The piece tells the story of triplets from the small town of
Bethel here in who are tapping into their Cup’ik ancestry to make a product that is on the cutting edge of today’s skincare technology. The ladies’ company is called Arxotica and their first product is a “wrinkle-fighting serum” named Quyung-Lii. Pronounced kia-oong-lee, the serum is high in all the beauty world’s current age defying ingredients and it gets them from local plants that many outside of Alaska may never have heard of. Alaska
Crowberries provide a substantial amount of antioxidants which fright the demon free-radicals that are at least in part responsible for wrinkles. Arctic sage has anti-inflammatory properties as does fireweed, which is also astringent and high in vitamins C and A. Put these all together and you have not only a scientifically sound beauty treatment but a virtual Native shopping list from nature’s own market. According to the article, Arctic sage was used by Cup’ik and other native peoples in treating illnesses and wounds, while crowberries were eaten in akutaq which is known as “Eskimo ice cream”.
Arxotica’s founders pick their own ingredients in and around
, all of them wild grown. They also “… want to create an industry that doesn’t have a footprint” as well as eventually employing a cooperative of gatherers from local villages. The ladies will send their first batches of Quyung-Lii (which means “the potent one”) out to beauty editors soon. Keep an eye out for this Earth and people-friendly beauty treatment from the Land of the Midnight Sun. Bethel
Header: Crowberries via AlaskaUSGS.org