As people with extraordinarily elaborate skin-care routines, we pride ourselves on using products with the most effective ingredients around. Of course, this involves actually knowing what those ingredients are. And, boy, are there a lot of ingredients out there. In Know Your Ingredients, our new ongoing series, we'll be decoding the many oils, acids, extracts, and more that appear in our favorite products.
Ah, avocados. We love 'em in guac, spread 'em on toast, and spin into a widespread panic whenever we catch wind of a possible shortage. But, just when we thought this delicious, creamy fruit was perfect as is, skin-care companies do us a solid and put them in our products, allowing us to literally take an avocado to the face. Bless them.
In all seriousness, though, these buttery, green ovals are actually powerhouses when it comes to our skin. "Avocado oil contains a mix of fatty acids that includes omega-3 and omega-6," says Dr. Geoff Genesky, head of Kiehl's skin-care laboratory and research and innovation manager. "Therefore, topical application of products with avocado can help reinforce the skin barrier, as these essential fatty acids are important components in our skin's natural lipid layers."
Erica Vega, Lush product trainer, agrees that avocados are stuffed with good-for-you ingredients. "They're rich in vitamins A, D, and E, soothing the skin and providing relief from itching or inflammation," she explains. "Avocado oil also contains sterolin, which can help diminish age spots." Basically, it's a wonder we haven't been slathering this stuff on our faces all along.
As you might have guessed, avocado is best used for moisturizing, whether that be your face or your undereye area. "Customers with dry skin in particular should look for it, as it may help to reinforce the lipid levels in their skin," Genesky says. "But, it's a good choice overall for any customer looking for a product with a nourishing oil that will soak into their skin." The brand's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado is a cult classic, because it absorbs easily into the delicate skin around your lids. While this is the only product the brand has with avocado in it so far, Genesky says Kiehl's is interested in incorporating the ingredient elsewhere.
Lush, on the other hand, has gone full-force into their avocado obsession. "We use fresh avocados in hair moisturizers, like our Jungle Conditioner, in body butters, and even our Avobath Bath Bomb," Vega says. She stresses the importance of using fresh ingredients, if you can. "It's important to maintain the avocado's potent nourishing properties. Fresh is best!" So, let's keep our fingers crossed that the avo-pocalypse is just heresy. We've got far too many uses for this superfruit to part with it anytime soon.
Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, $28.50, available at Kiehl's.
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