Frankincense has been around even before biblical times. Most of us are only familiar with it because it was one of the presents from the three kings on the birth of Jesus. But aside from its fragrant aroma, frankincense has been used in Eastern and Ayurvedic medicine since 500 BC. Vogue writes that frankincense is known as the king of essential oils and in ancient times, it was a very valuable commodity. Pure frankincense was considered as liquid gold and was used in commerce for trading.
According to InStyle, it's thanks to the high demand for natural skincare that frankincense is finally getting recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties. While many other oils like argan oil, almond oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil and tea tree oil have long enjoyed the spotlight, there's still room for others. Amelia Gartner of Australian plant-based skincare brand Cedar and Stone tells Vogue that frankincense has been used in ancient skin care rituals and it was used as an anti-aging oil. These days, it can also be used to combat oily and acne-prone skin thanks to the boswellic acids it contains.
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While dermatologists tell InStyle that there is still a need for more clinical studies, there are already skincare products out in the market that contain frankincense. Here are Instyle's top picks.
This potent botanical serum has 22 plant-based actives in its oil-based serum and frankincense is one of them. The serum also contains more than 60 antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, phytoceramides, phytonutrients and omega fatty acids and is formulated to reduce inflammation and boost blood circulation. It also has an intoxicating scent.
Neal's Yard has a proprietary frankincense complex which is formulated with boswellic acid and polyphenols. This serum fights off free radicals and guards collagen levels.
This mist combines the clarifying and hydrating properties of a toner and a hydrosol. It contains skin-loving ingredients aloe vera, colloidal silver, frankincense, witch hazel, and white willow bark and is perfect for a post-workout refresher.
If you find over-the-counter spot treatments too drying, try this blemish gel that contains proven acne-fighter salicylic acid, willow bark and frankincense acid. While some people don't like its medicinal smell, most appreciate that it doesn't cause skin to dry up and flake.
This plant-based oil boasts a good number of natural ingredients like jojoba, avocado, and sweet almond oils, guava seed, frankincense, tamandu and seabuckthorn berry. It's a lightweight oil that has a non-greasy, but dewy finish.
The benefits of retinol are well-known and many. While those with sensitive skin are wary of it, botanical oils like baobab, cotton seed, frankincense and tamanu oils soothe and hydrate the skin while the active ingredients of vitamins A, C and E take care of everything else.
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