✨ Free Shipping & Luxe Mini On Orders $50+. ✨ Free Shipping & Free Luxe Mini On Orders Over $50.

Skincare Journal

Nepalese Goji Berries: A Superfood for Radiant Skin Health

Nepalese Goji Berries: A Superfood for Radiant Skin Health

Goji berries embody much more than just a tasty addition to your breakfast bowl. These nutrient-rich super-berries, also known as “wolfberries”, serve as a potent source of nutrients for your skin.

Originating from the lush landscapes of Asia, goji berries ( Lycium barbarumhave been revered in traditional medicine for centuries.

Lauded for their disease-preventing and immune-boosting properties, goji berries contain a dense concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and phytonutrients.

Antioxidants galore 

The secret behind goji berries' efficacy in promoting skin health lies in their exceptional antioxidant capacity. These antioxidants shield the skin from oxidative stress, which is a key contributor to premature aging. 

By neutralizing free radicals—unstable molecules that can damage skin cells—goji berries help maintain the skin's collagen and elastin integrity, ensuring its texture remains firm and youthful.

The rich nutrient profile of goji berries, including carotenoids, vitamin C, oleic acid, and polysaccharides, plays a crucial role in enhancing skin color, texture, and overall resilience.

Let’s take a look at each one of these constituents in detail.

Carotenoids, nature’s answer to the sun's rays

Carotenoids, responsible for goji berries' vibrant red color, are formidable allies against environmental aggressors.

Zeaxanthin and lutein, two prominent carotenoids found in goji berries, help guard against UV-induced damage and pollution, safeguarding the skin's structural components and mitigating inflammation.

Skin vitality trio: beta carotene, vitamin C, and zinc

This powerful trio works synergistically to support skin health.

Beta carotene, a vitamin A precursor, excels in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, helping to preserve the skin's elasticity and promoting collagen synthesis.

Vitamin C, known for its brightening effects, contributes to an even skin tone and smoother texture. Zinc enhances these benefits by supporting fibroblast function, essential for maintaining the skin's strength and resilience.

Anti-inflammatory heroes: polysaccharides and betaine

Goji berries are rich in polysaccharides, which not only hydrate and plump the skin but also soothe it, offering protection against harmful biochemical processes. 

Betaine, another key compound, combats inflammation and helps to preserve collagen and elastin from degradation, particularly from sun exposure, thereby preventing premature aging.

Moisture-locking oleic acid

Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid found in goji berries, reinforces the skin's barrier function, minimizing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and ensuring lasting hydration.

Its anti-inflammatory properties, coupled with its antioxidant benefits, provide comprehensive protection against environmental damage and aging.

Why we use Nepalese goji berries

Nepalse goji berries are particularly beneficial for skin health.

This is because the high altitude, clean air and strong sunlight of the Himalayas contribute to a denser nutrient profile that other goji berry varieties.

The glacial deposits over centuries have enriched the Himalayan soil with minerals, ensuring that the goji berries grown here are packed with a higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants essential for skin vitality. Nepalese goji include significant levels of antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and polysaccharides.

You can find goji berry oil inclueded in our best-selling Alpine Phytonutient Serum.

Goji berries for skin health

The integration of goji berries into skincare formulations and dietary habits stands as a testament to their multifaceted benefits for skin health. By offering protection against oxidative damage, enhancing collagen production, and maintaining hydration, goji berries present a holistic approach to achieving radiant, healthy skin.

Incorporating goji berries into both your skincare routine and diet helps nurture and preserve the skin's natural vitality and beauty. 

Goji berries are a clear favorite for anyone seeking to bolster their skin health through nutrient-rich, natural ingredients.

Continue reading

High-Altitude Lavender, Histrory's Most Famous Calming Botanical

High-Altitude Lavender, Histrory's Most Famous Calming Botanical

Lavender, known by it's Latin name as Lavandula, has captivated our senses for millennia, not just with its delightful aroma but also with its extensive medicinal and therapeutic properties.

High-altitude lavender, with its unique adaptogenic properties and rich phytochemical content, stands out for its enhanced phytochemical richness which play a pivotal role in enhancing skin health and emotional well-being

History and traditional uses of lavendar

The story of lavender is woven deeply into the fabric of history, dating back to ancient civilizations.

In Ancient Egypt, lavender played a crucial role in the mummification process and perfumery.

It is famously associated with Cleopatra's seduction of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Its protective qualities were revered, believed to ward off evil spirits and diseases such as the plague and cholera in medieval Europe.

In Roman times, lavedar was a symbol of cleanliness and purity. Fun fact,  its name is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning "to wash," indicative of its use in Roman bathing rituals.

Lavender's healing properties were also recognized in early medicine by Greek physician Dioscorides and further celebrated by herbalist John Parkinson and in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its cooling and soothing effects.

The 20th century saw the pioneering work of French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who, after experiencing lavender's healing effects first hand. After sustaining a burn on his hand he famously plunged it into a vat of lavender oil and was reportedly astonished at the speed with which his hand healed.

Gattefosse's study of lavendar contributed significantly to the foundation of modern aromatherapy, highlighting its antimicrobial and skin regeneration benefits.

The unique benefits of high-altitude lavender

Enhanced relaxation and improved sleep

The sedative properties of high-altitude lavender essential oil have been well-documented, showing significant improvement in sleep quality and stress reduction. Its intense aroma, rich in linalool and linalyl acetate, contributes to its calming effects on the nervous system.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Research highlights lavender oil's ability to mitigate inflammatory responses and soothe skin conditions. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent choice for reducing redness and discomfort on reactive skin.

Antimicrobial activity

Lavender oil's broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties are effective against skin pathogens, supporting its traditional use in cleansing wounds and preventing infections.

Promotes skin recovery and collagen synthesis

Studies have shown that lavender essential oil may help speed skin recovery by enhancing fibroblast activity and collagen synthesis. This property is crucial for improving skin health and integrity.

Guards against premature aging

The polyphenols in high-altitude lavender offer significant antioxidant protection, safeguarding the skin from environmental stressors, UV damage, and preventing signs of premature aging.

Lavender in skincare & wellness

The historical and scientific narratives of lavender converge to underscore its timeless appeal and enduring value in skincare and wellness.

High-altitude lavender, with its unique adaptogenic properties, represents the pinnacle of this botanical's potential, offering a holistic approach to nurturing the skin and calming the mind.

Incorporating high-altitude lavender into your daily routine can help to enhance sleep quality, reduce stress, promote skin health and protect against premature aging.

Lavender oil is a true testament to the power of nature in supporting our overall well-being.

Lavender's journey from ancient rituals and royal endorsements to modern-day aromatherapy and skincare formulations encapsulates its multifaceted role as a botanical treasure.

As we continue to explore and appreciate lavender's many benefits, we honor a tradition that blends ancient wisdom with contemporary science, ensuring that lavender remains a cherished ingredient in our pursuit of natural health and beauty.

Article References

  1. Lytle, J., et al. (2014). "Study on the Effect of Inhalation of Lavender Essential Oil on Patients with Insomnia." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
  2. Donelli, D., et al. (2019). "Effects of Lavender on Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis." Phytomedicine.
  3. Sánchez-Vidaña, D. I., et al. (2017). "The Effectiveness of Lavender Essential Oil on Inflammatory Responses and Skin Conditions." International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
  4. Zu, Y., et al. (2010). "Antimicrobial Activity of Lavender Oil Against Common Skin Pathogens." Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
  5. Mori, H. M., et al. (2016). "Accelerated Wound Healing by Lavender Essential Oil in Mice." BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies.
  6. Pandey, K. B., & Rizvi, S. I. (2009). "Plant Polyphenols as Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease." Free Radical Biology and Medicine.
Continue reading

Himalayan Sea Buckthorn Oil for Skin Rejuvenation

Himalayan Sea Buckthorn Oil for Skin Rejuvenation

Sea buckthorn is a super-nutrient oil revered in skincare for its unparalleled ability to enhance skin radiance, boost hydration, and combat premature aging. 

This "liquid gold" is not an oceanic extract but a precious yield from the Sea buckthorn shrub, thriving in the lofty realms of the Himalayas. 

Meticulously extracted via mechanical cold pressing from Sea buckthorn berries ensures a potent blend of omegas essential for skin health.

A jewel in traditional medicine

Rooted in centuries-old wisdom, Sea buckthorn has been a cornerstone in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since the Tang Dynasty (618-907 C.E.), cherished for its holistic health benefits. 

Its Latin name, Hippophae rhamnoides, meaning 'shiny horse,' hints at its historical use for enhancing the vitality and coat health of horses, a testament to its nourishing properties.

Omega-rich rejuvenation

The secret behind Sea buckthorn oil's remarkable skin benefits lies in its comprehensive fatty acid profile, encompassing omega-3, 6, 7, and 9, making it a unique botanical source of all four essential omegas. 

These lipids are pivotal in moderating the skin's inflammatory response, which is crucial since chronic inflammation is a precursor to premature aging and DNA damage. 

The anti-inflammatory properties of Sea buckthorn oil not only soothe the skin but also protect it against the ravages of time, promoting a youthful, vibrant complexion.

Beyond inflammation control, these fatty acids facilitate deep skin penetration, promoting regeneration, collagen production, and renewal. This action is critical for epidermal recovery and helps minimize the look of scars. 

Omega-9, for instance, enhances the skin's absorption of other beneficial compounds, whereas omega-6, converted into prostaglandins, plays a vital role in skin recovery and nutrient transport.

A standout feature of Sea buckthorn oil is its omega-7 content, a rarity in the plant kingdom, known for boosting keratinization, telomerase activity, and collagen formation. 

These processes are essential for slowing aging and reducing hyperpigmentation.

Strengthening the skin barrier

The integrity of the skin barrier is fundamental to overall skin health, serving as a defense against microbial invasion and moisture loss. It is also easily compromised as we age, due to a reduction in our skin’s natural oil production.

Sea buckthorn oil's rich phytoceramide and lipid content fortifies this barrier, effectively reducing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and shielding the skin from inflammation-induced aging and structural damage. 

Its barrier-strengthening properties also offer support for inflammatory skin conditions, such as dermatitis and rosacea, comforting sensitive reactive-prone skin.

Antioxidant power for smoother firmer skin

Environmental stressors like UV radiation, pollution, and psychological stress contribute to increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, accelerating skin aging through oxidative stress. 

Sea buckthorn oil is a powerhouse of antioxidants, including polyphenols and vitamins A, E, and C—boasting a vitamin C content 15 times higher than that of oranges!

These antioxidants mitigate ROS damage, support collagen synthesis, and provide regenerative benefits, crucial for preventing premature aging and facilitating skin recovery.

Moreover, the oil's phytonutrients can help curb the activity of sun-induced MMP enzymes responsible for collagen degradation, offering further protection against aging and inflammation.

Enhanced radiance

Sea buckthorn oil may help support skin detoxification and oxygenation, culminating in a more radiant and glowing complexion. 

This improvement boosts skin barrier health and resilience, something that is especially beneficial for those who spend time in extreme climatic conditions, like skiing in Telluride!

Sea buckthorn oil stands out as a multifaceted elixir in skin care, offering a spectrum of benefits from anti-inflammatory and barrier-strengthening actions to antioxidant protection and radiance enhancement. 

You can find Sea buckthorn in our best-selling Alpine Phytonutrient Serum and Purist Delicate Skin Serum.

Continue reading

How to Gua Sha

How to Gua Sha

Not a fan of needles? Let’s talk about one of our favorite Botox alternatives, the gua sha facial massage.

Gua sha is an ancient beauty ritual used by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to promote healthy skin. It’s been called the ‘botox of the Far East’ due to its firming and smoothing benefits. 

Gua means to press and sha refers to the pink color seen on your skin after use.

The 3 main benefits of facial gua sha are: increased circulation, lymph drainage (depuffing), and facial contouring.

When gua sha is enhanced with a nourishing oil serum like our Alpine Phytonutrient Serum, it increases both product absorption and efficacy.

Combined, these deliver:

  • Reduced puffiness: helps lymphatic fluid to drain and move from stagnant areas
  • Contour and sculpt features: gua sha lifts features by helping to realign drooping skin with underlying facial muscles
  • Soften fine lines: relaxes overactive muscles that cause wrinkles
  • Diminish the look of scars: promotes cell renewal by increasing circulation and cellular health
  • A brighter complexion: stimulating blood flow and improve circulation 

We love the benefits of this technique so much that we've added a new limited edition gua sha stone made from a gorgeous white snow crystal to our shop!

To learn how to gua sha your face, read on below for a step-by-step instructional.

How to Gua Sha 

 

how to gua sha

1. Cleanse

Wash your gua sha tool and hands with warm soapy water. Cleanse your skin as normal.

2. Apply Serum

This will help the movement over your skin and prevent irritation. The product will be absorbed into your skin as you’re massaging your face.

3. Gua sha 

Hold the curved side of your gua sha at a 45-degree angle to your skin. All movements should go out from the midline of your face to the hairline, following lymphatic flow to help depuff and improve circulation.

  • Neck - Start along your neck and glide upward toward your jawline to improve definition and de-puff.
  • Jawline - From the center of the chin glide along the jawline to the ear to increase definition and tighten skin.
  • Cheeks - Follow the contours of your cheek using medium pressure up to your hairline. Repeat on both sides.
  • Under eyes - Start at the inner corner of the under-eye area and glide the tool along the underside of the eye, and upwards toward the hairline using gentle pressure in a J-shaped motion.
  • Brow - Work on your forehead in three sections and glide the stone from your eyebrows to the top of your forehead.
4. Finish

Massage the remaining serum into your skin. Then complete your regular skincare routine.

You will notice the effects from gua sha long afterward, with an increase in circulation giving your skin a healthy glow and diminished puffiness under the eyes and jawline.

With regular practice, gua sha facial massage is a powerful tool to improve overall skin health, tone, and radiance.

Continue reading

Arnica Montana Flower Extract Skin Benefits

Arnica Montana Flower Extract Skin Benefits

Arnica Montana is a potent herb and popular botanical used in both skincare, herbal medicines, and homeopathic formulations.

Arnica thrives in alpine meadows and creates an impressive sea of golden blooms in late spring and early summer. In Telluride's Imogene basin you can find arnica growing in the wild. 

Boasting over 150 active compounds, arnica contains a myriad of phytonutrients including sesquiterpene lactones which offer antimicrobial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory benefits.

In North American, indigenous peoples have used it for centuries as an analgesic, to treat bruising and muscle soreness.

The first recorded use by Europeans of this herbaceous plant dates back to the 16th-century when arnica was brewed into a medicinal tea in Germany.

You can find this skin nutrient powerhouse in our Alpine Phytonutrient Serum.

Read on to learn how this alpine flower can revitalize your complexion....

Skin Benefits of Arnica Montana

Recovery

Deeply restorative, arnica extract may help reduce collagen and elastin destruction caused by UVB exposure and protect the skin from damaging oxidative stress. 

Helenalin, a compound found in arnica, may inhibit inflammation in the skin.

Revitalizing

Arnica may stimulate matrix formation, especially fibronectin, in the skin. Fibronectin helps maintain and regulate healthy cellular activity in the skin, it is essential for healing and repair. 

Rejuvenating

Arnica shows potent elemental defense through free radical scavenging in the form of flavonoids and phenolic compounds. These powerful antioxidants may help shield the skin from harmful oxidative damage and help to prevent accelerated skin aging.  

Brightening

Arnica visibly brightens skin and reduces discoloration for a more luminous complexion. It may reduce the appearance of sun spots by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase which is responsible for melanin formation.

Calming

Wonderful for treating a puffy swollen complexion, arnica also helps reduces the appearance of redness, swelling, and irritation.

With its many skin-nurturing properties, arnica is the perfect way to amplify your skincare.

Continue reading

The Restorative Skin Benefits of Alpine Wildflowers

The Restorative Skin Benefits of Alpine Wildflowers

Summer means wildflower season in Telluride and forays above the tree line become resplendant with a riot of colorful alpine blooms.

Peeking from rock crannies and flourishing in lush alpine meadows, these high altitude flowers are a vital part of every TellurideGlow product.

Possessing unique medicinal properties, alpine wildflowers have been used since ancient times to nourish the skin and uplift the spirit. These flowers and their essences are one of our most powerful allies in the quest for a healthy, balanced and radiant complexion. 

Many contain high levels of free-radical fighting antioxidants to combat oxidative and environmental stress, posses unique cellular detoxification and regeneration abilities, and contain especially concentrated phytonutrients.

It's a bonus that they present incredible fragrance with no artificial additives!

Below you can learn more about the unique restorative and revitalizing properties of some of the alpine wildflowers chosen for our nourishing serums and essence.

Swiss Edelweiss

This protected alpine flower has been a coveted skin-healer for centuries thanks to its powers of renewal and abundant antioxidant protection, both of which work to improve the overall appearance of skin.

To read more about the incredible rejuvenating powers of this tiny bloom check out our article on Swiss Edelweiss.

Arnica Montana

Arnica Montana grows wild in Telluride's Imogene basin and is used for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also encourages increased circulation to help diminish puffiness and swelling.  

High Altitude Lavender

This high altitude essential oil has a higher linayl acetate content, giving it a fresh, clean fragrance and more relaxing components than other varieties. Calming lavender works to help purify the skin and improve clarity. The oil is traditionally believed to have sedative, carminative, anti-depressive and anti-inflammatory properties.

Roman Chamomile

Roman Chamomile has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory abilities that help to decongest clogged pores, and is also rich in flavonoids and antioxidants effective in helping to protect the skin against free radicals that cause aging.

Mullein

A natural anti-inflammatory, this cherrful yellow flowering herbaceous plant grows in the wild in many alpine meadows. We source and use our Mullein whole. Mullein can help with irritated skin and supports healing, thanks to its unique, regenerative properties. It also has antioxidant benefits to shield skin from oxidative stress.

Evening Primrose

Evening primrose oil touts high concentration of gamma Linolenic acid, essential for collagen production. Balances the skin between oily and dry.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know our unique alpine wildflowers a little bit better.

Ready to experience the transformative power of these resiliant blooms for yourself?

You can find a gorgeous bouquet of high altitude flowers in our Alpine Phytonutrient Serum which was inspired by the resilient wildflowers growing above the treeline in Telluride, Colorado.

Continue reading

Maintain Glowing Skin While Traveling

Maintain Glowing Skin While Traveling

Have you ever hopped on a jet only to disembark at your destination and have your previously glowing complexion look dry, flaky, or just plain out of sorts?

There’s a reason this happens during travel. To understand why we must first take a look at our skin’s natural moisturizing factor, or NMF for short.

Your Skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF)

To stay hydrated, your skin produces what’s called a natural moisturizing factor (NMF). It consists of water-attracting compounds, like amino acids, urea, lactic acid, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, and other small molecules. These substances work together to bind ambient water molecules to the skin, keeping it hydrated and in a state of balance.

The fascinating thing is, your skin naturally adjusts how much NMF it produces. And it does this based on the environment you’re in.

For example, let’s say you live in a dry climate with low humidity levels like Colorado. Your skin will make more NMF than if you lived someplace with higher ambient humidity levels like Texas or Florida.

When you travel, your skin senses the change in environmental humidity, altitude, sun exposure, etc., and works overtime to bring itself back into a state of homeostasis, or balance. 

But this adjustment takes time and it’s one of the big reasons our skin can react negatively, looking dry and dull or on the opposite spectrum, breaking out within days after arriving on vacation.

To help your skin bounce back more quickly while you travel, try these tips and tricks.

Tips for Maintaining Glowing Skin While Traveling

Consider air travel

Any air travel you do will dehydrate your skin as cabin air has very little humidity. Before boarding apply a moisturizing facial serum like the Alpine Phytonutrient Serum and reapply during your flight.

Don’t worry, at one ounce each, TSA will allow you to carry on multiple full-sized TellurideGlow serums. This will help protect your skin from drying out as a result of the constant wicking effects of dry air being circulated in the cabin. Plus the soothing scent of the Alpine will add a little extra relaxation to your trip. 

You can also use a hydrating facial mist and spritz your face periodically during the flight. This will help add moisture back onto the surface of your skin, and since TSA won’t allow you to carry on a personal humidifier, it’s your next best option. 

Bring a lip ointment or dab some Purist Delicate Skin Serum onto your lips to keep them from cracking and chapping.

Pick up a water bottle so you can stay well hydrated while you fly. To that end, avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, both are known diuretics. 

This will help your skin bounce back more quickly and reduce the effects of jetlag if you're traveling overseas. You can always have a Parisien cappuccino or an Aperol Spritz once you land.  

Moisturize

Once you arrive at your destination, restore moisture to dehydrated skin with our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence. As a water-based formula, the Aspen Dew will deposit moisture back into your skin while the micro-molecular hyaluronic acid in it will help to continuously pull ambient moisture back into your skin. 

Follow with a skin barrier recovery serum like the Alpine to help balance skin post-travel. The phytoceramides found in both the Alpine and Purist will help protect your skin from additional moisture loss by preventing further trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).

Cleanse gently

For cleansing while traveling, avoid harsh soaps or foaming products as these will strip your skin barrier of its natural oils. Skip potentially irritating hotel soaps and cleansers. Look for an oil-based or cream cleanser to help deposit lipids back onto your skin. 

And tempting as it might be, try not to over-cleanse while traveling. Over-cleansing can cause an inflammatory reaction in your skin, worsening dryness, hormonal breakouts, and skin conditions like eczema. 

Be mindful of chlorinated water

The water at your destination may have more chlorine, water softeners, or hard minerals than what you’re used to back home. These can worsen dry skin and aggravate reactive skin. 

This rule applies to swimming in chlorinated pools. Always rinse off after you get out to help remove any residual chlorine.

Sunscreen

You have heard it a million times but it bears repeating, always protect your skin from the sun. Especially if you’re traveling to a mountain town like Telluride where intense UV exposure and high altitudes can literally worsen every skin condition under the… ahem, sun. 

Choose a non-toxic sunscreen with a pleasing texture that you will enjoy using and apply it every few hours when out of doors.

Wishing you happy travels and glowing skin this summer!

Continue reading

Cloudberry Seed Oil - Scandinavia's Best Kept Beauty Secret

Cloudberry Seed Oil - Scandinavia's Best Kept Beauty Secret

One of Scandinavia's best kept beauty secrets is cloudberry seed oil, also called "arctic gold." 

This rare arctic berry only grows in the wild, typically in hard-to-reach terrain and in extreme conditions with temperatures reaching well below -40 degrees during winter months.

Locals who know where to find this highly prized fruit guard its location very closely.

In fact, there's a folk tale of a woman who broke her leg while picking cloudberries. In her injured state, she dragged herself home in an effort to keep the whereabouts of the berries a secret!

Cloudberries, or Rubus chamaemorus, contain many skin-loving phytonutrients such as ellagitannins, phtyoceramides, essential fatty acids, and intense concentrations of vitamin C.

The seeds yield an amber-colored oil that is deeply nourishing and helps prevent accelerated skin aging.

This Arctic gold is found in both our Alpine Phytonutrient Serum and The Purist Delicate Skin Serum and contains unique adaptogenic compounds highly beneficial to skin health.

Benefits of Cloudberries

Anti-aging

Cloudberry seed oil is rich in phenolic compounds like ellagitannins. Ellagitannins are bioactive polyphenols offering potent antioxidant benefits that may help protect against premature skin aging caused by lifestyle factors and UV exposure. 

Brightening

Ellagic acid, a byproduct of ellagatannins, helps to brighten skin thanks to its ability to alter melanin formation pathways in anti-oxidant processes. Cloudberries also contain unusually high amounts of vitamin C, a well known skin radiance booster.

Nourishing

Cloudberry seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids omega 3, 6, and gamma-linolenic acid. Omegas are essential skin nutrients that help regulate oil production, improve balanced hydration, subdue breakouts and minimize the signs of aging. 

Plumping

Phytoceramides in cloudberry oil plump and fortify the skin barrier. These botanical lipids impart a healthy glow and help soften rough, dry skin, smoothing out the appearance of fine lines.

Moisturizing

Cloudberry oil supports the skin barrier’s ability to retain moisture, resulting in more hydrated skin. This results in better alignment of epidermal corneocytes, which helps minimize the look of reddened skin.

Continue reading

7 Skincare Ingredients That May Make Your Skin More Sensitive to the Sun

7 Skincare Ingredients That May Make Your Skin More Sensitive to the Sun

Sunshine lifts our spirits, brightens our days, and provides essential Vitamin D.

But if you're a skincare aficionado, you're well aware of the sun's darker side. Ultraviolet rays can cause premature aging, hyperpigmentation, and, at worst, skin cancer. 

You likely already know the importance of slathering on sunscreen, donning wide-brimmed hats, and staying in the shade during peak UV hours. 

But, did you know that certain skincare ingredients can actually increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun?

From powerful skin lighteners to popular skin exfoliators, there's a laundry list of ingredients in skincare products that can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, leading to quicker sunburns, pigment changes, and a potentially increased risk of skin cancer. 

In this post, we'll dive into the nitty-gritty of photosensitivity, highlighting those innocent-looking bottles on your bathroom counter that could secretly be turning your skin into a UV magnet. 

Ingredients That Can Cause Photosensitivity

Let's explore seven of the most common skincare ingredients that can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun.

Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHAs and BHAs)

AHAs and BHAs are prominent players in the skincare world for their role in exfoliation. Glycolic acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid are among the most common. 

By promoting the shedding of dead skin cells, these ingredients can leave newer, more vulnerable skin exposed, making your skin more susceptible to sun damage. 

Hydroxy acids can also break down your skin’s acid mantle and disrupt skin barrier function. This can lead to an imbalance in skin PH and make it vulnerable to additional environmental irritants. Using a nutrient-rich recovery serum like our Alpine Phytonutrient or Purist Delicate Skin Serum can help skin bounce back more quickly and support skin barrier health. 

If hydroxy acids are a standard ingredient in your skincare routine, take extra care to protect your skin from sun exposure.

Chemical Sunscreens

It might sound paradoxical, but certain chemical sunscreens can sometimes provoke a photosensitive reaction. 

Ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and octinoxate absorb UV radiation, transform it into heat, and release it from the skin.

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that some people can have allergic reactions to these chemical absorbers, which can manifest as photosensitivity.

In addition, several of these chemical sunscreen ingredients, like octocrylene, degrade during sun exposure becoming benzophenone, a compound suspected of being carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting. 

Traditional Retinoids

Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A and are lauded for their anti-aging and acne-fighting benefits. Unfortunately, they can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. 

This sensitivity is due to the thinning of the stratum corneum, the skin's outermost layer. A study in the Archives of Dermatology confirmed that the use of topical tretinoin resulted in increased sun sensitivity. 

Botanical retinoid alternatives, like Dew Bean, found in our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence, are a gentler alternative to traditional retinoids and do not cause photosensitivity. 

Certain Citrus Essential Oils

Specific citrus essential oils, such as Bergamot, Lemon, and Lime, can induce a phototoxic reaction when applied to the skin, followed by exposure to the sun.

The compounds responsible for this effect are called furanocoumarins. Never apply these essential oils directly onto your skin and avoid using skincare products with these ingredients prior to sun exposure. 

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide works to prevent breakouts by delivering oxygen to skin pores, killing the anaerobic (unable to live in oxygen) P. acnes bacteria responsible for acne formation. It also helps to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells that can clog pores.

Unfortunately, benzoyl peroxide can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. The mechanism by which it causes photosensitivity isn't yet completely understood, but it is believed that it increases the skin's sensitivity to UV radiation by inducing oxidative stress.

The mild irritation and redness that accompany benzoyl peroxide use can be exacerbated by sun exposure. 

Hydroquinone

Like many other skin-lightening agents, hydroquinone can cause photosensitivity. This is because it disrupts the production and distribution of melanin, which naturally helps protect skin from harmful UV radiation. Using hydroquinone can make your skin more susceptible to UV damage.

While effective, hydroquinone is best used with caution. Not only can hydroquinone cause photosensitivity, but it also increased the risk of developing a condition called ochronosis, a rare but potentially permanent skin discoloration.

For a natural alternative, our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence contains Aspen Bark which brightens skin without the photosensitizing side effects.

Always use sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using hydroquinone. It should not be used for long periods without a break and always under the supervision of a dermatologist.

Accutane

Accutane, now called Isotretinoin, is a highly potent drug that can lead to serious side effects, the least of which is increased sun sensitivity and burning. Always wear SPF 50+ if you are using Accutane as part of your skincare routine and never use it without medical supervision.

So now you're probably thinking, "Great, I can't use anything anymore!" Hold your horses! There's no need to throw out half your beauty cabinet. 

How to minimize photosensitivity

Understanding how your beauty routine might be making you photosensitive is half the battle. Here’s what you can do about it.

Know Your Ingredients: Get in the habit of reading product labels. Understand what's in your beauty products and how they may impact your skin. 

Apply Sunscreen Religiously: Non-toxic mineral sunscreen is your best friend, rain or shine. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and don't skimp on it!

Avoid Direct Sunlight: The sun's rays are the most harmful between 10 AM and 4 PM, so try to stay in the shade during these hours.

Wear Protective Clothing: Wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved clothing can provide additional protection.

Just like Sid the Seagull reminds us in one of the most successful health campaigns in Australia's history, “Slip! Slop! Slap!”

Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat before you go out in the sun! If you haven’t seen it yet it’s worth Googling. 

And always check with your healthcare provider or dermatologist about the potential photosensitivity effects of both your skincare products and medications.

Sources:

J. Kim, K. J. Park, H. J. Park, E. Kim, Y. H. Kim, J. M. Park, and Y. I. Park. “Ultraviolet Radiation-Induced Skin Aging: The Role of DNA Damage and Oxidative Stress in Epidermal Stem Cell Damage Mediated Skin Aging.” Stem Cells International, vol. 2016, Article ID 7370642, 14 pages, 2016. 

Ditre, CM et al. “Effects of alpha-hydroxy acids on photoaged skin: a pilot clinical, histologic, and ultrastructural study.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology vol. 34,2 Pt 1 (1996): 187-95. 

Nash, JF and Tanner, PR. “Relevance of UV filter/sunscreen product photostability to human safety.” Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine, vol. 30,2-3 (2014): 88-95. 

Mukherjee, S et al. “Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety.” Clinical Interventions in Aging, vol.1,4 (2006): 327-348. 

Kligman, LH. “Effects of all-trans-retinoic acid on the dermis of hairless mice.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol.15,4 Pt 2 (1986): 779-85, 866-7. 

Moore, DE. “Drug-induced cutaneous photosensitivity: incidence, mechanism, prevention and management.” Drug Safety, vol.25,5 (2002): 345-72. 

Lim, HW et al. “American Academy of Dermatology Consensus Conference on UVA protection of sunscreens: summary and recommendations. American Academy of Dermatology.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 44,6 (2001): 505-8. 

Continue reading

5 Ways UV Rays Damage Your Skin: What You Need to Know to Stay Protected

5 Ways UV Rays Damage Your Skin: What You Need to Know to Stay Protected

Most of us are well aware of the risks associated with sun exposure and the importance of sun protection as a means of skin cancer prevention. 

But do you know exactly how UV rays damage your skin? 

In this three-part series dedicated to Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we'll first explore the impact of UV rays on skin DNA and structure. In subsequent posts, we’ll highlight some powerful skincare ingredients that offer fortifying and restorative benefits to sun-damaged skin as well as cover other ways in which you can protect your skin from ultraviolet damage.

The following are five ways in which ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, primarily UVA and UVB rays, cause damage to the skin:

1. DNA damage and skin cancer risk 

UVB rays can directly damage the DNA in skin cells. This damage to our skin’s genetic code can lead to mutations that can result in skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. This is in part due to the fact that the DNA damage continues hours after our exposure to the sun has ended.

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30
  • Wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats
  • Seek shade during peak sun hours (10 am-4 pm)

2. Sunburn and inflammation 

UVB rays are the main culprits of sunburn, an acute response to excessive UV exposure characterized by redness, inflammation, and sometimes blistering. The safest way to prevent sunburn is to cover up, use SPF 50+, and avoid sun exposure when ultraviolet rays are at their strongest, between 10 am-4 pm.

  • Apply and reapply sunscreen every 2 hours
  • Wear sun-protective clothing
  • Avoid peak sun hours (10 am-4 pm)

3. Pigmentation changes

UVA and UVB rays stimulate melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) in the skin, leading to the development of freckles, age spots, and uneven skin tone. An additional unfortunate byproduct of melanin production is DNA derivatives called cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). CPDs are associated with an increased risk of melanoma. UVA rays penetrate the deepest into the skin and can pass through panes of glass (such as car windows) and cloud cover.

  • Use sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days
  • Incorporate brightening skincare products to fade pigmentation
  • Consult a dermatologist for personalized treatment options

4. Collagen and elastin degradation 

UVA rays can damage collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. This damage results in premature skin aging characterized by wrinkles, and loss of skin structure which leads to sagging skin and overall loss of elasticity.

  • Apply sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Include skincare products with antioxidants and collagen-boosting ingredients like our Alpine Phytonutrient Serum.
  • Consider professional treatments to stimulate collagen production

5. Blood vessel dilation

UVA rays can cause dilation of blood vessels in the skin, contributing to erythema (redness) and inflammation.

  • Use a physical sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
  • Choose skincare products with calming ingredients, such as aloe vera like our Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence.
  • Consult a dermatologist for treatments targeting redness and inflammation

While the most foolproof way of protecting your skin from ultraviolet rays is to stay out of the sun, this is not always possible or desirable. 

You can however protect your skin by making a habit of wearing non-toxic mineral sunscreen daily. And you can fortify your skin against the sun by using skin care products that fight oxidative stress and free radical damage.  

With powerful free radical scavenging ingredients like Edelweiss and Bearberry extract, The Aspen Dew Illuminating Essence supports skin health both before and after sun exposure.

UV Rays FAQs

How do UV rays damage the skin?

A: UV rays can damage the skin in various ways, including causing DNA damage, sunburn, pigmentation changes, collagen and elastin degradation, and blood vessel dilation.

What's the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

A: UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and contribute to premature aging, while UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and DNA damage. Both types can contribute to skin cancer.

How can I protect my skin from UV damage?

A: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, wear sun-protective clothing, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats, and seek shade during peak sun hours (10 am-4 pm).

Sources cited:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10365447/
  2. https://www.who.int/uv/faq/uvhealtfac/en/index1.html
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6836296_Mouret_S_Baudouin_C_Charveron_M_Favier_A_Cadet_J_Douki_TCyclobutane_pyrimidine_dimers_are_predominant_DNA_lesions_in_whole_human_skin_exposed_to_UVA_radiation_Proc_Natl_Acad_Sci_USA_10313765-13770
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19675548/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25653189/
Continue reading
  • Previous
  • Page 1 of 2
  • Next
Back to top