Ramos and Begona San Juan, the two dynamic women behind Ayuna. As this is our second Discovery featuring Ayuna, I was excited for what was to come out of this conversation; from my previous experience, I knew that I would leave the meeting better off than when I came. How can you not when meeting with two women as empowering and intelligent as Isabel and Begona? An esthetician and a cosmetic chemist turned beauty brand founders, both women are explorers and teachers who thrive on the adventure of creating something beautiful that works. Ayuna, the minimalist beauty brand with an essentialist approach, crafts formulas backed by research and green chemistry, the principle of understanding science and technology to offer safer and more ecological alternatives to hazardous chemicals. In our hour and a half meeting, we talked about the use and benefits of our skin’s microbiome and how probiotics work to provide health benefits through living micro-organisms, while prebiotics are used by micro-organisms to and confer (or distribute) the good bacteria throughout our skin and, in Ayuna’s case, ‘hack the conversation’. When our bodies have the right balance of microbiota, our skin is healthy, but when there is an imbalance (dysbiosis), the micro-organisms become aggressive and could result in unhealthy skin conditions (like inflammation, acne and rocasea). Cool, right? I asked Isabel to share about it more in detail because if you’re like me, and you like to geek out on skincare, you want more directly from the source. Read Isabel’s answers to some common FAQs about the effects of pre- and probiotics on our skin. read more

A Bluer Shade of Green: The New Color of Clean Beauty

Tides have certainly turned in the beauty industry at large. No longer are we talking about “going green” as the latest trend, but a sea of change that has set a new course for indie brands and large conglomerates alike. Ingredient transparency, sustainable packaging, and recycling programs are common table stakes, practically a minimum requirement to play in the beauty space today. But is it enough? Do these measures really make an impact and if so, how much? Because if there’s one thing that unites the clean beauty industry more than anything, it’s integrity. And the efforts made by beauty brands to be as clean and green as possible are not merely to make marketing claims. The efforts are made in earnest to leave the planet better than they found it.read more

Makin’ Waves Toward Reef Safety

A few weeks ago, Hawaii announced its ban on sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate, two harmful yet common ingredients found in commercial SPFs that have been proven to harm marine ecosystems. This is a meaningful step forward to support … Continuedread more

Skin : Seaweed
A Natural Symbiosis

The ocean and the human body are in a beautifully symbiotic relationship, and both need the other to sustain optimal health. Discover how seaweed sustains us, and how we can support more sustainable oceans.read more

1st and 2nd Generation Antioxidants

Defying the “immediate results” marketing trope, Annee de Mamiel practices holistic skincare with the long view in mind, formulating her potent products to address imbalances and alleviate stress on the skin and body, often chronic conditions that have built up … Continuedread more

The Benefits of Collagen with
Dr. Tiffany Lester

It seems as if collagen is showing up everywhere, finding its way into products that now line wellness, supplement and beauty retail shelves. The science shows that the benefits of collagen supplementation include improved skin elasticity and hair, nail and bone strength. But there’s more. I was surprised to learn that Vital Proteins was actually developed to support the joint health of its Founder, Kurt Seidensticker, an avid runner, and not to support healthy skin and hair, which I assumed. read more

Deep SEAS:
South East Asian Sourced Ingredients

The West has long borrowed healing principles from the East to treat the body holistically.  Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have greatly influenced our culture of wellness in the West. Traditional Chinese Medicine balances yin, yang and qi, while Ayurveda focuses on balancing the elements of earth, fire and air.  As Eastern herbs have been making their way into our smoothies, teas and tonics, it makes sense that we would look to these traditional South East Asian ingredients for skincare and how they can benefit us when used topically on the skin.read more

The New Luxury: Conscious Fashion

They say how you do one thing is how you do everything. Ever since discovering how many harmful ingredients were hiding in my skincare (and starting a company to do something about it), I have been slowly waking up to conscious consumption in other areas in my life. My most recent focus: my closet.  I have so much to learn about conscious fashion, but what I know today is that traditional fashion has a dark side, and once I awaken to the facts, it’s impossible to unknow them. I recently bought shoes made from recycled water bottles, GOTS certified lounge and underwear and a fully compostable cell phone case. It feels good – and looks good – to be a part of this movement. I never felt that luxury was about labels. It has always been about quality. For me, true quality is in the intention and sustainable practices of a company, not just in its name. Happily, I’m not the only one who feels this way. We’re living in a zeitgeist of conscious consumerism, and we see businesses in all industries steering towards better, cleaner and eco-friendlier practices.read more

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