Flowers have been used as natural remedies in many cultures across the world for centuries. Whether they’re eaten directly or used as essential oils, flowers have treated everything from anxiety to digestive problems.
When it comes to skincare, flowers aren’t just used for their colour or fragrance. Did you know that some of your favourite flowers are also packed with skin-loving ingredients? Take a look at these five floral ingredients to incorporate into your skincare routine.
Chamomile tea is great for sending you off to sleep, but did you know that these little flowers also have a calming effect on your skin? In fact, chamomile has been used for medicinal purposes since the ancient Egyptians were around. These daisy-like flowers are a medicinal powerhouse, with antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Chamomile can reduce visible signs of redness for sensitive skin, reduce puffiness and even out your skin tone. Look out for the ingredient ‘azulene’, as this is the main compound extracted from chamomile flowers.
Roses have intense hydrating properties, making them ideal for mature and dry skin. When added into skincare products, rose extract helps to minimise scars, stretch marks, wrinkles and fine lines. These popular flowers are also supercharged with antioxidants and anti-ageing vitamins such as vitamin A and C which help smooth the appearance of your skin. Rosehip oil is derived from rose bush seeds, and is full of fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties which hydrate and protect the skin from free radicals which accelerate ageing.
Known for its calming and relaxing properties, lavender is a common ingredient in spa and aromatherapy treatments. But its benefits don’t stop there—lavender is also an effective skincare ingredient, especially for acne-prone skin. Lavender oil is multitasking as it cleans, calms and heals your skin with its antibacterial properties. It also gently moisturises your skin to keep it free of pimples. If you’re thinking ‘is an oil suitable for acne-prone skin?’ don’t worry—lavender oil is non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores. What’s more is that it’s cytophylactic, which means that it increases cell renewal, making it a good choice for healing scars, burns and stretch marks.
Sunflower oil isn’t just for cooking—it also works wonders for your skin. It’s packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E which helps moisturise, protect and restore damaged skin. Sunflower oil has a high concentration of skin-loving fatty acids, including linoleic acid. This helps to generate ceramides (lipids on your skin’s outer layer) to maintain your skin’s protective barrier. Other benefits of sunflower oil include relieving redness and insect bites, easing the effects of sunburn, lightening dark spots and pimple marks and soothing tired, puffy eyes.
Calendula oil is extracted from calendula flowers, a close cousin of marigolds. They have very similar health benefits, although you’ll find that calendula oil is more commonly found commercially. This oil has many healing properties, including antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It’s a powerful ingredient for cleaning skin, as well as treating skin ailments such as eczema, dermatitis, rosacea and fungal infections. Calendula oil also contains a high level of antioxidants which heal scars and damaged skin, boost your skin’s collagen levels and prevent stretch marks.