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Journal / Wellness
Skincare Ingredient Must-Haves: The Natural Edit
At Tata Harper Skincare, we firmly believe in the importance of complex formulas. Tata likes to say "more is more" - meaning more ingredients equal more results. Instead of focusing on one hero ingredient per product, we fill our products with the highest number of effective and innovative ingredients possible. Our goal is to create formulas that provide clinical, tangible results without a single drop of synthetics.
We’ve rounded up some of the most buzzworthy ingredients known for their powerful skin results in pure naturally derived forms.
Polyphenols are a class of powerful anti-oxidants that scavenge and neutralize free radicals to help fight the signs of aging. Butyl-hydroxyl-toluene, or BHT, is the most commonly used synthetic polyphenol. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is rising in popularity due to its moniker as the “Green Tea Polyphenol”, but synthetic EGCG is very common.
- Camellia Oil: Also known as green tea oil, is the natural source for EGCG, the “green tea polyphenol”
- Wild Harvested Mojave Yucca: is packed with antioxidant polyphenols, including Yuccaols A, B, C, D, & E (which are only found in yucca) and Resveratrol.
Wrinkles on the forehead, between the eyebrows, and in the crow’s feet area can be caused by skin bunching together when facial muscles contract. Botox, a neurotoxin, works by temporarily paralyzing muscles so they don’t contract, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. Similarly, neuropeptides aid in muscle relaxation through a variety of mechanisms, and are thought to have a similar effect. Synthetic neuropeptides such as Matrixyl (palmitoyl pentapeptide or oligopeptide pentapeptide), palmitoyl hexapeptide-52, palmitoyl heptapeptide-18, acetyl hexapeptide-3, and acetyl hexapeptide-8, are growing in popularity for fast results. But synthetics aren’t the only option for harnessing the power of neuropeptides:
- Spanish Lavender: Harvested in the Mediterranean, this flower promotes the release of Beta-endorphin, a neuropeptide that responds to stress and can aid in muscle relaxation.
- Summer Snowflake Bulb: The bulbs of the Summer Snowflake Flower contain Dormins, which slow cellular activity while the bulb remains dormant during the winter. The ability to decrease activity plays a role in the bulb’s ability to aid in muscle relaxation.
- Spilanthes Flower: Also called the Toothache Plant and the Electric Daisy, this tropical flower is used as a topical anesthetic by many cultures. The chemical responsible, spilanthol, also aids in muscle relaxation.
Vitamin B3 Complex (nicotinic acid, niacinamide, niacin) is critical for skin to function properly and cannot be made the body - a deficiency can lead to the fatal skin disease Pellagra. Synthetic niacin and niacinamide are common skincare ingredients, but you can boost your skin’s niacin content naturally, too. Though it’s probably best known as the stuff that makes you tired after eating turkey on Thanksgiving, tryptophan is an essential amino acid that can’t be made by the body, and Vitamin B Complex can’t be made without tryptophan. So, using tryptophan rich ingredients can help increase the niacin content of the skin:
- Sacha Inchi: Has been cultivated by indigenous rainforest tribes for centuries, and contains tryptophan, in addition to many other skin nutrients.
- Chlorella Algae: A single celled alga that some scientists believe may be among the Earth's oldest living organisms, are rich in many nutrients and essential amino acids, including tryptophan.
Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A and are very effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. Synthetic retinoids, like retinol and retinoic acid, are available at prescription strength from a dermatologist and at lower strength in cosmetic products. Retinoids such as Vitamin A (retinol) and retinoic acid, as well as the Vitamin A (retinol) precursor beta-carotene, naturally occur in plants:
- Sea Buckthorn: Native to the cold, mountainous regions of China, Mongolia, and Russia, and contains Vitamin A (retinol) and its precursor beta-carotene.
- Rose hips: the buds left after the bloom falls from the rose, contain both Vitamin A (retinol) and retinoic acid.
OMEGA-3 & OMEGA-6 FATTY ACID
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) cannot be made by the human body, but are essential for skin health as they are the building blocks for the skin barrier and anti-inflammatory responses. Synthetic Linolenic Acid (Omega-3) and Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega-6) are common in skincare products, but there are many plants naturally rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids:
- Vitamin F: Derived from safflower, Vitamin F is exclusively comprised of linoleic (Omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (Omega-3), providing skin with a concentrated dose of EFAs.
- Evening Primrose: Native to the Americas, Evening Primroses only bloom after sunset or on overcast days and contain high levels of Omega-3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
- Prickly Pear: A favorite of Aztecs and Chinese healers for skin conditions, prickly pear is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants.