Ingredient Spotlight: Botanical AHA

AHA (alpha hydroxyl acids) are an essential part of our exfoliating routines. They are great. They help to make your skin bright, treat acne, reduce hyperpigmentation and redness. But they also can lead to over exfoliating, irritation and damaged protective barrier. 

So, what’s the alternative?

Some skin types react better to enzymes derived from papaya or pineapple, which provide similar effect to AHA, but not quite. But the recent kid on a k-beauty block has been flower acids – milder, gentler versions of AHAs. They’re taking beauty world by storm, it’s efficacy being backed by a growing body of research. In fact, it’s so good that we formulated our newest toner – All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner with it! So today we wanted to talk about flower-derived AHA, what it is, why it’s good and address a common question that people always ask – if it’s so mild, will it do anything for the skin? Continue reading to find out. 

What is flower AHA?

First, what is flower AHA? While the majority AHA have natural origins, flower AHA – as the name clearly indicates – is derived from flowers. It can be just one type of flower or several.

Let’s start with one type.

Hibiscus flower extract is the most popular form of naturally-derived AHA. For centuries, hibiscus has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties and used in teas and health cocktails. But it turned out, hibiscus extract has impressive skin benefits. Specifically, it contains malic acid and citric acid that gently exfoliates and brightens as well as helps with hyperpigmentation and improves overall skin clarity. While it’s a very mild acid, it still provides same benefits as conventional AHA and even helps to repair UV damage. 

Now, onto the blend.

Some products may contain an AHA blend derived from several flower extracts, In case of our All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner these are:

  • Hibiscus
  • Viola
  • Rosehip
  • Celosia

In addition to Hibiscus benefits, Viola extract helps the skin to look and feel younger by providing essential vitamins and minerals. Rosehip extract clarifies and Celosia extract has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties as well as the ability to strengthen skin barrier and stimulate cell growth. Flower power? It sure is.

MOTHER MADE All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner

Needless to say that when compared to conventional AHA’s flower acids were found to be more gentle on the skin, more hydrating, provide greater cellular renewal and even reduce appearance of wrinkles by inhibiting breakdown of elastin and boosting production of hyaluronic acid. Gentler nature of flower acids also means it has wider usage – extracts can be added into skincare products we use daily – such as toners or lotions without risking to damage the skin.

Will it do anything for my skin? 

One of the common questions that people ask after learning about flower AHAs is – well, if it’s that gentle, will it actually do anything for my skin? The question comes from an outdated belief that the product (especially exfoliating product, which acids are) must give a burning or stinging sensation as an indicator of a product doing its job. But that just isn’t true. Stinging feeling means that your protective skin layer is being thinned out (at best) or even destroyed all together. Even though strong AHA peels might give you an instant satisfaction of brighter (when redness goes away) and smoother skin, stressing your skin regularly can easily backfire in the years to come.

The bottom line. We strongly believe that the best way of going around skincare is being gentle. Less is always more. That’s why we always recommend to opt for milder products suitable for daily use – it’s an indicator that AHA in that product is very mild and percentage is relatively low. Instead of harsh exfoliators, try gentle products with acids and use them consistently. At the end of the day, incremental changes add up and with diligence and patience, you’ll notice healthier, clearer and brighter skin emerge. 

All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner

Meet the newest member of MOTHER MADE family – All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner. This product has been in the works for the longest time, and we couldn’t be happier to drop the curtain finally.

What it is

As the name tells you, it’s a toner. But we like to think that it’s a bit more special than a regular toner. Here’s why.

The toner is called “all green” for a good reason. First, instead of regular water, we went for green tea water, so your skin gets maximum benefits that this amazing ingredient has to offer. “Green” also refers to the overall concept of this product – entirely plant-based, non-irritating, and ultra-soothing. Needless to say, there isn’t any added fragrance (natural or synthetic) or artificial dyes. The toner has a warm, brownish color (like a brewed cup of tea would) and a very faint green tea scent that doesn’t linger.

But the “green” concept isn’t the only thing that sets our toner apart. It’s full of proprietary botanical AHA and PHA blends and herbal complexes that aim to do one thing – calm down skin redness and stress caused by breakouts, active acne, or post-acne scars.

Why we made it

Toner is a tricky product. It isn’t essential per se, but often we feel like our routines aren’t complete without a right toner. And fair enough. Toner does a necessary job of providing your skin with the first layer of hydration and soothing effect to replenish moisture loss and combat any skin redness or irritation. Depending on how toner is used, it also serves as an extra cleansing step to ensure all makeup, dirt, and grime is gone and exfoliate just a tiny little bit to maintain healthy skin texture for longer. What we’ve noticed over the years, that it’s extremely hard to find a multitasking toner like so that’s also suitable for daily use. The majority of toners with AHA/BHA are too strong to be used daily, and hydrating toners often feel like they don’t do much.

That is how the idea for our toner was born.

MOTHER MADE All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner

What it will do for your skin

The result is a perfectly balanced toner that genuinely does it all. It has a thick, almost essence-like texture that feels very rich and nourishing on the skin. Thanks to a 6-sprout skin-soothing complex and mild botanical AHA and PHA blends, the toner helps to calm down redness and provide a very gentle exfoliating effect, just enough to not let any harmful bacteria accumulate and grow. We didn’t have any specific skin type in mind when developing the formula. Instead, we aimed to solve a particular skin concern. Oily or dry or combo, if your skin gets red and irritated easily and/or struggles with acne and breakouts from time to time, this will make for a perfect daily toner that will help to minimize and prevent all the concerns mentioned above.

And that was All Green Tea-rouble-away toner at a glance! We’ll be doing an in-depth overview of ingredients, packaging, recycling, and using the toner in the future blog posts.

MOTHER MADE All Green Tea-rouble-away Toner

Hope to see you again!

Stay nourished and hydrated.

With love,

MOTHER MADE team.

MOTHER MADE Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel with Green Tea Explained

Meet our newest addition to MOTHER MADE family! The Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel with calming and skin-soothing Green Tea Extract. Peel gels have been all the rage in Asia, and it might feel like they’re all the same. But in reality, every peel gel has its own flavour. So, in this post, we’ll give you a quick run-down on what our peel gel is, what drove us to create this product, what makes it special, and how to use it the right way. Keep on reading!

How it all began

Full disclosure – we love ourselves a good scrub. Even though they’ve earned somewhat controversial reputation. Don’t get us wrong; we love chemical exfoliators. But there’s just something so satisfying about touching the post-scrub smooth, evened out, bump-free skin. Unfortunately, conventional scrubs can be quite harsh, especially ones with bigger granules, which is a no-go for sensitive (or easily sensitized) skin. And frankly, despite the pleasant feeling, they aren’t as effective as their chemical counterparts since they only work on the outer layer of the skin.

So, we challenged ourselves to make a product that will deliver the same satisfying scrub feeling with the benefits of the chemical exfoliator.
Almost a year later, we’ve finally launched the Exfoliating Aqua Peel Gel with Green Tea, and it’s everything we’d hoped for.

What it is

Our Peel Gel is a mild exfoliating treatment formulated with both physical AND chemical exfoliants. We opted for natural cellulose, not carbomer, as our physical peeling agent. There were several reasons for that, but that’s a subject for another post. Finely milled, moisture-rich cellulose particles we used in the formula are imported from France and made from Egyptian cotton (so fancy!). The way it works is simple – bits of cellulose interact with natural oils on your skin and ball up once you apply some pressure. These balls/clumps/flakes (take your pick) act as a very gentle scrub that sloughs off dead cells sitting on top of the epidermis ready to go but in way that won’t traumatize your skin.

For the chemical peeling agents, we chose nature-derived extracts that are well-known to be potent but at the same gentle and sensitive skin-friendly.

  • Willow Bark Extract. Naturally rich in salicylic acid, this mild astringent helps to reduce inflammation, control sebum, unclog pores, and de-congest skin. No wonder, it’s a favorite among oily skin types. While this peeling gel does not target at clearing pores specifically, with consistent use, you might notice that your pores become cleaner and pesky blackheads go away naturally.
  • Papaya Extract. Yummy papaya is chock full of an enzyme called papain that is a perfect exfoliant for sensitive skin. Gentle than your regular AHAs, it will work on the outer layer breaking down excess keratin to help the skin appear brighter and smoother.
  • Apple Extract. Like papaya, apple extract is rich in antioxidants (Vitamin C is one of them), and it is also a natural source of AHA. This extract has astringent properties and can help minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, clear acne, and regulate oil production.

Two types of exfoliants make for an excellent team, ensuring that every nook and cranny of your skin is clean and refreshed!

Other additional skincare benefits

As the name suggests, we added Green Tea Extract that has well researched and documented anti-aging skin benefits. It also helps to soothe and calm down the skin, which feels wonderful after a long hot summer day. Ascorbyl Glucoside, or Vitamin C, is another antioxidant gem that’s made it into the formula. It helps fight free radicals that speed up the aging process in our skin and will also deliver brightening effect with consistent use.

Who’s it for?

It’s for everyone, really! Any skin type can reap multiple benefits from using this peel gel. Drier skin types will love how hydrating this product feels on the skin. People with combination to oily skin will appreciate the addition of astringents that help with sebum control and pore care. We especially recommend it for those who love scrubs in their skincare routine, but whose skin for some reason or another can’t tolerate them well. Alas, if you hate the feeling of scrub in any way or form, this might not be for use.

How to use

If you’re familiar with Korean peel gels, you might know that most of them require dry skin as a starting canvas. Otherwise, they won’t clump. With our peeling gel, we recommend applying it on damp skin. How damp? Well, it depends. Cellulose bits will clump more or less depending on how dry or damp your skin is. If you want the stronger scrub effect, dampen the face only slighly. If your skin is sensitized, introduce more water to make everything extra mild and smooth. You can even make a paste and leave it for several minutes to let chemical peels time to interact with your skin.

Our general recommendation is to use it 1-3 times a week, but always check in with your skin. If your skin is super sensitive and dry, using the Peel Gel once a week will suffice. But you feel extra congested and bumpy, increase the frequency. The bottom line is – whatever you do, make sure not to over-exfoliate. Too much of a good thing can quickly turn into a bad thing, right?