Glossary of Ingredients
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Acai Berry This small, purplish berry packs a serious punch when it comes to health and beauty. Due to its high levels of vitamin C, the acai berry is loaded with antioxidants that work to fight free radicals – those nasties that damage and age the skin. As such, it is used in organic skin care to help maintain that youthful, radiant skin we all know and love.
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, acai berries have a natural anti-inflammatory effect, which is excellent for treating acne, swelling, and even the pain caused by damaged nerve fibres. It is also one of the most natural ways to treat hyperpigmentation, a harmless condition whereby skin becomes patchy. Hyperpigmentation occurs when melanin – the pigment that produces your normal skin colour – forms deposits in the skin, and skincare products containing acai work to tone down the darkness.
Natural skincare benefits aside, eating acai berries will do wonders for your health. An exotic sister of the blueberry and cranberry, this antioxidant-rich fruit is a superfood for a reason: it's healing, immune-stimulating, and energy-boosting. Mix the fresh or powdered version in your smoothies and porridges for a health hit.
Almond Oil Almond oil (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) is one of the most multi-tasking oils on the organic skincare market. Its effectiveness comes down to the vitamins. In its pure form, almond oil is loaded with vitamins A, D, and E, which have a host of beauty benefits. It is fantastic at nourishing and softening dry and dehydrated skin, and unlike some other oils, almond oil does not have a greasy or gluggy effect. In fact, it spreads evenly and absorbs quickly, so you won't need to wait 10 minutes before dressing!
Along with moisturising the skin, sweet almond oil is known for combating the signs of ageing. Used regularly, it can help ward off those pesky fine lines and crows feet, and help to reduce dark circles and puffy eyes. Best of all, only one or two drops are needed, so it is a great alternative to heavy eye creams. The emollient qualities of this oil – the ones that strengthen and soothe the skin – are also excellent in preventing and treating stretch marks. This is because they pump up blood circulation and create a natural resistance to the kind of 'tearing' that causes marks to appear.
Finally, the vitamins in almond oil also nourish your locks. They promote hair growth and strength, smoother and shinier strands, and less frizz. In addition, massaging the scalp with almond oil can help relieve dryness and itchiness.
Aloe Vera Back in ancient Egyptian times, aloe vera was called the "plant of immortality". Fast-forward a few thousand years, and the Australian organic skin care market has finally caught on to the benefits of this mini cactus plant.
For the most part, aloe vera is used to treat a range of skin conditions. It contains a whopping 200 active compounds, including vitamins A, B, C and E, amino acids, enzymes, minerals, beta carotene, and polysaccharides, all of which stimulate cell renewal, hydrate the skin, and boost circulation. Plus, the gel from the plant works as a protective layer that soothes, heals, and prevents skin from getting infected. It contains hormones that ensure skin heals quickly and with minimal scarring. Due to these moisturising and healing properties, aloe vera is useful in treating sunburn, wounds, minor skin infections, acne, cysts, eczema, psoriasis, and even dandruff. It is also fairly gentle, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin.
The internal health benefits of aloe vera juice are just as impressive. Because it is an antiseptic, it improves digestion and relieves ulcers, and is often prescribed for gum diseases like gingivitis.
Apple Cider Vinegar Apple cider vinegar (Pyrus Malus) cleanses and alkalises your system from the inside out. First of all, raw apple cider vinegar is very high in potassium and minerals, which are great digestive aids. This vinegar is like a broom for your digestive system, it sweeps through and cleanses your digestive tract.
In doing all this internal cleaning, apple cider vinegar helps to clear congestion, blemishes, eczema, and acne. Applied topically, it can reduce discolouration and age spots, get rid of pesky pimples, and brighten skin. It can also be used as a hair treatment: apply it after shampooing and conditioning, and leave it on for half an hour before rinsing it out. The result? Shiny, healthy-looking hair, and no dandruff. Amazingly, it can also lift stains from teeth and nails.
This vinegar is one of the best detox products. Thanks to its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties, it assists with candida and yeast issues. Among the other apple cider vinegar benefits, it also cleanses the lymphatic system. A healthy lymphatic system means less toxins in the body, which can reduce cellulite and lead to weight loss.
Apricot Kernel Oil Apricot kernels contain an oil content of 40% to 50% which derived from the dried seeds of the Apricot fruit.
Apricot Kernel oil is a popular ingredients in skin and hair care products as it's very light and gentle, and is absorbed completely into the skin.
Suitable for all skin types, including combination, oily and sensitive skin, apricot kernel oil is the perfect moisturiser as it is high in Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), which enables your skin to maintain its moisture balance. This acid also helps tone and firm your skin. The Vitamin A and Vitamin E in apricot kernel oil also help to slow down the signs of ageing.
It is also an anti-inflammatory and can be used to soothe minor skin conditions, like eczema.
Apricot kernel oil is also known to improve texture and growth of hair.
Argan oil Argan oil, also known as known as Moroccan oil, is a "liquid gold" in its hometown of Africa. Argan oil is a true hair care superfood and can be often found in organic shampoo, conditioner and styling products. While it is loaded with antioxidants and essential fatty acids, its main claim to fame is its high vitamin E levels. In fact, in its pure form, this oil is believed to contain three times more vitamin E than any other natural oil. Vitamin E has incredible hydrating and anti-ageing benefits.
Applied topically, it softens skin, reduces wrinkles, and fights free radicals – which is more important than ever, living in polluted Western environments.
Argan oil also contains triterpenoids and unsaturated fatty acids. Ideal for scars, inflammation, sunburn, mild forms of eczema, psoriasis, acne, and stretch marks. The sterolins in fatty acids also improve 'skin metabolism', meaning it will stay soft yet supple so long as you keep using it.
Argan oil can be used in a myriad of ways. Because it is a non-greasy 'dry' oil that absorbs quickly, it is a great face and body moisturiser. It is also used as an intensely hydrating hair treatment, cuticle softener, and bath oil. As if that wasn't enough, eating a teaspoon of this oil may even aid digestion.
Avocado Oil If soft, silky, more refined skin is on your agenda, Avocado Oil (Persea Gratissima) could be the answer. As one of the most deeply penetrating oils on the market, it really absorbs into the layers of the epidermis, making its beauty benefits more intense. It's rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as potassium, lecithin, chlorophyll.
This combination of ingredients helps to hydrate and soften dry and rough skin, calm redness, plump fine lines, and balance oiliness. Though avocado oil is heavier than other oils, it absorbs fully and won't clog pores or leave any residue.
This ultra-nourishing oil has a high sterolin content, which lends a helping hand when it comes to treating inflammatory skin conditions like redness, blemishes, and eczema. It even has a low level of UV protection (about SPF 8), which, coupled with the vitamins, assists in preventing sun damage. (But still apply your organic sunscreen!) It has also been proven to increase the amount of soluble collagen in the skin, which translates to better skin repair, faster wound healing, and elasticity.
While avocado oil is mostly used as a moisturiser, it is also a great addition to your cleansing routine. It clears pores and evens skin tone.