Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mercredi: The Art of Beauty

All cultures have their own beauty enhancers that, at least originally, grow wild where the culture flourishes.  Modern people have been rediscovering the efficacy of ancient and wild ingredients for both health and beauty over the course of the last 50 or so years.  I’m always on the hunt for new ingredients to throw into my concoctions – be they beautiful or magickal – so I was particularly thrilled to find this article in my local newspaper, Anchorage Daily News.

The piece tells the story of triplets from the small town of Bethel here in Alaska 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.

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 Bethel, 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.

Header: Crowberries via


Timmy! said...

Or better yet, at $300 a bottle, you can make your own instead now that you know the ingredients, Pauline...

Pauline said...

In all fairness, I'll stick with what I know. But this is intriguing stuff. I'll be interested to see how it's received.