Biohacking Beauty and The Science of Desavery
So what is the science behind DESAVERY products?
There are two ways the ingredients of DESAVERY products can be absorbed by your body. The first way is through topical application - the skin absorbs the plant oils as you massage them into your face. The second way - and this how our ingredients can affect your mood and mind - is through the inhalation of the ingredients. Your nose is full of olfactory receptors which are directly connected to the limbic system in your brain (the part that controls emotion, hormones and cognition). The airborne aroma molecules literally hit the limbic system and start making changes in your brain chemistry. Of course the idea that smell can illicit certain emotions and feelings is not new, after all incense has been used in churches and temples for thousands of years, and we all know that lavender can make you feel more relaxed. However, what is new are the many studies that have measured the impact of specific plant oils on everything from hormone levels like cortisol, changes in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and the ability to improve focus and other cognitive functions simply through the inhalation of certain plant aromas. Part of the reason there has been so much research in this area is that scientists are exploring the idea that plant oils might hold valuable properties to help with some of the current healthcare crises: the overuse of antibiotics, addiction to painkillers and the reliance of other prescription drugs. It's this new body of science that is behind DESAVERY.
Here are some of my favourite products and the plant oils in them that make them so powerful.
Clary Sage features in our STELLAR facial serum.
There are quite a few studies around clary sage. However the most compelling is one out of Seoul in 2014. Fifty women participated in a study at the Sookmyung Women's University. After inhaling clary sage essential oil the subjects' cortisol levels dropped immediately. There was also a measured increase in the receptors that produce serotonin (this is a natural mood stabiliser). On the Beck Depression Inventory, those that inhaled the clary sage reported feeling happier overall and that was the case for those who identified themselves susceptible to depression and those who didn't. This is one of several studies on the uplifting and powerful effects of clary sage.
Bergamot features in STELLAR, RISE and REST.
Bergamot is one of the essential oils that I love. Its citrussy/floral aroma is gorgeous but it has a unique dual effect in its impact on the brain (and juniper shares this quality) because it makes you feel more alert and at the same time more calm. There are several studies that measure the very positive effecst of bergamot on mood states, the parasympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus system.
Rosemary features in STELLAR and LIT!
I had to throw this one in - not only does it smell wonderful, wait for it, inhaling rosemary is shown to improve several cognitive functions. Here's an excerpt from the study: "Here we show for the first time that performance on cognitive tasks is significantly related to concentration of absorbed 1,8-cineole following exposure to rosemary aroma, with improved performance at higher concentrations. Furthermore, these effects were found for speed and accuracy outcomes, indicating that the relationship is not describing a speed–accuracy trade off." Basically you can do tasks faster and with greater accuracy. I'll take it!
Vetiver features in RISE and in our rollers, MELT and SHARP
A grass native to India, vetiver is an intriguing plant. It's a wonderful species that can stop erosion and it's roots are effective in detoxifying water! In a landmark study on essential oils and ADHD vetiver oil was shown to be the most effective of all the essential oils examined. This study conducted in 2001 was with a small group although the findings were compelling. In 2016 a more extensive study confirmed these findings; inhalation of vetiver improves alertness and task performance.
Our choice of ingredients, the amounts we use and the symbiotic relationship these volatile plant oils have with one another are all part of the formulae behind DESAVERY. In this article I haven't even touched on the therapeutic benefits these oils have on skin health! More to come!