For a decade previous to launching my line, LINNÉ, I was a farmer, cook and student of botany and herbal medicine. In every application the focus of the craft was rooted in fascination and celebration of ingredient. Previous to that period I grew up in a medical household with my father, a surgeon and professor of medicine and my mother, a talented cook whose style was rooted in the Hippocratic axiom, “Let Thy Food Be Thy Medicine”.
Inspired by the nutritional and experimental activity of cooking I eagerly became my mother’s sous chef and by the age of 11 had added edible face masks to my repertoire using such pantry staples as apples, honey and almonds. My mother and my little sister, Sasha, were the first edible facial test subjects. Sasha was only 7 years old and had perfect skin, but she allowed me to indulge in my experiments and happily licked her own lips when concoctions of sticky sweet honey, papaya and pineapple would dribble down her cheek.
Poreless and perfect at 7, by the age of 14 Sasha began to struggle with terribly painful cystic acne and eventually underwent treatment with Accutane. The extreme dose of retinol cleared the deep and painful blemishes but left in its wake vulnerable, irritated, dry and uber-sensitive skin. I had been living in the Bay area at the time, studying botany and herbal medicine, so there was only one thing for me to do: return to our old practices and craft a plant-based concoction to soothe and fortify my sister’s skin. After an immense amount of research I experimented with exquisite wild-harvested essential oils and organic cold-pressed virgin seed and nut oils, many of them edible. With my sister’s feedback the formula was iterated until we had a beautiful balanced anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, healing face oil that has since restored health and radiance to Sasha’s skin. The rewarding process of research, ingredient sourcing, formulation and experimentation organically evolved into an eight piece product line that we are thrilled to launch at CAP beauty.
In the spirit of ingredient celebration and a deep thirst for botanical knowledge I have come up with some fun and simple culinary recipes that incorporate nutritionally packed ingredients that are wonderful and well-suited for both topical and gastronomic preparations.
Since my intro has been long-winded, I will commence our recipe series with a quick and easy recipe: a tonic of aloe juice, rosehip, rooibos, hibiscus and lime.
Aloe barbadensis (ALOE)
Benefit to skin: Aloe Vera has 18 amino acids that work in association with other compounds of the human body to deliver numerous health benefits. The pure inner gel extracted from the aloe leaf is one of the best natural remedies for skin abrasions, wounds, rashes, acne and psoriasis. Its hydrating and rejuvenating properties help diminish the signs of aging. Aloe is quickly penetrating, and applied topically can even benefit muscles and bones. Find it in ACTIVATE, PURIFY, SCRUB, REFRESH, RENEW. Other uses: Aloe Vera improves digestion, strengthens the immune system, delays the aging process, alleviates menstrual problems, reduces arthritis pain, heals wounds, cures nausea, eliminates ulcers, lowers blood sugar levels, reduces oxidative stress, inhibits cancerous growth, treats the side effects of radiotherapy treatment, promotes hair growth, and soothes acid reflux symptoms. Aloe Vera is rich in vitamins like B12, B1, B2, B6, A, E and C, niacin and folic acid. These vitamins are vital for proper bodily function.
Hibiscus sabdariffa (HIBISCUS)
Benefits to skin: Hibiscus contains antioxidants that maintain elasticity and promote even skin tone. Specifically Hibiscus tea is rich in vitamin C, valuable to the synthesis of collagen. Some studies have shown that vitamin C, applied topically and as a dietary supplement, may help prevent and treat ultraviolet induced photodamage. Additional studies suggest that the content of protocatechuic acid within hibiscus inhibits the growth of cancerous cells. Hibiscus tea is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Find it in our RENEW serum. Other uses: Hibiscus tea can provide relief from high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as digestive, immune system and inflammatory problems. It has been known to aid in the treatment of liver disease and reduce the risk of cancer.
Aspalathus linearis (ROOIBOS)
Benefit to skin: Rooibos tea is rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, zinc, magnesium and alpha hydroxy acid which effectively relieve acne, pimples, eczema, sunburns and related skin conditions. Due to its phenolic content Rooibos has anti-inflammatory qualities that make it a valuable treatment to topical allergic reactions. Try it in our RENEW serum. Other uses: Rooibos is used as an effective curative to treat allergies like hay fever and allergy-related bronchitis. Rooibos tea contains nutrients like Quercetin and bioflavanoids that assists in good blood circulation. The antioxidants present in rooibos tea boost the strength of the immune system and slow down the human aging process. Because it reduces the impact of oxidation by products in neural pathways, rooibos has the potential to stimulate concentration and focus.
Rosa Canina (ROSE HIP)
Benefit to skin: Rose hips are known for their impressive content of vitamin C, an essential nutrient in the maintenance and synthesis of collagen. Rose hips also contain carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols, all powerful antioxidants, which help to eliminate or neutralize free radicals found within the body. It is beta-carotene that lends rose hip is vibrant red color. Beta-carotene is also known as pro-vitamin A. As a precursor to Vitamin A (Retinol), beta-carotene may be converted by the body into Vitamin A as needed and any excess may be flushed out thus avoiding undesirable bioaccumulation and potential organ toxicity. Vitamin A is an effective regenerative compound that is scientifically proven to regenerate skin cells, reduce the appearance of scars and wrinkles, and improve skin color and tone. Certain types of Vitamin A in high concentrations however can negatively affect both skin and internal health. Cold-pressed organic virgin rose hip seed oil, rich in pro- vitamin A (beta carotene), provides a gentle and effective alternative. Additionally, the astringent quality of rose hips keeps the skin toned and elastic. We use rose hip seed oil in our REPAIR face oil and rose hip seed extract in our RENEW serum. Other uses: The impressive content of vitamin C is also valuable in the prevention of asthma and in the support of respiratory health. Vitamin C stimulates white blood cells, hence its reputation as an immunity-building compound. Hips also provide a valuable source of iron, an essential component in the creation of red blood cells. Iron supplementation can additionally help to prevent anemia and keep essential organs well-oxygenated, thus increasing metabolic activity and optimizing overall functionality.
Citrus aurantifolia (LIME)
Benefit to skin: Lime essential oil contains antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, astringent, restorative and tonic properties. It tones muscles, tissues and skin as well as the various systems including the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, digestive and excretory systems. This tonic effect helps retain youthfulness and prevents premature aging as in hair loss, wrinkles, age spots, and muscle weakness. It is an effective aid in the treatment of acne, oily skin and insect bites. The aroma is uplifting and refreshing. Find it in our PURIFY face wash. Other uses: On account of its antibacterial and antiviral abilities, lime is is useful in the treatment of colds, fevers, and infections. As an antidepressant and anti-arthritic substance, it can reduce pain in the muscles and joints.
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