Flowers in Skincare
WRITTEN BY KIMBERLY MA AND DR. SWATHI
Flowers can do more than just decorate our gardens or fill our vases. Did you know some of your favorite flowers can play a big role in your favorite skincare products?
Flowers have long been used in skincare products for their numerous benefits. Depending on the type of flower and the extraction process, they can target common skin concerns including premature aging, oxidative damage, inflammation, hyperpigmentation, stress, UV protection, and more. In fact, they are commonly incorporated in products as an alternative to other harsh chemicals that can irritate or damage the skin in the long run.
Extracts vs. Oils
Flower oils and extracts are the two most common types of flower-derived formulations that are added into skincare products. Although oils and extracts can come from the same plant, their extraction process can look very different. Flower oils are often extracted directly from components of the plants like the seeds, stem, root, or flower petals. Extracts, on the other hand, are made by placing components of the plant in another liquid medium for extended periods of time. The overall consistency of oils and extracts may differ, but both can contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and benefits. Not to mention, they smell amazing! Whether you are on the market for new skincare products or you are re-evaluating your current skincare lineup, here are a couple of ingredients to look out for.
Rosehip oil, not to be confused with rose oil, comes from the seeds of the rose hip fruit. Rose hip differs because it specifically contains a unique galactolipid that has strong anti-inflammatory properties and potent antioxidants that fight against premature aging. In addition, it has a diverse fatty acid profile that is well tolerated among many different skin types. Its vitamin A content can also aid in skin regeneration as well as lock in moisture and brighten dull skin. To learn more about rosehips, check out this article.
A most esteemed flower for its wonderful fragrance, jasmine oil has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for conditions like dermatitis. Compounds in jasmine oil protect against UV radiation which has the potential to cause DNA damage, oxidative stress, and collagen degradation. Its protective benefits of the skin protect against premature aging with the added bonus of a sweet floral aroma.
Lotus flowers are a symbol of purity among the Southeast Asian region due to their ability to keep themselves clean. In order to protect itself against pollutants in the environment such as mud or dirt, the flower is able to direct water in a way that removes pollutants from its petals. In addition to this unique anti-pollutant property, lotus flowers have powerful antioxidant abilities that protect against free radical damage and prevent premature aging.
Lily extract is usually extracted from the root, bulb, and stem of the lily plant. Like many other flower products on this list, it is full of strong antioxidants that defend against potential oxidative stress and UV damage. This leaves skin looking healthier, brightened, and youthful.
Lavender oil is a common aromatherapy essential oil that is used in promoting sleep and lifting mood. However, lavender oil can also be applied topically to the skin. It has been shown to be effective in fighting against bacterial and fungal activity which helps to prevent acne breakouts or other infections on the skin. For more information about lavender, check out this article.
In addition to drinking its tea, using skincare products with chamomile has been researched to see its benefits in accelerating wound healing. It also has calming and antioxidant properties that protect your skin from irritants or pollutants.
Magnolia oil exhibits robust antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory activity. Furthermore, it can help to reduce redness and dryness in skin that is more sensitive. Its naturally sweet fragrance coupled with its deodorizing properties have contributed to its growing popularity. It also serves as an emollient which helps retain moisture and soften the texture of skin.
Hibiscus flowers have active moisturizing compounds that can protect the moisture barrier. Other components within the flower include exfoliating acids like pyruvic acid, which can lighten hyperpigmentation and stimulate collagen production.
Calendula blossoms have been known for its ability to tame excess inflammation and promote wound healing, Oils and extracts made from calendula also have chemical compounds known as flavonoids which mediate skin repair and healing.
Did you know?
Not all flower extracts and oils may be used specifically for their beneficial effects on the skin. They can also be incorporated into products to serve as natural alternatives for harsh chemical fragrances. Flowers like rosaliana and ylang ylang oil are examples of aromatic flowers. Essential oils that are derived from flowers can also be used in body skin care products like lotions, creams, or body washes to help alleviate stress or reduce anxiety.
Belle Visage Face Serum
The Element Apothec Belle Visage Face Serum is a well-rounded product that is good for all skin types and ages. It targets elasticity, provides hydration without an oily residue, minimizes premature signs of aging, and preserves the skin’s natural microbiome. In addition to broad spectrum CBD, which has a number of its own skincare benefits, Belle Visage also contains rosehip oil, jasmine oil, ylang ylang oil, rosalina oil, and more. For its maximum benefit, it should be applied to dry skin in the morning and evening and gently massaged into skin.
Visit the link to learn more about which flower oils and other natural ingredients we used in all of our products and which products they can be found in.
The bottom line
Overall, flowers are a wonderful addition to skin care products as their benefits have long been studied. Whether you are looking for products that have specific benefits that fit your skin type, or you are simply looking for products that use natural alternatives to harsh fragrances, searching for some of the ingredients on this list is a great place to start.
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- Li T, Li Q, Wu W, et al. Lotus seed skin proanthocyanidin extract exhibits potent antioxidant property via activation of the Nrf2-ARE pathway. Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2019;51(1):31-40. doi:10.1093/abbs/gmy148
- Pekacar S, Bulut S, Özüpek B, Orhan DD. Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Effects of Rosehip in Inflammatory Musculoskeletal Disorders and Its Active Molecules. Curr Mol Pharmacol. 2021;14(5):731-745. doi:10.2174/1874467214666210804154604
- Wang D, Nagata M, Matsumoto M, Amen Y, Wang D, Shimizu K. Potential of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. and Hibiscus Acid to Reverse Skin Aging. Molecules. 2022;27(18):6076. Published 2022 Sep 17. doi:10.3390/molecules27186076
This article was edited by Dr. Swathi and was written by Element Apothec Scientific Communications Intern, Kimberly Ma. She is a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) candidate at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy in Storrs, Connecticut.