The combined strength of herbs and flowers now complete every high-tech skincare treatment
Buying a cream today often requires some detective work. Shopping with a conscience is not just an issue when it comes to buying food or new jeans – it relates to cosmetics too. What ingredients are contained in a day cream? Products made with microplastics, parabens or aluminium fare poorly. Plant-based active ingredients are the new (and actually the ‘old’) favourites among consumers and cosmetic manufacturers.
Highly effective formulas leave the skin looking beautiful with the highest quality ingredients – they enable active ingredients to penetrate the skin through clever ‘transporter’ ingredients while herb and flower extracts complete these new beauty elixirs. Plant-based recipes from all over the world are currently taking over the labs of cosmetic companies. By applying new technical procedures, scientists are making valuable extracts available, some of which have been said to possess positive effects for many centuries. This is achieved by drawing on the plants’ powers of self-healing and protective strategies. Their natural active ingredients bring an extra dose of elasticity and vitality to the skin and create a healthy complexion.
Anti-ageing à la Cleopatra
Even in Ancient Egypt, anti-ageing plant juices were mixed together to treat the skin extracted from the moringa and pistachio tree as well as umbrella palm, among others. Nefertiti and Cleopatra are said to have sworn by the effects of aloe vera. Traditionally, chamomile is known to be a plant with a high proportion of active ingredients.
Argan oil from Morocco has become very popular again over the last few years and was long used as a moisturising and anti-inflammatory remedy in ancient times. These are good examples of how traditional active ingredients are now finding their way into modern products.
Phytoactive Skin Perfecting Essence
200 ml, 79 euros
Crème Riche from the Le Lift range
50 ml, 120 euros
Stimulating collagen production
With some crops, active skincare ingredients can be found in the seeds. At Chanel, the new cream from the Le Lift range uses the seeds of the alfalfa plant (also known as lucerne or ‘everlasting clover’). The effect of the concentrate is said to be similar in intensity to that of retinol and allegedly refines the skin tone and restores the structure of the skin. The reformulated day cream is said to stimulate collagen production and boost cell growth as well as leaving the complexion suppler and softer. Dior has encapsulated its new anti-ageing Capture Totale C.E.L.L. range in a serum. Energy from four floral essences: Longoza from Madagascar, peonies from China, white lilies and jasmine. This combination claims to strengthen the skin’s stem cells and give the skin an energy boost as well as improving the ability of cells to regenerate, resulting in firmer and more radiant skin.
Floral water for smoother skin
Sisley focuses entirely on roses for its eye cream Fluide Contour des Yeux à la Rose Noire. The floral water and oil extracts derived from the black rose are attributed with properties which smooth and firm the delicate eye area and lighten dark circles under the eyes. The extracts are combined with red vine, freshwater algae, seaweed and cinnamon rose. They are also said to nourish the skin and give the cream a floral aroma. Ideally, plant-based ingredients should release their scent – after all, whether or not a skincare product smells good plays an important role in its use. L’Occitane en Provence has developed an oil-in-serum treatment (Immortelle Reset) which contains marjoram extract, among other things. While traditionally known as a classic kitchen herb, marjoram has also been associated with regenerating properties in skincare. In the serum, it is combined with acmella-oleracea extract and Immortelle oil. The serum claims to reduce signs of tiredness and fine lines, creating an even and rosy skin tone and protecting the skin from environmental influences all day long.
l’Occitane en Provence
Oil-in-serum from the range
30 ml, 59 euros
Testing plant-based substances in advance
With all the euphoria over natural plant-based cosmetics, it is important to note that those with sensitive skin or allergies should test products before use on the inside of their forearm as a precaution. In the event of any reaction such as reddened skin, an alternative should be sought. Essentially, plant-based active ingredients can make the skin more beautiful, resilient and healthy and can also help with other problems triggered by high stress levels in everyday life such as fatigue, inner restlessness and lack of sleep.
Essential oils to combat stress
Finish the day with a body oil containing lavender or lemon balm – not only can you benefit from its relaxing effects and from softer skin, but also from the wonderful fragrance: this can have a positive impact on mood thanks to our sense of smell. According to a study by Japanese researchers, the ingredient linalool with its fresh, floral scent is responsible for this and is present in essential plant oils. Plant-based ingredients do not just unfold their effect when applied directly to the skin. Having plants in the room can boost well-being too: they cleanse the air and increase humidity – which in turn benefits the skin.
Super Potent Serum
from the Capture Totale C.E.L.L. Energy range
50 ml, 182 euros