And while we absolutely love a beauty company with ethics, it’s a given that the products need to meet our standards as well. We speak with leading Australian dermatologist Dr Shreya Andric to take a closer look into the latest skincare ingredients she’s excited about and what they can do for your skin.
Dr Andric names niacinamide as one of her top picks for beautiful skin: “It helps to reduce signs of ageing and pigmentation and is anti-inflammatory, which means it is well-tolerated by most skin types, especially those with sensitive skin.” She also advises us to incorporate vitamin C into our regime to promote luminous skin for summer. “It has so many benefits – it’s brightening, it reduces pigmentation and evens skin tone, it promotes collagen production, and it helps protect against sun damage,” lauds Dr Andric.
Arbonne’s BrightenUp range, designed to tackle pigmentation and promote radiant skin, utilises niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and brown algae to hydrate, boost the skin’s barrier function and even out the overall tone. The BrightenUp Luminous Serum in particular boasts potent, stabilised vitamin C to tackle stubborn dark spots and boost collagen for a plumping effect.
Dr Andric also loves vitamin A derivatives and exfoliating acids for smooth, youthful skin. “Ingredients that promote cell turnover and remove the dull, dead cells from the surface of the skin, including retinoids, retinols and bakuchiol, as well as alpha hydroxy acids – for example, glycolic acid, lactic acid, phytic acid – and hyaluronic acid to keep the skin hydrated,” she lists. And “always, always, always a sunscreen!”
You might have noticed Dr Andric mention bakuchiol as an exciting new ingredient. This plant-based retinol alternative is popping up in new skincare releases, touted as a gentler alternative to vitamin A. “A recent study found bakuchiol to be equivalent to retinol in terms of effectiveness, but much better tolerated with less scaling and stinging. It can be used in all skin types and is safe during pregnancy, unlike retinol,” says Dr Andric. She notes that bakuchiol has been found to minimise fine lines and hyperpigmentation, so it’s a great inclusion in formulas that address the effects of ageing.
Arbonne’s AgeWell Firming Neck Cream is designed to protect the thinner and more fragile skin of the jawline, neck and décolletage. Starring one of Dr. Andric’s favourite ingredients, bakuchiol, to improve texture and firmness, it also features hydrating peptides, caffeine to energise the skin and sustainable Edelweiss flower stem cell extract for skin that looks and feels smoother.
You may have seen ferulic acid included in some innovative new beauty releases. “This ingredient is a potent plant-based antioxidant that works to stabilise vitamins C and E. When combined with these vitamins, it has been found to double the effectiveness of sunscreen. It protects the major skin structures and works to prevent pigmentation from developing, delay skin ageing processes and overall it brightens the complexion,” explains Dr Andric. She notes it should be used in the morning, prior to that all-important sunscreen application.
An impressive product combining these dermatologist-approved ingredients is Arbonne’s DermResults Illuminating Skin Therapy Concentrate. With 15% Vitamin C, 2% bakuchiol, 1% ferulic acid and vitamin E, this clever booster serum does it all, addressing environmental damage caused by pollution and ozone, improving the look of wrinkles and dark spots, supporting the skin’s barrier and promoting radiant, healthy skin.
While natural formulas are sometimes seen as less effective, Dr Andric begs to differ. She loves licorice root for it’s “anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, anti-allergenic and antimicrobial properties”, as well as grapeseed oil, which contains fatty acids and polyphenols to “help with premature ageing”, and adds that it also contains several vitamins which can “help protect the skin from free radical damage”. She also mentions willow bark as a top pick. This natural extract is a derivative of salicylic acid and “can help with breakouts and to unclog pores”. Finally, Dr Andric explains that “vitamin C and E derivatives work as antioxidants to prevent the breakdown of collagen”.
Dr Andric believes sustainability is ultimately about making better choices to benefit the environment, while looking after her patients to the best of her abilities. “Sustainability in any industry begins with awareness, and I believe this awareness is certainly growing amongst dermatologists. A few of the ways in which I personally attempt to make an impact is by prescribing smarter – prescribing larger quantities of creams that patients will use longer term, for example, 50g rather than 15g tubes to minimise plastic use,” she explains.
She also reduces product waste by choosing reusable tools where possible: “Using instruments that can be sterilised rather than single use”, for example. Dr Andric also endeavours to avoid unnecessary mileage, thereby reducing her carbon footprint. “Attending conferences and meetings virtually to reduce travel [and] offering teledermatology appointments for patients who live far away,” although she concedes that the nature of dermatology means not all appointments can effectively be offered via virtual format. She is also conscious of the products and brands she recommends, and opts for ethically-sound options where possible.
Luckily, demand for sustainability in the beauty industry means there are more and more product options that are effective and eco-conscious in equal parts. Arbonne’s Dissolve the Day Facial Cleansing Cloths are a convenient and sustainable alternative to single-use cleansing wipes. No rinse required, they utilise a gentle, silicone-free formula powered by mild plant derived surfactants and antioxidants to soothe skin while easily dissolving makeup, sweat and pollution. And the best part is, these super soft cloths are completely compostable.
Of course, many product components don’t lend themselves to being compostable. Our recent forays into sustainable practices have shown us that beauty product packaging is often difficult to recycle at home due to the complex components involved. In response, Arbonne took their U.S.-based product recycling program, ArbonneCycle, on a world tour. Now available in all Arbonne regions worldwide, the program makes recycling eligible packaging items simple: just check which items can be included, pack them up and post them off using a pre-paid shipping label to be repurposed.
Wherever possible though, Arbonne endeavours to use easily recyclable materials. They’ve made the move to sustainable (and equally luxurious) glass packaging for many of their products, including the BrightenUp, DermResults and AgeWell ranges. Arbonne estimates the AgeWell range’s recyclable glass packaging will save over 125,000 pounds of plastic (based on 2019 sales figures), which is pretty impressive.