When it comes to the world of natural beauty, there are more and more discoveries being made that prove Mother Nature’s strength in skincare. As the health and wellness movement continues to sweep across major cities around the globe, the focus on natural and organic skincare is only intensifying, and with good reason too. Over 60 percent of what we apply on our skin gets absorbed into our body, so loading up on chemical-filled lotions and potions is just as bad as eating fast food.
“I am convinced that plant oils are the perfect choice for the skin,” says Shirley Conlon, founder and creator of the UAE’s first-ever 100 percent natural and organic skincare brand, Shirley Conlon Organics. “However, I also believe that no particular one oil, alone, is totally beneficial, and the true art is in blending them to deliver exactly what the needs are, depending on skin type.” Having studied cosmetology in London, Conlon moved to Dubai where she was astounded at the number of skin problems she saw, mainly due to environmental factors and chemical ingredients. She set about creating her own line of products that delivered impressive results whilst looking after the skin from the inside out.
Speaking to Savoir Flair, Conlon reveals her top powerhouse ingredients that are 100 percent natural and pack a serious beautifying punch.
Sea Buckthorn Oil
This beautiful, bright orange “super fruit” is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, vitamin E, rare omega 7, and 190 other bio-active nutrients. Containing ten times more vitamin C than oranges and providing a high plant source of vitamin E, it was used to heal burn victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and is currently used topically by Russian cosmonauts against radiation! Rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, it helps reverse the damaging effects of the sun and minimizes long-term effects like wrinkles, dehydration, and pigmentation. The seed oil is a good source of nutrients, however it is the whole fruit pulp, considered an ancient herbal medicine, that is far superior. Shirley Conlon Organics uses certified-organic complete fruit pulp, which is extracted without the use of heat, solvents, or preservatives.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Move over chia seeds, for this superfood is unsurpassed in essential fatty acids, which are mandatory for proper skin function and repair. Potent in antioxidant polyphenols (also found in green tea), it is an interesting ingredient for skin exposed to ultraviolet radiation. The Oomah Study shows it could have an SPF factor between 28 and 50 for UVB rays and between 6 and 8 for UVA rays. Although it should not be used on its own to protect against sun exposure, it does seem an ideal choice in hot climates.
Otherwise known as Coenzyme Q10, ubiquinone is one of the most powerful antioxidants to help neutralize harmful free radicals, which is key in the prevention and treatment of premature aging. Several studies have shown that Coenzyme Q10 can have a positive effect on the appearance of wrinkles – most notably by reducing UV damage and stimulating healthy collagen production.
Rosehip oil contains the highest plant source of trans-retinoic acid (vitamin A), which is excellent in treating skin inflammations and aging. Used in many private clinics in Italy post-surgery for scarring and tissue regeneration, it is considered one of the best anti-wrinkle oils available. An omega-rich dry oil, it is easily absorbed, giving elasticity to the skin and helping to reduce large pores. The essential fatty acids benefit sun-damaged skin and help to improve the appearance of burns, scars, and wrinkles. Our Rosehip Oil (nicknamed by our customers as ‘Botox in a bottle’) is blended with precious Rose Otto and Acmella flower to further protect against pigmentation, UV rays, pollution, and smoke. It is a wonderful anti-pollution treatment for all skin types.
Known as the ‘fountain of youth’, sodium hyaluronate is recognized as the most effective moisturizer ever discovered. Naturally found in connective tissue in the skin and joints, it is what gives skin its volume and fullness. Aging results in the loss of hyaluronic acid, which in turn results in skin that has less volume. This magical ingredient is able to retain moisture at 1,000 times its own weight, better than any other polymer! It is made through a bio-fermentation of yeast and glucose. Whether it is micro-fine, which makes it more easily absorbed by the skin, or if it is of a higher molecular weight so it sits on the skin’s surface, it’s an imperative ingredient in anti-aging skincare. It acts as a water reservoir for skin exposed to hot and humid climates as it pulls moisture from the atmosphere into the skin, creating a healthy barrier for smoother, plumper, and younger-looking skin. It’s found in very high percentage in our ‘Fountain of Youth Face Cream’.