Antioxidants and Free Radicals : Why the Hype?

raspberriesAntioxidant. It’s the buzziest buzz word in the health and beauty world these days. If you’re at all like me, you probably heard it and accepted it as a healthy choice but didn’t really understand it. Let’s talk.

In order to explain antioxidants, I need to first explain free radicals: When the skin and body are confronted with toxins, UV radiation, cigarette smoke, sleep deprivation (…etc) the body produces free radicals. The body even produces them as a result of normal metabolism and immune functions.

Free radicals cause cellular death. While that sounds vaguely terrifying, cellular death isn’t always a negative thing. Sometimes, the ominous-sounding ‘cellular death’ benefits us by killing bacteria, viruses and cancerous cells. When the body’s free radical production is in balance with it’s antioxidant supply, things function as they should. The problems begin when the unstable free radicals outweigh the body’s antioxidants. Then, free radicals weaken cells, which can lead to tissue damage (especially around the eyes and mouth, where skin is especially thin).

When skin cells are damaged by an imbalance of free radicals, you’ll start to see wrinkles. Skin cells are frequently attacked by free radicals we encounter on a daily basis; without antioxidants to block it, they’re going to shrivel and have a difficult time regenerating.

This is where antioxidants step in to provide some much-needed balance. An antioxidant is any substance that disables free radicals before they have a chance to oxidize and damage skin cells. Unless you’re willing to hole yourself up away from smoke, stress, and toxins, you have to supplement your skin’s antioxidant stash to keep the balance intact. That’s why OHA is chock full of antioxidants, including Alpha Lipoic Acid, Tocotrienol, Ester-C, Green Tea and Raspberry, Cranberry and Blackberry Seeds. We could all use a little more antioxidant support!

If antioxidants sound appealing, you ought to try:

Intensive Nutrient Complex

Lip Line Treatment

Daily Moisturizer

Night Cream

Under Eye Therapy

What Vitamins Do

Vitamin C Standing in the vitamin aisle of my local grocery store, I suddenly realized I knew next to nothing about vitamins besides that multi-vitamins help compensate for vitamins you can’t get in your diet and that vitamin C helps with the immune system, to stave off colds. My thinking about vitamins didn’t stretch much farther than that.

After some research (and talking with Martha) I found out that vitamins are organic, essential micro nutrients that your body and skin need to perform their day-to-day metabolic activities.  Take, for instance, when you get a paper cut. You’ll bleed a little until the blood clots and then, left alone, it will heal naturally, possibly leaving a little scar. Vitamins help speed up and improve this process by supporting what the skin and body are already doing. Vitamin E will help with the healing of that cut and Vitamin C will aid in collagen production, decreasing the likelihood of scarring. When your skin is supported by vitamins, it will heal quicker, scar less, and protect itself more than it could without vitamins.

When applied directly to the skin, vitamins promote healthy collagen, wound healing, UV protection in addition to healing skin conditions like acne. In most skin care brands, Vitamin C is a popular antioxidant ingredient but, because it breaks down and oxidizes quickly, the inclusion of Vitamin C is useless by the time their product reaches your bathroom cabinet. OHA uses a Vitamin C ester with the fatty acids of palm oil. Used in this way, the Vitamin C is stabilized by its fat soluable coating. This makes it available to the skin as it will be an active antioxidant and able to combine with the naturally-occuring fat soluable coating of the skin. In other words, the esterfied Vitamin C used in OHA’s skin care actually benefits the skin by being more absorbable and active than vitamin C generally used in  other skin care brands.

Find Esterfied C in…

Intensive Nutrient Complex

Daily Moisturizer

Night Cream

Vanilla Bean & Shea Body Butter

When I Get That Feeling, I Want Sea Buckthorn Healing

Sea Buckthorn occurs in more than half of the OHA line as a CO2 extract, meaning it was extracted using (heatless) carbon dioxide extraction. This type of extraction allows the Seabuckthorn to maintain all of its vital nutrients.

Sea Buckthorn assists in the regeneration and reparation of the skin. It heals eczema, rosacea, burns, wounds and sun damage, and also assists in the healing process following cosmetic laser surgery. It contains high amounts of essential fatty acids, carotenes, tocopherols and phytosterols, which all play an important role in the maintenance of healthy skin.

Where can you find Sea Buckthorn in the OHA Line? Check out these products:

Night Cream

Daily Moisturizer

Lip Line Treatment

Intensive Nutrient Complex

The OHA Flame: Five Senses Radiating Beauty

flameHave you ever checked out that little flame symbol on everything related to OHA? It’s on the website, the products, EVERYTHING. It turns out that that little flame represents a whole lot more than you’d think.

The image has five flames that represent each sense. When all of those senses feel fantastic and are in balance with one another, we radiate beauty, a vibrant spirit, and whole-ness, which just so happen to be the ideas behind the whole flame.

Another reason the flame is such a potent symbol for OHA is that the sixth branch of the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah, like the sixth aspect of the flame, signifies beauty. The sixth branch actually grows in the center of the Tree of Life , and signifies “the world of the heart”. This branch is the “mediator between the creative and governing realms above, and the functioning world of action below.”

One last thing that I think is especially cool about OHA and the flame symbol is the major focus on balance. Every sense in balance creates beauty. When it comes to the OHA line, Martha formulated each product so they contain every vibrational intensity, from the highest vibrations (from flower essences) to the lowest vibrations (from trace minerals). All of the ingredients have a vitality and life force to communicate to us and, when in harmony with each other, lead the skin to balance.

Other burning Questions? Click here!

How Hydrosols Work for All Skin Types

iStock_000009150487XSmallOur Hydrating Mist contains hydrosols, which are commonly called ‘floral waters’. Real hydrosols are actually the first products that result from the plant distillation process, followed by essential oils. Although it would be significantly less expensive to mix water and essential oils for a toning water (as most botanical skin care lines do), we use real hydrosols because all skin types, even the most sensitive, can absorb and benefit from them.

OHA uses rose and lavender hydrosols due to their immense healing and soothing properties. You can even use them on babies! Hydrosols are not as bioactive as other compounds but their ability to gently soothe and hydrate is well worth it.

Click Here to check out our Hydrating Mist

Tea Tree: Anti-Bad & Pro-Good

herbsOur Facial Sugar Scrub contains classic tea tree oil plus two additional, unique types of tea tree: lavender and lemon. Tea tree addresses breakouts and inflammatory responses by being antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.

Because tea tree is such a potent, healing oil, it was used on American Soldiers to alleviate gangrene in the Vietnam War and, to this day, Australians keep tea tree in their first aid kits. Tea tree also helps ward off head lice, heal itchy bug bites and diminish the appearance of cellulite.

While tea tree does all of this for your skin, it also offers a boost to your overall immune system.

Please note that tea tree oil can be irritating on chapped or burnt skin.

Click here to see the Facial Sugar Scrub