Succulents Are the Mega-Hydrating Ingredient Your Skin Care Routine Needs
There are probably succulents on your desk, succulents hanging from your walls and there’s likely a pot or two in your window. And if there aren’t already, there are going to be succulents in your beauty routine.
Succulents aren’t only trending in home decor. They’re giving us something fresh to obsess over in beauty besides mermaids, astrology beauty products and highlighters. Succulent hair colors and succulent manicures have already gone viral, now it’s skin care’s turn. Unlike some here-today-gone-tomorrow succulent trends, succulent skin care is more than a viral trend. It’s something that has been around for a while because it gets results.
Aloe is the most famous succulent of them all in terms of beauty. It’s often the first ingredient people reach for to soothe sunburns. There’s more to succulents than the pointed leaves, though. Dr. Craig Kraffert, board-certified dermatologist and president of Amarte Skin Care, says that succulents are part of a plant category that includes cacti and typically grow in warm, dry regions. Built to survive extreme climates and store water, it’s no surprise that succulents make effective moisturizing ingredients.
Kraffert says that succulents are adaptogens, a buzzy beauty term used to describe plants that stabilize processes in the body (obviously a good thing). “They work to optimize physiologic function and reduce body stressors, promoting well-being and longevity,” he says. Adaptogens can target inflammatory, circulatory, oxidant and ultraviolet aggressors when they’re applied topically. They also calm, normalize and improve skin’s texture with regular use.
Besides our beloved aloe, Kraffert says that popular succulents include prickly pear cactus and portulaca oleracea extract, commonly known as purslane extract. Prickly pear cactus is a moisture-preserving humectant containing various vitamins that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Purslane has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Plus, it’s analgesic (pain relieving) and rich in good-for-skin omega-3 fatty acids.
Ready to love succulents even more? These succulent skin care products deliver results and will help feed your succulent obsession.
Make Succulent Skin Wash, $24 at Make
The brand’s pH-balanced, sulfate-free gel gently cleanses complexions. It removes dirt, oil and impurities without stripping your skin of moisture. How does it accomplish such a feat? It’s supercharged with amino acid-enriched surfactants that preserve your skin barrier. Not to mention prickly pear, cactus, agave, niacinamide and sodium hyaluronate to supply much-needed nutrients.
Freeman Beauty Feeling Beautiful Hydrating Cactus + Cloudberry Water Gel Mask, $6.03 at Amazon
This affordable mask brings together unique ingredients that would otherwise never be friends: succulent cactus and cloudberry. Many are probably familiar with agave, yucca and maybe even cactus flower extracts, but cloudberry could be new territory. It's a vitamin-rich edible fruit that grows in the Arctic tundra. Combined, they brighten and plump skin.
Clarins Hydra-Essentiel Bi-Phase Serum, $60 at Sephora
This is not your average serum. It has a bi-phase formula, like micellar water, that needs to be shaken before use. Lightweight and nonsticky, it provides the intense hydration we crave. The star succulent is organic leaf of life extract, a nourishing plant that boosts and helps skin maintain moisture in any environment. Follow the serum with moisturizer for a plump, radiant complexion.
Amarte Skin Care Aqua Mist Toner, $47 at Amarte Skin Care
No cotton balls or pads needed here. Spray this prickly pear-infused toner on your face after cleansing to brighten and nourish skin. It can be reapplied throughout the day to maintain dewiness and boost hydration.
Maapilim Face Moisturizer, $28 at Maapilim
This moisturizer uses aloe vera, jojoba oil and rosemary oil from the Mediterranean coastline. The combination takes skin from dry to dewy and hydrated. The product has a refreshing earthy fragrance thanks to bay laurel, coriander seeds and marjoram. When it's empty, an actual succulent could be planted in the minimalist pot.
Huxley Secret of Sahara Light and More Oil, $48 at OHLOLLY
Curious about the secrets of the Sahara? Huxley's facial oil might hold them. It contains Sahara prickly pear cactus oil plus sunflower oil and jojoba oil to provide rich nourishment to your skin. The antioxidant-rich oil can be applied directly on skin or mixed into moisturizer or night cream.
Kiehl's Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist, $27 at Kiehl's
Cactus flowers manage to bloom in the driest of conditions, while resilient Tibetan ginseng grows at high altitudes. The ingredients' properties serve you well in this moisturizing mist. The formula keeps skin hydrated no matter the conditions and fights environmental stressors. Spritz the refreshing product on after cleansing, when skin is overheated or needs moisture.
Dermalogica Calm Water Gel, $50 at Ulta Beauty
This is more than an after-sun lotion. It's a refreshing water-gel moisturizer that calms and protects skin. Dual hyaluronic acid technology penetrates the layers of your skin and helps lock in moisture, while glycerin provides an extra dose of hydration. Cactus pear has water-binding properties that help all the good stuff stay in your pores. The succulent ingredient also soothes irritation. Gently apply the product to your face and neck whenever skin is red and misbehaving.
La Bella Figura Beauty Barbary Fig Seed Oil, $90 at La Bella Figura Beauty
Some may not have heard of barbary fig seed oil, but it's actually another name for prickly pear seed oil. This product is formulated with a pure organic, cold-pressed version. That's it. It's suitable for all skin types, including those who are sensitive or acne-prone. The vitamin E-rich formula keeps faces plump and dewy without feeling oily. The treatment can even be used on stretch marks.
Boscia Cactus Water Moisturizer, $38 at Boscia
Cactus water is something trendy wellness mamas are sipping. Its hydrating abilities extend to beauty. The fast-absorbing moisturizer has aloe vera and Queen of the Night cactus to moisturize dry skin and keep it smooth and supple. Those with oily to combination skin can use it as well without their faces feeling overly greasy thanks to the weightless gel formula.