April 20 2014

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SK-II Harnesses the Power of the Artichoke


sk-ii-essential-oilARTICHOKE EXTRACT (ar-tee-choke ex-tract)/ (n.)/ 1./ Also known as Cynara scolymus, it is extracted from the leaves of the nutrient- and mineral-rich perennial thistle vegetable. / 2./ Native to North America, Europe, and the Mediterranean, the artichoke is one of the oldest cultivated edible plants, its use dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. / 3./ As a stimulant of bile secretion due to a high concentration of cynarin, the leaf extract has cholesterol-lowering properties and a restorative impact on the liver. / 4./ Research has shown that cynaropicrin, a bioactive compound found within the extract, inhibits free-radical formation and inflammation, preventing UVB-induced skin damage. / 5./ Known for its potency as a natural aphrodisiac, the artichoke was reserved solely for male consumption in the 16th century; e.g., “Boost a dull complexion or a dreary love life with artichoke extract.”

Try it: SK-II Essential Power Essence Serum, $185;

Éminence’s Head Is in the Clouds



CLOUDBERRY (kloud-ber-ee)/ (n.)/ 1./ Scientific name rubus chameaermorus, and sometimes referred to as a knotberry or salmonberry, the herb that produces a golden-colored fruit grows wild in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe’s Nordic countries and northern parts of the United States and Canada. / 2./ Often found in mountainous areas, the plant is able to withstand extreme cold but suffers in very dry conditions. / 3./ Rich in vitamin C (four times more than an orange offers), they are an ancient natural remedy for protecting against scurvy and for treating urinary tract infections. / 4./ Their immune-boosting properties make cloudberries efficient wound healers, and they have also been found to help anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cardiovascular and kidney issues. / 5./ When ripe, the berries have a sweet flavor and are used in many traditional jams and other delicacies, as in Finland where leipajuusto sees them served warm with local cheese, cream, and sugar, or in lakkalikoori, a strong and sugary liqueur. / 6./ Packed with antioxidants, omegas, carotene, and vitamins, cloudberries are hugely beneficial for the skin, helping to nourish, strengthen, and combat the signs of aging; e.g., “Slather your cloudberries on buttered toast for a sweet fix or on your complexion for a radiance boost.”

Try it: Éminence Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System, $130,

Verso Says Out Damn Spot


verso-dark-spot-fixCURCUMA LONGA (kur-kyoo-muh lohng-ga)/ (n.)/ 1./ Commonly known as turmeric and originating in southeast India, the plant’s Sanskrit name is haridra, meaning “yellow wood.” / 2./ The herbaceous perennial plant is part of the ginger family Zingiberaceae, and its sunshine-colored powder is utilized frequently in South Asian cuisine. / 3./ Relied on by Ayurvedic and Chinese doctors for thousands of years, it is used to address issues of the liver, stomach, and digestive organs, aiding metabolism and nutrient absorption. / 4./ Traditional healers utilize it to reduce menstrual cramps, combine it with neem leaves to address ringworm, or cook the root with milk to treat asthma. / 5./ Considered by some to have magical properties, turmeric is thought to help boost fertility and can also be worn as a protection charm. / 6./ The most active component in turmeric is curcumin, a potent antioxidant that is being studied as a potential cancer preventive and gives the plant strong anti-inflammatory properties both when ingested orally and applied topically; e.g., “Reduce cholesterol levels, treat digestive ailments, and brighten and protect the skin from free radicals with Curcuma longa.”

Try it: Verso Dark Spot Fix, $150,, Sephora, and Barneys New York locations.

Darphin’s Heart of the Ocean


darphin SEA EMERALD (sea em-er-uhld) / n./ 1. Binomially known as caulerpa lentillifera, this edible algae is found throughout tropical areas of the Indian and Pacific oceans. / 2./ Because of its tiny spherical beads and caviar-like texture, it is sometimes called green caviar, sea grapes, or umi-budo and is considered a delicacy in places like the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. / 3./ In traditional medicine, it is used to treat muscular rheumatism and high blood pressure. / 4./ Part of the Caulerpaceae family, this rare species of seaweed cannot be massively cultivated and grows only at temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. / 5./ Rich in iodine, fatty acids, and vitamins A and C, this ocean botanical activates an essential skin adherence protein and speeds up collagen production to firm and smooth the face; e.g., “Sprinkle sea emerald over a salad in the East, or massage it into your complexion in the West.”

Try it: Darphin Stimulskin Reshaping Divine Serum, $310;

Pureology’s Pillar of Strength



ASTAXANTHIN (as-ta-zan-thin) / n./ 1./ A carotenoid and antioxidant from marine algae that gives salmon eggs their coloring. It’s also the reason crabs, lobsters, and shrimp turn pink when cooked. /2./ A diet rich in astaxanthin is what lends the feathers of flamingos, born white, their rosy hue. /3./ Taken orally by humans, it can support brain function, vision, and joint and bone health, as well as protect from UV damage. /4./ Previously, it was used to preserve the light-sensitive particles in photographic film. /5./ Applied to hair, it can strengthen its integrity and prevent oxidative damage to color—e.g., “Spin damaged, dry strands into satin with a regimen rich in astaxanthin.”

Try it: Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo, $27, Condition, $29, Restorative Masque, $50, Fabulous Lengths Treatment, $28, and Split End Salve, $28;