When it comes to skincare, the beauty industry is no stranger to seasonal buzzwords, social media hacks and trending ingredients. In the last year alone, we’ve seen a plethora of skincare actives steal the spotlight, including cannabidiol (CBD) oil, bakuchiol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and probiotics to name a few.
While the industry is in agreeance that the old favourites and dermatological staples reign supreme – think the likes of retinol, vitamin C, salicylic acid and so forth – there is a growing demand for plant-based options and counterparts. “Today’s consumer has a renewed faith in botanical and natural ingredients provided they can demonstrate a clinical or therapeutic result,” said Yong-Li Zhou, the founder of stem cell skincare brand, Enbacci.
As our skin is in daily conflict with biological and environmental aggressors, the effects of premature ageing can be exacerbated by a host of internal and external factors, including poor diet and lifestyle, stress, unprotected sun exposure and irritation from prolonged mask-wearing. “In order for skin to combat these stresses and maintain a healthy level of homeostasis, it’s important to look for ingredients that can slow down or stop oxidative damage and enhance the skin’s natural antioxidant abilities,” said Yong-Li.
With online search results for green-leaning ingredients up 34% on last year, there is a continued appreciation for botanical actives that can help reverse the physical signs of ageing and restore skin’s normal barrier function. To help your skin look its best, let us introduce you to 5 botanical skincare ingredients you’ve probably never heard of but need to try.
Ashwagandha, also known casually as Winter Cherry and Indian Ginseng, is an antioxidant-rich plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 4,000 years. Renowned for its regenerative and therapeutic abilities, this ancient ingredient helps combat the symptoms of premature skin ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, while serving as an effective anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent for acne and blemish-prone skin.
Our recommendation: B3Adaptive Superfoods Stress Rescue Super Serum by Dr. Dennis Gross
Responsible for giving plants their green colour through the process of photosynthesis, Chlorophyll is celebrated for its rich antioxidant properties and high traces of vitamins A, C, E, and K. Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, this potent multitasker can help improve skin cell turnover, brighten the complexion, and reduce the appearance of blemish marks and pigmentation.
Our recommendation: Chlorophyll Detox Mask by Perricone MD
Most potent in berries such as the humble grape, Kinetin, also known as 6-Furfuryladenine, is a naturally occurring plant hormone responsible for healthy cell division. Inhibiting the creation of 8-oxo-dG, an oxidative marker for genetic damage, research shows that topical applications can strengthen the epidermal barrier, stimulate keratinocytes, improve skin hydration, lift pigmentation, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Our recommendation: Vitis Vinifera Rejuvenating 3-Step System by Enbacci
Taking cues from ancient East Asian rituals, Makgeolli is a fermented rice wine rich in skin-loving nutrients. Gaining momentum in the Korean beauty market, topical applications of this natural elixir has been proven to brighten and soften skin thanks to its high count of vitamins B2 and B3. Containing a host of amino acids such as lysine and methionine, Makgeolli can improve collagen production and help keep skin feeling soft and supple.
Our recommendation: I’m Makgeolli Skin Purifying Sheet Mask by TONYMOLY
Opuntia, also known as Prickly Pear, is derived from a particular species of Cacti native to the western hemisphere. Ideal for dry, compromised, and sensitive skin types, this botanical beauty is celebrated the world over for its impressive hydrating, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. Touted as the richest source of vitamin E, Opuntia is extremely high in essential fatty acids and omega-6 and -9 to help smooth skin texture, improve collagen production, and even skin tone.
Our recommendation: Pure Moroccan Prickly Pear Seed Oil by Samson & Charlie