Phyto-chemicals, are plant chemicals that contain disease preventing compounds, and they might just be the best kept secret in skincare.
Phyto-5 complexe is a blend of five, super-powerful, healing plants that have been used for millennia to help heal, protect and restore the skin. Wildcrafted in Ontario, Canada, with the exception of rosehip seed oil from Chile, these plants' phyto-chemicals are captured via maceration in sunflower and/ rice bran oil.
They benefit the skin most by acting in concert to:
- reduce trans-epidermal water loss
- boost collagen
- calm inflammation
- deeply nourish the skin.
You'll find this blend of 5 plants or 'Phyto-5' in all Kavana's 'Phyto-5' family of products. We are grateful to these plants for sharing their healing benefits with us and hope they inspire wonder, gratitude, curiosity and maybe even inspire you to grow your own!
At a glance, please join us in learning more about the phytochemicals in each of these five, powerful plants we use in our skincare:
1.ROSEHIPS (Rosa canina) seed oil is a light oil that can be derived from cold pressing the seeds in the 'hairy' interior of beautiful rosehips or from the rosehip fruit pulp itself. This lightly orange coloured oil is rich in:
- polyphenols and anthocyanins, which may help reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin A which is useful in evening out skin tone and promoting cell regeneration for a more radiant look. Vitamin A may help with reducing and reversing sun damage, reducing wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and treating mild to moderate acne.
- Vitamin E, an anti-oxidant, skin softening hero
- Vitamin C, may help reduce ultraviolet light damage caused by free radicals. It also supports collagen production, which helps reduce wrinkling, and may increase wound healing and help prevent dry skin.
- Vitamin F, made of linoleic and alpha linoleic acid.
- Essential fatty acids: OLEIC, PALMITIC, LINOLEIC and GAMMA LINOLEIC ACIDS, which help with cell regeneration, thereby reducing the appearance of scars and keeping skin soft and supple.
- Lycopene rich. Rosehips, like tomatoes, are a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free-radicals and ultra-violet light.
2.Plantain (Plantago major), is antibacterial, making it an excellent 'green bandaid' for healing wounds, and taking the itchiness out of bee stings and insect bites. Plantain leaves also contain several notable anti-inflammatory compounds, including:
- flavonoids, which are antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties and hyaluronidase inhibitors that help with graceful aging;
- iridoids anti-bacterial and anti inflammatory agents that help with wound healing;
- minerals including calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorous, copper and zinc;
- tannins are antiseptic, astringent and anti inflammatory,
- vitamins A, C & K.
- terpenoids, glycosides, and which may decrease several markers of inflamed skin or dermatitis.
3.Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), helps moisturise and soothe dry irritated skin, promotes rapid skin-cell growth, contributes to skin renewal, protects against bacteria and other microorganisms, reduces inflammation and helps to keep skin healthy, soft and supple.
- Rosmarinic acid which has antioxidant effects and helps to protect the skin from UV damage.
- Tannins which are the defensive compounds that protect the plant. They and can also protect our skin from bacteria and environmental toxins by drawing out impurities and encouraging healing.
- Allantoin, emollient compounds found in the root mucilage of comfrey, is keratynolitic, helping to soften keratin, a tough inflexible protein found in the outer layer of the skin. By softening keratin, allantoin allows the skin to retain water more effectively, thus promoting softer, more hydrated skin. Keratinolytics also allow the outermost layer of the skin cells to shed more easily, creating a smoother, moisturized and improved skin texture.
- Allantoin also promotes the growth of new cells, helping develop a protective film over cells and reducing water loss, beneficial to aging gracefully. Allantoin is also a potent anti-inflammatory, helping treat painful skin conditions like nappy rash, wind burn, scrapes and cuts. and possesses anti bacterial properties that help soothe the skin topically.
- Minerals potassium, phosphorous, nitrogen and other trace elements are also beneficial to healing skin and found in comfrey.
4. Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea). Echinacea cools down inflammation and supports skin's collagen production. Used internally at the onset of a cough/cold and topically for skin flare-ups, this super-beautifying flower, is rich in:
- anti-oxidants: caffeic, chicoric, caftaric acids. These help the skin fight free radical damage. Free radicals are those pesky particles known to damage healthy cells in our skin/ body. These unstable molecules are missing an electron and seek to steal an electron from stable molecules to stabilize themselves.
- tannins: Tannins in echinace are molecules that are astringent/ tightening, meaning they can help make pores look smaller, skin look tighter, which can also help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Calendula (Calendula officinalis) The medicinal properties and chemicals in calendula's beautifully rich coloured golden and orange petals, enhance new tissue growth in wound healing, and decrease topical inflammation.
Traditionally used for very dry or damaged skin conditions, the flavonoid rich, sunny coloured petals of this bright orange and yellow flower, are macerated in a carrier (vegetable) oil, which is gentle enough to be used neat or incorporated balms, creams and salves. These flavonoid compounds that occur in fruits- have been shown to exhibit*:
- anti inflammatory*
- anti thrombogenic*
- antidiabetic and anti cancer*
- neuroprotective activities*
Calendula oil is also used to protect the skin from premature aging and thinning of the skin.* It has natural restorative properties that infuse the skin with a youthful glow. Active ingredients of the calendula flower include naturally occurring chemicals*, such as:
- triterpene saponins (oleanolic acid glycosides)
- triterpene alcohols (α-, β-amyrins, faradiol)
- flavonoids (quercetin and isorhamnetin).