Ingredient series – Aquaxyl

It’s a common knowledge that healthy glow everyone is after is a result of a hydrated skin with well-functioning, strong barrier. That is why when re-developing a formula for our Pure Pearl Sheet Mask, our research team was searching high and low for the ingredients that can provide these benefits while also being suitable for various skin types. Because let’s face it, coconut oil or shea butter can definitely help with damaged barrier, but it’s a disaster for people with oily break-out prone skin.

MOTHER MADE Brightening Pure Pearl Mask

When we discovered xylitol and a compound called Aquaxyl that offers all the xylitol has to offer and more, it was one of those “we have to have it in our formula” moments. So, that’s what we want to talk about in today’s post. 

Although the name sounds a bit like a laundry detergent, it is actually a wonderful blend that helps your skin to maintain healthy hydration levels. Keep on reading to find out what Aquaxyl is and why it is oh so good for your skin!  

 So, what is Aquaxyl? 

Aquaxyl is a trade name of the ingredient developed by French company SEPPIC. While it is called an ingredient, it’s technically a blend of three – Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, and Xylitol. 

Xylitol, the most familiar of all three, is a sugar alcohol (“good” alcohol) that naturally occurs in many fruits and vegetables like bananas, strawberries, lettuce and plumps. 

You might have heard of xylitol as a sugar substitute and yes, it’s a great more nutritive alternative. It’s considered a “healthy” sweetener that has prebiotic action and therefore can positively influence the gut microbiome. 

But it also has proven skincare benefits. 

Just like glycerin, xylitol replenishes moisture and helps to prevent it from evaporating by strengthening skin barrier. If for some reason your skin barrier isn’t functioning properly (i.e. no matter how much product you put, your skin always feels dry in a couple of hours), xylitol can help with restoring healthy barrier function. 

Anhydroxylitol and xylitylglucoside are both natural, plant-derived humectants also help skin to stay hydrated for longer.  These compounds work to enhance skin’s dermal water reservoirs, so the skin can absorb more moisture and help with barrier function, so accumulated water doesn’t evaporate easily. Bonus points –  these ingredients help the body to produce more hyaluronic acid, which also helps with hydration. 

Aquaxyl, then, is a combination of plant-derived ingredients that target dry and dehydrated skin by improving water circulation and reserves. On their website, SEPPIC defines Aquaxyl as “anti-hydration shield” and this is probably a very accurate way to describe its main skin benefits. 

Here’s a breakdown of how your skin can benefit from Aquaxyl:

  • Restructure and strengthen the upper skin layer (stratum corneum).
  • Boost all skin hydration elements – lipids, proteins, polysaccharides (dermal and epidermal hyaluronic acid), NMF.
  • Smoothes the skin and improves its tone.
  • Strengthens glycerin benefits and removes its side-effects.

The bottom line. Aquaxyl is a great ingredient that all skin types can benefit from (there’s no such thing as too much hydration, right?), but it will be especially beneficial for people with dry and/or dehydrated skin. 

Holiday skincare tips for healthy skin

Ah, the holiday season, a.k.a. the time of the year that takes the biggest toll on our skin. Festive foods that are high in sugar and carbs, alcohol, lack of sleep, and added stress – all that makes your skin start freaking out. If holiday breakouts are an annual thing together with the first snow, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, we’ve put together a little guide to help you take this tradition off your calendar this year.

First thing first, if you haven’t already, switch to a low pH, ultra-gentle cleanser. Dry air, heating, and winter winds weaken your skin barrier, and you don’t want to finish it off with a harsh face wash that strips last bits of oils off your skin. In the morning, consider washing your face with water only to minimize the damage even further.

On a similar note – stop with scolding hot showers. Yes, when outside temperatures take a dip to the sub-zero area, a hot steamy shower or bath feels very nice. But it can severely dry out your skin and also bring unwanted rosacea or eczema flare.

Do detox wash off masks regularly. If you’ve been saving a jar (or a pack) of the mask that promises to fight off dull, lackluster skin, now it’s the time to bring it back to your routine. Creamy non-drying clay masks are the best because they help to clear your skin without sensitizing or irritating.

MOTHER MADE 2 step Honey Citrus Facials

Double on a moisturizer. ‘Tis the season to finally bring out your heavy-duty moisturizers and oils. Don’t neglect your body, too. Even if you’re not big on body lotions, try to incorporate them into your body care routine at least several times a week. Pay attention to elbows and knees as the skin on that areas tend to dry out the most.

Eat as healthy as possible. That doesn’t mean saying no to all of the festive foods. Instead, but be strategic and smart. For example, if you know you’ll be having a big dinner at night where you’ll definitely overindulge, have a light salad or green smoothie for lunch. It’s all about balance!  The same goes for alcohol. It’s okay to have a couple of drinks, but drinking every night is probably not a good idea. If your social calendar is packed with parties that you have to attend, consider sipping a club soda instead of a cocktail whenever you can.

Take your makeup off. Yes, even when you’ve had one too many and feel like passing out. For the days like this, stock up on makeup removing wipes or consider getting yourself a cleanser that can remove makeup and clean the skin in one go.

Finally, stay as consistent as possible. One of the biggest reasons why our skin starts to misbehave during holidays is because our familiar routines come crumbling down. At the very least, stay consistent with your skincare and exercise regimen. Feel free to do some minor tweaks to be able to maintain it throughout a busy month of December. For example, if you typically enjoy a 10 -step skincare routine, consider pairing it down to the basics for a while. That way, even when you’re dead tired, you will have no excuses not to do it. The same logic applies to exercise. If you can’t fit a gym session in your schedule, try simple 10-15 min workouts at home instead. It will keep you moving and help not to fall off the habit of daily physical activity, so it’s easier to go back on track once the New Year celebrations are officially over.

And that’s it! Hope you found at least some of these tips helpful.

Have a wonderful, stress-free December,

With love,

MOTHER MADE team xxx

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