Fighting Cellular Ageing with Pine Bark

Fighting Cellular Ageing with Pine Bark

Pinus Radiata, or pine bark is a powerful antioxidant that heals and repairs sun-damaged skin and fades age spots.

Antioxidants are critical in neutralising free radicals to prevent cellular damage. Antioxidants are potent anti-inflammatories, and reduce redness associated with eczema, rosacea and sunburn.

Free radicals are the cause of premature aging, as they nick DNA causing mutations, impair mitochondrial cellular respiration and induce inflammation due to release of nitric oxide.

Sources of free radicals are UV, pollution, smoking, excess sugar in diet and stress.

When free radicals are in excess this results in skin cell damage, wrinkles, age spots as well as being associated with rosacea, acne, lupus and psoriasis.

New Zealand pine bark is a more potent plant extract than other plant flavonoid extracts from the rest of the world, because here our pine has had to adapt to the intense UV exposure in New Zealand. That means that the plant has developed enhanced UV bioactive components to protect its own DNA and mitochondria.

Chances are that simply by living in New Zealand or Australia your skin has been subjected to a fair bit of UV damage. Pine bark is a potent cellular protectant against sun damage and promotes cell renewal to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.

Our Atopis pine bark is even more powerful. Almost 30 years of scientific research has shown our proprietary plant compounds can actually protect your skin cells against UV, pollutant & DNA damage, oxidative stress, inflammation & even promote wound healing. The pine bark that we gather is treated through our patented process to enhance all of its natural defense mechanisms, thus making it far more potent and effective on the skin.

We have demonstrated using in vitro lab testing that the Atopis pine bark promotes optimal mitochondria respiration and free radical scavenging within skin cells.

Mitochondria are the energy source of our cells. Basically, they protect our cells from incurring damage and re-energize them. If the mitochondria become tired, your skin gets tired. Skin appears lifeless, cell renewal slows down, and your skin doesn’t refresh itself as it naturally should. When your cell mitochondria are working optimally, your skin promotes a healthy glow.

We recommend you always use sun protection, and add antioxidants to your diet and skincare for optimal skin health.

 

Give your skin the gift of Atopis pine bark:

Learn more about our Intense Radiance Pack to get the benefits of Atopis pine bark.

The Amazing Kiwifruit

The Amazing Kiwifruit

By Dr Iona Weir PhD
Chief Scientist and CEO
Atopis Skincare

 

In my early days working as a Scientist I developed techniques that would allow for high-throughput screening of the DNA and biochemistry of individual cells and applied this to kiwifruit breeding.

This meant that when hybrid seedlings were produced the characteristics of the potential fruit could be identified and quickly ascertained to determine the value of the seedlings. My techniques were used extensively within the kiwifruit breeding program including the gold kiwifruit and kiwi-berries.

This technology was also used to identify the bioactive components within kiwifruit and their efficacy.

 

Of all the fruit, kiwifruit has benefits for the gut and skin that make it a superhero.

Kiwifruit is known as a meat tenderizer and this is due to the protease enzymes which digest protein.

These proteases (which break down the protein in cells) have been shown to increase gut motility (movement), protein digestion and modulate the gut microbiome (Weir et al, 2008).

The kiwifruit extract Phloe I was a part of developing in 2006, is a prebiotic that not only promotes the growth of good gut bacteria, it also inhibits the growth of bad bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. (Weir Patent No. 2015/0037315).

 

Kiwifruit has been clinically shown to enhance protein digestion and improve metabolism resulting in decreased fat absorption, lowered cholesterol and reduction in hunger cravings. (Weir et al., 2018).

Kiwifruit is also a potent anti-inflammatory food if you are not allergic to kiwifruit.

Clinical trials have shown that kiwifruit reduces inflammation of the gut by modulating the gut microbiome and regulating signalling receptors on the gut wall (Weir et al., 2018).

 

Kiwifruit and Your Skin

Kiwifruit is not just amazing for the gut, but also for the skin. Due to the improved digestion and metabolism this reduces excess sebum production and hence acne.

In my later research I discovered that amazingly, kiwifruit also reduces cytokine IL6 in human cells.

Cytokine IL6 is the cellular transduction molecule responsible for the inflammation that causes eczema. (Weir et al., 2008).

A reduction in this cytokine in the body effectively means that we can heal the cause of eczema and at the same time our skin creams soothe and treat the physical symptoms as well – healing the skin from inside the cell and out!

Using the latest biochemistry technique called lipid fractionation technology, I isolated and purified the component of kiwifruit pollen that reduces IL6 and included it in our US patented extract Myriphytase and added it to all of my Atopis skin creams. (Weir US Patent No.  9,877,991).

After I invented Myriphytase, it was clinically trialed in both New Zealand and the USA and shown to help human skin including an improvement in quality of life, an increase in skin quality, a significant reduction in the severity of eczema symptoms, and a decrease in redness, itching, and scaling.

Myriphytase goes into all of our skin creams and like our other 100% natural ingredients, is not made up of mere plant extracts – our scientifically enhanced food grade compounds are clinically shown to benefit human skin.

 

Weir I, Shu Q, Wei N, Wei C, Zhu Y (2018) Efficacy of actinidin containing kiwifruit extract Zyactinase on constipation: a randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trial. Asia Pacific of Journal Clinical Nutrition: 27 (3) 564-571.

Weir IE (2008) Zyactinase stimulates the probiotic gut microflora whilst inhibiting pathogenic microflora. International Journal of Probiotics and Prebiotics: 3 (4) 231 – 238.

All Atopis skin creams contain Myriphytase – choose your product here:

  • Acne Prone Skin Pack for Acne Prone and Sensitive Skin

    NZD $84.00 NZD $72.75
  • Dry Itchy Skin Pack for Eczema Prone, Psoriasis or Dry Itchy Skin

    NZD $156.00 NZD $117.00
  • Family Pack For Every Skin Type

    NZD $272.00 NZD $204.00
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare

    Hormonal Skin Program for Acne Prone, Sensitive and Hormonal Skin

    NZD $212.00 NZD $163.00
  • Intense Radiance Pack

    NZD $188.00 NZD $148.50
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare.

    Mature Skin Pack For Sensitive, Dry or Mature Skin

    NZD $197.00 NZD $158.00
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare

    Perfect Balance Pack For Sensitive, Mature & Hormonal Skin

    NZD $227.00 NZD $188.00
  • Radiant Skin Pack for Sensitive, Hormonal and Mature Skin

    NZD $276.00 NZD $227.00
  • Rosacea Prone Skin Pack for Acne Prone, Sensitive and Rosacea Prone Skin

    NZD $167.00 NZD $128.00
  • Sample of Atopis Cream

    NZD $1.00
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare.

    Radiant Balance Day Cream 50g NEW IMPROVED FORMULATION – For Hormonal, Rosacea, Sensitive & Acne Prone Skin

    NZD $79.00
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare

    Intensive Restore Day Cream 50g – For Mature & Sensitive Skin

    NZD $109.00
  • Acne Prone Skin Cream 30g NEW IMPROVED FORMULATION – For Hormonal, Acne Prone & Sensitive Skin

    NZD $45.00
  • Eczema Therapy Dry Itchy Skin Relief Cream 75g – For Sensitive, Eczema & Psoriasis Prone Skin

    NZD $39.00
  • Thoroughly Gentle Cleanser 125g – For Sensitive, Hormonal, Acne Prone & Mature Skin

    NZD $39.00
A Digital Attack on the Face?

A Digital Attack on the Face?

The following information may come as a shock. Who would have thought that the screens on our phones/laptops/tablets were causing our skin some serious damage!?

It takes a person 15 minutes on average before they check their phone in the morning not to mention the hours through-out the day we will eventually spend in front of a screen.

As it turns out, the blue light from screens is being recognised as damaging for the skin. Studies are being done as to what extent the blue light is affecting our skin. It is enough that it has encouraged beauty-brands to start creating products with blue light-fighting properties. Dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at New York University, Shari Marchbein, told Allure: “Visible light, especially in the blue wavelength, has become a hot topic in skin care, as there is mounting evidence that supports its contribution to photo-aging, including wrinkles, worsening skin laxity, and hyperpigmentation.”

 

According to Dermatologist, Dr Sweta Rai, the blue light that our screens emit can cause brown spots on the face and a “falsely aged appearance”. Although more common to affect the pigmentation in darker skinned people, the blue light is still penetrating deeper into our skin than UV light does. 

 

The main source of blue light we get daily comes from the sun (different to UVA and UVB rays) but a large amount of this exposure to blue light is coming from our screens.

 

A small peer-reviewed study was done on the effects of blue light on the skin and published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in 2010. This study proved that exposing skin to the amount of blue light we get from the sun caused more pigment, redness, and swelling than when the same person’s skin was exposed to comparable levels of UVA rays. This was evident in dark skin and the pigmentation lasted longer because the light stimulated the skin to overproduce pigment. This appears as brown spots on what would have been a clear complexion. 

 

We should all beware though and try going hands-free when talking on your cell phone can save the exposure directly to your face. It is also good to avoid face contact with the cell phone if you are prone to acne or blemishes because phones can hold a lot of bacteria already. 

 

So, there is no definite conclusion telling us to do anything about blue light yet, however the evidence already suggests that blue light exposure is harming our skin in more ways than one. 

 

What can we do about this?

Use night-mode when going on a screen for a long period of time, call hands-free, and reduce the time you spend staring at your screens. 

Atopis skincare contains flavanoids (plant’s UV defense compounds) that are useful in protecting against blue light exposure and has been scientifically proven to protect against the sun’s blue light on the skin. Alas, it is never too late to repair, Atopis can help alleviate drooping and sagging skin which is also a cause of the dreaded blue light!

Learn more about our flavanoid rich ingredients!

All Atopis skin care products contain flavanoids to help protect against blue light exposure.

The two products which contain the most effective blue light protection are our Anti-Aging Cream and Radiant Balance Cream.  Click below to learn more.

Three-phase Therapy for your Skin

Three-phase Therapy for your Skin

 

When we say we are natural, we are. We ensure that the plants we source are not changed but keep the original state as they were in the New Zealand forest.

Instead of using solvents, or traditional extraction methods, we use nature’s own processes to fuse bioactives together in synergy.

We dive into the unique process that brings prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics together on the skin.

 

Prebiotic

Just like our gut health requires good bacteria, our skin does too!

In 2006, Dr. Iona Weir patented a technology for a gut health prebiotic from kiwifruit that promoted the growth of good bacteria, whilst inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria.

What sets this science apart is that traditional prebiotics can only promote the growth of all bacteria.

This means that not only does the good bacteria grow, but also the bad bacteria is being kept alive too. When this process (in the gut) goes wrong it results in bloating. Dr Weir’s patented kiwifruit prebiotic successfully reduced IBS symptoms in clinical trials.

For Atopis, Dr. Weir took this concept further, and created another patented prebiotic that promotes the growth of the good bacteria on the skin, whilst killing the bad bacteria such as acne propionic and staphylococcus bacteria. Thus, only good bacteria can thrive.

 

Probiotic

It gets better; Dr. Weir encapsulated probiotic bacteria within the prebiotic so that the interior would remain dormant and stable within the cream until being applied to the skin.

The Atopis probiotic bacteria only becomes active when rubbed onto the skin, which releases them and allows them to grow and populate on the skin leaving no room for the unhealthy bacteria to stay.

This is especially vital when it comes to the health of the skin.

 

Postbiotic

Postbiotics were developed by testing numerous plant extracts, fermenting them and identifying their skin benefits.

They were then synergistically fused together with the prebiotic encapsulated probiotics.

Only the best postbiotics for skin repair were selected after intensive testing. Atopis postbiotics have potent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties.

 

Atopis brings prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics together giving your skin our ultra three-phase therapy.  Learn more about our ingredients.

 

Explore our range of skin care products containing patented prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic treatments for your skin:

 

  • Acne Prone Skin Pack for Acne Prone and Sensitive Skin

    NZD $84.00 NZD $72.75
  • Dry Itchy Skin Pack for Eczema Prone, Psoriasis or Dry Itchy Skin

    NZD $156.00 NZD $117.00
  • Family Pack For Every Skin Type

    NZD $272.00 NZD $204.00
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare

    Hormonal Skin Program for Acne Prone, Sensitive and Hormonal Skin

    NZD $212.00 NZD $163.00
  • Intense Radiance Pack

    NZD $188.00 NZD $148.50
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare.

    Mature Skin Pack For Sensitive, Dry or Mature Skin

    NZD $197.00 NZD $158.00
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare

    Perfect Balance Pack For Sensitive, Mature & Hormonal Skin

    NZD $227.00 NZD $188.00
  • Radiant Skin Pack for Sensitive, Hormonal and Mature Skin

    NZD $276.00 NZD $227.00
  • Rosacea Prone Skin Pack for Acne Prone, Sensitive and Rosacea Prone Skin

    NZD $167.00 NZD $128.00
  • Sample of Atopis Cream

    NZD $1.00
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare.

    Radiant Balance Day Cream 50g NEW IMPROVED FORMULATION – For Hormonal, Rosacea, Sensitive & Acne Prone Skin

    NZD $79.00
  • No More Cover Ups. Nature's Scientific Skincare

    Intensive Restore Day Cream 50g – For Mature & Sensitive Skin

    NZD $109.00
  • Acne Prone Skin Cream 30g NEW IMPROVED FORMULATION – For Hormonal, Acne Prone & Sensitive Skin

    NZD $45.00
  • Eczema Therapy Dry Itchy Skin Relief Cream 75g – For Sensitive, Eczema & Psoriasis Prone Skin

    NZD $39.00
  • Thoroughly Gentle Cleanser 125g – For Sensitive, Hormonal, Acne Prone & Mature Skin

    NZD $39.00
What is Milia? And Do You Have It?

What is Milia? And Do You Have It?

Milia – Those Bumps aren’t Acne!

If you haven’t heard of Milia it looks like small bumps that commonly form around sensitive skin places such as the eyes. It is not rare to develop a singular milium or a crop of Milia at some stage in our life, but the appearance of them can affect our self-esteem at times.

They do disappear eventually but generally, we want to speed this process up. So, it is key to recognize when you have Milia and what to do.

Our solution to protecting your skin against the build-up of Milia is our Radiant Balance Cream. Our cream unclogs the skin’s pores and reduces the build-up of sebum and dead skin.

Find out more information about Milia, its causes, and it’s cures below!

What are they then?

Milia, plural or Milium singular, form as a tiny bump just below the surface of the skin and present where the skin is thinnest, which is typically around the eyes. The milium bump can look whitish in colour and is a keratin-filled cyst. These cysts are benign thankfully! 

After the sebum and dead skin cells become trapped in the skin they turn into keratin, which over time solidifies. Keratin is a fibrous protein that forms to make the main structure of hair, nails and the outer layer of the skin. 

Typically keratin does its job at protecting the skin, (just like it does for our nails and hair!) but in the case of Milia it hardens up under the skin forming the tiny bumps.

Milia are also referred to as closed comedones, where the follicle is blocked. Comedones are the skin-coloured bumps that are mostly found around the forehead and chin of people who suffer from acne.

Blackheads, however, are called open comedones, which are exposed to the air turning the dead skin and oil black.

Who gets it?

Statistically, half of all newborn babies will likely get Milia around the cheeks, nose, and eyes. Adults can get Milia on the face, arms, and hands.

It is more often than not to develop on the hands in mature people after years of sun-exposure turned sun-damage. See our Sun Exposure and Your Skin blog to learn more about the effects of exposure on your complexion. 

Generally, some people are just more prone than others to Milia. It can be genetic causes, a skin condition or a number of other reasons as to why Milia can suddenly develop.

An interesting cause of Milia

Over applying thick moisturizers and creams, notably eye creams, have been linked with triggering Milia, especially in those that are already susceptible to it.

The skin also has a natural exfoliation process, when this malfunctions dead skin cells begin to build up under the skin’s surface and if they stay too long like this the build-up hardens into keratin. 

This keratin-filled bump won’t get red or sore – instead, it’ll just sit under a thin layer of skin.

Treatment

Unlike acne, Milia do not form in the pores, instead, it forms as a cyst. So knowing this means the treatment of Milia is a different approach. It can last on the skin from a few weeks to a few months.

Milia goes away on its own eventually, but the appearance of it can affect self-esteem and confidence. More than often we want to get rid of it as soon as we can. Below are a few tips to treat Milia – the key is patience however, as it can still take up to a few months of treating Milia from home for it to clear up:

1. Exfoliating

Due to the skin’s exfoliation process malfunctioning, choosing a targeted exfoliator is important.

One that contains salicylic acid to dissolve the bump can be used daily if it is gentle on the skin and does not cause irritation or drying out the skin.

Products containing glycolic acid are effective in exfoliators for Milia as well.

2. Creams

To avoid triggering Milia ensure you use a thin layer of skin cream. If the cream is too thick it can block the skin causing it to essentially suffocate and Milia can erupt.

Make sure to choose a moisturizing cream that won’t block your skin’s pores and that will allow the skin to still feel hydrated. 

Is Your Skin Showing Signs of Milia?

Atopis Radiant Balance Cream has been formulated using essential oils that do not plug up the pores.

Our patented process of making Atopis converts some of the essential oils to fatty acids which are critical to maintaining the health of the epithelium (skin).

Using a combination of probiotics and prebiotics, Atopis has been scientifically proven to restore the skin back to a normal function using all-natural and safe ingredients.

Learn More About Radiant Balance Cream

What is your skin telling you about your gut health?

What is your skin telling you about your gut health?

We carry around a vast array of microbes in our gut that are completely unique to us, and these dictate how we digest food, maintain weight, and fight off disease among the many other jobs the microbes have. Our skin is triggered when the gut is at an imbalance and this can show on the skin depending on the skin condition you have.

What is the gut microbiome?

Think of the gut’s microbiome as an inner universe in our gut – it has billions of microbes that all have their own functions to play. 

When we are in the womb we receive our gut microbiome from our mother. As we age bacteria in the gut can come and go but the profile will always remain the same.  

In the first years after birth, our gut is introduced to new kinds of bacteria that join the diversity in the gut, and studies show this plays an enormous part in how our immune system matures.

When this goes wrong and the immune system does not mature correctly, immune conditions such as food allergies and eczema develop in childhood.

In adult life, if the balance between the immune system and microbiome is destabilized such as through infection, stress or change in diet then this can act as a trigger for immune-associated conditions such as IBS, acne, eczema and food allergies.

This is known as gut dysbiosis and if the imbalance continues then a vicious cycle of gut and skin issues becomes established.

It is very important to understand that there must be an underlying genetic tendency to the skin condition and that the gut dysbiosis is a trigger instead of a cause.

Why is gut health important for acne prone skin?

If your gut microbiome is unbalanced this impacts the skin microbiome, which is why we see the effects of the gut on our skin. The health of our gut affects more than our skin, it also has a direct link to our brain.

Our gut microbiome has also been linked to behavior including anxiety, stress, depression and mood swings. This is because it has an impact on our hormones.

When we feel anxious or stressed, our gut feels it and reacts to the elevated hormone – cortisol – causing excess sebum oil production, excessive gut motility (cramps and diarrhea), and gas.

Anxiety produces the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn plays havoc with all your other hormones.  Cortisol encourages your skin to release sebum oil, which can result in inflammation and then finally, dreaded breakouts.

Inflammation occurs when the pore is blocked with excess oils, dead skin and bacteria and this combination form a pimple. Keeping anxiety and stress under control can benefit the skin greatly.

How does gut health influence other skin conditions?

The immune system is regulated by pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. When gut health is poor the gut produces pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are made by the immune system to ward off infection.

However, if too many are present it inflames the gut. This throws you into a vicious cycle of gut imbalance, hormonal fluctuations, skin issues, weight gain or loss and underlying inflammation.

The inflamed response in the gut shows on the skin dependent on what skin condition you are living with.  

Hormonal fluctuations show on the skin as acne and rosacea. Immune conditions show as lupus, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.

Environmental Factors

Various environmental factors, such as stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, diet, and pollutants, will affect the composition within the gut but also the skin microbiome. 

Scientific research has found that the gut microbiome in early life is associated with age of onset, severity, remission, flares, and even types of conditions such as eczema, acne, food allergies and rosacea.

Building scientific evidence is indicating that the development of these immune skin and gut conditions appears to be a combination of the microbiome diversity, the immune system and the harmony between the gut and the body.

The Role of Genetics

It is important to appreciate that this microbiome imbalance is not the cause of the development of skin conditions, but instead maybe the trigger or aggravator of the condition. Every skin condition has either an underlying genetic or microbial infection cause.

How can gut health be restored?

Our microbiome is as unique as our fingerprints so what diet or treatment may work for someone does not necessarily mean it will work for you and your unique gut. Keeping a diary on your bowel habits, skin condition, daily wellbeing and what you have eaten will help to determine what is triggering your skin. 

Using Probiotics

Probiotics are essentially us adding foreign bacteria into the gut system, which is a great way to enrich gut health. 

It is important to note however that a probiotic that works for one person may not always work for another due to the uniqueness of the bacteria in the gut. An overactive immune system can decide the bacteria are the enemy and attack. It pays to try different probiotics but also to use diet and prebiotics (food for good bacteria) to restore your own natural gut microflora and stabilise your gut immune balance.

It is also important to listen to your body to find out what your body needs and what it does not like. Do not be pressured into thinking you have to give up chocolate, wine or dairy. We are all unique and so is your gut microbiome and immune system. Work out what your gut does and does not like while it is inflamed and remember this will also change with a maturing gut.

How to Enrich Your Gut Health

There’s no denying the gut is interlinked with our skin, brain, and mood. Treating skin conditions requires time and effort to determine the cause and triggers and then find the most suitable plan for yourself. 

Here’s some easy tips to start you on the journey to sustainably clear skin and a healthy gut:

• Food
Eat an array of plants – a great excuse to try something new, head to the supermarket grab some wholefoods and mix things up! The more plant diversity you’re exposed to, the larger your internal variation of beneficial bacteria will be.  

• Fibre is Key
Fibre is prebiotic ‘fuel’ for your friendly bacteria, helping it to flourish and multiply. Whole-grains are rich in fibre.

• Fermented Foods and Drinks
They are an easy way to add probiotics to your diet. Unlike prebiotics, which help pre-existing bacteria and microorganisms within you, probiotic foods actually contain live microorganisms that are able to be added to the gut.

• Sleep
Poor sleep can affect your gut, and bad gut health can affect your sleep. Studies show that a normal gut flora aids in a natural sleeping pattern (being tired at night and feeling awake during the day). For a good night’s sleep it is essential to take care of your gut, and if you want to boost your gut health then a solid night’s sleep will help. How great is that?!

• Exercise
Exercise has the power to alter the gut bacteria composition for the better. Exercise appears to generate butyrate which is known for reducing inflammation. Recent studies have found that those who have higher levels of fitness tend to be more likely to have a more diverse microbiome than the more ‘stationary variety’ of humans.

Atopis – Skin Care That Balances Your Skin From Inside-Out

Enhancing your gut doesn’t just work from the inside out. Since your skin is your biggest organ, it’s important to restore your skin’s natural function with natural skincare products and a routine designed to work in synergy with one another, offering layers of protection and benefits.

The Atopis range is scientifically designed to enhance and strengthen the body’s immune responses, reverse skin damage and promote skin cell repair on a surface and cellular level. Atopis manages and calms the skins’ reaction to environmental triggers, stress, and hormones rebalance and restore your skin’s microflora.

Learn About The Atopis Products Here