I’ve always been huge on protection for skin health.
Instead of money or specific presents for my birthday, my Grandma would always take me to see her famed Dermatologist where I could ask all the questions I ever had about skincare.
In the last year I’ve grown super interested in learning about specific active ingredients. Ones we see all the time. Wanting to play devil’s advocate, I’ve been researching what really works, what doesn’t… and then writing about it! I find this shit so fascinating. Why not help myself and possibly others make more informed decisions on the products they invest in, you know? (Last month we touched on rose as an active ingredient and it’s claim on anti-aging.)
SO. One ingredient that’s been peaking my interest as of late? CALCIUM.
Why? Well… I read that the NCRI (National Cancer Research Institute) concluded that those who did NOT get enough calcium experienced quicker premature aging of the skin and thus -duh- had a higher chance of reporting skin cancer.
Damaged skin = higher chance of skin cancer. And also: damaged skin = premature aging. <— Last part up to you on whether or not you actually care. (Let’s be honest, there are some vain aspects of skincare routines. 😉 No shame!)
But back to the flip side: those with a hearty ass dose of calcium content enjoyed SLOWER skin aging and… to be expected: had less reported instances of skin cancer. [<—- Source.]
Supposedly a lack of calcium can also be a culprit of dry skin too just FYI.
Cyn and I wanted to learn more… although she doesn’t nerd out nearly as hard as I do on these things lol.
What we first realized is practically no brands out there use calcium as their main active ingredient.
EXCEPT…. (and holla for the Bay Area women!) a brand based out of San Francisco called CURA.
CURA is heavily scientific and research based. It’s pricey ($100 a jar) but holy shit does it work well. Like, really well.
Cyn and I tried it for 6 weeks. She said if she could afford it she’d definitely keep using it– that it was reliable and she never once had dry skin when she was using it. Even when she wasn’t drinking enough water or eating kinda crappy. Not that you should be lazy and omit those things, but CURA does help you out/give you a boost whenever you’re slacking.
For me, I noticed not only the hydration but also the “plumping” effects of calcium. Like I legit thought the lines in my giraffe neck looked softer after using this for awhile. Something I always pay attention to.
One thing we both LOOOOVED… and I mean, loved loved loved– was how damn fast this shit absorbed. And then magically kept us moisturized throughout the day! This is likely the best daytime moisturizer I have ever used. I could apply my makeup almost RIGHT after.
Look at these completely unedited photos Cyn took of CURA on her hand.
Needless to say. We were impressed. And since CURA is one of the first to using Calcium as an active ingredient for skin care, we wanted to get an interview with the Founder and CEO of CURA– Dr. Michelle Tu!
Dr. Tu is SMART… a total Boss lady. Her background seriously impresses. (She worked with burn patients and in stem cell research for years!) She’s also a girl’s girl. So she also relates to what women want in skincare.
Dr. Tu! So awesome you’re a San Francisco gal! And with beautiful skin no doubt. 😉 Can you give a quick bio regarding your education and how first became intrigued with skincare?
Hi ladies, thank you for having me and for the kind words!
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to math and science. So for me, it was a simple decision to major in Biomedical Engineering when I went off to school at UC Irvine (go Anteaters!). The plan was always to go to med school after graduating, but I quickly changed my mind after I spent a summer doing cutting-edge stem cell research at Reeves-Irvine Research Center. The incredibly smart people I met, the fascinating work I did and everything that I learned about stem cells and regeneration all influenced me to continue doing research. So the game plan of med school was scratched out and I decided to attend UC Davis where I earned my Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology.
You’ve said that what first inspired you about regenerative skincare was working with burn patients at Shriner’s Hospital. What did you find out during this time? Did you notice a specific missing link?
Every day at Shriners I came across young burn patients who amazed me with their strength and optimistic attitudes. It really put things into perspective and reminded me that no matter how bad things can get there’s always a reason to smile.
These patients also inspired me to create something that could help promote skin regeneration. At the time, I was learning about calcium’s role in regeneration and saw an opportunity to use my research findings to develop effective, calcium-based skincare products that everyone can use.
That’s so awesome. What made you first choose Calcium to research? And what was the most compelling research on it that you had read prior?
The research lab I joined at Shriners focused on how calcium influences the regeneration process, a relatively new area of research. All of my prior work revolved around stem cells and regeneration, so I was interested in finding out whether calcium and stem cells could work together to promote regeneration. There were only a handful of articles out at the time, but there was one paper from a research group out of Japan that supported my hypothesis on calcium and skin regeneration…it definitely gave me the confidence that I was onto something!
From your own research, what were your biggest “a-ha!” findings regarding calcium?
The biggest “a-ha” moments were when I discovered that blocking calcium impairs regeneration and that calcium can “turn on” skin stem cells, which results in skin renewal and is important in maintaining the skin’s natural barrier. Discovering the connection between calcium and skin renewal was huge and I knew that I could use this information to develop a treatment for burn patients. However, I decided to take it a step further and combine calcium and natural ingredients to develop a skincare line that everyone could benefit from.
So tell us about CURA skincare. It’s so, so wonderful! We love it. Besides calcium, what other ingredients put it “above the rest” when compared to other skincare lines?
I’m so thrilled to hear that you ladies love it! When I started developing CURA’s Complexion Catalyst Crème it was really important to me to include high-quality ingredients that were potent, effective and scientifically supported. Caffeine, colloidal oatmeal, argan oil and hyaluronic acid are just a few of the powerful ingredients found in CURA’s Crème that provide incredible skin benefits.
What are some things that CURA does differently than other skincare lines? There aren’t many skincare lines that use calcium as their main active ingredient!
You’re absolutely right! CURA is the first skincare brand to focus on the remarkable benefits of calcium. But what’s more significant is that CURA is smart skincare that combines innovative technology with safe and natural ingredients to stay ahead in the skincare game. For instance, I developed a proprietary complex, RenovocelTM, which blends calcium and other natural ingredients together to create a synergistic effect that enhances skin regeneration, restores calcium levels and protects the skin.
Side note: What is your opinion on using toner before a moisturizer?
I think toners are great! Toners get rid of lingering impurities and also contain antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients. I suggest using a gentle, water-based toner that doesn’t contain alcohol and won’t dry out or irritate your skin.
Happy to hear because I love using my toner haha. So what’s changed with your skin since using CURA? And what has been the best compliments you’ve received from women using CURA?
As I’ve gotten older, my skin has increasingly become more sensitive. When formulating CURA I made sure to include ingredients that were not only hydrating but also soothing. After using CURA my skin is much more calm, smooth and looks much healthier.
I’m grateful to have received so many positive compliments on CURA from countless women of different ages, ethnicities and skin types, but the one compliment that has stood out the most to me was from a working mom of two young boys. She was so impressed with how CURA softened the lines on her forehead and left her skin more even and dewy. She even mentioned how her whole face was softer than her 4-month old son’s butt…that compliment will definitely go in the books!
Where can women buy your line?
You can shop for CURA at www.mycuraskincare.com as well as sign up for our newsletter to get updates on new product releases!
Is there anything you can add about being a pioneer woman for skincare? Especially in such an innovative and intelligent city like SF!
It’s been very exciting and very challenging starting a new skincare company, especially when so many people are completely unaware of the relationship between calcium and skin. But I’m so lucky to have launched my company in SF, where there’s an incredible community of smart and inquisitive women who want to take advantage of calcium’s skin benefits.
I’m thrilled to share CURA with this community and all women who value innovation and appreciate quality products!
We’re giving away a CURA jar on our Instagram P.S! Super easy to enter, as always. (See CURA’s Instagram for other people’s reviews too!)
Written by your home girls at The Violet Fog