We’re all looking for the perfect way to give our skin that extra bit of TLC. So what about a treatment that works its magic whilst we’re sleeping? With spring in full fling, our skin needs that extra oomph to prepare us for the upcoming sunshine. The Geeks have reviewed many oils in the past, but Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil stands out as having an impressive sounding ingredients list.

The Claims
The oil claims to firm, tone, restructure and regenerate the epidermis (the top layer of the skin) and fight free radicals to reduce oxidative stress – all whilst you’re sound asleep! Winner of ‘The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible Awards’, Beauty Awards 2013 and short listed for the Beauty Awards for 2014, it seems that Aurelia Night Oil ticks all the boxes. But is this too good to be true?! Let’s delve deeper into the night time secrets behind the bottle…

Aurelia pride themselves on being a perfect mix of science and natural luxury. Aurelia Night Oil contains many key ingredients that supposedly work in conjunction with your skin’s natural repair system, including Baobab, Hisbiscus, Kalahri oil, Mongongo oil and Kigelia. But what does this all mean to your skin?!

Baobob Oil
The Baobob Tree, also known as Adansonia digitata, is found in Africa and analysis of the Baobab fruit and seed, it was found that baobab oil is an excellent source of mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids especially oleic and linoleic acid, which are also known as omega 6 and 9 fatty acids. These work to not only hydrate the skin, but also to reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL – the natural process by which water is lost through the epidermis).. So for all you dry skin sufferers, this could be the one for you! Research suggests that linoleic acid, the most abundant PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acid) in the epidermis, in particular, moisturises the skin and has a role in the skin repair process. It’s also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, although the evidence for this isn’t concrete! Baobab oil is widely considered as non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t block pores and cause spots (great!) and non-siccative meaning that it doesn’t dry out the skin (double great!).

Hisbiscus Flower
Hibiscus Sabdariffa flower extract, contained within Aurelia Cell Repair Oil, contains both anthocyanins, and polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. We are no strangers to antioxidants – these molecules are found in almost every cosmetic product around, and are anti-ageing skin protectors against free radical damage, hoping to slow the ageing process. Free radicals are unstable compounds that contain an unpaired electron (electrons are negative building ‘units’ in atoms – see the diagram below!). They attack other molecules by stealing electrons and cause cell damage. The Free radicals mainly target cellular components, like lipids (fats) and proteins which are important components in our skin. Some Hibiscus extracts are also thought to have wound healing and antibacterial properties.

Kalahari Oil
Found in the seeds of Kalahari melon, Kalahari oil is traditionally used by South African people as an organic moisturizer to protect the skin from the harsh rays of the sun. Kalahari oil and Baobab oil are like sisters, they both have very similar properties, and they are rich in essential fatty acids. Kalahari oil has been dated way back to the ancient Egyptian times! It was used to maintain healthy appearance and aid in skin regeneration by nourishing and restoring natural elasticity. Not only does it provide our skin with the all-important palmitic, oleic and stearic unsaturated fatty acids, it’s high vitamin E level should help protect against free radicals. Cleopatra clearly knew what she was doing! Palmitic acid is naturally produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin, helping it to retain the skins barrier to lock in all that moisture that leaves our skin feeling young and soft, so it doesn’t surprise us that Kalahari oil has been around for centuries!

Mongongo Oil
Aurelia claims that Mongongo oil restructures and regenerates the epidermis. Mongongo oil comes from the Manhetti tree in areas of Africa, with a unique composition high in Vitamin E, linoleic and eleostearic acids. Mongongo oil is used to protect and hydrate the skin without leaving a greasy residue (always good news!), and acts as both a cleanser and a moisturiser. Some suggest this oil for use in treating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis – its light texture is easily absorbed to promote cellular repair and tissue regeneration in these conditions. Mongongo may also to reduce itching, redness, scaring and help prevent a type of bumpy scar called a keloid.

Yet again, we see extra antioxidant properties in this oil from Mongongo oil, this time with vitamin E – the more the merrier! These kinds of molecules are thought to be particularly good for helping defend against environmental stresses that can lead to premature skin ageing (like too much sun!). This ingredients will certainly help moisturise the skin and replenish the epidermis, but we think claims of ‘restructuring’ are probably a little out of reach!

Kigelia Oil
Kigelia Africana, also known as the sausage tree, has been traditionally used to help treat skin ailments like fungal infections, psoriasis and eczema. Phytochemicals (biologically active compounds) found in Kigelia oil are suggested to help strengthen and stabilize the collagen fibres that give our skin its strength, and application of these is known to induce a firming effect on the dermis. Kigelia also contains saponosides, which induce drainage and help restore elasticity, helping keep skin youthfully springy!

Verdict
This product isn’t the cheapest night serum you’ve ever seen, but it certainly isn’t the most expensive either! There are plenty of natural goodies that are crammed in to this oil (we didn’t have time to go through them all!). The little bottle is overflowing with a bounty of fatty acids, aimed to rehydrate and rejuvenate the skin. From Africa to Asia, extracts of seeds and trees are combined to give this luxurious formula. These certainly meet the claims to moisturise the skin, and even though we didn’t find too much there to boost repair itself, keeping skin hydrated really is the cornerstone of good skin care. We’re still sceptical of claims to ‘restructure’ the skin, but they’ve certainly lived up to the antioxidant skin protecting claims. There are nearly no negative reviews for the Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil, and we’re actually quite impressed with how much they’ve managed to cram in to this little bottle. When compared to some of the high-priced fad-founded oils out there, we can see why people are willing to pay the price for this product.

You can find Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil here!

Some references for what we’ve talked about…
Antioxidant Enrichment of Baobab Fruit Pulp Treated with Oil Extracted from the Seeds
Distribution of Bioactive Lipid Mediators in Human Skin
Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health
Southern African medicinal plants used to treat skin diseases
African seed oils of commercial importance — Cosmetic applications
Wound Healing Potential of Formulated Extract from Hibiscus Sabdariffa Calyx
Antioxidant and drug detoxification potentials of Hibiscus sabdariffa anthocyanin extract.
Sebaceous gland lipids
Skin Ageing: Natural Weapons and Strategies
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, and Wound Healing Properties of Kigelia africana (Lam.) Beneth. and Strophanthus hispidus DC.
Novel effects of diosgenin on skin aging.
Images: http://www.galinka.co.uk/aurelia-probiotic-skincare-review-and-q-a-with-the-beauty-brand-founder-claire-vero/, http://www.prioriskincare.com/free-radicals-agents-of-aging/, http://www.healthy-anti-aging-for-life.com/free-radicals.html