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Style & Beauty

Why are floral extracts more beneficial for your skin than lab-grown ingredients?

According to Dior Science’s skincare research facility, daily exposure to environmental stresses have resulted in plants – and flowers – evolving highly effective means of defending themselves.

Why are floral extracts more beneficial for your skin than lab-grown ingredients?

The Dior Prestige Lotion Essence de Rose is composed of a blend of the rose de Granville and its bud, a brand-new concoction derived by Dior Science. (Photo: Dior)

The late Christian Dior once said: “After women, flowers are the most divine creatures.” This illustrates the affection the couturier has for flowers, which Dior environmental and scientific communication director Edouard Mauvais-Jarvis confirms are “part of the patrimony of the [brand] from the beginning”.

Not only has the brand incorporated flowers into its designs, the active ingredients are also included in the formulations of nearly all of its skincare products. In fact, the very first Dior Skincare products infused with floral extracts were created in 1967 with the Lait au Magnolia cleanser and Lotion Rose toner. 

“Flowers have a huge advantage over us. They are rich with more than 125 million years of evolution – they are the most evolved part of the vegetal world,” said Mauvais-Jarvis, affirming Dior’s belief in the power of flowers despite the fact that many ingredients can be created in a lab.

He added that the daily exposure to environmental aggressors such as climate changes, intense UV or oxidative potential of the atmosphere, have resulted in plants developing “an extremely rich biodiversity of molecules, such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, made to defend their structures and their capacity to reproduce against all these aggressions”.

The rose de Granville is grown in Normandy, France and its extract boasts supreme regenerative power to slow down the effects of ageing. (Photo: Dior)

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In the early 1990s, the Dior Science skincare research facility established a department of ethnobotanists, a set-up that was not common back then. Here, its scientists work closely with the locals of various countries to identify flowers with high therapeutic properties that could be used “as a source of new ingredients to address problems of the skin, such as ageing”. This led to the 1992 finding of the first longoza extract, which is still used in the brand’s Capture Totale range today.

Since then, Dior has developed a rich floral science “ranging from the knowledge of the culture of the different flowers to their harvest techniques, phytochemical identification, extraction biological assessment and inclusion in highly efficient production,” said Mauvais‑Jarvis.

But Dior doesn’t just harvest flowers; it cultivates its own too. For some of its important floral active ingredients, the brand has created seven Dior Gardens across the globe. For instance, longoza is grown in Madagascar; hibiscus and opilia in Burkina Faso; and rose in France.

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Speaking of roses, Monsieur Dior always had a particular affinity for them. From the brand’s point of view, it was an obvious choice to continue its heritage of studying and including roses in its skincare products. Above all, however, there was “complete logical evidence from a biological standpoint because the rose combined two key properties: protection and vitality”, said Mauvais-Jarvis.

So, in early 2000, the team began work to create a hybrid from seven generations of cross-breeding that were selected out of 40,000 varieties. The result is the rose de Granville, the key active ingredient in the Dior Prestige skincare line. Known for its exceptional regenerative properties, this rose is also the first-ever bloom to be created especially for a skincare line. To date, the research team has obtained not one, but five different extracts from the petals to the rosebud, and even the rosehip.

One new product to benefit from the brand’s in-depth research is the new Dior Prestige Lotion Essence de Rose, which contains a blend of essences from the rose de Granville and its bud. When applied to the skin, it optimises the energy flow within the cells, helping them transport nutrients and water to the surrounding cells more effectively, boosting skin renewal.

Why is this important? Skin needs energy to function, and when it is overworked, it becomes exhausted, requiring more energy to defend itself against oxidative stresses and free radical damages daily.

At the same time, this also reduces the skin’s ability to repair itself. As a prelude to a radiant and youthful complexion, the Lotion Essence de Rose fortifies the skin with vitality, plumping it from within to restore its dewy glow. Skin becomes healthier, stronger and can protect itself better against the outside world. As with anything in life, resilience is key.

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Source: CNA/ds