Flowers make a popular gift at this time of year, with Valentine’s Day in February followed by Mother’s Day in March. Bunches and bouquets make beautiful presents and they also make beautiful skincare too.
I use lots of different flowers in my best natural skincare products; many of them smell lovely but I choose each one for the specific benefit they bring to our skin. I use flowers in many guises from essential oils, floral waters, extracts and infusions and I wanted to share some of the benefits specific flowers can bring to our skin.
Starting with February’s favourite, the rose. Roses have a multitude of benefits for our skin. I love the smell of rose essential oil and rose hydrosol and their fragrance can help to calm anxiety and lift spirts. Rose hydrosol is also hydrating, calming and soothing – so is lovely when used in natural skincare products for sensitive skin and inflamed skin. I also make an infusion of organic rose petals which I then for their pore cleansing properties – they can help to clear congested skin including blackheads which is why they are found in Sweet Cheeks cleanser, Scrub Up exfoliator and Perfect Pores serum. Just as in my cooking – I like to use the whole ingredient and Rose is no exception.
Rosehip oil is pressed from the seeds and fruit of rosehips – I use an organic cold pressed oil from Chile which is a vibrant orange colour. It is naturally rich in vitamins A,C and E; as well as antioxidants, skin loving omegas and essential fatty acids. These can all help to repair damage, reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles; hydrate and brighten our skin. I use organic Rosehip oil in all of my organic face oils as well as Rest & Regenerate night balm, Angel Eyes eye treatment and Thirsty Work daily moisturiser. I first came across Rosehip oil long before I started my natural skin care range – it was 1999 and I was travelling in Australia. I had never heard of it until then but I bought a bottle which helped to sooth, soften and nourish my dehydrated skin. It is now widely used thanks to its effectiveness.
The power of the flower in natural skincare is not limited to roses though. I also love using Wild Pansy – for its clarifying properties. I make a strong infusion (or a tea if you like) which I use in Tone Up clarifying toner; the flowers from orange blossom – also known as neroli. This is one of my favourite essential oils to use. Again, it smells beautiful and it can help to rejuvenate skin. The hydrolat (used in Freshen Up, Perfect Pores, Sweet Cheeks and Scrub Up) is calming, cooling and hydrating.
A lesser known flower – but perhaps one of them most powerful is commonly known as electric daisies. This helps to restore our skin’s structure and is good for firing and tightening our skin. This could be why TV botanist James Wong referred to it as “the plant kingdom’s answer to botox”. Needless to say I use this active ingredient in many of my natural skincare recipes.
Maybe it should come as no surprise that flowers not only look and smell lovely but they can also keep our skin looking and smelling lovely too – so big it up for flower power.