The Three Unsung Heroes of Skincare (Is Your Skin Missing Out?)
Vitamin C: one of a small handful of skincare rockstars lauded by dermatologists and estheticians all around. Researchers have studied it, beauty editors have extolled it. But then there are lesser-known ingredients that don’t enjoy the same level of fame, but are no less instrumental to beautiful skin. Gotu kola, marigold and MSM are three such ingredients. You may’ve never tried or heard of them, but they’re high performers and hard workers that have been creating glowing complexions for years—right under our noses.
Gotu Kola, also known as Centella asiatica, has been used for centuries in folk medicine. The gotu kola plant is a member of the parsley family and is native to Japan, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the South Pacific. It has been used in the past to treat a variety of ailments, including syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, fever, asthma and mental fatigue. Today, in the U.S. and Europe, it’s mostly used in the treatment of varicose veins and psoriasis as well as the healing of minor wounds.
In skincare, gotu kola is effective in treating minor wounds, hypertrophic wounds, burns, scleroderma and psoriasis. It works by promoting the growth of fibroblasts. (Fibroblasts are cells in connective tissue that produce collagen – important for preventing and reducing wrinkles.) Gotu kola is also known to strengthen newly formed skin and reduce inflammation.
Essentially, gotu kola contributes to healing damaged skin, preventing visible scarring and reinforcing skin to keep it looking taut and more elastic. In Laurel Facial Serum: Antioxidant, Mahalo The Unveil Cleanser and Black Chicken Remedies Complexion Polish, gotu kola is among several powerful ingredients that work in harmony to prevent and lessen any noticeable signs of aging. Gotu kola, by helping to stimulate collagen production, helps soften the look of deep wrinkles, prevent sagging and reduce the appearance of scars. Are you as impressed as we are?
The petals of the marigold, or Calendula officinalis, plant have been used in medicine since around the 12th century. It is an annual plant native to Europe, Western Asia and the U.S., although it’s been known to grow in almost any type of soil. In the past, it has been used to treat stomach ulcers and cramps (though there’s no scientific data to support these treatments).
In modern times, marigold is predominantly used in skincare. This is due in part to the fact that marigolds are high in flavonoids, which are plant-based antioxidants that protect the skin from free radical damage. Free radicals are cell-damaging atoms that expedite wrinkle formation, hyperpigmentation, dullness and sagging. Antioxidants work against them to restore skin health.
In addition to being an antioxidant, marigold is also a potent anti-inflammatory, which is why it’s been used as a compress for wounds, bruises, rashes, boils and dermatitis. It is believed to heal wounds by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the affected area. This then aids the body in growing new, healthy tissue to replace the damaged parts.
Purearth Mandarin Body Butter, Mahalo Balm and Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser feature marigold oil as one of their ingredients. It works by soothing agitated, irritated skin thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory qualities. As an antioxidant, it can also help prevent the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. Marigold oil may even be beneficial in reducing redness and evening out skin tone. So there you have it—marigolds do much more than make rooms look pretty!
MSM, also known as Methylsulfonylmethane, is an organic sulfur compound that occurs naturally in plants, animals and humans. When ingested orally as a supplement, MSM helps form connective tissues like cartilage, ligaments and tendons. It is also credited with boosting collagen production.
In skincare, MSM can be found in many anti-aging products, as it’s incredibly hydrating and effective in making skin appear plump, thereby reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Its ability to synthesize collagen also allows for firmer, tighter skin. It is also quite helpful in decreasing the appearance of loose and sagging skin that occurs slowly but surely as we age.
In Odacité Beautiful Day Moisturizer, MSM is the active ingredient that helps stimulate collagen production, thereby bringing a beautiful plumpness to the face and filling in deep wrinkles to smooth out the surface of the skin.
Remembering The Little Guys
We’re on a first-name basis with Vitamin C, but we often forget to recognize the ingredients—often straight from Mother Nature—that work just as hard to make our skin glow. Gotu kola, marigold and MSM are three to keep on your radar. Get them on your skin and see for yourself!