Everyone loves a sequel so here's one to the co-authored January post, Good things grow in the ground. To recap, the original piece looked at beauty products that contain ojon oil, jasmonic acid, beech tree extract and ginseng. To follow suit, let's unearth a few more natural ingredients found at the beauty counter:
Sea Buckthorn Berry
This sounds made up, I know, or it sounds like its something mythical and rare. But for Brooklyn-based brand, amika, it's neither. It's the main ingredient in the majority of amika's product and the inspiration for their colourful product packaging. Native to Siberia and parts of the Himalayas, sea buckthorn berry--also known as Obliphica--endures some of the harshest environmental conditions on Earth. Withstanding these elements comes with its rewards; it's loaded with omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9, and has 15 times the vitamin C than an orange! The fruit has the combined benefits of fish oil and multi vitamins in one small berry. Besides beauty, the sea buckthorn berry can be applied topically on burns and/or ingested to control ulcers and other inflammatory throat and skin conditions.
Arguably the most common beauty oil on the shelves to date, argan oil is found in everything from hair products to moisturizers to Moroccan Magic lip balm. Argan oil is sourced from the seeds of the kernels of the Argan tree (Aragnia spiniosa). These trees are native to Morocco and can live up to 200 years without much environmental support. Traditionally, goats would consume kernels from these thorned trees; subsequently, farmers would gather the goats' digested waste products to produce the oil. Now farmers have discovered new extraction methods but this is not the say that the goats have stopped climbing the trees! Argan oil is noted to help improve circulation, stabilize blood sugar, as well as retain moisture for skin and hair.
Thought to be named after Anna Maria de la Tremoille, Princess of Neroli (near Rome) in the late seventeenth century, neroli oil is extracted by steam distillation from the fragrant flowers of the bitter orange tree (Citrus aurantium bigaradia or bigarade orange). These trees are often found in Tunisia, Sicily and France and can grow up to 9 m tall. An average of 1 tonne of flowers is needed to produce 1 kg (2 lb) of neroli oil - that's an expensive process.
The health benefits of neroli oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, aphrodisiac, and like most citrus-based products, a strong disinfectant. Like Truly Organic's Deeply Moisturizing Super Lotion, beauty companies select neroli to enhance the skin's moisture balance as well as for a natural fragrance.
These oils, extracts, roots and berries all have a common denominator - they are all survivors. Under the most extreme situations, they still manage to gift us with good things from the ground.
Full Disclosure: I have been using amika's products for a few years and I really like the hair masque for my thick hair. Argan oil seems to be finding its way into everything, but it definitely works and the Moroccan Magic lip balm is no exception! I really adore Truly Organic's line of products for the smell and design. The neroli fragrance can be a bit strong at times, but the lotion certainly retains moisture.
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