• Focus: Hyaluronic Acid

    Written by Yasmine Mubarak by Elva Ahlbin

    In the Odalisque digital series ‘’Focus’’’, we will highlight some of the ingredients that we love and appreciate.

    First out is hyaluronic acid (HA), which helps hydrate our skin and protect the skin barrier. An acid we have naturally in our body. For those of you that have oily and combination skin - don’t stop reading! HA works for you too. An interesting fact is that talking about dry skin and dehydrated skin are two different things. For example, you can have an oily skin type but have dehydrated skin - that’s one of the reasons why hyaluronic acid can be used by all skin types.

    What is hyaluronic acid?
    Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural polymer molecule, more recognizable by the name sugar molecule. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in our bodies, mainly in our skin formed by our skin cells.

    What does hyaluronic acid do for the skin?
    The effect of hyaluronic acid is because it’s water-binding. Hyaluronic acid is like a magnet attracting water to the skin, it can bind between 1,000 and 10,000 times its weight in water. Since it’s a humectant, it can pull moisture from the atmosphere rather than layering it on top of the skin and provides intense hydration without a heavy feel. A great thing to know is that HA is not exfoliating, so for sensitive skin it’s a good ingredient which you can use day and night. A recommendation for oily skin is to not use HA during the day since the HA can make the skin feel more oily. But it works perfectly during the night, for more hydration.

    However, some research (see reference below) has shown that an overuse of hyaluronic acid can result in redness and inflammation. It can even have the opposite effect,  by drawing water from your skin instead of the atmosphere and product - making your skin dry. With this said, it’s important to always apply HA on damped skin. In a writing from Eucerin they state that, all skin types benefit from skincare products that contain an effective Hyaluronic Acid formula, but they are especially effective on skin that is naturally dry and from the mid-20s when the skin starts to show the first signs of aging.

    So why do we need hydration for our skin? It’s simply to give our skin nourishment, smooth and limit dryness that can become irritated and limit the protection of our skin barrier.

    What are the different types of Hyaluronic Acid?
    Hyaluronic acid has different molecular weights (also known as sizes) that pass through the skin in different layers - and therefore have different effects. There are high, middle, and low molecular weights. The high molecular weight of 1000-1400 kDa, is actually unable to pass through the skin, while a low molecular weight HA of 20-300 kDa can pass the outermost layer of the skin. This means that it becomes almost impossible for HA to pass into the deeper layers of the dermis. However, the low molecules are up to 40 times smaller than the others and for this reason, can penetrate further into the epidermal layers of the skin’s own production of Hyaluronic acid. While the high molecular remains on the skin's surface and works to improve hydration in the outermost layer of the skin. Medium molecular works almost similar to the high molecular.

    What else can I do to keep my skin hydrated?
    To keep our skin hydrated, choosing to live a healthy lifestyle can be key. For example, sweating through exercise, using steam or being in a sauna. Not to mention, eating a balanced diet, limited alcohol consumption, giving up smoking, and getting your hours of sleep. Furthermore, sunscreens containing HA  may contribute to protecting it against the harmful effects of ultraviolet irradiation, due to the possible free radical scavenging properties of HA. French brand La Roche-Posay for example has a HA serum with SPF 30 called Hyalu B5 UV Serum SPF 30 serum.

    To get more expertise on additional ways to keep your skin hydrated, we asked dermatologist Sofia Ericson at Eriksbergskliniken in Stockholm, Sweden. We asked what hyaluronic acid can additionally be used for professionally: ‘’To give your skin the extra hydration boost it needs, it is beneficial to do professional facials or chemical peels at a salon or clinic. Ericson tells us that for example ‘’Microneedling is a great way to intensify the uptake of nutrition and hydration in the skin. The needles help the topical HA-serum to penetrate deeper into the skin as you cause microchannels. This also has a great anti-aging effect. A really good combination is micro-needling and skin booster, which is a HA injection. This gives you really deep hydration through all skin layers.’’


    To help you include hyaluronic acid in your skincare regime. We have gathered products rich in the ingredient we love:


    Dr. Dennis Gross Modeling Mask
    This modeling mask is a true hydration boost. It has mainly been used by professionals as a treatment throughout the years, but has become available to take home as a premium product. Dr. Dennis Gross, is a dermatology-approved brand and has a profound range of HA products in high quality. Another boost is the ‘’Hydration boost serum’’ packed with HA, a high-concentrated serum in a water consistency that you can blend with your serum, eye cream, or apply directly to your damped face. It’s definitely a new favorite.

    Cosrx Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence
    Cosrx is one of the biggest Korean beauty brands, and their Hyaluronic Acid essence is a great extra step in your routine.  It gives a simple plump effect and of course hydrates lightly. Essence is an extra and prior step to serum in the classic 10-step beauty routine. So you can easily apply this essence which is lighter th-0-an your average serum.

    Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Cloud Serum
    Peter Thomas Roth has an immense range of Hyaluronic acid called ‘’Water Drench’’, and the star of the line is the 75% HA serum, a gentle serum that hydrates your skin right away. Talking about Peter Thomas Roth, I need to shine a light on the ‘Water Drench’’ Cloud Cleanser, which is a gentle perfume free cleanser with HA and Cloud Cream Moisturizer - that gently moisturizes your skin up to 72 hours. Not to mention, it has an incredible light gel formula that makes it easy to apply, so you don’t stretch your skin while applying your cream, it just smooths over. Not to mention the cream has three molecular sizes of Hyaluronic Acid.

    Eucerin Hyaluron Moisture Booster
    A great pharmacy alternative is the Moisture Booster that gives your skin an immediate moisture boost. The light gel formula refreshes your skin routine and gives you immediate hydration. The booster has only 11 ingredients and goes straight into your skin - leaving your skin soft and smooth. Eucerin, generally, is a good option for those with very sensitive skin.


    Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid
    This air-whip moisturizer is high in hyaluronic acid and formulated with a superfood blend of kale, spinach, and green tea to replenish and strengthen the skin barrier. It works for both dry, combination, and oily skin and gives you a nice natural hydration boost at the end of your skincare routine. Not to mention, it’s sustainably produced. Regarding moisturizers overall, it’s always important to use a moisturizer as the last step of your skincare routine - to help lock in the hydration in your skin.

    Continu Hyaluronic Acid Recovery Masque
    It didn’t come to my notice that HA could be good for your hair, but I guess it can. This recovery masque is packed with apple oil, flax seed extract, and coconut oil to give your hair that extra shine - and of course HA. It's produced to continuously release hydration to your hair during the day without making it heavy. Apply it in wet hair for around 5 minutes and rinse. The masque is also 100% vegan and produced in Sweden.

    If you want to read more of the science research regarding HA, read them below

    Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans S. Manjula Jegasothy, MD,a Valentina Zabolotniaia, MD,b and Stephan Bielfeldt
     

    Utveckling av mineralpuder med hyaluronsyra Med undersökning av pudrets effekt på fukthalt och elasticitet i huden av Nadia Kragenskjöld
     

    Hyaluronic Acid in the Third Millennium Arianna Fallacara, Erika Baldini, Stefano Manfredini,* and Silvia Vertuani
     

    Selected brand information on Hyaluronic Acid-

    Eucerin 

    Peter Thomas Roth 

    Youth to the People 

  • Photography Sandra Myhrberg
    Fashion Ulrika Lindqvist
    Makeup Josephine Golan
    Hair Ida Heikkinen
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    bra Molly’s private
    trousers & Other Stories
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    An Interview With Molly Sandén

    Written by Decirée Josefsson by pari

    Molly Sandén has been selling out tour after tour since she first started releasing music in her native language. 5x platinum-selling Rosa himmel and 2x platinum-selling Det bästa kanske inte hänt än are just a few of the songs that together have gathered over 300 million streams on Spotify. Her previous album with the same title Det bästa kanske inte hänt än was critically acclaimed and universally praised by fans which resulted in prestigious prices such as the best album of the year at “Grammisgalan. As an established artist and successful songwriter, with over 16 years of experience in the industry, she’s been awarded for the best live performance of the year at “Guldmicken” and pop of the year at “P3 Guld”. Over and over again Molly Sandén undoubtedly proves to be one of Sweden's biggest and most appreciated modern artists.

    After the previous success, she’s back with an upcoming album. I got the chance to chit-chat with her on a sunny Monday morning in Stockholm, about the creative process behind it and how she's sustainably managed to stay true to herself throughout her career:
    “Last time I released an album I used music for my soul to heal. I needed to write about my feelings for them to disappear. This time is different. With everything that’s going on in the world, a pandemic, the Black life matters movement I thought who’s going to care about my lines? I’ve unwillingly had so much time reflecting. Genuine things I thought I'd never miss, sweaty lines to the club, getting pushed around the dance floor, movement together with others have become the new inspiration for my music.”

    As the music flows through us, instantly surrounds us, sensible thoughts that for long have slept can awaken. Harmonic vibrations speaking carefully to each one of us in different ways but still in the very same universal language can instantly make us reflect on fundamental things we normally wouldn't:
    “We were halfway to Jönköping and naturally supposed to go on a tour when the new restrictions arrived. Isolated in a cabin at Öland, I wrote a lot in the unpredictable beginning of covid-19. However not to release anything. Then in the middle of the night the day before I was supposed to have a session, I got a text from Jonathan Johansson where he said
    “I’m sorry I might have popped one or two bottles of wine ending up listening to your Summer talk and P3 documentary.”, instantly followed with a three-page long biography about myself. I’d to delete, redo, it was an unpleasant reminder of antecedent life events. It forced me to unpack dusty old boxes, previous boyfriends, and lasting memories. A deep plunge into my historical past.”

    You got to die to stay alive,” Molly said in her single Fenix. Potential failures are a part of our journey and are said to be the greatest life lessons. When being at the bottom, we naturally learn to see things from new perspectives:
    “Dom ska veta - is a sort of Fenix- reincarnation. Unedited, dirty, and transparent exactly like the complex reality. After I decided to be honest with myself, break up, and unpack the previous me, I’ve been able to yearn for the unpredictable future. There will always be a part of me looking back at different choices I’ve made along the way with sentimental regret. However, it’s resulted in a more complex, multi-exposed version of Molly. I’d not say that I'm religious, and I don’t believe in some kind of god. I do believe in the existence of a higher power and for some reason, it guided me here.”

    To not, lose yourself can be difficult, even harder in a world that may well tell oneself who to be. We are deeply surrounded by the shadow of shallowness where we tend to rather focus on what others think of us instead of who we truly are.
    When asked how the new version of Molly is different from before she explains:

    “It’s been hard to find and listen to my inner voice which resulted in a fight against myself. I deeply tried to maintain the persona others wanted me to be, instead of focusing on who I wanted to be. No longer do I strive to please and adjust. All of myself is accepted for what I am and it feels okay.”

    To develop is to change whether it’s in your unique appearance or dynamic personality:
    “Lately I’ve realized that the whole hair thing was more psychological. I tend to refer to different periods in my life based on which hairstyle and color I’ve had at that specific time. How silly it might sound, it was a big relief when I decided to take out my hair extensions. It genuinely felt like I took control over myself again. I’ve been raised in a musical family that dearly loves glamour, show, and schlager. Corsets and extravagance were intertwined with artistic stereotypes. Today I rather live by the mantra that my style and identity is a forever changing construction.”

    Her melodic storytelling is filled with imagery rims and organic metaphors which leaves room for interpretation:
    “I’ve always loved to collect proverbs in my lyrics. I fondly remember the first time listening to Oskar Linnros's song “Från och med du'' thinking about the considerable depth of the lyrics. When hearing a song, I first notice the complex structure of the text, the distinct layers. To be able to hear and find new things every time I thoughtfully listen to the same song. That’s by heart what's magic for me.”

    I ask her about the horizon of opportunities, beyond societal obstacles and ills. What she’s looking forward to:
    “Being surrounded by the ones I love and being able to perform live again is two things I deeply miss. I’m building castles in the air that hopefully can be built on the ground very soon.”

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    top H&M
    bag Bottega Veneta
    blazer & skirt Boohoo
    top Rebecca Pohl/Textilhögskolan i Borås
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    pearl ring Lugot
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    ring Lugot
    blazer Boohoo
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    LEFT
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    dress Boohoo
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    rings Blue Billie & CBYC

    RIGHT
    vest Hugo Woman
    trousers Boohoo
    boots Vagabond
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  • photography by KIA LEFWANDER
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    A Conversation with Singer Bishat About the Power of Music and Self-Care!

    Written by Yasmine Mubarak by Sandra Myhrberg

    Swedish Pop & R&B singer Bishat is currently finishing up an EP due out later this year. After a time of depression she has turned to find joy in her music again. Her first single of the new EP will be out this spring.

    After some time away from music, how does it feel being back on the music scene?
    It feels incredibly exciting and only a little terrifying. It’s been a whole journey the past few years on a personal level and that has really affected my music. My songs are very much a reflection on where I am at any given time. I can’t wait to share this whole other side of me. It feels like a re-birth.

    What have you discovered about yourself with your new music?
    There was definitely a lot more darkness in my previous songs. It’s still there brooding in the background, but now I've found this calm, this lightness to my existence. Which in turn has made my music brighter. Turns out I’m not such a moody bi*ch after all (laughs). There is more love, gratitude and more freedom in both my music and myself.

    Have you found any new sound in the studio?
    There's a lot more guitar based songs coming out. I used to be a sucker for the piano basically since Alicia Keys “Songs in A-minor” came out but you know a little guitar goes a long way.

    What unreleased track are you most looking forward to on the new album?
    “Problems” for sure. It's a different type of love song about the fact that we’ve all got our struggles and flaws. A relationship, however, can still be solid if we acknowledge our problems. Not to mention, work on them and give them space to breathe. You can't “fix” people, you can only work on yourself. “We’re not out here counting problems, always find a way to solve them”. 

    Have you found any new creative outlet or hobby during the past year?
    Does keeping plants alive count as a hobby? If so yes. They’ve been subjected to lots of singing and probably too much attention but most of them are alive and I couldn’t be prouder. I started learning spanish (some very niche sentences like este cinturón es muy barato meaning this belt is very cheap). Shout out Duolingo. I’ve also started playing the guitar. Maybe I should put them together…


    How do you self-care?
    I’m naturally a people pleaser and an emotional sponge, which has some serious consequences to my wellbeing. I have to check myself. I’m much better at protecting my boundaries these days. I’ve learnt how to say no to things and to do that straight away. Before, I end up having to lay on the couch and having anxiety all day about over-committing or doing something I really don’t want to do. Say no and say it early on. Also minimizing stimulation. I’m an expert at doing a trillion things at once, doing just one thing at a time is great for me and making sure I get good sleep. In addition, long walks in nature really grounds me, but then again wine with my girls and talking trash on occasion does wonders for the soul too. It’s the balance for me.

    What is your perspective and advice for self-care?
    Screaming in nature.. Is there anything better?? Hard to do in a big city, I'm always worried someone is gonna think something terrible is happening. So occasionally, I just take a walk and if I'm really frustrated I kick a rock or something. The internet is full of ideas on how to self-care from shallow to deep and all the above are great if they do something for you. What I think is the most important thing, is to stop and actually check in with yourself and what you need, usually it’s all there.

    What would you recommend our readers to do?
    I would deeply recommend therapy to everyone as well as regular exercise. Those two things alone have really changed my life and I'm only annoyed sometimes that I didn’t figure that out earlier. It’s not like no one told me I just had to actually commit to it. I guess that’s part of it though, there’s a time and place for everything.. And that time is now lol. Don’t wait! Also journaling. I’ve done this on and off since I was about 7 years old and I looooove going back to read things. It’s a great way to understand your feelings. Putting my thoughts down on paper is a great way for me to look at them objectively and get a sense of clarity.


    And recommendations for how to get more energy?
    Sleep? I don’t know, exercise and do things that bring you joy. And live where there’s sun.. I got 2 out of 3.
    I love reading and writing, but It’s sometimes difficult for me to find the peace and patience to read. But, I've been obsessed with this swedish writer Karin Smirnoff. Her trilogy “Jag for ner till bror”  has had me walking around with a book in my hand almost every waking moment. I didn’t put that book down. Just started “Dina händer var fulla av liv” by Suad Ali.  On my bedside table you’ll always find the poetry collections “Bone” by Yrsa Daley-Ward & “Salt” by Nayyirah Waheed, absolute modern classics to me.


    What is your hope for the future?
    On a personal level I want to pick up the pace and release more music and you know hopefully play a live show again. Globally I feel like the music scene is pretty vibrant right now, people are hungry and it shows. There’s more up close and personal music side by side with dance floor bangers everyone is ready to get down and dirty to, like a global pressure cooker I only think is gonna be good for music. “More music, more life” to quote Drake.

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    shoes CHANNA STUDIO 
    jewellery MARIA NILSDOTTER
    jacket MATILDA IVARSSON
    shoes CHANNA STUDIO
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