Our Hero Ingredients are Prickly Pear and Artichoke Extracts. Extracts from these divine plants are ideally formulated in combination with other specials, to create skincare products applicable to any skin type and age. Here are the main attributes of Prickly Pear and Artichoke.PRICKLY PEAR (OPUNTIA FICUS-INDICA)
Prickly Pear is a cactus originating in Mexico but also found in specific parts of the world, especially northwestern Africa, South Italy and Greece. In Mexico it has been used in traditional medicine extensively. It has been connected with the treatment of various diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, high blood cholesterol and obesity and gastrointestinal disorders among others. Most parts of the plant, like the cladodes (or “nopalitos”, the plant’s green “leaves”) and the fruit are edible.
Recent research has proven its supreme qualities also in the use of cosmetics and especially skincare. The plant’s resilience and survival in very harsh climatic conditions is the secret behind its main identity: Its parts absorb even the lowest quantities of humidity to turn them into water. The plant is four to five times more efficient in converting water to dry matter than most efficient grasses. In the same way, the plant’s extracts work on human skin to infuse it with moisture and keep it safe from dehydration, a natural effect that comes with age.
Greece is famous for its micro-climatic conditions and ideal weather year-round. In areas where Prickly Pear grows, temperatures remain high, enabling the cactus to grow in extended dry areas of the country. Crete Island, Amorgos Island and the Peloponnese are famous for their Prickly Pear cactus which grow and remain healthy and productive for years among rocks, next to the sea, areas where freshwater is sparse.
We source extracts of Prickly Pear from the island of Crete, an island famous for its agricultural soil quality.
ARTICHOKE (CYNARA CARDUNCULUS)
Artichoke is an edible thistle, i.e. a flowering plant, which originates from the area of the Mediterranean Sea. It has been a delicacy for centuries. In Italy it is the basis for liquors and for exquisite food recipes. In Greece it is eaten either raw or cooked, or pickled.
The Artichoke plant’s nutrients render it a potent anti-oxidant factor. Apart from the obvious use in our kitchen, its globes’, leaves’ and stems’ extracts have significant benefits for our skincare. A key function of its extracts is reducing pigmentation by reinforcing the epidermis, as well as offering strong antioxidant resistance to the skin. The artichoke plant’s abundance in vitamin C, enables collagen development, which naturally diminishes with age.
The combination of Prickly Pear extracts with artichoke extracts is truly magnificent : It smooths, hydrates, plumps, nourishes, whitens, brightens and calms skin. But foremost, it builds resilience resulting into ageless skin.
Following are highlights of ingredients that in synergy make our skincare series unique.
Prickly Pear extracts have been shown to soothe and hydrate the skin. Rich in vitamin E, their powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action help protect skin cells from UV, including damage by scavenging free radicals and by reducing the production of cytokins.
Artichoke extract has been shown to reduce the look of pores while protecting against photo-aging and pigmentation.
A precursor of Vitamin D3 that is associated with strengthening of the skin barrier, and protection against UV-related skin damage.
Hyaluronic Acid of 4 different molecular weights to increase the water content of the various layers of the skin.
Carnosine, a dipeptide that has strong anti-glycation and antioxidant properties helping the skin against the damages caused by infrared radiation. This potent active ingredient has also been shown to have wound healing and collagen boosting actions.
Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans that have been shown to increase hydration in the skin's deeper layers. It can improve the micro-circulation of the epidermis.
Rapeseed Oil, rich in essential alpha-linolenic acid, omega-9 and omega-6 fatty acids helps skin retain its elasticity.
Oil-soluble derivative of Vitamin C that has been shown to be more stable than Ascorbic Acid and to penetrate into the skin better due to its affinity with the skin's lipids. It has been shown to help with brightening, collagen production and scavenging of free radicals.
Potent combination of two peptides that have been shown to have an anti-wrinkle effect.
Extract of cress sprout, that has been shown to help the skin fight against pollution and oxidation.
Camelina Seed Oil, rich in fatty acids with a strong anti-inflammatory and nourishing action.
Microalgae, rich in Astaxanthin which has a strong antioxidant action. It has been shown to protect against the damages caused by UV radiation. It can also offer rejuvenation to the epidermis due to its rich content in minerals and vitamins.
Superstar vitamin B3 (niacinamide), that has been shown to reduce the depth of wrinkles, to fade hyper-pigmentation, to strengthen the skin barrier and to soothe inflamed skin.
Wild indigo extract, rich in hydrating sugars, has been shown to offer calming action to the skin and to improve the skin tone.
Beta-Glucans that can help soothe and hydrate irritated and inflamed skin, while providing strong antioxidant action for sustained protection against environmental damage.
Shea Butter, rich in antioxidants, nourishes the skin and helps protect it from external aggressions.
Grape Seed Oil, rich in linoleic and oleic acids, offers a light, non-greasy emollient effect to the skin. Nourishing and antioxidant, helps the skin retain its moisture.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 polyunsaturated essential fatty acids that our body cannot synthesize. They help the skin build ceramides and maintain its hydration thus keeping the skin barrier healthy and strong.
Pro-vitamin B5 (panthenol) that helps to maintain the moisture of the skin. It also provides anti-inflammatory and anti-irritation benefits.
Lactobacillus Ferment, a probiotic ingredient from the fermentation of Lactobacillus, that has been shown to have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help the skin recovery by enhancing the skin's microbiome.
Ginger root extract which contains the active component gingerol known to have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.
Bisabolol, an active ingredient from chamomile that is anti-inflammatory and soothing, ideal for sensitive or sensitised skin.
Colloidal Oatmeal, rich in beta-glucan, lipids, and avenanthramides, that is shown to have soothing and antioxidant effects.
Guaiazulene, a potent soothing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that gives a lovely, natural blue colour to the formulation.
 Human Health Discoveries with Opuntia sp. (Prickly Pear) Donald A. Hegwood College of Agriculture and Home Economics, Texas A&I University, Kingsville,TX 78363