Sunday, 18 January 2015

Rose Beauty Benefits

I am in love, completely, head over heels in love - with rose.

My love of all things plant-based does not stop at food, but extends to the botanical wonders of  -well, okay, just about everything, but, especially - natural beauty products.

Over the holidays, I was blessed with some natural rose beauty products, and, I have to say, it's a venture into luxury from which I simply refuse to return. It's just too good.

There's something about the scent of rose; expensive, dark, sultry, and enticingly floral; rose does not hold the girlish scent of daisies and frivolous summer flowers. Rose is serious; rose is sensual. 

The botanical power of natural beauty ingredients should not be doubted, either. There's more to the pleasure of seeing an ingredient list I recognise on the packaging for a moisturiser -in our distant and artificial city lives, we can easily forget and disregard the understanding that plants work in profound and wonderful ways.

Curious as to the beauty benefits of rose, I did some research on these beautiful, timeless flowers, only to fall in love with them even more...

To my delight, rose is:

Anti-bacterial: Rose oil or rosewater are wonderful ingredients in a cleanser, face wash, deodorant, hand cream, you name it, because rose is naturally anti-septic and anti-bacterial. In one study (see here), Damascus rose was shown to be anti-bacterial against 15 strains of bacteria. Rose has a long history of use in skincare, and perhaps, instinctively, this is why.

Nourishing and soothing: rose may be a wonderful inhibitor of bacteria, but it's also gentle, anti-inflammatory and soothing for skin (those with trouble skin, rejoice!). Even the Ancient Romans used rose to soothe skin irritations (as well as bathing in baths of rose petals... let's all take a page out of that book). Furthermore, rose has brilliant anti-oxidant properties, and has been used topically in traditional medicines to prevent sunburn. Awesome.

Moisturising: Not only does this flower reduce redness and soothe sensitive, irritated skin (while also cleansing... starting to sound like the perfect product, right?), rose locks in moisture, balancing skin for comfort and suppleness!

And, let's not forget:

You'll smell great. Rose will leave you smelling divine! Damascus Rose is the variety most often used in beauty products and perfumes for its high oil content, and its strong, luxurious and seductive scent. Hell yeah.

And there's more to the scent of rose than that: rose has incredible aromatherapy benefits. While Ayurvedic teachings suggest using rose to calm and soothe, this ancient form of medicine isn't simply folklore to be disregarded. Studies have demonstrated the mental benefits of rose aroma in the treatment of anxiety and depression; in a study that used both lavender and rose essential oils, rose was the most powerful alleviator of depression. Furthermore, applying rose beauty products (perhaps, subconsciously, why I love them so much) can combat stress: In a 2009 study, rose oil applied to the skin produced a relaxation response greater than that of a placebo oil., with the participants who received rose oil showing a greater decrease in breathing rate and blood pressure than the placebo group. (Plants truly are powerful - synthetic rose/placebos in the studies I've come across while researching have all been shown to be redundant. Hail rose!)

Rose is the ultimate luxury - it takes ten thousand petals to produce one ounce of rose oil! 

Fortunately, its potent - and you don't have to (though I recommend it!) splurge on Dr. Hauschka to fill your beauty regime with rose goodness. For your own natural rose beauty, add rose essential oil to your bath to soothe anxiety and uplift mood, and use rosewater on cotton wool to tone, calm and gently cleanse skin. You can also remove eye make-up by mixing rosewater and coconut oil -  with it's moisturising and anti-oxidant properties, you'll surely keep your eyes looking young with this mixture!

So, treat yourself to some rose beauty products. And treat yourself to some roses, too. (No need to wait for someone to buy them for you! Did you know that, according to studies, seeing flowers increases mental sharpness and positive mood while decreasing anxiety and depression? Fill your home with them!)

So choose rose, for beauty and health.

‘Rose is the only thing you can take with you when you die because it’s not of this world.’ - Old Iranian saying...

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