A reflection of overall health, our skin often reacts to heightened stress levels. This can result in exacerbated conditions—both physical and emotional. Fortunately, a natural solution may help calm mind and body. Beautiful and healing, flowers offer a bouquet of benefits to our skin and our psyches. Florals and their extracts have been beauty staples for millennia; it’s rumored that Cleopatra anointed her body with floral oils and the floors of her palace with rose petals. While covering our floors with petals is probably not practical today, it’s easy to make use of the cheerful, alluring effects of flowers.
Research on floral remedies is limited, and much of it is anecdotal. The few studies on floral extracts’ effects on anxiety and mild depression support their ability to calm our minds. In one 1997 Italian study, researchers used flower essences to help patients with symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression and found that, after three months, 89 percent of patients reported an improvement in symptoms, particularly of anxiety (this study did not include a control group). In a more recent study, researchers examined the clinical efficacy of floral extracts as an adjunct to traditional treatment for mild to moderate depression; they found floral therapy reduced depressive ratings by 50 percent on two symptom scales.
“Flower oils are tried-and-true happy oils that soothe heated emotions and help us release tension,” says Hope Gillerman, a holistic health practitioner and founder of Hope Gillerman Organics. “Flowers can help us reverse the effects of stress that show up on our faces, and add a noticeable, natural glow to the skin.”
If you’re just beginning to experiment with the power of flowers, try a topical approach. Katie Hess, founder of Lotus Wei, recommends choosing a product you reapply several times a day, such as lip balm or facial mist, to get a continual dose of floral essences. For further effects, incorporate bloom-based oils into your morning and evening routines. Gillerman suggests using a facial serum or body oil with organic essential and fatty oils.
Besides experiencing flowers through scent, Hess looks to fresh flowers for an improvement in mood. A Rutgers University study confirms that just being around flowers elevates mood. “Women are recognizing the importance of self-love, confidence and fearlessness,” Hess says. “That’s what makes us look beautiful—when you bring nature into your life.”
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