Before there were acids, sulfates and stem cells, skincare products were crafted almost entirely from the gifts of Mother Nature. And while technology may have advanced and synthetic ingredients may have taken the place of certain natural ones, plants and their extracts remain an essential element in any skincare arsenal.

Indeed, several cosmetics companies have developed their offerings around a single plant-based ingredient or plant- derived compound. French brand Caudalie was born among the vineyards of Bordeaux, where founders Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas discovered the powerful antioxidant properties of grape seeds. Its extensive product line now includes many fully plant-based formulas with ingredients such as rosemary and peppermint essential oils, and aloe vera and cornflower extracts.

Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics line features a blend of plant extracts that have been proven to increase the skin’s natural cellular energy and ability to retain moisture. Key ingredients include Salicornia herbacea for hydration and Ayurvedic licorice root to diminish the appearance of dark circles. Herbivore Botanicals, meanwhile, focuses on safe, effective and active ingredients such as plant-based, food-grade, cold-pressed oils.

But it’s not only the “natural” brands that rely on the power of plants. Science-backed skincare specialist Helena Rubinstein continually aims to break new ground, its latest discovery being the Alpha-Edelweiss plant that grows high in the Swiss Alps. The incredibly resilient bloom provides the potent and antioxidant-rich elixir at the core of the brand’s new Prodigy Cellglow series.

Before you go and roll around in the garden, remember that even the simplest plant-based products have been rigorously researched and tested. So leave it to the experts and choose a formula based on your specific needs.