WAHT DOES THE BRAND NAME mìsula® MEAN?
In Italian, “mìsula” is a word in the dialect of the town of Castelluccio Superiore, which is right in the heart of the territory of the Pollino National Park and our cultivation sites. One of the most unique characteristics of the town of Castelluccio are the so-called “mìsule” (the plural form of mìsula), which refers to the ancient terracing placed inside the historic center of the town; mìsule were essentially small, private cultivation sites where medicinal plants and herbs, vegetables and legumes were traditionally grown. Cultivation was made possible by the genial management of spring waters which, through canals and artificial ducts, irrigated the mìsule of the town’s inhabitants in strictly pre-established days and times. This historic practice is still alive today, as some veins of water flow – in the duct or out in the open air – following the ancient paths that have been used for centuries. In fact, for centuries, the “mìsule” have represented an important aspect of hydrogeological preservation of the rocky ridge on which the town of Castelluccio Superiore stands; they are places that naturally lend themselves to the preservation of local biodiversity, which is crucial to the status of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The name “mìsula®” is expressly rooted in one of the foundational aspects of our brand: the connection to the territory in which we cultivate our raw materials and the unique nature of the raw materials that we use within the products that we create: the fact that they are local only to a very small area of the Mediterranean.
WHAT ARE DERMOCOSMETICS?
Dermocosmetics is where cosmetics and dermatology – or beauty and health – meet. The term refers to skincare solutions that use sophisticated active ingredients to directly support or care for the symptoms of various skin conditions. Nowadays, we have a better understanding of how skin reacts to external stresses such as sunlight or pollution. We know more about how and why and how skin ages and loses its firmness, wrinkles appear, and skin conditions develop. Increasing knowledge and greater demand from women for genuine yet effective products have fostered the development and ready availability of products formerly limited to the field of medicine. Strictly speaking, dermocosmetic products are not beauty products; nevertheless, they definitely enhance beauty. Originally positioned as follow-up products for use after dermatological procedures, dermocosmetics have evolved as both a substitute and a complement to medical recommendations as awareness of the long-term damage caused by external agents – such as the sun, pollution and antibacterial products for example – has grown.
WHAT PRODUCTS ARE ENTITLED TO BE DESIGNATED AS DERMOCOSMETICS?
To qualify as a dermocosmetic product, a product must contain active ingredients whose effectiveness against a specific problem has been established through rigorous laboratory testing. Dermocosmetic products have been specially formulated to restore skin health. They protect against the many stresses of contemporary life and natural skin ageing. Dermocosmetic products consist of fine molecules that penetrate to the dermis, the middle layer. At this depth, creams have an optimal impact in:
- Correcting problems
- Protecting skin tissue
- Preventing unwanted marks such as wrinkles
WHAT ABOUT LOW-PRICE PRODUCTS?
Lower-quality products don’t contain the same active ingredients and don’t comply with medical requirements. You may save a few dollars, but you might not get the results you hope for. For real benefits, invest in recognized, tested, genuine and effective dermocosmetic products. Remember that the health of your skin is a vital investment. Skin care is health care.
WHAT ARE CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS?
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. They respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. Sleeping at night and being awake during the day is an example of a light-related circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are found in most living things, including animals, plants, and many tiny microbes. The study of circadian rhythms is called chronobiology. The Circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours. It can refer to any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours. They respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. Sleeping at night and being awake during the day is an example of a light-related circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are found in most living things, including animals, plants, and many tiny microbes. For most adults, the biggest dip in energy happens in the middle of the night (somewhere between 2:00am and 4:00am, when they’re usually fast asleep) and just after lunchtime (around 1:00pm to 3:00pm, when they tend to crave a post-lunch nap). Those times can be different if you’re naturally a night owl or a morning person. You also won’t feel the dips and rises of your circadian rhythm as strongly if you’re all caught up on sleep. It’s when you’re sleep-deprived that you’ll notice bigger swings of sleepiness and alertness. A part of your hypothalamus (a portion of your brain) controls your circadian rhythm. That said, outside factors like lightness and darkness can also impact it. When it’s dark at night, your eyes send a signal to the hypothalamus that it’s time to feel tired. Your brain, in turn, sends a signal to your body to release melatonin, which makes your body tired. That’s why your circadian rhythm tends to coincide with the cycle of daytime and nighttime (and why it’s so hard for shift workers to sleep during the day and stay awake at night). Your circadian rhythm works best when you have regular sleep habits, like going to bed at night and waking up in the morning around the same times from day to day (including weekends). When things get in the way, like jet lag, daylight savings time, or a compelling sporting event on TV that keeps you up into the wee hours of the morning, you can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which makes you feel out of sorts and can make it harder to pay attention.
WHAT ARE BIOLOGICAL CLOCKS?
Biological clocks are an organism’s innate timing device. They’re composed of specific molecules (proteins) that interact in cells throughout the body. Biological clocks are found in nearly every tissue and organ. Researchers have identified similar genes in people, fruit flies, mice, fungi, and several other organisms that are responsible for making the clock’s components.
ARE BIOLOGICAL CLOCKS THE SAME THING AS CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS?
No, but they are related. Biological clocks produce circadian rhythms and regulate their timing.
WHAT IS THE MASTER CLOCK?
A master clock in the brain coordinates all the biological clocks in a living thing, keeping the clocks in sync. In vertebrate animals, including humans, the master clock is a group of about 20,000 nerve cells (neurons) that form a structure called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN. The SCN is located in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus and receives direct input from the eyes.
DOES THE BODY MAKE AND KEEP ITS OWN CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS?
Natural factors within the body produce circadian rhythms. However, signals from the environment also affect them. The main cue influencing circadian rhythms is daylight. This light can turn on or turn off genes that control the molecular structure of biological clocks. Changing the light-dark cycles can speed up, slow down, or reset biological clocks as well as circadian rhythms.
WHAT IS THE INTERNAL CLOCK SYNCHRONIZATION?
Our body temperature is lower at night, and it starts rising again two hours before the usual time we wake up. Everyone has experienced, when they put their alarm clock on earlier than usual (for example, when they needed to catch a train or plane at dawn the next morning), the unpleasant impression of being cold or that their joints or muscles could not work properly: it is due to the fact that biological clocks could not adapt to this premature wakening. Our biological clocks actually play an important role in regulating our sleep, appetite and food uptake, hormone release, or blood pressure. Every species has their own specific, genetically controlled circadian rhythms. But these internal clocks are regulated by external signals which play the role of synchronizers. When we travel abroad, they help us adapt to the jetlag within a few days.
WHAT IS HAPPENING WHEN THE CHRONOBIOLOGY OF THE SKIN IS DISTURBED?
When the natural circadian rhythm of the skin is disturbed, your skin cannot recover as effectively from daytime damage. Waste products can build up and cause further damage to the skin cells. New cells are not made as rapidly, giving skin a duller and older appearance. If DNA repair does not occur, the mutations and damage over time can lead to health concerns like skin cancer. The negative effects gradually build up over time, leading to noticeable damage over a lifetime. It does not take a lot to disturb the circadian rhythm of skin cells; exposure to elements and pollutants at night or simply not getting adequate sleep can interfere with these vital processes. Understanding the chronobiology of your skin can allow you to prevent damage and also to develop skincare routines that complement your internal clock. Dermatologists recommend that people use external skin products that prevent damage during the day, such as sunscreen and gentle moisturizers. At night, external skin products that assist in damage repair, such as retinol and alpha and beta hydroxy acids, will have more effects. In addition, certain lifestyle changes and the addition of a chronobiology-based dietary supplement that promotes skin health can help your skin to rejuvenate itself. Getting high-quality sleep at night consistently allows more stable circadian rhythms. Preventing nighttime exposure to toxins, such as cigarette smoke and weather, protects skin at a time when it is most prone to damage. Our skin is our largest organ, and is responsible for protecting our bodies from the elements and performing essential activities such as synthesizing vitamins. Understanding the chronobiology of the skin will allow people to enjoy a healthier, more youthful appearance and to prevent health problems that are caused by accumulated damage.
DO CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS AFFECT BODY FUNCTION AND HEALTH?
Yes. Circadian rhythms can influence sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, eating habits and digestion, body temperature, and other important bodily functions. Biological clocks that run fast or slow can result in disrupted or abnormal circadian rhythms. Irregular rhythms have been linked to various chronic health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.
HOW ARE CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS RELATED TO SLEEP?
Circadian rhythms help determine our sleep patterns. The body’s master clock, or SCN, controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. It receives information about incoming light from the optic nerves, which relay information from the eyes to the brain. When there is less light—like at night—the SCN tells the brain to make more melatonin so you get drowsy. Researchers are studying how shift work as well as exposure to light from mobile devices during the night may alter circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles.
HOW ARE CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS RELATED TO JET-LAG?
People get jet lag when travel disrupts their circadian rhythms. When you pass through different time zones, your biological clocks will be different from the local time. For example, if you fly east from California to New York, you “lose” 3 hours. When you wake up at 7:00 a.m. on the east coast, your biological clocks are still running on west coast time, so you feel the way you might feel at 4:00 a.m. Your biological clocks will reset, but this often takes a few days.
HOW DO RESEARCHERS STUDY CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS?
Scientists learn about circadian rhythms by studying humans or by using organisms with similar biological clock genes, including fruit flies and mice. Researchers doing these experiments can control the subject’s environment by altering light and dark periods. Then they look for changes in gene activity or other molecular signals. This research helps us understand how biological clocks work and keep time. Scientists also study organisms with irregular circadian rhythms to identify which genetic components of biological clocks may be broken.
HOW DOES CIRCADIAN RHYTHM RESEARCH CONTRIBUTE TO HUMAN HEALTH?
Understanding what makes biological clocks tick may lead to treatments for sleep disorders, obesity, mental health disorders, jet lag, and other health problems. It can also improve ways for individuals to adjust to nighttime shift work. Learning more about the genes responsible for circadian rhythms will also help us understand biological systems and the human body.
WHICH ARE THE OTHER BIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS?
Aside from the Circadian Rhythm, our body has other rhythms like:
– Infradian Rhythm: is a rhythm with a period longer than the period of a circadian rhythm, i.e., with a frequency less than one cycle in 24 hours, such as breeding, tidal or seasonal rhythms. In contrast, ultradian rhythms have periods shorter than the period of a circadian rhythm. Similar to a circadian rhythm, our infradian rhythm measures a period of time. But while everyone experiences a circadian rhythm over the course of a day, this time period relates to women’s menstrual cycles, which occur over the course of the month as well. Ovulation occurs roughly halfway through the cycle when oestrogen levels are at their highest, and usually lasts for 16-32 hours. After the ovulatory phase, progesterone levels increase in preparation for the possible implantation of an embryo in the uterus. It is also important to note that although the usual menstrual cycle is around 28 days, there is considerable variation, with some women experiencing a short cycle of 23 days and others experiencing longer cycles of up to 36 days. A second example of an infradian rhythm is related to the seasons. Research has found seasonal variation in mood, where some people become depressed in the winter, which is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is an infradian rhythm that is governed by a yearly cycle. Psychologists claim that melatonin, which is secreted by the pineal gland during the night, is partly responsible. The lack of light during the winter months results in a longer period of melatonin secretion, which has been linked to the depressive symptoms.
– Ultradian Rhythm is a recurrent period or cycle repeated throughout a 24-hour day. In contrast, circadian rhythms complete one cycle daily, while infradian rhythms such as the human menstrual cycle have periods longer than a day. Examples include everything from heartbeat to digestion to the varying stages we go through during sleep. This rhythm consist in a waking rest-activity cycle into 90 minutes of activity and 20 minutes of rest, making a full cycle last 110 minutes. During this period, the mind-body resynchronizes its many rhythms and systems. Oxidative waste products and free radical molecules that have built up in the tissues during preceding periods of high performance and stress are cleared out of the cells. The stores of messenger molecules so vital to mind-body communication are replenished, and energy reserves are restored. Psychologically, your mind works to make sense of and integrate the day’s experiences. Past experiences, feelings, and events are synthesized into a coherent stress-free whole, creating new levels of meaning and understanding.”