THE SCIENCE BEHIND MEDICA KAWAKAWA BALM
What makes Medica Kawakawa Balm so Effective?
Many skincare products on our supermarket and pharmacy shelves, even those targeted at dry or sensitive skin actually contain ingredients that recent research has shown to be responsible for inflaming skin and even triggering an eczema flare up. These ingredients include things like olive oil apricot oil and lavender.
Medica skincare products use cutting edge research to formulate balms that only contain ingredients that soothe, moisturise and protect the skin. By keeping the formulation simple, using only the "bare essentials" and nothing more, you can rest easy knowing that you can use Medica balms without the risk of causing inflammation.
It all starts with Beeswax which form the base of all our balms. Beeswax is a natural, breathable barrier for the skin. It protects without suffocating, allowing the skin to breathe while keeping the area next to the skin stable, giving it a chance to repair itself. Our high-quality organic beeswax is ethically and locally sourced from the Kapiti Coast from trusted apiarists.
Next we have Sunflower Oil which is high in linoleic acid and low in oleic acid. Linoleic acid is used by the keratinocytes to form a well-functioning epidermal layer. Whereas oleic acid (found in high amounts in olive and apricot seed oils) have been shown to disrupt the epidermal layer which increases water loss through the skin (Kuller, 2016). Linoleic acid - makes up top layer of our skin.
Glycerol is humectant which means that it draws water from the deeper layers of skin to the keep the exposed outer skin moisturised. This allows the top layer to function as it should. Glycerol is a naturally occurring compound found in plants.
Tying it all together is Kawakawa extract (only found in our Kawakawa line of balms). Kawakawa has been used for centuries in Maori medicine for its plethora of pharmaceutical properties. Only recently has science validated what the people of this land already knew. Myristicin is the primary active ingredient which is responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of the Kawakawa tree. This anti-inflammatory ingredient aids in diminishing the inflammatory response intrinsic to the eczema cycle.
There is no magic bullet when it comes to treating dry skin. However, its the combination of all these natural ingredients that make Medica's line of balms a must have for anyone with dry or sensitive skin, including skin suffering from eczema.
If you'd like a more comprehensive read about the science of eczema and why our balms are formulated the way they are, head on over to our Eczema Advice page
Kuller, J. M. (2016). Infant Skin Care Products, What are the Issues. Advances in Neonatal Care, S3-S12.
Lin, T.-K., Zhong, L., & Santiago, J. L. (2017). Anti-inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Applications of Some Plant Oils. International Journal Of Molecular Sciences 19(1).
Baumann, L.S., and Spencer, J. (1999). The Effects of Topical Vitamin E on the Cosmetic Appearance of Scars. Dermatological Surgery 25(4), 311-315.
Hagvall, L. (2015, May 29). Hidden Fragrance Compound in Lavender Can Cause Contact Allergy. Retrieved from National Eczema Association: https://nationaleczema.org/hidden-fragrance-compound-contact-allergy/
Scott-Lang, Victoria, and John Su. 2017. "Moisturisation in the Management of Paediatric Atopic Dermatitis." Research Review. May 25. https://www.researchreview.co.nz/nz/Clinical-Area/Paediatrics/Child-Health/Educational-Series-Paediatric-Atopic-Dermatitis.aspx.