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Increase energy, add hydration, protect skin, and cover with a sheer tint? What doesn’t Origins VitaZing SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer do? What really interested me about Origins VitaZing SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer ($42.47, amazon.com), though, is the inclusion of mangosteen, a fruit that, up until about a week ago, had completely escaped my attention. That may or may not have something to do with its relatively recent introduction into the U.S. The moisturizer also contains cordyceps mushroom extract, ginseng, and horse chestnut seed extract, all of which help to moisturize and soothe skin. Read on to find out more.
Our leading lady is mangosteen, a sweet fruit with a deep plum shell surrounding a white pulp. This exotic fruit was prohibited in the United States until 2006 when irradiation technology for pests was introduced (StarTribune).
Mangosteen contains xanthone, a chemical, polyphenol, and antioxidant that has shown high antibacterial activities against MRSA (Staphylococcus aureus) in an in vitro study (Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology). Another in vitro study shows that it is even effective against acne bacteria (Medical Principles and Practice). Additionally, xanthone extracted from the plant clusiaceae (tropical trees and shrubs) has shown significant antioxidant activities as a free radical scavenger (American Chemical Society).
Because of its recent introduction into US markets, mangosteen is a relatively understudied cosmetic ingredient, and existing research on the subject is mostly preliminary without testing on humans. Until such research exists, I wouldn’t put too much stock into this fruit and its believed benefits.
Cordyceps Mushroom Extract
This mushroom is a parasitic fungus that typically inhabits (and kills) ghost moth larvae and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It has been tested and proved effective on atopic dermatitis. When topically applied to skin lesions in mice, it showed inhibition of atopic dermatitis symptoms. Researchers hypothesized its mechanism of action might be histamine inhibition, but called for further research (Journal of Ethnopharmacology).
Another study on the extract investigated its photoprotective activities. An in vitro study had human fibroblasts pretreated with a cordyceps extract either 30 minutes or 24 hours prior to exposure to UVB irradiation. In cultures with pretreatment, DNA damage was significantly lowered, up to 34% (British Journal of Dermatology).
Most of the studies involving cordyceps extract are performed in vitro, so human research is a must for this ingredient; nonetheless, the in vitro results are promising.
Ginseng is used in contemporary Chinese medicine to increase metabolism and regulate blood pressure, but the United States only recognizes its use as a skin-soothing agent in topical ointments at the moment (JAMA).
When used as a topical treatment, ginseng can protect cells from UV radiation.Testing on rats has shown a significant decrease in wrinkle formation after UVB exposure. This might be due to its decreasing of MM-1, an enzyme that degrades collagen (Journal of Ethnopharmacology).
Horse Chestnut Seed Extract
According to the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, horse chestnut seed extract has been shown to have a high scavenging ability and cell-protective effects. Additionally, it contains saponins that are potentially anti-inflammatory.
Horse chestnut extract can also reduce capillary fragility, and by preventing the leakage of fluids, stops inflammation in the area (International Journal of Cosmetic Science). A review of five clinical studies show that its use as both a topical gel and an oral capsule have been proven safe and effective in subjects for the treatment of venous insufficiency, a condition where veins have difficulties transporting blood back to the heart (Advances in Therapy). This anti-inflammatory action should help to soothe the face, making it appear younger and more vibrant.
Overall Rating: ***
Origins VitaZing SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer is a pretty solid moisturizer for those with normal skin; I’ve been using it for a week now, and while my skin hasn’t necessarily improved, it has, at the very least, maintained its current levels of hydration. The formula is white, but goes on to match your skin color, giving you a bit of coverage. Unfortunately, the SPF is so low that I’d recommend additional sunscreen coverage, which might render the coloring ineffective.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone – 3.0%, Octisalate – 3 %, Octocrylene (2.70 %) Inactive Ingredients: Water/Eau/Aqua, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Water, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Ethyl Macadamiate, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Trimethicone, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Stearate, Barosma Betulina Leaf Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil, Abies Sibirica (Syberian Fir) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Amara (Bitter Almond) Kernel Oil, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Oil, Limonene, Panax Ginseng (Ginsenosides) Root Extract, Cordyceps Sinensis Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Seed Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caffeine, Cholesterol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Trehalose, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linoleic Acid, Squalane, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Tocopheryl Maleate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Citric Acid, Stearic Acid, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)