By now, you probably know that the natural world is chock-full of body-healing plants. Botanicals have been used holistically for a long time, working wonders on our bodies from the inside out, and the outside in. From marine minerals to garden-dwelling florals, flowers and plants are a staple in the world of beauty for very good reason.
One of the most impressive botanicals to add your skin-care regime hails from the desert. And no, before you jump to conclusions, it's not aloe or cactus flower. It's rock rose—a wild plant so resilient, it's one of the first to re-emerge after a wildfire. And now you can harness its resilience and healing powers, too.
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From skin care brand Ayond, meet the Rock Rose Serum ($120), a nourishing oil formulated to promote the skin's natural life cycle. Why rock rose? The plant is the definition of hardy. Ayond's co-founder Porter Yates explains that the desert shrub is so tough, it's one of the first to re-grow after a wildfire, attracting pollinators and restoring biodiversity to the environment. This durability does wonders for our skin.
"This plant is called a 'fire-follower,' meaning that it needs the fire to crack open its seeds and germinate, which renews the landscape," Yates says. "Because of the harsh environment, rock rose leaves have some of the highest levels of polyphenols of any plant—three times the amount of antioxidants of green tea... these molecules are strong antioxidants that help protect cells from free radicals and oxidative stress."
The plant is also high in other natural skin-supporters, like bioflavonoids, which nourish and heal skin cells, and gallic acid, a tannin that can tighten and firm up the skin.
"We use as many parts of this plant as possible in our skin care and we appreciate its properties in supporting our wellbeing," says Ayond co-founder, Shani Van Breukelen. Rock rose resin is especially important, as it's an ingredient that's been used for centuries in the desert because of its therapeutics qualities. "With this holistic approach at addressing our need to reduce stress on the environment and our bodies, rock rose is very effective and the foundation for our entire skin care philosophy."
As for the other desert botanicals in the formulation: There's a garden-full. Standout ingredients include aloe leaf juice (for more antioxidants), California poppy extract (which is rich in minerals that relax and reinvigorate your skin) and indigo extract (which helps reduce redness and inflammation.) It's basically as close to the desert in a bottle as you can get.
And using it is impressive. It's packaged in a luxe black bottle that doubles as art on my bathroom counter. As for the serum itself, it's featherlight and bouncy. One of the first thing I noticed is how clean it felt on my fingers, free of any oils or sticky, tacky residues other skin-care products leave behind. The smell is also really dreamy. I've never been a fan of anything rose scented or floral, but this isn't anything like that. Instead, the serum smells a bit earthy, a bit herbaceous—akin to the greens of a plant over the buds of a flower.
Once it's on your skin, it feels like nothing's there. I put mine on after my morning wash, letting it dry before swiping on my daily face cream, which never feels heavy or weighed down. Yates and Van Breukelen recommend applying twice a day, letting it soak into your skin before layering with other product.
"It's the first product we put on in our routine, it's lightweight and oil free so it absorbs into the skin effortlessly," says Van Breukelen. "It's critical to get the nutrients and protective elements into your skin and then you can apply a moisturizer followed by an oil to seal everything in."
Want to grow resilient skin? Use a serum from a resilient plant. "The desert extracts we use in our products are selected for their resilience and their ability to help your skin thrive no matter the environment," says Yates. Shop Ayond Rock Rose Serum now for flower-powered skin care.
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