Botanicals are all the rage again! We say “again” because botanicals have always been!
They've been used through the centuries as medicinal and topical solutions to a variety of complaints and nasty skin conditions.
Hard-core botanical-ists argue that you are what you eat and that a multitude of ailments can be resolved solely by rich sources of nutrients through food.
Perhaps in the ideal world that may be the case.
The truth is that our world is far from ideal, with an overabundance of environmental factors affecting our bodies. Pollution, depleted nutrients from mass production, and can even be down to unhealthy lifestyle choices like drinking and smoking.
Nevertheless, there is still a broad field of efficacy available for skincare practitioners looking for botanical solutions. However, it's important to recognise that there are limitations and in many circumstances, the skin needs something that packs a bigger punch.
Botanicals can take many forms.
We know that calendula has been used for hundreds of years, a form of a poultice to heal the skin.
In ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, used black cumin seed oil as a beauty treatment, (and while not a botanical, she also used lactic acid to soften her skin) and women have been using natural dyes from fruits (and even beetles) to tint their lips to a more sensual colour.
Harnessed in just the right way, botanicals can do wonders for our skin providing natural yet potent remedies for key concerns.
However, let’s not confuse “natural” with “safe”. There are several reasons why natural products may not be safe for everyone. Firstly, consider the fluctuations of plant growth related to the availability of water and nutrients and quality of the seeds sown. It stands to reason that some plants - even of the same crop in the same field -and when you take into account other factors such as water quality, local pollution, proximity to highways etc it is easy to see just how much variation can occur in the quality and strength of the product.
Likewise, there are differences in how the ingredients are extracted - steamed, pressed, dried and so on. In other words, not all botanicals are considered equal.
Luckily for Australian Skin Care manufacturers like Issada Clinical Formula, the Quandong fruit is one of the richest forms of vitamin C and we have a plentiful supply of it - but many European manufacturers, while claiming to be sustainable, natural and using botanicals are importing it by the shipload - let’s consider the carbon footprint of that.
For many ingredients, it’s not just a simple case of squeezing out the juice. There is an element of refining the extraction, concentrating the goodness and even stripping out less beneficial parts of the plant in the process plus. Most importantly, the ability to produce a consistent product that is suitable for manufacturing skincare and will not break the formula due to inconsistencies and this is where for some products refinement of the botanical is essential.
BOTANICALS TO LOOK FOR IN SKINCARE:
Sensitivity and Redness
These ingredients are selected for their unique ability to hydrate and retain moisture, soften and condition the skin and provide soothing anti-inflammatory effects.
Early Signs of Aging
LYCIUM CHINESE FRUIT
QUANDONG EXTRACT, KAKADU PLUM, LILI PILLI AND MULBERRY
Oily and Acne-Prone Skin
Dry & Lack Lustre Skin
PINEAPPLE AND PAPAYA ENZYMES
High Potency rich antioxidants to fight free radical damage, provide environmental protection, repair loss of skin firmness and offer antiaging benefits.
OTHER INGREDIENTS YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT