“I feel that herbalists understand plant chemistry, plant medicine and plant energetics in a unique way that makes it possible to take whole plant medicine to levels of efficacy that many industry professionals may think are only reserved for pharmaceutical and synthetic isolates.”
FLAVONOIDS: WHY NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT THEM
When we think about skin brightening and texture improving we often think of vitamin C. And there is no doubt that vitamin C takes the spotlight as a nutrient with countless incredible abilities. However, vitamin C cannot work alone; it requires the presence of flavonoids in order to support our cells, flavonoids simply MUST be present in the plant. Flavonoids and vitamin C naturally coexist in nature, proving to be a game-changer for improving skin tone and texture.
SO, WHAT ARE FLAVONOIDS ANYWAY?
These colorful antioxidants are found in all plants, though some plants possess a higher concentration than others. Their role in our health is vast, and many healing foods are rich in flavonoids. On a molecular level, flavonoids intricately interact with vitamin C, supporting its intracellular delivery and preventing oxidation. Flavonoids also act as sparing molecules alongside vitamin C, meaning our cells require less ascorbic acid when flavonoids are present. Together, these plant-based nutrients are a powerful harmony for radiant and revitalized skin.
PHYTOCHEMISTRY + FLAVONOIDS
Flavonoids are pretty remarkable. They strengthen capillary and cell walls and support our collagen structure by assisting with cross-linking fibers. Flavonoids prevent enzyme oxidation and have been studied for their ability to inhibit tyrosine production – both of which play a significant role in the slowing of hyperpigmentation. In the plant world, these phytochemicals act as sun protection for the plant, which is incapable of getting up to seek shade so it developed specialized phytochemicals to protect itself from UV-induced damage. Remarkably, we are able to harness that ability and enjoy the benefits of these flavonoids, too. The flavonoids quercetin and rutin have become well-known in skincare as they both specifically perform well in UV damage prevention, as well as arbutin which is increasingly being used as a natural and more effective support for hyperpigmentation reduction.
Here are a few of my favorite synergistic actions between vitamin C and flavonoids:
1) Molecular sparing. This means that a cell actually requires less vitamin C in the presence of flavonoids because of how they work together to support the cell.
2) Metabolization. This is a critical aspect of vitamin C’s behavior after oxidation. When vitamin C oxidizes, it can initiate a free radical chain reaction, which may have harmful effects. However, vitamin C also has the ability to become an antioxidant again after its initial oxidation in the process. Flavonoids play a vital role in ensuring that vitamin C remains stable and effective throughout this transformative journey.
3) Delivery. Flavonoids have a connection to lipids and cellular bilayers. Even though they are typically thought of as water soluble, they are also able to be carried through lipids and enhance the absorption and permeability of vitamin C. In this way, Flavonoids are also responsible for strengthening capillaries and connective tissue.
WHY DOES IT TAKE AN HERBALIST
Formulating the way we do at Laurel Skin is a labor of love and a balance between coaxing potency and maintaining purity. In formulation, flavonoids are difficult to capture, which could be why you rarely see them talked about in more conventional skin care. They are dark in color, which is something to watch for when looking for flavonoids in your (hopefully) colorful skin care. As a team of herbalists, we at Laurel Skin have taken our time to perfect each whole plant extract to ensure maximum potency, stability, and bioavailability of our vitamin C, flavonoids, and enzymes. Each plant thrives under its own preferred conditions, at different temperatures and timing, and its nutrients are soluble in different mediums. Understanding the whole spectrum of nutrients within each plant is how we are able to deliver the most potent, effective and brilliant products.
FLAVONOID FILLED PLANTS
Colorful petals are vibrant fruits are what to watch for here to boost the flavonoid content in your skin care ritual. Rose petals, Cornflower, Hibiscus, and Bilberry are a good place to start.
OUR WHOLE-PLANT SOLUTION FOR SKIN BRIGHTENING AND FIRMING
Working with delicate fruits has been a labor of grace for us, which you can experience in our Hydrating Elixir C, and most potently, in our Radiance Compound. I can say confidently, as I do with all our Compounds, there is nothing like this in the industry. We are proud to be the bringers of the very first whole plant vitamin C and flavonoid serum – Radiance Compound: Fruit + Flavonoid. It is an honor to introduce the world to the full beauty of these powerful plants.