From prickly pear for shiny hair, to daisies that banish age spots, beauty’s wild new ingredients
When it comes to beauty products, there’s always a new ‘miracle’ ingredient to look out for, but do they live up to their claims?
From daisies to prickly pears, many of the latest ones are plant-based and sound as if they should be chopped into salads rather than rubbed on to faces.
So what are the newest cosmetic additions and can they really soften wrinkles, add shine to hair and even out skin tone as they claim?
At one with nature: A pensive woman in a field
Mother nature: A model looks stunning in this natural setting. So read our review of some of the latest plant-based beauty products
Here’s our guide to the latest beauty ingredients to make a bee-line for . . .
Prickly pear oil
CLAIMS TO: Make hair glossy.
Also known by its Latin name, Opuntia ficus-indica, this plant’s oil delivers double the amount of fatty acids and protein as argan oil, the gold-standard treatment for shiny hair. Prickly pear is also rich in vitamin E, which is fantastic for deep conditioning. It takes a million seeds to produce one litre of this rare oil, but you only need a drop or two for glossy locks.
Find it in: Touche by Flavien, from £12, urbanretreat.co.uk
CLAIMS TO: Eradicate wrinkles.
Algae or alguronic acid doesn’t just instantly make skin appear less lined, but it also delays the signs of ageing long-term. Discovered by marine biotech scientists in San Francisco, it was found that algae acid can also help regenerate cells.
Deep benefit: Green algae on a lilly pond. Marine scientists say that algae delays the signs of ageing for the long term
The tiny spheres of alguronic acid swell to physically fill out wrinkles and instantly reduce their appearance, and clinical tests have shown that over time it can increase elastin levels and improve skin cell turnover. One to watch, as every person in the clinical trials saw an immediate improvement in their wrinkles.
Find it in: Algenist Targeted Deep Wrinkle Minimiser, £36.50, spacenk.co.uk
Watermelon seed oil
CLAIMS TO: Regenerate skin.
The oil, which is extracted from the seeds of the Kalahari melon, is particularly good for the skin thanks to high levels of essential fatty acids.
It also contains high levels of antioxidants, which help the plant to survive in the South African Kalahari desert. These antioxidants help to counteract environmental damage in the skin. The oil itself is light and readily absorbed by the skin.
Find it in: Elemental Herbology’s Sun Kiss Body Hydrator with Self-Tan, £25, elementalherbology.com
CLAIMS TO: Soothe and repair skin.
Not just a kitchen cupboard staple, scientists have now discovered that elements within rice have skin-soothing properties.
Rice extract, known as Oryza sativa, can moisturise and calm skin that has been damaged by UV light. It can also protect skin from further damage.
Find it in: Aromatherapy Associates’ Soothing Treatment Mask, £48.50, aromatherapy associates.com
Spot the difference: Daisy extract has a skin-brightening effect, helping to reduce age blemishes, research shows
Sausage tree extract
CLAIMS TO: Firm skin.
Extracts of Kigelia pinnata, known in sub-Saharan Africa as the ‘sausage tree’ because of the shape of its salami-shaped fruit, can help boost the rate of cell renewal.
Tests have shown that this ingredient has a smoothing effect on ageing skin.
Find it in: Liz Earle’s Superskin Bust and Neck Treatment, £28, uk.lizearle.com; and Dr Jackson’s Skin Cream SPF20, drjackson.co.uk
CLAIMS TO: Erase age spots.
Who could have predicted that the extract of the common English daisy could work wonders on the skin? Studies conducted both in the lab and on women show that the daisy extract has a rapid skin-brightening effect, helping to reduce age spots.
Find it in: Dr Hauschka’s Melissa Day Cream, £23.95, drhauschka.co.uk and Repechage’s Biolight Brightening Skin Correct Serum, £56, repechageuk.com
CLAIMS TO: Protect skin
This green, Australian plum contains the highest concentration of vitamin C found in nature. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect skin from free radicals.
Find it in: Jurlique Purely Bright range, from £20, jurlique.co.uk, and the Intraceuticals Antioxidant Booster Serum, £60, 020 7221 2248.