One of the main benefits of having a store in addition to selling online is that we get to chat to our lovely customers first hand about their main skin concerns. About this time of year pigmentation and brown spots is one of the main topics of conversation. Having one or two of them myself (I’m not yet ready to call them age spots - I prefer to think of them as reminders of long summers in NZ), lately I have been trialing a few of the new products aimed at hyper-pigmentation and have to say the results are exciting.
While I credit the Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum for halting any further pigmentation last Summer, this Summer I have been trying the new Brightening range from Amala. With an impressive organic ingredients list and third party clinical trials these products are so far working a treat for dullness and skin tone and although I haven’t used them long enough, just yet, to see their full fading potential, so far I think I’ve noticed some lightening on a quite large ‘sun-spot’!
Who? How? Why? Aimed at brightening dull, uneven skin tone and fading marks or pigmentation the range also has benefits for those with acne scarring and sallow skin or those looking to prevent as well as correct hyper-pigmentation. (Yes me!)
Centered around a ‘synergistic cocktail of nature’s most powerful brightening actives’, there are a couple of stand out ingredients which I predict are set to gain hero status in the world of natural and organic skincare. The first is Organic Narcissus and the second is Sea Algae. First, let’s take a look at what Organic Narcissus has to offer.
Used in this range in two forms, flower extract and bulb extract, both have proven benefits for pigmentation. How they do this is the interesting part. During the winter, flower bulbs go into a dormant phase to protect themselves from harsh climate conditions and to prepare to bloom in spring. During this dormancy period, the flower bulb’s cell growth slows down considerably. When applied to the skin, Amala’s dormant Narcissus Bulb Extract has the ability to slow down the synthesis of melanin, the skin pigment that leads to dark spots. Narcissus Bulb also has the added benefit of helping to soften the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – always a bonus as far as those of us who are 40+ are concerned. Meanwhile the Narcissus Flower Extract helps by providing high potency antioxidants, which help to defend the skin from the environmental factors that may lead to discoloration. Clever flowers!
Second up is Amala’s Algae Extract, sourced from Norwegian Kelp harvested on northern France’s Atlantic coast. This class of algae is known amongst the scientific community as one of the most active seaweeds in the world. Exposed daily to harsh UV radiation in the water, Norwegian Kelp has the ability to self-regulate its pigmentation. When applied on the skin, this powerful extract helps inhibit melanin production at multiple phases of the synthesis process, to help brighten the appearance of dark spots. It is also rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which fight the free radical damage that causes discolorations and sallow tone. By boosting cellular turnover and activating skin’s natural exfoliation enzyme, this Algae Extract also optimizes skin’s ability to eliminate dull, pigmented cells from its surface for more luminous, uniform clarity. Clever seaweed!
The other aspect of this range that I really like is the dual action, both preventing further damage and helping to correct existing.
Prevention: a combination of Algae Extract, Red Currant Juice, Calendula and Butterfly Bush Extract fortifies the skin’s resistance to future dark spots with high potency antioxidants.
To understand how antioxidants truly benefit the skin think of the flesh of an apple turning brown as it is exposed to the air. We need to stop the brown! It is the free radicals, which cause oxidation of the melanin pigment as it rises through the layers of the skin toward the surface. Antioxidants fight free radical damage to help inhibit the colour-intensifying oxidation of melanin.
The inclusion of Calendula, Jojoba and Almond infuses a surge of brightening moisture to strengthen skin’s lipid barrier. This barrier is skin’s key defense mechanism against the environmental aggressors helping to further prevent skin dullness and discolorations.
Correction: Narcissus Bulb, Algae Extract, Seven Alpine Herbs, Daisy, and Wheat Bran Extract (gluten-free) helps to inhibit excess production of melanin at its source.
We’ve looked at Algae Extract already but Daisy is also interesting. Wildcrafted Daisy Flower Extract also helps control excess melanin formation to boost even skin tone and help reduce the colour intensity of dark spots. While Organic Butterfly Bush is proven to effectively fight the free radicals resulting from UVB radiation and photochemical ozone pollution – essential for sun worshipers.
Ever the fan of herbs, I love the inclusion of the Seven Alpine Herb mix. Mallow, Peppermint, Cowslip, Lady’s Mantle, Veronica, Yarrow and Melissa make up a potent cocktail of medicinal herbs proven to help reverse excess melanin production at its source, helping to reduce the intensity of skin discolorations.
What others think. Clinical trials have been impressive. The Brightening Corrective Complex results after 4 weeks were as follows • 100% of participants showed significant improvement in skin firmness • 90% demonstrated significantly increased skin elasticity • 90% showed significant improvement in skin smoothness • 100% demonstrated significant improvement in skin hydration • Also proven in 28 days to significantly increase cell renewal After 12 weeks 86% of participants demonstrated significantly improved skin brightness. The Brightening Treatment Cream showed the same results at 12 weeks with a slight reduction in the firmness (95%) at 4 weeks.
These are definitely products to consider adding to your regime if you have spent this Summer courting or trying to dodge the sun! Watch this space as we will be launching a new acupuncture facial for scarring using the Amala range.