Ingredient Series: Baobab Seed Extract

Baobab, or Adansonia Digitata, is nicknamed as “tree of life” for its impressive longevity. But equally as impressive are the skin benefits that this unique ingredient can provide.  

The part of the tree that is the most beneficial is the fruit seeds. They are packed with Vitamin C, high in minerals, and three main omega fatty acids. The seeds are harvested only after the fruits completely dried out while still on the tree and fell on the ground to preserve the maximum nutritious value. 

We chose to include baobab seed extract in our Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel formulation to help invigorate your dull, tired and stressed skin. 

Here’s a quick round-up of what baobab seed extract can do. 

baobab seed extract

Improve Hydration Levels 

Exfoliation can often leave your skin drier than usual, which is a big no-no since people with dry, flaky skin need exfoliation the most. And given that baobab’s excellent moisturizing properties have received approval from science, it isn’t that surprising it made its way into the formula.

Improved Skin Elasticity
Seeds of baobab fruits are exceptionally rich in Vitamin C, which is known to boost collagen production. It’s also a natural source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids that work to deeply nourish and plump the skin from inside out.

Boost Anti-Oxidants
Baobab boasts an insane amount of anti-oxidant content that long surpasses touted matcha and goji berries. It contains prebiotics and dietary fibers that can help fight harmful free radicals, making it an excellent choice for people who want to up their anti-aging game.

Overall, this is a highly underrated ingredient that we hope to see more companies include in their formulas in the future.

Have you tried anything with baobab seed extract? Let us know!


Ingredient Series: Apple Fruit Extract

If you’re into Korean skincare, you’ve probably noticed the speed with which new nature-derived ingredients appear on the market. Once Centella was all the rage, now it’s all about Mugwort and Houttuynia Cordata. Who knows what other novelties are waiting to be discovered in the years to come.

And while new is excellent, we also think tried and tested ingredients have its place in our product and deserve some love. Because sometimes, simple and straightforward is what our skin needs the most.

Enter apple (or pyrus malus) fruit extract.

Apples might not be the most exciting ingredient to add to your roster. But as the famous adage – “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”– instructs, it has numerous benefits to offer to your body and skin.

Similar to papaya, apple fruit extract is rich in antioxidants and is a natural source of AHA (alpha hydroxy acids). And the polyphenols and catechins that our favorite green tea is so beloved for? Apple extract has them, too. So, if your skin responds well to these ingredients, it will love apple extract.

So, what are the skin benefits you can expect from incorporating apple-containing products in your routine?

apple fruit extract

Anti-aging benefits. As mentioned above, apple extract is rich in vitamin C that can help fight free radicals and help with skin’s natural regeneration process. So, if you’ve noticed the first signs of premature aging – loss elasticity and dullness – apple fruit extract is a great anti-aging choice for firmer, brighter skin.

Acne and enlarged pores. Apple is a natural astringent, meaning it helps to balance oil production and aid in clearing up the appearance of acne. Apple extract’s tightening properties will also help enlarged pores to appear smaller, giving you an overall balanced, even-looking, and healthier complexion.

Skin smoothing. Apple is a natural source of AHA – a skin-resurfacing group of acids that are excellent exfoliating agents. It will gently exfoliate your skin by working on its surface, breaking down keratins that hold skin cells together to make way for softer, smoother skin.

Last but not least, apple extract has a light, crisp fragrance, which makes it a perfect natural alternative to sensitizing essential oils or artificial fragrances in the formula. Such a multitasker!

Would you be giving an apple fruit extract a try?

 MOTHER MADE products formulated with apple fruit extract

MOTHER MADE Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel

Ingredient Series: Pearl Extract

A powerful antioxidant to save your post-summer skin.

Nothing screams aging more than sun-stressed post-summer skin. All the summer activities are super fun, but they also leave our skin looking dull, lackluster, desiccated, and as a result way older than it is. The beginning of fall then is the perfect time to regroup and start strategically planning your skincare routine around the ingredients that help to do the damage control.

Among many ingredients that help brighten the skin and fight sun damage, pearl extract is the one that deserves a spotlight. More than a luminous stone, a pearl is a powerful antioxidant that has an abundance of beauty-boosting benefits to give you the healthy glowing skin of your dreams.

Pearl extract or Pearl powder? Are they the same?

Lately, pearl powder and its benefits have become a popular topic in the skincare community. But is pearl extract and pearl powder the same?
Sometimes pearl extract and pearl powder are used interchangeably, and it’s not all that wrong. But they do have their differences. Pearl powder is more concentrated, raw form of pearl. It is made of freshwater pearls that are sterilized in boiling water and milled into a fine powder. This powder can be used as a food supplement or used to formulate creams and serums. But as you might know, the majority of our skincare (think toners, lightweight creams, sheet masks) are water-based. So to make it soluble and thus suitable for more elegant and sophisticated formulations, the powder is mixed with sea mineral water to make a pearl extract.

More than a luminous stone, a pearl is a powerful antioxidant that has an abundance of beauty-boosting benefits to give you the healthy glowing skin of your dreams.

Pearl extract is classified as an antioxidant and contains a number of amino-acids that heal and maintain cells in a human body. It’s very rich in calcium (concentration at 30-80%), magnesium, selenium, iron, silica, and other trace minerals that play a vital role in skin and body health. Pearls also contain unique compound conchiolin – a type of protein called keratin that’ s an essential part of our hair and skin. This protein gives pearls their shimmery luminous look.

What can pearl extract do to help your skin?

Healthy youthful glow. We all know that healthy glowing skin is first and foremost hydrated skin. And pearl extract can definitely help in that area as it’s an excellent humectant. Because of its soothing and restorative effect, pearl extract hydrates the skin and helps to retain the moisture.

Slowing the aging process. Although scientific data on the efficacy of pearl extracts is limited, studies have shown that pearls activate fibroblasts – cells responsible for building collagen and promoting faster wound healing. When applied topically, pearl extract can support cell regeneration process to prevent skin sagging and wrinkles. Its high concentration of antioxidants will help to protect the skin against radical damage. The skin will appear smooth, tight, and plump.

Because of its soothing and restorative effect, pearl extract hydrates the skin and helps to retain the moisture.

Inhibit melanin production. Pearl extract has been shown effective in the treatment of pigmented skin as well as preventing skin discoloration.

Helping acne-prone skin. Since pearl extract is rich in so many nutrients that are vital for skin health, it helps to restore skin balance, promote regeneration, and calm down redness and blemishes.

All in all, be in in a cream, serum, essence or a sheet mask format, pearl is a wonderful natural ingredient to add to your radar for glowing healthy skin.

Heat causes skin aging. Here’s what to do to prevent it.

We know that exposure to UV rays wreaks havoc on our skin. It depletes the moisture, triggers excess sebum production, destroys collagen, and causes hyper-pigmentation. Luckily, preventive measures from this type of skin aging are relatively straightforward – regular (and generous) sunscreen re-application and UV protective clothing.

As it turns out, however, there is another skin aging culprit to watch out for – heat. Recent research suggests that constant skin overheating can be as damaging to skin as UV. Prolonged heat exposure makes protective antioxidant levels in our skin to drop, leaving it more susceptible to free radical damage. It also triggers cells to create a pigment that will show up on the skin as age spots. Unfortunately, this type of aging can’t be prevented just by stocking up on sunscreen.

So, what can you do? Read along to find out.  

First thing first – know your ingredients.

There are plenty of natural ingredients to look for in your gels, creams, and masks that will help to reduce skin heat.

  • Titanium dioxide & zinc oxide. These minerals physically block infrared heat keeping your skin cooler. Bonus points –they also double as sunscreen agents typically found in physical (mineral) sunscreen formulas.
  • Peppermint & Menthol. While these ingredients don’t reduce skin temperature, they trick your brain into thinking it needs to re-adjust body heat. As a result, the blood flow to the skin’s surface decreases, and you get that cooling, tingling sensation.  
  • Cucumber. A classic, tried-and-tested ingredient that will deliver cooling, calming, and de-puffing effect. It will also help to hydrate and slightly brighten the skin. That’s why people put fresh cucumber slices on their eyes to get rid of any night swelling and dark circles.
  • Aloe. Another classic.  You won’t feel an instant cooling sensation with this hydrating and cooling gem like you would with menthol or peppermint. Instead, it will naturally reduce the skin temperature by several degrees, making for a more long-term, sustainable cooling effect.
  • Allantoin. Not precisely a cooling ingredient, but it is an ingredient worth looking for nonetheless. As overheated skin often equals red and irritated skin, it will help to calm down and hydrate the skin when it feels on fire.
  • Flower extracts. Look for extracts from white flowers such as Lily, Lotus, Plum or Cherry Blossoms. These will help physically cool down and soothe overheated skin.
  • Colloidal oats. It’s a natural soothing anti-irritant found in moisturizers and masks. It helps your skin to keep its cool.
  • Chamomile. Chamomile extract is known to work wonders on irritated, inflamed skin. Be it due to a bug bite or spending too much time under the sun, this natural anti-inflammatory ingredient will reduce redness and have a skin calming effect.

If you need to step your heat-aging preventing game further, here are the things you can do.

Ice towel or cold compress. Place it on your…neck. Yes, neck. The neck is like the cordon that heat must pass before fully reaching our face. So, concentrating on cooling down the neck area first is crucial to reduce the skin temperature effectively.

Ice roller + cooling sheet mask. Once you’ve placed something icy cold on your neck, now it’s the time to start working on cooling the skin on your face. Apply a sheet mask (preferably, containing some of the cooling ingredients from the list above) and start rolling across your forehead, around the eyes, cheeks, and mouth. It will physically cool down your skin and also help to reduce puffiness, enlarged pores, and improve redness.

Cold footbath. Keeping your feet warm in winter helps you not to feel cold. Vice versa, keeping your feet cold will reduce the body heat, preventing your skin from overheating. Soak your feet in ice-cold water for 20-30 minutes. Follow up with a menthol or peppermint cream.  

Bamboo & linen bedding. Both are natural, breathable fabrics with exceptional temperature-regulating properties that are far superior to cotton. Cotton readily absorbs moisture quickly becoming heavy and clingy (think what happens with your cotton t-shirt when it gets wet). Bamboo and linen wick moisture away from the body and help to maintain comfortable body temperature.

And there you have it. Do you have any other tips on how to prevent the skin from overheating? Share them in the comments below!

Ingredient series: Bamboo Charcoal

Recently, activated charcoal-based skincare and beauty products have been having a moment. Praised for its sponge-like abilities to draw out toxins, charcoal, a.k.a. “blackhead buster,” is meant to bring a much-needed balance and clarity to overheated oily skin.

But did you know that not all charcoal products are created equal? From hardwood to peat to coconut shells – there are different types to choose from. But it’s the bamboo charcoal that increasingly gets the spotlight.

Curious to know why? Then keep on reading.

So, why bamboo?

Among other types, charcoal made from bamboo stalks is believed to have the best purifying properties thanks to its naturally super-porous structure. As the bamboo plant grows and matures, millions of tiny holes form on its surface, which ultimately gives bamboo charcoal the ability to attract and store more impurities.

While bamboo charcoal might sound very novel, it isn’t new. Back in ancient Egypt and then China, people relied on the detoxifying power of bamboo charcoal to treat poison, eliminate wound odor and purify water. Even in the present day, it has been extensively used in a hospital setting to treat food and alcohol poisoning.

Eventually, bamboo charcoal found a way into skincare in its more potent, activated form. The “activation” process further reduces the size of the holes on the bamboo surface, making it even more porous and absorbent. And while it sounds complicated, it’s actually a very straightforward technique – the charcoal powder is simply injected with steam, and no other chemicals are added. The results are amazing – the powder becomes four times more porous and can hold up to 1000 times its weight in pollutants and dirt. Sounds quite powerful, doesn’t it?

Bamboo is one of the world’s best sustainable resources.

Bamboo is also one the world’s best sustainable resources. And that’s another reason why bamboo charcoal is gaining a king status, especially among environmentally conscious brands and consumers. When a regular tree is chopped, it can take nearly a century for it to grow back to its original state. Bamboo, on the other hand, grows quickly (almost two feet or more in a single day!) and reaches maturity in under 5 years. If harvested responsibly, it will renew itself easily without needing any irrigation, complex maintenance or synthetic fertilizers. Bonus points – it also keeps the soil stronger and the air cleaner.

Last, but not least, bamboo charcoal products are a safer choice for people with extremely sensitive and allergy-prone skin. Regular hardwood charcoal is often a mix of woods and the truth is, it’s hard to know the exact types that went into the mix (unless the company openly discloses this info), how they were grown and harvested and whether they were sprayed with fertilizers or pesticides in the process. So you always have to consider a possibility of an allergic reaction and be extra careful when choosing a charcoal product that wasn’t made from bamboo.

How will it help the skin?

Now, we’ve established that bamboo charcoal is great at removing impurities from your congested, dull skin. But how exactly does it work? In short, the process is very similar to that of a magnet. The tiny holes on the charcoal surface have a negative electrical charge, while toxins, impurities and dirt molecules – positive. Whenever they come into close proximity, i.e., when you are washing your face or applying a mask, negatively charged charcoal holes attract positively charged impurities and trap them inside before being washed away. The finer the powder particle, the deeper into the pores it will go, allowing more dirt and sebum to be washed away.

Charcoal is one of the few ingredients that deliver both short- and long-term results.

The best part, however, is that charcoal is one of the few ingredients that deliver both immediate and sustainable long-term results. Since it literally draws out excess oils, dead skin cells, sweat, and toxins, after cleansing your skin will feel instantly cleaner, brighter and decongested. Best experience ever! And if you use charcoal-based cleansers daily, dead skin and sebum won’t stand a chance to accumulate and clog your pores in the long run.

Interested in trying a bamboo charcoal cleanser? Check out our Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash that contains ecologically clean bamboo charcoal from pristine Damyang region in Korea. It also boasts an extra fine particle size that will travel deeper into the pores and suck out even more sebum and dirt, making way for fresh, bright and radiant skin.   

INGREDIENT SERIES: Snail Secretion Filtrate


A quick and concise guide on why we love snail mucin and you should, too.

As a brand that sings praises to versatile ingredients that make life easier and skin healthier, we love snail mucin dearly. From providing a boost of hydration and filling wrinkles, to fading dark spots and healing sunburns, it seems like there is nothing snail mucin can’t do. It’s also a compliant team player. You can safely pair with any other ingredients in your routine and be assured it won’t give you any unexpected surprises.

Sounds rather magical, isn’t it?

But there is a simple explanation for why so many people swear by snail products as their anti-aging holy grail. It has to do with the chemical composition of the mucus. Read alone for the scoop!  

Snail mucin is in and of itself is an animal-derived growth factor. Growth factors are natural proteins that signal skin cells that some housekeeping – such as repairing broken skin – is due. This wound-healing property is what initially made the “icky” ingredient famous, but if we look at a more detailed chemical breakdown, it will show that snail mucin can do so much more than just tissue repair.

So, what’s in snail mucin?

  • Allantoin –  a soothing moisturizer that can also treat, prevent and reduce scarring.
  • Glycolic Acid – a type of AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) that works as a chemical exfoliant and has well-documented anti-aging benefits. Skincare community praises glycolic acid for its ability to improve skin texture, smooth stubborn wrinkles making the skin thicker and bouncier overall.
  • Hyaluronic Acid – does it need any introduction? Hyaluronic acid is uber-famous for its water-binding properties. It’s an excellent humectant that draws moisture from the environment into the skin and with that prevents trans-epidermal water loss.
  • Glycosaminoglycans – sugar-based molecules that maintain healthy collagen and elastin levels. They also help the skin to retain moisture better to keep that supple, hydrated look and feel longer.
  • Copper peptides – aptly named as a “natural botox,” this family of peptides are known for their ability to make the skin more firm and plump. They also promote faster skin healing while improving the overall texture of the skin.
  • Last but not least, Natural Anti-bacterials – as the name suggests, these substances are meant to destroy bacteria and prevent them from growing and multiplying.

That’s an impressive list you’d typically find in tried-and-tested anti-aging products. This makes snail mucin a natural age-defying ingredient that can treat the skin suffering from extreme dehydration and dryness, loss of firmness, elasticity, and wrinkles. It can also help to fade away dark spots and hyper-pigmentation. Some even suggest that snail mucin goes further than just a cosmetic spot treatment and is capable of repairing sun-damaged skin on the cellular level.

The main question is – is it as effective as more conventional anti-aging treatments like retinol creams and products with a high concentration of glycolic acid? The answer is, as always, it depends. While retinoids and glycolic acid have a long trail of clinical studies to support its efficacy, they are also infamous for being very harsh and irritating. To the point of making it a persona non grata in the skincare regimen of those with sensitive skin types. Snail products then become a milder, safer alternative without unpleasant side-effects. Some dermatologists even recommend it over potent actives because it minimizes the risk of allergic reactions, doesn’t cause dryness and is easy to incorporate into anyone’s skincare routine. Snail products are also an excellent entry-level option for those who are just starting their anti-aging game and simply don’t want anything too sensitizing.

But it is precisely the gentle and non-irritating nature of snail mucin that makes it more of a long-term ingredient rather than an overnight fix. Yes, you will notice the instant glow and feel the boost of hydration, but to really reap those long-term sustainable anti-aging benefits you should give it some time. Apply it diligently, mix with other nourishing products and one day you will look in the mirror and be surprised how much younger, firmer and bouncier your skin looks.