The Bearberry product grouping was developed to address a range of skin concerns from oily-congested skin, teen skin, or acneic skin conditions to hyper-pigmented skin. Each product delivers targeted botanicals, synchronized to perform the necessary functions of cleansing, toning, and treating.
As with all our products, they are not over-aggressive. They balance, protect, restore, and provide a healthy environment so your skin can perform all its necessary functions in an optimal natural environment.
The certified organic bearberry extract used is actually from the leaf of the shrub. It contains arbutin which is known for its ability to alleviate hyper-pigmentation. Hyper-pigmentation is usually associated with freckling or brown spots from exposure to sun. Hyper-pigmentation, however, also comes from inflammation which is associated with conditions of acne. Post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation and scarring are both big concerns which are not often addressed when using more common ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and retinoids. These ingredients may, in fact, contribute to inflammation from dryness and irritation.
Bearberry, a bit of a hero here, is also naturally high in tannic acid, ursolic acid, and hydroquinones. Because of this, its traditional uses are for its astringent, disinfectant, and bacteriostatic action. This is exactly why we have chosen it as our pre-eminent botanical in this product collection.
Not to over-look the other stellar botanicals, let me mention just a couple: Mukurossi (Sapindus mukurossi) fruit found in our
Bearberry Oily Skin Balancing Face Wash
and the Willow Herb (Epilobium fleischeri) in the
Bearberry Oily Skin Balancing Face Serum.
Mukurossi, in addition to its natural foaming properties, has strong anti-microbial activity on the acne factor, Propionibacterium acnes. It also is known to inhibit lipase activity (oil control) and, like the Bearberry extract, to inhibit melanin production.
Our Willow Herb extract is from a rare Alpine plant grown by an organic cooperative in the Swiss Valais. It has beautiful pink to purple flowers. It is from the aerial parts (parts above the ground), including these tiny flowers that we get our extract. With strong anti-inflammatory properties from gallic and ellagic phenolic acids and anti-inflammatory (free-radical-scavenging) antioxidants from flavonoids of quercitrin, myricitrin, isomyricitrin, hyperoside and more, it both soothes and disinfects the skin.
This amazing herb goes on to be a strong 5-alpha reductase inhibitor with oenothein A and B. 5-alpha reductase is what typically causes over-production of sebum. It is an enzyme found in the sebaceous glands of our skin. The amount varies in different people. It is over-active with higher levels of testosterone and the more over-active it gets, the more sebum it produces. So we have the following cascading effect:
1. 5-alpha reductase enzyme reacts to hormone and produces more sebum
2. Sebum clogs creating an ideal nursery for certain cutaneous aerotolerant bacteria.
3. Lipases produced by these bacteria break down the triglycerides found in sebum resulting in free fatty acids which oxidize creating free radicals which increase inflammation.
4. This provokes enzymes which destroy the cutaneous barrier (breaking down collagen, elastin, etc.)
5. To combat this, the skin tries to protect itself by reinforcing epidermal synthesis, which causes a keratinization imbalance.
The effect of all of this varies from person to person but some or all of these conditions may occur with anyone with oily skin.