Why CoQ10 Makes Your Skin Beautiful

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We’ve done a lot of hooting and hollering about the launch of our CoQ10 and Argan Face Cream but forgot to mention why it’s such a fabulous addition to our skin care line up. Let’s talk ingredients:

CoQ10 Powder: You’ve probably seen this in grocery stores as a supplement to support heart health and energy. CoQ10 is made in the body but is hard to come by naturally in food, hence its popularity in supplement form. Topically, it’s a powerful antioxidant that smoothes wrinkles and reverses sun damage (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20635514). CoQ10 blocks collagen-damaging enzymes called metalloproteinases (MMPs) so the skin stays elastic, supple and strong. MMPs are stimulated by pollution, smoking, oxidative damage from UV radiation and other environmental hazards, so having CoQ10 to protect and fortify collagen against MMPs is especially important for an anti-aging skin treatment.

Argan Oil: This is an oil from Morocco that’s loaded with natural tocopherols (vitamin E), phenols, carotenes, squalenes and fatty acids. It absorbs quickly but is a rich enough oil to deeply hydrate dry skin. As an added bonus, it also prevents and reduces signs of stretch marks and other scarring.

Moroccan Argan Tree

Plum Kernel Oil: Like Argan Oil, Plum Kernel Oil is rich in essential fatty acids, which boost cell regeneration, provide lipid barrier protection and nourish the innermost workings of the skin, the dermis. What makes Plum Kernel especially great in a face cream is its absorbability – it leaves virtually no oily residue so your skin gets hydrated but doesn’t feel like an oil slick.

Beyond containing these beauties, our new face cream is VEGAN. That’s right. This cream is beeswax free and ready to quench those thirsty vegan faces.

 

CoQ10 & Argan Face Cream seemed like an obvious choice for the Radiant Skin Treatment with its anti-aging and deep hydration abilities. Our customers have mentioned a progressive brightening of their skin with continued use of this new cream due to the high concentration of Vitamin C. Check out the Radian Skin Treatment through October 30thfor special pricing on all the steps of this skin beautifying regimen.

How Hydrating Mist Keeps Skin Balanced Between Seasons

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With the weather so haywire, it’s important to nurture skin throughout the changes.  As it starts to get colder, the body responds by using more protein, causing skin’s layers to develop more quickly. Having less time for skin to develop leads to imbalances, like chapped skin, hyper-pigmentation, uneven skin tone or flakiness.

Our 90% Organic Hydrating Mist can help the skin stay soothed and nourished during this transition. It contains soothing and softening aloe vera, antioxidant-rich green tea and hydrating hydrosols (see below to find out what these are).  Green tea is also an anti-inflammatory, helping soothe redness and rawness caused by chapped, weak layers of skin, while MSM helps strengthen collagen and keeps the skin even-toned and supple.

What’s so unique about our toner is it hydrates rather than “tightens”. When other brands’ toners claim that their toner “tightens”, you’re generally left with skin feeling uncomfortably tight and dry.  Not so with Hydrating Mist because it aims to soothe and hydrate. Hydrating Mist should be applied after cleansing to help prepare the skin for moisture and it helps disperse the products. OHA moisturizers and serums go much farther when accompanied by the Hydrating Mist, so you get better value for your money.

What’s a Hydrosol?

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.

Hydrosols, which you’ll find in our Hydrating Mist, are commonly called ‘floral waters’. Real hydrosols are the first product 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.

A Few Words from Martha Buldain, OHA Formulator: I want to emphasize that this is a beneficial and therapeutic product, not just filler in your skin care routine. It helps hydrate and refresh, while also helping all of our other products disperse evenly and sink in thoroughly. I especially like mixing the Hydrating Mist, Intensive Nutrient Complex, and Daily or Night Moisturizer in the palm of my hand. Three steps done at once saves time while still providing nutrients and hydration.  Lastly, it is truly refreshing and uplifting, with lavender and grapefruit, and it helps ease headaches.

 

 

Can a Single Ingredient Solve Your Skin Woes?

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Have you ever noticed that a lot of skin care companies hang their hats on a single ingredient?  Think about it for a minute.  You’ve probably seen a tea tree skin care line for acne prone skin, a mushroom or vitamin E line for mature skin, a rose line for rosacea and sensitivities…I could go on.  The point is, they make a skin care line with a tolerable amount of that mushroom or tea tree or vitamin E and add non-active fillers to create their skin care product.  While it works for some, it doesn’t address the multi-faceted needs of the skin.  On a daily basis, my skin’s trying to protect me against pollution, retain moisture even when I step into the moisture-sucking coldness that is the Chicago winter, heal the randomly occurring zit when I’ve forgotten to de-grime my cell phone/pillow case, and regenerate new skin cells so it can slough off the old, dead skin cells.  A hefty dose of rose – on its own – isn’t going to support all of those functions.  It’s going to fall short in a serious way.

Think of your daily skin care routine as your skin’s meal time. Sure, oranges are full of vitamin C and help support the immune system but if you just eat oranges all day, every day, your other systems will be deprived and then bring down your immune system while they’re at it. That’s why you can’t just focus on one skin issue with a single ingredient; you’ve got to support all of the systems of the skin.

You can probably sense what’s coming, right?  That OHA isn’t like those other companies?  Well done, fearless reader! OHA supports all of the functions your skin performs. Martha, our skin care guru and formulator, is uncompromising, using only the highest quality, organic and raw versions of all of those ala carte ingredients in other skin care lines. You’re getting all the nutrient-rich ingredients without the filler and fluff. It makes a lot of sense but it’s surprisingly unique. So wash, hydrate, treat and moisturize knowing that you’ve got all of the best ingredients and not just one.

The Secrets of Smells: Fragrance vs Essential Oils

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In my blog about lavender, I mentioned a variety of lavender that didn’t actually come from a plant, but from a blend of synthetic fragrance oils. While it seems strange to call something “lavender” that’s made with anything but, this is super common in the world of smelliness. I want to share with you how essential oils and fragrance oils are entirely different beasts and what those differences mean for your skin.

Fragrance Oils:

The sole purpose of fragrance oils is to be smelly.  They’re created in labs to mimic aromas, like vanilla, lavender, jasmine…etc, using as many as hundreds of ingredients, mostly synthetic.  Having worked in skin care for over three years, I’ve found that way more people falsely think they are allergic to essential oils than actually are, due to an allergy to one of the hundreds of ingredients in a fragrance oil.  On another unfortunate note, certain widely available synthetic fragrances have skewed our noses to link completely unnatural smells to naturally occurring plants, like cucumbers, sweet peas and grapes.  Their synthetic imitators have changed consumer expectations to the point that the real smell of those products smells wrong.  Martha calls this “nose washing”.  Get it?  Like “brain washing” but for the nose?  Okay.  You get it.  Moving on.

When it comes to candles, incense, and any other products not for the skin, fragrance oils may work just fine. For skin/hair/body products, watch out for ingredient lists citing “fragrance oils”, “essential fragrance oils” or “nature identical”, unless you’ve found that you’re allergic to the real thing.

Essential Oils:

Essential oils come from nutritious and beneficial plants, like flowers, barks, stems, leaves, roots and seeds. Even though they’re called oils, they don’t feel oily in the way olive oil or almond oil would. They actually evaporate when they come into contact with air. They have the ability to soothe, heal, rejuvenate, lift, and brighten, just to name a few super powers. What’s especially lovely about essential oils is that they do so much for our skin but also have a naturally occurring fragrance. A gifted formulator will use essential oils for their therapeutic properties while also artfully balancing the final aroma.

Speaking of gifted formulators, Martha has a lot of stories from working and playing with essential oils for most of her life. One of my favorite stories is where she was teaching an aromatherapy course and most of her students, upon first sniff of pure essential oils, were appalled. After about a week of smelling, however, her students made a complete turn-around and became essential oil snobs. They could even sniff out synthetics like they’d been smelling the real essential oils their whole lives. I have a theory that our noses are better equipped to recognize aromas from real life and these students just needed to be reminded of how pure oils smell.

When applying essential oils, it’s important to dilute them with a carrier oil like olive, jojoba, or almond oil. Unrefined essential oils straight to the skin are a bit too active and potent. Think of it this way: just one drop of rose oil takes 67 rose blossoms. That’s a lot of love in one drop and it can get a little intense if applied directly. The massive amounts of the original plant needed for an essential oil is the main reason that essential oils are more expensive than their fragrance oil counterparts. If you’re ever tempted to buy an essential oil from the grocery store and the price seems too good to be true (like $10 for a small bottle of rose oil), it probably is. You’d better move on, no matter how badly your wallet wants that rose oil to work as well as the pricier ones.

In sum, there’s really no contest when it comes to deciding what kind of oils your skin would generally prefer. I hope this helped demystify the different benefits of these two very different oils. I’d love to hear about your experiences with fragrance oils and essential oils so feel more than welcome to leave a comment!

Until Next Time,

Meg

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