Up until this point, our 'Superfood Skincare Spotlight' blog series has looked at ingredients that most of you will have heard of such as hemp seed oil and cacao butter. However, this week we're going a little bit off the beaten track as we investigate Konjac Root, an essential ingredient in our Hemp Glow Cleanser and Hemp Glow Serum.
The konjac plant has been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine for centuries but has recently gained popularity in the West as a weight loss supplement primarily due to it's high fibre content and amazing absorbency properties. It is the latter of these that makes it an attractive ingredient to use in our skincare products here at Rawgaia.
As you probably already know, dehydrated skin leads to a complexion that is dull, dry and often prone to wrinkles. When we are young, our skin has high levels of a natural moisturiser called hyaluronic acid which absorbs about 1,000 times its weight in water (1) but our bodies make less as we age.
Our skin then needs more help from us through the use of moisturisers to absorb and retain water in order to keep skin cells full, plump and healthy.
Konjac root contains about 40% glucomannan which 'when it comes into water...can expand up to 17 times in size' (1). This makes it an amazing ingredient to use in skin care products as it can help absorb and retain high levels of moisture, smoothing out wrinkles and keeping our epidermis hydrated and healthy.
Konjac root powder is also drawing those of us involved in 'green skincare' due to it's 'structural similarity to pectin' (2). Many are starting to think about using it as an alternative to carbomers, which are a petro-chemical based.thickening agent, used to control the viscosity and flow of skincare products.
The idea of a plant-based alternative has excited a lot of us and we think it's working out really well in our Hemp Glow superfood skincare! It can give the serum a slightly lumpy consistency but we think it is well worth it in exchange for a product made using as many natural ingredients as possible.
Finally, konjac root is reported to have natural antibacterial properties which can help 'to combat oily skin and reduce acne' (3) although in the interests of being truly accurate, scientific research seems to show that it's properties are more specifically antimicrobial (killing microorganisms).
A 2015 study found that the results of 'antimicrobial activity....were significant' and went on to say that it could be used as a 'novel antibiotic in future' (4). This is relevant in terms of skincare products as using an ingredient with antimicrobial properties can help prevent the absorption of foreign bodies into the epidermis and therefore could work to prevent acne and other skin conditions.
Here at Rawgaia we are proud to go above and beyond in sourcing environmentally friendly, raw plant based ingredients for our organic, natural skincare products and in konjac root powder we believe we've hit the mark.
It may be little heard of but don't let that fool you; it is a key component of our popular Hemp Glow Cleanser and Serum, and we're delighted to be able to harness it and it's amazing superfood properties in order to help you achieve hydrated, healthy, happy skin.