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Skin Care and Cosmetics, Naturally!

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: October 26, 2006, from the October 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

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To maintain healthy hair, keep skin hydrated and battle environmental stressors that contribute to premature aging, there’s a crop of protectants that can readily be seen as the new wonders of nature’s miraculous storehouse.

Fruits and plants are being utilized in products that are designed to firm and hydrate the skin, and plant-derived phytoestrogen and glycosaminoglycan, said to improve elasticity, have been used to address concerns associated with dry or hormonally imbalanced skin. Murad’s Resurgence Renewal Home Facial Kit was designed to combat hormonal aging. “As women age, the production of key hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, begin to decline, leaving other hormones, such as testosterone, more dominant,” said Howard Murad, MD, a dermatologist, CEO and founder, Murad Inc. “This hormonal imbalance results in changes in the skin.” Murad’s home facial kit combines a blend of plant-derived phytoestrogens—which are facial hair growth inhibitors, blemish fighters, antioxidants and firming agents—that work to restore vibrancy to the skin and help it stay balanced.

Nourishing Naturals for Hair

Hair care has seen a surge in the use of plant, nut and fruit extracts for a variety of treatment products. Klorane Laboratories, for example, launched Klorane Beautifying Shampoo with Pomegranate Extract for Color Treated hair. The product is rich in tannins designed to fix colorants to keratin for longer-lasting color. It also contains a vegetal lipoprotein for repairing action, as well as a natural polysaccharide to moisturize and protect. Karite Intense Nourishing Shampoo from Rene Furterer contains shea, the natural active karate, to nourish hair, and 12% nutritive oils based on shea and coprah oils to provide nutrition for scalp and hair. The new formula incorporates phospholipids for in-depth action, and a cationic polymer for detangling, smoothing and protection of hair shafts.

Jason Natural Products recently introduced Natural Salon Hair Care to volumize, moisturize, style and treat hair without chemicals or moisture-stripping cleansers. The company has sourced ingredients from both land and sea to formulate natural products designed to address issues inherent in chemically treated hair. Jason’s Plumeria & Sea Kelp Hair Moisturizing System includes natural marine botanicals to moisturize, reduce frizz and add shine. Its Mint & Rose Intense Moisture Treatment treats dry hair with shea butter and avocado oil, while rose flower oil nourishes the scalp.

A Garden of Earthly Delights

Natural beauty boosters range from the wildly esoteric to the longtime comforters with homegrown appeal that has been passed down through the generations and across cultures. Honey continues to be an ingredient of choice when it comes to natural products that boast healing properties. It’s 100% natural and has moisturizing, softening and stimulating properties. In addition, honey works in a variety of cleansing and bath and body formulations. L’Occitane, for example, has developed a honey blend composed of propolis, honey and royal jelly that is said to strengthen, nourish and soothe the skin.