Many products have botanicals in them. Sometimes called phytomedicines, they may have the ability to act as a medicine or provide a therapeutic benefit, such as something used to maintain health or treat a disorder. Just because something has a label on it that declares the product “natural” doesn’t always mean it’s effective or safe. It all depends on the chemical makeup, how it was prepared or even the dose used to dispense it. Reactions to botanicals can be mild all the way up to potent and even dangerous in the wrong quantity.
It’s good to approach products as a skeptic until you can find out if it’s right for you and your body. Just recently we tried a skincare line called Maya Chia. It contains Astaxanthin, an antioxidant that helps to support joint and skeletal health among many many other claims. It is typically found in algae and certain pink or red foods such as salmon, trout, lobster and shrimp. This serum also has the benefit of Chai seeds. Chia seeds, yes, the same thing used to grow “Chia Pets”—but they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and rich in antioxidants as well. Dr. Andrew Weil talked them way back in 2006.
We tried Maya Chia on our skin for three weeks to give it a fair test. It was the only product we put on our face at night before we went to bed, yet was used first thing in the morning before primer and makeup. Maya Chia calls this the “Super Couple” and for good reason, it absorbs fast—I used it on a slightly damp face; it plumps the skin, and gives back that kind of shiny, hydrated glow, which is a signal of youth.
We’re told that the way the extraction process for the fluid is obtained—without solvent—creates an oil without chemical residues and impurities and one that most closely mirrors the chemical profile of the plant. Maya Chia The Super Couple face oil sells for $85 but it seems long-lasting since you are only using several drops.
We sent some questions to Susanne Norwitz, Founder of Maya Chia Beauty; read the following:
Andrea Campbell.: What is it about oils that are gaining such amazing popularity?
Susanne Norwitz: The ability for oils to penetrate the skin—and not just sitting on the outermost dermal layer. In many cases, oils are natural and in the case of chia, natural and highly-effective.
A.C.: Can you tell Readers more about Astaxanthin? How does Chia factor in?
S.N.: Both chia and astaxanthin are some of the most powerful (yet gentle) ingredients found in nature. Chia is one of nature’s most nutrient-dense superfoods, with more omegas and antioxidants than other oils (Chia has 8x the omegas of wild-caught salmon and 7x the Vitamin C of oranges). Astaxanthin is one of nature’s strongest antioxidants in a class called a carotenoid; it comes from the microalgae plant, Haematococcus pluvialis, which gives salmon, lobsters and flamingos their brilliant pink hue.
Astaxanthin has exceptional antioxidant activity to combat free radicals when compared to other antioxidants. University studies have shown natural astaxanthin to be:
• 64.9 times stronger of an antioxidant than vitamin C in combating free radicals
• 53.7 times stronger than beta-carotene in combating free radicals
• Natural Astaxanthin has also been found to enhance the antioxidant actions of vitamin E and C due to a synergistic effect, according to Debasis Bagchi, with Ph.D. Pharmacy Sciences, Creighton University School of Health Sciences.
Chia is a very gentle base, and when combined with the natural astaxanthin, makes for a powerful super couple to fight aging.
A.C.: How long does the plumping effect last?
S.N.: I think you’re finding the plumping effect is that your skin is finally being deeply nourished. Chia has been clinically proven to significantly increase skin hydration, reduce trans-epidermal water loss and increase skin barrier function.
A.C.: Where will Maya Chia be sold?
S.N.: Maya Chia is sold in fine retailer locations nationwide and online at MayaChia.com and Goop.com
A.C.: Do you have other products?
S.N.: We have a nourishing cleansing oil; of course the Super Couple ultra luxe face oil with chia and astaxanthin; another pure supercritical omega-3 face oil, a waterless wonder balm, and a body oil.