Plant powered means skincare literally powered by the healing properties of whole plants.
Plant based skincare is chemical free
Plants are fascinating and it’s curious to start to break down into smaller parts, the things that plants can do for us. Plants contain biologically active chemicals that exist to enhance their own survival, yet these chemicals can also interact with other organisms like us and our skin. We believe you can use these to heal and restore skin to a more healthy radiant condition, with less irritation than using medical extracts or concentrated chemicals.
So how do plants help?
The answer is to do with the amazing tiny constituents that exist in plants.
1) Plants are full of antioxidants
Anthocyanins are generally what gives colour, especially blues and purples, yet these antioxidants also have lots of benefits and are useful to naturally increase the vibrancy and potency of cosmetic formulas. For example, Black Blackcurrant Seed Oil contains more anthocyanin than blueberries and cranberries, and Elderberry Seed Oil has a real wealth of desirable antioxidants.
Anthocyanins are known to help most cells neutralise naturally occurring toxic free radicals. The effects of anthocyanins have been shown in research to be obtainable after topical application. Good news for skin! Anthocyanins are also thought to protect against cell damage (oxidation) and cancer (mutagenesis) induced by ultraviolet light (UV light). Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins can help in wound healing, with adding gains from a role in enhancing other rejuvenating therapies such as pulsed light therapy. Not all sources of anthocyanins are created equal though, and different plant species exhibit different effects.
One particular source of antioxidants rich herbs is used in our product ‘Amoral Calm Blue Cleansing Balm’ with Butterfly Pea, whose colour is entirely from anthocyanins.
2) Tocopherols provide essential vitamins
You may all know of vitamin E, but there are many other naturally occurring tocopherols e.g up to eight (separate tocopherols) that can be present in plant oils. For optimal antioxidant activity, naturally sourced tocopherols have greater free radical scavenging activity, than synthetic vitamin E.
Tocopherols are a class of naturally occurring chemical compounds that exhibit vitamin E activity and are used in skincare products due to their ability to protect the skin from free radical damage and strengthen the skin barrier. However isolated, and synthetically sourced vitamin E can also be unhelpful or even irritating.
Using whole oils that contain all the useful and related compounds, known as tocotrienols, means you get all the benefits of the vitamin E activity that they exhibit, but less likelihood of irritation. Their free radicals activity literally contribute to reducing signs of ageing, such as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
We choose Fruit and Flower Oils including Raspberry Seed Oil for their extra high levels of naturally occurring tocopherols, other than vitamin E, as well as ones containing vitamin E, and we only use naturally sourced vitamin E, and this may explain some of the positive effects of the oils seen on skin. Raspberry Seed Oil also helps carry other actives into the epidermis.
3) Carotenoids offer molecules that are present in human skin
These are molecules that are present in human skin, and also found in plants. When used on the skin they are capable of neutralising several different kinds of attacks from free radicals, so their job is super special free radical scavenging activity, (These are attacks from the sun or environment pollutants) and can support the vital living functioning of the skins antioxidant activity.
4) Triterpenes help with tissue regeneration
Little studied in isolation, but are thought to modulate the production of radical oxygen scavenging in the wound microenvironment, as well as being active in accelerating the process of tissue repair. Triterpenes could also be involved in the process of cell migration, cell proliferation and collagen deposition, as well as inducing cell migration. It is not known exactly how they function in healing the skins keratinocytes and fibroblasts, but it is thought that they are a class of molecules worth studying for their role in skin repair.
5) Flavonoids help to protect your skin
There are metabolites, and a special class of second metabolites, that help to protect plants from environmental stress. These can occur naturally in abundance in micronutrient rich plant oils, and also contribute the same benefits to protecting skin from environmental stress.
Well proven for use in topical formulations, oils rich in these compounds are useful cosmetically, even when extracted, equipping the skin with these unique skin protecting properties.
6) Phenolic acids reduce DNA damage
These are micro constituents within the natural oils, with some oils such as Olive and Elderberry and Black Blackcurrant Seed Oil being particularly rich in this.
Phenolic acids are a group of phytonutrients which have considerable benefits to the skin and body with the presence of ‘Gallic acid’ is thought to play a role in reducing DNA damage with potent anti-aging actives. This is also known to promote ‘even’ skin tone by reducing the visibility of sunspots.
7) Polysaccharides improve dry skin issues
These exist in all plants and are made from sugar molecules that can soak up water and soothe dry tissue that is experiencing inflammation. Therefore soothing to the mucus membranes of the skin.
8) Vitamins that are useful for all skin types
Most plants have high levels of vitamins, like beta carotene and vitamin C as well as vitamins B and E . Even lesser known plants will have useful vitamins, that can be utilised by the skin.
9) Minerals offer anti-inflammatory benefits
Plants can pull minerals from the soil and make them more absorbable by converting them into forms that the skin can utilise. Minerals are one of the main benefits plants offer toward medicine as they can help facilitate our ability to utilise things like silica which is anti-inflammatory.
10) Saponins are useful for redness
These are actives like soap that actually can produce a lather when in water. They also mimic the structure of the body’s hormones such as eostrogen and cortisol. They are thought to help with lots of skin conditions by stimulating the immune system and moderating inflammatory response with some anti fungal activity useful for redness and rosacea.