Beauty: Dancing in Florals for Your Skin, by Kristen Ma
As our gardens reach full bloom in the summer, we are reminded of how floral essences offer up some of the most powerful skincare ingredients. Flowers used in skincare have been prized for centuries for their fragrant smells and potent therapeutic properties, and I love discovering all the different ways flowers can benefit different skin types. So, here are some of the most effective floral ingredients for the most petal pretty complexions.
One of the most common flowers in beauty care is rose. Rose is best known for its rejuvenating properties, so it is a common addition to anti-aging formulations. Rose water itself can be used to calm and tone the skin as well as promote cell regeneration. Because pure rose oil is wildly expensive, many products replace it with diluted or synthetic versions. Look for organic rose and avoid rose absolute for a higher quality rose essence.
Balancing Orange Blossom
Orange blossom, also known as neroli, is a fragrant flower that both purifies and heals skin tissue. It is an antimicrobial and scar healer, making it one of my favourite flowers for treating blemishes. Neroli flower’s mending properties are also great for repairing broken capillaries in the skin.
Lavender flowers are as pretty as they are skin-loving. These purple buds accelerate the regenerating process, so have been long used as a remedy for cuts, scrapes and burns. The water extracted from Lavender also aids imbalanced and combination complexion types by regulating oil production and infusing the skin with hydration. A lavender hydrosol is one of my favourite ways to stay blemish-free and fresh during the summer months!
Also called Immortelle, or Everlasting, the fact that the Helichryse flower promotes youthful, glowing skin is built into its name. Helichryse has been traditionally used after tattooing and body piercing for its disinfecting and healing actions. Its extract and oil are also excellent for treating inflamed, depleted and sun-damaged skin. It’s perfect for those post-beach DIY facial nights.
Camellia is the flower that green tea is made from. But beyond being ingested for its nutrients, the oil from its seeds also nourishes the body topically as it is packed with vitamins and fatty acids. Camellia oil is extremely comforting for irritation, making it a soothing and protective natural moisturizer. It’s one of my go-to botanicals for calming sensitive and rosacea-prone skin types, especially as the summer heat tends to aggravate Pitta types, according to Ayurveda.
Kristen Ma is the co-owner of Pure + Simple Inc., a group of Holistic Spas with its own line of Natural Skincare and Mineral Make-up. She is an Ayurvedic Practitioner who has studied in Canada, the United States and India. She is also a Certified Esthetician with eight years of practical experience, having worked in Canada as well as Australia. Most recently, Kristen has authored “Beauty: Pure + Simple” which was published by Mc Arthur and Company. Kristen has written on the subject of Holistic Beauty for Vitality Magazine, Blink and Jasmine. She is also a regular contributor to B Magazine, Tonic and Sweat Equity Magazine.