By Caylie Warkentin
From leafy greens in our fridge to botanicals in our skincare, plants have the power to bring nourishment to every area of our life. Plant-based cosmetic ingredients have long been used in cosmetic products, and are beloved for their plethora of botanical benefits, like acting as antioxidants protecting against environmental pollution or providing a rich source of essential vitamins. These are our favourite plant-based ingredients that we use in our lip product formulas.
Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)
In recent years wellness has intersected with beauty – our skincare routines are no longer regimens but rituals, and our beauty products seek to honour our inner glow with healthful, holistic ingredients that nourish our bodies. The incorporation of vitamin D into our lip care seeks to seamlessly merge wellness and beauty in recognition of this interconnectivity between our inner health and our outward glow.
While the most abundant and well-known source of vitamin D comes from the sun, synthetically produced vitamin D is essential for many whose exposure to sunlight is limited. It is produced naturally in our bodies when sunlight comes into contact with our skin. Man-made vitamin D comes in both D2 and D3 form. While traditional vitamin D3 is derived from animal byproducts, our vitamin D3 is produced synthetically in a lab and is entirely organic and vegan.
Vitamin D is essential in promoting the absorption of calcium, regulating cell turnover and cell growth, and is an antioxidant that can mitigate the effects of free radicals. It can also calm inflammation, including skin conditions like psoriasis. We feel good knowing that with every swipe of our lip product we’re boosting our essential dose of the sunshine vitamin.
Hemp Seed Oil (Cannabis Sativa)
We’re a big fan of hemp - both sprinkled on avocado toast and incorporated into our beauty products. Hemp seed oil, a derivative of the Cannabis sativa plant, is an oil made from cold-pressing dried hemp seeds that grow along the stem of the plant in clusters.
Hemp seed oil contains an abundance of essential fatty acids including Omega 3 and Omega 6, as well as linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and gamma-linoleic acid, fatty acids that promote skin health and lead to a radiant appearance. Hemp seed oil also displays antioxidant properties which aid in minimizing the effects of environmental free radicals like pollution and smoke, as well as signs of premature aging caused by environmental pollutants, including fine lines around the mouth area.
Hemp seed oil is also deeply moisturizing and hydrates the skin which in turn regulates oil production. For lips that are prone to feeling chapped, hemp seed oil will hydrate them and leave them feeling smooth and supple, especially in harsher winter months.
Castor Seed Oil (Ricinus Communis)
Castor oil is a plant-derived oil extracted from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant, a plant that is native to the Mediterranean and parts of Africa and India. The oil is a buttery yellow colour and is used medicinally, pharmaceutically, industrially, and cosmetically. The oil is made by heating the seeds of the plant and extracting the oils.
Castor oil is often consumed orally and used as a digestive aide. It is rich in linoleic acids and when applied topically it can act as a humectant that retains moisture in the skin. Castor oil is also rich in vitamin E and fatty acids which promote supple, hydrated skin, which in turn can reduce the appearance of premature aging by minimizing the look of fine lines and supporting collagen and elastin production. Castor oil also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which can reduce and soothe inflamed skin and acne.
Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera)
Coconut oil has remained consistent in its popularity and is revered for its multi-purpose uses – at the same time that we were using coconut oil in our frying pan, we were also slathering it into our hair and across our skin. As the name suggests, coconut oil comes from the fruit of the Cocos nucifera tree. Coconut oil is derived from ‘copra’, or the fresh or dried meat of the coconut palm fruit. The plant-based oil is used by both the food and cosmetic industries.
Coconut oil is occlusive, which means it locks moisture into the skin by creating a protective barrier. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, myristic acid, and caprylic acid, as well as other beneficial fatty acids. Similar to castor oil, coconut oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial which can help ease inflamed and acne-prone skin. By pairing coconut oil with a hydrating plant-based oil, it can lock moisture into the skin leading to supple, hydrated skin. It can also minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Candelilla wax (Euphorbia Cerifera)
We love candelilla wax as a plant-based alternative to beeswax. If you are vegan, seek plant-based wellness beauty products, or have an allergy to beeswax and pollen, keep an eye out for candelilla wax in the ingredient list. It’s a plant-based emollient that binds oils with liquids to produce balms, creams, and lotions and provides a medium for botanical oils and butters.
Candelilla wax is made by harvesting the Euphorbia antisyphilitica plant, a perennial that grows low to the ground in clusters of waxy, cacti-like stems. The wax is made by harvesting the cacti-like stems and boiling them whole with sulfuric acid, which separates the wax from the water molecules and is then skimmed off and filtered before being incorporated into beauty products.
Candelilla wax is used to bind oils and liquids in beauty products, but it doesn’t act just as a binding agent. The plant also has benefits when used topically, like soothing skin and boosting hydration. Due to its hydrating qualities, it can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, it can add shine to hair.
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