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Deals & Steals

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Not only does it smell sublime, but rose oil heals, hydrates, moisturises and softens

skin of all ages

Rose petals

Now imagine a light oil that rehydrates, regenerates and revitalises winter weary skin. It’s anti-ageing, smoothing, brightening and boasts every fashionable vitamin going. So far, so high-tech.

The smell, however, will transport you right back to your granny’s dressing table because this spring’s magic ingredient is derived from roses - and it’s chemical and toxin free.

Now here’s a quick history lesson. It’s only since the 19th century that the fragrant rose has become best known for its use in perfumery.

Before that, roses were grown mainly for their medicinal properties. The Persians are credited with being the first to separate the essential oils from the petals by floating the flowers in water and waiting for the sun to do its work.

‘With all the high-tech products on the market, we forget about the natural remedies of the Ancient Greeks and Romans,’ says Lynne Sanders, who runs Cosmetics A La Carte with her colleague Christina Stewart.

‘However, we are beginning to revisit natural ingredients such as roses and finding the most wonderful benefits to our skin.’

Lynne is rightly proud of her foray into the annals of history. The result is a selection of divine new products including Rose Elixir (£35, 15ml).

This is a potent mix of rose absolute (a liquid extraction from fresh blossoms) and rose hip oil.

Rose hips are the fruit of the wild rose, or Rosa canina, and they have an incredibly high vitamin C content - eight times the amount, weight for weight, that you get from oranges.

No wonder wild rose hips were gathered during World War II, when citrus fruits were scarce, and made into a syrup for children.

Lynne and her team have created more of a skin drink, which you apply at night.

‘Rose absolute has been proven to help repair broken capillaries and calm redness. It is also an excellent tissue hydrator,’ she says.

That aside, the aroma is uplifting. ‘Rose Absolute is believed to help reduce anxiety, promote feelings of well-being and is useful in helping to cope with depression or stress,’ says Lynne.

Rose oil is also a key ingredient at Neal’s Yard Remedies. The rose body cream is unctuous and the rose shampoo and conditioner are extra moisturising and smell lovely.

The queen of all rose oils is rose otto - extracted from the species Rosa Damascena.Morocco is one of the few places that can grow this flower in large enough quantities to produce the oil - it takes an incredible 2,000 roses to create just one gram of the wonderful stuff.

Rose products

From left to write: Moroccan Rose Otto Body Oil, Rose Body Cream and Rose Hand Wash

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