What’s the deal with … Floral skincare?
Herbs, seeds and bark yield some damn powerful botanical skincare extracts. Next for the naturals-obsessed modern skincare lover: flowers. Meh. Sounds more pretty than potent. I agree. But a flower-powered batch of new products is changing my mind. Liz Earle’s Balancing Gel Mask instantly quenches flaring skin as it’s mostly made up of flower waters (recipe: steam the petals so they release their actives, then capture the condensate water). “It’s painstaking, but petal compounds tend to be exceptionally gentle and soothing,” says ethnobotanist James Wong. “The elderflower, meadowsweet and lime flower distillations in this mask are swimming with salicylic acid and flavonoids to calm even the most sensitive skin.” What else can we squeeze from flowers? Acids (who knew?). Those found in hibiscus flowers (which naturally contain a whole complex of them) are said to have all the peeling, skinrenewing power, but none of the potential irritant action of fellow acids such as glycolic. Any other pointers? Blue blossoms are particularly anti-inflammatory. Find them in Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil, which features calming, antibacterial blue tansy (a type of camomile on steroids) oil, and Decléor Hydra Floral Everfresh Hydrating Wide-Open Eye Gel, which boasts extracts of pollution neutralising and free-radical-slaying cornflower and baicalin buds.