Hydroponics just part of Marlo's effective cream

Feb. 21—My new favorite cream has an unlikely origin: tomatoes.

Marlo Bloom Lush Revitalizing Cream is made with all different amazing ingredients to hydrate, plump, strengthen and brighten skin, including its superstar ingredient, super-lycopene hydrosol. It's also the first skin care company in the world to use hydroponics to create its products, which means its super-lycopene is derived from tomatoes, so it's grown in mineral-rich water instead of soil like a typical plant.

Brand creators Marjorie Lau and Renee Ordino explained to me the science behind this standout cream during a recent Zoom call.

"I think for us, we had so many things we wanted this cream to accomplish, from improving skin texture and tone to being environmentally friendly, to being clean and safe to use," Marjorie said. "When we found hydroponics, I think it was like a lightbulb went off with both of us like, 'Yeah, we can really do this.'"

Regular tomatoes are one of the most popular superfoods, packed with nutrients, vitamins and lycopene. Lycopene is an incredibly potent antioxidant, and that helps cells stay strong in the face of environmental stress and toxin buildup. Marlo's super-lycopene comes from those hydroponic tomatoes — which contain super pure and concentrated levels of lycopene and other vital nutrients. Since it's grown in water, it has an almost supernatural ability to retain and deliver moisture into your skin. Moisture is one of the most important factors to keeping your skin looking and feeling good.

Think about your skin like a piece of paper. Over time, the more you crumble or create lines in the paper, the harder it will be to smooth out the lines. Every time you furrow your brow, raise your eyebrows or even smile, you create crinkles and folds in your skin. Over time, as skin loses collagen and elasticity and has a harder time retaining water, your skin is less likely to bounce back into its smooth state. This cream encourages natural repair and helps boost collagen, which leads to firmer and more resilient skin. It also promotes skin's natural cellular renewal process, which yields a smoother, more even texture and skin tone. And it drenches skin with intense moisture.

With powerful antioxidants, it fights skin's signs of aging resulting from free radicals. Antioxidants aren't cool like retinol, but they do the most important task, which you might not even realize must be done, as they protect you from free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable atoms that come from the sun's rays, pollution, cigarette smoke and even blue light, which smartphones and other screens give off. To stabilize themselves, these atoms go on a search-and-destroy mission to find healthy molecules in your skin, which leads to dark spots, dullness, wrinkles and even skin damage.

Antioxidants, however, prevent the effects of free radicals by giving up an electron to the free radical, which stabilizes it and lessens the chance that it will damage your skin. In turn, your skin appears brighter, clearer and bouncier. This also helps reduce the chance of forming new lines and wrinkles and can even help soften existing ones.

The cream is eco-conscious as well, since hydroponics is an incredibly environmentally friendly and sustainable farming method. The brand also remains committed to being clean. It is extracted by hand so there is total control, and since there's no soil, there also are no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or other impurities in the mix.

Marlo's is one of the most velvety creams I've ever used. I apply it to my face, neck and even my hands. My skin drinks it right up, and after about two months of steady use, I can see a difference in my skin. It's bouncier and brighter, but it also just feels softer and more hydrated. Right now, this cream is the only product in Marlo's line, but both Marjorie and Renee hinted we should stay tuned for future skin care goodies.

What I appreciate most about Marlo as a brand is that it has real women behind it. Marjorie and Renee have been friends for years, first meeting while working in the beauty industry, Marjorie in global marketing and Renee in cosmetic chemistry. Eventually, the "shop talk" led to conversations about interests and goals as well as the influence of family, nature, healthy living and making a difference. They teamed up to create a product at the intersection of their interests. The two stumbled upon hydroponics and built a makeshift lab in Renee's kitchen to experiment. After much hard work, they discovered super-lycopene hydrosol, and Marlo was born.

They are real women with real lives and real concerns.

"We want a product that's really going to work for us and do more than just one thing. We want it to check more than one box," Renee said. "We are doing so much more than ever before, and we want our skin care to, too."

I know there are other female-founded and female-led brands, but talking to them about skin care made me realize how important it was to me that they care about their products as much as they care about the people who use them.

Marlo Bloom Lush Revitalizing Cream costs $65 and is available at marlohydroponics.com. Follow @marloskincare on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Gia Mazur is a staff writer for the Lifestyles Department of The Times-Tribune. Contact her at gmazur@timesshamrock.com, 570-348-9127 or @gmazurTT on Twitter.

Contact the writer: gmazur@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT on Twitter