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If you're on the natural skincare boat, you may already be familiar with botanical skincare ingredients like squalane, shea butter, and marula oil. The truth is, these ingredients can be excellent at treating skin conditions - and the same goes for floral ingredients.
Here are our favorite florals in skincare and why.
Geraniums are hardy perennial shrubs that are popular in gardening across the U.S., and these bright little flowers can provide some powerful skincare benefits. Specifically, you can use either geranium flower water or geranium essential oil for key benefits:
Many of these benefits are due to the flower’s antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, while the astringent benefits can be attributed to geranium’s high concentration of tannins.
Also called marigold, the calendula flower - particularly the petals and extracted oil - has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.
Applied both topically and internally, calendula has been scientifically studied and known to have many benefits, including:
Used topically, calendula is known to treat blemishes, heal skin, and reduce inflammation. This is due, in part to the fact that it contains 19 different carotenoid antioxidants, along with triterenoid esters (which are potent anti-inflammatories).
It works so well, that calendula was even used as a healing agent during the Civil War.
Chamomile flowers don’t just relax nerves- they can also soothe dry, rough, or sensitive skin. Specifically, chamomile is known to:
Key ingredients here include flavonoids, which ____, and robust anti-inflammatories.
Roman chamomile is known as the most effective.
Find it in: Zen Out of Ten
All skin types; mature or dry skin
This tropical flower can be a great natural exfoliant for all skin types, and it’s particularly effective on dry or mature skin. Known as the “botox plant,” hibiscus can:
Key ingredients here include:
In Zen Out of Ten, hibiscus fibers work alongside bamboo fibers as natural, non-irritating exfoliants.
A beauty go-to for Geisha for over 2,000 years, camellia oil provides lightweight moisture that’s generally suitable for all skin types, particularly oily skin.
What makes it so great? Camellia is a natural source of:
These ingredients make it a biomimetic topical oil, meaning that it’s very similar to our own sebum and thus very easily absorbed. What’s more, the fatty acids in camellia oil can help restore skin’s natural barrier, thereby reducing redness, irritation, and even acne.
Pretty much every part of the rose plant can be used in skincare. Overall, rose products are gentle and suitable for sensitive skin, They work to:
This, in large part, is due to the high concentration of vitamin A, vitamin C, and anti-inflammatory fatty acids that you’ll find in roses.
More specifically, there are three products that you can use from the rose flower:
Created quite literally by steaming rosebuds in water, rosewater has lots of beneficial effects on the skin. Specifically, it can soothe redness, hydrate, and decrease inflammation for sensitive skin - which is why it's often used as a daily face mist and as a light, on-the-go product.
The oil pressed from the seeds of certain rose bushes, rose-hip oil is incredibly rich and yummy for the skin. It contains vitamin C, vitamin A, AND anti-inflammatory fatty acids, which can be considered the ultimate beauty trio when it comes to skin health and rejuvenation.
Vitamin A, in particular, contains natural retinol and retinoids, which can encourage skin cell turnover and inhibit the melanin production that causes brown spots. Plus, both vitamins A and C can help boost collagen formation and combat sun damage.
Since the process of distilling rose essential oil is so difficult and resource-intensive, it can be difficult to find products with real, high-quality rose essential oil. Luckily, the oil itself packs a punch, and just a few drops can yield major benefits.
Specifically, rose oil has tons of antioxidants, vitamins - including vitamins A, B, E, C, and K - and minerals (specifically potassium and iron), all of which combine to make it a great antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory, and a moisturizer. If you're looking for a rose oil product to get started, look for products that contain high-quality Damascus rose extract like the No Plans clay mask. It contains Damascus rose flower extract, which is known to reduce redness and promote cellular hydration. It also has antioxidants - including rosehip - kaolin clay, MSM, and wild geranium. This combination creates an effective mask that maintains hydration while effectively detoxifying the skin.
Find it in:Zen out of Ten
Bamboo powder is commonly considered the best natural exfoliant option because of its gentle yet effective properties. It’s made primarily of natural silicon- or silica - extracted from bamboo sap. Studies suggest that this silica can:
Because of its ultra-fine texture and even exfoliation properties, bamboo powder is commonly used for microdermabrasion face treatments.
Find it in:Daydreamer
Lemon balm, or Melissa Officinalis, is an herb in the mint family that’s been used since the Middle Ages to calm nerves, improve sleep, ease anxiety, and heal wounds.
Many studiesshow that lemon balm actually has bacteriostatic, antimicrobial, and antiviral effects - it’s even been shown to work as an antihistaminewhen applied to insect bites or other areas of irritation.
As a skincare ingredient, lemon balm has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects. In fact, its antioxidant capabilities are shown to rival that of vitamin E! These properties make lemon balm capable of soothing atopic dermatitis.
Plus, high quantities of rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid make lemon blm great at reducing acne.
Wish upon some clearer skin? Yup! Studies show that dandelion root extract was often used in folk medicine to treat warts, eczema, and other skin disorders. What’s more, the extract can actually protect against UVB damage and harmful photoaging, and some studies show that the sap can even combat acne.
Find it in:Down to Earth
Ylang ylang is a yellow, star-shaped flower that grows on the Cananga tree, a tropical tree native to India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and parts of Australia.
In various studies, ylang-ylang extract is shown to exhibit antimicrobial, antibiofilm, anti-inflammatory, insect-repellent, antidiabetic, antifertility, and antimelanogenesis activities.
The flower also boasts a ton of powerful skincare properties: its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it excellent for soothing redness or treating acne-causing microbes, and it can help to balance oil production in the skin. This makes it an especially effective ingredient for oily or spot-prone skin types.
Here's to happy, healthy skin!