Zero synthetics. Zero harm. All the love.
Are Vitamin serums worth all of the hype they're getting out there?
Vitamin A serums... Vitamin C serums... Vitamin E serums... Retinol and Retin-A potions... they're out there, and they're everywhere.
But are they effective? Are they safe? Are the worth sometimes hundreds of dollars for a small bottle of liquid that claims to be an anti-aging wonder?
We're diving into the facts and fiction of these vitamin serums and boosts that are flooding the market.
Fasten your seatbelt and follow along... if you've already experimented with the conventional vitamin serums, then you may be in for a bumpy ride.
You Asked for It
Our doors are wide-open for communication. We not only get wonderful emails and inquiries from you in writing, but between our Skin Studios in Wisconsin and California, we get to meet and chat with friends and customers about their skin wishes. We also get to listen.
Over the last year or two, we've been asked regularly if we have a Vitamin A serum, a Vitamin C serum, or something with Retinol in it. We've seen the ads promising clearer skin, age-defying results, and a fountain of youth in each drop.
What isn't being shared in these ads is that the form of Vitamin C that is used in serums, which is ascorbic acid, is not a stable chemical. When it's exposed to water and air, it oxidizes. An oxidized chemical in a formula doesn't offer the benefits it touts. By the way, on a daily basis, thousands of bottles of ascorbic acid are purchased online and elsewhere. It's a false assumption that ascorbic acid is the same as Vitamin C. It's only a small part of it and not the whole Vitamin C at all. This means the product isn't going to deliver the results.
Those serums and facial treatments with Retinol have more than meets the eye to them as well. What you won't find on the label is the fact that Retinol is found to be unsafe on the skin and is already banned from use in cosmetics and skincare in other countries. As seen here in its rating on EWG.org Skin Deep's database in a very hazardous 9 on a scale of 1-10.
From this database, regarding the study of Retinol, "One or more studies show tumor formation at very low doses," but, as it continues... "only for skin, lips." Only for skin and lips... and in low doses. It goes on, "One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results."
Because we've listened to you, and because there are cleaner, safer, and better ways to treat our skin, just 90 days ago we launched our Purely Suite Serum Boosts to address these needs and squash these concerns. Zero synthetics. Zero harm. All the love.
Like an Orchestra with Many Parts
Whole plant actives... the way they play together and deliver results is like music to our ears.
We love the benefits that we feel and see from plants. All of our formulas are made with individual ingredients that we hand select. Buying something pre-mixed and putting a label on it is very common for many brands out there who have their own 'proprietary' formulas. This is something we will have nothing to do with.
When you buy a pre-made meal in a can and add it to your plate, is it considered homemade? Haha ~ no! :) But when you source all of your ingredients from the farmers market, or hand select your ingredients for your dinner... THAT'S homemade. Fresh, healthy, and nourishing, right down to the very last forkful. There's a difference when you make something and enjoy it right away. When it's made with heavy preservatives long ago, and then opened to enjoy, we're missing the real benefit.
Every ingredient, every plant active, every raw material, every botanical ~ with each of these comes hundreds of naturally occurring chemicals and vitamins, called plant constituents. All of these lovely plant parts work together to protect each other. We blend and fulfill our products shortly before we share them with you. Our body, our mind, and our skin know the difference.
In the plant world, it's similar to an orchestra. Each instrument, or plant constituent, plays an important role in making the music, or product, beautiful.
Synthetic or Authentic Chemicals ~ Is there a Safe Chemical for Skin?
If you don't have a green thumb, there are some really beautiful plastic and silk plants that can be purchased to brighten up a space... and they never need watering, sunlight, or care.
Step aside, fake plants! Even though many fake plants are beautiful to look at, they can't filter the air, reduce carbon dioxide levels, and increase humidity levels in a room like a real, living, and 'breathing' plant can.
Getting your Vitamin N (from nature) while walking in the woods, or your Vitamin Sea by taking a dip in the ocean, is great for your health. Is it only because we've stepped out of our routine to do it... or is it?!
We're surround by beneficial bacteria all of our lives ~ both in our environment where we live, and also in the air that we breathe. The more we interact with these bacteria, the happier and healthier we are.
Plants and the natural healthy bacteria that lives on them produce ... guess what ... the essential oils to fight off harmful microorganisms. They're literally like plant-derived exterminators! The bacteria that are all around us, the essential oils and oils derived from plants, and the negative ions that are found in forests and near bodies of water, all influence and work well together. It's like another orchestra making beautiful music.
In every plant there are not only the vitamins and antioxidants, but also hundreds and hundreds of other healthy chemicals. When synthetic antioxidants and chemicals are put together, it's to try to mimic the benefits of all of those hundreds and hundreds of healthy chemicals in the plant. BUT, this doesn't begin to compare to the authentic and unaltered chemicals that the plants share with us.
That being said, how possibly can a synthetic, man-made chemical compound compete with the combinations of naturally occurring antioxidants, vitamins, and free-radical fighting, skin-loving elements that are found within the plant world? The short of it is ... these synthetic chemicals can't compete with the real deal. But companies are cutting corners and are making millions of dollars trying.
Like this cute image below, there's no need to stick our heads in the sand over this, but we can certainly keep digging for healthy answers! Educating ourselves, but even easier than that, reading our ingredients and taking our health in our own hands once in a while, not only gives us the tools to make those healthy decisions, but the side effects are healthy and continue to develop over time... all in a wonderful way.Image via Californiabeaches.com
Why do we love our Vitamin Serum Boosts?
Vitamins in their most natural and richest forms ~ skin-loving and boosting when and where you need it.
We often say that our day and night serums are like a well rounded meal of vitamins, antioxidants, humectants, and phytonutrients because of the variety of oils and actives in each drop that is massaged into our complexion. Where our botanical toning waters give the skin the proper pH and hydration, together, when mixed with our day or night serums, the moisture that our skin craves comes from the oils.
Now we have the ability to add an extra vitamin boost where and when we need it, all in its purest and most fresh state. Nothing added, nothing taken away, and all wonderfully skin benefitting.
Let's get up close and personal with each of our serum boosts.
First, our Purely Cranberry Serum Boost ~ our organic cranberry seed oil comes directly from the super fruit... cranberry. Cranberry is uniquely the only natural plant oil that boasts the perfect blend of the Omegas 3, 6, and 9. These are antioxidants that help to not only fight the free radicals that cause premature aging, but because of the natural amounts of healing Vitamins A and E, any skin that has gone through trauma, is in a state of healing, and is inflamed can benefit from this boost. Cranberry is also one of the oils known to offer resilience again harmful UVA/UVB rays. Different than a sunblock, it's absorbed into the complexion, softens, hydrates, and protects the skin with only naturally occurring phytonutrients. We love to use our Purely Cranberry Serum Boost in the morning in conjunction with our Day Serums.
Next, our Purely Rosehip Serum Boost ~ known to be the richest source of Vitamins A and C, it replaces the typical oxidized Vitamin C serum, as well as the harmful Retinol products. In case a label on a serum of yours contains various names and you're not sure if it's a Retinol or not, here are some of their other names... Retinyl palmitate, retinol, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, isotretinoin, and tazarotene. These are all various forms of retinoids, which in turn are various forms of synthetic and toxic Vitamin A. Our organic rosehip seed oil is unique in that it comes from both the rosehip seed and the rosehip fruit, packing an extra punch. What many experience from rosehip is an evening of skin tone, natural hydration, firmer skin to the touch, fading of scars, and general brightening. The anti-inflammatory fatty acids help to treat wrinkles. Dr. Sonam Yadav, a cosmetic dermatologist, refers to these acids and vitamins by saying, "These ingredients allow rosehip oil to treat signs of aging and pigmentation, hydrate skin and repair damaged skin, and provide a strong protective antioxidant boost — all without the oily feel of a traditional liquid oil." We love to use our Purely Rosehip Serum Boost with our Night serums while we regenerate, recharge, and rest. Note: this is a very delicate and rich oil, and it is our only treatment that needs refrigeration. When we share it with you, we share a small glass vial for your daily use needs in your skincare bag. Keeping the full size in the refrigerator keeps it fresh and ready for you to fill your handy vial.
Finally, our Purely Squalane Serum Boost There is an oil that has been circulating out there for years, called squalene, and this is very different. Squalene comes from sharks and their oil; squalane comes from olives and plants. Big difference! We love our Purely Squalane Serum Boost for those that want a clear, matte, and indivisible layer of natural antioxidants on their skin, all the while holding in moisture while still feeling dry. It's a dry, colorless oil without any aroma at all, and once on the skin, it disappears into a soft antioxidant veil. The human body already produces squalene, which helps our skin stay moist. But as early as in our 20s, the amount made and retained in our skin is reduced dramatically. Without ample antioxidants on our complexion, our skin is exposed to the free radicals that cause the premature aging. Beneficial even for the oily and acne-prone skin, it's a skin-loving oil to be used after a Day or Night Serum. It is also a clean and fresh replacement for the popular makeup primers that are full of silicones and other pore-clogging plastics and synthetics.
Why does our skin love Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Antioxidants?
The natural vitamins and antioxidants that are found in plants can oxidize over time, but it is a MUCH slower process than the extracts, vitamins and antioxidants that are found in the typical vitamin serums found on commercial shelves.
Because each plant contains hundreds of other healthy chemical compounds, the benefits in each drop of our healthy, fresh serums are much more pure, potent, and not harmful.
Why does our skin love Vitamin A? Known as a natural healer, Vitamin A is important for cellular rejuvenation and production. The cells that develop the tissue that keeps skin firm and healthy is stimulated and reminded to keep developing healthy cells... all by Vitamin A.
Why does our skin love Vitamin C? Naturally occurring Vitamin C in skincare, not the oxidized kind(!), is touted as being a wonderful anti-aging vitamin. Vitamin C helps to target skincare concerns that have developed from pollution, sun damage, and the elements. Remember like we mentioned further up in this post, even though ascorbic acid is said to be Vitamin C, it is only a small part of it and not the entire Vitamin C component; the benefits are not similar.
Why does our skin love antioxidants? Antioxidants are already part of our skin's cellular structure. Adding antioxidants to our skincare routine can help to protect it by limiting the production of free radicals, which are responsible for premature aging and damaging skin cells.
"The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People"
You may be wondering what this has to do with skincare? We'll tell you.
We're creatures of habit and, for the most part, we love our routines. It's been said that it takes about 21 days, or 21 repeats of a certain task to become a habit. Exercising, adding something nutritional and wholesome into your daily eating patterns, or practicing self-care with skin-loving and authentic treatments, with a little time, it's a regular part of our routine without a second thought.
In this classic book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People," author Stephen R. Covey, the author mentions that one of the habits of highly successful people is that they take the time for self care.
The self care reference in the book is called 'sharpening the saw.' Think of a lumberjack getting ready for the work ahead and the woods that he's looking at. He plans ahead of time for the chore and sharpens his tool before he gets to work. This makes his job much easier! Over time, if we don't prepare ourselves for the task at hand, eventually we'll be ineffective at what we're trying to accomplish.
- Habit 1: Be Proactive
- Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
- Habit 3: Put First Things First
- Habit 4: Think Win-Win
- Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
- Habit 6: Synergize
- Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Taking that time to 'sharpen the saw' is like the time that we take to charge our phones or our laptops. We're recharging what we need to work with later. We should take the same steps for ourselves ~ even just a little bit every day ~ to chisel away at what lies ahead in an effective and well rested, or well charged(!) manner.
We've said it before and it's always worth repeating. Feeling great and looking great is not only a state of mind, it's a lot of little parts that come together to make up the big picture. Keeping our food healthy and avoiding synthetic and pre-packaged, highly preserved meals robs our bodies of the healthy nutrients and vitamins our body needs to keep trekking. About 70% of our health comes from what we eat, and the other 30% comes from exercise. Regarding our skincare, almost 70% of what we put on our skin is absorbed and enters our blood stream in less than 30 seconds.
My parents have long been gone so I look for 'parenting' advice, mentoring, and life goals from other known sources. My mom had a debilitating stroke when I was 17, and when I was in my early 30s with two children at home I'll never forget what she said to me. She said, "Lisa, if you don't take care of those kids, if you don't give them discipline, then who will?" After her stroke, she often jumbled and lost her words...but she spoke this sentence perfectly. It rang loud and true in my ears, and in my heart.
The same can be said of ourselves. If we don't take good care of ourselves, then who will?
It comes down to these two points: (1) just do something ~ sitting around and only thinking about 'it' doesn't make 'it' happen. And (2) make a plan for that action that you're thinking about. Chart your course, and set sail!
It is often an investment of only moments of our day to recharge, self-care, and sharpen our tool. As it relates to our biggest organ, our Skin Suites are a two minute routine to cleanse, nourish, clear, and pamper our complexion. Just 20 minutes of brisk walking a day has been shown to increase our metabolism and improve our heart rate. And sitting down to nourish our bodies, rather than standing at the kitchen sink, helps us not only be aware of what we're eating, but it stimulates our senses so we can enjoy our moments of eating.
Simple habits, successful results.
If we don't have our health, what do we have?
Your July Special
You've probably guessed by now that the special for July is going to be on our three Serum Boosts. Yes! Last month we highlighted the benefits of our botanical toning waters, and our day and night serums. How can we follow with anything other than our Serum Boosts for our day and night serums?! Well, we can't... so here we go.
If you're new to our Serum Boosts, we have a Purely Suite Discovery Kit for sampling. It's not a part of this monthly special, but it's currently $20 and contains all three serum boosts ready to experience and discover.
Pull the Weeds, Plant the Seeds
Make it happen
Every garden has weeds. All of us have our quirks. Sometimes those quirks get in the way of feeling our best. We pull the weeds so the flowers or fruit in the garden can grow without being robbed of something the weed is grabbing for itself. We chisel away at our quirks, work on our habits that may need improving, or align our routines to be smarter and more productive.
If we don't plant the seeds, we know for a fact that we won't see the flowers. Then we water, we offer sunshine, and we care for those seeds for sometimes months before we even see a sprout.
I love trees, flowers, botanicals, twigs, and all the living flora around us. In part it's because I've felt and seen the benefits in my skin and overall health from plants, and the other part is that I just love looking at them! :)
BELOW: I snapped the image below of this native wildflower patch in the Festge County Park near our Wisconsin Skin Studio. The volunteers for this park pull the weeds, and as you can see, their efforts pay off. Thousands of native botanicals shine every year.
If we keep with it, if we make it a part of our regular routine, we'll be blown away from what comes of our efforts ~ in the garden, at home, at the dinner plate, with our health, or with our skin.
Keep pulling the weeds, water and nourish what you have, and enjoy the beautiful blossom that comes of it.
~ fresh ~ natural ~ sumptuous ~
~ non-toxic, organic, proven, and high-performing ~
~ award-winning botanical treatments handmade in WI and CA ~