June Edition | NUVIOR Canada Ingredient of the month | Urea

What Is Urea

Urea, otherwise known as hydroxyethyl urea or urea 40, is a natural component present in the epidermis and makes up 7% of the natural moisturizing factor (NMF), which functions to keep skin lovely and plump. Urea’s properties are remarkable. It can help maintain a healthy moisture balance at low percentages, while higher percentages encourage cellular turnover bringing a luminous quality to the skin. However, like many natural compounds, the presence of urea in the skin decreases with age resulting in skin dehydration and inflammation. Incorporating urea into your skincare routine can help to prevent these issues.

How It Works

The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, can be divided into five sublayers. The outermost sublayer, the stratum corneum, keeps unwanted molecules from entering the body and prevents water loss through the skin. The water-retaining property of the stratum corneum largely comes from a group of substances known as natural moisturising factors (NMFs). Among these NMFs is urea. Urea is used in a variety of skin care products to target general skin dryness or medical conditions associated with dry or itchy skin. Urea can also help exfoliate dead skin buildup and may help target fungal infections.

Benefits Of Urea

Hydration is the key to soft, smooth, and healthy skin. Urea is known for being a powerful humectant that attracts moisture from the environment and seals it into the skin. Regular application of a product containing urea can improve skin’s water retention ability.

Formulations containing urea were also found to significantly improve skin barrier function. It provides skin with better protection from external harm.

Topical application of the ingredient is also believed to accelerate the process of skin renewal. This, in turn, may help maintain your skin barrier and protect your skin from external environmental elements.

Urea can be an excellent exfoliant as well.  Due to its keratolytic properties, it helps remove the excess skin produced by the epidermis. It is mandatory to regularly remove the dead skin cells from the skin surface. Urea does a great job at it as an exfoliant and may soften dry, rough skin.

Fun Fact

Urea may have anesthetic properties. Anecdotal evidence suggests that urea can be used for pain relief in skin inflammation and painful flare-ups. Some studies also show that it can be combined with anti-inflammatory treatments to aid in the management of several skin conditions.

Food Sources

Urea can’t be found in natural food sources but urea oral supplements are used for hyponatremia treatment. Hypoantremia is a condition of low blood sodium levels. Taking urea helps to bring this level back to normal.

Our Skincare Top Picks

Advanced Cleanser

Advanced Cleanser effectively removes make-up, excess sebum, and skin impurities. After usage skin appears clean, purified, and hydrated. Suitable for daily cleansing and all skin types. 

Active Ingredients: Xylitol, Zinc PCA, Urea, Glycerin

Best for dry, sensitive, or normal skin and make-up removal

Purifying mousse

Daily cleansing foam for purifying and sanitizing skin types prone to acne and seborrhea. Its light texture and formulation, mainly based on glucosides and refreshing agents enables it to eliminate impurities from the skin, creating optimal conditions of softness and leaving behind a pleasant sensation of freshness.

Active Ingredients: Urea, Chlorhexidine, Salicylic Acid, and Lactic Acid

Best for combination or oily, acne-prone skin

May Edition | NUVIOR Canada Ingredient of the month | L-Ascorbic Acid

What Is L-Ascorbic Acid

 

L-ascorbic acid is the purest form of vitamin C, which is one of the most important water-soluble vitamins. The “L” in front of ascorbic is a reference to its specific 3D structure and how the molecule itself rotates to light. L-Ascorbic Acid comes from natural sources such as oranges and is often found in topical skincare products in concentrations ranging from 5 to 15 percent.

How It Works

L-ascorbic acid products penetrate the skin tissue and act on collagen producing pathways, boosting its production. This, in turn, increases firmness in the skin. It is a powerful active that aids in photoprotection and treats photodamage (aka photoaging) caused by harmful UV rays. Since l-ascorbic acid plays a major role in anti-aging treatments, improving skin firmness, and overall repair and brightening, it also serves to rejuvenate the skin. Inflammatory conditions and hyperpigmentation both greatly benefit  from l-ascorbic skin care products as well. This ingredient is universal for all skin types including oily, dry, and combination skin.

Benefits Of Phytic Acid

L-ascorbic acid has been shown to have a hydrating effect on skin. It decreases transepidermal water loss (TEWL), allowing skin to better retain moisture, keeping it plump and preventing it from becoming too oily or dry. This vitamin also helps in fading pigmentation and smoothing the skin’s surface to reduce dullness, which gives skin a youthful glow.

Its application has been shown to impede melanin production, the pigment responsible for skin color. Vitamin C inhibits melanin synthesis by downregulating the activity of an enzyme known as tyrosinase. That’s why it is widely used in dermatology for depigmentation of hyperpigmented spots on the skin.

L-ascorbic acid has another amazing ability: it can act as an anti-inflammatory agent through its antioxidant capacity. This means it soothes skin and reduces puffiness at the same time. The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C can also help minimize redness, which in turn creates a more even complexion. The combined reduction of dark spots, redness, and irritation makes for an even, smooth skin tone.

Vitamin C is also well known for boosting collagen production through the process of collagen synthesis. In fact, collagen synthesis can’t happen without vitamin C.  This is because l-ascorbic acid is the essential cofactor for the two enzymes required for collagen synthesis:

  • prolyl hydroxylase, which stabilizes the collagen molecule;

  • lysyl hydroxylase, which provides structural strength.

At last, l-ascorbic acid helps to protect against sun damage. Excessive exposure to oxidative stress via pollutants or UV irradiation is associated with depleted vitamin C levels in the skin. Sun damage is caused by molecules called free radicals. These are atoms with a missing electron. Free radicals search for other atoms from which they can “steal” an electron — and this can lead to significant damage to the skin. Vitamin C is rich in antioxidants and protects healthy skin cells by “giving” these free radicals an electron, rendering them harmless.

Fun Fact

As if it didn’t already boast enough superpowers, vitamin C has been proven beneficial in helping repair wounds. This is thought to be as a result of its ability to increase the movement and number of fibroblasts in our skin — the connective tissue cells that are key to the healing process.

Food Sources

Vitamin C is relatively abundant and can be found in most fruits and vegetables. Food high in vitamin C include:

  • Kiwi 
  • Papaya 
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruits, etc.) 
  • Sweet peppers 
  • Parsley 
  • Broccoli 
  • Potatoes 
  • Bananas 
  • Carrots 

Several types of meat also contain small amounts of Vitamin C, most notably liver and oysters, and it can be found in different types of milk, including human breast milk.

Our Skincare Top Picks

Aox ferulic

A concentrated anti-aging treatment that prevents and works against oxidative cell damage. It protects fibroblasts, improves collagen fibre synthesis, and acts as a biological shield against oxidation produced by UVB, UVA, IR, and VISIBLE LIGHT (HEV). AOX ferulic protects the natural antioxidant system and barrier function of the skin, preventing photo and chrono-aging and boosting luminosity.

Active Ingredients: 15% L-ascrobic acid, 1.5% Protech-cell complex, 0.5% Ferulic Acid

Tri Vita C30

Industry-leading concentrations of vitamin C for optimal dermo-revitalization, free radical protection, and skin restoration. Tri Vita C30 prevents the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and uneven skin tone, resulting in a rested, glowy complexion. An innovative combination of 3 forms of vitamin C to reach several depths of the skin and release antioxidant benefits over time.

Active Ingredients: 15% L-Ascorbic acid, 14.5% Ascorbyl silanol, 0.5% Ascrobyl ester, Vitamin E ester, Ferulic acid ester

 

April Edition | NUVIOR Canada Ingredient of the month | Phytic Acid

What Is Phytic Acid

 

Phytic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is derived from grains, legumes, and rice. Its chemical name is Inositol hexakisphosphate and is present mainly in cereal grains. In recent years, its use in skin care products has increased because of its excellent efficacy and safety profile. Unlike most AHAs, it does not have specific exfoliation properties but is used in skincare for its antioxidant effects.

How It Works


Phytic acid is similar to glycolic and lactic acid but varies slightly in its effects. While glycolic and lactic acid work by causing chemical exfoliation of the skin, phytic acid is considered the most gentle of the three, and causes little exfoliation or irritation. Because phytic acid functions more as an antioxidant than a true exfoliating agent, it is less irritating to the skin.

When phytic acid is combined with glycolic acid, this produces a powerful combination in products, such as toners or peels, offering maximum benefit.

Benefits Of Phytic Acid

Phytic acid is ideal for someone with acne or prone to blackheads as it helps to clear out and shrink pores, while also contributes to skin brightening following post-inflammatory lesions. Phytic acid absorbs excess calcium on the surface of the skin, which would otherwise contribute to clogged pores.

Phytic acid is also an antioxidant. It works as a free radical scavenger, preventing havoc-creating molecules from damaging your body and skin. As a recap, free radicals are molecules that have lost an electron and scavenge through your body in search of their pair. The antioxidant properties of phytic acid contribute one electron to these molecules and prevent them from damaging your skin. 

 

 

Being an AHA, phytic acid possesses exfoliative properties. It’s a milder version of glycolic acid, allowing it to shed off dead skin buildup, but in a gentle way. This can reduce the appearance of signs of aging.

Phytic acid is also used in the form of chemical peels to reduce melasma and scarring. The peeling action of phytic acid does not need neutralization after application. It is a slow-release agent, allowing progressive actuation of its acid properties, and is non-aggressive when compared with glycolic acid. 

Fun Fact

An interesting fact about phytic acid is that it is a chelator, meaning it holds the ability to absorb (or chelate) certain minerals. This may seem to be a disadvantage at first but is indeed a blessing in disguise when it comes to skincare. In general, minerals are essential for good health, but specific ones can have a negative impact on the skin when they become too abundant. Phytic acid absorbs iron molecules in the skin, which are to be blamed for causing damage to the body’s DNA.

Food Sources

Phytic acid is naturally found in the following foods:

  • Grains: such as whole wheat, oats, and rice

  • Legumes: such as black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, soybeans, peanuts, and lentils

  • Nuts and seeds: such as walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, and sesame seeds

  • Tubers: such as potatoes, turnips, beets, and carrots

Cooking, soaking, and fermenting can reduce the amount of phytic acid in foods. Eating a well-balanced diet helps to ensure that you are not ingesting too much phytic acid.

Our Skincare Top Picks

Brightening peel booster

Non-oily, renewing and clarifying gel based on a synergic combination of glycolic acid and phytic acid. Glycolic acid has effective exfoliating and regenerating properties which produce mild flaking, reducing the stratum corneum and boosting the antioxidant and depigmenting effects of the phytic acid. It reduces melanogenic activity for a more even complexion.

Brightening peel booster significantly improves the skin’s ability to retain moisture and reactivate cell renewal while reducing pigment-based lesions and blemishes. Pores are visibly smaller and dyschromia fades, leaving the skin lighter and glowing, with an even tone.

Best for: uneven tone, pigmentation blemishes, and dull skin

Light Ceutic

Light Ceutic gently exfoliates the skin and reduces the appearance of pigment spots thanks to the combined action of glycolic acid, phytic acid, and vitamin C. This exfoliation process allows the skin to naturally regenerate overnight. For irregular and dull complexion and all skin types. This 4% Phytic acid solution works as a lightening and antioxidant agent that has a synergic action to brighten the complexion when used with glycolic acid.

Best for: irregular and dull complexion

 

March Edition | NUVIOR Canada Ingredient of the month | Niacinamide

What is Niacinamide

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinamide, is a water-soluble vitamin that works with the natural substances in your skin to help visibly minimize enlarged pores, tighten lax or stretched pores, improve uneven skin tone, soften fine lines and wrinkles, diminish dullness, and strengthen a weakened barrier.

How it works

Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it is not stored in the body and is important to replenish. It can be supplemented orally through diet or applied topically with skincare products. Scientists theorize that niacin (and therefore niacinamide/nicotinamide) may be so beneficial because it’s a precursor to two super-important biochemical cofactors: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+/NADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+).

Both of these molecules are central to the chemical reactions that your cells need to repair damage, propagate, and function normally. Many of these essential reactions can’t occur at all without NAD+, which your cells can’t make without niacinamide.
By supplementing your body with this precursor, it allows more NAD+ to be produced. This fuels your cells to proliferate and also allows your body to absorb and neutralize more free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that have either lost or gained an extra electron. This makes them unstable and highly reactive, and in high enough doses, can damage healthy cells.

Benefits of Niacinamide

One of the most popular benefits of topical niacinamide is its ability to minimize the appearance of pores. It has a normalizing ability on the pore lining, and this plays a role in keeping oil and debris from getting backed up, and clogging pores.

 

Niacinamide also helps protect against sun damage. Sun damage can cause pores to become stretched leading to what some describe as “orange peel skin”. By shoring up skin’s supportive elements, niacinamide often dramatically improves such skin plus minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.

Another incredible benefit of niacinamide is oil regulation which helps prevent sebaceous glands from kicking into overdrive. 

It is claimed to have an anti-inflammatory effect which is why it is targeted towards those with acne-prone skin as it soothes breakouts and reduces redness. Niacinamide can also be used to treat dry, flaky skin due to its renewing and restoring abilities. It increases ceramide and free fatty acid levels in the skin which prevents water loss and stimulates microcirculation in the dermis.

Niacinamide helps build keratin, a type of protein that keeps your skin firm and healthy.

Finally, niacinamide has the ability to protect against oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. Niacinamide helps build skin cells while also protecting them from environmental stresses such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins.

Fun Fact

Niacinamide is a great team player and can be paired with other ingredients for a customized skincare treatment.
Using niacinamide and vitamin C together can improve skin radiance, even skin tone, reduce free radical damage from UV light and pollution, and increase skin elasticity.

Niacinamide and alpha arbutin are a powerful force in eliminating dark spots, evening skin tone, and reducing hyperpigmentation.
The duo of niacinamide and retinol helps even out skin texture caused by both blemishes and wrinkles with minimal irritation.
Congestion, enlarged pores, shiny, oily skin can greatly benefit from a combination of niacinamide and salicylic acid.
While layering niacinamide with ceramides can repair, restore, and fortify the skin barrier to reduce dryness, erythema, itching, and skin dehydration.

Food sources

When it comes to general skin health, you may obtain some of the benefits of niacinamide from the foods that you eat.

Vitamin B-3 is found in:

  • eggs

  • cereals

  • green veggies

  • beans

  • fish

  • milk

Eating a balanced diet is the best way to get micronutrients like vitamin B-3. You should only take supplements under medical supervision to treat deficiency. However, there’s no way to guarantee that the nutrients in your diet are impacting your overall skin health. To ensure that niacinamide is targeting your skincare concerns, it is best to apply it topically.

Our skincare top picks

Melan tran3x gel cream

Pigment control cream for daily use that acts gradually on epidermal dark spots to give a more uniform skin tone. It inhibits the mechanisms responsible for pigmentation to prevent the appearance of dark spots and stop them from reappearing. Quickly absorbed light gel cream texture.
Indicated for reducing pigmentation imperfections of any origin. It is safe for all skin types and suitable to use after professional pigment control treatments (cosmelan/dermamelan, IPL, laser, chemical peels, etc.), to boost and maintain the results and prevent pigmentation in the future.

Best for: hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone

Melan tran3x concentrate

Pigment control agent for daily use that acts on excess epidermal pigmentation by reducing the formed melanin and visibly reducing dark spots. Its ultra-light texture allows you to apply it before your usual cream.

Indicated for reducing pigmentation imperfections of any origin. This solution is safe for all skin types and is suitable after professional pigment control treatments (cosmelan/ dermamelan, IPL, laser, chemical peels, etc.), to boost and maintain results, and prevent pigmentation from rebounding.

Best for: hyperpigmentation
In both of these products niacinamide helps to prevent the transfer of melanin from the deeper to the outer layers of the skin, where pigmentation becomes darker and more visible.

 

Radiance brightening cream

Radiance gently exfoliates the skin and restores the skin’s radiance thanks to the synergy of high-performance acids and lightening agents in optimal concentrations. It is a highly effective treatment that targets an uneven complexion, reduces pigmented spots, and restores the skin’s natural luminosity. Suitable for all skin types.

Best for: uneven skin texture and tone, large pores, epidermal pigment spots

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