The Face Puck Speaks

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I’ve written about the Face Puck before.  But the Puck is such a big deal to me and what it has done for my skin that I decided to write an entire post on the ingredients in Face Puck.

We addressed a variety of skin issues when we created the Face Puck, including dry, mature, aging, oily, acne-laden, scarred, and normal skin.  The Puck has it all and this is what we were going after when we created it.

The last post about this product focused mostly on the main ingredient:  Kokum butter.  But let’s break it all down and look at all of the ingredients, shall we?  And yes, we’ll start with Kokum butter again first, but please read beyond our wonderful friend, Kokum:

Kokum Butter: Kokum butter is a non-greasy butter that absorbs almost immediately into the skin.  It has a high triglyceride composition which means it is abundant in lipids or fatty acids that protect the skin from water loss and act as a barrier against pollutants and other toxins. It also helps to regenerate skin cells and  supports elasticity and flexibility of the skin wall. It greatly helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and it nourishes the skin.

Aloe Vera:  The Egyptians called the aloe vera plant the “Plant of Immortality.”  Its skin loving benefits are not just for application to burns although that is an honorable trait to have, but there’s so much more to aloe vera.  Its anti-aging properties are high because of its antioxidants and Vitamins C and E, and the betacarotene levels in aloe vera are also high.  These all help to maintain skin’s firmness and to keep the skin naturally hydrated.  Aloe vera  also contains the hormones Auxin and Gibberellins. These aid in reducing skin inflammation. Giberellin also stimulates the growth of new cells.

Mango Butter:  Mango butter is extracted from the fruit seed of the Mangifera indica tree.  It has amazing properties for the skin including:  diminishing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, softening the skin and smoothing the complexion.  Mango Butter is also loaded with fatty acids, making it a great choice for dry, damaged, skin.  But not only that, mango butter is fabulous for clearing blemishes.  It has massive healing properties and has natural UV protection (although during summer months, you might want to add extra SPF!).

Cupuacu Butter:  Cupuacu butter is an excellent plant alternative to lanolin.  Many people are allergic to lanolin (oil from the wool of sheep) and other people are just not interested in putting animal fats on their skin.  Not only that, cupuacu butter is much more effective than lanolin in acting as a skin hydrator and “plumper.”  Like mango butter, cupuacu butter is a natural UV protectant for the skin.  Its antioxidants protect against environmental damage, and it is an essential ingredient in our Face Puck for improved skin elasticity.  It’s an amazing butter!

Avocado Oil:  Harvested from the flesh rather than the seed of the fruit, avocado oil is one of the most penetrative of all natural plant oils. Unlike almost all other moisturizers and natural oils, avocado oil is believed to penetrate through the skin’s epidermis and into the dermis layer, resulting in extremely soft and hydrated skin.  Additionally, due to its humectant properties, this effect is long-lasting.  Avocado oil, like the other oils we use in our Face Puck, is great for all skin types.  But it possesses the most benefits for mature and aging skin and this is the focus of this particular product:  the appearance of a clear, youthful appearance!

Jojoba Oil:  Here’s one that I could go on and on about but we’ve got a lot more ingredients to get through so I’ll try to keep it brief.  First, jojoba is an ester or wax, not an oil, that comes from the seed of the Jojoba plant (simmondsia chinensis).  What makes this such a fabulous “oil” is that its properties are so close to the properties of our own skin’s oil that it absorbs readily, almost like our skin is welcoming a family member back home.  It works for all skin types and offers incredible anti-inflammatory properties and even helps with acne!  Because it is an anti-microbial, it deters the growth of bacteria and helps with trouble skin (like acne for one).  Jojoba oil has also been known to reduce the appearance of scars and aging.  This is one reason why jojoba oil is so expensive, but it is a must-have in our Face Puck!

Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil is naturally moisturizing, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial which makes it a good choice in our Face Puck to help prevent the clogging of pores (which often happens with other facial products!).  Additionally, according to organicfacts.net:  “It is claimed that coconut oil is good for several skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Several readers have reported this benefit. However, scientific research is ongoing in order to prove or disprove these claims. Much of the research that is there speaks to its protein content, since the replacement of sick or dying cells that can occur with various skin disorders, are quickly replaced by new, healthy cells. In this way, coconut oil not only treats the infection by battling the microbial bodies,  they also heal the damage or the visible marks of that skin disorder; it is a two-in-one solution.”

Liquid Shea Oil:  Shea oil is created during the processing of shea butter.  It holds the same amazing benefits as shea butter but because it is in a liquid form, it is easier to use in a moisturizer, keeping it from being gritty (a common trait of shea butter).  Shea butter, like all of the butters in our moisturizer, is a skin superfood.  It contains Vitamins A, E & F and it, like mango butter and cupuacu butter, also contains natural UV protection (approximately a 6 on the SPF scale).  In a 2010 study, it was found that due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter was anti-inflammatory.  Lupeol cinnamate was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations which also may help some people with acne.  It also aids the skin in natural collagen production!

Argan Oil:  Hailing from Morocco, Argan Oil is one of the most sought after botanical oils in today’s market and is often referred to as “liquid gold” – and for good reason.  It has a unique blend of unsaturated fatty acids, carotenoids, plant sterols, polyphenols, ferulic acid, Vitamin E and squalene and provides amazing regenerating properties for the skin.  Experts believe it can help with many skin conditions, from dry skin and wrinkles to psoriasis, eczema and acne!  It absorbs quickly without leaving an oily residue and is a reason that many people use argan oil straight up or “neat.”  We are in the process of adding argan oil by itself to our facial line, along with a variety of other oils (jojoba, evening primrose and more – stay tuned!)

Vegetable glycerin:  Glycerin is a pure, odorless liquid that is a by-product of palm and coconut oils, produced during a process called hydrolysis.  We use it in our Face Puck because it is a natural humectant (drawing and retaining moisture to the skin).  As a side note, glycerin is also a naturally occurring by-product of the saponification process.  When we make our handmade soaps, glycerin is naturally created which is the reason why our soaps are so luxurious!  Commercial companies press out the naturally occurring glycerin in their soaps because it is a commodity!  It is used in lotions, moisturizers (like our Face Puck), etc.  This is why you don’t get the same lovely feel on your skin from commercial soaps and why you should also buy our handmade soaps!

D-Panthenol:  Panthenol is a natural chemical compound, very closely related to Vitamin B5, or panthothenic acid.  D-Panthenol has loads and loads of skin care benefits, including:  restoration of damaged skin cells, reduction of itching and inflammation, increase in skin hydration and more!  So this is why we chose to add this to our Face Puck.  Research has shown that it appears to speed up the healing process of wounds and helps in reparation of scarring.  Another great ingredient that we just couldn’t pass up!

Allantoin:  Allantoin can be found in botanical extracts from the comfrey plant and if you don’t know about comfrey, please research it – it is a fabulous herb for skin care in treating all kinds of skin issues!  Research has indicated that lotions and moisturizers containing just 5% of allantoin can help to heal wounds by aiding in the anti-inflammation process.

Sea Buckthorn Oil:  Wow!  When it comes to helping the anti-aging process, Sea Buckthorn oil is right up there and sits upon its well-deserved throne, peering down haughtily on other anti-aging oils.  This marvelous oil has loads of Phytosterol, Vitamin E, Betacarotene, Anti-Oxidants, and Carotenoid which is why it has a relatively high success rate as a skin repairing and conditioning oil.  Loaded with anti-oxidants, including Vitamin C and Vitamin E, this superfruit helps to aid in warding off skin roughness, depth of wrinkles and also helps to assist in healing burns, acne, sun-damaged skin and more.  It is an absolutely amazing oil.

Essential Oils of Lavender, Wild Orange and Carrot Seed:  While we never had any intention of fragrancing our Face Puck, these oils, blended together, do create a lovely euphoric fragrance.  But we chose them for their incredible skin care properties.

  • Lavender – A natural antibacterial and antifungal, lavender is just not another pretty face!  It contains powerful antioxidants as well that deliver a huge punch to environmental pollutants on the skin.  And the scent of lavender provides an aromatherapeutic calming effect to the mind.
  • Wild Orange – What’s the difference between regular orange oil and wild orange oil?  Wild Orange oil’s beneficial properties are much stronger and longer lasting than those of regular orange oil.  It is extremely high in antioxidants and is an excellent anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce puffiness in skin.  Finally, Wild Orange oil also has its own aromatherapy properties including helping to relieve anxiety and stress and lift the spirits.
  • Carrot Seed – This is an amazing ingredient that rejuvenates skin cells and is great for sensitive skin.  It also contains anti-aging properties and has an SPF of 40.  That’s not to say you should not use sunscreen, but the carrot seed oil sure helps.

We chose each of these essential oils very carefully when making the decision as to what to add to our Face Puck.

Green Tea Extract:  There have been numerous studies on the effects of Green Tea extract on the skin.  Animal studies have shown protection from skin cancer and both animal and human studies have shown that topical green tea extract and other green tea formulations can reduce sun-induced skin damage.  We also know that it is 30 times more powerful an antioxidant than its very popular ally, Vitamin E.  Loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols and phytonutrients, Green Tea Extract is a wonderful addition to the Face Puck.

Buckwheat Extract:  Buckwheat extract is not a grain, so don’t be fooled by its name.  It comes from a fruit seed related to rhubarb, making it gluten-free.  It is rich in flavenoids and antioxidants and is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, adding a strong anti-aging component and boosting the skin’s elasticity.

Evening Primrose Oil:  Evening Primrose is a powerhouse.  It helps to keep the skin hydrated and helps to boost skin circulation, relieving tired under eye areas and skin.  Because it is also an anti-inflammatory, it helps to reduce puffiness and inflammation.

Rosehip Seed Oil:  Rosehip seed oil is a skin elixir all by itself, providing anti-aging properties that are a force to be reckoned with!  It helps to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, helps to minimize scarring and age spots.  Truly amazing stuff!

Tocopherol (Vit. E):  Vitamin E (tocopherol) has long been touted as an aid in repairing damaged skin, maintaining good skin, and fighting off pollutants.  My grandmother used to open a Vitamin E capsule and rub it all over her face and she had great skin!  So it was a no-brainer for me to add this to my skin cream.  According to research done at Oregon State University and in a paper written by them, “Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin. Naturally occurring vitamin E is not a single compound; instead, vitamin E is a group of molecules with related structures, some of which may have unique properties in skin . . . Vitamin E is normally provided to the skin through the sebum (skin’s own oils). Topical application can also supply the skin with vitamin E and may provide specific vitamin E forms that are not available from the diet…In addition, vitamin E can also absorb the energy from ultraviolet (UV) light. Thus, it plays important roles in photoprotection, preventing UV-induced free radical damage to skin. Vitamin E may also have related antinflammatory roles in the skin.”

To read more about Vitamin E via the above article, click here.

Preservative:  When I originally created the Face Puck, I blended only the butters and oils.  When water is not introduced to a product, the use of preservative is almost completely unnecessary (except when the product may come into contact with water, i.e., in the use of a sugar scrub in the shower).  Recently, I decided to turn my hard oil product into a cream mostly because of requests from customers who loved the product but wanted something that glided more easily onto the skin and that did not feel as greasy.  Once water is added to create a cream, a preservative becomes necessary.

We use the following ingredients:  Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid and Phenoxyethanol.  All of these are listed as low sensitivity and they do not release formaldehyde, unlike other preservatives.

We here at Artisan Soaps have a self-imposed expiration date on the Face Puck because natural preservatives, unlike their paraben, formaldehyde and other unnatural counterparts, do not provide as long of a shelf life as the other preservatives.  Because of this, we make our Face Puck in small batches and you can be assured that when it reaches you, it is no more than two weeks old.  We are also currently in the process of putting an expiration date on all of our products that are in need of a preservative.

And, with that, the Face Puck has spoken.  Get yours today while current supplies last.  http://www.artisansoaps.net/products/the-face.html

– The Soap Woman

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