The Beauty Of Plants
Acai Berry The antioxidant-rich acai berry fights off free radicals to iron out lines and wrinkles. It also protects against invaders like pollution that may upset skin’s metabolism. Chia Made popular by the Chia pet everyone wanted as a kid, the seeds have found its way into skincare, thanks to its Omega-3 content and antioxidant properties. Beeswax Antiinflammatory and anti-bacterial, beeswax protects skin against damages. It also aids skin repair. For centuries, plants have been used for their beauty and health benefits. In fact, some believe that they hold the secret to maintaining a flawless and youthful appearance. Thanks to new technologies, beauty brands have been able to hone in on a plant’s efficacious property and use it within their formulations to help keep skin and hair in tip-top condition. CLEO investigates the plant realm and presents an A-to-Z guide of plants with beauty smarts. Dragon’s Blood This resin from a tree – Croton Lechleri found in the Amazonian rainforest – comes in a rich red shade that explains its fascinating name. It’s known for its healing, soothing, and collagen-repairing properties. Lady Gaga is said to be a huge fan of this! Edamame Not only is this a delicious and healthy snack, it’s also made up of antioxidants that fend off toxins and nasty free radicals. Interestingly, it can aid sleep too. Green Tea Naturally rich in antioxidants, green tea protects against accelerated ageing and minimises the risk of major diseases. Fig Ancient Egyptians were said to use the fruit to refresh and brighten up their skin. This could be due to the fact that it contains alpha hydroxyl acids that are a great exfoliating agent.
Jojoba A common additive in hair and skin products, jojoba is the only plant that produces wax ester much like the ones found on skin. Jojoba oil when applied to skin gets absorbed into the deeper layers to nurture and moisturise like natural sebum does.
Manuka Oil Extracted from a tea tree found in the East Cape of New Zealand, Manuka Oil treats infections, eczema, fungal infections, rashes, burns and dandruff. Iris Florentina Extract An iris species native to Italy, the plant emits a violetlike fragrance and is rich in isoflavones that can help fight off wrinkles. It also moisturises and helps improve skin tone for evenness.
Lentils This superfood is low glycemic and high in fibre. This means it keeps your skin beautiful and wrinkle-free by stabilising bloodsugar levels.
Kelp A rich source of vitamins and minerals such as iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron, this seaweed can be used to promote healthier hair and skin. It also has a detoxifying action.
Narcissus Narcissus bulb extract works great on spots and discolourations as it has the ability to slow down melanin synthesis. It can also improve skin cell durability and skin firmness.
Olive Oil Deemed “liquid gold”, olive oil is a multitasking ingredient that you can use as a top-to-toe beauty elixir. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, olive oil moisturises dry skin, deep conditions hair, gently removes make-up, and nourishes nails.
Resveratrol Found in red grapes and red wine, this potent antioxidant can soothe the skin, maintain collagen levels, neutralise free radicals, and energises the skin to help maintain a youthful-looking appearance.
Plant Stem Cells Like how human stem cells work, plant stem cells form different parts of the plant. But they are stronger as they can withstand environmental stressors. When applied to skin, plant stem cells even protect human stem cells by encouraging skin regeneration and repair.
Shea Butter A highly moisturising ingredient extracted from the Karite tree, this is used as an emollient in beauty products to help protect skin and hair from dryness.
Quinoa Touted as the supergrain of the future, quinoa is gluten-free and a great substitute for rice. It’s high in protein (among other nutrients), which aids growth and repair.
Tea Tree Oil A healing oil filled with antiseptic and antifungal properties, this has been used in almost all your favourite skin and hair care products to help treat problems such as acne, eczema, dandruff, and even bad breath.
Ulva Lactuca Extract
Extracted from sea lettuce, this is great for the skin as it possesses brightening, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cell renewal, and anti-ageing effects.
This lemony-fresh smelling herb can be used to calm puffiness and stimulate circulation when used as a massage oil and a skin toner.
ZIZYPHUS JUJUBA FRUIT EXTRACT You may recognise this as the Chinese date. It’s rich in vitamin C that helps strengthen the immune system as well as contains calcium and vitamins A, B1 and B2 to nourish, protect and moisturise skin.
Obtained from seeds produced by a South African scrub whose fruit resembles that of plums, the oil’s oleic acid content makes it an ideal ingredient within styling products, moisturisers, and hair conditioners.
These beautiful yellow blossoms are used mainly as a fragrance or essential oil, thanks to its sweet and calming scent. In Bali, they’re used to traditionally decorate and scent the marriage bed. The oil also possesses a balancing action and can help balance out skin sebum secretion.