Harnessing the power of Amazonian plants in beauty

Harnessing the power of Amazonian plants in beauty

Did you know that 25% of modern pharmaceuticals, come from plants that reside in the Amazonian Rainforest? No? Well, it’s not really a surprise when you consider that there are more than 80,000 species to pick from.

Most of us are aware of the importance of natural ingredients and the effect that they can have on our health. But these potent elements are being used in other ways, and in fact they can be regularly be found in our favourite beauty products.

It’s very likely that you may recognise skin and hair enhancers like Brazil nut or avocado, from being in your latest cleanser or your body creams, but there are lots of natural sources that you probably haven’t heard of.

Taking all their power from mother nature, these wonder oils, pastes, and clays, can help to build collagen, increase skin’s elasticity, and even reduce the appearance of acne.

Want to know what they are? And more importantly where you can shop them? Read on…

Your Amazonian Prime Ingredients List

Acai

Contains antioxidant properties that help protect skin from pollution and reduces the appearance of fine lines by improving cell regeneration.

Can be found in: Sol De Janeiro Acai Body Power Cream, £18

Amazonian White Clay

Frequently spotted in detox masks, this helps to remove excess sebum and oil and improves the tone and texture of the skin.

Can be found in: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, £26

Andiroba aka Carapa Guaianensis

A moisturising oil that has been used for generations in Brazil. Helping to protect the skin it also reduces the appearance of fine lines by plumping the outer layers and contains a group of natural alpha-hydroxy acids, which can boost collagen.

Can be found in: Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Crème, £21

Avocado

Not just for brunch, this ingredient is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins E and A (a natural retinol). It aids moisturise levels, nourishes the skin and protects your complexion from environmental factors.

Can be found in: Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream, £34.99

Babassu

This moisturising ingredient acts as a barrier to stop water loss and helps soothe and plump skin. It is also meant to out-do coconut oil, when it comes to caring for your complexion.

Can be found in: The Body Shop Amazonian Saviour, £9

Brazil Nut

The edible seeds of the Bertholletia Excelsa (aka The Brazil Nut Tree), found in the Amazon forest, can be crushed to produce oil that hugely nourishes our face, hair and body.

Can be found in: Lush Ro’s Argan Body Conditoner, £16.95

Brazillian Red Clay

Containing a high concentration of iron, which is known to soften skin, it additionally improves elasticity and firmness.

Can be found in: bareMinerals Clay Chameleon Transforming Purifying Cleanser, £18

Buriti or Aguaje fruit

There’s a few names for this fruit oil, but most commonly it is called Buriti, and it comes from a palm tree in the Amazon known as the ‘Tree of Life’ due to all of the health benefiting nutrients it contains. It has anti-inflammatory properties, can improve the suppleness of the skin, reduce dark spots, moisturises and protects.

Can be found in: RMS Beauty Oil, £74

Copaiba

This has natural spot-fighting qualities that can reduce the presence of acne. It may also aid in the reduction of scars and stretch marks.

Can be found in: Pai Skincare Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask

Carnauba Wax

Vegan and want a plant-based substitute to beeswax? This is it. It soothes and protects skin and lips and is also frequently used in hair styling products.

Can be found in: Gressa Lip Boost, £28

Chia

Packed full of nutrients this little seed can maintain the natural lipid balance in our skin, aid in moisture levels, help to reduce inflammation and protect against pollution.

Can be found in: Nunaia Nourishing Radiance Serum, €79

Maracuja

This is a plant that comes from the passion fruit family. Rich in Vitamin C, it offers the effects of a brighter, firmer and a smoother looking complexion. It is also a sustainable ingredient, as the active is taken from seeds that would normally be thrown away.

Can be found in: Tarte Maracuja Oil, £42

Murumuru

Removed from the seeds of the murumuru palm tree, the essence is packed full of vitamins and has a very high content of skin nourishing oleic acid.

Can be found in: Lush Amazon Primer, £9.95

Rose hip

A wonder oil that helps reduce inflammation and aids skin repair, it also prevents dehydration and battles free radicals as it is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins A and E.

Can be found in: Trilogy Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil, £19.50

Sacha Inchi

Used for thousands of years by women in Amazonian tribes, the nut is ground into an oil and then mixed into a paste and applied to the skin for a rejuvenating effect. A unique superfood, Sacha Inchi, contains amino acids which help build healthy skin proteins and is also full of polyunsaturated fatty acids – omegas 3, 6 and 9, vitamin A and E.

Can be found in: Nazan Schnapp Rinse Away Oil Cleanser Rose Quartz, £80

Words: Lydia House