How To Calm Down Skin Inflammation

red burns

If your skin is looking a little red and irritated your first thought may be to panic and start slathering on all the products in your bathroom cabinet. But creams can only do so much if you don’t treat the root of the problem.

Often times inflamed skin is actually a signal from your body that means it’s recognizing an attack (whether it be an infection or sunburn) and the manifestation of inflammation is what helps to kick-start a healing process. Yes, turning beet red is just your bodies way of saying that help is on the way.

Skin inflammation (or as we say skinflammationcan fall under one of two camps: acute and chronic. Acute is when inflammation is temporary and is usually linked to things like acne, sunburns, and allergic reactions. This can result in redness, swelling sensitivity or pain but won’t last for very long.

It’s only when one develops chronic inflammation that you should get worried. If your inflamed skin lasts for more than 6 months, that means you’re in chronic territory. Rather than dismissing your ruddy complexion as forgetting to apply sunscreen on a hot day, you are most likely to have a skin condition like rosacea, eczema or psoriasis.

Once your skin barrier has been compromised, chronic inflammation eventually leads to a breakdown in collagen. Collagen is naturally produced in the body and is responsible for keeping our skin looking plump and wrinkle-free. Once collagen production decreases, fine lines and wrinkles will begin to appear.

And yes you guessed it: Chronic inflammation can also cause us to age faster.

So how do we make sure that doesn’t happen? Well if you want to keep your inflamed skin under control, try to minimize stress in your life. Changes in temperature can also cause inflammation along with hormonal changes too. Cutting out dairy and caffeine from your diet (which are common triggers) can also make a big difference.

Main skincare ingredient culprits are usually ones with SLS or fragrance. Creams with synthetic fragrances can cause a reaction for more sensitive skin types.

Look for gentle ingredients like willow bark, chamomile, green tea, and aloe vera instead to battle inflammation.

When cleansing, make sure to use lukewarm water as hot water can dry out your skin. Use a gentle and pH balancing cleanser like our Face Foam which contains ingredients like white willow bark is brilliant at battling redness and inflammation.

Soothing ingredients like chamomile can also improve your complexion. Chamomile tea has long been a natural remedy to soothe and protect your gut health. When applied topically, it benefits your skin with powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It can even help with acne scars, dark spots and combat breakouts. You can find chamomile in our Putty moisturizer and All Over Elixir Oil.

Aloe vera is also a great ingredient to look out for. We have that of course in our Aloe Milk Cleanser but also in our Green Cream and Face Glow as well. 

Lastly, you can never underestimate the power of green tea. High in antioxidants, this incredible superfood can help slow signs of premature aging and protect you from free radicals. Add some of this into your daily regime by using our Matcha Mint Shampoo and on your complexion with our Face Glow

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to dealing with skin inflammation? Comment down below and let us know. 

Why Your Skin Barrier Is Important

It turns out having ‘thick skin’ is not only good for your emotional well-being but also plays a big part in your skin health as well.

skin barrier

So lemme ask you, how is your skin barrier doing? If you don't know how to answer that question, fret not, you're not alone!  

An easy way to think about the health of your skin barrier is to imagine a brick wall. A soundly built brick wall will be stacked and packed with mortar so the structure won't budge. Despite rough elements: wind, rain, hail and even pollution, nothing can penetrate the wall.

But what if the bricks start to crack or if there isn't enough mortar to go around? Eventually, it will start to decay, debris will enter, and inevitable the structure will crumble. 

Well, guess what? The structure of your skin is like a brick wall.

The uppermost layer of your skin, your skin barrier (aka your stratum corneum) is your first line of defense against bacteria and environmental stressors like harmful UV rays, pollution, and toxins. When weakened, it’s easier for irritants to infiltrate and causes your skin to be more prone to sensitivity.

This resilient layer of your skin also happens to have a light film on top of it known as your acid mantle which is made of natural oils and sweat which sounds like no big deal BUT it also consists of proteins and molecules that your skin uses for defense, like UV-absorbers, inflammatory mediators, and antimicrobial peptides.

That's a lot to digest but your takeaway from this is that this outer protective film is critical for its ability to protect your skin and body within from the outside world. 

When everything is going well, your skin barrier works effectively (hello plump and dewy skin) and contains the right amount of lipids that make your skin look healthy and well moisturized.

However, if the skin barrier gets damaged, it becomes easier for skin to experience irritation. Dry patches, redness or breakouts along with flaking or a 'tightness' in the skin are all signs that your skin is having difficulty. 

External stressors like pollution and smog can play a role along with stress, alcohol and just the natural process of aging, but in many cases, you are just using products that are way too harsh for your skin.

Piling on more products can do more harm than good if you’re not looking carefully at the ingredient list. Here's what to look out for and what to avoid. 

Ingredients to Avoid

The next time you’re shopping for personal care products make sure to look out for common irritants like benzoyl peroxide, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate is a common culprit in cleansers), synthetic fragrances and dyes.

SLS, in particular, can have an alkalizing effect on the skin, throwing off your skin’s pH balance which makes your skin more susceptible to bacteria and infections. 

Stay away from acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid until your skin barrier repairs itself. Cleansing is an important step in your skincare regimen but using something gentle is key. Our Face Foam uses apple cider vinegar and white willow bark to gently cleanse the face without stripping away natural oils. 

Ingredients to Look For 

The good news is it’s possible to strengthen your skin barrier and get your skin glowing again with just a few changes. Search for products heavy with antioxidants like our Berry Rich Cream uses blueberry and raspberry oil. and does a great job of repairing your skin.

Certain plant oils also help to increase your lipid count, so your skin barrier is able to retain water better (The result? More radiant looking skin). We use sunflower oil in many of our products and avocado oil in our Green Cream.

Jojoba oil is especially good for those with red or damaged skin. It’s a proven anti-inflammatory and has a high concentration of wax esters that help repair weakened skin barrier. You can find jojoba oil in our Putty, a soothing lotion for red prone and/or dry skin.

Other great ingredients like hyaluronic acid keep moisture locked in, your skin looking 'plump' and encourages collagen synthesis. You can find this in our latest product Moon Serum. This anti-aging serum also includes a botanical collagen to reverse the signs of aging. As we age, our collagen production slows and breaks down so this is the ultimate skin barrier repair product!

Along with loading your beauty regimen with skin-benefiting superfood ingredients, make sure to take preventative measures with your skin health. If you are going to be out in the sun, look for products with sun protective oils and minerals. Remember that even on a cloudy day when it's not hot and sunny, your skin is still susceptible to damage from UVA and UVB.

Our Elements is a daily defense moisturizer that contains non-nano zinc to protect you from harmful UVA/UVB rays. If you are wearing make up, apply sunscreen beforehand or use a product that contains sun protective oils like Face Glow that can double as a tinted moisturizer for sheer looking coverage.

Using the right mix of products will help keep your skin barrier strong and your face glowing.  

Anti-Pollution Complex – Protect Your Skin From the World You Live In

moringa seed

Anti-Pollution Complex – Protect Your Skin From the World You Live In

One of the really amazing ingredients that we included in Fullmoon Serum is an Anti-Pollution Complex to shield you against environmental pollutants and oxidative stress.

What is Anti-Pollution Complex?

Anti-Pollution Complex is derived from moringa seed extract. It prevents the adhesion of particles to the skin thereby preventing against oxidative damage caused by contact with environmental pollutants, cigarette smoke and toxic heavy metals. It essentially creates a protective shield on the surface of the skin.

The inclusion of an anti-pollution complex within skincare is the latest advancement in ‘anti-aging’. Your skin is particularly susceptible to the impact of environmental pollution. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are tiny particles, emitted primarily by cars and other vehicles, which penetrate through the outer layers of the skin. These PAHs alter the skin barrier and disrupts the connections between healthy cells. By weakening the dermal barrier, these PAHs penetrate even deeper within the skin where they cause oxidative stress and trigger chronic inflammation. This chronic inflammation leads to unwanted pigmentation and the destruction of collagen; it essentially ages the skin more rapidly.

Researched anti-Pollution Complex Benefits:

  • Decreases reactive oxygen species/oxidative stress
  • Calms inflammation
  • Detoxifies the skin and reduces the adhesion of pollution
  • Protects the skin from signs of premature aging
  • Prevents the development of acne blemishes caused by oxidation of sebum

Anti-Pollution Complex Research:

Some of the most promising research with the use of the Anti-Pollution Complex in skincare showed that it reduced pollution-induced inflammation by ~50% and oxidative stress by ~51%.

Who should use skincare products with Anti-Pollution Complex?

Skincare products that contain ingredients like the Anti-Pollution Complex that create a protective barrier on the skin are ideal for those living in urban centres or those with sensitive skin. The Anti-Pollution Complex included in Fullmoon Serum is also beneficial for those wanting to slow the signs of aging as well as those struggling with acne or other inflammatory skin conditions. This unique ‘anti aging’ serum is the perfect complement to a number of targeted skincare routines.

What else is in the Fullmoon Serum? Learn more about collagen, malachitepeptides, hyaluronic acid and retinol

 Dr. Jen Newell is the founder of Naturopathic Skin Care Clinic at the Integrative Health Institute. Also Graydon Skincare's resident ND! :) 

Peptide Power to Prevent Signs of Aging


The launch of Fullmoon Serum introduces one of our most potent products that is also gentle and ideal for those with sensitive or sensitized skin.

Fullmoon Serum is particularly amazing for those hoping to slow the relative signs of aging because of our inclusion of an oligopeptide complex derived from hibiscus extract. Research on this particular oligopeptide have shown to fend off the development of wrinkles when applied topically by inhibiting muscle contractions.

What are peptides and how do they work?

Peptides are short chains of amino acids that act as messengers within the skin and body. One of the most significant signs of aging is the texture of our skin and surface wrinkles. In our bodies, peptides modulate muscle contractions and serve as a natural collagen manufacturer. In skincare, peptides are publicly known for stimulating collagen synthesis, wound healing, “Botox-like” wrinkle smoothing, as well as antioxidative, antimicrobial, and lightening effects. The oligopeptides derived from hibiscus that we have included in Fullmoon Serum are particularly effective and researched as neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides, meaning that they inhibit acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction to prevent muscle contraction mimicking the effect of Botox when applied to the skin.

Researched peptide Benefits:

  • Reducing the signs of aging
  • Reducing the look of expression lines and wrinkles
  • Antioxidant that helps to decrease free radical damage

Peptides Research:

The peptides from hibiscus extract have been found to work effectively against expression lines and wrinkles in both in vitro and human clinical trials. One of the most promising studies found that regular application of a cream containing just 1% hibiscus oligopeptides resulted in significantly reduced wrinkle depth in 3 short weeks. It was also found to reversibly inhibit muscle cell contractions responsible for expression lines.

Who should use skincare products with neurotransmitter inhibitor peptides such as those derived from hibiscus?

Peptides are becoming increasingly popular in skincare formulations and are amazing for those looking to slow the signs of aging and to reduce the formation of expression lines. Oligopeptides derived from hibiscus extract is a great ingredient to try if you are considering more invasive treatments such as neuromodulating injections like Botox to reduce lines and wrinkles. Although this is not a replacement for Botox, it is a gentle way to improve the health and condition of your skin while helping to reduce fine lines. Graydon Skincare's Fullmoon Serum is a light, water-based serum that can be layered under makeup or other products in your skincare regimen to further enhance the health and youthful appearance of your skin.

What else is in the Fullmoon Serum? Learn more about collagen, anti-pollution complex, hyaluronic acid, malachite and retinol

 Dr. Jen Newell is the founder of Naturopathic Skin Care Clinic at the Integrative Health Institute. Also Graydon Skincare's resident ND! :) 



Botanical Retinol for Beautiful Skin without the Irritation

woman smiling

Botanical Retinol for Beautiful Skin without the side effects

We're so excited about the recent launch of our much-anticipated Fullmoon Serum. This ‘anti-aging’ serum has been a long time coming and is something that we are so proud of. One of the most exciting ingredients in Fullmoon Serum is a revolutionary botanical retinol.

According to Dr. Jen Newell, ND. retinoids, (vitamin A derivatives) have more proven skin benefits than any other ‘anti-aging’ or ‘anti-breakout’ ingredient. While retinol has been proven to be effective in the clinical improvement of aging, there are several drawbacks of using retinol in cosmetic products; the compound has shown to be very unstable, especially when exposed to UV light, which may lead to increased skin sensitivity, irritation, peeling, and redness. The botanical retinol included in Fullmoon Serum have many proven benefits and mechanism of action similar to conventional retinol but with improved tolerance and greater stability (it can even be safely worn during the day).

What is Botanical Retinol?

Botanical retinol is an extract from the Vigna Aconitifolia seed and is not actually a vitamin A derivative. Vigna Aconitifolia is a type of legume native to India and Pakistan. This potent extract has been proven to be as effective in ‘anti-aging’ products as synthetic retinols. Research shows that Vigna aconitifolia extract penetrates into the skin, where it works on a molecular level to jump-start the production of collagen and boost cell renewal. Additionally, this botanical alternative to retinol contains phenolic compounds – caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, and kaempferol. All these compounds are the reason why Vigna Aconitifolia extract is an excellent antioxidant that protects your skin against free radicals and UV damage. Vigna Aconitifolia is safe for use even during the day and when exposed to UV light unlike other retinoid compounds.

Researched benefits of Retinol:

  • Stimulates skin cell renewal
  • Stimulates collagen synthesis
  • Decreases the appearance of lines and wrinkles
  • Antioxidant activity to prevent free radical and UV damage
  • Gentle exfoliant reduces pore clogging and prevent the development of acne blemishes
  • Highly stable and more tolerated than other forms of retinol

Research on Botanical Retinol:

One of the most interesting studies directly compared the renewal of the stratum corneum by Vigna Aconitifolia and retinyl palmitate and found that topical applications of the botanical retinol accelerated skin cell turnover more effectively than the topical retinyl palmitate. Another study comparing both directly found that the botanical retinol offered comparable anti-wrinkle activity to an encapsulated synthetic retinol. This evidence supports the use of a botanical retinol as an effective and safe alternative to potentially harmful synthetic retinoids like Retin-A or retinyl palmitate.

Who should use skincare products with Botanical Retinols?

Dr. Newell recommends the use of safe and gentle retinoid to address a number of skin concerns. Fullmoon Serum and its unique botanical retinol is ideal for those struggling with acne or congested skin. For the reason that this serum is water based there are no oils or waxes that could further clog pores and trigger breakouts. In addition, the botanical retinol encourages cell turnover to help clear congestion and prevent acne. A botanical retinol is also amazing for slowing down visible signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity. By enhancing collagen and elastin production, this ‘anti-aging’ serum helps to rebuild the structural architecture of the skin and maintain its youthful appearance. There is also evidence supporting the use of a gentle retinoid for those with rosacea.

Fullmoon Serum is a great option for those combating the redness and sensitivity of rosacea and pairs well with any of Graydon Skincare’s moisturizers. Fullmoon Serum botanical retinol is a great addition to most skincare routines and offers a safe and effective alternative to less stable forms of retinoids commonly used in skincare products.

What else is in the Fullmoon Serum? Learn more about our anti-pollution complex, peptides, hyaluronic acid, malachite and collagen

Dr. Jen Newell is the founder of Naturopathic Skin Care Clinic at the Integrative Health Institute. Also Graydon Skincare's resident ND! :) 



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