Pumice – complex geology in a familiar form

Pumice stone is the end product of an amazing natural force – the volcano.

As a natural ingredient it has some unique properties including low density, lightness and abrasiveness which make it ideal in exfoliating and polishing products.

From a marketing view point, pumice manages to combine scientific complexity with familiarity. Most people recognise a pumice stone as a humble household object – yet delving deeper into the scientific origins of pumice open up a much more complex picture requiring at least a superficial understanding of geology. [Read more…]

Why Moroccan women love rhassoul clay

Moisturizing and full of minerals Rhassoul clay has been the beauty treatment of choice for generations of women in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

Not all clays are created equal and rhassoul clay differs from others in its unique composition. Whilst it is extremely absorbent and great for cleansing skin it is moisturizing as well.

Many clays are known to strip oil from the skin but treatment with rhassoul clay leaves skin buttery soft. [Read more…]

The anti ageing secret of the oyster pearl

ancient empress wearing pearls

Used for over 2000 years in China in both traditional medicine and topical applications – pearl powder is an exciting and effective natural active for skin care.

Particularly effective in anti ageing products, pearl powder smoothes, softens and nourishes skin and maintains skin tone.

Perhaps the two most important strands of skin care research currently – in reaction to consumer demand – are the search for anti ageing skin care and naturally active skin care. [Read more…]

The hard nut that creates naturally soft skin

There is nothing unfamiliar or startling about the walnut. But – despite their familiarity – walnuts can be used as an attractive exfoliating ingredient in any natural skin care range.

Walnuts are well known and loved as a food. They have associations for the Western consumer of treats – cakes, Christmas holidays, luscious puddings, chocolate fillings, rich toffee sauces, salad oils.

Walnut wood has associations of luxury and style with its deep richly coloured patina and quality finish. The nut itself is visually intricate and appealing. [Read more…]

Rainforest fruit is a natural moisturiser

Cupuaçu fruit has long been a primary food source in the Amazonian rainforest for both indigenous tribes and animals alike but for dermatologists and cosmetic scientists it offers a highly effective ingredient for natural skin care and hair care.

The Cupuaçu tree is native to the Amazon, most notably to the northern region of Brazil. It is a small to medium sized tree – at least by rainforest standards.

A fully grown tree can reach up to 20 metres in height putting it at the lower levels of the rainforest canopy. [Read more…]

The legend of the dragon fruit

When you look at a dragon fruit the origins of its common name may appear obvious.But despite the fact that they are now grown in suitable climates all over the world – dragon fruit are actually native to Central and South America.

Not necessarily the land of dragons you may think. Pitaya or Pitahaya, as they were always known in their native land, are one of the most widely distributed members of the cactaceae family.

Genus Hylocereus has three species of dragon fruit and there is one additional species in the genus Selenicereus. [Read more…]

An ancient beauty treatment that works

Argan oil has been used as a natural beauty treatment by generations of Berber women in the mountains of Southern Morroco.

Berber women may not be able to identify just what it is about argan oil that makes such a difference to their hair and skin.

They are unlikely to talk to you about the high levels of wrinkle reducing tocopherol (vitamin E) and unsaturated fatty acids in the rich golden oil they have smeared on their skin for hundreds of years. [Read more…]

Exotic fruit with anti ageing properties

The pitaya – or dragon fruit as it is commonly known – is a stunningly beautiful fruit with an intense colour, intriguing shape and delicious taste.

As if that weren’t enough dragon fruit also have gorgeous flowers which waft heady perfume into the night air.

But for cosmetic scientists it is the anti ageing and skin firming properties of this exotic wonder fruit that offer such interesting possibilities. [Read more…]