April showers bring May flowers — at least in your medicine cabinet.
While the recent floods may have done a number on the region’s early bloomers, you can harness the power of plants in your skin care routine. Here are some of my favorite products driven by flowers, plants and fruits.
A word to the wise: Most of these products are created with naturally derived ingredients, so the products’ colors may vary by batch. Don’t be nervous — that’s just Mother Nature doing her thing.
Glossier Cleanser Concentrate
The newest member of Glossier’s skin care lineup, this highly concentrated cleanser exfoliates, clarifies and re-energizes skin. Grape ferment, grape extract and AHAs (like lactic and malic acid) wash away dull skin, but the amino acid surfactants, plant-derived alternatives to sulfates (aka what makes your cleansers lather and hold all the other ingredients together), kick this up a notch. I also love that this cleanser lathers only slightly (think frothed milk that sits on the top of a latte) to help my skin feel clean without leaving it stripped of natural oils. Soothing chamomile flower water, calendula extract and antioxidant-packed passionfruit extract also maintain skin’s balance of moisture so you don’t feel tight and dry after cleansing. $20; glossier.com
Herbivore Cloud Jelly Pink Plumping Hydration Serum
This girl LOVES a hyaluronic acid serum, but some formulas can be so sticky that it ruins the experience of the skin care ritual. My favorite plant-based goddess brand Herbivore has just the remedy with this serum. A non-sticky, hyaluronic acid-alternative, this uses tremella mushroom (sometimes called “snow mushroom”) to mimic the effects of good ol’ HA. Tremella mushroom also works as a humectant, pulling moisture into the skin from the air to help dry, dehydrated skin bounce back, like a tall glass of water for your skin. Vegan collagen (regular collagen is typically derived from animal bones and cartilage) hydrates and plumps skin. Your skin will be dewy, juicy and ready for summer while also being kind to our furry friends. It’s a win-win. $48; herbivorebotanicals.com
Garnier Fructis Damage Repairing Treat + Papaya Extract shampoo and conditioner
Ever use a product that smells so good you could eat it? This hair duo will transport you into a dreamy, tropical paradise thanks to its papaya scent. That’s not all, though. As for your hair, this shampoo and conditioner are made with 98% naturally derived ingredients, bursting with super fruits like papaya extract. Packed with vitamins A and C and tons of antioxidants, papaya nourishes the scalp and strands from root to tip, which leaves hair moisturized and soft. Also, papaya is rich in folic acid, which enhances blood circulation, oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. This, in turn, promotes the growth of healthy hair. Not bad for drugstore hair care. $7.99 each (shampoo and conditioner); cvs.com
Kiehl’s Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask
Avocados are notorious for being rich in omega 3 fatty acids, aka “good fats,” that are responsible for soft, hydrated, bouncy skin. A rich and creamy face mask, it’s formulated with avocado fruit extract, avocado oil and evening primrose oil. This mask leaves skin feeling nourished while helping prevent water loss by sealing in moisture. It’s basically all the great parts of avocado without the threat of turning brown. $45; kiehls.com
Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream
Go bananas for this moisturizer that resets, replenishes and seals in lasting hydration. Blended with fruits and plants rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this is like a smoothie for your skin. Bananas are rich in magnesium and potassium, which restores after water depletion. Magnesium also calms and re-balances irritated and inflamed skin caused by external stressors and helps maintain barrier health. Centella Asiatica, aka cica or tiger grass, is known to heal dry, irritated, sensitized skin. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and is rich in antioxidants to soothe and calm redness as well as balance and brighten uneven skin tone. It does it all without clogging pores and is suitable for all skin types, even acne-prone and sensitive skin. $22; glowrecipe.com
Bliss Jelly Glow Peel
From its budget-friendly price to its easy-to-use wash-off method, this little peel packs a serious punch. This jelly-textured product uses papaya and pineapple enzymes to gently break up the bond between dead skin cells. The most satisfying part comes from the product’s cellulose, which are plant-based fibers that ball up when they come into contact with oil on your skin. As you gently rub the product into skin, cellulose form into soft rolls and clumps, which cling to the outermost dead skin cells. They then work as micro-lint rollers, rolling dead skin away as you rinse your face or wipe off the product with a damp muslin cloth or washcloth. Plus, this jelly peel also is made with other good-for-skin ingredients such as glycerin, niacinamide, coconut fruit extracts and vitamin B5, all of which help to seal in hydration, strengthen the skin barrier and improve skin’s look and feel. $12; blissworld.com
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT