The Beauty Of Plants

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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.

Xi­me­nia Oil

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.

Ylang- ylang

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.

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