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The truth about parabens and why your skin deserves better

Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Parabens are a type of synthetic preservative commonly added to skincare products and cosmetics to prevent bacteria and mould growth and prolong the product’s shelf-life.

Parabens actually originate in nature! They are the synthetic form of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, a naturally produced paraben found in fruit and vegetables and created during the ripening process to stop a microbial attack. It’s nature’s clever way of creating a natural preservative or protective mechanism to stop fruit and veggies from getting diseases or infection. In their natural form, parabens aren’t bad for you, we’re eating them every day in our fruit.

Synthetic parabens do breakdown to the natural form and are excreted from the body. However, there are many forms of parabens and conjugates – a chemical they are bound to, and it is these that are the concern.

Dr Weir first began researching parabens in skincare products when she was approached by Suzanne Hall of Living Nature. What she discovered, when testing the safety of different parabens, was that the cheap synthetic forms were causing damage in the DNA, resulting in cell mutations and this damage was related to the dosage used. Dosage, quality of ingredients and the other ingredients and chemicals used with it, all played a part.

After further research, it was obvious that not all parabens were causing DNA damage, but those made using cost-cutting measures and used at high levels were. She was also shocked to learn that many commonly used cosmetics and creams were full of these parabens. They were doing more damage to skin – and health – than good!

That’s why, when Dr Weir developed Atopis Skincare, ‘paraben-free’ was a non-negotiable. Instead of using damaging parabens, we harness the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of natural New Zealand plant ingredients to preserve our products. We ensure these powerful plants are not changed but kept in their original state as they are found in New Zealand forests. You can learn more about our good ingredients here.

We don’t use fillers, solvents or traditional extraction methods either – instead we’ve developed an innovative, scientific solution that uses nature’s own processes to fuse plant bioactives together in synergy.

10 things to know about Atopis Face Oils

Friday, September 24th, 2021

If you’ve already purchased a new Atopis Face Oil, or if you’re thinking of trying one for the first time, have a read of over our 10 top FAQs in the notes below.

Why should I use a face oil?

You get to control your skin’s hydration! Atopis Face Oils contain ultra-nourishing and hydrating ingredients like Rosehip Oil, Manuka Oil, Mamaku Gel and soothing Cucumber Oil, which will help to restore and rebalance the natural oil ratio in your skin for a brighter, dewier complexion. They’re designed to be used in synergy with Atopis night creams to plump, firm and moisturize dry, tired skin.

What’s the difference between the two new Atopis face oils?

Our Intensive Renewal Face Oil is packed with natural anti-ageing ingredients for mature skin that’s dry or lack-lustre and in desperate need of an extra moisture boost. Our Radiance Enhancing Face Oil is developed for skin that’s prone to acne, rosacea, redness or sensitivity and will help to calm and balance the skin, while also softening out acne scars and stubborn blemishes.

What makes the oils different to other beauty oils?

All of the botanical ingredients in these oils are scientifically tested, perfected and proven efficacious. Beginning with a base of pure Rosehip oil, we have added high concentrations of the highest quality ingredients available, to deliver noticeable skin results. We never use cheap fillers like some other face oils do – only stacks of nutrient-rich oils and pure, potent goodness.

Do you still sell the Rosehip Renewal Face Oil?

No. What we’ve done is taken the former Atopis Rosehip Renewal Face Oil, amplified the ingredients, then tailored them specifically to two different skin types.

Where does my face oil fit in my skincare routine?

Think of your face oil as extra moisture that you can dial up or down. For best results, cleanse and tone skin then massage a few drops of oil into your face before applying your Atopis night cream. Winter skin might need three drops of oil; summer skin might only need two – you choose what feels right for your skin. If using your oil in the morning, apply it after cleansing and toning, then pop your SPF over the top. You can even try mixing your oil and cream together in the palm of your hand before applying it to your face.

Can I apply it underneath makeup?

Yes, the oils are designed to melt beautifully into your skin so you can wear them during the day under makeup. We recommend giving your skin a few moments to soak up the goodness before applying your makeup.

I have sensitive skin. Are there any ingredients in the oils that I might react to?

Sensitive skin is generally caused by an imbalance in the skin microbiome not a reaction to ingredients, as is often perceived. We have very carefully selected each high quality ingredient in our face oils to ensure they’re perfect for sensitive skin types, they’re synergistic and efficacious.

I have acne and oily skin. Will the oil clog my pores?

No. These oils are non-comedogenic and designed to help rebalance your skin’s oil ratio so your sebum glands don’t kick into overdrive. If you’re prone to acne, the Radiance Enhancing Oil will be a beautiful addition to your skincare routine.

How much should I use each time?

We recommend 1-2 drops each use, but there’s really no limit. If you have really dry skin, you might need a little more. The beauty with oils is that you’re in control.

What’s the aroma of the oils?

That heavenly scent is luxurious Rosa Damascena Flower Oil (also known as Damask rose) with a hint of precious Frankincense oil.

Why toner is a must in your skincare routine

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

When it comes to healthy, balanced and glowing skin, facial toner is an important part of your skincare ritual – though it’s an easy step to overlook if you’re not entirely sure how it works, or how to use it.

Below we’ve shared a little more on why, when and how to use Atopis Revitalizing Toner for bright, balanced and energised skin. It truly will make a difference to your skin!

 

Balance, hydration and protection!

 

One of the things that makes Atopis Revitalizing Toner so unique is that it’s a toner + serum in one. This seriously hard-worker gently cleanses away excess oil, grime and impurities, closes and tightens pores, restores your skin’s pH balance (without stripping skin), boosts skin hydration and freshness, all while restoring a protective lipid barrier to protect your delicate skin cells from environmental and oxidative stress.

Atopis Revitalizing Toner:

✓ Calms and diffuses redness and protects skin.
✓ Balances the skin’s microflora with prebiotic and probiotics.
✓ Preps skin to help moisturizer and face oils soak in.
✓ Works in synergy with Atopis face creams.

What’s in it?

A synergistic fusion of nourishing ingredients including: skin-plumping gold kiwifruit bioactive; intensely hydrating hyaluronic acid; astringent witch hazel to help tighten pores; hydrating watermelon for thirsty skin; potent antibacterial Manuka and healing Harakeke gel infused into soothing aloe vera hydrosol to prepare and protect your skin.

Which skin types does it suit?

Our toner is scientifically developed for sensitive skin types, making it perfect for rosacea, eczema and acne-prone skin. It also works beautifully on mature skin!

How to use it: (for best results!)

1. After cleansing with Atopis Thoroughly Gentle Cleanser spritz 1-2 pumps of Revitalizing Toner directly onto your face (or onto a cotton pad first, if you prefer), then pat it gently into your skin. Use morning & evening.

2. In the morning: apply Radiant Balance Day Cream or Intensive Restore Day Cream to skin, followed by your SPF50+ sunscreen.

3. In the evening: After toner, apply Rosehip Renewal Face Oil and/or Radiant Balance Night Cream or Intensive Restore Night Cream – and wake up with the Atopis glow!

Why do we call Atopis ‘nature’s scientific skincare’?: Dr Weir explains

Monday, June 21st, 2021

I use nature’s own incredible biochemical processes – and my research into the differences in plant and human apoptosis (programmed cell death) and immunology pathways – to create our multi-faceted botanical ferment Myrecil®, the foundational ingredient of our high-performance Atopis skin creams.

We don’t use diluted plant extracts or traditional extraction methods.

Traditional methods for creating plant extracts are ineffective and either use: solvents to pull out the desired component of the plant extract (for example the flavonoids); a process called ‘supercritical fractionation’ to separate out the desired component (for example astaxanthin – a carotenoid that protects cells from free radical damage); or glycerin to soak the extracts.

Instead, I went back to nature to create a ‘synergistic heterogeneous botanical bioactive’. Let me explain:

A unique feedback loop

Plants, bacteria and insects signal to each other using peptides (amino acids) and proteins. The bacteria in your gut produce proteins which are detected by micro receptors on your gut wall and turn on different functions in response. The bacteria have identical receptors and these are also activated by the food that you eat. So they all work in a feedback loop with each other. Your skin cells work in the same way!

Within nanoseconds of being activated, plants can turn on different biochemical pathways in
response to environmental factors such as UV light or toxins. My area of scientific expertise is in producing plant stem cells by activating pathways for totipotency – as in, turning a normal leaf cell back into an embryonic cell after it’s damaged.

This is what we do with Myrecil® – we activate the plant stem cells pathways to produce compounds that promote skin cell renewal and regeneration.

We ferment our plant extracts to enhance their bioactivity.

I invented a novel fermentation technology, which is used to synergistically fuse Myrecil® into Atopis skin cream bases with other plant extracts, without the use of excess heat, preservatives or radiation. This is a crucial step in retaining the natural integrity and power of Myrecil® and the other plant extracts in our skincare.

During the fermentation process, the plant and microbial enzymes create isomers (changed molecular structure) of the plant flavonoids and peptides which are then conjugated (bound) to lipids for enhanced bioactivity and bioavailability into the skin.

Myrecil® is truly unlike any other skin ingredient on the market – it uses the science of nature to create novel molecules naturally! Try our skin-changing creams for yourself!

We take sustainability seriously!

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

Over the past 30 years, Atopis founder and CEO Dr Iona Weir has worked as a scientist on a number of exciting conservation and sustainability initiatives, including the development of sustainable packaging solutions, and the remediation of toxic mining sites across various Oceanic countries. She’s also visited palm oil plantations in Indonesia and seen firsthand the environmental impact of palm oil production – which is why you’ll never find palm oil in our products!

Sustainability is a deep value of Atopis, and it’s inherent in all that we do. As a natural scientific-based skincare company we have a huge responsibility to protect and treasure our natural environment and to preserve it for our kids – and their kids.

Below we’ve shared some of the steps we’re taking to ensure the integrity of our skincare ingredients, and the sustainability of our business practices.

 

1. Sustainable packaging solutions

 

Our skincare tubes are made from 100% sugarcane plastic – a renewable, recyclable and carbon-free source. Sugarcane actually absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere like trees do, making it a much earth-friendlier alternative to fossil fuel-based polymers.

We’re also in the process of carrying out our own ‘in-house’ testing of recycled plastic packaging, and we plan to increase our use of recycled plastics once we’re certain that they meet our high standards of stability.

We use biodegradable courier bags that you can compost at home. Here’s a handy tip: simply put your courier bags in the sun to speed up the composting process.

Last but not least, we’ve strengthened the materials used to manufacture our beautiful skincare boxes so we don’t need to use as many when we’re sending out products to you!

 

2. Pure botanicals tracked to their source

 

We use only the highest quality natural ingredients – many of which are native to New Zealand and sourced locally on our back-door step (literally). Every ingredient that goes into Atopis skincare is grown sustainably and we work in partnership with local iwi (Māori) to ensure we protect our biologically unique native plant-life. We also use a special collection process that ensures there’s no wastage.

 

3. 100% natural and toxin-free – zero nasties!

 

When we say we’re natural, we really mean it. Atopis products are free from parabens, fillers, solvents, fragrance, silicone, SLS or synthetic chemicals that could harm your health or your skin. Because we have to meet stringent OTC (over-the-counter) FDA registrations in the USA, you can be sure (and have peace of mind) that every single ingredient meets these very high regulatory standards.

 

4. 100% cruelty-free skincare

 

We never, ever test on animals! Instead we use incredible, high-tech, 3D skin cell culture fluorescent imaging – which allows us to grow living skin in the lab and observe cellular changes – to test our Myrecil® technology and perfect our products before they reach your skin. For any ingredients that we source externally, we undertake rigorous research to make sure they meet our exacting cruelty-free standards!

Day creams vs night creams: What’s the difference?

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

Unsure what the difference is between the moisturiser you apply in the morning and the one you slather on before bed – and whether or not you really need both? We’re here to help! Below we’ve unpacked some of the key differences between the purpose, texture and ingredients in day creams and night creams, and how to use both for plump, glowing and radiant skin!

Protection vs Repair

Day creams create a line of defence against environmental culprits like UV light, blue light, pollution, cold, wind and bacteria, and they help to rebalance the skin’s microbiome to keep skin clear and healthy. Night creams contain ingredients that do their best work while you sleep, helping to reverse skin damage and regenerate vital supplies of collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin’s epidermis. The antioxidant-rich ingredients in night creams help to neutralise those cheeky free radicals that contribute to skin cell damage and ageing, and they help to hydrate and brighten skin.

Creamy vs Gel-like

Since we don’t usually wear makeup while we sleep, night creams can be thicker and heavier in texture than their silkier daytime counterparts. Atopis Night Creams contains algal sphingolipids (the gel from seaweed) which gives them a delicate gel-like consistency, and most importantly, allows for the ingredients to be absorbed deeply into the repair-centre of your skin cells for serious cell renewal.

The Retinoid factor

Retinoids boost hyaluronic in the skin cells (giving skin support and plumpness), however, they have a tendency to make skin sensitive to sun – which means they’re not ideal for daytime wear. We’ve found a way around that though! Atopis day creams contain Myrecil®, which delivers all the benefits of retinoids, but without the nasty drawbacks. Since there’s no concern about sun exposure while you’re asleep, our night creams contain pure, high-quality retinol paired synergistically with Myrecil®, giving you all the skin-plumping power but without the side effects.