Since ancient times, humans have turned to nature to look for skincare ingredients.
For instance, the Romans were said to have treated acne spots with barley flour and they also indulged in mud baths to keep their skin soft and smooth. During the Ming Dynasty, Chinese royalty crushed pearls and applied the powder as a (pricey) moisturiser. In France, seaweed was used in ancient body treatments for its skin-tightening properties.
The ancient Greeks seemed to be the most DIY-savvy. They were reported to have used dried flowers and herbs in baths as a detoxifying treat, olive oil as skin and hair moisturisers, and honey in anti-inflammatory face masks.
And while it may be 2019 now, we are still loving the benefits that we can derive from what Mother Nature has to offer. Here are a few super ingredients found in NOVU skincare and treatments that come from plants, fruit and more.
Mushroom magic: Lingzhi
This medicinal mushroom is often used in traditional Chinese medicine as it can prevent hypertension, reduce allergies, relieve fatigue and speed up recovery (especially after a surgery or a major illness).
More recently, lingzhi has been prized as a potent skincare ingredient. The reason? It is rich in something known as beta-glucans. These sugars are found in some plants and fungi, and boast anti-ageing, hydrating, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Previously, due to their large molecular size, beta-glucans were only used in moisturisers. But it was soon discovered that they could actually penetrate skin deeply and nourish it from within. What this meant: they could now be used in products and treatments to restore skin elasticity and firmness, improve skin tone and texture, quicken wound healing and soothe irritated skin.
As part of its skin superfood series, NOVU’s Lingzhi Superlift treatment uses beta-glucans derived from an ultra-concentrated lingzhi extract. To activate these ingredients, high pulsed light and heat therapy (at an optimal temperature of 45 deg C) are used, along with a lifting massage and NOVU’s Enliven Instant Radiance Mask.
Nature’s healer: Cica
This is a plant with many names.
It is also known as centella asiatica, Indian pennywort and tiger grass. How did the last moniker come about? Tigers in the wild are said to rub cica on their wounds for its natural healing effect.
Well, if it is good enough for these majestic beasts, surely cica can heal human skin too, right? This is why cica is now used in some skincare products because it has been found that this plant extract can help skin to regenerate, treat acne, calm sensitive skin and stimulate collagen production.
Cica is found in NOVU’s Active Get Clarity Centella Mask which is designed to control oil production, tighten pores and fight blemishes. These quick-acting sheet masks are also formulated with eucalyptus globulus leaf and salicylic acid to heal acne scars and moisturise skin.
Plum(p) up skin: Kakadu plum
If you have always thought that oranges were vitamin C powerhouses, wait till you meet the Kakadu plum. It is the plant with the highest vitamin C levels in the world (psst… it contains 100 times more vitamin C than oranges!).
As an antioxidant, vitamin C is known to boost general health as well as protect skin from free radical damage, prevent photo-ageing, increase collagen production and reverse the effects of ageing.
Kakadu plum is the main ingredient in the NOVU Enliven series which uses natural botanical and fruit extracts to repair and rejuvenate skin. Products in this series include the Radiance Essence, Toning Moisturizer, Smoothening Hydrator and Lifting Eye Gel.
Get to the root of anti-ageing: Ginseng
To the uninitiated, ginseng looks pretty much like, well, just another rough-looking root.
But don’t judge a root by its looks: ginseng is highly prized in traditional Chinese medicine because it offers a myriad health benefits, from boosting brain functions and the immune system to preventing inflammation and fighting fatigue. In fact, some rare species of ginseng can fetch up to $80,000 for a mere sprig!
Thank goodness then that you can enjoy the skincare benefits of ginseng at a more accessible price point in the form of NOVU’s Glazo Gold treatment.
This laser peel therapy combines ND:Yag Laser technology and medical activated carbon with Kakadu plum extract, gold dust and, yes, black ginseng. The last helps to repair skin damage, restore radiance, hydrate skin, increase collagen production, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and detoxify skin.