Beauty Buzz The lat­est and great­est prod­ucts to try

Hops are usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with beer – but it turns out they’re a po­tent beauty in­gre­di­ent that soothes, re­vi­talises and pro­tects the skin.

Good - - CONTENTS - Words Carolyn Ent­ing

If plants were di­vided into su­per­hero cat­e­gories then the hum­ble hop would be part of the core team dis­patched to pro­tect and re­pair skin. As well as mak­ing beer taste good, hop ex­tract is great for skin ton­ing and treat­ing dark spots, restor­ing elas­tic­ity, pro­mot­ing hor­monal bal­ance and treat­ing acne.

Hops are the hero in­gre­di­ent in Oxy­gen Nat­u­ral New Zealand Skincare, which uses cer­ti­fied or­ganic hops from its own farm in the Tas­man dis­trict.

Oxy­gen Nat­u­ral New Zealand Skincare founder Alana Ri­ley had al­ways seen their or­ganic hops used for beer but when re­search­ing the ben­e­fits of hops in re­la­tion to skin and hair­care, she dis­cov­ered hop ex­tract is a strong calm­ing agent.

Hops ( hu­mu­lus lupu­lus) are high in bit­ter sub­stances due to polyphe­nols, resins and es­sen­tial oils and al­pha acids. The two pri­mary bit­ter prin­ci­ples are known as hu­mu­lone and lupu­lone. Hu­mu­lones have an anti-in­flam­ma­tory ef­fect on the skin, de­creas­ing sur­face blood ves­sels, ton­ing and firm­ing the skin, and de­lay­ing the age­ing process.

Ri­ley was in­spired to cre­ate a 100 per cent nat­u­ral and fresh hand cream for her sis­ter-in-law who was in her fi­nal stages of a long bat­tle with breast can­cer.

“I was im­pacted by the num­ber of chem­i­cals in our per­sonal prod­ucts,” says Ri­ley. As a mum of three teenagers, dur­ing the re­search phase she also came to re­alise that there was no nat­u­ral skincare range in New Zealand specif­i­cally for teenagers.

“One of the pri­mary fo­cuses at Oxy­gen is as­sist­ing in the heal­ing of prob­lem skin con­di­tions such as acne,” Ri­ley says. Third-gen­er­a­tion fam­ily hop farm­ers Ri­ley and hus­band Colin Old­ham, who are based in Ta­paw­era, near Nel­son, con­tinue to sup­ply their or­ganic hops to craft beer brew­ers as well as us­ing it for their ground-break­ing skincare line.

The nat­u­rally ac­tive botan­i­cal ex­tract keeps skin soft and sup­ple and helps re­pair dam­aged skin, while en­cour­ag­ing col­la­gen and elastin pro­duc­tion. It’s par­tic­u­larly help­ful for skin ton­ing and re­duc­ing dark spots and has a sooth­ing, anti-in­flam­ma­tory and anti-bac­te­rial ac­tion on acne-prone skin.

Oxy­gen’s 2 in 1 Cleanser for prob­lem skin has been sci­en­tif­i­cally shown to help pre­vent the spread of acne-caus­ing bac­te­ria in in-vitro stud­ies*. Oxy­gen’s other prob­lem skin prod­ucts in­clude their Blem­ish/Acne Gel which as­sists in re­duc­ing the ap­pearence and sever­ity of blem­ishes in as lit­tle as 24 hours. A lit­tle goes a long way too, thanks to the con­cen­trated for­mu­la­tions which don’t con­tain cheap min­eral oils or fillers.

“We just use high-qual­ity base oils, nat­u­ral plant ex­tracts and es­sen­tial oils,” says Ri­ley. “Botan­i­cal ac­tives and nat­u­ral aro­mas work in con­junc­tion with the senses of touch and smell.

“Oxy­gen’s phi­los­o­phy is that true beauty is all nat­u­ral.”

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