Roses are intertwined with our history in every possible way. It’s thought the first roses bloomed some 35-million years ago and since then they have been the object of poetry, songs, art and literature. They are given on first dates, Valentine’s Day and they’re a popular addition to wedding bouquets and boutonnières.
But there is more to this flower than its beauty and symbolism. There is evidence of roses being used in beauty products and rituals from at least the Egyptian era where they would be distilled and reduced to balms and oils. But, roses often play a role in our own personal histories too; as children we would pick their petals to create perfume concoctions with nothing more than water. For many of us, this home brewed, odd smelling water was our first introduction to the world of beauty.
A Beauty Legend
Our childhood obsession with roses remains, but our interactions with the flower are more sophisticated than they once were. Roses still feature heavily in beauty; whether we’re talking haircare, skincare and, of course, perfume. Their dusky, sultry and comfortingly familiar scents lend themselves naturally to perfume and cologne but also bath oils, candles, body wash and scented body lotions where you want the scent to linger on your skin.
Layer the scent of rose, in its every guise. Diptyque Roses Scented Candle smells of unadulterated rose and will accent your home with a note of grownup sophistication while REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Lotion will leave a subtle floral scent on your skin that layers beautifully under most perfumes.
A Skincare Staple
As for skincare, rose oil, water and other extracts often appear due to their anti-aging and antioxidant benefits. “Rose as an ingredient within skincare has many beneficial properties,” explains Noella Gabriel, Elemis co-founder and president. “From skin hydration to regulating oil secretion, the natural fragrance component of rose has a nurturing and calming effect on skin. Suitable for all skin types, rose soothes the skin and protects the skin’s lipid barrier, helping skin to feel conditioned and hydrated.”
You’ll find delicate English roses combined with Mediterranean algae in Elemis Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm; this silky and nourishing cleanser removes dirt and makeup from skin while maintaining hydration and keeping sensitivity at bay. It’s a favourite.
In serums rose can up the hydration stakes, especially when it is found formulated as both a water and an oil like in the NEW Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum. “Our rose collection is all about the beauty of hydration – and we wanted to take that idea to the next level with our first ever oil-infused serum,” says Lev Glazman, Fresh co-founder. “With its two phases, water and oil work together to effectively deliver deep hydration and nourishment. The oils were specifically selected to mix effortlessly without leaving a greasy finish.” Containing rosewater and damask rose extract, this clever serum just needs a shake to mix up both phases before patting into cleansed skin.
For an intensively weekly treat try Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask. With black rose extracts and vitamin B5, this nourishing mask soothes and repairs weary skin. Apply a generous layer to cleansed skin and allow it 10-15 minutes to work before patting away the excess. Keep Chantecaille Pure Rose Water on hand. It contains 100% rose de mai and instantly cools, refreshes and settles over-wrought skin. Mist whenever your skin feels the need, even over makeup.
An Inspiration For Makeup
The delicate flower is also a source of inspiration for makeup. From Laura Mercier Blush Colour Infusion in Rose to Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF15 in Rose, there is an abundance of blushers, lipsticks and eye shades tapping into the soft, complexion enhancing shade. By Terry’s Brightening CC Palette not only contains four rose-inspired hues but in keeping with the brand’s philosophy of always championing the power of rose, all four powders also contain nourishing rose extract.