The African Baobab, also known as the “Tree of Life,” is having a beauty moment. Defying botanical mortality, it can live up to 1,000 years (some are 5,000 years old). Found in Africa and Australia, the tree produces fruit called “monkey bread” that is rich in antioxidants, and is now being tapped by beauty companies for use in hair care and skincare.
The reason? Antioxidants. Scientists look for plants that tend to live long or those that live in harsh environmental conditions, and usually these types of plants have high levels of antioxidants or other ingredients that protect them from damage.
Here are three new products to try that contain baobab.
Phyto Baobab Oil ($40)
Photo Credit: Sephora.com
Use this hydrating oil to nourish and moisturize the hair, scalp, and body, the company advises. Ideal for brittle-as-matches hair, this can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment or a leave-in indulgence for increased softness and shine.
Photo Credit: Vitacost.com
This night-time facial serum refreshes tired skin, and rejuvenates it after a long day. The baobab in this serum serves to replenish the skin’s natural protective moisture barrier that is lost during the day, with 67% unsaturated essential fatty acids. Ideal after a nighttime cleansing routine, this rich serum is about letting your skin glow after a dose of natural actives.
Photo Credit: Shea Moisture
Skinny hair, watch out! According to the packaging, this thick treatment is ideal for increasing the girth and volume of fine or limp hair. Leave the masque on for five minutes weekly and apply from roots to hair ends.
Photo Credit: us.caudalie.com
With the season of yule logs, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and perhaps some well-deserved chocolate (s’mores, anyone?) upon us, don’t think of these delicious treats as merely calorie loaded temptations. Bring the scents of the season to your bath and purse, with beauty products loaded with comfort food ingredients. Here are some of our favorites:
Photo Credit: Jason Naturals
This gentle, seasonally-appropriate body wash has all the usual nourishing suspects (vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5) as well as a natural blend of antioxidant cranberry oil and soothing aloe vera. Priced at $15.50, it is a bit more expensive than your average wash (Dove’s Go Fresh Body Wash, for example, retails for about $7), but when you consider that this brand is paraben and pthlate-free, it makes sense to invest a little extra. Pick this one up at Whole Foods.
Photo Credit: Sephora.com
This Limited Edition hand-cream trio is the stuff the holidays are made off: a three-piece collection inspired by the vineyards of Bordeaux (and wine is always in season!) with the rich notes of Merlot, Feuille de Cassis, and honey. In three distinct scents that will immerse you in the countryside, the trio includes Feuille De Cassis, Pamplemousse Rose, and Miel de Vigne.
Photo Credit: Philosophy
The holidays wouldn’t be complete without some spiced cookies and eggnog, and Philosophy, the brand that basically bottled your kitchen’s goodies, has a shower gel that will set the tone for any celebration. It foams and lathers generously, too.
Photo Credit: Dermstore.com
In two flavors, lemon and cranberry, this convenient packed-to-go detox kit can help you detox, gracefully, after too many gingerbread cookies and pies. The taste is actually light and palatable, unlike many detoxes I’ve tried. While it won’t be the same as your BluePrint Cleanse (remember, these are not juices, but a powdered form of nutritional ingredients including stevia leaf, milk thistle, lemon and lavender), it is an excellent way to detox after holiday indulgence, and on the go.
Photo Credit: Eminence
With cold weather’s drying effect on the horizon, treat your thirsty skin to a hydrating masque. Eminence has a pumpkin-rich option that is rich in enzymes, beta-carotene, amino acids and antioxidants. Avocado Oil moisturizes skin and soy milk is in the mix to provide anti-aging benefits. But that’s not all: this masque contains everything from orange pulp to green tea.
Photo Credit: PeterThomasRoth
Exfoliating the skin and clearing it of dead cells is important, even in winter, and there’s no more delicious way to get seasonally appropriate than Peter Thomas Roth’s Pumpkin Enzyme Peel, which removes surface skin cells and impurities for increased skin radiance.Vitamin A is in the mix for skin protection.
Is there a little too much bounce to your thigh, padding in your belly, or jiggle in your arm? If diet and exercise have not delivered the tone you want, never fear, invasive liposuction or other surgical procedures aren’t the only options. This week, in celebration of BITB’s 5th birthday, our 5 Fab Ways feature explores minimally invasive firming and toning technology as well as the latest topical firming treatments.
KEEP IT COOL
Believe it or not, one of the most effective ways to get rid of unwanted fat is freezing. CoolSculpting by Zeltiq is an FDA approved fat buster touted to whittle your waist and mow down a muffin top without anesthesia or surgery. It works by freezing areas of fat, destroying the fat cells and causing them to shrink up and die, never to appear again.
“Coolsculpting is based on Cryolipolysis, which is defined as controlled cooling rather than heating to target and eliminate fat cells. It lowers the temperature to transform your fat cells from liquids to solids. The fat cells are thus destroyed and processed by the liver and then resorbed by the body over the next several months,” says Boston dermatologist Dr. Michael Kaminer.
Not for a quick weight loss method or alternative to liposuction, CoolSculpting is great for treating love handles, muffin tops, and tummies. Treatment time runs about one hour per area (i.e., two hours for two love handles) and you can expect about 20% reduction in fat deposits per treatment. You can return to work right after treatment and expect to see noticeable results in two to four months. Getting rid of fat does not come cheap—one treatment costs roughly $1,500 and three per area are recommended for best results.
NO MORE DIMPLES
Cellulite affects 95% of women sometime in their lifetime but that doesn’t mean you have to accept the lumpy, bumpy, and dimpled skin that appears on the thighs, buttocks, and stomach. CelluSmooth™ by Sciton®, a premier minimally invasive laser device that treats cellulite, produces long lasting results with minimal bruising and discomfort.
It uses a 1319 nm laser wavelength in 3 distinct modes that cut fibrous septae (fibers that connect the skin and can stiffen and pull down skin), emulsify fat, and tighten the dermis to improve the appearance of lumpy and dimpled skin.
The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, and you will be able to walk out of the office immediately after. Before starting the procedure, the doctor will map out the high and low points of the bumps on your skin. Then, through tiny incisions, the doctor will insert a cannula attached to the laser. Final results will emerge in three to four months and you can expect to see 70% improvement with just one treatment. It’s developers claim it improves cellulite in one-half to one-third the time of other minimally invasive procedures on the market.
BUMP AND GRIND
Like CelluSmooth, Cellulaze™ by Cynosure targets the causes of cellulite, in this case the herniated pockets of fat, stiffened septae (fibers that support the skin), and thin skin.
Local anesthesia is required for the treatment, which entails a couple of small incisions through which a tiny tube is inserted under the skin. The tube includes a tiny laser-fiber that heats the skin and disrupts or melts the fat. It also releases the septae or fibrous bands that cause dimpling when they pull down on the skin.
Expect some bruising and soreness, as if you had a tough workout. Improvements aren’t immediate; it could take up to three months to see results, but remember they are long lasting. The one-time treatment costs roughly between $6,000 and $10,000, depending upon your location.
Clinical results have shown the Cellulaze also increases the thickness of skin by 25% and increases elasticity by 29% one year after treatment.
TOUCH AND TONE
A decrease in elastin is a key cause of facial wrinkles as well as contributing to unwanted jiggle in behinds, thighs, and stomachs. Topical products can help create a more toned appearance. Look for products that feature elastin promoters, such as lemon thyme extract, oata beta glucan, and caffeine. Clarins has an range of nine body firming products to help tame the bounce. We like, Clarins Extra Firming Body Cream ($62), which lifts, tones and helps improve skin’s natural elasticity.
Caffeine is also a key ingredient in treatments that target cellulite. Sisley Phyto-Svelt Global ($210) features a medley of caffeine, coriander see extract, bitter orange blossom extract, and cedrol to support the mechanisms of fat elimination, while it combats water retention.
After you have cleared up the bumps and lumps make sure the canvas on which your smooth skin appears is free of discolorations as well. ZO® Skin Health Oraser Body Emulsion ($80) minimizes discoloration with a blend of glucosamine, retinol and Matrixyl 3000. Together, they boost cellular turnover, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and decrease hyperpigmentation.
Oraser is perfect to use during the transition from summer to winter when the skin becomes more dry yet still suffers from spots resulting from sun damage. The hydrating formula combines lactic acid and antioxidants to repair skin skin’s moisture barrier and remove dead surface cells, smoothing rough, dry patches for radiant, soft skin.