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Dr. Pedro Catalá: Ingredients to look for when going outdoors

One of our favorite formulation and ingredient experts is Dr. Pedro Catalá, founder and formulator of TWELVE Beauty. He knows his stuff: Pedro has not only a pharmacy degree, but also a PhD in Natural Product Formulation, a subject that he also teaches at the University of Siena. We were talking to him recently about how excited we are to spend more time outside in sunnier, warmer weather, and he asked, “Would you like to know what ingredients to look for in products to help keep skin healthy?”

Of course we would. Read on for a list of ingredients that Pedro (pictured below at his farm in Spain) suggests considering as you spend more time outside.


Pedro Catala


Longer and warmer days are slowly arriving, and with them, the desire to spend time outdoors. Since we are all aware that UV rays are among the worst enemies for our skin, sunscreens are usually the first products that come to mind this time of year, as they should be. But what about other products or ingredients that can keep our skin healthier while we adventure outdoors?

In case of windburn:

Warmer months can often include unpredictable weather. A combination of low temperatures and wind can wreak havoc on the upper layers of the skin, leaving us with dehydrated, red and swollen patches, specially around the cheeks and nose. Here are three ingredients I love to protect skin from windburn.

Centipeda Cunninghamii Extract: This is an Australian plant that is packed with sesquiterpene lactones, a compound with outstanding soothing properties that can provide quick and effective relief.

Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Extract: This is well known for its luteolin content, which comes in handy for calming reactive skin.

Magnolia Kobus Bark Extract: Formulators turn to this high-performance ingredient for its antioxidant abilities. However, recent studies have pointed out how well is also soothes irritated skin — and it provides antimicrobial activity against harmful bacteria that could otherwise cause acne.

In case of burns:

Socializing is part of our culture, and most of the time, this involves sharing food. If you’re out of practice or you are just a bit clumsy like me, barbecues can leave us with some undesired burns on our hands after roasting peppers (for example).

Traditional ingredients such as Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter or Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract are well documented for their ability to treat superficial burns.

In case of pollution:

Being indoors isn't necessarily the key to avoiding pollution; there are pollutants indoors that can range from mold to carbon dioxide and even lead particles. The good news, though, is that there are some powerful natural antioxidants that possess the ability to neutralize the negative impact of pollution, like Buddleja Davidii Extract and Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Extract.

We also must pay attention to the way we cleanse our skin, as this process can help remove pollutants at the end of the day. My advice is to use a mild cleanser that is delicate, yet effective. A great option is to go for squalene-based cleansers, as they tend to give back to the skin some of its key components and thereby minimize the damaging effects of cleansing.

In case of sweating:

We are well aware that sweating, in general, is good for the skin, as it’s a natural process and helps to eliminate impurities. But it can cause issues if it sits on the skin, since it becomes a carrier for the grime accumulated in your pores along with other impurities. Take care to clean your face well, before or after exercising or after any moments of strong perspiration.


We’re big fans of Pedro and TWELVE Beauty, which has been an Ayla favorite for years. Read more about the brand here, scan our blog for more posts with Pedro (we have a lot of them!), and shop these wonderful products here.  

Any topic discussed in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please check with your doctor.

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