The Best Botanicals You’ve Never Heard Of

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Among skin-care ingredients, botanicals bask near the top of the list for their ability to deliver time-tested results, naturally. And, while they have the reputation of being around for ages, not all of them may “ring a bell” when it comes to their unique beauty benefits. Here, some of the most under-the-radar remedies on the market.

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The Skin Reviver: Pili

What it is: Considered the “Tree of Life” to its harvesters, the Pili tree of the Philippines, a symmetrically shaped 50-plus-foot-tall evergreen flower with edible fruit that contains the almond-like nut at its core, has multiple uses. Beauty-wise, locals favor it as a regenerative antioxidant-rich skin serum that contains high concentrations of omega fatty acids and vitamins A and E.

Where to find it: Merging modern science with Asian botanicals, My’s line of results-oriented, anti-aging products repair, replenish and revitalize skin through the star ingredient of locally sourced Pili oil from the Bicol region of the Philippines.

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The Radiance Booster: Elemi

What it is: Belonging to the same botanical family as frankincense and myrrh, the lesser-known essential oil of elemi has an intense incense-like scent that is said to help calm and lift the spirit when used in aromatherapy. In Europe and the Middle East, it’s prized for its ability to support the skin and reduce the look of lines and wrinkles when used as a skin-care ingredient.

Where to find it: Billed as the “remedy for every late night,” Decléor Flash Radiance Mask harnesses the microcirculatory properties of elemi essential oil to impart a rosy complexion and hide skin imperfections.

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The Wonder Herb: Yomogi

What it is: Popular in Asian products, the “wonder herb” of yomogi (also known as Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract or Japanese mugwort) is a perennial plant that grows profusely in the region. It contains proteins, vitamin A, B1, B2 and C, and is said to help promote collagen synthesis while acting as an anti-inflammatory.

Where to find it: Rich in peony, antioxidant-rich Sanshishi and yomogi extracts, Tatcha Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream’s proprietary blend of botanicals helps promote collagen synthesis and improves skin’s texture.


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The Natural Hydrator: Galanga Leaves

What they are: Used like ginger in Thai cooking and an essential ingredient in many curry pastes and Tom Kah soup, Galanga leaf extract purportedly stimulates a key enzyme in the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin when applied topically.

Where to find it: Packed with a plethora of active botanical ingredients and floral extracts, NUXE’s Nuxeellence Jeunesse Fluid helps to “recharge” the skin, giving way to a more refreshed, more radiant appearance.

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The Ultimate Healer: Speedwell

What it is: Part of the plantain family, the flowering tops of speedwell are rich in vitamins, making it especially good for eczema and skin irritations.

Where to find it: Vered Herb-Infused Toner’s non-drying formula tackles oiliness while cleansing, balancing and nourishing even the most problematic of skin types.

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The Skin Protector: Butterfly Bush

What it is: A native plant to Eastern Asia traditionally used for wound healing, butterfly bush (or Buddleja Davidii) produces a plant-derived stem cell that claims to provide protection from photo-aging while increasing the lipid barrier.

Where to find it: Utilizing potent plant stem cells from butterfly bush and Echinacea, Naturopathica Plant Stem Cell Serum delivers anti-aging results in a 30-day treatment. 

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The Anti-Ager: Hawaiian Coffee Fruit Extract

What it is: Extracted from the fruit of the coffee plant that protects and feeds the coffee bean, this extract harvested in Hawaii is loaded with antioxidants.

Where to find it: Malie Organics Anti-Aging Cream Cleanser aids in dramatically reducing lines, wrinkles, sun damage and hyper pigmentation thanks to its potent free-radical fighting antioxidants.

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