Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for Skin: 3 Plant-Based Solutions

What is hyaluronic acid, and why do people use it? Given the complex and, well, acidic sounding name, it might come as a surprise to hear that hyaluronic acid (HA) occurs naturally in tissue throughout the body, and is quite gentle on the skin. In fact, it plays an important role in tissue health from eyes to joints. 

You might even say everyone uses HA, because our bodies make it. But many 

people supplement their skin care routine to maximize the complexion-improving benefits of hyaluronic acid.

Because hyaluronic acid is degraded by exposure to UVB rays — along with things we have less control over as we age, like our levels of estrogen and progesterone — topical supplements can increase your skin’s resilience to 

everyday stressors, slow the signs of aging, and may even help skin recover from breakouts.

Read on for more specific benefits of hyaluronic acid and to learn how it works. Or skip ahead to see the three plant-based hyaluronic acid products I recommend to my clients (and a sweet price on a special bundle!). 

My daughter, Julia, during berry season at Stony Creek Farm.

Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for the Skin

  1. Maintains hydration levels, giving skin a naturally radiant glow. 

Also called hyaluronan, this molecular chain of sugars (a glycosaminoglycan if you’re feeling fancy) can bind up to 1,000 times its weight in water

It uses that water to lubricate and cushion the body’s various tissues. In skin, the extra moisture is recognizable as the glow of youth — though other notable benefits of hyaluronic acid, like cellular regeneration and healing, play important roles in said glow, too.

In the skin’s outer layer, the epidermis, hyaluronic acid works its wonders from between cells as part of our extracellular matrix. This matrix fills the space from cell to cell, offering structural support and aiding in cellular functions. 

More moisture between cells means firmer, more luminescent skin. And the amount of moisture the extracellular matrix can hold is directly linked to the quality of the hyaluronic acid between your cells. 

2. Protects against fine lines and wrinkles. 

Beneath the visible epidermis, hyaluronic acid lubricates and protects proteins in the dermis, including collagen. Like HA, collagen gets a lot of attention for its ability to plump skin and ease joints. The two are active in many of the same processes, from wound healing to tissue regeneration, and work together in both the dermis and epidermis to keep skin structured, hydrated, and healthy. 

Collagen lends firmness, but HA can increase the stability and elasticity of collagen. Aging skin is associated with deteriorated collagen and loss of moisture from degraded HA, and research suggests that their functionality is intertwined — damages to one can impact the other.

3. Repair and regeneration.

Hyaluronic acid supports the repair and regeneration of skin cells and helps maintain healthy stem cells. From its position between cells, this molecule plays an important role in tissue repair and regeneration, helping to regulate inflammation and cell migration as part of the body’s innate tissue repair and regeneration processes. Additionally, hyaluronic acid supports stem cell functionsskin stem cells remain active in the renewal and repair of skin throughout your life.

4. Regulates inflammation and promotes healing, including acne lesions.

Expanding on the functions of repair and regeneration, hyaluronic acid is active in the body’s response to damaged tissue. It helps regulate both the onset and reduction of tissue inflammation, changing actions according to its molecular weight. (So cool!) At a low molecular weight, hyaluronic acid encourages inflammation as a first response to injury. And at a high molecular weight, it lowers inflammatory and immune responses. 

Hyaluronic acid also aids in the coordinated movement of cells during 

healing, and in the development of new blood vessels. These three processes — inflammation, cell migration, and angiogenesis — constitute the body’s main phases in healing wounds

Because it is naturally occuring and supports the body’s own healing mechanisms, hyaluronic acid is suitable for even sensitive or acne-prone skin, and may help reduce inflammation in lesions, and promote efficient healing. 

3 Ways to Supplement HA Topically

The plant-based products below offer the benefits of hyaluronic acid sourced from marshmallow plants. All three are from Eminence Organic Skin Care, a line that pairs the latest in scientific findings with ethically sourced botanicals for deeply nourished skin and a natural glow you’ll want to share with the world.

Firm Skin Acai Cleanser

This Eminence Organics cleanser gets its name from acai berry juice, which is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamins to improve skin tone. Hyaluronic acid from marshmallow plant extract binds moisture at the 

molecular level to smooth and plump the skin, minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Finally, nutrient-rich sea buckthorn berry protects skin’s moisture barrier, helping to further diminish wrinkles.

To use, mix a pea-size amount of the product with water in hands and pat on skin with your fingertips, covering the face and neck, for 1–3 minutes. Remove with a damp face cloth and apply toner. (Try the Neroli Age Corrective Hydrating Mist for a collagen boost.)

Purchase the Firm Skin Acai Cleanser.

Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum 

Formulated to rehydrate dry skin, vitamin-rich strawberries and rhubarb work in tandem with botanical hyaluronic acid in this serum from Eminence Organics. Astringent strawberry helps tighten pores. Strawberry also contains natural salicylic acid for gentle exfoliation and brightening. Rhubarb contains vitamin C and antioxidants to help stave off oxidative damage, while aloe vera soothes and refreshes. Hyaluronic acid from marshmallow plant extract replenishes hydration between cells for dewy-looking skin.

To use, apply a thin layer over the entire face, or apply to areas in need of hydration 1-3 times per day. Because HA is a glycosaminoglycan, a chain of sugars, the Strawberry Rhubarb Serum can be sticky! I recommend it mixed into a moisturizer. For summer, try the Coconut Age Corrective Moisturizer or Calm Skin Chamomile Moisturizer.

Purchase the Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Masque

Astringent strawberries gently exfoliate with naturally occurring salicylic acid, while rhubarb nourishes with antioxidant-rich vitamins. Marshmallow-derived hyaluronic acid plumps skin for a replenished, more youthful appearance. Shea butter, high in triglycerides and fatty acids, seals in moisture, softening and soothing the skin.

To use, combine a small amount of mask with a few drops of water in your hand. Apply evenly over the entire face as well as the neck and décolleté if you wish. Allow mask to dry 5-10 minutes then gently remove in a circular motion with a lukewarm face cloth. Rinse thoroughly with clear water.

Purchase the Strawberry Rhubarb Masque.

Purchase the Berry Hydrating Collection for $108 (Special Savings of $36)! 

In Closing,

Although our bodies produce their own hyaluronan, adding natural hyaluronic acid to your skin care routine can amplify its complexion-improving benefits. HA production dwindles as we age, and the molecule is also degraded by exposure to UVB rays. A topical solution can help keep skin looking youthful, and may even help speed recovery from breakouts.

If you have questions about hyaluronic acid or would like to find the most direct path to better skin, I also offer one-on-one consultations. During these, I give personalized recommendations for high-quality products tailored to your lifestyle and needs. I even mail samples so every purchase can be made with confidence!

Click here to schedule a virtual consultation.

Purchase the Berry Hydrating Collection for $108 (Special Savings of $36)! 

A Natural Retinol Alternative for Beautifully Aging Skin

Eminence Organics’ Natural Retinol Alternative offers a wide array of benefits without the uncomfortable…

Retinol is commonly seen as a skincare panacea that can soften fine lines, even out skin tones, and even help prevent acne. Unfortunately, strong results can come with strong consequences, many of which are even counterproductive to your skincare goals.

For example, people often report redness, irritation, UV sensitivity, peeling, itching, and other uncomfortable side effects after regularly using retinol-based products. 

At Jessica’s Apothecary, we prefer to take a more balanced approach. With this in mind, we’re pleased to offer several Eminence Organics products that feature a Natural Retinol Alternative that comes with all the same benefits as the synthetic version but none of the uncomfortable side effects. 

What is Retinol?

Retinol is a synthetic derivative of Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin and eyes. Retinol is a type of retinoid –  a generic name for any topical product that contains a vitamin A derivative. The term “retinoid” is often used for stronger, prescription skin care products containing retinoic acid, whereas retinol is a bit less potent and is available in over-the-counter skincare products. Don’t let the phrase “less potent” fool you, though, both retinol and retinoids are powerful products that come with the host of uncomfortable side effects mentioned above, and neither of them is safe to use during pregnancy.

Why would anyone use a product with so many uncomfortable side effects? Well, it truly is effective in a number of other ways. The benefits of retinol are:

  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Clears congestion
  • Shrinks large pores
  • Smooths uneven skin texture
  • Minimizes fine lines & wrinkles
  • ​Keeps skin firm and plump
  • ​Fades dark spots

A Natural Alternative to Retinol

Eminence Organics has created the Natural Retinol Alternative Complex that uses a blend of chicory root and tara tree extract and was developed by scientists from Pfizer. This unique blend provides the same results as conventional retinol, but without the uncomfortable side effects.

Chicory root is a stimulant containing oligosaccharides that tricks the skin’s cells into a healing response. During this response, cellular turnover is increased – just like with conventional retinol. Increased cellular metabolism enables your skin to shed dead layers more efficiently and replace them with healthy new cells. This process activates collagen and elastin production to soften fine lines. When mixed with tara tree extract, this Natural Retinol Alternative increases collagen levels by 25% in just 6 days!

This wonderful alternative is a primary ingredient in the following three products. 

Neroli Age Corrective Hydrating Mist

Eminence Organics' Neroli Age Corrective Hydrating Mist with Natural Retinol AlternativeThis milky white moisturizing spray is fabulous for all skin types, especially mature. It contains Eminence Organics’ Natural Retinol Alternative to lift and tighten the skin, and their custom PhytoCellTec Swiss Green Apple Stem Cells that help delay visible signs of aging by strengthening the skin’s cells. Mood-boosting neroli oil is included in the mist to soften the skin, and coconut milk helps moisturize and nourish. 

To use, spray 1 or 2 spritzes directly on your clean face and neck, avoiding the eye area. The mist will soak into your skin, so there’s no need to wash it off. Reapply any time throughout the day that you need a refreshing lift. 

Order your Neroli Age Corrective Mist today. 

Bamboo Firming Fluid

This natural product helps achieve tighter-looking skin and has won more awards than we can count, including Favourite Firming Serum, Aesthetician’s Choice Awards, 2018 and also Best Skin Serum, International Beauty Awards, 2017. It’s great for normal to dry skin, and especially mature skin. Eminence Organics' Bamboo Firming Fluid with Natural Retinol Alternative

The Bamboo Firming Fluid contains Eminence Organics’ Natural Retinol Alternative along with bamboo, which is packed with antioxidants, proteins, vitamins, and more. It also contains coconut oil to restore the skin’s moisture barrier and coconut water to help balance the skin’s pH.

To use, apply a thin layer to clean skin once or twice daily. Follow with a moisturizer that’s best suited to your skin and the season. For dry winter skin, consider the Sweet Red Rose Whip Moisturizer.

Order Bamboo Firming Fluid, here.

Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum

This is one of our go-to products for fighting the visible signs of aging that appear around your eyes, like crow’s feet and fine lines. It’s effective for all skin types, especially mature.

Eminence Organics' Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum features their Natural Retinol AlternativeThis rich serum includes Eminence Organics’ Natural Retinol Alternative along with neroli oil, which refreshes and hydrates the tired eye area. It also includes coconut milk to moisturize, nourish, and soften, plus carrot extract, a fabulous source of antioxidants and nutrients.

To use, apply a thin layer to the clean skin around your closed eyes. Blend it in until it’s fully absorbed, then follow with an eye cream (The Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream is a particularly lovely choice).

Order Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum, here.

Save with a Bundle

Save by purchasing all three of these products together! Use the following link to purchase these three items for $119 (valued at $158). 

Purchase the Natural Retinol Alternative Collection, here. 

To learn more about retinol alternatives, or to discuss your skin’s specific needs with a certified esthetician, schedule a virtual consultation with our owner, Jessica. This low-stress offering is designed to help you create (and stick to!) a personalized skincare routine that supports natural radiance and beautiful aging.

Learn more about Eminence Organics’ Natural Retinol Alternative, here.

 

 

REFERENCES

Eminence Organics. (2019). What is retinol? Benefits, side effects, and a natural alternative [Blog Post] Retrieved from https://eminenceorganics.com/us/blog/2019/07/10/what-retinol-benefits-side-effects-natural-alternative

Glamour. (2020). Retinoid vs. retinol: When to use each and why [Online Article]. Retrieved from https://www.glamour.com/story/retinoid-vs-retinol

Kafi R, Kwak HSR, Schumacher WE, et al. Improvement of Naturally Aged Skin With Vitamin A (Retinol). Arch Dermatol. 2007;143(5):606–612. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.5.606

“At Home” Facial

Many of our clients have expressed how much they miss our facials at the Apothecary. Facials provide a much needed break from the world as well as increased radiance and skin tone! Our services also foster a trusted relationship that you may have come to value. While I cannot offer much more than a virtual face-to-face at this time, I can give you some instruction on how to build and maintain healthy home care rituals that support your skin care goals and help you manage stress.

This 2-part “At Home” Facial includes practices I have cultivated during this pandemic for health and beauty. Part one involves self care steps you can take in the evening and part two details a routine for morning. You can pick and choose aspects you personally want to embrace, and for specific product recommendations don’t forget to reach out for a free skin consultation!

Part one- Evening:
1. Cleanse
2. Masque and Tonique
3. Gua Sha with Rosehip Oil
4. Restorative Mind-Body Ritual Oil
5. Night Cream

In the evening, I recommend cleansing as soon as you know you are “in” for the night. This will ensure that you are not too tired for your self care routine. Apply a masque of your choice and go about your evening with whatever you need to do (check emails, knit, read a book…). For a list of masque suggestions and their benefits check out my recent blog post: Botanical Masques for Self Care. After 10-20 minutes remove your masque, dry your face, and pat with your favorite tonique. My tonique of choice these days is the Eminence Organics Mangosteen Revitalizing Mist because it increases the skin’s ATP and delivers micronutrients. Then, apply a generous amount of your favorite face oil and find a comfortable place to sit for Gua Sha facial massage. Massage using this simple tool helps promote detoxification and increases microcirculation. I find myself spending 15 minutes on this step because it is very soothing. When you’re done, apply the Stony Creek Aromatics Restorative Mind-Body Ritual Oil on aromapoints and pulse points. Instructions for Gua Sha and the Restorative Mind-Body Ritual can be found here. Lastly, on top of the face oil, apply a lightweight moisturizer like the Eminence Organics Lotus Detoxifying Overnight Treatment or the Arctic Berry Peptide Radiance Cream.

Part two- Morning:
1. Steam
2. Cleanse
3. Exfoliate
4. Finishing Products
5. Sun protection

After coffee and breakfast I have been starting my day with an old fashioned steam. In a pot of hot water add one drop of cypress essential oil and 1 drop of eucalyptus globulus and inhale for 10 minutes with a towel over your head. Cypress is high in pinene and cinene, and Eucalyptus is rich in 1,8 Cineole, chemical components that helps fight infection and clear respiratory mucus. I can blend them for you order you can order high quality essential oils from Aromatics International. I recently started incorporating eight quick lung strengthening and clearing breathes during my steams. I learned the technique from my friend and Ann Arbor area yoga instructor, Natasha Schaffer, in this video tutorial. After your face and lungs have been purged, cleanse the impurities from your skin. Following your cleanse I recommend stepping up your exfoliating routine by applying the Eminence Organics Firm Skin Exfoliating Peel or Bright Skin Exoliating Peel. Leveling up to the use of acids on your skin increases the cell turnover and promotes a healthy skin surface. Choose the Firm Skin if you want to see a decrease in fine lines or the Bright Skin if you are concerned with hyperpigmentation. Both of these peels are around 4% so using them every day is safe as long as you are following up with a moisturizer. Now that spring is finally here, don’t forget the sun protection too!

As with everything during this pandemic and in life, don’t let what you see other people are doing on social media make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. Try choosing just one or two things you could incorporate that helps you feel healthier and happier. You are worthy of love and care, and deserving of positive self thoughts. Stay healthy!

For more tips on how to give yourself a facial at home, visit “How to do a facial massage at home” by Eminence Organics.

“At Home” Facial VLOG:

Best Botanical Masques for an Organic Facial

 

If you are like me, your skin is missing its monthly organic facial. The added stress from the pandemic, paired with a lack of routine, can lead to increased acne, dryness, and an overall lackluster skin surface. As you try to establish a new normal for yourself, consider adding a face masque twice a week. Feeding your skin with high-quality botanicals will keep your skin vibrant, and may even nudge you into feeling a little brighter on the inside, too!

At Jessica’s Apothecary, we stock a wide variety of masques! How would you choose the best one(s) for your organic facial? Allow me to present them to you by skin concern.

(In general, masques should be applied to clean, dry skin and left on for 10-15 minutes.)


Organic Facial: Masques for Dryness

 

Dryness in the skin is due to a lack of oil in the epidermis. Some people consider their skin dry even when it is just dehydrated, which is a lack of water. Dehydration can still coexist with an underlying condition of excess oil production. A masque can alleviate dryness, but a consultation with your esthetician can help get to the cause. Whether from a lack of oil or a lack of water, any of these botanical face masques are a good choice for your organic facial if your skin is dry. 

 

strawberry rhubarb face masque from Eminence Organics

Organic Facial: Masques for Dullness

 

The skin usually appears dull because of a lack of cellular turnover. As we age, our skin’s metabolism slows down. 

 

Citrus and Kale Potent C+E Masque

Organic Facial: Masques for Acne

 

Acne occurs in both oily and dry skin. 

  • Hands down the best acne-fighting mask I have ever used is the Acne Advanced Clarifying Masque. Not only can you mask your whole face with it once or twice per week, but you can spot treat and sleep with it on your pimples. The winning combination is sulfur (but you can barely smell it!), salicylic acid, and three different kinds of clay.
  • If you have hormonal acne and your skin isn’t too sensitive, lean towards the Eight Greens HOT
  • For mild acne and some dryness, the Strawberry Rhubarb Masque has a touch of salicylic acid but is also rich in hyaluronic acid. 

 

Acne advanced clarifying masque is a great choice for an at-home facial

Organic Facial: Masques for Hyperpigmentation

 

Pigmentation is best treated during a facial; however, masks extend the benefits of your organic facial at home. 

  • The Stone Crop Masque is a gel masque that balances uneven skin tone and increases moisture content in the skin.
  • For advanced hyperpigmentation on dry skin types, the Bright Skin Masque is very beneficial.
  • The Eight Greens Phyto HOT delivers plant-based estrogens to regulate hormonal acne and assist in oxygenation while lightening post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. 

All these options are best when followed up with a daily botanical lightener, like our Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster Serum or our Bright Skin Overnight Correcting Cream

 

skin brightening mask


Organic Facial: Masks For Fine Lines and Elasticity

 

  • The Firm Skin Acai Masque is loaded with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to plump superficial lines on weathered skin.
  • The Bamboo Age Corrective Masque contains Swiss Green Apple Stem Cells to promote elasticity. It’s also in a shea butter and argan oil base for nourishing dry skin.

 

bamboo age corrective masque


In Closing,

I hope this helps you find the right masque for your mini, organic facial at home. If you still have questions, you can email contact@jessicasapothecary.com to set up a virtual skin consultation. All Eminence Organics products can be purchased on our website.

 

Collection of botanical masques for an at-home, organic facial