There are many skin care products out on the market that claim to fight dry skin, signs of aging, acne, discoloration, hyperpigmentation and more. They contain many properties such as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, antimicrobials, vitamins and minerals that promote healthy skin. But what are these properties and what exactly do they do in terms of our skin?
In this post, we’ll dive deep into skin care jargon, what each property is, how they help our skin, and what you can find them in - from natural items in your kitchen to simple essential oils you can find at the store.
What are Antioxidants (and Why Do we Care)?
You’ve probably heard how great antioxidants are for you and your skin in fighting free radicals and oxidative stress. But how? And why?
For starters, antioxidants are molecules that neutralize harmful free radicals in your body. Free radicals are compounds that may damage your body if their levels become too high and cause illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. They come from air pollutants, radiation, chemicals, and cigarette smoke.
Antioxidants don’t stop at fighting free radicals. They’re also known to brighten your skin, calm irritation, fight acne and rosacea, and smooth fine lines by lowering oxidative stress.
Your body has its own line of antioxidants, but they’re also found in many fruits like berries, vegetables, whole foods, vitamins A, C and E, green tea and even coffee and chocolate - and we aren’t complaining about that one!
There are many botanical oils that act as antioxidants:
Anti-Inflammatories and Their Benefits for Skin
Inflammation is your body’s built-in, natural defense mechanism to anything off track from what is normal, like foreign bacteria, viruses, irritants, and injuries.
When inflammation happens, the symptoms are usually redness, itchiness and swelling. There are many holistic approaches and topical ingredients to reduce and alleviate inflammation, including all-natural options.
There are a boatload of natural anti-inflammatories that can be applied topically either alone or with a carrier oil:
Clary sage oil (linalyl acetate)
Pomegranate seed oil (omega-5)
Chamomile oil (blocks the release of inflammation causing chemical, prostaglandin E2)
Vitamin E oil
Bergamot oil (linalyl acetate, citroen and bergapten)
Avocado oil (essential fatty acids and oleic acid)
Rosehip oil (linoleic acid, alpha-linoleic acid, and oleic acid)
Grapeseed oil (linoleic acid)
Juniper berry oil (monoterpenes)
Frankincense oil (limonene)
Antimicrobial, Antifungal, Antibacterial, and Antiseptic
An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or halts their growth and prevents the spread of bacteria, fungi, parasites and some viruses.
Natural forms of antimicrobials include:
An antibacterial acts against bacteria and destroys virus particles that may cause acne or other skin complications. Antibacterials keep your skin clean and healthy.
Natural antibacterials include:
An antifungal treats and prevents fungal infections, such as mycosis. Fungi can be found in plants, soil, and on your skin. They are microscopic organisms that typically don’t cause any problem, unless they multiply or penetrate your skin through an open wound.
Here are some antifungal properties in natural, botanical ingredients:
An antiseptic deters bacterial growth to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction.
Natural antiseptics in botanical oils include:
Antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic ingredients have similar properties in fighting bacteria, fungi, microbes, viruses and other harmful microorganisms that may cause acne, inflammation, or other skin complications.
Using products with more than one of the above properties will ensure that your skin is kept clean and healthy, and free of any harmful bacteria or fungi, especially in warmer months. To find body oil, face oil, or even hair oil (to keep your scalp clean and healthy) with all of the above properties and ingredients, check out krio’s Tacugama body oil, River No. 2 face oil, and Bintumani hair oil. Can’t decide on one product, try all three in a convenient and money-saving sample kit.
Vitamins: A, B, C, D, and E
Vitamin A supports skin, eye, reproductive health, and immune function. There are two types: retinoids (preformed vitamin A) and carotenoids (proformed vitamin A).
Your skin is a retinoid-responsive organ, readily available to absorb vitamin A when applied. Retinol stimulates the production of new skin cells and keeps skin hydrated.
Vitamin A can be found in many multivitamins, carrots, dark leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, and eggs.
For natural, topical oils containing vitamin A, look for these certain oils:
There are 12 B-complex vitamins that aim to fight signs of skin aging such as age spots and hyperpigmentation and improve overall skin health.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant which, as mentioned, may help reverse free radical-induced oxidative damage, thus slowing down signs of skin aging.
You may find vitamin C in many multivitamins, citrus fruits, as well as broccoli, cauliflower, and squash.
Applying vitamin C directly to the skin in topical form may improve elasticity, stimulate collagen production, moisturize, and fight the damaging effects of the sun.
Topical forms of vitamin C may be found in many natural, botanical oils:
Vitamin D supports skin cell metabolism, aiding in skin growth and repair. It also may help with inflammation, symptoms associated with acne and eczema.
Vitamin D can be found in fortified products such as milk and cereal, as well as salmon, swordfish, and tuna.
Natural, botanical oils contain vitamin D, too:
Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is also an antioxidant that may prevent free radical damage and slow signs of aging, help with atopic dermatitis, heal wounds, and treat acne and pressure sores.
Foods that are rich in vitamin E include seeds, nuts, spinach, mangoes, and corn.
There are many natural ingredients containing vitamin E:
Vitamins work hard for different purposes to keep skin looking young, feeling hydrated and nourished, and fighting off harmful toxins and free radicals. Thankfully, krio’s products contain these ingredients and more, to nourish your skin with essential vitamins and minerals to keep your skin looking younger and healthier.
Now that you have learned about the many properties that flood the labels of skincare products (antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, antimicrobials, antibacterials, antifungals, antiseptics, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E), you can be on the lookout for the properties you specifically need when shopping for skincare products.
All of the ingredients talked about in this blog post can be found in krio’s products: Tacugama body oil, River No. 2 face oil, and Bintumani hair oil. Whether you are looking for healthier skin, hydration after a long day in the sun, or to nourish your scalp and beard, there’s a product for you! You can even try all three in easy-to-pack mini sizes in our Anti-ashy body kit.
Don’t let unhealthy skin or skin complications get in your way of looking and feeling your best. Because remember: #BeingAshyIsNeverCool.