Ingredient Intel

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

Achieving Eye Vitality:
22 Hero-Worthy Natural Actives

They say eyes are the windows to your soul, and we’ll take it a step further. We say eyes are the windows to your emotional and physical health. Wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles are just a few of the signs of stress, dehydration and lack of sufficient sleep (a lifestyle trifecta that usually works hand-in-hand).  That’s why finding an eye care Hero product is like winning the beauty lottery. While some might want to keep it simple and find one product that works for the face and the eyes, others search high and low for ‘the one’ eye cream for wrinkles. Make no mistake…a dedicated eye cream is essential. The skin around the eye contour is unique from any other area of the body and merits special consideration due to its unique makeup. read more

Ingredient Intel:
The Art of Abhyanga

We’re hearing so much about ‘self care’ these days, it’s easy for anyone in the who follows natural beauty to assume these concepts are a part of everyday vernacular by everyday people. I often forget that we’re a new generation of women who have the luxury of thinking in such terms. A Beauty Heroes subscriber and friend who is in her 60’s recently said: “I have a hard enough time with self care…now you want me to learn how to “Abhyanga?”. She was half-kidding, but it made me realize how far we’ve come, and at the same time how much opportunity there still is, to educate on the myriad benefits of proper and intentional self-care.read more

Ingredient Intel:
Green Chemistry 101

By the end of the 20th century, chemists, in response to the awareness of the impact of toxic compounds and the consumer concerns, started to form a new way of understanding science and technology; the result was the principles now known as green chemistry.  These principles have been developed to consider and continually advance the prevention of waste and pollution, offering safer and more ecological alternatives to hazardous chemicals, the use of renewable raw materials and optimizing efficiency. To me, the green chemistry revolution is a vast opportunity for innovation and the advancement of cosmetic chemistry.read more

Ingredient Intel:
Natural Selection

There’s no question about it: Natural beauty is booming, and in the grand scheme of things, this is a very good thing for all of us. It signals a movement towards greater awareness, discernment, transparency and advocacy. It’s pushing conventional personal care companies to clean up their act, and even if they never win clean beauty awards, they’re making progress in the right direction, removing the most harmful ingredients and trumpeting their green initiatives, steering the masses to consider natural the new normal. It’s a sign of the times – we’re waking up and demanding better quality from brands. Yay, us.But, let’s be honest. We also know that natural is loosely defined, and since greenwashing is so much easier than becoming a natural beauty formulator, many brands have mastered the “look and feel” of natural, but don’t have the formula integrity to back it up. So, while they may get to hang out with the pros in the Naturals section, they haven’t earned their stripes. read more

Ingredient Intel: The Clean Beauty Preservation Society

When it comes to clean beauty, there’s more that unites us than divides us. I have the privilege of collaborating with a great number of founders of clean beauty brands, and indeed, while their success stories are as varied as their products themselves, there’s one common theme that underlies them all: a steadfast commitment to the highest possible ingredient quality and formulation integrity. After all, this is what makes their products Hero worthy. We know that all ingredients are not created equal. Where, how and when botanical ingredients are procured is the critical X factor in natural beauty. This is often a proud point of differentiation between brands, and formulators hold their ingredient partners in the highest esteem (and close to their chest!) But, when it comes to preservatives in natural beauty, the conversation can turn from proud to protective quite quickly. Not because there’s anything to hide – we’re all in this together – but because there’s so much debate about what works best, which preservatives in natural beauty are most effective for various kinds of formulas, what is the acceptable PAO (Period After Open) range, and what are general best practices to guarantee the perfect trifecta: peak potency, maximum shelf life and the absence of harmful chemicals.read more

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