An active ingredient is a substance that is biologically active. The original Greek word for these active substances was 'pharmakon' which meant something magical or something with mysterious properties. From this comes our word for pharmaceuticals.
These are substances that change the biology of things they come into contact with. They actively work to change what they touch. In natural skincare, these are ingredients that occur naturally but which are powerful enough to change the chemistry of the skin.
Put a few of these powerful actives together and you have an even more potent product - something with the power to make a significant difference to the skin. Not all products with active ingredients are equal though - unless they are at a high enough percentage, change to the skin won't be noticeable.
To ensure you see and feel immediate results with our products, VM uses active ingredients at the highest recommended percentages.
WHAT ACTIVE INGREDIENTS DOES VANESSA MEGAN USE?
We use quite a few natural actives in our formulations. Below is a list of some of the most dynamic.
Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body & generally decreases with age. In the skin it exists in the epidermis & keeps the skin hydrated & supple due to its high water retention ability.
Water is an important component required for collagen production, which is one of the key building blocks of the skin that is lost during the aging process. Hydrated skin looks plumper than dry or dehydrated skin.
Skin aging is associated with loss of moisture. The key molecule involved in skin moisture is Hyaluronan, or Hyaluronic Acid, a glycosaminoglycan with a unique capacity to bind and retain water molecules.
Hyaluronic acid is known as a “smart nutrient” as it can adjust its moisture absorption rate based on the humidity—relative to the season and the climate. Unlike collagen, Hyaluronic Acid is able to penetrate the skin’s upper layers to improve the skin when applied topically.
Hyaluronic Acid is a natural glycosaminoglycan (polysaccharides that are an important component of connective tissue) and can be derived from multiple sources - foods, supplements and HA powders.
There are two main sources of Hyaluronic acid: animal extraction (from Rooster Combs typically) and bacterial fermentation.
At Vanessa Megan, our material is from bacterial fermentation using corn-derived glucose to create the Hyaluronic Acid in a bio-fermentation process.
GREEN COFFEE SEED
Green Coffee Seeds contain various bioactive compounds. These include polyphenols like flavonoids and chlogenic acid, which function as powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce the formation of free radicals in the body thereby protecting the cells and molecules from damage.
Apart from the antioxidant agents, Green Coffee Seeds are also rich in fatty acids and esters including Arahidic Acid, Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid, which nourish and moisturise skin to stop sagging and discolouration.
They are also a metabolic booster, which means the blood flows more quickly around the areas where it is applied, clearing out excess fluid and helping with bags around the eyes.
NARCISSUS TAZETTA BULB (AKA IBR DORMIN)
IBR Dormin is a natural aqueous extract from Narcissus bulbs - a member of the daffodil flower family- in their dormant stage, capable of slowing down cell proliferation, preserving cell youth capital and slowing down aging.
It also helps to control sebum and lighten age spots. Our Narcissus Tazetta Bulb extract is captured without parabens or preservatives.
Gotu Kola, also called Centella asiatica, is rich in amino acids, beta carotene, fatty acids, and numerous potent phytochemicals. Extracts have been found to calm inflammation, speed wound healing, stimulate new cell growth, build collagen, and improve circulation.
A centre piece of Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, Gotu Kola can be used to treat infected wounds, eczema and psoriasis.
This Australian native fruit has the highest known concentration of Vitamin C of any single natural food source in the world- more than 55x that of an orange- meaning it helps break down dead skin cells by breaking bonds between dead and living skin cells.
Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, it can help reduce redness and fight bacteria induced acne. Kakadu Plum also contains powerful antioxidants like Gallic acid, which works to restore skin’s natural barrier, and Ellagic acid, which helps increase elasticity, meaning your skin is left strong and firm.
Ginseng is a plant root prized for its anti-aging benefits. Packed with phytonutrients that help tone and brighten skin, it has been shown to rejuvenate the look of dull, tired and aging skin by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and firming skin.
Ginseng allows the skin to find a natural equilibrium, helping counteract both oiliness and dryness. Like most herbs, Ginseng may also protect skin from environmental stressors.
Pineapples are so much more than a delicious fruit. They contain the enzyme ‘bromelain,’ which is a powerful exfoliator and conditioner for the skin. Pineapple's high concentration of Vitamin C is effective for treating acne and inflammation while amino acids aid in cell and tissue repair.
Bearberry Extract is made from the leaves of the Bearberry shrub, whose berries are a favourite food for bears (hence the name). It contains the active agent Arbutin, which naturally lightens and brightens skin.
Arbutin works to brighten your skin by deactivating tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for producing melanin. Bearberry is a totally natural, botanical-based compound and is also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
Yogurtene combines the skin benefits of yogurt with the prebiotic activity of Inulin, a vegetable fructose polysaccharide derived from chicory. Yogurtene reduces the growth of pathogenic bacteria in favour of friendly microorganisms naturally present on the epidermis. It is gentle on the skin and provides all the benefits of yogurt: non-hydrolysed proteins, lactose, vitamins and minerals.
Check out our Ingredients Glossary to learn which products of ours contain each of these powerful actives.