Long associated with religion, nobility and — of course — romance, roses have also been used in Chinese and other herbal forms of medicine, as a vitamin supplement and even as a natural sweetener. But perhaps nowhere has the flower caught on more as a luxury ingredient than in skincare and cosmetics.
Rose and rosehip oils, and the various tinctures made from them, have been proven to heal and moisturise the skin, reduce redness, combat inflammation and provide high levels of antioxidants. All of which makes them a perfect addition to everything from toners to face masks to lip treatments.
Several brands have gone a step further and created entire collections based on the benefits of rose. Chantecaille, which uses extracts of the rare Rose de Mai to create its Pure Rosewater face mist, has made rosewater the basis of all of its skincare products. Sisley has built a cult following for its Black Rose line comprising a mask, oil and cream infused with softening and anti-ageing extracts of the black rose as well as Bulgarian rose.
Likewise, Fresh uses real rose petals for its collection of rose-powered toners, serums, masks and moisturisers. Dior has created its “first micro-nutritive fluid skincare foundation” enriched with extracts from the wild Rose de Granville, and Lancôme has added rose oil to its new L’Absolu Mademoiselle Shine lipstick for hydration and effortless application.
“We call it ‘nature’s wonder’,” says Fresh founders Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg. “The flower yields a precious oil that is known to hydrate, soothe and tone the skin, and the scent adds a unique mood-enhancing quality to the experience of using it.”