Spring Skin: 3 Key Ingredients to Strengthen and Soothe

The world of skincare is so often about what’s new. After more than a decade in this industry, I still get excited by a new product launch, especially if it features a unique or exotic ingredient I’m unfamiliar with. Something fresh and sparkly is always alluring, and while ingredient trends come and go (some of which should never have started at all), there are many that have stood the test of time and proven themselves to be powerful skin-protecting allies.

On that note, I am excited to refresh your knowledge on two ingredient superstars you’ve most certainly already heard of: Vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid, and one that you may find new and exotic - blue tansy essential oil. These are the familiar friends you will turn to when you want to maximize skin smoothness and hydration, soothe redness and irritation, and repair sun damage while you build collagen.


Here is a quick guide to these three natural skincare components and some fabulous products that contain them!

Vitamin C

  • In skincare formulations, Vitamin C is used to treat hyperpigmentation, loss of elasticity, dullness, sun-damage, and inflammation (1).
  • This ingredient can be highly reactive and unstable. Look for L-ascorbic acid or other stabilized forms of Vitamin C in containers protected from oxygen and light (1).
  • The effectiveness of Vitamin C is increased 8-fold when combined with Vitamin E and ferulic acid (1)! 
  • Concentrations higher than 10% may cause temporary tingling, redness and/or dryness in some people. For sensitive skin, use a lower concentration (5 - 8%) in products that are layered everyday for a gentle, yet powerful cumulative effect.


Hyaluronic Acid
  • Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a humectant, which means it attracts and absorbs water. One gram of HA can hold up to 6 LITRES of water (2)!
  • Half of the HA in our body is found in our skin, and skin that has suffered UV damage has significantly diminished levels of HA (3).
  • As we age, our natural production of HA decreases, resulting in dehydration, loss of firmness and suppleness, and increased inflammatory activity (4).
  • Sodium hyaluronate is a salt of HA, and is more easily absorbed by the skin than regular molecular weight HA.
    • Mad Hippie’s Hydrating Nutrient Mist combines sodium hyaluronate with our other superstar ingredient Vitamin C, plus green tea, pomegranate, resveratrol, and ginkgo biloba for antioxidant support.
  • Products containing multiple weights of HA penetrate the epidermis to varying depths, ensuring even hydration. Molecular weights of 5 - 500 kDA are the best weights for topical application (5).
  • Smaller molecules will penetrate the skin, dragging water (hydration) with them and larger molecules will sit on top of the skin and act as moisturizers, which are protective barriers against water-loss.
  • In dry climates, liberally spritz a water-based hydrosol or toner onto skin before and after applying your HA serum and/or cream, creating a “hydration sandwich”. This provides a source of water for the HA to draw from and lock into your skin. If the relative humidity in your environment is less than 40%, skipping this step will make HA almost powerless to hydrate the epidermis.



Blue Tansy Essential Oil
  • Contrary to its common name, the tiny blooms of Tanacetum annuum are actually bright yellow! These little bundles of sunshine are packed with plant magic: Chamazulene, the chemical component of blue tansy oil that gives it its beautiful colour, has potent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal treatment for acne, “maskne”, and inflammatory disorders of all types, including rosacea (6).
    • Living Libations’ BeDew Dab is a concentrated blend of essential oils featuring blue tansy; add a few drops to your favourite serum or moisturizer to calm redness and irritation.
  • Camphor, another plant chemical found in blue tansy, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory activity and a reparative action on skin cells (7).


Whether you are getting reacquainted with -or meeting these skincare superstars for the first time- adding products that contain them to your regular ritual will ensure your skin is soothed, supple, and radiant as you embrace all the newness that springtime brings.



  1. Farris PK. Cosmetical Vitamins: Vitamin C. In: Draelos ZD, Dover JS, Alam M, editors. Cosmeceuticals. Procedures in Cosmetic Dermatology. 2nd ed. New York: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. pp. 51–61.
  2. Kanemitsu T, Kawada C, Matsuoka R, et al. Ingested hyaluronan moisturizes dry skin. Nutr J. 2014 Jul 11;13:70.
  3. Bielfeldt S, Jegasothy M, Zabolotniaia V. Critical antioxidant support for UV radiation in epidermis. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr-Jun; 4(2): 143–146.
  4. Karakiulakis G, Papakonstantinou E, Roth M. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 253–258.
  5. Farwick M, Gauglitz G, Korting HC, Lersch P, Malle B, Pavicic T, Schwach-Abdellaoui GK. Efficacy of cream-based novel formulations of hyaluronic acid of different molecular weights in anti-wrinkle treatment. J Drugs Dermatol. 2011 Sep;10(9):990-1000.
  6. Ammon HP, Sabieraj J, Safayhi H, Sailer ER. Chamazulene: an antioxidant-type inhibitor of leukotriene B4 formation. Planta Medica. 1994;60(5):410-413.
  7. Ehrnhöfer-Ressler MM, Fricke K, Pignitter M, Walker J, Walker JM, Rychlik M, Somoza V. Identification of 1,8-cineole, borneol, camphor, and thujone as anti-inflammatory compounds in a Salvia officinalis L. infusion using human gingival fibroblasts. Agric Food Chem. 2013 Apr 10;61(14):3451-9.

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