Feature Ingredients

KAKADU PLUM

 kakadu Plum

 

Originally from Australia and traditionally used by First Nations groups, the kakadu plum is a small fruit which is incredibly high in vitamin C. Along with its recent research for use in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and immune system support, this small fruit has received a lot of attention in the dermatology community.

This is because of its incredibly promising use compared to other natural ingredients and its sustainability as a tree (Terminalia ferdinandiana) that grows well in the wild. Kakadu plum contains 5000 mg of vitamin C per 100 g of fruit. To put that into perspective, 100 g of oranges have about 50 mg of vitamin C, so that is 100 times more! For this reason, we have formulated a Kakadu Plum Vitamin C Serum as an alternative to chemically-produced vitamin C serums that often do not have enough vitamin C in them, or are not in a form absorbable by the skin.

Vitamin C has been used in skin care products to effectively brighten the skin, decrease hyperpigmentation and prevent free radical damage from environmental exposure (eg. pollution) and UV damage [1]. Also, vitamin C is an important cofactor in collagen production- this is what gives our skin its elasticity and lessens the appearance of fine lines [1]. We love these benefits so much that we also decided to formulate a Kakadu Plum Day Cream to provide protection from any skin damage we may incur from general day to day activities!

On top of its concentrated source of vitamin C, kakadu plum contains two antimicrobial acids (gallic and ellagic acids) which can be useful for those with acne-prone skin or inflammatory skin conditions [2, 3]. The skin’s pH is actually more acidic, so it may be beneficial to use some skin care products that tend towards the side of acidic (ph < 7) than basic (ph > 7) to promote the health of the skin’s natural bacteria and protect its naturally acidic pH.

SEAWEED

seaweed-reliv-organics

Seaweed has been used for centuries for skin-related conditions as a means for detoxification. It is enriched with a multitude of vitamins and minerals offering benefits for the skin [4]. Similar to the kakadu plum, seaweed also has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial capabilities. Being a marine plant with a high photosynthesis rate, it can absorb UV radiation and help prevent aging. It does this by blocking certain enzymes in the skin that give colour to our skin cells which would normally result in increasing hyperpigmentation and sun damage. It also inhibits the action of enzymes that deplete hyaluronic acid, an important constituent of the skin which keeps our skin plumped and moisturized [4]. Active components of seaweed (specifically a carbohydrate component called fucoidan) have been researched in skincare products to increase the number of cells in the skin layer (dermis) just below the outer surface (epidermis) [5]. Additionally, it prevents an inflammatory response of the skin, itself. This allows skin to recover better from both environmental damage as well as trauma from inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema or acne. Finally, seaweed is a potent astringent, meaning that it tightens and closes pores, firming the skin, which is why we have decided to use it as the main ingredient in our Seaweed Toner.

TREMELLA MUSHROOM

Tremella Mushroom

Tremella fuciformis is a Chinese mushroom also known as the “snow fungus” due to its dense, white, flower-like appearance. Traditionally, these mushrooms were only eaten by and reserved for Chinese royalty as a soup or in a gelatinous dessert to promote skin vitality and youthfulness. The main active ingredient in these mushrooms responsible for those actions are its fiber content (polysaccharides, such as beta-glucan), as well as other minerals and antioxidants. Similar to other medicinal mushrooms, like reishi and cordyceps, Tremella has wonderful immune-boosting capabilities.

Tremella is now gaining traction in the skincare world as an ingredient good for retaining water and promoting hydration of the skin [6]. The polysaccharides in this mushroom are responsible for this moisture retention, providing a light protective layer on the skin when applied topically. Generally, someone may use a hyaluronic acid serum to boost skin moisture, however, research has shown that Tremella actually retains moisture better than hyaluronic acid [7]! This is likely because it both holds more weight in water than hyaluronic acid, its particles are much smaller and so it is more effective at penetrating the skin barrier. Also, keep in mind that the hyaluronic acid in your current skin care regimen is most likely synthetically produced through a genetic modification process.

Additionally, the antioxidants in Tremella keep the skin looking youthful by combating oxidative damage that comes from the environment (similar to the other highlighted ingredients we have discussed) [6]. For this reason, we have created a Tremella mushroom serum to boost skin hydration and prevent the production and reduce the appearance of fine lines over time with regular use.

What is this an alternative to?

Our Tremella Mushroom Serum is a great alternative to hyaluronic acid serums and creams.

References:

1. Farris, P. 2006. Topical vitamin c: a useful agent for treating photoaging and other dermatologic conditions, Dermatologic Surgery, 31(1). 

2. Williams DJ, Edwards D, Pun S, Chaliha M, Burren B, Tinggi U & Sultanbawa Y. 2016. Organic acids in kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana): the good (ellagic), the bad (oxalic) and the uncertain (ascorbic), Food Research International, 81(1): 237-244

3. Akted S, Netzel M, Tinggi U, Osborne S, Fletcher M & Sultanbawa Y. 2019. Antioxidant rich extracts of Terminalia ferdinandiana inhibit the growth of foodborne bacteria, Foods, 8(8): 281. 

4. Jesumani V, Du H, Aslam M, Pei P &amp; Huang N. 2019. Potential use of seaweed bioactive compounds in skincare- a review, <em>Marine Drugs</em>, 17(12): 688. 

5. Fitton J, Irhimeh M & Falk N. 2007. Macroalgal fucoidan extracts: a new opportunity for marine cosmetics, Cosmetics and Toiletries, 122(8): 55-64

6. Yang S, Liu H &Tsai S. 2006. Edible Tremella polysaccharide for skin care, United States Patent Application Publication. 

7. Liu H et al. 2012. Comparison of moisture retention capacity of Tremella polysaccharides and hyaluronic acid, Journal of Anhui Agricultural Sciences 

 MATCHA TEA

matcha green tea reliv organics cleanser

When we think of matcha, we usually think of it in drinkable form as a tea or latte. However, it has recently been a key ingredient in a lot of high-end skincare products and now is the feature ingredient in our cleanser. Originating from Japan, matcha is a potent powdered form of green tea (Camellia sinensis) leaves, which has a higher amount of polyphenols than green tea itself (in one study, up to 137 times more) [1,2]. Polyphenols are plant compounds which contain micronutrients that are anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. With respects to matcha, the main polyphenol with research behind it is EGCG; epigallocatechin-3-gallate. EGCG’s has several amazing components which contribute to healthy skin, so it can be used in every skin type.

The antioxidants in EGCG allow it to protect from environmental damage from pollution as well as UVA and UVB radiation [3]. This protection also confers an anti-aging potential, because when skin is exposed to free-radical damage (ie. From the sun), this can break down collagen and elastin which can then cause fine lines and wrinkles. Finally, EGCG has shown a lot of promise in the realm of acne and rosacea [4]. In research, EGCG has shown to decrease inflammation and redness associated with acne and rosacea. Additionally, it has anti-bacterial and anti-androgenic properties which lower oil production of the skin and fight overgrowth of Propionibacterium acnes, which is a species of bacteria that can often be a contributor to acne presentation [4].

MORINGA LEAF

moringa leaf reliv organics matcha green tea cleanser

Moringa is yet another green powder with similar benefits to matcha. Traditionally, moringa leaves were used as a poultice to apply to wounds, or used internally as a powerful antioxidant for infections [5]. Moringa leaves contain several vitamins and micronutrients which are beneficial for overall skin health. The first is vitamin A, which is important for skin cell renewal and regeneration, and is often used in acne treatments. Moringa is also rich in vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that is in a lot of our feature ingredients.

Vitamin C can prevent oxidative damage from environmental toxins as well as sun exposure. This allows the skin to maintain its plumpness by preventing collagen breakdown, and decreasing pigmentation associated with these environmental exposures [5]. Also, previous research has tested moringa’s wound healing abilities in animals and has demonstrated that moringa leaf is indeed anti-inflammatory and can decrease recovery time for wound healing [5]. We can extrapolate this information towards healing lesions from acne, eczema and psoriasis. 

 AMLA BERRY


amla berry

Amla berry, also known as Indian gooseberry is an Ayurvedic herb which is incredibly rich in vitamin C. It has been traditionally used internally and externally as a source of antioxidants to reverse signs of aging and promote the production of healthy hair, skin and nails. On top of preventing damage from environmental exposure and UV-radiation, amla extract in research on human skin cells demonstrated its ability to increase the production of an early form of collagen, procollagen [6]. So not only does it halt the breakdown of collagen from external damage, but it also helps build more collagen!

Due to its high vitamin C content, similar to our Kakadu Plum Serum, amla berry is theorized to decrease acne and hyperpigmentation from scarring and sun damage. However, more research needs to be done on this berry’s specific abilities! 

CAMU CAMU

Surprise, surprise, yet another berry whose claim to fame is its vitamin C content! We love camu camu because it is the most similar to the kakadu plum in terms of the vitamin C and antimicrobial acids it contains. At this point, we’re sure that you must know all the wonderful benefits of vitamin C in skincare products but we will list them again here for good measure! Vitamin C is an antioxidant which protects the skin from any external damage, whether its direct trauma, or damage from the environment (ie. pollution and UV-radiation). This helps to prevent breakdown of collagen and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. 

Moreover, camu camu contains niacin, which along with vitamin C decreases over-production of melanin in the skin which contributes to hyperpigmentation and dark spots [7]. This makes the skin appear bright with an even complexion. Similar to the kakadu plum, camu camu contains ellagic acid, which is an anti-microbial acid that can help decrease outbreaks of acne [7].

SAGE LEAF

sage leaf reliv organics

Traditionally, sage leaf (Salvia officinalis) has been used in teas for coughs and bacterial infections. Topically, sage has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory acids, which have been used for fungal or bacterial skin infections as well as general inflammation of the skin [8]. This means that it can be used for chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. In mouse models, sage oil has shown anti-tumor potential, decreasing growth and volume of cancerous cells [9].

Its use in aromatherapy is mainly to provide an uplifting scent which is equally as soothing and relaxing. It is often used in combination with other essential oils such as rosemary to promote increased attention and memory.

LEMONGRASS

lemon grass

Lemongrass essential oil has a familiar scent, which is often used in aromatherapy to temporarily decrease stress and feelings of anxiety [10]. You might easily recognize this essential oil’s beautiful fragrance from Thai cuisine, but lemongrass oil also has wonderful benefits for the skin!

In research, lemongrass oil has shown to be anti-bacterial, even against certain tough drug-resistant bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, which lives on the skin normally but when it overpopulates can cause acne or other skin infections [11]. Additionally, lemongrass has been shown to be useful in cases of fungal overgrowth, specifically candida, as well [12]. In general, this oil is anti-inflammatory and can soothe irritated skin, which is why we couldn’t help but include it in our matcha facial cleanser!


*All ingredients are certified USDA Organic. 

References:

 1. Dietz C & Matthijs D. 2017. Effect of green tea phytochemicals on mood and cognition, Current Pharmaceutical Design. 23(19):2876-2905. 

2. Weiss DJ & Anderon C. 2003. Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography, Journal of Chromatography A. 1011(1-2):173-180. 

3. Kim J, Hwang J-S, Cho Y-K, Han Y, Jeon Y-J & Yang K-H. 2001. Protective effects of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate on UVA- and UVB-induced skin damage, Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. 14(1):11-19 

4. Grobel H & Murphy S. 2004. Acne vulgaris and acne rosacea, Integrative Medicine 4th Ed. Elsevier Inc.  

5. Ali A, Akhtar N, & Chowdhary F. 2014. Enhancement of human skin facial revitalization by moringa leaf extract cream, Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, 31(2):71-76. 

6. Fukii T, Wakaizumi M, Ikami T & Saito M. 2008. Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) extract promotes procollagen production and inhibits matrix metalloproteinase-1 in human skin fibroblasts, Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 119(1):53-57

7. Fracassetti D, Costa C, Moulay L & Tomas-Barberan F. 2013. Ellagic acid derivatives, ellagitannins, proanthocyanidins and other phenolics, vitamin C and antioxidant capacity of two powder products from camu-camu fruit (Myrciaria dubia), Food Chemistry. 139(1-4):578-588.

8. Dawid-Pac R. 2013. Medicinal plants used in treatment of inflammatory skin, Advances in Dermatology and Allergology. 30(3):170-177. 

9. Gali-Muhtasib HU & Affara NI. 2000. Chemopreventive effects of sage oil on skin papillomas in mice, Phytomedicine. 7(2):129-136.

10. Costa Goes T, Carvalho Ursulino FR, Almeida-Souza TH, Alves PB and Teixeira-Silva F. 2015. Effect of lemongrass aroma on experimental anxiety in humans, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 21(12).

11. Naik MI, Ahmad Fomda B, Jaykumar E & Ahmad Bhat J. 2010. Antibacterial activity of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) oil against some selected pathogenic bacterias, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine. 3(7): 535-538.

12. De Bona da Silva C, Guterres SS, Weisheimer V & Schapoval EES. 2008. Antifungal activity of the lemongrass oil and citral against Candida spp. Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases. 12(1).