Let’s Just Get to the Point:
Could bacteria be the answer to perfect skin? Before you think, “Ew, no!” hear us out. A vital component for healthy skin, bacteria is actually a secret complexion perfecter, taking center stage in one of the most anticipated product launches of the year, Orveda.
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After 20-plus years in the beauty business, former L’Oréal and Lancôme executive Sue Y. Nabi took her appreciation for science and affinity for self-healing and melded it with her beauty-based knowledge to create Orveda. The 17-piece scientifically backed, green and vegan line (talk about an eco-chic double whammy) counts “free-form formulations”—think no retinol, fruit acids, parabens, mineral oils or artificial colorants—at its holistic core. Each product also comes with a specialized tool to make application that much easier.
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For years, skin care was all about stripping away whatever lived on the surface, creating out-of-whack pH levels (read: breakouts and redness) and destroying the skin’s natural barrier (a strong barrier is essential for protection, function and a healthy microflora). Hopping on the bacteria-is-good-for-your-skin train, Nabi says, “We have discovered that we have billions of friendly bacteria that live in our gut that are essential to our health. More recently, we have discovered that we also have a layer of friendly bacteria living on our skin and on our scalp. These bacteria are there to protect the skin against the bad bacteria that cause infections, acne, inflammation and other conditions.” Not a single product in the assemblage, according to Nabi, will instigate sensitive skin.
While it may sound counterintuitive or even downright strange to load up skin with bacteria-laden products, take heed in the fact that what’s used in Orveda isn’t detrimental or toxic. In fact, all of the products contain alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, a prebiotic that works to increase levels of beneficial bacteria on the skin. Another skin helper: a healing marine enzyme that rebuilds skin’s barrier function. As if that wasn’t enough, the majority of the formulations active ingredients are bio-fermented, meaning they are bacteria- and yeast-derived and work symbiotically with healthy bacteria that’s already living on the surface.
Definitely on the pricier side, our favorite product to date is the Prebiotic Emulsion ($330). A three-in-one that goes beyond surface hydration, but actually helps skin recover from an overload of chemicals, makeup and even surgery, the pro-bacteria formulation can be used as a daily moisturizer, makeup primer or intense treatment when sealed in with the brand’s silicone mask. Other standouts from the non-gender specific, fragrance-free lineup include The Healing Sap ($150), a toner-meets-serum of sorts that minimizes the look of pores and gives skin a healthy glow thanks to fermented black tea; the Ironing Effect Masque ($330), for an instant skin pick-me-up; Sheer Brew Botanical Gel ($320), which puts two types of hyaluronic acid to work to give a lifting and firming effect to skin; and the soon-to-be-highly coveted Overnight Skin Recovery Masque ($235) that fights dehydration while you sleep, promising a refreshed visage come morning.
Nabi set out to wanting to achieve in beauty what Tesla has with cars. We think it’s safe to say that she has, and then some.