Are You Feeding Your Skin? Part 3: High-Performance Oils and Extracts

Feeding our skin on the outside is as important as feeding our bodies on the inside and both can affect the overall health of our skin.

Skin health and achieving healthy skin can mean different things for different people. We are all unique and our skin type will vary from one person to another.

However, the basic structure of our different skin types remains the same and we all need to feed our skin essential nutrients to achieve balance and skin harmony.

In this three part mini skin health series, written for Baldwins by Aromatherapist, Jo Manchester, she talks about the essential nutrients that will help to keep your skin healthy and protected.

In parts 1 and 2 she talked about antioxidants and essential fatty acids, both of which are important for skin nourishment and daily skin protection. In part 3 she’ll be delving into the world of 'high performance’ plant based oils and extracts to understand how they can give your skin care routine an extra boost and help to soothe, repair and protect your skin.

If you missed part 1; Are you feeding your skin antioxidants? You can read it here.

If you missed part 2; Are you feeding your skin essential fatty acids? You can read it here.


Part 3 - What makes an ingredient 'high-performance'?

High-performance ingredients are those that pack an extra punch when included in a skin care product formulation. They tend to be much more potent than other ingredients and are only needed to be used in very small amounts.

Because of their potency and the fact that they can be used in small amounts, it becomes much easier to include many high-performance ingredients in one product to create a synergistic effect. This will often produce much better results as together they can cover a range of skin needs.

Examples of a high-performance ingredient would be those that contain above average levels of important nutrients like the rarer antioxidants.


High performance oils

The plant world provides us with an abundance of beautiful natural oils that offer a wealth of skin health benefits.

There are, however, some oils that stand out from the crowd because they contain rarer nutrients or exceptionally high levels of particularly important ones.

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is a good example of this as it is the only oil that contains retinoic acid, a natural form of vitamin A. Known for its skin rejuvenating properties, Rosehip oil is great for treating damaged skin, particularly skin that has suffered the effects of too much sun exposure. 

Pomegranate Seed Oil
Pomegranate oil is another good example as it is the only oil that contains an omega 5 fatty acid known as punicic acid. This is a rare essential fatty acid that is only found in pomegranate seeds.

With strong anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a powerful antioxidant, this is a great high-performance ingredient to include in your skin care routine. When blended with other antioxidant-rich oils, it completes a broad spectrum of skin protecting goodness that can help to  prevent damage from skin ageing free radicals and other environmental factors.

Black Seed Oil
Once quoted by the prophet Muhammad as being “the remedy for every disease except death,” Black Seed oil most definitely needs a mention and has firmly earned its place as a high-performance oil. This oil was thought to be a favourite of Cleopatra who attributed her beauty to its use; in fact, Black Seed oil is steeped in Egyptian history with lots of documented evidence that it was used for many different things.

It is high in omega 6 linoleic acid as well as containing a range of powerful nutrients that includes thymoquinone, a particularly potent antioxidant with proven results.

Black seed oil is soothing for sore, irritated and damaged skin and its regenerative qualities are great for dry and mature skin types in need of an extra boost.


High performance extracts

High-performance oil-based extracts are the most concentrated and potent of all of the oil-based ingredients and are the part of the formulation that can transform a good product into a great product.

Co-Enzyme Q10 and Marine Algae
Extracts like marine algae and Co-Enzyme Q10 are popular in anti-ageing products as they are both regenerating for tired damaged skin in need of a pick me up and help to protect against future damage. They can both be used in very small amounts allowing for the inclusion of multiple ingredients that can work together to create your skin’s own natural defence system.

Marine algae, often listed in the ingredients section as Cylindrotheca Fusiformis, is particularly good for skin that may be experiencing some reduced suppleness and sagging as it encourages collagen production as a part of its regenerative properties. It can also help to speed up the skin healing process, making it useful for problem skin.

The skin’s own natural repair system is the best anti-ageing system of all. A good product will help to support what the body and skin does naturally and encourage it to work more efficiently. 

CO2 Extracts
Other examples of high-performance extracts are those that are produced using CO2 extraction.

CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide to produce a highly concentrated and extremely stable version of a plant-based oil. It doesn’t require any heat meaning that all of the goodness is left with little to no loss of nutrients.

This type of extract often contains multiple parts of the plant including traces of the essential oil which may be lost using other forms of processing.

CO2 extracts can be vibrant blues, reds and greens and can transform a product into a beautiful rich colour with an amazing, natural, plant-based aroma. If your favourite natural product has this kind of vibrancy, it may well contain one or a combination of these potent ingredients.

Examples of CO2 extracts that we use in the Joanna Naturals collection include Sea Buckthorn extract which is a lovely deep red, skin-calming Chamomile extract which is naturally dark green and Calendula extract, the perfect addition for skin feeling irritated and in need of healing.


How to include high-performance ingredients in your skin care routine

High-performance ingredients are most often found in serums. These are small concentrated blends that target specific skin problems and concerns.

The Joanna Naturals collection of facial oils are a good example of oil-based serums.

Serums would usually be applied to clean, dry or slightly damp skin immediately after cleansing. It is a good idea to take some time to work your serum into your skin with a mini face massage to encourage better absorption of the product.

Used regularly, a serum may help to keep your skin healthy, nourished and protected against future damage.


To learn more about Joanna Naturals and their ‘skin food’ collection of facial oils, click here.