Many of our clients struggle when it comes to choosing a preservative for their cream, milk or lotion. In fact, it's such a source of anxiety for some they choose to avoid water-containing formulations altogether- a strategy that can sometimes work but at other times be very limiting.
Around the world, every day of the year there are scientists running experiments. Most of these trials come and go without so much of a mention, becoming just another small drop in an ocean of knowledge. But every now and then an experiment produces a result that becomes a story, a story that becomes an opportunity and an opportunity that becomes something tangible to the masses. It feels like this is the case for Bakuchiol, at least under the circumstances it currently finds itself under. It feels like this is Bakuchiol's skincare moment and to find out why, we're going to read this book backwards. Starting with the final chapter.
What words come to your mind when you first think about adding mushroom extract to your face creams? Whatever your initial reaction there is a banquet of skin-friendly chemistry to be had inside each grain of mushroom powder and many safe and interesting ways to harness them. Further, it's highly likely you've already benefited from fungi chemistry in many unforeseen ways!
Ceramides: Waxy chemicals that make up a significant proportion of the intra-cellular fluid that surround our skin cells.
Our outer skin layers are collectively known as the Stratum Corneum and it is these skin-cells that are often referred to as the ‘bricks' in the popular ‘bricks and mortar' skin analogy. Stratum Corneum cells organise themselves into sheets and like bricks, these cells benefit from the application of a little glue to hold them together and seal any gaps that exist. That glue comes in the form of a ceramide-rich lipid matrix that also contains free fatty acids and cholesterol which work together to keep our skin barrier strong, resilient and water-resistant.
It is only recently that I've really got to know and love sleep masks. As a cosmetic chemist who has been in the industry for many years you'd think I'd take home every new thing but no, instead I've found it easy to slip into a comfortable skincare mindset and regimen, especially after finally discovering what works for me. I've already got my night serum, day serum, intensive cream and light moisturiser. I alternate between detox clay masks and hydrating sheet masks and use an exfoliating scrub, tonic and gentle cleanser regularly. If anything, I often think about simplifying the night portion of my regimen in order to get to bed sooner rather than adding another layer on my 'to do' list but that was before I tried sleep masks!
Witch Hazel has been a 'go-to' herb for many natural skin care lovers, a reliable tonic that helps reign in and calm problem skin thanks to its toning and tightening chemistry. But our appetite for astringent chemistry has waned over the last few years, we now talk of microbiome balancing, of hydrating our skin back to health rather than seeking to suppress its natural secretions. Has Witch Hazel had its day or is there still a little something left to discover?
Most of us would tend to agree that babies are somewhat cute but as a parent of one they can, more often than not, leave you feeling a little stressed, not least about their skin! Our concerns might start on the day the over-due baby arrives with their dried-out skin, over-developed fingernails and under-developed co-ordination skills (often leaving them with an abundance of minor scrapes). Or maybe it's a few weeks into life when skin eruptions and rashes leave baby looking more like a pimply teenager than a new-born. For others, it is later on when things get messy, when they start to need something more than just warm water and a wash-cloth to cleanse them - the weening and toddler years when things get messy! It is around this point that the skin can really start to feel like a challenge. Let's first have a look at how a baby's skin differs from that of an adult and then look at how to manage the skin through babyhood.
I remember those early days of being pregnant. The morning after the two lines appeared on the test when I stood in the shower looking down at my still empty-looking stomach, hands hugging the space where my baby had just started to grow, wondering what changes were ahead of me and whether I was ready. I wondered if I would I recognise 'me' in a few months, when baby's growth had really kicked in. I wondered if I would I ever look like me again, would I cope, and could my body really fit a baby inside? I let all of the emotions come and go freely as I stood there that morning comforted by the rhythm and warmth of the water raining down on my skin. That morning, in the shower in the tiny bathroom of our first house all those years ago is when I realised that life would never be the same again and by the time I'd finished my shower I was ready to accept that.
For many the bright lights hustle and bustle and vibrancy of the city is exciting and full of opportunity and promise. That may well be true but what's also true is the fact that big city living may well be conspiring against our skin, ageing us prematurely and leaving us itchy, dry and a little bit more wrinkled. This, my friends, is a story about urban pollution.
According to the climate council of Australia 205 weather records were broken across the country this summer and boy did our skin feel it! Whether it's hot and dry, hot and wet or hot and humid our skin has to adjust and acclimatize to the conditions in order help maintain its barrier function and with so many extreme days our skin definitely had its work cut out. But now the winds have shifted and the calendar has flicked over to autumn, an in-between season, and a break from the extremes maybe. But rather than sit back and feel like our skin and our beauty routine can have a rest the best thing we can do now is take this opportunity to get busy.