All Live Native skincare products help to maintain a youthful appearance of the skin. Unlike most other anti-ageing skincare ranges, we do not use ingredients that block UV rays from the skin – rather we use ingredients that are both sun-stable and UV neutralising. What exactly does this mean?
FATS AND OILS – THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
In order to really understand the process of skin ageing, we need to understand a little of the chemistry of fats.
Trans fats are the ‘uglies’ of the beauty industry. They are unhealthy, carcinogenic, ‘unnatural’ fats that result from a natural process (like poly-unsaturated oil being left in the sunlight) or an unnatural process (such as hydrogenation). Once these fats have been formed they do great harm to the skin as the free-radicals they form damage the cells DNA, contribute to skin-cancer, accelerate the formation of wrinkles and the loss of elasticity, in short: accelerate ageing.
Tropical oils are the good guys. They are unlikely to be damaged by UV radiation because they have evolved near the equator where they are exposed to strong sunlight and as a result tend to have a very high content of saturated fat. Saturated fat contains no double bonds and is the most difficult fat to damage with heat and light – it is sun-stable. It is also the healthiest fat to cook with as it will not form trans-fats. Butter, Coconut Oil and Shea Butter are all saturated fats.
Mono-Unsaturated fats evolved in slightly cooler climates but are still very stable in the sun. They contain one double bond. Argan Oil is from Morocco and has a high mono-unsaturated fat content. This makes it nearly as sun-stable as saturated fats.
Poly-Unsaturated fats are from cooler, more temperate climates. They are plentiful in grains and seeds like Wheatgerm Oil and Flax Oil. They are more susceptible to damage by heat, light and oxygen as they have many double bonds and can form trans-fats easily. It is important to extract these oils at LOW TEMPERATURES (cold-pressing), possibly to flush with nitrogen, and to store in a cool, dark place away from light. This is why high quality oils will always be sold in dark glass bottles, and lighter oils like Hemp or Flax Seed Oil should be kept in the fridge. They benefit the skin most once they are consumed, but may become the bad guys when subjected to excess UV exposure.
Your skin is the one organ of your body exposed to sunlight, and to gain protection from daily exposure to UV rays and bacteria it produces oil (sebum). Sebum is composed of both saturated and mono-unsaturated fats. These fats, as we now know, are sun-stable.
In Live Native formulations we aim to mimic the fatty acid profile of sebum, and we achieve this by combining saturated fats with mono-unsaturated fats, such as Coconut Oil and Argan Oil. This gives a high degree of natural protection to the skin from the damaging effects of UV-radiation without blocking the production of the major anti-cancer nutrient Vitamin D.
But it’s not just about the fats. Once damage has occurred and free radicals are produced, the skin’s second defence – antioxidants – neutralise free radicals to prevent cellular DNA damage. This in turn prevents damage to the collagen and elastin, and slows the formation of wrinkles.
By combining sun-stable oils with high levels of anti-oxidants in all Live Native Skincare, we give the skin the ingredients it needs to neutralize free radicals and prevent premature ageing. Our skincare is perfectly safe to use day and night, even though it does not contain sun blocks. On the contrary the skin will be better protected because it still has the ability to produce the essential anti-cancer nutrient, Vitamin D.