The natural world is full of plants that contain healthful enzymes and vitamins—some help with improving internal issues, and others can protect your skin from the daily factors that stress our skin out. Edelweiss is one of those plants that basically does both.
What makes this fuzzy little plant from the Swiss Alps, made famous by a catchy song in The Sound of Music, the next big thing in skincare?
In this post, we will be talking all about Edelweiss, where it comes from, its legendary past, and how it is used in skincare today. You'll find out what properties this uncommon plant possesses and how it can benefit your skin for the long haul.
So then, what exactly is edelweiss?
Edelweiss is a wild alpine plant that grows in irregular clusters on rocky loose soil and is native to Europe's mountains, specifically the Swiss Alps. Edelweiss thrives in rocky limestone environments above 5,900 feet.
Often considered a flower, Edelweiss actually has no petals at all but instead has fuzzy, star-shaped, oblong leaves surrounding fluffy, little, yellow pollen centers. The leaves are covered in thick whitish/grayish hairs that protect the plant from high altitudes' harsh UV rays and give it a white downy petal look.
Most in the western world only know this ugly little plant from its claim to fame as the subject of Rodgers and Hammerstein's sweet unassuming love song sung by the patriarch of the Von Trapp family in the 1959 classic The Sound of Music, but this flower plays a much larger role for Swiss and German nationalists alike.
Edelweiss's name directly translates to noble white and plays a legendary role in the history of the Swiss alps. This plant is nationally revered as a symbol of courageous and noble behavior, and those that seek it can process these attributes for themselves.
And, you'll soon discover that there are many beneficial properties naturally found in the edelweiss plant.
Common Properties Found in the Edelweiss
Edelweiss has quite a number of beneficial properties that can help keep your skin healthy.
Some prominent properties of the edelweiss include:
The Edelweiss flower is a powerful natural antioxidant that contains natural metabolites that protect against the sun's ultraviolet radiation.
The Edelweiss is suitable for protecting the skin by blocking UV rays.
The Edelweiss also has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
In folk care, Edelweiss was commonly ingested in teas and tinctures to heal gastrointestinal distress. In Germany, it was actually called the "stomach ache flower." It was also used to combat early tuberculosis and diphtheria cases by mixing the plant into a tea with milk and honey.
So, now that you know some of the more prominent properties of edelweiss, let's dive into how it can benefit your skin, and why it should be a welcome addition to your skin care regimen.
Why is Edelweiss Good For the Skin?
Edelweiss' rich antioxidants have been proven to slow the appearance of aging with regular use both topically and internally. It has been used in sunblocks for decades because of its natural UV protectants. Those tiny leaf whiskers are coming in clutch!
Some of the rich antioxidants found in the Edelweiss are:
Chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant with strong cleansing properties.
Luteolin is a flavonoid, known to be antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and has neuroprotective effects.
Bisabolane, is where the plant derives its calming properties.
Beta-sitosterol, creates a calm and soothing feeling on the skin. It is also known to help lower cholesterol when ingested.
Phytochemicals, which possess the ability to absorb the UV rays of the sun.
When you combine these unprecedented, natural antioxidants, you have a compound that helps protect skin from external environmental stressors, all while nourishing the skin and providing an overall soothing, calming effect that is perfect for use during exfoliation and body buffing.
It's amazing that all of this is naturally found in one tiny plant!
Edelweiss in Skincare
Edelweiss is commonly used in creams and body lotions. Its antioxidant-rich properties make it the perfect ingredient for calming dry, aggravated skin.
These fantastic properties are what have led Spongellé to include Edelweiss in so many of our most popular products. Not only does this magical plant help relax and calm skin inflammation, but it also can assist with slowing down the aging process. When paired with other natural extracts, Edelweiss becomes a powerful anti-aging tool for supple, luminous skin.
Used in most of our body wash infused buffers, Edelweiss stops inflammation of the skin before it even starts, aiding in the calming and soothing of recently exfoliated skin.
You'll begin to notice a difference after using our edelweiss buffers. Not only will your skin be more luminous, but you'll gain all of the natural benefits that derive from the edelweiss infusion.
History of the Edelweiss
Edelweiss was commonly used as an ancient folklore remedy to treat and heal all kinds of respiratory and stomach ailments. The Edelweiss has recently enjoyed a rapid resurgence in use in skincare and medicine due to its unique and antioxidant-rich make-up.
Decades of scientific testing has shown that the ultraviolet light-reflecting chemicals this little plant has developed during its high altitude growth makes it a perfect natural aid in sunblocks. Medicinally, researchers have also found that the plant's chemical compounds prevent the amplification of oxides, which can
negatively affect the skin's aging process.
Edelweiss has deep historical roots in Switzerland and the surrounding countries in which it grows. It is their national plant, is showcased on Swiss money, and is used to brand all kinds of Swiss products.
Other names for the Edelweiss include:
- Beautiful Star
- Alpine Everlasting Flower
- Glacier Queen
- Lion's Foot
- Star Glacier
A Legendary Plant
Edelweiss is the subject of myths and legends. The most famous being tales of a courageous young man who, in wishing to prove his love to a young woman, put his own life on the line to climb a steep rock face and pluck a bouquet of the white flower-like plant as a gift for his sweetheart. Ultimately, this is how the plant gets its namesake and courageous and noble affiliations.
In the past, many men did try to procure their own Edelweiss flowers for their beloved. Not all would return from the journey, and those that did were herald as courageous and honorable. It is one of the first times in history that machismo and masculinity were paired with the delicate notion of a flower.
Not only is this a great metaphor for the act of love, but for the properties of the plant itself. Delicate, yet sturdy and able to thrive in any harsh condition that comes its way. If your aspiring partner brought you a bouquet of edelweiss it meant they climbed to the highest altitudes to retrieve it!
With its immeasurable uses, incorporating a few drops of liquid courage extracted from this tiny, little plant into your daily routine might just impart a little bravery allowing you to put your best face forward.
Properties of Edelweiss
The Edelweiss goes by the scientific name of Leontopodium alpinum. It only grows at heights of 1,500 to 3,000 meters, so it is rarely found in most areas of the world. Though native to the Swiss Alps, it is now grown in places in America and Canada and other altitude-conducive areas of Europe.
Though the Edelweiss does not measure up much against the more beautiful native flowers of the alps in appearance, every single bit of this cute, fuzzy, uneven flower is designed to withstand extreme weather and incredibly harsh environments.
- Its underground stems aid in its wind-resistance.
- The edelweiss' unique leaf shape prevents water from evaporating from inside the plant.
- Simultaneously, its fuzzy little hairs act as tiny umbrellas shading the plant from harmful UV rays prevalent at high altitudes.
It is nature's little beast of a plant, and it's filled to the brim with healthful properties that can protect and improve the texture of the skin.
Embrace the Legendary Edelweiss!
Well, now you're an edelweiss expert. And, you can fully appreciate how body wash products with edelweiss will really rejuvenate your skin each and every time you wash!
With even more free radicals in our environments these days, we must do everything we can to protect our skin from these damaging and aging compounds. From exploring the city to driving in traffic, it's imperative we consider the best ways to secure our skin's health from day to day.
Choosing products that are high in vitamin E and Edelweiss may be the perfect combatants for surviving the harsh environments we expose our skin to.
Explore! There are countless products on the market now using Edelweiss and its properties. Make choices that are right for your skin, and feel free to experiment with using this little fuzzy plant extract in your daily face and body routine.
We promise your skin will thank you!