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De-mystifying the healing powers of blue tansy
The beauty world’s newest obsession is one of mysterious nature. Tansy – which derives from the Greek word athanasia, meaning immortality – is a herbaceous plant of the aster family, with button-like mustard yellow flowers. Poisonous if ingested, but a lifeline if applied to stressed-out skin, tansy was first harnessed by the ancient Greeks to treat a variety of ailments – both physical and psychological.
This humble garden plant contains a very precious oil, which is extracted through steam distillation to keep the goodness alive. The process creates high levels of the aromatic chemical chamazulene, which gives the oil its striking blue glow. The resulting nectar has bewildering properties – it’s an antibacterial, antihistamine powerhouse that simultaneously works to soothe skin and soul.
Intrigued? Read on for our pick of the most beautiful blue skincare gems…
Sunday Riley, Blue Moon Cleansing Balm, £46
Sunday Riley owes her cult status to the blue tansy-infused Luna retinol oil, and her most recent release is similarly impressive. The ultimate treat after a hectic day, Blue Moon cleansing balm melts away makeup and grime – even a stubborn smoky eye – leaving skin hydrated and glowing with no claggy residue. A generous hit of blue tansy is infused with cocoa and moringa butter for optimum nourishment, while vanilla and tangerine create a sleep-inducing scent. In the likely event that you find this one too luxurious to wash away, let it linger on clean skin as an ultra-soothing mask.
May Lindstrom, The Blue Cocoon, £128
May Lindstrom is possibly the best advocate for organic skincare we’ve ever met. Go on, we’ve googled her for you – she’s a beacon of all-natural, glowing health. Everything in her eponymous skincare line is excellent, but it’s the Blue Cocoon that has perhaps garnered the most love.
This azure balm is hand-blended by May in small batches, using only ethically sourced and organic ingredients. It’s a wax-free solid that melts into oil on touch, and works to soothe the most sensitive of skins. Here, the blue stuff is blended with lavender and camellia to bring an aromatherapy element, increasing the dreamy effects tenfold. Intensely hydrating, it’s a saviour for even the most irritated complexions: psoriasis, eczema and acne included.
May advises massaging into clean, wet skin each evening. We advise clearing your schedule – you’ll soon be too chilled out to move.
Herbivore Botanicals, Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask, £34
Seattle beauty brand Herbivore is adored for its highly active concoctions of raw, plant-based ingredients. Its Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clay Mask combines the oil’s anti-inflammatory effects with natural AHA and BHA actives. Fruit enzymes (nature’s alpha hydroxy acids) gently exfoliate dead skin cells, while white willow bark (a beta hydroxy) is high in salicylic acid to heal blemishes. It sounds intense, but the soothing gel consistency will calm even the most inflamed complexions.
Kahina Giving Beauty, Lip and Face Balm, £35
Kahina Giving Beauty’s Lip and Face Balm is the kind of product you want to slather on your skin every minute of the day. 100 per cent of the ingredients are from natural origin: there’s argan oil – ethically sourced by Berber women in Morocco – healing calendula, and of course that coveted blue tansy. Peek closely at the jar and you’ll even find the signature of the women who blended the balm – a lovely touch.
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