Six Essential Botanicals with Dr. Alkaitis
Clockwise from top left: aloe, witch hazel, lavender, rose, jojoba, marigold
During the winter months, the combination of raw weather outdoors and dry heat indoors is a recipe for unhappy skin. In search of a rejuvenating remedy without chemical additives, we turned to the organic formulations of Dr. Alkaitis. A Ph.D. in physical chemistry and dedication to using only living ingredients set Dr. Alkaitis and his products apart, offering a holistic approach to skincare. When crafting his formulas, he carefully considers how the unique properties of plants can work together to promote healthy skin. Along with a wealth of skincare history, Dr. Alkaitis shared why he chose his six most essential botanical ingredients: "Ultimately, whether directly or indirectly, our lives and well-being depend on plants. The same can be said for our skin, which is our largest and most visible organ. By necessity, therefore, living plants play a central role in the makeup and effectiveness of my products."
Organic Aloe Vera Gel: Found throughout the tropics and warmer regions worldwide, aloe has played a significant medicinal role for thousands of years in many cultures. In ancient Egypt, it was called “the plant of immortality.” In modern times, aloe has been clinically shown to increase skin hydration, decrease fine wrinkling, and act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant. Its rejuvenating and restorative properties include: the stimulation of collagen and elastin formation; promotion of tissue regeneration; protection against sun damage; and helping to heal sunburn. All of these properties are enhanced by its ability to promote circulation. Because its personality is compatible with a wide range of plant ingredients, proper combinations enhance its rejuvenating and restorative properties.
Witch Hazel: Witch hazel is a shrub native to the moist woodlands of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. One of North America's oldest medicinal herbs, it was an important part of the Native American pharmacopeia, where it was used primarily for its antiseptic and astringent properties. Extracts of witch hazel were used externally as poultices, and orally to stop internal bleeding. Witch hazel has been clinically shown to be quite effective in healing UV damage, and will protect the skin against sunburn and photo-aging. It has also been shown to have astringent properties and can act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant.
Organic Lavender Flowers: Lavender is native to the low mountains of the Mediterranean basin. In ancient Arabian, Greek, and Roman medicine, it was used as an antiseptic and as a bath additive for the purification of body and spirit. Knowledge of its healing abilities spread to India and Tibet, with lavender being included in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist medical practice as early as 800 B.C. Lavender is almost universally suitable for all skin types and is applicable to a broad range of skin conditions. It has been clinically shown to have anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory properties. Further, it has been shown to improve circulation, and exhibits anti-microbial properties.
Organic Rose Blossoms: Ancient Mesopotamian, Indian (Ayurvedic) and Chinese texts all mention the use of roses for therapeutic purposes. Various strains of roses, including the Damask rose, were cultivated and used in the ancient Greek, Roman, Asian, Egyptian, and Arab worlds. Damask rose preparations were used internally in Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, for soothing various complaints. Ancient Greek, Roman, Asian, Egyptian, and Arab civilizations used rose oil topically for all types of skin conditions, as it softened and enhanced tone and texture. Overall, roses have an ethereal and calming effect, and their anti-aging properties promote smooth and silky skin. Their properties also include a wide spectrum anti-microbial and anti-oxidant activity.
Organic Virgin Cold Pressed Jojoba Oil: Jojoba is native to the deserts of Northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Native Americans used it externally to treat skin disorders. Jojoba oil absorbs into the skin very readily and enhances the skin’s absorption of nutrients. It has been clinically shown to improve hydration and elasticity of the skin, and inhibits the breakdown of collagen by UV radiation to help prevent photo-aging.
Organic Marigold Flower: Marigold, also known as Calendula, is native to Mediterranean countries. Traditionally, the flower was used externally as an antiseptic and coagulant to help speed the healing of burns, bruises, and wounds. This is another plant whose personality is compatible with a wide range of plants and plant ingredients, and in proper combinations its anti-aging and protective properties are enhanced. Marigold has been clinically shown to stimulate tissue regeneration and prevent allergic responses. It helps repair cellular damage, creates a smooth skin surface, and protects against environmental toxins and irritants.
Photography courtesy of terrain, Nathan Siemers (witch hazel), Shane Byrd (marigold), and Ken Bosma (jojoba)
Simply beautiful...I love the idea of putting these plants directly in my skin!