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.”
Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream
Offering 24-hour hydration, the Deep Hydration Face Cream (HK$380/50ml) blends rosewater, plum- seed oil and hyaluronic acid to help attract and retain moisture.
African Botanics Rose Treatment Essence
Formulated with rose centifolia extract, Rose Treatment Essence (HK$1,300/50ml) works to balance pH levels, reduce redness and even skin tone.
Chantecaille Pure Rosewater
Pure Rosewater (HK$690) contains 100 percent of the rare Rose de Mai flower, helping to purify and refresh the skin while uplifting the spirit.
Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask
Promising “instant youth”, the ever-popular Black Rose Cream Mask (HK$1,020) works to smooth, plump and revitalise the skin while providing a delightful rose scent.
Dior Prestige Le Micro-Fluide Teint de Rose
Lancôme L'Absolu Mademoiselle Shine
One half of a new duo that includes Blush Subtil, the rose-oil-enriched L’Absolu Mademoiselle Shine (HK$260) comes in 26 shades plus two top coats.
Kora Organics Balancing Rose Mist
Miranda Kerr’s natural beauty line features this Balancing Rose Mist (HK$260/100ml), made with organically grown rose, noni and hibiscus extracts.
Clarins Crème Super Restorative Rose Radiance Cream
Jurlique Moisture Rare Rose Serum
Made with a unique extract that improves the skin barrier function, Moisture Plus Rare Rose Serum (HK$460/30ml) is part of a new collection of of rose- powered products from the Australian brand.
Hourglass No 28 Lip Treatment Oil
Ten lipid-rich plant oils and 14 essential oils (including bois de rose and rose geranium) all add up to the ultra-softening No 28 Lip Treatment Oil (HK$440).