We have been known to roll our eyes at breathless beauty press releases that proclaim the latest “superfood ingredient” – the stories of decades-long searches through the rainforests for a magic leaf, or the unearthing of a rare nut juice that miraculously makes you look 20 again. These are well-worn tales. However, sometimes a story is authentic, and an ingredient worth looking into more closely. One under-the-radar ingredient that we’re going to be seeing much more of in beauty is Sacha Inchi oil, which already features in two quietly successful beauty brands:
THE AMAZON IN IRELAND
Nicola Connolly’s Nunaia is one example. We met a year ago as she launched her “living superfood skincare range” with her Nourishing Radiance Serum. Connolly created this oil after years of research, and work with local communities, botanists and healers in South America where she lived for years; her mum used to ship THE GLOSS to her every month up the Andes Mountains in Peru! Connolly is now based in Tipperary.
OUR TAKE: I’ve tried a gazillion face oils over the years, and this has all the credentials – it’s entirely natural, vegan, 99.5 per cent Ecocert-certified organic, cruelty-free and highly active (so no cheap filler ingredients). It’s along the lines of Votary and Aurelia facial oils. Ingredients include avocado, rosehip seed extract and evening primrose oil, in that order, with Sacha Inchi seed oil, extracted from a native Amazon tree, as its fifth highest ingredient. The oil is renowned for its mix of healthy omega fats and vitamin E, all good for skin, both for nourishing it and helping to reduce inflammation. Lavender and geranium oils and rosemary leaf extract provide the beautifully subtle smell. If you have dry skin, this is a wonderful elixir. €79, available at Arnotts, Avoca, the Kilkenny Shop, One Dame Lane, Seagreen and at www.nunaia.com.
THE SKIN HEALER
Also focussing on the skin-healing capabilities of Sacha Inchi oil is Kristy Cimesa with her new venture, Botánico Vida. The experienced formulator, who previously set up successful spa brand Elemental Herbology, features Sacha Inchi as the third highest ingredient in her Botanico Vida Omega Oil, which is designed to heal skin concerns from dry skin and sunburn to stretchmarks and scarring. Botanico Vida also contains fruit oils like mandarin, olive, argan and rosehip. There are no synthetic ingredients, so it’s suitable for children and babies, and it can be used on both face and body. And there are just two multifunctional products, an oil and a balm.
“Bioactive Sacha Inchi Oil is prized as the earth’s richest natural source of Omegas 3, 6 and 9,” says Cimesa. “It is also entirely sustainable – every bottle of Bioactive Sacha Inchi sold contributes to reforestation and the viability of rainforest communities.” Clinical tests on skin elasticity and moisture levels (which help prevent stretchmarks) demonstrated a vast improvement.
OUR TAKE: Think of it as a bathroom cabinet staple for all the family, like Bio-Oil but without the liquid paraffin (a cheap synthetic filler which features in many balms and gels, yet has no benefits for your skin at all; also called mineral oil). From €14.95, at selected pharmacies nationwide; www.botanicovida.com.
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