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Benefits of Using An Eye Cream

If you love beauty products, chances are that your skincare cabinet is full of toners, serums, moisturizers, facial oils, and everything in-between. You might be wondering if it’s worth the time, effort, and dwindling counter space to add another product to your skincare routine. So the question arises: Do you need an eye cream? The skin around the eyes is more fragile, prone to dryness, and quicker to show age and fatigue. Eye creams are targeted treatments that address these issues, along with offering an array of other benefits.

What Does An Eye Cream Do?

Have you ever noticed how after a long night, your eyes give you away the next day thanks to bags, dark circles, and puffiness? Or that some of the first signs of aging appear as crow’s feet and fine lines beneath the eyes? Hadley King, MD, a dermatologist in New York City, touches on this phenomenon by explaining, “The skin around the eyes is thin and fragile, which is why puffiness and signs of and aging often first become apparent in this delicate tissue.”1

The skin under your eyes requires special maintenance to keep it looking fresh, which is where eye creams come in. They’re formulated to target the delicate skin around the eyes while delivering moisture and specific ingredients that can lessen the look of bags, puffiness, and uneven tone. They can also help protect against signs of premature aging.

Regular Moisturizers vs. Eye Creams

Because well-formulated eye creams are targeted treatments, it’s important to understand how they differ from other skincare products. Targeted treatments are designed to address a specific condition or area of concern. This focus guides the development of more effective, more highly concentrated products with appropriate levels of active ingredients to address those concerns. Active ingredients can penetrate to support and engage the skin’s natural processes, helping it to function more optimally.

In contrast, ordinary moisturizers serve to temporarily soothe and lubricate skin on the surface. They are often formulated with ingredients that feel good on the skin, such as water, emollients, humectants, silicones, waxes, oils, and butters. However, unlike targeted treatments, regular moisturizers are typically designed to just address skin dryness. They are made to help prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by forming a film on the skin’s surface, and they can help condition skin to enhance softness and smoothness.

Another key difference is that well-formulated eye treatments are designed to work effectively while still being gentle enough to be used around the eyes. Because the eye region is fragile, and topicals can have a tendency to get into the eyes, active ingredients are carefully selected that are more suitable for use on this sensitive area of skin. Additionally, eye sensitivity and irritation testing helps to confirm product safety for use around the eyes.

5 Benefits of Eye Cream

Incorporating an eye cream into your daily skincare routine is an excellent preventative measure to help keep the skin firm, supple and healthy around your eyes. However, there are plenty of other reasons to use an eye cream, too. Here are a few of the benefits you can reap when you add an eye cream to your skincare regime:

Helps Prevent Signs of Premature Skin Aging

Two big culprits of premature skin aging are dehydration and environmental stressors. An effective eye cream packed with antioxidants and moisture-rich ingredients can help keep these aggressors at bay. Curated antioxidants, vitamins, and hydrators can help to smooth and revitalize skin, resulting in the diminished appearance of wrinkles and expression lines.

In a 2017 study, individuals using a hydrating eye cream saw an overall improvement around their eye region in 15 minutes, along with a decrease in the presence of fine lines for up to 56 days. 2

Pictured: A 44-year-old woman at baseline (A) and after 56 days of treatment (B) with a hydrating eye cream, wrinkles reduced by 74.23%. Source: US National Library of Medicine

Aids All Skin Types

As previously mentioned, the skin around the eyes can be highly sensitive, and it’s the location where signs of premature aging and damage first show up. For those who have dry skin, it’s especially tricky, because the dryness and flakiness around this region can be irritating. Those who have oily skin typically show fewer lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet on the surface versus their dry skin counterparts, however an eye cream can still be beneficial to address premature collagen loss, dark circles, and puffiness.

Delivers Excellent Hydration

According to Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai, hydrating your under eye area is incredibly important, as there are fewer oil glands in the region, meaning the area dries out quickly.3 The thin skin around your eyes needs a specialized kind of hydration, which eye creams can provide. They do this with a concentration of ingredients that combine humectants that draw in water, sealants that hold the water in over time, and emollients that condition skin for added softness and smoothness.

Offers Protection

Eye creams can also protect the skin around your eyes from further damage that your skin may have already been subjected to. Thin under-eye skin is more vulnerable and prone to irritants than the rest of the face. Eye creams may include ingredients that specifically add resilience to the area. Some makeup artists even apply eye cream before putting makeup on to add a layer of moisture and protection, keeping this region protected from harsh and damaging chemicals.

Soothes Tired Eyes

Eye creams may also include calming, nourishing ingredients to comfort the under-eye area. They are known to be rich and creamy or light and non-greasy, with a subtle coolness in temperature. Puffiness, a symptom of tired eyes, comes from fluid buildup that can be caused by things like sleep deprivation, allergies, and diet. “If the eye cream has a high concentration of caffeine, you can temporarily minimize eye puffiness and the look of tiredness,” says Jaliman. “This is because the caffeine constricts the blood vessels, which diminishes the flow of blood to the eye area and decreases puffiness.”4

Ingredients You Want In An Eye Cream

Eye creams can offer a wide array of benefits depending on the ingredients included to address your eye area needs. Here are some ingredients that are often used in high quality eye cream formulas:

  • Caffeine: Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor that gives tired-looking skin a boost and decreases the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.
  • Green Tea: With potent antioxidant power, green tea soothes and protects the vulnerable under-eye area and keeps it looking fresh.
  • Peptides: These amino acids constitute proteins like collagen and elastin that our skin needs. A dose of peptides can lead to more youthful-looking skin.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Known as ‘the moisture magnet,’ HA can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. This lubricating substance occurs naturally in our bodies and provides bounce and resilience to the skin.
  • Squalane: Squalane is a soother and hydrator that mimics our sebum for a visible plumping effect.
  • Retinol: This vitamin A derivative helps to plump and firm the skin while helping to diminish fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration.
  • Vitamin B3: Niacin or niacinamide, a crucial vitamin that supports moisture retention and an even skin tone.
  • Medicinal Mushrooms: These powerhouses often contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that soothe, calm, hydrate, and brighten the skin.
  • Aloe Vera: Tired, stressed eyes will appreciate aloe vera’s soothing, cooling, and hydrating properties.

How To Use An Eye Cream

Thankfully, working eye cream into your skincare routine is simple. Plus, it will only add a few seconds onto your existing regime. Your under eyes will immediately feel refreshed and invigorated. To get the most out of your eye cream, follow these dermatologist-approved steps:

Step 1: Prep Your Skin

Treat eye cream just like any other moisturizing product by priming your canvas for the hydration to come. Begin by using your go-to cleanser and toner to set the stage for maximum absorption. You may want to follow with a moisturizer, but this is an area of contention among experts—so go with whatever order of operation works best for you. Many prefer to apply eye cream before moisturizer, but if you forget, don’t worry. Just make sure you’re putting it on twice a day.

Step 2: Use A Very Small Amount

Since the eye area is so delicate, you don’t need to apply large amounts of product or use a heavy hand when it comes to eye cream. Before you measure out your amount, quickly rinse your hands to get any residue off of your fingertips, which could irritate sensitive skin. Then, apply a small amount to your ring finger to help you maintain a gentle touch during application.

Step 3: Apply the Eye Cream

Tap the eye cream that’s on your ring finger with the other ring finger, so it’s distributed evenly. Continue by tapping your fingers in a circle around both eyes. By tapping in a semi-circle shape from under the eye to the outer corners to the brow bone, you can help stimulate blood flow, allowing for better product absorption.

Eye Cream Tips and Tricks

Eye creams are a great way to pamper yourself, while also preventing signs of premature aging and giving eyes a brightening boost. When combined with healthy skincare products, a balanced diet, lots of water, sleep, and sunscreen, nothing can stop you from feeling and looking your best.

To reap the maximum benefits from your eye cream, try these tips and tricks:

  • Be gentle. Use a delicate touch, so you don’t aggravate your skin.
  • Follow the 90-second rule. Allow your eye cream to sink in and settle before you move on with your skincare or makeup routine.
  • Keep it consistent. Apply your eye cream morning and night to get consistently glowing results.
  • Cool it down. If the formulation allows, try storing your eye cream in the fridge. A chillier temperature can help refresh, de-puff, and soothe tired eyes.
  • Moisture is your friend. By applying eye cream to skin that’s just a little bit damp, it will seal in added moisture.
  • Pinch your brows to stimulate circulation and a lift. After ending your eye cream treatment, try brow pinching, which has roots in Ayurveda, and is meant to target certain pressure points to reduce puffiness and fine lines. Use small pinches with medium pressure.
  • Use a massage tool. If you have an eye massage tool, you can give yourself a gentle massage. Just be extra careful with the fragile area, and only use the weight of the tool to slide across the skin after applying eye cream.

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream

This exceptionally rich eye cream is formulated with key ingredients such as peptides, squalane, medicinal mushrooms, and aloe vera. Soothing, smoothing, and nourishing, this cream enlivens the look of the entire eye area. It immediately goes to work upon application, renewing the delicate skin present around your eyes. The concentrated formula has a dense consistency that sinks in and stays put. It won’t run into your eyes or string and can be used both day and night; alone or under makeup.

There is an abundance of skin-rejuvenating plant-based nutrients packed into this luscious eye cream formula. Full-spectrum whole hemp and adaptogens help to balance the skin’s stress response. Antioxidants defend against premature fine lines, wrinkles, laxity and collagen-loss. A skin-perceptive mushroom peptide blend revitalizes to increase luminosity and diminish noticeable eye bags, puffiness, and signs of fatigue. Nourishing moisture improves elasticity, firmness, and resilience.

Herban Wisdom Eye Cream

We assure you that the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream is:

  • 100% Vegan
  • Sensitivity Tested
  • Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Dye-Free
  • Fragrance-Free
  • Paraben-Free
  • Packaged for Recyclability

 

You can shop the new Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream here.

Resources:

https://www.insider.com/what-does-eye-cream-do [1] [2] [3]

The Inside Scoop on Peptides in Skincare

Peptides are considered a must-have skincare ingredient — and for good reason. Known for their powerful anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits, they have a permanent and celebrated place in the skincare industry. Peptides, also called polypeptides, are naturally occurring in the skin. But what exactly do peptides do for your skin? When should you use peptides? And what exactly are they? Let’s break it down.

What Are Peptides?

A peptide is a short chain made up of two or more amino acids. The amino acids are linked by a chemical bond called a peptide bond. When organized in complex structures (typically consisting of 50 or more amino acids), peptides then become proteins.

Collagen, the most vital protein within your skin, lies beneath the epidermis in a layer known as the dermis. This layer of the skin is made of nerves, blood vessels, fats, elastin, and collagen. Collagen peptides make up about 80% of your dermis. They help your skin look firm and smooth, cultivating a youthful, radiant glow.

When you’re young, you produce collagen at a very high rate; however, as you age, that rate begins to slow. After age 20, your body produces an average of 1% fewer collagen peptides for skin each year, stopping production entirely around age 40. Additionally, your existing collagen begins to break down, which is known as “fragmenting”. Essentially, without peptides, there’s no collagen, and without collagen, there’s no defense against the appearance of skin aging.

Peptide Development

Source: Medium

7 Best Peptides For Your Skin

There are many different types of peptides for the skin, with each boasting an array of unique benefits. Some of the most commonly used peptides in skincare are:

  • Signalling Peptides that act as messengers to trigger the synthesis of collagen.
  • Carrier Peptides that are known to link up with other ingredients to aid in their delivery to your skin cells.
  • Neurotransmitter Inhibitors that are proven to work within the skin to visibly improve fine lines and decrease the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Enzyme Inhibitors that help stave off collagen loss.
  • Structural/Keratin Peptides that allow the skin barrier to retain water for a more radiant complexion.
  • Palmitoyl Tripeptides that hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of skin damage caused by the sun and environmental pollution.
  • Copper Peptides that promote collagen and elastin production, while also encouraging the production of glycosaminoglycans, which is a family of carbohydrates that help maintain and support collagen and elastin.

The Benefits of Peptides in Skincare

Peptides help skin to look and act younger by targeting precise areas to address concerns like loss of firmness, dullness, wrinkles, and discolorations. A true well-aging multi-tasker, peptides are one of the few skincare components that scientists and dermatologists agree can make a difference when used regularly in your skincare regime. Here is a deeper look at the benefits of peptides in skincare:

Peptides Improve the Skin Barrier

The skin barrier is the body’s line of defense and can be damaged from over-exfoliation, exposure to cigarette smoke and other pollution, or even poor sleep. Peptides help build up a stronger, more tight skin barrier, which makes it more elastic, firm, and smooth.1

Peptides Slow Down the Aging Process

Some studies indicate that peptides slow the aging process and treat wrinkles, while also improving skin elasticity and hydration.2,3 In addition, peptides stimulate the production of melanin, which may improve the skin’s protection against sun damage.4

Peptides Improve Wound Healing

Skin is soothed and regenerated with peptides, buffing away scars and skin impurities. They can reduce inflammation and act as antioxidants, which can improve the body’s ability to heal. Peptides are also antimicrobial, meaning that they kill the bacteria that causes acne, along with clearing up any lesions left behind.5

Peptides Deeply Hydrate the Skin

Peptides are said to be magnetized according to your requirements. When your skin is lacking hydration, your body will recognize the amino acid that’s present in the peptides and reassemble it within the hydrating structure. Peptides will hydrate by creating water-retaining proteins and cells. They will not just prompt the skin to create new connective tissues, but will also increase the production of hyaluronic acid, which is the ultimate way to retain moisture in your skin.6

What You Can Expect From Peptides in Your Skincare Routine

While many companies boast Botox-like benefits of peptides for skin, the reality is, that just isn’t true. Peptides cannot totally eliminate under-eye bags, fill out lips, or lift brows. However, according to Dr. Benabio of The Derm Blog, a small group of peptides, known as neuropeptides, may be able to block signals sent between your nerves and your facial muscles, as Botox does.7

Dr. Benabio explains why this doesn’t mean that neuropeptides will give you the same effect as Botox. “It would be like pouring a small glass of water onto a mattress and expecting it to soak through the underside of your box spring—it’s very unlikely.”8

What you can expect from the consistent use of peptides for skin is steady firming and smoothing of your skin as it becomes tauter and more elastic. The evidence that supports the relationship between peptides in skincare and your body’s generation of natural peptides for skin is pretty overwhelming.

In some clinical trials of peptides in skincare, as much as 100% of patients reported improvements in the overall appearance of crow’s feet, radiance, and firmness, and 97% experienced overall improvements in fine lines, skin texture, and clarity.

Before and After Peptides Pictures

Pictured: Patients using skincare with peptides (Left: Before; Right: After). Source: Colorescience

Are There Any Side Effects To Using Peptides?

Being completely natural, peptides are mostly harmless. However, some people may still experience adverse reactions of irritation and sometimes even allergies. To avoid harming your skin, it’s always a wise decision to perform a patch test before using a new skincare product. If you experience any itching, redness, inflammation and so on, you should always consult with your doctor or dermatologist.

To perform a patch test, you should:

  • Wash and clean the patch of skin you’re going to use first. If there is a reaction, you will want to be sure that it’s the new product you applied and not something else.
  • Apply a small amount of the product to the patch of skin you’ve chosen, and cover the area with an adhesive bandage. Try applying the new product to the inner area of your upper arm near the crook of your elbow.
  • You should ideally allow 24 hours before removing the adhesive bandage. However, if you experience any pain, burning, or itching, you should remove the adhesive bandage and wash the affected area right away.

Nonapeptide-1 in Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream is formulated with Nonapeptide-1, which also goes by the trade name DAWNERGY™. Developed and patented by a company called Lubrizol, this 99.5% naturally-derived peptide is said to wake up the cells of the skin by increasing JARID1a and clock gene levels, enhancing early morning functions of the skin as if it was noon. The peptide also provides an energizing effect on skin cells and has evident anti-fatigue effects even after a night out. The efficacy of the new peptide has been proven with several tests:

A unique clinical study was performed on female volunteers that applied a cream containing a dose equivalent to 1% peptide solution or a placebo cream once a day in the morning for 7 days. After a dinner and a party on day 7 and sleeping only 4 hours at night, a 16.9% decrease in volume of bags under the eyes as well as a 7.0% increase in the cutaneous blood flow were observed, suggesting an anti-fatigue effect despite little rest.

Another in vivo test was carried out to evaluate skin radiance and youthful effect of the nonapeptide. After 28 days of active treatment, macro photographs of the face were acquired with a high-resolution camera, and images were processed with Luminosity software, which visualizes the range of luminosity values in a color map.

The luminosity parameter increased after treatment, showing a glowing radiant complexion.

DAWNERGY in vivo Luminosity photographs

Source: Lubrizol

To determine variations in wrinkles, macro photographs were taken before and after the treatment. A decrease of 15.4% in the coefficient of visibility of wrinkles in the crow’s feet was observed after 28 days, suggesting a rejuvenated skin appearance.

DAWNERGY in-vivo Before and After Wrinkles photos

Source: Lubrizol

DAWNERGY nonapeptide-1 activates the cellular alarm clock to help the skin wake up earlier, visibly improving the skin complexion through its revitalizing and anti-aging activities.

It is incorporated into the Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream formulation at an active level to help improve the appearance of the entire eye area by reducing signs of fatigue and providing a revitalising treatment.

Herban Wisdom Eye Cream

You can shop the new Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream here.

References:

https://suzycohen.com/articles/the-best-peptides-for-your-skin-and-their-purpose/#:~:text=Peptides%20improve%20your%20skin%E2%80%99s%20appearance%20by%20helping%20tighten,these%20are%20found%20in%20some%20skin%20care%20products. [1]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24401291/ [2]

https://www.jmnn.org/article.asp?issn=2278-1870;year=2015;volume=4;issue=1;spage=47;epage=53;aulast=Borumand [3]

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/peptides [4]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6684887/ [5]

https://www.whowhatwear.com/peptides-vs-retinol [6]

https://www.peacefuldumpling.com/peptides [7][8]

The Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms in Skincare

Medicinal mushrooms are indeed magical superfoods. Used for their healing properties in the East as far back as 200 A.D., the fungi were classified in the superior category of herbs. Various mushrooms were consumed and applied to increase life span, prevent illness, improve cognitive function, treat infertility, offer fortitude, and bestow bravery. Some of the most popular mushrooms today, like reishi, snow, maitake, wood ear, and chaga, have long been used in skincare and supplements with roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This article offers insight into the origins of these fine functional fungi and the benefits of incorporating each of them into skincare.

The Origins of the Reishi Mushroom

The reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lingzhi) was first discovered by Chinese healers more than 2,000 years ago in the Changbai Mountains. This northern mountain range – which translates to “Perpetually-White Mountain Region” – is widely known for its frigid conditions, but the base of the mountain is home to a large temperate hardwood forest where the rare reishi mushroom flourishes.

Ancient Chinese texts refer to the mushroom as an elixir of immortality and note secret locations where the fungus was thought to grow. Healers believed that the reishi mushroom had potent anti-aging properties, and it has long been used as a talisman of luck, healing, and wellness in Chinese culture.

The reishi mushroom is still commonly used by physicians across Asia to treat a wide range of maladies and health concerns, and use among Western physicians and healers is growing.

Reishi Mushroom

Source: Healthline

In Skincare, the Reishi Mushroom:

  • Boosts Skin Cell Turnover: Efficient skin cell turnover is one of the precursors to a healthy and youthful complexion. Through this process, dead skin cells are shed and young, healthy cells rise to the skin’s surface. However, skin cell turnover slows with age. With the reishi mushroom’s regenerative properties, it can improve the skin’s overall texture and brightness.
    • Deeply Hydrates: Reishi mushrooms contain a high concentration of polysaccharides, which are beneficial sugars that are responsible for the skin’s natural ability to hydrate and retain water. By maintaining healthy hydration levels, this fungus supports the skin’s protective lipid barrier, which is necessary to keep in essential moisture and keep out potential irritants that trigger inflammation and premature aging.
  • Possesses Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Environmental stress from pollution, blue light, and UV rays expose the skin to free radicals which damage its structural proteins, trigger inflammation, and cause it to age prematurely. With its adaptogenic properties, the reishi mushroom regulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol and helps reduce inflammation. Additionally, its antioxidant capacity helps shield the skin from the drying and aging effects of free radical damage, keeping your complexion young and healthy.

The Origins of the Snow Mushroom

Snow mushrooms (Tremella fuciformis) are native to subtropical and tropical regions around the world including Brazil, Taiwan, China, Japan, and other Asian countries. Cultivation of these mushrooms began around 1914 in China with new cultivation techniques beginning in 1968, leading to the mass production of the variety and the ability to export the mushroom in dried form worldwide. Today snow mushrooms are found fresh at local markets or in dried form in Asia, Southeast Asia, South America, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and North America.

Snow mushrooms are used as a beauty product by women in China and Japan. When eaten, some believe that the mushrooms will contribute to a long and unblemished life. Snow mushrooms contain an enzyme that improves moisture retention in the skin which may help with the reduction of wrinkles.

Snow Mushroom

Source: Freshcap

In Skincare, the Snow Mushroom:

  • Hydrates, Brightens, and Heals: The snow mushroom helps to not only hydrate the skin, but also aids in the maintenance of the skin moisture barrier.  With over 18 kinds of amino acids, the snow mushroom has also proved to be beneficial in cell growth, which has made it a prime ingredient in wound healing. The vitamin D present in this fungus also makes it great for healing acne lesions for a hydrated and healed complexion.
  • Aids in Natural Collagen Production: Snow mushrooms also aid in the natural production of collagen, a structural protein that gives skin density and volume. Its antioxidant properties neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals and promote healthy skin cell renewal. This helps to maintain the skin’s existing stores of collagen and delays the visible signs of aging. 

The Origins of the Maitake Mushroom

In Europe and the United States, the maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) is commonly called “Hen of the Woods,” since its frond-like growths resemble the feathers of a fluffed chicken. The mushroom grows wild in parts of Japan, China, and North America. It sprouts at the bottom of Oak, Elm, and Maple trees and can be cultivated at home, though it typically won’t grow as well as it does in the wild. You can usually find the mushroom during the autumn months.

 The Japanese pioneered the Maitake mushroom’s cultivation, being known in Japan as “The 

Dancing Mushroom.” According to a Japanese legend, a group of Buddhist nuns and woodcutters met on a mountain trail, where they discovered maitake mushrooms emerging from the forest floor. Rejoicing at their discovery of this mushroom, they danced to celebrate. 

This mushroom possesses adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens assist the body in fighting against any type of mental or physical difficulty. They also work to regulate systems of the body that have become unbalanced. While this mushroom can be used in recipes for taste alone, it’s considered to be a medicinal mushroom.

Maitake Mushroom

Source: Grocycle

In Skincare, the Maitake Mushroom:

  • Possesses Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties: Components of maitake mushrooms have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects that work to support the immune system and reduce inflammation. This can help alleviate symptoms of allergic reactions and inflammatory conditions, such as acne.
  • Improves Elasticity and Stimulates Skin Cell Growth: Reductions in oxidative stress can reduce the degenerative effects of aging. Loss of skin elasticity, also known as elastosis, is a natural part of the aging process. Environmental factors and harmful products can speed up the process. Elements of the maitake mushroom have been proven to slow the elastosis and stimulate skin cell growth for a radiant and youthful complexion.

The Origins of the Wood Ear Mushroom

Found on the bark of elder trees, the wood ear mushroom (Auricularia auricula-judae) is a fungus that, while growing, looks like a delicate brown ear. This type of mushroom is popular in Chinese cuisine and is known for its crunchy texture and ability to soak in flavors. It’s commonly found in hot and sour soup, as well as Chinese stir-fry and mu shu pork.

In the West, the wood ear mushroom was used in folk medicine as recently as the 19th century for complaints including sore throats, sore eyes, and jaundice, as well as an astringent. Today, the wood ear mushroom is commonly used in Chinese medicine, while being used in Ghana as a blood tonic. Modern research into possible medical applications has concluded that the wood ear mushroom has antitumor, hypoglycemic, anticoagulant and cholesterol-lowering properties.

Wood Ear Mushroom

Source: Missouri Department of Conservation   

In Skincare, the Wood Ear Mushroom:

  • Possesses Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Due to the high polysaccharide content in wood ear mushrooms, they’re known to have several benefits, such as reducing inflammation. Studies published in 2018 showed the wood ear mushroom was able to inhibit the development and spread of inflammation and could therefore be a potential treatment for inflammation-related diseases including heart disease, obesity, and tumors. 
  • Reduces Oxidative Stress: Wood ear mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants, which can reduce oxidative stress. An accumulation of oxidative stress can cause numerous health complications. Typically, oxidative stress damages cells, proteins, and DNA and is visible in externally manifested symptoms like wrinkles and blemished skin. 

The Origins of the Chaga Mushroom

The chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is also known as “Cinder Conk” or “Black Mass,” which accurately describes its appearance. The chaga mushroom feeds on birch trees and is native to the forests of Europe, Russia, North America, and various cold northern climates, where birch is the primary tree species. For hundreds of years, the chaga mushroom has been wild-harvested and utilized by the people of northern Europe and Russia.

Chaga mushrooms have historically been used as a traditional medicine in Russia and other Northern European countries, mainly to boost immunity and overall health. It has also been used to treat diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease. Traditionally, the fungus was grated into a fine powder and brewed as an herbal tea. Today, it is not only available as a tea but also as a supplement and is featured in an array of skincare products.

The growing cycle of Chaga begins when a fruiting body of a higher fungi species enters a wound of a mature tree, forming a large hardened mycelial mass (the conk) that will continue to grow until it is harvested or falls to the forest floor. Chaga is unique among mushrooms as it is rare to see the fruiting body in nature, with the hardened mycelial mass holding the herbal value.

Chaga Mushroom

Source: Freshcap 

In Skincare, the Chaga Mushroom:

  • Protects Against the Sun: Chaga has one of the highest forms of melanin and pigment content due to its dark exterior and burnt caramel colored interior. The melanin found within the chaga, whether it’s in skincare cream or tea form, can provide some level of protection from the sun and UV rays. Chaga mushrooms can also help reduce dark sunspots on the skin.
  • Assists in Skin Regeneration: Due to the presence of Betulonic Acid, which is an anti-inflammatory, chaga mushrooms can help your skin regenerate its cells. This regeneration is crucial for healing, especially if you have scarring or any other type of skin wound. Betulonic Acid also helps stimulate collagen production which is extremely beneficial for the skin and its elasticity. Additionally, it can be extremely helpful for anyone suffering from skin conditions such as acne, allergic reactions, bug bites, rashes, dermatitis, psoriasis, itching, rosacea, and eczema.
  • Possesses Anti-Inflammatory Properties Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), which can be found within the chaga mushroom, reduces levels of oxidative stress, making it a very effective anti-inflammatory. The SOD works together with Betulonic Acid to reduce inflammation when consumed and when applied topically. Betulonic Acid also works to regulate sebum secreted from the skin. This helps inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria.

Introducing New Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream

Like never before and loaded with the mushrooms listed above, this exceptionally rich eye cream soothes, smoothes, nourishes, and enlivens the look of the whole eye area. The formula is steeped with intensive, natural goodness. Full-spectrum whole hemp and adaptogens help to balance skin’s stress response. Antioxidants defend against premature fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, and collagen-loss. A skin-perceptive mushroom peptide blend revitalizes to increase luminosity and diminish noticeable eye bags, puffiness, and signs of fatigue. Nourishing moisture improves elasticity, resilience, and smoothness.

Herban Wisdom Eye Cream

In addition, we are committed to accessibility so our products can be enjoyed by as many humans as possible. In the spirit of inclusivity, we have partnered with CandoableTM to create this custom Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream Braille ID Band for those with blindness or severe visual impairment:

  • Easy-to-read “Eye Cream” in Grade 2 Unified English Braille (UEB) is molded into the front; corresponding text is engraved on the inside
  • Clips quickly and fits securely around the Herban Wisdom Eye Cream jar
  • Portable – can go anywhere you and your Eye Cream do
  • 100% compostable and biodegradable plastic
  • Reusable and hand-washable
  • Made in Arizona, USA

Herban Wisdom Eye Cream Braille ID Band

Starting January 14th, shop the presale of the new Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Eye Cream here

 

4 Ways to Use A Skincare Facial Oil

As the name suggests, a facial oil is a skincare product with an oil-based formula. It is applied topically to moisturize, nourish, and balance the skin barrier for maintained health and resiliency. Many believe that facial oils should be avoided on oily or acne-prone skin, but that’s completely false; facial oils can benefit every skin type. Oils, including your skin’s natural oil, known as sebum, are made up of lipids and fatty acids. Facial oils typically have a unique composition of these fatty acids. They often include oleic acid and linoleic acid in a particular ratio, giving each oil its individual properties. Since incorporating facial oils into your skincare regime can seem intimidating, let’s explore a few simple ways you can add facial oils into your morning and nightly routine.

1.  Apply Facial Oil With Your Moisturizer and Night Cream

Moisturizers work to increase the water content of the skin, and oils are an excellent seal to help retain that moisture. Using a moisturizer rich in humectants such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid help attract water to the skin. Following that step with a facial oil is an excellent way to lock in water as well as nutrients. Well-hydrated skin is plump and dewy, and applying oils is a great step in achieving that glow.

Night creams are generally thicker in consistency than their daytime counterparts and tend to have a higher concentration of ingredients that boost cell turnover, hydration, and circulation. While moisturizers usually protect against the elements—pollution, dryness, cold, heat, and UV rays—night creams are better focused on the reconstruction process of the skin. Pairing a facial oil with your night cream can be beneficial for skin replenishment and restoration, because the facial oil can assist in sealing in active ingredients to work more effectively overnight.

Tip: When using facial oil combined with moisturizer, you can apply it to your skin twice daily. Before bed, try applying facial oil after your night cream to seal in all the goodness overnight.

2. Mix a Few Drops of Facial Oil Into Your Foundation

Aside from helping you achieve a dewy complexion, blending a facial oil into your foundation can help you customize your coverage. It can thin out full coverage, make a matte foundation look more luminous, and can make your application glide on more easily.

When using a facial oil with your foundation, you can apply a thin layer of the oil directly onto your skin as a foundation primer, or you can use your fingers or a foundation brush to combine a couple of oil drops with a dollop of foundation in your hand. For the primer method, you may not want to cover your entire face with oil before applying your foundation. Instead, try sticking to the high points of the face like the tops of the cheeks and not on the areas of the face that produce oil on their own, like the T-zone. This will keep your makeup looking more lit-from-within. If you are prone to oiliness and shine, you can use a small amount of powder to set your foundation in place.

Tip:  If you’re using facial oil in the morning and you typically apply SPF, try using the facial oil first. The SPF should be applied as the last step before makeup.

3. Mix Facial Oil and Exfoliants

While the exfoliant of your choice works to get rid of dead skin cells, a facial oil can help keep moisture in your skin. For the face, it’s best to use smaller, gentle grains such as sugar or ground coffee. And if you’re looking to exfoliate your whole body, opt for a salt-based mixture. It’s important to use natural ingredients when mixing exfoliants with your facial oil to avoid microbeads, which are a huge environmental hazard.

A few natural exfoliants to consider include:

  • Salt: Salt is great for eliminating rough, dry patches of dead skin that appear on your body. However, keep in mind that some people with sensitive skin or breaks in their skin may experience a burning sensation from a salt exfoliator, so it isn’t for everyone.
  • Sugar: Sugar is the most popular of all the natural exfoliants, and it’s heavenly on the skin. If you have sensitive skin or you’re looking for an effective exfoliant that’s gentle enough for your face, you’ll want to use something finer than salt. In this case, brown sugar is the least abrasive and is wonderful for a gentle exfoliation.
  • Oats: If your skin tends to lean to the sensitive side, you might want to check out the gentle effectiveness of organic oats as a physical exfoliant. You can use oats for a gentle body scrub or even as a facial scrub alternative.
  • Ground Coffee: Coffee may be in the running as a favorite choice when exfoliating your body. It contains notable antioxidant properties and also promotes collagen formation, which is the building block of your skin. Additionally, ground coffee is known to treat cellulite as an exfoliant.

Tip: Ideally, you can exfoliate with facial oil up to three times a week. Start one time a week and gradually build up to every other day or more. Everyone’s skin is different and also changes with seasons, so you may only need to exfoliate once a week.

4.  Apply Facial Oils Neat

Besides mixing facial oils with other products, you can also apply them to your skin neat. Facial oils can be viewed as a bodyguard for your skin, or like a topcoat that works to seal all the products that are underneath deep into the skin. It’s important to note that all skin types — including combination and oily ones — can benefit from facial oils, especially if you live in a climate with little to no humidity.

Furthermore, facial oils can help prevent damage from environmental stressors that your skin faces from the outside world. Oils are a great last step in your evening routine to keep your skin soft and supple, and if you’re thinking about doing any kind of facial massage or gua sha, try incorporating a facial oil for added slip and circulation benefits.

Tip: Try warming a few oil drops between your palms then pressing onto your face, neck, and chest for optimal results.

Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom™ Facial Oil

These days, a lot of us are feeling more stress and sensitivity. And of course, the emotions we feel have a way of showing up on our skin. That’s why Humanist Beauty hand-crafted Herban Wisdom™ Facial Oil to feel like a soothing sanctuary for weary, worried, vulnerable skin. Just a few drops incorporated into your own self-caring ritual helps visibly recharge skin to appear calm and balanced, radiating with a gorgeous natural glow.

The Herban Wisdom™ Facial Oil can be applied to help visibly repair, deeply nourish and diminish signs of stress on your skin twice daily. As part of your holistic wellness regimen, it can also be used on pulse points and other skin externalities to help aromatically calm and soothe your mind, body, and soul.

To shop the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom™ Facial Oil, click here.

Herban Wisdom Facial Oil

Do you use a facial oil in your skincare routine? Tell us in the comments below.